I Was Prescribed Tretinoin for My Acne and Here’s What Happened, Part II: My Holy Grail Skin Products

About two months ago, I bared my nasty, acne-filled face to the Internet to show all of you lovely people (who may or may not be having the same issue) what the hell this Tretinoin stuff would do for your skinNow a few months sans severe acne, I’m here to share what’s going on post-treatment.

In my opinion, the worst part about acne is not the actual raging pimple (even though that’s not fun either), it’s the post-acne scarring. You know, that little textured, red or brown spot that serves as a reminder that a pimple had housed itself in that exact spot on your face just a few weeks or months back.

See, most pimples are easy—especially for someone on Tretinoin (which, yes, I’m still using). You see one pop up during the day, steam it until you can clean it out and then pop some Tretinoin on it, then wake up in the morning with it being basically gone. But that scar is what’s the real killer of your dreams of perfect, flawless skin.

Now, let’s back it up. After we last spoke about my Tretinoin experience, I had been on the topical cream for about two months. I saw incredible results and was almost completely acne-free. Of course, this had me jumping for joy, but it didn’t mean I could cease the use of my Tretinoin. It was about time for a follow-up appointment at my derm. After telling me my skin was making major improvements and she was happy about that, she went ahead and upped the percent of Tretinoin from .025% to .050%.

I was immediately taken aback because I thought that everything was going great, but she assured me that this was just the “next step” in the adventure to beautiful skin. I took it with a grain of salt and picked up my new prescription that night. I was upset about upping the percentage because I knew that meant I’d have to go through “the uglies”—which I remembered so well because it basically scarred me for life—but hopefully not as severely since my skin was pretty much detoxed at this point.

I was instructed to alternate between the two prescriptions for a week or two, then stick to the .050% and that’s what I’ve been doing since I got the prescription. Since my last acne post went up on the site, I think I’ve had maybe 4-5 pimples (that’s in two months!). Needless to say, Tretinoin will forever and always be my miracle product.

With that said, yes, my acne is pretty much gone. One thing I am still left with are those ugly little acne scars that I spoke about earlier. With the continued use of the Tretinoin and some incredible skincare products, my acne scarring has definitely been subsiding. Because many of you have followed me along on this skincare journey and are wondering how I’m dealing with these stupid scars, I figured I’d give you a rundown of what’s been working for me.


Because I want to keep my skin clean and make sure there is no crap left in my pores after a day of wearing a full face of makeup, I always opt for the Laneige Deep Pore Cleansing Foam ($22). I love the way this cleanser pairs with my Foreo Luna because I feel like it gets everything off my face in the most gentle way possible. This cleanser definitely does wonders to keep my pores and skin squeaky clean.


On the days when I’m not wearing a full face of makeup, the Glossier Milk Jelly Cleanser ($18) is my BFF. Especially with the Tretinoin, it’s important that I use a cleanser that isn’t harsh on my skin and this one definitely is not. I really love the way this gets my skin to feel super clean without feeling too tight and dry. I even swear by this stuff for getting off waterproof makeup!


Originally, I was scared to exfoliate while using the Tretinoin because I didn’t want to scrub off too much skin and be left with lots of sensitivity or redness. After speaking a bit more with my esthetician, she explained to me that, yes, I’m not getting as many breakouts, but now my pores are getting blocked and filled with gunk easier, since the Tretinoin is causing my skin to turnover faster. All that nasty skin that the Tretinoin is getting off the surface is just going into my pores and blocking them. She told me that it’s important to exfoliate (for me, at least) every other day to make sure that I’m properly cleaning out my pores.

For exfoliation, I’ve been loving the Lancer “Polish” Exfoliator ($75). It gets warm when you’re scrubbing it onto your skin underwater (I always use it in the shower) so it really feels like it’s working. No lie, I don’t think any other product has ever made my skin feel softer and cleaner—ever.



Holy amazing. I remember browsing through Pinterest one day and I saw a girl who made a DIY mask for acne scarring and said that turmeric was the secret, magical ingredient. I had honestly never heard of it before but since I had a face full of acne scars, I figured I’d try anything. Because I’m too lazy to make DIY face masks, I decided to see what beauty products already had turmeric in them. I came across the Kiehl’s Turmeric & Cranberry Seed Energizing Radiance Mask ($32) and, boy, am I glad that I did. This mask is working wonders on removing my scars. I’ve been using it twice a week, every week, like clockwork.


Because my Tretinoin can dry out my skin sometimes, I was on the hunt to find a product that I could use once a day (because I use the Tretinoin at nighttime) that would provide me with a perfect amount of hydration and get my skin back to a healthy balance. I loved all their other products, so I tried out the Drunk Elephant B-Hydra Intense Hydration Gel ($52). I fell in love for many reasons but to sum it up: Drunk Elephant uses only the most beautiful, healthy and ethical ingredients. This gel actually works as an anti-aging product and it does everything from brightening, to diminishing fine lines and even helps with uneven texture. I’ve been using this every morning and then popping just a tiny bit of moisturizer over it (even though on the bottle it says you can actually use it in place of a moisturizer) because I’m so extra.



Okay, if you guys aren’t annoyed with me yet for mentioning the Eve Lom Brightening Cream ($110) too many times, this may just be the turning point. So, I mention it in just about every skincare article I write. Guess why? It’s just that good. I have to say, I’ve tried at least 100 different moisturizers in my life and this one will forever and always be my favorite. As a beauty writer, I am constantly wanting to try out new products, but this has been the product to make me put down the new moisturizers and stick with the OG one that really works.


Aside from giving me some serious moisture in my skin to offset the drying side effects of the Tretinoin, this is also a brightening moisturizer. It’s been working absolute wonders to get rid of my acne scarring and that’s why I can’t seem to put it down. I use it every single night and every single morning—never fails. I can sit here and rave about it all day long, but it’s something you really just have to experience for yourself. I can’t wait until you do and come back to thank me.

The original article is at: thegloss.com


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