I'm 52 years old and the wrinkles seemed to start appearing overnight. I started using the generic Retin-A (tretinoin 0.025% gel) last winter. For the first couple of weeks I had terrible redness and peeling, my skin felt tight and sore, and after years of not having pimples, about 4 really nasty ones popped up. But, I kept on because I knew my skin would go crazy for a while & I might have a purge. To combat the dryness & peeling, I used Aveeno Baby Soothing Relief Moisture Cream. It was the only moisturizer I could tolerate at the time, and it really helped!
Now, nearly a year later, I've moved up to the .01% cream. I buffer it with my moisturizer and use it every other night. I can say that I'm thrilled with the results! I've always had good skin but now it's even better. I stay out of the sun, & always wear sunscreen under my makeup, even in the winter. It's made a huge difference. No one believes I'm 52 and usually guess my age at around 35-40. I think my use of Retin-A is one of the reasons why ! I'll use it forever!
I have been using Retin-A .5% since last Feb and I decided to write this now bc of the long HARD experince I've had with Retina-A and maybe it could help someone.
About a year an a half ago I started seeing a esthetician who was HIGHLY recommended and very well known in LI, NY. I was 32 at the time and even though I have nice skin I wanted it to look better and try and avoid botox and fillers as long as possible. In my quest for better skin my esthetician recommend a cocktail of retin-a .5% and hydroquinone. I was nervous bc of all the horrible things I've heard about retin-a over the years but she assured me it would ok...I trusted her and started.
In the beginning things were as expected really bad redness, chapping and peeling especially around the mouth area. I continued anyway even though I looked pretty bad. But nothing would be as bad as what happening around month 3. My skin looked horrible!! Breakingout, red scaley patched and more peeling. I was in tears just about everyday. My family didn't get it and my husband was constantly yelling at me to stop "that sh*t". I was repeatedly on the phone with my esthetician who pursuaded me not to give up. I was already about 4 months into treatment and I've come so far already that I didnt want to give up too.
So I continued...and about 2 months ago it just stopped. My skin now is pretty clear, calm and looks really even. I had EXTREMELY sensitive & rosacea proned skin & now my skin seem stronger and my rosacea is pretty much gone. Don't get me wrong its not a miracle. I still have some fine lines and I breakout sometimes but it was def worth it. My esthetician is recommending a year of retin-a with hydroquinone 3x times per week and then I will go on maintence. So we will see what happens then :)
I'm using a generic 0.025% concentration of this product and have been for a month. I've had no issues with sensitivity or peeling, although I've been extra vigilant with the sunscreen and hats.
I experienced a small "purge" during the 3rd week, but my acne has finally stopped and I barely break out at all now. I think that because I was exfoliating with BHA for 3 months before going to the derm, I cleared up faster than most people will, although I still have some very visible acne scars and I've been using some OTC treatments for them.
I think first time users should definitely ask for a mild concentration of this stuff and go to the doctor if their acne simply WON'T clear up.
I have used it in the past & actually I did not get prescribed this by the derm I went to see when my acne first showed up in my early teen years so I do think that had I been on this and accutane it would have saved me the horrible skin I am am left with today as an adult. However I do plan to start using it again soon. Mostly for my acne, scars & wrinkles. At least I hope for some improvement & maintainence.I am sure you know you should use it at night. Wear sunscreen. It does cause irritation & peeling to a certain extent but use it consistently it does work.
Retin-A did permanent damage to my skin. I used it as a teenager for several years, and it worked acceptably well though I found it quite irritating. I tried it again in my mid twenties, and a year and a half of use left me with patches of skin on my face that are permanently scaly and red. My skin never did acclimate to the product the second time I used it, despite following the directions carefully and using it less frequently when my skin seemed particularly irritated. Instead of having acne all the time, my skin was bright red, flaky, scaly, and painful all the time. The constant redness and irritation was why I stopped using it after a year and a half. I figured that when I stopped, the redness and scaliness would disappear, but it's five years later now, and that never happened. Beware, this stuff can ruin your skin permanently.
