My acne story: I have struggled with acne since middle school and it had only became worse with high school. I tried everything. Facial cleansers, proactive, laser treatments, acid peels, ect. Things would clear up my skin, but my acne would come back with a vengence. Nothing seemed to clear it and keep it away. Wearing heavy makeup was the only option I had to cover it up, and hated it. I went to the doctors seeking help. She put me on RAM. I was very excited at the fact my prayers may have came true. I apply every night after a gently cleansing. I read the side effects but did not expect them to be so strong. My acne flared up awfully, and my skin began peeling in patches. Makeup just showed off the dry patches, and I refused to go out in public. Also my lips had extreme peeling and pain, almost like a coldsore. I decided I was gonna stick to it, in hopes it would get better. I am two weeks in and things seemed to slowly be getting better. My acne is settling down, and that in itself gets me excited. Thank you RAM for helping my acne. I can't wait to see its full results and not have to wear heavy makeup anymore,
My doctor prescribed me Retin A in February 2012. I changed my birth control in January 2012, which triggered my acne. Unfortunately, I exacerabted the problem by switching forms of birth control another two times in the next three months, even switching mid-cycle at one point. I realize how incredibly stupid this was now and have been on Ortho TriCyclen for three months straight now. Sadly, my acne has remained. I tried to spot treat my acne with benzoyl peroxide and AHA/BHA peels. While both treatments helped acne that had already surfaced on my face, it wasn't preventing new pimples from forming. I was scared to use Retin A because of the initial breakout I had read about, but after 5 months of dealing with horrible skin, I knew I needed to treat the problem systematically. I've been using Retin A Micro for 4 weeks now. I started with the generic tretinoin cream and switched to RAM because I noticed the ingredients in the cream are very comedogenic. I also increased my percentage from 0.05% to 1% because my skin seemed to tolerate the .05% fairly well. During the first 2 weeks, I experienced a fairly severe initial breakout. Whereas my hormonal acne had been located primarily on my chin, jawline, and around my mouth, I now had acne spreading up the sides of my lower cheeks. I had around 6-8 large, deep pimples and tons of tiny comedones sprinkled across my face. My nose and forehead were the only areas that remained clear. This was incredibly difficult to deal with as my job puts me in classrooms with other adults my age - most of whom have long outgrown acne. Several mornings, I cried all the way to work, and I've avoided a lot of social activities.
I am at the end of week 4 now, and while I still have a lot of tiny pimples across my lower cheeks, the large, deep pimples have decreased from 6-8 to about 3-4. I'm also noticing that the smaller pimples have a much shorter life cycle. I'm sticking it out and hoping that my results in the next 2 months will make the purging process all worth it. My doctor also prescribed my clindamycin-benzoyl peroxide gel for the mornings.
A couple of things to note: when I started using RAM, I was washing my face with a benzoyl peroxide facewash and didn't realize that BP makes Retin A less effective. I was also using sulphur masks, spot treatment gels, and glycolic peels. When you're using a product as intensive as RAM, you CANNOT use it with other harsh products. I now use Cetaphil cleansers and moisturizers. When my face is extra dry, I apply a small amount of jojoba oil to it in the evenings. As tempting as it is to slather on spot treatments, this doesn't stop your acne at the source. They only treat the symptoms, not the actual problem. I also know that now that I've started using Retin A, I will have to use it for life. This is fine for me considering I'm getting older and want to protect against wrinkles, and I only pay $15 for it with my insurance. Here is my skin care routine at the moment:
AM - Cetaphil Gentle Cleansing Antibacterial Bar - Clindamycin-Benzoyl Peroxide Gel - Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion
PM - Cetaphil Daily Cleanser - Wait 20 minutes - Pea sized amount of RAM - Wait 1 hour - Kheil's Avocado Eye Cream - Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion before bed
Final note: I started with the generic tretinoin cream every other night and gradually increased to every night. With RAM, I usually apply for two nights, and then I might take a night off if I notice that my skin is burning when I moisturize or put on makeup.
I'll update again in a few weeks on my progress.
