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babyblueeyes

Hopefully a new life with Differin (with pictures!!)...

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I wanted to come on here to post my future experiences with Differin. I noticed there are some people that start logs once they are clear, and I'm not too sure I understand the purpose of that. I prefer to hear of someone's trials and tribulations right from their very first few uses, so I can know what to expect along the journey of trying a new product.

ANYWAYS, a brief history of why I am now starting Differin is that I am looking to help even out my skin texture and hopefully reduce the scarring I have from years of dealing with acne. I have it pretty under control now with 'the pill' and a simple skin regimen, but I'm a still quite self-conscious of the way I look, compared to the gorgeous 24 year old girls I see out there in the world.

I have used Tazorac Gel before and it was literally hell for me. I used it probably 2 or 3 years ago and I can still remember how horrible I felt about myself during the constant 'IB'. I would say about 70% of the scarring I have now was due to trying to 'stick with' the Tazorac much longer than I should have. I went to a very prestigious dermatologist in my country, and I have never felt so small in my life. I would walk into the office, he would make blunt and harsh comments about my skin, not let me ask any questions and then I would be out the door with a prescription I had no info about.

My new doctor (actually a GP in a cosmetic dermatology clinic) is a little more understanding, but still pretty clueless about supporting the patient. The great thing about him though is that I can suggest treatments based on my own research and he is pretty willing to write me a prescription for it. As you can tell I am a firm believer in you knowing yourself better than any doctor. Within safe boundaries of course. I mean he's not going to prescribe me anything that is rediculous or dangerous.

So to get on with my log...

Today is day 4 of my beginning with Differin 0.1% Cream

My skin care regimen is as follows:

AM:

Cetaphil Cleanser for Normal/Oily Skin

Cetaphil Daily Moisturizer with SPF 15

PM:

Cetaphil Cleanser for Normal/Oily Skin (I some times use a wash cloth with this if I am flaky)

Differin 01% Cream

* I wait 30 minutes then use Dormer 211 Cream as a buffer/nightime moisturizer. This stuff is simply amazing for making flaky spots disappear. It's super thick but has never broken me out or clogged my pores!

So I haven't noticed much difference from how my skin usually is. I had to change my whole skin care routine since I was using quite a bit of chemical exfoliants and things like that for my scarring and to help keep my pores clear. So pretty much all my skin care is new as well. Except for the Dormer 211. You can only buy this in Canada but it totally rocks for moisturizing the skin deep down while leaving you looking matte and flake free!

I do have a few flakey spots that I am assuming are the start of Differin working, but I think because I am buffering it with a moisturizer my skin shouldn't get too dehydrated. We shall see I guess! I am quite excited to be using this because I have heard and read some really great things about this more 'gentler' retinoid. I really hope I'm one of the amazing testimonials of it a year from now. :)

Edited by babyblueeyes

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Was reading your log and we started Differin about the same time. Heres to being testimonials in a year! I'm also on the .1% cream, for about a week now.

It's funny, your story about your doctor derm reminds me of my actual dermatologist. . He also kind of just gives me whatever I want (although he keeps trying to sell me accutane)... When he wrote me my prescription for Differin, he spelled it "differing".. Haha doesn't inspire much confidence. Then when I asked about Accutane lawsuits in States he said "uhh I think those are just related to birth defects in women" which is not even true.

I've kind of been neglecting school work lately since I gained access to thousands of research articles through my Uni... Just been researching Retinoids haha. From what I've read I'm also quite interested in Differin as it's so gentle.

Anyways good luck to you neighbor (I'm from BC).

P.S. where do you get the Dormer 211?

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Hey GNR from BC!

Wow, that's awesome. It will be nice to have someone else starting their adventure in it too. that would be so cool to be able to come back with amazing before and after pic's, huh?

Ya, your derm does actually sound like mine. He never wants to come off like he doesn't know something, especially skin related, eh! Well I'm glad he's like mine and will let you kinda figure things out yourself. I think after my bad 1st derm experience, it's quite nice to be able to ask to try things I think will help instead of letting them prescribe whatever. I didn't say but when I was first starting Taz with my previous derm I was also quite pushed into buying his skincare products, so of course wanting the best results I did. Well they gave me a toner and I kept using it for weeks because he said to but it burned and just ate up my skin. This was on top of what Taz was doing to it too. It turns out that the toner was something like 90% alcohol and it took months for my skin to get back to 'somewhat' normal.

