Average Rating 4.1/5
Review by marthaquest
I have used this stuff for 15 years, after my dermatologist first prescribed it, and it's the best. Not cute, fun or sexy but it gives slow, steady results. I am naturally pale, blond and blue-eyed, and I fried my skin in the sun including years on the swim team, at the beach and growing up in California. Lots of sun damage but Retin-A really does undo a lot of this. I hardly ever wear foundation and only a little concealer to cover redness around my nose and mouth, as otherwise my skin is pretty good (a miracle thanks to this stuff). I use it in the .1 strength 2 or 3 times a week, and it rarely makes me peel anymore. The last year I've been using it on my legs, especially lower shins, forearms and hands where I have age spots, along with prescription hydroquinone cream, and slowly they've faded -- HOORAY! also the chest, throat, which was really spotted before but now is a lovely smooth light gold. I put it on my nose and cheeks more thickly to discourage blackheads and use a lighter coat on the rest of my face. I experimented with lactic acid & TCA peels to repair sun damage but haven't had the same steady, sure results which I have with Retin-A, which is really like a slow peel. In France and some other countries (Mexico, for example) it costs around $30 per 40g tube without a prescription and this can last 4 or 5 months. I wouldn't waste time on the non-prescription 'retinoids'. The downside is that it does turn you into a pale person; 15 years ago I was sun-tanned and sun-kissed but now I am definitely pale, and have to wear a little makeup so that I don't look sick. I didn't go through a painful time when I first started using it, as some others report. My derm. told me to start with 1/4 pea mixed with moisturizer, then a month later it was 1/2 a pea ... there was some redness & flaking but it wasn't painful or difficult to conceal. If you've ever had poison oak, Retin-A is *nothing*.