This is what I spent literally a decade waiting for.
My skin history: severe and constant pustular acne since age 14. Extreme blackheads that would not respond to BHA, glycolic peels, the peeling effect of persagel10, the clarisonic etc etc. Very poor cell turnover rate and hence a lot of congestion, dehydration and tons of surface oil covering a sensitised surface.
Fun right? I cracked a few months ago after undergoing 4 expensive glycolic peels at the best private dermatology clinic did more harm than anything. I'd tried every AHA, BHA and antibiotic, the only option left (according to my new derm who prescribed me the differin) was a topical retinoid or accutane. She prescribed a high-dose (600mg) of Trimethoprim to clear up the acne systematically and quickly because I was scarring badly. . . and this. Glorious, powerful Differin. She handed me the prescriptions and said if these didn't work to completely clear it up, in four months I needed to come back for roaccuntane. To quote her, ''no one should ever have to walk around with a face like that''- it should tell you the state my skin was in after a ten year failed battle.
The differin makes your skin worse initially. I already felt so ugly I couldn't have cared less. It made my blemishes much more angry and so red that layers of colorstay couldn't hope to even remotely conceal them, = but I honestly didn't notice a major purge, maybe the antibiotics prevented this. Within *three weeks*, 90%+ of my acne had disappeared. It's now been 2 months, and I haven't had a single blemish. Not a single one. My skin texture is smooth, the blackheads on my nose are gone, my tzone pores are still big but never swollen and clogged. My complexion is brighter and healthy. I actually look younger. The only evidence of my ten year acne suffering is three leftover scars, two on my forehead and one on my cheek. I am currently applying Trilogy rosehip 2x a day, but am considering buying Obagi's melamix (4% hydroquinone), to speed up the healing process.
Differin has given me confidence that I genuinely haven't had since pre-puberty. I can go out of the house with no makeup. I've even gone to parties and nights out with no base or any sort of blemish concealer. I truly recomend this to anyone with congestion and/or acne. I am also grateful as I have consequently researched retinoids and their unparalleled benefits. My intention is to progress to .3% differin in a few years, then a stronger retinol to help with ageing. I even wear SPF every day now, something I would never have attempted beforehand with my volatile skin. Ergo, the differin's also led to me taking new pride in my skincare.
My routine, in case it helps someone suffering.
AM: wash with mdformulations cleanser (AHA)
follow with persagel 10 to entire face
follow with Neutrogena sheer dry touch spf 45
spot treat 3 scars with Trilogy rosehip oil
PM: wash with same cleanser
apply Differin .1% to entire face
Usually follow with patting in Trilogy rosehip oil. I love how Differin has enabled me to get away with using a face oil, it feels so nourishing and I have no greaseball face the next morning.