I used to take retin-a when I had broken out with moderate acne, mostly on the sides of my face. It was pretty bad. Proactiv didn't work and neither did the other stuff I tried over the counter. My dermatologist gave me an rx for this. The first 5-6 weeks were brutal because my acne actually got worse. DONT WORRY. That means it's working. If you can suck it up for that long, you won't be sorry. After my skin tone, pore size,acne, everything improved so dramatically. I am so happy I took it.
This review is for Avene Diacneal users. I used Diacneal for 6 months before a doctor convinced me to try Retin A (0.025%, generic). I experienced fairly good results with Diacneal, which smoothed my skin texture and evened the tone a bit, but those results are nothing compared to what I got with Retin A. Within *weeks*, I experienced way smoother skin, reduced redness, and faded acne marks. The rough texture I had left over from years of acne smoothed out within one month in all areas except my forehead (BTW, my pores haven't been "erased" yet, but they don't stand out anymore texture-wise, but blend in seamlessly with the rest of my skin); my skin tone went from red and dull to bright and glowing; and the acne marks that I thought were fading quickly with Diacneal started shrinking shrinking and shrinking.
In short, I got double or even tripple the results of Diacneal within 1/6th of the time. And yet... lo and behold I actually had less irritation. Whereas Diacneal made me super-flaky, Retin A keeps me smooth and exfoliated.
I don't have perfect skin now, far from it. Neither product eliminated my acne, and I still have very small, but still very annoying acne scars to deal with. And yet, I've only been using Retin A for 1 1/2 months, and I hope to never go without it again. It's sort of the difference between needing concealer and needing foundation. Right now I have marks in many places, but the base of my skin is so perfect and porcelain-like, it would be a shame to cover it up with make up, which could never rival the look of beautiful natural skin.
Oh, one last note: I never wait more than a couple of minutes between washing my face and applying this. Yes, it probably is more irritating this way, but if I don't apply something to my skin right after washing it, it starts to feel tight and overcompensates with the oil later on. Just my 2cents.
gosh i really hoped i would love this since i heard of the skin clearing and anti aging properties but it dries out my skin..even w/ the lowest dose! i've tried to space it out between days but each and everytime i get peeling painful skin.
I feel like I wasted a lot of time on this product. Eight weeks of applying the 0.025% cream every night left me with ZERO improvement in my skin. And I do mean zero. So recently I ordered the 0.05% from alldaychemist.com and have been using it for a month now. No improvement there either. I am giving up on this stuff, and am instead going to order a different retinoid product, possibly Differin because I remember that working as a teenager. I am very disappointed that this didn't work for me.
I've been using Retin-A for over ten years now. I don't have major acne but had a bad breakout on my forehead from using a face wash with mineral oil in it which is the worst thing for oily skin. (I didn't know this at the time) I went to the doctor and she put me on Retin-A and gave me some oral pills also to clear it up within days, it did. I don't remember the name of the pills. Anyway my skin cleared up fast(from the pills) and after weeks I really liked the way my skin looked on Retin-A, really healthy. So I've been using it since then, and will forever... I still have small monthly breakouts, but they are small and not a huge deal for me.
It does take many weeks like everyone else says for you to see really positive results from the Retin-A, for me the peeling was bad, but it was years ago so I can't remember in detail. Your skin will always be more sensitive to extreme heat or cold weather if you aren't careful, it will burn your skin easily. If my Husband doesn't shave his face daily or rubs his afternoon shadow on my face.. that causes a burn. Wearing a hat that's too tight on your forehead will cause a skin burn from the chaffing. You have to baby your face basically, *this has only been my experience* over the years, but it's totally worth it.
i have been in a battle with my skin since pre-teen-age years, and i'm 42 now.. i kept thinking that my skin would grow out of breaking out and being so oily, and i'd have nice clear skin some day.. well that day never came, so i kept buying everything trying for the clear face and the skin that did not need makeup... i got tired of it, and one of my MUA friends emailed me and said she had gone to the doctor and gotten Retin A.. so i listened to her and did the same thing... i got the generic cream, Tretinoin 0.025% which i thought would be way too weak for my face, i do not have sensitive skin, i have had reactions to BP before but i think that is more of an allergy than a sensitivity. anyway, it has been 6 weeks now.. and i am FINALLY seeing a change in my skin tone, appearance and clarity. i have slight very very slight flaking around my nose, but overall, there was no redness or rawness on my face. I did not experience a major purge either, it just did not seem to be doing much of anything for the first 3 weeks. I have also been using the cream on my neck and my chest area, because i break out on my neck and jawline (eeew i know) and my chest area gets broken out, and also i have significant sun damage on my chest from too many sunburns in my younger years.. my neck and chest have become very raw and red and itchy, but i'm sticking with it, as the results will be worth it!
