Retin A


533 reviews

82% would repurchase

Package Quality: 3.7

Price: $$$

Package Quality: 3.7

Price: $$$


Retin A Cream Each g of cream contains: tretinoin 0.01%, 0.025%, 0.05% or 0.1% in a bland, hydrophilic base. Nonmedicinal ingredients: butylated hydroxytoluene, isopropyl myristate, polyoxyl (40) stearate, purified water, sorbic acid, stearic acid, stearyl alcohol and xanthan gum. Retin A Gel Each g of gel contains: tretinoin 0.01% or 0.025%. Nonmedicinal ingredients: butylated hydroxytoluene, ethanol undenatured and hydroxypropyl cellulose. Retin-A Liquid (0.05% Tretinoin w/w) polyethylene glycol 400, butylated hydroxytoluene and alcohol (denatured with tert-butyl alcohol and brucine sulfate) 55%

on 10/26/2014 7:49:00 PM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Oily, Medium Brown, Not Sure

Hair: Black, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

This is an amazing product for acne and hyperpigmentation; I started using Retin-A 0.05% one year ago. I now use Retin-A micro 0.04% and feel that it is better suited for my skin. A lot of the excessive irritation that many write about in their reviews, can easily be avoided by using the correct amount of product, and by keeping with a simple skincare routine. I use Cerave's Foaming Cleanser to cleanse my skin and I wait 30 minutes prior to applying the Retin-A Micro. I use less than a pea and that covers my entire face. I take less than a pea and place one dot of the product on each cheek, my forehead, chin and nose. I then lightly spread the product around each area of my face. I found that applying the product this way significantly reduced the dryness that I had for the short amount of time that I had the dryness. I then apply Cerave's moisturizing cream 30 minutes later.

In the daytime I use the same Cerave cleanser and I use the ZO Skin Health Daily Power Defence and the ZO Skin Oclipse SPF 30. I also use the Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Original Peel once a week during the nighttime and I have never had any sort of irritation. I don't use tretinoin on the night that I use the peel. I also did not peel while using Retin-A at all. For the first two weeks of using tretinoin, I had a little bit of dryness in the morning, but this is normal and goes away after your skin gets accustomed to the product.

I decided to write this review because I see a lot of negative reviews that might hinder someone from using this product and everyone's skin is different. If you are not watching how someone applies the product, nor what they use before during and after use, you cannot take their negative reviews seriously. Something else could be affecting their skin that they nor you know about. Unless you are allergic to the product, which your dermatologist would find out prior to use, you will not get any swelling on your face. It should also not take a year for your skin to get used to the product - especially if you are using this product under a dermatologist's guidance. Of course, if you stop using the product, especially before your skin becomes accustomed to it, your skin is going to revert back to the way it was before you started using it. This is a product that almost every dermatologist/ physician recommends to their patient (including celebrities). The before and after photos speak for themselves. If you ever wonder why someone's skin is amazing even when their in their in their 60s and up, it's definitely because of Tretinoin, peels, and a simple skincare routine.

23 out of 24 people found this review helpful.

on 10/26/2014 4:28:00 AM

Age: 44-55

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Warm

Hair: Black, Straight, Medium

Eyes: Brown

Been using this regularly for 20 years. 2 to 3 times a week.
I swear by it.

Can't live without it.

11 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

Age: 30-35

Skin: Oily, Fair, Cool

Hair: Blond, Straight, Fine

Eyes: Blue

Clears up skin, but not any better than other topical products. Even the pea sized amount causes swelling that looks like minimal weight gain. Makes skin peel. And the peeling never goes away, that is how the product works, by peeling the skin. My skin peels every day/every other day, and I've been using it for years. May prevent future photo aging. Overall, improved my skin. I mean, my skin looks great, except for the minor swelling that is always there.

However, do not stop using this product - and I do mean...EVER - it will be worse than before you started it. My dermatologist told me that after years of use, the skin gets used to Retin-A/tretinoin. It gets 'lazy' in effect. I took off for a about a month & it was a disaster. My skin was was rough, dull, hard & it had lost it's ability to naturally exfoliate itself. And my acne was worse than before I had ever started on it. While I had mild acne before, my acne was much worse after using this product for a few years, and then stopping it. My skin never looked like that before I started on Retin-A. I also never had hardness or dullness, or skin that was 'lazy' in exfoliating itself.

