After Veltin stopped working a year into my moderate case of adult acne, I went back to my doctor and was prescribed Aczone and Tazorac, both topical prescription medications. My current regimen is Aczone 2x a day (morning and night) and then Tazorac cream every other night.
Tazorac cream is a thick, white cream that comes in a travel-friendly squeezy tube. It doesn't feel different from a thick, creamy moisturizer going on the skin and I haven't noticed any burning or peeling sensations while using it. (Veltin, in my experiences, made me peel for about 3 weeks before my skin adjusted to it.) After some trial-and-error, I found out I have to apply Tazorac FIRST before Aczone because the heavier Tazorac will "pill" and roll off the Aczone. My doctor also recommended Tazorac underneath the Aczone since Tazorac is the stronger medication and needs to penetrate the skin.
The Aczone / Tazorac regimen took about 2.5 months to show results, which was admittedly frustrating and longer than I expected since my previous medications worked within a month. On the bright side, once they started to work, I went from a few pimples a day to a few pimples a week (probably hormonal).
I never take the time to review products, but this is the exception.
I've been using tazorac for the past few months (~6) and it is the best thing ever. Naturally, I went through the initial period of redness/irritation, but it only lasted about a month and it was completely worth the results. All pimples my pimples go away nearly overnight. My skin tone is much more even. My acne scars are fading. My pores even look a little smaller.
Using tazorac is all about developing a routine that works for you.
I use tazorac in conjunction with Solodyn (antibiotic) and Trilegest (birth control) and the results are amazing.
I use tazorac at night, every night, as a spot treatment (on pimples or areas with scarring).
Moisturizer is everything: I use clinique moisture surge intense. It doesn't cause acne/clog pores and it's my favorite formula on the market.
Facewash: Origin Frothy Facewash. You need a very gentle face wash to use with tazorac, otherwise you will peel.
I only exfoliate twice a week (using Neutrogena deep clean invigorating foaming scrub).
Overall, I highly recommend tazorac.
So to give some background, a couple months after I turned 24 I started noticing I was getting acne. I had been using Benzaclin since high school with excellent results but it basically stopped working and my acne was progressively becoming moderate, mainly open and closed comedones around my mouth and all over my forehead. After a few months and getting off of the pill I was very frustrated and went to the derm. She prescribed a low dose of Retin-A gel (I also started developing very oily skin). She started escalating my dose to .1% and ultimately switched me to .1% Tazorac gel after 4 months with absolutely no improvement and worsening. There was not a day where I didn't wake up with acne (specifically 3-4 months into Retin-A is where it was the worst it had ever been). In August 2014 I started using Tazorac (very hesitant at first). By this time the acne was significantly starting to effect me personally - I stopped hanging out with friends on the weekends and just wanted to go to my room everyday after work and stay there. My family definitely noticed my skin had gotten worse and even suggested I go on Accutane since it was effecting me so much psychologically. Anyways I wanted to give one last go and started the Tazorac gel. At first there was a little bit of improvement in the first couple of weeks specifically around my forehead. Note that I was not using any other products except an Aveeno moisturizer in the morning before I applied makeup. But by the fourth week it seemed everything had gone back to the way it was on Retin-A. During this time l also went to my primary care to get lab work done as I was certain my testosterone levels must be through the roof. My free testosterone and all other labs came back normal but I noticed my fasting glucose was elevated since my last visit. I started thinking about what I was eating during the day and thought to myself that most of my food intake was consisting of carbohydrate dense foods (rice/pasta/bread/granola bars/sugar) - within a week I decided I was going to eliminate all wheat/rice/corn/potatoes from my diet and drastically reduce sugar intake (similar to Paleo). During this time I was also introduced to the books Wheat Belly and Grain Brain which significantly influenced my decision to begin modifying my diet. Within a couple of weeks I began to notice SIGNIFICANT improvement and within a month I was basically clear. Throughout this process I stuck diligently to my Tazorac regimen (one application prior to bed 20 min after cleansing face with Cerave cleanser). I truly feel that the diet change along with the Tazorac sped up my treatment and perhaps one should consider a diet change along with the medication if you are seeing no improvement after 3-4 months of being on a retinoid. If anyone is interested in reading more, please read Dr. Cordain's work on diet and acne: http://archderm.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=479093
I am still on a low-carb, high-fat diet and still maintain my Tazorac regimen and am seeing consistent results. Occasionally I will get 1-2 very small pimples around my period but after a couple days I notice they are greatly reduced.
Please message me for details or questions. I think Tazorac is an excellent medication but for some individuals (like myself) may require a diet modification as well. Definitely still have dry skin in the morning but if is slowly getting better.
