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User Reviews for Retin-A to treat Acne

Retin-A has an average rating of 8.0 out of 10 from a total of 79 ratings for the treatment of Acne. 78% of users who reviewed this medication reported a positive effect, while 13% reported a negative effect.

Retin-A Rating Summary

8.0/10 average rating

79 ratings from 82 user reviews.

Compare all 326 medications used in the treatment of Acne.

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Reviews for Retin-A

Chi · Taken for 6 months to 1 year July 6, 2021

“My dermatologist prescribed me Retin A and I feel like my skin has been the worst it’s ever been. I don’t even know why they keep this stuff in circulation. I literally had the worst breakouts ever on this. I did research and most people said that you have to wait a few months to see results. But after 6 months of trying this stuff I’m done. My bottle is almost empty and it’s been a couple days since I’ve used it and of course my skin has been clearing up. If you get prescribed this don’t take it because it’s going to wreck your skin. I have so many acne scars now.”

1 / 10
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N. March 22, 2021

“I've been using retin A for months and saw no true results. I won't recommend this.”

4 / 10
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Kimmy March 3, 2021

“I’ve been using Retin A for the last 5 months now . First 3 month was awful as I got the worst acne breakouts in my life and they came in form of cystic pus filled painful acne spot. My face looked horrible , I dreaded going out. It was a nightmare but after reading reviews of people’s experiences, I decided not to stop. Fast forward into 5 months now and there has been tremendous improvement most especially in my skin texture. My acne is now 80% under control but I am dealing with intense hyperpigmentation, but overall my skin has never looked better. My skin texture is really amazing now . So my advice to a one about to start, stick with it and buffer with a heavy duty moisturizer when you’re about to start to minimize irritation and purge . And lastly, don’t rely on tretinoin alone . Salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide in combination with Retin A would give you better and faster results, so talk to your dermatologist about what works for you.”

9 / 10
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ryan April 29, 2020

“prior to using this cream, I checked reviews. I saw a lot of negatives; people complaining about a face-purge. I was highly discouraged. After a while, I said screw it. I’ve been struggling with acne for a long time now. I’m a 22 year old african male, been struggling with acne since I was 11; that is half of my life. I ignored the negatives and decided to give it a shot. Week 1 and 2 were calm. The purge started on week 3 and it was horrible! I couldn’t leave my house, my face was a mess. I was nearly compelled to quit but I persevered. The purge lasted through till week 8. On the 9th week, I noticed little less break outs. I’m on my 11 week now and man! my face is as smooth as a baby’s. I honestly can’t believe this. This is the best my face has been in more than a decade. I'd highly recommend. The purge period is absolutely hectic and discouraging but do not give up. stick to it I promise. advice: Take pictures to track your progress”

9 / 10
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Cali lady June 23, 2015

“I wanted to take the time to write a review in the hopes to give at least one person the self confidence boost they need to keep going with Retin-A. I've been waiting for the day I get to write my own review. I officially started using Retin- A .25 just under 4 months ago today. My first day was 3 weeks before my birthday. I remember contacting my Dermo in advance with a million questions and mostly the fear of going through THE PURGE during this busy time filled with celebrations, events, etc. I thankfully, made the gamble and started! I decided it was always be... I'll start next week, next month. Let's be real, when is there ever a good time for acne?! I can only describe the last 4 months as a roller coaster. There will be good days. There will be days you hide inside. At some points I thought I was done purging, then it would come back. IT TAKES TIME. Painful cysts too, that do not go away. I would rather have 20 white head pimples all over than 1 deep painful cyst on my face! It was the most challenging thing I've gone through. It will test your patience. To the point of tears, and why me's! At one point I scheduled an emergency Dermo appt to receive Cortizon injections on 3 cysts that were almost the size of dimes!! I couldn't take it anymore. This was 2.5 months. He sat me down and said it takes 3-4 months for results to be reached and you will hate your dermo for that time and gave me the push to continue to go forward. Here's the good news! I am at my 4 month mark, and I have never been more happy. I haven't had a break out in 1.5 weeks. I don't know the last time I've been able to say that. I can take on the CALI summer and not feel like I'm hiding. My biggest advise is be strong! Tell yourself everyday, it's only 4 months of the rest of your life. Get past the 4-5 month mark and it will all be worth it! The past will be a blur! Good luck and you can do it!”

