Tretinoin (Retin-A, Retisol-A) reviews
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Tretinoin (0.01%), Parsol MCX (7.5%) and Parsol 1789 (2%) SPF 15.
Butylated hydroxytoluene, carbomer 934, cyclomethicone, diisopropyl adipate, glycerin, imidurea/parabens, octyldodecyl neopentanoate, light mineral oil, phenyl trimethicone, polysorbate 60, purified water USP, sodium hydroxide 10%, sorbitan monosterate, and stearyl alcohol.
The list of ingredients above is provided for informational purposes only. Always check the actual product label in your possession for the most accurate ingredient information due to product changes or upgrades that may not yet be reflected on our web site.
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First I'd like to say that I have been struggling with acne and acne scars for about 8 years now; I am an avid makeup wearer because nothing seems to work for my skin, and makeup gives me the self-confidence I lack. I would also like to say that this is not my first Retin-A rodeo. I was first introduced to it when I was about 16 by my dermatologist, who also prescribed that I take Doxycycline, use Clindamycin pads, and apply Benzoyl Peroxide to my face daily. This cocktail of prescriptions worked very well for me if I recall correctly, I think I just had to stop using them because my family couldn't afford it. (Having clear skin is so expensive *sigh*) Fast forward 3 years later and my mom takes me to the dermatologist as a Christmas present, and he suggested that I use, you guessed it, Retin-A once again. Whoopee. Alongside a prescription for Minocycline, and Clindamycin (in the lotion form this time). Yesterday night I started putting this concoction on my face and today I woke up with a face full of pimples and flaking skin. What a great life I lead. My dermatologist wanted me to apply it two times every day, so today I woke up, washed my face and slathered that sh*t right on. I put on my makeup and went about my day. When I came home, I saw that my face had peeled through my makeup (It doesn't get any sexier than this folks). I totally forgot that my skin is crazy sensitive and quite frail right now and so when I pulled out my Spin for Perfect Skin Spin Brush and tried to exfoliate the peeling skin away, I instead ended up removing a large portion of skin from the lower left-hand side of my face; very near to my mouth. My whole face burns right now, and I know it's my fault for being careless, but gosh darn it why me. I say don't use this cream/gel if you wear makeup everyday like me or can't stand the sight of peeling skin (because you're not supposed to do anything about it, you're just supposed to let it happen and wash your face with a gentle cleanser). It works but at a cost.
Short acne story:
I started dealing with terrible forehead acne when I was about 10 years old. I never got pimples on my cheeks ever....until I was 18. I started noticing little clogged pores and bumps on the side of my nose and on my cheeks. I tried drinking more water, doing turmeric and honey masks, eating healthier, washing my face twice a day and using tea tree oil and moisturizer, green tea sleeping better and trying to stress less; nothing worked. So I went to my doctor and got prescribed 0.05% Tretinoin cream.
I started using the cream on June 13th, 2016 and it is now October 30, 2016 sooo I've been using it for a good 4 and a half months. I had a terrible purge for the first 3 months where my cheeks erupted with red bumps. I kept hoping that after week 12 I would see improvement but all that happened was that it cleared the purge acne but the normal issues that I was having are still there. I have a couple painful pimples along my jawline and 2 red ones on my cheeks, 2 on my forehead and some tiny ones by my mouth. It's a huge improvement from what my skin was like a month or 2 ago... but it is not the results that I was hoping for at all. This cream hasn't really worked for me and I keep reading reviews on how people used it for 6 months and suddenly had no pimples. I'm not sure if I will continue the tube after it is finished. I have been using it every night and have never missed a night. Also, I did not experience the usual reaction to this cream at all (dryness, pealing)... my skin has never burned while using this product but instead it seems oilier than it used to be. I guess it just doesn't suit my skin type.
