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A year to the day since I began Differin and I am now battling a full blown breakout on my chin. HOORAY... Got 3 active and a whole load of clogged pores, bumps, who knows? I have no idea what's brought this on as I have changed absolutely nothing about my routine and overall I am a happier person mentally and physically than I have been in YEARS. 
To be quite honest I never used Differin on my chin, only BP on the odd spot I would get. I am now on Day 3 of using it on my chin, so kinda hoping this is some sort of initial breakout. It feels like every pore is clogged and looks disgusting to be quite honest. I know some of the appearence is scarring but I have never seen my chin look so congested in my life. It sounds over dramatic but I can feel the anxiety building up again, are we every truly free from acne? Doesn't feel like it right now.
From the photos it doesn't seem like much but it's hard to capture them in natural light.

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So it has been ONE YEAR since I started using Differin PM/BP in the AM...
To cut a long story short I think it's amazing still. 
I have had ZERO papules, whiteheads, big massive cysts since October 2015. NONE AT ALL.
98% of the time I have crystal clear skin but every now and then I get a group of clogged pores on my cheeks or chin but to most people there invisible.
In fact to mark my Differin anniversary my skin has been SO KIND to me and given me about 10 clogged pores on my chin hahaha!
Attached a photo of me took today without make up (the mascara is semi permanent and brows are Wunderbrow [amazing btw] to mark how far I have come.
Basically my only problems now is dry skin and the comedone flare ups, I try to stay positive and remember that for the past 10 years I would have killed for skin like this, even if it's not perfect.

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And it bloody terrifies me - in a good way.

Helllooo, I am awful at updating my blog now. It's purely because I have nothing to report. However, it frustrated me to see others' blogs slowly fade into nothingness when they started to get clear so I didn't want to do that! Been on Differin (PM) and Benzoyl Peroxide (AM) for nearly 8 months now. I have been 100% spot free since October last year. This still freaks me out that creams have helped were Accutane (twice) didn't! 
Due to the nature of my regimen I am still battling really dry skin, however I am slowly finding my limits to control it and get rid of some of the flakes. Overall, I am still absolutely loving having a smooth face and not worrying every time I felt a bump coming on.

Quickest and craziest half year of my life!

All in all I am pretty damm clear. I have 2 tiny cloggee pores atm, which are only visible when I have make up on!! BUT my skin quality had improved a lot. Redness reduced A LOT which is amazing and only a teeny tiny improvement on scars but I know thats gonna be ages yet.

 

Overall, I am still pretty damn happy with my skin right now!

Week 22

Still no acne :)

But still got baaaad PIH and lots of shallow scarring. Do I think come New Year I will start looking into ways to combat these? Hopefully!

Truthfully I cannot wait for this year to be over. I have lost my grandmother to breast cancer and my mum just got diagnosed last week. Good thing being it seems to have been caught early and she's now recovering post surgery & waiting to start her radio & chemotherapy. But it puts my skin worries into perspective and I have definitely learned to be a lot less preoccupied with my skin in a short space of time. And I have found when I stop constantly staring at my face and looking for bumps under a flashlight I can truly see just how far I have come.

Week 19.

The blogs are getting few and far between but I am forever present on this website.
I'm still using my same routine of benzoyl peroxide in the morning and differin at night. 
And guys... I am still clear. Like scary clear. Even after 2 courses of roaccutane I wasn't this clear so please please please don't give up just because accutane hasn't worked for you!
 

Halfway through week 14 of differin and acne.org regimen and I am STILL clear. Must be a month (or more) by now?! However, I am still battling horrible dryness around my mouth. I don't get it because I use no kind of topicals anywhere near my mouth. I only cleanse and moisturise here. Anyone else experienced this? Attached a picture. Yoy can't see it too well, but it's the lighter patched and you can see some of the flakes.

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Helloooo.

So I am still 99% clear. I have two tiny bumps only visible under bright light but I am trying not to worry. It's been two days and they haven't gotten any bigger, which is usually a good sign. Wanting to put it down to stress from work. Half of my staff are leaving and I have been put on ridiculous shifts. Also, because of my shift pattern I only had Differin on my face for 5 hours the other night.
Still struggling to find an amazing moisturiser that doesn't make me worry I am gonna be flaking half way through the day. But overall things still seem to being okay, however I am going to ask my derm about getting tretinion on it's own. Can't wait to see her, it's been three whole months without seeing one!

This feels weird.

I had to spend a week deciding whether I had the courage to start this but it's flew in.

Week 1 through 4 was hell. My face was a riot, and that's an understatement. Both my cheeks erupted like a million volcanoes which weren't even that big. But there were so many of them, nearly every pore was clogged. Had another breakout on week 6. Then one pimple a week until week 9. I have been clear since then.

