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Post in Skincare Aware

tretinoin help, please? <3



I'm currently on a prescribed dose of 0.05% tretinoin and I've used it before in the past when I was younger--so of course I was expecting my skin to feel a lil' irritated and get red and dry and so on and so forth. But I haven't been on it in so long that I forgot how painful it could be ;-; 


My skin is so painfully dry and irritated ;-; anyone have any advice? 


I've been weaning myself on it so my skin could get used to it and I want to get my skin hydrated again so when I start using it more and more frequently my skin doesn't get drier/flakier ;-; Any recommendations for super hydrating moisturizers (i have oily skin by the way ;-;) & any tips and tricks if any y'all have any, I would really appreciate it ^^; 


My current routine is-- 

~ Nighttime ~ 

CeraVe Foaming Face Cleanser 

The Ordinary's Hyaluronic Acid 

 The Painful Tretinoin™ ;-;

CeraVe PM Moisterizer (<--- I'm going to switch this out with a hydrating moisterize soon when I find one... I was thinking of the First Aide Beauty's Intense Hydration Cream but I still want to search for others just in case :3) 


~ Daytime ~ 

CeraVe Foaming Face Cleanser 

(**SOMETIMES the Hyaluronic Acid, lol it really depends on how I wake up ;-;)

CeraVe Moisturizing Sunscreen SPF 30 


That's really it ^^; I don't want to use too many products but I really want to wake up with ~glowy~ skin ;-;

Re: tretinoin help, please? <3

@DijaNoah  I use Tretinoin every other night and was starting off with dry skin to start.  My skin is still dry, well ... more combo and situationally dry.  The face masks I wear when I go out to work a couple times a week are brutal on my skin.  My plan of action that's been working for me is as follows.  


- Gentle cleanse - Drunk Elephant Beste™ No. 9 Jelly Cleanser 5 oz/ 150 mL 

- Wash off mask - Farmacy Honey Potion Renewing Antioxidant Hydration Mask 

- Shower/wash off the mask

- Sheet Mask- Dr. Jart+ Ceramidin™ Facial Barrier Mask Ceramidin™ Facial Mask 

- Hydrating Serum - Bioderma Hydrabio Serum

- Hydrating Serum - The Ordinary 100% Plant-Derived Squalane 1 oz/ 30 mL 

- Vitamin C Serum - Volition Beauty Strawberry-C Brightening Serum 1.0 oz/ 30 mL 

- Moisturizer - Dr. Jart+ Ceramidin™ Cream 

- SPF - I use a Korean brand that I actually don't recall the name of, just be sure it's a high SPF.



- Remove Eye Make-up - Bioderma Micellar Water

- First Cleanse -  Erno Laszlo Detoxifying Cleansing Oil 6.6 oz/ 195 mL  (I use the pink sensitive one)

- Second Cleanse - Drunk Elephant Beste™ No. 9 Jelly Cleanser 5 oz/ 150 mL 

- Sheet mask - Dr. Jart+ Ceramidin™ Facial Barrier Mask Ceramidin™ Facial Mask 

- Hydrating Serum - Bioderma

- Hydrating Serum - The Ordinary 100% Plant-Derived Squalane 1 oz/ 30 mL 

- Moisturizer - Dr. Jart+ Ceramidin™ Cream 

- Oil - Josie Maran 100 percent Pure Argan Oil 


Right before I go to bed I add on a layer of a moisturizing sleeping mask .  Dr. Jart+ Ceramidin™ Oil Balm 1.4 oz/ 40 mL  is a good one.


The products I listed here are often swapped out with others, but the ones I listed are the most favourite I use.  The Dr. Jart Ceramidin line is fantastic.  As for the sheet masks, some days I only do one, depending on time, right now I have so many that I just pick and go with it.  Daily or even every other day sheet masking helps and a lot of stores have 10/12 packs available at discounted rates (TJ Maxx etc).  If you were looking for hydrating or moisturizing products in one certain area, I'd be glad to list more that work for me. 

