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Post in Acne-Prone Skin

Skincare regimen involving retinoids (tretinoin)

I've recently started using a retinoid prescribed by my derm for some hormonal acne/scarring issues. I'm approaching my second week, and so far (knock on wood) things haven't gone completely insane, but I know that the purge may be approaching! I was wondering what gentle skincare products any of you recommend as far as a cleanser and moisturizer. I'm currently using Cerave or African Black Soap to cleanse, Origins Zero Oil moisturizer during the day, and Josie Maran Argan Oil or FAB Ultra Repair Cream at night along with the retinoid if I feel too dry or flaky. I've been quite oily during the day, and am due for a new daytime moisturizer and would like to try a new cleanser as well. I'd appreciate any recommendations or advice from anyone with experience using tretinoin (specifically, Atralin). Thanks!

Re: Skincare regimen involving retinoids (tretinoin)

I'm also on Atralin. The 1st month, nothing hapoened. Now, I'm currently on the 2nd month, and my face broke out like crazy Smiley Sad I'me pretty sad but hope this will be over soon. Anyway, I've found a couple products that work well for my problematic skin during this time.

Cleansers: Fresh Soy Face cleanser & Caudalie Instant Foaming cleanser

Toner: SK-II Facial Treatment Clear Lotion

Day-time moisturizer: SK-II Cellumination Mask-in Lotion

Night time moisturizer: Either the SK-II one or the Korres Greek Yogurt Sleeping Facial

Hope this helps! Smiley Happy

Re: Skincare regimen involving retinoids (tretinoin)

I was on trentinoin for a while, it cleared my skin up really well in about 3 months, but my skin was very very red and dry, bc I have sensitive skin, so my derm switched my off of it and my acne came back Smiley Sad. Anyway I would recommend neutrogena extra gentle cleanser and Clinique dramatically different moisturizing lotion, when I did use a ton( and I mean a ton) of moisturizer in the morning and trentinoin at night my skin would not be dry. Good luck!!

Re: Skincare regimen involving retinoids (tretinoin)

I am 28 and have had beautiful 95%-99% acne free skin for months now. I suffered from some pretty bad acne in my teens, which have left some scaring, and it calmed down a little in my mid 20's but was still bad to me. I decided to see a dermatologist a little over a year ago and have tried a few different products, I even seriously considered accutane. The regimen I am on now has worked wonders. I still have some of the red acne aftermath marks but they are still fading. It took a few months until I saw a huge difference but I stuck with it and am now happy and confident. IMG_20140105_200833_063[1].jpg

This is my morning routine. I wash my face with the Clean and Clear continuous control, which contains 10% benzoyl peroxide, then I use the Neutrogena oil free moisturizer which I apply to eyelids and upper lip first. I then put a small, little less than pea size, equal amounts of the Aczone and moisturizer on my index finger and then mix them together using two fingers on both hands and blend them into my skin, avoiding my eyelids and upper lip. The Clean and Clear can dry skin out, I have always had oily skin and have only had a small patch of the skin dry out so I just use extra moisturizer on the part when I do my eyelids and upper lip and it is fine.


When it comes to make up I start out with a primer. I have been using the Smashbox photo finish foundation primer but am thinking of switching to the Tarte clean slate poreless 12-hour perfecting primer. And then for my foundation I have been using Neutrogena skin clearing oil-free makeup. I have used this foundation for about 2 years and it has been good, I have yet to find my exact match and am looking for a new one but I am a bit scared to try something new and possibly have a break out.


This is my nightly routine. I start off by using the Sephora waterproof eye makeup remover and then wash my face with the Dial body wash. It is antibacterial and it does a great job at removing my face makeup. I then use the same moisturizer as in my morning routine and again use it on my eyelids and upper lip. I then use, little less then a pea size, equal parts of my Aczone, Tretinoin cream, and moisturizer mixing them together and blending them into my skin avoiding my eyelids and upper lip. Then I head to bed.


I avoid my eyelids because I accidentally used the Aczone and Tretinoin on my eyelids twice and burned the right lid a little. And for the upper lip because I rarely get a pimple up there and I have such oily skin already that it seems these products just make my upper lip more oily. One of the things I love about the tretinoin cream besides it helping me fight acne is that it is also made to reduce wrinkles! So Bonus!

IMG_20140104_082214_981.jpgThis was taken yesterday and this is what my complexion has been like. What I have always been told and had found out for myself is that it usually gets worse before it gets better and it does take time before you will really see a difference. My dermatologist had me stick to a new routine for about 6 months to see if it would really work. I hope this will help you out. Good Luck, I know what you are going through and it will get better once you find your perfect routine.

Re: Skincare regimen involving retinoids (tretinoin)

You have beautiful skin! (I swear by retinoids -- they keep skin youthful, too, in addition to clear!)

Re: Skincare regimen involving retinoids (tretinoin)

Thank you, it definitely took a while but I am happy. And I too love the retinoids.

Re: Skincare regimen involving retinoids (tretinoin)

I have been using tretinion cream .05 at night since September for my hormonal acne along my jawline and cheeks. After using the cream at night, an antibiotic pill, and clindamyacin(sp?) lotion during the day mine is 80% under control with much, much fewer painful cysts. For cleanser, I rotate between Cera Ve foaming face gel for normal/oily and Panoxyl foaming wash 10% during the day and at night. I only use the Panoxyl a couple times a week since it irritates my neck. Luckily, I didn't have any purging with the cream or lotion. My skin was already very broken out and inflamed went I visited the derm. For moisturizer both at night and during the day, I use Cetaphil's Oil Control Moisturizer SPF 30. One pump is enough for my face in the morning and I use this under the tretinion cream at night if I notice some dryness or peeling from it. This product seems to control the oil, dries matte fast, has SPF 30 to prevent darken of acne scars, and isn't heavy. Ulta has had Cetaphil productss buy 1 get 1 half off lately plus I have found coupons in the boxes lately. The peeling and flaking can be annoying, especially in Winter, that is probably the hardest part in my opinion. I started with twice a week and have worked my way up to every other night making sure to not put it on active breakouts or on my nose.  

Re: Skincare regimen involving retinoids (tretinoin)

I love me some retin a... Anyhow, I like Lush Ultra Bland for cleaning. If ,y skin is super irritated I use either just an oil like argon or celestial from lush at nIght. I find the fab "option to be somewhat irritating and have to be careful with it. My skin tends towards being very dry though, so Celestial might not be a good choice. 

Re: Skincare regimen involving retinoids (tretinoin)

Thank you all for your advice! 

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