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Success With Retin-A

retin-a tretinoin aha alpha hydroxy acid

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#1 TraTrojan

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Posted 06 January 2012 - 02:27 AM

I don't post in the forums often but I thought I'd share a success story.

I discovered Dan's regimen about 4-5 years ago, the time before acne.org spawned Daniel Kern products. I used the BP regimen faithfully for about 4 years with great success. Then got on BC (Yazmin) and cleared up my skin even more. For a good while, I had pretty much found a consistent, useful routine to keep my skin relatively clear with no major breakouts (my acne has always been mild to moderate) and quick fading of brown marks. That is until a year ago. The year when I had the most stressful experience in my life that not only wreaked havoc mentally and emotionally but re-ignited my battle with acne. I immediately just went back to vigilant and precise use of Dan's method to no avail. After about 5 months or so, I literally through my BP away. I had to start from ground zero with my anti-acne experimentation which included, many OTC products to no avail including AHA lotion, African black soap, salicylic acid pads (Oxy) and apple cider vinegar (these did help with small forehead bumps and a few deeply ingrained marks).

I was getting desperate and finally went back to the doctor to get put back on Yasmin. The BC helped some but didn't get my skin back to normal. Not wanting to continue to pay co-pays for every derm visit to do the same kind of experimentation on my face, I went rogue. I finally opened up a now expired tube of 0.05% tretinoin cream (at least by 6 months!) my dad had brought back from a trip from Mexico nearly a year before. I think it costs him about $15-20 in US dollars for the tube (40g). I never really tried it because I never needed it and then by the time my acne had resurged I forgot about it. I had read some studies that said most meds don't expire and that you can use any drugs that you don't necessarily have to work at 100% effectivity. So, I went for it. And started using the cream as most derms direct: Gentle face wash 30 minutes prior, pea-size amount, every 3 nights, then every 2, then every night once your face acclimates to the drying factor.

It's been about 3 months and my face is FINALLY started to return to normal. I experienced the intial purging at about week 3 but nothing abnormal just a moderate acne breakout on my cheek and chin that dried and faded rather rapidly. And then week after week, a few little bumps would come to head and then heal and fade quickly. The process still seems to be happening with much more time in between the mini-breakouts and the pimples drying up faster and faster each time. At this point now, I have 5 tiny little whiteheads that are already drying out. But the most noticeable difference is that my skin feels generally smooth to the touch with none of those pesky, deep bumps that usually recur on my face. I only have dry patches when I use too much medicine. I have quite a bit of cream left in the tube and won't expect that it will need to be refilled for a quite sometime (about 9 months) unless I notice a decline in its effectiveness as time marches on. So far so good though so keep that in mind if you have left over prescription. Once my breakouts end completely I plan on adding AHA lotion back into my routine in the mornings as I hear that the one-two punch of glycolic and retinoid acid does wonders. Good luck to you all who are starting a retinoid acid regimen. I hope you have similar success! Here's my log:

Morning:
Wash with Alpha Hydrox Foaming Face Wash Clarifying Cleanser using the soft side of the Sephora Ultimate Dual Exfoliating Face Brush
Tone with Apple Cider Vinegar-Water (1:3 ratio)
Wait 30 minutes
Pea-sized 0.05% Tretinoin Cream
Wait 30 minutes
Moisturize with Rosewater-Glycerin Spritz
Protect with Coppertone Faces 30 Spf Lotion

Night:

Wash with Alpha Hydrox Foaming Face Wash Clarifying Cleanser
Tone with Apple Cider Vinegar-Water (1:3 ratio)
Wait 30 minutes
Pea-sized 0.05% Tretinoin Cream
Wait 30 minutes
Moisturize with Rosewater-Glycerin Spritz if normally dry or The Body Shop Nutriganics Night Cream if extra dry

Edited by yummit, 06 January 2012 - 02:39 AM.


#2 frackgirl33

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Posted 09 January 2012 - 10:20 PM

Thank you for posting this! Our stories have a lot of similarities... I also started by using an expired tube of tretinoin! I felt it was working, so when I ran out I went to the doc and asked for a Rx (except I requested the gel because I read the cream is not non-comedogenic). Best decision I ever made. Still not perfectly clear, but I'm only officially on week 8 (I don't count the weeks I was using the expired cream, because I wasn't very vigilant with it's usage). Never really had an IB thankfully, I honestly don't know how I avoided that. And, like you, I soon want to incorporate an AHA lotion in my morning routine for those pesky spots that are left over. Thank you for sharing your story, it's great to read a success story that is so similar to my own Posted Image There is light at the end of the tunnel!!!

#3 TraTrojan

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 01:32 PM

Update: It's been about a month since I first posted my progress and my skin is still improving. I generally don't get pimples anymore except on rare occasion and when they do come they dry up and disappear within 2 days with no dark spot after. Hallelujer!

