I've started using Stieva-A since last year's April, and I would like to write an update article. I'm not going to go into details about Tretinoin, and if you are curious what it is, please check out my previous article on Stieva-A cream 0.025% (lower concentration).
Since April last year, I've already gone thru 2 tubes of the 0.025% concentration, and already move up to the 0.05% concentration. You do not need a prescription for this concentration (at least not in Hong Kong or Macau).
Before using Stieva-A I knew that you have to go thru the stage of dry/flaky/red skin, I was expecting that, but I was told that this period would last for about 3 months and you'll start to see improvements afterwards. Well, my hellish days was not 3 months but 6 months, and I was so tempted to give up....
After the first 3 months my acne problems was mostly gone, but I was left with super dry and irritated skin, sometimes I even have to take a break from Tretinoin and let my skin stabilize before I start over again. After about 6 months my skin finally started to feel normal, and even then, I did not see any major improvements (I guess that I was expecting too much from this product).
I've kept using it, and over time I did see that most of the acne marks were gone, and although I still get the occasional breakouts, it's nothing to worry about. In terms of pore size and fine lines, I've been using this under my eyes (once a week), and I did notice improvements on the lines around my eyes, but beware if you want to use this under your eyes, because I was too greedy, and was using it under my eyes consecutively for 3 days, and it was so irritating that it left my under eye area all red. I did not notice any improvements on my pore size....
After using this for over a year, I've learn that this product works better under the following conditions:
- only use this in the evening (contact with the sun will burn your skin);
- after you wash your face, wait for 15 minutes before you apply it (this product reacts badly with water)
- after application wait for 30 minutes before you apply your moisturizer (moisturizer will diminish the effect of the product, you need time for it to work)
- don't use too much product, about a pea size should me enough ( you might think that there is not enough product to cover your whole face, but once absorbed it will permeate underneath your skin)