Tretinoin (Retin-A, Retisol-A) reviews

3.6/5 - 1359 reviews
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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Active Ingredients:
Tretinoin (0.01%), Parsol MCX (7.5%) and Parsol 1789 (2%) SPF 15.

Inactive Ingredients:
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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Definitely works!! (after months)
Reviewed on October 20, 2014

After using many acne medications ( never used Dan's BP though), Retin-a (0.025%) stood out as the solution to clear my acne. Every night I put a lot of Retin-a (0.025%) on my skin for 3 months and my skin was almost clear. I knew in a few more weeks I would be completely clear and It turned out to be true. Retin-a is one of the few products that clear my acne. The Retin-a I got from the doctor was a very easy to spread cream, very creamy ( 0.025%). Definitely recommend it!!


Clear acne completely

New skin ( made my skin very white)


Takes along time to work ( 3 months at least)

Irritates skin at first ( redness, itchiness)

Makes skin oily and shiny ( at least for me) ( its shiny because it makes your skin very thin)

Dry flaky skin ( only at beginning)

Awful experience with Retin-A
Reviewed on October 20, 2014

I want to start by saying that this product apparently has worked for many people, but please be aware that it does NOT work for everyone. I have been struggling with moderate acne since my teens (I'm now 31). I went to the doctor and she prescribed Retin-A. She did not warn me that my acne might get a LOT worse before it got better, and for an extended period of time.

I really wanted to give this a shot, but after 9 weeks on the product and my acne was significantly WORSE than before I started using Retin-A, I just couldn't take it anymore. It was difficult to cover all of the cysts that were popping up on a daily basis with makeup, I started avoiding leaving the house, and I didn't want my boyfriend to see me without makeup. It was terrible, and it was affecting my self-esteem as well (I am normally quite a confident individual). Who wants to suffer through weeks and even months of painful, cycstic acne in the hopes that your acne may or may not finally clear up?!

I finally decided to explore a natural route, and about a week ago I went to see an acupuncturist who specializes in Chinese Medicine. I stopped using Retin-A the same day. I received an acupuncture treatment, started taking Neem herbal supplements daily, and have reduced my carbohydrate intake. To wash my face, I'm using a natural Syrian soap called Chami, that's it. No moisturizer needed. Almost ALL of my cysts from using Retin-A have already dried up, my skin is much less oily, and I'm feeling so much better about my skin! I'm also using a Fuller's Earth mud mask every other day (commonly used in India, called Multani Mitti).

I can't believe I spent all this time on Retin-A when a natural approach would have worked much better in the long run. It's only been a week, but the results so far have been very promising. If you're going to use Retin-A, just make sure you understand the risks!

Second week in, starting to feel the breakout
Reviewed on October 9, 2014

I was prescribed this medication (retin-a 0.025 cream) two weeks ago by my dermatologist along with Cleocin t-1 gel for the morning and anti-inflammatory antibiotics. After about two days i felt all the cysts between my eyebrows go away almost instantly, and felt a smoother complexion after the first week. Second week in, I'm starting to feel the "purging" breakout everyone is talking about. I've been getting ALOT of painful cystic acne in spots where I thought acne never was, so I don't really know if thats good or not. Is this normal to get large cysts?

Anyways, this product along with cleocin t 1 gel and antibiotics seem to be doing some work so far. I'm told i will start to see results in another week or two due to only my inflamed mild acne, so lets hope this gets the job done.

by FancyShmancy on 10/19/2014 15:54
hey! I got a lot of deep pimples on my face in the third week, and I feel your pain :) I started a month and a half ago and just this week I experienced horrible peeling but the skin that is being revealed is so clear and beautiful!! if you saw my skin a few weeks ago you wouldn't even believe it!! hang in there my doctor told me that pimples take months to form before they come to the surface, so you are basically experiencing months worth of pimples in a couple of weeks. it will fade and the results will be amazing!!
Tretinoin has literally changed my life
Reviewed on October 2, 2014