I asked my dermatologist why she never warned me that if I stop using it, this may happen, and she just shrugged and said "it's not something most patients worry about". Now I'm stuck using it, whether I want to or not. Guess I'm OK with this though, since my skin looks so good. But, I'll never know if my skin would have just cleared up on it's own had I given it enough time, or just used something less severe.

11 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

Age: 25-29

Skin: Sensitive, Fair, Cool

Hair: Brunette, Wavy, Fine

Eyes: Blue

Background info: I use Tretinoin (generic Retin-A) cream, 0.025%, and have been doing so for just shy of three months now. I use it every other night, 30 minutes after my shower so my face is totally dry. I use Cerave AM in the morning for the SPF content, and sometimes on the "off-nights" for the moisture.

This isn't an acne cure-all for me. I have a long history of acne and only internal measures banish it (that would be a whole other post). However, I LOVE Retin-A for what it does to my skin texture. It has practically erased my red hyperpigmentation (I'm very fair and it was bothering me), and it has made my skin dewy, soft, glowy and smooth. I also had clogged, sandpapery-feeling pores on my nose I couldn't get rid of...gone within two weeks of starting this stuff.

I didn't purge (probably because I'm taking my acne supplements; I do break out when I forget those), but I have sensitive skin and did flake a lot for the first month. I only wash my face with water, so during that month and maybe twice a week now I use a warm, wet washcloth to gently towel excess flaky skin off my face.

Long story short, I don't usually put much stock in skin care products due to my long history with skin troubles. They either never really did much or made things worse. This, however, is one product where I really see a positive difference. Seriously, I'm glowing, and my red pigmented splotches are nearly invisible; they will almost definitely be gone soon.

The supposed anti-aging benefit doesn't hurt anything. I'm still young, but I'd like to keep it (looking) that way! I can definitely see why this would be a good anti-age's tightened up my skin so much already.

I like this stuff. A lot. Definitely going to keep it on hand.

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

on 9/24/2014 11:27:00 PM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Dry, Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

I use the more advanced Tazorac 1%. Been using for over twenty years. I use bha and aha, also Duac, when I need it. All have been awesome. I was on Accutane 2x because my skin was so bad. This routine has cleared any signs of anything. But, the real key is zinc oxide, I have been using sunscreen all my life, everyday. I never thought the leathery tan look was sexy and any man I know doesn't think so either. I'm 43 have no wrinkles no line around my lips eyes even smile line do not exist,

9 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

Age: 56 & Over

Skin: Very Oily, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Blond, Wavy, Fine

Eyes: Brown

I have been put on Retin A 1%, I'm close to finishing the tube. Can anyone advise me where to purchase it at a reasonable price? This stuff is the holy grail.

on 8/25/2014 4:45:00 AM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Acne-prone, Medium, Warm

Hair: Black, Wavy, Medium

Eyes: Black

I have used retin-a cream (0.05%) for 1 week! No irritation, redness, mild purging only :)

I follow the directions of waiting 30 mins after washing my face before retin-a application. My routine is as follows:

Wash, Tone, Wait 30 Mins, Apply Retin-A, Apply Vitamin C serum, Apply Night Moisturizer.

Sometimes, I buffer retin-a with my serum. I use a pea-size amount to a bit more to cover my whole face. It has this weird glue smell.

Immediate effect: glowing skin :)

I will update this post how it will affect my skin in the next 3-4 months.

3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

on 8/24/2014 9:13:00 AM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Normal, Medium Brown, Warm

Hair: Black, Straight, Medium

Eyes: Brown

I could have listed the high end brands that I have used since I was 19, it was more like a hobby. I was not interested in makeup so I could't cover up, had to look for something that really made a difference.
I loved the smell and the luxury that came with those creams and serums but now I understand that Retin A and sunblock are the only two products that anyone would need when it comes to topical skin care routine and everything else depends on how well you take care of your skin internally .

8 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

on 7/6/2014 3:38:00 PM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Warm

Hair: Black, Straight, Medium

Eyes: Green

There are so many reviews for Retin A and so many more for all the different retinol containing products. But the distinction between the two has not been made clear entirely. In my review I will try to resolve misunderstands and add something based on my extensive experience with both of these products.

You do not need to wait 30 minutes for your skin to dry before applying this. I apply right away and continue with other products immediately. But keep in mind that I use a gentle foaming cleanser that I rinse entirely and I a paper towel to pat my skin dry. You need to be gentle with your skin while using retinoids and you always need to make sure that you have applied a thin uniform layer of product. Then I follow with serum and night cream. Though it might be OK for some, I do not use my AHA on the nights when I apply tretinoin. I feel like it applies more uniformly directly on dry skin and it's also an excuse to cut off on the exfoliant. AHA/BHAs can easily be overdone.

