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Postby wendy » Sun Jan 26, 2020 6:58 pm

lemon rind wrote:wendy, should I try tret? i've been doing otc differin gel for like a year and while my skin looks brighter overall, i'm still getting breakouts semi-regularly. might just pony up and get a face to face consultation tho, my acne seems mostly just hormonal anymore.

Tbh I stan tret and believe with my entire heart and being that everyone should try it. Short of cosmetic surgery, there’s nothing better for anti-aging (and obv acne). However, a face to face consultation is always your best bet. If your derm doesn’t prescribe tret and you want to try it anyway, you can always get it online.

If you decide to get tret without a prescription, I must stress starting at a low dose (although since you’ve been using differin for a while you could probably tolerate jumping into like .025% or even .05%), using a small amount, and giving your skin a couple day’s rest between applications. But you probably know all that having been on differin. Also sunscreen! I’m not fully sold on retinoids increasing photo-sensitivity but it makes no sense imo to use an anti-aging topical and then turn around and let the sun fuck you up.
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Postby milano boy » Sun Jan 26, 2020 7:46 pm

What is tretinoin???? An acne thing or a make my skin a lot better thing
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Postby wendy » Sun Jan 26, 2020 8:19 pm

both! it's a much, much stronger form of retinol -- vitamin A. basically retinol is so much weaker than tretinoin because your skin has to convert it, at a cellular level, into retinoic acid. retinoic acid increases cell turnover (which helps with acne and gives what people call "the tret glow") and stimulates collagen and elastin production (which helps with anti-aging). it takes several months to see anti-aging results but long term results are basically magic. generally it's faster working for acne.

people who have never used retinol or retinoids before usually need to start at a very low dose -- .01% -- and it's recommended to use it only a couple times a week, increasing use until your skin adjusts. once it adjusts to daily use you can be bumped up to .025%, then .05%, then .1%. curology (which i mentioned in a previous post) does have formulas that contain .14% tretinoin and that's the highest % i've seen.

the sweet spot for anti-aging seems to be .025% to .05% and the sweet spot for acne seems to be .05% - .1%.

a couple things to know/remember if you're going to dive into tret based on my posts without seeing a derm:
1. there is a pretty fucking serious adjustment period that can include purging (breakouts due to increased cell turnover), redness, and dry skin to the point of flaking. the adjustment period can last as long as 3 months but usually only lasts around 6 weeks, and many people adjust without any issues at all -- especially people who go in prepared. there's also a chance of purging/adjustment each time you increase your strength.
2. will your skin purge? no way to tell! if you regularly have acne, then probably. if you don't, your purge will likely be mild. mine was thankfully minimal, although as i mentioned earlier i just upped my dose (literally last week) and i'm already having to moisturize much more than before, so i may have some discomfort and purging in my future.
3. always apply tret to completely dry skin.
4. when you're first starting tret, or when you increase your %, drop all your other actives from your routine except for niacinamide (if you've never used naicinamide before -- start now! but start with a 5% concentration, as 10% concentrations tend to irritate sensitive skin and your skin will already being going bananas with tret). tret will make your skin very sensitive and your moisture barrier will be at risk and niacinamide is great for repairing and maintaining a healthy moisture barrier.
5. ALWAYS apply tret at night! and always wear an SPF 30+ during the day (preferably 50+), even if you're not leaving the house. if that seems like a pain to you, get a daytime moisturizer that has SPF in it so you don't have to do the extra step of applying sunscreen. there's lots of articles and posts out there that say tret increases photo-sensitivity (your chances of sunburn and sun damage, which is the leading cause of visible aging). i've read some literature on it and i'm not convinced it does increase photo-sensitivity BUT that doesn't matter. if you're concerned about signs of aging, you should be wearing SPF 30+ every day no matter what. and it makes no sense to put your skin through the tret adjustment period just to reverse the benefits during the day by not wearing sunscreen. basically: don't be a dumbass, wear sunscreen.
6. "buffering" with moisturizer lessens irritation and research suggests it doesn't make tret any less effective. so imo when you're first starting out, you should have a routine like this:

1. hyarulonic acid serum applied to damp skin
2. niacinamide serum (many niacinamide serums include hyarulonic acid, so you can combine steps 1 and 2)
3. a no-frills face moisturizer free of fragrance, parabens, essential oils, vitamin C, actives in general (including peptides), and acids (except hyarulonic acid). products with ceramides are A-OK. note: alcohol is not necessarily your enemy! many types of alcohol found in skincare are very moisturizing, like cetyl, cetearyl, and stearyl alcohols, just to name a few. if you see alcohol in a skincare product and you're not sure whether or not it's good for your skin, look it up!

wait 10 - 20 minutes for your face to completely dry

4. apply a pea sized amount of tretinoin .01% (NOT to be confused with .1%) to your face and/or neck. do this once or twice a week at first, gradually increasing use as your skin adjusts. on days that you're not using tret, do not use actives, acids, benzoyl peroxide*, essential oils (not to be confused with carrier/facial oils), or vitamin C. just forget about all that shit until your skin has adjusted to the tret. and tbh? it's generally best to avoid essential oils altogether as they're super concentrated and can easily irritate your skin whether you're on tret or not, and even if you have the healthiest moisture barrier in the world.

wait 10 minutes for it to absorb completely

5. another layer of your face moisturizer
6. a facial oil (i'd recommend chia seed or borage oil. you can also mix this with your moisturizer and apply all in one step)

*maybe MAYBE you can use benzoyl peroxide as a spot treatment in the AM but tret shortens the life-cycle of a pimple so drastically i think it's better to just leave your skin alone if you're purging or breaking out. you CAN use pimple patches in conjunction with tret. many have soothing ingredients. if your pimples aren't coming to a head pimple patches can (but not always) help reduce inflammation, but mostly they help keep the blemish clean and discourage touching it or picking at it. if your acne does have heads, hydrocolloid patches can suck all the fuckin awful gunk right outta the pore. it's magic. absolutely disgusting magic.

if you live in a dry area, you may want to skip hyarulonic acid or products containing urea. these are humectants that draw moisture from your environment into your skin. however, if you live in a dry climate, it may have the opposite effect -- pulling moisture from the deeper layers of your skin to the outer layers where the product was absorbed (because topically applied products can only be absorbed by the top layers of skin). regardless of whether you live in a dry climate or not, if you're using a product containing hyarulonic acid i recommend applying it to damp skin. I also cannot recommend sleeping with a humidifier enough.

while using tretinoin, DO NOT use chemical exfoliants until your skin completely adjusts. also, don't start a tret regimen if your skin's moisture barrier may be compromised. lmk if you want to know how to repair a damaged moisture barrier and i'll post the routine itt.

general tip for everyone, even people not interested in tret: if you're wondering whether a product will break you out, look up the ingredients using http://cosdna.com/. keep in mind though that a product being non-comedogenic doesn't mean it won't irritate your skin or break you out. everyone's skin is different so a lot of skincare is trial and error. but that website is great for guidance.

more on sunscreen: so the general rule is to reapply every 2 hours. to be clear, that's 2 hours of cumulative sun exposure (the active ingredients in sunscreen break down under UV light and after 2 hours are rendered ineffective). so if you're at the beach or outside, yes, reapply every 2 hours. if you're inside all day you don't need to reapply every 2 hours, although if you spend your time near windows (let's say indirect light), maybe re-apply once in the afternoon. if you're inside but in direct sunlight, sorry, but you should stick to the 2 hour rule.

