After the disastrous breakout I experienced about two weeks ago, my skin has cleared up so remarkably that one would doubt how bad of an acne breakout I had actually suffered through. My breakouts have healed and the very dark hyper-pigmentation marks are 80% faded.
I have reintroduced Retin A into my skin regimen. Three years ago when my acne became problematic, Retin A stopped working. My entire face broke out while I was using it; it was no longer effective and so I ceased from using it. I have reintroduced it because after paying attention to my skin, I have determined the trigger for my acne. My skin does not shed at the rate at which it should. I use a chemical exfoliant regularly because without it, I notice my skin visibly and abnormally thickening.
The chemical exfoliant of choice for me is salicylic acid with a low enough pH for it to be effective. It gets into the pores and helps prevent clogs. Still, I wasn't getting good enough results because I would still get clogged pores. I am prone to inflammatory acne, so a clogged pore usually results in a large and swollen papule that never comes to a head and lasts for at least a week.
In order to boost my results I reintroduced Retin A as it helps the follicles to behave normally. In a matter of days, I saw results. It has now been two weeks and I have had my period and my skin is progressively looking better. The week before my period is usually a traumatic time for my skin and me.
The combination of these two products is too strong even for my very resistant skin so I use them separately otherwise I experience a burning sensation. Retain A is for night use only and any skin regimen that involves exfoliation or Retin A requires sunscreen. I use a minimum of SPF 30. Sunscreen also helps with hyperpigmentation as the sun can darken spots.
I have also been successful in fading my dark marks that remain after the acne goes away. I use a niacinamide 4% serum. Niacinamide has been shown to be as effective as clindamycin, a topical antibiotic used to treat acne. It is also a very effective skin lightening agent. It only fades the hyperpigmentation.
In two weeks I went from a horrendous breakout to the best skin I have experienced in years. Pay attention to your skin. Discover the root cause of your acne and then treat it. Acne is awful. Your face is the first thing people see when they meet you and I know the agony of looking terrible and being unable to do anything about it.