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.
I will update this over a period of at LEAST 6 months. I am grateful for all the reviews on here, as they made me go out and try this product and I'm very happy I did.
A little info. about me and my skin first. I just turned 28, I have fair/medium skin with yellow undertones. I would consider my skin normal to normal/combo skin (somewhat oily tzone) and I have hormonal acne on my chin. When one slowly disappears, another one pops up on the other side of my chin. I originally looked into this for acne treatment, but I use it all over my face as an anti-aging product as well (and now, primarily).
I use Johnson&Johnson 0.05% Retin-A. It was dirt cheap cause I got it through my insurance company. Think I paid $6 Canadian.
It's been 2 weeks, and the first few days were PAINFUL and very difficult to get through (espcially since it's winter, the weather adds to the dryness). Since I read a whole bunch of reviews, I already knew that the first little while is tough to get through (itchy skin, irritation, breakout, peeling) <--all of which happened. But I stuck with it, and a week after starting my routine, I stopped peeling, my skin doesn't feel as itchy (still a bit itchy) and my breakouts are gone. I DID go through the purging period that some of you talk about. I got breakouts in places I never got breakouts (like on my forehead, tiny little red ones) and on my chin...ugh my chin exploded. It was horrible. I considered stopping but I stuck with it. AND SO HAPPY I DID. My skin is flawless. Seriously...FLAWLESS. I didn't have huge pores, but they were visible and now they're not. The tiny crepeyness around my eyes are gone and my tiny frown lines & lines on the forehead are gone. They weren't deep to begin with, I'm only 28, but now they're not there AT ALL. My skin is so smooth that I look like I took about 5 years off. Also, my makeup glides on so smoothly but what I noticed is I don't require much makeup at all. Because my pores aren't visible, and the tone is even, I find myself using spot concealer, a little mineral powder and I'm good to go.
It is EXTREMELY important to wait before applying the cream. Even if your face FEELS dry, wait about 30 minutes after washing your face before using RETIN-A and a little really does go a long way. I use less than a pea size drop for my entire face and that should be enough. Any more and you're just asking for trouble. And using more doesn't give you better results, just makes your skin burn, sensitive and flakey.
Here's my morning routine:
Wash face with cetaphil/spectro gel.
Pat dry, then apply olay regenerist daily moisturizer unscented /w spf 15 OR Clinique sheer city block spf 25
Here's my evening routine:
Remove eyemakeup with Olay Makeup Remover.
Wash face with Cetaphil/Spectro gel
Wait at least 30 minutes then apply a pea size drop of retin-a to my entire face and some on the neck area as well.
(I do not apply moisturizer on top, I let Retin-A do it's work overnight)
I will update as it's only been 2 weeks and the results are supposed to get better and better...
Hope this was helpful!
UPDATE #1 - It's been 5 weeks since I started using Retin-A and I use the same morning and night routine. Nothing has changed! I still love it but no noticeable changes since my first review which was 2 weeks into treatment. I was told that 2-3 months in, the results will be absolutely fabulous. They're great so far, but I want to see more! I find that I still flake sometimes. Some days are worse than others. Especially around my chin - that area seems to be the most dry and flaky. The dryness and flakes seems to come and go. Not sure if it has anything to do with the weather being so cold/dry here in Toronto. Will update again soon.
UPDATE #2 - It's been over 2 months and I continue to use the cream, although I confess, a couple weeks I used it every other day or so just cause I'd wash my face and couldn't stay up for half an hour to apply the retin-a. And as mentioned earlier, if you don't want at least 30 min. you'll worsen the irritation. But I DO continue to use it religiously and still loving it. Keeps my chin acne under control and no visible lines on my forehead, between my brows and around my eyes. Again as mentioned, it's not like I had deep lines there before I started using this, but they WERE showing a bit, and now they're not. Will continue to update as apparently the results just get better and better with time. Remember to always put on sunscreen before you leave the house even on cloudy days or during winter months...not just on sunny summer days ladies. I am using clinique city block sheer SPF 25 because I like the fact that there are no chemical sunscreen in this product and it is beautiful under makeup. :) will update again soon.
I tried Retin-A 0.025% for about 2 months. At first things seemed to go well, some flaking but nothing like the scary stories. I always put a coat of squalane oil between my skin and the retin-A cream, and only used a pea-size for my whole face.
Then I started purging around my chin area. My formerly clear skin looked like a teenager's - red pimples speckled all over. Then my skin became heavily irritated and red, my friends kept telling me I had eczema on my face and I would constantly get strange looks. I started having to hide under foundation every day but even that wasn't enough. Nothing was hydrating enough for my now broken and discolored skin. I discontinued the Retin-A and my skin is slowly clearing up. Once everything is back to normal I may use it a couple of times a week, but honestly my Lacsal cream (8.5% AHA and 1.5% BHA) works just as well and didn't ravage my face. I would advise to try it but keep in mind that something like this may happen even to someone who used it according to the rules and had no acne breakouts to start with. Good luck!
