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Differin Cream 0.1% Journey!

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Good evening! As I am very new to posting on this website, I would like to keep a follow up of my journey with the Differin Cream 0.1%.

I have been struggling with acne for not as long as many others, but it's still an issue I'd like to confront.

I've been dealing with "bad" acne for about 8 months. (I've had acne before that, but it wasn't much of anything compared to now).

My biggest problem area of acne is on my forehead. shy.gif

I'm a junior in high school, and the stress has been adding up since day 1 of school. It really does suck when acne just decides to come at what seems to be the most stressful times of your life so far (stress is a known acne causer, so no surprise there haha).

Right now, it's probably the worst it's been in a few months. After researching and thinking, I decided I needed to do something about it. Thus, I started Differin yesterday.

Throughout my acne life so far, I have used (including Differin of course):

- Aveeno Clear Complexion Foaming Cleanser, 0.5% Salicylic Acid*

- Aveeno Positively Radiant Cleanser*

- St. Ives Apricot Scrub, 2% Salycylic Acid

- Queen Helene Mint Julep Masque (this still is awesome)

- Acne Masque with 10% Sulfur

- Clindamycin Phosphate Topical gel 1%

- Retin-A Gel 0.025% (not using)

- Clearasil Rapid Action Treatment Cream

- Cetaphil Daily Facial Moisturizer SPF 50*

- Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream*

- Coppertone ultraguard suncren lotion SPF 70+

- Aveeno Continuous Protection Sunblock Lotion SPF 70

- Shiseido Urban Environment UV Protection Cream SPF 35

As far as home remedies, I have used so many. From honey, oats, yogurt, extra virgin olive oil, etc.

Hair products (just because people say that hair products can be a causing factor of acne):

- Matrix Biolage Full Lift Volumizing Shampoo*

- Pantene Nature Fusion Smooth Vitality Conditioner*

- Head & Shoulders itchy scalp care 2 in 1 with eucalyptus*

- Matrix Biolage Smoothing Shine Milk Spray*

- Pureology Anti-Fade Complex Color Max UV Defense Spray*

- bareMinerals Pure Transformation Night Treatment (This broke me out SO much worse than I already was. It made me so frustrated and upset, it was awful. eusa_snooty.gif If you'd like to hear more about it, let me know.)

* = using currently

If you have any questions about any of these products that I've used (or any questions at all), I am more than happy to let you know my experience/input. biggrin.png

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It is only day 3. My acne is the same really. Nothing major changing...just got a huge big PAINFUL pimple on my forehead, ouch. That's all that's really bothering me the most at the moment.

I am still continuing to use the 0.5% Salycylic Acid Foaming Cleanser in the morning, while then applying the Differin at night, then the Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream.

I'll probably try to log back in every week or every few weeks, depending on when I can. No one's responding or anything, so it'll probably just be more of a thing for me to see how I'm doing progressively over time.

Thanks for reading. tongue.png

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Day 5 - skin is dry of course. It's hard because the weather here is very cold, so that doesn't really help. I have been using the Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream...but I feel like I'd need to use a LOT to make it not dry. Ohhh, the urge to pick >_<

It's odd, my little bumps are receding, but I have 2-3 new bigger PAINFUL pimples on my forehead. Not sure how I feel about this!

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Week 1 - Skin looks awful. My face has at least 7 huge pimples that are really hard to cover up with make-up. Also very dry and painful, no matter what I do. Didn't feel like going to school today because it's that bad.

I'm going to school anyways. I feel terrible.

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I was on Differin .3% sometime ago. I remember the IB was worse for me than compared to my Retin-A IB experience. Just stick with it :) Differin takes quite some time to bear any results. I remember my dermatologist used to tell me to wait like 3 months. I hope it works for you! :)


Month 1 of Accutane : 30mg

Month 2 of Accutane: 60mg


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Thank you for your input, I appreciate it. :)

I'm going to stick with it, for sure.

Thanks again!

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Day 12 - Skin is still red and inflamed...basically all of my pimples are turning into white heads. Some of them hurt so much, but not much I can do about it.

It's weird because, now my skin is going back to getting more little pimples everywhere.

The first few days in, those bumps went away...now there's more coming.

