Page 3 of Tretinoin (Retin-A, Retisol-A) reviews
Read or post reviews on thousands of acne products & treatments.
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.
Where to buy
Acne.org 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.]
I am currently in my mid twenties and have been struggling with moderate acne on and off since puberty (mostly around my mouth and sometimes between my eyebrows, always deep and painful and always leaving red scars that fade after a few months). I have never had amazingly clear skin, but have had times when I was okay with my skin. Unfortunately the past few years have not been showing any signs of getting better, despite my age. I was hoping it would clear up as I got older. I was finally fed up with it and was prescribed retin a micro 0.1% after a recent chain of breakouts.
I have been following the instructions of the doctor, pharmacist, and the insert with the bottle. Once a day, at night, 20-30 minutes after I wash my face I use a cotton pad to apply the cream to my entire face. I have the pump form of the cream and I use two pumps per application as directed.
FIRST 3 WEEKS:
The first three weeks of using this cream have been a struggle, to say the least. I have not noticed much improvement yet. I am most definitely experiencing the purging breakouts that many other people have experienced. As soon as I started using the cream, and until the end of week 3, I have had non stop painful breakouts. This cream is not fun. It is potent and it works quickly. For the past 3 weeks I have had at least 2-3 painful pimples somewhere on my face at any given time. The kind that you are reminded of every time you smile or talk (gah!). Fortunately, I am not experiencing any of the severe dryness, redress, or overall peeling that others have. In fact, my face is much much oilier than usual. I have slightly oily skin normally. Since I've been using this cream, I wake up to my face feeling like butter. I wash with dove sensitive skin soap in the morning and at night, and sometimes I shower (after gym) and rinse my face half way through the day. Most days my skin (face only) is so oily that I need to use an oil absorbing pad early afternoon to make myself feel clean.
What I have noticed is that this cream makes my pimples come and go in about half the time they normally would. For example, I have woken up in the morning and felt no pain and no lumps building under the skin. By 5pm a big deep pimple will have appeared and not only be visible but be painful. I have gone to bed with no pain and woken up in the middle of the night with a massive throbbing lump on my chin preventing me from falling back asleep. With the bad, there is also a good. Pimples tend to clear up faster. They peak in about 12-24 hours on average, and settle down and dry up in about that amount of time as well. So a pimple can come and go in about 1-2 days, which is less than half the time than normal for me.
You know when you have some dead skin from a dyeing pimple on your face and you just want to pick it off so your makeup doesn't clump around it? Well this cream makes your skin thin enough (or irritated enough or whatever it is) that it will usually bleed if you pick. And I'm not talking about picking something that isn't ready and needing to use force, I'm talking about dead skin just sitting on top of your face. So you are suck between leaving a chunk of dead skin on your face or picking at it and having the spot bleed. Both look equally as bad when trying to cover up with makeup. And even if you do manage to successfully pick it off without leaving a scab, a new layer of dead skin somehow manages to appear insanely fast.. like before your next bathroom break/face check fast. I have become accustomed to checking my face every hour in an effort to keep it looking alright. It seems that every time I look in the mirror something has changed. That being said, I am only experiencing dryness on the pimples themselves, the rest of my clear skin (cheeks, jaw, nose, and most of forehead) feels great. It actually feels much nicer than before, very soft and smooth.
I am now onto my fourth week and I am trying my best to stay positive and motivated to continue. I know that it can take 8-12 weeks to see results. These past 3 weeks have felt more like 3 months. The breakouts are happening so fast that the previous areas do not have time to heal, leaving my face a nice combination of red irritated lumps and red scars that haven't had time to heal yet. My face looks like an absolute mess without makeup, and it is the first time in a long long time (and there hasn't been many of these times) that I am even embarrassed to face my family without makeup. Above all else, its been tolling on my emotions. It hasn't been fun to constantly feel self conscious about my face, but to also have to feel the pressure of pimples at all times.
