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Hi my name is Kristen. I'm 18 and up until this summer, I had pretty good skin. In June, my skin took a turn for the worse and I started to get mild acne. I blew it off thinking it would go away by the time school started up but by the end of August it still hadn't. It's mostly on my cheeks, where I also now have some redness/hyper pigmentation, but also little pimples on my forehead as well.

I went to the dermatologist and she told me to use .025 tretinoin cream at night after washing my face with Cetaphil and 1% clindamycin topical lotion in the morning after using a clean and clear benzoyl peroxide scrub. I've been using this regimen for about a week now and am unfortunately experiencing what I'd say is my "initial breakout". My cheeks have a few larger pimples at the surface and a bunch of just under the skin bumps. It looks like my forehead is slowly beginning to declog itself. I'm moving back up to college in a couple days and feel so down and upset. I honestly can't stop myself from crying. This is not how I envisioned starting out my sophomore year. Can someone who's been through this reassure me and/or tell me your story with this regimen?

How long can I expect to break out or how long did you break out? Did it get better or am I just putting myself though this horror for nothing? Please, anything. I just need to hear from someone else so I don't lose it over here. Thank you!

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Have you always used Cetaphil and Clean and Clear products? Cetaphil breaks many people out in whiteheads. If you're experiencing an increase in whiteheads, stop using it. Clean and Clear products also seem to cause many to break out. I would recommend black soap. Buy the organic stuff from Ghana off Amazon for about $12. Cut off about an inch section. Shred it with a cheese shredder and mix it about 50/50 with water into a pump bottle. It will be a tad drying at first, but that's a good thing. The retina A (tretinion) takes several months to work. Clindamyocin kills bacteria but doesn't do much on its own. I would suggest using a sulfur mask for 20 minutes every other day to help things along.

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I would say the regime you are on right now is a very typical regimen that dermatologist first start you off with, I personally was on this exact treatment about 10 years ago. It never did much for me. The clindamycin never had helped anything with my skin. I'm going echo the post above pretty much. Cetaphil products are no good in my opinion. I broke out in whiteheads when I used it and the moisturizer broke me out as well and made my skin very greasy. I ditched those products very quickly. I really like CeraVe products I use the foaming face wash and it's very beneficial for your skin. It has ceramides and hyaluronic acid in it which helps give you a healthy skin barrier, and really helps to balance your skin. It foams up really nicely to help remove makeup and eye makeup really well and it never leaves my skin tight or irritated. It costs about the same as the Cetaphil cleanser but is 100% better, most cleaners that have these ingredients are super expensive. It's perfect for sensitive skin.

I'm kind of surprised that your derm would have you using clean and clear scrub. I would think they would have prescribed you a topical with BP in it like epiduo or duac. You could use that in the AM and the Tretinion in the PM. The scrub you are using is just going to irritate your skin, and irritated skin equal more acne. I would honestly ditch the clean and clear scrub. You can use nuetrogena on the spot in place of that if you like the effects of the BP. I would also recommend you start using a moisturizer if you aren't already. CeraVe moisturizing cream is great, has the same beneficial ingredients like I listed for the face wash and is super gentle and thick and creamy yet it goes on the skin light and doesn't take forever to soak into the skin and doesn't leave your skin feeling heavy and greasy. You will need the hydration for your skin using the BP and the Tretinoin, that combo is going to dry out your skin big time.

The Tretinion is Retin A that will help exfoliate your skin and bring new skin cells to the surface, it should also help get rid of any red marks your acne is leaving behind. Like I said though it will dry out your skin so make sure to use a moisturizer. I used retin a for years, to avoid irritation make sure your using a pea sized amount. Only use it in the areas your breaking out though otherwise it can cause your skin to purge in other areas you don't have any acne now, same should be said about the BP which is another reason I would recommend getting a spot treatment rather than treating your whole face.

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I just feel like I need to chime in that CeraVe is similar to Cetaphil in that it causes whiteheads. Like any product, some people can use it without a problem, but I personally tried both and had whiteheads with both.

I would stick with the products your dermatologist has prescribed and at leave give them a chance. For a cleanser I recommend the black soap or Lumiplexion cleanser. Lumiplexion also has a BP wash that would replace the Clean and Clear scrub with a much more effective product. Make sure you wear sunscreen daily. Lumiplexion has a SPF 30 with a light moisturizer to it that I've used for about 25 years. She also sells an excellent sulfur mask, but you can get the Aztec Healing clay and add water for a cheaper mask. I don't mean to sound like an ad for Lumiplexion, but I've used the products since I was 19 (I'm 44). My kids have all used them. They work. The line was specifically designed for acne sufferers, not by major companies who don't give a care about what their products do to your skin.

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