Retin A Micro


219 reviews

78% 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.

Age: 25-29

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Neutral

Hair: Brunette, Wavy, Medium

Eyes: Brown

Worked wonders for me. Cost me $60 through my insurance, and the tube lasted 4 months. $15 a month for clear skin is worth it to me :) my skin is now at the point where I can apply it every other night and i still be breakout free. My skin dosent seem to tolerate ANY amount of benzoyl peroxide, so my options were limited. I have tried several OTC retinols that worked wonders for my skin, but I needed something more effective. I graduated from Philosophy Help Me (thanks to the SA at Ulta a little over a year ago introduced me to the acne benifits of retinol), to Derma Doctor Poetry in Lotion ( great product but a bit pricy) My doctor recommended RA after I mentioned how much I loved the smoothing effects the retinol products gave alongside my Clyndimycin(spelling? It's an anti- biotic for acne).

My Regimine: I apply it every other night, mixed with Philosophy Miracle Worker moisterizer. Off nights i just use BB serum & moisterizer. I remove my makeup with Makeup cleansing wipes (usually Olay), use my Clairasonic Mia w/cetiphil cleanser, and apply Beyond Belief Vitamen c+ Anti Oxident serum (AMAZING stuff by the way,see review). I wait 20 minutes, and then apply my Retin A-micro-miracle Worker combo. I sometimes use good ol' Cetiphil Moisterizer in place of the MW, which I might switch back to bc MW is so damn expensive.

UPDATE : My nose and under eye area as of late have really fallen victim to the Retin-A flakes :( So, I have recently been applying Watt's cold press argan oil after cleansing, and then doing my RAM MW combo. I also incorporated DDF's glycol toner into the mix in the mornings all over and at night on the flakey areas where I
have temporarily stopped applying my RAM. It seems to be working, will update if needed.

If you can "weather the storm" of at least 2 months of drying, flaking, redness, and irritation, get in the habit of daytime sunscreen (which you probably do anyways) frustrating trial/errors of if/when,mixing it with a moisturizer,how often to apply,etc,ect. Try it :) The results are unmatched compared to anything else I have tried.

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

Age: 30-35

Skin: Combination, Fair, Neutral

Hair: Brunette, Curly, Medium

Eyes: Green

Let me start by saying that I am 30 years old, so maybe I am just not seeing huge results because I am so young. With that said, I have been using retin-a micro for about 6 months in tandem with Duac for acne. My dermatologist instructed me to use Duac at night and retin-a during the day, but I have found the retin-a to be too opaque to wear with makeup, so instead I just alternate nights. For the first 3-4 months I peeled like CRAZY with the retin-a micro. I mean, it was awful. Skin was peeling off of my shin, cheeks and forehead, even my undereyes. I stopped using my glycolic acid peel and focused on moisterizing and exfoliating with the Olay Pro X brush and that helped a bit. After 4 months of using the retin-a, the peeling has stopped and my skin has a lovely glow to it. When I wake up in the morning after using it, my skin is soft and supple. I have noticed an overall youthfulness and glow to my skin, and a slight reduction in fine lines. I smoked for 12 years before quitting almost 2 years ago, and I am seeing the lines around my mouth disappear. I am going to start using this more under my eyes in the hopes that it will keep the fine lines away from there. Overall, it is my understanding that using retin-a for years will keep skin youthful, so I will also probably start using it on my neck. For now, I am appreciating the glow that it gives my skin, as it keeps cell turnover going fast. One thing, be prepared to shell out major cash if you don't have prescription coverage. I paid less than $30 with my insurance, and when I was laid off a month ago, I stocked up because without insurance this costs over $300 a bottle! One bottle has lasted me for 6 months so far, and it is still going.

2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

on 1/10/2012 4:57:00 PM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Other, Other, Not Sure

Hair: Other, Other, Other

Eyes: Other

I just started the medication last week along with a topical antibiotic and whitening cream.

First day - I used all 3 on my face. It was too much for my face to handle.

This is the Fifth day - I've stopped using all three and have just used the Retin-A-micro at night.

so far my face is TOTALLY BROKEN OUT. It is totally red like a tomato and all the tiny pimples underneath are now living on top of my face. All of them. My face is "riddled" as a friend commented.

My regime:
Morning - Cetaphil facial wash + Aveeno spf 15 moisturizer.
Night - Cetaphil facial wash + wait 30 minutes + RAM (small amount) every other night.

I'm thinking of changing my routine to include moisturizer 30 minutes after applying RAM.

My face is so completely red I'm thinking of reducing the amount to every 3 days.

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.

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