I have really terrible seasonal acne. My skin is fine throughout the rest of the year, but ever since last year once the weather gets warmer, my skin immediately freaks out. I also have really bad seasonal allergies so I'm assuming my skin going crazy is a reaction to the weather.
Regardless, when it happened for the first time last year I was terrified. I had already started getting more than a couple pimples at a time and they took longer to heal which was unusual for my skin. As the weather got warmer it progressively got worse and worse. Then I woke up one day to thousands of tiny tiny flesh coloured bumps EVERYWHERE! This was in combination to the already occurring acne. It was atrocious, like I had some type of skin disease! For the first time in my life I didn't want to leave my house because of my skin.I went to the dermatologist soon after.
The dermatologist barley looked at my skin. (the whole appointment lasted less than five minutes!) She said it would seem I had some allergic reaction. Before that however she said my skin wasn't eve bad (O_o?!) and that I didn't have much to worry about. She tried to prescribe my benzoyl peroxide but I had a bad experience with that in the past so I declined. She then moved on to generic treatment number two : Retin A gel. She wrote me a prescription, gave me some samples, and walked me off in a rather routinely, automatic motion.
I started with 0.01%; used that for 6 weeks and it did nothing but break me out. I used it exactly as instructed; only in the night. In the morning I used a cleanser (spectro), moisturizer (cetaphil) , and a sunscreen (first neutrogina spf 70 then la roche posayspf 60) all prescribed by her. The tiny bumps remained as well as the acne. I also started to get white heads everywhere and bigger bumps. I never experienced flaking. I went back to her after and she gave me a stronger dosage.
She gave me 0.05%. Again I used it exactly as instructed. Again I saw no improvement and it made my already oily skin even more oily! I also still never experienced flaking. I used this for about 10 weeks. I took little "skin vlogs" to track my progress-or lack there of-with retin A. Near the end I stopped wearing sunscreen and my face cleared up significantly but was still bad. After doing more research on retin a and the harmful effects I opted to search for something more natural and stopped using it. Again my skin cleared up.
The worst thing about my whole retin A experience was how sensitive it made my skin. Even now a year later my skin is very sensitive and reacts with a lot of different products. My skin was NEVER this way before Retin A. I could use WHATEVER on my skin, treat it anyhow, use any type of cheap makeup, and I never had a problem. Also retin A has left me with multiple dark spots all over my face which still have not healed. (this was another reason a decided to stop using it. I figured why continue to use it even if it might get rid of my acne when I'll be left with all these spots).
I realize this "seems" to work for a lot of people but it DOESN'T work for everyone. Furthermore consider the side effects such as dark spots and sensitive skin before you attempt to try it. Personally I wouldn't recommend retin A because in the long run its not good for your skin. It doesn't treat the acne or stop if from occurring, it simply encourages the regeneration of skin cells so your skin can continue to produce new skin. This will make you dependent on the product and who wants to have to apply a gel this way for the rest of you life. Also, forcing you skin to renew itself and rapidly shed and create new layers of skin damages the skin overtime. The skin wasn't made to turn over this quickly.
I know this was a long review but I wanted to make sure it was very detailed because these types of reviews have helped me the most :)
I decided to try Retin-A after every other skin care product and ingredient failed for me. My dermatologist wrote my a prescription after he saw how my acne was relentlessly coming back after every treatment in the book. After using this for 4 months i have noticed such a dramatic difference in the size of my pores, redness reduction, and amount of pimples.
The ultimate in anti-aging products. I'm 55 now and have been using it for acne since I was 40. I'm grateful that in all those years, insurance has covered the cost.
Although, it doesn't happen overnight (weeks or months, even, and it gets way worse before it gets better), it definitely clears up the acne and keeps it away. I couldn't believe what oozed out of my skin. Knowing it had lurked underneath for years, helped me understand the time it took for all that gunk to surface. It's worth the wait - see picture.
Using Retin A is a balancing act. I can use it on parts of my face (T-zone: nose, forehead, chin) nearly every day of the week. That varies with the temps and moisture in the air. Dry air - use less often. The rest of my face can handle it every 2-3 days. Too often and your skin will hurt (and peel). An alcohol free toner helps dissolve the flakes (alcohol stings). Active ingredients in other products you use on your face can irritate Retin A treated skin. I added a corrector for stubborn spots and schedule it around the Retin A to avoid tenderness.
It's also important to use Retin A on the neck and decolletage - no red, splotchy neck and chest to go with your bright, glowing face.
