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B-rit

RETIN-A MICRO: Took the Dip, Now it's time for the Plunge!

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Hi my name is Brittany.

I have an issue with non-inflammatory acne, also known as clogged pores. Recently these clogged pores have multiplied and are turning into inflamed blemishes.

So I have decided to start a regimen with Retin-a Micro. My regimen is as follows in my signature, except instead of BP I will be using Retin-a Micro. I am going to start by using this topical every other day until my skin adapts, and then I will hopefully use it every night.

So lets get started

And for those who are interested in seeing pics of my skin and my demise since this log...

Feel free to check out my →Old Log

Day 1 (October 24th):

I must say not using BP for once was so nice. I didn’t have a layer of thick frosting on my skin, which is always a plus. I am currently mixing the pea-sized amount of RAM with a dab of Clindamycin phosphate lotion to make it spread better. For those who don’t mix RAM with something else I can’t imagine how they manage to spread product evenly over their entire face.

When I woke up in the morning there were no significant changes to my skin (not that I was expecting to wake up with clear glowing skin)… but Hey I can’t say I wouldn’t be too glad if I did.

Originally I was going to wait until Halloween to start this regimen in fear of the dreaded Initial break out (dun dun duuuuuuuuuuun). But I did some research on the RAM website and they mentioned that the first two weeks are known as the therapeutic phase. So I could have a false clearing (which will be perfect for next weekend) before things crumble and turn to shit.

My end goal is to be clear and happy by New Years. A New Year, a new face, a new confidence that I am SO ready for.

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Week 1 of Retin-A

So I have been using this product for about a week now. I think my progress will be tracked more efficiently if I post by the week, since skin has the tendency to fluctuate on a day-to-day basis.

So far I haven’t experienced a great amount of irritation. I really credit this to the BP I had been slathering on my face for the past year. I mean once your face is immune to that I can’t imagine anything else being that irritating. That’s not to say I don’t think I am going to peel, I just don’t think my face will poof up into a red balloon. I could probably also credit this to the fact that I am also only using this product every other day, and I have read that Micro is supposed to be less irritating then regular old Retin-A.

Status of my face: I have noticed in increase in micro pimples (ha- maybe that’s why they call it Retin-A MICRO). But on a more serious note these little blemishes are pretty much everywhere. I had already been breaking out on my forehead, chin, and left cheek- and now these blemishes are on my nose and right cheek as well.

Around the blemishes there is an increase in dryness. When I but concealer over the blemishes they have a slight resemblance to Saturn: a red planet with rings of dryness projecting out.

I haven’t noticed a change in my skins texture at this point, and my face is slightly worse then when I began. Being that there was a steady demise in my skin before I started, I can’t really credit this to RAM.

I think I am going to wait at least another one to two weeks before using this product every day.

Because there is an increase in red blemishes and my skin is bound to have a higher turn around rate, I am a little concerned about redmarks (which I have experienced in the past)… So I ordered some MaMa lotion. I read good reviews on this site, and I always get a thrill of receiving things in the mail (even though it would be much nicer to be a clear skinned girl ordering some new high heels, this will just have to fulfill my excitement for now). So if you know or have experienced anything with this product please let me know. I am not planning on using it for a while.

Anyways tonight is Halloween, and I am regretting that I didn’t pick out a costume that involves total coverage of my face, or something that relates to a monster. Instead I will be dressing as a 20’s flapper. Perhaps I will post some pics of the ensemble tomorrow.

Well that’s it for now, thanks for reading.

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Hey Brittany,

Just would like to wish you luck on your regimen against our curse that we wear as a mask. You probably already know that your condition will get worse before it gets better, but I am just reaffirming that fact. I am in my 7th week of Retin A .025% and Doxycycline 100mg x2/day and am unfortunately still breaking out. Granted the breakouts aren't as big and long lasting as they were before. I hear some people take longer than two months before real improvements start to be seen.

Overall, after 7 weeks, my skin is overall smoother and clearer in areas where no breakouts are. The breakout areas have isolated blemishes, which I hope will clear up in a week or so. Best advice is to just keep at it and be persistent. Oh, and always have faith that it will get better with time. It's helped me...

