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Treatments (Face) - Retin A

rated 4.1(516 reviews)

  • Average Rating: 4.1
  • 82% would buy again
  • Package Quality: 3.8
  • Price: $$$

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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.

104 out of 106 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

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

rated 5 of 5 on 5/5/2007 11:23:00 PM More reviews by Hollow

Age: 36-43 Skin: Combination, Medium, Not Sure Hair: Blond, Other, Other Eyes: Brown

I've been using this for a year now for anti-aging purposes. It is absolutely amazing. The "11" lines between my eyes are reduced, my skin looks poreless and perfect. I just turned 37 and people consistently think I'm at least 10 years younger than that -- and when I tell them my age, they generally say "you have no wrinkles!"

I can't recommend this highly enough.

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rated 5 of 5 top reviewer on 4/28/2007 1:40:00 PM More reviews by alaskanbeauty

Age: 19-24 Skin: Combination, Other, Not Sure Hair: Brunette, Other, Other Eyes: Hazel

This is an absolute godsend from the heavens! I swear! So, after a long time of trying to deal w/my large pores & mild breakouts myself, I finally made my way to a Dermatologist. I first asked her to put me on Retin A Micro. She didn't want to, but did. She was worried it would break me out more and that it just wouldn't be right. So, what happened? I hated RAM! Hated! So, I went back. She gave me an rx for Retin A 0.025% cream and told me to wash my face at night with Purpose cleanser, then use Cetaphil LOTION (not cream), and wait at least a 1/2 our THEN apply my retin a cream (everynight). I was worried at time about initial breakouts, so she gave me an rx for Minocycline an oral antibiotic. I used the whole bottle and decided that I didn't need them anymore because my skin started to look better right away! I never purged from the retin a cream. I'm not sure if it was just because or from the minocycline. It's been well over a year now and my skin just keeps getting better and better. My Derm said that it would only continue to get better and better. I can even skip a night or two and my skin is ok with that. I feel that it's always best to use it everynight. The only side effect that I have from it besides good skin, is that it can make my nose peel/dry out around my nostrils, so I am just careful about how much retin a I apply in that area. It's fairly expensive for me w/out insurance but a tube is quite large and last me for months soooo, it makes up for it in the end! I will use this forever if I can. Oh and the lotion she told me to use by day was Neutrogena Healthy Skin spf15. I love it. I only need a little drop of it and apply only where I'm feeling dry.

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rated 5 of 5 on 4/23/2007 10:00:00 PM More reviews by cnugent

Age: 25-29 Skin: Combination, Other, Not Sure Hair: Red, Other, Other Eyes: Blue

I am so happy I finally found something that is actually PROVEN so much it is medicated to treat wrinkles AND acne? YOWZA. Purfect. I started on .025% about 2 months ago and I was a little sensative for a week so I quickly bought the .05% and I am so happy. Every night I put this on and in the morning I wash the dead skin off.. lovely sounding.. Anyhow, My face after two months is much less acne- I still get a bump here and there but its not bumpy like it used to be, my chin doesnt have those white bumps under the skin surface, my forehead is smooth now, not like the GOODYEAR tire it was quickly turning into. I used to have little laughter lines that brought me NO joy what so ever, those are gone. I am very happy and I am not easy to please! Oh and now I used that .025% stuff by mixing it with some old useless eye cream, so its diluted enough to use around my eyes. I know its working but the skin around my eyes always needs skin rubbed off with a washcloth in the morning. I think the best part about Retin A is how long its been around (20-30 years), I dont have to worry about a recall coming out tomarrow that Retin A causes deformations of the face or something.

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rated 1 of 5 top reviewer on 4/19/2007 3:41:00 PM More reviews by Sweet_Capri

Age: 30-35 Skin: Other, Dark, Not Sure Hair: Brown, Other, Other Eyes: Brown

About my skin: Dark/golden, with tendency to hyperpigmentation, hardly get any pimples but when I do, it usually leaves a little dark spot. A few clogged pores, no wrinkles, no crow's feet. I use retinoids to prevent breakouts and "maintain" my skin as well as even its tone.
My experience with Tretinoin (genetic retin a): This stuff created a mess on my skin. It all makes sense now. I remember when I had my very first (and only) adolescent breakout, my family doctor gave a prescription to this. This was like 20 something years ago and I remember having a terrible reaction to it and never ever wanting to use it again. I actually dont remember what got me to use it again but I think it was my being too much of an extremist and wanting to always look "perfect". Boo me.
Prior to this, I was using Tazorac gel which was a bit drying for me. I also thought it wasn't "working" but after looking over some old photos, I could see it was working amazingly well at keeping my skin breakout free, even tones, glowing, plump and just in really really good condition. I got compliments often and I usually wear minimal makeup.
So I went to my derm and asked him if he would just switch me. He reassured me my skin looked really good but gave me the Rx to tretinoin anyway. Idiot (both me and him).
I used this stuff for a year hoping the peeling, the oozing, the darkening of my skin, the little pimples and dermatitis it was causing would eventually go away, but it never did. The worst was using the tretinoin cream, which yes, made my skin super glowy but the irritation was beyond belief. I would often wake up with swollen, itchy eyes and it took me friggen months to figure it out. I thought I had allergies but it was this stuff. Then the gel, although it gave me better results, would literally burn dark patches on my skin. I later on found out from reading various posts on here that this is mainly alcohol. My skin is way too sensitive for alcohol and of course if you are dark and have issues with hyperpigmentation this is gonna create more problems than solve them. The gel also gave me terrible dermatitis and made me break out more. I would get cystic pimples and I seldom get those.
So after almost 2 years of my "duh" experience I went back to Tazorac. I was testing out and alternating both the cream and gel and you know what...within a week my skin went back to itself. Even my DH came from work one evening and his first comment was....wow, your skin looks amazing!
No to Tretinoin, Yes to Tazorac. Will never use this crap again.

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