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First Time Retin A User
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LisaAnn
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Tue Jan 29, 2008 6:55 pm      Reply with quote
Any tips? I know to wait 30 mins after I wash my face to put it on. Should I follow with a moisturizer or just wait and see what it does without buffering it.

I thought I would start out using it every other day and then work up if I don't have too much of a reaction.

TIA!
ginnielizz
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Tue Jan 29, 2008 8:33 pm      Reply with quote
Hi LisaAnn,

I'm a Retin-A user from back in my teens, and I just recently re-started it (but this time the micro-gel). I'm not sure where you got the half-hour-after-washing thing -- I've never heard that! Could you elaborate (i.e. did whatever source you got that from give a reason)?

As for moisturizer, this may not be what you're "supposed" to do, but I find that my skin is happier when I combine my Retin-A with a facial oil or moisturizer, mixed together before application. (I just rub them together in my palms first.) Then, I slowly decrease the amount of oil/moisturizer, and increase the amount of Retin-A, so that my skin doesn't freak out too much.

I find that this works well for me, and helps avoid the major face shock that straight Retin-A can induce. And I've always been a fan of blending products together before apply, rather than applying them in layers -- I think it gives more evenly distributed coverage.

Anyway, this may or may not be what you're after, but I hope this helps you a bit! If you want, I also started a thread on Retin-A tips here back when I first returned to it, and there was some other feedback/info that you might find useful.

Take care, and good luck!

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32, fair hair/eyes/skin, always a mix of dry/oily/sensitive/acne/clogged pores. But I keep getting compliments on my skin, so something must be working! Beauty blog at http://heliotro.pe; online dating coaching at http://theheartographer.com
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Tue Jan 29, 2008 11:52 pm      Reply with quote
Hi There! i think using it slowly is the best idea. I did not do this! and i ended up with flaky red irritated skin for weeks!
I thought my skin was handling it being applied everyday but then suddenly it rebelled, so i thik every other night and using a very good moisturizer is a good plan to start...till you can gauge how your skin reacts to it. Plus everyone is different and you know your skin best!
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Wed Jan 30, 2008 2:05 am      Reply with quote
If you are the least bit sensitive, this is how I would start out. It's very important to be patient and go slow. I would start by using it layered AFTER moisturizer to let your skin get used to it. Every 3 nights. After 1-2 weeks to let your skin get used to it, then wait 30mins to an hour after washing, apply on bare skin and moisturizer immediately after.
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Wed Jan 30, 2008 6:34 am      Reply with quote
ginnielizz wrote:


I'm a Retin-A user from back in my teens, and I just recently re-started it (but this time the micro-gel). I'm not sure where you got the half-hour-after-washing thing -- I've never heard that! Could you elaborate (i.e. did whatever source you got that from give a reason)?


I have always read online and even on the information leaflet for my Retin A that you need to wait 20 - 30 minutes after washing your face before applying Retin A. I belive this is to limit absorption of Retin A into your body as too much can cause liver problems. However I have never used the micro gel so perhaps that is diffrent. Do you apply your Retin A right after washing?
LisaAnn
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Wed Jan 30, 2008 7:38 am      Reply with quote
Quote:
I'm not sure where you got the half-hour-after-washing thing -- I've never heard that!


It's actually in the instructions in the medication. The reasoning given in the leaflet were, I believe, your skin needs to be perfectly dry or it could cause more irritation.

Thanks everyone for the hints. I just used the Retin A by itself last night and didn't wake up to anything horrific this morning. I'm still going to start out slow with every other night even though my skin is pretty tough in what it can take.
mpstat
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Wed Jan 30, 2008 9:20 am      Reply with quote
I am in my second month of Retin-A. Although it is advised to wait 30 min after washing the face before applying Retin-A, I do not wait 30 minutes. I wash my face, towel dry, wait a couple of minutes.

Initially I applied camellia oil, and then Retin-A 0.01% gel on top of it. Got some peeling, not a lot though, it was quite manageable. I think oil helped to keep skin not being upset much.

