Retin A Micro


216 reviews

77% would repurchase

Package Quality: 3.9

Price: $$$

Package Quality: 3.9

Price: $$$


Retin-A Micro (tretinoin gel) microsphere, 0.1% and 0.04% w/w purified water, carbomer 974P (0.04% formulation), carbomer 934P (0.1% formulation), glycerin, disodium EDTA, propylene glycol, sorbic acid, PPG-20 methyl glucose ether distearate, cyclomethicone and dimethicone copolyol, benzyl alcohol, trolamine, and butylated hydroxytoluene.

on 10/19/2013 9:05:00 PM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Other, Other, Not Sure

Hair: Other, Other, Other

Eyes: Other

I'm into my second month of using Retin A Micro and it has made an amazing difference in my skin. I now use it every night. I wash my face and apply Cerave, then wait about half hour before applying the Retin A Micro. My pores have become noticeably smaller and my scars are fading away. I haven't had a break out in a few weeks now.

A little background. I am 25 years old, male, and have been dealing with acne since I was 17. My skin is also on the oilier side. I have used this product (or a similar Retinoid) when I was younger, but in hindsight it may not have worked because I was using it incorrectly, more on that later. A little more than a year ago, I was on accutane for five months and it was like a miracle drug, up to that point nothing really seemed to worked - including antibiotics... So getting off the pill was a little bittersweet. My skin was fine at least 6 months after but then I began to break out again. I was devastated and my dermatologist prescribing me Retin A Micro did not help my stress - since I remembered what it was like to use topical creams to fight acne before.

This time around though I was determined to find out everything I could before using Retin A Micro. I looked at these boards and found that people had success with applying it half an hour after washing their face and after using a moisturizer like Cerave. The first two weeks I would also use it only every other or third night. Another important element was only to use a pea sized amount, don't overdue it. The first month I did break out, sometimes 2-3 new whiteheads a day (luckily small and not cystic). It was not TOO bad because I think the accutane did a good job of wiping out any acne I had under my skin. I am well into my 7th week using it and have absolutely no regrets. My skin does peel SOMETIMES, but it's almost like a sunburn peel, as in it comes right off and does not leave any redness behind (an no sunburned skin pain). I have not had a single break out in almost three weeks. I also use a Clarisonic face brush 1-2 times a week to exfoliate any dead skin on my face. I feel this prevents my skin from peeling/flaking as much.

The 3rd/4th week I really did feel like this product was not working and I will have to get use to having a face full of acne again...Most will probably experience this so just push through it... Don't overdo it by applying more, just be patient and moisturize. I honestly think if this helped me, with my immensely acne prone skin, it should help MOST others with acne.

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

on 10/4/2013 5:14:00 PM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Acne-prone, Medium Brown, Not Sure

Hair: Black, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

Ok let me first start out saying that retin -a mirco gel is amazing and it will make your skin beautiful. BELIEVE ME!

But I must warn you retin micro gel will break you out like crazy at first.You will truly truly fill like this product is not working. It brings everything up under your skin. Your skin will be flaky sore and full of pimples that will hurt. The only face wash you can use is cetaphil in the beginning.I hear people say they see results in a few DAYS. That is not possible. The first month u will have a serious breakout by the second month your face will start to get a little better.But it takes a FULL 12 weeks before you really see the results.

So whoever is on this medicine be encourage its not easy.But it definitely worth the wait

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

on 9/27/2013 11:52:00 PM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Acne-prone, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Black, Other, Other

Eyes: Other

I was using this product on and off for the past two years. It was a disaster in the beginning because I was using it In conjunction with other pore clogging products. To make the story short, this product has made my skin looking better than it was. I use it twice a week and when it peels I use Aquaphor for a night or two.

2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

on 9/10/2013 1:02:00 PM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Normal, Medium Brown, Cool

Hair: Brown, Relaxed, Fine

Eyes: Brown

So about a month ago I broke out on my cheeks terribly. I went to the dermatologist and they said it was comedonal acne.They performed a pore cleansing, and prescribed Retin A micro for use every OTHER night. Acyana was also prescribed for every morning.

