Review of Unlisted Brand Retin A by Varuca
Gets a "4" from me since it has been such a challenge to find one that works for me, but overall, I'm a huge fan.
1996: I started back then because I had an intense bout of cystic acne. Tetracycline didn't help. Doxacycline didn't help. Benzoil Peroxide and Salasylic Acid didn't help!! My dermatologist put me on Retin-A + Accutane, and frankly, IT DIDN'T HELP. He doubled my dose of Accutane, told me to stop the Retin-A, and finally it stopped. Whew!
Fast-forward to 2006: I start breaking out because of stress in grad school. NOOOOOOOO! A friend told me to get Retin-A Micro 0.1% gel, so I did. I figured, "It'll help with the new tiny lines and other aging stuff, too, right?" OMG, what a nightmare! I spent 6 weeks "adjusting" to it while my face burned, turned red, flaked CONSTANTLY, and I was miserable. It hurt to smile because my face would crack. I always looked like I had face dandruff. I hated it! Just when my skin began to adjust, I developed a nasty allergy to it, and had to quit. Every time I got Retin-A Micro anywhere near my face I broke out in a red, bumpy, itchy rash.
Fast-forward to 2011: I had a series of RF facials @ a laser center for "skin rejuvenation" and one of the things that was "rejuvenated" was my breakouts. AWESOME. I asked my doctor to let me try Retin-A cream again, and WOAH--IT WORKED! I had to adjust again, but this time it only took a few weeks. I did get stupid and ask for an 0.05% script b/c I thought I could handle it, but it just made me burn again, and the rashes came back. FAIL. I went back down to 0.025%, and I'm doing great. I even use this around my eyes (indeed, my acne was bad enough that I had big zits on my upper and lower lids!). I usually use a moisturizer on my lids, top & bottom, to cut the power down, but it has been helping firm up the crepey skin and it has also been fading the small wrinkles I have under each eye and shrinking 2 small skin tags I have on my left lid. My face looks brighter, my skin is firmer & clear, and I feel great. I am to the point now (after 8 weeks) where I am able to use it every night, and I can use my Clarisonic every day again.
If you choose to try Retin-A, be aware of your skin's sensitivity level. If you want to try Retin-A Micro, remember that more sensitive skin will have a WORSE reaction to this stuff as it continuously distributes the active ingredient instead of allowing your skin to rest. ONLY apply at night, and never overdo it thinking "more will help faster." If your face struggles with the adjustment period for a few weeks (burning, flaking, even breakouts), then just keep using it until you adjust because you will. Never assume a stronger prescription is going to work better because that could just tear your face up. This is a wonderful product for acne and anti-aging, as well as reversing sun damage. They prescribe this to people who are high risk for skin cancer. I feel like a million dollars because of it, and I am on the lowest dose. After 15 years of trial & failure, I finally found my happy medium with Retin-A, and it was worth revisiting multiple times! I love how it helps revitalize & tighten my skin, flushes out blackheads, and keeps pimples at bey. I also love that I can tell all the lines on my face are slowly but surely diminishing, as are the couple of age spots and freckles that I find so annoying.
This is not a medication you can review after using once--it takes a minimum of 4 weeks for a full cellular turnover of our skin, so no one will see a real difference overnight. Since there is an adjustment period, it is easy to decide it is a horrible product if you quit before adjusting. I'd suggest taking it slow, follow the instructions, and give it at least a month to 6 weeks before reviewing or quitting. Always remember that there are many different vehicles (gel, liquid, cream, and micro gel) for this medication, and at least 3 different powers (0.025%, 0.05%, & 0.1%), so if one doesn't work, maybe you just need an adjustment. If you're like me and discover you are allergic, check the power--I cannot use anything stronger than 0.025%, but the cool part is: I CAN use 0.025%! This is going to be more effective than any other retinol/retinoid product available OTC, & I really love it, in spite of my trials in the past.