BTW... you have great skin compared to me :D

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hey brittany...welcome to the wonderful world of retinoids. just thought id share some experience on retin-a...but first i have to agree with you about how wonderful it is not to walk around with a cake of benzoyl peroxide on. the days of bleaching ALL my clothes and bed linens and towels are finally over.

ok, so youve started the retin-a...thats good. as for the initial breakout, well, who can say. youre on antibiotics, so they should help with any flare-up you have, but dont take my word for it...its just what i think. timing wise, if you are going to get a flare-up, it usually happens somewhere between the 3-6 week mark. sucks, huh...cause it actually looks like your skin is doing really well and then BAM, breakouts. you'll know if its the dreaded IB because the spots will be usually very large, and tend to heal very fast. like, they come on FAST, and disappear FAST, all usually in a 3 day period. at least thats how it was for me. around week 6 is when i started noticing improvement in not only acne, but in overall skin tone and health in general. each week since, it gets a little better. i'm at week 9 now, and its to early to tell how much better my skin will get overall, but i can see a big improvement in breakouts. the key here is patience patience patience, and try to keep it up even if you do get the IB, because the end result is usually completely worth it.

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Hey Brittany,

Just would like to wish you luck on your regimen against our curse that we wear as a mask. You probably already know that your condition will get worse before it gets better, but I am just reaffirming that fact. I am in my 7th week of Retin A .025% and Doxycycline 100mg x2/day and am unfortunately still breaking out. Granted the breakouts aren't as big and long lasting as they were before. I hear some people take longer than two months before real improvements start to be seen.

Overall, after 7 weeks, my skin is overall smoother and clearer in areas where no breakouts are. The breakout areas have isolated blemishes, which I hope will clear up in a week or so. Best advice is to just keep at it and be persistent. Oh, and always have faith that it will get better with time. It's helped me...

BTW... you have great skin compared to me :D

Yeah I am well aware that it will get worse... frankly it already has- Which means I am going to be in for a real treat come weeks 3-6 when the IB comes. I hope Retin-A gives you and me the clear skin we deserve. I just wish i was at the point you were already, I keep thinking, if only I would have started this three months ago... I could be happy now.

hey brittany...welcome to the wonderful world of retinoids. just thought id share some experience on retin-a...but first i have to agree with you about how wonderful it is not to walk around with a cake of benzoyl peroxide on. the days of bleaching ALL my clothes and bed linens and towels are finally over.

ok, so youve started the retin-a...thats good. as for the initial breakout, well, who can say. youre on antibiotics, so they should help with any flare-up you have, but dont take my word for it...its just what i think. timing wise, if you are going to get a flare-up, it usually happens somewhere between the 3-6 week mark. sucks, huh...cause it actually looks like your skin is doing really well and then BAM, breakouts. you'll know if its the dreaded IB because the spots will be usually very large, and tend to heal very fast. like, they come on FAST, and disappear FAST, all usually in a 3 day period. at least thats how it was for me. around week 6 is when i started noticing improvement in not only acne, but in overall skin tone and health in general. each week since, it gets a little better. i'm at week 9 now, and its to early to tell how much better my skin will get overall, but i can see a big improvement in breakouts. the key here is patience patience patience, and try to keep it up even if you do get the IB, because the end result is usually completely worth it.

Gosh I do hope its worth it, and that I am not one of those rare cases were Retin-A completely destroys my skin. I have actually already experienced some new breakout since starting a little over a week ago.. :(:( how long did you IB last?

And I am no longer on Mino- I just don't know how to update my siggy. I am however on an antibiotic topical, and have been for 2 months, so I am hoping that will help (But it probably won't, since it hasn't thus far)

THANK YOU both for your responses

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I was on Retin-A for about 6 months, and I think it was the worst acne product I've ever used. Just made my skin completely dry/flakey, red all over, cysts, just made my life a living hell for the entire time I was on it.

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I was on Retin-A for about 6 months, and I think it was the worst acne product I've ever used. Just made my skin completely dry/flakey, red all over, cysts, just made my life a living hell for the entire time I was on it.

I am sorry to hear that.. Not everything is going to work for everyone.

Speaking of living hell... my skin has gotten significantly worse over the last couple of days. Its far from dry and flaky, but is so oily I literally use 10 oil-blotters a day. Every clogged pore is turning into a red blemish or white head, and I have developed over 5 under the skin painful blemishes (perhaps baby cysts).