It seems like my skin is changing so rapidly!

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I just started Differin last Friday and am so scared to keep using it... Please keep updating your journey!

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keep on with it dont stop... i just closed my 6 months on differin and i might get one pimple every 2-4 weeks... after the 3-4 month mark ur gonna be clean .. first 2 months are a pain tho... dont stop ... btw i reccomend betainisoda face wash.. it has povidone and iodone.. that and differin alone have kept me clear... and i also use a natural tea tree oil with rosemary moisturizer (natural)...:D also a thing to add is if you dont want scarring or anything close to that dont use retin a or sallycilic acid with differin and drink a bit of vit c... ah and one more thing to add i drink 2g of omega 3 fatty acids (helps with inflammation in body)and 3-5g of vit c (helps with healling faster) a day too :)

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I just started Differin last Friday and am so scared to keep using it... Please keep updating your journey!

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Day 16 - My skin is less bumpy (not by much), except one side of my forehead is very red, bumpy, dry, and painful.

But other than that, it's not really as painful anymore. Feels a little bit smoother...

All new pimples are still turning into whiteheads...it's really odd and frustrating because I hate how they look, and they're just difficult to conceal.

A big thing: dry. skin. sucks. so. bad.

So many flakes and scabs, it's awful...but it's a good thing, right? Or so I would assume. (Being that it's healing?)

My doctor did warn me about the flaking, so I'm not surprised. Just irritated by it.

I'm using aloe vera gel or neosporin to heal open wounds (some of them pop so easily because my skin is so dry).

Also, I'm using Yes To Carrots Nourishing Softening Facial Mask every day to help combat dry skin; it's very nice!

Last note: do NOT exfoliate and/or over cleanse every day or too often even.

It may seem like you are getting rid of dry skin and flakes, but if you exfoliate too much, it will actually make your skin DRIER. So be very careful! Once a week of exfoliation is plenty.

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Day 19 - I think it's safe to say that my skin has been/is at the IB.

I applied a mask yesterday that consisted of:

1) Oates ~ better to grind them...do not use instant.

2) Non-fat Plain Yogurt

3) Honey ~ local or organic

Let it sit for 25 minutes then gently wash it off, pat dry with towel.

It feels really nice for moisture and when your skin just feels really bumpy and gross.

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Week 3 - The same side of my forehead is still really bad: painful, red, dry, bumpy.

The rest of my forehead is getting more bumps too.

It hurts to raise my eyebrows or to make any sort of movement involving my forehead.

Bottom line: It's painful and bumpy.

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Day 24 - Ouch...still red and bumpy and flaky. More white heads, and white heads turning into scabs..so difficult to handle! brow.gif

Should I take minocycline?

My doctor prescribed it to me, but I didn't want to start off too heavy.

What do you think I should do?

Right now I'm just doing Differin every night with the Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream (30 minutes after).

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Week 4 - Skin continues to be bumpy. Flakes and dry skin. Scabs. Very sensitive (as it has been for the last few weeks).

There's an odd huuugeee pimple that had multiple whiteheads; now it's a huge pimple with multiple scabs.

It's basically a bunch of yellow-y scabs overtop a raised pimple (about the size of a penny).

I've been using an exfoliator once/twice a week. The Yes To Carrots mask almost every night before Differin.

I somehow got the courage to put on my make-up and go to school and feel at least "better" than I did a few days ago. I was coped in my house for the last 3 days, was feeling down the entire time.

~ Started minocycline around this time (100mg - twice a day)

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Day 30 - My forehead is so. RED. and. DRY. The last few days have been when I started to notice that my skin is just becoming more and more red.

The acne is starting to recede, which is good. But gosh, the redness is spreading like crazy (plus PIH has always been the fate of all of my pimples).

That's the worst of it. Redness and dry/flakyness. Still bumpy, yes.

I think my skin is just very sensitive from Differin, so I'm not surprised of course.

