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Hey guys! So, I have finally decided to write a...

Hey guys! So, I have finally decided to write a review on Retin-A-- a product that I have been using (along with other products in a regimen) since 2011. I've had acne since 6th grade, but when I turned 21, it moved from just my forehead to ALL OVER my face. Only thing clear was my nose! I tried many products including Biore, black soap, nadinola fade cream, murad, and proactiv (giving each product at least a month to see results). Nothing was working :(, so I knew I had to see a dermatologist.

I went to the derm in May 2011. She put me on 150 mg of Doryx, Sumaxin facial wash sulfur pads, and epiduo. I was on this regimen for a month before I was scheduled for my next appointment. She wasn't happy with the results (It didn't make it better or worse), so she swapped out the epiduo for Retin-A micro 0.1%-- the STRONG stuff lol and I continued to use Doryx and Sumaxin. I was on this regimen for 2.5 months before I went back to see her, and we were both happy with where things were going, so she kept me on this regimen. By December 2011, you couldn't tell me anything. I thought I was so fine lol. My skin had not been that clear since 5th grade! When I turned 23, I was kicked off my insurance and couldn't afford their young adult plan, so I stopped using all of the products once I ran out of them in February 2012. I used Simple products to wash my face with and keep the acne under control. I thought that would be cool b/c the acne was gone and the worst was over. It seemed to be working, but then by May 2012, I noticed tiny under-the-skin bumps were popping up on my forehead, and by June 2012, I was starting to break out along my jaw line. By July, '12, I was once again, a hot mess. I signed up for the young adult plan, forked up the $176 a month to pay for it >-

Continuation

Sooo.. looks like my review got cut off. Anywho, second time around, it took 15 weeks for me to see results I was happy with. The purging/breakout stage in the beginning was just as bad as it was the first time. I had pimples and pustules all over my face. After 8 months, I feel very confident in my skin and am in love with Retin-A!! It takes some time to see improvement, but be persistent and faithful to your regimen, and the results will come!

Acne Journey

Pictures of my journey with retin-a. Rough journey to deal with, but well worth it :)

June 2014

Hey guys! I have been so busy with school since August 2013 (I started nursing school! :)), so that's the main reason I became MIA. Anyways, I wanted to give y'all an update on my skin and skincare regimen. Well, in October 2012, I was kicked off my insurance because I was late on payments, so, once again, I stopped going to the derm. I still went ahead and got the insurance back in November 2012, but had not had my primary care provider approve of my dermatologist so I could get the $12 co-pay since she is not within my insurance's network, and blah blah (insurance stuff); but that was OK! b/c I was still on the same regimen, and she had written me prescriptions for everything to get up to 6 refills, so I was cool with that because that was going to easily last me a year, so I just held off on getting that done b/c I figured if I stayed on that regimen, I wouldn't need to go back anytime soon. Well, time got ahead of me, and in March 2014, i was completely out of all of my prescriptions (Yes. Her pre-approved 6-refills prescription lasted me from August 2012 to March 2014!; the sumaxin pads and Doryx did not last that long; I was kind of hesitant about taking an antibiotic (Doryx) for such a long period of time, so I started taking half a pill a day to taper myself off and that allowed it to stretch the product out longer, and I just started using Cataphil cleanser to wash my face instead of the sumaxin pads. I did have one more prescription left for another tube of retin-a, but my prescription had expired in August 2013, but I still had half of my 5th tube left). ANYWAYS... now we are at the very end of May, and I am noticing those tiny bumps on my forehead again, and bigger, more irritated under-the-skin bumps on my right cheek. my left cheek feels fine-- still smooth, but my right cheek has a rough texture again, and so does my forehead. I had an appt scheduled for May 23, '14, but I wanted to get the same dermatologist I've been seeing and she was on maternity leave, so now, I am having to wait until June 18. I jsut had a little freak out moment earlier today because I just don't know how much longer my face is going to hold up until I really start breaking out again. Right now, as of April, I've been washing my face in the morning with Cetaphil, then applying St. Ive's timeless collagen moisturizer, then at night, washing with Biore exfoliator cleanser and sometimes St. Ive's exfoliating scrub and no moisturizer. Hopefully, it continues to maintain my skin well enough to get me to the 18th..

June '14 Pics

June 2014 Pics (Ran out of products again!)

Big point to take from this update: Don't stop seeing your derm!!! and definitely do not allow yourself to run out of your products :(

Back at it!!

