Page 2 of 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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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!
Going to be straight to the point. It will clear you up about 60%. It will destroy your skin for the first couple months though. Use it at night only, and sparringly. DO NOT put it near your mouth or eyes because those areas will forsurely peel uncontrollably. Use coconut oil as a moisturizer, and tea tree oil (dilute with water) as a toner. Those two things will help A LOT!!
If you have some cash, go out and buy the ZAP kit by Saje. You will only need to use this cream once to twice a week then. Also, the moisturizer by Holista called Tea Tree and Vitamin E oil will save your skin from break outs and dryness. Use it at bedtime, after your night care routine, or after you use the retinoid cream.
This is the best thing that has ever happened to my skin. To avoid the purging stage, you really have to be patient and start slow along with following the instructions that come with the product. I started with 0.5% and I applied it three times a week, and then every other night until I could apply it every night. Just see how your skin reacts the day after you used retin-a. If it's red, itchy, and aggravated then wait until it's back to it's normal state. Once your skin is free from any kind of discomfort, then apply it again. This is what I did and my skin got accustomed to it without being irritated anymore and I am on my fifth month.
Some extra tips:
Use a very gentle cleanser that doesn't really dry out your skin. I use spectro cleanser as it doesn't have any sulfates or fragrances. Wait 20 minutes then apply retin-a, let it dry, and wait 20 minutes again before putting on moisturizer. Again, use something that's really gentle and extremly hydrating like the first aid beauty ultra repair cream or the cerave moisturizing cream.
Hope this helps!
The best thing I ever did was go to the Dr and get prescribed tretinoin!! Don't spend money on bogus cleansers and acne treatments that don't work, go straight to your Dr or dermatologist and get help!! This stuff has almost completely cleared me up, I'm 24 years old and had hundreds of blackheads and closed comedones and as a result was constantly getting inflamed pimples. I was put on tretinoin 0.05% (Stieva-A brand, not retin-a) and within 3 months I could see a huge improvement. The only thing is that my purging stage on this treatment was terrible, I broke out so badly. I did also peel quite a bit but with a good moisturiser it wasn't nearly as bad as I was expecting. In the end I would do it all again if I had to. I've been using it for 4 months now and am about to go up a dose to the 0.1% just because I can. Get this stuff asap, you won't regret it!!
I was on Retin-A with duac, bactrim/doxycycline. It worked wonderfully and gave me clearer skin than I've had since before I began puberty. It burned at first but other than that, I experienced no ill side-effects. I used it every night while I used duac in the morning. At first, I didn't apply it every night because my skin was so dry that it was too painful to apply, but once my skin got used to the chemicals in the Retin-A and Duac, I applied it every night and had amazing improvement.
I'll begin by saying that I'm 12 Weeks into Rentin-A use (0.05% cream). My acne-type is mild to moderate, an issue since I was 15 but worsening as I entered my late 20's (I'm currently 28).
As with so many here, I'm writing this review because I couldn't have made it through the genuinely grueling Initial Breakout period without the perspective of folks who'd faithfully trekked the same path; that might sound like grandiose language, but I've honestly never found myself in a position in which blind faith was more required.
Here, I will do my best to break down my experience in weeks:
Weeks 1-2: Mild improvement in both current and forming lesions, but benefits overshadowed by my skin's adjustment to the cream. I felt slightly itchy all the time, but I imagine this could be an easier transition for someone with less sensitive skin. I should add that, because of the sensitivity, I was only able to use Retin-A every third night at this time.
Weeks 3-5: Itchiness reaches new heights! I recall thinking, and frequently: "I want to peel my face off!". Very Science-Fiction, no? And in a similar vein, the peeling and texture of my skin was similar to someone either freshly chemical peeled or sunburnt. At this time, I was using every other night (which I realize could have been a slower transition, but I was eager to Get On With It and Over It). Lesions at this time felt consistent with pre-Tretinoin use. To sum up: No improvement in acne, scary red monster face, and levels of itchiness that will require all the peaceful meditation skills one has.
Weeks 6-8: The pinnacle, the worst. My skin blew up with the largest, angriest bumps I've ever seen on my face, clustered close together on my lower cheeks/jawline and sparsely on my forehead. It seemed cystic in spots, and this is definitely when I left the house as little as possible. My sanity was genuinely challenged, and I felt hopelessly depressed. On the other hand, I did notice that my skin was tolerating the Retin-A more gracefully around this time (less redness apart from lesions, less itchiness).
Weeks 9-11: I still feel like I've bought into some snake oil. My skin is now tolerating use almost every night (with breaks, perhaps, every 3 nights or so), but I'm still waking up to new acne at a faster rate than is normal and the existing scars are fading slowly due to the severity of the blemishes that cropped up in Weeks 6-8. Positive aspects: There's something very smooth and bright about the areas of my skin that aren't affected by acne, and this only increases with time. Then, by Week 11, the new lesions have almost ceased.
Week 12: Only two new pimples, both of which are very superficial and petite; they only last a day before Retin-A seems to dry them out. Acne scars from my huge breakout in Week 6-8 are healing, and there's only one lesion that remains scabbed-over (the rest are flat hyperpigmentation marks, and not terribly dark ones).
The best aspect of my current state is the general feeling of healthfulness to my skin. I still have dry patches that need manual exfoliation every morning, but my skin looks like it's functioning NORMALLY. Does that make sense? It looks like oil production and skin-shedding are more normalized. There's a glow, but I don't look like an oil slick. As a Mediterranean gal with an olive complexion and oily-type skin, I'm not sure it's ever looked so bright.
I'm far from perfect (although I'm excited to see where treatment goes from here), but I'm writing this to illustrate the sudden turns that can occur in Retin-A treatment. Psychologically, it's a fascinating drug. It asks people with already-battered self esteem to submit to further punishment. And from what I can tell? This faith and trial is not always paid back with results. But it's such an intoxicating idea for longtime acne-sufferers that we can't help but reach for the rings: Normalized skin, possibly perfect skin, FOR LIFE. And moreover, ipso facto, the ability to lead a normal life. I applaud anyone who is brave enough to take the gamble.
Here now, I'd like to briefly list products that helped me:
Cetaphil Gentle Daily Cleanser (and moisturizer): For the love of God, please ditch anything classified for acne-prone skin during this time! No fragrances, and no SA or BP. This cleanser feels like washing with a light lotion, and it was the only thing my skin would even halfway tolerate in its most irritated phases.
Jojoba Oil: I added a couple drops to my Cetaphil moisturizer. Because it's so structurally similar to human sebum, you might find (as I have) that it's the least comedogenic oil.
Cortisone 10 Cooling Effect cream: Any cortisone cream might block pores, but for red-face monster emergencies this was the best. The anti-itch/anti-inflamatory cortisone is paired with a mild analgesic that feels cool immediately (honestly!) on contact with skin.
Fish Oil supplements: I didn't expect this to have any impact, but I noticed decreased dry spots just days after beginning use. 2000mg at least, 3500mg optimally. Beware, I've read this is not a winner for all! Do your own research before trying.
Final Note: I will update this review at 16 Weeks. In the meanwhile, I invite anyone in the middle of this insanity to post or message me. Retina A affects everyone so individually, but I believe there's strength in commiseration and/or personal advice.
Hang tough! Hang gracefully!