Tretinoin (Retin-A, Retisol-A) Reviews
I'm a 21 year old female and I've had moderate acne on my face, chest and back and have been struggling with it ever since I was 12/13, there aren't any huge cysts but a lot of white heads and under the surface red bumps. I have used almost every acne treatment accept for roaccutane but for some reason never tried a retinoid. Going on the pill did help a little bit with keeping the acne under control but it didn't clear my skin up completely. I started used a 0,05% tretinoin cream on my back half a year ago before summer (as you can't go into the sun with it) and it worked like a miracle. It did make my skin peal a lot in the beginning but cleared it up super fast and also got rid of the scarring which is always a big problem for me. I stopped using it when it was cleared up (after 1,5 month even maybe) and summer started and it hasn't really come back again! I also tried it on my face but stopped really soon as it made my skin peal like crazy and I was really dependent on make up at that time which made my skin look flaky. I have now learned to not wear make up as much and I thought it might be time to try the tretinoin on my face now. When using it on my back I used quite a lot of the cream because the skin on my back is a lot less sensitive, it pealed but didn't get irritated. I also didn't really mind that it looked bad at that time because I could just hide my back with clothes, which I already did anyway because of the acne. With my face I am taking it a bit slower with the dosage and have been using a pea size every other night. In the beginning my skin did peal a little bit but it didn't look too bad if I just applied a lot of moisturizer (I use an aloe vera gel myself) and not wore make up (as this made the dry flakes more obvious). After doing this for three weeks my skin is slowly becoming less flaky and I am able to wear make up again without it looking dry. I am very perfectionistic with my skin but people in my surroundings have commented on how much better my skin looks and I have noticed a difference in the acne (even though it's not gone yet), I definitely have less pimples and I feel like my scars are fading. I do have high hopes for it though as it did clear up by back completely! I would really recommend using this but to be careful and patient.
This product is life-changing!
I am a 23 year old female, a year out of college, and I have struggled with acne since my early teen years. I saw a dermatologist and tried many different medications, even went on birth control, and any success I had was always short lived. Within the past year or two I feel that my acne flared up worse than it had in a long time. I'd just started dating someone new and I was embarrassed to be around him without makeup. I would even sleep in foundation- who wants to deal with that?? About 3 months ago I'd had enough and had my PCP prescribe me this product. I won't lie, the first several weeks were ROUGH. The trenitoin purge is real, folks. I was so dried out and even broke out worse than before! But I read the reviews and stuck with it. All of this subsided around week 8, and for another couple weeks, I had minimal progress and was feeling discouraged. It wasn't until around week 12 for me, but one day I looked in the mirror and realized that MY SKIN IS CLEAR! I have gotten so many compliments and feel more confident than I have in many years. I rarely wear makeup anymore, unless I just feel like it, but I don't feel like I NEED it. Not only is my acne essentially gone (still the occasional pimple, but it's gone within about a day), but my skin tone is becoming more even and my skin just all around feels smoother. The process is long, and it will be different for everyone, but I assure you that this product is worth it!
I (a ginger, pale skinned Irish man) have found both Tretinoin and Isotretinoin excellent at both reducing breakouts and smoothing over the surface of my skin. Being very pale I always found that red marks stood out on me and these drugs have been excellent at improving the appearance of these marks. I found both of these drugs less aggressive on my skin than other retinoids that I've tried (Adapalene) - Tretinoin was less corrosive than Isotretinoin but neither caused any problem that wasn't manageable. I highly recommend these to anybody who is wasting their time with tetracyclines.
