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Retin A - what should I expect?

(20 Posts)
Archduke Tue 01-Dec-15 11:03:12

Those of you that use Retin A cream can you talk me through your routine, what you use it for, positive effects etc?

I'm 47 and live in sunny climes so am getting some pigment marks and the usual wrinkles. I read someone on here raving about it so being the suggestible type I got some from ebay.

I've been using it at night a couple of times a week for the past month or so, and apart from an initial redness I can't see a huge difference - am I doing it wrong? Should I up the number of nights I use it? I sort of thought it would make my wrinkly old skin fall off and the skin of a baby would shine out from underneath.

It's 0.05% which sounds tiny - should I get some max full strength?

If you could talk me though your experience and offer sound advice I'd be heaps grateful.

Itsalldramarama Tue 01-Dec-15 11:43:57

The strength you have isn't weak , most start of lower but if it's not irritating you you should be fine ! I use that strength and have done since April , I use it every other night
Cleanse face and wait 20 mins ( can irritate if skin not totally dry ,
Pea size amount , avoid eyes and round nose and mouth ,
I use Nivea blue pot sometimes an hour later if feels drying .
Always use a spf 50 as makes skin sensitive to sun .
I sometimes have flaking the next morning but not always but sloughs off with hot flannel.
Results take a few month to really show as it speeds up skin renewal , new skin thickens and plumps up underneath and old skin thins and sheds more quickly , I have seen good results , less lines especially I between eyes and forehead and skin is glowing and fresher , just be patient , use Spf religiously and stop if any irritation smile hope this helps ! Oh and don't use at the the same time as sacylic acid toners , save them and serums etc for morning routine

Wolpertinger Tue 01-Dec-15 12:02:30

Sadly the skin of a bady will not emerge from underneath!

0.05% is not weak, it's standard strength but using it a couple of times a week it's v much.

As Itsalldramarama says wait 20 min after cleansing, tiny pea size amount over face, moisturise (I use Cerave). Always use SPF 50 in the mornings.

Build up gradually to alt days then daily. If you are getting redness or peeling at any point slow down back to where you were before.

What you can expect is resolution of acne, if that's a problem for you, smaller looking pores, thicker and firmer skin, some pigmentation may improve and a hard to describe 'glow'. What you cant expect is your wrinkles to vanish and the skin of a 16 year old.

Flatsfromnowon Tue 01-Dec-15 18:56:48

Hello,

Can I join in? I have been using 0.25 for about a month now and cannot see any real difference either apart from my skin looks clearer but I still get the occasional spot and have blackheads.

I was expecting my blackheads to disappear but I still have them...will they eventually go? I have only had a bit of flaking.

I also am much oilier - will this calm down? I suspect this is mainly from the SPF 50 but I was also told that I should stop using my avene cleanance products (which stopped any oiliness) and go for something richer which I have done but am wondering if this is what is making me oilier?

Can anyone advise? Thanks

Wolpertinger Tue 01-Dec-15 19:08:38

Hi Flats. Are you using salicylic acid?

TBH I found this far more effective for my black heads are you sure they aren't sebaceous filaments than the Retin A. I carried on using it in the mornings.

Don't know about the oiliness - my skin really dried up a lot. What Cleanance products did you give up and what have you switched to? In my Retin A phase I was a purist and stuck rigidly to oil free products anyway and was using Cetaphil cleanser and Cerave moisturiser both of which had helped improve my oiliness a lot before starting the Retin A. I don't think it's rich you need so much as skin repairing which is why I went for the Cerave as as it has lots of ceramides and niacinamide which all help skin barrier function, rather than just basic 'add richness'.

Ridingthegravytrain Tue 01-Dec-15 19:18:07

I've been using retin a .1% gel for a few months now. I'm greasy too. Tbh I think it's just my skin and the dead skin I used to have stopped the oil getting through. I've always been greasy but even more so now when I've rubbed the skin off with a flannel. It's a shame as I was hoping it would dry me out

Skin is in better nick overall. Still get spots but I've always been spotty so I think they are still 'emerging' if you see what I mean. Especially around my nose and chin. Where I am really greasy!

