Retin-A (part of the Retinoid Family)

The Retinoids family includes Retin-A (Tretinoin), Retinyl palmitate, Retinol, Retinaldehyde, Adapalene, Tazarotene, Isotretinoin and none of them are new to skin care. All of the members of the family are used for acne, anti aging, exfoliation and even out the skin tone. The reason they are so popular is because they have plenty of studies that they work and work well. However, they don’t all work the same and there are advantages and disadvantages to each one. In up coming posts, I will be looking at all of the types and a few products from each type.

Let us start with one of my favorites, Retin-A (Tretinoin)

In the United States, it requires a prescription. Retin-A comes in different strengths and textures. It comes in .025%, .05%, .01% are the strengths. Retin-A also come in cream, gel, liquid or micro gel. I have tried both the cream and gel. I think I like the cream better, because it is less drying on the skin. But I find that the gel seems to be more effective on my skin.

Retin A
Tretinoin Gel USP 1% and Micro Retin A

Studies on Retin-A

Retin-A has been studied and prescribed since the 1960s. So there is a lot data, that it works. It has shown to reduce fine lines, wrinkles, collagen levels, even out skin discoloration, exfoliation, unclogging pores and dry up over production of oil on the skin. The studies have shown that is a great for the skin anti aging. If you want to read some more information on the studies, here is a places to look https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3359723/. Truly, there are so many other places to look for studies on this ingredient.

My experience with Retin-A:

I have been using Retin-A for some time, my doctor prescribed the lowest strength, at first, .025% cream. They instructed me to apply a pea sized amount to my face after wash my face in the evening. Not right after I wash my face. The Retin-A seeps further into wet skin and could irritate it a lot more. I started with one night a week and moved up to 4-5 days a week.

Side effects

You should start out slowly, with something like only one day a week is because it could be irritating to the skin and it is irritating to the skin. My face was red and very irritated for three days after initial use, actually even after least 6 months. Of course, by then I had moved up to 3 days a week.

Don’t forget the peeling, the peeling is real and can make you feel a bit self consuse. It does feel a bit like a sunburn that just goes on and on. You may wonder why I kept using it, well, it does have a wonderful benefit. My skin looked so good on the days when it wasn’t red and peeling. Even though, it was just a day or two at first.

Now after 3 years and at the highest strength, I no longer have that redness or peeling on my skin. Although some of that has to do with my Clinique Moisture Mask which I will be reviewing in a future post.

Even though I am now on 3 years of using the product, I must admit that the affects aren’t as stunning as they were the first year. Although. there we so many issues with the side effects, the results were much more impressive the first year than they are now. The question is, could my skin have finally gotten used to it? Or is it just getting older and more resistant to change.

It is a good thing that there is more products in the Retinoid family to try, because a prescription of Retin-A ranges in cost from $171.00 to $389.00. Some insurances cover it and some don’t. My insurance does, but it is subject to deductible and then there is the doctor’s visit cost as well. That can all add up to a great deal of money to spend on skin care.

Next up, in this series, dealing with the peeling and irritation of using products in the Retinoid family and Retinyl Palmitate (the weakest in the Retinoid family, but one of the most common).

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