WEEK 5 & 6
In week five and six I have experienced what I thought was the beginning of better skin... twice. Both times bounced back with painful breakouts. I started using Thyers Rose Petal Witch Hazel (alcohol free and organic) toner at morning and night to try to reduce inflammation. I am noticing that the pimples aren't coming and going as fast. I am also noticing that my forehead, and upper lip/nose area is breakout free, but my chin is still a raging mess. At the moment, my chin is worse than it has ever been. Everywhere else on my face, except my chin, I am only getting tiny little white heads that aren't painful or deep. Still experiencing lots of oiliness.
What I have learned so far? I wouldn't take this cream lightly. If you are going to begin using it, make sure you are willing to commit to the full 12 weeks, otherwise you are probably going to go through purging and not see the potential result. If you think your skin can't get any worse, this cream will probably surprise you. If I quit now, I feel that I will never truly know if this cream works or not, so I am keeping my fingers crossed that I will see improvement within the next month or two because it truly is miserable.
I will continue to update as the weeks go on. Good luck to everyone trying this cream, hang in there!!
I will keep this brief. This did not work for me, and I gave it 8 months. I keep my washing regimen simple and I barely use makeup. I am 32 and have had moderately bad acne since I was a teen. Skipping forward, what ended up working beautifully for me was hormonal regulation by birth control and low dose spirolactone to block androgens. Perfect. I was on that from age 29-31 and it cured all my acne. Before that, I tried all sorts of topical and oral antibiotics with no success. I read and tried Retin-A. Gave it 4 months, then another 4 months after talking to a doc. My acne got worse, and worse, and worse. One guy mentioned chemical burns on this board. That was actually what I got!!!! At one point, my chin started pussing and scarring. That was at 7 months. I lessened my usage (every other day) and it never got better. Until I completely stopped. My face went back to baseline and I thought that looked wonderful compared to the horrible acne I had suffered while being "patient" on this.
Point is, regardless of wonderful reviews from a majority, it does not work for everyone, even with a clean regimen and patience. Another point is, something else worked.
I've stopped birth control / spirolactone because of future family planning. My acne is not ideal but manageable with $10 benzoic peroxide. That good old teenager stuff that works ehhh, but I guess I no longer care as much as I once did. Maybe not caring helped my face.
Everyone, seriously. Stop using:
Tea tree oil (guess what? It's an irritant, regardless of it's anti-bacterial properties. Stop buying into all the marketing, and applying full-strength tea tree oil to your skin is a big no-no)
Toners (ANY kind, you don't need this anyway- Retin-A is going to take care of all that)
scrubs of ANY KIND (INCLUDING WASHCLOTHS)
Salicylic/Glycolic Acid (because NO, these are not antibacterial, they are exfoliants. DON'T USE THEM AT ALL WITH RETIN-A)
Start slow with Retin-A, every 3 nights at first. Ramp up slowly, and avoid applying directly near your eyes and around your mouth. These areas get the most irritated, and once the rest of your skin adjusts you can start applying it there. Those areas slowly start to adjust via cell communication, so wait for the cells to communicate and adjust before you start applying it directly to those areas.
Retin-A is a miracle for deep, painful cysts. If you don't want to use Retin-A religiously all over, keep some on hand for the painful ones. It's a more effective spot treatment for those. However, if you are a female with deep cysts, talk to your dermatologist to see if these are more hormonal; birth control (or spironolactone) might be really effective for you.
I've been on both Accutane and Retin-A, which if you are informed know they work in a similar fashion (but Accutane works systematically from the inside out). Your skin does not actually "thin", but it gets delicate on either drug. And as much as people talk about initial "purging" you can avoid most of it by just moisturizing your skin- BUT REMEMBER- IT'S BETTER TO MAINTAIN YOUR MOISTURE BARRIER THAN TRY TO REPLENISH IT. THE OIL ON YOUR FACE IS NOT THAT BARRIER. Any time you rub/exfoliate/dry out your skin, it takes a lot of time to get back to where you need to be. That's the "purging" you're experiencing- when your skin is delicate, dry, and irritated, guess what? That gives you acne and rashes.