I've changed my regimen a bit to optimize my efforts to fade previous dark spots as well incorporate an antioxidant into my general skin care routine. The new routine is definitely working as I'm having to wear less and less foundation to even my skin tone with each week that passes. Here's my new regimen for your review. Good luck Frackgirl so glad we could connect our stories and good luck all!

Morning:
Wash with Alpha Hydrox Foaming Face Wash Clarifying Cleanser
Tone with Apple Cider Vinegar-Water (1:3 ratio)
Alpha Hydrox 10% Glycolic Acid Lotion
Spot treat w/ Xtreme Bright Lightening Gel (w/ Salicylic Acid and Hydroquinone)
The Body Shop Vitamin C Daily Moisturizer SPF 30

Night:
Oil cleanse with The Body Shop Nutriganics Softening Cleansing Gel (this stuff, oh my!)
Tone with Apple Cider Vinegar-Water (1:3 ratio)
Wait 20-30 minutes
Pea-sized 0.05% Tretinoin Cream
Wait 1 hour
Moisturize with The Body Shop Nutriganics Night Cream and The Body Shop Vitamin C Skin Boost

Edited by yummit, 14 February 2012 - 01:42 PM.


#4 rp245

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 06:12 AM

Thanks for this! I've just completed my 4th week of Retin-A and I'm in the middle of the initial break out. It's great to hear success stories when I'm feeling discouraged!

#5 amrendugan

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Posted 28 April 2012 - 07:09 AM

I have a question, its my fourth week or almost 5 weeks of using retin-a, I observed that it is turning all my clogged pores into pustules...all my clogged pores eventually became acne....is it worthy to continue this??

#6 TraTrojan

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Posted 10 June 2012 - 03:24 AM

SO it's time for an update. If you can recall when I first posted I didn't have much of an initial break out. I would say after going strong for about 3 months or so, all of sudden I started breaking out. I really have no real clue as to why this occured. My only guess is that except when I went on vacation in March, I didn't stick closely to my regimen while away. Or it could be that that expired tube of Tretinoin finally gave in.

About 8 weeks ago, I finally went to the derm and got some real (non-expired) Retin-A. The doc also prescribed Clindamyacin (antibiotic). I also got back on Yasmin (well, its generic Ocella) and changed up my cleansing method. I've gotten hooked on the oil cleaning method. It doesn't strip my face like soap and has eliminated the need for toner. My skin's pH balance also seems to benefit greatly from this method. I no longer wake up with the greasy stain on my forehead.

In sum, I'm seeing the results that I had seen before again. Now, my new regimen is effortless, minimal (the fewest products I've ever used) and working great!

Morning:
Oil cleanse with The Body Shop Nutriganics Softening Cleansing Gel
Medicate with Clindamycin
Moisturize and protect with The Body Shop Vitamin C Daily Moisturizer SPF 30

Evening:
Oil cleanse with The Body Shop Nutriganics Softening Cleansing Gel
Use Pea-sized 0.05% Tretinoin Cream
Wait 30 minutes
Moisturize with The Body Shop Nutriganics Soothing Night Cream and The Body Shop Vitamin C Skin Boost
Take daily Ocella pill

Edited by yummit, 10 June 2012 - 03:32 AM.


#7 TraTrojan

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 01:41 AM

Been about 11 months now...here's my update.

My skin is the clearest it has ever been since my initial success with Dan's regimen years ago. I get virtually no pimples ever. The occassional 1-2 zits pop up every now and then (twice a month, at tops) and they go away within a day or two with no hyperpigmentation. I have been able to eliminate the Clindamyacin and birth control altogether. I have no issues with dryness; my skin is soft and supple to the touch. I have the quickest, simplest regimen EVER now. It feels great keeping acne at bay and not having to spend much time or money on it.

Keep the faith! The battle with acne can be OVERCOME!

Morning:
Cleanse with Neutrogena Extra Gentle Cleanser
Medicate with Alpha Hydroxy AHA 10% Gylcolic Acid
Moisturize and protect with The Body Shop Vitamin C Daily Moisturizer SPF 30

Evening:
Cleanse with Neutrogena Extra Gentle Cleanser
Use Pea-sized 0.05% Tretinoin Cream (I use a tiny bit of water with it to make it spread more evenly)
Moisturize with The Body Shop Nutriganics Soothing Night Cream, The Body Shop Vitamin C Skin Boost, and Vitamin E oil

Edited by yummit, 01 November 2012 - 01:41 AM.


#8 gingergirl22

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 09:37 AM

Congratulations on your success and thanks for posting an update!

#9 loladiamonds

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 09:52 AM

Been about 11 months now...here's my update.