My skin texture is still dry, a bit red and had small episodes of flaking but I think that's more from using BP as spot treatment.

Now I am unsure how to continue. I am definitely continuing a topical. I could carry on Differin or I could start using the Treclin (Ziana for you USA folks) I was prescribed last time I was at the derm. Which is, tretinoin and clindamycin. Differin is working for me for sure BUT I am thinking could the Treclin improve my skin texture(dryness) issues? Will really need to think this through! If any of you have transistioned from differin to tretinoin after 12+ weeks for reasons other than acne PLEASE let me know - good or bad!

Red & Dry

So I have officialy done 11 weeks on differin. Don't get me wrong I am still SO very happy with my results regarding my acne. I am still clear, I almost can't believe it now. Can't remember the last time I had a proper pimple. Fab, great, etc.

Now. My actual skins condition is getting me down. My face burns when I put on moisturiser which hasn't happened since since 1-3. My skin is also drier than it was. Like accutane dry. When I wash differin off in the morning and then apply BP and moisturiser I actually get balls of dead skin gather on my face and hands it's so gross. I'm not sure if this should still be happening, all I know is it's gross. No matter how well I prep and prime before make up, if I open my mouth too wide, when eating for example, my make up "cracks". Idk a better word for it. Like it appears to gather in my smile lines. This has never happened before and it looks like wrinkles!!!!! Im only turning 24!!!!! Ugh. I dont know if I should be looking for a really strong moisturiser or even if I should be exfoliating? Need to start getting my research done here!

Week 1 Vs Week 11

I never thought I had an IB.

I never thought my skin was that bad.

But tonight I finally found the courage to look at my progress pictures album.

I took a photo every day in July and carried this on but now I only take a couple a week.

I never thought I had an IB because I thought it could't happen in the first week. But the before pictures here were took on 11th July which was 12 days into my treatment.

Yeah my skin is still red but it's CLEAR of acne and bumps.

For some silly reason I put the 'after pictures' on the left and the 'before' pictures on the right lol!

Not bad considering I still have a full week of 'treatment time' left, eh?

Isn't it funny how I am never happy?!

I have now done 10 full weeks of Differin and for all intents and purposes I am the clearest I have ever been, consistently. If I am not acne free then I am only getting one small pimple at a time. And I am still technically 2 weeks away from the recommended treatment time for this topical so my results are breath taking and I am totally thankful for how smooth a ride Differin has been for me.

But my acne worry is transforming into a general skin worry the less acne I experience. I hate my PIH and my pitted scars and the fine lines I am getting at the ripe age of 23, due to all the harsh treatments I have been on in my young life. When I put my make up on I am a little happier, my complexion looks even and smooth. Then I catch myself in sunlight and can see the pitted scars that litter my higher cheekbones. Because of this I will never be TRULY confident, even though I am, for now, acne free. Acne is horrible enough to experience but it just adds insult to injury that we need to live with scarring after the acne has gone.

I am scared, nervous, excited for my derm appointment next month as I wont be going to try another product to clear my skin. I will be asking FINALLY how the flip do I get rid of my scars!! And more importantly, how much is it going to blood cost me!! I mean don't get me wrong I LOVE and am so thankful for the NHS, especially in Scotland where we don't even pay a penny for prescribed medicine, but one does get used to all the free stuff that paying for cosmetic work seems daunting!

In other news I finally registered with a new dentist after not going for a few years after a bad anesthesia incident, where in it didn't work but my old dentist carried on drilling and I nearly fainted from the pain lol. Got the appointment for the day before my 24th birthday on the 24th of this month, hopefully I get the great birthday news that I don't need any cavities filled :P

Sooooo tomorrow marks 9 full weeks done on Differin and I am still happy happy happy. Ok I still get pimples. But it's like ONE at a time and it goes away within a couple of days in a bad case scenario, mostly goes away same day! I think it has to do with it always being on my right cheek. I lean on that side and I sleep on that side. Must improve in that respect. I must not lean on my hand and I mst change my pillow case more often!!!! I also have a crusty BP chin just now and its grossss! Thought I was getting a pimple so I went too far and covered the area in BP now I just resemble a shedding snake lol. Drowning the area in rich moisturiser and hoping for the best to be honest haha.

My regimen has also stayed the same and it's so simple that I am PISSED I wasnt doing it for the last TWELVE years grrrrr.

AM:

Acne.org cleanser

Acne.org benzoyl peroxide (spot treat only)

Garnier moiture nourish rich moisturiser

PM:

Acne.org cleanser

Differin 0.1%

Olay sensitive fluid

Attached pics of me right now and my skins looking awesomeee. Wearing light makeup as I am dressed like a hobo on my fiance and I's 6th anniversary so felt I had to make some sort of effort :P also ignore my crusty nose, got such a bad cold hahaha! Lifes not fair!

