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Member Since 12 Aug 2009
Offline Last Active Mar 24 2013 01:17 AM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: Addition To Retin-A Micro Regimen?

22 October 2012 - 06:59 AM

I can only tell you about what I've been doing so far and what's sort of worked for me. I say sort of because I'm about week 13 or so and I'm still getting breakouts now and then, though I've still noticed a lot of improvements. My regimen right now consists of:


Wash with Cetaphil Oily Skin Cleanser
Wait 30 minutes
Apply 5% BP(just enough to cover my face)
Wait 30 minutes
Apply NeoStrata Smoothin Cream Level 2(basically an 8% glycolic acid or aha like Dan's)


Wash with Cetaphil Oily Skin Cleanser
Wait 30 minutes
Apply 0.5% Retin A
Wait 30 minutes
Apply Cetaphil Mositurizer.

My old regimen before retin a was something like that but I still kept getting breakouts and I had tones of pink and red marks from old acne and every pimple seemed to leave some sort of pigmentation behind that would take months to fade! I was convinced the BP was making it harder for my skin to turn over. So when I started retin a I dropped the BP and NeoStrata and just washed and moisturized with retin a but I kept getting breakouts. That's when I got fed up and realized I probably needed something to kill the bacteria on my skin because the retin a couldn't do that, so I started using my BP again and found it's helped a lot. I know some people use BP face washes while on retin a but I find them overdrying and I feel the BP left on the skin gets right in there. You could always try the 2.5% of BP if you're scared of the overdrying. Personally I have very sensitive skin that tends to get dry very easily but this regimen has been working out so far. I say figure out what's worked for you in the past and try to work that in with the retin a. Just don't mix the retin a and BP or SA at the same time as that can be irritating and cancel each other out.

And if you are interested in a good AHA I highly recommend the NeoStrata products! Their smoothing cream is supposed to be moisutrizing on top of exfoliating but I personally find it can be overdrying at times. That being said, it is very gentle on the skin and hasn't caused me irritation from it and it comes in 3 different precentages or levels, I find level 2 which is right in the middle to be perfect as the higher one might be a bit too strong for some people. A jar of that stuff lasts about 3 or so months for me and you don't need lots as it spreads easily. It's the only aha aside from the one from Dan on this site, that I've liked and that's worked well. It's about $38 here in Canada which is pricey but not too pricey for the amount I figure.

Anyway, those are my suggestions. I hope some of it is helpful :D

In Topic: 9 Weeks Of Retin-A, No Improvement

22 October 2012 - 06:38 AM

Can I ask what your daily regimen is like? Are you moisturizing? Are you using anything else aside from the retin-a like antibiotics or using other topicals? I'm on about week 13 or so of retin a, so I can only tell you what my experience has been like so far and that is that it's been a bit like a roller coaster, up and down, up and down. I didn't have an innitial breakout until about week 5 and up until then my skin was slowly improving and then BAM! My chin broke out in dozens of whiteheads. Every day I was getting more and more, and they were all around my mouth and jawline and starting to move toward my neck(and I never breakout there!) I was getting frustrated, depressed but kept with it because that's what everyone else says, "Be patient, it takes time." By the end of week 7 the breakouts were dying down, I was getting less whiteheads on my chin, though my skin still looked awful from the purging. I started to feel hopeful again, things were looking up and then week 11 or so I broke out in to these nodule/cysts on the right side of my jawline. I've had them before but only one or two at a time and usually it was a rare occurence. Well, I broke out in about five or so on the right side, it was horrible. BUT, slowly over a week or so they started to go away and get better and as they did the left side of my face decided to break out in cysts and nodules. The breakout on that side of my face has started to clear, though I still have them they are a lot smaller.

However, despite the bad breakouts and my mom getting on me about, "Trying something else!" I stuck it out and I have noticed improvements. The improvements are hard to notice when you're still going through awful breakouts but they should be there. For myself I noticed that the areas where I wasn't broken out the skin looked healthier, had that glow to it and the texture and overall appearance was a lot better and didn't look so rough from the years of BP. I noticed the blackheads on my nose would slowly get darker and darker(I assumed because the layers of skin were being taken away) until eventually they started to clear. The pimples I get now don't leave so horrible red marks that last for ages, they seem to fade a bit more quickly than they did in the past. It's little things like that.

That's just what it's been like for me so far and as I say this I'm still not sure if I'm out of the woods yet on the breakouts. But I agree with those who say to be patient with the retin-a because I've wanted to quit so many times but I didn't. Also, I've found that using tools from my old skincare regimen and using them alongside my retin-a regimen has helped a lot. This is probably not for everyone because everyone's skin reacts differently but for myself I have extremely sensitive skin that's prone to overdrying  but I've had no problems with this. My current regimen:


Wash with Cetaphil Oily Skin Cleanser
Wait 30 minutes
Apply just enough BP5% to cover my face
Wait another 30 minutes
Apply Neostrata Smoothing Cream Level 2(Basically just a glycolic/aha cream)

Wash with Cetaphil Oily Skin Cleanser
Wait 30 minutes
Apply 0.5% Retin A
Wait another 30 minutes
Apply Cetaphil Moisturizer

Sometimes I moisturize in the morning as well and sometimes I skip moisturizing at night, it all depends on how my skin is, but that's just an example of what I've been doing. At the start I was only washing, putting retin-a on and then moisturizing and then I read where other people had mentioned using other products and I figured that retin a isn't a one stop solution. It exfoliates and helps with cell turnover and helps clean out your pores I believe but I still think you need other things to treat the acne.