on week 3
i just wanted to post something here at the moment in order to track my progress and help others just in case it helps. I have had acne since I was about 14, and it's always been mild. I used differin when I was a teenager, however I do feel like it didn't clear my acne completely but rather made me dependant on it. I have tried almost everything, from becoming vegetarian to every kind of cream etc. I get facials every month so my acne was never out of control, but it was getting tiresome and didn't seem like a long term solution. My mom then said something to me, my brother's acne had gone away after using retin-a. So when i was on vacation in vietnam i picked some up OTC at the pharmacy. $10. Week 1 - I bought my locacid cream which is 0.05% Started using it with paula's choice salicylic acid 2% toner. Morning toner, Night cream. I started purging out this small white heads, so i got a facial and and had A LOT of them taken out rather painlessly. I have maybe like 3 normal pimples on my face. Week 2 - I have started to get dry skin. I use a sheet mask every other day now to boost the water content in skin. Have noticed that the mask helps to bring the heads to the surface, and yes, I do pop them. I do notice it helps the pimple heal faster, but yes, there will be a mark. If I don't pop the pimple it does not seem to go away. My skin at this point in time is still reasonably clear maybe, 2-3 pimples. Key take away - Use sheet masks every other day. Will help comedones come out. Week 3 - My skin is now starting to get a little bit more dry than tolerable. If i open my mouth wide the sides are cracking a bit. Tried to let my skin peel to get the full effect, but it seems like the retin-a works better with moisturised skin. I am starting to get this weird under the skin pimples, some come out some do not. If you moisturise, they're more like to come out. My skin looks blotchy and raw. Alot of the pimples that are coming out, are coming out from the old acne pigmentation, but as soon as they're out, the pigmentation seems to lighten and peel off. I'm assuming this means that theres stuff inside of the hyper-pigmentation that is getting pushed out. Is this the purge? The beginning of the week and brutal. Looked terrible. But, on the bright side, everything seems to be flattening out at the end of this week. I have been getting some pimples on my chin which, but very small ones here and there. Still tolerable.I am starting to moisturise my skin daily, and my skin is reacting well to serums, but not coconut oil. Will try almond oil with vitamin e next week. Skin is starting to look better, but I'm not 100% sure the purging is done. Key take aways this week - DO exfoiliate, it will help get rid of the small bumps and loosen plugs. I use the salicylic 1% pads in the morning before moisturising with argan oil. That's all for now, going away to india for a yoga retreat for 3 weeks. Will update on week 7. Fingers crossed!
Went from mild to severe
I wish I did my research before putting it on my face! My derm prescribed me this and didn’t really tell me much about it other than to use sunscreen. I have never had acne this bad before, I’m eating all the right things... I cut out everything like (dairy, meat, gluten, anything you can think of that causes acne) all I eat is vegetables and fruits with salads and salmon w beans. Still wonder why I get really bad cysts, and pimples in places I never had before such as my neck and forehead. My skin is so sensitive to the sun now! And it’s super red. With summer around the corner I decided to stop using it. Hope this diet calms my active acne. Good luck to those who are using this. Not for me.
Keep Going! IT WORKS
I got an IUD a year ago, and my skin went from completely clear to horrible in a matter of 6 months. The acne I had was hormonal and cystic, and deep beneath my skin. I started Tretinoin 0.025% paired with Spironolactone about two months ago. The first month was HORRIBLE. I felt like things were getting worse instead of better, my skin was so dry and itchy, and I was basically molting every morning, makeup and moisturizer burned to put on (Plain old Cetaphil face/body moisturizer did wonders to help this - it's super gentle but also very rich moisture that is long lasting). During my period, things got to the point where my skin hurt to touch. At a month and a half though, I turned a corner. Things began to calm down, my skin was less dried out, I didn't break out on my period. At two months in, my skin is completely clear. No bumps, nothing beneath the surface, no tiny bumps. I actually think it's clearer than it was before I got my IUD. Just when I thought I couldn't take another day of burning, bumpy skin, I saw the light at the end of the tunnel. Keep going!
