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Day 1 - initial reaction



As this is my first time ever using prescription treatment for my mild/moderate acne, I thought it would be a good idea to document progress for myself and anyone else who may be interested. Some background information about me:

  • 24 year old white female residing in the Midwest
  • Acne sufferer for 13-14 years - primarily open and closed comedones with some pustules and even cysts occasionally
  • Oily skin that's recently been drying out, not sure if this is the BCP, diet change, cold weather, or some combination of all three
  • Currently taking the Nikki brand BCP; experienced a noticeable initial breakout that's just now starting to subside after 4 months
  • Started the dairy free diet about 2 1/2 weeks ago; seems to be helping but not fully resolving the problem
  • Also attempting to avoid soy wherever possible
  • Mentally ill but unmedicated for the most part (the medications are extremely pricey and have unpleasant side effects - I can offer further information to anyone who contacts me privately)
  • Was also recently diagnosed with seborrheic dermatitis

I received my prescriptions (gel + lotion + special shampoo to treat the out of control seb derm on my scalp) last afternoon - totaled about $270, and that's WITH insurance. Thankfully I have help covering my already quite high medical bills, but that's an insane amount of money. I'll definitely be checking GoodRX next time to see if I can save on anything. I am to use the adapalene gel once at night and the clindamycin once in the morning according to my derm's instructions.


Before applying the gel, I took a shower and washed my face with Cetaphil to remove all my makeup like I usually do. I then got out and waited about 15-20 minutes to ensure a fully dry face prior to application - I read somewhere using adapalene on a wet face can cause rapid absorption and thus immediate irritation.  After making sure my face was dry, I squeezed about a pea sized amount of gel onto my index finger and gently tapped tiny dots all over my face before rubbing everything in. I was worried that I would have a bad initial reaction to the gel based on what I've seen being said around the internet, but I didn't notice anything other than some slight redness and itchiness. I applied CeraVe PM moisturizer about an hour after the prescription gel to help defend against flakiness/itchiness and went to bed shortly afterwards. At the time I went to sleep, my skin felt pleasantly smooth and soft.


I can see the beginnings of what may be an initial breakout already beginning after just one night of the adapalene. Nothing too serious, but the clogged pores on my cheeks are redder and more pronounced. There was also a small whitehead on my chin, which I unintentionally removed while washing my face with CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser this morning. After washing my face, I gently patted it dry with a towel and applied the clindamycin lotion the same way I applied the adapalene. Again, I didn't notice any initial reaction beyond some slight tightness and itchiness. I'm actually very pleasantly surprised by how smooth and soft my face feels after applying the lotion! Although I didn't really feel like I needed moisturizer, I went ahead and applied my usual moisturizer (99% aloe vera gel + jojoba oil) just now, roughly an hour after the prescription lotion. I'm slightly worried about using this combination with the clindamycin, but my derm seemed to think it was okay to do so. I'll need to monitor my skin closely to see if I have any adverse reactions.



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