Oh my gosh, I get emotional just thinking about how this has changed my life. Since I was 18, I have been suffering with white heads and pimples...id have 25+ small pimples at a time. At age 22, I look back and think how I managed to have boyfriends, survive schoo,l and college looking like a cheese grater. I vowed to myself that I would never discontinue use, because the benefits were so great.
When using this, be prepared to go throught some hell. Really. Some full blown POS, I wish I could kill something, hell. First, your skin starts to peel...and I mean PEEL (peeling is an indication that the medication is working...so dont give up!) I couldnt sit underneath my ceiling fan on because the wind hurt my skin too much. I couldnt smile or laugh becuase the stretching would crack my skin. My skin turned a bright red/pink color (because of extra blood flow). Funny thing is, my skin never really purged...I wonder why.
I used walgreens alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) cream to help moisturize, and applied less than a pea size amount of the actual product (the more you use wont accelerate results). After a little over a month of hell, my skin started to look better and better, and today after 4 months of use, i get compliments on my skin almost daily. my skinfeels like a baby's bottom. I wouldnt believe it hadn't i used it myself. USE THIS!! I'd rather go through a couple of weeks of hell, than have bad skin the rest of my life.
I got mine at alldaychemist.com (for less than 3 bucks per 20 gram tube) and start with the lowest dose, and work your way up...dont start out with a high percentage, itll hurt.
Good luck, and DONT GIVE UP. Its discouraging in the beginning, but the pros outway the cons.
I got samples of this at work, I was using Atralin, but it was not working fast enough for my taste. I started using this last night, so it's a little early for a review, but so far so good. ( ; It didn't burn upon application, and I didn't wake up with any redness or peeling, although my face burns the slightest bit today. Will update when I've been on this for a decent amount of time
This stuff saved me from all of my skin-woes. I did get the typical redness/ peeling around the nose and mouth initially, followed by whiteheads. However, I realize this was all a result of the powerful exfoliating properties of a Retinol cream. I don't need it all the time, in fact, I only use it maybe a couple times a month to keep my skin exfoliated and keep blackheads to a minimum. My insurance covered most of the cost so I only had to pay about $13-14 for it, which in my opinion was worth every penny considering the strength of the formula and the rate at which it transformed my skin. For anyone with congested, sensitive, combination skin, I recommend this. To counter-act the drying effect I purchased Reviva Lab's Hyaluronic Acid Serum from Whole Foods & layered a bit of Aveeno Moisturizer on top (a combination I now use routinely). continued >>
I been using Retin-A Micro for about 7 years. I've used prescription Retin-A for a total of about 15 years straight now, I've never taken a break from it. It's become part of my life, and I plan on using it for life. I don't have major acne but small on-going monthly tiny breakouts. I use it to keep my skin clearer and it speeds up the lightening of acne marks, also for anti aging..
I only use it 2 or 3 days a week now, because I use DIY Vitamin C serum more often, since I love the results of this. By using both of these beauty treatments I really like my skin. It looks smooth, soft and healthy... A tube lasts a year for me.
Many thanks to izzypal for reminding me to do a follow up!
I left a review several months ago, and thought that the redness/peeling/flaking had resolved, but not quite. I have very fair skin, but neither the dr, the pharmacist, nor the instructions said anything other than to wash with a mild soap, then apply RAM every night.
After a 3-4 nights, my face was red and swollen, itchy, and flaking. So I tried different patterns - every other night; every 3rd night - with the same results. It would get better for a while but then the reaction would happen again. When I walked into the dr's office a few weeks later, he said I had actually given myself a chemical peel, and that I should discontinue until skin was back to normal. Then, every other night, I was to wash my face, then follow with a good moisturizer (I use Revaleskin's Night Cream). Next, I mixed the moisturizer with one pump of the medication, and apply. Well, that seems to be the formula for me.....except for the use of a prescription cortisone cream as needed for any itching and redness in the morning. It took quite a while, but now, my skin looks nice, I've had no breakouts. Wrinkles seem less pronounced and pores seem less noticeable, and I'm happy with the results at last.
This product has saved my 14-year-old daughter's skin. She was trying tea tree oil soap and oil, and other OTC products with no success. She was getting depressed about having such bad skin. She is such a pretty girl and it was a shame her face was breaking out so bad. A relative in the family who is a dermatologist saw her and gave her a couple boxes of samples of this. Within two weeks her skin improved 100%. She has been using a month now and almost all the red spots have disappeared and she has virtually no breakouts. She uses this at night after cleansing with Cuticura soap. In the a.m. she cleanses again and uses moisturizer. She is careful to use a sunscreen skin for the face when she is going to be outside for any period of time. We have a script for a generic brand of this--I hope it works as well. If not, we will pay anything for this wonderful product.
I am 39 and tired of acne! While I never had more than 1 or 2 pimples at a time, they were always on my chin, deep, painful, and took awhile to clear. I usually had less than one week of clear skin before another would appear. In the past I had tried Differin, which didnít help much (but maybe I wasnít compliant enough to see the results?). Antibiotic lotions didnít help a bit. Neither did rigorous use of salicylic acid wash pads, and benzoyl peroxide cream was super irritating.