I can't imagine using Retin A without good moisturizers - day and night. Retin A slows down wrinkling and ruddiness although I still have both - just far less than I would have had without it. Although it's the HG of anti-aging products, it's not magic, after all.
All that newly uncovered, virgin skin needs a high SPF sunscreen. It's essential. If you're not going to commit to sunscreen, every day, don't use Retin A.
I started using Retin A for mild-moderate acne; I'd tried oral doxycycline, topical clindamycin, and most of the cleansers, toners, and treatments available at the drug store. My acne was never terrible, but it was embarrassing to be a grown adult with a teenager's face.
I started using Retin A in January 2013, and now my face is smooth and almost pimple-free. I still get one now and then, but nothing like it was before, and the texture of my skin is much finer.
My experience was that for the first two weeks of using Retin A every other day, my skin would get red and irritated - if it got bad, I would apply extra moisturizer (bag balm, actually) at night and skip a day of Retin A. After three weeks my face started peeling and flaking, almost like facial dandruff. Once again, I moisturized like crazy and would skip a day of Retin A if my face peeled excessively.
At one and a half months I started purging - a LOT of acne, worse than I'd ever had before, and a lot more painful and prominent at that. This lasted for about a month. I was hoping it would be short lived, but it was not to be - if this is you, soldier on! The results are worth it.
What finally helped usher out the terrible acne stage was changing my cleansing regimen. Basically.... I stopped using products. Any products. I wash my face with only water, and apply clindamycin gel at night, and sunscreen in the morning, and that is it. Now that my skin is so much thinner, it's a lot more sensitive to chemical/mechanical irritants. I also stopped exfoliating, which I have done every day for about ten years (facial brush/clarisonic/muslin cloth/silicone scrublet/aspirin mask/oatmeal mask etc). Now that I've given up traumatizing my skin, things are looking a lot better. I also don't need moisturizer now that my skin is used to Retin A, and I'm not stripping it down twice daily.
I should also point out that I'm using the cream version, because that's what was given to me by my doctor. I have had no problems with the cream actually causing more congestion (as opposed to the gel version), although I was tempted to blame the cream formulation when my purging dragged on for eternity.
TL;DR: works great for acne that hasn't responded to anything else. Redness and peeling? Take a break and moisturize. If you're in your purging stage, try simplifying your skin care regimen for sensitive skin. Enjoy transformed skin.
my dermatologist suggested retin a for me because I had been complaining about dull skin and wrinkles. I tried a small amount and it looked like it didnt do anything .. then next night a stupidely applied a lot and my skin became really really red and started to peel off. I freaked out but my dermatologist told me it is normal. So i had peeling for 2 weeks and after that i had the most beautiful skin ever and will use this product forever
This is my first review and I will be updating as I go along.
I have battled with my skin for numerous years and finally have it under control with a combination of the oil cleansing method, clarisonic and apple cider vinegar along with the BC Yasmin. It's taken a good, long time to get to this point but now I'm here I'm still not 100% happy, and that's where Retin A came along.
Now my skin is clear I have noticed not only do I have scarring but I also have extensive skin damage. There are numerous reasons how I got to this point, sunbeds, no sunscreen, taking accutane and not wearing sunscreen and generally not realising the consequence's of the above. So, I researched, researched and researched and Retin A seemed my saviour and I dove in. I all actuality I dove in way too deep to begin with, I ordered 0.1% off eBay and applied a liberal pea sized amount all over and hoped for the best, the next night I did the same and the same after that..... That's when things got bad! I woke up and my face was RED like redder than the sun and pieces of my skin were peeling off and although I'd researched and knew this was a normal reaction I panicked and then things got worse, for the next two weeks my face was raw and peeling and no amount of moisturiser could help. The side of my lips cracked, my actual lips, the crevice on either side of my nose and they wouldn't heal. I went back to just OCM and tried to be as gentle and use only natural products on my face and things got better, it took time but they got better.
But, what can I say other than I must be a glutton for punishment as the Retin A has lured me back and I'm ready to try again. This time I am going to edge my way in and use it only once a week, I have chosen Tuesday as my lathering up day and I took the plunge last night. I used half a pea sized amount all over my skin after OCM & ACV (I left at least an hour between applications) and today my skin feels tight but not uncomfortable so I'm hopeful that this may work for me and that over time it will, I realise it will be over many months and maybe even years but hopefully it will fade my sun damage, I'm only 27 so don't want old lady skin before my time just because my dermatologist was too lazy to really lay down the long term affects of the sun.