That's really cool that you have all the great research articles at your disposal. I remember how thorough and specific some of them were when I was at school. Would it be too much to ask that if you come across any interesting ones regarding Differin in particular that you email me a synopsis? That would be great!

I actually got the Dormer 211 from London Drugs, but you can also get it from Shoppers Drug Mart, Rexall, Safeway...any type of pharmacy or drugstore. If it's not on the bottom shelves of the skin care isle than it's something kept behind the counter. But you don't need a prescription for it, so don't worry. There are a couple versions out there, but my favourite is one called Advanced Maximum Moisture. I don't like the one that says Face and Hand moisturizer because I find it actually burns my skin quite badly. It's too bad too because that one has TONS of Hyaluronic acid in it. Oh well, the Advanced one is so amazing, I'm not too worried about it. If you go to well.ca they have that one at quite a good price and for us Canadians it's free shipping as well. I think I'm actually going to go order another bottle from it in a few days as I'm almost out!

Edited by babyblueeyes

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A note for anyone who wants to keep up with this log, I have posted the first picture in my gallery of day one with Differin....I warn you though, I have no makeup on and I am really scared to know people are going to see what I actually look like bare faced. But I want to be able to notice the differences later on, so I think it's important to have a picture of the beginning. Even if it means I feel uber embarrassed. :S

I also have a youtube channel that I started to originally do skin care and makeup product reviews on, but I'm now going to be using it to also post regular vlogs on my experience with Differin. If anyone is interested my user name is rosemarylove86.

Thanks!

Edited by babyblueeyes

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Kudos! to you for posting your pic up. I know I couldn’t do it, but I’m sure you’re definitely helping people out there considering Differin.

I also started Differin from Tazorac about a month ago. I originally thought Tazoraz would be the answer for me; I had been using it for almost 9 months to battle a horrendous break-out I had last year. I eventually became clear, but it left me with some scars that I still battle with daily. I often wonder what my face would look like if I had used RAM or Differin instead.

My big issue with Taz was how left my skin feeling too oily and sensitive. I switched to Differin b/c I also wanted a more gentler retinoid. I’m using the 0.1 gel. After a month, I think I’ve noticed a slight decrease in the appearance of my scars. But I’ve been also using a ton of other face products to help along the way. I still tend to get a few small zits here and there, but nothing major. Hopefully Differin is my answer.

I’ll be interested in seeing your results; I’m also a fellow Canadian BTW too! (from Toronto).

Good luck!

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Hey Trubeliever!

Your story sounds quite similar to mine. Taz was just awful for me in terms of skin sensitivity and actually causing more problems with scarring than helping.

Anyways, thanks for the kind words...I'm really hoping my experience can help someone because I sure wish I had joined acne.org earlier and maybe I wouldn't be dealing with my scarring issues now!

I hope you have success with using Differin too. Since you're about a month in it have you noticed any issues with excessive dryness? And can I ask what your regimen is? I've been using mostly Cetaphil products but I think I might switch back to the mild Clinique cleanser, toner, and DDML I was using before because my skin is so dry...even on Cetaphil!

Hi to Toronto!! All my mom and dad's family are in Ontario (Toronto, Aurora, Berrie, Innisville and Richmond Hill) so I head out east roughly once every year or two. If it wasn't for the super high humidity there (well high compared to the dry prairies here!) I would probably stay with my family more during the summers. :P

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So it's Day 11now and I guess I'm due for an update...

I'm not sure I would call this the IB or anything but I can definitely tell my skin is purging itself a little. I have a few more blackheads around my cheeks and nose which is quite unusual, so this is what makes me think it's purging. Those do tend to be my drier areas and I do sometimes slather lotion on them, so that would makes sense that there are clogs in that area I never noticed before.

