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 Skinโ€™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 ๐Ÿ™‚
  • 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

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

I forgot to schedule this because my mind drifted during the Long Labour Day weekend ๐Ÿ™‚

It has been around 9 months since starting 0.3% Adapalene, so it’s about time I do a skin update and show you my skin’s progress!

Be sure to read my first one so you’re up to date: Skin Update [#1] December 2018: Acne + Scars


Here’s a breakdown of what I’ve been doing since my last update in December 2018:

  • Still have not used a microneedling device since November when I reviewed the Banisher 2.0.
  • No professional facials done, just stuck with topical products I purchased.
  • Using Differin almost every night since I got it end of November 2018.
  • Aczone was good up until the 4 month mark, then I switched to Finacea (AA). I noticed Aczone would dry out my skin and make it look darker and red.
  • Upped my chemical exfoliators to 2 times a week – still using Krave Beauty’s Kale-lalu-yAHA and Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid.
  • Have been attempting to apply minimum SPF50 PA++++/PPD 16 up to 2mg/cm2 of sunscreen on exposed areas.

BEFORE / AFTERS

NOTE:

  • It’s really hard to match exact lighting and angle!
  • I also added the same photos with increased the shadows and highlights to emphasize the texture – even then it’s hard to truly depict what’s happening on my face
  • Ignore that cut on the bottom part of my face – I shaved and cut myself (yes I’ve been shaving my face! it’s quite magical)
  • TIMEFRAME: November 27, 2018 – July 13, 2019
michxmash-before-afters
Top: Befores, Bottom: Afters
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Emphasized shadow and contrast. Top: befores, Bottom: Afters

ATROPHIC SCARS

In general, they look like the got smaller, and my face generally looks smoother. At first I thought I really wasn’t getting a good angle for the photos; but maybe, just maybe… they actually look that much better! My mom said my skin looks smoother every time she sees me, that has to count for something lol.

PIGMENTATION

I find a lot of the pigmentation I had lingering lightened up ever since I introduced AA and applied proper amounts of higher UVA protecting sunscreens to my routine, and a general boost in my skin’s health.

ACNE

I definitely don’t get as many breakouts since last year, and they are well under control. When I do experience a bad breakout, the connection is from eating too much processed food and drinking very sugary drinks. I find the actives I use in my routine however really help rid any active breakouts quickly, and I don’t find myself stressing over cystic spots as much as I used to.

OVERALL SKIN CONDITION

  • Clearer – acne is under control, pigmentation does not last for months
  • She is slow, but there have been some improvements with my atrophic scars
  • Feels fairly normal since we’re in summer, but still prone to dryness
  • I find my skin gets sensitive to products that I used prior without issue

And that’s it for my 2nd Skin Update! It’s by no means perfect, but I’m happy it’s getting better. Healing old scars as mine with topicals can only do so much, and I’ve accepted that, but at least there’s SOME improvement!

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ACTION PLAN

  • Continue with what I’m using, sticking with Differin
  • Use micro-needle again to boost the process
  • May look into the vampire facial, or other professional treatments to help speed the process for my atrophic scars. It’s so expensive doe ;_;
  • I like my skincare routine at the moment ko, so I’ll be sticking with what I’m currently doing and share it in good time!

It’s always nerve-wracking sharing my skin like this, but I really hope these updates help you out, especially if you’re going through the same skin struggles as I am!

xo, M