I was a little excited/nervous to try to Retin-A, just based off of different reviews here and other websites. I paid $40 for Retin A (with insurance)

The first week of using this medication (every other night) I first applied the Rein A and then followed with Cerave PM over it. I woke up to VERY dry skin. After I would wash my face, I applied acyana, moisturizer with spf 30 (neutrogena). Around 10AM every morming, my skin would just look so flakey and dry like i could peel the dead skin coming off from it. It really looked bad especially when I wear makeup to cover everything up in the first place. Also, my face broke out in even more small pimples and some inflamed pimples - disgusting :(

I started doing more research and I used a micro fiber cloth in order to take off the dead skin, and it did help. However, at this point of using the Retin A/Acayna mix my face was super sensitive and super dry. It hurt to touch. I made another appointment with my dermatologist and she agreed I needed to stop using both medications and just seriously hydrate my skin. She gave me epicream and bionect to mix and use everyday until my skin healed up.

So after about 2 weeks or so, I started back on Retin -A (only) every other night. I use it, but I put the Cerave PM FIRST and then apply the Retin-A. I also add some coconut oil over my face to help soothe it. No complaints so far, but its only been a week. No peeling, or drying effects. I want to stick it out because I still have the acne, and a bunch of hyperpigmentation left from the acne that errupted after using the Retin-A/Acyana duo before. I heard the result sof this product should be amazing. So lets hope so! I will follow up after a month or so and let you all know my progress.

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

on 8/28/2013 9:02:00 AM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Acne-prone, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Blond, Other, Other

Eyes: Blue

Love it. Highly reccomend this miracle. I've used it for 6 nights and already the stubborn acne on my forehead is almost gone. It does sting a bit when I put it on my 30 minute dried skin, but I've been using apricot oil in the morning to protect against the crazy drying I've read about. I don't wash my face with a cloth any more, just warm water and ph balanced alba face wash. I used eclos moisturizer for a day, but it stung so bad when I put it on. Sunscreen too, hurt even more. So I'm off to find some better alternatives.

on 8/28/2013 1:26:00 AM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Acne-prone, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Black, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

I have had bad blackheads && whiteheads for years . I've been on all the medicines my dermatologist could prescribe & I've tried all the over the counter products. This is the only product that has worked. Within a couple of weeks , my acne has gone down , some has disappeared , & when i put it on it feels so soft && amazing ! Like makeup primer. It doesn't dry out my skin too much && If you have a good exfoliant , you won't flake! I use this towel type thing from uwajimaya (you can get it at most asian stores) & it exfoliates my skin so well && I feel brand new. Using both these products.. My acne has gotten a lot better. I use Hard Candy Glamoflauge && I look flawless. With my acne before this product , it was so swollen you could still see it. Now it's like i've never had any blemishes ever <3 I LOVE IT!

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

on 8/25/2013 1:03:00 AM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Sensitive, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Green

I have been battling acne since my late teens. I'm 24 now and have a pizza face with extra toppings...well..I should say HAD thanks to this little tube of awesomeness! My dermatologist prescribed me with this to go along with the other things i was using and not getting the best results with (doxycycline pills, clindamycine and differin gel) I must say that just 4 weeks after adding Retin A to my regime, my skin has DRASTICALLY changed, I hardly need any makeup now! I did NOT purge although , most likely thanks to the other drugs i had been using months before starting the Retin A, although, my skin has been much dryer than usual but moisturizer helps with that.

My regimen:
Morning: Take my Doxycycline pill
Wash face with Dove Sensitive Skin bar, Pat dry
apply thin layer of Clindamycine
Moisturize with Eucerin Daily Protection SPF 30

Right now use Loreal BB cream and Olay/cover girl pressed power foundation OR just Maybelline Cover Stick, these are ALL non-comedogenic (super important)

Night: Take my Doxycycline pill
Wash face with Dove Sensitive Skin bar, Pat dry
Apply thin layer of Retin A (avoid around lips and eyes, I learned this the hard way.)

Every other night I use the differin gel instead of the Retin A to lessen the harshness of it. Super happy with this miracle skin ointment and will definitely keep with it!