I put the cream on at night on a clean face (at times i wait 20 mins, but my doctor did not tell me to) other times i wash and apply and go to bed. no difference to me. in the daytime, i use a moisturizer (with sunscreen) on my face and neck and chest- either redness reducing Eucrin or my Exuviance (cant spell!) they both work equally well.
i know this takes a lot of time, but since i waited so many years to try it, whats a few months? i'm thinking it will only get better from here, the texture of my skin is much smoother and more even. i am still very oily, but that is okay with me, wrinkles are not an issue for me at all (except on my chest area) so hopefully that will continue to improve. I will update when i am over the first few months of treatment. EDIT: Just wanted to let you all know that i have been regularly (nightly) applying this to my chest area and the results are amazing. I can now wear scoop neck/v neck tops without worrying about the sun damage and wrinkles on my chest area. the skin is all new and smooth and even-toned, a bit red and still does itch but i think over time that will stop. I can not get over how much improved my skin is with this cream, I am so happy and much more comfortable in the bright sunshine with only tinted moisturizer/SPF, this has dramatically changed my skin, and in turn got rid of my skin insecurities, i'm so happy!
I promise I tried as hard as I could to make this stuff work for me. My doctor gave me the weakest gel version of this product, the .01%. I used it nightly, waiting 20 minutes after cleansing as I was instructed sometimes with moisturizer sometimes without. After 3 months I was still waking up every morning with cheeks covered in whiteheads, patches of dry peeling skin and red marks from previous breakouts that seemed to take forever to heal. I stopped using this stuff about 2 weeks ago and my skin looks a million times better. My doctor gave me Finacea to battle the left over red marks , which so far has been working really well. I still keep the retin-a in my medicine cabinet as a spot treatment as it will drain every last bit of life out of an active zit. The jury is still out on whether its helping with my teensy fine laugh lines around my mouth. I still dab it on those spots every once in a while just out of pure curiosity.
*edit* i'm going to give this another shot in conjunction with different skincare products and using it less often. *fingers crossed*
There's nothing like this. I have skin issues including being acne-prone, food allergies that irritate my skin, uneven skin tone, etc. I swear Retin A corrects any scarring, enlarged pores from bad episodes, discoloration & more- it's like it makes new skin! I've used this for about 20 years, & I have zero wrinkles. It does make me flaky after I use it- that part has never ended. So I only use it once or twice per week, & only use daily on troubled spots (pimples or enlarged pores). My skin used to be super-sensitive, but I think the Retin A has toughened it up a bit.
I would highly recommend this for anti-aging, & just pretty skin at any age. It keeps your skin exfoliated so that it doesn't look dull & drab...the look of youth!
To use, I wash my face with my normal cleanser, wait 20 minutes to apply the Retin A, let it absorb for 10 minutes, then apply my normal nightly moisturizer. This can be used around the eye area, but not on the eye lid or too close to the eyes. I do use it directly under my brows without problems.
If you're this trying for the first time, START SLOWLY, once or twice per week at most. You can increase the frequency later once you see how your skin reacts. It's better to be safe than red, raw & scaley!
I have used retin-a off and on for 15 years for acne and have never had great results. That is until recently. About 6 months ago I started using it every night. At first it irritated my skin a little bit but that phase didn't last long. I didn't see results until about 4 months later. I finally have my acne under control. I think the retin-a is part of the reason why. I also use a salicyclic acid cleanser and neutrogena rapid clear pads (that might not be the exact name but its something like that). The other improvement I have seen in my skin is that my fine lines have nearly disappeared! It happened so gradually that I didn't really notice until recently . I am thrilled with the results.
I definitely feel the pain of the prior reviewers. I too,had to go through the long purging process. I too had days where I looked in the mirror, and asked myself, how did all of these pimples come to be, since I only had a mild case of acne prior to using the medication? (just to let you know, my face had been almost perfectly clear for years; then out of the blue, I started to get adult cystic acne). ...Well, It took me about three months of enduring through consistent outbreaks until the medication started to kick in. But once it did, my face has never looked better!!
I love how this product smoothens the skin, helps correct mild discoloration, and on top of that, prevents future pimples from forming. I now only get tiny pimples here and there ever so often.
Be patient prospective users. This medication may take a while for it to kick in and you may have to endure through more serious cases of acne (common side affect of med) and verryyy dry, patchy skin. However, in the end, I think it's all worth it.