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RETIN-A / Tretinoin For Wrinkles: Review & Before and After!

In ANTI-WORKS., BEAUTY, FACE, IN EVIDENCE., REVIEWS FACIAL TREATMENTS AND PRODUCTS by Clelia Mattana36 Comments

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C-Retin-A face (Have mercy on my bad humor is stronger than me!).

Retin-A ( Tretinoin or Retinoic Acid)
Is a derivative of Vitamin A and is used mainly to treat acne and acne scars for its power to regenerate the top layer of the epidermis and, over time, to create new collagen.

In cosmetics, however, its weaker derivative is used: Retinol which is not what I want to talk about today, as the concentrations are so low as to have no perceptible effect on wrinkles.

I have used 0.1% tretinoin cream, the highest concentration (not available in most of Europe), since 29. So, to date, it’s 16 years of continuous use, and I can say with certainty, supported by scientific evidence, that:

Tretinoin / retinoic acid (the active ingredient in Retin-A) is the only cream with real anti-wrinkle properties on the market. A Harvard study also states this in this article.

Very Important Premises:

I haven’t started using Retin-A for this purpose. A doctor prescribed it for me to treat a terrible episode of nodulocystic acne, which has disfigured me for more than a year (more on this in a separate article).

The side effect I wasn’t aware of was that it not only cured my acne but also set my skin’s biological clock back years. Tretinoin erased the wrinkles I had and prevented new ones from forming. The more you use tretinoin consistently (I’m talking about years), the more remarkable the results will be.

Retin-A is a drug, not a wrinkle cream to spread on the face. You can’t take it lightly. There are contraindications and side effects that you need to be aware of. Remember that it should not be used if you are pregnant and do not plan to use sunscreen every day.

Tretinoin is also an excellent ally to prepare the skin for strong peels, such as TCA peels and other types of chemical peels. You can read related articles by clicking on the links.


How Does Retin-A Work To Reduce/Erase Wrinkles?

clelia-white-face-retin-a-use-for-years
This is an example of the effects of Retin-A after constant use for 11 years (when the second photo was taken). Sure, I’ve aged. It is not the absence of wrinkles that makes a face look young. But when it comes to wrinkles, I have remained the same as when I was 25. I just don’t have any yet.

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The two horizontal wrinkles in the forehead disappeared around age 33, after four years of daily use of Retin-A, and no other major wrinkles have formed. The complexion is now rosy and healthy. I have no makeup, botox, or filters.

Above is a more recent photo, aged 42, with more years of using tretinoin. You can see that the skin is free from hyperpigmentation and wrinkles. After 13 years, I’m pretty white, but with blush or self-tanners, I look human again, and I don’t give up the pleasure of a day at the beach using SPF 50 ++++ sunscreen.

How Retin-A Works as anti-wrinkle:


The action of Retin-A is simple: it constantly exfoliates the superficial layer of the skin. That is why it is also used against acne, preventing the formation of blackheads and cysts.

By exfoliating the skin daily, wrinkles don’t have time to develop or deepen. As a bonus, Retin-A also helps with collagen production by making the skin:

  • ELASTIC
  • SMOOTH
  • HEALTHY


But also:

  • MUCH MORE SENSITIVE TO THE SUN
  • MORE DELICATE


As you can see, there are also drawbacks to using Retin-A. As a first step, you can forget to have a natural tan on your face.


It is dangerous to expose yourself to the sun or even daylight without sunscreen, even if it is cloudy or inside the house but near the windows. There is also a higher melanoma risk rate if proper precautions are not used.


Important Info

wrinkles-of-expression
Excuse the light, but I took the photo tonight to show the frown lines we all naturally have.

When I say that Retin-A has erased my wrinkles, I don’t mean that I have a mummified face: D

Of course, I have dynamic wrinkles like anyone else if I’m surprised, laugh or get angry, but they’re not as pronounced as they used to be. The great thing is that having more elastic skin, similar to younger skin, when “I don’t grimace,” everything falls into place, and wrinkles leave no marks.

That’s why I swore eternal love at the Tretinoin and even took it to the Namibian desert. I don’t skip one night, even when I had malaria! (Yep, no kidding!)