5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

on 8/12/2013 11:08:00 AM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Acne-prone, Medium Brown, Not Sure

Hair: Black, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

I have had acne for about 3 years. I started getting acne my senior year in college and I never had horrible acne in high school only the occasional 1 or 2 pimples that went away with over the counter products. In the last couple of years I have been getting cystic acne mainly on my cheeks. I was desperate to find something that would help me quickly because I am getting married next month in late September. July 3 2013, I started using Retin a micro .1% (I used the generic brand tretinoin) because I had seen so many positive benefits/reviews of it. I'm so glad I I did because it's been only 6 weeks and I have hardly any acne! The acne on my cheeks is gone and now my skin is so smooth however I am left with a lot of acne scars on my cheeks.

I have noticed if I do get a pimple I can put Retin A on it and it goes away much quicker than it used to. I have also noticed that my skin is less oily. There was a little initial breakout period for me for the first 3 weeks but I had read that before so I wasn't worried. Your skin in the beginning will peel and may hurt like it did for me but after 4 weeks my skin had adjusted to the Retin A Micro. Now I'm looking for something to get rid of the acne scars but at least I don't have to worry about pimples that can't be covered by makeup. At the bottom I will tell you what I used in with conjunction to Retin A micro along with my morning and night routine.

Products I have used before Retin A Micro that didn't work was Differin .3%, Azithromycin (antibiotics), Clindamycin Phosphate Lotion (skin became resistant to this), and Benzaclin. I also tried Murad, Proactiv, Exposed Skincare, Peter Thomas Roth Acne System, and Boscia 3 step acne system.

Night Routine:
-Minocycline 45mg oral antibiotics 1 tablet at night
-Fresh Soy Face Cleanser (expensive but worth it about $38, it's so gentle which you need to be when you use Retin A Micro!) Great at removing makeup also
-It's very important that you wait 30 minutes for your face to dry before putting on Retin A Micro
-Use a pea size amount of Retin A Micro for your whole face. I only used it though where I had acne
-Go to sleep

Morning Routine:
-Drink 1 cup of Yogi Skin Detox Tea
-Wash face with Nelson's skin clearing face wash (very gentle and natural)
-Use Yes to Tomatoes daily balancing moisturizer and let it soak in for 10mins
-I usually use bare minerals makeup

UPDATE: 04/11/14.
I stopped taking Minocycline in October and still continued using Retin A Micro. My face was staying clear for about 3 months after that (through the end of January). In February I started getting my severe cheek acne again. Started taking Aldactone (50mg once a day)-I began this in 3/2014 and I've only been on the Aldactone for 3 weeks. Acne is getting worse and in places that I usually don't get acne such as the jawline/chin/and hairline. I went to my doctor today and she says that I should get back on the Minocycline because she thinks that's what was helping my acne before. I got the Minocycline today and will start taking it again. I'll update this in a few months.

UPDATE: 09/30/2014
I was on Minocycline (50 mg) again for 2 months along with Rein A Micro .1% and it was not doing anything for my cheek acne anymore. I went to my dermatologist and he prescribed me Tazorac .5% which is supposed to be stronger retinoid than Retin A Micro. I am not on any antibiotics or other meds. It's only been a week so far and my skin is purging. I can definitely tell that it is more harsh on my skin than Retin A Micro. I put the tazorac on over my moisturizer (100% pure green tea mosturizer) at night so that my skin can get slowly adjusted to the Tazorac. I leave the moisturizer on for 30 mins before putting the tazorac on. I will update again once it has been 3 months on Tazorac. If I have good results I will write a review for Tazorac.

Current Products Using:
Night Face Wash: First Aid Beauty cleanser (very gentle to take off makeup and not drying)
Night/Morning Moisturizer: 100% pure green tea moisturizer

Tarte Amazonian Air brush makeup (very full coverage and non drying)
100% pure healthy skin liquid foundation (The ingredients in here are all from plants! You can read everything and know what they are)
Blush/Bronzer: NARS

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

on 7/31/2013 9:36:00 AM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Acne-prone, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Blue