My skin will soon be comparable to when I had cystic acne two summers ago and had to go on minocycline. I am also developing pimples in places that were perfect a week ago (under my eyebrow (wtf), my jaw line and my outer cheeks). I know that they say Retin-a pushes out everything that was bound to come out eventually, but never in my entire life have i had blemishes here, so i find this hard to believe.

Also this is way to soon to be starting an IB, especially since I am still on every other day. I don't know if I am physically or emotionally strong enough for the weeks ahead if it's already this bad in the "therapeutic phase."

I keep reading all these reviews. It seems the people who have the best results start seeing them almost immediately and then there are ppl like DeeJay (Mr. Debbie Downer), who destroy there faces for periods up to 6 months. Is this the right thing for me to be doing?

I wish I could just go on accutane for my mild acne. Yeah its mild, and this might sound extreme, but I have had it on and off for five years, and I am almost 23 years old. I am not 16, or even 18... I don't understand why you have to have severe acne to go on accutane. Five years of on and off suffering to me is just as bad as having severe acne as a teenager and then going on accutane and being clear throughout your adult life. At least when you are a teenager you have the hope that when you hit 23 you'll be clear. I don't have this luxury anymore. And even those who suffer from severe acne as adults get to go on accutane... they have this miracle drug in arms reach that could change their lives. And I DO KNOW that there are exceptions of course. Overall, Acne sucks... and I don't feel like any of use deserve it. Not in Highschool, Not in College, Not as adults.

sorry if this post upsets anyone. I just feel like acne would be so much easier to deal if it only happened during a brief time frame. From 8th-11th grade is when you get it, and after that you are done. I think what has started to make me sick to my stomach is that I could be fighting this my entire life. It makes me want to cry.

I don't care about the IB as long as it gets better...but what if it doesn't? Then what?

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brittany, i'm sorry you're feeling so low right now...it sounds like youre in alot of pain over whats going on right now.

its not to early to be having an IB...the guidelines in the medication leaflet are just that, guidelines. it may say that at the 3-6 week mark is when you start seeing more blemishes, but that certainly doesnt mean it cant happen earlier. and what youre describing TOTALLY sounds like an IB...breakouts in places you usually dont, blackheads becoming inflamed, etc. its a very unfortunate part of using retinoids. this is why they try to educate doctors to encourage their patients to stick with it even though its getting worse, because thats a sign that the medicine is working, not that its not.

and i hear you about the accutane...its does suck that its hard to get a hold of for more mild forms of acne, but thats just how it is. some docs will prescribe it more freely than others and IMHO way to many people who dont need it have taken or are taking it, hence the ipledge program now in place, which is really tightening the reins and curtailing accuntane scripts. if nothing else works, than accutane is surely the way to go, but i suppose its best that you aren't the poster child for accutane! ive seen those medical pics of the type of acne that accutane is immediately prescribed for, and i am DAMN happy that even though i struggle with acne too, it is nowhere near the horrors i have seen.

i know its hard, but try to stick with it, and take it in stride. when i first started i told myself, 'ok, this is gonna suck for the next few months, and i'm going to want to stop and go back to just living with mild acne, but i'm going to stick this out for 4-6 months.' surprisingly, even during a pretty bad IB, i was ok with it. i knew it was coming, i knew it was an IB because of how the breakouts were totally different than my usual breakouts, i knew it was going to get better. and i knew that in the long run, topical retinoids are VERY effective at controlling acne and are so often dismissed as 'been there, done that' remedies by those who have no faith that they will work for them and by those very unfortunate few who didn't respond to therapy. as an added benefit, your acne medicine is also used to essentially improve your complexion overall, and quite dramatically, so that once your acne is under control, your skin will glow and you will always look younger than your peers :)

please, please, please don't give up...it may be hard right now, but like i said, the results are going to be SO worth it in a few short months. hang in there!

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You have to have severe acne to go on accutane because it is a treatment for severe acne... Its also a severe drug that causes serious side effects on your body... I'm not sure I would be willing to take that risk if I had very mild acne like you. I don't understand why you went on retin-a in the first place... Your skin looked damn good on your last post. Don't be suprised if your skin ends up looking 10x worse than it was before retin-a... I used retin-a for over 4 months and my skin has never looked this shitty in my life. I have had acne since I was around 9 years old (that's 9 years and you're complaining about 5).

