I think the most important rule to remember when you begin using Retin-A Micro (.1%), is that you WILL have a tough breaking-in period. It will only last about three weeks and when you make it through to the other side, you will be so amazed by the results, that you will never use anything else! To me, it really is a miracle product. I am 38 and have used it for about three years now. When I started I had OK skin with minor breakouts and lots of sun damage and old acne scarring. My skin looked dull and the fine lines were beginning to set in. I started with Renova .5% and the flaking and redness began but it wasn't unbearable. Alittle annoying and embarrassing but I would just tell people I was using Retin-A when they commented and it was no biggy. I use SPF 15 religiously and did notice that when I got too much sun from running or bike riding and not wearing a hat, the flaking would get much worse. Fast forward to three months of using RA Micro .1% b/c the Renova is too greasy for me, and I cannot say enough what a complete turnaround my face has made. My skin is better than EVER. I have radiant, even, poreless (which is what my friends say), youthful looking skin. I don't have to wear any foundation now and I rarely ever get a pimple. It changes the way you get a pimple. They are small, never head up and go away quickly. The lines around my mouth, parentheses, are totally gone. The ones around my eyes are superficial enough to not notice at all. It makes me GLOW, put it that way. All I use is Aveeno Positively Radiant cleansers at night, wait five min., slather on the RA-Micro and that's it! During the day, Neutrogena SPF 15 oil free moisturizer under my makeup and that's it! Once you realize what this product does for your skin you don't need all that other stuff! I think beginning with Renova is a good start b/c its more moisturizing and helps you to adjust slowly. Now I am able to use the RA Micro .1% without incident and I will never use anything else. I simply cannot say enough about this product. For me it has changed everything and my pictures are my best proof! Don't waste any more money on products that are trying to be Tretinion. The price is high, yes. The product lasts for over eight months and when you add that up compared to the crap products you are buying monthly and seeing no results, you are actually saving money with Tretinion. It's not easy in the beginning but nothing worth anything ever is! Stick with it and you will fall in love, believe me!!
This is a good product, but it isn't a miracle product. I've had acne for almost 8 years now. I suffer from moderate acne which includes whiteheads, blackheads, cystic acne, pustules, papules. I had used differin, acne.org (which ruined my face), murad, proactiv (3 different times), herbal treaments, almost every drugstore brand, and different oral perscriptions. Finally, fustrated and fed up with poor results, I found a really good dermatologist and she started me out on RAM and doxycycline.
When I first started RAM, it only increased my fustration. My face flared up and was flakey as all get out. I wanted to cry. But I kept it up for four months, before I FINALLY saw results. And that's the key. I think the majority of people who use this product quit too soon. While it does take forever to begin working, it DOES work.
However, it isn't perfect either. I've used this for a little over 6 months and I still get some acne and it hasn't done anything for my post-acne scarring and marks (although that was stated as one of the benefits). It also hasn't done anything for my skin texture (my skin is still pretty uneven and is super oily). But, it's the only product that has helped me in any way. So I would recommend giving it a try.
I have been using RAM for 4 months, alternating nights with Differin, which I've been using for 10 months. Since I'd been on Differin and only use RAM every other night, my skin didn't react terribly to RAM. I only experienced dryness. Between these two prescriptions my skin is easy to manage, even, and very clear.
I use these products AS DIRECTED by my derm. My skin is more sensitive now, so I pay attention to how it reacts to products. The only time my skin is really dry or breaks out is when I try new products. I don't use any other medicated products unless they've been approved. On my own, I tried a 2% salicylic acid cleanser and it dried my face so badly, it took weeks to repair. Lesson learned.
I have oily, sensitive skin and I can use these products without any adverse reaction. I add Cerave lotion if I need more moisture. Hopefully this helps someone who's getting used to retinoids.
Dove or Olay Sensitive
Clinique DDMG with Banana Boat Ultra Defense Faces SPF 30
If needed, Persa-gel spot treatment
Dove or Olay Sensitive
RAM/Differin, alternating nights
If needed, moisturize with Clinique DDMG
EDIT: I have discontinued use of RAM and only use Differin. I can now use several non-medicated cleansers and SPF 15 lotions for sensitive skin without any adverse reaction. My skin is now less sensitive, doesn't break out, and goes days with out even a tiny spot. My skin is much less finicky off of RAM and doesn't break out every time I try a new product. I didn't realize how sensitive RAM had made my skin.
I used this product years ago when I was struggling with acne and the only thing it did for me was get rid of my blackheads. As far as improving my acne, it didn't work out at all.
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).
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.
9 ~2013. I no longer use this. Last tube costs me almost $400. at CVS, absolutely CRAZY!! Our insurance does not cover it. They kept raising their price, was $125, then $180, then the complete shocker of $385, since there is no generic.. I am back to using generic 0.05% at $40 bucks a tube.. Skin feels great, and it spreads way better than the Micro.. It really is nothing special IME, used it for years, still burnt my skin, till I used it only every 3rd day..
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.