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Differin Adapalene (0.1%) And Retacnyl Tretinoin (0.05%) Since 29/03/2012

make-up retinoids

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#21 fadedjay

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 01:05 PM

skins looking good, your acne is pretty mild.

By the progress your making you should be clear in no time Posted Image

One thing i did notice is that your using a lot of retinoids, tretinoin cream and isotrexin are similar in that they both contain a similar retinoid. Just be careful your skin doesn't get too dry

As long at it works keep it up!

Edited by fadedjay, 26 June 2012 - 01:08 PM.


#22 RoseLilium

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Posted 28 June 2012 - 09:11 AM

Thanks Jay! I know it's too many retinoids, so I am currently cutting out the differin and isotrexin in the AM, and replacing them with sunscreen instead. I will only use them in the daytime if I'll be staying at home indoors for the whole day. You're right about the drying effects. I am slathering a lot of moisturiser nowadays, and it seems to help.

Day 55.

After using tretinoin cream every night without fail for the past 54 nights, I am pleased to say that...

I am no longer self-conscious about meeting people without a smear of make-up on this week, and looking them in the eye. The PIH marks on my chin and right cheek are fading rapidly, and there are no more new cystic breakouts. Strangely, my normally un-pimpley left cheek is having a mini black/whitehead breakout. I think it's just deep-seated blackheads and tiny little whiteheads I never kew existed coming to the surface (but not really noticeable, not the huge red cysts that I got last month during the IB).

Overall, my complexion has been improving. I enjoy waking up clearer each morning - my skin is smoothening out and there's this nice pinkish tinge to it (nice, as long as it does not turn into a sunburned boiledlobster effect which is highly embarrassing). There's still the residual blotchiness left by the PIH marks. I am using a C serum which seems to be helping to fade them.

I am still struggling with the redness and peeling, especially the redness... But it's not as bad as before.
Changes - Currently adding SPF 50 sunscreen into my regime, not using retinoids in the daytime

#23 RoseLilium

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Posted 28 June 2012 - 09:49 AM

I am actually apprehensive about getting off Differin... My skin cells might have been "normalised" by it during the past year. Stopping it might cause me to breakout more. I'll continue to use Differin in the daytime for about 3-4x a week as a maintenance effort.

xxx Change in Regime: Alternating Retacnyl and Differin every night xxx

After consulting my derm via email, she instructed me to alternate Differin and Retacnyl every night until Differin is finished. After which I will use Retacnyl every night. So this is my transition period for my past year on Differin onto my new regime with Retacnyl.

I have very little Differin left in my last tube :) Looking back on my past year of experience on Differin, it is indeed a good retinoid overall. On good days, my face was crystal clear and had this radiant pinkish glow, and clindamycin got rid of the spots within one or two days. Differin kept most of my worst breakouts at bay - but still, it was not effective in totally getting rid of stubborn cysts and recurring spots.

Hence my new transition into Retacnyl (or Retin-A). Quite excited about this new journey because of the amazing results I have with Retacnyl for the past 2 months. Weaning off Differin, starting from tonight!

Edited by RoseLilium, 29 June 2012 - 12:46 AM.


#24 RoseLilium

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Posted 01 July 2012 - 03:54 AM

Day 57.

Skin is getting better and better as I wake up each morning. Just some pih marks, mostly on my right cheek which are fading visibly. I no longer use makeup and life is going back to normal. Just really relieved and thankful for everything. Looking back at May, I recall that the breakout season which was really tough. I wanted to stay at home everyday. I cancelled meet ups. I avoided friends. I felt so down about my acne and wondered about how low the condition of my skin can spiral downwards into.

Emerging from the tough IB season, I am actually the most grateful for my true friends who stuck by me (more than the state of my skin). They loved me and were patient andkind towards me during my depression, despite me avoiding them and acting strangely - all because of how ugly I felt.

For those using Retin-A, please be very patient and strong. I know how you feel - do not give up on it in the earlier weeks. I know it can be very difficult and heartbreaking but if you can get through the cysts, redness, peeling, scaling, flaking, itching, red marks, blackheads, whiteheads, new oozing pustules that surface day after day - you will end up with beautiful skin that gets better and better each day after the initial tough period. All your efforts will be worthit in the end. To those going through the IB, do hang in there and please do not give up.