I could go into the scientific details of why Retin-A (retinoic acid/tretinoin) is so powerful in fighting and preventing skin aging.

However, I prefer to refer to scientific articles supported by decades of experimentation, which have definitively proven the effectiveness of Retin-A. Bottom line: you don’t have to trust me. Go to Google and search for scientific texts on Retin-A. There are plenty of them!


How much does Retin-A cost, and How Long does it take to See The Benefits?

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Prices may vary by country. I lived in Mexico for two years and bought 0.1% Retin A at about $ 20-30 for a 40g tube (which lasted about a year).

In the United States, Retin-A / Tretinoin costs $ 50 to $ 100 depending on the type of cream prescribed; in Canada slightly less.

After 3-4 years of daily use, tretinoin has permanently erased two deep forehead lines that I had since the age of 29, and now, at 45, I no longer have wrinkles in that area.

Retin-A is the best-known trade name, but you can search for the cream by several names, the most common:

  • Tretinoin Same cream/gel
  • Isotretinoin cream/gel
  • Airol cream

Where To Buy Tretinoin Online

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Important Notice: Only evaluate online pharmacies if you are fully aware of this medicine’s risks and side effects.

Due to abuse by irresponsible consumers, it is now very difficult to find Retin-A online. I advise you to consult your family doctor/dermatologist and read carefully about how to use Retin-A correctly.


It’s easier to find Retin-A / Tretinoin in online pharmacies in Canada, America, Asia, and Spain, but check if the companies are legitimate and consider the shipping costs.

In my opinion, it is still worth it, considering the product’s durability, but the price goes up. Check the user reviews first and read the dedicated forums.

Tretinoin is a strictly controlled cream used for medical purposes (mainly for acne) and is usually not prescribed if you ask for it as an anti-wrinkle.

When you find your favorite pharmacy, online or not, do not change it because you are sure of the seriousness of the seller.


Bonus Advice:

If you go to Mexico (or know someone who lives there), take advantage of it! Retin-A costs a lot less than other places, and the quality is top-notch (I’ve tested it myself). You don’t need a doctor’s prescription if you pay a surcharge (which costs $ 10 to $ 20 depending on the pharmacy). You can find it in almost all pharmacies at low prices in tourist areas.


Advice on Online Pharmacies:

Be very careful and arm yourself with patience. The online pharmacy business is a jungle full of scams! To find a serious pharmacy, follow these tips:

They should require a prescription:

Sometimes, they make it for you from their certified doctor for a higher cost. These are the sites, in my opinion, where you have a better guarantee, even if you spend a bit more.

Be wary of companies who don’t ask for a prescription

A serious online pharmacy will not sell potentially harmful drugs without a prescription. That said, some sell legitimate products and are trustworthy.

Search online forums about this topic:

With real users and real advice. They also indicate scams, if the products are shipped, if they are of quality, etc. If you want to buy Retin-A online, you must find a safe pharmacy, and it’s not always located in your country, so you should know the commercial names used abroad. Here is a list:

US Tretinoin commercial Names:

  • Renova
  • Avita
  • Retin-A /Retin-A Micro
  • Refissa
  • Altreno
  • Atralin
  • Tretin-X

UK Tretinoin Commercial Names:

  • Retin-A
  • Tretinoin same (generic tretinoin medication, identical to Retin-A)
  • Iso Tretinoin (Slightly different composition at the chemical molecule level but with comparable results, I tested it at 0.1% and personally found it stronger than regular Tretinoin)

Canada Tretinoin Commercial Names:

  • Rejuva-A
  • Stieva-A Cream/Forte/Gel/Solution
  • Vitamin A Acid

Spain Tretinoin Commercial Names:

  • Retin-A
  • Retirides (Until recently, they sold the medicine without prescription in Spain, try to ask people who live there or have bought Retin A in Spain in the past few months)

Difference Between Retin-A and Retinol Creams

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Source: Donna Moderna (Note prices ranging from 30 to over 90 euros for a mini-pack), with promises of wrinkle removal and other donkeys flying a little too high.

