It's hard to believe I am starting my fourth week on my regimen. Thankfully, time has flown by thus far. That's always a good thing when it comes to new acne treatments.
My current regimen is simple. In the morning I wash my face with Cerave Foaming Cleanser and apply the Cerave PM moisturizer (I wanted to love the AM moisturizer but the SPF broke me out!). Every night, I double cleanse using my Clarisonic Mia with the normal head brush (still intending to buy the acne brush) and my trusty Cerave Foaming cleanser. I do not apply moisturizer every evening. I try not to let anything interfere with my Retin-A, which I apply 10-30 minutes after cleansing. I use only a pea-size amount for my entire face and am currently using the .05% in the gel consistency.
My first week, nothing really happened. No peeling, no redness, no irritation. Starting in my second week, I started to get breakouts in areas I have been breaking out for months. What I thought were just dark marks left behind by past pimples suddenly became inflamed, as if it had never truly healed in the first place. I broke out everywhere, both cheeks, by my nose, on my chin, forehead, you name it. They weren't exceptionally numerous, but they were deep and often painful. I did my best to keep typical acne medicines away from my face as I don't want to further irritate my skin. What I did as a spot treatment then, was apply a small hydrocolloidal bandage to the pimple and let it sit overnight. If you have not discovered hydrocolloidal bandages as a spot treatment, I highly recommend them! There is something in those bandages that literally sucks all the nastiness out of your pores. All I have to do is gently pop the whitehead with a sterile need and put the bandage in place. I go to sleep and when I wake up, I can literally see all the gross gunk that has been sucked out. The pimple is deflated overnight. A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! I get mine from walgreens and it is simply the walgreens brand for relatively cheap.
Anyways, so that breakout lasted all through week two and three. Today marks the first day of my fourth week and the breakout is looking much better. Less red, less inflamed, more smooth. This week will say a lot as to whether or not my initial breakout is over with. That would be amazing, however, I'm not getting my hopes up too much. I know it can take months to start seeing results. I know it could get even worse than it was the past two weeks.
I am very thankful however, that I have not experienced any unusual dryness or peeling. Healing pimples will have slight peeling but I actually kind of like that. I take it as a sign that they are dead and not coming back.
As long as I apply my Cerave moisturizer at least once per day (for me, in the morning before makeup), I never feel dry or cracked or anything like that. HOWEVER! My first couple of nights using Retin-A, I did get it too close to my lips and for the past two weeks I have had a very dry and painful scab at the corner of my mouth. It was small and not noticeable, thankfully, but I am careful now to keep the treatment away from areas of my face that are thinner or too sensitive, ie, eyes and lips.
I'm continuing on this journey through October to give it a fair shot. That is 6 months. In an ideal world, I'll be clear within that time. It could happen to. I just really want to give this stuff a run for its money. Retin-A is so highly recommended and works for so many people. Not to mention the glorious anti-aging effects!
So, this is week 4 and I am hopeful. I'll update again.