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Tretinoin (Retin-A, Retisol-A)
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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)

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Tretinoin (Retin-A, Retisol-A)

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Works very well
Reviewed on February 25, 2016

After years of being on various topicals and antibiotics, I've finally found the right combo of medications for my acne. I have cystic & nodular acne, but it has always just been a couple of active cysts at a time. My acne is pretty much limited to just my t-zone, which is super oily. The rest of my face is normal/dry skin. I currently use Retin-A at night, Finacea in the morning, and wash my face with over-the-counter salicylic acid face wash. I've been on this combo for about a year and a half and my face is 90-95% clear. Any pimples I do get these days go away quickly. They never turns into those massive cystic pimples I used to get. I am in my early 30s and am really glad that Retin-A helps prevent wrinkles. I don't have to worry about adding any other products to my routine. With Retin-A, less is more. Too much product will cause dryness, redness, and peeling. I (gently) use a rotating facial brush every morning to help slough off some of the flakiness. I also use a moisturizer every morning before applying makeup.

Not quite 5 stars yet, but getting there!
Reviewed on February 25, 2016

I started using Tretinoin 0.01% gel 16 days ago (i know not long), but my active pimples on my cheeks are so smooth now! There is still scarring/discoloration, but i am very impressed. I read a lot of reviews saying that your skin will purge, but mine has done nothing but improve everyday. Makeup applies so much smoother and evenly now! I am obsessed and pray that this continues to clear up my face. I would recommend to anyone! PS: I was putting rubbing alcohol on my face as a spot treatment prior to using this prescription, that may be why i didn't have the initial "purge". Also, I read that the gel is better for acne because the cream may clog pores (just FYI).

This cream works wonders!
Reviewed on January 6, 2016

This review for people who have really sensitive skin. I used to have this product on my entire face for almost year and it not only cleared my ance, it repaired the damages left by the ance. However, one day my dermatologist told me that Stevia A stopped the production of the cream and i was literally out of it. Next, my ance started breaking again. I was so desperate, i went for isolaz thinking that it will solve everything. It did help my skin kickstart the purging phase. Here's the nightmare, i did let my skin rest after isolaz. I jumped right right straight back to using tretinoin, AHA and differin. When i felt the dryness, i didn't care, i literally continued. Please don't do any of what i did. If you do any laser, chemical peel or any treatment, let your skin rest for that day and then resume back the pimple cream and glycolic acid the following day. The reason i say this is because by the time i couldn't stand the dryness and wanted my skin to go back to normal, it was too late. My skin was already so so dry. I literally took almost a year to get my skin back to normal. In fact, my dermatologist told me that it is harder to treat dry skin with ance and it is true. I went through this myself and i know it's awful.

Back to Retin A, since it is back in production with Stevia A, i am using it now.

My routine now:

Dalacin lotion 0.1% (whole face) (morning and night)

Differin 0.1% (morning) (whole face)

Tretinoin 0.05% (nightly) (whole face)

Retin A 0.1% (nightly) (over the bumpy areas)

So one year later, i have decided to go back for isolaz. I have since gone for 2 sessions of isolaz and will be going for my 3rd session in 2 weeks time. It has been two weeks from the time i started my first isolaz and topical treatment as stated above. My skin have jump from feeling the many crazy bumps under my skin to whiteheads all over my skin and now to the disappearance of whiteheads day after day. I must say the purging came really fast with the isolaz. It was really scary but i told to just hang in there. The earlier the purging ends, the earlier my skin can start healing.

Btw, i highly recommend you to try out isolaz if you want to speed up the purging process. It works far better than a chemical peel since this is for active ance. Also, my dermatologist said that sebum glands will slow down after the 4th session. I will update you guys on my progress after my next isolaz.

Week 3

My dermatologist added an oral antibiotics and topical antibiotics to help reduce the severity of purging. I definitely do see a lot of the whiteheads and papules going away. However, new ones are still surfacing from the bumps under my skin

Week 4

I can now confidently use retin a on the sides of my cheeks and top of my entire forehead without feeling dryness. I guess my skin has gotten used to it. On the side note, i noticed that more of the under skin bumps are appearing to the surface as well. Nothing huge or anything scary. Also, i am now on topical and oral antibiotics. That is certainly helping as well.

