I have been applying a small pea-sized amount every night about 10 mins after washing face. I use 0.025% cream, ordered online.
For the moment I have mixed feelings. At the moment wondering if this stuff is a curse. I see all these reviews about how wonderful this stuff but the OB of zits, cysts and crap plus red marks from zits that it gave me. But they say you need 2-3 months to see results so I am going to keep trying but honestly nearly every day lately I just want to give up.
The first few weeks I had the most terrible out breaks EVER. I am turning 30 and start to notice lines on forehead and esp around mouth as I used to be a smoker. Am desperate to find a cream to remove these lines. Read great stuff on retin a so am trying it.
Here is my week to week experience:
FYI I normally dont have many pimples; just a few around my period and maybe 1-2 max during the time I'm not with period. This stuff broke me out like never before, in places I have never had and lots of black and white heads which I never used to have.
Week 1: first few days nothing happens but on day 3 I get a ton of tiny little pimples on my nose around my mouth especially. I try not to pick them but some are gross white heads, so I pick them, then regret is as it leaves red, inflamed skin. Strangely those I did not pick go away but are replaced by new ones elsewhere. Its like watching my skin in fast forward mode with tons of zits yuk.
Week 2: I get two massive cysts one on the side of my nose and the other on my chin. One on side of nose is quite bad for a few days, I apply a prescription anti-biotic ointment and it improves but now there is another little spot left to it that wont go and I dont want to pick it as I can feel it will become infected plus it does not seem 'pickable'. Cyst on my chin is awful, just gets bigger and bigger and eventually I pop it although I should not and then it just oozes pus for 3 days solid. Grossest spot ever. I try everything to dry it up but eventually in desperation reach for the bleach (i know i know not the safest thing) which does dry it up. I keep applying hydrogen peroxide and strange thing is after 2 days it is already completely dried out and all that is left is a red dry skin weal. Like I said this stuff seems to fast forward skin which means twice as many zits but zits also heal faster.
Week 3:still have zits on my nose and blackheads are worse than ever, also lots of blackheads on left side of chin but trying not to pick them as it does not seem to help and just leaves skin red and irritated. No peeling so far. Cyst on chin healing nicely fingers crossed it is truly dead. All that is left, like I said is red rugged skin.
Had two really nasty whiteheads on chin. Then I developed another cyst on side of my nose but was prepared so nuked it with Hydrogen peroxide.
Week 4: my skin has never looked so uneven, I have red flattened pimples all over my left cheek, bad black heads on nose and chin and a few nasty whiteheads on chin. Skin calmed down mid week and I thought that maybe this awful zitty period had ended and was on my way to clear skin but NO! I did not wash my face Friday morning until a few hours after I got up and boom 4 new pimples!
Skin now is clearing up a little again but I am aware that this may not be for long. I just want my skin to be clear for my birthday in 2 weeks time...
Week 5: after a major outbreak of tiny pimples on my chin on the weekend, my skin has calmed down a lot, only a few little pimples around my mouth although the blackheads on my nose seem to just be horrible daily, no matter how many times I clean out the pores. Have been doing some saunas, this may have helped too.
Am hoping the fact that I have now less pimples means I will get less and less as the weeks go on until I have none.
I have noticed some previously enlarged pores seem to have lessened although cant really see much difference in wrinkles or otherwise.
week 6: much less spots than before but they are still not gone, also have red marks all around my nose where spots just kept on developing one after the other, even this week 2 small spots developed there to add to the redness. Whole left cheek has what I called flat acne, red marks of acne but that are not raised but flat. Also have o have 2 or 3 tinies beneath eye, not that noticeable nd thank goodness for concealer. Tuesday was pretty bad, did not want to leave house due to inflamed area beneath eye. Although complexion overall is more even, pores looking a little more refined. Still have quite a few blackheads on nose. Wrinkles still visible though, I have heard it can take 3-6 months to see final result.
I think I have also been helping my skin by washing with african black soap and moisturising with pure cocoa butter plus doing lots of saunas.