So, I am now 40 and was still battling acne. As a teen it was light to moderate anywhere on the face. With age it became more cyst like and around the chin and jawline. My derm told me this is normal for women my age with acne. I have tried retin a soooo many times with adverse side effects and NO improvement. So, when my new derm wanted me to try again, I was almost angry with him. Out of desperation I tried again. Now that I am older I tend to be better about following the instructions on things to the T, and that is what I did this time. WOW!!!! It is working!!! I am so happy when I wake up in the morning and look in the mirror! Have not even been on it for 2 weeks yet and old hyperpigmentation has faded by 50% and no new blemishes!!! Why is it working this time? I am convinced it is from FOLLOWING THE DIRECTIONS. What I did wrong in the past...I used a drying soap for problem skin several times a day and scrubbed...don't do that, even if you are super oily. This only makes your skin want to make more oil. I didn't wait to let my face DRY COMPLETELY. You must wait at least 20 min. I used way too only need a tiny bit, more will only make you dry and flaky. What I do now.....wash face gently in the a.m. with Cetafil (original kind) just with fingertips, spend at least a minute doing this, but be gentle! Rinse with leukwarm water, be nice to your skin, no more mistreating it with scrubbing and water that is too hot or cold. Apply light film of DUAC (got from derm) it is a mix of benzoyl peroxide and clindamycin (an antibiotic). Sadly, this will make your skin dry and make it difficult to put on your makeup. Wait for it to dry, then apply an acne friendly, oil free sunscreen made for the face or a bb cream. Whatever you choose it must have spf in it or you will burn from using the retin a. You will really need the oil free moisture too. I won't lie, it is really hard to get your makeup to look good over all this stuff, but is is so worth it and after not even 2 weeks, I have stopped foundation, and just use powder bronzer, blush and highlight. While I was wearing foundation I had to start applying it with a damp beauty blender ( i like the Cynthia Rowley one I got at TJ Maxx, only $6 instead of like $20 for the real thing). I have not found a product I am more impressed with for years than the beauty blender! Moving on...late afternoon/ early evening as soon as I get home I wash off makeup with Cetafil and apply another very light film of DUAC...don't use too much!!! Cetafil is not great at removing makeup so spend some time massaging gently, do not use a wash cloth, just clean fingers. You may even have some leftover makeup on your skin. I was worried this would make me break will not, remember with the retin a your cells are turning over fast, and the antibiotic in the DUAC will kill the germs. You may need to use an eye makeup remover, if it is oily, don't get it on the rest of your face. Then before bed (DUAC has been on 4 or 5 hrs at this point) rinse DUAC off with just leukwarm water, don't use Cetafil again, your face is already clean (that is if you have not reapplied makeup or gone out to the gym.) THIS IS PROBABLY THE MOST IMPORTANT must wait at least 20 min after rinsing your face before you apply Retin A!! I actually wait more like an hour (watch tv, put kids to bed, pick out your outfit for next day), but you must wait! Retin a does not like water! Second most important...don't use too much. Only a pea size for your whole face! Take out the amount you need and do small dots all over face, don't use in crease of nose, or corners of mouth ( i don't even go close to those areas). Do not use any other acne cleansers, toners or anything harsh while on these meds...not even masks, you don't need it, let the products do their thing. BTW the retin a I am using is the .025%, a low dose. Since I have tolerated it well, I think I will ask for the next stronger dose next time to fade the remainder of the discoloration. FYI, the face makeup I use is Tarte, and TheBalm and they have not made me break out. They are free of lots of yucky ingredients. I also use them as I won't use anything that is tested on animals or sells in China (if it is sold in China, their laws are that the product HAS to be tested on animals first), sadly this means no more Urban Decay for me. Tarte, TheBalm, and Stila are brands that seem to be good to go...oh, E.L.F. is cruelty free as well. Please try cruelty free and be vocal about it...Urban Decay swore they would not sell in China, then they faltered...guess their bottom line was more important! I hope you will try Retin A THE RIGHT WAY, I have not had such great results with anything else in the past 25 years and have tried everything but Accutane.

7 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

on 7/18/2013 9:41:00 PM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Acne-prone, Olive, Warm

Hair: Brunette, Wavy, Medium

Eyes: Brown

Dear Makeup Allies,

Prescribed Retina-Micro .04%.

This is my first review, so I hope it's helpful. I start with a background on my skin conditions and what I have suffered with, generally. I then move into a more specific product review. If you want to, you can just skip ahead to the review.


