SKIN UPDATE #3: 1+ Year using Differin

Wow, it’s been 1 year since I started using 0.3% Adapalene! Crazy how fast time passes when you get older heheheh….

If you haven’t already, please be sure to read my previous skin updates so you understand what I talk about in this post and other actives I use that I do not mention here.
Skin Update [#1] December 2018: Acne + Scars
Skin Update [#2]: August 2019: My Skin’s Progress so Far!

Breakdown of what I’ve been doing to my skin since my last Skin Update August 2019:

  • Got too cheeky and started eating eating crappy food and drinking sugary drinks, thus getting breakouts so big that 10% Azelaic Acid couldn’t handle it 🙂
  • Have repurchased a 5% Benzoyl Peroxide wash which does the job very quickly. However…
  • Contemplated why I stopped using 5% Dapsone, and realized that the moment I had a mild side effect (redness) I freaked out. I began the purchasing spiral to find an OTC product to help with breakouts, when I could’ve just continued using Dapsone.

ACNE

My cystic breakouts have been on and off. As mentioned in my recap, I’ve been eating shitty food lately, and both my boyfriend and I know the triggers (refined sugar). Since the holidays, I have been cutting back on sugary snacks and drinks. Reflecting back on older photos, my acne is definitely is more under control than it has been in years. Here are some posts for reference when I started 0.1% Adapalene. You’ll notice dark red marks and lots of hormonal breakouts along my jaw:
2018 Skincare Routines
Some By Mi Review

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From this year of using many actives (do as I say, not as I do lol), I found that Benzoyl Peroxide in wash form (Benzagel 5 Acne Wash) and my 5% Dapsone gel prescription have been the most effective at treating inflamed acne lesions quickly and making my skin smoother from bumps. I’ll continue using both, mostly 5% Dapsone on my face 2 times a day (as advised) and use the BP wash for emergencies.


PIGMENTATION

Due to the increase in some breakouts, my chin in particular has more red/purple marks than usual. However I don’t find it to bother me much, since Differin really helps to diminish them quickly, alongside an SPF50+ sunscreen. I also find Azelaic Acid has been great in speeding up their healing process. Incorporating it into my routine definitely makes my complexion brighter, more even tone, and assist with fading any pigmentation.

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I actually prefer it over Vitamin C serums, which have never shown (in my experience) to help with red acne marks. I currently am near the end of Paula’s Choice 10% Azelaic Acid Booster in my collection, and I don’t plan on getting the unprescribed 15% Finacea any time soon. The PC one while nice is quite expensive and it is difficult to find unprescribed Finacea, even if I look on eBay. I think I need to be patient and either a) ask my Derm about prescribed AA, or b) wait for F.C. from SimpleSkincareScience to launch his AA serum!


ATROPHIC SCARS

And now the big update! Please watch my Youtube video showcasing my scars after a finishing a whole tube of 0.3% Adapalene (over 1 year). I couldn’t for the life of me replicate the exact angle and lighting of my face and it looked different with every photo. The video will give a better idea.

Like I have mentioned here or there, every time I see family and friends, they always compliment how much smoother my skin looks. Usually awful lighting was the teller of all tales for my complexion, and I even notice that my skin looks so much smoother! Although my skin isn’t 100% smooth (I don’t think it will ever be to be honest), the texture has definitely improved for the better with continued use of Differin.


FINAL THOUGHTS + MY PLAN

Although it’s a lengthy process, I’m happy that my skin has been overall improving for the better since starting 0.3% Adapalene. This plus other actives has also given me more mental freedom, and I see myself (literally and figuratively) in a more positive light. The quality of my skin has been a constant focal point in my thoughts for years, and I finally have the clarity to not care about how I look without a face full of makeup.

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I already picked up another prescription of Differin, so I will continue to use it. It seems that more evidence is popping up that it can also help with photoaging, so hopefully this will also contribute to my skin’s quality in that aspect. In addition, I will continue to use 5% Dapsone morning and night even if I am lesion free (it’s supposed to help prevent as well), and book an appointment with my derm if I ever have concerns.

Now that I have finally used up a full tube of Differin, I am going to FINALLY start microneedling again to speed up the healing process of my atrophic scars and to help prevent my subtle fine lines from getting worse. I know I mentioned this in my last skin update, but I decided to just see what topicals solely did for my scars.