Wk 7: saunas etc no longer seem to be working. Developed huge zit above lip, cyst in place I have never ever had one. Dried it out with Hydrogen Peroxide and aspirin mask but it still looks pretty messy. All of this I got for my birthday, thanks retin A. Spots underneath eye not going away, raised bump. Picked it today out of desperation, nothing came out.
Now new raised bump on chin. Also red marks all over left cheek where zits came and went. My skin has never looked this awful before retin a. Keep wondering how much longer I can take this aggghhhhhhhh its frustrating me so much and I read all these great reviews but my skin feels dry, nasty, acne-prone HELP!!!!
Wk 7 was awful but wk 8 has been a bit better but not perfect. At least scars from the gross 2 HUGE cysts last week have almost gone. But lots of white heads coming and going around mouth.
EDIT: I never got used to this, it made me break out and switched to use renova the retin a gel once every 3 days and now my skin is much happier.
This stuff is awesome! I use tretinoin .05% now. I had really constant acne, under the skin bumps that were practically non extractable. I started with .025% for about a month almost everyday, then the peeling started, then my face turned red around my mouth (think like I'd rubbed kool-aid around my mouth). My skin was super dehydrated cracked looking. And then after about a month (I kept up with it) of not wearing makeup at work, my skin started to peel and VOILA! It was clear and expunged! And now I use .05% for maintenance, alternating with Alpha Hydroxy lotion. :)
Highly recommended and to stick with it if your using it!
UPDATE: 9-6-11 Still loving this stuff :)
I have had persistent acne for 16 years, since I was 10. (Fun.) Just this year I was diagnosed with endometriosis, which explains a lot, skin-wise. I had been on Yasmin (oral contraceptive pill) for more than six months, and my skin still hadn't cleared up - I had neverending whiteheads around my mouth, the really huge painful itchy ones. I got a prescription for retin-a from my doctor (guess she could tell I was at my wits' end). After a month it had cleared up the whiteheads (nice not to have painful face) but did dry my skin terribly.
I have used it for two months now, and while I haven't had the huge whiteheads, my whole face (including cheeks which have never before had spots) is full of clogged pores and looks ridiculously bumpy. I look hideous. Worse than when I had the whiteheads! I've tried exfoliating, tried not using anything, tried using more retin-a, but it just gets worse and worse. So I'm going to stop retin-a and move on to tamanu oil (I'm running out of options here). Also, at $50 a tube, it's a bit much.
The plus side is that it did rather improve the wrinkle on my forehead - perhaps I can use it just there, hmm.
I think I am just one of the unlucky ones who doesn't react well with it, unfortunately.
Maybe this is just another review for a product which had a lot of background. Basicly seen this is the only proven anti aging treatment available. In most forms it is just in anti aging creams from many high end brands, but in a very deluted version. For that reason I use currently 0,05% tretinoinecream. I have used it for years and years but I quitted it more then a year ago because of the side effect: drying skin. If you have, like me, initially a dry skin, it is even more terrible. I always use the most expensive brands for skincare (see my reviews) but I decided to go back to this, because as an anti aging treatment, it does work! People who experience burning, peeling with this product do have got to stop a while. Remember: this product takes away surface from the skin. If your skin is getting red, burned you have used too much retin a you must stop using it for a while. That's because the product is taking skin of skin that is already lost of dead skin. This makes your skin very vulnerable and very prone to sunsputs! My advice is (and I know that is very hard to follow) to use it (definetely) but very slow. At the start maybe one time a week for a month. Second month: two times a week and so on. Even this is maybe too fast! I you really want an anti aging product this is really what you need! Some people do think that using this product more will have more anti aging benefits, that is so untrue. Your skin is able to take just an amount on anti aging. So please don't overdo. If you use the product as I am saying purging for those with acne can occur. In that case: also slow down the use of retin a... The product is strong so it is normal that skin protests. Patience is the key with this product... It is proven that retin a can't do much as an anti sunspot treatment. For that reason I use a tiny bit of hydroquinone in my prescripion of retin a: just 0,5%. I will use just one tube with hydroquinone in at a year! I use maybe 3 tubes a year retin a and just one with hydroquinone in. The concentration is very low (most hydroquinone is 2 tot 5% and is maybe cancer influenced) but only 0,5% is maybe less harmless then plants, pearls or other not proven things against anti aging. I swear that every skin can get better by retin a if properly used with patience. Everyone who wants truly young skin needs this and a good sunblock! From now one I stick with it. I can now bear it two times a week and I suppose that that will be the routine I will follow. The other days I use my regular skincare... I again understand what a stupid fool I have been to stop with it. The best. Nothing more, nothing less.
