I am 56 and have been using Retin-A since the middle '80's. Originally used to fight acne that returned with a vengance in my 30's. Initially Retin-A caused made my skin red, irritated, and itchy---to the point I almost quit--- but I noticed my pores started to become less noticable and in 2-3 months my acne did go away. At this time, I also began the habit of staying out of the sun and applying SPF 15-30 sunscreen every single day. In my 40's I paired Retin-A ( 2-3 X week) application with perscription strength Lac-Hydrin-12% @ night and started to get compliments on my skin with people often guessing I was still in my 30's--- ( Oh yeah, and hair dye helps too!.) I continue to use Retin-A in my 50's, but with hormone changes ( think, pimples on fine wrinkles!)I only use it every 2-3 months to maintain a clear skin.
I started using tretonin .025% about 6 or so years ago because my friend told me it would help fight wrinkles. I prefer not to give my age, but I can tell you that people think my younger sister is older than I am.
I am quite certain the retin A is to thank for my good skin as I am a ppp who smoked for many years & spent up to the age of 21 baking in the sun (didn't know any better). Then I used what are basically unstable sunscreens after that point until I found mua 2+ years ago.
I eat a really good diet and get regular exercise, but that alone wouldn't be making the difference I can see between my face and those of my friends.
I've been using Retin-A since age 12 (I'm now 27). It is truly a miracle for those with severe cystic acne. I found this out the hard way recently when I decided to stop using it because I thought my skin had gotten drier and that my acne would go away with using the Alpha Hydrox 12% AHA souffle instead. BAD DECISION. Suddenly within a week or two I remembered how life was before I started using this. My skin was an oil slick, I was breaking out all over my face and had about six cysts on my chin,my pores were huge and disgusting, and I generally looked and felt like crap. Obtained a .05% tube from my mom and within three days the pimples were gone, even though I'd been off of Retin-A (I used .025% previously) for six weeks. Yes, my skin is scaly and peeling as it becomes accustomed to the medicine again, but it is also smooth and pimple-free, and my pores are once again TINY. I'll probably go back to using the lower percentage eventually, but I was desperate to get my good skin back! This is, BY FAR, the only reason I have ever had good skin and I will NEVER stop using it again. I have to use nothing but Cetaphil products on my face while using it, but that's fine by me. It is expensive but my whole family who use it resort to buying it elsewhere.... because being older than 22, my insurance won't cover it.
I've been using Retin-A ever since i had my first major breakout. Initially, i didn't like it as i found it rather oily & gave my face an oily sheen (i already have combination-oily skin to start with). Yikes! Then my dermatologist recommended that i use this all over my face only @ night & to use it on problem spots during the day. My complexion cleared within 2 weeks (i had mild acne) & it's been clear since then. Great product that's affordable too!
retin-a has been a god send to me. when you have acne, you always worry when one little pimple will become twenty. this little tube has kept me clear for about three months now and i regretted not trying this out sooner. i am on the lowest dosage 0.025% and have not dealt with any irratations of any kind. the only thing i really miss is that i can not longer do my monthly microderms and glycolic peels but in regards the the reviewers'post below, i may try to use this twice a week as well. this is a wonderful thing.
I've been using Retin-A for 2 years now. I have combination oily skin with a dark tan complexion. Like everyone else, the 1st 6 weeks it got worse, but after that 6 weeks, it was uphill from there. My cystic acne went away, my skin evened out and was so clear, I didn't have to worry about covering my pimples anymore. When a breakout would occur, I'd simply apply Retin-A at night and in the morning it was 90% gone. This stuff is amazing and even wonderful because it smooths out your wrinkles since it is constantly removing the dead skin cells from your face. My face is so smooth! I'm 34 and no one ever guesses my age right. I usually get guessed as being 25!
What also helps is getting microdermabrasion once a month to get rid of the dark discoloration acne leaves behind on my skin. My esthetician recommends I use Retin-A all over my face at least twice a week to combat against acne and wrinkles! I get microderm done once a month and it's kept my complexion gorgeous and soft! I love Retin-A and would never do without!
I started this because I developed acne (at age 43) that wouldn't go away. No over the counter meds could touch it. My Plastic surgeon prescribed this and my acne cleared up almost immediately. I didn't have a terrible time with dry, peeling skin since I am SOOO oily. I did have some but it was manageable. Recently I have been receiving compliments on my skin...A lady walked up to me the other day and said my skin was beautiful...I don't think I've ever heard that compliment before! AND, I've only been using retin a about 2 months now! So far I like it and will continue using it!!!
It is easy to get discouraged with Retin A, because your skin will look worse before it gets better. Not only more breakouts, but redness, peeling, etc. YOu will be convinced that this is ruining your skin and want to throw in the towel. Then, if you make it to about week 6, you will get a new crop of zits, but hang in there. The results are soooo worth it. I am turning 50 this year and people are quite surprised. I know there are a few sensitive-skinned people who just can't tolerate this, my daughter was one of them who did the 6 week thing and gave up. Be sure to use a high SPF with this.
Oh my beloved Retin-A. I was on the .025% gel and had to go off recently since we're trying for another baby. It helped immensely with clogged pores and I didn't think it was helping much with fine lines and wrinkes...until I went off of it. It was making such a gradual improvement in my skin that I didn't notice the difference until I went off of it. One month later the forehead lines I had before are back. They were completely gone while I was on this stuff and I kind of forgot I had them! I can't wait to restart again in the future. It is great stuff for my skin! Just make sure to start slowly on any retinoid. I highly recommend Dr. Baumann's method of starting retinoids in her book, "The Skin Type Solution". The method varies depending on your skin type, but really helps you to use it with minimal to no irritation. I am a DSNW/OSNW according to the book, and I had no problems at all with it.
If you have problems with painful, cystic acne, and want to avoid scarring up your face - this is the stuff for you. Keep in mind you must see a dermatologist in order to get a prescription for it. I unfortunately never struggled too much with acne until a few years ago (28/29 yo). I finally went to a derm for help last fall and i was placed on minocycline and retin a micro. Since my insurance would not cover these products, I paid a pretty penny for them (especially the retin-a micro 0.04%)so also keep that in mind. Considering how little you need to use, I am still working on my original tube from last year, and will get my refill soon before it expires. It made me peel horribly at first, and like the pamphlet states, you may notice an increase in acne over 4 weeks as it purges everything from your skin (and it did so bad that I almost gave up on it)! Don't give up on it after only 2-3 weeks!!! To taper down the redness I experience, I only use it every other day and sometimes every couple of days. I cannot thank the people who developed this product enough. Since using it, I have had so many compliments on how much better my skin looks, and has even helped with some fine lines i had and clearing up any remaining acne marks. I don't need the minocycline as long as I have this product (plus minocycline made me horribly ill when I first began taking it and gain weight). Love love love this product - really helped my self esteem come back to life!!