Week 5

I went for my 3rd isolaz session. This time round, i saw a significant reduction in my ance. My skin felt smoother and glowly. There lesser bumps and pimples after the isolaz session. My advice to all of you out there if you are intending to go for isolaz. Please make sure that your isolaz sessions apart are no longer than 2 weeks. Also, make sure you go for at least 4 sessions. That way you will reap the maximum effect of the isolaz treatment. If not you will just be wasting your money. Two weeks from now is my 4th isolaz session, i will update you guys then.

Week 6

The under skin bumps all appeared as whiteheads. They are all over my chin, side of my cheeks and forehead. This all started to happen when i used retin a over my entire face. Therefore, i think the purging from the cream has just started for me. On the side note, i am no longer feeling any form of dryness on my skin.

Week 7

I just got my 4th isolaz treatment. This time it took away all the under skin bumps with it. All i am left with is whiteheads. My dermatologist told me that enthromycin is gonna take care of that. I have noticed that my skin feels a lot less cluttered. I am have whiteheads here and there of my face. Overall, my skin has definitely made a lot of progress since my 1st isolaz.

To everyone out there struggling with acne, try to hang in there. Moreover, know that since you started retin a, you are already making progress day by day. Soon enough, you will be at the finishing line. In the meanwhile, just try and focus on something else. Your friends ain't gonna abandon just because you have acne. True friends will embrace you.

week 8

All the whiteheads have somehow subsided overnight. They were still really huge the night before. I am just left with a couple of pimples. When i touched my face this morning, the bumps were seriously almost all gone. I am now really sure that the creams are definitely taking effect. 3 days from now will be my next isolaz session. I believe that is going to take care of the remaining acne.

by Laurenpaige on 03/10/2016 13:34
This will be the final update i will giving everyone. My acne has entirely subside. All i am left with is just Post hyper pigmentation marks. I believe the routine did work to get my acne away. However, the treatments did really help to quicken the process as well. In total, i went for 5 isolaz treatment, 1 chemical peel and 2 carbon peel with blue light treatment. That pretty much subsided all my acne. All i have to say is that this treatment does work. If you are having a hard time going through this right now, please tell yourself to keep. Everyday your skin is trying to fight off the acne, it will one day win the battle. Stay strong. The day where your clear skin is just around the corner. In the meanwhile, be diligent with using retina a and all the other topical and/or oral antibiotics. It will work. Have faith! I literally saw no hope in my skin and felt depressed for a period of time so i definitely know how it feels. Trust me. This routine works. You can do it.
It will test your patient
Reviewed on February 9, 2016

This product is legit, it took about 6 weeks to see noticeable changes, from week 1-4, it was hell. like HELL. I was near depression and could not look at people in the eye from my purge. But from about week 6 onward, it got better. I'm on week 10-11 at the moment, and my skin has stayed pretty good, no new white heads or any inflamed acne, just left with a dozen red/brown marks. Again, I'm being patient on the marks and do hope over the next couple of month I will have smooth and clear skin.

I also took minocycline (50mg) and BP 2.5% (morning) as side treatment.

Overall, highly recommended, makes you a stronger person too by testing your patient.

by Danedane on 03/24/2016 03:15
did you apply retin-a everyday? can you please tell me your routine because we both have the same product.
Don't Fear THE PURGE, this treatment works
Reviewed on February 1, 2016

I have mild acne that I have been managing for about 8 years with BP. With BP I consistently had about 3 -12 zits on my face at any one time. So I decided I might try and get a prescription for something else and give it a try. After reading lots of reviews here and other forums I was terrified about looking like a pizza for a couple weeks after starting this cream. But here is the breakdown of how my results looked:

Week 1:

(Personally) Noticeable smoothing of areas that did not have acne. (Probably not noticeable to others)

Week 2:

Continued smoothing of skin without acne on it, some reduction of acne

Week 3(My purge):

My purge looked like a pretty regular outbreak, I got about 5 new zits that were of pretty average size and duration. Definitely nothing that would be extremely noticeable to those around me.

