Page 2 of Tretinoin (Retin-A, Retisol-A) reviews

Read or post reviews on thousands of acne products & treatments.

Tretinoin (Retin-A, Retisol-A)
3.5/5 - 1447 reviews
5 star
357 reviews
4 star
503 reviews
3 star
282 reviews
2 star
178 reviews
1 star
127 reviews

Write Your Review

Tretinoin (Retin-A, Retisol-A)


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.

Tretinoin (Retin-A, Retisol-A)

Where to buy is not associated with this product. All proceeds from links go to charity.

[The prices listed above may change at any time and in some cases do not include shipping.]

Tretinoin (Retin-A, Retisol-A)

Did you find a problem with this item?

 Mark product as discontinued

 Flag an error in this listing

Works when combined with the right medication
Reviewed on February 3, 2017

I have used Retin-A cream for roughly two years now and it has really helped with the scarring on my face from previous break-outs. When I first began using the cream, my face broke out so tremendously for two reasons: the first is that Retin-A is designed to bring out all the clogged acne under your skin, this could take months, and I also stopped tanning at the same time, so I didn't have the UV exposure killing the bacteria on my face anymore.

My doctor told me that acne is primarily caused by only two factors: hormones and genetics, and unfortunately topical treatments by themselves will rarely give you flawless skin. Benzoyl washes help kill bacteria ON the face, but for most people like me, the real problem lies beneath the skin! After about a year of Retin-A use, I finally paired it with doxycycline and it was honestly a miracle for me!

Retin-A is really a pain as far as drying out skin, but believe me when I say the good definitely outweighs the bad. I worked my way up to 0.1% but use what works for you since I have combination/oily skin. It's worth a try!

Oh Goody... Raw Skin!
Reviewed on January 20, 2017

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.

by Jayy42 on 02/20/2017 20:15
I had the same exact experience with Retin-A and makeup and it was not pretty. I had forgotten about that part but I never did have the self esteem to use it for over a couple of months.
Not working as well as I had hoped
Reviewed on October 30, 2016

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.

by OKDERMO-COM on 11/06/2016 17:57
You can get in okdermo, recommend!
by TrentZev25 on 01/09/2017 04:16
Try the gel based version. The cream based version tends to cause issues with most folks. If that doesn't help try Epiduo or just add a benzoyl peroxide gel/wash that doesn't have awful inactive ingredients. Inactive ingredients such as laureth 4 are things that you gotta watch out for because they will cause acne in most most people that are prone to it.
by TrentZev25 on 01/09/2017 04:16
Try the gel based version. The cream based version tends to cause issues with most folks. If that doesn't help try Epiduo or just add a benzoyl peroxide gel/wash that doesn't have awful inactive ingredients. Inactive ingredients such as laureth 4 are things that you gotta watch out for because they will cause acne in most most people that are prone to it.
by TrentZev25 on 01/09/2017 04:16
Try the gel based version. The cream based version tends to cause issues with most folks. If that doesn't help try Epiduo or just add a benzoyl peroxide gel/wash that doesn't have awful inactive ingredients. Inactive ingredients such as laureth 4 are things that you gotta watch out for because they will cause acne in most most people that are prone to it.
by TrentZev25 on 01/09/2017 04:18
Ooops didn't mean to repeat my comment lol
Hair loss after 2 months use
Reviewed on October 13, 2016

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.

Works after some time
Reviewed on October 12, 2016

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)

Actual review:

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)

Initial breakout

Final verdict:

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.

by John_Johnson on 11/13/2016 02:29
What % of Retin-A are you using?
by Anna94 on 12/05/2016 21:56
I'm using 0.05%
Not a miracle, but still hopeful
Reviewed on July 9, 2016

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.

by Archana_ess on 09/25/2016 13:34
Hi, how is your skin now. I'm just going through just the exact thing and i tend to think it's not working and wondering about quitting it. Please let me know how is your skin now
by sararey on 10/08/2016 19:53
Hi Archana_ess. I just wanted to add an update. Retin A has destroyed the texture of my skin, enlarged looking pores, orange peel texture, reactive skin. This is just plain ugly. I don't know if it will ever improve. This is not listed as a side effect but others have had this same experience. My skin was never cleared of acne on Retin A, it only got worse and worse. It also made my skin scar much more easily. I discontinued it 9 weeks ago. I will say that Spironolactone has cleared the acne by about 90%. I used to get it all over my face, now it is mostly on my chin, is much smaller and is much easier to deal with. This texture though, I don't know what to do and I am much more depressed about this than I was with the acne. It just doesn't seem possible that this could ever go away. I know lots of people have great success with Retin A, but I cannot recommend it. I wish that it had never touched my face. I hope everyone else has better luck than I did.
by LauraLeesa on 04/19/2017 21:41
Hi Sararey, have you experiencedone any improvement or found remedies for your skin texture and pores? I endured the same exact unfortunate experience with retin-a. It's tough to watch our skin transform for the worse when we were only trying to be pro-active and make positive changes.
After more than 5 months of use, no more
Reviewed on September 24, 2016

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).

Works in due time.
Reviewed on August 19, 2016

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!

1000% Worth It!
Reviewed on August 17, 2016

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!

by Anna79 on 08/21/2016 05:57
What do you use to wash and moisturizer your skin? I'm planning on using retin a soon buying trying to do some research first.
it works
Reviewed on May 6, 2016

Works for a while, then I got acne back on my chin and back. Not worth it.

by vajane on 05/10/2016 03:50
how long did it take to see improvement?