Posted 26 September 2012 - 08:37 AM
What kind of moisturizer are you using? Not to totally change your regimen, but for peeling skin, the BEST thing is the Cetaphil Moisturizing CREAM (NOT lotion) that comes in the tub. It's pretty thick but you can use small amounts. It's also not very matte but it will pretty much cure your peeling skin. I don't know what I would do without it
Again my own complaint is that it leaves a shiny effect on the skin. But I'd rather have shiny skin than peeling skin. It's thick and it kind of goes on like shortening but it leaves your skin insanely hydrated and smooth without irritation.
Maybe give it a try!
Posted 02 October 2012 - 07:56 AM
For my skin update - End of Day 149 (beginning of week 22)
Oh well, I have one inflamed blackhead on my left cheek now, which is a little discouraging. The rest of my face feels relatively smooth, except for my chin. I can't really describe the progress in words. But my skin is good enough for me to go around without makeup. I have been using the tretinoin faithfully every single night for the past 149 nights - it was awful at first, but has been getting better and better. My skin has been clearing up wonderfully.
Will be very busy for the next few weeks - Will post pictures soon, probably at the end of week 24.
P.S. I'm finally done with my tube of differin. Only using retacnyl now. Check out the edited regimen in my signature. To all those using tretinoins, don't give up. You need to be patient. There are definitely results, slow as they may seem!
Edited by RoseLilium, 02 October 2012 - 08:02 AM.
Posted 12 October 2012 - 06:34 AM
Despite the itching and peeling dryness around my mouth area, and a couple of tiny little spots (really tiny ones on my left cheek and mouth area), things are going on rather well for me. I am still not too happy about the flaking and soreness, so I decided not to use the isotrexin in the daytime to give my skin a break. To think about it, I don't really need the isotrexin in the day because I have no major zits for spot treatment.
I don't know why, but my face feels itchy and it is a challenge for me not to touch it or scratch it. But when I look at my complexion, it does look pretty good - not red, etc. However there is a slight flakey powdery feeling all round my mouth, esp my chin. Currently, my chin is giving me the most problems - the flakes are so irritating, and it looks blotchy upon closer inspection.
Today I experimented with a BB cream from Korea, manufactured under the brand Enprani. It was a good experience, not as heavy as foundation + concealer, and enhanced my complexion.
Posted 24 October 2012 - 06:22 AM
I really hate to say this - but I dislike the state of my skin now. Although my right cheek has cleared up nicely (it was my worst side), my left cheek is giving me many problems now. There's a horrid smattering of tiny bumps across my left cheek, about 3, amidst the pih marks. The pih marks on my left cheek are more obvious than my right's - because the right was the first to break out. I am also very discouraged about the state of my chin - two bumps have surfaces over the past few days! T_T
Posted 28 October 2012 - 03:29 AM
So I was freaking out a couple of days ago about the smattering of little "bumps" across my left cheek. They are gone. Now both my cheeks are looking pretty good. My forehead and nose areas are completely clear.
My chin is now giving me the most problems. Please, hormonal breakouts, GO AWAY.
I will be seeing my derm in about 2 weeks' time to review the progress of my skin over the past 6 months. I have been faithfully following her regimen specifically without missing/altering anything in the regimen all these while. She might change things up a bit, but let's see.
Couple of lessons learnt over the past few weeks - some might sound cliche, but are nonetheless important and worth repeating. I repear these things to myself everyday:-
- Stop experimenting with make up until skin is completely clear. So tempting, but then, my desire for beautiful bare skin is greater.
- Be extremely gentle with skin - when skin is on tretinoin, it is so fragile and must be handled carefully, or more breakouts might ensue from rough scrubbing
- DO NOT TOUCH face AT ALL - Leave it alone! be it picking off dead skin flakes, or scratching an itchy area. This might spread the bacteria under nails and on the fingertips
Oh yes, may I add that I have been using a C essence serum before moisturising. It is awesome. I got it at my derm's also.
Posted 03 November 2012 - 08:52 AM
I think I need to give an honest feedback on my experience for the past 6 and a half months on tretinoin.
I currently have no active breakouts, but I'm still very unsatisfied with the current state of my skin. Things can be better. It really sucks being self-conscious and fully aware of every single hyperpigmentation mark. And there are tiny and random little spots all over my forehead. Sigh.
Because of the breakouts caused by tretinoin, my skin has acquired a very blotchy appearance as a result of the pesky marks left behind, and that's my main struggle now. On bad skin days, every single mark reminds me of the horrible breakouts of cysts, and inflamed blackheads/whiteheads. I am still feeling quite emotionally and psychologically scarred from the nightmare of the IB.
Many people say that the magical 3-month mark would be the end of all the suffering, but that was definitely not the case for me. In fact, I continued to breakout in months 3, 4 and 5. Although the cysts were lesser, they still came. I would say that my IB lasted 5-6 months for me, as I still got cysts in month 6, to be very honest with you guys. I was really hoping to be cyst-free by month 4, but I was so wrong. The timeline for clear skin keeps getting pushed further and further ahead. The last time I had a monster cyst was 2 weeks ago. It appeared on my chin and has left a purplish greyish mark behind.
