earpoker

Starting Retin A....how can I minimize the peeling this time?

I'm bummed...I went off of birth control a few months ago (due to terrible side effects), and now my hormonal acne is raging!  my doctor is putting me back on Retin A. The last time I used it, I had a really hard time managing the peeling. I had to stop taking it because it really got out of control. 

 

So...any suggestions for what I can do this time around to minimize the nasty flaking?  are there any moisturizers that are particularly effective?   Would an oil help (or would it counteract the purpose of the medication?)

 

 

earpoker

Re: Starting Retin A....how can I minimize the peeling this time?

Just thought I would come back and update this...my experience has been very positive!  Very little peeling, and no more acne at the moment. I use the Retin A at night, and use my tarte oil to moisturize.  In the morning, I use a clarisonic (although I will skip this if my skin looks good). The clarisonic takes away any flakes. Then I use PTR 10% Glycolic Acid moisturizer and a moisturizer with spf. So far so good!  At first I was using cetaphil for my moisturizer, but after several drama and acne free skin are weeks, I switched it up to the am AHA. Thanks for all of the advice!

DTalksAll

Re: Starting Retin A....how can I minimize the peeling this time?

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I've been using retin-a for a few months, already tend to have dry skin, and this winter's been really cold. I can't completely avoid the dry flakes, but I have been able to manage them better. 

Like others said, wait 30 minutes after washing your face before putting it on. I like to wash my face with a gentle cleanser & put on a simple moisturizer like Dermorganics, or Malin & Goetz (Korres Greek Yogurt sleeping facial is another good one). I keep my Retin-A on my night stand, so after I've read in bed for a while, right before I fall asleep I apply a tiny bit (pea size) all over my face, neck & chest. 

The next morning I usually use AmorePacific Treatment Enzyme peel to help eat away at the dry areas, skinceuticals C E Ferulic to help protect, moisturize & then SPF 50. 

On off nights I use a glycolic cleanser (to help exfoliate) and Korres Wild Rose + sleeping facial. Sometimes I'll use a vitamin c, or hydrating serum. 

Facial mists are your friend! just look for ones without alcohol. They won't mess up makeup and add a quick boost of hydration when your face feels tight. 

Find a gentle scrub/mask/peel that you like & use that 1-2x a week. You need something that will remove your flakes. Retin-A helps increase cell turnover, so you're shedding dead cells quicker than you would without it. You need a product that will remove those dead cells. Sometimes it's as simple as using the clarisonic and a warm muslin cloth, or you may need a gentle scrub or gommage gel (like PTR or KGD). 

SydBristow

Re: Starting Retin A....how can I minimize the peeling this time?

Yes!  Advance search works!!  Thanks dannyc for this nugget of info that has helped so much!  I let my skin dry out after washing it for half an hour before applying the retinol, it's helping! 

 

I knew someone had said this but I had a hard time finding who.  :smileyhappy:  I am now the search master!

earpoker

Re: Starting Retin A....how can I minimize the peeling this time?

Okay, so...going to use this every other day.  I used my clarisonic last night, and it took some of the flakes away, so I'll do that once per day at least....if the peeling gets worse, I will see how twice a day with it works. And use a super good moisturizer. I'm thinking that I could still use a facial oil...I don't have acne from oily skin, I have acne from hormones. and the oil didn't break me out before when I was on birth control. 

 

Thanks for for the great advice!  This is going to be a lot of trial and error...but hopefully clear skin is in my future. 

btmod2

Re: Starting Retin A....how can I minimize the peeling this time?

Hi earpoker,

 

I would recommend using the Retin-A once every 2 to 3 days. If you use it more frequently than that, you may notice extra dryness or flakiness in your skin. In terms of moisturizers, I would highly recommend Clinique's Moisture Surge. It is a wonderful oil-free moisture that is perfect for skin that is prone to breakouts. It is one of my personal favorites. :smileyhappy:


Best,

Randee

gogreyhound

Re: Starting Retin A....how can I minimize the peeling this time?

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ooh ooh! yes! it is amazing! Very soothing, a gel-cream that just soaks into your skin. This would not irritate or clog pores. Just pure moisture.  I was going to add that you have to be sure to wear a sunscreen! Especially now that Spring is coming, you will burn so easily with Retin-A. I like Clinique's Super City Block, it is non-irritating and you can wear it under makeup. I also agree with starting out every 2-3 days and working up to nightly if that is what you are supposed to do.  Good luck, Retin-A is great stuff!

nishcakes

Re: Starting Retin A....how can I minimize the peeling this time?

I'm on Retin A now. I peel but not much, usually around my mouth. Use a very very mild cleanser for sensitive skin. My doc said not to use oil but Josie Maran Argan oil light seems to work better than any other moisturizer I've tried. Btw I have very oily skin too. The oil helps my dry spots and oiliness. Idk if the same will be true for you but I wanted to share what works for me. I hope it helps. Happy face clearing! :smileywink:

annekevdb

Re: Starting Retin A....how can I minimize the peeling this time?

It may have been said already, but don't put it on every day if your skin is getting red and irritated from use. I've been using Retin A for the past 14 years and pretty much make a day-to-day decision if I'll put it on based on how my skin feels that particular day. It contributes to my skin being sensitive, so you may find that your usual cleanser, moisturizer, etc. are now too harsh. 

HelenInwood

Re: Starting Retin A....how can I minimize the peeling this time?

