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retin a trentinoin mild acne red mark

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#1 NotsoClear

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 05:22 PM

Hello, three weeks ago I went to my doctor for my mild acne, and acne scars (I have many blackheads on my nose, large pores, and shiny skin too). At that time I only had maybe 4 spots, and a whole lot of red marks from past acne. My doctor said my scars weren't deep, and they will go away with time. He then said he was going to prescribe me Retin A. He told me to wash my face with an acne cleanser, and use the Retin A .1% medication everyday. I recently bought the Cetaphil Daily Facial cleanser, so I didn't buy an acne cleanser. Also, would an acne cleanser dry out my skin too much in combination with the Retin A? So, I started using it everyday, and a week after of using it my face was really peeled, and the sides of my mouth burned to the point where I couldn't even eat well. I continued for a few days, but then stopped thinking that I should get my skin back to normal, and start slowly this time. It's been a week since I stopped, and my skin has my more acne.


So, my questions are;
How should I start the Retin A again slowly?

Should I apply moisturizer (I'm using the Cetaphil moisturizing cream currently) before or after the Retin A? I wasn't using any at night when I first started Retin A.

Should I continue using .1% even though my acne is mild-moderate? My doctor wants to see me in one month, so should I tell him I want a lower strength or continue with the .1%? 

Edited by NotsoClear, 26 January 2012 - 05:24 PM.


#2 k3tchup

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 12:42 PM

i would not use an acid cleanser. I would use a non medicated cleaner that removes oil, dirt, etc.(my sig is wrong atm so dont use it either)

Start slowly with a pea size amount. I would use right after showering as it is said that retin a penetrates better after your face is warm. I've tried it 2 nights in a row and i can definitely see results although ive been using retin a for almost 3 months now. It takes time to see results as well.

Moisturizer like 30-45mins after retin a.

your precentage is fine just start slow and use alittle bit. if you get irritation skip nights.

#3 NotsoClear

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Posted 11 February 2012 - 12:43 AM

Sorry for the late reply! So, the Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser is acidic..? I was thinking of trying their gentle version, but I was thinking that the daily one was better for me because I fall in the normal to oily category. Thanks for the tip! I don't really like taking showers at night, but maybe washing my face and then steaming it can give me the same effect. I'm following the guidelines pinned in this board section, so I'm starting up again VERY slowly.

#4 k3tchup

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Posted 11 February 2012 - 03:21 PM

Sorry for the late reply! So, the Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser is acidic..? I was thinking of trying their gentle version, but I was thinking that the daily one was better for me because I fall in the normal to oily category. Thanks for the tip! I don't really like taking showers at night, but maybe washing my face and then steaming it can give me the same effect. I'm following the guidelines pinned in this board section, so I'm starting up again VERY slowly.


no its probably a good cleanser so keep it but im not sure the ph of it, but regardless stick to one that removes as ive said. Non medicated to reduce irritation is sometimes better when applying other products.. what i was saying is dont use an acidic cleanser and then apply tretinoin at night right after without waiting as tretinoin is sensitive to acidic environments and breaks down/ becomes ineffective just as a heads up. I shower at night after work so this is why i have to use ph balanced cleanser. But you should be fine. I would avoid steaming is that can lead to moisture loss in the face which would mean more oil being produced leading to clogged pores ect. i use to at night but i had to stop. everyone is different.

#5 NotsoClear

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 03:06 PM

Oh, ok. I have tried the Purpose Gentle Cleanser (the one reccomended on this website), but I feel it leaves a film over my skin, and I hate the packaging (it spills everywhere when traveling). That's why I just picked up Cetaphil because I just wanted a basic cleanser, but it contains parabens so I'm not sure if it's all that good. I usually wait about 20 min. before applying Tretinoin after washing my face, then I wait another 20 min. and apply a thick moisturizer at night.

#6 HapaMommy

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 03:26 PM

I used to use Retin A and there are a few things you could do. use a gentle cleanser that doesn't dry out the skin. Also my doctor had my wait 15 minutes to put on the medication. Plus the had me mix it with moisturizer before applying to reduce irritation. You might also want to try every other day for a week them ramp up to daily. I was fine going daily and the peeling will subside once your skin gets used to it. just make sure to moisturize and use sunscreen because you we be more prone to sunburn. Hope this helps!

#7 k3tchup

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 03:54 PM

Oh, ok. I have tried the Purpose Gentle Cleanser (the one reccomended on this website), but I feel it leaves a film over my skin, and I hate the packaging (it spills everywhere when traveling). That's why I just picked up Cetaphil because I just wanted a basic cleanser, but it contains parabens so I'm not sure if it's all that good. I usually wait about 20 min. before applying Tretinoin after washing my face, then I wait another 20 min. and apply a thick moisturizer at night.


well thats why i said something non medicated that removes dirt and oil and is ph balanced. maybe something with antibacterial properties would help. im about to try garden of wisom's tea tree oil fash wash. its ph balanced and would work well with my current exercise routine which involves bundling up like a snow man with a ski mask and then walking 2 miles every night. You want something that isnt going to leave a film and doesnt have SA as that can be over drying when using retin a; this is for some people not all. But then again acids and retin a dont mix

moisturizing is key. i never did it and never believed in it until now when i over did it with retin a.. Something good, wont clog pores, free of menthols and other possible irritants. And some of those extra products work against retin a as well. I dont remember where i read that but i did somewhere.

I use Skin biology's emu oil (its not cheep, and somewhat greasy and takes awhile to absorb-definitely for night time use). it helps with inflammation, is healing, has essential fats to rebuild skin, some say its antibacterial idk if is, and its hydrating just enough for me. Nothing for extremely dry skin but enough.