I didn't know you could use salicylic acid too. I'm getting back on with my bravura in the morning (or is an acid peel too much??)

Wolpertinger Tue 01-Dec-15 19:34:18

No idea! My understanding is that the peels they sell aren't actually that peely IYSWIM. I've used SR Skincare peels and strictly no peeling happened!

This is purely what I did and I should say I haven't any specialist knowledge and pretty insensitive skin smile I just did everything very gradually and one thing at a time and only changed things once every 4 weeks to be certain what was and wasn't working.

Ridingthegravytrain Tue 01-Dec-15 19:39:45

Oh I've got some of their super strong peels (think it's 30%) but I bought it at the same time as retin a and been too chicken to try it

Mine skin is pretty insensitive too..started the .1% straight off and no ill effects apart from some redness/peeling which I thought was desired anyway! So I'll give it a go with the SA too. Maybe test a small area as clearasil exfoliator pads sting like a bitch grin

Wolpertinger Tue 01-Dec-15 19:47:32

Well Clearasil pads are a shit product anyway - high alcohol content, wrong pH, I'm guessing you read Caroline Hirons too? grin

Yes, I bought them after her recommendation. They may be budget, they are still awful. Sting more than a peel does. I've barely used 5 pads. Splash out on some proper BHA from Paula's Choice smile Doesn't sting, works amazingly.

No redness and peeling is not a desired effect! If that happens you are supposed to slow down and start again and .1% is very high to start with, you are supposed to start with 0.25% shock

Ridingthegravytrain Tue 01-Dec-15 20:02:41

I don't mean prolonged, face was a bit red straight after application and peely for 2 uses then nothing. I was rather disappointed. I used high strength retin a for years on prescription for acne when I was younger. I think years of that, then benzamycin and panoxyl have toughened my skin to leather shock

Flatsfromnowon Tue 01-Dec-15 22:15:43

Hello Wolpertinger,

Sorry for the delay and long post detailing my cleansing regime!

So in the morning I was using Avene Gentle Cleanser, Avene Cleanance gel with water in the shower and then moisturising with avene hydrance optimal light with SPF and in the evening Avene Gentle Cleanser, avene cleanance miceller water and no moisturiser. My face looked okay just getting on a bit but my spots and blackheads were under control.

Now I am using the retin A every other night and in each morning using the gentle cleanser, avene gentle face gel (not a wash but just wet fingers and rinse off) and moisturising with Avene Hydrance Optimale light followed by Sun Sense Spf 50. In the evening I am using the gentle cleanser, the sensitive skin miceller water and cerataphil.

I started using retin A as my friend who has amazing skin recommended but I cannot take the oiliness.

Can you see where I am going wrong?

Maybe it just doesn't suit me although my skin does look clearer - would glycolic acid be better I wonder?

Wolpertinger Wed 02-Dec-15 10:56:39

To me there isn't a massive difference in your routine (except the Retin A obvs) except dropping the Cleanance gel.

However what strikes me is that your routine is very cleanser heavy and no, glycolic is not going to be the answer for you. Glycolic doesn't dissolve in oil - its for dry skin.

A basic routine for managing spots/blackheads/oily skin would look like this:

Gentle non foaming cleanser. No scrubby particles or beads. No fancy ingredients as the cleanser spends seconds on your skin - it isn't long enough for them to work. Good options are: Avene Gentle Cleanser, Cetaphil, pretty much everything you own already. Double cleanse if you feel like it/wear makeup

Salicylic acid toner. Classic examples are Clinique Mild Clarifying Toner (but no other Clinique toners) - this is prob the mildest, LRP Effaclar Duo, Paula's Choice 2% BHA - prob the gold standard, Nip and Fab Dragons Blood pads. You may see spots get worse before they get better - it takes 4-6 weeks for new skin to come through and to really see an effect.

Oil-free moisturiser. If you use Effaclar Duo or Paula's Choice 2% BHA lotion at this point you may find them moisturising enough. Or not. Cerave is a lovely oil free moisturiser with niacinamide which is also anti-acne. Personally I wouldn't pick the Hydrance Optimale Light as it isn't oil-free - I know some people will say there are good oils for acne but I wasn't prepared to go there and my skin was happy so I avoided oil like an obsession.

