Retin-A is considered the “gold standard” topical treatment for sun-damaged, aging skin. Since I’m a former sun worshipper, I’ve got sun damage in spades. . . and at 52, I’m definitely aging so I fit the criteria for Retin-A use. I started using the generic Tretinoin 0.05% cream 2 years ago after taking a few (very unflattering) before pictures. I took more pictures for a 9-Month Update and now it’s time for a 2 year update.
Here are the side by side comparison pics:
Hold on, quick disclaimer: The following photos are un-retouched and were taken months apart in an amateur home setting (not in a clinical or lab setting). I try to capture the same angle, lighting, and expression but can not exactly reproduce conditions from months prior.
From this angle, I can see a big difference in the depth and length of my crows feet, and an improvement in firmness of the skin along my jawline.
In this close-up it appears my under eye wrinkles reached maximum diminishment at 9 months, and at 2 years, they’re still better than “before” but losing a little ground.
Now that I’ve been using tretinoin for 2 years I can apply it above my lips without any irritation, so I’m starting to see an improvement in my upper lip lines!
It took about 6 months to start seeing improvements. Research shows that maximum results are visible at 10 months.
I’m especially pleased with the difference in the amount of sagging on my eyelids. I don’t put the cream directly on my eyelids, but it seems to find it’s way there and give some improvement without irritation.
Click here to learn how I started with tretinoin to avoid irritation and many of the side effects that cause many people to stop using it.
In the past I’ve gotten Botox and Juvederm but I let them completely wear off before taking the “2 Year” photos. My last botox treatment was 6 months ago, and my only Juvederm injection (nasolabial folds) was over a year ago.
I did recently get Voluma, a filler for the cheeks. That’s been in for 4 months and is supposed to last for up to 2 years. It may have an effect on my nasolabial folds, but shouldn’t alter anything around my jawline, eyelids, or crows feet.
Overall, I see a difference in the size and depth of my crows feet, the number of under eye wrinkles, and the jawline doesn’t seem to have sagged much more over the 2 years so from that standpoint I definitely think it’s working. But, I don’t really see that much of an improvement in discolorations or surface smoothness.
I’ve read that maximum effectiveness is reached after 10 months of use and then after that not to expect too much more improvement, but many people said they’ve used retin-a for 20 years and their skin is better than it was before they started. This year, I’m going to bump up from 0.05% to 0.1% tretinoin cream and see if I can get more improvement without irritation since I’m already acclimated to the 0.05% cream. I’m also adding in Hydroquinone (prescription) to see if I can get some of that discoloration to budge. I’ll post more updates on those 2 projects later this year.
The thing to keep in mind with all the B&A photos is that the clock keeps ticking and I’m 2 years older but my skin looks better!