Things are still looking good. I have one tiny pimple right now and it's really tiny and already shrinking even more so. I don't want to jinx it but maybe this is my cure.

I'm sick (again) and as I said before when I am sick I usually break out but nope nothing! Right now I am more concerned about my health than my skin -never thought I would see the day! I have the cold and it's making me feel crappier than when I had the flu last month lol. At least when I had flu I could get ready for work without snot pouring out of my nose haha.

Praying for another clear skin week and to be rid of this cold by the weekend because I am going a weekend away for my fiance and I's six year anniversary!

Feels like I haven't updated in ages! My grandmother recently passed away, trying to sort her resting place and lots of stress in work have made my skin my last thought...

However, after my small breakout a week ago my skin has completely recovered and I am clear again. I have already linked my acne and stress so I am truly surprised I have stayed so clear. Differin is really a lot of ups and downs, and I hope it all stabilises when I reach the famous Week 12. Overall, right now I think I can finly start to say Differin might just be working for me. To be honest, even if my results weren't as good I would continue using a retinoid for the forseeable future as my skin texture, condition and colour have never been so even and healthy looking. Like last time I remember my general skin condition being this good was when I was a child, pre puberty.

It's also comforting to know if Differin takes a U-Turn somehow and my skin goes realllly bad I have tretinion in my cabinet ready to start and my derm would gladly give me another round of accutane.

So glad I have had the support I truly need when coping with my skin. Support for acne is hard to find in the United Kingdom as the NHS is spread tight, low funding and overworked doctors and nurses. So I feel truly blessed my dermatologist, hospital and pharmacy experiences have been nothing short of amazing.

Fingers crossed these great things continue!

Jumped The Gun

Lol woke up with 2 red sore looking spots. Arg. The operative word being 'looking'. It's 2 small red papules. And it's only 2. But they are beside each other haha! It sucks to have a breakout in my 7th week but I have to remind myself every day that by using a retinoid I am this for the long haul.

I also pissed myself off because I cleared out an old handbag to use for work and I found two and a half full strips of accutane. Convinced myself that's why I am still battling this... because I forgot to take 7 doses. It sounds stupid I know. Here's my breakout.

I seriously can't believe I ever was scared to try Differin...

It's working so well for me and for the first time since I was on accutane I have had a week with ZERO acne. Long may it continue. No comedones. No bumps. No papules. Only some redness after cleansing but it only lasts for 5 minutes. I have no idea if this is normal because I have had permo red tomato face from acne for so long. Honestly, right now, this is working better for me than accutane ever did. I let my diet slip 2 weeks ago and had ice cream and pizza twice and have had no ill effect. My period has been and gone with no ill effect. So I am left wondering, what the HELL does cause me to get acne? Surely it can't all be genetics?! My scars are finally starting to make small improvements but I know that it will take months, even years for DRASTIC results and I am ok with that because, as I say, I can start to see small changes.

My regimen is still the same. Dan's regimen. But instead of the BP at night I use Differin.

Attached some pics of my face literally RIGHT NOW. It's a little red but I have just cleansed so!

Still no acne and the dead ones have completely gone.

My period has been and gone and not so much as a tiny one.

I feel this is too good to be true as I am only half way through the recommended treatment time. But I am going to enjoy this acne free spell for as long as it lasts haha. In fact the past few days my pigmentation has looked great but I am pretty sure it's because I am loaded with flu so I am overall very pale and sickly :(

Right now I am not sure where the hell to apply BP as I had been applying it to areas with acne so I have just been applying it all over my cheeks now as I have been doing with Differin.

Thinking of starting the AHA soon if no new acne appears in 2 weeks time. Will just be mixing it with my moisturiser due to my delicate, sensitive skin and being totally scared of irritating it. I am so grateful for this website and it's products. I have been on antibiotics and accutane on and off for 12 years. But within less than 2 months of properly reading this website (I had been a member for over 2 years!!) I have learned sooo much and completely overhauled my diet, skincare and my overall wellbeing.

No active acne.

Seriously.

I am so confused.

Every post I read about Differin told me I would have a horrific initial breakout. My skin would shed off constantly. It only works a little. Need I go on?

I am ...TMI ALERT... on my period and that's usually papule city time but NOTHING.

It's actually quite eerie as I am still fully expecting this initial breakout to start appearing and be covered in my old enemy ...cystic acne!!!! I haven't had cystic acne in over 2 years and it still terrifies the hell out of me. Ok, my face is still COVERED in marks from flattened zits and lots of pigmentation and some scars. However, when I put my make up on my face looks flawless. No bumps. No comedones. No acne.

