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! =)
I have been using the 0.05 Tretinoin for approximately 4 weeks. I initially had purging which resulted in peeling and minor breakouts. After a week or so that was resolved. I now get some occasional peeling, but overall its too early to tell final results. However, even with the initial use my face is beginning to look better than before. Tretinoin is a product where you have to stick with it. Most people have had the best success after at least 24 months of use. After the initial outbreak most people quit using it. You really do have to stick with it!
This was the first prescription treatment I tried for my acne. For whatever reason, my insurance decided to be generous and cover the cost of a generic version of this medicine.
Prior to using it, the doctor and pharmacist both warned me that I would probably experience some burning, itching and redness. So I was prepared for the worst.
However this never did come to pass (I later paid for my luck here during my tazorac treatment!!).
During my Retin-A treatment I had only a slight red tint to my cheeks in the morning that did pass with time. There was no peeling to speak of and no itchiness at all.
Unlike many users, I was able to use a treated acne wash in addition to the Retin-A.
I used it for 14 weeks. Initially I saw no improvement. Then around week 4 I began to see clearing skin and fewer white heads and cystic acne. My black head count seemed to remain the same.
It never did give me amazing results. As I did continue to break out on a reduced, but still regularly basis. Somewhere around week 12 I began a gross explosion of acne. Worse than before the Retin-A. I gave it 2 weeks to clear up before calling the doctor's office and requesting something different.
I bought generic %.05 Retin-A cream via generic 4 all dot com, after trying several OTC retinol products and deciding I wanted the results that only come from Retin-A.
I use it every other night, waiting 30 minutes after I wash my face to apply. Sometimes I moisturize right after washing and I guess that buffers the effects of the Retin-A somewhat. I have dry/very dry skin and generally need to exfoliate a lot, but with Retin-A I use a washcloth very very gently when I wash my face and that's all the exfoliation I need.
Overall, this is an HG. The three tubes I got for $45 US including shipping will probably last a year (and won't expire before then) and I can already see, after using it for only two weeks, the improvement in my skin's clarity and texture. I'll use Retin-A forever.
I have used this off and on for over 30 years and it has become a staple. I have used every % and delivery system (gel, micro, cream) offered and can't say I really prefer one over another. Although my facial skin shows little to no immediate reaction after each use, I am going to say it accumulatively works because I think my skin is in great condition for my age! Now for the bonus -- I buy the generic versions from ADC - it's soooo cheap and use it on my neck, chest and arms. At first it made my skin rough feeling and then voila it turned as slick and soft as satin. No kp! It is one of the only skin care products out there proven to work on wrinkles.
I just recently got a sample of this product from my derm to use. I have been on proactive for years and years - definitely more than ten years. Recently I have started getting spots on my jawline and my chin, and they're not the monthly hormonal ones. I don't know what cleansers to use with the Retin-a-Micro. I'm not a big fan of cetaphil, and am looking for a gentle but effective cleanser. Any recommendations?
I've suffered from acne ever since I was a teenager. So I've tried it ALL...benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, every odd treatment out there. Retin A cream was the first and only treatment that REALLY worked/works for me. I've been using it for years. I tried to quit a few months ago and got the most horrible breakout within a month. So I got some more Retin A and I'm all cleared up.
Retin A even clears up the red spots you get from acne. My skin looks beautifully clear and glowing. I get complements on my skin all the time, how clear it is, how wrinkle free, how naturally glowing, even without makeup.
Furthermore, Retin A cleared up the melasma that I was getting above my lips.
Yes, it is drying, so I have to use a good, fragrance free sensitive skin moisturizer. I also use a mild exfoliator 2 - 3 times a week for the flaking. This removes the old, dead skin as Retin A forces cellular turnover. And, sun block is a must, not optional, when using Retin A.
But, for the beautiful clear skin this medication gives you, all minor issues are negligible.
I did like the older container though, with the lid that measured the amount to apply for you. But I don't get that with the generic med. Price you pay for paying half price. The easy measure lid made sure that you didn't use too much, as just a little does the whole face. Like a pea size amount. Any more over-dries and doesn't increase the efectivesness of the medication.
You also have to realize that this isn't an instant fix. It takes about a month to 2 months when you first start using this to get full effect. And you do get a little purging in the meantime. But once the skin clears, it makes the wait well worthwhile.
I absolutely love this product. I used to suffer from acne since my teens and seemed to only get worse in my 20's. My doctor prescribed Retin A gel and my skin has never looked this good. Yes it does dry out your skin and make it flaky and sensitive, but its only temporary. It took about 1 month of continual use to clear up my skin, and now I use it occasionally to help with the scarring. I havnt had a break out in many months, until I recently used a Neutrogena cleanser ( BIG MISTAKE) which my skin reacted badly to and it made me break out, however after a week of Retin A my skin is back to normal. I love love love this stuff