I think that I am still about one-third into my journey towards crystal clear smooth even-toned skin. Looking at the progress, I need to be very honest with myself and I am now only expecting clear skin in another years' time on this tretinoin cream. I would give it one and a half years to work its magic.
It's really not helping that I will be taking my bar exams in 3 weeks' time (I am a graduated law student). The stress and demands of life are pouring in on me, and I really hope I won't start breaking out again because of this. But this time round, I am determined not to let stress take a toll on me physically. I will sleep early and keep my diet healthy for the next 3 weeks.
Posted 12 November 2012 - 02:35 AM
So it will be seven months soon. I really don't wish to jinx it, but my skin has been looking pretty good for the last week or so, with no new cysts. My forehead and cheeks are clear, save for residual pih marks & one tiny little whitehead on my right cheek which looks like it's going away soon. My chin, however, still has residual marks from the horrid cyst breakout (which happened three weeks ago) and looks blotchy. I wonder when it'll look smooth and nice again.
My sister complimented me yesterday on my complexion. She looked at me and said "Your skin looks good!" I was so pleased, because she never compliments me at all and is usually my worst critic. She teases me all the time. So the compliment really encouraged me, because my sis is not one who would just make a statement like that without meaning it (she's not the sort to flatter and lie).
I've been studying at home for the past week or so and have not been wearing any makeup at all, to let my skin breathe. Sufficient rest has been helping too. Oh well, back to studying for the bar exams!
P.S. Will be visiting my derm this Friday and I've already prepared a list of questions to ask her. I'm excited about the appointment, because the tretinoin cream has really been working (I've been using it every single night for the past 7 months)
Edited by RoseLilium, 12 November 2012 - 02:39 AM.
Posted 16 November 2012 - 03:05 AM
1. Redness and flushing
She said that I had some signs of rosacea and eczema, and that my skin has become very sensitive. So she gave me Rozex cream to treat the redness for the next 3 months. I am to use this for alternate nights for two weeks, after which I have to use it nightly.
She also replaced my antioxidant moisturiser with another one of her soothing and calming moisturisers called "recovery complex" to help repair any hyper-sensitivity and redness which has resulted from the tretinoin (it has brutal side effects that made my face peel and turn red).
She said that my acne has cleared up, that the "reservoir" of underground pimples have all purged over the last seven months. I asked her whether I should continue using the tretinoin and she said that I would only need to use it twice a week to maintain the results that I have now.
I am no longer using isotrexin - she replaced the isotrexin with something milder called clindagel.
Switched to the recovery complex to correct the redness of the skin and help with the sensitivity.
I have a new regimen now, and will change my signature again.
Update for the beginning of week 29:
The dreaded chin bumps are back to haunt me again this month. They are definitely hormonal because it's that time of the month. The last time these came was exactly a month ago.
They are red (but have no head), they are big and are really unsightly and are smack in the middle of all the old chin cyst marks, and they HURT. I hate chin zits. They are awful and make my chin look terrible. My chin looks TERRIBLE now and the hormonal breakouts just keep on coming! I wonder when they'll stop as the marks they leave behind are so hard to fade.
Will be using tretinoin tonight - I am supposed to alternate tretinoin and the Rozex every night for the next 2 weeks. So tomorrow will be Rozex. On a brighter note, the Rozex has been working - my skin is less red.
But oh. I HATE CHIN ZITS.
I am still feeling so self-conscious of the redness and the red marks on my face. This week, I caved into using makeup, like when I am doing my eyebrows or going to the dentist. I just cannot stand the thought of someone peering into all my imperfections as they tweeze my brows/ check out my teeth, especially under the bright white lights. On monday when I tweezed my brows, I wore foundation. Today, i wore a tinted moisturiser when going to see the dentist.
I vow not to use makeup at all for the next twenty days. NO MAKE UP AT ALL.
I have a camp coming up in twenty days' time, and I really really really don't want to use any makeup and just go for the camp bare-faced. And my bar exams are next week. So I really want to give my skin a break from all the cover ups. I really hate makeup.
Some little spots have popped up since monday on the areas that underwent threading and tweezing. And good news - I got my braces off this week
Edited by RoseLilium, 21 November 2012 - 05:46 AM.
Posted 16 November 2012 - 03:22 AM
Here's the picture update for Week 27!
Comparing the pictures for Week 7 and Week 27 side by side. Week 7 during the initial breakout.
Looking at the before and after pictures, I'm really amazed by the difference.
Posted 21 November 2012 - 03:05 AM
Posted 26 November 2012 - 09:22 AM
@Jay: thank you so much for your kind words and support! I really appreciate your comments and constant support on this thread hope your current regimen is going well too! Are you using tretinoin too?
