Transitioning away from Tazorac (retinoid)

I've been using Atralin/Tazorac for about 6 months now to deal with some hormonal acne issues. My skin has pretty much returned to normal, with the occasional pimple here and there, but nothing compared to the flare up I had a while ago which prompted the use of these retinoids. I find that they make my already shiny face even worse, especially during the summer. I would like to transition away from these strong retinoids and maybe begin using a moisturizer and/or serum at night that contains some type of retinol to ensure that my skin remains youthful and (hopefully) acne free, while reducing some of the oiliness that medication tends to contribute to. My current skincare routine involves washing twice a day with a gentle cleanser (Neutrogena Cream Cleanser), toning with Thayer's Rose Witch Hazel to balance the pH, Origins Zero Oil moisturizer (for day time), and using the Clarisonic at night along with the retinoid and a tiny amount of FAB Ultra Repair Cream to combat any flakiness. Any suggestions as to how I can revamp this routine?

Re: Transitioning away from Tazorac (retinoid)

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Maybe you should try using it every other day or every two days instead. I use Tazorac cream and I know it also comes in a gel that would probably help with oiliness. So I think using it only a couple times a week will be your best bet. Looking at your skincare routine, I can see why your skin might be more oily. You're using a lot of drying stuff. Also are you using the Clarisonic every day? If so, I would suggest not doing that anymore. I only use mine once a week. I have really strong skin, so I probably could use it more often but I find the more gentle I am, the better my skin looks. Not sure what Atralin is, but Tazorac is one of the strongest retinoids and you really need to be very very gentle while using it. So for a revamped routine I would recommend:

 

A more gentle cleanser- I currently use Boscia Tsubaki Oil Gel and I love it, doesn't break me out and it's super gentle. Cerave also makes great gentle cleansers I've heard great things about. 

 

Stop using the witch hazel. That stuff is so drying. If you still want to use a toner, I would suggest something hydrating. I don't find toners necessary so I don't have any recommendations for you, but maybe someone else will. I noticed you said you use this to balance pH, and if you have a pH balanced cleanser this is not necessary. Reddit has an awesome sub called skincare addiction that has a list of cleanser pH's and tons of other info to help you out as well. It looks like the cleanser you are using is a little low. You want one that is around 4.5-5.5, as that is close to your skins pH. Cerave products are around the right pH. 

 

Other than that your routine looks good. Moisturizing is key, and I've heard the Fab cream you are using is awesome and really hydrating. 

 

If you have any other questions just ask!

 

 

Re: Transitioning away from Tazorac (retinoid)

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I appreciate you sharing your advice, especially the idea of using products that are gentle rather than oil-fighting. I definitely think the issue is that I've been stripping my skin of its natural oils and now it is rebelling by producing even more. As someone who uses Tazorac, could you recommend a good eye cream that won't irritate? I'm still on the young side (23) but would like to begin an eye-care routine as well, as a preventative measure and to soothe my eyes after a season of itchiness from allergies. 

Re: Transitioning away from Tazorac (retinoid)

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I use Atralin. I'm transitioning by using it every other day rather than daily to wean myself off. Discuss it with your dermatologist though.

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