Hey guys! Sorry for the long intro, but I feel like I need to explain everything in order to get proper advice:
So, I'm pretty new to the Regimen, and I'm still working a lot of the details out. I've always had a few breakouts here and there since I was 16, which I used to use a drying lotion on. I also used to use a lot of comedogenic liquid foundations back then (potential cause of acne?). Now I'm 19, and I've had pretty bad comedonal acne for almost a year. It felt like it came out of nowhere, although I have some suspicions (makeup, previous veganism, vegetarianism, history of eating disorder, who knows). I went to a dermatologist, who at first prescribed Doxycycline (antibiotic), BP (Acanya), and Adapalene (Differin). This calmed my skin down a bit, but I was still breaking out pretty consistently. I was also going in for microdermabrasion treatments monthly, which again, sort of helped but didn't stop the breakouts.
I then started to go off of the Doxycycline, and my skin remained the same. After still little improvement, my dermatologist switched me from Adapalene over to Tretinoin (Retin A cream), mostly because I didn't want to go for microdermabrasion treatments anymore (they were too harsh and expensive). Because of this, he prescribed me something stronger. I used this at night and the Acanya in the morning. I also made sure I was using a non-comedogenic face wash and moisturizer. I was still wearing makeup (Bare Minerals powder SPF 20).
This helped a bit also, but I was impatient with the results. I stopped using my medications altogether a couple of months ago and tried just washing my face and moisturizing. I thought maybe I was doing too much to my skin. I also started going on a combination birth control pill (Sronyx). My skin started looking better, until I broke out again. So, desperate, I decided to begin the Regimen.
To be honest, I only started doing the Regimen for a week or so until I started to tamper with it a bit. I found my old Acanya bottle and started using it with Alba Botanica Even Advanced face wash and the same brand of night cream as a moisturizer (not sure if a night cream is appropriate but it seemed to work). During the day, instead of wearing powder makeup, I switched to Laura Mercier Oil-Free Tinted Moisturizer with SPF 25. My skin started to look better, although it was pretty rough and flaky. There was also a good amount of redness, but my breakouts were clearing! I was still afraid of not fighting my acne from the inside though, so I picked up the Tretinoin again at night.
Last week, I ran out of my BP, and my skin broke out pretty badly with just the Tretinoin at night. I scrambled to buy Neutrogena On The Spot treatment (BP 2.5% cream), which I started using a few days ago. My skin is starting to get better again, although today it's pretty red and feels like it's burning. I also stopped wearing the tinted moisturizer (DONE with makeup every day) and am using the night cream as a moisturizer until I get Dan's Regimen, which I just ordered online because I'm sick of experimenting with drugstore products. It should arrive in a couple of days.
SO, I'm really nervous about this treatment. I really want to find something that's going to finally work, and I'm wondering if the BP/Retin A combo will do the trick. I'm worried about the Retin A being unnecessary though. Could it do damage to my skin if it's too harsh? Should I drop it and just stick with Dan's Regimen?
Your advice is much appreicated! <3 Feel free to ask any followup questions/request pictures.