I'm not trying to be mean but people like you should really be thankful for what you have instead of worrying about little bitty things that no one in the world is going to notice but you.

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Brittany...just checking in to see how youre doing. Haven't heard from you in awhile! I hope youre feeling better than you did in your last post...believe me, I can empathize with the mild to moderate persistent acne that never goes away. and the oily skin that comes along with it is no fun, either.

remember, your experience with the retin-a a is going to be just that, your experience. dont be scared or upset by other peoples personal experiences. im not saying to ignore other peoples comments, but always take them with a grain of salt. keep coming back here for support if you need it, we're all here for you!

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You have to have severe acne to go on accutane because it is a treatment for severe acne... Its also a severe drug that causes serious side effects on your body... I'm not sure I would be willing to take that risk if I had very mild acne like you. I don't understand why you went on retin-a in the first place... Your skin looked damn good on your last post. Don't be suprised if your skin ends up looking 10x worse than it was before retin-a... I used retin-a for over 4 months and my skin has never looked this shitty in my life. I have had acne since I was around 9 years old (that's 9 years and you're complaining about 5).

I'm not trying to be mean but people like you should really be thankful for what you have instead of worrying about little bitty things that no one in the world is going to notice but you.

Yes I am complaining about five. I have such a hard time understanding how people think if you aren’t covered in cysts that you have no right to complain or have a personal log. I complain about five because I grow up in a society, which I am sure you are aware of- flaunts… magazine ads, commercials, tv series, and movies with women who have flawless skin. To me beauty is clear skin- and that mere statement is my biggest flaw, and probably harder to overcome then the acne itself.

Just because your face was destroyed by Retin-A, doesn’t mean mine will. I read your log and you mentioned you started birth control. I think one of the biggest secrets about birth control that your OBGYN usually forgets to mention is the fact that it can cause cystic acne. The whole reason I have ever had to deal with acne (and at one point it was cystic) was because of birth control. Just like Retin-A your body may need to take several months to adjust, and after that it has been none to SOMETIMES clear your skin. So I think it’s hard for you to say that what happened to your skin was based primarily on the use of Retin-A. How do you know it wasn’t the birth control?

That said I am very aware that my skin will get worse… But I am willing to sacrifice that to get the end results…

And the term “people like me”? You and me are in the same boat. We are both unhappy about our skin- doesn’t matter if yours is worse then mine…because mine might make me feel the same amounts of pain. Our end result is also the same: clearer skin.

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You have to have severe acne to go on accutane because it is a treatment for severe acne... Its also a severe drug that causes serious side effects on your body... I'm not sure I would be willing to take that risk if I had very mild acne like you. I don't understand why you went on retin-a in the first place... Your skin looked damn good on your last post. Don't be suprised if your skin ends up looking 10x worse than it was before retin-a... I used retin-a for over 4 months and my skin has never looked this shitty in my life. I have had acne since I was around 9 years old (that's 9 years and you're complaining about 5).

I'm not trying to be mean but people like you should really be thankful for what you have instead of worrying about little bitty things that no one in the world is going to notice but you.

I think if you've seen no results after 4 months, or worse, your skin is shittier than it ever has been, it may be time to try something new. i may be wrong, and i often am, but putting up with a worsening in acne for 16 weeks seems like agony compared to the 6 or 7 weeks i experienced...are you still using it?

also, ive been dealing with acne for 17 years. some people on this board have been dealing with acne for 30, 40, even 50 years. and some people have a blackhead for the first time in their life and theyre here asking for help. indeed, we're all here for help, so let's not argue about who has suffered longer or suffered more. it's just not productive.

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Week 2

So here we are week 2 of RAM!

After my “ranting-accutane-post†I decided to start using RAM every night. I find it so odd that I am still not really experiencing any redness, flakiness/peeling, or discomfort with this topical. That said the state of my skin has changed significantly.

Prior to starting this regimen I had thousand of clogged pores that wouldn’t seem to budge, and were growing in numbers. Each of these pores are taking their turns forming into little red blemishes and then being pushed out, and leaving tiny little white-heads followed by tiny little redmarks. So yeah, my skin is littered in blemishes, and there are too many to count.

The larger blemishes (baby-cysts) have subsided since my last post, but I am sure they will be back.

Still haven’t noticed a change in my skin texture, but that’s probably because there are really no clear areas to compare to.

