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KiyomiWB

For All Those Losing Hope On A Retin A Regimen...

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I would like to give you some hope and share my own experience. I have suffered with acne since I was 10. I am genetically predisoposed to it, and within a few years, mild and treatable but nonetheless irritating acne turned into full blown cystic acne ALL over my face. I refused to go to school, leave my house, and it hurt to even smile or eat because of the cluster of deep, huge nodules all over my chin and forehead. My mom finally agreed to help me get on accutane after two years of useless over the counter and prescription medications, nothing even made the slightest difference except make my skin disgustingly dry. After four years of cystic acne I had become quite the makeup artist, but once I had the added problem of dryness I got fed up and went on a six month trial of a lower dosage accutane. For five months there was little to no difference, but no side effects, but by the last month my acne, for the most part, had cleared. I got extremely lucky and escaped with alot of pigmentation scars (easy to hide with makeup) but little to no surface scars, my chin and forehead are a little bumpy but barely noticeable. This was three years ago. Six months after the accutane, some of it started to come back, I desperately wanted to go back on the drug but my mom steered me towards vitamin a as a possible life long supplemental treatment to keep the acne away that the accutane had initially cleared; she had used it in her worst years as well. I tried to stick with it about five times over two years, but the initial breakout kept scaring me off the stuff. When I met my now boyfriend of one year, I decided I would go through with it, and one day I could share a makeup free face with him that I am not ashamed of. The initial breakout was horrifying, the cystic acne came back, along with regular acne, my skin was SO dry and flaky, it was awful. But I told him straight out I do not yet feel comfortable washing my makeup off for you, and I'm embarrased about this, please support me, and he did. He made me feel beautiful every day I couldn't even look him in the eye, every day I was reliving the horror of my highschool years, and he is the reason I was able to stick it out for as long as I have. After about three months, the worst subsided and I began to see improvement...but for about six or seven months I would have pretty darn good skin, then break out all over again. Then finally, the light at the end of the tunnel. These last two months, my skin has been INCREDIBLE. It is soft, I have been able to restore the moisture balance, my scars are fading, and I can face him freely without makeup and not even think about it. It is such a liberating feeling that I haven't had for 10 years. We are going to Mexico in January and it feels so good that I won't have to wear makeup at the beach as it melts off my face, and that I can go swimming! I will continue to use this as long as I live, I am so glad my mom showed me this and that I was finally able to stick through it. So some advice for everyone suffering what I have suffered through: have hope, it does get better...I know what you are going through, I know how freaking difficult it is, BUT DON'T GIVE UP UNLESS YOU HAVE TRULY GIVEN IT TIME. Just make sure to gently exfoliate for all the flakies (which do go away as well) and moisturize like crazy. It took me ten months to find my balance with this stuff, and I'll still get one or two pimples (even occasionally a small nodule) but only ever around my period when the hormones are rampant and they go away SO much faster. Sorry for the novel but I had to share my experience in the hopes that some of you find the happiness at the end that I did. Only acne sufferers like us will ever know how much this affects our lives, so having found my holy grail I just wanted to share this with you in the hopes you find yours :)

And two things I forgot to add...do not expect PERFECT skin, scars will almost always be there. But to me, have no active pimples most days of the month, scars or not, is more than perfect to me. Also I am on birth control for some degree of hormone regulation as well.

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I really appreciate the time you took to post your experience with Retin-A. Would you mind sharing what strength and type of Retin-A you use, how often you apply it, as well as what cleanser and moisturizer you use? Thank you and congratulations on your success! p.s. Your boyfriend sounds like a real gem!

Edited by gingergirl22

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Thank you for sharing that! I'm on week nine of Retin-A and just starting to lose hope, so this was really helpful. I can't imagine how wonderful it must feel to be comfortable without makeup after years of acne!

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I really appreciate the time you took to post your experience with Retin-A. Would you mind sharing what strength and type of Retin-A you use, how often you apply it, as well as what cleanser and moisturizer you use? Thank you and congratulations on your success! p.s. Your boyfriend sounds like a real gem!

I use tretinoin 0.05% gel. As for cleansers since I found most never really made a difference, I've hopped from one brand to another, I think I used those loreal cleansers a lot this year but I just started using burts bees stuff and really like it! It's supposed to be all natural so that probably helps. I've used the Avon moisturizer in those big bottles for AGES, really good overnight. I've also used cetaphil, that stuff is excellent too. I use those scrub gloves from shoppers every morning and night. So many people say no, don't do that, its so harmful, but me and my mom both agree that our skin just doesn't get as clean without them, it might be too harsh for you, but worth a try. When I first tried retin a I put way too much on, as a result, had a nasty sunburn peely thing going on...this round, I mixed it in with moisturizer. People will also say that it is useless but it made me able to use it every night, spread to all the worst areas easier, and ease me into the routine. Now I just apply it regularly but because my skin is used to it. Hope this helps!

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