Weeks 4-5:

Acne fading continued smoothing of all skin.

Weeks 5-16 (Present):

Rarely have more than 1 zit on my face at any 1 time. Zits that do appear are MUCH smaller than average, usually clear up within 1-3 days.

How I use this product:

0.25% Tretinoin nightly - followed by lotion

2.5% BP in the morning - followed by lotion

If you've been using BP for a while I don't think you'll find this treatment too drying, I have a feeling that complaint comes from people who are generally new to acne treatment.

This is not an overnight solution, it took about a month for my skin to be noticeably clearer to my girlfriend and people I hadn't seen in a while. At 3 months I was getting comments from lots of people about how clear my skin was.

Finally, DON'T FEAR THE PURGE. Remember, most people who post on the internet about something like that are only posting because they had a horrible experience, the people who had average symptoms or no purge are unlikely to come back and post about it. My doctor assured me that most people have very mild worsening of acne at first if at all. So If I were you I wouldn't do it in a month where you have any special ceremonies like graduation or something like that. Otherwise, I'd say your safe to give this a go. My skin has never looked clearer, softer or more healthy.

by SoulSalmonGirl on 02/18/2016 05:57
Hi! Your post has really motivated me to try this which I was prescribed over a week ago and have been too afraid to touch. However, did you wash your face with anything at night or just apply the retin-A? Thanks!
Reviewed on January 28, 2016

i started to have acne since i was 18 and tried many products but last year i went to see dermatologist and he prescribed me this retinA and benzac apply retinA 1 time at night everyday(whole face) and now it clears all acne i have been using this for 2 years..

A lot of patience and dedication is needed
Reviewed on December 31, 2015

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.


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!!

by letterstoanise on 05/19/2016 08:58
Please keep us updated ma'am!
by strugglecity on 07/13/2016 15:55
Sorry for the very delayed update! Unfortunately, this cream didn't work for me. I used the .1% religiously, every night, for about 3 months and noticed very little difference in breakouts but very dry skin around my chin, mouth, and nose area. The area under my nose got to a point where it was so red and inflamed from being dry that my Mom actually asked if I was okay. It scarred. I was constantly getting sun burns which stung for 2 or 3 days and lead to a lot of surface level peeling. I had to stop using the cream for a week or two to give my skin a break, and my skin broke out heavily after 2 weeks of not using it. I mean, deep, marble sized, painful, hideous. At this point being at least 12 weeks into using this cream, I asked my Doctor to prescribe a lower dosage as my skin under my nose was literally being destroyed. He prescribed me .05% of retin a (not micro). This cream actually seemed to be a better balance for me. Dryness wasn't a problem, it felt nice, my skin was nice and smooth. However, I was still breaking out and it wasn't showing a world of improvement. My acne also started to venture out to my cheeks and jawline which I have never had a problem with before. I implemented a benzoyl peroxide treatment in the morning (with the retin a at night), I was able to keep the dryness at minimum, but breakouts didn't stop. I used this lower dose retin a for another 3 months. At this point I saw another dermatologist who highly recommended accutane. I try to avoid drugs as much and often as possible. I was very reluctant. I decided to go on birth control (diane 35). I was on it for 2 weeks and felt horrible. Crying spells, sadness, tender body parts, anxiety. Im not saying it wouldnt have gone away with consistent use, but I figured if I were going to go through these side effects I might as well be on accutane. I have now been on accutane for just over 2 weeks (40 mg), and I can tell you that the side effects, for me, are 100x milder than what I felt on diane. I pretty much feel back to myself. I stopped using all acne related creams and topical once I started accutane. I am still experiencing purging. Lips are getting dry but no dryness of the skin yet. Good luck everyone!
Does not work for everyone. I gave it 8 months, after Doctor follow up.
Reviewed on January 20, 2016

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.

Okay, whoa, I'm reading these reviews and really wondering why you guys are using such irritating stuff in your routine
Reviewed on January 17, 2016

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)

Foaming cleansers


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.


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.

//end rant/review

by strugglecity on 01/23/2016 05:38
Do you mind spelling out the link that you tried to include? It has been removed.
Emo teen recommends this cream
Reviewed on January 15, 2016

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. :-)