So I'm halfway through my 6th week now and my regimen is as follows:
Morning: Cleanse with Cerave Hydrating Cleanser (REALLY calms the redness in my face and keeps me from getting dry at all)
Evening: Remove makeup with Cerave Foaming Cleanser then do a double wash with the Hydrating Cleanser and my Clarisonic Mia. Wait 30 minutes then apply Retin A gel .05%.
My skin goes back and forth with being very oily. Some mornings I wake up looking all balanced then, this morning, I was a greasy mess. I don't mind it too much although I really hate the feeling of my face oils mixed with makeup in the late afternoon/evening. I'm hoping that will balance out with time.
As far as pimples, I only have two at the moment. One on my forehead that I was able to treat last night so it is currently healing and a tiny whitehead that I am currently treating and will be gone before I know it. For spot treatments, I use nothing but hydrocolloidal bandages. Leave it on a popped pimple for a few hours (or overnight, my preference) and it will suck up all the bacteria, leaving behind a much flatter lesion. And there is no risk of causing any irritation like a harsh benzoyle peroxide or salicylic acid might do on Retin-A treated skin. I LOVE it.
I still have a big problem with hyperpigmentation. Every little blemish leaves behind a mark so, over the years, I have acquired quite the collection. I'm not using anything specific for dark mark treatment for fear of it irritating my skin. I may wait for the 3 month mark on Retin A to try and introduce a different product. Even so, since Retin A is an exfoliant, it will help some on its own.
The thing that has made the most difference in the appearance of marks and overall redness is Cerave Hydrating Cleanser. It truly makes a marked difference. I have no idea why. But it does.
I haven't gotten dry or flaky in a while. My skin was NEVER dry but there were days I would have some minor flakes. Since switching from washing with the foaming cleanser to the hydrating cleanser every morning, no more flakes. Works better than the Cerave PM moisturizer.
So, face is doing well. I can tell this is going to work for me and will continue to be my best friend for the rest of my life.