This review is for Retin-A gel .25 from Ortho.
Warning: you really must use sunscreen with this medicine.
I have fair skin prone to adult cystic acne and clogged pores. On top of that, I am getting the results of gravity and facial expressions--my smiles have caused lines around my eyes and my high cheekbones and dimples have wreaked havoc around my mouth/nose area.
I've used Renova and Retin-A Micro with success. However, I felt that the RAM was very strong and caused a prolonged period of irritation/flaking while the Renova did not work to remove the clogged pores. And so, I struggled with trying to work the two together. I added Retin-A gel .01 and liked the results.
And then I simply stopped. And yes, your skin does revert to what it would have been had you not used a retinoid. It's kind of insidious...you start noticing lines.in suspect places. So yes, I was going Around the eyes and mouth and noticed that when I slacked my skin wansn't the same.
Lo, I finally found the .25 Retin-A gel online, which I'd been looking for.. I started by using every third day and buffering with a bland moisurtizer before applying (buffering is applying a moisturizer before apply the Retin-A).
Some peeling but nothing major. Sure, there were days when no makeup would do...and then I'd just apply moisturzer, a bit of foundation on my nose, and go about my business. I was my own worst critic. The main thing is not to try to manually exfoliate. Sure, there are products. Forget them. Sure, you can scrub with a washcloth. NO. All you will get is irritated skin. The best remedy I found was to wipe in a downward motion with a damp towel or gauze cloth after cleansing to remove any obvious skin and then applying moisturizer and WALKING AWAY. Dim the lights. Go to sleep.
Then, after a few weeks, i began applying the Retin-A gel directly on skin every other dat after at least a half hour after washing and then tapping a non-comedogenic moisturizer (for me) on top. Walking away Sometimes I will use pure jojoba oil, other times Sage creams. Oh warm nights, I simply spray a very light mist of low % glycerin and rosewater mixed with water and checked with a Ph check strip.
When I got to this point and noticed dry skin in the morning, especially around my mouth and nose, I simply rinsed my skin with water, soaked my skin with water or under the shower and lightly rubbed anything II could under the shower with my fingers, used a gauze cloth to lightly exfoliate--but not really rub. A downward motion really helped to removed the loosened skin.
Added moisurizer and walked away (I like Md Formulations or Sage Advice).. Some days my makeup didn't look right. I'd just add a layer of moisturizer on top of the spots the were flaking and go about my business.
In this beginning stage, I came home after work and used my oil cleanser to remove ss and any mu, applied a glycolic cleanser. Waited and applied my Retin-A gel.
Am now at the point where I am using the gel every third night regularly and applying moisturizer at least an hour after application. I actually keep my moisturizer on my bedside table in case I forget to use.
I'd used Retin-A gel when younger when my adult acne hit home. Thing is, I never knew about buffering or adding an appropriate moisturizer after. Perhaps some may not need these measures, but even with my extra-oily skin, I suffered redness, irritation, and dehydration. However, my skin always looked younger than my age due to the on and off use of Retin-A.
When going back on my retinod this last time, after a period of light purging and obvious under-eye lines, my skin looks so much better. Lines are plumped and my pores are completely clear. Will never stop using. Learned my lesson.
Update: I've been buffering since starting and dabbing my moisturizer on about an hour after and find that I get a minor peel on the second day. But wow. My skin looks so much better. All of the clogged pores are gone...and my eye and upper lip area is finally responding. My n/l lines are dimished as well as my the fine lines around my eyes. Even with less sleep, as long as I keep up with my routine, the results are amazing. I am using every second or third night as my skin is older. But the results are in. This percentage of R-A is working way better than Renova, RAM, or the lower percentage
I do use the ,25 Renova on my neck and chest with a buffer as these areas are more sensitive.
The thing with the Retin-A is that you have to deal with how your skin accepts the product. My best bet was to buffer (apply a light oil or moisturizer) for the first month or so. Then wash. and wait for 40 minutes and then add a bit of moisture around the mouth and nose.
Now that the weather is warmer, I can wash, spritz a bit of my rosewater/glycerin spray, and then apply the R-A with great success. No clogged pores , no breakouts, never any cysts. Fine lines are better. Sunscreen is a must to keep the skin plump and protected.
