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To retinol or not to retinol, that is the question.

So, I am thinking about starting a new regimen for some skincare concerns I have (mainly hyperpigmentation and scarring but also anti-aging related issues too) and I want to try using Retinol, but I need some advice.

I have ethnic, oily, acne prone, sensitive skin and my current skincare routine consists of a cleanser, a moisturiser and a sunscreen (I use Cetaphil for everything), also I exfoliate gently with a hand towel every now and then. I have been following this routine for a while now and I can honestly say that I hardly ever suffer from breakouts anymore (just a couple of itty bitty whiteheads once in a while). However, this routine has done nothing for my hyperpigmentation and fine lines and that's why I am interested in incorporating other things into my regimen such as retinols or acids.

But I am questioning whether it is even worth it for me to try something like Retinol at this stage since my skin is practically clear from all active acne? And if I stick to my current skincare routine, I will continue to control my acne and keep my breakouts at bay but if I use retinol or other products, I know for fact that they will cause my sensitive acne prone skin to purge and breakout which in my mind will be a huge step backwards because as I already said I don't even get breakouts anymore. So I need some advice guys; should I incorporate Retinol into my regimen and trade my hyperpigmentation for new active acne, or should I just stick to my current regimen, keep my acne at bay and not worry about the hyperpigmentation too much?

I know experts propose the idea that Retinol and other acne medications cause the skin to purge because it regenerates new skin cells, unclogs pores and causes acne to come to the surface of the skin that would have come out anyways but my skin is practically free from all active acne right now at least on the surface level, so wouldn't using retinol and experiencing new purges just be a big step backwards for me? 

Call me misinformed but my mind is telling me this; as long as my acne is invisible on the surface level, then why should I bother too much with all the breakouts on the epidermic level? those breakouts will come out to the surface by their own at a more slow and controlled pace and they will heal at their own time.

Anyway, my hyperpigmentation isn't going to heal by itself. So, I will appreciate all your advice and opinions. I am open to anything. Thank you.

 

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If hyper-pigmentation is your main concern, then you are better off trying alpha arbutin and lactic acid. They both help superbly correct pigmentation without the risk of making you purge. If you want to tackle fine lines and not acne, you can use a low dose retinol that would not cause you to purge. A strength like the ordinary's 0.2% would be great. Aside from retinol, I heard glycolic acids can work wonders on fine-lines. Hope this helps.

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1 hour ago, besimple said:

If hyper-pigmentation is your main concern, then you are better off trying alpha arbutin and lactic acid. They both help superbly correct pigmentation without the risk of making you purge. If you want to tackle fine lines and not acne, you can use a low dose retinol that would not cause you to purge. A strength like the ordinary's 0.2% would be great. Aside from retinol, I heard glycolic acids can work wonders on fine-lines. Hope this helps.

Thank you for the info, you are awesome! I like how you mentioned the Ordinary because that's the brand I'm currently looking at for a solution lol. 

Yes, I heard glycolic acids work the same as retinols so I might give that a go instead or just use the Ordinary retinol and work my way up slowly. I also heard the alpha arbutin is very good as well.

Thank you. :)

  Edited by idontknow_

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