I use to use retin-a 1% every night, for about 4 months straight I'd say. The peeling never went down, i would exfoliate daily by rubbing in tons of moisturizer, continuing to rub until the dead skin pilled up, then lightly rubbing in circular motions all over with a face cloth. This would tend to get the worst of it, although it would leave my skin raw, not so much because it was red but it would sting when I applied toner and moisturizer afterwards, even though my toner is alcohol free. But it was the only thing that worked.
Around my winter prom, I decided to stop for a while, because I wanted to feel really pretty that night, and I know i wouldn't if i was constantly worrying about skin peeling off my face halfway through the dance. I just recently started to go back on, and decided I would do it every other or every third night to see if that lessened peeling. It doesn't seem to make that much difference, I still have flakes and peeling all over the areas I apply it..no exfoliators I've tried have ever managed to actually get rid of the peeling skin. I remembered reading about baking soda before, and decided to research a bit, found out it can be used as an exfoliator, and can also help clear up acne..win win right? So I mixed it with water to make a paste, washed my face with my gentle cleanser, then applied the baking soda all over and gently rubbing in circular motions for a while.
Now, I had read that it can make your skin a bit red and blotchy for a while, or sting and burn a bit on open zits, ect. But that no real damage would be done, that it was gentle enough for all skin types. So when i first felt stinging and saw some redness I wasn't too worried..but after bit the burning got worse, so I immediately stopped, rinsed it off, then washed with my cleanser again for good measure. Then I looked in the mirror..i was horribly red and blotchy all over. Several areas were swollen and bumpy, whole patches of my skin were raised like i had been burned. I felt dry so I quickly applied my alcohol free toner after I cleansed, and it burned pretty badly, causing more allover redness.
After five minutes or so the swelling and redness still hadn't gone down, so I took some photos..they are attached below. The redness and swelling is hugely downplayed in the photos, it's much worse in real life.. you can see a shiner spot on my right cheek, which is one of the most swollen areas, (also happens to be one of the places i tend to redden easily) is this an allergic reaction?? Did I do something wrong? I have often suspected before I might have rosacea, other women in my family have it and i have a few blood vessels on my face and certain patches that like to get red and stay red easily..could this have something to do with it? please help, I have had moderately severe acne for about half a year now, cystic and all over my face during my senior year in high school.. it's leaving scars all over and I'm just trying to find what works before I can't look in the mirror anymore. I don't want to permanently damage my face in the process. Help?