Retin A Micro


216 reviews

77% would repurchase

Package Quality: 3.9

Price: $$$

Package Quality: 3.9

Price: $$$


Retin-A Micro (tretinoin gel) microsphere, 0.1% and 0.04% w/w purified water, carbomer 974P (0.04% formulation), carbomer 934P (0.1% formulation), glycerin, disodium EDTA, propylene glycol, sorbic acid, PPG-20 methyl glucose ether distearate, cyclomethicone and dimethicone copolyol, benzyl alcohol, trolamine, and butylated hydroxytoluene.

on 1/1/2012 2:52:00 PM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Acne-prone, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Blond, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

So here is an update from my last review back on Jan. 1st.
I have now been using Retina A Micro for 4 months now.
The redness is diminished completely, and so has the discomfort/burning sensation my face had. I still use it every night, on occasion taking a night break.
My skin is not nearly as dry as it was, not peeling like a sunburn. However, it still is dry. I exfoliate twice a week and use a really good moisturizer to help.
My cystic acne has been gone for about 1.5 months and has yet to return! I still get the odd pimple now and then (mostly around certain times) but nothing major. My blackheads are getting a lot smaller, and in some areas are gone. My skin has never felt soo smooth, and looked so flawless. I still have some red pigmentation areas, that I am hoping will fade with time. Overall I am very much happy with this product and strongly recommend it. I can only hope two months from now the dry skin will be much less, and my skin that much more youthful and flawless.

5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

on 12/28/2011 4:09:00 PM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Combination, Tan, Warm

Hair: Blond, Wavy, Coarse

Eyes: Other

***UPDATE 3***

I haven't used this since I last updated from attempting to use this again. As stated below, that was a horrible mistake. Even more horrible are the lasting effects of thinning out my skin. Although I've always struggled with acne, it was never THAT bad, although at the time I thought it was. They were minor breakouts (before Retin-A) that I could quickly get under control. I want to remind you that prior to Retin-A I had got my skin clear, and only had a tiny TOTM bump when I went to see the derm about indented scarring, NOT acne, I had otherwise perfect (for me) skin. Since attempting Retin-A and discontinuing it, ANYTIME I have a skin irritation, acne, dry patches, etc, it always always always leaves not just a dark but a BLACK scar on my face. This never ever happened to me before using Retin-A, neither did the excessive bleeding or scabbing that now occurs with skin irritations. I felt the need to update this as I was looking up new skin care products and realized this product is the reason for my new concerns. Prior to this my acne always healed eventually. While this can no longer be considered a cause of my acne (hormonal, I believe), it is certainly the culprit for thinning and altering my skin so that it is now highly sensitive and extremely scar prone. A word of warning - I know it says it takes time to work, but if you experience extremely bad effects, please discontinue use immediately. My scarring makes me want to cry just thinking about it. If anyone can offer me any suggestions for the above issues, please send me a msg. Thanks

***UPDATE 2***
I gave this another try, thinking that it was washing with a Dove bar while using this that caused the terrible acne - not the case. For some reason this gives me horrible, under the skin, cystic acne, as well as whiteheads. This combined with peeling, bloody, scabby skin. Additionally, it leaves scars like no other, I am going to find the appropriate way to dispose of this so I don't try using it again. I don't know how this product can ruin my skin, it has left such terrible dark scars from the acne it caused. My doctor says this is a great product, but it doesn't work for everyone, clearly not in my case because of all the hyperpigmentation. After one use my skin is sooo smooth, but repeated uses leaves this nightmare skin. I hope I can clear it up soon, its so embarrassing. I have so many dark scars and have to use full coverage products now -- and layer them! It's so time consuming and unfair. Not a nice sight :'(

I have since discontinued using this product. I experienced breakouts of all types (cystic, whiteheads), which were not a problem prior. Additionally, it left horrible black scarring, I wanted to cry everytime I looked in the mirror without makeup. I had black scars, active acne + bloody scabs, I was actually putting polysporin on my face.

I have gone back to my original routine to get my skin clear, and added the Clinique Dark Spot Corrector. I went out to the store without makeup yesterday - something that was unthinkable a month or two ago. My life was miserable with the dark scarring, and whatever skin smoothing benefits I experienced with Retin-A were not worth it. I must admit, after the acne clears up, I may experiment with Retin-A again. However I am certain the dark scarring was a result of this product as my skin is now clearing up after discontinuing it. Use with caution


Started using this (0.04%) at the beginning of December - here is my experience so far:

I started out using this daily on my entire face (avoiding eye area), 30 mins after washing my face at night.
This was fine for the first few nights except I started to experience the following: itchy/burning/flaky eyelid (I must have touched my face with the Retin-A, and then my eyelid, thereby transferring the product to my eyelid); and EXTREME flakies all over my face, esp at the jawline/chin area; my entire face started to burn, became so sensitive and anything applied to it stinged (moisturizer even)

How I resolved these issues:

[+] started using once every 3 nights (sometimes longer in between)
[+] protecting sensitive areas like eye area and nostrils with Johnson's baby oil gel
[+] applying a light moisturizer after right after cleansing sometimes (30 mins before Retin-A)
[+] Using Olay Pro-X face brush to exfoliate (REALLY helped with flakies)
[+] washing my face AS SOON AS I WAKE UP
[+] moisturizing with oil during the day sometimes, if I'm at home, this helped calm my face down and also helps remove some of the flakes

Like the previous reviewer, I am noticing a bit of extra oil production, but only around my nose. I experienced a few breakouts, but I don't know if it's due to this product since I have been using it somewhat infrequently. So far, I am yet to experience any actual results, but it hasn't been that long, and I will definitely update later on. I added my review now to help anyone new to the product with some of my experiences starting out, so they can avoid some of my mistakes.