I have had to change my routine because the Cetaphil was actually hurting my skin!! Can you believe that? Everytime I washed with the cleanser my skin would really sting, and although I didn't find it drying or anything, it just strangely hurt. I also wanted a good SPF so I thought I would try the Cetaphil one too, but yep, that burned as well. I read somewhere about the ingredient Diisopropyl Adipate (which is in both) can cause extreme itching and burning, so I just immedietly quit using both. I'm going back to an old OLD regimen with Olay products that used to help my skin, but was almost what I used to think as too gentle to do anything for scarring. I am starting this tonight, because my eye area (and most of my face actually) just cannot take anymore burning and dryness!

AM:

Olay Blemish Control Lathering Cleanser -gentle but still hoping it will keep the purging at bay

Olay Complete SPF 15 for Normal skin (I'm waiting for my beloved Sensitive version to come back in April)

PM:

Olay Deep Cleansing Face Wash with Witch Hazel

Differin 0.1% Cream- wait a bit after this and before next step

Olay Moisture Therapy Sensitive Skin Lotion (simply AMAZING stuff. I've been using it on and off for year. It calms my skin right down and actually makes it look so much healthier)

I hope I won't have to change this soon, cause I'm just not used to having to search for such gentle products and now after I've started looking I can see why people with extremely sensitive skin would complain there was nothing out there for them! Ugh

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You sound like me when I was a few months in with Tazorac. I think your experiencing the skin’s initial reaction to a retinoid.

I haven’t experienced as much drying as I did with Tazorac, but I went straight from one retinoid to another. During my initial phase with Taz I was using Cetaphil too and still am using it to this day. I can totally relate to Cetaphil stinging due to the drying (I was shocked too!), so I just used a tiny amount and was very slow in applying and rubbing it on my face.

Cetaphil no longer stings my skin, but I want to move onto Spectrojel once I use up my Cetaphil (I have the Costco size). I’m surprised you haven’t tried Spectrojel yet; I used it in the past and it is very gentle.

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Hey Trubeliever- Ya, I think I'm definitely experiencing the retinoid now...I only hope I never get a bad IB. I have heard some people never really do so I'm hoping I'm one of the lucky ones.

Anyways, that is really good to know someone else has experienced the stinging with Cetaphil. I was actually really surprised when it started burning; I never expected something I heard as being so gentle to cause my skin to actually hurt! I was debating about trying SpectroJel because it's pretty popular in Canada here for being so gentle, but I also heard that it doesn't take off makeup. So I would need to find a makeup remover as well and there's always the possiblity I could react to that new product too. It just seems like more work and money for something taht could cause the same problem, you know? At least I have used all the products in my routine for years on and off, so I know they won't cause any reactions. But geez, I never expected for the sensitivity to creep up before the actual dryness and flaking.

I have to admit this doesn't seem anything like my Taz experience, because my skin was pretty much normal the first 3 weeks in and then all of the sudden my skin was a flaky, dry, red mess! I can definitely tell that the Differin is much more gentle, and therefor probably going to give me alot better long term results...well hopefully! :)

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I too have had this experience with burning moisturizers. I'm pretty sure that its not the moisturizer but the differin! I started differin about the same time as you and at first it made my skin very sensitive to products that i have used for a while and gotten used to. This went away for me rather quickly! i hope thats the same for you! If you want to read my experience i just posted a topic entitled my differin experinece! good luck! i'm too hoping i am a lucky one who passes through with no IB! so far so good, and i'm at day 21!

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Day 23- I just gotta update and say wow...am I ever loving this Differin! I have barely had any sign of breakouts since beginning it more than three weeks ago and I'm just so surprised how quickly I can tell it's changing my skin. The scars are of course not gone yet, but my skin just feels alot more plump and with the addition of a urea cream (Eucerin) to help with the dryness, my skin just feels so much more 'plump'. If you understand that. I took some pictures so you guys can see what state my skin is in now. Not a HUGE difference but if Differin works continuously like this overtime, I will be super thrilled!

