It works. I have been on prescription Retin-A in its many various concentrations and forms for about 15 years now (however, I have had acne longer than that and have used other methods for controlling it). Thinking back to when I first started on this stuff using a Retin-A cream at about 0.025% and ending with my present day Retin-A micro at 0.1%, I can say in all earnest that this stuff works. I've used gels and creams but the most effective is the micro version of this stuff. Since I have been on it so long, my skin easily tolerates high concentrations of this. I cannot remember all too well how I first reacted to this stuff but there were some breakouts. In fact, there always have been even for the 15 years I have been using it. That is why I have so many other things going on in my skincare regimen. Retin-A is not the cure-all nor the be-all or end-all; but, rather it is an effective part of a maintenance program for troubled skin. It helps to make the skin cells less 'sticky' so they slough off more readily. I have never worn this stuff at night...never could stand the feel of this at night for some reason...its got a weightiness to it that I can't stand on my face at bedtime, so I have always used it during the day. Perhaps I did not get optimal results this way as it is supposed to be photosensitive; however, I don't think it made much of a difference. I actually used Retin-A in combination with BPO (at night), more specifically Benzac AC10, and found the BPO to be more effective in zit zapping. Over the past couple of years, I have changed my routine with this stuff...instead of 7 days a week, I use it 5 days and save the weekends for Aloette or some other alternative. I like my skin to rest a bit and perhaps lessen that tolerance a tad or two since I am at the max in Retin-A concentration and there's nowhere to go anymore as far as an upgrade to a higher level. For beginners on this Retin-A treatment program, whether for wrinkles or acne, be patient with the initial redness, breakouts, and other 'stuff' that results from this. Remember that the secret to healing from acne is to PEEL. So when you see peeling, this is a good sign and over time it will keep occurring for you but at a microscopic level that is not so visible anymore...and this is good. So, over the course of time, your skin will become more and more tolerant of this stuff and you will notice improvements. Those lines underneath the eyes start to disappear and those zits become more and more kept at bay. I have no problem at all wherever I apply this stuff. My eyes, lips any soft area...it all responds well with zero irritation. I now combine this product with '10% Exfoliating Oil Control Glycolic Acid/2% Salicylic Acid' from DDF (and sometimes Aloette's C-Accelerator, which is vitamin C in powder form) and have increased its potency to a high degree. But my skin needs that and can handle it since it is conditioned from lots of years being on retinoids. I will most likely continue to use this product for the rest of my days as it has helped me to maintain a healthy level of control over my acne condition. There is also the added benefit of the Retin-A minimizing facial lines, which results from sun damage. Expensive but good stuff!
Retin A works very well to get rid of acne fast but you have to keep on using it even if your face gets all flakey. But..for me, I had to stop using it. I can do flakey but this seemed to...burn the outer layer of my skin off. I was peeling off what I thought was gel residue but it turned out to be my SKIN. It was like peeling off dried elmers glue. it DID get rid of my cystic acne on my chin. I would def use this again but I would probably not use it for more than 3 times a week with a day or two of rest in between.
I started using this on the 10th of November 2005 for treatment of my acne on my chin and forehead area as well as blackheads on my nose. Thankfully my cheeks are totally clear and has never been a problem.
My dr prescribed me to Retin-A (Jenssen-Cilag) which i am to use every night and Eryacne which i use every morning.
The first 2 weeks of using this was absolute HELL! I did not get a new pimples but the skin on my chin peeled and burned and dried up like HELL! It was soo dry and red and soooo rough it felt like touching a reptiles skin. What made things worse was that it would feel awful while applying Eryacne every morning because it would just feel like burning my skin and making it red. My skin was 2-toned for the first 2 weeks..my face was normal but my chin was a very deep red.
Then everything cleared up and my t-zone was even under control. However, a day before my period all hell broke loose again on my chin area. I just felt like giving up But i felt that most probably these pimples were hormonal so i couldnt really blame Retin-a. It took about a week for the pimples to disappear and NOW i have VERY NICE SKIN AND THERE ARE NO MORE PIMPLES..WELL AT LEAST FOR NOW AND THE SCARS ON MY CHIN ARE GRADUALLY BEGINNING TO DISAPPEAR..I AM SO HAPPY I CANT STOP MYSELF FROM WRITTING USING CAPS..OHH AND MY CHIN FEELS SOOO SMOOTH THAT I CANT STOP TOUCHING IT AND YES ITS BAD TO TOUCH AYE..
The blackheads on my nose are rather stubborn so it takes time but for once it is gradually disappearing and feels smoother.
I have to say that this takse patiance. My dr told my to try it for at least 8 weeks and then go in to meet her again if it doesnt work. You have to bear the initial period of using this. I did not go out for teh whole two weeks because it was just sooo embaressing.
My skin is not dry anymore though there is a dry patch just below my lip on the left hand side . I use cetaphil cream to mositurise my face and that takes care of my dry patches. I also use cetaphil cleanser which is gentle especially when my skin was sooo sensitive and burning.
I will update this from time to time but for now i am very satisfied because for once my skin look great and im not embareesed of my skin anymore.
Things are looking great. NOT ONE PIMPLE ever since. Love this product and hope it works for you too. This is the product that i want with me if i ever get stranded on an island!!! Skin looking greater than ever. Its the best NZ$90 that i spent on PERIOD!.
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.