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Restarting retinol use - questions on how to best schedule my routine

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Hi all

I am 31 years old brown-skinned. I got a bad bout of acne during the lockdown in around May 2020. I managed to get it under control without Isotretinoin - just took zinc and beta carotene supplements and started using Glycolic Acid 6% + Kojic Acid in equal quantities in the PM and Azelaic Acid in the AM (my experience with BP+Adapalene was terrible and drying and irritating). 

Long story short - by September 2020 my acne was largely under control and my derm suggested using the Glycolic Acid + Kojic Acid for another few months; and start retinol after.

Currently my skin looks really really textured and I think I have deep acne scars as well. I am using the Dermaceutic Active Retinol 0.5% thrice a week (for 3 weeks and see no improvement yet but my derm recommended waiting 3 full months). I have been reading that one must also exfoliate with an AHA/BHA with Actives (on non-retinol days). I am unclear on how to incorporate this in my routine. Any suggestions on how to incorporate a peel/AHA/BHA facewash? Also should I up my retinol use to to every night?

PS: I have used retinol before and it had really cleared my skin in about 6 weeks (including scars except deep boxcars). I regret not continuining its use and getting lazy :(

Edited by Curiousobserver90
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I've been on a custom retinol/hydroquinone formula since the beginning of the year and it seems like we suffer from the same type of acne scarring. 

What I found while trying to experiment was that I had more success reducing the frequency of applications. It gave time for my skin to heal and it didn't make my skin dry (when I was using it 3x per week). Also, have you considered derma-rolling? 

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