I used to have a long love/hate relationship with RAM .04%, now it is just total love. It cleared my acne, tightened my pores, made me less oily and faded old acne scars. I used to wear very heavy foundation (EL double wear) because my skin was so oily and had lots of discoloration. Now thanks to the RAM I rarely wear foundation except for special occasions. I started out with it every few nights and then gradually increased it. If I felt my skin was too tender for it I would just skip that night. I now use it every other night right after washing. I do not apply it over moisturizer or put moisturizer on it afterwards. Just wash and straight RAM. PLEASE only apply a pea sized amount. I used to think there was no way that amount would cover my face and apply more, but all I did was make my skin angry when I applied more. Cutting my dosage amount to a pea sized made a big difference. I just dispense the amount on the back of my hand and then dot it all over my face and rub it in.
But before I fell in love with RAM I did go through the stage of cursing it. It made me purge, peel and flake like there was no tomorrow. I would carry around moisturizer and apply it all day as soon as flakes would start gathering. For a teenager in high school it was pretty embarrassing. My advice though is to hang in there and stick with it. It is so worth it in the end!
IMO, when you are using RAM you have to be very gentle with all your other skincare products. I stuck with CeraVe hydrating cleanser and CeraVe moisturizing lotion (both recs from my derm). I liked both but I was not completely satisfied. My face still felt a little tight after washing. So one day I was cruising the SCB and saw the mineral oil craze started by lovely jetfan lol I figured I would give it a shot since I love cold cream and that did not break me out. Well cleansing with mineral oil was amazing (see my review for more details on that) but it totally eliminated all the flakes RAM left me with and did not dry out my skin. Since switching to MO cleansing my face is soft and smooth. Oh, I also switched my moisturizer from the CeraVe to Solvere.
Thumbs up for Retin A Mico!! :D
Retin-A Micro has been a skin-saver for me. I began using it after a year on Ziana, and the RAM has been far superior for both acne and photo-aging. You have to use a very small amount, no more than one pump or a fingertips-full of the product, and tap it into your skin, and use it consistently. Sunscreen is paramount, I use an SPF 50, titanium- dioxide based (the least irritating sunscreen that exists) every day, regardless of the weather. My friends and my mother have both said that RAM has taken years off my face.
My routine is:
Cetaphil Gentle Facial Cleanser
La Roche Posay Antihelios 50 Mineral
Sisley Baume Effice Gel for Eyes
Cetaphil Gentle Facial Cleanser
Retin-A Micro (pump) 0.04%
Revive Sensitif Moisturizer (this has a SPF 15 but I love it as a night cream, too)
Vaseline PJ on my lips
More Baume Effice Eye Gel as an eye cream
QUESTION: Has this caused hair loss for anyone here? I found a lot of bad stories about that online...apparently this stuff gets absorbed into your system and the Vit. A can cause issues.
Anyway, for skin it's great. I use it for anti-aging only. Because it is in a gel base that is very astringent (alcohol I think) I mix it 50/50 with Cerave moisturizing cream and it works very well. Using just once a week, it has smoothed the appearance of my pores and seems to firm, plump and tighten the skin (slightly). Lines decrease somewhat, but crow's feet actually get a lil' worse so don't use around the eyes. Overall though, I prefer the regular Retin-A cream to this. This one is definitely more for the acne crowd.
I use the .025%
Disaster. I'm on week two and its so disheartening. My skin has never looked so rancid, I feel like a scary monster *sigh. However, the reviews are quite upbeat, so I intend to stick with it. Am hoping my LED light will heal the current purging my skin has succumbed to. Any advice? Yipes.
I started using RAM about 2 months ago in conjunction with Clindamycin. At first, I was so depressed and embarrassed by my skin. I was breaking out and my skin was very irritated. There were so many times when I wanted to stop using the product but I read up on many reviews and they all seemed to state that it will get better- it does. My skin is much more smoother and I don't break out on my chin as often I as did before using the product. I still get pimples but the frequency, quantity and duration have improved significantly. I have tried so many different products throughout the years and have been completely disappointed. I never had the patience and I discovered that with this product, you need to be patient. As for my skin regimen, I wash my face in the morning with a foaming salicylic acid wash followed by Clindamycin; at night I use a glycolic wash by Glyctone, wait 30 mins then apply a pea-sized amount of the RAM. Like I said before, don't give up! Be patient! It will get better! Hope this helps someone who is feeling frustrated.
