I did not experience any purging (thank god) but my skin peeled around the lips. Oil production has gone down a bit but no visible improvement for pores size or old acne scars. It only unclogged my pores and prevent acne.
However in my experience, retin A .05% alone is not effective enough. Although the painful pimples are gone but those black/white heads are very stubborn. I, then, combined my nightly skin care routine with BHA, BP 5%, and Effalar K (by La Roche-Posay). After cleansing apply BHA, followed by Effalar K and then retin A. I alternate retin A with BP for every other night. I never have to do any mask or scrubs. In fact, I have to gently "mop" my face with a soft cotton wash cloth when I cleanse. My black/white heads were greatly reduced with my current routine and of course sunscreen is important. Still, this routine did not gives me the "perfect" skin. I have to go in to the dermatologist (not a beautician or spa) office for a light peel every 6 months. I dont apply Retin A 5 days before and after my light peel.
So... I'm 24, and I've had perfectly pristine skin almost my entire life... until a few months ago when I started breaking out like crazy. God, what a horrible state to be in. I just couldn't get a handle on it. My dermatologist prescribed the generic form of Retin-A (in .o5%), Benzoclyn, and oral antibiotics (mynocin). I tried the Benzoclyn and that turned out to be way too harsh for my skin, so I just keep it in the fridge in case I need to spot treat (instead of using Benzoclyn, I use Neutrogena On the Spot every morning before I moisturize--I love that stuff). I was really paranoid about using the Retin-A due to purging--I just didn't want to make things worse. About a month ago, I finally started using it, in combination with Obagi Clear (I use a pea size amount of each and emulsify them together) and I'M SO HAPPY I DID. The combination of those two products has worked wonders for me. My skin is clear and glowy. I didn't have any purging at all. My acne scars have lightened immensely (I love using Bare Minerals, by the way, to cover them--people have actually once again started complementing me on my skin). Oh, and I only used one bottle of antibiotics--my doctor doesn't think I need them anymore. If you have problems with this, use it every other night, and be sure to coat the corners of your lips with Vaseline (I learned that the hard way--my skin peeled like crazy there).
i've tried it for 1 month and saw the result. my skin turned smooth and al acne gone. but the peel off problem is quite terrible. everyday people would ask you ....... you have do some mask treatment, you look so dry.........
I am in my mid forties and have been using Retin for the last 20 years. I started using it as a result of adult acne which cleared up within 6 months but continue to use it for its anti-aging benefits. My skin is smooth and virtually wrinkle free.
The key to using it is to following the directions and wait the 20 to 30 minutes after you wash your face to let your skin dry completely and then apply a small amount of the Retin-A, just enough to cover your face. I now use it every other night and on the alternative nights use an 20 percent AHA product. Nobody can believe my age. What I love most is the smooth, healthy looking skin!
Retin A Micro ruined 8 weeks of my life. I used to have the occaisonal hormonal breakouts. I was really bothered by them so I went to my dermatologist. He told me that my acne was very mild and that I should try Retin A. Since my acne is mild, I questioned whether I should be taking a prescription, he reassured me that it would take care of future breakouts and I would feel great. What a horrible decision. After just one week of Retin A, my skin broke out so bad. It looked like I had chicken pox. My skin was also incredibly greasy. Abnormally greasy. I had more zits than skin showing on face. I was really really depressed. My friends and family would ask me what's wrong with my face. My colleagues would stop me or do double takes. It was really embarassing. After 4 weeks, it was still bad. After 6 weeks, still bad. After 8 weeks, even worse. I broke down crying and decided to stop using it. Two weeks later, my skin is slowly improving. I cherish my hormonal breakouts. My skin was quite lovely before. I hope it returns to the way it was. I have never hated anything so much in my life as I hate Retin A. I'm usually an out-going person and this medication turned me into a depressed home-body.
I have tried rx retinols several times and always had the same issues. The give me glow-y skin and less overall break out but when I do get a pimple, it is hideous, huge and red. But the biggest problem is causing broken veins. If you are genetically prone to broken veins, do not use Retin-a or micro. My mother started getting broken veins in her 40's but I got them much earlier, i.e 20s. I now see a pattern that everytime I used retin-a, more broken veins emerged. Do not believe dr.s when they say you are just noticing them more, this is a lie of ignorance. I developed dark red/purple lines here ans there which certainly where not there before. Yes there were some places where the slight red or blue veins became more apparent but these are Broken, i.e bruise/purple-y looking. The derma doctor website comfirmed my suspicion and so I am off retinols for good. I have tried differn, retin-a and micro and because of this, I now need a dr to remove the stupid veins. I know retin-a is a god send for some, but if your mother or father have broken facial veins, you may need to skin retin-a.