A lot better than benzaclin (maybe that just stopped working for my skin) and a ton better than salicylic acid. Still, I'm just not into these types of things anymore, things that dry. Young, beautiful, glowy/dewy skin can't be produced with products like these. It doesn't get to the root of the problem either, just treats it. That's all it's supposed to do. It's harsh on your skin, but a lot gentler than the first two i mentioned.
As of late, I've invested in quality skincare (organic products for the most part) and my skin has improved vastly. Like anything else valuable in life, great skin takes consistency and money! Or if you're lucky, just genes, but since your'e here I'm guessing you'll need the money.
Please, if you're using Clean&Clear, Neutrogena, or Loreal skincare, step away from the drugstore aisle for just one minute, and give one organic facial cleanser a chance. You won't be sorry.
Hi! I've been using Acnelyse, a brand of retin A 0.1% (available for about 3$ in pharmacies in Turkey) on and off for a while. I always flaked and peeled and didn't have the motivation to get my skincare regime right.
Now, for the past 3 weeks, since I've bought two new amazing moisturizers, it's working for me! I started off using it 3x a week the first 2 weeks, this week I've been using it nightly. Of course my skin has tightened and flaked insanely, but I credit my moisturizers with the improved state of my skin at the moment.
This is what I do: at night I wash my face with Murad Essential-C cleanser and wait for about half an hour. Then I apply a small amount of Retin A over my entire face (You can use it on your body, on ingrown hairs and bumps on your arms (keratosis pillaris I think) as well).
*If my skin is feeling dry, I apply La-Roche Posay's Rosaliac XL about 1 hour after the retinol. It softens and calms my skin like no other.
** If my skin is feeling really dry, I area treat with Bioderma Sensibio Forte cream (it's very powerful so I don't use a lot, otherwise I get pimples).
In the mornings I use Rosaliac XL again because it's an excellent make-up base, has SPF 15 and smells amazing :)
I noticed that my blackheads actually get cleaned out whenever I use a facial treatment/scrub the day after I use retin-A. I tend to use Clinique's 15-minute turnaround 2X a week and i can literaly see the junk coming out of my congested skin!
My skin is very very sensitive so I consider this a miracle. I'm going to continue with this regime for as long as it works; for it's anti-acne, anti-blackhead, pore-refining and anti-aging (preventative) effects. Just remember that when you are using such a product, you have to start off slow and build tolerance and have an amazing moisturizer (or two!) at hand.
I have tried using Retin-A twice with minimal results. The irritation it causes is sometimes unbearable and after realizing that it wasn't making much of a difference, I just thought using Retin-A was not worth it. I went back to ProActiv and the results were much better than what I achieved with Retin-A. Also, Retin-A caused pits to form on both of my cheeks. They were not there before I started using it and then all of a sudden, I got about 4 or 5 of them. At first I thought I was crazy for assuming that Retin-A caused it. But I did a search on it and found some blogs where people were complaining about the pits caused by Retin-A. I will not attempt using this again...and now I do not know how to get rid of the pits on my face :(
My derm just put me on Retin A 0.5% to help with hormonal breakouts along my jawline and chin. I am apprehensive about using this (I tried it once in my teens and had DISASTROUS results). But, now that I am a little older I am willing to give it a shot, especially for the added anti-aging benefits... I look great for my age (most guess that I am in my 20's and I'd love to keep that going as long as possible!)
Here is my current routine:
AM - Clairsonic every other day w/ Burt's Bees Sal. Acid acne wash. MediCalia mattifying lotion.