The first 2-4 wks of retin A were red, scaly, painful, and embarrassing. I was constantly checking the mirror at work, dabbing on lotion and cover-up powder. Putting on moisturizer burned. Finally it got a little better and I decided to try exfoliating with a scrub (generic for St Ives apricot scrub) as a desperate move to get rid of flakes. Whoa. That left me smooth and polished (still pink), way better.
I use the 0.04%, and a 20 gram tube lasts me 4 months. I use it all over my face. I rarely have a pimple, and if I do, it is small and superficial, and only lasts 1-2 days (versus 4-7 days). If I get out of the habit, I do start to get acne again. I have seen a reduction in crows feet around the eyes, and less forehead creases. I usually apply it 5-6 days each week before bedtime, and every morning I use Lubriderm daily moisturizer (SPF15 or 30). The only con Iíve found is when I go in a chlorinated pool, my face gets REALLY dry right after. I think I will try to bump up to the 0.1% next tube.
Quick facts: Early 20's, fair sensitive skin, lifelong sufferer of blackheads and oilyness
I've been on RAM for about 3 years now. My pores are still very clogged but I no longer get as many raised blackheads or pimples. Basically, up close my pores are still dark and large, but from a normal distance my skin is quite smooth and clear. It hasn't done anything to control my oil. However, as long as my insurance covers it I'll probably continue to use it because my skin looks better when I use it. Also, it helps prevents wrinkles! haha Oh and shockingly, I never had any major irritation on my sensitive skin. In the dead of winter, my skin got slightly dry and red but I cut down to using every other night and it was fine.
Bottom Line: For me, RAM is not incredible, not bad, just decent. It's definitely worth trying if your insurance covers it.
My Derm Prescribe this for me after continuous failures on my own to control my hormonal acne. I've tried Retin-A in the Past but not the Micro version until now. I've been taking it slowly. My skin often reacts terribly to new products but so far so good. I'm now on week 3 and beginning to see much improvement. I've had some minor flaking and a little irritation around my eyes. You must follow directions when using this product. Use too much and you are just looking for trouble. Pea size amount doesn't seem like enough but it really is.
I should also have to add that my Forehead lines are already fading. Added benefit to this product is wrinkle control!!
I wash my face, Wait 1 hour or Apply a light moisturizer first and then apply the retin A and my eye cream at night. I started every third night and now on ever other night. My skin is definitely smoother and my dark marks from past breakouts are fading very well. I'm looking forward to seeing long term results. No Initial breakout, but I am on Minocycline and using Duac as a spot treatment. Very pleased so far. I think Buffering this with a Lightweight moisturizer is really the key to not having irritation or redness. I'm just a bit drier than normal. Way better and less harsh than Tazorac!!
Edit: My insurance will no longer pay for Retin A micro-Bleh!!! I used all my samples up so MY doc put me back on Tazorac gel .5%. I will say, Tazorac makes me peel really bad and a little red at first, but it does work in smoothing out my skin and does seem to fade any dark spots much faster than Retin-A micro. I am thnking about about having my prescription filled in Canada. It's $60 from Canada as opposed to $289. these pharmaceutical companies are ripping people off IMHO!
Retin-A Micro has done far more for my skin than any other anti-acne product I've tried. I've had acne since my teens (both on the face and body, more mild cases but not severe) and have always just lived with it. Products with salicylic acid worked OK, and still do to some degree. Benzoyl peroxide did nothing but dry out my skin. When I turned 25, I decided to take better care of myself and looked for a solution to combat my comparatively mild but persistent acne. I decided after much research to try a prescription retinoid. The first dermatologist I visited in March 2010 told me my acne "wasn't that bad" and should use a BPO cream. (The same dermatologist then told me to buy a Clarisonic to help with acne. Sorry, but a glorified vibrating brush would not help with the inflammatory skin conditions of acne and seborrheic dermatitis you just diagnosed me with, you twit.) Went to a different derm a few months later (July 2010) who put me on Retin-A Micro 0.04% without hesitation. At first, I didn't experience any of the redness or flaking that prescription retinoids are known for, but saw some improvement. I used the product every third night to start, then every other night, then two nights on and one night off (I usually go three days between shaving my face, don't use RAM the night before I want to shave). For whatever reason, I stopped using RAM in September or October, can't remember which month. Towards the end of 2010, I reintroduced RAM into my nighttime skin care routine on the two nights on, one night off schedule. Only then did I start getting the wonderful dryness and flakiness so many have the pleasure of experiencing on the path to great skin. In all honesty, the flaking wasn't that bad and I only had mild irritation and redness only after starting to use RAM again. I started using Paula's Choice Skin Balancing Moisture Gel with RAM to combat the dryness. It's now May 2011 and my skin is so clear, I can't remember the last time it was this clear. I still have a ways to go but am much happier and more confident now. I plan to upgrade to RAM 0.1% since I was so impressed with the results. Prescription retinoids (RAM, regular Retin-A, Differin, Tazorac, etc.) are not for everyone but with proper use, they yield excellent results. Side note/Disclaimer: Prescription retinoids should be used with extreme caution (or just avoided altogether) by those with inflammatory skin conditions like rosacea, seborrheic dermatitis, psoriasis, etc. that can accompany acne. I have SD but found my skin was better after using RAM, even the SD affected areas.