also, you don't need to wait 15 minutes after applying sunscreen to go outside. sunscreen is effective from the moment it touches your skin. just make sure to apply it evenly across your face and neck, and don't forget your ears (i always forget my ears). you should use about half a teaspoon for your face and neck. ALSO sunscreen expires, so don't use sunscreen that's past its expiration date or more than a year old. and NEVER mix sunscreen with lotion, foundation, or anything else. you're not only decreasing the SPF, you may also be fucking with the active ingredients. mixing two sunscreens is also a bad idea (and will never, and i mean NEVER, increase the SPF) because some active ingredients are incompatible and can cancel each other out. however, layering sunscreens seems to be okay (like, if you put on sunscreen and then apply a foundation with SPF on top once it sinks in).

if you're concerned about chemical sunscreen ingredients being absorbed into your bloodstream, don't be. but if you still are, mineral/physical sunscreens are much better than they used to be (they used to be -- or i guess still are -- notorious for leaving a white cast on skin). there are clear and tinted physical sunscreens on the market now. so you have no excuse to not wear sunscreen imo. also, asian sunscreens are formulated much better than western ones and are more comfortable in general. i think (not positive) they're also better for you/more effective because the FDA sucks ass.
Last edited by wendy on Mon Jan 27, 2020 1:22 pm, edited 10 times in total.
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Postby wendy » Mon Jan 27, 2020 12:39 pm

last night was day 6 of applying my upped tret dose and wow my face freakin hurts

hell i guess i love it
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Postby scrumptown » Mon Jan 27, 2020 12:47 pm

didn't realize you could get it online - doubt anyone hawks retin-a so what would you get / where would you get it?
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Postby wendy » Mon Jan 27, 2020 12:59 pm

i started it on curology.com -- they gave me a formula with .01% tretinoin, 4% azelaic acid, and...i can't remember the third active. i just bumped up to .018% tret and 8% azelaic acid. the first month is free (plus shipping) but you need to send them pics of your skin and tell them your skin concerns and they come up with a formula for you, so what they come up with may not include tret. after the free trial it's $40 every other month for a two month supply.

BUT since tret is cheap as hell online and i'd rather spend my money on every single sunscreen in the world, i'm switching to straight tret. if you want to do it by the books you can get a prescription from a GP (sometimes) or a derm. its primary use is acne and its secondary use is anti-aging, so some GPs aren't down with prescribing it for anti-aging purposes.

however, alldaychemist.com does not care if you have a prescription! and for that, i love them. there will be a page that asks you to upload your prescription but you can skip it. i just bought a tube of tretinoin (.025%) from them. it goes by a few different names, tretinoin is the generic name. the website only takes ACH payments but if you call them they'll send you a paypal link. the shipping time is like 20 days, but i have friends who buy stuff from there all the time and swear by it.

my only concern with recommending all day chemist to people with no tret experience is that i was looking up strengths for a friend and couldn't find any .01% formulations (which is absolutely without a doubt the percentage you should start at -- do NOT dive in at .025% or higher). i don't know if they were just out of stock of .01% at that time, or if they don't sell it. if they don't sell it, i recommend getting a prescription from a derm or signing up for curology and stating your interest in tret in the questionnaire they have you fill out when you sign up. curology offers tret percentages at .009%, .01%, .018%, .04%, probably a few other percentages that i don't know off the top of my head, as well as .14% (the highest percentage i've ever heard of). .1% and .14% are better for acne than anti-aging.
Last edited by wendy on Mon Jan 27, 2020 1:05 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Postby wendy » Mon Jan 27, 2020 1:04 pm

so anyway when i finish my current curology bottle with .018% tret i'm going to cancel my curology subscription and switch to the .025% tret gel from all day chemist. that will probably fuck me up in a big way, so i'll keep y'all posted. this .018% tret is already making me feel like my face is on fire but you know what?? i look pretty good imo