Areas Listed in order of severity (bad-better):

Chin

Nose

Forehead

R cheek (inner)

L cheek (inner)

Have hope as of right now… which is good.

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You have to have severe acne to go on accutane because it is a treatment for severe acne... Its also a severe drug that causes serious side effects on your body... I'm not sure I would be willing to take that risk if I had very mild acne like you. I don't understand why you went on retin-a in the first place... Your skin looked damn good on your last post. Don't be suprised if your skin ends up looking 10x worse than it was before retin-a... I used retin-a for over 4 months and my skin has never looked this shitty in my life. I have had acne since I was around 9 years old (that's 9 years and you're complaining about 5).

I'm not trying to be mean but people like you should really be thankful for what you have instead of worrying about little bitty things that no one in the world is going to notice but you.

Yes I am complaining about five. I have such a hard time understanding how people think if you aren’t covered in cysts that you have no right to complain or have a personal log. I complain about five because I grow up in a society, which I am sure you are aware of- flaunts… magazine ads, commercials, tv series, and movies with women who have flawless skin. To me beauty is clear skin- and that mere statement is my biggest flaw, and probably harder to overcome then the acne itself.

Just because your face was destroyed by Retin-A, doesn’t mean mine will. I read your log and you mentioned you started birth control. I think one of the biggest secrets about birth control that your OBGYN usually forgets to mention is the fact that it can cause cystic acne. The whole reason I have ever had to deal with acne (and at one point it was cystic) was because of birth control. Just like Retin-A your body may need to take several months to adjust, and after that it has been none to SOMETIMES clear your skin. So I think it’s hard for you to say that what happened to your skin was based primarily on the use of Retin-A. How do you know it wasn’t the birth control?

That said I am very aware that my skin will get worse… But I am willing to sacrifice that to get the end results…

And the term “people like me”? You and me are in the same boat. We are both unhappy about our skin- doesn’t matter if yours is worse then mine…because mine might make me feel the same amounts of pain. Our end result is also the same: clearer skin.

Reality check: we all grew up in that type of society. and haven't you ever realized that people on tv, movies, magazines, etc are airbrushed? they don't really look like that. and speaking of that subject, most of those "stars" pretty much hate their life because they have no privacy and constantly have to feel perfect, that's why the majority of all models and celebs are anorexic or substance abusers. I don't think I would want to "be like them"... the secret to not stressing about yourself is to ignore the constant pressure... why would you want to be like someone who is miserable? I know you've heard this a thousand times, but beauty is on the inside. A guy, friend, or anyone is going to choose someone who is confident, happy, and not worried about superficial things such as mild acne to hang out with, even if they are covered with the most acne in the world; rather than someone who looks "perfect" yet worries more about their skin, what they're wearing, etc. Like I said in the beginning, I'm not trying to be mean at all, I know what its like to feel like acne controls your life... I'm just trying to help you overcome your feelings... You have to take control over your life and not let acne control it.. I know how it makes you feel like everyone's looking at your acne... but you have to realize that they're probably looking at YOU, because Brit, you're a BEAUTIFUL woman. NO ONE in their right mind is going to see your acne...

I wasn't trying to tell you that Retin-a wont work for you just because it didn't for me. I know tons of people on this website that Retin-a has worked miracles for. I was just sharing my personal experience. And if you had really read my log, you would have noticed that I started taking Ortho tricyclen lo AFTER I quit retin-a... and it has did miracles for ME... I'm not saying its that case for everyone... Just like with Retin-A, BCP's are a personal experience because everyone's body is different. My acne is personally influenced by hormones and stress. I'm in nursing school so the past few months I have been under intense and severe stress. and I know that Retin-a ruined MY skin (remember this is my personal experience, I'm not saying it will happen to you) because my skin was literally pealing off every single day for four months... Even my eyelids peeled and I didn't put it anywhere near my eyes. and I know that it was retin-a because a week after I stopped using it I noticed a major major improvement. My skin no longer burns 24/7 either.

With that, what I am trying to say is that this website is to help each other, not just physically but emotionally. I was trying to help you to change your mindset about yourself. I was telling you you should be thankful because you truely are a beautiful person. and anyone who would judge you by your acne and not your beauty would be a damn fool.... I know what its like to have compulsions and thoughts that you can't get out of your head... Hell, I've been diagnosed with severe OCD, trichatillomania, dermatillomania, anxiety and depression. I know what its like to feel like you have no control over your body or your thoughts. But you can never gain control until you try... That was my biggest step, was to admit I had a problem. Now I am in the beginning stages of therapy and I hope maybe a year from now I can be a changed person.