Now I am using Retin-A 0.025% cream which I apply first, wait from several minutes to 15 minutes, and put camellia oil on top of it. So far so good. What is interesting, it seems that Retin-A 0.025% cream is less irritating to my skin then 0.01% gel.... not what I expected...
pandora77
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Wed Jan 30, 2008 10:36 am      Reply with quote
Here is a link to a good article about Retin A:
http://www.dermadoctor.com/pages/newsletter63.asp
ginnielizz
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Wed Jan 30, 2008 10:37 am      Reply with quote
Hm, shows what I know! Laughing I don't think I ever read the instructions fully, because I've NEVER been one to wait half an hour. I hope I'm not massively damaging my liver! I doubt I'll ever be good about this, because I do NOT like spreading my skincare routine out over a long stretch of time. It makes me much less inclined to actually keep up my routine. I'll have to go read my tube now and look up info on this -- thanks for opening my eyes!

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Wed Jan 30, 2008 10:58 am      Reply with quote
ginnielizz wrote:
Hm, shows what I know! Laughing I don't think I ever read the instructions fully, because I've NEVER been one to wait half an hour. I hope I'm not massively damaging my liver! I doubt I'll ever be good about this, because I do NOT like spreading my skincare routine out over a long stretch of time. It makes me much less inclined to actually keep up my routine. I'll have to go read my tube now and look up info on this -- thanks for opening my eyes!


In that link I posted to the DermaDr site she says that Retin A Micro is an exception to this rule:

How To Apply Your Product

Start out using your product EVERY OTHER NIGHT

Wash your face (or other area of treatment)

Wait 20-30 minutes

Apply a PEA sized amount of cream to your finger

Dab the cream/gel around the area to be treated and rub it in well

Wash off your hands

Keep your product out of your eyes

If you are treating wrinkles around the eyes, you may apply the product under the eyes and to the crow’s feet areas. Avoid applying products to the upper eyelids with the exception of Neova Eye Therapy or DERMAdoctor Wrinkle Revenge Rescue & Protect Eye Balm.

There are a few exceptions to the rule. Anyone using Retin A Micro Gel may have been told that the gel may be applied immediately after washing without harm. I have had too many patients still develop enough irritation to warn them just like a regular Retin A user. And while some patients may be able to increase the use of their product to every night, certain medications like Tazorac are better left every other night unless there is no clearing and they have no ongoing irritation.


I take it if you have been using this so far with no irritation then you should just keep on using it the way you have been! I might consider switching to Retin A Micro myself now Very Happy
ginnielizz
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Wed Jan 30, 2008 11:12 am      Reply with quote
Yeah, just read that article -- but the thing is, she makes no mention whatsoever of liver damage being the reason why you shouldn't apply it right after washing. And, I mean, come on -- Retin-A can be irritating no matter when you put it on! But I'll have to keep this in mind. I think I might ask my derm here just to see what her take is. But my skin is over the big irritation part of starting Retin-A, so I'm not worried about that right now. I'm more worried about liver/absorption stuff.

One thing I really wish they would do is come out with a more natural, less chemical-lade base for Retin-A. Renova's in mineral oil, so that would break me out, and most Retin-A formulations (be they cream or gel) contain chemicals that irritate my super-sensitive skin. So even if the active isn't irritating my skin, the base often is. I wish I could find an "all-natural" version, but that's not how most prescription drug companies fly! Sad

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mpstat
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Wed Jan 30, 2008 11:28 am      Reply with quote
Good article....
I did not notice any relation between washing & Retin-A application, and liver damage in the article either.

Vit. A is fat soluble as opposed to water soluble. All fat soluble vitamins when taken internally have potential to impact liver, and do more harm then good, since they tend to accumulate in the body, and excess might not be a good thing. However I have never seen anything mentioned in regards to topical vitamins...

Maybe the lag time between washing the face and applying Retin-A is indeed to lessen the potential of irritation, and if one can tolerate short lag time, it is OK for one to keep it to the minimum...
edenfield
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Wed Jan 30, 2008 11:54 am      Reply with quote
I mix mine with Cetaphil cream, spoke to the derm and he said it was fine. IT helps reduce the irritation for me
h.kitty
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Wed Jan 30, 2008 12:07 pm      Reply with quote
I think that pandora77 needs to supply some evidence to back up his/her claim about RetinA causing liver damage if it penetrates the skin too easily.
LisaAnn
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Wed Jan 30, 2008 12:27 pm      Reply with quote
I don't believe it causes liver damage, that's a serious claim I believe would be a bit more well known.

