52 and Have Used Retin-A Rx for 27 Years. New Jersey, NJ

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When I was 23 I returned to the Northeast from...

When I was 23 I returned to the Northeast from baking in the sun in Hawaii for three years. I went to see a dermatologist for acne and dark splotches that didn't fade when my dark tan did. He prescribed Retin-A 0.1% (the strongest formulation) and I've been using it nearly every night since then. I'll be turning 52 next month, and it's definitely paid off.

Retin-A is the only topical that actually works, with decades of proof. Anything else is really just a waste of money. It remodels skin on a cellular level, stimulating cell turnover and collagen growth. Collagen is what gives skin its structure, firmness and elasticity. No, I don't work for the company, although I'd be happy to. No matter what age you start using it, it can improve your skin. If you already have fine lines and wrinkles, i will diminish them. Give it up to 24 weeks to work its magic. (it can't do anything for jowls and things like that that are due to structural changes deep within the face). If you don't have any lines yet, it will prevent them and the need for a CO2 laser in the future. It's also great for resolving acne, although I still have mild hormonal breakouts on my chin from time to time.

Retin-A (Tretinoin or retinoic acid) is also available as Retin-A Micro, Renova and Tazorac. A 45-gram tube of the brand name product lasts me about 8 months and costs approximately $180. I don't use anything else. I wash and moisturize with Cetaphil. No lasers, no fillers, no Botox, so It's really a bargain.

Retinol, the ingredient available in drugstore products, is not Retin-A. Only 10% of Retinol is absorbed by the skin. It does work, but not nearly as well.

Do NOT use Retin-A while pregnant. It can cause birth defects. Good luck!
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