PUSH THROUGH IT
I had suffered from comedones since I was about 16, and it just kept getting worse; nothing could fix it. My derm prescribed tretinion as a topical, and she warned me about the side effects (which all came true). At first, it's really bad. Not only will your skin be itching you constantly (because it's 'shedding', if you have blackheads/whiteheads like me they will probably turn into pimples and you HAVE TO WAIT FOR THEM TO ALL POP. That horrible phase lasted me about 3-4 months. But it's completely worth it. Looking back, I'm so grateful I didn't stop it (even though it got really realllyyy bad) because I finally got rid of something that was really bothering me. Just hang in there, it will get better and you'll be so happy you didnt stop midway
3 months in tretinoin 0,025 + clindamycin
I tried Epiduo Forte gel and it left lot of hyperpigmentation and devloped a cystic acne from it. My derm prescribed tretinoin and it works wonders with scarring and getting rid of acne. The biggest change i made in my skin care routine was NOT PUTTING anything besides tretinoin, moisturizer and sunscreen (it is difficult to find one that wont break you out). I know from desperation we tend to buy cleansers, face wash and all those kind of anti-acne products, but tretinoin is already strong so do not put anything harsh on your skin otherwise acne will just worsen from skin irritation (happened to me with epiduo). How to start? At the beggining i put tretinoin during the night for only 10-15 min, next day 30 min, then 1 hour and after that i started putting it maybe three times a week until i built up to every night, the reason why your skin may react bad to it, it`s because you dont let your skin get used to the product. IMPORTANT: I only wash my face with water (as recommended by my derm) and if i am wearing makeup or sunscreen i just put it off with Bioderma Sensibio Micellar Water as it is superrr gentle to the skin and then wash with water to put away more impurities. So in the first place you should try to use only tretinoin and whatever helps your skin recover from the strong effect of the medication. If your skin ever feels tight after a product, skip it! The moisture of your skin is the most important thing when in anti acne regimen.
Didn't work long-term
I used generic tret for about a year and a half, did 3 months on .025%, 9 months on .05% and 4 months on .1%. Initially it really cleared me up, not 100% but I was comfortable leaving the house without makeup for the first time in nearly 10 years. However, after my last period all my acne came back, even using the ,1% every night. I haven't had my levels tested yet but I have a strong suspicion that I have a hormonal imbalance causing my acne that topical treatments are only going to be marginally useful in fighting.
I've been using Tretinoin .025 for about 3-4 months now. I haven't been consistently using it every night. Maybe 3 nights a week and other nights as a spot treatment. But I must say, this cream is a little wonder cream isn't it. Although I still get pimples on my face, this cream helps them dissolve into nothing after 1 or 2 days and nothing is left behind. The size of my pimples have been substantially smaller. And my scarring has cleared up a lot. Over all my complexion just looks a whole lots clearer and smoother. The reason I'm only giving this 3 stars is because is doesn't actually stop acne from coming - so far. So let's see what happens. I'll still continue to use it. Would anybody recommend I go to .05? Is that stronger? Peace and love to all my beautiful little acne angels xxxxxx
I do not usually take the time to write reviews but I felt compelled to as I heavily relied on reviews to make a decision for my skin. I am 27 and although not constant, I would frequently get deep, very swollen, under the skin blemishes that would result in weeks of redness/marks and they would often never come to the surface. Id say this has been going on for about 7 years. I have tried everything but nothing has made this problem better. I, like many of you was worried about the horrible "purge" on tretinoin however, I am in my 3rd week and My skin is more beautiful than ever. I cant say I am even experiencing any dryness or redness. (I am using CeraVe Am moisturizer with sunscreen) I am very happy with the results so far. I will add that I began taking generic Yasmin for birth control at the same time. My doctor said it has an aldactone derivative so, one may experience spiro benefits without having to take spiro alone. I hope this helps someone, I know having bad skin can send you into a very low place. There is hope. :)
This works but its a spot treatment, doesn't get the source of the acne
Awful month but there is a light at the end of the tunnel