Re: tretinoin help, please? <3

@DijaNoah How many times are you using the Tretinoin a week?  It can be very helpful to just use it 2x a week and take it from there.  Anyway, a big game changer for me when I upped my concentration from the .05% to the .1% was The Ordinary 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil 1 oz/ 30 mL .  It took away the pain in about two days.  I started using it twice a day, and was able to move onto once a day eventually.


When I first started Tretinoin years ago, I used CeraVe PM as well.  (My friend did the same - and her sister is a derm and totally agreed with this.)  When I upped my concentration, my eye area was especially dry even though I don't use it that close to my eyes.  I started using Drunk Elephant Lala Retro™ Whipped Moisturizer with Ceramides 1.69 oz/ 50 mL and it helped.


As for a cleanser, you might wish to use CeraVe's Hydrating Face Cleanser b/c foaming cleansers can be irritating for the skin.  I use that one occasionally.  I use First Aid Beauty Pure Skin Face Cleanser the vast majority of the time and really love it.


Good luck!  🙂

Re: tretinoin help, please? <3

@greeneyedgirl107  I am using it twice a week! Haha, I'm afraid that my skin is just on the more sensitive side ;-;


But thank you so much for your response, I'm going to check out the products you recommended! 



Re: tretinoin help, please? <3

@DijaNoah Unfortunately, it's one of those products that you kinda have to "power through."  I recall @WinglessOne recommending applying moisturizer *then* retinols/retinoids to ease skin.  If you were to do that, I'd probably stick with the CeraVe PM, but that's more my personal preference 🙂

Re: tretinoin help, please? <3

@greeneyedgirl107 @DijaNoah  Yeah, I was going to recommend applying tretinoin after moisturizer. That's a tip some dermatologists give to patients with sensitive skin. It ensures your skin's well hydrated and moisturized before you add tretinoin, rather than letting your skin dry out so you can apply tretinoin pre-moisturizer. Also the moisturizer can buffer some of the painful side effects and won't stop tretinoin (or retinol, retinaldehyde, adapalene, etc.) from doing its job—well, unless you use something very occlusive that's mostly petrolatum, like CeraVe Healing Ointment. But other moisturizers like CeraVe PM Facial Moisturizing Lotion are fine. 


If your skin's super dry and flakey, consider one or more of these tweaks to your routine: 


  • Skip cleanser in the morning, at least until your skin's re-acclimated to tretinoin. Just gently wipe your face with a very soft plush microfiber cloth, like a The Original MakeUp Eraser The Original MakeUp Eraser® Makeup Remover Cloth . 
  • Apply the hyaluronic acid serum in the morning instead of night for a while, and see if simplifying your night routine helps reduce irritation. It's amazing how some products/ingredients that used to cause no issues—even friendly neighborhood hyaluronic acid—can increase irritation when layered with a retinoid. Your CeraVe PM lotion is fairly hydrating on its own: it contains hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, and ceramides. It also contains licorice root, a good skin soother. 
  • Make sure your skin's damp before you apply moisturizer. If it's not, tap or mist a little water on it. Gotta give the moisturizer some hydration to seal into your skin. 
  • For excessively dry flakey skin, I normally suggest a thin layer of petrolatum-based balm (CeraVe Healing Ointment or—if you're not sensitive to lanolin—Aquaphor Ointment) applied over the rough painful areas. Since you normally have oily skin, you might prefer something like Aveeno Eczema Therapy Itch Relief Balm: it contains no petrolatum and relies instead on dimethicone as a moisturizing ingredient. It's thick and contains soothing oats. Whichever balm you choose, you can apply it during the day, or apply it after moisturizer + tretinoin at night. Or, greeneyedgirl107's recommendation of rosehip oil is a great alternative: you can apply that under tretinoin and/or use it during the day. 


I hope your irritation subsides soon! I use a 0.1% retinaldehyde instead of tretinoin, and I've accidentally ticked off my undereyes with it a couple of times. (Without thinking, I brought it up onto my undereye area... oops. I normally use lower strength retinol on that area.) So I feel your pain. Literally. 

Re: tretinoin help, please? <3

Try a polyglutamic  acid and a heavier moisturizer. I like tatcha dewy. 

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