Well, I've come to the end of my journey with this product, and I hope my review will be helpful to somebody. I used Retin A in high school (10 years ago) with good success. Fast forward to now, I have been struggling with hormonal acne mainly on my chin, above my mouth and between my eyebrows. I asked my doctor for Retin A based on my prior experience and all of the glowing reviews. Alas, it has been 13 weeks and I can no longer bear the stress, anxiety and shame I felt from the condition of my skin. It seems the purging stage never ended for me. I kept a week by week photo journal of my "progress", but stopped at week 8 because I was becoming so disheartened. I endured cyst after cyst, big pustules and papules like I've never seen before, and as a result, considerable scarring. My face was an angry, deep red for the duration of my usage. My skin felt oily and slick with the product on. Peeling wasn't horrific for me, as I have the oiliness skin on the planet. For reference, I was using Retin A cream, 0.25 strength. I paid about $18 with my Kaiser insurance. One tube last the entire mongrels and I used it every night. Less than a week ago I made the decision to stop waiting for a miracle and begin using benzoyl peroxide again. Already there has been a significant improvement unlike i had ever seen while using Retin a. My advice: seek other acne treatments for hormonal acne; use an antibiotic in conjunction with retin a if possible because the inevitable purging is extreme and painful if you have congested skin.
Today marks week 7 and I' pretty content with my face. It's not the best I still have little break outs but not as many at once I only have 2 at the moment and are mostly gone. I have A LOT of scarring due to my purging on my right cheek but I cover it with my makeup so it doesn't bother me for now. I just want to get my face cleared up and I'll treat the scars after. I have seen some peeling going on around my breakout areas but that was just one day. Honestly I'm glad that my face was able to tolerate the medication and didn't become a mess. I broke out worse than ever before but not bad bad, but for me it was since I was used to having clear skin. Experienced irritation a couple times while washing my face, experienced dryness only once and peeling once. I have an appointment on the 28th just to have a check up so my dermatologist can see how my face is doing. Let's see what he says.. I'm hoping he'll prescribe me something to start treating the scarring.
Skin Care Regimen:
-CeraVe's Hydrating Cleanser
-Burt's Bee's Citrus Facial Scrub
(Use it either morning or night, whenever I feel like my face needs it)
-Aveeno Ultra Calming Daily Moisturizer SPF 15
-Purpose Gentle Cleansing Wash
-CeraVe's Hydrating Cleanser
-Wait 30 minutes and apply pea size if RAM
-IF NEEDED, I'll wait an hour an apply CeraVe's PM Moisturizer only to dry areas.
Everything I'm using is Dermatologist Recommended except the Burt's Bee's but it is natural with no harsh chemicals so that should be good. So far so good with my experience with these products while on RAM, first time using them all.
I have only used this product for a week, so my review is not full yet. My experience so far has been kinda weird. I have normal skin, but I got a really bad breakout on my cheeks, which just wouldn't go away. This product has dried out all the actives I had, produced a minor breakout on my forehead and has made my skin pretty oily. I am still waiting for the big irritation, redness, dry, itchy, massive breakout, etc. to occur. The Dr. prescribed .01% RAM in conjunction with clyndamicin (sp?). Also, I feel like the RAM doesn't spread evenly throughout my face, like there isn't enough. I still only apply a pea size anyway.
Anyone else experienced these issues? Is this normal? I will be writing an update once I really get a good run of this product.
AM: cerave face wash, apply dime-size clyndamicin, wait for it to dry, lightly apply aveeno blemish control & neutrogena 70 spf
PM: biore face wipes (to wipe away makeup), cerave face wash, wait 20 minutes, RMA