This review is based on my use of Retin-A as an anti-aging treatment. I don't have adult acne aside from an occasional breakout, so I admit this may not be useful to you if you're interested in it for that (its intended) purpose.
I believe Retin-A is the gold standard in anti-aging skin care. It's the one with tons of research behind it--conducted by real, independent scientists--and the one with big benefits. This is the real deal as far as retinol products go. Its one drawback is that many women's skin can't handle its side effects.
I realize some women will never be able to tolerate the peeling, redness, etc., but if you're on the fence, I can tell you that the peeling does abate eventually for many people. It's important to make sure your skin is completely dry before applying. You can also start with a very low concentration of tretinoin, moisturize before and after, and start out twice a week only.
The most visible benefits of Retin-A are related to faster cell renewal: clearer skin, smaller-looking pores, fading of discoloration, reduction in fine lines, and smoother texture. It may take several months of faithful use to see dramatic improvement, but I would say it's more than worth waiting for.
Research now strongly suggests that long-term use of Retin-A helps maintain and build new collagen. I think all women (who can tolerate it) should use Retin-A from their teens or twenties onward, and that it's probably the best thing you can do for your skin after protecting it daily with an antioxidant serum and broad-spectrum sunscreen. (I'm sure you don't need me to tell you that you must wear daily SPF while using Retin-A, or you're doing yourself more harm than good.)
For me, this product has been transforming and has taken years off my face, particularly by fading discoloration and shrinking pores (in appearance). The long-term collagen building benefits are exciting too, although it will be years .
I can't go as far as to say I'm 36 and look like I'm 23, like one lucky girl who posted here. (By the way, there are SO many factors that determine a person's apparent age, including her fitness, genetics, hairstyle, clothes, that it's hard to pin someone's youthful looks on her skincare regimen alone.) But I'm 33 and people are usually very surprised to find out I'm not in my twenties--and that DIDN'T happen so much before Retin-A. Not really a controlled experiment, but there ya go. ;)
I use this to keep my face under control. It dosen't keep it totally clear but better than with out it. I,ve used this for a little over a year. I just wish it would keep it totally clear. Still working on that. It does dry out your skin. Add moisture!! I'm still trying to perfect my routine.
Love this product but you need to be patient and diligent, use of this will produce lovely smooth dewy skin. I have been on this for a year and absolutely love it. In the beginning it bought out all imperfections from under my skin and it looked horrible for the first 2 months, then it began to dry out an hooo the flakes of peeling skin for about 3-4 weeks. But then I noticed about 5 months into the treatment my skin was very evenly toned and started to smooth out wonderfully. After getting over the hump my skin today is so smooth and perfectly toned, the makeup just glides on my skin so beautifully..OH and I always use sunscreen...this is a MUST...as my dermatologist recommended. But I have always used sunscreen and was never a beach bunny since I was 16..so lucky for me no wrinkles yet(i am 49 turning 50 this year)..knock on wood..I know its unavoidable but I will fight to the end..loLL!!
This is the only HG product out there!
Pity you can only get it as a RX-drug:(
This is the only thing that can work to do something for your skin (beside a well-formulated sunscreen, of course).
It does work in the dermis and the epidermis, while cosmetics or OTC drugs can only have any effect in the epidermis (upper-layer of the skin). It does boost existing collagen production and frees the receptors from blocking collagen production (UVA blocks collagen production and destroys existing collagen-fibers). So you can say it repairs what is destroyed during the day. It is proven as an anti-oxidant (Tretinoin=Vit.A).
It has numerous side effects (hence it is not an OTC drug) but the results talk for themselves. Smoother younger looking skin, more contoured, less lined, even coloured, and in general a younger-looking skin with an overall glow.
It is said that it makes the skin behave like young, healthy skin.
Everybody should use it from late 20s every night after cleansing a pea size amount all over the face+eye area. + High SPF during the day and avoiding sun exposure!
Extensive research showed that usage 2-3 times a week maintains results; every night usage makes that skin improve continuously.
It takes about 52-150 weeks to see dramatic results but it is worth waiting for! They have seen similar results with 0.05% and 0.025% concentration of the creme.(So more does not necessarily mean better! Maybe only more irritations?)
My personal experience is that now at soon 38 I look younger than when I was 26! People believe I am in my early 20s.(Started using it at 28, in the beginning 2-3nights a week and after a year every night ever since).
For more medical info on side effects and results see:
My face has broken out pretty badly since I was ten or eleven (I'm thirty-six now). My family doctor prescribed Retin A Micro several years ago, and all it did was dry my face. In desperation, I went to a fabulous dermalogist who prescribed the generic version of Retin-A (super cheap!). I have lots of sun damage, too, so he also gave me a prescription for Tri-Luma, which promptly took care of any freckles or dark spots.
The Retin-A has worked wonders for me. Yes, it can be drying, but there are a few tricks to limit that. First, don't use it every night. If your face feels at all raw or sensitive, wait another night or two. I can tell after applying my eye cream; if my eye cream feels sensitive or reddens at all, I'll wat on the Retin A. Also, don't apply until at least one hour after you've washed your face to prevent sesitivity.
Please don't be afraid of the dryness that might occur after using this product. There are ways to control it, especially after being on it for a while and getting used to how your skin will react to it and responding in kind. It has never made my face break out. My skin finally has the smooth texture I always wanted. I just wish I had seen a dermatologist sooner.
i got this in august? and it worked really well! i'm one of those people that has had so many products that my skin TYPE has literally changed. it worked really well during the summer, until about november ? i have it ALL over my forehead. i'm starting to moisturize at night due to this but it's killing me to have ALL this acne on my forehead. it's gross too. but my nose, cheeks, sides of my face, eyebrows/eyes, chin, and under nose, neck etc are COMPLETELY clear. idk what to expect, but i'm going to the derm soon. hopefully i'll get some things that are worth my time.