From everything I've read the reasoning is applying to wet skin may cause skin irritation. I don't know the physiology behind this but I assume since they took the time to put this in the directions I shall follow it Smile
ginnielizz
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Wed Jan 30, 2008 12:37 pm      Reply with quote
I guess I'm glad I've been on the micro-gel, since apparently that one's less likely to have this not-waiting-equal-irritation problem. Because like I said, I'm SOOO impatient... it's a big part of why I haven't really bothered incorporating a C serum into my routine!

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h.kitty
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Wed Jan 30, 2008 12:46 pm      Reply with quote
LisaAnn I should have added that the reason why a wait period is recommended is just what you and some others have said-that applying it to damp skin increases the chance of irritation. I do understand the logic behind this and what it comes down to is the fact that the outer layer of the epidermis (the stratum corneum) is more permeable when it is moist so it allows more of the active ingredient to penetrate and it allows it to penetrate quicker. More retinoic acid could of course mean more irritation. Although I have never seen anything which would indicate that increased penetration of RetinA could cause liver problems which is why I would like to see the evidence pandora77 used to come up with his/her theory.

BTW I think your every other day approach is fine and can always be adjusted depending on how you skin reacts. As for adding a moisturizer...if you were not using moisturizer before don't add one now. However, you may need to add one later if your skin starts to get dry or irritated. If you were using mositurizer before then you will probably need to use one now since even the Cream version of RetinA is not really mositurizing. I wait about 2 or 3 hours after applying RetinA cream to apply moisturizer.
pandora77
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Wed Jan 30, 2008 1:44 pm      Reply with quote
Hello Everyone,

I went away for dinner and returned to see that quite a few people had commented on my post about retin a and liver damage so first I want to apologise as I didn't mean to alarm anyone and I never meant for that article to back up that claim just that it was an interesting article about Retin A. However this isn't my own personal theory as I got this information about Retin A use and liver problems in the consumer medicine information leaflet that comes with my Retin A made by Janssen-Cilag: Disturbance of the levels of emzymes in the liver.
I think it is because too much Vitamin A can be very toxic (e.g. when taking Accutane you generally need lots of monitoring to prevent toxicity) and although the chances of getting too much vitamin a via topical retin a use is practically nil it is still perhaps best to minimise any potential risk. I'm sure we have all heard about Retin A potentially causing birth defects and yet in the article I linked to earlier the MD advises that she knows of no confirmed birth defects associated with its use and yet you would not be allowed to use it if wanting to become pregnant
I think you are right that the biggest reason to wait before applying is to minimise irritation. Now I am not anti Retin A I am a user of the product myself and love it but I do sometimes worry about my use of this medicine I don't know if this product can be stored in body fat for example or the implications for long term use I really don't know so I need to read further into it I guess.

Anyway here is another link with some info about vitamin A I don't mean for it to prove a point or anything it is only for general information:
http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/vitamin-a-000331.htm#Precautions

Once again I am sorry if my pervious post caused any alarm.
h.kitty
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Wed Jan 30, 2008 9:43 pm      Reply with quote
Pandora,

Personally I was not alarmed but I was very curious to see what you based your statement about liver damage on. I don't think that you were being alarmist but when it comes to forums sometimes it is very easy to have a comment interpreted the wrong way. Wink

I found the Janssen-Cilag leaflet that you mentioned online and for those interested here is the link.

http://www.appgonline.com.au/drug.asp?drug_id=00200046&t=cmi

What is very interesting is that the leaflet includes the comment about elevated liver enzymes in the Side Effects section. I do wonder about this since it is not mentioned as a side effect on other Prescribing Information leaflets I have seen for various forms of tretinoin. However, I think it is important to mention that the leaflet does not specifically state that RetinA does or does not cause liver problems.

If you read the prescribing information for RetinA or RetinA Micro it states that oral ingestion of tretinoin may lead to the same side effects as excessive oral intake of Vitamin A yet it does not mention that topical application can cause these. I will provide the link to RetinA Micro Prescribing Information since it gives alot of good information. (More detailed infromation than most leaflets that come with RetinA so worth reading even for those of you that have read the leaflet that comes with your RetinA.)

http://www.retinamicro.com/RetinAMicro.pdf

It seems that most articles/studies on topical tretinoin support the claim that it does not have any systemic toxicity. While there are some very rare individual reports of potential systemic problems. (I will not post these because they are prone to mis-interpretation.)