UPDATE: After leaving my skin alone for a few months I gave it another go. Started with 0.025% cream over a buffer oil twice a week, slowly moved to every day. Now I am applying with no buffer around the eyes and on my neck, and am slowly working on removing the buffer for the rest of my face. So far so good, no peeling or redness. There is hope! :)
Well I used this for eight weeks straight. After two weeks my face looked great and after that the purging started. I hadn't had acne that bad since my teens!! It was horrible...and I just kept using it every night. I used vasoline with a wash cloth to combat the flakes but the cysts didn't stop. I stopped using it for about four days and my face is completely clear. I've read all the reviews that it takes a long time but really this just got ridiculous. I have a job and a life and I couldn't continue looking like a monster! I think I'll stick to my routine of just washing and deal with the hormonal stuff that happens every so often and I can't deal with constant horrid acne around my neck and jawline!
I have been using Retin-A for exactly one year. I was starting to get fine lines, crepey skin probably due to health and lifestyle factors. I started out by using Renova religiously everynight under my eyes and then I slowly started using it on the rest of my face as my skin grew more tolerant. Currently I am alternating between 0.05% and 0.1% on my entire face nightly. After a year of nightly application of Retin-A to my face and under my eyes, I can see a positive difference. My skin is much smoother and the fine lines are gone. I should stress that my results are not dramatic but subtle. I like how this product has worked for my eyes most of all. From my experience, not a lot of people use retin a under the eye area where the skin is so thin but it has worked for me. Initially, my under-eye area looked really bad for at least 2 months (more wrinkled, dry and crepey) but I stuck with it-- it paid off!! One of my major goals with this product is to increase the thickness of my thinning skin. So this year I am moving on to my neck which is really starting to show my age. I have just starting using Renova on my neck nightly or as tolerated. Hopefully I will have good results to report back a year from now. Edit: 12-1-10 Reporting back after a year- My eye area looks very good which is surprising given my lifestyle (lol) and my age. I use the 0.1% every night on my whole face. When I smile I have tons of dynamic wrinkles- it is just the way I was born --I have a huge smile and smile with my eyes. so I think it is a testiment to the Retin-A that I don't have a single permanent wrinkle (when I am not smiling). So I will continue to use it religiously because I like the results--I am a huge believer in Retin-A.
I have used Retin-A in one form or another for over 15 years. Clients are always astounded when I tell them I am 46 years old. Retin-A is THE only product that works on the cellular level to produce collagen, works on resufacing and helps with age spots. I remember years ago my derm told me all I need is Retin-a, a good AHA, and a good sunblock, and he was right! I use a pre blended formula from his office, either Retin-A .01 with 3 % hydroquinone or 0.5 with 7 % hydroquinone. I love Retin-a and wish I can bathe in it! Update: still using Retin-A, not one line, wrinkle or brown spot. THE BEST <3
OMG!!!Where do I begin talking about this product. One minute I'll love this product and the next I'll hate it. I went to my dermatologist as to what I can do to get rid of my post acne hyperpigmentation and she took one look at my face and said vitamin A. that was the whole conversation and that was the first time I was introduced to Retin A. It was dirt cheap because it was free=) she gave me two. I knew nothing about this product and she was very detailed on how to apply this cream. She told me to start off every other day for two weeks and then gradually used it daily at night for another two weeks. The first two weeks I was using this was great, no side effects whatsoever. In fact the little bumps on my face started to diminished to the point where it was gone completely and my face was as smooth as ever.I would wake up in the morning trying too look at those annoying bumps that would just not go away for months. Im not even kidding I have tried everything to get rid of them and they would but after a few days it would come back and resulted to all the brown spots on my cheeks. Like I said i went to the dermatologist mainly for my hyperpigmentation and coincidently all the pesky pimples just disappeared and never came back. My face now is super soft and even out due also to a couple of products that i switch to.... But the side effects of this cream is intolerable for me, some people can use this for 3 months or more without any adverse effects but after the the first two week..my face started to flake and I never experienced flaking in my teenage years or adulthood, that along with redness all over my face as if I went tanning, oh and the worst I think I ever experienced with this product is the itching. To me the itching was insanely bad. I would scratch my whole effin face to the point where im already peeling no kidding and exageration when it comes to the itching part. Im constantly itching my forehead and especially my jawline...Now I only put Retin A on my cheek but it seems like my whole face is super itchy BUT my CHEEK I asked my dermatologist this and she said shes's not surprise becasue Retin A travels all over your face she even said she had a patient who complained that her lips was itching as well and she only put the cream on her face.. I had to stop the cream for a while because my face just couldn't tolerate it and i was prescribed a stronger hyrdocortisone cream to calm my face. my face started to go back to its original condition and i started retin a again with another cream in the morning and I dont use the retin a everyday anymore only 2 or 3 times a week but the cream im using in the morning is great. Im in love with it, it brightened my whole face and my hyperpigmentation is greatly fading and my face just has an even tone plus the bumps hasn't come back since which is awesome. I would recommend this for people who can tolerate this cream or if you dont have sensitive skin.