#25 RoseLilium

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Posted 03 July 2012 - 02:37 AM

Day 59.

Felt that it was ok to differin in the AM today while going out to run errands, because there was a huge thuderstorm with black clouds blocking out the sunlight. I can't wait to be done with my course of differin. Used retacnyl last night and will continue using it tonight. I plan to slowly switch to the 0.1% strength once this tube finishes in maybe two months' time.

On a more sombre note, my complexion looks rough and broken out today. For my right cheek there are two whiteheads currently making their way out of their pores. I have a new a half-dormant-half-active cyst on my right cheek too, right below the mess of pih marks. For my left cheek, there is a regular zit on the area under my eye, one new whitehead on the apple of my cheek, 2 huge deeeeep blackheads which I never imagined was there all along, and one half-dormant cyst.

Sigh~

#26 RoseLilium

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 08:00 AM

Day 63.

So it's the end of week 9 and it's the beginning of week 10 tomorrow on tretinoin. I'm now waiting for 30 minutes for my face to dry.

This week, I've been putting on differin in the AM. The side effects are minimal/non-existent, mainly due to the rainy and gloomy weather this week. I love rainy days!

Hmm from day 45 onwards til day 59 (about 2 weeks), I had zero breakouts and was mainly dealing with pih marks. But now I'm dealing with one inflamed blackhead (a super deep one which tretinoin is extracting - it's really amazing how it was there all along) on my left cheek, and two irritating half-dormant cysts which have been there all along (the kind which is flattened but contents have not yet purged) decided to become active on my right cheek. Plus one pustule on my chin, which will most likely be gone by tomorrow afternoon (from the look of it). So that's three active spots currently.

And oh. Lots of blackheads, especially around my nostrils.

Although I am slightly discouraged by the inflamed blackhead and the two cysts, I am also excited in a strange way because tretinoin is still working at extracting every single bit of gunk under my skin, which have been there all along but never had the chance to surface and burst.

Overall complexion improving and pih marks fading fast. Smooth skin overall. Quite pleased but I know that there's much room for improvement.

I will also most likely switch to 0.1% tretinoin cream after 12 weeks, and start alternating it with the 0.05% I'm currently using (from week 12 onwards).

It is interesting to note that my face is now back to the state in which I first started out with. Ever since the consistent use of differin and retacnyl since 29/03/2012, my skin went downhill with the IB. But now it's back to it's original state, but with pih marks. I guess it's an improvement? I don't know. I only know that I have to keep using the tretinoin cream daily, and maintain occasionally with differin. The worst thing for me to do now is to stop. I'm already at the stage where there's nothing to lose. After the horrible IB, a few blackheads and cysts have little effect in wearing down my resolve to continue.

By the way, the skin on my forehead and nose looks amazing. No breakouts. Invisible pores. Absolutely clear and flawless-looking.

Edited by RoseLilium, 08 July 2012 - 05:38 AM.


#27 RoseLilium

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Posted 08 July 2012 - 09:39 PM

Day 65.

Urgh. My skin is really bad now. Although the 3 active spots are slowly dying down, one new cyst has sprung up on my left cheek and I can feel an upcoming bump on my chin. I think that it's caused by hormones because I was completely breakout free from day45 - day59. Sigh! This is so frustrating and discouraging.

#28 RoseLilium

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 07:34 PM

Day 69 (End of Week 10).

Very very discouraged about my skin. Currently having one active red CYST which I HATE. It is so big that when you look at my face, the first thing you see is that red awful thing.

I have to learn to NEVER EVER PICK at a cyst which is begging to be popped. The inflamed blackhead unfortunately turn into a full blown red awful cystic pimple - with a whitehead on it. And I picked at it this morning. If I never picked at it, my skin would have improved over the course of next week.

I vow that from today onwards, I will leave my skin alone and touch it less. And never, ever pick or pop at things.

#29 RoseLilium

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Posted 17 July 2012 - 11:41 PM

Day 74 (Mid-Week 11)

So I was having a mini-breakout from days 59-73, for exactly 2 weeks. It was a hormonal breakout because of my monthly cycle and definitely not caused by the tretinoin. Looking back, the breakout has definitely decreased in its intensity.