The first two pictures were at the beginning of the week (I think Day 18 or 19) and the last one is me like 20 minutes ago at work! Tell me what you guys think :)

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post-112624-1270836980_thumb.jpg

post-112624-1270836898_thumb.jpg

post-112624-1270836958_thumb.jpg

post-112624-1270836980_thumb.jpg

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Ok, so I though it only fitting that I have reached just past the month mark, so I should be due for another update. Honestly not much has changed. My skin is still doing much better than it was a month ago, but I'm now having problems finding products that aren't irritating to me. At least my skin lets me know within a day or even immediately if it doesn't like something. But it's still a pain to be trying to many different things out now. I'm kinda unsure what will work for me because there are somethings that I used to used before the retinoid with no problems, and now it just burns or makes me bright red! Ugh...

Anyways, the initial breakout still has not happened and I'm pretty sure it won't at this point. I mean it's been almost 5 weeks now (I think I'm at day 34 or 35) and if anything my scarring is getting so much better. I'm so happy about that, but the problem is that I do have a somewhat small planet in the middle of my forehead right now that is kinda dampening that happiness. I have a feeling it's from trying all this different stuff on my face, but still one semi-large pimple is nothing I can't handle. Compared to the breakouts I had while on Taz, this is NOTHING! As long as no one calls me unicorn I'm fine. :P

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Just wanted to wish you good luck! I took Differin back in 2004 (with Klaron and doxycycline), and it really made a huge difference in my skin. After stopping, I was pretty much clear until the end of 2008.

Your skin is looking great!

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Just wanted to wish you good luck! I took Differin back in 2004 (with Klaron and doxycycline), and it really made a huge difference in my skin. After stopping, I was pretty much clear until the end of 2008.

Your skin is looking great!

Oh that's really good to know. I've been hearing more and more good experiences with Differin, so I'm definitely excited that things could only get better from here! Thanks :)

WOW ur skins great! good on you must be stoked! Was your acne even bad at the start?!

lol Aw, thanks! Ya, I've struggled with acne and breakouts for probably something like 12 years but I have to admit over the past year or so things have definitely been looking better. There's a pic in my gallery that will show you all the scarring I have, so I'm definitely not dramatizing that I have bad skin. The big problem I'm trying to deal with now is the excessive scarring. I even have some of those deep pock-mark like ones that really embarrass me, so I finally got fed up that nothing over the counter was changing the scars and decided to go to my doctor. I heard quite a bit about the Retin A and Differin being good for smoothing the skin out while still being somewhat gentle so that's how I came to start using it. I am pretty stoked yep...I feel so embarrassed to be one of the few 24 year old's I know out of my friends to have skin issues still. I have friends that wash there face with water, and maybe shampoo in the shower if their not lazy...and their skin is flawless. ARGH! lol

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Holy smokes! How could I have left my own log for so long. It's literally been a day less than a month since I posted ANY updates on here! Bad, bad girl. *slaps back of hand*

Anywho, things are still going great with Differin. I honestly think I'm hitting a bit of plateau or something, just because my skin isn't as clear as I thought it would be by now, but it's still not horribly broken out either. All I know is I definitely missed out on the IB and I couldn't be more happier about it. :P

According to my counting, today would have to be about Day 63 or 2 Months and one day in. Not bad! I was hating Tazorac at this point, so I'm really glad Differin is going so much easier.

I have had to switch my routine around...yet again! It's actually mainly because it wasn't until I went without Differin one night that I realized just how drying some of the Clinique products were. I washed my face as usual and instead of putting on my Differin I just did nothing. Well about 15 minutes after washing my face, it was literally so dry it was cracking, and even though I wanted to try a night without moisturizer to give my skin a break, I ended up having to reapply it three separate times before my face felt comfortable again. It was nuts. I would have thought that I could go one night without having to put on Differin or slather on the moisturizer, but I guess not. After reading the ingredients and checking out some reviews on it, I'm pretty sure the Clinique Face Wash is too stripping to my skin, and the DDML just don't give enough LASTING moisture. Oh well.

I started the new regimen just the other night so it's still to early to tell, but things look good so far with it. I love that these are available in the drugstore too, cause I don't know about you guys, but I really get fed up with sales associates at Clinique counters and Department stores that try selling you so much other stuff ontop of what you asked for. I feel ridiculous telling them that even though I would love to, there's not way I could afford to use that product regularly in my regimen if I did actually end up liking it. They seem to think everyone has money coming out their butts or something! And it's like they think people don't realize they work on commission. Nice try guys...everyone knows you do!

