Write a review

Just Starting Retina for Acne and Blemish Treatment! My Journey :) - Jakarta, ID

A little background about my skin : oily,...

A little background about my skin : oily, acne-prone, with a lot of acne scars
I'm 20 years old, been struggling with acne since I was 13 years old. I never tried any strong medication to heal my skin, just a few prescription cream and antibiotics from dermatologist, but none of them really heal my skin. Never been on accutane because I think I can't handle the breakout it will caused before healing, some people had break outs for quite a long time. Since my skin is not getting any better (I'm desperate, really) I decided to try retin-A, after did some research on internet of course. So I start with retin-A 0,05 (I randomly chose 0,05 instead of 0,01 or 0,025. I just thought 0,05 is somewhere in between so it will not work too slow or too irritating) I bought it from pharmacy, here in Indonesia you don't really need any prescription to get it. I'm scared with the purging phase :( but it's better than not getting any better forever.

Week 1
On 3rd day I start getting a little bit of peeling here and there, some whiteheads surfacing, and some of my acne scars are drying and the day after they peeled off of my skin leaving pink marks (it's soooo much better because they were so dark before). I had two cysts on my cheek and between my brows, the white puss had came out, they are so much better now, almost gone but now I have to deal with the marks they left. But they aren't really bad, they first turned to scabs and now it's just red with a little bit of peelings skin around them. I wash my face with Cetaphil gentle cleanser every day, and i felt this stinging sensation every time I wash my face. I never use any sunscreen on my face before because my face is so oily and putting sunscreen on my face make me feel greasy and sometimes caused me more acne. People say it's important to use sun screen when in retin-A medication but I never had problems with sun so I shrug it off and going outside without any, I never been so wrong in my life, I spent quite a while facing the sun outside I didn't feel anything so I thought it was just fine but when I get home took off my makeup and wash my face omg my cheeks were so red due to the sun exposing and it's really itchy :(. So I apply olive oil all over my face and now it's better, not as red but I can still feel itch and this burned feeling :(. At least my acne has gotten better when I look in the mirror.


Have you noticed way more acne than normal? I am in week 1 as well.
  • Reply
Yes, but my acne start to dry faster. The white puss from acne surface faster so it's really easy to clean off by using scrubs or just cotton pad. :D

Broke out from make up :(

Last Saturday I broke out horribly, I wasn't really sure if it was caused by purging phase or my foundation. Well...the foundation had broke me out before so I guess it was the culprit. It was terrible, 4 cysts acne on my cheeks and 2 cysts on my forehead and a lot of mild acne. I almost cried because it was awful but thank God my significant other calmed me down. In the morning I could see the mild acne had calmed down a bit, and some were peeled when I washed my face. I still put on my make up (can't go out without it!) but this time I put on lighter foundation so my skin can breathe. And the next day I could see some acne had dried. I still apply retin-a every night, and this morning I could see the white puss from my acne start to came out, whiteheads had surfaced. I washed my face and cleaned all the dead skin away with just cotton pad. Some whiteheads also got cleared up. I still feel itchy sometimes when I washed my face and my skin still peels a little bit.
I'm thankful the acne from past breakout had stopped. :)


I noticed that too. It's much more bearable knowing the acne will dry up quickly, keep us posted!

week 2

More breakouts :( I skip for one day to avoid my skin for getting more irritated. It's really itchy and burning sometimes I had to wash my face in the middle of the night.

Please join RealSelf or sign in.


week 3

more acne pops out everywhere :( less peeling and I don't feel any itch nor burning, also less redness. I can see my skin looks dry during the day though it's oily.


Hi. I'm on my 3rd week of Retin-A 0.5. I've clogged pores around my chin but my overall skin is just doing good. Only sometimes those bumpy clogged pores become visible. Most of the time, even me can't see it. My first week using Retin-A, i've got 3 or 4 breakouts. Pretty big. But they dried up quickly. Btw, i've used it 3 nights per week for my first 2 weeks. Now, i'm using it 5 nights per week for these 2 weeks. Then i think after a month will start using it every night. This is my 3rd week and so far my skin's getting better. I've experience no initial breakout phase (yet), no redness, and no peeling. Ya, my face seems dry sometimes. I guess, we should start it slowly. I believe what those derms say, retin-A's great and works well. But keep in mind that when we are using Retin-A, less is more and more is less.
  • Reply
hi :D in my case, so far, the 2nd and 3rd week were probably the worst. I was breaking out with cyst acne everywhere I felt like crying every time I look in the mirror. Maybe it's because I'm more prone to acne than you so I get more breakouts, this is sad. I even thought about giving up retin-A when my skin look horrible. I heard some people didn't really get the initial breakout phase, but it depends on their skin

