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ProActiv is BP-based, right? Whole different thing. BP is a powerful anti-bacterial agent, but it doesn't sound like you have a problem with inflammatory acne, so it probably wasn't the right treatment for you. Retinol and retinoids are a far more appropriate treatment for comedonal acne (clogged pores), IMO.

I have inflammatory acne that goes beyond just clogged pores. AHA has been the only thing that has been helping me. AHA's are obviously similar to retinoids in that they exfoliate (in different ways) and so far the AHA has been the only thing helping me clear up. Topical antibiotics didn't do it, BP did for a bit and stopped working, natural treatments were working slowly and disappointingly. I think just because someone's acne is more then clogged pores doesn't necessarily mean they won't benefit from exfoliation.

Oh, I agree ... I'm all for exfoliation. I was just trying to point out that BP is a weak comedolytic agent and won't do much for clogged pores.

Q

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What are the differences between Retinol and Retin-A?

Thanks!

I'll do the best I can with this, but if you're looking for a more scientific answer, you might try asking this question over on the Acne Research Board.

Retin A -- also known as tretinoin. Derivative of vitamin A, available only by prescription. Unplugs acne follicles and brings acne pimples (comedones) to the surface (this is why Retin A makes acne look worse in the first few weeks of treatment). Will reverse some of the changes of photoaging. Causes lightening of brown sun spots and leads to the disappearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Makes the skin more sensitive to sunlight (so it's easier to get a sunburn). Causes dryness, redness, tenderness, and swelling of the skin; these side effects lessen with time.

Retinol -- A form of vitamin A. Converts to retinoic acid (tretinoin) once absorbed into the skin, but the conversion is not effective enough to make it as powerful as topically applied tretinoin. Retinol creams are available over the counter, but vary widely in strength and quality. In choosing a retinol cream, the trick is to find one that delivers enough retinol to be effective WITHOUT irritating your skin beyond tolerance. Basically, it has the same effects on your skin as Retin A -- just isn't as powerful.

Here's something I'm still trying to figure out: the effects of the two on sebaceous activity. People who use Retin A often say that their skin seems oilier than ever; once the pores get unblocked, the oil flows freely. I can't find any reason why retinol should be any different; however, the Green Cream website does claim that the product shrinks the sebaceous glands, and many users on the Green Cream message board do mention reduced oiliness. I'm experiencing the same thing myself, but I can't explain why.

Q

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Well so far I haven't had too many problems. I started to get a couple pimples but they didn't get very big and one is gone and one is almost gone. Still got a couple more days to see if the after period pimples pop up.

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I really think I'm going to try green cream, I'll probably order sometime in the near future! I'm going to start with level 3 out of fear...lol...and if I see a difference I'll move on to level 6. I really hope this works, I'm getting sick of these clogged pores!

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Definately try if it you really want to! get a sample though to make sure it doesn't do more harm them good (although I doubt it). I've just had a little bit of drying around my eyes with level 3 but I put it on at night so it's not that big of a deal.

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this is definently the next thing im gonna try.. i have a big problem with clogged pores/blackheads... can the green cream be used in a combination with glycolic acid?

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this is definently the next thing im gonna try.. i have a big problem with clogged pores/blackheads... can the green cream be used in a combination with glycolic acid?

I don't really think you'd want both on your face at the same time -- but if you were doing GA peels, or using a GA cleanser, I think you could still use Green Cream. You just have to go slowly with it and be sensible.

You might want to check out the Green Cream board on www.greencream.com -- the moderator there, Kevin, is very friendly and knowledgeable. There are a lot of people there who use a combination of products, so you might pick up some good tips.

Q

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this is definently the next thing im gonna try.. i have a big problem with clogged pores/blackheads... can the green cream be used in a combination with glycolic acid?

I don't really think you'd want both on your face at the same time -- but if you were doing GA peels, or using a GA cleanser, I think you could still use Green Cream. You just have to go slowly with it and be sensible.

You might want to check out the Green Cream board on www.greencream.com -- the moderator there, Kevin, is very friendly and knowledgeable. There are a lot of people there who use a combination of products, so you might pick up some good tips.

Q

Thanks, Q, for recommending this. I wanted to say to others, definitely check out the green cream board, its awesome!! (I've learned so much and haven't even received my sample yet). Sounds like this cream can benefit every skin type, and help restore it to more normal conditions. Many people mentioned how they have reduced their use of other products dramatically. It really helps simplify your skin care.

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Hm .. I might benefit from this. I have a lot of clogged pores. The only thing that's helped me so far is anti-biotics plus asprin masks every day and washing my face more often.