Retin-A (drug) is not to be confused with retinol, which is part of the retinoid family and is present in several cosmetic creams. However, its power is not remotely comparable to that of retinoic acid (Retin-A). From personal experience, these creams can slightly exfoliate the first layer of the epidermis and make some active ingredients penetrate better.


If Retin-A, in the pharmaceutical form at maximum concentration, takes months (or even years) to give initially minimal results, let alone if Retinol, the much lighter form, can give concrete results in terms of wrinkles.


So, to wrap up the parenthesis on Retinol, I’m not saying these products are useless. Some, which I mention in the article about my best wrinkle cream, are very good.


Just don’t trust the promises of wrinkle reduction or improvement (visible to the naked eye) of sagging skin. Appreciate other features such as the feeling of hydration it leaves, the temporary firmness, and more. But for wrinkles, ladies, rely on our good old Retin-A.


How to Use Retin-A, Avoiding Side Effects & Getting Maximum Results?

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No redness, irritation, and other adverse effects. Photo October 2019 = 42 years old)

I remember the first time I had to apply Retin-A for acne. I was terrified of online reviews about inflammation, flaking skin like a python, redness, heavy peeling, and worsening acne in the first few months. It took me two weeks to get to try it (and luckily, I did).

Everything I read was more or less true, at least in the first few months. But (and that’s a big but) you can minimize these side effects and get through the weeks your skin adapts without any issues.

Here’s how!

1| USE THE LOWEST CONCENTRATION AVAILABLE:

You have to be patient. Retin-A is a marathon for the skin, not a sprint. In Italy, the concentration on the market for both cream and gel is (in 2022) 0.05%.

When I started, there were lower concentrations, but we can get around this issue if you don’t find a lower % in your country.

The one I use now after years is 0.1 % and is the strongest ever but is not sold in Italy. Don’t worry; when the skin is not used to tretinoin, a lower % is fine. If you have never applied Retin-A, start with the lowest concentration you can find.

I don’t advise mixing a higher strength of Retin-A with moisturizer; you’ll not know how much you’re applying and can’t control the process to accustom your skin to it.


2| USE VERY LITTLE (A TIP ON ONE FINGER IS ENOUGH FOR THE WHOLE FACE)

RETIN-A-QUANTITY-FOR-ALL-THE-FACE

Almost everyone is wrong in thinking that if you use more product, the results come sooner. Wrong! It is also counterproductive because it creates irritation, and it is necessary to leave the skin alone for a few days, disturbing the continuity of the treatment. I use a small amount all over my face. Retin-A, if stored well, lasts up to a year. The results will come, don’t worry!

 


3|INITIALLY, DON’T APPLY TRETINOIN TO THE NECK AND UNDER THE EYE AREA

RETIN-A-HOW-TO-USE-IT-NO-CONTOUR-EYES

These areas have the most delicate and thin skin, so initially, they should not be touched by Retin-A.

Some people never apply Retin-A to the eye area. I try it sporadically, but I am hesitant because, initially, the result is terrifying: The skin under my eyes is filled with wrinkles from dryness and flaking.

To avoid this, I first put on a moisturizer and then bring up the Retin-A under my eyes. It will not have the same regenerative effects, but I can see results. Initially, however, you should avoid the eye area.


4| START WITH 2 TIMES A WEEK TO LET THE SKIN GRADUALLY GET USED TO IT

Again, slow and steady wins the race. You don’t launch into putting it on every night. Test how your skin reacts, and it takes several days to see it even after just one application. So if you don’t immediately see yourself reddened/irritated or flaky, don’t put it on again because “it doesn’t do anything to me.”

In the first month, try two times a week if your skin can handle it (a little flaking is there at first anyway, which means the skin is adapting and the Retin-A is doing its job).

The following month increase the applications to 3 times a week until your skin can tolerate it every night without side effects.

I have been applying it every day for years and have no (visible) flaking or redness because I have gradually become accustomed to it over 15 years.


5| IF SKIN BECOMES IRRITATED, DISCONTINUE 2 DAYS AND USE CONNETTIVINA

Despite all precautions, it sometimes happens that the skin is more sensitive or dry and gets irritated with the use of Retin-A. In this case, I stop for about two days and let the skin rest while I pamper it with the Connettivina Plus to avoid infection if the skin splits at the corners of the mouth.

