I visited my dermatologist last year (probably around Sept, I can't remember), and he put me on this regimen: cleanse (I use Neutrogena extra gentle cleanser, although he prescribed a house brand), glycolic acid 12%, a nianciamide gel, moisturize (house brand), then tretinoin (stieva-A) 0.1%.
I haven't been following this regimen super faithfully, I do it on-and-off (sometimes I get lazy), stupid I know .
For the three weeks I have been following it, though. Right now, my cheeks are mainly marred with acne marks (red spots that feel like normal skin, so I know they aren't active pimples) with a few pimples and a few bumps.
I don't know if my skin is considered sensitive. When I apply the glycolic acid, it stings and my skin reddens, but the reddening disappears when I wake up. I have never had a problem with peeling with the tretinoin, except once when I foolishly applied too much accidentally and peeled painlessly for a week (I had a lot of fun peeling the layers of dead skin off).
Recently, I decided to visit my National Skin Center for treatment, and so I asked my doctor for a referral. My appointment is in a couple months' time, and my doctor prescribed Differin in the interim. I read up on Differin and apparently it is a retinoid, similar to tretinoin, but acts via a different mechanism.
1. I don't know if tretinoin is ineffective, or just that I haven't been on it long enough for the effects to kick in.
2. I decided to give Differin a try. Should I abandon the regimen and stick with moisturizer + Differin only, or should I adhere to the regimen and only replace stieva-A with Differin? Apparently, nianciamide is anti-inflammatory, helps with uneven skin tone, and can mitigate acne and PIH. Sounds like a wonderful gel.
3. Does Differin help to get rid of acne marks? They are my bigger problem right now.