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What are the differences between Retinol and Retin-A?

Thanks!

I'll do the best I can with this, but if you're looking for a more scientific answer, you might try asking this question over on the Acne Research Board.

Retin A -- also known as tretinoin. Derivative of vitamin A, available only by prescription. Unplugs acne follicles and brings acne pimples (comedones) to the surface (this is why Retin A makes acne look worse in the first few weeks of treatment). Will reverse some of the changes of photoaging. Causes lightening of brown sun spots and leads to the disappearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Makes the skin more sensitive to sunlight (so it's easier to get a sunburn). Causes dryness, redness, tenderness, and swelling of the skin; these side effects lessen with time.

Retinol -- A form of vitamin A. Converts to retinoic acid (tretinoin) once absorbed into the skin, but the conversion is not effective enough to make it as powerful as topically applied tretinoin. Retinol creams are available over the counter, but vary widely in strength and quality. In choosing a retinol cream, the trick is to find one that delivers enough retinol to be effective WITHOUT irritating your skin beyond tolerance. Basically, it has the same effects on your skin as Retin A -- just isn't as powerful.

Here's something I'm still trying to figure out: the effects of the two on sebaceous activity. People who use Retin A often say that their skin seems oilier than ever; once the pores get unblocked, the oil flows freely. I can't find any reason why retinol should be any different; however, the Green Cream website does claim that the product shrinks the sebaceous glands, and many users on the Green Cream message board do mention reduced oiliness. I'm experiencing the same thing myself, but I can't explain why.

Q

Thanks for the great reply. You have been a big help. I might try Green Cream or another Retinol product. I have used Retin-A Micro. I had to use the .04% because the .10% was too strong for me. It worked well for awhile and then this past fall my skin began breaking out and was very irritated by it. I think it may have been due to the change of season and going from the humid summer months to the dry fall/winter months. Maybe a Retinol product will be mild enough to accomplish the same thing with less irritation during the winter months.

I'm reluctant to to back on this type of product though because I have been off of Retin-A for about 4 months and I really don't want to go back through the break-in period with Retin-A (or Retinol, if it does the same thing) where from about week 6 through week 12 your skin breaks out horribly while everything works its way to the surface. Does Retinol do this like Retin-A does?

Thanks again for the reply and the help.

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I'm reluctant to to back on this type of product though because I have been off of Retin-A for about 4 months and I really don't want to go back through the break-in period with Retin-A (or Retinol, if it does the same thing) where from about week 6 through week 12 your skin breaks out horribly while everything works its way to the surface. Does Retinol do this like Retin-A does?

You do go through a purging period in the first few months, and there seems to be a pretty clear correlation between the severity of the acne you started with and the severity of breakouts while purging.

I went in 2 months ago with badly clogged pores but minimal inflammatory acne. I've had nearly constant purging since then, but none of it has been horrible -- mostly bumps surfacing on my cheeks and jaw, and small pimples on my nose and chin. Everything seems to heal very quickly. I can see in the mirror now that most of the gunk that I started with under my skin has worked its way out ... not all, but most, and I am pretty confident that another 2 months will clear me completely.

If you have more inflammatory acne, one approach might be to alternate BP with the Green Cream to keep breakouts in check for the first few months. Obviously you would want to be very careful not to over-dry or irritate your skin.

Q

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Hm .. I might benefit from this. I have a lot of clogged pores. The only thing that's helped me so far is anti-biotics plus asprin masks every day and washing my face more often.

Antibiotics will help keep clogged pores from getting inflamed, and aspirin masks do the same ... but I don't think either one of those treatments will help clear your pores. And washing too often can backfire on you. If you damage the skin's lipid barrier and your skin starts getting dehydrated as a result, it actually becomes MORE prone to clogged pores. You can help repair this by taking EFA (essential fatty acid) supplements to repair the lipid barrier, and hydrate your skin by drinking lots of water.

Kanmi, I remember seeing in a different thread that you had trouble with Differin. Green Cream should be less irritating, as long as you follow the directions and ease into it. And if you are taking antibiotics, those should help to keep the purging within bounds.

Retinol has some great long-term results. (note, I said LONG-term.) Your skin cells are regenerating and shedding faster, so old red and brown marks disappear. Your dermis gets thicker, which decreases the appearance of lines and scars (though if you have deep scars, this probably isn't going to make them vanish). Also, and I can't remember exactly why this happens, your skin stays more hydrated from within, giving it a healthier appearance overall.

