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Treatments (Face) - Retin A

rated 4.1(510 reviews)

  • Average Rating: 4.1
  • 82% would buy again
  • Package Quality: 3.7
  • Price: $$$

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rated 5 of 5 on 8/9/2007 5:46:00 PM More reviews by msmays

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

I'm using the .025% generic gel formula. I've been on retin-a for 2 months now. I have sensitive oily acne-prone skin. My acne got worse in the first couple of weeks--really really bad. That is mainly bc I did not wait 20-30 minutes after I washed my face before putting on the retin-a. Now that I am following directions to a "T" my skin has cleared up! Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation from acne is disappearing. And I have less breakouts. I was starting to get lines on my forehead but now they are completely gone. Definitely worth a try if you have insurance bc it only costs me $10 a tube. My hg!

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rated 5 of 5 on 8/3/2007 9:03:00 AM More reviews by vtmom

Age: 44-55 Skin: Acne-prone, Fair-Medium, Not Sure Hair: Blond, Other, Other Eyes: Hazel

I have been using this product for 4 months. I am 49 years old, oily, and have been acne-prone most of my life - especially around my chin and lower face. I had tried absolutely everything to clear my face, prescription and OTC, expensive and cheap. Nothing touched it. I finally got my family doctor to write me a script for this (getting an appt. with a derm around here takes an act of congress - a minimum of a 6-month wait). I started with the .025% gel. After about 2 months, I noticed that I was actually pretty clear. I went through 2 monthly cycles with not a single blemish. I then upped my dose to the .05% cream and my skin just continues to get better. This tube will probably last 5-6 months, after which I will up my dose for the last time to the .1%. I am very careful in my application, and always wait at least 30 minutes after washing before I apply. I use it around my eyes (crow's feet area) and on my neck as well. Last week, I actually had 2 people in one day tell me I had beautiful skin - I almost fainted! From a personal perspective, I don't delude myself into thinking my skin is flawless, because it's not - but the blemishes are gone and the texture continues to improve. When I first started using Retin-A, my goal was to be VERY patient and give it 6 months to show improvement. At the end of 6 months I was going to turn 50, and at that time I would reevaluate. No need - I plan on using this stuff forever.

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rated 2 of 5 top reviewer on 7/18/2007 2:45:00 PM More reviews by diana6

Age: 19-24 Skin: Acne-prone, Fair-Medium, Not Sure Hair: Blond, Other, Other Eyes: Green

I'm reviewing this as an acne treatment:

It did absolutely nothing for me. It just made my skin dry, red, and peeling, which looked worse than the acne itself!

However, I will say that my mother has used this for anti-ageing and really likes it. So at least someone got some use out of it!

The only things that have ever worked for me are:
- witch hazel toner (a miracle!)
- eating lots of oatmeal, fruits and vegetables
- Omega 3 fish oil vitamins
- the aspirin mask!

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rated 5 of 5 on 7/10/2007 9:15:00 AM More reviews by ginaj319

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

I am 43 and have been using this product (.05 cream) for 30 years. A few times, I used the gel at the lower concentration but I found the gel form to be more irritating and drying. Because I started Retin A during my teenage years when my skin was oilier, I never had any major negative side-effects other than the occasional flaking/light peeling about every 5 weeks (lightly buff skin with clean washrag every night). I started using it for acne (to prevent it) but now use it for both preventing acne and for fight wrinkles/maintain collagen. It must be working; even my physicians think I am around 33 years old and do not believe that I've never had plastic surgery. I have no visible pores, good skin texture, and great coloration. Very infrequently, I get a small break-out; but during times when I've forgotten to renew my prescription, within a few days, my skin starts to break out. So be aware that once you start using it, you may need to keep using it for as long as I.

19 out of 19 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

rated 4 of 5 on 7/2/2007 1:39:00 AM More reviews by Brandyc

Age: 30-35 Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Not Sure Hair: Blond, Other, Other Eyes: Blue

Been using on and off for about 12 years. It works great.. the only thing that really clears my pores. I can't use it daily.. I have combo skin and it dries me out and enhances imperfections when I have makeup on. Otherwise, I'd rub it on everynight.. but I can't. It's very drying. I use it as more of a spot treatment in my bad areas. Every 3 days or so, I will rub everywhere.. but again, that is drying but it's all my skin can tolerate. But, keeps me clear.

