I jumped on the Retin-A bandwagon about a year ago, and my only wish is that I had started sooner.
I've been using the lowest dose, .001% and am in the process of upping it to .025%.
I've noticed a difference in the texture of my skin, particularly with my forehead. No more '11' lines. The area under my eyes is my next target.
Definitely ease into it gradually before applying nightly.
Use a gentle cleanser (I use Cetaphil) and go easy on any additional exfoliation.
A good moisturizer is a must too.
I use Retin-A Micro .04%. I apply this at night after Alpha Hydrox Oil-Free Formula. This really didn't work for me until my derm added Duac to my morning routine. But I keep using this because I do think my red spots go away faster. I give it a 3 because of the flakiness that I get about once a week no matter what, that it didn't clear my acne on it's own, and because the first 6 weeks I wouldn't leave my house - I was crying because my face was so red, inflamed, and hurt so bad that I couldn't smile. Now my skin has a a bit of reddish blotchiness from this that make foundation a MUST! I'm considering seeing my derm again to find out if there is something better suited for my skin...
Well I'm only on week 3 but so far i'm seeing improvement. I've been suffering from cystic acne on my cheeks for forever now and they're slowly but surely starting to fade. I use it nightly in addition to benzoyl peroxide wipes. My tzone which never really breaks out has become really smooth and my pores minimized. I cant wait till I can say the same about my cheeks. The only downside for me is that my skin becomes super oily in the daytime. I dont know if its from the retin A or from my other skin products but its a sticky sort of oilyness. btw I'm using Retin A micro, .025% i believe. I cant say that its expensive b/c it was covered by my insurance and I only had to pay a few bux. But I'm definately going to keep using it and plan on repurchasing when I run out.
My skin is combination and I don't really break out. Occassionally, my pores need a little cleaning out, but nothing too major. Simply put, I have pretty good skin. However, a little over three years ago, I decided that I needed 'something' for my skin. I made my first ever derm. appointment and decided I would not leave until I had a prescription in hand. She didn't want to give me anything at all, but I didn't budge and she caved. I ended up with a prescription for Retin-A, .050% cream. I used this religiously for the next two years (even when I had no insurance and had to fork out $46.00 per tube). This did nothing for me--except sensitize me to EVERYTHING! I was no longer able to use even "mild" skincare products that I'd once used. I stopped using this stuff about a year and a half ago (when I finally woke-up to the fact that I didn't need it), and there are still some products I was able to use pre Retin-A that I am unable to use now. I realize this review may not be very helpful to someone with problematic skin. I am writing this because I know there are people who, like I did, think that they need 'something' for their skin or who may use this to prevent certain aging-related "conditions" (wrinkling, etc.). Unless you want red, irritated skin (just from using your normal skincare products), save your money. UPDATE, 03/2006: After a few years of not using this, I began again in December. Green Cream just wasn't worth the money to me, as it seemed to stop working after less than a year of use. I have sensitive, relatively un-problematic skin, but I like the extra glow and smoothness that good retinols/retinoids can impart. Before, I was using .050% tretinoin cream and now I am using .025% gel (thanks, in part, to MUA, I now know that there are a number of prescription options--not just the cream!). The gel can be a bit drying and, up until recently, I was only able to use it three or four nights a week. It works well, though. I have changed my rating from a two to a five. This can still be a bit pricey (I think around $45 for a small tube of generic, if you don't have insurance), but I'd rather spend that amount in this than a any other OTC retinol that might not work as well for me.
I've used Retin-A micro for about a year, and it's great. I wouldn't recommend it solely as an acne treatment, but for overall skin improvement it's amazing. There is an initial period of peeling and redness, but once your skin adjusts, it's a breeze to apply every night. My fine lines (though few ... I'm only 23) are practically invisible, my pores appear smaller, and my skin tone is much more clear and youthful. Expensive, but highly recommended!
