If you can afford this, and tolerate it...it's worth it. I have just used up my first 60 gram tube, which lasted just about a year. I am late 50s, with dry but formerly oily skin. I've used good eye creams for 30 years, sunscreen for 20 and AHA products for 15. I wish I had asked my dermatologist to prescribe Renova earlier, but maybe my routine obviated my perceived need until more recently. I wanted it primarily for eye lines and around the mouth. I have used Tazorac for its original purpose, psoriasis (on my elbows), so I think I can tolerate strong stuff.
After just a month of Renova use, with just a few days of minor sensitivity, an acquaintance who is a MUA for Neiman Marcus repping Sisley(!) commented that my skin looked really good and wanted to know what I was using. I am very happy with the results. Renova will not decrease deep lines (wrinkles), but it has plumped and diminished and perhaps prevented some fine ones. I use it around my eyes (and the rest of my face) at night with no ill effects. My dermatologist says I can use it the rest of my life. I just opened tube number 2. While the active chemical is the same as Retin-A's, Renova is emollient, not harsh or drying (at least for me.)
I follow a gentle cleansing routine -- splashing with warm water with Cetaphil liquid in the a.m.; DHC Deep Cleansing Oil in the evening. From time to time, I also use Alpha Hydrox AHA cream for exfoliation (before the Renova) and various night creams which strike my fancy (after the Renova). For daytime moisturizing I have been using Lancome Absolue, but also occasionally use Burt's Bees Carrot Creme. I'm trying Avon's new two part eye gel and cream, having been a little disappointed with Chanel's Ultra Precision. Also I rather like Burt's Bees Royal Jelly eye cream.
But on a desert island, I would give them all up -- except the expensive Renova, the cheap AHA, and of course, any kind of sunscreen.
Edit: Renewed my prescription but got generic Retin-A in an emollient base. Renova's strength has been decreased to .02%, but the Retin A still comes in the .05%. Getting same results; I was without product for several months and could see the difference. Now I am back on the regime and feel much better about my skin.
BE SURE TO USE SUNSCREEN!!!
Renova wrecked my skin, turning it to a peeling, red, irritated mess, for the more than six months I tried to use it. I followed the suggested application guidelines and then some, applying the tiniest amount on dry (not damp) skin an hour after cleansing just two to three times a week. The irritation never decreased, and there were no visible effects other than the negative ones. Moisturizers helped a bit with the dryness but not with the peeling or redness. I couldn't wear makeup because of the peeling. In short, the general effect was anything but pretty. I have mildly sensitive skin; it reacts more often to product ingredients by breaking out than with this sort of response. It's not expensive given how little you need use, so it might be worth a try for you. But I've learned that Retin-A is not for me, sadly.
I use this every evening with no irritation even though I have fair, sensitive, acne-prone skin. My only regret is that I didn't ask my derm to prescribe this ages ago! Great to see reviews here on this excellent treatment. UPDATE 3/28/06: I am no longer using Renova. Been using Tazorac since Dec. 2005 with very good results!
I use Renova in the .02% along with jojoba oil as my moisturizer. I use this at night after washing my face with Neutogena Extra Gentle Wash and my skin looks really good. The fine lines that I have around my eyes have diminished greatly. Will continue to use.
I am 45 years old and have pretty good skin with few fine lines. I have been using Chanel skin care for the most part, and the results have been good. However, I have started to develop fine lines around my lips and between the eyes on the ridges. I went to the Chanel counter to my the new Rectifiance night cream as I tried the samples and it seemed ok, but the cost of the cream was unbelievable. It made me so angry, I marched off in a huff (luckily, the Chanel rep himself was there, and he agreed that the prices were getting out of touch with reality). So, deciding that maybe it was time for a dermatologist, I made an appointment.
He recommended Renova - he said it was the only thing that would help the finer lines (although not this deeper line I have had for a while). It was $26 CDN for a tube (prescription) which I am finding is lasting quite a while. I use one "pearl" sized dollop each evening.
It has been just about a month, and I have to say, I am really pleased. I have rosacea so I am very sensitive, and although I had a little bit of stinging on small areas of the cheeks for about two weeks, I perservered and now there is no stinging. Initially, makeup looked flaky and I couldn't find a moisturizer that didn't sting, but finally settled on Toleraine or Cetaphil for a cleanser cleansing only at night and using Clinique's dramatically differing moisturizing lotion - the new one that is oil-free. I also use LaRoche-Posay SPF 60 sunscreen if I am not wearing makeup that is SPF 15 at a minimum. Now, my skin is comfortable and the fine lines around my mouth are disappearing in particular. Every day now there seems to be improvement.
