I could deal with the flaking stage. I just used ProActive's tea tree oil moisturizer since it went on clear. Any moisturizer that looked white before "settling in" tended to make the flakes on my face look worse. The problem for me was that after the flakes settled down, I noticed that the blemishes I did get would disappear only to leave marks on my flesh.
The blemishes I got before this product rarely, rarely left dark marks on my face; nearly ALL the blemishes I got while using this product went dark. It's been at least six months and I still have slight brown marks in 4-5 places from the period when I was using this product.
I went back on Minocycline after this and then decided to go natural. If I eat limited wheat and sugar, sleep right, and take 50g zinc tablets my face is close to perfect. So. I'll stick with that.
I started using Retin-A gel for moderate acne as a teenager almost twenty years ago, and I stopped using it after it caused severe redness and irritation.
At 30 I began to experience cystic hormonal acne, especially on my jawline and chin, with additional breakouts on my forehead and cheeks. Along with changes in diet and skincare I started to use the Retin-A cream, which I found to be very greasy, and it caused me to suffer clogged pores and additional breakouts.
I switched to the Retin-A gel, and I suffered severe redness and flakiness. My skin did not tolerate this well at all, perhaps because of the alcohol base, and I eventually gave up on it. I tried Differin, which did not cause as much flakiness, but it left my skin very dry and irritated. I also tried Taxorac, which wasn't as drying, but it left my skin very red.
I started using Retin-A Micro 0.04% three months ago, and i like it the most out of all of the prescription medications I have tried and used. I have little to no irritation and no redness. My face can get a little dry (and this is with nightly use, the other medications I could use three nights a week maximum), but the dryness can be controlled with moisturizer in the morning.
I wash my face with a mild cleanser and my Clarisonic in the morning, and at night I remove my makeup with an oil cleanser. I apply a small amount of Argan oil, wait an hour or so, and I apply the Retin-A micro.
The formula itself is a little odd. It is between a gel and a cream. It almost feels a little "gritty" as though there are micro particles in it. It spreads easily, and I only use a pea sized amount for my entire face.
My skin is much less oily (but not dry and tight) since I started using it. I do not have flakiness, my acne is well under control, my pores are beginning to appear smaller, and I am stating to notice a decrease in fine lines.
My skin tolerates this really well. I can even use it on my undereye area without irritation. My only regret is that I didn't start with this and tried very other one first.
I've used Retin-A micro for years. I only stopped using it about 2 months ago because I've discovered Environ Retinol 1 and Retinol 2.
The reason I stopped using the RETIN-A micro is because I had an injury under my eye and Retin-A micro made the scar irritated and grown bigger.
Also, my skin has become sensitive ( after many years using skin care with parabens and other toxic ingredients, I also can have eczema but rarely on my face ) and I wasn't able to use Retin-A more than 3 days in a row per week. My skin would become very peeling and sensitive and I couldn't not use it 4th days in a row.
I am using Environ Retinol and I am in heaven..
I have struggled with moderate acne ever since I was twelve years old. Was prescribed retin a micro by my dermatologist at age 16 after using a variety of creams (differin, benzoyl peroxide, etc) and this stuff was a miracle! My skin cleared after 8 months of using it, which seems like a long time, but when you struggle with persistent acne for years, it's not a long wait. Flash forward to age 21, I stopped using this product for a year due to not having insurance and within that time period my skin went back to the way it was with a vengeance! Huge, cystic acne bumps appeared on my chin, usually four at a time, and I had never experienced cysts-painful and impossible to conceal! So I caved and went to the doctor, I requested a prescription for this product and 3 months later, my skin has improved quite a bit. Do not use this product for a month and give up! It takes time to see results and most likely, your skin will go through a "purging" process where whiteheads appear all over your face, which totally sucks but only lasts a month or so. Use a gentle cleanser to reduce inflammation and I recommend a heavy duty moisturizer! I'm so grateful I started using this again and it has anti-aging properties- score!
My acne story: I have struggled with acne since middle school and it had only became worse with high school. I tried everything. Facial cleansers, proactive, laser treatments, acid peels, ect. Things would clear up my skin, but my acne would come back with a vengence. Nothing seemed to clear it and keep it away. Wearing heavy makeup was the only option I had to cover it up, and hated it. I went to the doctors seeking help. She put me on RAM. I was very excited at the fact my prayers may have came true. I apply every night after a gently cleansing. I read the side effects but did not expect them to be so strong. My acne flared up awfully, and my skin began peeling in patches. Makeup just showed off the dry patches, and I refused to go out in public. Also my lips had extreme peeling and pain, almost like a coldsore. I decided I was gonna stick to it, in hopes it would get better. I am two weeks in and things seemed to slowly be getting better. My acne is settling down, and that in itself gets me excited. Thank you RAM for helping my acne. I can't wait to see its full results and not have to wear heavy makeup anymore,
My doctor prescribed me Retin A in February 2012. I changed my birth control in January 2012, which triggered my acne. Unfortunately, I exacerabted the problem by switching forms of birth control another two times in the next three months, even switching mid-cycle at one point. I realize how incredibly stupid this was now and have been on Ortho TriCyclen for three months straight now. Sadly, my acne has remained. I tried to spot treat my acne with benzoyl peroxide and AHA/BHA peels. While both treatments helped acne that had already surfaced on my face, it wasn't preventing new pimples from forming. I was scared to use Retin A because of the initial breakout I had read about, but after 5 months of dealing with horrible skin, I knew I needed to treat the problem systematically. I've been using Retin A Micro for 4 weeks now. I started with the generic tretinoin cream and switched to RAM because I noticed the ingredients in the cream are very comedogenic. I also increased my percentage from 0.05% to 1% because my skin seemed to tolerate the .05% fairly well. During the first 2 weeks, I experienced a fairly severe initial breakout. Whereas my hormonal acne had been located primarily on my chin, jawline, and around my mouth, I now had acne spreading up the sides of my lower cheeks. I had around 6-8 large, deep pimples and tons of tiny comedones sprinkled across my face. My nose and forehead were the only areas that remained clear. This was incredibly difficult to deal with as my job puts me in classrooms with other adults my age - most of whom have long outgrown acne. Several mornings, I cried all the way to work, and I've avoided a lot of social activities.