My skin is the clearest it has ever been since my initial success with Dan's regimen years ago. I get virtually no pimples ever. The occassional 1-2 zits pop up every now and then (twice a month, at tops) and they go away within a day or two with no hyperpigmentation. I have been able to eliminate the Clindamyacin and birth control altogether. I have no issues with dryness; my skin is soft and supple to the touch. I have the quickest, simplest regimen EVER now. It feels great keeping acne at bay and not having to spend much time or money on it.

Keep the faith! The battle with acne can be OVERCOME!

Morning:
Cleanse with Neutrogena Extra Gentle Cleanser
Medicate with Alpha Hydroxy AHA 10% Gylcolic Acid
Moisturize and protect with The Body Shop Vitamin C Daily Moisturizer SPF 30

Evening:
Cleanse with Neutrogena Extra Gentle Cleanser
Use Pea-sized 0.05% Tretinoin Cream (I use a tiny bit of water with it to make it spread more evenly)
Moisturize with The Body Shop Nutriganics Soothing Night Cream, The Body Shop Vitamin C Skin Boost, and Vitamin E oil



this is really great =) i'm using tazorac and still experiencing the IB so this has given me some motivation. What exactly is AHA like btw?

#10 Bad K

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 02:22 PM

Thanks for posting updates, it's nice seeing success stories on here.

#11 -lxl-

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 01:39 AM

Been about 11 months now...here's my update.

My skin is the clearest it has ever been since my initial success with Dan's regimen years ago. I get virtually no pimples ever. The occassional 1-2 zits pop up every now and then (twice a month, at tops) and they go away within a day or two with no hyperpigmentation. I have been able to eliminate the Clindamyacin and birth control altogether. I have no issues with dryness; my skin is soft and supple to the touch. I have the quickest, simplest regimen EVER now. It feels great keeping acne at bay and not having to spend much time or money on it.

Keep the faith! The battle with acne can be OVERCOME!

Morning:
Cleanse with Neutrogena Extra Gentle Cleanser
Medicate with Alpha Hydroxy AHA 10% Gylcolic Acid
Moisturize and protect with The Body Shop Vitamin C Daily Moisturizer SPF 30

Evening:
Cleanse with Neutrogena Extra Gentle Cleanser
Use Pea-sized 0.05% Tretinoin Cream (I use a tiny bit of water with it to make it spread more evenly)
Moisturize with The Body Shop Nutriganics Soothing Night Cream, The Body Shop Vitamin C Skin Boost, and Vitamin E oil


thanks for your success story! it's such a great motivation to stick to Retin-A when I hear such good stories!

#12 TraTrojan

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Posted 19 October 2013 - 11:50 AM

Ok an update after a year.   Some bad news.  Around February of this year my acne returned.  But its my fault because I didn't refill my prescription of Retin-A in time to continue using it.  So I started to be really stingy and small with the amount I was using to squeeze out as much as possible from that last tube.  Well it wreaked havoc on my skin.  Just being a few days late on my continual use, I started up the regimen again and it was like I had to start from scratch.  So know that once you make a commitment to take Retin-A you have to be prepared to use it indefinitely.

 

Eventually I felt like the 0.05% Retin-A cream was no longer as effective for me because even after starting back up the pimples continued to come. So after about 5 months of no real sign of improvement, I invested in some 1% Retin-A micro via AllDayChemist.  I have been using both for about 3 months and now my skin is finally going through the same process as my initial log (i.e. decreasingly smaller, less frequent breakouts that heal quickly).  When I say I use both by that I mean I use the Retina-A on one night and then the Micro on the other.  I quite like the idea of not switching over completely to the 1% strength so that my skin doesn't eventually grow immune.  This year was a nightmare for my skin but at least now the Retin-A is working as predictably well as it did last year.  I expect to have that flawless skin back by January. Here's my new routine:

 

Morning:

Cleanse with Trader Joe's All-In-One Facial Cleanser using my Olay Pro-x Brush

 

Medicate with Alpha Hydroxy AHA 10% Gylcolic Acid Lotion

 

Moisturize with The Body Shop Nutriganics Smoothing Day Cream and Vitamin E Oil (especially around my mouth where there's peeling)

 

Protect with Glo-Therapeutics Oil-Free Spf 40+ (I live in Vegas now so I need something stronger)

 

Evening:

Cleanse with The Body Shop Nutriganics Softening Cleansing Gel

 

Medicate with Retin-A 0.05% -or- Retin-A Micro 0.1%

 

Moisturize with The Body Shop Nutriganics Smoothing Night Cream and Vitamin E Oil


Edited by TraTrojan, 19 October 2013 - 11:57 AM.


#13 TraTrojan

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Posted 08 January 2014 - 08:39 PM

Okay its January.  Retin-A has been working as expected keeping the bulk of pimples and whiteheads at bay but now a new unfortunate discovery--hormonal acne! Argh!  I get about 5-6 big, red, angry pimples right after ovulation.  So, I've started to work on overcoming this internally. 

