I guess I'll start with a little background about my skin. I started breaking out in the 11th grade, and I would consider it moderate. By the time I started college, my skin was clear again and stayed that way until with the exception of occasional minor breakouts. Once I reached 24, however, my skin just started breaking out more and more. I sought the help of a dermatologist who prescribed Retin-A Micro .04%. I had a terrible initial breakout, but I was perfectly clear by the third month. It stayed that way for about six months before I started breaking out again. I didn't mind so much because the breakouts were so minor and healed so quickly. Also, Retin-A Micro kept me clear of cystic acne for more than a year. Unfortunately, I started breaking out again a few months ago. I think my skin is almost as bad if not worse than it was before I started RAM.
Now I want to share what I've been doing lately in case it could help anyone. I've tried a number of things, including supplements, treatments, etc. I will say that apple cider vinegar saved me from the terrible breakout that started everything. It settled my skin, and I definitely recommend it. The Clarisonic Mia helped, as well. I also got almost entirely clear from taking the following vitamins and supplements:
Vitamin D3 - 2000 IU
Vitamin B Complex (Sublingual)
Beta Carotene - 25,000 IU
Zinc - 50 mg
I think the reason my skin started breaking out yet again (just in the past week or so)is directly related to adding saw palmetto. This is when I started breaking out, and it also caused sore breasts. I believe it was perhaps causing estrogen dominance?
I'm going to continue taking the vitamins and supplments that were already helping, but I also added Nature's Way DIM.
My question for you is about retinoids. As I mentioned, I've been using Retin-A Micro .04% for more than a year, and it's just not working. I'm wondering if anyone has experiene with increasing strengths (from .04% to .1%). Does the higher strength work even though the lower strength stopped? Or should I move onto another retinod, such as Tazorac? I'm interested in the Tazorac .1% gel, but it seems more harsh than RAM. If RAM will work, I want to stick with it in a higher strength. The only problem is that I'm getting married in less than four months, and I just want clear beautiful skin at my wedding.