9 / 10
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M.M · Taken for 1 to 6 months August 21, 2020

“33 yo/female. Had acne since I was 13 yo. Was diagnosed with PCOS. Took birth control for about 15 years also Spironolactone. My acne is very persistent and mainly comedonal especially jaw line/cheeks/upper neck. I stopped birth control and was tired of Spironolactone as taken alone it didn't do much for me. Went on Accutane which was a horrible experience to clear my acne for it to come back just 6 months later. Have been using Retin A 0.01% for 2.5 months and I can see a lot of improvement. My skin is still purging as it's really congested but I can see it's improving gradually and clearing up. It was a real mess in the first 6 weeks. I'm getting less painful acne around my jaw area now and my skin is much softer, the scars are also fading. Will continue the treatment for the rest of my life I believe. Highly recommend it to anyone with hormonal acne who doesn't want to take medication.”

10 / 10
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Nii · Taken for 1 to 6 months February 1, 2020

“Okay, been on Retin A since early November. Prescribed by my primary care physician prior to seeing a dermatologist. When I first began, I started using the gel two times a week. Making sure to always wash off in the morning and use sunscreen throughout the day. I was afraid of the purging period which THANK GOD, I never had. It almost felt like the medication wasn't working. I had no burning or stinging sensations just minor peeling which was not bad AT ALL. This could be because I am on the lowest dosage (0.025). I upped my usage to three times a week and keep using despite "feeling like anything was working". Fast forward to today, three months later and my skin is sooooooo smooth. I still have fading dark marks but they are significantly lighter. I have ZERO ACTIVE ACNE bumps. Smooth skin and very shiny. I am a 25 y/o African American female and THIS PRODUCT IS GREAT. Patience is KEY!!!!!”

9 / 10
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Frequently asked questions

DDF · Taken for 10 years or more April 30, 2018

“I am a 72 year old woman who has been using Retin-A for thirty-four years. I started using it because I had adult acne at the same time my teenage son had acne. I routinely am mistaken for being twenty years younger than I am. I have very few wrinkles. My skin still has dry patches occasionally but they are short lived. I have tried to get several people to use it but they always get discouraged with the redness and peeling in the beginning. This phase does not last forever. Please continue to use it, you will never be sorry.”

10 / 10
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Pear October 11, 2019

“This medication Retin A has been a life changer for me. I was at an appointment and I was complaining about hormonal acne flares before my period. My doctor started telling me about what Retin-A had done for her hormonal acne. She has flawless skin! She said on top of clearing up those breakouts it would help with the aging I was starting to see. I've been on this for two months now and wow the results are amazing! I have zero breakouts and the fine lines and pores are shrinking. I will leave the house without makeup now. My complexion is glowing and even! My uneven skin and breakouts were a big source of embarrassment for me. I did have peeling but this was expected. I also had worsening of acne for a few weeks as my skin purged what was already building in the pores. I pushed through and I am so glad I did. When the dryness flares I skip a night of Retin-A and use a heavier moisturizer. I also use an oil free moisturizer every morning.”

10 / 10
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Bnoon · Taken for 1 to 6 months April 22, 2020

“When I was 5 weeks into using this topical Retin-A I headed to the internet to figure out why my acne was 5 times WORSE than when I started it. I would honesty just look in the mirror and cry, I picked at all my pimples and it made it even worse. The purge is real but If you can make it past it I promise it’s worth it. Do some research on why the purge happens. I am 10 weeks in and all that I have on my face is scaring due to the picking which will go away over time and with the help of other topicals. My advice is to stick with it, do not pick and trust the process!”

