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facetia

owwwww...am I exfoliating too much?

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Okay, so right now, because of the Retin-A, I have the worst skin I've ever seen in person. :(:( It's not just that I'm having the initial breakout, which would be bad enough, but I'm still adjusting to the medication and my skin is red, blotchy and peeling everywhere. Seriously, I look like someone who has just had a deep dermabrasion--only with bad acne on top of the wounds.

The only way I'm staying positive is by hoping that, when all this initial crap has run its course, my skin will look like it did during the first 2 weeks of Retin-A. Almost flawless, despite being a bit flushed. Then this would all be worth it.

Anyway...how often am I supposed to be exfoliate while I'm on Retin-A? The problem is, this stuff makes me flake like crazy, so an hour after I apply globs of moisturizer on my face, I have dead skin all over the place. It's horrible. I've been exfoliatiating as much as I can, but it stings so much that I fear I might be over-doing it. I use St. Ives apricot scrub twice a day, and every other day I do a St. Ives hydroxy mask. Should I not be exfoliating so often? How the hell do I keep these flakes under control?

Info much appreciated. Thanks!

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you should not be using any scrub or exfoliator when using Retin A.

did your derm not tell you this?

Retin A will shed your skin so you do not need to do anything except cleanse with a gentle unmedicated cleanser.

No wonder your poor skin is in such bad shape.

ditch that scrub, get something gentle like purpose or cetaphil and hopefully your skin will recover soon. Ditch the mask too. Don't use ANYTHING other than the Retin A.

also, you should only be using a pea-sized amount of Retin A for your entire face.

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It's true; the retin-A is already exfoliating for you--you are rubbing your skin raw! Try the cetaphil moisturizing bar; it is super gentle, and somehow seems time-release; my face is moist (not oily) hours after I use it.

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I thought I *was* supposed to exfoliate on Retin-A... I can't get rid of the flakes that Retin-A produces with just a gentle cleanser (I've been using Cetaphil gentle cleanser *and* the scrubs)! My skin feels a lot better after exfoliation, even though it stings during the process.

Okay, I'll give up the scrubs. I can do that. But I can't stop using the hydroxy peeling mask!! I have never used a more effective over-the-counter product, EVER. It drastically improves my skin's appearance and texture immediately after using it (and is amazing for red marks). Maybe I'll just use it a couple times a week. :)

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Guest Grow_To_Overthrow

Oh shit, ireally hope you're joking. If you're seriously using St.Ives scrub on Retin A then you're doing damage, and alot of it. That shit is pretty much bottled irritation disguised as sand. :sick: This thread truly makes me angry.

You need to;

*Stop everything (including Retin A) for atleast 2 weeks

*Get a Dermatologist that actually instils in you some common sense

*If you decide to use Retin A again, use only a gentle cleanser, sunscreen and moisturiser

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Oh shit, ireally hope you're joking. If you're seriously using St.Ives scrub on Retin A then you're doing damage, and alot of it. That shit is pretty much bottled irritation disguised as sand. :sick: This thread truly makes me angry.

You need to;

*Stop everything (including Retin A) for atleast 2 weeks

*Get a Dermatologist that actually instils in you some common sense

*If you decide to use Retin A again, use only a gentle cleanser, sunscreen and moisturiser

Okay...um, no need to be condescending, it's not as much "common sense" as you think.

http://dermatology.about.com/cs/topicals/a/tretinoin.htm

This web page on how to use tretinoin, written by a DERMATOLIST, quotes (bolding mine) "Apply Retin-A in a thin layer at night. A small amount goes a long way. In the morning wash your face with a mild facial scrub or rough wash cloth. This will help reduce the noticeable flaking."

I was using St. Ives gentle scrub for sensitive skin. That stuff IS very mild.

Okay, so yeah, I was overdoing it with the frequency. I'll give you that. And I am going to give up the scrub, because it was helping all that much. But if you do a search on this board and on Google, you'll see that lots of people are taking advantage of the combined effects of AHA and retinols (for example, one in the morning, one at night). They work well together. The AHA mask helps reducing the flaking from Retin-A.

So, yeah, I'm going to stop the scrubs altogether. They were irritating. But the hydroxy mask is amazing, and it makes my skin look significantly better instantly. And I'm probably irritating my skin MUCH less than those people who add BP to their Retin-A regimens. Geez.