RETIN-A-FOR-WRINKLES-COCONUT-OIL-BIOLOGICAL-TREATMENTS-FACE
CONNETTIVINA-BIO-PLUS-IRRITATIONS-RETIN-A

Connettivina is AMAZING. It is pure Hyaluronic acid and helps the skin regenerate in no time, leaving it moisturized. It’s THE only thing I use, along with ‘Pure Organic Coconut Oil if I have skin irritated by Retin-A. It is sold in pharmacies or on Amazon. Click on the Images to see and buy the products.


6| DON’T GIVE UP IF YOU SEE YOURSELF GETTING WORSE!

RETIN-A-ACNE-WRINKLES-WORSENING

You know what they say: You get worse before you get better. This is a valid concept when applied to Retin-A. Except in rare cases, with skins that will endure anything, your skin might get worse for about two weeks to 2 months.

Dry skin, which flakes more or less markedly, preventing you from using foundation and powders without it being noticeable, and also a sudden worsening of acne. This is what you have to expect in the first few months.

Why does this happen? First, the skin is becoming accustomed to much faster cell turnover than usual, is more exposed to the elements, sun, and pollution, and tends to become irritated.

The surface layer of the skin is exfoliated daily, and for those with oily skin, there is also an acne problem. All the “dirt” under covered by that layer of the skin comes to the surface, giving you unsightly pimples and cysts.

Fortunately, Retin-A has incredible power to speed up the healing of pimples and blemishes if you use it every day. After a few weeks of “pizza face” you won’t even need to put on foundation if you don’t like it. The skin, when past the pimples and flaking phase, is almost perfect.

I remember my bad phase lasted four months because I already had a horrible acne, then almost suddenly, the skin became so radiant that several people pointed it out to me. And never in my life had anyone made positive comments about my skin. EVER.


8| CLEAN YOUR FACE AND PUT ON RETIN-A ONLY WHEN IT IS COMPLETELY DRY.

Very important action, often forgotten. Why use Retin-A only with super-dry skin? Because moisture residue causes more of the product to be absorbed, irritating the skin and making flaking more visible.


9| AVOID PUTTING CREAMS BEFORE OR AFTER PUTTING ON RETIN-A

retin-A-wrinkles-and-sun
Forget the wild tan if you use Retin-A (and your skin will thank you anyway!) You can always use great self-tanners!

I give you this advice based on my experience. After putting on Retin-A, some people allow enough time for the skin to have absorbed it completely (about 20-30 min) and then apply their anti-wrinkle cream or moisturizer. The “Sandwich Method.”

I carefully avoid it for a couple of reasons:

1) I have skin that tends to be oily, and although I initially feel that the Tretinoin is drying out my skin as soon as I put it on, overnight, my skin balances it out by producing enough oil to compensate. In the morning, I wash my face well with lukewarm water, removing any flaking, and treat my skin well with the creams and serums I talk about in the article about the best anti-wrinkle cream after 40 years

2) I don’t want to minimize the effect and benefits of Retin-A:  Although the skin has absorbed it all, adding other products (depending on what you use) could affect the cell regeneration work that Retin-A is doing, so to be safe, I avoid mixing products.

I only do this when I put the cream in the eye area before the Retin-A. NEVER AFTER: I did this once, and some of the product migrated into the eye area, giving me beautiful, wrinkled skin the next morning. But if it happens, don’t worry. It is a transient effect.


10| USE SUNSCREEN OFTEN!

This step is the most important one. As already explained, Retin-A and the sun do not get along. I dare say they are bitter enemies. Remember that when you use Retinoic Acid, you are missing a layer of skin. The “stratum corneum” a protective layer made of dead skin cells.

Sun sensitivity increases exponentially, putting you at risk of burns, irritation, and more serious problems. So I highly recommend one of the sunscreens with physical Zinc Oxide filters for the face.

Any sunscreen is better than none until you find the right one for your face. ALWAYS use it even if it is cloudy or raining. The harmful rays, UVA, always come through even without the sun. If you don’t feel like using solar 365 days a year, then you better not use Retin-A.