The epidermis gets thinner, though, so you really have to be careful not to pick at your face while using retinol ... it's too easy to leave bright red marks.

Q

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Can't wait for my sample. Checked out the messageboard at green cream. Really helpful too. Anyone used rosehip oil at the same time or tea tree oil? If so which one works best with it?

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Do you guys use sunscreen like it says in the product description?

YES. And even with sunscreen, and even though it's winter, my face is ridiculously tanned right now because of the increased sensitivity.

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I'm reluctant to to back on this type of product though because I have been off of Retin-A for about 4 months and I really don't want to go back through the break-in period with Retin-A (or Retinol, if it does the same thing) where from about week 6 through week 12 your skin breaks out horribly while everything works its way to the surface. Does Retinol do this like Retin-A does?

Thanks again for the reply and the help.

That's why I started with the level 3. I have sensitive skin and I didn't want any huge breakouts or overdrying. The little drying I did have was not too bad especially since I used the green cream at night. I haven't had any breakouts due to purging.

Do you guys use sunscreen like it says in the product description?

Yes. You should always use sunscreen whether you're using green cream or not.

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Yes. You should always use sunscreen whether you're using green cream or not.

Doh, I usually don't because of my Asian skin tone ;)

But I'll start when I receive it ;)

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Just got my level 3 sample today. I have trouble remembering sunscreen too. People were always telling me that it's not as important because of my dark skintone.

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Well I got the two hormonal pimples I expected. They didn't get too big or too red but they still hurt. They turned into whiteheads and I popped them. Don't yell at me for that! I know better but it's the only way that relieves the sorness. But both of them were almost gone the next day. They usually last 3+ days. I don't mind having a pimple for day! I can deal with that especially if it's just once a month. lol

My face is much smoother and just keeps looking better. I still have clogged pores that will probably need the Level 6 but I'm sticking to the 3 until I run out. Don't want to do too much too fast!

Just got my level 3 sample today. I have trouble remembering sunscreen too. People were always telling me that it's not as important because of my dark skintone.

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I started using Green Cream level 3 this week. So far, I have used it twice. The first night, I did experience a slight burning sensation. When I woke up the next day, I noticed that my skin looked a bit fresher. I used it again last night and I couldn't even tell I had anything on my skin. I notice a very slight purging going on in places that I am not surprised. But, they are tiny and barely noticable :dance: I have no flakiness or redness today at all. I used some on my chest too and it already looks better (maybe it's my imagination...lol)

I really want to buy a full size jar, but I think I'm going to get another sample but of level 6 this time to see if my skin agrees with it or not. It seems that I will be able to use level 3 everynight without a problem. Should I order a 6 for my face if it tolerates the sample well and 3 for my chest and upper arms? Or, can 6 be used without a problem on the body as well. I'm sure you could answer this ? Q.

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Guest funky_monkey

Just got my level 3 sample today. I have trouble remembering sunscreen too. People were always telling me that it's not as important because of my dark skintone.

you may not burn, but don't forget the ageing process!

I had a look at the samples. LEvel 6 is out of stock and level 3 (cheaper) costs $16 (total) to send ! ouch!

how much do you get? Being a barmy Brit, I only know mls :D

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I think I'm going to get another sample but of level 6 this time to see if my skin agrees with it or not. It seems that I will be able to use level 3 everynight without a problem. Should I order a 6 for my face if it tolerates the sample well and 3 for my chest and upper arms? Or, can 6 be used without a problem on the body as well. I'm sure you could answer this ? Q.

Well, I can use 6 on my face, chest, and upper arms with no difficulty at all ... my neck is still a problem area. Right now, I'm only putting GC on it every 3rd or 4th day because it is so much more sensitive.

I think if you are willing to ease into using the level 6, you shouldn't have a problem ... but be aware that it is quite a bit more powerful than the level 3.

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I just ordered my first jar of Level 9 from Linda Sy -- it should be here Wednesday. I also posted over on the Green Cream board to see if anyone there has suggestions about how to make the transition from Level 6 to Level 9.

I'm currently using L6 twice a day, and am not sure whether to continue at this frequency, substituting the Level 9 occasionally -- or if I should drop the L6 altogether and just start easing into the L9.

If I get any useful info, I will share!

Q

UPDATE: Kevin on the GC board already got back to me ... that was quick! He says that I should continue with my L6 2x daily, except for 2 days a week when I should use the L9 once. I can gradually increase this to 3 days a week, etc. And, of course, he says to stop if my skin gets irritated.

Seems like that pattern would also work for transitioning from L3 to L6.

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