I've been using avocado oil and applying a weekly avocado mask. I use a half avocado and 1tbs avocado oil. My flaky skin is due to a harsh winter combined with very dry skin. My skin was peeling and I saw results a week in. 

earpoker

Re: Starting Retin A....how can I minimize the peeling this time?

Thanks for all of the great suggestions!  What about using a Clarisonic or Foreo Luna cleansing tool?  Good idea or bad?

TrysBeautyItems

Re: Starting Retin A....how can I minimize the peeling this time?

My derm did say to use the clarisonic before using acne topicals - the retinol was given after the first batch - as the topicals will get soaked in deeper. It wouldn't hurt to try, if you find more irritation then just stick to manual cleansing.

andyhtrieu

Re: Starting Retin A....how can I minimize the peeling this time?

Use Aquaphor Healing Ointment Advanced Therapy! I use Tretinoin for my acne (which my doctor gave me) and it made my skin super dry and flaky. I use tretinoin at night only after washing my face and moisturizing. Then, I apply the Aquaphor on the areas that I use tretinoin. And then I sleep! When I wake up, I have no dry skin or flakes. The best part is, IT'S UNDER $10! 

 

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colorobsession

Re: Starting Retin A....how can I minimize the peeling this time?

I've also been started back on Retin-A within the last 6 months after not trying it for years and I've found that this time around it's doing wonders for my skin. I second everyone else's suggestions of making sure your skin is completely dry before applying any acne medications to it. Using an extra gentle but effective cleanser (my favorite is Boscia Purifying Cleansing Gel, but there are also less expensive options out there) and moisturizing after applying your medication will help. I tried using the Korres Greek Yoghurt Sleeping Facial at night a few times a week and that stuff is glorious. I also recently tried Clinique's Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel and it's wonderful at moisturizing without making you feel greasy. Also, don't forget to incorporate SPF into your morning skincare routine, as the retinol will make your skin more prone to sun damage. I hope you have better luck with Retin-A this time around. Build up to nightly use slowly, as your skin can tolerate it, and once you're using it nightly, remember that it's okay to take a night or two off if you're feeling extra flaky or dry to give your face a break. Definitely keep us posted on how it's going!

SydBristow

Re: Starting Retin A....how can I minimize the peeling this time?

I am very sorry for your situation. :smileysad: Am following this thread with interest for the replies, please keep us posted if you find something that works for you!

TrysBeautyItems

Re: Starting Retin A....how can I minimize the peeling this time?

[ Edited ]

Use only at night. Wait at least 30 minutes after washing and drying your face to use. If used on a wet/damp face, the retinol will absorb faster and cause irritation, more peeling. Only use about a pea sized amount for the whole face. Also wait afterwards to put moisturizer on.

 

 

Since you also get cyst acne along the jawline, it could be an indication of too much dairy intake. Everyone's threshold is different, but dairy contains hormones in addition to your own can be too much.

earpoker

Re: Starting Retin A....how can I minimize the peeling this time?

I wish I could blame dairy...but my daughter is allergic, so our household is already dairy free:-(. So, moisturizer AFTER Retin A?  Not before?  I hate the dry feeling I get after washing my face if I don't moisturizer right away. 

TrysBeautyItems

Re: Starting Retin A....how can I minimize the peeling this time?

[ Edited ]

If you're feeling dry after washing, your cleanser may not be good for your skin type.

 

I would wait another 30mins after retin a to apply moisturizer, so the retin a gets absorbed properly. You could also try an oil. Or take a night off and heavily moisturizer and use a heavy moisturizer during the day with spf.

 

Just looked at my notes, with my cream, there's nothing about moisturizer.

baobaobear

Re: Starting Retin A....how can I minimize the peeling this time?

When I told my dermatologist that I had painful red peeling from Retin A, she told me that it shouldn't be painful, so to stop for a few days and then to 1) reduce applications to every other day until my skin could tolerate it and 2) use a very thick moisturizing cream such as CeraVe moisturizing cream (at most drugstores):

http://www.amazon.com/CeraVe-Moisturizing-Cream-16-oz/dp/B000Q2RP7I

This stuff is made by dermatologists and is great! I would apply directly after my Retin A and sometimes reapply in the middle of the day when my skin was particularly dry as well.

 

One other thing I read online about Retin A is that if you don't wait the 20-30 min after cleansing for your skin to dry before applying Retin A, that your peeling can be worse.

 

I had hormonal acne for about a year before finally nailing this down with my dermatologist. It was especially bad on my chin. I was skeptical that anything would work because I was extremely diligent to wash my face and I tried all sorts of fancy skin care from Sephora. Retin A has helped me a ton, so I think its worth trying to see if it can work for you! I started at the beginning of January and see huge improvements in my skin. For the most part, no new cysts, or if I get them they are small. Also, my dark spots are fading. For full disclosure, I also use Aczone (also only by prescription) in the mornings and on the off nights when I feel my skin can't handle Retin A. I started this in late November.

 

Good luck!!

 

earpoker

Re: Starting Retin A....how can I minimize the peeling this time?

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Omg, the chin acne is the worst. This is where I primarily break out, and it is the yucky cystic variety. I'm glad this has been helping you...it gives me hope!  We actually use Cerave for my daughter (she has eczema). I'll have to sneak some of hers:-)

baobaobear

Re: Starting Retin A....how can I minimize the peeling this time?

YES! That is exactly what I had with cystic chin acne. You can sneak some CereVe into a smaller container and use that since you don't need much for your face. I've barely made a dent so far in the big one. Also, I can't attribute how much of my improvement is Retin A and how much is Aczone, though I know Retin A has helped. :smileyhappy:

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