I faced problems with acne through all my life and now, with 26 years old, I'm still with the same issues (the only notable difference is where the pimples grow). I have adult acne (hormonal acne) and this condition started to really bother me at the beginning of October; I was with 5-6 cystic pimples in my chin and left cheek. So I decided to seek for a 'birthcontrol pill' free treatment (side effects sucks) and went to the dermatologist. She prescribed me 100 mg of spironolactone and topic tretinoin 0,25mg/g with clindamycin fosfate 12mg/g. I was really excited to get rid of this problem, but actually, It just get worse. I've had the WORST breakout ever (a lot of cystic acne and some pustules), and was facing dizziness and fainting sensations due spironolactone. The conclusion: the side effects of spironolactone&tretinoin were worse than taking birthcontrol pills. Through all the month, I was sad, kind of depressed and with painful acne. Last week I visited my dermatologist and my gynecologist, I'm now taking Diane-35 (hopefully I'll switch the pill in the future), a lower dosage of spironolactone (50 mg), doxycycline (100 mg) and topic tretinoin. Since then, I had zero breakouts and the appearance of my skin is slowling improving, so yes, I'm seeing a light at the end of the tunnel. Apart from the prescribed drugs, I've made some daily changes that also seem to have helped. I'm using FPS 60 (I was using FPS 30 before) and I always manage to cover my face when I'm outdoor, I'm really engaged in moisturizing my skin and this really helps!!!!! I'm using this gel moisturizer with thermal water, 2 times a day. Also, it's REALLY important that your skin is completely dry when you are applying tretinoin. Finally, I'm trying to avoid dairy products (so sad). To put it shortly: if you're having a bad time with tretinoin, try to moisturize your face frequently, use high FPS sunblocks and apply tretinoin only when your skin is dry. And also, keep in mind that stress affects your acne situation and the picture can really get worse (try to relax). Hope it helps. (Sorry for my english, I'm from Brazil :) ).
Tretinoin cream works pretty well for me when I've used it. I'm fortunate not to get much peeling skin and redness from it- just some dryness, but I don't always use the the product straight up on my skin (I mix it with a bit of moisturizer if my skin already feels a bit dry). It never cured my acne completely but when I've used it I've noticed a big difference in the number and severity of my acne lesions- enough for me to really recognize the difference in my skin.
Mild acne and sensitive skin
I used Retin A 0.05% cream for two weeks and got clear skin after one week. I didn't have harmful effects, except that my face got darker and red, even though I took every precaution (sunscreen/hat). I live in a very sunny place, so definitely not worth it. Advice: I've been using Glycolic Acid 10% Lotion. Its not abrasive, I dont wear sunscreen and my skin is amazing.
Strong, works fine
I have a higher dose prescription for this, and have been using it nearly every night for 4 months. It initially dries your skin out very badly, and then within a few days the pimples are pretty much gone. However, I found that after a month or so it stopped working and was pretty much pointless. I wouldn't recommend it for those who have moderate to severe acne.
I was prescribed Tretinoin .025 cream in November, the cream almost completely cleared my skin within the first two weeks with just a few tiny spots. However, lots of redness in the cheeks, and dry lips came along with this. The cream worked very well for the first 8 months but I started breaking out a lot in the summer for the past 4 months and it's just not working for my hormonal acne since I'm a 17-year-old a boy I have a lot of that around my mouth and cheekbones in this season. I think the cream works well in the winter and the gel formula will be better in the hotter months. during this time on the medication, my forehead, nose and temple areas have been completely clear. this is a good product but not for me so I will be changing now, I don't regret going on this and I recommend you try it for yourself.
I was prescribed tretonoin .025 cream in October, and it took about a month to kick in. I had the usual drying and peeling for the first couple weeks, then my skin started to really clear up. I have terrible hormonal acne around my moth and chin, and I enjoyed about 5 months of clear skin with this cream. Around april, my skin randomly started breaking out again in the same places it used to. I got the stronger 0.05 prescription about a month ago, and my skin has only gotten worse. I am also on ortho try cyclen lo birth control, and that is supposed to help but it isn't. Is anyone having an issue with this cream not working anymore?
Stick with it!
