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.
I started using retin-a on July 15th, I had started breaking out about a year ago and tried everything OTC and nothing worked. I thought it would go away, but sadly it didn't I started doing research on acne products and I know nothing is a instant miracle and I am ready for something to work in the long run because I hate my skin right now and sometimes don't want to go out.
Here is my review on retin-a(tretinoin) .025%.
Week 1- nothing had changed and I didn't experience any stinging or burning, like most people have said. I had been using OTC retinol and AHA so maybe that prepped my skin for it.
Week 2- I started seeing some improvement in the longevity of my pimples, as in they would come to a head overnight and not stay for days at a time. however I started seeing new pimples come up as well. Had some mild dryness.
Weel 3- The left side of my face is pretty clear but still waiting for the hyper pigmentation to fade, slowly but surely. The right cheek and forhead is still "purging".
Week 4- I think it is helping, I'm going to stick it out because it definitely isn't worse than how I started and I feel like I'm actually doing something pro active about it and not trying OTC that aren't ever going to work.
Week 5- Went through another purge, I was very doubtful of this product and I get depressed again. I'm considering keeping dairy out of my diet.
Week 6- Now I'm half way through week 6 and the purging is healing up and going away. However my face is full of red acne marks and even though it's better than bumpy skin it's horrible =( I hope this product will help fade these quickly.
I will definitely update next week. But for now I am consistent with the applications and am hopeful.
I started using Retin A on May 28 so this is my experience so far (PLEASE NOTE: prior to using Retin A I was using Peter Thomas Roth Retinol PM Fusion and I think it helped me build up some tolerance to Retin A. I did not feel any burning, stinging, horrible peeling, etc (yet!!!)
Week 1 - 3 - used Retin A every other night and if Imy skin felt too dry, I'd skip one more night and only moisturize. My skin looked amazing, the nasty break outs stopped, my pores looked smaller/tighter and my skin oiliness/dryness is controlled. A little flaking only around the nostrils and around mouth, but nothing even noticeable. I'm loving it!!!
Week 4 - 5 - Started using Retin A every night. Bad break out with about 6 pimples, 3 of them being the cystic ones that no matter what you do, won't go away until it wants to go away. I didn't pop any of them (though I was highly tempted to do so) and continued using the product. The biggest one is slowly fading and so are the others but I still have red marks where they used to be. A little more flaking around my nostrils but nothing bad. I feel there's a bunch of other pimples ready to come out but I'm not touching them or freaking out. Will continue to use Retin A as recommended by my derm.
UPDATE Week 6-8 - That last bad acne break out from weeks 4 and 5 is almost gone, a few red scars from the hard to kill pimples. I started using Alpha/Beta hydroxy acid night cream every other night; as per some research it is recommended that one uses aha/bha a few times a week to help with t breakout Retin A causes. So far so good, my skin is NOT 100% clear and peachy but it's by far the best it's been in a while. And besides, I need to wait at least 6 - 8 months to start seeing the full results of Retin A. PS: My derm just prescribed me a couple more tubes and said my skin was looking very good. Will keep updating!
I have only just started using Retin-A but will update as the weeks progress.
Week 0-1 The first couple of days were fantastic, but from day 4 onwards it's terrible! I have flaking around my mouth, nose and eyes, and horrible breakouts. I'm going to cut back and start using it every other night. (I do think that I was putting too much on so will try using less product as well) I will update again shortly.
Update **10 July 10**
Week 1-2 The horrid sore peeling I had around my mouth has subsided. I have been using less product and skipped 2 nights of application. This has seemed to help. My skin is a LOT clearer and smoother. I can definitely see an improvement. I am still getting the odd cystic pimple but it seems to be clearing up a lot quicker. Hopefully I've had the worst of the peeling and burning and my skin is purging and getting better. I have increased the rating from 3/5 to 4/5. I will update again shortly.
The peeling around my mouth has lessened. I've noticed that my skin is a lot smoother and I no longer have little bumps on myskin. I am also having less breakouts - my skin is not perfect but it is a massive improvement to what it was. It will be "that time of the month" for me next week (sorry if that's TMI) and usually my face would have exploded with pimples in preparation for it. I've also noticed that the few pimples I do get, clear up a lot quicker. I will update again next week.
**Update 31 July 10**
Week 3-4. Gosh I can't believe I'm in my 4th week of this. The flaking has definitely subsided. I have had the odd spot, but my skin looks pretty darn good, I have to say. I wish I knew about this product years and years ago.
I was telling a lady at work that it takes me an hour and 10 minutes each day to do my make up (not including hair, dressing, shower etc) and she was astounded. She said to me "but you don't need a lot of makeup you have great skin."
Nobody has ever told me I have great skin in my life. I think this product is fan-effing-tastic! I give it 5 lippies.
**Update** 23 October 2010
I totally love Retin-A (although I'm using Retrieve now because Retin-A has been discontinued). I would never be without it.
I used Retin-A off and on for about 12 years. This is a great product if your skin can handle it. It used to work wonders on my skin, but little by little it started wearing my skin down. I'm not sure but I believe that I may have developed rosacea because of the constant irritation. It was hard to give up completely, because if I hadn't used it in a while and started up again, I'd sometimes have a couple of weeks where my skin would look amazing. Then suddenly the irritation would set in, and it would be awful. I have a lot of major skin issues that Retin-A helped for me, so I was desperate. If you want to try this product, just make sure you're careful to notice signs of intolerance developing. This isn't the same as the irritation you'll experience in the beginning, because everyone gets that. What I'm talking about is either your skin never gets over the irritated phase, or else you are doing fine and then gradually your skin gets more and more sensitive, red all the time, thin looking, etc. If this happens, you should stop and do whatever you need to repair the skin barrier. No active ingredients, only mild cleansers and lotions, etc. After your skin heals, you might try to use it again at half dosage (say every other day), and see if that works better. Like I said, Retin-A can be really amazing, but I do believe it can be damaging over time for certain types of skin.
One derm I had said he could only use it on the upper half of his face. For many people, the jaw line, lower cheeks and around the mouth are much more sensitive. Using it only on less sensitive areas is another option.
Differen is easier to tolerate and works really well too. If your skin is sensitive I would just start with that. Unfortunately for me, I can't even tolerate that anymore.
Edit: Although I no longer use Retin-A all over my face, I have recently found that using a tiny, tiny bit under the eyes at night can really improve the surface lines in that area. Strangely, my skin can tolerate it in there and nowhere else. Even though it's thin skin, it's somehow not sensitive. Who would have guessed?