I have suffered from acne and cystic acne for 10 years. I have tried almost EVERYTHING there is to try from topical to oral treatments. I recently stopped taking minocycline after 5 years of use. I regret taking that because I now have to live with the side effects of taking an antibiotic for so long with results of hyper pigmentation, yellowing of the eyes, and gums/tooth discoloration. Anyway, the day I stopped taking minocycline, I began my treatment with tretinoin. It has been six months and my skin is BEAUTIFUL!!!! I am no longer embarrassed to go without makeup in front of my boyfriend and it is such a freeing state of existence. Those with acne will understand what I mean. There still is slight discolorsfion from years of acne but it is improving every day. Please, please, please give tretinoin a chance. It works, just be patient!! It took 2 months for me to be happy with my skin. Hope this incredibly long review helps :)

by RachelScarlettt on 10/17/2014 20:38
What dosage did you use, .05 or .01? And how do you think it helped with your pores, acne scars and over all complexion?
Tretinoin + other products cleared my acne in 2 WEEKS
Reviewed on September 30, 2014

I had recently completely switched up my acne treatment medications. I switched my birth control to Loryna, started taking doxycycline hyclate (sp?) twice a day, and I also take 1 vitamin to improve skin, hair, and nails. On top of that I started using Tretinoin cream 0.025%. I watched a ton of youtube videos to see what it was all about and I watched and read all negative things. I was kinda scared to see how it would work on my skin so I have been using it every other night and wow, I have not had 1 breakout since. Before, I had a new breakout daily, sometimes more depending on stress but now all my acne has gone away. All I have left is a few acne scars from my really bad cystic acne below my nose and that will take time to go away. This product has made my skin a little dry, so I use lots of moisturizer and try to stay away from liquid makeup. But the dryness is nothing too bad. I would definitely recommend trying this product.

by RachelScarlettt on 10/17/2014 20:39
Do you think it helped your pores at all?
Also use other products
Reviewed on September 14, 2014

I've been using tretinion cream off and on for almost 15 years. You must have patience with it and give it at least 6 months. Also to note; I tried it without benzoyl peroxide or sylic acid wash and it did not work. I'm 28 so I've tried all different approaches to this. If you keep using it when you get older your skin will look much more youthful. Can't hurt to add this with your regimen of other products!

Smooth Sailing So Far...
Reviewed on September 13, 2014

I've been using Retin-A .08% and a 10% Benzoyl Peroxide Face Wash since August 31st, 2014. I've had mild acne since 6th grade, I'm in 12th now and it's stayed relatively the same. So far, I've definitely noticed that my skin has become a lot smoother and my hyper pigmentation is DEFINITELY fading. As for the first 2-3 week 'horror' period of breakouts, mine haven't been severe whatsoever, which really surprised me! I was absolutely terrified that my acne would be seriously aggravated for this period, as it was for many other people using this medication. I had a few stray pimples pop up on my cheeks, but they were gone within 3 days MAX. My forehead is the worst area as of now, but it's quickly healing! They're bothersome but are easily taken care of with the BP face wash. I do have peeling, mostly around my mouth and chin, but a quick application of Cera-Ve moisturizer clears it right up and I'm good for the day! There's been absolutely no redness, either. Though, I do have a sneaking suspicion that my 2-3 purging isn't bad because of the Deja Vu Exfoliator I used before switching to Retin-A. I'm not trying to advertise for another product, but maybe see if anyone else encountered this and what it could mean? When used once a week the exfoliator took off the first layer of dead skin, which is essentially what Retin-A does, so maybe my skin wasn't so bad to begin with which is why the purge period wasn't/isn't so bad? I don't know, replies would be appreciated! Just, DO NOT, and I repeat, DO NOT think of using these two products together. So to sum up this review, I'd definitely recommend Retin-A, and patience IS key. If the regiment doesn't improve acne within the first 4-9 months, I'd definitely recommend seeing a dermatologist to talk about alternative. Retin-A just might not be for everyone!

