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Tazorac .05% Cream, Light Adult Acne

adult tazorac hormonal sensitive red mark concealer

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#1 NotMeAtAll

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 06:05 AM

I am 34 and have had bouts of acne since I was 17. For most of my 20s, I had it under control with birth control pills, salicylic acid, BPO 2.5%, and Azelex, but once I started having kids, my acne became hormonal: on my chin and lower cheeks, with a few big pustules before my period.

Last fall I decided that BPO was aging me and I was too old for it, so I quit using it. Big mistake. My skin got progressively worse until I was having 7-10 huge, regrowing pustules on my chin at all times. They would pop on their own and then regrow for weeks. It was disgusting.

In February my dermatologist prescribed Clindamycin gel to kill the bacteria and told me to come back in two months. The first month it worked great and I had no new pimples, just a lot of purple marks and shallow scarring, but in the second month, it stopped working, so I decided to start using BPO 2.5% again. I had to go through a week of tomato face, but then I got it under control with the help of CeraVe cleanser and moisturizer PM. I also started using Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Daily Face Peel Pads to get rid of the scarring. Those are amazing.

After the 2 months of Clindamycin were up, I saw the dermatologist and he suggested I use Tazorac to perfect my skin. I had used it in the past and didn't remember anything about it, so I think that means my skin was fine with it, but I had to quit due to being pregnant. I got the Tazorac .05% cream on Monday, and so begins my log.

Morning:
Wash with CeraVe hydrating cleanser or Paula's Choice antibacterial cleanser + Olay brush to remove flakes
Paula's Choice Purely Natural Refreshing Toner (this soothes and adds a lot of moisture as glycerin and hyaluronic acid are the main ingredients)
Paula's Choice 2.5% BPO all over face
CeraVe PM facial lotion + 2 drops jojoba oil for flakiness
Cetaphil Oil-Control Sunscreen SPF 30

Evening:
Wash with CeraVe hydrating cleanser or Paula's Choice antibacterial cleanser + Olay brush to remove flakes
Paula's Choice Purely Natural Refreshing Toner (this soothes and adds a lot of moisture as glycerin and hyaluronic acid are the main ingredients)
CeraVe PM facial lotion + 2 drops jojoba oil for flakiness
Every other night: Wait an hour, then apply Tazorac .05% cream all over face (I have no acne on my cheeks or forehead but do have wrinkles!)
Off nights: BPO 2.5% right after cleansing

Day 0: Applied Tazorac at night. It's very easy to spread if you apply lotion first. It's slightly greasy due to the mineral oil, but mineral oil is not actually comodogenic and is very good at keeping water in the skin. It smells kind of like perm solution but this dissipates quickly. I was starting with 1 huge pustule on my chin.

Day 1, morning: Face is fine. No redness or peeling, no itching. Chin pustule has dried up a lot!

Day 1, evening: A large pimple is forming in the middle of my cheek, which is not a normal place, plus a smaller one on my jaw, which is a normal place. Chin pustule has completely dried up!

Day 2. morning: Both of those pimples are bigger, but I do not want to pop them before work and have them regrow during the day, so I cover them as best as I can. Chin pustule has peeled off and left pink peeling skin, but it is fairly coverable.

Day 2, evening: Those two pimples pop super-easy using the approved popping method (alcohol on 2 Q-tips.) Applied Tazorac, no stinging/itching/burning.

Day 3, morning: Popped pimples stayed popped! See two new dots forming in normal jaw area. Some flakiness, but only around my mouth and chin where my pimples normally are. I wonder if this is because this skin is already kind of damaged from the acne and thus is more susceptible to peeling first?

Day 3, evening: Two new dots have turned into tiny pustules in the span of 8 hours. They practically pop on their own, leaving no blood or swelling. This is huge for me. My pimples always used to regrow several times, and popping them would cause such swelling that it wasn't worth it. These pimples appear, grow, and then practically fall out of my face, all in the span of 24 hours. I can deal with this if this is the dreaded initial breakout.

Day 4, morning: Tiny pimples that fell out the night before stayed popped, just some tiny red dot scabs. Flakiness fixed with jojoba oil + moisturizer, and red marks coverable with concealer. I applied powder, but by the end of the day, the flakes had come through (see below) and the powder accentuated that. Maybe tomorrow I will only put powder on my nose for shine reasons and skip everywhere else.

Day 4, evening: Flakiness did come through during the day, but I was so busy at work that I never checked my face. Tomorrow I will check my face periodically and pat some CeraVe over the flakes. Still no redness. I wonder if it is too soon to get redness, or if my skin is so used to pretty strong exfoliants that it doesn't bother it, or if I am doing such a good job at moisturizing? Either way, I'll take it. No new pimples.

