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Treatments (Face) - Retin A

rated 4.1(513 reviews)

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rated 2 of 5 top reviewer on 4/16/2008 3:40:00 PM More reviews by moonandtheriver

Age: 30-35 Skin: Combination, Fair, Cool Hair: Brown, Wavy, Fine Eyes: Blue

I was given a script for this for acne, and eased into things slowly. I washed my face, applied a light moisturizer and then a half hour later, applied a very thin layer of Retin A gel. I used this every other day for some time before trying to use it everyday. I gave it the usual 3 months...and in that amount of time my skin became VERY angry with me. I was breaking out more in places I usually didnt, my skin was red and raw feeling and my pores continued to stay clogged. After 3 months, I finally gave up. While this is supposed to be an anti aging treatment as well as an acne treatment, I found the texture of my skin to be much rougher, the fine lines increased and my skin never cleared up. I also did not like having to wait a half hour to put this on after I washed my face. I normally get ready for bed, wash up and am asleep shortly after...I found myself having to go wash my face a half hour early and then wait till I could put this on. It just threw me off, and there were nights I forgot to wash my face early, and then I ended up going to bed later than I wanted to. It just wasnt very convienient and didn't end up helping my acne at all. I feel now, 6 months later, that my skin looks better than when I was using it. I still am getting breakouts but my face feels and looks better than when I was on this. Still dealing with clogged pores and have yet to find a way to get them cleared out.

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rated 4 of 5 on 4/9/2008 2:08:00 PM More reviews by LucaBaby

Age: 25-29 Skin: Acne-prone, Fair-Medium, Not Sure Hair: Brown, Other, Other Eyes: Brown

I never really had acne as a teenager...just a few spots here and there on my forehead. I stopped taking birth control pills about 5 months ago and that was when I started breaking out more and getting a lot of comedones on my forehead. It really wasn't that bad but I was so used to seeing clear skin that it really bothered me. I was prescribed tretinoin cream 0.05% which is the generic for retin-a. I knew there would be an initial purging phase but I was not prepared at all for what happened. I was breaking out in areas that I never had a blemish before such as jawline and especially on both cheeks. It's been 2 months now and I notice that I am no longer getting new blemishes and if there seems to be a new one appearing it pretty much disappears over night. A lot of the old blemishes are drying up and leaving little dark spots which should fade with the help of tretinoin also. I still have some stubborn blackheads and whiteheads on the cheeks but I am told those will eventually be pushed further out and get washed away. There were days I looked in the mirror and would feel like crying wonder to myself why I ever complained before and what was I putting on my face? But lately I've noticed that it's gotten better and the areas where my skin is clear is definitely smooth and glowing. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it will get better and better each day and I will have clear skin again. I will update again at the 4 month mark since everyone seems to stress that that is when you really see results.
UPDATE 7/1/08
It's now been over 4 months since I started tretinoin. The purging phase is long gone and the dark spots leftover from previous breakouts are fading quickly. I still get a couple of small blemishes during that time of the month but nothing noticeable and it disappears quickly. I haven't noticed a reduction in pore size but my pores are clean and unclogged. The texture overall is smooth and I do see a healthy glow. I conceal the old acne scars with mineral concealer and lightly dust my entire face with mineral powder. I don't need a lot of coverage and my skin looks almost as good as before I got off the pill. I'm pretty happy with the results so far and will continue using tretinoin. I know it's supposed to only get better and better so I'm excited to see what my skin will look like in a couple of months or a year. My aunt has used retin-a for over 10 years and now at the age of 43 she has no wrinkles or visible pores.

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rated 5 of 5 on 4/4/2008 12:14:00 PM More reviews by rommel1

Age: 36-43 Skin: Other, Other, Not Sure Hair: Other, Other, Other Eyes: Other

There is hope after all.


I am 37 with adult acne. My doctor gave this to me and at first I thought it was a big mistake. He told me it is for long term use and I would not see results until 2 or 3 months and it will peek at 12 months. He was right.

At first my face burned, had patches of dry skin, and pimples. My skin was drying out in spots and I thought it was pre- aging me as well. I was discouraged. I put Eurcerin lotion on after I apply the retin a. It really did take a while. I had this broken out "torn" up (patches of dry/oily) bumpy skin when beginning this.

I started to notice some fine lines going away and smoothing, and that was great. My doctor said it would take a while for the blemishes (scars- the dark ones) to fade. My whole left cheek is clear. I have not had clear skin like this in FOREVER.

My blackheads on my nose- disappeared. I used to have "open" pores on my nose with black heads- gone. But my pores on my cheeks are still "open" just not as bad.

My oily complexion- I would have a puddle on my t-zone- has gone. My makeup used to get greasy just after one hour I put it on. Not anymore. My oil is under control. I no longer have "thicker" skin sections. I know it is weird my I would have areas of harder thicker skin.

It does not create miracles but after 4 months of this- I am very excited. I still have left over dark spots (I am a slow healer) that have faded really good. I am actually wearing a thin foundation and it is covering my face well. I no longer need a heavy foundation.

Stick with this. I broke out with Pro active- the sulfer- I have a reaction to.

My face no longer is dry like when I first started with this- but I always use a moisturizer after i put it on. I do stay out of the sun- like my doctor said to.

I think it is worth it. Go through the "uglies" and see what happens on the other side.


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rated 4 of 5 on 3/29/2008 8:11:00 PM More reviews by Samaraeve

Age: 25-29 Skin: Normal, Medium, Not Sure Hair: Brunette, Other, Other Eyes: Green

I started using this product 5 weeks ago. I'm 28, I have break outs very occasionally. I am using this product for anti-aging purposes.