What I found particularly interesting is that I used to be told that I needed heavy duty moisturizers and peelers but the cosmetic counters - in fact, all I need is a light moisturizer and a cream that actually works!!! Renova works, and it is CHEAP compared to how much I used to pay for creams and lotions. I stopped using Estee Lauder Idealist except as a primer before makeup (it doesn't irritate) and Clinique's moisturizer is not expensive.
I will stick to Renova barring any unforseen complications. I wish I saw my dermatologist earlier - would've saved me money and I am now using something that truly does something.
UPDATE MAY 3 2010, wow how weird. After the first tube, I couldn't get it in Canada anymore. Back to trying a bunch of creams, and my skin just got worse and worse (wah!). Finally, I was in the States and saw a derm there and got a prescription for Renova, and started to reuse it, 0.02%, every other day or less. Sure, the flakies, but after about 3 weeks or a month, my skin is starting to look much better again. Noticeable difference. It is weird to rea my review when I was 45 and had the same concern as now turning 50, those stupid fine lines around my mouth, but again they are going away. I bought two tubes, 40g each at $150 each, but I don't care, I will keep using it now and I will just have to go to the States for my repeats. Interestingly, I found my old tube and it was made by RoC. Now it's another company. It's a shame - RoC is Canadian. Why discontinue? I don't like straight Retin-A and definitely not the one with sunscreen which is what the derm in Canada originally prescribed after Renova here was discontinued. It breaks me out but I am allergic to chemical sunscreens. I use Avene SPF50 every single day period and my skin is looking better and better.
UPDATE: It's been six months since I started to use it again and I have to say my skin is starting to look quite nice. Yes, I am getting older, but somehow, I am looking not so dry, I don't know, a bit glowy? Generally younger looking plumper skin. I guess it does take six months to start to see results! It is worth the effort, ladies. And you can use it on the eyes and to be honest, that is where I am seeing the biggest difference. Viva La Renova!
I have nothing but good comments about renova! It has definitely improved my skin tremendously since I started using it about 8 months ago. I'm 29, and have a bit of sun-damage on the forehead and oily breakout prone skin.
Renova has certainly helped in smoothing out and plumping out lines I have across the forehead. However, I tend to put on more on my forehead than on my cheeks and t-zone, so results there has not been dramatic, although I noticed a decrease in the number of pimples I get. I also use BHA and AHA occasionally, which I think helps a lot as well.
I've been using this for about 18 months now and for me it has been a miracle worker. I'm 37 and have absolutely no fine lines or age spots - instead my skin is smoother and clearer and softer than it was in my mid-20's! Great stuff. For me, a $100 tube lasts an entire year and that is WAY cheaper than a $40-50 cream I use up in a few months. My only issue with Renova is that it did give me fine lines under each eye; I heard this was normal and to ride it out, but instead I just don't put it around my eyes. I use another cream there. I honestly don't know why women bother spending so much money on high-priced department store snake oil - this stuff works, no two ways about it. If you're serious about wrinkle prevention, ignore the flashy Madison Avenue marketed creams and invest in a tube of Renova. You won't regret it.
I have been using Renova on & off for years. I have tried Retin A & found it too harsh for me. Renova is just right. I'm going to stop wasting my money on all the other wrinkle creams I've bought & stick with it. Good stuff.
Still undecided. Initially I started using renova every night and my face developed into a horrible, red, peeling, stinging mess. I ditched it for a couple months and now I've returned to it figuring I should give it another try. Now I'm using it every other night, with a good night cream on top. So far so good...not much peeling, my skin is smooth and hasn't turned red. I'll give more feedback later...
I have been using tretinoin for a year. I started with Retin-A 0.1% cream, but had dryness, peeling and redness. I switched to Renova 0.05% and it is working wonderfully. I'm using Renova for hyperpigmentation, millia, and roughness.
I'm super happy with the results. So, don't be discouraged by side effects, work on adjusting dosage before giving up totally.
Oh, one side effect is that I can no longer use cleansers with SLS in them. They burn like crazy.