After a little over 2 months of use, retin a started causing my hair to shed abnormally. I have used retin a in the past, but never seriously, I’d use it here and there when I remembered but I was breaking out especially bad (I realized it was due to MAC waterproof foundation) so I was going back and forth between .5 and .25 every night. After a month or so my hair started shedding more than usual, and I tried contributing it to anything I could bc I had no idea retin a could cause hair loss. When I got close to 2 months of use I started reading around and realized hair loss was indeed a side effect of retin a, maybe rare but it exists. Retin a is essentially just Accutane you are applying to your skin, which afterall is your largest organ and main way you detox. Slathering it with Accutane would seem to lead to side of effects of regular Accutane.
Since stopping I believe the shedding is slowing, but I am taking all sorts of supplements meant for hair and got special shampoos.
If you start shedding while using this, don’t dismiss that retin a may be the culprit.
I have been using the Skin Cueticals acne kit with great results thus far (only a week). I have a derm apt soon and I might ask for Azeliac acid.
Ok so short history of my acne struggle:
Started off as some minor spots when I was twelve, by the time I was fourteen my skin went haywire and I developed severe acne, mainly on my forehead and chin. My back was also covered in acne. I started using Diane 35 (heavy duty birth control) which cleared up my acne and gave me a few years of acne free skin. Eventually I stopped using the BC because of side effects and my acne came back. (Luckily for me the acne on my back never returned)
The first three months were, well...not that great. The first week my skin started burning like hell when I would apply the cream. My skin started to flake like crazy, making it hard to apply foundation over my face because the scabs were always visible, no matter what I did. It was around the three week mark when my skin started to break out like crazy. I developed zits on my entire face, even in places where I didn't have acne before. This made me want to stop using Retin A, but I kept going. After three months, my acne finally calmed down and scars started to fade due to the rapid skin cell turnover Retin A gives you. I am now using Retin A for almost three years now. Although it hasn't spared me from hormonal breakouts, it has made a huge difference to my skin and it would be much worse without it.
Helps with the reduction of acne
Fades scars over time
Flaking during the first couple months of use + dry skin (so make sure you get yourself some heavy duty moisturiser)
I recommend using Retin A. Don't get discouraged when you experience an initial breakout. It sucks (trust me I know) but chances are if you give it enough time it will work.
Please see the update that I posted under comments. This stuff has destroyed my skin. I am not sure if it will ever recover. Please note that I didn't have red, peeling, or irritated skin while using it every other day. I followed all of my derms instructions and followed up with them monthly. I can't believe that I am writing this, I really thought this would work for me.
I am 36 years old, female and have sensitive, acne-prone, oily skin. I have been using Tretinoin 0.025% Gel for 6 months for moderate inflammatory acne caused by taking oral steroids for a medical condition. OK, so, the Initial Breakout was brutal and lasted much longer than I expected, started at about week 3 and lasted for months! My skin is not yet better than it was before treatment (getting there though, hopefully, I don't know, it seems like acne comes in waves, right?). My pores appear larger than before and I am getting indented scars frequently, my skin has always been acne-prone and I have never scarred before. My Dermatologist says that this does not promote scarring, but I am not so sure. These scars may have happened anyway, I don't know, my acne has never been this bad before. I tried to use this every day, but ended up with an irritated-orange-peely texture, this is much better after switching to every other day, though the texture still is not normal. It definitely peels a thin layer of skin off and reveals newer skin with every use, a very good thing. It also brings closed comedones to the surface quickly. This is definitely not a miracle cure, but it just doesn't seem like there is one when it comes to acne... I do see glimmers of hope with this, but I think that it takes a very long time and must be used in combination with other treatments, especially for people that have something internally driving their acne.
I started using Retin-A 0.050% in April and it is now September, so I've waited a while to see if it really works. Unfortunately for me, this does not seem to have helped at all.
Week 1: major peeling
Week 3: still peeling + HORRIBLE BREAKOUTS (worst I've had in my life - I'm 33 and have suffered through acne since my teens)
Week 5: no more peeling, but very bad purging phase. I can't even go out anymore :(
Week 6: I went back to the doctor to ask for an antibiotic to use while my skin is still purging while on Retin-A because I couldn't take looking like Frankenstein's bride anymore.