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

on 12/27/2011 2:24:00 PM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Oily, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Blond, Other, Other

Eyes: Hazel

I've only been on Retin A Micro for 3 weeks, but so far so good. I use the .04 gel every other night and have not experienced any drying, redness, or peeling whatsoever. I have noticed a significant increase in the oiliness of my skin, which is already naturally oily, but also an increase in smoothness with my tone slowly evening out. I expect things to even out even more and my skin to continue to improve down the line, but am extremely happy that I have not had any "purging" thus far and absolutely no break outs.

on 11/8/2011 10:05:00 AM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

EXCELLENT PRODUCT!!! I have been using Reting a Micro for 5 weeks now for mild to moderate acne that I believe was caused by stress (3 kids a full time job and a divorce!!). I started the first 4 weeks with .04% and within the first 2 weeks my face started breaking out HORRIBLY!! Little whiteheads EVERYWHERE!! My face was a complete wreck. I actually cried myself to sleep on a couple of occasions and took a day off work. I was so embarrassed to go anywhere and be seen in this skin. I stopped using it for a couple days around the 3rd week because it was so terrible. After reading many reviews I decided I had to stick with it because everyone including the Dr. said it would get worse before it got better. I then started using the .1% (Dr. gave me many samples of both). Once I started using the .1% around the 5th week, there was HUGE CHANGE. Yes my skin did peel and got somewhat red and blotchy but I was very careful to moisurize and not use anything harsh or abrasive which kept me from getting raw or chapped skin. Now in my 6th week of treatment my skin is so soft, smooth, even toned and no breakouts. If I get a pimple it is little and gone in a day!! I can only imagine how my skin will look in another couple weeks. I don't really have to wear any makeup on my skin if I don't want to. It is nearly flawless!! I do have very sensitive skin by nature so I was amazed that my skin eventually tolerated this medication the way it has. If you are looking for a treatment for acne (and wrinkles as well) this is the cream for you. No antibiotics needed but you MUST HAVE PATIENCE!! When they they it could take 7 weeks to see positive results this is so true. Stay with it and you will be amazed at the results. I think I will use this forever!!

10 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

Age: 25-29

Skin: Acne-prone, Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Brown, Other, Other

Eyes: Blue

A miracle worker. When nothing else worked, Retin A did it! My skin is clear and youthful looking. I realize that it is a commitment, bit I am now a committed user!

on 8/31/2011 12:44:00 PM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Acne-prone, Fair-Medium, Cool

Hair: Brown, Other, Other

Eyes: Grey

Awful, awful product in my experience. I had mild/moderate acne when I started treatment, and the longer I continued using it the more breakouts I experienced--not just small under-the-skin pimples, but painful cystic acne, which I had only experienced on very, very rare occasion previously. My skin flaked so badly and deeply that no amount of moisturizer could help and I couldn't use make-up to cover the damage. My skin also never adjusted to the chemicals in Retin-A Micro, and the product gave me chemical burns the entire time I used it. This was with the mildest formula available. I tried to stick with it, since your skin's supposed to get worse before it improves on this product, but after a year my dermatologist gave up on it.

As soon as I took this product out of my skincare regime my skin started to repair itself, and now that I've been off of it for a year my acne is back to where it was before: annoying and persistent, but definitely mild. I'll never come within ten feet of this stuff again.

on 8/29/2011 11:40:00 PM

Age: 44-55

Skin: Acne-prone, Dark, Warm

Hair: Black, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

I have used Retin A (not the micro form) off and on for years. I have very acne prone skin, super oily, low turn over off surface and extremely prone to scarring (thanks Dad!).

Using Retin A alone never gave me the miracle results that others claimed to have for their acne, but I also had very tough to treat cystic acne since I was in my very early teens. No redness, no irritation, no flaking only very limited resolution of the mild acne lesions, not of the cysts. I used Accutane twice with only limited success, and if there was a prescription or OTC product that said it would help, I would try it. I finally found relief from my acne when I used this in combination with Obagi products daily, and using the VI peel system to intensively treat the scarring. I think that for some people, a combination of medications is necessary.

I am on a maintenance regimen that includes Retin A, I still don't have any flaking or redness. I use the strongest dose every single night, and have recently started using an oil free moisturizer, not because I am feeling dry, but because I am getting older and my plastic surgeon insists that I start it in order to prevent developing fine lines and wrinkles (none yet because I am so oily, so thanks again Dad! *wink*).

I do not ever intend to be without Retin A in my skin health regimen. I consider this to be a health issue, not a beauty issue, because my skin is no longer painful to touch and I am not making new fact the old ones are going away, slowly, but surely. I get this from the surgeon's office so it is very convenient, and it is very reasonably priced.

Age: 19-24

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Cool

Hair: Brunette, Straight, Fine

Eyes: Brown

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.

6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

on 7/31/2011 12:20:00 PM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Combination, Olive, Not Sure

Hair: Black, Curly, Fine

Eyes: Hazel

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 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'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

on 7/25/2011 6:23:00 PM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Normal, Other, Not Sure

Hair: Blond, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

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!!

16 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

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