I have used Tretinoin Gel .025% for the past month. I was planning on going the 3-2-1 schedule--every third night in week 1, every other night in week 2, and every night in week 3-- in order to allow my skin to acclimate, but I found that to be unnecessary. The first time I put it on, I couldn't believe how simple it was and I waited 2 days to apply it a second time.
Ever since, I've applied it every night. After an hour, I applied moisturizer before sleeping. Because of this, I didn't experience the heightened sensitivity that everyone talks about. In the morning, I'd wash and put my sunscreen and moisturizer on. I'd reapply my sunscreen at least once a day.
I will say that my chin and neck were the most sensitive. My chin was very dry and would peel, and my neck looked like I had a rash and it hurt terribly. So I only applied once a week to my neck. But the recommended pea size drop to the whole face is ridiculous. I tried that and felt like I was putting nothing on. So I actually applied a pea size to my forehead, chin, both cheeks, and on my nose and underneath my eyes. So 5 in total! And no adverse side-effects!
Luckily, my forehead and chin have remained virtually clear during this time and my zits are primarily on my cheeks. I hope the tretinoin will eradicate the milia and fine lines under my eyes. It has made the acne worse and the scarring is devastating, but it's supposed to get better.
I give this a one rating not because my acne hasn't improved (it's not supposed to for another month or two) but because 90% of the gel is comprised of alcohol denat, which is awful for your skin. It smells exactly like rubbing alcohol. Alcohol causes dryness, free-radical damage, and irritation that hurts skin’s healing process. It also weakens healthy collagen production. This is so ironic because the tretinoin is supposed to do the exact opposite! When I apply my moisturizer over it, it clumps up and I hate it. When I'm done with the Tretinoin I'll switch to Tazorac because it's alcohol free.
I will update again at the 2 month mark.