As my username suggests, I am obsessed with using Retin-A. I have been using Retin A Micro on and off since I was 17 (21 now). It is quite an expensive habit to fund but it is worth it (for me) in the long run. I have always had quite moderate acne with sensitive skin and can't really use any form of fake tan or moisturiser without a massive breakout. Retin-A however seems to keep everything under control. I personally feel that cheaper products like Benzoyl peroxide can keep acne under control just as well as Retin-A. I would only reccommend Retin-A if you are willing to undergo a lifetime commitment to using it. I stopped using it for 6 months and it almost completely reversed the skin improvements- I once again had acne and an uneven complexion. I am now using it again and have been for the last 5 weeks, I am still 'purging' but my skin is starting to feel smoother once more. A side effect that I hadn't anticipated is the anti-aging properties! I naturally look quite young for my age but using this product lead to getting ID'd a lot more! Someone said I looked 17 the other day, which is quite a big deal when you're 21. You also hear that women in their 40s look like they are in their 30s because of using this cream. However I am not sure whether this is strictly due to the cream alone (hint hint restylane, botox). It is an excellent exfoliator but comes with sacrifices if you want to use it for life. It thins the epidermis but thickens the dermis.This means a lifelong commitment to using heavy sunscreens, avoiding perfume around the face, not being able to wax your facial hair, having to use oil-free,perfume-free moisturisers, not going sunbathing, not being able to wear fake tan (it will peel off and make your face red) and limiting your makeup choices to also oil free and perfume free ranges. If you wear contact lenses, it may also lower your tolerance and might make your eyes too dry to use them.
This cream needs to be used properly by people who know what they are doing. If acne care is your only concern, there are excellent alternatives from your doctor (such as topical benzoyl peroxide and oral minocycline) that will clear up your skin well. With Retin-A you will be amazed by the clarity and smoothness of your skin after 3-4 months of use ( usually not the 7 weeks it states) however it will rapidly reverse once you stop using it. Avoid if you don't want to be on a cycle of dependence to this cream.
I'm 34 and have cared about my skin since I was in my 20's. I'm a faithful Clinique user but was noticing the wrinkles were starting when I hit 30. I then went on a binging spree, trying every product from the expensive Perricone, Estee Lauder, Lancombe, Arbonne, Mario Badescu, even Dior and my skin progessively got worse from reactions to all the fragrances in these expensive brands. So.....I started my journey back 32 when I went back to Clinique. It got my skin under control but still had wrinkles. I watched Dr. Oz who said Retin-A is soooooooo important. So last year I went and got a prescription, and I feel really bad about this from reading the other posts but for a 20g tube, with my health coverage I pay 3 dollars at costco.
I started really slow every 3 days, began to peel so went to once a week. Then slowly got back up to once every 3 days. Within a month (be patient) my skin looked amazing. I kept getting compliments. But in June because my kids and I are water babies, I decided to stop since I was in the sun more and I'm allergic to SPF. After a month and a half off of it my skin was looking not the same. I started back two weeks ago and my skin is back to being fantastic. I was in line at Walmart and 3 ladies stopped me to tell me how gorgeous my skin is. All I had on was a think layer of Mac Studio FX and some of that hawaiian blush powder from mac.
This is what I do:
Clinique Face Wash
Exfoliate - MUST DO THIS EVERYDAY - don't worry.....it will be OK
Cinique #2 Toner
Serum (which ever I have sample of..genefique now)
Clinique yellow moisturizer
Clinique Face Wash
Clinique #2 Toner
Clinique yellow moisturizer
Retin A night (once every three nights)
Clinique Face Wash
Clinique #2 Toner
WAIT 20 MINUTES - MUST DO....(I usually watch a dvd tv sitcom...I can laugh while I'm waiting)
Retina A - Put on a pea size of Retin-A and spread everywhere
Clinique yellow moisturizer - I slab it on!
and VOILA perfect skin. I tell everyone about this product....it's amazing. But remember patience patience patience...and be thankful if you live in Canada and have medical coverage because this is the best product to use and cheapest....UNBELIEVALBE!!!!!!
This killed my skin, it made it super super sensitive and finicky. Clinique could do nothing to help and if you use retin you CAN NOT use any skin products with alcohol, it will hurt your skin. Clarins has helped restore my skim
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..