35 years old, trying retin a for acne

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I started getting acne when I was 14yo. At first I...

I started getting acne when I was 14yo. At first I would just get it on my chin and forehead and antibiotics cleared it up fast. At age 19 I had severe cystic acne and again antibiotics worked (lymacycline). I had a few breakouts after this but managed to control them. Then when I was 26 I had another cystic break out and ended up on roaccutane. This stuff was AMAZING! My acne cleared in 2 weeks! And didn't vome back for 7 years! I thought my acne days were over it was so great. But then after the birth of my second son it started to creep back but was different this time. I had closed comodones which didn't become inflamed so nothing was working to get rid of them! I was so stressed and anxious!
I thought roaccutane was my only option as it worked so amazingly before. So I paid an absolute fortune to see a private dermatologist and he prescibed it for me. At first it worked quite well but not like before. Anyway about 3 months in I was noticing weird scarring and texture on my face. I looked terrible and was mortified. Years of acne and I had never suffered from any kind of indented scarring! I discontinued use as I didn't know what was happening to my skin.
So that was 8 months ago and I have spent my time reseaching ways to help my skin. I have lots of acne again but also weird scarring and texture...its been emotional.
I would never say anything bad about roaccutane, this stuff can work amazingly! Both my brothers used it as teenagers and have fantastic skin. I just think maybe it works differently on older skin and some people have weird reactions. Anyway I tried it and now need to find another solution.
This brings me to retin a. I started using it 2 nights ago. I'm starting off slowly, using only a very small amount mixed with cerave moisturiser until I build up tolerance. My face already feels very dry and tight.
I am also taking lymacycline again and my g.p also prescribed me duac gel to use in the mornings. I have a course of jessner peels scheduled for 10 weeks time so hopefully the retin a will help prep my skin for these.
I will keep you updated on my progress! Fingers crossed it will help.

So far so good....

Two weeks in and so far so good! I'm using 0.025 every night (I don't mix it with moisturiser anymore.)
My face stings a bit after I wash it but it feels so soft and alot of the clogs under the skin have come to the surface. My face looks and feels so much better.
I do find by late afternoon I am a bit flaky mostly around my mouth but I don't mind this really.
so far I would highly recommend retin a for acne and clogged pores.

Week 4....

4 weeks in and I thought last week was bad but this week I have at least 5 humongous spots (the one on my neck is the size of a small child's head!) I'm trying to stay positive though as alot of the breakouts are coming from my clogged pores and I have sooooo many I knew this would be a long process.
Face still flakes in the afternoons which makes my make up look like a crusty mask ( not a great look)
Anyway I've changed to a light breathable 'camouflage' make up the girl at my skin clinic sold me but honestly it doesn't cover the redness very well at all so I've been resorting back to Estee Lauder maximum cover but I'm concerned this clogs my pores so if anyone has a good make up that cover

week 8

Honestly my face actually hurts! My chin is a mixture of flaky dry skin and scabby zits! Pretty unattractive right now.
I'm sticking with it as ive come this far but feeling fed up and disheartened.
I've read endless reviews and everyone's experience is different so just carrying on and seeing how this one works out.
on a position I switched to clinique make up and it's so much better (acne solutions range)

week 8 photo....

Week 12

I thought I would update cause I know how much it helped me to read other people's reviews.
I would sayi seeing about a 40% improvement on my closed comodones. My skin feels a lot less bumpy and smoother but still my skin texture is ruined. I may try derma rolling in the new year.
I'm so glad I tried retin a I'm sticking with it, it does help with acne.
I also have lots of dark brown/red marks from the breakouts.

Week 12 photo

Week 15 (I think!)

At last I'm noticing some real improvements!
I've switched to 0.05% and it's going really well. I don't flake so much and the purging seems to be slowing down now.
When I wash my face it feels pretty smooth in comparison to a few months ago.
My scarring really bothers me but trying to just focus on clearing my acne first.

Nearing the end of month 5

This is by far the best thing I could have done!! My skin is so much smoother!
I hate my scarring though it really upsets me so will be derma rolling next year. My clogged pores are so much better! I can't stress enough how good this stuff is!!! Try it, but be patient. Give it time to work.

Month 8!!

Still loving this stuff!! I'm on 0.05 now but still have to be careful as I get flaky round my mouth if I use too much.
I still break out but I haven't got all those bumps under my skin now which caused me so much anxiety.
My scarring looks better too, either that or I don't notice it so much now! Anyway it felt like the end of the world at one point whereas it just isn't that important to me anymore. I may even not bother trying to fix it now.
I have got a chemical peel booked in Feb as I paid for it last year.

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