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Differin or Caveman?

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Hey everyone! This is my first post here.A short introduction: I've started having acne at 15 (I'm currently 19). At first it didn't really bother me (so I persume it wasn't that bad, though I don't remember), but following my parents' suggestion I made an appointment to a derm and was perscribed topical erythromycin, and started using a facial cleanser. After a few months, my derm perscribed BP instead of erythromycin.I've been on BP for roughly half a year. My knowledge regarding acne was non existent at the time, and I acted almost as if my skin was a beast to be tamed - I sloughed too much BP and cleansed harshly twice a day without moisturizing. My skin became dry and flaky, and acne has become a greater issue increasingly.Evantually I quit BP after about 5-6 months because my derm showed no interest in ending the treatment anytime in the future and I wasn't satisfied with the results. I still continued washing my face as usual.At that point, my skin was very oily and acne was the worst it has ever been. My acne has always been composed of mainly pustules moderate in size. This state of very oily skin with about 3-10 pustules, with me over-cleansing had continued for several months, after which I was perscribed Minocycline by the same derm.After half a year on Minocycline, during which I used an acne facial cleanser and now also moisturized, my face got very slightly better, but Mino was no cure for me. At that point my derm wanted to continue treatment for at least 3 more months, but I've had enough and decided that IMO he's not being hazardous enough with his perscriptions. I then continued washing and moisturizing twice daily up until a few months ago.About 4 months ago I have decided to reduce my usage of my facial cleanser, after realizing that all the people surrounding me that have great skin don't use it. My acne has improved slightly.So that was my not so short introduction :)

. Now to the issue at hand:About a month and a half ago I realized that maybe all of the stuff I used on my face over the years had brought it out of balance, seeing how no one seems to need facial cleansers, moisturizers and medications. I quit cleansing and moisturizing all together, but still washed daily with water. My face has become increasingly less oily, especially since last week because now I try and wash my face with as little water as possible. Overall this has had a great effect. My cheeks, nose and chin are now never oily and my cheeks are also very smooth, and acne marks that I've had on them are fading. Plus, I rarely get whiteheads any more, and those that I do get are very small (I would say no larger than 1-1.5mm). I currently have 1 active whitehead on the lower half of my face. However, my forehead shows less improvement - it is less oily, but it's still too oily (possibly my fault, maybe I'm washing it too hard) and it also became very bumpy and inconsistent in texture! It seems that I have many, many clogged pores all over it, and it's just ugly: up close you can't really notice the bumps, but when looking from a distance and especially in daylight you can see a mix of skin and red dots. I don't remember having them before. The skin between my nose and my eyes is also quite oily still and I have a couple of small inflamed comedones there too.So to sum up my current situation: lower half of face smooth and non oily with acne marks that are fading and few whiteheads if any, but my forehead and sometimes the area between my nose and my eyes are oily and have many many small clogged pores or comedones, which create a rough reddish bumpy texture - not pretty.I went to a derm that suggested Differin, which is against all that I've learned the past month, but it got me wondering:Maybe I should stick with my current regimen at least until my entire face is not oily and see if it gets better?Maybe I should use Differin to clear up my face and then stick to caveman?Maybe Differin will again destroy the balance of my face and set me back once I stop treatment?Will Differin and the "new normalized skin" it is supposed to encourage last or will it get back to normal after treatment?The promise of a clear face in a matter of months is so tempting, but if Differin only serves as a temporary fix it might do more harm than good.Thank you for taking the time to read this! Any opinion on what I should do next, and especially any relevant personal experiences with Caveman or Differin will be greatly appreciated!

Sorry for the post being a huge block of text, for some reason I can't get it to look normal..

Edited by SummaTime

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 Hi there. I read that entire story, man that was a marathon. I can see you’re concerned with the incredible detail you gave, but for future threads keep things short. I can guarantee you majority of the forum won’t bother to read something as long as this 
Anyway, here are a few tips I can give regarding your situation:

Your skin was definitely irritated by the harsh products + BP. As you know, when you overly dry out the skin, oil glands go on overdrive and you literally become an oil slick. To add to that, irritation = acne.

 Its good that you stopped using the harsh cleanser and BP, but I'd definitely still use a cleanser when you have to, but make sure its MILD and doesn't contain any comedogenic ingredients like SLS etc. Your best bet would be using a cleanser made with natural ingredients, and there are many out there.The bumps you are getting are clogged pores. Unfortunately, these will eventually turn into inflammatory pimples and/or whiteheads (some will be extracted without becoming inflammed).
Although you have found a way to make yourself less oily, you need to get rid of the clogged pores before you can fully be clear. Along with that, you need to be able to PREVENT getting clogged pores, as getting more of them will just restart the entire acne process.

Heres the regimen that has worked for me:

Azelaic acid 2x a day, and tretinoin 4x a week. What you have is differin, which is a retinoid just like tretinoin. It’ll work to prevent your pores from getting clogged and will increase cell turnover, meaning your skin will peel and shed quicker than the 28 days it usually takes for your skin cells to shed. In doing so, your marks will fade faster and clogged pores are less likely to happen. Azelaic acid works in the same way, but its less irritating and doesn’t purge you as much. Azelaic acid pushes out the clogs slowly, and eventually they just come off or you can scratch them off. Retinoids are like an aggressive nuclear bomb, FORCING the plug to come out in the form of an inflammatory lesion. After you purge out all the clogs, you will be clear as long as you maintain the regimen.This worked well for me, but I was still oily (its my hormones, fuck puberty). Anyway ask your derm for AZA and get the differin, and this will most likely clear you if you aren’t too oily. The regimen worked for me initially (after the damn purge), but the oiliness I have is just too much that my pores ended up still getting clogged and getting new acne. I’m going on Accutane to finally combat the oiliness and nuke everything.

Hope I’ve helped. If you need any more info, feel free to message me or just reply to this message. Best of luck!

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