Week 8: Skin got better, but probably due to Minocycline, which has always worked for me but gives me the worst side effects. I was willing to go through the side effects just to have clear skin this time.
Week 18: Finished my course of Minocycline. Skin is still better.
Week 20: Started breaking out again because I've stopped Minocycline.
Week 22: Skin looks worse than before I started Retin-A and I'm almost finished with my first tube. I won't continue with this anymore.
I'm sure this works for some people, but it didn't for me. I went through a horrendous purging phase that was not worth it at all for me because even after 5 months, the medicine hasn't worked. I know a lot of people are saying to stick it out, but that will only really work for some. I don't want to give false hope.
I only give it 2 stars because it is very affordable (I do live in Canada).
I've had acne for about ten years, and it was bad during high school but has cooled off a lot. I still wanted to see what could be done about the oily skin and few whiteheads that would pop up around the mouth and nose area, so I went to a dermatologist who gave me this and doxycycline. She started me off on the 0.025% which made be break out a little but worked well. It smoothed out any scars and pretty much solved the oil problem. After a few months she put me on 0.05%. This made me break out more and chapped my nose area. It went away after about week 4 and I'm now in week six and things are much better. Not many whiteheads or any of the pigmentation, and it's working better for the oil. If you're struggling through the so called "purge" just know that I did as well, but it will get better. It did for me, and I'm an oily Italian to begin with! Good luck!
So I'm not typically someone who writes reviews on products, but Retin-A was hands down the best thing to happen to my skin so I felt this review could really help some people who are currently struggling with the "purge phase" to push through. I have now been on Retin-A for about 9 weeks. So for a quick backstory on my skin, I first started breaking out pretty badly in high school, which is when I went on Accutane. That did wonders for my skin until about my sophomore year of college (I'm now about to be a senior) when my skin started to have random breakouts again, with my forehead being my biggest problem area. Overall, I would have pretty mild breakouts, but nothing too terrible. At the beginning of the summer I was prescribed the .05% cream and had a slightly different experience than most people, so here's a recap of my experience thus far:
Upon my first night of using Retin-A, I immediately began the dreaded "purge phase" and my skin began breaking out into a bunch of little bumps where I applied the cream. It wasn't my typical breakout where I had varying size pimples, but rather more consistent small white head type bumps, which unfortunately is completely normal and shows the product is doing its job. Although this really sucked with my skin being my biggest insecurity, I pushed through and tried to be as positive as possible. In addition to breaking out, the texture of my skin also began to change a lot, but this is where my experience really differs from a lot of other reviewers. So instead of the typical super drying effect most people experience, my skin got a lot oiler. This was something I was actually something I was pleasantly surprised with though because my skin texture has always been super dry and never smooth (which has always annoyed me when applying makeup).
I went through this consistent breaking out phase for about 6-8 weeks, which some days looking a little better than others. Although, yes, this is a lot time and I know this purge phase differs with everyone, I am now happier with my skin than I've ever been. I just began my 9th week on the cream and my skin is literally flawless. Not only am I not breaking out at all, but my skin texture is what I'm almost even more excited about. It feels like I have a completely brand new layer of baby soft skin (which basically is what the product does), which I literally haven't experience since pre-puberty. I am seriously in love and couldn't recommend this product more.
So with all of this being said and taking into consideration that everyone has a different experience, I promise the purge phase is so so worth it, so stick it out! As I mentioned earlier, I began Retin-A this summer, which I am really happy I did since I didn't have any big plans going on that overlapped with my purging phase. Being as insecure about my skin as I am, having a time period where I didn't have many social obligations/ school going on made this time a lot less hard to get through. I know not everyone's schedule allows for something like this, but if you do I guess that would be my only recommendation for starting this product. I hope my review will help some people struggling with this phase now because I know other people's reviews really helped me power through it. You got this and I promise the end results will make the weeks of bad skin beyond worth it!