Wow, this one's already getting long. I'll finish up soon here, I promise. I just want to explain a little something that has been on my mind lately. I don't know if you guys are attempting the same thing with your regimen's, but I am really trying hard to make sure I reach one big goal of mine this summer. To have clearer, smoother skin. It sounds so sweet and simple but I have realized over the years just how retarded and annoying that is to accomplish! Not to mention disheartening as hell when you have a big setback (breakout). Well, it's cool to think about in a way, because I honestly think this year I finally have a chance for that. With the progress from Differin, I'm not feeling as embarrassed as I used to about my skin and the scarring. I've actually had quite a few fun trips with a friend to Sephora, just to go makeup shopping and feel like a pretty girl again. I realized I've really missed the basic fun things that us girls enjoy like makeup and dressing up and just spending time getting 'all dolled up'. I admit that although I never ever look like a slob or leave the house looking messy...I have put things like really dressing up and certain types of makeup on hold. You guys know how it is. When your skin is bad you just seem to feel like there's no point in trying to make any other part of yourself look good. Well, maybe this is just me, I don't know. Its silly little things like playing with eye shadows and lip glosses that I've been finding are so fun lately!

Anyways, yes. This is WAYYYY long enough. Actually come to think of it, it doesn't really seem like many other people read this log anyways so I guess I can just ramble as much as I want. lol

Edited by babyblueeyes

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i am going to start differin very soon. not sure if i need the gel or cream. need to check with my derm.

also moisturiser and spf seem essential, any recommendations (uk'er)

so you missed the break outs completely? your skin looks great, all one colour etc, mine is so blotchy and scarred :( (is it 1 or 2 r's?)

anyway yes duac has been prescribed also. do you use that?

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i am going to start differin very soon. not sure if i need the gel or cream. need to check with my derm.

also moisturiser and spf seem essential, any recommendations (uk'er)

so you missed the break outs completely? your skin looks great, all one colour etc, mine is so blotchy and scarred :( (is it 1 or 2 r's?)

anyway yes duac has been prescribed also. do you use that?

Hey Jack,

Well I hope it works out for you! I definitely recommend a moisturizer, and I think SPF is something not even negotiable...it should be worn EVERY SINGLE DAY when someone uses a retinoid. Anyways, I'm in Canada so I can't promise you products that I recommend will be where you are. Generally the companies I like to use are Clinique, Neutrogena, Dove, and Olay. For a good SPF I like to use Neutrogena. I use the Healthy Defense line from it, but I have heard great things about the Ultra-Sheer products as well. And for moisturizers I have always been an Olay girl. I used Clinique for a while, but ya in the end I had to go back to my beloved trusted drugstore brands...I'm just not a high end girl, I think. lol So if you can find some sort of Neutrogena SPF or Olay moisturizer I think you will be set. I don't know what your current regimen is or even what your skin type is, but for my dry/combo skin I find using a gentle cleanser, witch hazel toner, simple SPf, and then mineral oil moisturizer over my Differin works the best. This may not for you though so if you have any other questions I'll try and help you as best I can!

And nope, I don't use Duac. The only acne product/medication I am using is Differin. I didn't want to use anything else just because if I did get good results (thankfully I have) then at least I would know what product was causing it, you know? I am using BCP but I have never been on that for skin (like some women do). I use it for other issues I have (cramping).

Good luck Jack!

Edited by babyblueeyes

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Hey,

Just had a look at your gallery and thought I'd let you know your skin is looking great ! :thumbsup:

May I ask what makeup you use? It's a nice finish. I'm really fair and constantly searching for the right shade...

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Hey,

Just had a look at your gallery and thought I'd let you know your skin is looking great ! :thumbsup:

May I ask what makeup you use? It's a nice finish. I'm really fair and constantly searching for the right shade...

Well thank you doublehawk! I know I'm kinda due for another progress picture. I can't believe it's already been 2 1/2 months since starting! Are you using a retinoid product too?