My doctor prescribed me birth control and tretinoin .025% around 2.5 months ago. I have been using tretinoin every night pretty consistently besides skipping a night here and there to not let my skin get too "used to it". I was pretty much traveling overseas all of last month, and my I tried my very best to stick to the same regimen. Fortunately, my skin did not freak out! I was in humid and warmer locations-- which definitely benefited my skin along with the tretinoin. While abroad, my acne cleared up and my face was SPOTLESS. I went from having severe cystic acne along my jawline and a few on my cheeks to having nothing! The only thing that's left are hyperpigmentation. Since I've been back (3 weeks) in the states, the transition has impacted my skin a little. I've been getting a few cysts on the lower part of my face, but they don't last too long. I think my body is slowly adjusting to the climate, food, and schedule overall. I am praying it gets back to as clear as it was abroad. My mom has been complimenting my skin every day saying it doesn't look as red or bumpy anymore. I can also see how flat my cheeks are compared to how it was before the medication. I can't tell if it's birth control, tretinoin, or the combination of both working. Either way, it's a positive outcome! Two months on it, and I'm seeing improvement. The number one thing I've been working on is to keep my schedule as consistent as possible. Sometimes sleeping later than usual will mess up my skin. I can't wait to see the results in two more months! I heard it takes atleast four months to see full results.
6 Weeks in
Hey guys! This is my first time posting, but I know that when I first started treatment I was hungry for accounts of other people's progress. I am now 6 weeks in to using Tretinoin cream 0.025% every night before bed, and am starting to notice significant progress. I did experience an initial breakout starting around week 3, and I knew that it was the purge phase not a bad reaction because the breakout was confined to the area I already broke out in (my cheeks and chin) and the skin around the new breakouts was looking better than before. Now, I only have 3 newish spots, and they are all drying and on their way out. The pesky dark marks acne leaves behind are starting to clear up! My skin looks airbrushed like it hasn't in so long, and the end is in sight! I am in no way all the way clear yet, but I feel like give it another two months, and my skin will have done a major turn around. If you're in the initial breakout phase or just starting out, have patience, and if you are worried about a reaction you're having to the cream, call your doctor-- they'll be able to tell you if it's a bad reaction or just the purge. I also wanted to say that to deal with the initial breakout I've been using Lush brand masks, in particular cosmetic warrior (smells bad but so worth it), and catastrophe cosmetic. They both really helped me to get through the rough patch. Good luck guys! I hope this helps.
Is IT WORKING or is it NOT?
I'm a female student, almost 15 years old and I HAVE REALLY TERRIBLE ACNE. A lot of acne scars, deep clogged pores and freakin loads of whiteheads. Decided to opt for the retin-a treatment. I did some research before getting myself two small tubes (0.025% strength) for $16. It would have been $50+ for already two tubes if I were to get it from a doctor here in Singapore. So I used a Cetaphil Gentle Cleanser recommended by some people here before waiting for another 25/30mins and applying the tretinoin. Applied moisturiser for the first two nights before realising that it does nothing. [BTW, applying the cream was like applying a regular cream. No stinging/irritation. This continued for almost a week where I DO NOT EXPERIENCE REDNESS, PEELING/BREAKOUTS LIKE OTHERS CLAIM TO. My skin was still the same. I could also be outside with the sun facing at me without experiencing terrible sunburn and no sunblock/moisturiser with SPF is needed at all! What is happening? Is there something wrong with my skin or is it the RETIN A? [BTW, the retin-a isn't expired, the seller who sold it to me got it recently from somewhere in THAILAND]
Tretinoin has prevented my acne from worsening but not much else
I have been using tretinoin on and off since 6th grade. I have only used 0.025% and while it has prevented my skin from getting much worse, it hasn't actually helped get rid of my acne. I am now a high school freshman and I think I'll give accutane a whack after trying every product under the sun.
