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Hello! I'm a 25 year old female, been struggling with acne on and off for about 12 years now. My acne has never been super severe or cystic but sure has been persistent. I've  been doing the acne.org regimen for about a year and it mostly keeps break outs in check but its far from perfect. I mostly struggle with closed comedones (concentrated on cheeks, chin, around mouth) and maybe once a month a couple of them will become inflamed (photo of the zittiest part of my face attached). My skin is pretty oily, too. I'm sick of having textured skin so I bought some differin but have been too scared to try it for fear of turning my mild acne into full blown cystic acne. Does anyone have personal experience/advice/warnings? If I do try it what other products should I use? I've read that I should ditch all the other products that I'm using now like salycilic acid, BP, and AHA. Any suggestions for facewash and moisturizers to go with differin? I'd like to keep using the acne.org moisturizer with lidocaine since its pretty soothing for my skin. I'm willing to go through a month or two of a purge if it means I could have clear skin for the first time in over a decade but I'm afraid of permanently ruining my skin. I'm wondering if I should just be grateful that my skin is in decent shape and leave it at that. For people with similar skin what has worked for you? Any advice is appreciated, and thank you in advance! 

image1.jpeg

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First of all I just want to say I think your skin looks great =). I do understand that you want to curve those last couple of persistent zits. You mentioned you are already using Sal.Acid, AHA, and BP? That just stuck on to me because I'm not sure in what amounts or how often you are using those. Perhaps those could be contributing to your oily skin, since dry skin is going to be fighting back and creating more oil. Also a note, while I myself love the Acne.org moisturizer, I feel it can be on the oily side (since the jojoba oil that it contains). So perhaps that is also contributing. 

If I was going to be cautious of anything for you, is that things like AHA, Sal. Acid, and Differin can "thin" out the skin overtime for some. This may be of particular importance to people that spend alot of time in the sun, or plan to. I've always said, Alpha and Beta hydroxy acids are best to get the acne under control, and then ease back on them, since the skin won't need as much maintenance now that it's getting a chemical exfoliation (essentially a "reset") on such a frequent basis. 

However overall, if you are going to go for the differin, I'd say use it where you need it, and make absolutely sure that you wear a sunscreen on the treated areas in the morning. Also, i would try and stay away from using a beta hydroxy cleanser, AND use differin. Chemically it may be too harsh on the skin. My rule of thumb is Hydroxy Cleanser  OR treatment, but not both. 

I think you'll do great though. As I said, your skin is already very clear and nice. Just start off gentle, and see how your skin reacts. 

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Hmm, I think you might have a good point about maybe using too many products (I tend to over do it on my skin which is probably the last thing someone with oily skin needs to be doing!). My morning routine is to wash my face with Sal. acid then apply a half and half mix I made of the acne.org moisturizer and AHA. At night I wash my face with Sal. Acid, apply BP, and then do the moisturizer/AHA mix again. Does that sound like too much? I was thinking about cutting down to only washing my face at night, I've noticed that my skin is an oil slick by lunchtime and maybe that's because I shouldn't be washing it in the morning. 

Thank you for the advice on sun protection too, I have very fair freckle-prone skin and I didn't realize that differin could make it more sun-sensitive. 

I think I'll give the differin a try, but will avoid AHA and might try a less oily  moisturizer. Thank you!

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I do think that washing twice a day is largely beneficial. But perhaps a moisturizing cleanser can help offset some of that oil. Also, of course some people simply have that type of skin, and there's no shame in just blotting the skin throughout the day to keep it under control. Overall like I said, I think you've got great control over it at the moment, so it's nice that all you have left to do is some minor tweaks. Best of luck! 

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