I prepped to take Accutane by keeping my skin moisturized and not being aggressive with it. And guess what? No "purging", no irritatedness. Flakiness only happened when I didn't use moisturizer. My skin was nearly perfect in 2 weeks and remained that way for the 6 months I was on it (and after). I wish I had listened to my dermatologist instead of buying into the fear people perpetuate on these threads about side effects. I shouldn't have waited until I was 30 to do it.
DRY SKIN WILL HAPPEN, DONT WAIT FOR IT TO HAPPEN. BE PREPARED AND SAVE YOURSELF THE TROUBLE.
Products you SHOULD use:
Vaseline (won't clog your pores, do your research)
Products with mineral oil (it doesn't clog your pores; that was a marketing trick in the cosmetic industry to get people to buy their products by creating fear over using mineral oil; but it's bull. Do your research, mineral oil is actually one of the best moisturizers for dry (and damaged or irritated) skin.
I would avoid Cetaphil gentle cleanser. Why? It has sulfates. Yeah. Read the ingredients, people. You can, however, use a micellar water (I really recommend Sensibio H2O, its non-irritating and you can wipe your skin without force, no need to rinse. Cetaphil requires that you wipe it off (or rinse it off, which frankly leaves a bit of residue) It's all I use to clean my skin. Bam. Thank you, France.
You gotta treat your skin like you're a burn victim. Oiliness or not, okay? Are you guys listening? Please stop with the crap products (even the "natural" ones, which are frequently so poorly formulated I can't believe they're on the market)
EVERYONE should educate themselves regarding ingredients- Go to [link removed] and go through the ingredient dictionary. LISTEN TO SCIENCE, NOT HYPE, and certainly not teenagers on this thread.
Sorry for all the shouting; I'm worried you guys aren't listening to your dermatologists, or your dermatologists aren't informing you at all. TRUST SCIENCE NOT HYPE I can't stress that enough.
First off I'm a 16-year-old female with mild to moderate acne. I've been using Tretinion cream .025 since August of 2015 and went up to .05 in October, I've been using the 0.5 for over three months now and my skin has gotten a lot better although I'm still breaking out pretty bad before I get my period. So I went to my derm again today and she told me I have hormonal acne and put me on doxycycline and birth control. I heard birth control could make it worse.. But I was just wondering if it would for me, considering the fact I'm on Tretinion cream. And how long doxycycline would take to see results. but anyways yes, Tretinion cream does work. The first month is brutal with purging, redness, dryness, peeling etc. but once u get over the first two months it does get a lot better. :-)
I am a 52 years old asian lady living in UK, I use retin A cream for 5 years now, and it is really perfect. I put it on my face at night and i put sunscreen during the day. My skin is better than before and i look younger everyday :-) The only problem with this cream is the I need a prescription to buy it here, and they give it on prescription only for acne.I used to buy it on Ebay, but they don't sell it anymore, they sell only generic low quality tretinoin cream, but i still can buy it on Facebook on the page Online Retin A
We have tried Tretinoin, Doxycyline, Onexton, and Epi-Duo. None have made a significant difference, thus the dermatologist prescribing all these products. During these trials, we cut out dairy and reduced sugar. Still no difference. Was told to use Cetaphyl and also CeraVe. I believe, if you have hormonal acne which my kid has... no external product is going to cure acne. It really didn't reduce it that much either.