Tretinoin should be used at night otherwise sunlight will deactivate it. There is no harmful reaction for your skin. It's just that you're basically wasting product and time. Retinol is less sensitive to light and helps prevent DNA damage. While the final side effects are similar, Tretinoin does not give the immediate sensations that you can get from high concentrations of retinol right after applied. Be extra careful with tretinoin! It will be too late when you realize you applied too much.

From trial and error I have found that the secret number with Retinoids and Retinol containing products is #3. You need about three days to experience all possible side effects and to give your skin the time to get ready, for another dose which will also last you three days. Unless the concentration is lower than what you can handle, I do not recommend using retinols or retinoids more than once in three days. Use the minimal amount necessary to cover any surface and apply a heavy moisturizer over it - even if you have oily skin. To minimize tretinoin induced dryness upgrade moisturizers to something more oily than you would use normally. While this is difficult for the daytime, do it at least at night before bedtime.

I'm in my early 30s. I used Neutrogena Healthy Skin Night daily for several years until I switched to .05 Retin-A once in three days. 0.05 is my tolerance limit. The gels contain alcohol. I went for the cream. Compared to retinol, the effect is similar. Neutrogena is already cheap enough but Retin A saves me a lot of time, and some money. After all I am a male. I like things fast and easy, with no extra pampering.:)

The few times I have experienced flaking it has between my eyebrows, beside my nostrils and on my chin. That seems to be a common thing for other people. If your skin does't acclimate with time, keep in mind that you can apply less or avoid entirely applying Retin-A on those areas. That way you avoid side effects entirely while benefiting maximally from Retin-A.

UPDATE 19/09/2014:
When I do a weekly exfoliation with a stronger AHA, I make sure it is a day after and not a day before Retin-A. The glycolic might enhance the penetration of tretinoin a bit too much.


UPDATE 2015-03-22
Instead of every 3 days, I am using it only once a week. It is better like this. I also just started waiting 30 minutes before applying Tretinoin. When skin is exposed to water for a few minutes it looses some of its barrier function. While it is good to apply a moisturizer immediately, if you are using a powerful Tretinoin it might penetrate excessively. That's why it is important to wait. I do follow up with my regular moisturizer and serum right after it. Hope it helps.

15 out of 22 people found this review helpful.

on 7/3/2014 9:03:00 PM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Other, Other, Not Sure

Hair: Other, Other, Other

Eyes: Other

I have waited almost a year before posting here. I spent many months pouring over reviews to reassure myself we had taken the right course. My son started breaking out horribly at 14-cysts and whiteheads. He began retin a and doxy last july. We started the doxy first and things started really clearing up. A week later we started tretinoin. Honestly there were late nights where i read this forum and cried thinking i had messed up. The worst of the cysts did clear, but he did break out still and the healing process was rough. We used a small pea sized amount three times a week. Usually on clean skin but sometimes sans shower. Really and truly that is all it takes. Be careful with this stuff. His face at first was more oily as it was summer and humid. In the winter we backed off to twice a week cause it caused dryness. Yes there was some redness as well. Around march he became pretty happy with things. Some scarring and Still pih that bugged him but the pih was fading. Breakouts were minimal and typically just a small whitehead here and there, though they seemed to leave pih more than normal. So he was heading to florida for spring break and we took him off the doxy and retin for fear of him forgetting sunscreen and hoped he was just ok at this point. A week after he came back he had a cyst and was breaking out again. So back on the meds we went. Cyst began healing quickly. It took about a month to a month and a half to get things back under control. Still occasional white heads but small and dont last long. Still pih, but honestly hes lived with it so long i think hes come to terms with it and is happy with where he is all things considered. Would i do it again? I dont know. Sometimes i wish i had skipped the retin a and just tried doxy for awhile. It was a rough year i wont lie. The constant worry about sunscreen is a pain. He uses elta md fyi as it doesnt cause him further breakouts, and also oxy face wash. If your acne isnt bad and just the normal stuff, please get over obsessing about perfect skin and get comfortable with who you are and skip serious meds. If however you have severe acne i would recommend this. Anything to stay off accutane. And fyi as a 38 yr old for my monthly breakouts and dark spots i began using otc aha 10% and has done wonders for me. Faded spots as long as i continue with sunscreen and what little acne i get heals quickly without marks. Again it takes very little.

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