You would do more damage to your skin than anything else. Lots and lots of attention! is a medication, not just any cream (which is why, as an anti-wrinkle, Retin A beats no one)


So Who Doesn’t Have Wrinkles at 40/50 Years of Age Use Retin-A!

jennifer-aniston-retin-a-anti-wrinkles

Ok, the makeup and the right lighting, but you can see that this woman’s skin is in very good condition. It doesn’t take a scientist to figure that out.

When you see Hollywood stars a la Jennifer Aniston still with fabulous skin at 50, their REAL secrets can only be these listed below. In combination or individually:

  • They won the genetic lottery (it’s rare, but it happens, lucky them, I have bad skin).
  • They use Botox (more or less extreme, in some cases not noticeable, in others terrifying).
  • They have been using Retin A, probably for decades, with admirable consistency, every night.
  • They undergo peels as aggressive as TCA (post separately because I experienced it once).
  • Consistent use of ultra-high protection sunscreens even in cloudy conditions or in winter.
  • They did the facelift in combination with the previously mentioned points.


Another necessary premise:
I am not writing the article to lecture anyone. I know people who highly don’t give a damn about wrinkles and are even proud of them (okay…maybe the only really believable one was my grandmother), but some women, however, are not particularly concerned/obsessed with them.

While others, like me, care about keeping their facial skin in good condition, as much as nature and genetics may allow, because sooner or later we all get old, let’s face it ๐Ÿ™‚ Why did I make this premise? Very simple.

Because all the miraculous creams, lotions and serums we are offered by advertisements ( as  good as some are in improving the appearance of the skin) DO NOT CANCEL  OR ATTENUATE THE WRINKLES THAT ARE ALREADY PRESENT. FORGET IT.

I know people who spend a fortune on famous brand creams that promise to erase wrinkles, pull up the skin, and even plump it up (seriously?!), maybe in 30mg packs for “only” 150 euros, and then maybe criticize those who do Botox.

Such misinformation that Botox is often confused with Hyaluronic Acid injections, which, if done incorrectly, give the effect of a mouse/ hamster ๐Ÿ˜€ Very often, I have heard comments on photos of starts stuffed with Hyaluronic Acid with a  ” Look at this one, WITH ALL THE BOTOX THAT WAS MADE UP!”

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Those who criticize are often the ones who buy the super-expensive creams, which are supposed to achieve the same result (fewer wrinkles, younger/fresh face).

A result you get with that Botox they criticize so much (why do they confuse it with the stars’ mummy faces? Bah!), which gives immediate results that last for at least 3-4 months. Without ruining anything at all. And then there is Retin-A, much less immediate but just as effective! In short, the reasoning of those who criticize and then buy expensive creams I find ridiculous and hypocritical.

If you don’t love your wrinkles and a proven method (Retin-A and/or Botox) gives you certain results, why spend hundreds on “anti-wrinkle” creams and criticize those who use the methods that work? On balance, you spend MUCH less and get what you want.

Anti-aging creams and serums, the good ones, work, and I recommend them to improve the appearance of the skin and prevent other damage. They don’t flatten anything, unfortunately. Better a few targeted but good products!

madonna-fillers-effect-cushion
Exaggerated combination of fillers on the cheeks (not Botox, that is not done on the cheeks! And he certainly went overboard with the latter as well, but it has nothing to do with the “hamster” effect given instead by the Hyaluronic acid injected into the cheeks “squick!” ๐Ÿ˜€

And here we come to the end (for now!) of this article. I was going to post frequently asked questions about Retinoic Acid’s use for severe acne, but I thought I would prepare a second dedicated article. Otherwise, I risk confusing you!


Have you ever tried Retin-A? If yes, leave me your experience in the comments, or if you have any doubts, leave a comment below, and I’ll try to answer you as best I can!

Thank you!

Clelia


Further reading:

Best mineral sunscreens I use for younger-looking skin


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Comments

  1. Iโ€™ve love d reading your article, very informative. I wanted to add something to a ladyโ€™s question about applying Retin-a to her thighs. As a medic I advise caution as you can overdose on vitamin A.

