I started using tretinoin in mid-April. I used it until a week before I went to the beach and the week I was there. Sun exposure can damage your skin when you use tretinoin and I wanted to avoid that. You can learn more by reading Tretinoin (Retin A) and Tretinoin / Retin-A Cheat Sheet. I discussed my initial experience in Starting Tretinoin. If you are interested in following my journey after returning from vacation you can do that here, here, here, here, and here.
My skin is basically normal in the cooler months. When it gets really cold and dry outside my skin gets more dry. In the warm weather, it is combo/normal and I need to use mattifying products to reduce the shine. I have fine lines and wrinkles with several areas of hyperpigmentation.
In month 5 I added a morning moisturizer with Alpha Hydroxy Acid and a nighttime moisturizer with Beta Hydroxy Acid. This was inadvertent as I did not know that they contained hydroxy acids. I had planned to add an Alpha Hydroxy Acid containing product once a week but that it on hold right now. I used tretinoin at least 6 days a week this month and usually daily.
My face handled the hydroxy acids fairly well with minor adjustments. I cut back on using my Clarisonic to just a few nights a week. I had been using it every other night. That was enough to make the skin on my face happy. There was mild flaking most mornings but that is to be expected when you use tretinoin. This was a manageable amount of flaking that was barely noticeable and did not interfere with makeup application.
My neck and chest were a different story. The combination of daily tretinoin use and the hydroxy acids was just too much. It stung when I applied products to my neck and chest. The skin became red and irritated and started flaking really badly. It was noticeable and looked really bad. I had to stop using both moisturizers and use ones that were super gentle. I stopped using the tretinoin at all for 3 days to let the skin recover. The changes I made seem to have been effective and I got back to daily use fairly quickly.
For most of my 6th month, I was using a Korean Skincare Routine. I had been wanting to try it out for awhile and picked what should have been a cold winter month to try it out. I did not use any alpha hydroxy containing products during this month.
The k-beauty routine worked well with my tretinoin and I didn’t have to make any adjustments. There was no flaking that I noticed this month. My skin did well with the gentler products.
I still have not added an AHA at night to my routine. My plan had been to do this once I was able to use tretinoin daily with no issues. I am hoping to begin that during my 7th month. I will use tretinoin 6 nights a week and some form of AHA one night a week. I have several products that contain various AHA’s and I am eager to see how they work in combination with tretinoin.I will check back in next month to share how the new change works out for me.
Do you use tretinoin? Do you also use AHA’s with it? What kind of results have you had? Can you recommend any good AHA products I amy want to try?
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