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Hi Facetia,

I feel your pain. My derm didn't say jack about exfoliation when he prescribed Retin-A. I was having terrible flaking problems and tried to exfoliate them away . . . which only made it all worse.

I gave up the Retin-A and the exfoliation for two weeks. All I did was wash my face with an Aloe cleanser and moisturise. I have to tell you, that my skin looks and feels much better! I'm going back to the Retin-A tonight. Even with this pause in treatment, my skin still looks better than it did before the Retin-A. So, try not to worry while you're waiting for your skin to recover. (BTW, I am also taking doxy so I don't know if that has anything to do with the pimples staying at bay while I gave the Retin-A a rest.)

Good luck with it all and hang in there!

Okay, so right now, because of the Retin-A, I have the worst skin I've ever seen in person. :(:( It's not just that I'm having the initial breakout, which would be bad enough, but I'm still adjusting to the medication and my skin is red, blotchy and peeling everywhere. Seriously, I look like someone who has just had a deep dermabrasion--only with bad acne on top of the wounds.

The only way I'm staying positive is by hoping that, when all this initial crap has run its course, my skin will look like it did during the first 2 weeks of Retin-A. Almost flawless, despite being a bit flushed. Then this would all be worth it.

Anyway...how often am I supposed to be exfoliate while I'm on Retin-A? The problem is, this stuff makes me flake like crazy, so an hour after I apply globs of moisturizer on my face, I have dead skin all over the place. It's horrible. I've been exfoliatiating as much as I can, but it stings so much that I fear I might be over-doing it. I use St. Ives apricot scrub twice a day, and every other day I do a St. Ives hydroxy mask. Should I not be exfoliating so often? How the hell do I keep these flakes under control?

Info much appreciated. Thanks!

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I thought I *was* supposed to exfoliate on Retin-A... I can't get rid of the flakes that Retin-A produces with just a gentle cleanser (I've been using Cetaphil gentle cleanser *and* the scrubs)! My skin feels a lot better after exfoliation, even though it stings during the process.

Okay, I'll give up the scrubs. I can do that. But I can't stop using the hydroxy peeling mask!! I have never used a more effective over-the-counter product, EVER. It drastically improves my skin's appearance and texture immediately after using it (and is amazing for red marks). Maybe I'll just use it a couple times a week. :)

At this point in time with your face so raw, I would not use ANYTHING, not even the mask! You are seriously doing damage to your skin. I have used Retin A many times, and by itself it can wreak havoc on your skin. Please take our advice and ditch the chemical exfoliator (AHA mask) and the scrub both. Your skin will thank you for it.

Your skin is begging for a break from all this. Please treat it gently.

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Thanks, guys... I took a break from the scrubs and mask for a day. The question is, how do I get rid of the dead skin flakes on my face without an exfoliant? The cleanser I use (Cetaphil gentle) isn't strong enough to get them off--it just moves them around. :/

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Have you tried an intense moisturizer, after the cetaphil bar? That's how I get rid of the occasional flaking. Sometimes, I have to apply to or three coats, and let it soak in. . .

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Thanks, guys... I took a break from the scrubs and mask for a day. The question is, how do I get rid of the dead skin flakes on my face without an exfoliant? The cleanser I use (Cetaphil gentle) isn't strong enough to get them off--it just moves them around. :/

1. Hydrate your body with 8-10 glasses of water a day.

2. Moisturize your skin a.m. and p.m. with a good oil free formulation for oily/combo skin. Make sure it's free of alcohol and other drying agents as well.

3. Be patient. Eventually, your skin will calm down and the flakiness will go away.

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I use Retin A, as well as other retinoids, and the flakiness is rampant right now, though I expect it to gradually go away. I think some exfoliation definitely helps, but there is a HUGE difference between "exfoliation" and "scrubbing". That St Ives stuff is the worst! It can cause tiny nicks in your skin that let bacteria in. I have heard people say that product single-handedly ruined their skin.

I use an extra-soft brush and a gentle enzyme peel to exfoliate.

Other Retin A users find that an AHA lotion works really well (see caffeinefree's regimen log, for example).

You just have to experiment (cautiously) and see what works well for you. And if your skin gets extremely red or sore, you do need to stop using the Retin A until your face feels normal again. Some irritation comes with the territory, but excessive irritation will not help you heal.

Good luck with all this ... be nice to yourself. :)

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