    1. Author

      Hi Sam

      Thank you for your comment. I can’t remember which lady asked about the leg specifically but I also wouldn’t advise unless is like ONE spot or a very limited surface, plus I never read anything about using it on other parts of the body, to be honest. So I’d definitely trust your advice on this.

    1. Author

      Hi Joshua
      You can write whatever question you have here so that with my answer I might be able to help you and other people who might have similar doubts ๐Ÿ™‚
      Have a lovely evening!

      Clelia

  2. Great article, thank you so much for the info! I took notes and I’m going to try starting from the lowest concentration in September, I’m 31 so I hope I’m still in time! I just subscribed, love your blog!!

    1. Author

      Hi Sarah, I’m so glad you found this article useful, stay tuned because I’m about to translate the TCA peel review with my photos of the peeling stage too ๐Ÿ˜€ Let me know how it goes in September!
      Cheers
      Clelia

  3. Hi you look fantastic โค๏ธ
    A question , do you think it helps firm jaw line at all if used along jaw line also ? Do you think it prevents sagging skin ?
    Thank you ๐Ÿ˜Š

    1. Author

      Hi Karen

      Thanks a lot for your kind words! As for your question, tretinoin helps in regenerating the kin mainly. The build-up of collagen is not too much to truly help the kin relaxation that comes with age. What I have found more beneficial is the use of TCA peeling (I’m finishing up an article about it), but being a very strong acid people need to be extra careful. That can indeed help in preventing sagging kin to a certain degree because it reaches the dermis where the collagen is built. Hope it helps!
      Cheers ๐Ÿ™‚
      Clelia

  4. Hi Clelia,
    Do you use tret around your eyes and if yes how? I tried it and my skin got so wrinkly and dry. Should I continue using it?

    1. Author

      Hi Sonja, at the moment I am using tretinoin a bit under my eyes but in a very subtle way. It’s completely normal to have your skin wrinkly and dry, that area is very delicate. You can try what I’m doing at the moment (with no side effects of dry skin so far).

      I cleanse my face in a delicate way to remove oils and makeup (I use virgin coconut oil, remove it with a cloth and use a light detergent to get out all the oil), I let it dry for a few minutes and then gently I start applying Retin A on my forehead, cheeks and chin avoiding the under the area for now. Then I use whatever is left from my cheeks and go a bit higher around my eyes. (not too close because I don’t want any to migrate inside the eye.

      I wait around 30 minutes and then I finally add my serums and moisturizer. By doing this I can definitely use it around my eyes with zero dryness. You can try and let me know. Remember to use the serums/moisturizers only after you put tretinoin and wait for a while before you do so. I found this to be the most effective way for the tretinoin to be absorbed well and avoid the wrinkly look ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Hello, I have a question. Didn’t it sting when you put 0.1 Tretinoin on your neck? In my case, it’s okay to apply 0.1 to my face, but it irritates my neck red.

    1. Author

      Hey, I never used Retin A on my neck (until recently and I’m using the 0,05%) I use it and around 15 minutes later I add a serum and a moisturizer by Timeless skin. This way I haven’t had any issues. The skin neck is quite sensitive so I wouldn’t recommend using such a high strength there, or if you do, you might want to reduce the applications to a couple of times per week and add some good quality serums later on.

  6. I’ve been using dermalmd anti-aging serum for over two months now and I’ve noticed significantly fewer wrinkles under my eyes and my forehead. Easy to apply, my wife loves the scent and makes my face feel smoother and look noticeably more rejuvenated.

