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Questions On Differin And Dryness

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Hey, guys. I could really use some help here; I have A LOT of questions... I'm a 17 year old girl, and I've been on Differin for exactly 6 weeks, with Duac as a spot treatment. I use Neutrogena Foaming Facial cleanser; I've been using it for 5 years and its always worked great for me (until my beautiful perfect skin decided to suddenly become HORRENDOUS about two months ago...)

Here's my schedule:

- Wake up and wash face (its usually oily when I wake up... and I think I should wash the Differin and Duac off my skin before I start sweating a lot?)

- Workout (I usually stop halfway through to rinse off my face with cool water, because I'm afraid to have the sweat sitting on my skin for 1+ hours... I sweat A LOT.)

- Wash face again

- Spot treat with Duac, put on make-up (I use Maybelline SuperStay concealer and PureStay powder foundation.)

- About 10 hours after I put on the make-up, I wash my face again (I ALWAYS do this in the shower so I can let the water run over my face to help rinse the make-up off, instead of having to scrub it off.)

- I let my skin just chill for an hour or two--no make-up, no medicine.

- Apply Differin an hour or so before bed (its usually on my face for about 9-10 hours)

- Apply Duac before bed after Differin has dried.

- Sleep.

Okay, so here's my massive menagerie of questions.. please, somebody help me out? I'm so afraid that I'm doing something to hurt my skin even more.

1. Am I washing too much? My skin is very dry and I want to wash it less... but I feel like I should wash it before I workout so I'm not sweating with all the oil/medicine on my face, and I should wash afterward to clean off the sweat, and I need to wash in the evening to get my make-up off... But my skin is so dry its literally the texture of sandpaper on my chin and cheeks. I just don't know what to do!

2. Moisturizer? I'm afraid to start moisturizing even though my skin is so dry because I'm afraid it will start breaking me out again... I used to use Neutrogena Sensitive Skin and it worked really good (but of course that was before I had really bad acne...) And if I were to start using it, when would I put it on? I can't do it at night because my derm told me that NOTHING besides spot treatments with the Duac can be on my skin after I put the Differin on.

3. Am I leaving the Differin on too long? My derm never specified a specific time duration I should leave it on for...

4. Is my make-up okay? I don't know what's good in make-up and what's bad... those two were just the only things I could find that said non-comedogenic at my local Walmart. I was using CoverGirl before that and LOVED that makeup, but my derm said that CoverGirl causes some people to breakout... but could this makeup possibly be contributing to my super dry skin?

And if you see anything else I'm doing wrong.... please tell me. I just feel so lost right now. I don't understand why my face is so bad when I've never had acne before... Now, even though I'm not breaking out as bad, my skin is so DRY. I just don't know how to make it better without changing my routine and possibly causing me to breakout again...

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1 - Maybe the first time you wash your face in the morning, you should wash it with just water to rinse the Differin and Duac off? I just feel like it can be a little redundant to make your face squeaky clean if you are about to work out and get it all sweaty again.

2 - I think you should definitely moisturize! I have oily skin, but Differin still manages to dry me out. When I skip moisturizer after Differin, I ALWAYS wake up with little dry flakes of skin around my mouth and nose. What I think you should do is apply Differin and give it about 20 minutes to absorb, then apply moisturizer. I'm not sure if you should apply Duac before or after moisturizer, but I think it may be logical to do after so that you don't smudge it around?

3 - If your derm said to apply it at night, I think it's a safe bet that overnight is a good time period to leave it on for. I apply Differin at night as well, and I haven't had any problems of leaving it on for too long.

4 - As long as you are removing your makeup properly when you need to, I think you should be fine.

I think you may have to risk going through an initial breakout period any time you change products. I definitely think you should consider getting a moisturizer, considering how often you mention how dry your skin is.

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