Edited by k3tchup, 13 February 2012 - 03:55 PM.


#8 NotsoClear

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 10:24 PM

I used to use Retin A and there are a few things you could do. use a gentle cleanser that doesn't dry out the skin. Also my doctor had my wait 15 minutes to put on the medication. Plus the had me mix it with moisturizer before applying to reduce irritation. You might also want to try every other day for a week them ramp up to daily. I was fine going daily and the peeling will subside once your skin gets used to it. just make sure to moisturize and use sunscreen because you we be more prone to sunburn. Hope this helps!



I'm currently using the Cetaphil Daily Facial cleanser, which I think is pretty gentle. I usually wait 20 minutes after washing my face to apply Retin A, and another 20 minutes to apply my Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream. I started off following this guide:
http://www.acne.org/...-using-topical-retinoids/
I'm on week 3 right now, and experiencing some dryness on my chin area. But it's not too bad! When I first got on Retin A, I used it every single day for a week. My face was a burning mess (the corners of my mouth stung so badly that I could barely eat), so I had to take a week off. So now I'm just following that guide, and starting up slowly. Thanks for the suggestion of mixing it with a lotion! I might try that when I start everyday use.

#9 NotsoClear

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 10:45 PM


Oh, ok. I have tried the Purpose Gentle Cleanser (the one reccomended on this website), but I feel it leaves a film over my skin, and I hate the packaging (it spills everywhere when traveling). That's why I just picked up Cetaphil because I just wanted a basic cleanser, but it contains parabens so I'm not sure if it's all that good. I usually wait about 20 min. before applying Tretinoin after washing my face, then I wait another 20 min. and apply a thick moisturizer at night.


well thats why i said something non medicated that removes dirt and oil and is ph balanced. maybe something with antibacterial properties would help. im about to try garden of wisom's tea tree oil fash wash. its ph balanced and would work well with my current exercise routine which involves bundling up like a snow man with a ski mask and then walking 2 miles every night. You want something that isnt going to leave a film and doesnt have SA as that can be over drying when using retin a; this is for some people not all. But then again acids and retin a dont mix

moisturizing is key. i never did it and never believed in it until now when i over did it with retin a.. Something good, wont clog pores, free of menthols and other possible irritants. And some of those extra products work against retin a as well. I dont remember where i read that but i did somewhere.

I use Skin biology's emu oil (its not cheep, and somewhat greasy and takes awhile to absorb-definitely for night time use). it helps with inflammation, is healing, has essential fats to rebuild skin, some say its antibacterial idk if is, and its hydrating just enough for me. Nothing for extremely dry skin but enough.

I never really looked at the ph balance of things. I will take note of it next time when I'm looking for a new cleanser. I heard great things of tea tree oil helping people with acne, but I never heard of that specific product. Apparently, it's a pretty good product though, according to reviews. I did want to try pure tea tree oil, but I guess I will just have to wait until I'm not using Retin A (pure tea tree oil dries up your face). That's some crazy excericise routine! Posted Image Haha. I never really liked salicylic acid, I always preferred bp. I'm a vegetarian, so using emu oil wouldn't be a good choice for me. I am thinking of trying vitamin E oil or almond oil.

#10 k3tchup

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 12:49 AM



Oh, ok. I have tried the Purpose Gentle Cleanser (the one reccomended on this website), but I feel it leaves a film over my skin, and I hate the packaging (it spills everywhere when traveling). That's why I just picked up Cetaphil because I just wanted a basic cleanser, but it contains parabens so I'm not sure if it's all that good. I usually wait about 20 min. before applying Tretinoin after washing my face, then I wait another 20 min. and apply a thick moisturizer at night.


well thats why i said something non medicated that removes dirt and oil and is ph balanced. maybe something with antibacterial properties would help. im about to try garden of wisom's tea tree oil fash wash. its ph balanced and would work well with my current exercise routine which involves bundling up like a snow man with a ski mask and then walking 2 miles every night. You want something that isnt going to leave a film and doesnt have SA as that can be over drying when using retin a; this is for some people not all. But then again acids and retin a dont mix

moisturizing is key. i never did it and never believed in it until now when i over did it with retin a.. Something good, wont clog pores, free of menthols and other possible irritants. And some of those extra products work against retin a as well. I dont remember where i read that but i did somewhere.

I use Skin biology's emu oil (its not cheep, and somewhat greasy and takes awhile to absorb-definitely for night time use). it helps with inflammation, is healing, has essential fats to rebuild skin, some say its antibacterial idk if is, and its hydrating just enough for me. Nothing for extremely dry skin but enough.

I never really looked at the ph balance of things. I will take note of it next time when I'm looking for a new cleanser. I heard great things of tea tree oil helping people with acne, but I never heard of that specific product. Apparently, it's a pretty good product though, according to reviews. I did want to try pure tea tree oil, but I guess I will just have to wait until I'm not using Retin A (pure tea tree oil dries up your face). That's some crazy excericise routine! Posted Image Haha. I never really liked salicylic acid, I always preferred bp. I'm a vegetarian, so using emu oil wouldn't be a good choice for me. I am thinking of trying vitamin E oil or almond oil.


I got nothing but time as i have no one else to give it too. I think tonight i walked almost 3 miles. I ran for a good part of it as well. BP is terrible for the skin and i would suggest you ween yourself off with something else. Tea tree oil is great but make sure its diluted as it is very drying. Emu oil should be refined like 3 times and pure white from what i read, although skinbios is yellow because its mixed with different stuff. Almond oil is high in vitamin e which would be good. Oils with essential fats are great for healing and moisturizing but can be overly greasy so it only takes alittle bit.