Anyways for makeup I really like L'Oreal True Match. I find their colors are awesome and I have yet to breakout from them. I use the lightest color which happens to be W1. I'm a very cool toned person but all the cool shades in that line are much to pink and dark. I also top it with a powder just because I find any dewy look just ends up making me look greasy by the end of the day, you know? I've used Covergirl's Clean Fragrance Free Pressed Powder compact for years and I love it. It usually takes two months for me to use it so I kinda stock up on them whenever they go on sale. If your pale I think you'll like both products. :)

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Thanks for the make up suggestions! I'm cool toned as well, most things I try just look so yellow on me. Ick.

I am using Epiduo at the moment. It contains adapalene, like Differin, but they have thrown some BP in there too. I read all the retinoid logs when I started to help psych me up for it. I'm a month in now and going great so far. Now if I could just stop picking... =]

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You're welcome! Yes, being a cool pale tone, I can definitely feel your pain about finding makeup to match.

Oh that's good to here you are on Epiduo. I started taking the Differin mainly for it to help refine my skin texture and help even out some scarring. So for me I don't really need anything like BP, cause my acne is pretty under control. So what kinds of things have you noticed in your first months use? Did you have any bad purging or a IB?

Edited by babyblueeyes

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Hey babyblueeyes,

I haven't had an IB as such...hopefully it's not waiting to surprise me! When I first started my nose broke out in lots of tiny whiteheads, which was bizarre. They were gone within a couple of days. Other than that I've had a few whiteheads and clogged pores pop up on my chin/jawline. They seem to heal much faster than normal. My derm put me on Doxycycline at the same time as Epiduo, so it may have helped keep the IB at bay.

I was really worried that my skin would not tolerate the Epiduo AT ALL, as in the past using BP it's gotten to the point where my face was bright pink and so itchy that I couldn't sleep. I am still a little flushed and blotchy looking immediately after I apply it, but by morning (I apply it at night) my face looks normal.

What do you mean when you say your acne is uncontrollable? Do you break out from stress? I know I do, and no amount of goo I slather on my face is ever going to make it 'perfect'. I'll settle for almost perfect. ;)

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Hey babyblueeyes,

I haven't had an IB as such...hopefully it's not waiting to surprise me! When I first started my nose broke out in lots of tiny whiteheads, which was bizarre. They were gone within a couple of days. Other than that I've had a few whiteheads and clogged pores pop up on my chin/jawline. They seem to heal much faster than normal. My derm put me on Doxycycline at the same time as Epiduo, so it may have helped keep the IB at bay.

I was really worried that my skin would not tolerate the Epiduo AT ALL, as in the past using BP it's gotten to the point where my face was bright pink and so itchy that I couldn't sleep. I am still a little flushed and blotchy looking immediately after I apply it, but by morning (I apply it at night) my face looks normal.

What do you mean when you say your acne is uncontrollable? Do you break out from stress? I know I do, and no amount of goo I slather on my face is ever going to make it 'perfect'. I'll settle for almost perfect. ;)

Hey doublehawk,

Well that's good to hear your doctor is trying to make your Epiduo experience as smooth as possible! I wish my doctor was a little more helpful in the skin department, but other than telling me about lasers, it's kinda up to just myself to push him for a specific skin prescription I want.

Thank goodness you haven't really had an IB from Differin. Because of a horrible one I had with Taz 4 years ago I feel anyone's pain who complains of feeling like crap. I know I sure did and those few months were the first time in my life I actually called in sick to work a few times because my face was such an embarrassment.

Sorry, I edited my previous post. I meant my acne is under control, not uncontrollable. Bah, I have to be more careful and proofread my posts! But ya, I don't really need to use any spot treatments since I don't have many active spots anymore, but if I had to pick a favorite spot treatment I loved the most, it would definitely be Proactiv's Mask. My skin responds really well to sulfur so that thing for me literally does work overnight. I <3 it!

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Hey BabyBlueeyes,

I have been on differin for 5 weeks. I'm currently within the worse breakout of my life. I'm so depressed. I went back to my doctor today and he suggested accutane. I don't really want to be on that. Before using differin I had maybe 4 zits a mth. I had a few closed comedones on my cheeks, So my doctor prescribed me 1% Differin Cream. I'm regretting it now. My question to you, is should I hold out hope that things will get better within the 3 mth time frame?

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