I am a 22 year-old female who started Retin-A Micro gel (tretinoin) in September 2015 for moderate acne. It is now mid December and my skin is nearly perfect aside from hyperpigmentation (which will go away over time). No more acne, no more under-the-skin bumps. This medication works if you use it correctly and religiously. When I started Retin-A, I applied it twice a week for three weeks, then three times a week for another three weeks, etc., allowing my skin to adjust to the medication. This is important to do because this medicine can cause a lot of peeling, redness and irritation for the first month or two. You can reduce those problems by starting yourself on the medication slowly. Application of this medicine is also important. Follow the exact instructions in the provided pamphlet and apply a pea-sized amount to your forehead, cheeks and chin. A little goes a long way. Only apply this before bedtime. It can make your skin very sensitive to the sun so always apply sunscreen in the morning before going about your day. I recommend Cera Vae AM Facial Lotion with SPF 30. Tretinoin is the only acne treatment that targets all causes of acne and it is commonly used with antibiotics which can be prescribed by your dermatologist. I have been taking doxycyline since August 2015 and it helped reduce inflammation when I experienced bad breakouts. I believe it was beneficial for me to decide to start the antibiotic one month before I began tretinoin because it allowed the medicine to build up in my system first. Side effects of the antibiotic were minimal. I only experienced a slight upset stomach if I took the pill without food and water.
To get the amazing results you want, you must be dedicated. This is a very challenging process and it will test your patience. For the first two and a half months on tretinoin I experienced terrible breakouts because my skin was purging. There was a lot of acne that I didn't even know was there that needed to be brought to the surface. It was incredibly difficult to deal with this mentally and emotionally, however, had I not decided to go through with the treatment plan I would still be dealing with acne. It is best to push through and tell yourself that you are taking a step in the right direction and being proactive about your skin condition. A lot of people stop treatment in the first month or two because they are not seeing quick results or they are unhappy with the side effects they are experiencing such as extreme dryness / peeling, sensitive, red skin and worsening acne. If you are on this treatment plan and see that your acne is getting so much worse, this is a good sign. It means the medicine is working and your skin is purging. It's a long waiting game and depending on your acne / skin-type and it could take anywhere between 3-7 months to see results. I was fortunate enough to be cleared in 12 weeks. I would encourage anyone who is genuinely interested in this treatment plan to also ask your dermatologist for an antibiotic to help fight the instant breakouts.
Since Day 1 I have religiously followed this routine:
Morning - Wash skin with Cetaphil, apply LUSH Tea Tree toner, follow up with Cera Vae AM lotion with SPF, apply another layer of regular Cera Vae moisturizer for extra hydration.
Night - Wash skin with Cetaphil, apply LUSH Tea Tree toner, follow up with Cera Vae PM lotion, apply another layer of regular Cera Vae moisturizer for extra hydration, set timer for 30 minutes, then apply tretinoin.
It is important to always wait at least 20-30 minutes to apply tretinoin. Your skin needs to be dry for the medication to absorb. The products I have listed above are the best options to use for this treatment because your skin is already going to be sensitive on this medicine. It would be too irritating for the skin to use any acne washes such as Neutrogena, Clean & Clear, etc. Quit them all together - it helps more than you realize. I found LUSH's Tea Tree toner and fell in love with it because it's so hydrating. It helps even out your skin tone and the tea tree is beneficial for fighting redness and excess oil. This product is 100% natural and vegan.
I wanted to write a genuine, real review on Acne.org because throughout my acne struggles I have visited this website many times reading endless reviews and looking for the best solution, hoping I was on the right treatment plan. I hope this medication works for anyone who is truly dedicated to clearing their skin. It brought back my confidence and self-esteem and made me a much happier person. If you find that tretinoin was a solution for you, never stop using it. Quitting the medicine could allow your acne to return so stick to a routine!
The following statements are my experiences and my opinions.
I was prescribed Tretinoin after a topical antibiotic worked for a while and then decreased in effectiveness. Also, I was prescribed an oral antibiotic along with staying with the same the topical antibiotic. After about a month, my face broke out worse than it ever had before and I was severely dry and had irritation. This caused permanent scarring and my face looked like it was on fire and somebody put it out with a brick. I underwent several chemical peels around this time and completely switched prescriptions. After becoming completely disillusioned with dermatology, I switched to a more natural and superior product.