Just had my period today and my skin is clearing up already, no more active zits. The cyst I was very upset about for the past week has deflated, and all that is left behind is a faint mark. I am so happy that there are no more active pimples, not even one. Only the superficial marks left behind which I have to deal with. There has definitely been an improvement with the hormonal breakout, compared to last month, during which I broke out with a lot more cysts.

Tretinoin is working! First, it has been helping a lot in the sense that my breakouts are less intense, only one cyst this month. Second, my skin is so smooth and so soft now... All I need to do is continue to apply daily to get rid of the pih marks. Wow. The texture has also improved even more... so smooth. Peeling still happens daily. I just massage off the dead skin when applying moisturiser after my showers (when everything is soft).

Regimen remains exactly the same, as stated in my signature. Differin as maintenance in the AM til' the last tube finishes, per my derm's intructions.

#30 RoseLilium

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 09:37 PM

Day 79 (Beginning of Week 12)

My period just ended and my skin is starting to look pretty fabulous. It feels radiant and new, as all the old layers have peeled away to reveal fresh skin underneath. When I touch it, it also feels velvety soft. I have been applying the tretinoin cream to my chest and my neck, and those areas feel like velvet too.

I am starting to receive compliments. Currently, the only problem I'm dealing with is the pih marks which are pretty dark and show up very obviously on my fair skin. However, I have great hope that things will get better because I have a feeling that the tretinoin will work to fade those as well. Just a swirl of makeup and a dab of concealer here and there is enough to cover up the marks to a certain extent. I can't wait to be clear!

I am so relieved, happy and thankful to God for the current state of my complexion because lots of events are happening next week. Tomorrow is graduation night (the equivalent of high school prom), and I am excited. I will also be having convocation on the 26th of July, a photoshoot with my bestfriends on the 29th of July in our gowns, and a family portrait photoshoot on the 5th of August.

#31 RoseLilium

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Posted 28 July 2012 - 09:20 AM

Day 84! End of Week 12!

So... It's the end of Week 12 for my journey with Retacnyl! Through the downs of the IB and purging and cysts, I finally feel like things are looking up. I am feeling happy in my skin, and about my overall complexion. Today, two people commented that I was 16, and were shocked when I told them I was 22 - their jaws dropped and they looked seriously surprised. I was not wearing makeup. In fact, I don't see a need to wear makeup nowadays, except for the photoshoots and special events related to graduation.

To me, it is evident that the tretinoin is not only getting rid of my pimples - it is also improving my overall skin tone and complexion. Right now, I have zero active pimples/cysts. The only minor things bothering me are the dark speckles of pih marks on my cheeks and chin, and some scabby looking areas. But they are obvious upon closer inspection and do not seem to need covering up at all unless absolutely necessary. Therefore, I am not "clear" yet.

Besides the regimen, I also think that it is important to have a healthy lifestyle. I have been eating fish oil and a multivitamin daily. I also ensure that I get plenty of rest and sleep! I also try to take occassional brisk walks by the sea during sunset. I have been careful about my diet too, and cooking more meals for myself nowadays, and eating more fruits.

Most importantly, I have come out of the phase of feeling embarrassed around people because of acne. I have been spending more time with my family, close friends, acquaintances, and feel confident chatting with strangers. Did I also mention that it is important not be stressed out over work? Stress is the ultimate beauty killer.

Edited by RoseLilium, 28 July 2012 - 09:23 AM.


#32 RoseLilium

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 08:42 AM

Comparing weeks 6 and 12 - the pictures on the left column are week 6 while the ones on the right are from the end of week 12. They are taken up-close.