In the morning - oil-free SPF eg Sunsense daily face - again has niacinamide.

Then once you've done all of that you can add a retinol. The sensible way is to buy an over the counter product like LRP Redermic R, Avene Triacneal or Paula's Choice. Or you can buy Retin A from an internet pharmacy - it's OK I did that too blush

Archduke Wed 02-Dec-15 11:08:06

Wowzers you chicks are great. Thanks for the advice all out of interest where did you get your Retin A?

I got mine from that high class exclusive store EBay. Straight from Thailand so I may be putting Retin A on my face or I may be putting re-packaged mayonnaise, who knows. . .

PrimalLass Wed 02-Dec-15 12:49:49

They may be budget, they are still awful. Sting more than a peel does.

They don't sting my skin and it is really sensitive and prone to redness.

Wolpertinger Wed 02-Dec-15 16:22:12

I'm glad for you - just proves every one is different! They make my eyes water just by opening the jar sad

Flatsfromnowon Wed 02-Dec-15 19:15:47

Wolpertinger,

Thank you!

That sounds great. On the Cerave - would that be the specific facial moisturiser?

Also, and I am sorry if I am taking liberties, can you offer a good face mask? My sister has been singing the praises for glamglo. Would that be okay to use? For the blackheads once or twice a week?

And one final thing was that I was using retin a for the looking better ageing reason - have you any knowledge of botox?

Thanks so much. Really appreciate this.

Wolpertinger Wed 02-Dec-15 19:40:48

Cerave - I use the AM and PM facial moisturiser.

Face masks aren't really my thing. When I am doing the whole routine thing I haven't really felt the need as my skin has looked really really good. If you are applying a salicylic toner every day there will be no blackheads I promise you. If they are on your nose they aren't blackheads they are sebaceous filaments, have a google, it's why you will never be rid of them entirely However I don't see why that should stop me pontificating about the GlamGlow grin

Basically it's a clay mask. Clay is cheap as chips. Yes they have put other stuff in, proper stuff like salicylic etc but whether that can get to your skin through the clay and work at the right pH would be another matter hmm Any clay mask is going to temporarily dry up all your oil and get rid of blackheads but only temporarily. They are fun to do. I do them occasionally. But they will not shrink your pores - the only things that will do that are Retin A and possibly regular application of salicylic (they don't shrink them but they help build up collagen that supports the walls of your pores so helps them look a bit smaller)

Botox - not personally. How much money have you got to spend? There are a lot of cosmetic dermatology clinics around using ranges like Obagi and offering dermaroller, laser, fillers and botox. If you are serious and have the cash this is the route to go down as they can give you an idea what will work best for you.

Flatsfromnowon Wed 02-Dec-15 20:03:27

You are great!

No, not much cash - basically I am getting married in July and want to look my absolute best. At the moment I have the motivation to sort myself out and really make some changes that will help me look better going into my mid 40s. Have a two year old and work full time, you know the story... Sleep deprived, stuffy office environment, not much me time anymore.

And yes the blackheads are on my nose. Am off to google...

Wolpertinger Wed 02-Dec-15 22:41:33

OK, no cash version then definitely doesn't include Glamglow! It made me think you had cash to spend.

You have a lot of time to get sorted so things I would do and wish I had done before my wedding are:

Get sorted with cleanse, acid tone, moisturise. Think about adding in extra hydration and peptides with a serum like hylamide. The Vit C version especially if pigmentation is an issue for you.

Get your Retin A going so you are up to every day - or have abandoned it and recovered if it isn't for you.

There aren't many ingredients proven to do anything anti-ageing. Basically SPF, acids, retin A, peptides, niacinamide, possibly Vit C and ceramides. If you use salicylic in the morning, scrululously SPF, retin A if you can tolerate it, Cerave and Hylamide C then you have got the lot. Then maybe one of the fancy Korean hydrating sheet masks the night before your wedding and you would be good to go!

Flatsfromnowon Thu 03-Dec-15 20:21:30

Thanks so much - you have been so helpful!

Yeah, it's my sister who has the cash!

If you don't mind I might come back nearer the time to ask about those fancy masks.

Thanks smile

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