    1. Author

      Hi Oscar, I’ve heard about that product but not in a good way actually. Not sure whether you are using it or your wife? And after only 2 months of using anything, if you see your wrinkles reduced, unfortunately, is just an optical illusion. No cream (except for Retin-A which is a medication) can erase your wrinkles, and even a high strength Retin-A will take some years of regular use, let alone a cream or serum that claims is all natural. It’s impossible. I’ve tried good serums, for sure, but they never erased anything, except for some money on my wallet ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Great post, Clelia. Just want to add my 2 cents. After having used some anti-aging creams for years I decided to move on and I got Tretinoin Cream 0.02%. Just for anti-aging. I have dry, sensitive Rosacean skin and I canโ€™t tolerate many actives so I knew there was a possibility my skin would not like Retin-A. However, knowing itโ€™s the best anti-aging treatment out there, I just wanted to try and see. I Googled โ€˜Ret247getโ€™ and got it. I really love my Tretinoin Cream. It works and itโ€™s cheap. Iโ€™d say donโ€™t waste $$ on overhyped and ineffective โ€œanti-agingโ€ creams. Try Tretinoin but be very careful. Vitamin A acid is very powerful and you really have to build up very slowly. Be patient. Itโ€™s a marathon, not a sprint. Tretinoin doesnโ€™t work overnight and it isnโ€™t a miracle worker. It takes at least 1-2 months to notice real benefits. Last but not least: itโ€™s not for everyone. Some people just cannot tolerate it so they would have to use other anti-aging treatments/actives like vitamin C. And/or another form of Vitamin A like Retinol or Retinaldehyde. Maybe less potent, but still effective.

    1. Author

      Thanks Cyntia, great recap! All that you say is true and I also definitely state it in the article, Going slow is totally the way. I’m glad you didn’t have any issue with the use of tretinoin ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Hello, they are still selling it in Spain at all the percentages. I working my way up to the 0.1% by using the step up method and always using a moisturiser about an hour after I’ve applied it. The site is farmaciaenandorra.com and instead of the usual 20 or 15 grams you get a 30 gram tube. It’s the real deal. Patience and consistency is the key. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Author

      Hi Molly

      UPDATE: I ordered and NEVER received anything from them. I don’t recommendd this website at all.

      Thanks for the info! Since I feel responsible for people reading this article, I wanted to make sure that they deliver and the product is legit. So I just order one tube, I registered with a new account on the website and now an email confirming my order.
      Did you get your order from them already?
      Let’s see what happens and if they are reliable. When I was in the UK years ago I was able to buy online from trusted websites but so far all of them have closed so I am trying to figure out if the product they sell is ok. If you’re using it, what is your impression? Are you peeling or feeling anything different?

      Thanks again for telling me about this website. I know in Mexico they still sell it but it’s not regular without a prescription. At any rate, for whoever is reading this, no matter where you buy it, please make sure to use it correctly and apply a lot of sunscreen! ๐Ÿ™‚
      Cheers
      Clelia

  9. This is a wonderful article! I started retin a at 15 years old for acne (0.25%) and quickly went to 0.1% in my 20s. So I am 33 now and have been on it since 15. I will check out that pure HA cream no one talks about!

    Wonderful article! Will bookmark your blog. Only regret is not using SPF until I was 27 ๐Ÿ™ imagine all the effects retin a wouldโ€™ve had!

    Some other things that help are sonic device that pushes products and serums deeper into skin, electromagnetic device like nuface, and galvanic currents which push oxygen deep into the skin. I try to use these things regularly and daily.

    1. Author

      Wow Ray! I so envy you for starting that young! You have no idea what benefits you will rip off when you are my age! Not that you need to think about being over 40 now but heck, you won’t look a bit over 40 I can assure you ๐Ÿ™‚
      The SPF … we are ALL guilty of that! I started at 29… before that, I went wild with solariums and roasting myself in the sun with tanning oils. My only excuse is that I’m from an island. I can’t imagine how much younger and elastic my skin would be all over my body if I had used sunscreen. But anyway, we did well after that!
      Thanks for mentioning your devices, quite interesting. I have a sonic one but still testing it. I still am old fashion for a good gentle hand massage while putting my serums. Still, let me know if you notice any interesting difference and i’ll take a look at them for sure. You definitely are taking care of your skin, well done girl!

  10. You’re looking great and doing amazing work! Thanks for sharing your wonderful posts.! ๐Ÿ‘ I was suffering from acne due to my sensitive skin and severe summer heat. I tried my teenage time acne cream in my late twenties but i felt it was too mild to work on my much matured skin like now. Then one of my friend, was a satisfied user of Retin A, suggested me to use Retin A 0.05% โค๏ธ. First 2 weeks my acne breakout little more than the usual. but after that, acne seemed to be decreased. Now I am cured and my skin is glowing. And I am quite satisfied with this ๐Ÿ˜Š.