I am at the end of week 4 now, and while I still have a lot of tiny pimples across my lower cheeks, the large, deep pimples have decreased from 6-8 to about 3-4. I'm also noticing that the smaller pimples have a much shorter life cycle. I'm sticking it out and hoping that my results in the next 2 months will make the purging process all worth it. My doctor also prescribed my clindamycin-benzoyl peroxide gel for the mornings.
A couple of things to note: when I started using RAM, I was washing my face with a benzoyl peroxide facewash and didn't realize that BP makes Retin A less effective. I was also using sulphur masks, spot treatment gels, and glycolic peels. When you're using a product as intensive as RAM, you CANNOT use it with other harsh products. I now use Cetaphil cleansers and moisturizers. When my face is extra dry, I apply a small amount of jojoba oil to it in the evenings. As tempting as it is to slather on spot treatments, this doesn't stop your acne at the source. They only treat the symptoms, not the actual problem. I also know that now that I've started using Retin A, I will have to use it for life. This is fine for me considering I'm getting older and want to protect against wrinkles, and I only pay $15 for it with my insurance. Here is my skin care routine at the moment:
AM - Cetaphil Gentle Cleansing Antibacterial Bar - Clindamycin-Benzoyl Peroxide Gel - Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion
PM - Cetaphil Daily Cleanser - Wait 20 minutes - Pea sized amount of RAM - Wait 1 hour - Kheil's Avocado Eye Cream - Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion before bed
Final note: I started with the generic tretinoin cream every other night and gradually increased to every night. With RAM, I usually apply for two nights, and then I might take a night off if I notice that my skin is burning when I moisturize or put on makeup.
I'll update again in a few weeks on my progress.
I used to have a long love/hate relationship with RAM .04%, now it is just total love. It cleared my acne, tightened my pores, made me less oily and faded old acne scars. I used to wear very heavy foundation (EL double wear) because my skin was so oily and had lots of discoloration. Now thanks to the RAM I rarely wear foundation except for special occasions. I started out with it every few nights and then gradually increased it. If I felt my skin was too tender for it I would just skip that night. I now use it every other night right after washing. I do not apply it over moisturizer or put moisturizer on it afterwards. Just wash and straight RAM. PLEASE only apply a pea sized amount. I used to think there was no way that amount would cover my face and apply more, but all I did was make my skin angry when I applied more. Cutting my dosage amount to a pea sized made a big difference. I just dispense the amount on the back of my hand and then dot it all over my face and rub it in.
But before I fell in love with RAM I did go through the stage of cursing it. It made me purge, peel and flake like there was no tomorrow. I would carry around moisturizer and apply it all day as soon as flakes would start gathering. For a teenager in high school it was pretty embarrassing. My advice though is to hang in there and stick with it. It is so worth it in the end!
IMO, when you are using RAM you have to be very gentle with all your other skincare products. I stuck with CeraVe hydrating cleanser and CeraVe moisturizing lotion (both recs from my derm). I liked both but I was not completely satisfied. My face still felt a little tight after washing. So one day I was cruising the SCB and saw the mineral oil craze started by lovely jetfan lol I figured I would give it a shot since I love cold cream and that did not break me out. Well cleansing with mineral oil was amazing (see my review for more details on that) but it totally eliminated all the flakes RAM left me with and did not dry out my skin. Since switching to MO cleansing my face is soft and smooth. Oh, I also switched my moisturizer from the CeraVe to Solvere.
Thumbs up for Retin A Mico!! :D
Retin-A Micro has been a skin-saver for me. I began using it after a year on Ziana, and the RAM has been far superior for both acne and photo-aging. You have to use a very small amount, no more than one pump or a fingertips-full of the product, and tap it into your skin, and use it consistently. Sunscreen is paramount, I use an SPF 50, titanium- dioxide based (the least irritating sunscreen that exists) every day, regardless of the weather. My friends and my mother have both said that RAM has taken years off my face.
My routine is:
Cetaphil Gentle Facial Cleanser
La Roche Posay Antihelios 50 Mineral
Sisley Baume Effice Gel for Eyes
Cetaphil Gentle Facial Cleanser
Retin-A Micro (pump) 0.04%
Revive Sensitif Moisturizer (this has a SPF 15 but I love it as a night cream, too)
Vaseline PJ on my lips
More Baume Effice Eye Gel as an eye cream
QUESTION: Has this caused hair loss for anyone here? I found a lot of bad stories about that online...apparently this stuff gets absorbed into your system and the Vit. A can cause issues.
Anyway, for skin it's great. I use it for anti-aging only. Because it is in a gel base that is very astringent (alcohol I think) I mix it 50/50 with Cerave moisturizing cream and it works very well. Using just once a week, it has smoothed the appearance of my pores and seems to firm, plump and tighten the skin (slightly). Lines decrease somewhat, but crow's feet actually get a lil' worse so don't use around the eyes. Overall though, I prefer the regular Retin-A cream to this. This one is definitely more for the acne crowd.
I use the .025%
Disaster. I'm on week two and its so disheartening. My skin has never looked so rancid, I feel like a scary monster *sigh. However, the reviews are quite upbeat, so I intend to stick with it. Am hoping my LED light will heal the current purging my skin has succumbed to. Any advice? Yipes.