As I said before, I was not in anyway trying to be mean, sometimse I just come across blunt and it sounds like I'm being rude, but I do appologize for making you feel that I was jumping down your throat. Any pain is truely subjective and it is what the person says it is.

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I am struggling today.

I don't think my skin has ever been this bad in my entire life. This is sad but I would so much rather have the cystic acne I had two summers ago. Even though they were painful and big at least not ever pore on my face was clogged. When I wash my face all i feel are thousands of tiny bumps.

These pictures make me sick, but I have to post them in hopes that one day I will see improvement. I put on makeup this morning, so this is with makeup- without it they are even more read and nasty.

It just keeps getting worse, and i knew this would happen. I knew the second i saw the mino wearing off that it would get worse and worse. And everyone kept saying your face is fine, it looks fine... and even though i knew it was coming I couldn't stop it. I just really hope this RAM works. I really do. My boyfriend's work is having this huge holiday party @ the Ritz hotel on Dec 13th... and I just want to feel pretty by then, and I know thats unrealistic.

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Hey Brit!

I definitely think that the retin-a will help you. I know how you feel. Although my skin was never as bad as some of the people on this site, my mild to moderate acne was making me feel like a different person. Even though I know my friends didn't care, I knew that deep down the only thing that mattered was that I cared. I felt like my confidence had been drained. In starting retin-a I definitely got MUCH worse than I thought it would. But the past couple weeks it has been healing DRAMATICALLY. It's worth it. My skin is brighter and smoother than it was before, which is great, especially on top of the clear skin that's starting to prevail.

This stuff is amazing. This is the second time I've tried it. The first time I had acne more like your pictures. I'm not going to lie, it did get worse for awhile, but then I was clear for years until I stopped the treatment. This time I've had more cystic acne, but the results are the same- clear skin.

I know it doesn't work for everyone, but I'm encouraging you to stick with it! It worked for me.

PS- thanks for replying to my post about me missing the minocycline. I get a little freaked out and obsessive about my skin, as I'm sure you can relate. Hearing replies helps quell the stress.

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Hey Brit,

Hang in there! I say you need to give it at least 6-8 weeks to see significant results. Just curious, what is your regimen? How often and when do you use retin-a and what strength? Do you use generic? What other products do you use in conjunction?

I am struggling today.

I don't think my skin has ever been this bad in my entire life. This is sad but I would so much rather have the cystic acne I had two summers ago. Even though they were painful and big at least not ever pore on my face was clogged. When I wash my face all i feel are thousands of tiny bumps.

These pictures make me sick, but I have to post them in hopes that one day I will see improvement. I put on makeup this morning, so this is with makeup- without it they are even more read and nasty.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v258/spo...89/IMG_1117.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v258/spo...89/IMG_1116.jpg

This picture was taken at exactly the same time last year:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v258/spo...89/IMG_1807.jpg

( I didn't go to todays game because of my skin and the sun)

It just keeps getting worse, and i knew this would happen. I knew the second i saw the mino wearing off that it would get worse and worse. And everyone kept saying your face is fine, it looks fine... and even though i knew it was coming I couldn't stop it. I just really hope this RAM works. I really do. My boyfriend's work is having this huge holiday party @ the Ritz hotel on Dec 13th... and I just want to feel pretty by then, and I know thats unrealistic.

**probably doesn't help that I have an amazing camera that captures every pore/ vain in your eye... but at least I can capture reality**

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hey brit, just checking in :)

sorry youre feeling down, and youre going through the IB with the retin-a now. it's definitely part of the process, but the results are SO worth it, like Soapybubbles said. i'm getting ready to post my week 11 results, and, well...you'll see :) hang in there...we're rooting for you!

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To answer yazgirls question about my current regimen:

The tube that I am using reads: RETIN-A MICRO (tretinoin gel) microsphere, 0.04%

Mornings: Use a wet paper towel and gently wash skin in a circular motion with Neutrogena Extra Gentle Cleanser. Then apply a dime size of Clindamycin Phosphate Lotion. I am using Bare Minerals Makeup with SPF 15.