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rated 5 of 5 on 6/25/2007 9:17:00 AM More reviews by 44040

Age: Unknown Skin: Other, Other, Not Sure Hair: Other, Other, Other Eyes: Other

Been using this for 20 years, insurance pays for it--they don't know that I don't have acne.
This is the best product out there for anti-aging but don't expect instant results.
One thing I wish I had done was use it on my neck and chest too. So that's what I'm trying now for about 4 months--just listen to your skin, if it itches, stop and use some neutral moisturiser for a day or two ( I like CeRave but I'll use vaseline in a pinch)
I stay out of the sun and don't use anything if I'm inside all day, if I'm going to do a lot of driving or playing with grandchildren, I like Blue Lizard.
Do not use retin a on your lips, they are a different sort of skin, do use it on around your eyes.
Retin A .1%
Retin a will not address skin sagging issues, this is what the injectibles and botox are for.
I never want to have a facelift so far , so good!
Exercise. I usually do something different everyday, ne day Pilates, next weights, cardio etc
BTW-I'm older than dirt.

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rated 4 of 5 top reviewer on 6/18/2007 1:48:00 PM More reviews by RaquellaDeVille

Age: 18 & Under Skin: Normal, Fair, Neutral Hair: Red, Straight, Medium Eyes: Hazel

i freaking love Retin-A. It seriously took me years to be able to use this product more than once or twice a week. But in the past year, I really forced myself to be diligent with applying at least every other day...and my skin has NEVER looked more amazing. I have NO break outs anymore. And I mean NONE, not even a tiny red blemish. And my skin is even toned and glowing and smooth and bright. I wake up in the morning and see the skin I want to see. I don't even need concealer anymore. My skin just looks HEALTHY.


For people who hate the negative side effects of Retin-A...I found something that REALLY works for me.

I started using Cetaphil's Moisturizing Cream (the thick kind that comes in a tub) along with Retin-A, and I have ZERO problems with dryness (really). When I first started using Retin-A the peeling was so disgusting and bad that people would point it out. It was embarrassing and I felt ugly all the time. So I quit, and I just recently started back up. I decided to go about it a different way. Every night I wash my face with a gentle cleanser. Then I apply a generous layer of the Cetaphil cream and wait an hour or two for my skin's natural protective oils to build up. THEN, I put on the Retin-A.

In the morning, I wash my face again. And I put on the Cetaphil. After the Cetaphil cream I put on a layer of Neutrogena Dry Touch sunblock. My face will be a little greasy, but it's nothing a few swipes of powder won't fix. It is best to NOT use a sunblock that is even slightly greasy, because along with the Cetaphil you would have a big greasy mess on your face.

I am astonished that this works so well...I am actually able to use Retin-A and still look decent this way. I have extremely sensitive skin and feared I wouldn't be able to use Retin-A, but now I can, and I have VERY little dryness.

So, here are my Retin-A tips for people that are having problems with it.

1.) Only apply Retin-A twice a week initially. I apply it Sundays and Thursdays.
2.) Use it at night only.
3.) Before applying the product, wash the face with a gentle cleanser and spread on some Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream. Then wait an hour or two.
4.) Apply more Cetaphil in the morning before your sunblock, and use powder to "degrease."

19 out of 19 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

rated 5 of 5 top reviewer on 6/15/2007 11:37:00 AM More reviews by itsgail

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

Well I came on here to write a glowing review, but what's the point when it's all been said?
Just wanted to add my name to all those who recognise this fantastic godsend. Hurrah!!
(hope I can get it forever, at the moment I get it on prescription...is it really true you can buy it OTC in France?? wow!)