I am so thankful for Retin A and to MUA for helping me find it. My skin had been a disaster for the past two years and it was really taking a huge toll on my self esteem. I tried everything I could get my hands on....nothing worked. I switched BCPs a few times, hoping to find the pill that was 'right' for me and my skin. I attribute the pill hopping to many of my skin problems, but I have finally found one I like and am sticking with it. Back to the Retin A- I did many board searches and read many very helpful notepads and finally decided to give Retin A a try. I started using the 0.1% cream in October. I figured that by using the highest concentration I would get the quickest and best results. I was very wrong...the concentration was just too much for my skin and I was peeling like crazy and my skin was very red and irritated. I kept using this for about 2 weeks and my skin was purging very badly. I decided to move down to the 0.05% cream. I began using this every other night. My skin was still purging pretty badly, and my face was in bad shape. I felt very discouraged but I remembered reading that this was normal and to stick with it. I couldn't be happier that I did. Today, my skin is absolutely blemish free (knock on wood! ). This is the first time in a looooong time that I am confident in my skin. Everytime I wash my face I can't believe what I'm seeing. I was having trouble with the flakies that came along with my using Retin A, but I've since started using glycerin+water (another thanks to MUA!) and they are much more under control now. I also started using the Mary Kay microdermabrasion kit 2x week and I believe this has helped me tremendously with removing the dry skin that Retin A produces. I am back to basics with my skincare- Cetaphil cleanser, glycerin and jojoba and Cetaphil moisturizer.
My advice: try it out and don't get discouraged if your skin gets worse before better. I went through a very long purge stage and am finally seeing the fruits of my labor. Its been 3 months since I started Retin A and will probably be a lifetime HG for me :)
Oh, and I'm still using the 0.05% cream every other night. I have pretty dry skin and I think every night would be an overload for me. But everyone's skin is different and many users are able to use this every night.
I have been using this for over two years. I find every time I try to stop using it my acne returns. It is the only skin treatment that has worked for me consistently. I need to use it daily or every other day. I get the .05% RX.
I used this years ago but I had such sensitive skin back then and didn't know how to make it stop hurting. I got the .05 cream and paid less for it (without insurance) than what I was going to pay for the Avene cream (which I'm sorry, smells like old lady's perfume). It's been only a week but I'm already noticing a big difference.
I did make a big mistake and used Olay Perfecting cream on my first off day. Man did my skin peel.
EDIT: My skin is really getting used to this and getting better. Just a little peeling on the top of my nose (a little coconut oil and its gone). The fine lines are fading fast. Mind you just started appearing a few weeks before I started using the RetinA. I'm very pleased. I am thinking of using Taz Gel in the summer but for now I'll stick with this. I did get a pimple on my chin this morning but nothing serious. I'm not complaining!
I've read this board for years and have never posted, and like many people who finally get their skin problems under control, I just haven't checked the boards lately. I'm probably a few months late with this posting, but here goes. I'm 27 and have had bad acne since I was 12/13. I have brown acne-prone skin and lots of pi-hyperpigmentation. I've tried just about EVERYthing to get rid of it (including derm prescriptions, proactive, 20-65% glycolic/ 55% lactic / 12-25% TCA / 3 day skin culture peels, pretty much all of the OTC stuff you can buy, egg yolk/ queen helene/ aspirin/ pumpkin/ green apple masks, lemon, ACV, CP, and even Retin A when I was younger), but nothing worked.
Based off of the reviews on the site, I ordered Retin A back in Feb of this year. Like many ppl, I didn't want to try it b/c of the initial purging and like most acne-sufferers, I want results now, not 6 months from now. But, I figured that my skin was already so bad, how much worse could it possibly get. I got the .05% cream, started using it nightly, and within 1 week I noticed a difference. I never experienced the dreaded purging, but I did have some peeling (and I'll take the peeling over acne anyday!). I didn't have to wait 6 weeks or 6 months to see an effect, and now that it's been 9 months, I notice a huge difference in my skin. My under-the-skin bumps are gone, and I can't remember the last time I had a painful cyst or a pimple so embarrassing that I didn't want to leave the house. I've used it consistently (I moved up to 0.1% cream after my first tube of .05 b/c I have tough skin), and I do still get a few small pimples once in a while, but nothing too noticeable, embarrassing, or long-term (usually a day or 2 and they're gone).
Also, I haven't altered my diet (I still eat tons of chocolate/sweets on a daily basis) and I don't exercise (although this will change after Jan 1 :). The only products I use are my MD Forte glycolic III cleanser (20% glyc acid), 15% glycolic toner, sunscreen during the day, and Retin A at night. Sometimes for more of a peeling effect, I'll layer it on a few times a day (this was something I learned from someone on this board, and although its less noticeable now, I do still have hyperpigmentation and uneven skin tone, so I'll live with the peeling).
ITO expense, I've literally spent thousands of dollars (really!) on acne and red-mark (in my case brown mark) treatments in the last 10 years and I wish I had tried this again sooner. I actually purchase this from an online Mex pharmacy for about $24 for a 40g tube (another tip I learned from a poster on this chain). I can't tell you enough how worth it this was, and how thankful I am to the rest of you for posting about this product!