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Need help incorporating The Ordinary with Differin gel

I suffer from PIH/PIE, textured acne scarring, and active breakouts. I still have a lot of deep ice picks, box scars, rolling scars, recent scarring, hyperpigmentation, and dark and red spots. About a month ago, I started using Differin gel, and I also bought The Ordinary products. I haven't incorporated most of them because I'm starting slow, but I would like to slowly add in the products.

What I bought but haven't used yet and want to incorporate into my regimen (slowly):

  • The Ordinary Ascorbic Acid 8% + Alpha Arbutin 2%

  • The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Suspension 10%

  • The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%

  • The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion

What I'm currently using:


  • Dr. Jart+ Dermaclear Micro Foam Micro-mousse Cleanser

  • Cerave Moisturizing Cream mixed in with a few drops of The Ordinary Rosehip Seed Oil

  • Biore UV Aqua Rich Essence Sunscreen


  • Dr. Jart+ Dermaclear Micro Foam Micro-mousse Cleanser

  • Cerave Moisturizing Cream

  • Differin Acne Treatment Gel

I would appreciate regimen help created for me, as I don't know a lot about what goes with what.

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Do you suffer from cystic acne? Is it the kind of pimples that takes a lot of time to come to the surface if they do?

I have been looking into your cleanser. This is not the best, really and there are no active ingredients to help acne. I really think you will benefit much more from a benzoyl peroxyde wash at a small percentage (less than 5%) a couple times a week like cerave acne foaming wash. Bp is a very powerful antibacterial (more than the azelaic) and in a wash form, your skin will tolerate bp much more. In general look for sulfate-free salicylic or bp face washes. Then, you could build up to using it more often but it really depends on how your skin feels. Continue using differin every night and be patient even though you may go through a purge before things begin to clear out. Everything has to come to the surface. It is also the best over the counter retinoid. You can easily add the azelaic since despite the fact it is an acid, it is very little irritant and also antibacterial.

From what you say, you seem to have pretty deep inflammed acne so maybe it won't be enough. You have to build up from what your skin reacts the best. Maybe you will notice more improvement from the bp wash and will decide to opt for an oil-free leave on bp lotion in aternance with differin. Maybe you will see more improvements from the differin and you will benefit even more buy adding the granactive retinoid in the morning (or best, apply differin 2×day since differin is not sensitive to uv). If after 3 months, nothing works maybe you will have to opt for a stronger version (retin a) from the dermatologist. Also add a zinc gluconate supplement and a small dose of vitamin a. 

Leave the rosephip oil. It really is comedogenic. Don't use oils in general. They don't hydrate the skin but simply trick into thinking that because it makes the skin temporarily more supple. 

To conclude


Bp acne wash or basic face wash

Niacinamide serum

Granative ( when your skin is tolerant to differin)

Maybe your cerave cream if your skin is still dry

Sunscreen ( i would suggest purito comfy water sunscreen) it is mineral and won't sensitise your skin.



Face wash



Best not to apply anything on top, since it can dilute the efficacy. But cerave after 20 min if too dry.

Then, when you don't have active pimples you can start to treat more the pih and scars by adding an ascorbic acid in the morning before anything else. But for scars it takes much more time and sometimes you have to go to the derm for lasers and peels.

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