Day 5, morning: No new pimples. No redness. Will try only using cream concealer on red dots from healing pimples and skipping powder. Have a super-busy day at work but will try to keep patting on lotion for flakes.

I will try to post some pics later.

#2 allisoncatherine

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 09:25 AM

hey :) I don't want to be a debbie downer but I just wanna let you know (in case you didn't :) ) that retinoids like taz, retin a, differin, epiduo, etc...will cause an initial breakout period for about 80% of the people that use them. Around weeks 2-3 you may experience a sudden outbreak in a lot of pimples!! This is completely normal and just means the medicine is working and that enough layers are now being shed where all the hidden pimples cant hide under the dead skin layers before....so just be patient even if your face looks worse that ever. It will get better.

#3 NotMeAtAll

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 02:59 PM

hey Posted Image I don't want to be a debbie downer but I just wanna let you know (in case you didn't Posted Image ) that retinoids like taz, retin a, differin, epiduo, etc...will cause an initial breakout period for about 80% of the people that use them. Around weeks 2-3 you may experience a sudden outbreak in a lot of pimples!! This is completely normal and just means the medicine is working and that enough layers are now being shed where all the hidden pimples cant hide under the dead skin layers before....so just be patient even if your face looks worse that ever. It will get better.


I don't remember an IB when I used it about 5 years ago. I don't know what will happen this time, as when I started it, I had my skin under control and was really starting it to treat wrinkles and PIH. The derm seems to think that continuing the BPO will control any IB. I sure hope so.

Day 6: Went to work wearing powder foundation and I never got peely or flaky. Actually looked nice! Noticing a pattern: skin is more flaky the 2nd day after applying Taz.

Day 7: I see one potential tiny pimple under my lip so I've been dotting on BPO 10% just on that spot, per the doctor's instructions. Otherwise skin looks decent. Just a lot of tiny pink dots from old pimples.

#4 NotMeAtAll

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 02:10 PM

Day 9: I have one small and one large papule on my chin in a normal place. I have been blasting them with 10% BPO and they are not getting bigger. My skin is definitely flakier the second day after using Tazorac, but moisturizer mixed with jojoba oil really helps. I applied a light coat of cortisone cream overnight as my chin and mouth area were fairly red and it looked fine today. Old pimple marks have faded a lot - I actually think it looks better now just to put a bit of powder on top and skip trying to conceal. Bare Minerals powder foundation does not work well on flaky skin.

#5 NotMeAtAll

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 05:30 PM

Day 11: Got a pustule on my chin, but it appeared, came to a head, and popped in 36 hours. I can deal with that. Two papules almost gone I think. Another one on the bottom of my chin but kinda flat. Overall, my skin is not as good as it can be, but also not as bad as it has been. So a definite initial breakout, but not disastrous so far.

#6 NotMeAtAll

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 07:59 PM

Day 12: Three pimples appeared in normal area on my chin and popped in the span of 12 hours. So weird. Really big juicy/waxy ones, too. The one that popped yesterday had a bit of pus this morning but I nuked it with 10% BPO and it has healed over and I don't think it will regrow. Definitely an IB but not as bad as it has been in the past.

My skin is a stinging a bit because of all the BPO so I added some Eucerin Redness Soothing Cream to my nighttime moisturizer. It has licochalcone which is also in the Regimen lotion and which treats redness.

The top half of my face is beautiful, though - really smooth and glowing. Gives me hope for the bottom half! I went to Sephora because I needed better concealer and the sales associate told me that she didn't recommend full foundation as the top half of my face is fine. She got me a nice concealer and brush that does a lot better than my drugstore stuff applied with fingers. I also got a more moisturizing powder to combat the dryness of the flaking pimples.

#7 NotMeAtAll

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 08:21 AM

I think today is day 15. I am now using Tazorac every night instead of every other night. Or maybe I will do 2 out of 3 nights if I get too red. I was preferring the nights I used Tazorac because the next morning my pimples were smaller and not red, and the flakes seemed to come the second day after Tazorac.

On the IB front, I have no pustules. I have two papules that have been the same size for awhile, and slightly pink. I think they are trying to coalesce into blackheads.

#8 NotMeAtAll

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 07:09 AM

Day 16: I have used Tazorac three nights in a row without irritation. I am preferring it to using BPO every other night as the Tazorac seems to make any growing pimples disappear overnight. I have two healing pimples and the same two papules that seem to be going nowhere. I am not red at all. I could totally just cover the healing pimples with concealer and leave the house! YAY! I hope I don't start breaking out again.