I'm back on my doryx, sumaxin, and retin-a regimen! My cetaphil regimen was not working, so for two weeks (prior to today), I used PanOxyl foaming cleanser with 10% Benzoyl Peroxide, followed by Clean & Clear Deep Cleaning Astringent (toner), followed by the St. Ives moisturizer in the morning. At night, the same thing except I skipped the moisturizer and applied Persa Gel 10 with 10% Benzoyl Peroxide by Clean & Clear over my right cheek and forehead and spot treated the left cheek and chin with the same product. My skin reacted very well to it! My inflammation and irritation ceased and my bumps reduced almost completely except along my jaw line. Only problem is I was using TWO 10% Benzoyl Peroxide products a day, and it got VEEERRRRYYY drying! I mean, I was applying moisturizer 5 minutes after I first applied it, and then again 15 minutes after that. I tried doing the Persa Gel 10 day and night, but my skin started flaking and showing white dead skin when I scratched, so I went back to night only. Face was still dry, but with constant moisturizing, I didn't have the dry flakes on my face. I will post pictures later of my skin after the PanOxyl regimen/before Retin-a regimen. I am very excited about getting back on retin-a! Praying for a less dramatic purging stage in the beginning. I would be embarrassed to show my face at school or work.

Pics from PanOxyl and PersaGel 10% Benzoyl Peroxide Products

Retin-A Regimen Round 3

Hey everyone, FINALLY updating my review with pics. So sorry for the long delay. I'm so-so about my progress thus far. Since my face wasn't as broken out as it was the past two times I started this regimen, I thought my skin would be clear already. It's not improving as fast as I would like. Sometimes, I felt like it was getting better, but then the next week, it would look worse than ever. Compared to my other pics, I'm not sure if I'm on the right track or not. I started off using the generic form of retin-a. Three or four weeks ago, I had enough of the generic product and asked my derm to write me out a prescription for the brand name Retin-A. I don't know if the generic version was slowing me down or not, but I felt if I was not happy with my results, I want to know I'm doing everything the right way and using the true products. It was horrible trying to get in touch with my derm. Finally, I left a message with the receptionist and she passed along my message. She called me back and told me that my derm had written out a new prescription for me and sent it in to my pharmacy. so elated, I went to the pharmacy, only to find out that she had written me the generic prescription again, but in the pump form! I was frustrated, but happy, too, because I felt the pump version would allow me to pump the accurate amount needed for my face (pea-sized amount=2 pumps per packet directions). Ever since I started using the pump, I feel my face has gotten better. The last picture I have posted on here is before the pump when I was still using the cream and it was taken at the end of August. I have to put up some more updated pics, but I have no space on my phone right now haha. I feel the pump and the change in weather to cooler temps is helping my skin recover. I do think the hot summer days and my hot room (bc I had no working air conditioning and trying to cut back on the utility bill) did not help at all. Many nights, I would put my retin-a on and my face would start to get moist from being hot. I had a fan, which would keep me cool, but it also got dusty, so I wouldn't be surprised if I had dust flying in my face, which wouldn't help the cause either! In the day time, the heat and sweat would irritate my skin. I'm more positive now about my progress, but I'm not going to get too happy yet. Like, I said, I will be posting more pics. Hopefully in the next day or two if life doesn't get in the way. Thanks for reading and ask any questions you may have!!

Day 95 Progress

Here are some more recent pics taken about 3 days ago on day 95. My pimples are finally going away. Main problem now are scars, but I'm happy with where it's at now. I'm finally feeling more confident about the progress again.
Advanced Dermatology and Skincare Associates