As always, I hope you found my post helpful and informative.

xo, M

My Updated Skincare Routines 2019

Hey everyone,

Here are the videos of my current morning and nighttime skincare routines! I’m proud to say that I’ve simplified my routine even further, and yet everything is very purposeful and contributes to my skin’s health.

Morning Skincare Routine:

Nighttime Skincare Routine:

Note that these routines are on the days/nights I do not test out new products, or if I need to give my skin a break.

Before you watch, please be sure to take a gander at other posts / videos related to my skin:

I’m Finally Sharing my Current Skincare Routines 2018

My Morning (AM) Skincare Routine 2018

My Nighttime (PM) Skincare Routine 2018

Skin Update [#1] December 2018: Acne + Scars

Skin Update [#2]: August 2019: My Skin’s Progress so Far!

Thanks for watching!

xo, M

I’m Finally Sharing my Current Skincare Routines 2018

She has arrived!

It’s taken me a while to do a post like this because frankly, I didn’t know how to approach my skin concerns. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I was super oily and acne prone for the first 24 years of my life! In recent years, my skin did a 180 and is now dehydrated, dry, and still acne-prone :/

After a HUGE learning curve about skin and ingredients I’ve never heard of, and much trial and error, I am ready to share what’s been working for me!

With the routines I’m about to share, I am not only content with the products, but I enjoy using them and I have actually seen nothing but positive changes to my skin! Eg. Controlled acne, increased hydration and moisture, fading hyper-pigmentation, less noticeable fine lines, even skin tone, smoother skin texture.

That’s right, I’ve noticed all these changes! Keep in mind that some products I have used between a month to over a year. Some of the products are also repetitive in my AM and PM routines, so if I go into detail in one post, I won’t as much in the other.


SKIN GOALS

Healthy skin.
That is pretty much all of our main goal in our skincare, isn’t it? Depending where you are in life, the journey is different although we want the results to be same.

My approach to achieving my healthiest skin possible is not by finding products that are just categorized for acne prone, dry skin. Instead, I choose products based on my skin’s condition and what it needs to address it. As of now, I have breakouts, and my skin gets easily dehydrated and dry. On top of that, I still have atrophic scarring from cystic acne and hyperpigmentation. The major musts for my skincare is to control acne, keep skin hydrated, and maintain and strengthen my skin barrier. My skin won’t get better unless these main issues are handled first. Once I have that on lock, considering other concerns such as hyperpigmentation and texture can come after.

Controlling Acne

Control your acne, you prevent so many future skin problems from happening! You can’t add anything else to your routine to help with other concerns until you have this under control.
What my skincare does: Decreases inflammation and current breakouts
What my skincare prevents: Congestion, reducred marks, atrophic scarring, enlarged pores

Hydration

As we age our skin loses more water, so we have to make sure we maintain our skin cells water levels!
What my skincare does: Skin looks plump, less visible pores, smoother looking skin
What my skincare prevents: Fine lines, dehydration, enlarged pores

Barrier Protection

An impaired skin barrier is what gives us skin problems in the first place. Our skin will be a complete mess if we don’t protect and maintain it! It’s our largest organ, and biggest protector of our bodies.
What my skincare does: Increase UV Protection, moisturize skin, keep skin pH balanced
What my skincare prevents: Burning, DNA damage, Trans-Epidermal Water Loss (TEWL), foreign invaders entering skin (environmental pollutants)


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I am by no means a skin expert or in any professional field in the industry. However, I’d like to think I am an educated person, someone who’s always willing to learn something new, and self experiment. I’ve had 15+ years of skin trouble, I’ve spoken to experts, taken advice, used topical and oral medication, have done a lot of personal research, conducted many a personal trial and error, and went through emotional and mental havoc to get to where my skin and mentality is at today.

This is why it’s taken me so long to share my routine. I have just been trying to figure what the hell is going on and understand it as best as possible as an average consumer.

Thanks for reading this monologue, below is where I will link my routines once they are published:

Morning AM Skincare Routine 2018
Blog Post – My Morning (AM) Skincare Routine 2018
Video


Nighttime PM Skincare Routine 2018
Blog Post – My Nighttime (PM) Skincare Routine 2018
Video

Body Care: Prevent Congestion and Fade Scars
Miscellaneous Skincare: Products I use 1-3x a Week

I hope it helps you out.

xo, M