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So…I feel like I’ve been keeping this a secret from you guys; I’ve been using 0.25% Retin-A for a good few months and wanted to do a review on it. When I was a child I had two accidents that left me with two scars on either cheek and above one scar I have some enlarged open pores which really bother me; one of the scars is indented. Covering these with primers, concealers etc has been a mission of mine for years & I’ve also had dermal fillers but wanted to augment the treatment.

You need a doctors perscription for Retin-A and it comes in a large tube mine was about €40 and there are different strengths available – up to 2%. I have no blemishes usually and dry skin, it is frequently prescribed for acne, scarring and ageing. For me it’s had great results with a few slight downsides.The mechanism of Retin-A is to peel your skin basically revealing new skin underneath. Here’s the deal;

  • Apply it at night alone and you’ll have to deal with going to bed with no moisturiser and your skin feeling tight
  • Your skin will peel, go red, be sore, sensitive, burn when you apply products and generally feel very sensitive
  • You need a really high SPF every day
  • You wont be able to touch a stippling brush, NARS sheer glow, or even vigorously rub your skin as your skin will flake off
  • Areas like around your nose will be very sore and peeling
  • It may thin your skin out a little & you’ll gradually get paler

But….This stuff is amazing. It works. I had some expression lines & a slight frown line appearing on my forehead – they’re gone, 100% gone. On the rest of my face it’s improved the tone and texture of my skin, really refining it. On the indented scar I have to say it had a dramatic impact – so much so that I can now really appreciate it after a few months use. It also improved the less visible scar however it did nothing to refine the open pores on my cheek in my opinion.

Once you stop using it and your skin can recover a bit you can really see the difference, when my skin was at breaking point I stopped using it and went & re-purchased a bottle of Trilogy Oil & the much loved Oilatum Natural Face Repair cream made famous by the Pixiwoo sisters and after even a week of using both; the moisture level had dramatically improved. Some final tips;

  • If you have to wear make-up use a silicon primer to give you a smooth base as there will be peeling & flaky skin
  • Avoid foundations that cling to dry patches
  • Use a balm on your skin if you have one to help it heal, especially around the nose
  • Don’t use an enzyme cleanser or any kind of peeling masks, products or facials at the same time – it will be far too much for your skin
  • Avoid products with alcohol in them as this will sting and hurt
  • Be patient – it works but give it some time & take breaks & then start over
  • The winter time is best to use this as we’re naturally paler then & trust me you don’t want to be dealing with Retin-A and fake tan
  • Really plain moisturisers like Oilatum & E-45 will be your best friend
  • If you suffer from Keratosis Pilaris on your upper arms, whack on some of the Retin-A & it’ll do wonders for it
  • DO NOT consider using a Clarisonic while on Retin-A trust me on that one

Since I don’t have acne prone skin this is from the perspective of someone with dry skin using it to reduce scarring & the suggestions may not be applicable to you. I’ve never used it on my eyes so can’t comment on that either, but I know some who do & have had great results with fine lines.