Acne sucks we all know that, you feel ashamed of yourself, you can't look at people's eyes and ugh it's hard, I know.
This product WILL cure you. In two weeks, three, or even months, but it will trust me. It just depends on your skin.
Well my skin is 40% cured in the last two days in the FIRST WEEK! the first five days my face peeled alot, it was red i mean, too red. but it's not as bad as it sounds, i handled it fine, and you will too! yes, i broke out, but so what? we always break out, but this time you will break out for a reason, to clear your skin, consider it as process, believe me i was too afraid to use it, but i'm so gad i did! just take it easy and go for it! PLEASE! IT WILL WORK!
i tried 5 month long period before, it worked for my back and chest acne (not completely gone, really more better than before), but it was partly good on my face. especially around my chin and nose area it did nothing. so i ended for my face. then two weeks ago, i decided to use it again (now with vaseline for moisturising and imex soap for cleaning). today i have two deep and persistent ones and a couple of smaller. everybody knows that tretinoin can develope plenty of them at the first weeks of the treatment (i experienced before). i think if this treatment is working for my body, it can work on my face as well. maybe it needs longer time. i hope.
WEEK 3: i decided to use tretinoin with clindoxyl for only initial breakouts because it helps to heal persistent and deep acne faster. 2 more huge and deeper breakouts in this week and so far the total number is 5 huge/deeper (3 gone), lots of (8-10 maybe more) smaller (all of them around my chin area and left side of my nose -right side no problem). the smallers are ok, they don't disturb me, nobody notices. the initial breakouts started with the second week. a little bit peeling and no redness so far because of vaselin. i use tretinoin (%0.1) every other night.
i will try to write the stiuation every week.
WEEK 4: this week i have no more huge and deep acne. they have been nearly cured, some dark areas remained. three medium size (papules) around my chin and nose and a couple of smaller acnes recently. i hope initial breakouts have just started to calm down. within next weeks i will see the first result i hope. i'm still using clindoxyl gel but not everyday. there have been lots of minor, non-infectious white spots which come to surface since the treatment began.
WEEK 5: i had 3 medium-size and 5-6 small-size acnes in this 5th week of tretinoin treatment with vaselin and clindoxyl gel. as i said before, i'm using clindoxyl for only breakouts for quick results. no more deep and huge breakouts in this week as well. but my skin remains uneven after breakouts. a little bit peeling no redness.
note: when i edit, helpful votes disappear ;)
WEEK 6: only one medium size pimple and lots of fast-growing small white heads around my bottom lip and nose (maybe 12-14 totally). sizes are decreasing which is good but breakouts are increasing so far. at the same time there are lots of non-infectious white spots around my chin, the most problematic part. uneven skin appearance is not good at all, some darker spots, pimples...
WEEK 7: medium size pimples (5-6) around chin and more small size white heads. nothing better.
WEEK 8: last week i was in holiday and i discovered that it is better to use bepanthen plus cream with tretinoin and vaseline. it is good for redness and also pimples themselves. the pimples become less visible. so this week it was a bit more better than last week. less medium size pimples and white heads, but not a big difference.
WEEK 9: only one middle-size and a deep cystic one in the right side of face, close to my ear but it is hardly noticable because it is really deep. i think this is not related to tretinoin because i didn't use it in this area regularly. except this, this week was relatively better.
WEEK 10: best week ever! no new huge or medium-size acnes, just some tiny whiteheads. i hope this is not temporary.
WEEK 11: better than last week! just a few whiteheads...
WEEK 12: a few whiteheads, one bigger (not too big) deep but hardly noticeable acne around my chin.
WEEK 13-14: no new bigger acne, just a few whiteheads and i completly quited using vaseline. BEPANTHEN PLUS is the best for acne problem and also good for moistrizing.