My trials and tribulations w/adult acne started pretty much right after high school and I was at a loss as to how to effectively deal w/it! I was put on various antibiotics, which did the job for a time but ended up becoming useless when I built up a tolerance to them. Enter Retin-A .04%! I used this gel-based version for the first time when I was 19 and for almost 12 weeks I experienced the WORST breakout of my life. I wondered what I had gotten myself into, it was that bad! Fortunately, it cleared up rapidly after that and I was very happy w/my skin. Unfortunately, I moved to Alaska about a year after starting the .04% gel and couldn't get that formulation there. I was switched to the .05% creme, which I though would possibly work better, seeing as how it's a stronger RX. That stuff, however, wasn't so great. In fact, I had more problems w/whiteheads and cysts on the creme verson than anything else! I found later there is an ingredient in the creme (myristal myristate?) that is actually quite comedogenic which could have been the problem w/that formulation for me. I went off of Retin-A completely for a time and used the ProActiv system which actually worked amazingly for two whole years before mysteriously losing it's effectiveness. SO, I found I was back to square one where my acne was concerned. This time, my derm suggested trying the Retin-A Micro .1% gel which was the newest thing and supposedly superior to the older versions. I bit and at first it was the hardest thing to use. If I thought my face was bad during the .04% initial breakout, this microgel made my face look about 1000x worse at first. The dryness, uber-cysts popped up everywhere and just an overall horridness made those first six weeks pretty much unbearable. Then, things started to clear up and now I have absolutely zero blackheads, virtually non-existant whiteheads but I still do get pimples. Not as many as before, but this last month (I think due to a switch in moisturizer) I had about five larger pimples that took almost two weeks to clear up (kind of long, considering most clear w/in a day or two normally) so that concerned me that the medication was losing efficacy. But like I said, it could have been due to the fact I'd used a different moisturizer than normal (which I have discontinued and am starting to see an improvement again). RAM is good stuff for the most part, but my skin is far from perfect. I have many scars from previous breakouts and the overall tone is uneven. But, I'm sure I'd be far worse off if I'd never used it at all as it does keep wrinkling down to a minimum and refines the skin quite a bit. In September, it will have been a year since starting the RAM .1%, so I'll have a better idea if it really lives up to it's potential by then! EDIT: Well, in August, I finally came to the realization that my acne was just too much for the Retin-A Micro and have since gone on Accutane to get it under control, although my doctor says I will have to get back on Retin-A after my course is over in February to maintain results. In closing, this stuff is good for minor acne and wrinkling, but if you have any kind of inflammatory acne or excessive oiliness, you're probably better off going with a big gun, like Accutane. I'm almost done with my fourth month, and my skin is practically perfect.
You know, I'm old, and I've used everything out there from A..Z. There's very little that works, and works fast, and this is the best there is. I've used Retin-A off and on since I was in my 20s, thus my skin is nearly wrinkle free at close to 50. Is there purging?...yes, it's nasty...but the rewards far outweigh a few weeks of anguish. Too, your doc should be able to start you out slow enough not to make it unbearable. Be smart...if your skin hurts, back off, move to a lower dose, or a creamier formulation. You'll be gifted with lovely, mostly wrinkle free skin. In my book, looking back, I wouldn't have done it any other way.
my comments are on stieva 0.01%.
it's the only thing that's helped me tackle clogged pores that have been around for years. yes, your skin does get worse when u start but you know it's doing it good. stuff just rises to the surface for it to fall off. amazing!
but my doc stressed the importance of putting a rich moisturiser before i use it. so i put on sisley intensive night cream b4 stieva and i've not experienced any peeling at all.
I have used Retin-A for seventeen years except while pregnant/nursing. I consider this my HG as I've been acne prone since puberty. Now that my skin is more mature I still use it along with AHA peels occasionally and alternate it with AHA lotion every other night. If you can tolerate it this is a wonderful product for both acne and anti-aging treatment. I have sensitve
skin so I use the Micro .1% and keep cleansers very mild- Dove unscented/ Cetaphil. Also it's very important to use sunscreen daily. The Rx isn't covered by my plan and it's about $125 USD so I get it from Canada. I'll keep using this forever.