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Retin-A -- I've changed my mind about it

I'm 58 years old and my face had been holding up...

I'm 58 years old and my face had been holding up well over the years, up until about three years ago, when some fine lines showed up and a bit of drooping on either side of my mouth, and the typical signs of aging in the neck. I have fair but normal skin (as far as oiliness to dryness) and an unconventional approach to face care -- I never use moisturizers because I think moisturizers do nothing for wrinkles. I keep my face clean by washing it with regular soap once a day. Back at age 56 I started doing at home peels about once a month. Didn't see much difference after several months so I added in Retinol (Green Cream 9). Didn't see much difference with the Green Cream + peels so I added derma needling into the mix. I finally started noticing a slight improvement, but not a lot. So, eight weeks ago I stopped the Retinol Cream and switched to .1% Retin-A. Well, within about four weeks it seemed like everything I'd been doing for the past two and a half years finally started kicking in. The Retin-A really is potent and makes things happen! My face got tighter and now fine lines are softer. So, now I'm just doing two things: derma needling every ten days and Retin-A every night. My advice would be, don't let the initial peeling phase of Retin-A daunt you. It's a drag but if you want to have a good face in your older years you have to suffer a little.

P.S. After I do my needling, I immediately put the Retin-A on and smoosh it into the skin. I don't follow with a moisturizer. Retin A works by irritating your skin and challenging it to renew, so my advice would be to try to lay off the moisturizers unless you absolutely need them.

Since I first posted this I've been reading...

Since I first posted this I've been reading several articles about the possible negative effects of Retin-A over the long term. So, I think an over-the-counter retinol cream is probably a safer bet if you're concerned about what retin-a might be doing to the DNA of your skin over time. I found Green Cream 9 to be almost as strong as retin-a anyway, and there are others out there to choose from. I also just recently read an article claiming that regular dry brushing of the face achieves better results than retinoids in the long run. And of course it has the advantage of it being entirely natural.
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Comments (4)

Hi - I am 52 years old and have had fairly good skin except for sun damage pigmentation. Been on a Retinol product for the past year and decided to start on 0.5% Retin A about a month ago. Use it on alternate nights until the skin gets used to it and continue with the Retinol product in-between. Huge difference in the texture of the skin already.
I cleanse my face of make up in the evening - wash with warm water and pat dry. Wait for about half an hour and use a pea size quantity of Retin A around face/neck. Just before getting into bed - moisturize with a Emu oil moisturizer that contains mainly natural ingredients (otherwise I find my skin too dry). Wash face with warm water in the morning, pat dry and in 20 minutes apply SPF and Emu oil moisturizer. Absolutely no adverse reaction to Retin A - other than very slight peeling and an occasional sting.
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Hi Queenb, I think it was wise to step it up from the retinol, sounds like you're doing all the right things. I recently had to skip two days on my Retin-A use. Sometimes the stuff gets a little too irritating, but skipping a night or two always puts things right again.
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How exciting to see results so quickly!! When you first started using Retin-A did it make your skin breakout at all, or was it just the flaking and peeling you noticed?

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Yeah Megan I'm really excited too. I think what happened was everything I'd been doing for close to three years suddenly started becoming evident with the addition of Retin-A. I didn't break out, but the peeling was pretty bad for about two weeks (about five days in I had to back off for a couple of days). Just a bit of flakes here and there since. Remember though, my skin was pretty well prepared with all the other stuff I was doing.
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