If there is one skincare product I cannot live without it is retinA! It single-handedly cures my acne, resurfaces my skin and makes it clear, smooth, tight and even toned. All the other products I use would not be effective if it not for retinA to set the foundation right. I have also been able to switch to much more ordinary drugstore toners, moisturizers, and sunscreens without any issues as far as pores clogging etc because the retinA is so effective at maintaining perfect skin. So so worth it!
Used this when I was in high school and it did wonders for my acne. Yes it produced peeling, burning and redness as side effects but it helped dry up my pimples immensely. Must use sunscreen and moisturizers with this.
this it's the best teatment for acne and wrinkles makes my face smooth and young looking !!! you have to get the least strenght like 25% and apply a creamy mosturizer with no perfume and a soap with no perfume cause it will sting ....wear it at night only and wear a sunscreen at day and say bye to your wrinkles and ugly skin
I couldn't get past the flakiness so I had to stop using this. I'm sure the skin underneath would be lovely but weeks of dry, flaky skin that doesn't look better no matter what you do? No thanks.
This was really bad idea for me. I so wished this worked on my fine lines and sunspots on my cheek but instead it created deep facial lines and my sunspots area did not get lighter. I did researched before I use Retin A and I knew of side effect (peeling/ burning) and it does not worked on everybody but I didnít expected deepen facial lines. Currently Iím using organic facial lines and trying to prevent it from worsening.
This can be a Godsend for anti-ageing and/or acne if you use it right. Using it 3 times a week is just as effective as every night and is much easier to live with. Go slow with it and buffer if needed with a mild cream such as Vanicream, Eurcerin or Uriage and you won't have to endure the flakiness, redness, peeling and purging that makes so many people quit before reaping the benefits.
This is a great article telling all you need to know about Retin-A:
I have spent a lot of money on this. It is the only way I have found to fight the signs of aging. It makes your skin dry and flaky which isn't fun but the end result is beautiful new skin under all those flakes. UPDATE-I still love this product and have started buying it from alldaychemist.com. I am able to buy it so much cheaper and without a perscription. I find that the microfiber towels help take off the dry flaking skin. I also have started using this every 3rd day so that the pealing skin doesn't look so flakey. This is amazing at making skin look younger and keeping pores clean--love it!
Wow, I must have some seriously oily skin because I have not experienced any of the dryness others have mentioned while using this product. I have been using Retin-A micro nightly for about 2 months now, and my skin has never looked better. I too went through the rather maddening skin purge phase, but can safely say that has passed. I definitely noticed an increase in blackheads for about 2 weeks which was a bit strange as I have never been prone to them in the past.
About the only complaint of irritation I have had while using Retin-A could essentially be chalked up to my own carelessness. When I first started using this product I was not careful enough when applying it around my delicate under eye skin and got some redness and stinging that lasted for about a week. Now, I am quite careful to moisturize around my eyes before applying Retin-A and completely avoid that area like the plague.
It's hard for me to comment on price as the lovely PA at my derms office has provided me with a very generous amount of samples of this product. I may update my review once they run out and I have to face paying retail for it!.
First off, I am using a product called Stieva-A, which is a 0.025% tretinoin cream. I got this product because I had all these awful bumps all over my jaw from when I used coconut oil; they weren't pimples, just flesh-colored clogged pores that no other treatment came close to getting rid of. Since tretinoin is lipid-soluble I figured it would be able to get down into the pore and purge my skin of all the clogs (please never put coconut oil on your face!).
I have been using this for about 4 weeks and am quite happy with how things are going.
Pros: Those clogged pores are becoming pimples, which are then coming to the surface and then going away.
My skin tone looks more even and bright.
Cons: Flakes! I am flaking like mad around my lips and nose. I do swim almost every day, so I think that the chlorine may be contributing to the flakes; my skin only flakes when I get out of the pool.
I had hoped that my this product would help get rid of my blackheads. I don't really see any difference in them yet.
My skin is pretty much a mess right now, what with all the purging, but I expected that. Once it's gone, it doesn't come back, right? I'm holding out for the day when I wake up and my skin looks fab, which hopefully will be sooner rather than later.
EDIT: April 8, 2010
I have stopped using this stuff on a regular basis because the benefits weren't worth the costs. My skin was either super dry or really greasy from the heavy-duty lotions I needed to combat flakes. I found that using this made my routine more complicated than it ought to be and that my skin just wasn't happy or in any kind of homeostatic state. I will probably use it once a week just to help prevent clogs by maintaining good cellular turnover.