Can it be over yet? lol..... eusa_wall.gif

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I'd like to see how long this takes to work for you...I need some inspiration right now lol. I've been on differin gel 0.1% for 14 weeks now, so I'm at the stage where everyone says I should be getting clear and it's just not happening. I had an IB around weeks 6-8 which was horrific, but although that passed, my acne is still terrible, I have a big section on my right cheek/chin that is just full of inflammed acne- that is the worst of it, but it's still on my entire face and it hurts so much! Differin does make your face sensitive - if I cry the tears feel like acid on my face and you can forget about most creams/cleansers, I just use a simple cleanser. I used to have back and chest acne when I was a teenager but that disappeared - now it's spreading to my chest again. I feel like it's getting worse not better, I don't want to put you off as it may work for you as it seems to for lots of people, but just be aware that I don't think it does for everyone...I'm sticking with it for now, maybe it just takes longer than 4 months for some people?? I'd like to see how you get on :)

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I'd like to see how long this takes to work for you...I need some inspiration right now lol. I've been on differin gel 0.1% for 14 weeks now, so I'm at the stage where everyone says I should be getting clear and it's just not happening. I had an IB around weeks 6-8 which was horrific, but although that passed, my acne is still terrible, I have a big section on my right cheek/chin that is just full of inflammed acne- that is the worst of it, but it's still on my entire face and it hurts so much! Differin does make your face sensitive - if I cry the tears feel like acid on my face and you can forget about most creams/cleansers, I just use a simple cleanser. I used to have back and chest acne when I was a teenager but that disappeared - now it's spreading to my chest again. I feel like it's getting worse not better, I don't want to put you off as it may work for you as it seems to for lots of people, but just be aware that I don't think it does for everyone...I'm sticking with it for now, maybe it just takes longer than 4 months for some people?? I'd like to see how you get on smile.png

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I'd like to see how long this takes to work for you...I need some inspiration right now lol. I've been on differin gel 0.1% for 14 weeks now, so I'm at the stage where everyone says I should be getting clear and it's just not happening. I had an IB around weeks 6-8 which was horrific, but although that passed, my acne is still terrible, I have a big section on my right cheek/chin that is just full of inflammed acne- that is the worst of it, but it's still on my entire face and it hurts so much! Differin does make your face sensitive - if I cry the tears feel like acid on my face and you can forget about most creams/cleansers, I just use a simple cleanser. I used to have back and chest acne when I was a teenager but that disappeared - now it's spreading to my chest again. I feel like it's getting worse not better, I don't want to put you off as it may work for you as it seems to for lots of people, but just be aware that I don't think it does for everyone...I'm sticking with it for now, maybe it just takes longer than 4 months for some people?? I'd like to see how you get on smile.png

Hi there. Thank you for your reply, I appreciate it. They say that it should be coming into the clearing effect around the 3 month mark, and if it doesn't seem to be working for you by that time, you might want to talk to your doctor/derm. Although, there are a few people I've seen on acne.org that keep at it and it works for them. It can be difficult finding out whether or not it's purging your skin, or if you could be allergic, or if it just doesn't work for you. If your skin doesn't seem to be getting better, I would definitely advise you to talk with your doctor and at least look around some more.

I am definitely at my break out (week 5) and I'm surprised I haven't broken down in tears yet!

Thanks again. Keep updating on your journey as well! You're a real trooper; I admire people like you! eusa_clap.gif

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I'd like to see how long this takes to work for you...I need some inspiration right now lol. I've been on differin gel 0.1% for 14 weeks now, so I'm at the stage where everyone says I should be getting clear and it's just not happening. I had an IB around weeks 6-8 which was horrific, but although that passed, my acne is still terrible, I have a big section on my right cheek/chin that is just full of inflammed acne- that is the worst of it, but it's still on my entire face and it hurts so much! Differin does make your face sensitive - if I cry the tears feel like acid on my face and you can forget about most creams/cleansers, I just use a simple cleanser. I used to have back and chest acne when I was a teenager but that disappeared - now it's spreading to my chest again. I feel like it's getting worse not better, I don't want to put you off as it may work for you as it seems to for lots of people, but just be aware that I don't think it does for everyone...I'm sticking with it for now, maybe it just takes longer than 4 months for some people?? I'd like to see how you get on smile.png

Hi there. Thank you for your reply, I appreciate it. They say that it should be coming into the clearing effect around the 3 month mark, and if it doesn't seem to be working for you by that time, you might want to talk to your doctor/derm. Although, there are a few people I've seen on acne.org that keep at it and it works for them. It can be difficult finding out whether or not it's purging your skin, or if you could be allergic, or if it just doesn't work for you. If your skin doesn't seem to be getting better, I would definitely advise you to talk with your doctor and at least look around some more.