I decided to try it again with Retin A 1%...the first go around produced frustration at the early breakouts the product causes--but I also found that variety I had ordered had an ingredient in the base I was sensitive to. My esthetician brought me back a tube from her visit to Mexico, and have been using it now for about a month. My skin is looking markedly better. I use it only on my forehead and under my eyes for wrinkles and light acne. Under my eyes hasn't shown much progress, but my forehead looks quite a bit better. The fine creases have softened, and the center crease looks substantially less severe. I have had to exfoliate more vigorously in the areas I use the Retin A, but so far I haven't had too much irritation. My makeup goes on much better in the areas I am using the product. I have noticed my jawline has begun to breakout, and I have no idea if it has to do with this product or not. I do not apply the product there, but this stubborn breakout coincided with my beginning Retin A again. I only mention it wondering if anyone else has experienced the same thing. Will keep using it and update. By the way, this stuff is fairly easy to find on the web if you don't want to pay RX prices of 80-100 dollars. However, it will NOT be a US product...so buyer beware. UPDATE: after about 4 months, I am loving this product. My gosh, one tube lasts FOREVER. Since I'm past the breakout phase, I have noticed it has done wonders for my forehead acne (now totally gone) and the breakouts on my chin (which may have been caused by the product, but now are responding to it well). A bonus, my fine lines around my eyes are much softer.
I have been on retin a micro (0.04%) for almost 3 months now. The first two months of this were complete hell! I had tiny little acne/pimples all over my forehead, sides of my face, and jaw line. On top of this, my skin was flaky and dry. However, my skin has finally calmed down now. I don't know if anyone else has experienced this but, it makes my skin very oily several hours after I apply it. This isn't too much of a problem b/c I only use this stuff at night so, I just wash it off in the morning. My complexion isn't completely perfect now, unfortunately. I have a few red marks from previous blemishes before I was prescribed retin a micro and my skin has a slight pinkish color to it. But, atleast I haven't had any major zits since my skin has calmed down and if i do get any zits, they are tiny and go away in about a day :) It's so much better than differin. That stuff dried me out SO bad and made my face bright red b/c it caused my eczema to flare up. After being on differin for almost a year, my derm switched me to retin a micro. I'm still just trying to be patient with this stuff since it can take up to 1 year to see full benefits. Overall, pretty good results so far...
*EDIT* 7/17/05- I have been off RAM now for about 2 months now. After about a year I noticed that my face was really red and irritated all the time and it didn't fully clear up my skin. Anyway, I decided to stop using it b/c I wasn't that satisfied with the results. Now I am experimenting with non-RX acne treatments (aspirin mask & toner) and my skin is actually looking a bit better. This stuff just wasn't a miracle in a tube for me.
just have to say, try this cream a few different ways before giving up on it, as it does help bad skin.
i recently developed sore lumpy acne at the not so tender age of 27.
after i had spent an absolute fortune on every lotion and potion from the chemists, to no result, my man ordered retinova (tretinion) off the web.
i looked up all the websites, and all the reviews on here to see how to use it, and was met with about 7 different methods. waiting 30 mins after washing my face was a no go, as it kept me from sleeping it was so sore, and obviously my face broke out worse and peeled,it aws so dry. the best method for me, with my normal to dry skin, but with large pores on my nose and chin, aws to wash my face, then pat dry and mix a pea sized amount of the cream with a good moisturiser, and apply all over my face. if needed, later on i would apply more moisturiser to dry patches as i noticed them. i have been using it now for 5 weeks, and have had no new huge breakouts, only little spots that are on the surface, and go away quick. i also use an asprin and natural yoghurt mask once a week, and that really helps brighten my skin. so dont only follow the rules, tweak them to siut your skin, as you know it best.
I've used this off and on since I was probably 14. There have been times in my life where it helped with acne, but not much better than benzoyl peroxide since my acne was only helped with pills. Now that I'm not bothered with acne too much, I get a prescription sometimes o help w/discoloration, lines and all that. I always think this isn't doing anything for the little lines under my eyes, but when I stop using it for a while, they look so much worse that I realize it IS doing SOMETHING which is a lot more than most of the products in the entire world actually do for lines.
this stuff is my hg- i owe my glow to it. it is verrry drying in the winter though. i use it every night religiously. the pros definately outweigh the cons. you must make it throught the depressing "purging" time when you break out more, but it is truly worth it.