I've been using Retin-A Micro for almost two months and have noticed a HUGE improvement in my skin. Initially, my skin purged like crazy and was super dry, which was annoying but tolerable. I use RAM at night and a topical benzo/eurythromician creme during the day, which is one of the more effective ways to treat acne. I wash my face with Neutrogena's Fresh Foaming Clenser at night and Dermalogica's Anti-bac during the day (I don't like Anti-bac anymore, but I have a massive bottle to go through!), and use Extra Protection Moisturizer by Eucerin during the day. Vaseline at night around my eyes and mouth have helped with controlling flaking during the day.
After using RAM for a few months, my skin is clear, my pores are basically invisible, and my fine lines have vanished. You need to stay with it and use it religiously to see any improvements. The first month or so does suck, but it is important to just deal with it and wait it out because the results are so worth it.
Retin A Micro has been very good to me.
Started in April, within a week skin became very clear. There wasn't any real initial-breakout period, but I wasn't really prone to breakouts, just a little comedonal acne (ie blackheads) here and there. It's like the skin simply went from clear to very clear within a few days of RAM.
However, one needs to be aware of how RAM and retinoids affect the skin. It may clear your skin, but in return it becomes much more sensitive and vulnerable.
In my particular case, face no longer tolerates acid or anything with a pH of less than 4ish, that means no more AHA for me.
Have to treat skin like a baby, no more harsh products because it can't handle it. It's much harder to pick your face too, because the skin is so thin and more fragile that it gets bruised easily, I'm not kidding! Which is probably good in my case if it keeps my hands away from my face, as picking can easily make me end up with purpura marks for a couple of weeks. I can get purple marks if I scrub too hard, or pick on dead skin flakes too.
With regards to the dreaded redness, this is my observation with retinoids in general: Retinoids are actually anti-inflammatories, but it INDIRECTLY contributes to redness by thinning the skin, which makes it much more sensitive. Also, there seems to be a delay in its effect. IE, the effect from tonight's application will show up 2 days later.
Usually, after a night of RAM, face looks less red, but a couple of days later, it starts peeling, and if i overexfoliate (which one may be inclined to do if freaking out over the sight of a bunch of flakes and peelies) it gets red..if i control myself and just gently remove the flakes, it doesn't get red. Sun tolerance is also reduced considerably, now a few minutes outside will make my face tomato red, then get lizardy and peel (like a sunburn) for about a week, which kinda sucks as it also seems to lose its ability to hold a tan also.
In terms of photoaging, I just haven't seen anything personally as I don't have wrinkles yet, but i think it definitely works for acne. My face was pretty clear most of the time, but RAM made my face really 'clean'. I was told by dermatologists & estheticians that i actually had the "cleanest pores" they had ever seen on an adult. I definitely recommend RAM for acne due to its comedolytic effect.
I adore Retin-A Micro 0.1% (RAM). Here is my story: In 1997 I was placed on a 5-month routine of Accutane for moderate cystic acne. The Accutane cleared my skin beautifully, but by 2004 my skin was a mess again (this often happens to Accutane patients as time passes). At that time my Derm. prescribed me a routine of Differin gel, Benzaclin gel, and instructed me to use a gentle cleanser (I chose Dermalogica). This combination worked well enough for me for about a year & a half. Then, in mid-2005 this combo basically petered out. I was getting milia again and more than one cystic pimple enough. Irritated, I went back to my Derm and asked for something else. She rx'ed me RAM + Benzaclin gel. I began to slowly transition to the RAM-- uing it every other day at first. My skin purged like crazy! Of course, I didn't see this as purging at the time... I saw it as a worsening of my skin. I ended up ditching the RAM at the beginning of week 2 and going back to the Differin... which again, gave me poor results.
About two months ago I had 'had it' with the Differin. I promised myself to give the RAM three full weeks of use. I also switched to Dove bar soap at the same time b/c I was tired of the dry-out my cleanser was giving me. Well, almost two months later and I can't even get over how wonderful my skin looks! No more milia, no more whiteheads, no more cysts. My skin is clear and smoother than it has been in years! I'm also experiencing absolutely no irritation or excessive dryness (thanks Dove). I'm about to turn 30 and my skin looks better than it did when I was a teen! LOVE the anti-aging effects of RAM!!!
Bottom line... use as instructed and suffer through the purging! You won't regret it! continued >>
i have a love/hate relationship with retin a. Some days it makes my skin extra unaturally dry, but then im relieved some mornings when my skin is shedding its outer dermis layers.
Retin a in the long run thins the skin, I have been researching into copper peptides more which works like retin a but, instead of thinning the dermis copper peptides builds strength and collagen to dermis.
Retin a a does make your skin pore less and beautiful looking, but its also causes fragility and thins your skin.
Dont get me wrong I still use retin a maybe a whole month then stop and then take a break continue ect.., but I cut back on it alot, dont use it as much as i need to.
I find I like the Gel rather than the cream, cream is more irritating to me for some reason and perhaps more drying.
I started the .5% gel again.
Use as little as possible, the more you put the more photo sensitize your skin will become.
