How to Get Through the First Three Months on Retin-A

Updated on August 31, 2019
EvieSparkes profile image

Evie Sparkes is a published YA novelist with a passion for all things fashion, hair and beauty.


Help Is At Hand

I can help. I am 47 and have been using Retin-A for almost a year now. I have had the dry skin. the flaking, the irritation. All of it!

I'm over it, and so can you be if you follow these tips.

Benefits of Retin-A

Improves skin texture, thickens the skin over time, encourages collagen production, improves fine lines and deeper wrinkles, lifts eyelids.

There are so many reasons to use Retin-A. I have experienced all of these benefits.

Products You Will Need

My Must Have Products
What It Does
When To Apply
Squalene Oil
Before Anything Else
Hyaluronic Acid
After Squalene Oil
Nivea Night Cream
Moisturises Intensely
After Retin-A (Evening)
Mineral SPF
Protects Against Sun Damage
In The Mornings

Prepare Your Skin Before You Start

Moisturise well and use retinol's for a couple of months before you use Retin-A

Start Slow And Steady

This is definitely the way to go. Otherwise you'll stress your skin out so much that it will rebel to the max!

Start off applying a pea size amount of the cream or gel every three evenings. Use a 0.025%. Don't go right for 1% as it's too harsh at first.

I am up to 1% strength now but I went from 0.025% then up to 0.05% and lastly up to 1% when I knew that my skin could cope with it.

Mix with a light moisturiser if you are concerned.

Be Careful

You can use Retin-A around your eyes, I do in fact. Lots of people will say not to as the skin is quite thin here, but as long as you stick to the 0.025% in this area and moisturise first and after, you should be fine.

Just dab a tiny weeny amount in and let it dry before applying a light moisturiser.

Exfoliation is key

I can't stress enough how important it is to exfoliate your skin when you are using Retin-A.

How To Handle Irritation

I found it incredibly tough to find a way to combat the dryness. It was far more troublesome than the flaking.

My skin is fairly dry anyway, so it was not happy with me, not at all. In fact it played up completely. It has a tantrum and was clearly telling me to stop or else.

I am not a giver upperer though!

I was determined that I was going to win this particular battle. I had started to notice lines I had either not noticed before or hadn't been there before. I wasn't sure to be honest, as when I hit 44 I suddenly became more aware of my skin, and all of it's flaws.

Remember To Treat Your Skin With Care

If you take care and start slow then you should fine Retin-A manageable.

Retin-A For Beginners - A Complete Guide

When Will I start To See Results?

It will take at least three months before you start to see a difference in your skin. The thing is that you will only notice how horrible your skin feels for the first three months. Even if there are improvements, you probably won’t appreciate them. At six months, you will notice a significant change in your skin. I’ve also noticed some of my sun damage is less visible.

The first improvement you will notice is the texture of your skin.

My Night Time Routine

I wait until I'm about to go to bed before I apply my skin care products. I am a face toucher, and want to go to sleep right after I treat my face to avoid irritation caused by my hands!

  • Cleanse skin
  • Massage a small amount of squalene into my skin and around my eyes
  • Massage in some Hyaluronic acid
  • Apply a pea size amount of Retin-A
  • Let it sink in for a couple of minutes
  • Lightly rub in some rich Nivea night cream
  • Go to bed


My Morning Routine

  • Wash face in cold water
  • Exfoliate
  • Apply a glycolic toner
  • Apply a squalene oil
  • Apply a mineral spf (at least 30)
  • Apply foundation and make-up
  • Go to work!

To Sum Up my thoughts

I can say in all honesty that deciding to use Retin-A to hold back the years is not for the faint hearted amongst you.

It is irritating, flaking, drying. Yes all of that and more. You will feel like giving up at times, indeed many women do give up. The thing is, they end up regretting it and have to then start the cycle all over again, going through all of the same trials.

If you can have the staying power, I can promise you that you WILL see results. I have heard it said that Retin-A is a long term partner, not a one night stand. I think this is a very good analogy.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • EvieSparkes profile imageAUTHOR

      Evie Sparkes 

      5 months ago

      As long as you gently exfoliate it's fine. I have to in order to keep my skin bright :)

    • profile image

      5 months ago

      You definitely should not exfoliate when on Retin-A!!!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)