I am definitely at my break out (week 5) and I'm surprised I haven't broken down in tears yet!

Thanks again. Keep updating on your journey as well! You're a real trooper; I admire people like you! eusa_clap.gif

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Week 6 - Things are finally starting to calm down. My skin has been so incredibly disgustingly dry and bumpy lately, I couldn't handle putting on make up or going out in public.

Basically, with Differin...it's drying out your skin. Your skin becomes sensitive (becoming painful, burning, etc.), and you can easily flake off and pimples/skin bleed easily. But that's just what happens when your skin becomes dry.

Although I still do have redness and PIH (which is of course what has replaced all of my previous acne)....my skin is becoming more smooth. Yes, I do still have acne, but somehow my skin is less flaky (still flaky, but less).

No, I am not completely satisfied with the results so far, but things are definitely feeling better after what I went through the past few days.

Notable notes:

- I have been using the St. Ives Fresh Skin Apricot Scrub ~ it's really nice to get all of the "gross-ness" off on top of your skin, but you do want to be VERY gentle because your skin easily bleeds and tears off because of Differin. **Use only 1-2 times a week**

~ Aloe Vera Gel is AWESOME to apply after using this scrub.

- I have stopped using the Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream after the Differin (as requested by my doctor);

but I still do use the Cetaphil Daily Facial Moisturizer SPF 50 in the morning (after washing my face of course).

- I stopped taking minocycline a few days ago. My body was rejecting it...sigh. I wasn't even sure if it was helping, but I've discontinued it.

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Week 8 - So things have changed dramatically in terms of bumps. But it seems that EVERY single bump on my face has turned into post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.

I have always been known to get PIH (even before Differin; nothing too worrisome), but they always ended up fading away. But with the degree of it all over my forehead, it's really heart wrenching for me. It's not easy to cover them up either. Can I cry? sad.png

Just last week, I was actually almost excited to go to school, because my skin was no longer bumpy. I felt a bit better about myself, just because it was so much better than it was 2 weeks before that.

I still have been getting a few pimples, but it's nowhere near as many as it was 2 weeks ago. TRUST ME.

My main issue right now is the PIH, but of course I need to clear all of my acne first. My doctor told me that I have to clear my acne because I can worry about the hyperpigmentation.

But still, if it's there, you want to get rid of it, you know? Especially if it's more PIH then acne.

So that is what is going on as of week 8. I will continue using it, because technically it's supposed to take "8-12 weeks for noticeable results".

REGIMEN AS OF NOW (Week 8): -excluding weekends/days I don't go out, slightly different regimen for those days-

Morning:

- Cetaphil Moisturizing Creme (yes, I'm using it again but only for dry areas)

- Eucerin Redness Relief Daily Perfecting Lotion SPF 15 (only when I feel like my skin is very red in some areas, I try not too put too much.)

- Makeup. (It's not a perfect routine to cover all I want for sure, but it's what I have & what I know. I might have to do some more looking around for better products to cover PIH and such.)

Night:

- CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser

- Exfoliator ~ either the St. Ives Fresh Skin Apricot Scrub or the Cure Natural Aqua Gel (it's pretty cool, it's really popular in Japan.) *1-2 times a week*

- Differin Cream 0.1%

Current antibiotic:

- Have been taking Bactrim instead of Minocycline for about a week now; it doesn't seem to be doing much of anything.

Thank you for reading, I hope you have found this useful and please let me know about any questions you have or anything really.

Also, if you have some suggestions on makeup for covering post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation and dryness...what works for you. Thanks again proud.gif

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Week 9 - I am trying to focus on the more positive side of things because, I have been pretty negative on this journey so far for quite some time.

My skin is so much easier to manage now, it's not those crazy huge and disgusting bumps that are impossible to cover anymore. Now, I just cover up the PIH/redness that is showing on my face. Virtually, there are bumps that are very tiny and small.