8 / 10
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Liv August 1, 2020

“Retin A..wow is all I can say. This product is amazing. I had small stubborn little bumps (clogged pores) and just overall comedonal acne. Retin A has completely cleared my skin and made it look even better than it did before I had acne. My skin so smooth and it just continues to boost my skin confidence. I've been on Retin A for about a year and hse “Retin A micro pump gel 0.06%”. I did purge a lot and had SLIGHT dryness/irration in the beginning but I didn’t mind it because I WANTED to get rid of the small bumps that were clogged pores. MY TOP ADVICE about this product is using it consistently! This product works slowly (but effectively) and will take some time to produce the wonderful results. Also, I still get a pimple occasionally but no where near what I had. The pimple will usually come and go quickly with this product. I use a mosturizer and a good SPF sunscreen. This is the BEST so stick it out during the purging phase because it is WORTH IT.”

10 / 10
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Josh112788 December 29, 2013

“So about five months ago or so I asked my esthetician for some Retin-A (tretinoin) cream and she gave me the 1% concentration. I had moderate acne when I was younger, but I didn't leave it alone. Haha. I picked at it, and so I have some "mild" (Or so I'm told -I think it's terrible!) scarring now even though my acne went away with age. I'm 25 now. Acne went away at about 19. Some are pockmarks, and others just discoloration and a little uneven texture. I jumped straight to everyday use. Expected irritation and redness, but none came. My (sensitive) skin handled it awesomely. Product works great. Skin peels off every morning. Haha. Scars are fading nicely. Pockmarks much less depressed. I get compliments on my skin now!”

10 / 10
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Coco November 28, 2019

“trust me this stuff works and I learned the hard way so PLEASE READ. I started Retin-A for acne in the summer. My skin got red and I felt like it was just making it worse! So I stopped using it... wrong mistake! I went by to dermatologist 3 months after and she advised me to stick through it ( I wish she told me this at our first appointment, I has no idea there was something called the “purge”). Sooo fast forward to now my skin is great!!!! It really does work! It just takes time, and learn from my mistake you MUST STICK THROUGH THE PURGE!! It will get better. I regret having to start all over again, but my skin has never looked better”

10 / 10
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College Girl · Taken for 6 months to 1 year October 28, 2014

“I'm a young woman in my early twenties with moderate acne. If you're just starting Retin-A, STICK WITH IT I started using Retin-A (0.01%) every night in December of 2013. I was very frustrated because my acne became worse for about 2 months. However, I stuck with it and by July 2014 my acne had noticeably decreased. It is now October 2014 and I've been getting compliments on how great my skin looks! For the first time in years, I don't feel like I have to wear liquid foundation to cover up my acne. If you experience flaking, remember that moisturization is key if you're using Retin-A!”

9 / 10
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yesmeen January 24, 2015

“I have only been using this with benzaclin for about 2 months and I can already see an improvement. My pores are smaller, skin is smoother and my tone is more even. I am 25 and have tried almost everything! I use benzaclin in the morning and Retin-A at night. For the first month I noticed 0 improvement, but now im starting to see it!”

9 / 10
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Mellie · Taken for 1 to 2 years June 5, 2019

“I started using Retin-A about a year and a half ago. It's life changing. Just stick with it! It was hard the first month or so. My side effects were just extremely dry skin. Also lotion and makeup stung a bit in the beginning. I had mild acne but lots of scaring over the years and spots that made my skin look uneven. I also have fairly large pores all over my face. My pores look considerably smaller now and I hardly ever get a break out. If I do it heals fast. I still use it every night even though my skin looks good, just now mainly to continue to have nice looking skin and for its anti aging properties.”