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Burt's bees and/or 'yes to tomatoes' brands of skincare for acne prone skin uses salicylic acid and are natural alternatives if you want to go chemical free at some point - they have worked very well for me post accutane (retin-a).
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Aw thanks, bestfaceforward14! I will definitely look into those products. How long has it been since you came off the accutane regimen?
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I was on low dose for years, I came off it completely in February :)
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Oh, wow! Good for you! I'm really going to check out those products. Thanks so much! Because that has been my thing, once it clears, how long do I have to stay on this regimen. I mean, if I have to stay on it for years and it is safe, so be it, but one day I would like to get married, have a baby, and all that good stuff, and I know you cannot use retin-a when you are pregnant, and although, I don't plan on getting pregnant for a while, I'm definitely looking into this!
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No worries, I stopped accutane so I was 6 months clear in time for rhinoplasty, I also want to try 'BBL Forever Young' light therapy to tighten and lift my skin which you have to be off accutane for… and I was paranoid about the long term effects.
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We're do you buy it from please reply as soon as you get this message thanks
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Are you talking about the panoxyl and persa-gel 10? If so, I got everything I listed in the non-retin-a regimen from Kroger.
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Your skin looks amazing! May I ask how you used the other regimens?
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Sorry! I haven't been on here in a while. I'm assuming you are talking about the regimen the second time around... If so, I did the same thing: wake up, wash my face with sumaxin pad, moisturized, take my Doryx pill (150 mg) sometime in the afternoon, usually before dinner after lunch (I wait the 2 hours after a meal and 1 hour before meal like they say take it), then at night, sumaxin pad again, wait 30 min, then apply retin-a, NO moisturizing at night. I'm going back to the derm mid-June. Sadly, I didn't check in with my derm and my prescription expired, and now, i'm starting to get those tiny bumps on my forehead again and breaking out under the skin on my right cheek :/. It's sad how this is just something I will have to deal with the rest of my life it seems like. But thank u for your comment!
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I had really bad acne when I was younger: I read that using a sugar scrub in the shower worked very well. It did! Thirty five years later, I use Retin A for wrinkles and continue with the sugar scrub. I'm 52 but a coworker thought I was 37ish. So yes...Retin A works but so does taking care of our skin. Diet is extremely important too.
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I'll have to try the sugar scrub! Thanks
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So I'm on epiduo right now and it's been exactly 5 weeks with no result Except for bigger acne:( ( I have same acne face like your before your treatment ) Wondering should I keep going till week 8 to see if it really works or switch to retin A Also had acne for 7 years im african , I'm 21 I'm tired of acne
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I can't tell u whether or not to stop using it. You would have to talk to your derm about that. But I was on epiduo for 4 weeks, and when I went back to my derm for follow-up, she decided it wasn't working fast enough or at all, and prescribed me the retin-a. So just ask your derm. Good luck :)
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Ok... so did the retin-a make your skin peel?
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Yeah in the beginning. Around the mouth and on the nose, but I don't remember it being anything that just made me freak out about it. I don't remember excessive peeling. And it probably lasted a month to two. Now that I think about it, I do remember having to apply lotion to my nose a lot bc it was getting dry and peeling but as long as I remembered to keep a moisturizer on hand to re-apply, it wasn't that bad
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Ok so I wanted to share something with everyone, I was using the cream version of Tretinoin however it was making me so oily I complained about it to my Derm who switched me to the gel version still at the .25% and added Finacea cream in the morning and I have noticed a MAJOR difference in my oilyness.The oil is much more controlled and I don't look like you can fry chicken on my face anymore. I was wondering if anyone knew how to make my pores look smaller?
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Oh great! Glad to hear you got that under control. I have no idea what could help shrink your pores. You ask your derm about that?
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Hi I have a question, I have been doing further research on tretinoin online and have came across horrible stories about it causing damage to the skin. "Tretinoin damage" crepe dry skin, large pores, orange peel texture skin, as well as scarring and indentations bringing brought to the surface. Horrible awful stories that has impacted my decision to go ahead and use my 0.025 tretinoin cream although I really want to begin using it. Has anyone heard about this at all? Do you think that maybe these people were too sensitive to use tretinoin and/or they used too much? I certainly don't want to make my face any worse than it is and just hoping these stories are just isolated incidents. Please share your thoughts and any information that anyone is willing to share. thanks!
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omgoodness I can see how that could discourage you.. I did not hear of those stories at all. I have heard where it did not work for people at all.. The 0.25 is the lowest percent I think so I would think you were placed on the right track to start with that.. As you can see with ihavmyflaws it does work very well for some, her skin is beautiful. It does go through a purging stage for some,where it will bring everything under the skin to the surface but after about two weeks of that the healing process begins. I think for me it is working well my problem is I want to see changes overnight. I've been using it for about six weeks now and no indentations.Like I said before my skin got super oily from it so I was switched to the gel form. I've learned that must of the people who wrote bad reviews did not use it for very long and I'm thinking it's because the didn't see the results they wanted right away. As we all can see from ihavmyflaws patients is a must.. I personally would try it and see how it works for me.. Plus I'm wondering what type of facial regimen were they using in conjunction with the Treninoin because it can clash with other products that's why I use all organic on my face only.. So think about it and do what you feel is best for you.
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Ok, thank you for responding IamMonique2, it is scary but I'm beginning to think that maybe these poor folks either used too much tretinoin or they were really sensitive and had some sort of bad reaction. I'm just going to go for it and monitor my face very closely. I just hope I dont have that type of horrible reaction I've read about or the purging. Because now when I get pimples some of them are leaving scars! They are very light superficial marks but I was told the tretinoin would smooth those right out because they are so mild. But I've also read that retin a cant do anything for scarring no matter how superficial. :( don't really know what to believe because what works for one person may not work for you. Wish me luck!
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I don't know what websites you are looking at but retin a does help with scarring. I am living proof and so is ihavmyflaws. Retin a helps with cell turnover so that helps the dead skin cells which is the scarring be diminished and new skin cells to replace the damage ones.. I have noticed several blemishes disappear and the deeper ones are now lightening up.. So yes it does help with scarring. I also have been getting facials to help with my skin tone and blemishes. GOOD LUCK!
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Aww thanks IamMonique2. An good luck raenee day! I agree with what u both said. I believe u just have to HAVE to follow the directions as it is printed. In not gonna lie though. I do have some pitting on my right cheek. It's not too bad. Nobody in my family has ever said anything about it (and they will be honest lol) and it's nothing that makes me self-conscious. I feel totally confident going without makeup. I plan on posting more up-to-date pics soon.
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Hi "ihavmyflaws" I too have some really mild pitting on my cheeks that does bother me quite a bit. So when my derm suggested the retin a for my hyperpigmentation she also stated that it should help smooth out the scarring as well. I'm just praying that it does the trick and helps with both issues at the same time. I also plan on documenting my journey and will be posting pics soon ;)
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