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rated 5 of 5 top reviewer on 6/9/2007 12:52:00 PM More reviews by centerfuse

Age: 44-55 Skin: Combination, Fair, Not Sure Hair: Blond, Other, Other Eyes: Blue

Retin-A is the ONLY product I have used that *really* works for both troublesome skin and the lines, discoloration, etc. that come from getting older. I just can't see wasting money on products that can't possibly live up to the promises. Most problems from using this product are from not allowing your skin to build up a tolerance. Gel formulas can be very irritating but may work best for younger, very oily skin or for stubborn blackhead areas (my nose and surrounding area). At 47, I prefer the cream. I use the Retin-A .05 on my face, neck and chest and Renova .025, which has a more emollient base around my eyes. I just purchased a gel formulation as well for the nose area.

That said, it is best to start with a low dose and apply every other day or even every third to test the product's effect on your particular skin and move up/down in strength if needed. BE SURE TO WAIT AT LEAST 30 MINUTES (longer is better) AFTER CLEANSING BEFORE APPLYING PRODUCT! Did I stress that enough? You are asking for super irritation trouble if you don't do that.

After about three weeks, you may see some flaking and purging (pores becoming unclogged)--but follow the directions and *keep going*; this is a normal reaction and so many people do not give the medicine time to change your skin. When the peeling begins, *don't be aggressive removing the flakes* because then you will be irritated-just deal with it and add a bit of moisturizer--they go away quickly enough. I sometimes just rub what I can off with my fingers, and then maybe wipe with a soft washcloth. Flaking from time to time reveals new, fresh and clearer skin. If you become really irritated, though, it's time to skip nights or change formulas. No one should have red, cracked, and super peely skin-that's just not right!

Yes, your skin will flake from time to time (especially around the mouth and nose), you may need to change your makeup/moisturizer, and you *will* have to go through the painstaking process of finding an *EXCELLENT* sunscreen that works for you. I use Sofina Lucent UV and found that it is very matte and has not caused breakouts. Another recommended matte ss is the Sheshido lotion. Last, you probably will have to change your cleansing routine (no harsh cleansers/scrubs). Concerning sunscreens, you'll need at strong and waterproof one-so then you have to deal with the issue of using a mild cleanser that doesn't leave a residue but ALSO removes sunscreen (and believe me, they stick). My searching MUA, I've found that using a cleansing oil (such as Lumene, Fancl, DHC) to gently remove all mu and sunscreen and following up with a residue-free foaming cleanser (easily found at the drugstore) leaves my skin really clean--but you will have to deal with trial and error. *Your cleansing routine does not have to cost a fortune!* You may find yourself using moisturizer, so find a gentle one-I use Cetaphil lotion sparingly. Save your cash for a great suncreen: so many irritate or cause breakouts. Just try to introduce one product at a time to see what works on your skin. Sorry for the long review, but I assure you that what you get in return is smoother blemish-free skin that will look better and better. One bit of advice for the flakies is to *very lightly* exfoliate with a *very soft cloth* and cool water. Any hard rubbing is going to give you red, raw skin that no makeup will cover.

Update: started using the Retin-A .01% gel for summer based on skinboard recs. Also switched to Boscia Purifying Gel Cleaner. It really made a difference in completing the process of clearing out the most stubborn blackhead in my t-zone with *no* irritation. The gel *is* harder to apply-you have to do one small area at a time so you don't overdo. Still use the Renova .025 around my eyes. If there is irritation in winter, I may go back to the cream. I know this program is working because I've received compliments on my "beautiful and glowing" skin.

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rated 5 of 5 top reviewer on 5/9/2007 10:12:00 PM More reviews by labegude

Age: 56 & Over Skin: Combination, Fair, Not Sure Hair: Blond, Other, Other Eyes: Green

I have been using .05% Retin A since I was 42 and I am now 61. I do not have a wrinkle on my face and I know it is thanks to the Retin A. My skin is flawless and my complexion glows. I am never taken for my age.

You can get this a whole lot cheaper in from any pharmacy in Mexico; like a large tube for $9 to $12, which would cost way over $100 in the US. Also, my husband brings it back from France. It is over the counter there and a small tube is $9 with about 3 tubes equaling the big tube you can get in Mexico.

26 out of 26 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No