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! =)
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.