Tazorac changed my life. I never battled with acne until my 25th birthday. I think all those years of being acne free bit me in the ass. My doctor prescribed me this when my acne was really bad, I used it for 4 days and it was making my face peel off in sheets and my acne was worse! I was so furious, that I threw this product to the side. For the next year, I swear I tried every cream, diet, skin clearing cleansers, tonors, brushes, lotions. It's actually quite unbelievable the amount of money and time I put trying to get rid of my acne. It finally came to a cross roads where my derm said the only option was accutane. The side effects of accutane scared the crap out of me. So I was given time to think it over, do blood work etc. During this time, I watched YouTube vide where a girl solved her cystic acne with Apple Cider Vinegar. Intrigued I would give it a try, I started ingesting it every morning and evening (~2 tablespoons ACV in 400ml) as well as using it as a toner (1 part ACV and 3 parts water). My skin went through hell, I purged like crazy in the first week. It was so bad that I didn't leave the house for 3 days straight. But it cleared up quickly, after the initial purge my skin was getting better and better every day. I went back to my Derm and she was baffled by how nice my skin was. We both agreed that accutane was out of the question, however I had terrible scarring. Purple, brown spots that took lots of concealer to cover up. I also still had a few tiny bumps along my chin that hadn't fully cleared, as well as large pores. As if someone had stuff a needle in my pores. She told me to give tazorac another try and give it at least a month to do its magic. And man, is it ever magic. You peel like crazy, you will get red. I even got asked if I was "sunburnt" by a few of my friends. But this stuff, it amazing! I didn't purge while using it, but I think that was because I had already had a large purge a few weeks before with the ACV. However, this stuff made me skin so dry and flaky it was terrible. I did find a way to help with the flakiness. The first few days I would wash my face with a Clarisonic, followed it up with my ACV (which burned!) and then some Clearsil lotion. This was not a good idea. So instead, I've switched up the regime. I only use the Clarisonic and ACV toner at night. In the mornings, I'll wash with a super gentle cleanser (Clearsil) using my hands and lukewarm water. I'll dry my face using a paper tower and a patting motion. I won't rub! I think take a cotton pad, and load up a quarter size of my Clearsil lotion on it. I then start wiping my face with a bit of pressure. The lotion on the cotton pad acts like a cleansing milk and an exfoliater at the same time. It works really well for getting rid of all the pieces of dead skin on my face due to the tazorac without ripping apart my face. I repeat this about 2-3 more times with more cotton pads. It's best to do it until you feel "hydrated". I usually then get dressed, brush teeth, make breakfast or something. It's best to wait a bit before you apply makeup. Powder foundation is completely out of the question when you're on tazorac. You need to use a really moisturizing tinted moisturizer. I love the oil free Laura Mercier, but I find its a bit on the pricey side. But it works really well at keeping you hydrated and not "sticking" to the dry skin. I'll wash my hands and apply this with my fingers. I find using a brush tends to exfoliate your skin a bit too much and makes you flakey. You'll need to check your makeup throughout they day, just to make sure you aren't flaky everywhere. The first two weeks are going to be absolutely hell, it will be next to impossible to wear foundation. But it's well worth it, if you tough it out for just a bit, your wonderful non acne skin will finally show through. Just keep in my the mostriuzer on the cotton pad trick. I found it made a huge difference "exfolianting" like that as opposed to using a toner or scrub which would just make my face bright red. Acne is complete crap, especially when you deal with it past the high school age. But it's really just taking time and testing out products until something works. I really wish I would've given tazorac a better chance when I first was prescribed it. If I had just stuck it out, I would have had perfect skin by now. But you live and you learn. Just give this product it's time, at least one month. And you will see how much it really can change your skin. It's dimished my scarf by close to 40% in less than 2 months. My enlarged pores are almost entirely gone. The best part?! No major breakouts. While I don't know if this is purely because of the tazorac. I imagine it has played a part. Stick it out! I promise it'll get better :)
Its AWESOME. I'm 24 and have never had to deal with acne until this past summer. I broke out like crazy. Went to dermatologist and was prescribed minocycline 100mg (once a day) and Tazorac 1% crème(pea size at night). I did purge the first 5 weeks pretty bad... like I looked horrible. I had a lot of peeling the first couple weeks and my skin was sensitive. After that my skin went back to normal. FLAWLESS! I have a little hyperpigmentation but I know that will soon clear up. I also cut out soda and sugar. I made sure to drink at least 2 liters of water a day. I also used yogi skin detox, kept pillow cases clean, and hair scarves clean. Changing your diet plays a role too. I have just now hit my 2 months mark and couldn't be happier and I know it will only get better. It'll soon clear up just be patient!
❤️❤️❤️❤️👏👏👏👏 HG for persistent freak of nature adult acne! You must try this! It has transformed my skin & life as I was starting to drift into the ebyss of the war zone developing on my face!
I followed the Acne.org precisely! I skipped the BP.
I also alternated between the Taz & AHA lotion. No serums or scrubbing until I felt my face was in the clear.
Pea size all over a night only!
I relunctantly paid retail for this at the time & I'm glad I did! Seriously if you are not convinced message me for b/a pics! This stuff is the best & all women should have a tube!
My purge lasted 6 weeks.
Yes I peeled no fun as it was sometimes unecpected while wearing foundation.
Go easy on the foundatiom if you can.
Like others say if you can stand the purge the reward is skin better than pre-acne. My skin is smooth & yes my barely there pores virtually invisible!
I sooo wanted to love taz, but after using it for a year, I decided to give up on it.
My skin is acne prone, with some acne scarring, lots of blackheads and I now believe also dehydrated. I've been "blessed" with skin problems for about 12 years now.
