My Years Of Experience With Retinol For Acne And Acne Marks
As I promised (Probably a long time ago!) in this post I’ll be sharing my personal experience with retinol for acne. Now I have been using Retinol since the year 2011. It was prescribed to me by my Derm for acne. Mainly for my comedones! I’ll be honest that there were times in these many years where I had discontinued using Retinol several times (Took short breaks!). Then was back on Retinol again! I have a love-hate relationship with Retinol! Now, you probably must be reading or hearing a lot about Retinol and why Derms swear by it and that’s the reason you decided to check out this post! Well, I have a lot to share! So hop in to know about Retinol for acne!
What is retinol and why it is used in skincare?
Let’s keep the scientific terms aside and speak in simple terms! Retinol is a medication which has many benefits for the skin. Basically, it helps in skin cell turnover meaning it exfoliates the skin. So it helps fight skin problems like- acne, acne marks, blackheads & whiteheads (comedones), sun damage and wrinkles! (Tell me what’s missing!?) So these are the reasons why many praise Retinol so much but yet they are intimated by it. Why? You’ll find out ahead!
Retinol for acne or for anti-aging purposes is available on Derm’s prescription. Some OTC cosmetic products also contain a small percentage of Retinol in it. I have also read about under eye products containing Retinol to prevent crow’s feet formation, fine lines, wrinkles etc. (I haven’t tried any yet!)
You know who can be Retinol’s best friend? Sunscreen! It is highly advised not to step outside without sunscreen. Even for a non-retinol user! Also when you are using Retinol do not use any harsh products. An effective cleanser, light moisturizer, weekly face scrub, and mask will do.
Why I use retinol?
As I shared in the beginning of this post that I was prescribed one. I am a prescribed Adapalene user. I find Adapalene much gentler then Tretinion. And my skin is suitable more with Adapalene. (Yes I have used Tretinoin too!)
So adapalene is basically prescribed for acne condition where comedones are more dominant. So yes I face a lot of comedones issues! But it handles it very well! And this is the reason why I keep going back to Retinol after short breaks. I also face pimple eruptions and this helps in treating pimples and exfoliates the skin so it aids in with pimple marks too.
Why I love retinol?
Retinol helps to keep my blackheads and whiteheads in control. And it also kind of helps in keeping the oil in control too! Because it exfoliates skin and encourages collagen production that helps my skin to heal from active acne marks! I am not sure about the scars though. Although I have read about Retinol helping in reducing scars which could be from cystic acne.
I am currently in my early 20s and as of now, I do not face any wrinkle issues. But they say that if I continue using Retinol then it will help in preventing wrinkles and any signs of aging. I am quite skeptical about this though! (Anyways, will update you guys!)
Why I hate retinol? (Side effects!)
Yep, the side effects! Through these many years, my skin has become quite tolerant to Retinol but I still face sun sensitivity issue. Meaning, you will never find me without sunscreen and an umbrella! (In Mumbai’s sunny weather!) And if by mistake I have used a bit more quantity of the product then I face severe flaky skin issues. I could literally see my skin flaking as if it is Winter but no, it could be any other season! Also, not to forget about the initial breakout phase!
Another side effect I face is that I can’t use anything with Vitamin C easily. Because Vitamin A (Retinol) and Vitamin C don’t go well together. Yes, I have used it once and I faced severe stingy sensation and redness! So I have to check the ingredients before trying any product on my face!
Another reason of my love-hate relationship is that sometimes it clears my acne and sometimes it’s too slow to work on them! So, many times I find myself back to square one! And this is where my love for homemade remedies increase!
How do I use retinol?
My skin has become tolerant with Retinol after I started using it with a light moisturizer. Every night and I take like a tiny pea size quantity of it and mix it with a tiny pea size quantity of light moisturizer. Currently, I am using a lotion from Lass Naturals. (By the way, I have shared my skincare routine in this post- My current skincare routine for oily, acne prone and sensitive skin)
As I said earlier that sometimes I do take a break from Retinol. And that’s when I use night serum and the serum which I have used till now is from Natural Cosmetism. It is their Acne & Oil Control Night Serum. I do use a lot of DIY face packs and some other DIY skincare stuff. To keep a balance in my skin so that it doesn’t dry out and doesn’t feel dehydrated. Sometimes with Retinol, I do face drying issues in spite of having an oily skin!
Who should not use Retinol?
It is advised for pregnant or lactating women not to use Retinol. I’ll advise you whenever it comes to such medicated treatments please consult a Doc and take their advice!
How long does it take before the results show up?
Honestly, for some, the result shows up pretty soon and for some late, and for some it doesn’t! I have heard from people saying that their acne cleared up within three months of usage! And some saying they saw the desired result only after two years! About me? When I first started using I got my results within six months. But that doesn’t mean that Retinol did ta-ta bye-bye to my acne forever! Acne is still there! Why? Because it just helps to keep them in control. Yes, for some it has cleared their skin but if they face acne from hormonal issues then acne pops on their face again! (My case!)
My case is hormonal too and for this reason, I went on BCP too. Wanna know about it? Subscribe to the blog to stay updated because I’ll be sharing about my experience with BCP for acne soon!
I hope this post was helpful! You got insights of a patient who uses retinol for acne! And let me know if you have any doubts or queries in the comment section down below! Also if you are using Retinol for acne or for wrinkles, how is your experience so far? 🙂
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