Retin A saved my life! first some history: i had great skin as a teen but around my early 20s, i developed persistent adult acne. i tried so much, and by the time i was about 27 i was jack of it. i came across an article about Retin A in an allure magazine, did some research, thought it sounded better than taking roaccutane, and said to my female doctor, i want this! she was cool as iíd obviously sussed everything out myself.
about using it: like other posters say, you have to be patient. about six weeks into i thought, this isnít doing anything.
then BANG! itís one of those treatments that actually gets worse before its gets better, so be warned. my skin got even pimplier, but thatís because Retin A speeds up the skin cell turnover -- everything comes to the surface much quicker. basically i was ashamed to leave the house, but as I was between jobs, it didnít worry me that much.
i had to use very gentle face cleanser (at that time i didnít use cetaphil like i do now).
you have to be careful of the sun, and i found myself very irritated by the wind (i was living in the country at this time) so i would wrap up like a middle eastern lady whenever i went outside, to avoid the wind! things we do!!
at the worst stage, my skin was red and peeling viciously, and i would actually put thick layers of avon moisture therapy hand cream or neutrogena Norwegian formula hand cream on my skin as a soothing barrier! donít laugh! but that action, amazingly, did not clog my skin.
i should say i used the gel at first, but because that had an alcohol base, i switched to the cream and i found it much more soothing at the height of my skin working out all its demons, hee hee
the point here -- you have to work through this, because you will come out with much better skin! and soon this irritation dies down and you will see results: pimples not happening and scars fading.
the next stages: i started using neostrata 10 % smoothing lotion for day because i read a dermatology book that said Retin A at night plus AHA at day work in synchronicity and it was true -- my skin leapt ahead. then i started using a contraceptive pill (Dianne) and BOOM! my skin leapt ahead again!
so what now?: iím 34 in two monthsí time and STILL use retin-a with no side affects or irritation whatsoever. my skincare program is still Retin A at night/ neostrata AHA plus a sunblock at day, and gentle physical exfoliation every second day or so. this to me now is a maintenance product. my skin is soft, smooth, clear. i only get pimples on my forehead if iíve been overdosing on hair styling products (i recently got a funky new short do that needs stuff) and occasionally if i am outside too much, the wind esp makes me a bit peely around the nose, but that is easily fixed. hey, even my beautician tells me i have good skin! but iíve worked for it, and i donít take it for granted, so i keep up with these products because they keep working for me. iím almost afraid to give them up! even my friends canít believe iím turning 34, my skin is so good.
iím evangelical about this, so
please feel free to email me about his if you want to know more.
Retin-A is absolutely wonderful and it does wonders for acne and clogged pores! The only qualm with this product is the patience factor, but it pays off! It controls oil and gets rid of blemishes....for good! Unlike other over-the-counter medications and expensive skincare products. Retin-A takes a very long time to show its effectiveness, but the results are softer, smoother skin. Plus, once you are off it, the skin maintains its suppleness and clarity. Just make sure (esp. for those with oily/blemished skin) to use a gentle, unscented soap(like Dove or Pears)and a good oil free moisturizer with spf. This way, when the skin heals and clears, scars and other marks fade away much faster. Also, wear your sunscreen if you go out in the sun while using retinol, your skin will thank you for it! Be patient and positive, this stuff works, and its cheap.UPDATE**I switched to the gel formulation(0.05%) and it worked faster. My skin is oily so my derm suggested that I use the alcohol based formula since my clogged pores are uber stubborn(due to stress). The cream formulation also worked, I noticed that whenever I stopped using retin-a, my skin did not have the glow it did when i used it. The gel formula is quite drying(the cream was moderately drying for me-I did not experience redness or anything). The gel formula burns abit when I apply it but goes away in couple of seconds and I did experience scaling, very dry patches and redness but it peeled off the the top layer wonderfully. I had purging but it did not look gross, the clogged pores came to a head and flaked off. Retin-a also made my skin more even toned and diminished scars. I love Retin-A!
I've been on Retin-A Micro 0.1% for the past two years now as my nighttime treatment and it's made a huge difference in my skin. I think the key to avoiding irritation -- which took me way too long to figure out -- is to really follow the instructions on waiting 20-30 minutes after washing your face to apply and using just a dab for your entire face. Those who keep struggling with peeling and redness should make sure they're really following those two steps, and you might find your irritation dramatically diminished. My doctor has me on Azelex for the daytime, plus Rosanil cleanser (sulfur-based), which I use about every other day because it is pretty drying. This arsenal has been very effective for me and I'm sticking to it.
I have used tretinoin products for over 2 yrs. Overall, I am very pleased. I have seen a great improvement in facial lines, however, I am still working with my under-eye area. I began with Retin A micro .04% and saw big improvement in wrinkles. Even in the eye area. But, I had to switch to lowe strength (Tretinoin .025 cream) because of the harshness. Of course, when I changed to the lower strength, I lost a few of the results I had gained. Especially in the eye area. But, overall, I retained the improvements in facial lines. I plan to keep using it although it is a pain in the winter time. I cant use harsh cleansers or treatments, or go out in cold weather but, that's ok. I would rather have smooth skin with fewer lines! Retin A really works; it just takes some patience and a bit of knowledge about the chemistry behind this product. Many people give up when they see the initial peeling. But, the benefits come after that peeling occurs. Again, Patience and Knowledge combined with Retin A will work. I will use retin A as long as my derm continues to prescribe it.
I've been using Retin-A Micro for about two years now. My skin still tends to break out, but i would hate to imagine how it would look if i had never discovered this wonderful gel. It really helps clear my skin and causes very little irritation. I'm on the strongest strength and take it along with clindagel, hytone and minocyclin. I normally just take the retin-a though (all four leave me red). If you have bad skin definitly look into this product! Plus...the ten dollar co pay makes it so worth it!!
Ugh. I couldn't do it. I realized the reason why I don't like retin-a isn't because of it's effectiveness, but rather how your skin feels while using it. It made my skin hyper-sensitive, so much so I was afraid to go out in the sun, touch my face, ect. It's almost unatural. It also made my skin very very red, and irritated. If it does end up working, your skin won't be clear for at least 2 and 1/2 months, which was too long for me. I went through depression just looking at my face during the purging time. And I never got to the point where my skin looked great, without any blemishes. Overall, I'm staying away for good.
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.