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?
Got this thru alldaychemists, price was very reasonable. I started using .1% that I got in Mexico, that was way to strong for my face. I dropped down to .05% and can tolerate it much better. I use it a couple times a week for a few hours, my face has a sort of "glow". I will continue to use this, and hopefully graduate to the.1% someday.
Got my 74 year old mother some .025% and she's loving it. Using it a few days a week, for a couple of hours.
Been on it for 9 Months and I love it, This and Glycolic acid has really improved my skin greatly.
I have been using the .025 gel since Feb. 8th. I use this every other night alternating with Neostrata 15% cream. This works very well for my skin type. Even at 39, I am oily and acne-prone. I previously have used Differin XP .3% which worked well for a time but was not quite strong enough and I used Tazorac .1% for 1 year but could not deal with the constant peeling of my face. This gel fits in between the other two retinoids I have tried. My pores are smaller (b/c they are not clogged), my skin texture is more refined and my face actually looks glowy (not oily). Highly recommend! A rx from my derm is very cheap too, under $15 cdn.
LOVE this stuff. I've had severe acne since age 8, and scars all over my face.
This stuff works fast, and I see my acne marks fully lighten in about 2 weeks. It is the only thing that works on my skin. My dermatologist reccomends me use it at night, which works, but sometimes I re-apply throughout the day after I ash my face and such. This stuff is the most amazing thing that's ever happened to my face.
The only cons are that I have to get it through my dermatologist, and that it smells annoying, but not bad... just like nail polish and acrylic paints mixed together? LOL
Anyways, I love this stuff. Lightens my acne marks well. And it is cheaper than a chemical peel. But you have to keep up with the dosages and such. Well, you don't have to, but it's best to.
I got the cream form of Retin A from my dermatologist for acne. I don't have horrible acne to begin with, but I just wanted to get completely cleared up. This wasn't the product to do that. It made my skin worse than it ever has been. Itchy, red, bumpy...just horrible. As soon as I quit using it my skin got better. I think the gel form of Retin A might be less irritating than this junk, so if your going to get Retin A, don't get the cream! It clogs your pores!!
I've been using 0.25 for 6 months. I started off with cream (tretinX) samples from my derm and then went on to purchase the gel from alldaychemist because I have no insurance and can't afford the regular rx. I initially started using it every day and had a horrible horrible initial break out. I mean the kind that makes you not want to leave the house or look in the mirror. Big hard deep painful under the skin pimples and red raw peeling skin. It was NOT fun. Week 2 through 6 were the worst and every single day I would sit at work and tell myself I was not going to put it on that night, but every night I went home and used it, just hoping I'd wake up the next day magically healed. So at exactly the third month (just like all the directions say!) my skin finally showed the results I'd been praying for. No more pimples, ZERO clogged pores, hyper pigmentation dramatically reduced, fine lines softened, pores smaller, Skin feels more firm, texture is greatly improved. I am SO happy and SO glad I stuck with it. I dropped down to every other day because, even after 6 months of use, I'm still pretty prone to flakiness. I can't wait to see the results as time goes on and I will definitely be using this stuff for the rest of my life!! Oh and I totally agree with the reviewer below me, MUFE F&B is AWESOME when your skin is really flakey!
LOVE Retin A!! I am 43 and look 10 years younger b/c of it. Whereas other women my age have lines and wrinkles ( some are actually pretty bad) I literally have none. I have been using this for 5 years now. I tolerate the cream so much better than micro. Minimal redness and peeling( were talking once in a blue moon and it can be only seen if I have foundation on.
I did try this in my 20;s for acne but hated it. I never let myself get past the red and peeling part. Vanity and fear of wrinkles brought me to it in my 30's and I couldn't be happier that I gave it a chance.
tip for foundation: I have found that MUFE F&B to be the best foundation while using Retin a. b/c it does not accentuate flaking at all.