Nights: Use a wet paper towel and gently wash skin in a circular motion with Neutrogena Extra Gentle Cleanser. Then using a pea size (no more, no less) amount of RAM, and a dime size of Clindamycin Phosphate I create a mixture in the palm of my hand which is spread evenly on my face (this was suggested by my derm).

I do the above every day, and I must say I am proud to admit I haven’t picked my face once since starting RAM. I don’t use a lotion form of sunscreen or any lotion for that matter because since I have started this regimen my face has not been irritated or dry and the lotion made things even oily-er… which is a feat in it’s own, because I don’t think my face could have more oil on it then it does now, and the Clindamycin is a lotion.

Week Three

This past week has been extremely hectic. My car battery died, so I had to walk to all my classes which added an hour onto everything- and it just seemed like nothing was really going my way.

I am starting to think that I didn’t really experience the initial breakout but rather a mini break out before the big storm. I can see the big ones brewing, and it’s just a matter of time before my face freaks out. At the moment my chin is going crazy. Everyday two of the clogged pores turn into big inflamed whiteheads that form these crusty tops that have the lifespan of about a week. There are so many inflamed whiteheads and red marks from previous blemishes that it looks like I have a red beard, which is every so attractive on a female.

Because I had such a horrible week out side of acne, I didn’t really sit down and examine my face until now. My pores defiantly look larger and the blackheads are being pushed to the surface making them even more noticeable. My face is also oily beyond belief- forget peeling and dryness!

I must say something that I have been blessed with is baby soft skin- so the Retin-a has done nothing to improve this texture, since it was there to begin with.

The only thing I can say I am happy with at the moment is the fact that I am three weeks in… it’s a better feeling then when I had just started… every day will get me closer to clear skin, or perhaps total destruction.

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At this point I think I am going into my IB. On the RAM site they said that this may occur during weeks 3-6, and I am in week 4, so I guess that makes sense.

My skin is also more sensitive in the fact that when I wash with my cleanser in the broken out areas it hurts and stings. Even though some places are worse then others most places on my skin are broken out. So I have just resorted to barely touching my face during this part of the regimen (similar to how dan applies his products).

**still crossing my fingers that I have clear skin for new years**

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hey britt...can't leave a long post cause i'm running late for work, but just wanted to say that you're doing great :) you're at the most difficult stage right now, the point where most people give up. DON'T DO IT! i think you can count on clear skin by new year's...if not sooner. best of luck, and keep checking in. talk to you later :)

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not for nothing, but it looks like your skin is doing fine. your IB looks much much tamer compared to mine, and i understand the heartbreak that happens during this time period. i think you're skin type (from what i can tell from the photos) is exactly the type of skin that will respond nicely to the retin-a. youre well into it now, so don't worry about it getting worse, cause it probably wont.

btw, are you using a sunblock in the am? just wondering because when your using a topical retinoid, the sun can really irritate your skin, which can cause more side effects, like more breakouts. keep us posted :)

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not for nothing, but it looks like your skin is doing fine. your IB looks much much tamer compared to mine, and i understand the heartbreak that happens during this time period. i think you're skin type (from what i can tell from the photos) is exactly the type of skin that will respond nicely to the retin-a. youre well into it now, so don't worry about it getting worse, cause it probably wont.

btw, are you using a sunblock in the am? just wondering because when your using a topical retinoid, the sun can really irritate your skin, which can cause more side effects, like more breakouts. keep us posted :)

I am not using a sunblock in lotion form... but I have three layers of makeup I am putting on that contains 15 SPF....

for some reason sunblock has always made things worse... I tried neutrogenas spf this summer and wasn't please

any suggestions from anyone would be great!

esp. since I live in one of the sunniest states

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Week Four

Face still breaking out pretty bad. Since the last photo I posted I still have the larger red blemishes but I have also started to develop these patches of tiny blemishes. The small blemishes are tiny, but they live in little packs making my skin look blotchy from a distance. My outer cheeks, over night, have developed 20 blemishes on each side. I have never had a problem here and it makes me sick to my stomach. My face looks horrible… like I have a rash of pimples.

I am going to my grandparents for thanksgiving… so the travel and change of water will probably make things a hundred times worse.

This sucks.

I have never had this many pimples on my face at a given time. When I was my face all i feel is hundreds of bumps.. nothing feels smooth anymore

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