I use olive oil as my daily moisturizer and that as helped a lot with the dryness. In the last few days the redness and peeling has become a little more noticeable so I've tried two things: I used an AHA mask which helped a LOT. It burned like crazy for the first minute, but then it was fine. Also I've been using Vaseline during the day, which looks kinda greasy but makes the redness/chapping go away.

My daily routine:
morning: Cetaphil, AHA toner, olive oil, 60 SPF sunscreen (and vaseline, if needed)

Evening: cetaphil, olive oil (wait an hour) apply Retin-A 0.05% (I apply to neck and chest as well. My mother always reminds me to protect my chest as that ages too!)

I am noticing an astonishing improvement in my skin already. Good luck everyone, I hope it works for you

UPDATE: I replaced the olive oil with Weleda Sea Buckthorn oil. My skin looks amazing.

UPDATE 2: My skin got into a weird rut for almost 6 months. It didn't look terrible, but it wasn't that great either. I realized the problem: I was also using Benzol Peroxide every other day (I read you should never combine them). Once I discontinued that, within days I FINALLY got the crazy good skin every one claims retin-a gives them.

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rated 1 of 5 on 3/27/2008 6:28:00 PM More reviews by cupcake_sarah

Age: 25-29 Skin: Acne-prone, Fair, Not Sure Hair: Blond, Other, Other Eyes: Blue

I've been prescribed Retin A by two different dermatologists and it has made my skin react badly both times. The first time I was on it was when I was 15. It made my skin so red and caused myself to break out even more. Last year I went to see a dermatologist because I was having frequent breakouts. She prescribed me Retin A, and I was a little leery, but thought that it might work this time around since I was older. I was wrong though. My face became irritated and broke out and I also developed scaly skin that flaked. It was awful. I tried reducing it to every other day and that didn't help either. I will never use this stuff again!

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rated 2 of 5 on 3/27/2008 12:22:00 AM More reviews by DeniseN

Age: 25-29 Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Not Sure Hair: Blond, Other, Other Eyes: Blue

I have used Retin A in the past but never stuck with it. I just recently started up again based on reviews and I am going to try to stick with it.

2 weeks in now, I notice the 3 blemishes near my chin have disappeared almost, and one looks like it might scar :( (I'll update). I caught a glimpse in a mirror today and did a double take! My skin already looks more even toned, clearer.

The first week I experienced minor flaking on my nose and around my mouth (be careful of lips!) I cracked the corner of my mouth! So, I am now alternating every other day with it. I will update, seems promising.

UPDATE: worked for a while, I kept waiting for PERFECT skin...didn't happen and I got really bad peeling skin on my nose and chin all the time!!! Moving on to MD Formulations, my skin already looks better :)

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rated 5 of 5 on 3/24/2008 9:11:00 PM More reviews by CelesteB

Age: 25-29 Skin: Normal, Fair, Not Sure Hair: Brunette, Other, Other Eyes: Green

I use Retin-A Micro.

I do not have an acne problem but use this as an anti-aging tool... I have not experienced redness, dryness or flaking... yet. If anything happens I will be editing this post. ;-)

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rated 3 of 5 on 3/24/2008 3:01:00 PM More reviews by ViciRose

Age: 25-29 Skin: Combination, Fair, Not Sure Hair: Brunette, Other, Other Eyes: Green

Okay, am I doing something wrong? I don't get reddness, or peeling or flaking.... Well, for one day I did. I increased my moisturizer a little and now I am fine. I have only been using for 2 weeks. Does this mean I am not doing something right? I use a little more than a pea size, maybe a plump pea.. :). I can tell that my skin is clearing up but I dont know if that is a result of the retin-a or the antibiotics that I started two weeks ago as well. IN FACT.. I think I get a little more oily than I had prior to the retin-a. In the passed I hardly noticed the oil, now I get a little shiny. Hummmmmm
UPDATE: I have been using for several weeks now and the last two weeks have been so TERRIBLE! I look like a fish with all the scales. particularly around my mouth and my chin. The sides of my lips have cracked and I have developed very chapped lips. I did use this on my mouth but only twice weeks ago, the dryness isn't subsiding though. I have noticed a difference in my skin. But the really tough cystic acne isn't really going away and I have had a few new ones within the last couple of weeks. I can't find any mosturizer that will help. My makeup looks patchy, dry... its really embarrassing. I'm not going to wimp out though.... I'll update again later.

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rated 1 of 5 top reviewer on 3/24/2008 12:33:00 PM More reviews by jaqi16

Age: 19-24 Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Not Sure Hair: Brunette, Other, Other Eyes: Brown

Made my skin burn, flake, and become very painful. I continued to use it hoping my skin would clear up and those little bumps under the skin would come to the surface... nope never happened and I was left with extremely irritated painful skin.

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rated 4 of 5 on 3/4/2008 5:40:00 AM More reviews by ICN

Age: 18 & Under Skin: Sensitive, Fair-Medium, Not Sure Hair: Black, Other, Other Eyes: Black

I used to use Retin-A Gel, but have since moved onto Stieva-A Cream (0.05% Concentration of Tretinoin) due to the irritation caused by the alcohol vehicle of Retin-A.

Stieva-A, and like all tretinoin products cause excessive dryness. The last time that I properly used it (approx. 2 weeks in duration) produced fantastic results where the acne scars were half the darkness than they previously were. The complexion was smooth, supple and hydrated.

The only downside, of course, is the EXTREME dryness that you may encounter during treatment. I experienced dryness to the extent were I'd wake up finding difficulty trying to open my mouth because of the dryness. Further, I found that even the thickest moisturisers that I had (namely Creme de la Mer [fabulous at calming skin] and Eucerin Cream [sadly, unavailable in Australia]) did not compensate for the moisture lossed due to the dryness.

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