I took both Retin-A and Accutane in the 1990s and just wanted to clear up the previous reviewer's comments as I think she has Retin-A and Accutane mixed up. I did not have to take blood tests or pregnancy tests when taking Retin-A which is a prescription topical cream. I did, however, have pregnancy tests and blood work every two weeks while I was on Accutane which is a prescription oral medication.
From what I recall, the Retin-A worked very well and cleared up my acne quite nicely. Years later after taking Retin-A, at the age of 39, I developed horrible acne on my chin which just would not clear up. After trying other meds that didn't help, I was started on Accutane. I'm now 45 and have great skin and I believe both products helped me. You just have to try what's out there and see what works for you.
This product is horrible! As a teenager I was prescribed this and had to not only take a blood test but a pregnancy test every two weeks because of all the side effects. Anything that requires that much testing because of the danger is no good in my book. It also made my acne worse. I got off this and switched to using all lush products and behold my skin cleared up and I have been acne free ever since. I would never allow my teenager to be prescribed this. I'm surprised it has so many positive reviews.
***I am not talking about Accutane, I have never been prescribed a pill for acne.
I will use this forever. As a teenager, I used this to maintain my skin after Accutane and I had gorgeous, glowing "glass" like skin. I stopped when my prescription ran out, and twelve years later I've purchased Retin A from Alldaychemist. About three years ago, I started using Affirm's 3X retinol cream, but I wanted to go back to the real thing, as I'd never had the kind of glow I had when I used retin a. My skin tolerates the .1% strength nicely, and I don't buffer. I use this at night after I wash up and tone with with hazel. A super tiny amount goes a long way with this. My only negative side effect has been peeling. I've managed this by using a Buff Puf when I wash. It takes the exfoliated skin right off. Retin A does great things for my skin. It's super soft, radiant, less acne prone, my pores are far less obvious, and it fades acne scars quite quickly for me. I've been able to comfortably go out without foundation on. For me, foundation has been a necessity to face the world for quite a long time, as I'm very self conscious about my skin. I still enjoy wearing a full face, but when I'm running late or when I'm going to be getting sweaty and hot, I don't feel that foundation is a step I still absolutely need to take. I use the .1% gel. As worried as I was about the ADC formula being different, I love it. I'd love to know the ingredients, as they aren't listed anywhere and I can't find them for the life of me. I have read the it is an olive ester base, for what thats worth. As cheap as this is, I will continue to use it for as long as I can. If I can't order from India some day in the future, I would certainly go to a derm to get a prescription again. LOVE Retin A!
I am very happy to be on Retin-A again. I used it as a teenager and it was the only thing that made and kept my skin really clear. I'm 41 now and my skin still breaks out and I'm also concerned about fine lines and wrinkles so I decided to give it another try. I have been using a pretty strong OTC retinol so I have had minimal peeling and redness. My skin is clear again and I'm waiting to see how it performs on lines and wrinkles. My doctor Rx'd the gel and I am not crazy about the kind of grainy texture, in the past I used the cream in a tube and prefer that. Also, my insurance company initially declined to cover it, saying that they only cover acne treatments for people ages 15-25. Acne is my main concern (incl. shoulders and chest), with benefits to lines and wrinkles being secondary, so we were able to get permission and it was covered. Otherwise, the cost of a pump bottle of gel is over $250. If I did not have insurance I could not use it. I don't know if there is a generic, but I may ask about a stronger concentration at my 3 month visit. The .25 is great for my face, but I think I could use something stronger on chest/back. I live in S. TX and have been using an SPF 30 moisturizer plus a foundation that is SPF 25 (I don't know if the SPF adds up) and I have found that sufficient. I am very fair and have had no burning or anything.
I thought this would be a miracle for my oily skin and enlarged pores.. not really. I still have to exfoliate with AHA/BHAs. I'll stick with it, only because I heard retin-a normalizes cell production and therefore helps with collagen and acne scars. But as far as oil and pores go... eh. My skin tone is more even though and no breakouts, so that's a plus.
UPDATE: Apparently this takes a few months to kick in. I notice less oily skin now. I use this at night... slap a whole bunch on, avoiding eye area and area around mouth. I guess patience is key. Good luck.