There has definitely been an improvement. All the marks you see are the leftover pih marks and not active pimples. I hope that as the weeks goes by, those will fade and disappear with daily use of tretinoin.

week 6 chin.JPG week 12 chin.JPG

Chin

week 6 right cheek.JPG week 12 right cheek.JPG

Right cheek

week 6 left cheek.jpg week 12 left cheek.JPG

Left cheek

#33 RoseLilium

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 08:19 AM

Day 93 (beginning of Week 14)

Although my skin has been behaving well lately, I'm bracing myself for my hormonal breakout in the coming week or so. I hope that it will not be as bad this month. My skin's texture is improving slowly and steadily as the days pass. I was looking through the pictures of the IB and they looked horrendous, so I'm thankful that the situation has made a turnaround. Currently having a few tiny pimples, which are nothing. My complexion has improved slowly and steadily over the weeks with the faithful use of the retacnyl cream every night. Went through the family graduation photoshoot yesterday with full makeup.

#34 RoseLilium

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 01:49 AM

Day 100!!! :)

Well it's the end of Week 14 for my crazy retacnyl journey. I can't believe that I have been using this thing for this long. But let me tell you, my skin has improved dramatically!

First, hormonal breakouts have decreased from 9-10 cysts during the initial breakout to almost nothing now. This week I was supposed to have hormonal breakouts and was expecting them to come. But no major zits/cysts came. Currently, the only thing I have is one tiny little zit under my lip, almost unnoticeable. Which is amazing and a little hard to believe. A few months ago, I would have at least 6 huge red cysts on my cheeks that would last for at least 2 weeks during my monthly cycle. Nonetheless, I don't want to be too happy because I don't want my expectations dashed. I am still bracing myself for my hormonal breakout next week, in case it happens.

Second, I am still experiencing peeling and shedding once every few days, which is a good thing. When I rub my skin, all the dead skin will just roll up or flake off. revealing the fresh skin underneath. There is the occasional redness and flushing, but that only happens when I am under direct sunlight.

With that said, I am now really hoping that all the pih marks will fade with continuous use of retacnyl. When I looked at my skin under natural light this morning, the pih marks are still visible and darker than the rest of my skin. Those marks reminded me of the initial breakout, and how they were once all red horrible cystic pimples all over my face. Pih marks are definitely easier to deal with. Overall my complexion is radiant and my skin texture feels super smooth. Hopefully week 18 will show improvements in the fading of the marks.

Regimen-wise, I am following the exact same routine stated in my signature. Finally, to all those who are struggling with the horrible breakouts on tretinoin - be it retin-A, renova, atralin... Do stick with it although you might get so discouraged. Be patient and consistent and use the tretinoin every night. You will see results.

#35 fadedjay

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 01:07 PM

hey i remember posting in this thread a while back!

damn you have come so far well done and it looks like your getting the results you want ! :)

So happy for you, my skins pretty messed up but its always good to hear others with success.

keep up the great work.

I may try retin a soon i don't want to really have to the whole accutane thing.

I used to use isotrex which is istrexin without the anti biotic i think it did kinda of work for me but still had breakouts etc.

jay

#36 RoseLilium

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Posted 19 August 2012 - 11:02 PM

Day 107 (Beginning of Week 16)

Yippee. I had no hormonal breakouts this month - not even a single cystic pimple or pus-filled monster. Currently all I have is one tiny little zit on my left cheek! Life is returning back to normal, I am not afraid of meeting people and no longer obssessing constantly about the breakouts. Because I have none. Rejoicing!

Waiting for pih marks to fade.
To Jay, thanks for the encouragement and support!!!

#37 RoseLilium

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 09:51 AM

Day 117 (Ending Week 17)

Haven't been updating for quite some time now. Because everything's as normal - no active breakouts. No zits. Nothing. My skin has sort of stabilised and is finally unzitty. Just teeny little spots around my nostrils and on my chin which are super small and cannot be called pimples or even whiteheads.

Is there an improvement in the fading of the marks? I really can't tell. As of now, the progress is slow I guess. I think it happens over a period of time but since I look at my face in the mirror everyday, I can't tell a drastic difference from one day to the next.

There is something that irks me though. It is not a totally bad thing, however - just means that my skin is constantly exfoliating.
PEELING PEELING PEELING!!! I will still peel like crazy in the day when I'm talking or laughing with people. The peeling occurs as huge huge flakes of skin crack on my mouth area and just come off the surface of my face. My friend even picked off a huge piece of dead skin from my hair yesterday when we were shopping for books. The peeling occurs extensively all around my mouth and my mum would point it out for me. These few days, I would just try to pick off the dead peeling skin in public toilets when i'm out and people are pointing that out, but that doesn't really help.

