I have reached the end of week 1 one retin-a micro .04%!!
Overall it was pretty uneventful, but interesting.
I applied the gel every other night to let my skin get used to it, as recommended by my doctor. I do have very sensitive/prone to getting dry skin, so I'm glad for this.
Pretty smooth sailing. Did experience some mild flakiness, which was easily soothed/cured by Aquaphor (mostly just applied to driest spots; put it once on my whole face at night but that felt like straight up vaseline). Skin felt oily after applying the gel the first few times. Doesn't feel too uncomfortably dry or tight, but I've been very dutiful about applying moisturizers.
Already liking how this is affecting my skin. No new breakouts, really, and older pimples dried up SUPER quick. Can already tell it's bringing closed comedones closer to the surface. Usually my closed comedones sort of chill under my skin until I lose my shit after staring at them again and and again and pick and then they flare up and get super red and painful...now they are not swollen or painful, and I can tell are just going to go away naturally.
Seeing that blackheads are coming up like crazy too (not noticeable to the bare eye). Normal problem areas (under chin, between eyes/above eyebrows) are shaping up. Can tell they might purge a bit but will clear up quickly.
Also using the gel on my upper back, chest, and booty as I have some tough spots there, especially the booty. Hoping to be able to confidently skinny dip after this experience.
I should note that I had my *lady times* this week and didn't break out like crazy (I usually do), which I accredit to the retin-a.
Terrified about an initial breakout, but confident if it does happen it will be short lived and there'll be beautiful buttery soft skin in it's place.
Morning Exercise (15- 20 min. high intensity running/calisthenics) every other day Shower Wash body/face/hair with Alaffia - Authentic African Black Soap, Eucalyptus Tea Tree Gently dab face dry Use Organic Apple Cider Vinegar as toner Apply Alba Botanica Even Advanced Natural Moisturizer Sea Moss SPF 15 Non-comodegenic makeup (avoided wearing makeup as much as I could the first week).
Evening Wash face with Alaffia - Authentic African Black Soap, Eucalyptus Tea Tree Gently dab face dry Use Organic Apple Cider Vinegar as toner (VERY diluted by water to avoid drying out the face any more than it already is) Apply Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate (only on nights I didn't use Retin-a) Apply Alba Botanica Natural Even Advanced Sea Plus Renewal Night Cream Aquaphor on dry spots as needed Raw Honey mask (only on nights I didn't use Retin-a)
I am a 25 year old female (nearly 26) who has been dealing with mild/moderate acne for several years now.
I also pick, obsessively, which is something I've always struggled with and am constantly combating.
Never wanted to take prescription acne medications (oral or topical) as that seemed extreme for my amount of acne, and the side effects and initial breakouts terrified me.
My skin has gotten progressively worse over the years, and while still not BAD bad, it makes me very self-conscious.
What I've Tried:
I tried Pro-active for an extended period of time (maybe 6 months) and it didn't do much for me other than make my skin super uncomfortably sensitive, dry and reactive. It also stained clothing and textiles which was annoying and, well, embarrassing. Benzoyl peroxide is not for me #neveragain.
September of 2015, seeking a natural way to cure my skin, I went to a homeopathic doctor who prescribed me many vitamins and put me on the Paleo diet, insisting that it would be the cure.
While I didn't keep up the absurd vitamin regiment, I was STRICTLY Paleo for one full year (meaning no sugars, no dairy, no legumes, no gluten). It did seem to have some sort of effect on my skin, but nothing constant or extreme.
I am now still mostly paleo (I cheat on the weekends) as I'm used to eating that way, and I like being conscious of what I'm putting in my body. Overall I feel more sharp, energetic, and have less skin oddities when I eat this way.
Still having acne problems so after many internet research hours I decided to give Retin-a Micro a chance. Baby-smooth skin AND wrinkle protection!?? Yes please.
Went to the doctor, told him I wanted it, and he prescribed it to me without hesitation. Only $10 with insurance so pretty stoked about that.
Before starting Retin-a Micro, my routine included:
Morning Exercise (15- 20 min. high intensity running/calisthenics) every other day Shower Wash body/face/hair with Alaffia - Authentic African Black Soap, Eucalyptus Tea Tree Gently dab face dry Use Organic Apple Cider Vinegar as toner Apply Alba Botanica Even Advanced Natural Moisturizer Sea Moss SPF 15 Non-comodegenic makeup
Evening Wash face with Alaffia - Authentic African Black Soap, Eucalyptus Tea Tree (use Alba Botanica ACNEDOTE DEEP PORE FACE WASH a few times a week instead of the Alaffia) Gently dab face dry Use Organic Apple Cider Vinegar as toner Apply Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate Apply Alba Botanica Natural Even Advanced Sea Plus Renewal Night Cream
I also slather raw organic honey on my face as a mask 3-4 times a week. If I have an especially angry/inflammed under the skin pimple I do a spot treatment during the day (Alba Botanica Acnedote Invisible Treatment Gel) and then a raw honey/crushed non-coated aspirin spot treatment at night. Crushed aspirin really dries those tough guys up, as I've discovered recently, but I don't use that very often.
I've attached some pictures of my skin BEFORE starting Retin-a Micro 0.04%. Reading other people's experiences was/is helpful to me so I wanted to share mine and have a log of the process.