I used tretinoin for 3 months before going to the beach on vacation. I stopped using it a week before I left and the week I was there to avoid sun damage to my skin. I had flaking the first time around and wanted to avoid it when I started using it again after getting home. Starting Tretinoin is about my initial experience. Restarting Tretinoin after Vacation: First Month and Restarting Tretinoin – 2nd month about my plan when I started back after vacation and how the first 2 months went. Tretinoin (Retin A) and Tretinoin / Retin-A Cheat Sheet give general information on tretinoin.
The flaking did not get better at all during my 2nd month of use. I continued to use it every 3rd night. I use it on my face, neck, and chest. My neck had mild flaking once or twice and my chest has had none at all. I had 3 options to address the issue. I could live with it and see if it eventually got better. I could go to every 4th night. Or I could drop from .05% to .025%. After much thought, I ordered .025% tretinoin to see if that would do the trick. By the time it arrived I had made changes to other parts of my skincare routine and that seemed to address the issue.
I decided to make a few more adjustments and change some of my other skincare products. With winter right around the corner, I want to be sure that my skin doesn’t dry out badly. I had been using Avon Anew Cleanser for normal/combo skin in the morning. My skin reverted to it’s oily, shiny ways in the humid summer months. Yes, even with the tretinoin. It is hard to believe when you factor in that I am 52 years old and post menopausal! But now that is coming to an end and I need to adjust my morning routine.
On every site and in every blog about using tretinoin 2 cleansers were recommended over and over – Cerave Hydrating Cleanser and Cetaphil Gentle Cleanser. I strongly considered both but chose the Cerave Hydrating Cleanser. It has ceramides and niacinamides and both are proven anti-aging ingredients. I am using the bar version of it first because I had one that came in either a Target or Walmart beauty box. Once I finish it I will go on to the liquid version of the cleanser since I find soaps too messy
The other change to my morning routine was a no brainer. I had started using my Clinique Clarifying Lotion 2 when I took my break from tretinoin for vacation. With all my current flaking I think it is best to avoid products that contain alcohol. Especially in the morning when the flaking is at it’s worst. After the first week, I started using Dickinson’s Witch Hazel Hydrating Toner in the morning. Dickinson’s Enhanced Witch Hazel Hydrating Toner Review will share my opinion of it.
And finally, I have added a nighttime sleeping mask a few times a week to add extra hydration. I was afraid I had made too many changes at once. I realize that I should have only changed 1 variable at a time so I would know the impact of each individual product.
The changes I made were effective enough that I was able to go to every other night the 2nd week of the month. The morning after I started applying every other night I had flaking. It was milder than it had been before making the changes discussed above. I have flaking but it is so variable. At times it is mild and at other times it is heavier. It tends to be worse on the 2nd morning than on the morning after. I also had noticeable flaking on my neck about 3 weeks into the 3rd month.
By the end of the month, I was only having very mild flaking now and again. My neck did not flake anymore after that 1 time. My plan is to go to nightly 6 nights a week in the 4th month. I want to use an AHA product at least once a week and they should not be used together.
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