10 / 10
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Elle75 January 11, 2020

“I have jawline acne, dark patches from pigmentation and uneven skin tone and blemishes from years of cystic acne. I am 44 & Asian. Day 1 to 2 gel stung like crazy, itchy and warm skin, and redness Days 3 to 8 peeling skin, inflamed look after washing face. Stinging, and itchy. Days 8 and 9 skin is very taught. I needed extra petroleum jelly plus my regular moisturizer although my regular moisturizer. Days 9 and 10 skin is sensitive, shiny that I need to use make up. For peeling skin I reapply petroleum jelly at the first signs of dryness or flakiness. I used hydrocortisone on itchy spots. On day 10 I stopped using soap to wash my face as it is drying. I use luke warm water to wash off the petroleum jelly on my face and pat dry my skin. The dryness has reduced today, day 10. I can use the gel without it stinging my skin or being taught and dry. By day 10 my face appears to be clearer in some places, spots are fading. Skin texture is smooth though tender.”

10 / 10
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Anonymous · Taken for 1 to 6 months May 18, 2015

“If you've come here looking for some hope on whether Retin A works or not than your answer is yes! I have been struggling with acne for almost 3 years now I want to think its a phase but who knows. I started retin A Febuary 2015 and it is now May 2015 and my skin looks AMAZING. Trust me I had that "purging" phase and it sucked so bad I didn't even want to go out and public because of how bad my face was. If you feel like it isn't working give it TIME, time and patient is key when using this product. I went through two purging phases during week 3 and 5 but after that it was pretty much a smooth ride. STICK WITH IT! Give it 3-4 months!”

10 / 10
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James12P August 19, 2012

“Five years ago, I was prescribed Accutane for my acne. It certainly kept my acne at bay for five years. A few months ago, I started breaking out again and this time the severity was less than it previously was. It was a few small zits and blackheads here and there. I was prescribed Retin A and it was a God send! The first two weeks, I battled with extra oily skin and my face turned beet red. I persevered and by the third week, the redness subsided and my face became acclimatised to it. The acne has definitely gone away as has the blackheads. The plus side is that my face looked smoother in years and whatever residual acne scars and discolorations have softened and looked better and better. Retin A addressed my acne needs and truly delivered.”

10 / 10
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Atreyu July 17, 2019

“Been fighting adult cystic hormonal acne around 6 years, never would've thought it be basically cured after 2 weeks of Retin A along with doxycycline, haven't had the slightest of side effects and I stopped using a moisturizer a week in (I'm in Iraq and mail takes weeks). Although since I work 7pm to 7am sun exposure isn't an issue. 2 WEEKS FOR A 5 YEAR PROBLEM THOUGH, it's insane how quick this stuff works.”

10 / 10
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Nikolai · Taken for 1 to 6 months December 5, 2016

“Well, it's all hasn't been fun and games when it comes to my acne. I'm a light skinned African dude of 25 and I have had acne since I was 17. Pretty long time huh? I know. It all started as some pretty rash that got me obsessed. I've used pretty much everything except surgery; and I never went to a physician for it. All over-the-counter topical application and I touch my face pretty much all the time. It's not easy when a handsome guy gets his confidence slowly stripped everyday for almost a decade. Lol It got worse this past month (like my pimples joined up x-men and became mutants!) and I was forced to see a physician. Retin-A to the rescue. Retin-A and Doxycycline capsules. Just 2 weeks in and I can tell I've found the cure for acne!”

9 / 10
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Eddie · Taken for 1 to 6 months June 13, 2019

“I was put on Ritin -A 0.5 gel to help manage my moderate acne. So far, I have been using this medication for about a month and 2 weeks and have noticed great results. At first I broke out more and my skin looked worse. But just a few weeks ago I noticed my skin start to really heal a lot. I use this in combination with cetaphil face wash. I do have some scarring from acne (mainly left over red marks ) and it really help with that. My skin texture is a lot smoother and more even. I have only had a few new pimples arrive since starting this medication. I continue to keep using it for a very long time to manage my acne and for its anti ageing benefits. If your curious about starting this medication, don’t be, I wish I started it years ago when I first got teenage acne.”