I'm not expecting this to last long but right now I feel the most confident I have since I was 'clear' during my 2nd accutane course. My skin is so smooth and my very slight flaking has now subsided. After 12-16 weeks and hopefully very little further acne (a girl can hope :P ) I am gonna obviously keep continuing this regimen but also start looking for ways to fade these marks. It's my dream to go out with foundation on!!!

My regimen has been the same since week 2. But I have gone back to my old AM moisturiser which I thought was breaking me out but turns out it wasn't.

AM:

Cleanse with acne.org cleanser

Acne.org BP - spot treat only on my cheeks

Garnier moisture nourish moisturiser

PM:

Cleanse with acne.org cleanser

Apply Differin 0.1%

Olay sensitive night cream

Still 5 weeks without dairy and very little sugar which I also think has helped a ton, however I miss grilled cheese and pizza :(

Boo. Breakout.

In the middle of week 4 of Differin now and I just got a breakout. Ok it's like 4 tiny bumps beside each other but it sucks none the less. I felt weird and strange because I had zero new acne since I started it because I seems most people have crazy IBs! I can deal with the new acne because these 4 tiny things are all the acne I have. My face is SO red and hyperpigmentated though. Totally sucks but I would prefer it to acne.

The dryness has subsided a little thank god. I felt like a snake every morning when I looked in the mirror it's so gross seeing your face fall off. But when you realise underneath is poreless, scarless, acneless, soft skin it's worth it. I can't believe I was ever terrified to start a retinoid because for me I am finally making true progress skin wise. It may not last, this I know, but right now I am happy with what is happening.

Wowee I am now definitely experiencing Differin side effects but they are weeeird?! I have an itchy chin and jaw, but underneath like heading onto my neck kind of area. I deffo don't apply Differin there so find it weird. I am also flaking but only at my smile line area which is another area where I don't actually apply Differin.

I am promising myself this AMAZING leather jacket with fake fur trim I seen if I don't itch until it calms down. If that doesn't stop me NOTHING will hahaha!

I also done the harsh light test for the first time in ages tonight.

My harsh light test is using a magnifying mirror on the strong side. Then shining a flashlight onto my face from above. Sound like torture, right :P ?

WELL THE RESULTS ARE IN.

The last time I done it I had 42 bumps. This was about 2 and a half weeks ago and I swore I would never do it again cause I cried for hours afterwards.

Tonight I couldn't resist and I was actually pleasently surprised. I only have 13 now!

I keep telling myself I have made no proper progress but now I can't even deny it. Feeling a little upbeat now. I can dooooo thiiis.

This is mainly for people mainly searching for a make up routine that provides full coverage without looking full coverage. I LOVE makeup and have done for years and if this helps one person feel a little more confident then yay.

Overall, I would say I have sensitive skin that when not on prescriptions is combination. Oily T-Zone and dry cheeks.

I have been using these products for years without any breakouts from it alone. Some of the products used are known to break SOME people out but it never will break EVERYONE out so give it a go if you likem So here we go.

First off I moisturise with Olay Sensitive Day Fluid which has an SPF of 30. I would then do my eye make up.

Then I apply Clean & Clear Dual Action moisturiser, i dont know why but 2 moisturisers under make up seems to work better for me.

Now make up....

- MUA pro base primer

- Revlon colorstay Foundation (in oily/combo formula). I like the coverage and if you moisturise generously I find I never get caked, although with this formula it drys realllly fast so you need to work fast. I apply with clean fingers because its the best tool ever and its free.

- Rimmel Hide The Blemish concealer for pimples. Yes I know stick concealers are the devil for a lot of people but I think its really creamy, does the job and I have used it for 10 years and its never caused a breakout.

- Collection liquid concealer for PIH and under eyes. This is amazing and I only found out its existance thanks to Em Ford the beauty blogger who, like us all, has acne.

-Maybelline Matte Maker pressed powder. This is the least comegenic pressed powder I have ever used and it makes my face feel silky smooth. It also has the least 'bad' ingredients in a powder found in the drugstore I have seen. I used to be a Rimmel Stay Matte praiser but its just too cakey for me using Differin. If dry skin isnt an issue for you then give Rimmel a try too!

I have attached a pic of me with all of this on. I honestly feel confident wearing these products and people sometimes can never tell I have acne!

If you prefer a lighter coverage I sing the praises of Rimmels BB cream! I havent used it long enough to say it doesnt break me out for so far so good. Its soft, light and has awesome coverage for what it is!

Finally done 4 weeks of Differin. Didn't think I would make it this far. So many times I wanted to give up from the stinging, breakouts and pain. I'm so glad I found the strength to carry on. I've also done a week and a half of BP which seems to nuke forming papules before they even get a chance to form a lump. But dear, dear GOD the flakes are insane. Attached pics of my face right this minute. I have still got those 5 closed comedones they are sooo stubborn haha everything else is a redness. But notice the flakey face

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