Anyway, I know I just wrote an entire epic there but I hope I was helpful. I'm in the same boat as you currently but don't lose hope! Keep with it a little longer to see if you get any results, you put in the first 9 already and those I think are the worst.

In Topic: Moisturize After Retin-A Micro?

05 October 2012 - 07:55 PM

I've heard mixed responses about this actually. Most of what I've read though seems to say that you can apply moisturizer at the same time. I know personally for myself, I've been moisturizing in the morning and night and I'm at the 11 week mark. I notice if I don't moisturize at night and let it go for a few days my skin starts to just look more dull and gets really dry and the minute I start to moisturize more it starts to plump up and look better, more healthy. Justa few days ago I tried to not moisturize at night and noticed this after a few days. That being said, I think maybe it depends on how your skin is as well. I'm more prone to dryness and irritation so it's usually a must that I moisturize, especially with the drying effect of retin-a.

So, after all that, I think it's safe to assume that a gentle moisturizer like Cetaphil or what-have-you is perfectly fine and shouldn't have any affect on the retin a. What I do though, is wait at least 30 minutes after I apply my retin-a before I moisturize, just so that I know the retin- a is fully absorbed and to prevent any possible irritation. I just wouldn't moisturize with anything that has any kind of ingredients like alpha hydroxy acids  or SA, or anything that can further irritate your skin while on retin-a or can cancel out the retin-a. So, yeah, normal moisturizers with no crazy ingredients should be fine :D

In Topic: How to prevent total hysteria?

26 July 2011 - 09:55 PM

In short, I don't manage it. I think now I've just gotten to a point that I don't really freak out about it as much. It bothers me, and I'm self conscious and feel just utterly awful about it, but I don't break down about it or freak out as much as I did before.

That being said, I, like I think everyone on here, have my bad days. That one day where you're so fed up with it; with trying something new and having it make things so much worse and having to start from the beginning again, not knowing if it'll work. A few weeks ago I had one of those days. I was getting ready to go to camp with some family, it was only for one night but my skin had a bad reaction to a new product and was dry, red and bumpy and just awful looking. I completely broke down, cried and went into complete hysteria. Every time I tried to start layering on makeup I burst into tears and just broke down. I didn't know if I wanted to go or if I wanted to give up and stay home. In the end I cried and cried, and somehow managed to pull myself together long enough to finish my makeup and go anyway.

Luckily my family understands about my skin.

I don't know if there's anyway to really prevent the hysteria and breakdowns you get from your acne. If it's every day, then I would find someone to talk to, just to let some of that out, either a family member, friend or counselor. It helps a bit, by getting out that frustration and pain.

If you're like me then a good cry every now and then is something you need, just to release some of that stress and those pent up emotions. It doesn't help your skin, true, but it's a good release just to get that out there.

I think it's fine to feel like crap about your skin once in a while, I mean, were only human and holding in all those emotions all the time isn't good for you. And once your done letting it all out, just take a few deep breaths, calm yourself down and just sort of convince yourself it's not that bad. I know, it's sort of silly, but just tell yourself it'll be okay, it'll get better. And then leave it at that.

Keep your mind on something else, anything but your skin so you're not dwelling on it. Watch some tv, a movie or call up a friend, anything to take your mind off it, so you can calm down and forget about your skin for a while.

That's pretty much what I do. Don't know if that's the sort of answer you were looking for, hope it helped.

In Topic: Wedding in less 2 months - But feeling uglier than ever

26 July 2011 - 02:57 PM

So sorry to hear that you are feeling this way and completely understand the anxiety you must be feeling as the date grows closer. First, I'd suggest just being careful about what products you do end up putting on your face with you having only a few months before the wedding. I'd try to stick to the things you know helps your skin and doesn't irritate it.

I agree with another poster that aha's(alpha hydroxy acids) are supposed to be good for getting rid of hyperpigmentation. My face is covered in red spots that last forever and I tried using other products and ended with a horrible breakout I'm just starting to get under control. Dan's AHA product I find to be one of the better ones but it can be pricey with the cost of shipping etc. depending where you are. Currently I'm using Neostrata's Smoothing Cream which has 8% AHA the same amount as what Dan uses. It works to exfoliate your skin but does so gently. I've very sensitive skin that reacts to almost everything and aside from the slight stinging/itchiness the cream gives me at first(like most AHA's) it doesn't irritate it. Neostrata is available in Canada and the US and I heard their acne products are pretty good as well and they use basically the same glycolic acid in most of their products, so, that's always an option.

If it does come down to it and you still feel very self conscious about your marks and it's close to the big day, I'd go with a great makeup artist like others have already suggested. You can get some great makeup artists, who will make you look amazing. I mean, celebrities use makeup artists all the time and some of them have awful acne or look unrecognizable without makeup. We used a makeup artist years ago for my aunt's wedding, I was in the bridal party and they cover up my spots and marks to near perfection, I couldn't believe it. So, ask around, try a few out and see what you like and have them booked for your wedding day.

Wish you all the best and I know your big day will be amazing.