9 / 10
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Csc · Taken for less than 1 month December 2, 2018

“I am in awe of how well this product works! I’ve been on it for 1 week and my skin is so clear I don’t believe it’s possible! I’ve struggled with acne since I was 12 (I am now a 21 year old female) and I’ve tried just about everything including accutane but nothing made a big difference. My acne has ranged from moderate to severe. My biggest struggle was the texture- my face was covered in tiny bumps and clogged pores. My derm now put me on .08% Not only are the pimples gone after a week, but my whiteheads & blackheads have disappeared almost like magic. There is dryness and peeling which I’m hoping will go away over time, but I’m fine with it because it’s left me with fresh, new skin. I highly highly recommend this product!”

10 / 10
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AAG · Taken for 6 months to 1 year April 6, 2014

“10 MONTH RETIN-A USER : In the begining of summer 2013 I had the worst break out ever! My forehead was full of pimples. I couldn't stand it anymore so I went to go see my doctor and he prescribed me Retin-A. It says to apply everyday over night after washing your face. So I applied it every night and the first three weeks my acne was okay by the second month I had another mild breakout but by the third month it began to calm down again. By the fourth the skin around my nose started to peel and it was very itchy. Because of this I applied alchol free/ fragrance free lotion and my skin got better. By the 6th month my acne was under control! I only had a couple of pimples here & there. But the product works wonders! It just takes patience!”

10 / 10
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HumbleSoul · Taken for 1 to 6 months January 8, 2016

“I've suffered from acne since I was about 12 years old and I've had to deal with it straight up until college. Over the years I tried countless acne products, but nothing worked for me and I became really discouraged. Luckily, I was recently prescribed the Retin A Cream 0.05% by my dermatologist and my skin is thriving! My blemishes has cleared up so much, it is mindboggling. I can't tell you how much this cream has helped my skin. It's been like a blessing. When I first started using it, I was skeptical because I didn't see any results, but keep using. Don't become discouraged! It works. If it worked for me, someone who has struggled with acne for half of her life, it will work for you.”

8 / 10
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PJ April 17, 2020

“I have acne-prone skin and started having acne 12-ish. I have done extensively research on effective medication and found Retin-A. I introduced RetinA to my skin, really slowly by applying for 5, 10, 20, 30, 60, 90 and 120min and washing it off before my normal routine for 1week each (2min for 1week, 5min for 1week & go on). Then I started apply it overnight as my last step (moisturizer 30min then RetinA 0.025) from 1night/week to every other night then every night. I am on my 8th week of using RetinA every night as my last step. I am going to use it before moisturizer in week10. Gradually introduce RetinA to my skin made the purging bearable (slowly purging) and subsided those side effects. I still have red scars but much smoother texture, little bumpy. I am still breaking out but expecting. Complexion is improving. Skin is brighten and glowing. Skin is more balance, not oily, not dry. I am on month2 and happy with my skin, not perfect, much better. RetinA is worth your patience.”

10 / 10
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CarlyP August 9, 2016

“I've been using Retin-A for about a week now. If you have oily skin or experience breakouts every morning like me, I would definitely recommend this. I use the .01% dosage recommended by my doctor. They told me I may experience peeling of the skin. My skin has peeled in some spots, but it's not very noticeable. I removed the peeled skin by using baking soda and water(great exfoliant!) Skin varies by person. I've given up on every acne regimen and decided to see my doctor. I swear by this stuff. All my acne scars are fading and my skin has become significantly smoother.”

9 / 10
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Apple97 July 13, 2016

“Got on retinol because of acne scars. I was hesitant in the beginning because everyone complains about how it makes acne worse before it gets better. My advice to you is start out slowly and allow your skin to adjust. I started off with using it once a week..and gradually moved on to 3 times and I have not experienced purging.Also my skins pretty smooth and my scars are fading. Another thing...just use vaseline as a moisturizer...why should you bother your skin with extra chemicals? Also be wary of doctors who just hand you the retinol with no proper instructions. I researched extensively before buying the product and to my surprise the doctor couldn't even advise that only a pea-size amount is to be used. Patience pays people :)”

8 / 10
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This information is NOT intended to endorse any particular medication. While these reviews might be helpful, they are not a substitute for the expertise, knowledge and judgement of healthcare practitioners.

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