 

Just during the current monthly cycle, I was able to avoid most of the big pimples that form on my cheeks and only had 1 big one and 2 small ones.  So I think my new routine is working nicely.  Here it is with some more updates to my Retin-A use as well.

 

Morning:

Cleanse with Trader Joe's All-In-One Facial Cleanser

 

Medicate with Alpha Hydroxy AHA 10% Gylcolic Acid Lotion

 

Moisturize with CeraVe Moisturizing Cream (great stuff, corrected all the dryness issues!)

 

Protect with Glo-Therapeutics Oil-Free Spf 40+

 

Evening:

Cleanse with Trader Joe's All-In-One Facial Cleanser

 

Medicate with Retin-A 0.1% -or- Retin-A Micro 0.1%

 

Moisturize with CeraVe Moisturizing Cream & Vitamin E Oil

 

Daily Vitamins:

Black Cohosh 40mg 2x daily (from the day of ovulation til menstruation only)

Multivitamin (especially for the 15mg of zinc)

 

Weekly Vitamins:

5 capsules of Queen Yasmin Universal Mind  (body detoxifying herbs like Neem and Milk Thistle help keep the liver in tip top and Dong Quai is known for hormonal balancing)

 

Re-edit: This is why keeping track of your acne struggle is ESSENTIAL...I just went back and read my former methods and realized that the time my skin was clearest was when I was on birth control as well as using Retin-A.  That proves that I've  always had a hormonal acne issue.  I just refuse to take BC at this stage of the game.  Hoping for improved results with Black Cohosh


Edited by TraTrojan, 08 January 2014 - 08:49 PM.


#14 TraTrojan

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Posted 18 June 2014 - 11:46 AM

Okay time for an update...  Retin-A is still working to keep away the majority of pimples but these few persistent hormonal pimples were still showing up in the last few months.  I tweaked some things and I think I finally found the right solution for me.  At this point, this is the most of I've ever done in regards to tracking my progress and I thinks its an IMPERATIVE exercise.  That said, this is more for me than anyone.

 

Morning:

Cleanse with Oil cleansing method using 50:50 JA Black Castor Oil/Vitamin E Beauty Oil (w/Grapeseed and Safflower Oil) and few drops of Tea Tree Oil

Rinse with The Body Shop Softening Cleansing Gel (contains an emulsifier that helps wash away the oil easily)

Exfoliate with TKOSkin Cocunut Complexion Polish (adding this sugar scrub to the oil cleansing method only as needed)

Moisturize with CeraVe Moisturizing Cream (will switch back to The Body Shop Nutriganics Day Cream soon though as I prefer it)

Protect with The Body Shop Vitamin C Skin Boost and Glo-Therapeutics Oil-Free Spf 40+

Spot Treat with Mario Badescu Drying Cream with Added Turmeric

 

Evening:

Cleanse with OCM method

Rinse with The Body Shop Softening Cleansing Gel

Medicate with Retin-A 0.1% or AHA Glycolic Acid 10% (alternating nights)

Moisturize with The Body Shop Nutriganics Night Cream

Spot Treat with Mario Badescu Drying Lotion

 

Daily Vitamins:

One-a-Day Multivitamin

25mg Zinc Picolinate/ 2mg Copper

Stress B Complex

40mg Black Cohosh

 

Weekly:

5 capsules of Queen Yasmin Universal Mind

Yogurt/Turmeric Mask 1-2X a week

 

I feel like the most signifcant change I've made is using the OCM method. My face is the softest and smoothest its been in about a year and a half. I found the use of the TJ's cleanser to be too drying and using both AHA and Retin-A in one day was overkill. It make my skin flake and the redness was horrible.  OCM is helping to really balance my skin out...it feels supple and well-hydrated now.  It has also unclogged all my pores especially on my nose and chin and just generally makes my pores look tiny.   OCM is all about finding the right combo of oils for you. I did a good amount of online research reading the different feedback regarding this method before diving in and I'm super happy with the results!

 

I also think my vitamin intake is helping to the keep hormonal acne at bay.  The Zinc, Black Cohosh and B-Complex especially.  SInce upping the dosage of my Zinc and switching to the Picolinate version which is said to be more absorptive, I found the hormonal acne to decrease significantly.  I went from getting 5-6 angry zits monthly to 1-2 small whiteheads.  That I can live with!

 

I'm trying out the Turmeric Mask to clear up hyperpigmentation.  If things continue to progress, getting rid of dark marks will be the next most urgent matter for my facial regimen. I'm very happy with how things have shaped up!


Edited by TraTrojan, 18 June 2014 - 04:00 PM.





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