Okay so, I have always struggled with moderate acne. In high school it was pretty bad. I have scarring on my forehead from that time period. That was when I had the most cystic pimples. Now, I'm slightly type-A so my plan to get rid of it was to just do EVERYTHING possible: a.k.a. every drug store product that I could find. I seriously put masks on my face every day, steamed, scrubbed, ProActiv-ed, Murad-ed, and attempted to use oil-free, noncomedogenic hypoallergenic makeup, etc.

I think sheer intensity made my skin "manageable," but it never truly cleared up my acne, and I have the scars to prove it (I am now 24).

Anywho, I finally went to a dermatologist. I was prescribed antibiotics: Monocyclin I believe (some name like that). That helped for about a month, then it went back to how it was before. Later in college I was prescribed a topical antibiotic, and benzoyl peroxide; this also did not help and really irritated my skin. I also attempted using a birth control, because I heard that helped and for some people it does, also to no avail.

I was also prescribed Retina-A micro at this time. I used it COMPLETELY INCORRECTLY AND HATED IT. However, even doctors are sometimes unaware of what you can and cannot use with Retin-A that will exacerbate acne.

I then went on Accutane. Oh, lovely Accutane. It totally cleared up my skin problems while I was on it, and I recommend it if you haven't used it, but it is a very, very, very, serious drug and should be treated accordingly. Anywho, Accutane cleared up my skin COMPLETELY while I was on it, and it stayed clear for about six months after until my acne returned, yet again. I was then a junior in college and still had friggen acne. Needless to say, I was pissed off at my face...

Moving forward, I read the following book: Feed Your Face. Nothing has helped my skin more. My skin was literally perfect, as in I would have one or two pimples a month! AMAZING, really read this book! IT SAVED MY LIFE.


So, I don't religiously follow the advice from the book, but I try to. It has really helped me maintain my skin, even better than Accutane, and the basic aspects that I really try to follow are avoiding starchy carbs because the insulin response can cause hormones to trigger oil gland production (or something like that), I take fish oils or flaxseed every day, and I try to eat more spinach, greens, and take a multivitamin with lycopene (from Whole Foods).

So, I still have scarring from acne; however, I heard Retin-A helps with scarring and anti-aging so I wanted to try it again. I was also hoping that it would help with those stubborn breakouts that I continued to get about once or twice a month.

I am currently using the .04% concentration and have been for three months. Just a note: Now that I have a better understanding of skincare I have realized that it's very important to use noncomedogenic and hypoallergenic makeup/moisturizers with Retin-A. Using certain products CAN and WILL make your acne worse. The first time around my skin was so dry and flaky that I used the worst moisturizers possible; of course it made my acne worse.


Anyway, I began using the product 2-3 times a week. I did this so my skin could get acclimated. My skin looked good, I didn't experience any super intense purging and one of my friends with GORGEOUS PERFECT SKIN even commented on how "glowy" my skin was.

WEEKS 3-6:

Upped my usage to 3-4 times a week. Experienced very slight purging. However, it wasn't anything I couldn't handle. However, my skin condition, generally, continued to improve and the marks or pimples came and went much faster than usual. I am Hispanic so my olive skin tone is prone to hyperpigmentation as well (woohoo me!)

WEEKS 6-9:

4-5 times a week. Most intense purging yet. Also experienced a period of intense redness, dryness, and flakiness. Although it was never as bad as the first time I used Retin-A Micro, it was still pretty gross. However, I use and am a huge fan of Organic, cold-pressed, and pure, extra virgin coconut oil as a moisturizer (yes, even on my face), and I believe that is why my skin reacted less intensely. P.S. the powerful antioxidants and antimicrobial power of coconut oil makes it a fabulous and cheap moisturizer. I strongly recommend it; it has been another fabulous addition to my skincare routine.

WEEKS 9-12:

5-6 times a week. Purging gone, skin fabulous. My "ice-pick" scars on my forehead have noticeably lessened. While they are obviously still visible, I can tell that they are less pronounced. Slight dryness sometimes, in the morning, but COCO takes it away completely. I have also noticed a reduction in the fine lines around my outer-eye area.


Hope this was a helpful review!

10 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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