Retin-A Works! (Even the Second Time Around) *with PICS!* - Germantown, TN

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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 >-


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.

Day 112 Progress

Dark spots still prominent, but texture of skin is smoothing out

Day 126

Skin is completely smooth!! Next thing is even more reduction in dark spots.

Day 172

Day 172

For the past 4 weeks, I have stopped using sumaxin wash cloth pads, and now wash my face with St. Ives Blemish Control Apricot Scrub in the morning followed by St. Ives Timeless Skin Collagen Elastin Moisturizer. After exercising, I wash with Cetaphil Gentle Facial Cleanser, and it doesn't dry my face out, so I don't moisturize after. At night, I wash for 20-30 seconds with black soap (you can get from beauty supply stores and amazon; i got mine from a kiosk at the mall for $5) and follow with retin-a 10-15 min later. Black soap is very drying, though! Let me tell you. I did it morning and night for about a couple of weeks, but it got too drying; that's why i switched to the St. Ives scrub in the morning. It's a scrub, but it's not that rough on the skin. So now, the only prescribed medicine I'm using for my skin now is retin-a.

Day 184; Loving what I'm seeing

Fingers crossed my skin keeps on this path. Super smooth and dark spots really starting to fade more
Advanced Dermatology and Skincare Associates

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