    1. Author

      Hi Stacy, I’m so glad tretinoin helped with your issues! I need to write a few separate articles dedicated to acne and the FAQs for Retin A /Tretinoin use because I want to make sure it’s used properly! Cheers, and keep using tretinoin!
      Clelia

  11. hi thx a lot for sharing. really helpful. im 32 years ols and have acne scars. my derm prescriped me Stevia ( tretinoid) 0.025 pourcent. im gonna start next week. i wasnt thinking mixing ir with my moisturizer to making it less irritating. but gonna see if i need it or not. ur super beautiful!!

    1. Author

      Hi Sofia, thanks so much, you’re lovely! As for mixing it with the moisturizer, you can certainly do it but keep in mind that the results will be less visible because the concentration will be diluted and the medication less effective. Good luck!

      1. ah ok. gonna keep this in mind. thx. keep up ur good work!

  12. Hi, Clelia. Thanks for all the information in this post. I would like to know how long it takes to wear some makeup?, Currently, I am in my 6th month with Retin A, 4-5 times per week, and my skin looks peeled off with foundation..

    1. Author

      Hi Katherina
      After 6 months you still have flaking skin? Do you gently wash your face and lightly rub it to remove the dead skin? That might help! But as usual, be super gentle! And you need to use a lot of moisturizer and drink plenty of water to keep your skin hydrated. Let me know how it goes!

  13. Thank you. You look awesom!!!! I’am 35 years old and I live in Germany, I can only get retirides from Spain. Shall I start with 0.25% and for how long before I can get the 0,5% ? I hope, it’s not too late for me. I have already some wrinkles around the mouth and under the eyes. Thank you for your help and I hope I can look like you when I reach my 42 years!!!

    1. Author

      Hi Karima, thanks so much for your kind words ๐Ÿ™‚
      If you can only get the Retirides then so be it, no worries about the concentration right now. Slower is better so your skin gets used to it, you will know when it’s ready to bump to the 0.5%! When you don’t notice evident peeling or redness etc then it means that your skin is ready. But don’t rush it, as I always say, using Retin-A is more of a marathon and your skin will benefit a lot more from starting gradually! You will thank yourself for using it the right way when you’re older ๐Ÿ™‚
      I know you probably already are aware of it but never forget the sunscreen, that way you’ll rip all the real benefit of using Retin-a. Good luck and keep me posted!
      Hugs, Clelia

  14. Wow.
    Thank you for sharing this.
    I got a mild skin laxity in my thighs because a depression got me to lose weight while I was already very slim and fit. I’m 35 and this had never happened to me before. It’s been quite unpleasant.
    Doing a little research on my own, I’m guessing retinoic acid is the only one thing that might give me back a bit of elasticity, hopefully in the dermis.
    I’m still not sure if it does increase collagen in the dermis or just improves the dermis. Do you know?
    Also, have you ever tried radiofrequency devices or the like? Do you think they could work? I’m hesitant about them and fear I could get worse.
    Thank you so much!
    Ciao!

    1. Author

      Hi Sole, thanks for your message and actually I have a bit of laxity on my tights too and I get it is unpleasant. The thing is, tretinoin can surely help the skin produce more collagen and elastin but you shouldn’t use it on big areas in the body. Unfortunately, it’s not meant to be applied in places other than face, neck and cleavage or I would have definitely tried it out! I’ve head of different treatments like radiofrequency etc but never really tried. It depends on the situation really, sometimes working out and growing a little muscle in the affected area can tense the skin again (after all you’re replacing fat with muscle).
      Other things I do to improve my skin in the tights is:
      -Dry brushing to improve circulation
      -Cold patches
      -firming creams
      -Electrostimulation (Tesmed)
      I actually am planning to make a post and a video on what I use for my body.
      Sorry, I couldn’t help more than that but I wouldn’t recommend Retin-A for the body because it can get to the bloodstream more easily and cause issues.
      But seriously, there are other ways to treat the skin laxity (as mentioned) and if done constantly they work quite well.
      Let me know how it goes, and don’t give up! ๐Ÿ™‚

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