Well, I’ve finally done it…I went to my doctor and got a prescription for Retin-A! I’m 37 years old and it’s finally time. It’s something I’ve been thinking about for many years and the fine lines by my eyes have been getting to me lately, plus I feel like I’m developing some marionettes by my mouth. So I figured why not finally take the leap?

My doctor prescribed the cream in both .05 and .1%, but apparently .1% tretinoin cream (even generic!) has been discontinued in Canada. I’m not sure what the story behind that is but the pharmacy subbed it out for Retin-A Micro .1%. I read a lot of reviews over on makeupalley.com and people seem quite happy with the micro. Supposedly you do not need to wait for your face to dry with the micro, and the tretinoin is encapsulated in time-release microspheres (hence the “micro”). I can’t wait to bump up to the micro!

I’ve used over the counter retinol products but haven’t really found one I liked much. I’ve used Peter Thomas Roth’s Retinol Fusion PM (meh), Dr. Denese HydroShield Ultra Moisturizing Face Serum (loved how soft and smooth my skin felt), Paula’s Choice Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment, and Philosophy Miracle Worker Miraculous Anti-aging Retinoid Eye Repair (nice moisturization). Not a one of these products irritated my skin in the least or made it dry, or really made much (any?) impact on my fine lines, skin texture or melasma. I’m almost afraid I’m immune to retinol/tretinoin! That’s crazy right?


Before starting Retin-A. Slight melasma, fine lines, poor texture.

I’ve begun the 0.5%. My doctor told me to apply it every night for one month, then move to the 0.1%. I’m not worried it’s too high to start as no retinols have irritated my skin before, and I’ve been told by a couple of estheticians that I have “tough skin”. I did do it two nights in a row, then I got scared after reading some people who had irritation that took a while to show up but was really, really bad when it did. So I took last night off and I think I will use it every other night until I’m sure I won’t get irritated. I’ll continue to post updates here as time goes on but in the meantime, what have been your experiences with tretinoin? Anyone else tried Retin-A Micro?

I’ll end with this video. I love all things makeup, fashion and beauty related and I think it’s good to laugh at ourselves. Also, I kind of want to be this woman – isn’t she fabulous?

UPDATE: I did experience a wee bit of flaking after my third application, so I think I’m going to scale it back to two or three times a week. I last applied on Sunday but as I have a microdermabrasion appointment coming up on Thursday I’m not going to reapply until after that.

UPDATE (Feb 9, 2016): I have been having no irritation at all from the Retin-A, so I think I will start re-incorporating some exfoliation into my routine. Since Retin-A speeds up your skin cell turnover, you need to somehow slough off all that dead skin. I’m going to start with a 10% glycolic once a week (on a Retin-A off night – I’ve been using it about 3x/week) and see how my skin tolerates that.

Since Retin-A takes about 6 months to really show results, I will do an update around the end of July with before and after photos.