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

Dynamic Duo? Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin Drop & Freshly Juiced Vitamin E Face Mask

If you follow the Korean beauty scene, the latest skincare advice is to use vitamin C and vitamin E products together in your skincare routine. They have been talked about as a power couple and it is highly recommended to combine the two to really maximize both their skincare benefits.

The Benefits of Vitamin C and E Together

  • Boosting vitamin C effects on your skin
  • Protecting skin from sun damage
  • Neutralize any free radicals that occur after sun exposure
  • Help synthesize collagen
  • Maintain the cross-links between the collagen fibers

I happen to have two Klairs products that have been recommended to go together! Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin Drop and Freshly Juiced Vitamin E Mask.

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The Controversy Combining Niacinamide with Vitamin C

If you noticed on the Vitamin E Mask, niacinamide is one of the key ingredients. Some beauty companies advise consumers not to pair any niacinamide to vitamin C products; both combined will neutralize the other, rendering both ingredients ineffective in your skincare routine.

The only time I have heard otherwise:

  • Charlotte Cho from Soko Glam state that Niacinamide actually helps stabilize vitamin C and they’re very safe to use together
  • Paula Begoun explaining that old studies on their incompatibility were due to using unstable formulas, and today’s studies show the formulations they test with today are stable
  • Wishtrend conflicted itself; they had a youtube video saying to not combine the two ingredients together, yet on their Vitamin E Mask page, it describes how Niacinamide helps stabilize vitamin C and its own benefits are enhanced when combined

I’ve been using these 2 products as part of my night time skincare routine for a few months now, and I feel comfortable enough to finalize my thoughts on these products and how they work together.

To piece this review nicely, I’m going to start by individually reviewing the products and finalize my thoughts by how they perform together at the end. Also, because I’m reviewing two products, I didn’t include the section on claims and ingredients list, but I left links down below for you to check it out yourself.
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REVIEW | [ByWishtrend] Mandelic Acid 5% Skin Prep Water

In my personal opinion, tried and true, chemical exfoliants are the most effective products when dealing with indented scarring without breaking the bank.

I don’t have terribly picked scars, but they are quite noticeable in certain lighting. They have plagued me for many years after having cystic acne, and truthfully, I thought I would have them forever unless I spent crazy money on some type of professional treatment. However, it wasn’t until a lovely friend of mine gifted me an AHA (Alpha Hydroxy Acid) toner that I started noticing my face becoming smoother and my breakouts lessening after every use! Within a month I saw results; not perfect, but my goodness, did it make me feel a hell of a lot better and more hopeful for my skin’s future.

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AHAs and I have had a very intimate relationship ever since, however, AHAs can be a bit uncompromising. Depending on the formulation and concentration of AHA, the product has potential to dry out your skin and make it more sensitive to the sun. It is precisely this reason that I wait until the end of summer to use chemical exfoliants. I’m avoiding the burn and potentially damaging my skin further than before.

This year I started using the ByWishtrend Mandelic Acid 5% Skin Prep Water* and have used it consistently every night for about 2 months.

Now before we get into the review I’d like to say, I had no idea what mandelic acid even was! I’ve heard of glycolic, lactic, citric… never mandelic. This is a very new AHA treatment to me, so I absolutely had to use it for a while to really see and understand how it performs!

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