Average Rating 4.1/5
Review by iamlizlemon
The major things to note about this product are (1) It will cause redness and peeling (2) It will make you extremely sensitive to the sun, (3) Do not be tempted by the positive results to use too much or use it too often because you will get an unnatural celebrity Botox-face (4) It will work but as soon as you stop, your skin will return to its original state -- i.e. where you had wrinkles that softened, those wrinkles will reappear; where you had a spot, that spot will return. It is not a cure because you will likely need to use the product for the rest of your life to maintain the effects. -------------------------- MY SKIN --- I have been using Retin-A 0.05% for about 1 year now. I originally started using it as a treatment for a strange bout of adult acne & continued using it as a face cream afterwards. I have mildly sensitive skin & use it only twice a week. -------------------------- WAYS TO USE --- There are two ways to use this product (1) As a mask = apply a thin layer all over the face and leave it on for a few minutes, then wash off. Best method for those whom it just hurts too much to use overnight. Or a good way to ease into the product. (2) As a serum overnight = Use only a pea sized amount, dab it all over face, then I rub in with three fingers to make sure there's a thin layer throughout. -------------------------- TIME OF YEAR TO START --- You should also think about what time of year you want to start using this because it takes a few months to adjust to the peeling & there are pros & cons to starting in winter/summer. WINTER = Pro is that since the product causes massive sun sensitivity which can make skin even worse, there's just less sun exposure in the winter. Con is that your skin is naturally more dry in the winter so the peeling and irritation will be worse. SUMMER = Pro is that your skin is more oily in the summer and less dry so peeling won't be as bad. Con is that the sun exposure is very dangerous and you will need to use sunscreen heavily & diligently. -------------------------- PEELING -- YES, I definitely experience peeling and redness. Excessive dryness combined with fresh skin can cause even more wrinkles so you must moisturize well when using this. Aquaphor is your absolute best friend (and no, Vaseline is really not the same). My face didn't hurt because I use Aquaphor & Argan Oil to moisturize on days after. Increased sun sensitivity can also damage skin further so you must also apply a heavy sunscreen. You will definitely peel & look red at first. You may find that you will want to exfoliate BUT NOT WITH HARSH exfoliants. I apply a thin layer of Aquaphor & rub 2 fingers on the areas that are peeling. For those of you who want to wear makeup, I recommend using an Asian BB cream if you must apply makeup for those days afterwards. Asian BB creams are developed for post-chemical peels & plastic surgery. Just make sure you heavily moisturized your face & have sunscreen underneath -------------------------- PURGING -- With prescription Retin-A, I did not experience any purging. To me, it seems counter-intuitive that you're supposed to "purge" because it's an acne treatment so it should not cause acne. I broke out from other OTC versions (ROC, Neutrogena, etc) & I believe that's a result of other ingredients that they add in the product. If you are breaking out from this product, it is likely from an ingredient, not from the retinol itself. Try a different but similar product such as Tazorac. -------------------------- OVERALL --- Do you see a difference immediately? It depends but most likely, NO. At first you will peel a lot so it's hard to tell. For me, within a few days my face looked brighter even through the peeling. A few weeks, it was softer & wrinkles were smoothed. After a few months, my skin was more plump, smooth & bright. BUT, I have also tested & found that when I stopped using it even for 1 week, my face returned to its original state -- wrinkles and all. So it's not a miracle product & I'm not sure how I feel about having to use it for the rest of my life. Also, be careful not to use too much & too often because you'll get a horrible face much like Botox face -- tight, plump, but really unnatural and stiff looking. Definitely a product with some controversial pros & cons. So long as you're fully educated, it's safe & up to you to use.