PM - MediCalia exfoliating wash (using hands, not brush), jojoba oil, Retin A every other night (applied ~one hour after washing; just before bed)
Weekly - aspirin mask
Week 3: No major flakies or redness, all but 1 pimple are GONE and the red marks from where I picked at the other pimples are getting much lighter. There is a little peeling on the tip of my nose, but that's it! I feel 'tightness' like it WANTS to peel, but nothing yet. So far, so good!
Week 4: hello peeling! I upped my usage to every night and got hit with major peelies. i backed off to every other night, and on nights i don't use it, i'm slathering my face in jojoba. in the morning, i exfoliate with a warm washcloth (clairsonic wasn't working to get all of the peeling skin off...)
I will update this over the next couple of months with my results.
I asked my PCP to write me a script for this to combat wrinkles about a year and a half ago and I'm so glad I did! I use 0.1% cream. The first few months were a little rough with the dry skin. The skin around my mouth and chin flaked the worst. You have to tough it out because it will get better! So many people comment about how clear and smooth my skin looks now. It was a gradual process, as far as I'm concerned, because I really didn't notice until I was hearing the comments. I'm often told I look more than 5 years younger than I am, but I think that has alot to do with my sunscreen obsession. And you do need to wear sunscreen and be very careful out in the sun. My face is definitely sensitive to too much sun or wind - but it's worth it!
THE BEST investment you can make for your skin. I've been using .1% retinol for years & I strongly recommend starting out by using it every other night because it is STRONG! Now you may not be as crazy as I am to start off with the highest strength but I figure if I'm gonna do something, I'm gonna do it right! Ok, I've used the generic version (Tretinoin) & I will never try to save money by using the generic again! Here's why: It is normal to experience skin problems, such as dryness, redness, itching, breaking out and blistering for the first 2 weeks of use but after the initial 2 weeks of use of the generic Retin-A .1% those side-effects did not go away! In fact, I used the whole tube every night which lasted me almost a year & it was as if I just started using it =( I've been using the Retin-A Micro .1% (brand name is OrthoNeutrogena) every night for the last 6 months & my skin is in the best shape ever!!! =) For the first 2 weeks that you have to suffer for your skin to adjust, my doctor recommended: Cortizone-10 Intensive Healing Formula Cream 1% Hydrocortisone which can be found @ your local drug store (Ultra creamy formula helps heal problem skin.
* Clinically proven to moisturize 24 hours
* #1 doctors recommended itch medicine
* Calms, nourishes, hydrates
* Safe for sensitive skin
* With antioxidants & chamomile.)
I initially used Retin-A in my teens for acne purposes which I am no longer suffering from but now my dermatologist kept me on it for anti-wrinkle purposes. It is the best anti-aging treatment you will ever find but you have to be careful to use only a pea sized amount or your face will get SO DRY!!! Also do not go in the sun for prolonged periods of time even with high SPF - you will get a sun burn even if you don't normally burn easily! The key ingredient is Vitamin A which gets de-activated by sunlight so only use it at night before you go to sleep or else you will waste your product. Also very important, you have to wait 30 minutes after you wash your face to apply retinol because your face has to be completely dry. Just a lil secret of mine: Vitamin A works way better when combined with vitamin E & C. But there are different types of vitamin E so you have to find the DL Alpha Tocopherol version. It's more effective than Tocopherol acetate (for reference: info found in Dr. Oz's book "YOU: Staying Young" or "YOU: Staying Beautiful" - I own both books so I'll update once I look up which book it is. =) I prefer Nature's Bounty Vitamin E Oil (3,0000 IU Topical & Oral) & I use Vitamin C serum from Mario Badescu. The only moisturizer that's helped me during the day has been Jurlique Moisturizing Day Cream! And I do not use other exfoliating products daily such as the Clarisonic or any scrubs; however, when I plan to do a TCA or Glycolic acid or Lactic acid peel, I dis-continue use of the Retin-A for 7-10 days before performing the peel, then again wait 7-10 days after peel to resume use of the Retin-A! =)