(the sensitivity subsides completely once your skin adjusts. the only exception is if tret doesn't agree with your skin, which happens but is rare)
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Postby scrumptown » Mon Jan 27, 2020 1:18 pm

thanks wendy! I saw a derm yrs ago and had retin-a prescribed (along w some other shit) and it worked but as you know it is interminable battle for clear skin so I'm weighing it up
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Postby wendy » Mon Jan 27, 2020 1:22 pm

yw!! :}

i'm so excited for the board to age in reverse
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Postby milano boy » Mon Jan 27, 2020 1:41 pm

who got tips for these giant fucking bags under my eyes that i have 24/7. i always look exhausted
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Postby odilon redon » Mon Jan 27, 2020 2:11 pm

vitamin c and retinol
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Postby vault » Thu Feb 06, 2020 10:38 am

For the past 20 years I've showered probably twice a week and I never ever wash my face. I was always a hot piece of ass until the past couple years, when an accidental open of my phones camera revealed me to be a goblin. I'm 35 and have no routine and don't know where to start. This thread is too advanced for me.

What should I do to get started? I have flaky ass eczema, flaky dry skin, but also greasy zits--not a ton, but sometimes none, sometimes 3 or 4 of varying intensity. I also have semi-severe dandruff in my hair, beard, and mustache. I've used every product, but it comes back if I don't wash at least every other day. Right now my plan is to buy some of that exfoliating stuff with hard bits in it, then rub coconut oil on my face.

I dunno, though. Can someone recommend a couple products to start with that aren't too expensive.

Also, a real question: my girlfriend says that everyone in the world moisturizes their face, and I say that I've never heard of a guy moisturizing. It's just not a topic that's ever come up. Am I the only non--oogle without a skincare routine?
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Postby milano boy » Thu Feb 06, 2020 11:15 am

start with cerave/cetaphil facial cleanser and like lubriderm moisturizer.

for dandruff the only thing that has ever worked for me is neutrogena t gel and it works very well. smells kinda bad, but you can use a different better smelling shampoo after it to get rid of the smell.
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Postby marta » Thu Feb 06, 2020 11:21 am

i just started moisturizing a few months ago vault. i'm not sure i look a whole lot different (don't see my own face very much obv), but i've noticed it feels a lot healthier to the touch

anyone have tips for redness? i used to spend the summers sorta sun-baked but it would fade back to pale in the winter, but the last couple years it has not... :oops:
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Postby shrinemaidens » Thu Feb 06, 2020 11:25 am

everyone should moisturize, but i know people (mostly men) who do not. whether it's due to gender norms, texture/feeling, lack of habit, there are plenty of reasons why. but honestly, everyone needs to cleanse, moisturize, and use sunscreen. you don't need to start with a 12-step routine but having something simple in place will benefit greatly
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Postby milano boy » Thu Feb 06, 2020 11:50 am

while we're on the topic of moisturizer.....

i was gifted this over the holidays and started using it https://www.malinandgoetz.com/advanced-renewal-moisturizer

it's so great...it dries quickly and makes my skin feel great. i've never been so taken by a skincare product tbh. then i looked up the price and it's fucking $72 for a bottle that will last maybe a month (with twice-daily use).

now i'm on the hunt for something similar that isn't $72. any recs?
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Postby jca » Thu Feb 06, 2020 1:21 pm

paulas choice has a firming moisturizer that my gf likes. i used their clear one and its pretty lightweight https://www.paulaschoice.com/skin-care- ... isturizers

kiehls also has a pretty light one, think its called ultra facial
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Postby jca » Thu Feb 06, 2020 1:23 pm

do people watch skincare youtubers? i watch gothamista sometimes but I feel like she just recommends every product lol
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Postby Brouhaha » Thu Feb 06, 2020 1:59 pm

my face is dying, I need to read this thread
make it mild

weird opinions
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Postby shame dawg » Thu Feb 06, 2020 2:17 pm

marta wrote:i just started moisturizing a few months ago vault. i'm not sure i look a whole lot different (don't see my own face very much obv), but i've noticed it feels a lot healthier to the touch

anyone have tips for redness? i used to spend the summers sorta sun-baked but it would fade back to pale in the winter, but the last couple years it has not... :oops:


yeah I need to do something about my nose/cheeks getting too red this winter
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Postby wendy » Thu Feb 13, 2020 2:05 pm

wendy wrote:so anyway when i finish my current curology bottle with .018% tret i'm going to cancel my curology subscription and switch to the .025% tret gel from all day chemist. that will probably fuck me up in a big way, so i'll keep y'all posted. this .018% tret is already making me feel like my face is on fire but you know what?? i look pretty good imo