I've used EVERYTHING to help my acne. I've used derm prescribed treatments such as doxycyline, minocycline, epiduo, differin, retin a cream/gel, retin a micro, skinoren and isotrex. I've used pretty much every skincare line under the sun from such as Jan marini, clinique, paula's choice, skinceuticals, estee lauder and neostrata, just to name a few. I've even tried dietary supplements. Some things worked a little bit, but stopped after a while, some things didn't work at all, and some things made my skin much worse.
I would describe my acne at the moment as mild but persistent. I used to have moderate acne, but it wasn't the cystic type. My face was covered in whiteheads and blackheads and I'd get a couple cysts every now and then. I do think I see my skin as a lot worse than it is (as I'm sure we all do). Everyone wants perfect skin and I'm excessively self conscious about mine! I haven't left the house without make up in a good 5 years, and I could count on one hand how many times I have in the past decade (basically when going to the derm!).
So, back to taz. I used the cream first which worked well at first, but then stopped working and was making my skin oily. So, I tried the gel.
My skin is tough (or so I thought at the time) and it didn't get irritated by either product, nor did I get dry or flakey at all. I also used it every night. I tried mixing it up by only using it every second night for a while too, but because my skin could handle every night, for the most part of the year I used it, I used it every night. I'm not sure using it every night was the best idea, even though that's what was recommended by my derm. I think sometimes it's too much for our poor skin :(
I did feel like taz helped control my breakouts a little, but it made my skin so incredibly oily I couldn't take it anymore. I also thought my skin was looking older, and more irritated as time progressed. My skin just looked haggard and because it was so oily, my pores looked ridiculously big, which I hate as much as acne!
I've since realised my skin is probably more sensitive than I think, and I believe after 12 years of having acne and using harsh products, my skin is dehydrated, over processed and fed up. I have stripped my skin far too much and it reacts my over producing oil to compensate. I've heard using too many products can wreck the skin barrier, so maybe this is what's happened to me.
I would still recommend giving taz a try, because lots of people have success with it. I know it is suppose to help with wrinkles and building collagen, so I'd love to use it again, but I worry my skin will start looking awful again. Since stopping all tretinoin products (retin a, taz, differin etc) my skin looks much healthier to me. I don't know why this is, because these are meant to be the top products to use and come highly recommended by derms. Perhaps my skin is just too over processed to cope? Who knows.
I certainly don't want to put people off using taz. If you do decide to use it, start slowly and do not use any other exfoliating products. Remember to use a good quality sunscreen too. Often skin starts to look worse before it looks better, but if after six months of using it, you're feeling like your skin just looks crappy, dehydrated and irritated then taz might not be for you. Like everything out there, it doesn't work for everyone!
I'm giving this 3 stars for now but I'll do another review in a couple of months. So far I am very pleased at the changes I see in my face after spending lots of $$ on so many different acne products. I'm a Carmel complexed black woman. I've had acne since my teens & I'm 37 years old. I used to just have breakouts but still pretty nice skin. Once I hit my mid 30's I had straight acne & my skin looked horrible even with make up!! I had horrible black heads & bumps. My self esteem was SO low I refrained from social gatherings or hanging out with my friends especially with them having Beautiful skin. I always compared my skin to other women's. My friends & husband didn't see what I saw & thinks I'm beautiful but that wasn't enough for me. So I finally broke down & went to a dermatologist which my husbands insurance covered....thank goodness!! She recommended Tazorac & advised it would take 6 weeks to see results. The first two weeks things were good & I thought I beat the odds from what the reviews said but then ALL Hell broke loose!! I broke out bad, my skin itched, peeled & my chin & jaw turned black. I almost stopped using it but the reviews kept saying hang in there! So I did and I am so glad I did. After week 4-5 things calmed down & started looking good. I'm now in week 8 and my skin looks Great! I mean I still have to wear makeup but it looks great now & I hope to be make up free in the next month or two. It even got rid of this ugly mole & skin tag I hated that was under my eye. So far I'm happy & I paid $40 for two tube. I'm almost done with the first tube after 8 weeks so the price is nice. I was using it 3 times a week but now that my skin is used to it I can use it daily. Only in the affected areas. Do not use it on areas you don't have acne or sensitive areas like your chest. Speaking from experience :)
Love love love this product. Definitely takes 12 weeks to work so be patient and only use a dime size. My skin is combination so I really didn't need moisturizer. I also used this in conjugation with aczone My acne is all cured and I will continue to use since my skin looks and feel great!!!
I don't normally write reviews but... Tazorac changed my life. The only problem is that I've run out and now I see that the pimples are about to reemerge, hopefully not as badly as before.
Dear lord my acne was so getting so nasty and out of control. I was doing everything to avoid using crazy chemicals but Tazorac has completely cleared my acne!! The purging is real. Around week two my skin was bright red, bumping and pealing. It looked like the worst sun burn mixed with the worst cystic acne. But after a month it was smooth and glowing and healthy. I had to switch from a light cleanser to a light scrub and heavier moisturizer to deal with the dead skin. I've been using Alba Even Advance line. Good luck.