Wow. This is my sixth week on generic tretinoin, and I am absolutely kicking myself for not doing this a decade ago. I have struggled with moderate cystic acne pretty much since I hit puberty, and I have spent hundreds (thousands?) of dollars over the years on OTC products that never did anything. Finally I decided to suck it up and see the derm. To my delight, I found out that generic Retin-A costs $25 for a three months supply (30g tube), so I said sure. The derm also put me on a 30 day doxycycline scrip as well. Basically, from day 1, the zits stopped forming. I did go thru the icky scaly skin, but Aquaphor as a night moisturizer and Purpose cleanser fixed that right up. It took about 3-4 weeks for my skin to get retinized, and now I have far fewer problems with dryness. My face did have a minor eruption when the antibiotic course was done with, but the zits were gone in 3-4 days, and I have not had a single breakout since. My skin is clear and smooth and glowing now. I hope hope hope this continues to work this well. The current regimen that has worked so well is:
AM: Purpose cleanser, Neutrogena Active Breathable sunblock SPF 45
PM: Purpose cleanser, tretinoin .025% gel applied 3-4x weekly, Aquaphor as needed for dry spots.
(oh yes, I am also on low-dose BCP to help control the monthly breakouts. It helps a little.)
I HIGHLY recommend this for acne. It is the ONLY thing that has ever worked for me in 10 years of fighting off cysts. Give it time, purchase the generic gel and some Aquaphor, prepare yourself for a few weeks of dryness... but it WORKS.
I tried. I really did. A couple of times. Tried the traditional way and the short contact way. I give up. I just can't take this stuff. I am close to 40 and have good skin, no wrinkles, no acne, but I do have very mild rosacea. The only reason I wanted to use retin-A is because it is supposed to help with the blackheads, which is really the only problem I have, they are quite stubborn. Originally, I stuck it out past the peeling phase (which lasted about 3-4 weeks for me), but even after that messiness was over, my skin was so red all the time and HURT, it even hurt to splash my skin with tepid water. I wasn't seeing any improvement in the blackheads nor any other improvement in my skin, and the redness and constant painful feeling - even the slighest touch on my skin would hurt - just weren't worth it. I recently tried again using the short contact therapy, and the peeling started again and my skin is starting to hurt again and looks...old and dried up. So I'm done, side effects are just not worth it for me, probably is just too irritating with the rosacea.
This review is for Retin A Micro. This is maybe the 4th time that I am tried a retin a/retain a micro product. The first few times I used it for maybe a couple of months, had really flaky skin and didn't see any imporvment, so I stopped. This time, I decided to be more committed and more patient with it. To alleviate the peeling and dryness, I buffer it with jojoba oil. I put on jojoba oil while my face is still damp, and wait for 15 or 20 min, then apply RAM all over. It's been about 4 months and my skin has improved a lot . I have clearer, smoother and softer skin. Even my parents, whom I haven't seen in the last 4 months, commented that my skin is much better when they saw me again. They asked if I am still on antiboitics and I told them no, only RAM :) I am not 100% clear, and when I feel like my skin is going bad again I use acne org's BP gel. But overall I think RAM is doing a great job. Plus it helps with antiaging. It is quite cheap for me since I have insurance. A tube is about $35 and I think will last me at least 4 months. For those who are interested please be patient and wait at least 4 months before stopping.
I have been suffering from acne for many years and have been using topical antibiotics on and off. However, I developed a resistance to the antibiotic and tried to use BP, but that just burned my skin. My dermatologist recommended retin a micro which is the gentlest form of retin a because it utilizes a micro sponge delivery system. I was very sceptic at first, my skin started burning and peeling like crazy for about 2 months, but I stuck it out and after about three months a saw a huge difference in my skin. My skin is now clear and the pores are tighter and most of the blackheads are gone. The only thing it did not help against is my oily skin. However, with oil blotting powder my skin looks absolutely perfect!!
A word of warning: you do have to use a good sunscreen while on retin a since it increases the skin cell turnover and sensitizes the skin to the sun. A spf with proper uva protection is needed, ie avobenzone and mexoryl, Ombrelle by Loreal make sunscreens with adequate uva protection.
I used Retin A Micro gel for more than 2 yrs and altho my skin is super strong or thick, I still can suffer from a little flakiness esp if I use it w glycolic products. Then I found AVENE DIACNEAL from MUA, I fell in love with it instantly. It doesn't dry out my skin at all, plus I can see the lightening of the past spots faster than Retin A. It also makes my skin baby soft. Acne still active esp during PMS and lack of sleeping. Mine is hormones acne, nothing can beat them :( Retin A is expensive, too plus you need prescription. Why waste a lot of money if U can get a better result from Diacneal??? Avene is high quality products from France anyway. I'm not going to repurchase retin A anymore.
i was given this product by my dermotologist and it definately cleared up my face. after i discontinued using it and broke out within a year or two. from then on i tried everything from over the counter products and fade creams. so i recently remembered i had an extra tube of the retin-a so i started to use it again. immediately i saw results. acne of all types/sizes cleared up and scarring/blemishes began to fade. though it's quite dryin, it's nothing a little moisturizer can't fix! i'll never stray away from this product again!