My skin is far from porcelain perfect, I hope that constant peeling will just peel off all the dead skin and rejuvenate my complexion and make it flawless. Will be posting pictures in Week 18 to see if there's any difference from Week 12 (fingers crossed).

Btw, I am still using differin in the day - I still haven't finished the tube all these months! Skincare regimen is exactly the same.

#38 RoseLilium

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Posted 08 September 2012 - 09:45 AM

Week 6 Right Cheek.jpg week 12 right cheek.JPG Week 18 Right Cheek.JPG

Right Cheek's progress ~ Week 6, Week 12, Week 18

Week 6 Left Cheek.jpg week 12 left cheek.JPG Week 18 Left Cheek.JPG

Left's progress ~ Week 6, Week 12, Week 18

Forgot to add... For chin's progress it's Week 6 at the top, followed by Week 12 in the middle and Week 18 at the very bottom.

Attached Thumbnails

  • Week 6 Chin.jpg
  • week 12 chin.JPG
  • Week 18 chin.JPG


#39 fadedjay

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Posted 08 September 2012 - 11:33 AM

great improvement you have come so far!

well done!

#40 RoseLilium

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Posted 23 September 2012 - 01:20 AM

Day 140, end of Week 20 (5-month update)

Jay: Thank you for your encouragement and support
So it's been exactly 20 weeks since I started using Retacnyl. It's been a roller coaster ride, with all the ups and downs. As seen in the Week 6 photo, my right cheek has always been the problematic area and Week 6 was when my skin was at its oiliest and pimpliest. My skin was at its worst in Weeks 3-8 (I think).

About makeup
Things got better and better as the weeks went by, and I am totally comfortable going out without any makeup - I think that not wearing makeup has helped my skin to breathe and recover faster from the IB. I have learnt to accept myself (and know that I am accepted no matter how I look), and not wearing skin makeup like foundation or concealer has taught me to be comfortable in my own skin. There were days when I caved in to using some powder to cover up the pih marks - I noticed that my makeup-less skin without makeup now looks like how my skin looked like previously with powder (if you get what I mean). But I do avoid wearing makeup unless I have to because I really like the feeling of letting my skin "breathe" and heal.

New "breakouts" - Good news
I got only one major pimple since my last update. It was this under-the-skin hard whitehead beside my eyebrow that had been lurking there for more than a year. I have always noticed it, but thought that it was just a random bump. But oh well, it was a nasty lurking pimple. It surfaced itself last week and is now a nasty red thing. H/w I think that this is something to be happy about because it means that the tretinoin is still working at clearing out every single last piece of gunk under the surface of my skin. And the frequency of the "breakouts" has radically reduced to one pimple a month, which is something to rejoice over rather than complain about. My chin still feels a little spotty once every few days (yes, once every few days which is weird!) - but nothing major and I do notice that blackheads are almost gone. Blackheads are gone not only on my chin but also from my nose! My nose is now almost totally blackhead-free, save for a few stubborn ones around the sides.

Peeling
I. STILL. PEEEEEEEL. It's not mild peeling but crazy peeling. 2 days ago, I was at a gathering on a Friday evening at a friend's place. I haven't seen them in 2 weeks. When one of them saw me, her eyes immediately moved to the area under my mouth and she asked me "What's wrong with your face?" in front of everyone. I replied "Am I peeling?" I thought that the peel wasn't that bad so I continued talking to people for the NEXT HOUR OR SO, without thinking much about the peeling comment made earlier. The rest were just too polite to say anything to me about it. So when I finally decided to go to the restroom, I took a look at the mirror and nearly fainted - I saw huge pieces of dead skin literally hanging off the area around my mouth! I am really not exaggerating at all when I say that the pieces of skin were HUGE. It looked like the skin around my mouth had cracked and shed. It was terrible. I quickly picked off all the hanging pieces of dead skin and when I did that, I noticed that the new skin underneath was nice and smooth. Oh well, the memorable side effects XD

Edited by RoseLilium, 23 September 2012 - 01:32 AM.





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