29 Year Old Hormonal Acne Sufferer Using .05% Retin-A - Plainsboro, NJ

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I have been dealing with acne since I was 12 years...

I have been dealing with acne since I was 12 years old. The worst it has ever been was in high school when I dealt with mild-moderate cystic acne. I had been prescribed tretinoin many times before but never had success as I couldn't stick with a routine long enough to see results all the way through the 6-8 months I was told to wait. I took 2 rounds of accutane during college and I have to say it was a life changing experience. For those 2 6 month periods, my face was not oily at all, I didn't have any active cysts or even blemishes and my skin was very soft. After the final round of accutane, my acne came back but never to the point where I had active cysts. The oiliness also came back which I came to just accept. 2 years ago my derm prescribed me spironolactone which I have been taking 75mgs a day for the past 2 years. This has helped with a lot of the small acne bumps but I still had many closed comedones that would develop into pimples. I finally decided to stick to using the tretinoin and giving it at least 6 months before I assessed if I should continue or not. I've been on Tretinoin for about 1 and 1/2 months. I defnitely had some purging but slowly my closed comedones are starting to smooth out a bit. I used it about every other day for a little over a month and now am trying to work myself up to everyday. Combine with Cerave in a tub moisturizer, mineral oil and a zinc soap, my face has been feeling softer. I also use a Biore UV Aqua Watery Essence SPF moisturizer to protect my face during the day from the sun. I'll come back and update in a couple weeks when I'm at the end of month 2 but so far it's working out.

2 Months in and looking good.

After two months of being on this medication, I am finally starting to see consistent progress. At first I would have a good week and then next week my face would look and feel horrendous which really made it hard for me to want to continue. I'm finally up to using the product every night after slathering on a good amount of Cerave moisturizer in the tub and waiting 45 minutes to lightly put a layer of retin-a on. In the morning I follow the same routine but have started to use Cerave hydrating cleanser as it's more moisturizing. I still use my zinc soap from time to time. I use an asian sunscreen made my biore that I bought on amazon and shipped from Japan over the cerave moisturizer so that I get the spf in. It's very light and not greasy at all. The texture of my face has improved a lot and many of my closed comedones are finally going away. I have a lot of redness and scarring but I knew that would happen and under makeup you can't even see. I still have a ways to go but I'm feeling way more positive than I was in the beginning. The dryness isn't as bad as I thought but we're getting to winter so I don't want to speak soon. I'll update again in a month or so.

3 1/2 months in

I have definitely seen a bit more pimples since I started but they seem to be where my pores have been clogged forever. I actually am happy when they finally break out because I know when they heal, they just turn into a flat scar which can be hidden under makeup. I'm still a bit red and peels but the acreage really helps. I just get flaky after washing my face or the end of the day. I am still happy with the product and intend to stick with it. I have to keep reminding myself that I haven't been on it for even 6 months yet so things could get even better. My ultimate goal is to have skin that may still have scarring but the texture is flat and even a bit soft. Makeup looks so much nicer on my skin and I've noticed I'm not as self conscious anymore. I'll update later with pictures but just want to let everyone know I'm still going strong!

5 Month Update

My skin is still improving. I had a few really deep clogged pores on my forehead that finally broke out into large pimples. They did take a little over a week to heal and left a bit of a scar but the skin is now smooth. My face still gets dry when I use the product everyday but I don't think the winter wind and cold helps. The only thing I hate is when I put makeup on and you can see the flaky dry skin. I just tell myself that I need to keep pushing through and applying the product as often as possible. If I don't use the product at least every other day, I'll notice my skin starting to break out again. I'm hoping by spring my face will be consistently clear as long as I keep using the product.
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