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Day 58- Don't know how much more I can take

I am almost two months in, and I am having an absolute melt down. My skin is so much worse than it has ever been. After a week without too many new breakouts but deep flaking and constantly redness stinging and blotchiness I started doing coconut oil twice a day under my aloe vera and washing with sunflower oil instead of face wash or honey. I will say it helped with the blotchiness and peeling alot, and helped center myskin back to normal in terms of dryness. However, for the past couple of days I have had the worst clogged pores ever, and inflamed cyst like pimples EVERYWHERE on my face. I have never had so many pimples and clogged pores at once and in places I don't normally break out as much, my face, the upper parts of my forehead, my upper lip, and all of my pores look clogged even those that aren't actively red as pimples. 

I'm not sure if its because I had my period (which does usually make me break out more but usually its whiteheads around my chin), the cerave (which may have caused the redness/peeling since it was new to my routine) or the coconut oil which I had dailed back a bit on prior, but I can't afford to have my skin look like this. My skin has not looked this bad for years, I'm not even sure it was this bad the last time I used retina 4 years ago. I look terrible, I have pimples everywhere and none of my old pimples totally heal. They heal incredibly slowly and leave behind long lasting dark red marks, and the rest of my skin looks dull and peely. My compulsive picking has gotten worse and my forehead looks like I have measels again.

Its starting to have a HUGE affect on my self confidence. I used to be able to largely ignore the fact that my skin looked terrible, but now its been going on for so long and just getting worse that I no longer want to leave my house. Before I started retina I had breakouts, but I could cover them up and as a whole my skin was clear. Now my skin looks terrible all the time, with and without make up. I am not going to give up, I know it can take up to six months to see the full effects of retin a, but I will say if I were ever going to give up it would be now. My skin hurts, is broken out on every part of my face, is red and angry and flakey and scaby and pimply, and as I look back on pictures taken two months ago I wish I had never started using retin A at all. At this point though I can only move forward so might as well stick with it....

Oh PS one thing I did find about the aloe vera: in the morning after I wash my face I will put on a thick moisterizer with sunscreen, let it soak in for 10 minutes, then put a layer of aloe vera on top as a primer for my foundaiton. The aloe will make skin look less flakey under liquid foundaiton if applied carefully, but if you accidentally peel off part of the aloevera it peels off with the skin and can make flakes look worse.



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I can completely understand and relate to your frustration. I am in month 8 (week 33) and I've still had waves of break outs. However, I think they are more linked to female hormones and such, and less to the Retin A.

Once I got to month 6/7 things REALLY started to improve. If you can and if it's working--stick with it. RetinA micro cleared out all of the clogged pores that I had deep under my skin & has made a HUGE difference in my overall skin clarity and condition.
 

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Sorry if you already covered this - I haven't read any of your prior posts... but how often are you using the retina? Could you scale back a bit? Your skin sounds pretty angry! I remember starting with retin a and definitely having the 'worse before it gets better' stage.   What aloe are you using? The actual plant or store bought gel? You remind me a lot of myself which is why I'm commenting. I did the same thing for a while, aloe + makeup... HORRIBLE skin that wrecks your self confidence. I really do wish the best for you and hope you can find something that helps. 

Also, I always found cerave to be super gentle so I don't know if I'd worry about that too much. Coconut oil though... I am not a big fan of it (just from personal experience and hearing more and more about it not being the greatest if you are acne prone).  Such a mess, I know. It's so hard to sort though it all and figure out what the heck your skin wants. And hormones suck too! 

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Sorry if you already covered this - I haven't read any of your prior posts... but how often are you using the retina? Could you scale back a bit? Your skin sounds pretty angry! I remember starting with retin a and definitely having the 'worse before it gets better' stage.   What aloe are you using? The actual plant or store bought gel? You remind me a lot of myself which is why I'm commenting. I did the same thing for a while, aloe + makeup... HORRIBLE skin that wrecks your self confidence. I really do wish the best for you and hope you can find something that helps. 

Also, I always found cerave to be super gentle so I don't know if I'd worry about that too much. Coconut oil though... I am not a big fan of it (just from personal experience and hearing more and more about it not being the greatest if you are acne prone).  Such a mess, I know. It's so hard to sort though it all and figure out what the heck your skin wants. And hormones suck too! 

I'm using 100% pure aloe but it is from a bottle from the store, did the aloe make your skin worse or did it eventually help make it better? Using it after my moisturizer instead of before has definitely helped but it is making me break out more I definitely need to stop!

I totally agree with you about the cerave! I actually just switched to the moisturizing cream in the tub instead of the am/pm and WOW has it helped. My skin is still covered with redmarks but its not angry anymore, its stopped stinging and the flaking is almost gone. It is definitely moisturizing better than the coconut oil and not breaking me out as much, but I so wish I could use coconut oil instead since the cerave is full of parabens and god knows what else. Thank you so much for the support, starting medical school has been so stressful and I don't know what I would do without this forum!

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I hear you on wishing you could use coconut oil instead of cerave - it's such a shame they put parabens in it!!!  Yes, the aloe made things worse for me. I wish I had tried an actual plant rather than the store bought gel. Wishing the best for you!

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Hang in there! I did not get out of my house for almost a month when my acne was at its most severe stage. But slowly, i started easing into the process of facing the public. My acne is getting better, slowly, but it is still a struggle. I am currently on Duac and Tetralysal and hoping for the best in coming couple of months. Wish you the best. :)

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I would stop the oils. Ive found the only oil that don't clog pores is tea tree oil but the main thing is don't use moisturizer with spf unless u really need it. Thats what I think is clogging them up more than anything I know its weird but its the truth. 

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