I acutally like your last post because it brings home the point that RetinA is a drug and we should treat it as such. I use it and plan on continuting to use it because I feel that it is safe and effective. I think that everyone should read through the prescribing information that comes with their RetinA and if they have any questions they should research it and also ask their doctors.

HK
LisaAnn
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Thu Jan 31, 2008 7:38 am      Reply with quote
Thank you everyone for the links and information, you guys are the best.
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Tue Feb 26, 2008 4:47 pm      Reply with quote
Hello. I just started on Retin A today. Used it for a few years way, way back, so I am interested to see how the new formulation is now. Do any of you use a BHA/AHA solution? Was wondering how to incorporate this with my Retin A too. Thanks!
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Wed Feb 27, 2008 11:42 am      Reply with quote
Here's an interesting twist! I've found if I wait 30-60 min to put on Renova .025 I have MORE irritation (flakey, dry) than if I put it on just a couple of minutes after washing. Now what the heck does that mean?!

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Wed Feb 27, 2008 11:48 am      Reply with quote
My theory? Putting it on right after washing is actually helping you moisturize, since the heavy Renova base locks in the moisture from the washing. Waiting = giving the water time to evaporate.

So even if you're supposed to wait because of irritation, maybe try using a facial oil right after you wash and THEN put the Renova on half an hour later? That's what I've started doing ever since I found out about wait times, and it seems to help me stay more moisturized.

Again, though, this is just my theory. Who knows if that's really what's going on! Laughing

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32, fair hair/eyes/skin, always a mix of dry/oily/sensitive/acne/clogged pores. But I keep getting compliments on my skin, so something must be working! Beauty blog at http://heliotro.pe; online dating coaching at http://theheartographer.com
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Wed Feb 27, 2008 11:58 am      Reply with quote
That's what I was thinking Ginnieliz. It's hard to spread a pea size amount on totally dry skin.

I'm trying the Osmosis retinaldehyde products next. I just got the Renova for the dry winter months. I'm dealing with aging (40) and oily/acne prone skin - lovely, I know Confused If the Osmosis products don't clean out my pores and soften lines, I'm going to try the lowest Taz strength (from All Day Chemist).

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ginnielizz
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Wed Feb 27, 2008 1:00 pm      Reply with quote
Hey tjsmom, I'm back on Retin-A after a long time, and I only recently learned that you're supposed to wait to apply it after washing. So I'm not exactly a fountain of expert advice! Laughing That said, it sounds like we might have some similar skincare issues, so here's my updated Retin-A routine:

1) Wash skin and apply toner (MyChelle Fruit Enzyme Mist), then apply a few drops of homemade facial oil all over skin to lock in moisture. (My facial oil blends change as I experiment, but they usually contain macadamia and avocado oil, plus essential oils depending on what my skin needs at the time. Right now it's chamomile to calm it down.)

2) Apply eye cream to eye area (I'm still hunting for the right one but I'm currently using up a sample of PSF's Super Hydrating Eye Treatment.)

3) Diligently wait 30 minutes, sometimes more. Kick self for never having read the package all these years. Laughing

4) Mix together pea-sized amount of Retin-A Microgel 0.1% with a couple drops of facial oil in my hands, and spread evenly over face and neck. (Like you said, a pea-sized amount isn't enough to spread evenly over my whole face and neck, so I use the oil both to moisturize/dilute, and to make it stretch farther.)

This has been pretty good for me so far, as long as I keep up with it. I do find that if I skip a day or two, I go right back to being dry, flaky and irritated, as well as broken-out. My skin is super-sensitive, and prone to both dryness and breakouts -- fun fun! But this routine has kept me pretty acne-free while still keeping me fairly moisturized.

I also just got a Clarisonic so I'm hoping that can help to keep my Retin-A flakies at bay. But I will say personally that I couldn't use Renova -- the base contains mineral oil, and that ALWAYS makes me break out, without fail. So if you keep struggling with acne, you might try switching to the cream or micro-gel formula of Retin-A, and just adding a moisturizing ingredient like oil into the mix.

Anyway, good luck -- I hope you strike a good balance soon!

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32, fair hair/eyes/skin, always a mix of dry/oily/sensitive/acne/clogged pores. But I keep getting compliments on my skin, so something must be working! Beauty blog at http://heliotro.pe; online dating coaching at http://theheartographer.com
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