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Tretinoin (Retin-A, Retisol-A)
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Tretinoin (Retin-A, Retisol-A)

Ingredients


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)

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Tretinoin (Retin-A, Retisol-A)

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A Science-Fiction Experiment (Honestly!)
Reviewed on June 13, 2016

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!


by T2thac2 on 06/17/2016 19:39
Sweet baby Jesus!!! ITS LIKE YOU ARE ME. Our skins are twinsies!! You have given me so so much hope. I am in week 7 of retin a micro and its like a volcanic eruption! Some are healing but I still have 2 that are really lurking underneath like a skin jaws. I am seeing perfect skin outside of my acne spots so that's giving me the drive to continue this torture. Going to work or out in public is so f'n terrible. I will try to jojojba oil to help with moisture also. I also switched to cetaphil cleanser which helped sooo much. I can't wait to see your 16 week review. Seriously thanks so much for this!!
12 weeks on retin a
Reviewed on May 26, 2016

I've been using Retin-A (generic brand tretinoin) for around 12 weeks now. I don't want to sound pessimistic but I don't know what to do anymore. I only really break out right smack dab between my eyes and above my eyebrows, but for the past few months I am still left with pimples and pih left over from pimples that are super stubborn and won't go away. I've become very discouraged because I thought 12 weeks was when I would see improvement, but I haven't. In need of advice and encouragement... I only use once every other day right before I go to sleep, always at least 30 minutes after I have dried my face from showering. I just can't look people in the eyes because all I can think about is them staring at the mess all around my eyes. I hope to continue retin-a but I'm scared it won't be worth it


by floppy27 on 05/28/2016 15:08
Maybe you should start using it everyday now.
by Redfacedandraging on 05/31/2016 13:15
I have started using it everyday but I know it's too soon to know if it's really improving. If anything though, I'm just breaking out even more. I want to continue but it's been 3 months with no improvement. I feel stuck.
by floppy27 on 06/04/2016 16:44
Are you using the cream or the gel? What strengh?
by Redfacedandraging on 06/12/2016 19:03
I am using the cream, .025%
Holy Grail but Tricky
Reviewed on May 16, 2016

I recently went to my dermatologist and got a prescription for tretinoin cream from my dermatologist based off a youtube video called basic bitches guide to adult acne. One week in, I am dealing with a lot of peeling, but other than that my face has never looked better. I have no had one single breakout since I began. I also highly recommend searching her videos (especially the night time routine) if you are looking for products to battle the peeling or help with the process!


good
Reviewed on May 16, 2016

i used to take roaccutane to treat my skin, and it lasted only for 2 months as it caused severe dryness to my skin. i stopped, and changed my skincare routine. i use cetaphil cleanser and retin A at night only. give it 2 weeks and u will see a lot of difference in your skin.


miracle worker
Reviewed on May 11, 2016

I started retinA the first time round in October last year, it cleared me up completely by December/January and by feb most my hyperpigmenation was gone!! I was so confident and happy with my clear skin... STUPIDLY after I finished that first tube, my skin was so good i just assumed i didn't need to carry on with the retinA.. BIG MISTAKE. About 6 weeks ago I noticed my skin was breaking out bad... covered in tiny white bumps all over my cheeks, and some even got badly inflamed and larger. So I went to doctors and got back on my original retinaA. I started this 4 weeks ago, first week did nothing just peeled and was looking like a tomato.. week 2-4 bad initial break out- cheeks were covered in medium sized pimples :( guessing this was and is the initial purging stage. But I'm so determined to stick it through as I know this worked before, my advice to anyone is don't pick spots, stick with it even when u feel super depressed and low, I had 2/3 weeks of this :(,In the long run it will be worth it. Defiantly recommend!!! Btw I had tried so many products before this and this is the only one thats ever helped my skin. Good luck my angels x


Helped with my acne!
Reviewed on May 1, 2016

This stuff really did help reduce the size and overall redness of my spots. With that being said, cystic acne is not really affected by this stuff, and made my cystic spots worse. I only used this to spot treat. I would continue usage but I started Accutane and it is too strong for my currently thin skin. I use 0.05% or 0.10%.


MIRACLE
Reviewed on April 16, 2016

My acne was so bad and this stuff healed it after 6 weeks. No bull, like this stuff is amazing and reliable, just have to be patient.


by floppy27 on 06/05/2016 16:43
Did you use the gel or the cream? What strength?
it works, but will take a while
Reviewed on March 29, 2016

The first time I used Retin-A was over a year ago, and I remember using it for about 2 weeks and wondering why nothing was improving. However, my doctor told me to give it another shot, but to wait it out this time. I had moderate acne, mainly just the small red pumps down my T-Zone but especially on my forehead.

I started Retin-A around mid October (2015) and began peeling terribly and getting really bad acne (a sign that it is working; it has to get worse first) that peaked around early December. It was really a terrible time for me--I tried so hard to hide my acne and and didn't want to go outside or face people directly because it got so bad. But I stuck with Retin-A and by January, most of the pimples had disappeared, and I just had some darker marks left over from the acne. Now, it's almost April, and the scars have been gradually fading away.

TL;DR: Retin-A really works, but you have to be consistent with it even when the acne is getting worse.


i love it!
Reviewed on March 27, 2016

hello everyone! for the past few months I was suffering with horrible big pus-filled acne and I had try everything to cure my acne. It was such a long journey. I have never been so happy as I am now because my skin is now clear and there is only acne marks left. my routine is, on the morning I wash my face then apply benzaz ac 5 gel on my acne area. just apply it thinly. then after 30 mins, apply moisturiser. on the night, i apply retin a cream. 0.05. my skin started to clear after 1 monts of using this routine. besides, to avoid the initial purging I took doxycycline for 1 month only. I promised myself to write a review here and inspire others to be patient and wait for the result. I am so happy and grateful for what I am now. be patience because retin a is amazing. seriously, I really love it.


Decent product
Reviewed on March 6, 2016

Currently suffering from mostly acne marks, but i still have a few pimples. Am 22 now and have had acne for years, the last 4 years i've been getting a ton of leftover acne marks. My acne marks are on my lower face (cheeks/sides of mouth & under my chin) My dermatologist prescribed me Tretinoin microsphere .04% and clindamycin phosphate topical lotion 1%. Been on it for almost a month now (i use tret every other night and clind every morning), only change i've seen is my skin has gotten smoother but my acne marks are still there. I do believe they are fading but i'm not sure if its the medicine or just time. (I've had these marks for easy a year) I am also taking 500mg of Vit-C twice a day so that may be helping it as well. I do believe the clindamycin has really helped me stop breaking out, ive only got a few pimples now.

I do have a question about the Tretinoin, everyone is saying they have a 'purge' but i've been using it for almost a month and have not broken out at all (not like i have a problem with that though!) and ive only gotten peeling skin a few times. Is this normal? I'm not sure if it's working or not.. I took this stuff years ago and the first week i broke out horribly, so maybe now i just don't have as much 'junk' in my face?