I've Been Using Exfoliating Crystals to Try to Clear Dead, Flakes from Using Retin A. Is This Okay to Do?

I've been using Tretoin 0.025% for a very short time for a few fine lines. However, I've developed such severe drying, flaking & crinkling/ageing of my skin that in despair I've also used exfoliating micro crystals to try to get the dead skin off - just so that I can leave my flat & go to work! Is this safe to do? I'm worried that exfoliating as well as using Retin A might create permanent wrinkles? But nothing else I was trying was taking the flakes off my face!

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