These tiny small bumps sort of came from no where, because last week my skin was actually smoother. I think it has something to do with the fact that I just had a MASSIVE period. And I mean massive......probably the worst one yet (sorry if it grosses you out, I just thought I should mention it).

I've been under an incredible amount of stress, so that's probably another factor that contributed to the unusually huge period and the tiny bumps on my forehead.

My skin is definitely so much better in terms of texture. I'm not done yet, but I'm definitely happy about the fact that I haven't had a huge pimple in these past few weeks. My skin is finally accepting Differin and letting it in....if that makes sense.

So on that note, I would just like to say...if you are considering Differin for yourself, I'd say go for it. Especially if you feel as if nothing is working for you, this will work with time. There is unfortunately no miracle over night cure, so this is probably your best resort if you're looking for something to treat your acne that just doesn't want to leave.

I must also say with anyone getting acne, do NOT get paranoid because that's not what you need. You need to just find the source of the problem and either fix it or get rid of it. (You should know also about how new acne products can "break you out" in the beginning and how that can initially be a good thing, hopefully you know...if not I can elaborate if someone needs a better understanding of that).

It can be hard finding out exactly what it is, and a lot of the times you can't even prevent it or help it.

I guess what I'm trying to say overall is: If you feel like you have tried so many things and there is just nothing working and your skin just keeps getting worse and you're not sure why, I would say go to your dermatologist and ask. Don't jump to conclusions!

Also know that, you are not alone, acne is normal and we're not perfect people. In fact, we aren't people if we are perfect. So don't feel like you have to be!

I hope I have been helpful to at least one person documenting this journey for everyone to see.

Take care, if you have questions or just want to talk about what ever you feel is relevant to this topic, just post a reply.

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Week 10 - Mixed feelings...although I'd say I am 98% free of acne on my forehead (except this one pimple I formed because I took two naps with my make up on, I was so tired that day)...my skin is in a weird state.

It has VERY little bumps and also it seems to be a little indented and/or raised in some areas. Just last week it was just red marks....now my skin is just a little weird on the surface...but only under certain lighting. I checked to see on the site to see if anyone else was experiencing the same thing, and it turns out I'm not alone.

It's basically red marks that look a little indented in some lights. It's really odd, I'm going to ask my doctor about it when I come in.

Despite that, my skin is very smooth, no acne. Just left with PIH and I'm trying to heal as much as I can with it.

Btw, I'm asian, so it might have some sort of effect to how my skin is reacting and changing...but I'm not really all too sure about those things.

My face is not in pain anymore from painful acne lesions; I am so thankful for that eusa_pray.gif

*I have been using a mask and toner once a week that consists of:

- Apple Cider Vinegar

- Green Tea

- Lemon Juice

- Sugar

- Honey

It's flippin' amazing and feels wonderful. It's for acne and scars.

Thanks for reading!

Again, feel free to ask any sort of questions; I'll find the time in my busy life to reply as soon as I can wink.png

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Week 11 - Things are about the same as I said last week. My skin has slightly raised and/or indented areas. I'm not sure what they are but I'm going to find out one way or another!

Also I have very little little bumps on the surface of my skin which is really odd to me because I've never had them before.

This is kind of crazy to even say this but, my PIH is actually fading.

I am very very picky when it comes to my face (as are a lot of people). I couldn't see the good side of my face for a few weeks......but I remembered how lucky I am to be in a better state than I was before.

It's difficult to try and convince yourself that you are beautiful and that you are getting better when you're the biggest critic of yourself.

Overall: My skin is healing, red marks are fading. No more acne...can't believe I'm saying it but it's true.

~As far as makeup goes.....

My makeup is good now, good enough coverage to cover my PIH (which is difficult I think for anyone to do); but I'm trying to find a way to create a better makeup routine for warmer weather, yet good coverage.

It's a struggle for a lot of people when summer comes around, I'm sure!

The concealer I recently bought (Cover FX Cream Concealer) is WONDERFUL for covering PIH....but it's a bit too expensive for my taste errr.gif

That is it for today; if you any questions or concerns or whatever really let me know. wavey.gif

*I have started taking a probiotic with the antibiotic, Bactrim. I literally just started it, but just thought I'd mention it.

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