#9 NotMeAtAll

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 05:42 AM

I have lost count of the day number, but it has been 2.5 weeks since I started. I now use the Tazorac every night and BPO every morning. My skin looks waaaay better. The IB appears to be totally over (knock on wood) and I only have two papules and nothing else. It is weird that my skin prefers the Tazorac every night over every other night. When I wake up, my old acne marks are so light that were I not so oily, I could probably leave the house without makeup! Flakiness has stopped, too, so I've stopped the jojoba oil.

#10 NotMeAtAll

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 08:08 AM

Yesterday one small whitehead developed on my jaw line but it was under some light makeup so I didn't see it until night. It popped super-easy and is gone. Skin is looking better and better!

#11 leelowe1

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 09:53 AM

Hi, how is your regimen going? Are you planning on posting pics? I would be interested in seeing what your acne was like before tazorac. My acne is mostly mild, sometime moderate and i have been on tretinoin for 3 months and still breakout out......not sure why its taking so long. Anyway, looking into other options just in case this doesn't work out. Tazorac is pretty strong - how are the side effects?

#12 NotMeAtAll

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Posted 22 May 2012 - 08:10 AM

Hi, how is your regimen going? Are you planning on posting pics? I would be interested in seeing what your acne was like before tazorac. My acne is mostly mild, sometime moderate and i have been on tretinoin for 3 months and still breakout out......not sure why its taking so long. Anyway, looking into other options just in case this doesn't work out. Tazorac is pretty strong - how are the side effects?


Hi! I will try to post a photo. Not sure how you do it on this site.

It is going great. I am 5 weeks in and my skin is very smooth and it almost glows - more like it has a lovely sheen that is not oily. Almost all my red/purple marks are gone now. I usually have 1 active papule or pustule, but they heal pretty quickly if they form a head. If they don't form a head, they last as reddish bumps for a week or so, but are pretty easily covered. I think I will be totally clear at 12 weeks when I go back for evaluation.

I am using it every night, and I don't moisturize before. I wash with something gentle and then wait about 10 minutes before applying the Tazorac. I get zero irritation or flaking. I use 2.5% BPO in the morning and then a tinted moisturizer with sunscreen. I cover any marks with some concealer and look great. I don't need extra moisturizer or jojoba oil anymore. This stuff is awesome.



Ok, here is a photo from before starting Tazorac.

Posted Image

Here is me now. All you see is easily hidden with tinted moisturizer. The red mark on my far left jaw is actually a spider bite!

Posted Image

Edited by NotMeAtAll, 22 May 2012 - 08:11 AM.


#13 NotMeAtAll

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Posted 11 June 2012 - 07:08 AM

Today is 8 weeks of Tazorac and 2 weeks of Aczone. Still breaking out, though my son and husband said it looks much better. At any point, I will have two healing but still pigmented pimples, and 1-2 active pimples. The thing I am struggling with is that it is summer and I'd like to get a light tan but cannot with the Tazorac, and also the way that these pimples form and develop. They will start with a subterranean whitehead that in the past I would have ignored and which would have gone away without ever being visible. But now, the Tazorac makes the skin cells turn over so quickly that the skin around the tiny whitehead gets inflamed and pus develops underneath it, and then it really needs to be popped but I missed the right time and so it is too inflamed to do anything without creating a gooey bloody mess. :(

#14 NotMeAtAll

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 06:11 AM

I added salicylic acid back into my routine. Now it looks like this:

AM:
Wash with Paula's Choice Hydralight Cleanser.
Tone with Paula's Choice Targeted Acne Relief Toner (2% salicylic acid.)
Paula's Choice 2.5% BPO.
Some SPF20-35 sunscreen.
Makeup.

PM:Wash twice with Paula's Choice Hydralight Cleanser.
Apply Aczone.
Moisturize with Paula's Choice gel moisturizer (forget the name.)
Apply Tazorac .05% cream.

The salicylic acid is a bit drying now since I am using other stuff, but it is really helping with smoothness and keeping down any whiteheads the Tazorac brings up. NO ACTIVE PIMPLES! Just healing ones.

BTW, it is my 9th week on Tazorac and 3rd week on Aczone.

#15 NotMeAtAll

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Posted 16 June 2012 - 08:18 AM

Adding back in the salicylic acid has been really great for my skin. I have no active pimples! I use it in the morning before my BPO 2.5%, but if I wash my face during the day, I'll use it again then.

#16 NotMeAtAll

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 06:06 AM

I have had exactly 2 pimples in 10 days, and I did nothing and they fell out within 12 hours and disappeared. I don't know if this is the result of 10 weeks of Tazorac or if it is the combo of the salicylic acid and Tazorac. I think it's the combo. Skin looks great. Don't know if the Aczone is doing anything but it's simple to put on and free so that's fine.