Reviewed on September 10, 2014

I took this treatment for 4 weeks and let me tell you, it was just awful. My skin stayed about the same for about 3 weeks, no better and maybe a little worse. But the 4th week, it was dreadful. Worst breakout ever! 3 or 4 new pimples every day and huge! I gave up on it for a few days now and it has subsided back to just normal which still sucks. I know the meds take time, but come on, I couldnt even go out in public I was so embarrassed. After 4 weeks shouldnt I notice some sort of difference. I want to go back on it, but im afraid..

by Moniqueliz on 09/23/2014 13:41
How's your skin doing now?
by FancyShmancy on 10/19/2014 16:09
hey! Ive been on it for a month and a half and I only just saw results
works after 3 weeks
Reviewed on September 9, 2014

Day 20- no improvement, new pimples still forming, acne scares still there, may even be getting worse. Felling very down

About 3 days after my skin cleard up. In a month or so I think I will have perfect skin

Use clymidicin gel with this

by Moniqueliz on 09/23/2014 13:42
How's is the scar? Is it fading away?
What should I do?
Reviewed on September 5, 2014

I started using this on 29th August. This is my second week and I'm breaking out like crazy. It's very itchy. I feel like giving up. I feel like crying whenever I feel my face with the back of my hand. I'm worried that the breakout will get worse since I have a graduation ceremony to attend on 15th October. What should I do? Stop using it or continue with it? What's going to happen if I stop using it? Can I use anything that can calm my skin (breakout) down? How long is this breakout going to last if I continue using it? Please let me know. Thank you.

by Megs410 on 09/09/2014 03:28
Hi :) I just wanted to let you know that it is very normal to break out during the first few weeks of using this! The cream is essentially pushing all the pimples underneath your skin to the very top...the medication in Tretinoin makes this happen really fast. Don't stop using it now as its just begun to work! Trust me, the first couple weeks on this are terrible...the itching/flaking is the worst...but you have have have to give it time. I know what you're going initial breakout lasted about 3 weeks and they were the 3 weeks from hell. If you need someone to talk to, send me a message on here and I'll try to help. Keep going.
by Rohy on 09/09/2014 12:53
I would keep using it. I know what your going threw. Acne sucks and affected me so negatively in high school. I have this cream as well and have not used it yet because i have managed to control my acne for the most part threw pills and a little thing called Stridex Sensitive Skin Pads. I would highly recommend using those pads while your on this cream. The pads were recommended to me and worked amazingly for my skin, but that's just me. I would give it a try. Walmart usually has them for the cheapest price and you get bonus 20% more pads sometimes. It is the one in the green box and its the only one that wont dry skin. The red boxed pads will because it contains 2% salicylic acid and the sensitive ones contain aloe with only 0.5% salicylic acid. Give it a try dude and get out there and shine at you your graduation ceremony, no matter how your face looks. You made it this far and I'm sure you will make it out perfectly. Just stay happy! You got this โ—• โ—กโ—•
by Jev on 09/09/2014 16:26
Keep using it I was the same way but after the 3rd week my skin cleared up
by annette63 on 09/16/2014 06:18
Murad sulfur mask at night! Sulfur based products are calming and healing. That and an antibiotic prescription.
by kenixkoeh on 09/19/2014 08:21
how is your skin condition now ? im using this since 5 September, and now my skin still prompting with the Big Acne, painful n redness. and it left very dark brown colour around the acne area :( i feel so fractructed and sad as no improvement to be seen and the skin getting worse. just would like to seek for your advice, is that fine using Tretinoin without moisturizer ? im so afraid to put on any other skin care. Im using acne wash from Oxy.
by Happycamper934 on 10/07/2014 09:21
Keep using it! Make sure you wait 20 minutes after washing your face to apply the cream/gel. Works wonders if you stick with it. Took me 6 months to finally go without make up and I had horrible cystic acne. Good luck! :)