Undoubtedly effective (with time)!
I'm a 28 year old female with light olive skin. I eat a mostly plant-based diet, lots of vegetables, whole grains, low glycemic fruit, wild caught fish, pasture-raised eggs, avocados, coconut oil, nuts, etc. I supplement with marine collagen, probiotics, Hum Nutrition's daily cleanse, burdock root, peony and licorice, and just starting vitamins D3 and A. I exercise 4-5 times a week. I drink warm water with lemon upon waking, and have 1 shot of Bragg's ACV on most days. Basically, my skin does not reflect my lifestyle, diet, and wellness philosophy. I have never had severe acne, but certainly have had consistently moderate acne for the past 10 years, always 3-5 large painful pimples DAILY necessitating concealer, and make-up. I was on Aczone a few years ago, but stopped using it after my Rx ran out (silly me). I continued to be mostly clear after Aczone while on BCP + using vegetable glycerin as a cleanser, a witch hazel toner, and grapeseed oil as moisturizer, until ... 8 months ago.
I stopped taking BCP, went through a break-up, a move, aka lots of stress and imbalanced hormones.
Enter adult-acne. So after a few months of mostly hormonal (chin/jaw) acne and a clogged forehead, I was FED UP. My holistic, natural, skincare army was no longer helping. I added in neem, tea tree, rosehip, tamanu. I used raw honey + bentonite masks. I went to acupuncture for hormonal support. Nada!
In September, I took a deep breath, called a dermatologist, and paid out-of-pocket. I was that desperate. She prescribed me 200MG Doxy, Aczone, Glytone Mild Cream Cleanser, and suggested I use Differin (now that it's OTC) at night.
My first week, I had a really bad reaction to Aczone. And I know this because it was a day-time reaction which is when I was using it. I'm talking itchy, weeping pores, scabbing. BAD. Bye Aczone.
Week two I used Differin every other night, on top of moisturizer, to minimize the potential of irritating my post-Aczone tender skin.
Week three I reviewed 3 stars here because I was still new to DIfferin and I'd been buffering it since my skin is SO sensitive. My skin was healing, though. Despite having loads of hyper pigmentation from scars and experiencing a forehead purge, my chin began clearing and my skin began to look less inflamed. I ramped up to using Differin as Rxed (on a clean, dry face, pre-moisturizer).
Week four I had no new chin acne, but I did get a few new inflamed pimples surface on my forehead (which are my fault - picking, ugh) but I still found that my skin tone was healing. Considering how clogged my forehead was, it seems that all of the ccs were coming up. I have even heard comments from a family member and friend that my skin looks "better" (whattt?). I am no longer buffering and am using Differin post-wash pre-moisturizer.
It's been three months. I am no longer on any Rx. I cannot put into words how grateful I am for Differin. I go out without makeup, my anxiety about my skin has severely decreased, and I actually feel like myself again. No, my skin isn't perfect, because perfect skin does not exist. I maybe get a pimple once in awhile now, but it does not bother me, and it subsides on it's own in a day or two (if I resist picking). I still use it every other day as it's winter now and my skin is dry. But be patient! IT WORKS, if you take care of your body, nutrition, and self, too! I also believe my hormones naturally balanced out, but I will continue to use Differin as I do notice *such* a difference in my complexion since I started taking it.
Wash with water
IF exercising - cleanse with Bioderma Sensibio Gel Cleanser after workout
Apply refrigerated 100% aloe vera juice with cotton ball
Foxbrim Vitamin C Lotion or Juice Beauty SPF 30 Tinted Moisturizer
W3ll People Concealer (non-toxic, organic, non-comedogenic)
RawSkinCeuticals Powder Foundation (non-toxic, vegan, non-comedogenic)
Cargo Blush (toxic! haha)
Endless Beauty Mascara (vegan, natural)
Uriage Micellar Water to remove makeup
Glytone Mild Cream Cleanser to exfoliate
Wait 30 minutes
Buffer Differin with Vanicream Lite Lotion