Retin-A Micro(R) Review

Retin-A Micro(R) is a prescription acne medication “proven to start clearing skin in as little as two weeks, with full results seen after seven” weeks.

Using Retin-A Micro acne treatment regularly will unclog pores, keep them clear, and control future acne flare-ups.  Topical retinoids like Retin-A Micro work to keep skin acne free and to “reduce the look of red, inflamed skin.”

This acne treatment solution uses a “breakthrough slow-release technology” to reduce the chance of irritation that commonly occurs when using some acne systems.  In addition to the acne fighting ingredient, Retin-A Micro contains “microscopic sponge-like beads” to absorb excess facial oil to give skin a less shiny, more healthy look.

The information on Retin-A Micro’s website says that acne sufferers should continue using the medication even if they still get a few pimples and even if their skin clears up completely “because it’s working to prevent future breakouts.”

Company Information

Retin-A Micro(R) is manufactured by Ortho Dermatologics(TM), a company “committed to superior science and clinically based solutions.”  Along with Retin-A Micro tretinoin gel, this company makes Renova(R) tretinoin cream.  Neither Ortho Dermatologics nor their parent company, Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., has a record with the Better Business Bureau.

Product Specifications

Retin-A Micro gel contains a natural form of vitamin A called tretinoin that is suspended in an oil-free, “glycerin-enriched, water-based formula.”  The gel should be applied as directed by your dermatologist after washing with a gentle cleanser.  Retin-A Micro is pumped onto clean fingers and applied directly to the face.

Retin-A Micro is available in two strengths – .04% and .1%.  Your dermatologist will decide which strength is right for your acne needs and will also instruct you on how many pumps you should use each day.  Applying more than your physician recommends may result in unnecessary irritation.

The product information gives a warning that skin irritation may occur but suggests minimizing this side effect by not applying Retin-A Micro to “sensitive areas like the corners of your nose or mouth.”  They also advise that you should use an SPF 15 or higher skin lotion during any sun exposure while using Retin-A Micro.

Side effects of Retin-A Micro can include skin irritation, mild burning, stinging, peeling, or blushing.  According to the website, about half of the people using Retin-A Micro experience mild irritation.  They say it is “just your skin getting used to the medication.”  The irritation should improve as you continue using the gel.

Where to Buy Retin-A Micro(R)

As a prescription medication, you cannot buy Retin-A Micro in stores but will need to obtain a prescription from your physician.


The cost of Retin-A Micro(R) will depend on three factors – which pharmacy you use to fill your prescription, the size of bottle your physician prescribes, and whether or not you have medical insurance.  The full cost without insurance will be around $100 or more.  Retin-A Micro does offer a $50 rebate.  See the website for details.

Return Policy

Like all prescription drugs, Retin-A Micro may not be returned.


As a prescription acne medication, Retin-A Micro(R) is used by people with moderate to severe acne, people who “have tried everything else.”  It’s often one of those last resort products for when nothing else seems to really work.  As I’ve looked for Retin-A Micro reviews, I’ve noticed that virtually everyone using this medicine is also using other prescription and over-the-counter treatments along with it.  Some are using it in conjunction with prescription antibiotics while others are combining nightly Retin-A Micro with an over-the-counter treatment, like benzoyl peroxide, used in the morning.  Because of this “combination treating,” it’s hard to know if the pros and cons they’re seeing are due to Retin-A Micro or due to the other treatment.

As with all acne skin care products, the results people see while using Retin-A Micro vary dramatically.  Many users of Retin-A Micro experience “initial breakouts” that can become very severe.  This is discouraging and frustrating for most people.  One Retin-A Micro user words it well in his review:  “RAM [Retin-A Micro] can seem hopeless for the first two months, and that’s why many people quit and move on to another topical.”  Another states that she has been told, “You get a breakout on [Retin-A Micro] in weeks 3, 6, and 9.”

Once the initial breakouts clear, many people are very happy with their results as you can see from the quotes above.  After almost ten weeks using Retin-A Micro, one user reports, “My red marks are fading pretty quickly, and I’m pretty sure the RAM [Retin-A Micro] has helped with [my] mild scarring.”  For some, though, the initial breakout doesn’t end even after 4, 5, or 6 months, and they give up Retin-A Micro in favor of another treatment.

Other than the problems with extra breakouts, people have reported Retin-A Micro causing dry skin.  One reviewer, who has used the medication for a year, writes, Retin-A Micro “has been the best working product I’ve used so far.  It can be really drying to your skin…that’s the only reason why I’ve wanted to get off it before.”  One lady suggests applying a moisturizer before applying Retin-A Micro gel “to eliminate the problem of drying.”  Surprisingly, I found no complaints about the skin irritation that Retin-A Micro’s website mentions as a common side effect.

Does it work?  For every review I read, a person either experiences fantastic skin repair after a lengthy breakout period or the breakout period simply doesn’t end after several months.  Far from being a scam, Retin-A Micro appears to be a very good, effective product for most people – but, like everything else, it can’t be guaranteed to work for everyone.