Week 30 update
I'm really excited because my complexion is looking better than ever, although the marks are still there on my left cheek and chin. I've been alternating between Rozex and Retacnyl every night. The metronidazole in the Rozex seems to be working - my skin is less red and much smoother than normal. I still use a pea-sized amount for both medications, and thirty-sixty minutes after moisturising with the Recovery Complex.
I made a few wonderful discoveries (wonderful and amazing to me at least!)
100% pure Tea tree oil!!!
I am in love with the clean scent of this oil! I have been massaging a few drops it into my scalp, adding a few drops here and there into my shampoo, and using it as an aromatherapy in my room. My scalp feels so clean and fresh now, like all the bacteria and parasites have been killed. I see no harm in mixing it with shampoo and massaging my scalp thoroughly while cleaning my hair since it has been itchy and flaking, and rather oily lately. I just shampooed my hair with TTO and my scalp feels sooo clean, sooo fresh!!!
I don't use this directly on my face, though. After cleansing, I drop a few drops into a damp hot towel and just inhale the evaporated oil for a minute or so before continuing with my usual routine. Interestingly, studies have shown that TTO kills parasitic skin mites that release acne-causing bacteria. I have also read that demodex mites are linked to rosacea - the bacteria released by the dead mites cause skin to irritate and redden, sometimes in the form of bumps (which are not really acne). So I hope that the TTO will help with the redness. Nonetheless, TTO smells heavenly and I am loving it!
Edited by RoseLilium, 26 November 2012 - 11:17 PM.
Posted 12 December 2012 - 11:51 PM
Sorry for the late update, was busy with bar exams, and just came back from a camping trip I have been going totally makeup free for the past 3 weeks, and it is totally awesome. Not a single drop of makeup. My skin feels and looks amazing.
Posted 31 January 2013 - 07:34 AM
I lost track. But I've been using the tretinoin about 3 times a week. Although things are way better, I am still suffering from a nasty bout of hormonal breakouts around my mouth area right now, and there's this solid raised red bump on my chin which hurts like crazy.
But the good news is, I'm no longer spending a lot of time in front of the mirror, because work takes my mind off acne. I've started a new job as a trainee lawyer in a firm, and my days are busy. My job also requires me to meet a lot of people each day, including clients. Serving them and thinking about how to solve their problems really take my mind off my skin. I no longer wear foundation, just mineral sunscreen and a few dabs of concealer. And some eye make up.
I've also learnt not to judge people based on their skin, because I've gone through a period of bad acne myself. Acne has taught me to view people very differently, not based on their complexion - but their heart. In fact, I find myself making the effort to treat acne-sufferers at my workplace more gently and kindly. I also make the effort to look people directly in the eye when talking to them, instead of scanning their face and scrutinising their skin - because I know how much it hurts when others do that to me.
I'll continue with with tretinoin for another 3 months (til' May) and see how it works out at the end of a year.
Edited by RoseLilium, 31 January 2013 - 07:38 AM.
Posted 28 March 2013 - 11:59 PM
So it's been 10 months on tretinoin, and although things are not perfect (I still have faint acne marks on my cheeks and chin), everything is looking quite alright overall. Besides the fading marks, I only have two little spots. However, I'm sure that there's still room for improvement. I still use retacnyl at least 3 times a week.
For makeup, I've not been using any makeup skin-wise. I use Jane Iredale's dry sunscreen powder in the day (SPF 30) to protect my skin from getting sunburnt. I only use eye makeup and lipstick.
I've been having an extremely hectic work schedule but I've not been breaking out, thanks to the tretinoin. I hope that things will stay this way (fingers crossed) because stress does aggravate acne, from my years of exprience in struggling with it.
Edited by RoseLilium, 28 March 2013 - 11:59 PM.
Posted 26 May 2013 - 02:35 AM
End of 12 months
So it's been a year! I have been using tretinoin almost everyday lately, and my skin is soft, smooth and glowing. I'm pleased to report that as of now, I have no active breakouts. Although my skin isn't perfect, it has transformed over the year.
For the side effects, I still have a slight stinging sensation when putting on moisturizer, and peeling does occur regularly, but no longer noticeably - it does not peel off in sheets like it used to do so in the earlier stages of treatment. The redness that I used to struggle with is now replaced by a healthy rosy colour. I use my powder sunscreen religiously every single day although I work indoors.
For the past few months, my mother and my friends have been constantly complimenting me. They say that I have smooth, glowing, radiant, beautiful skin. I will be visiting my dermatologist in about a weeks' time for her to review my progress and to make changes to my regimen if necessary.
I will continue to use tretinoin for as long as I can. It has been a life-saver for me. For those on tretinoin, stick it out and be patient for it does work. Don't give up too early, and always remember that our looks will fade with age, but God sees our hearts. I have learnt that although it is good to take care of our appearance, it should not become the end goal in our lives.
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