I said that tretionin 0.05% only cleared me up about 60% and that I was looking for about 80% or more. I did end up finding something that works amazing. Yes, this actually works.
Saje Natural Wellness has a kit called the "Zap" kit. Let me tell you, it really does "zap" away unwanted zits. The kit comes with everything you need for a strong morning routine. An antibacterial cleanser, a toner, spot treatment and moisturizer. The spot treatment I use at night instead, and I use benzoyl peroxide (.5%) in the morning before the moisturizer. The moisturizer keeps my oily skin at bay really well. I've spent thousands of dollars and tried so many products for my oily skin to only be disappointed. BUT NOT THIS TIME! I LOVE Saje. I'll always be using their skin care line.
At night, I use a the probiotic cleanser by Eminence. It takes off all my make up and built up crap during the day. Then I use a toner to help catch any areas that I missed when washing my face. I use the Zap spot treatment by Saje if I need to, and that thing works amazing. One day and the pimple will be burnt to a crisp. It's so great. For a moisturizer, I use one that is also dear to my heart. Its called Tea Tree and Vitamin E by Holista. I found it at Shoppers drug mart while i was going through my purge period with tretionin. It is the most perfect night cream you could ever find.
I only use my tretionin once to twice a week on my jawline and forehead. It helps with that stubborn hormonal cysctic acne on my jaw line and the light skin colored bumps on my forehead that i get.
Prices: Saje Zap Kit = $50 (sounds expensive, but you get everything you need and it lasts you. it's also 100% natural!) Benzoyl peroxide .5% = $13 Eminence Cleanser = $25 Holista Tea tree & Vit. E = $16
Things I plan on trying out in the future: *i will write reviews about them when i do* Eminence 7 greens mask - $40 Holista peppermint and tea tree spray- $16 Saje balancing elixir = $20 Saje konjac kare with charcoale sponge = $10
Anyone on a retin A cream such as isotretionin or tretionin knows about the "purge" period. And that purge period is absolute HELL. Take your oily skin and your acne and times it by 56. It's like a nuke bomb goes off on your face. It's horrible! And it lasts for months. My purge period lasted just after 3 months. It took me awhile to figure out what works while on this cream and what doesn't. But I found a way to help this purge period, and this is what I used.
-Coconut oil (Pure, organic) -Tea tree oil (pure, organic) -Vitamin E oil (pure)
You can only use the retinoid cream at night as the sun reduces its effectiveness. So, wash your face. Then, tone it with tea tree oil. I put about 3 drops of it on a cotton ball and then 3 drops of water to dilute it a bit. Then once it dries, put on the retinoid cream you are on. Once that sinks into your skin, moisturize with coconut oil. Spot treat the dry areas with vitamin E oil. It also helps to avoid putting the tretionin cream around the mouth and eye area, as the skin there is a lot more fragile and will peel off more frequently.
coconut oil and tea tree oil are antibacterial, so they help counteract the purge effect of the retinoids.
My dermatologist told me it was not uncommon for women to experience adult acne issues after having children. Kids completely change your bodies chemistry and hormone levels. After having a boy, I had elevated testosterone levels. My doctor perscribed me tretitonin .05% and told me to apply it at night, everyday, and use benzoyl peroxide in the mornings if my skin tolerated it.
The first 3 months with the Tretitonin was HORRIBLE. My acne was so severe and painful that I didn't want to leave the house. Not only that, but my skin was peeling so bad that I literally had huge peices of skin barely hanging on my face that people at university would stop and tell me i had skin coming off my face. I was MORTIFIED. And, no matter what I did, my skin would continue to peel. I would go to the bathroom every 2 hours to check it out, and would sit there and try to rub all the dead skin off my face. I could hardly wear make up because it would show the dry skin more.
Fed up, I searched the internet for answers and made my own regime that seemed to help. I called it "the Tretitonin Survival Kit". It includes: coconut oil, vitamin E oil, rose water with glycerin, and tea tree oil. At night I washed my face with a coconut milk cleanser and used the rose water with glycerin (can find this at walmart) as a toner. Then, I would apply 3 drops of tea tree oil on a cotton ball and dilute it with a little water and apply this to my acne spots (which was all over my entire face anyway). Then, I would apply the vitamin E oil on the patches that my skin tended to peel most, which was around my mouth, nose and around my eyebrows. Once all that seemed to seep into my skin, I put coconut oil on top and all over my face. The tea tree and coconut oil have antibacterial properties, so it helps counteract the nasty results that tretitonin brings out (brings the bacteria inyour skin to the surface, causing horrible break outs for the first few months.)
After my skin completed its purging period with tretitonin, the peeling still never went away. The acne cleared up only about 60%, which is still a huge improvement, but not what I fully wanted. It helped with the nasty cystic acne around my jawline, and the tiny skin colored bumps I would get on my forehead. My cheeks still had white head pimples on it, and I would treat them with the benzyl peroxide .5%.
With only 60% clearer skin, I knew there had to be something better to get me to 80% at least. And finally I found something that works for me!
I started having acne when I was around 13. It wasn't severe, it stayed very controllable with topical treatments such as oxy clean pads, clearisil pads, and other over the counter treatments. It wasn't until about grade 10, 15 years old that I began having larger problems with acne. It was all over my cheeks and forehead, and was quite embarrassing. And so, my acne journey took me to trying many forms of birth control.
Yaz birth control worked wonders for me until i was 18 and became pregnant ( i was off birth control for one month due to not refilling my prescription and became pregnant during that time). I ended up having a son, but during my pregnancy, I have never had such terrible acne. It was on every inch of skin on my face and upper back. I had very painful cyctic acne that was very stubborn and would not go away. Since retinoid remedies are COMPLETELY out of the question during pregnancy, I was left with crappy drug store items that didn't work anyways.
It wasn't until I treated myself to a spa day that I discovered natural products are definitely the way to go. During my spa day, I was introduced to the skin care line Eminence. It's purely organic, and they have an acne line that, to my surprise, works very well. It was safe to use when I was pregnant, and I continued to use it until I ran out. I ran out about two weeks after giving birth, and i started the regime when I was about 4 months pregnant. So the line lasts about 5 to 6 months, which is pretty good considering the price. I did not continue the line after having my child because it was quite expensive to buy the cleanser, toner, serum, spot treatment and moisturizer all at once. My skin didn't completely clear up, but it improved about 70%.
I started back on birth control after having my child and to my surprise, it did not help my acne anymore. Nothing did. I finally went to a dermatologist, who stuck me on Tretitonin. That stuff is the devil. I will write about my experiences with it on my next entry, along with a review.