#17 NotMeAtAll

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Posted 29 June 2012 - 06:11 AM

I have one smallish cyst on my chin. The horror. It sucks, but it gives me perspective that my skin is a lot better if one pimple makes me sad. Don't know if it was because I was at the beach a lot and getting sun, wearing sunscreen, sweating, drying out my skin.

#18 Murph89

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Posted 01 July 2012 - 09:20 PM

I too used aczone and tazorac a couple years ago that cleared me up 100% for over a year. Unfortunately I've been dealing with skin issues for the past 5 months. Salicylic acid from paula choice has been good, but I'm not 100%.

Edited by Murph89, 01 July 2012 - 09:21 PM.


#19 runzmc

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Posted 03 July 2012 - 03:22 AM

Wow, it looks like youre making great progress! Thats awesome!
Curious, and this will sound stupid because we both know the answer to this, but I just need final reassurance.

Did you ever pop any of the pimples that came up while on taz?
Im just starting with taz and the IB has me wanting to pop a bunch of the pimples that grow because there's just so many of them :(
(all white heads too)

The way that you said the taz cleared up your pimples so fast makes me wonder if thats in general, or without popping. It takes me days for any of my pimples to go away, buuuut I feel like thats 80% me popping them.

#20 NotMeAtAll

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Posted 15 July 2012 - 08:07 AM

I too used aczone and tazorac a couple years ago that cleared me up 100% for over a year. Unfortunately I've been dealing with skin issues for the past 5 months. Salicylic acid from paula choice has been good, but I'm not 100%.


What happened that you started breaking out again? Did you quit using one of your products? I have not been using the Aczone because it doesn't seem to do anything.

Wow, it looks like youre making great progress! Thats awesome!
Curious, and this will sound stupid because we both know the answer to this, but I just need final reassurance.

Did you ever pop any of the pimples that came up while on taz?
Im just starting with taz and the IB has me wanting to pop a bunch of the pimples that grow because there's just so many of them Posted Image
(all white heads too)

The way that you said the taz cleared up your pimples so fast makes me wonder if thats in general, or without popping. It takes me days for any of my pimples to go away, buuuut I feel like thats 80% me popping them.


I tried really hard not to pop them. They do heal better if you don't pop them, though sometimes they break open on their own just by washing them. I know I look and feel better if I ignore pimples and then they turn into little hard, sandy whiteheads that fall out on their own. Sometimes it is hard, though, especially if there is an inflamed one with a defined plug that I know will just pop perfectly... then I pop those. There are also "iffy" ones - they start as normal, tiny whiteheads, so I ignore them and don't try to pop, but the quick cell production and turnover causes inflammation around it, and then that turns into a major cyst. I have tried popping them before this happens, but it doesn't seem to make a difference. They might end up smaller, but they still get inflamed.

So today is the last day of the 13th week. I have "completed" the Tazorac, though I have no intention of quitting it ever. I have my dermatologist checkup next week. I have stopped using the Aczone because I didn't think it was doing anything, and because even though I never used it with BPO, I still got some orangey discoloration (that did wash off.)

I am not 100% clear: I got a big chin cyst before my period last week, and I still get an occasional whitehead. However, the texture of my skin is sooooo much better, and the scars continue to fade, and my wrinkles are lessening, too. I got carded at lunch with my husband and 4 kids. I was overjoyed - whose 8 year old did the waiter think my son was?! My laugh lines are shallower and no longer collect makeup unless I really cake it on.

I have found that the key to successful Tazorac is that you REALLY HAVE TO MOISTURIZE. You don't want to, because the cream is fairly greasy on its own, and you don't want to apply anything over existing pimples, but you must. When I don't moisturize, I have more pimples, I have flakes, but even worse, my skin looks more discolored, dull, and I can see the old dark marks much worse. I got a nice Paula's Choice moisturizer (the gel one for oily skin) which has lots of antioxidants and doesn't leave a greasy sheen.

I continue to use BPO and salicylic acid in the mornings, and the Tazorac and moisturizer at night. I have to resist the urge to wash more often or apply more BPO when I have a pimple, because it doesn't make it go away faster, and it only irritates my skin. If I have a pimple, I just apply a bit more Tazorac before bed and it takes it down some. I'm going to ask the doctor for a tube of 0.1% for this reason when I see him next week.

Getting carded and having such nice-textured skin was worth the month of hideous breakout. I intend to use the Tazorac forever for the anti-aging properties, barring any future pregnancies. Though I want more kids, having to go off Tazorac gives me serious pause. Isn't that crazy? So vain.