I have used Retin A for 22 years,mostly for undoing sun damage. My skin looks the best it has ever had. I recently changed from full strength to half and use it 3 times a week,I'm still reaping the benefits. It take awhile to get used to, but its well worth it for fighting the signs of aging.I buy it at Costco, where it's much cheaper than my Giant grocery store pharmacy.
I have been looking for something to improve my skin for the last few years, As I have gotten older, I've been developing lots of whiteheads the develop into spots on my chin and cheeks. My face was looking bumpy and pores were becoming very visible. I'd spent a small fortune on various cleansers, toners and potions over the last while and nothing was shifting the pores. Since I started using Retin A three weeks ago, I already see a great improvement in my skin with visibly fewer whiteheads and blackheads. I've been using 0.05% Retin A every second night after cleansing and toning. I also used a moisturizer, to help the dryness. I find that my skin looks best, the day after my free night as the peeling has subsided and my skin looks very smooth and fresh under my make up. I only wish I found this stuff years ago. I can't wait to see how much more my skin will improve! By the way, I use moisturizers with SPF Clinique Superdefense with SPF 25 and I recently started using an exfoliator from Lancome to help remove dead skin a few times a week.
I really wanted Retin-A to work for me, but it didn't.
Some reviewers have described that they got red, cystic acne pimples from using Retin-A, which is exactly what happened to me.
I got prescribed a very low dose of Retin-A. Initially I started using it every 3 days at bedtime. Almost immediately I broke out with large, inflamed cystic acne. The pimples were not concentrated to one area; I got them on my chin, cheeks, etc. They were very painful.
I thought that the cystic acne would be temporary while my skin adjusted to the medication. After a few days I increased my use of Retin-A to every 2 days, and eventually applied it daily. I used it for a total of 7 full weeks hoping that the medication would start to take effect, but it never did and I continued to get cystic acne the entire time.
During my time using Retin-A I stopped wearing makeup, and using face masks and serums. I really wanted to see if the medication would work, but it didn't.
I never got any flaking or peeling skin, or any positive results. All I got throughout the entire 7 weeks was red, inflamed cystic acne.
I know that Retin-A has worked wonders for many, many people, and I'm sure it can be a very effective medication for many others, but it did not agree with my skin. Although I do experience frequent acne, I seldom get cystic acne. Needless to say, I realized after 7 weeks that the medication was doing more harm than good, so I discontinued using the Retin-A. After a while, the cystic acne healed and has never returned.
Again, I know Retin-A can be very effective in treating acne, but I guess it's just not for everyone.
I'm 60 and I've been on Retin-a treatment (0.025%) for a bit more than a month. I think debdee gave the best advice. If your skin does not tolerate every-day application, DON'T apply every night. And make sure you start with the lowest grade. You'll spare yourself much grief and trouble. I have a love-hate relationship with this cream. Some days I like it, others I hate it. I'll try to be as objective as I can.
Per my derm's advice, I started using this every two nights for two weeks. Then every other night for another two weeks. Now I'm going to start using it every night. Even this low grade has dried up my oily skin quite a bit. Also, I must be very careful to apply the barest minimal on my chin and around my mouth or it's red/peeling skin central. I don't apply it around my eyes. My under-eye skin just can't take it. I would also suggest using a very mild cleanser. I use DHC's Mild Soap and it works beautifully. Cleans my skin thoroughly but does not over dry it.
Another thing I do is make sure I use a strong moisturizer w/SPF every day. I have a tube of the sadly-discontinued Kinerase Daily Defense Lotion SPF 30. It was ridiculously priced at $135, but I got it as gratis when I worked at Sephora, so I didn't pay for it. It's very emollient, but non-comendogenic. It never broke me out. My alternatives to this are Mario Badescu's Collagen Moisturizer SPF 15 (that may not be high enough, but sunscreen usually break me out, so I'm very wary of them), and Bliss' Fabulous Face Lotion SPF 15. Not exactly dirt cheap, either of them, but since I already had them ...
Fortunately for me, this treatment did not make my skin "purge." That could also be because I clean my skin uber-thoroughly every night, so maybe there was nothing to purge. I had two small but stubborn pimples and this cream cleared those w/o bringing them to a head, for which I am most grateful.
As for the rejuvenating benefits, no, I don't look 12 yet, and I have enough common sense to know I never will, but this has made my skin more even-textured and I haven't had a single break-out since I started using it, in spite of the emollient moisturizers and wearing MU. Foundation goes on and looks so much better on now.
When I finish my prescribed time, I intend to use this like debdee does, as necessary. I hope this helps ladies my age.