week 4

Horrible skin, still have acne everywhere and peeling, so I skip for 2 days because it was getting too irritating and it hurts to look in the mirror. After 2 nights without retin-A my skin has calmed down so I started using it again. At the end of the week my skin has gotten better, there's some new white heads but my other acne has dried. There was so many acne around my forehead, they were red and just look horrible but now I can see they have gotten better and the scars they left still there but they aren't as red as they were before.

Please join RealSelf or sign in.


week 5

85% of my acne has cleared up. My skin is getting better even with the acne scars. It's still far from perfect but I can see the retin-a does make my skin better, so much better in the last few months! Although I have to go through the worst breakout of my life before getting better, but it's worth it. Also it helps to control my oily face, I always woke up with greasy face but now it's just a little bit oily. All the past acne left dry patches on my skin, I'm gonna use olive oil and scrub my face to make it better. I don't know if I'm gonna get another breakout later (I really hope not) but for now my skin is good with the regimen.


Im on my 6th or 5th week I think. Did anyone else notice their clogged pores becoming more noticeable? Im not talking about closed comedones but blackheads. The retin a seems to dry them out and turn them into scab textured rice grains that sit in the skin and seem to go away little by little through exfoliation. I could press around them after shower but if I remove one it leaves an empty pore. Ive done it with one and am curious to see if the area has closed over
  • Reply
Dear libs, my skin's getting better now. Less clogged pores, no breakout. I mean, real less clogged pores and no new breakout at all (for now). Only some few acne scars like 3 or 4 from my first and second weeks breakout which i'd picked and squeezed. I've already bought a bottle of hydroquinone + tretinoin astringent. In case i might need it to get rid of this scars. I don't know if it is too early to say that retin-A works well on me.

week 6

my skin is getting clearer day by day, I only have 1 active acne on my left cheek. Acne scars has gotten a lot better, I can see them fade. I'm amazed by how much retin-A has changed my skin. So far so good.


I just started a few days ago...infact used it just two nites and my face is itchy, feeling highly irritated. More so, I have so much breakouts. I have been off the cream for two nites now, no improvement. I met with my dermatologist and she recommended I continue the usage, but am scared. What can I use to calm my skin? A doc online prescribed using a 1% hydrocortisone.
  • Reply
yeah I had clogged pores but they're easy to get rid of. But my pores has gotten clearer now. I can barely see any clogged pores
if your skin is getting better after approximately 2 months it means it really works for your skin I guess, if you don't see any significant improvement or if your skin is getting even worse in 2 months then that means it's not for you.

week 7-8

I had breakouts, pretty bad with bumps on my cheek and forehead I guess it was because my time of the month was about to came and when it did the breakout just stop and my skin is getting back to normal though I'm left with scars. I still have white heads or black heads sometimes but not as much as I had before the treatment.


You better do what he has recommended. The key is to be patient. My first month I was having the worst skin of my life and thought about giving up on the treatment. DON'T. If your skin is too itchy I would suggest you stop for 1-2 nights and start again after the irritation has calmed down. Olive oil helps with itching
Avene Soothing masks works wonders
Another thing I seemed to notice, the retin a works better when its properly massaged into the skin, rather than just applied like a cream and left to soak in


So far my skin has gotten better. It's so much better than ever before. I also get rid of stuff that has potential to breakout my skin, like, a few of makeups. My acne scars has faded though not completely gone. But I hope for the best :D It's impressive cause I have no pimple at all! I usually have 1-2 active acne in a week, but now...NONE!!! Also no black heads and white heads would still appear if I put on make up for too long but that's okay. My skin is not flawless, I still have few acne scars, they're red-dish and I'm still applying retin-A every night and would skip for 1-2 days if my skin peels or itch too much


Im almost clear. Its been almost two months of ret a for me. Currently I have two red bumps on my forehead that im waiting to turn into whiteheads and go away but I wont touch them because if I do ill get a red mark and maybe even a scar so im just leaving it alonr let retin a do its job and moisturize to keep away dryness and also to prevent extra scarring
  • Reply
Was this review helpful?