Side Effects massive and no clearing
Hi everyone! I am writing on behalf of my 16 year old daughter who would never in a million years write a review herself! But I have to say that this product has been the bane of my existence for the last year+. But I have a very head strong daughter who somehow has it in her head that she should keep using it. The background is that like most teens, around 13, my beautiful fair skinned (blue eyes, blond hair) daughter started breaking out. We immediately started trying everything, first Proactive for a while but there was literally no change at all with that stuff. After about 2 months on Proactive, she stopped altogether and just started using bar soap. One day she asked me to go to the dermatologist - I think she had been talking to someone at school about it. So we went and they prescribed Retin A. I was 100% against a prescription of any type but I was better with a topical prescription than an oral antibiotic. she started with Tretinoin 0.025%. Again, there was no visible change in her acne but there was a visible change in her face. Her pores all over her face got much larger, so that I could see them from 5+ feet away and I started noticing scarring which, as a mom, I absolutely hate to see. Around that same time, my younger daughter, who was now 13, began to get acne as well but had heard of another product at her school called Ninja Skincare. As kids do, she wanted to do what her friends were doing so we bought it. It was very affordable and had incredible customer service so I was pretty impressed. Her acne went away in a heartbeat. Literally within a month it was entirely gone. Obviously, I was pressing my older daughter to try it too but she wasn't having it. She blindly believed that the doctors should know the best and wanted to go the route of the dermatologist. Sorry - long story short, we continued with Retin-A because that is what the dr told her to do. But the doctor didn't tell us about the side effects even after we asked about the pores and the scarring. I should have done more of my homework. The breaking point was when we went on a family trip to Mexico over Thanksgiving and even with sunscreen, her face turned BEET red to the point where strangers on the beach came up to me and pointed it out and suggested I get her out of the sun. I had no idea what was happening. We went home and iced her face, put aloe vera on it and her face remained burnt for over a week, sensitive to the touch. I felt so bad for her. Needless to say, the beach trip was completely ruined for her which sucked but at least she finally agreed that Retin-A was a bad choice for her. Now after about 4 months on Ninja, she is entirely clear and her scars from that period are starting to face with the help of Salicylic acid every day. I have read all of the reviews here and am happy that some people got relief from this product but I honestly don't understand why it worked for some people without these horrific side effects while for others it doesn't? I guess everyone has their own sky types. I am just glad we are finished with the prescriptions and dermatologists!
Don't use it if your acne is mild!
My dermatologist put me on Retin A for keritosis pilaris on my face and it wasn't too bad before. I had around 3 - 5 little bumps on my face that came and sometimes I even had none. Well I wanted to fix the bumps anyways so my dermatologist put me on Retin A. This broke me out so bad, but I kept using it because I was told it would get worse before it got better. Well, then my skin started peeling and it was red and inflamed and painful. And now my face is covered in the little bumps and cystic acne - and I NEVER had acne before using this medication! It looks terrifying - my face has never been this bad before! There's little to no smooth surface on my face, it's just tiny little bumps and giant red cystic pimples all over my face. I've been using it for almost 4 months now and I don't see it getting any better from here. I would rather deal with what I had before.
6 weeks in
Hello All! I posted a few weeks ago and now I am updatng you with my results. I have been on tretinoin .025% for 6 weeks now. My skin is honestly about 80% cleared. I had acne on my forehead, both cheeks, and neck area. My forehead is clear, my neck is clear, and my left cheek is completely clear. I have 3 pimples on my right cheek that came up after I used sunscreen for a couple days as I was out in the sun. I shaved with a single blade razor yesterday and relaized my face is super soft and very smooth. I think tretinoin is a miracle cure for me. I had a bad initial breakout. The initial breakout started in week 2 and continued all the way through week 5. I am over the intitial breakup and I think my face has come a long way. My advice is to stick with it! ALl good things take time and if there was some way to get rid of acne in 2 weeks then I wouldn;t trust it. This stuff really works. My acne is mainly gone, but I do have some darker spots. I never had acne scars that were indented or anything, but I had the post inflammatory hyperpigmentation. I am hoping that this will go away by week 8. I'm used to waking up every morning and having at least 2 or 3 new piples everyday, I litrally have not had a pimple on my forehead, left cheek, or neck in over a week. Once my right cheek clears up I think I will be totally clear and my confidence is already starting to come back. Give it time! My face got much worse looking for a span of 2-3 weeks but trust me it will be worth it. I am 6 weeks in and I can't wait to see what I look like after 10 weeks.