(the sensitivity subsides completely once your skin adjusts. the only exception is if tret doesn't agree with your skin, which happens but is rare)

so i accidentally ordered the .05% instead of the .025% and when it arrived i was like "ah...well it'll be fine" and instead of waiting for my skin to adjust to the .018% curology formula i dove right in to the .05% tret gel and the consensus is in: i fucked up my face

which is to say i damaged my moisture barrier so now my skin is both dehydrated and oily, truly a stellar combination

so now i gotta spend the next like two weeks being really nice to my skin to fix my moisture barrier

lesson learned? probably not tbh bc i ordered the .025% (for real this time) and know without a doubt that i will immediately start using that when it arrives
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Postby wendy » Thu Feb 13, 2020 2:08 pm

i have a theory, not based in science, that when upping one's tret % from, say, .018% to .025%, instead of applying the .025% every few days and letting your skin rest in between it might be better to use the .018% on your "off" days despite being explicitly advised by a doctor not to do that

i will prove this theory using myself in a study of one
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Postby mercenaries of slime » Thu Feb 13, 2020 2:16 pm

i've rejigged my previous bare bones skincare routine to include:

- vit c serum mixed in with my moisturiser in the morning

- hyaluronic acid cream on my eyes, labionasal folds and frown lines in the evening

it was going super well! i was glowing! i even got id-ed again!

but then i got ill and wiped my nose too much and the area around it is so red and sore plus it triggered a herpes outbreak under my nose so welp, now i look like shit again
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Postby Debbie » Thu Feb 13, 2020 2:19 pm

milano boy wrote:who got tips for these giant fucking bags under my eyes that i have 24/7. i always look exhausted


Get one of those cool ice packs that do absolutely nothing
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Postby wendy » Thu Feb 13, 2020 2:25 pm

mercenaries of slime wrote:i've rejigged my previous bare bones skincare routine to include:

- vit c serum mixed in with my moisturiser in the morning

- hyaluronic acid cream on my eyes, labionasal folds and frown lines in the evening

it was going super well! i was glowing! i even got id-ed again!

but then i got ill and wiped my nose too much and the area around it is so red and sore plus it triggered a herpes outbreak under my nose so welp, now i look like shit again

don't think of it like that, it's a process!

go back to the basics and nurse you skin back to health

that's what i'm gonna do!!

let's be back to basics buddies
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Postby mercenaries of slime » Thu Feb 13, 2020 4:18 pm

: )
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Postby kayke » Thu Feb 13, 2020 5:33 pm

I just got a caffeine eye-bag serum because I needed to make my order over 25 bucks to get free shipping.
I have no idea if I'm supposed to put it on before or after by other serums... but I also don't think it's real, so I've been putting it on after the serums I feel are more legit.
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Postby wendy » Thu Feb 13, 2020 5:39 pm

From The Ordinary? All their products are pretty legit although I haven’t tried their caffeine serum

Serums can be layered in two ways: lowest pH to highest pH or by viscosity (lightest to heaviest). Hope this helps!!
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Postby kayke » Thu Feb 13, 2020 5:41 pm

Yeah, from The Ordinary. And that does help! Thank you.
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Postby Merciel » Thu Feb 13, 2020 7:59 pm

Caffeine constricts the blood vessels under your eyes, which reduces redness and puffiness. Whether that specific formulation is legit I don't know, but a lot of eye products contain caffeine and that's why.
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