My experience with tret the first week…

Skinfood Rice Mask Wash Off

I started using tret about 3-4 weeks ago to treat my acne again. After a year or two of it not working on my skin, I decided to give it another chance once again. I’ve been on it before, and it worked. It should work. My acne was not responding to other acne treatments. And I was tired of getting acne on a daily basis. It took a huge toll on my self-esteem. I had clear skin about 2 years ago, so why is my skin breaking out again? My skin should be clear. During those 2 years, I was trying to get rid of the acne that my skin developed and nothing worked. 2 years is such a long time to deal with acne. I’ve gone through acne much longer than this, but this one takes the cake because my skin was completely free of acne before. I had none. My skin was soft, smooth, and I didn’t have to think much about it. I would just wash my face and apply sunscreen and be on my way without any skin worries. And this breakout was so recent that it baffles me that I’m breaking out again. What is going on with my skin??

Within those 2 years, having acne was traumatizing. All the stares and talks. I didn’t want to show my face to anyone or go anywhere. If you have a friend or family member that is dealing with acne and avoids social situations, this may be the reason why. Because that’s exactly how I felt. I lost my confidence. The once happy, free-spirited person that I was disappeared. I didn’t want to make eye contact with anyone. It was just so embarrassing. So the acne I was dealing with were those stubborn closed comedones that wouldn’t budge. It was getting really annoying seeing them every time I looked in the mirror. My skin just looked like a bumpy mess. I knew had to do something about it, which I did for 2 years but nothing worked. But I couldn’t give up after 2 grueling years of attempting to get rid of my acne. I still knew that I had to try to do something about it. I didn’t want to feel this way any longer. And so that’s what I did. I kept trying to figuring out what was causing these annoying breakouts. The first thing I did was…not the most expected thing…but…

YES!! I stopped using acne treatments, since they were drying my skin out considerably. This may be odd, since I should be on an acne treatment to treat my acne, but my skin wasn’t having it. Mentally, I wasn’t having it either. I just wanted to stop all of the acne treatments for a while. This doesn’t mean that I gave up. I wanted to start fresh. My skin needed a break. To start fresh and new once again. It’s like beginning a new chapter of a journey. I hope everyone understands what I mean, lol. Once my skin settled without being touched by an acne treatment for a month. The first acne treatment I started using again was benzoyl peroxide. I chose benzoyl peroxide because it’s the only acne treatment that has helped my skin for so many years. Even though it’s been a rocky journey with benzoyl peroxide, I still had faith that it could work based on my experience with it. I chose benzoyl peroxide over tret! I don’t regret that decision. Here’s a snapshot of my experience with benzoyl peroxide!

I started using benzoyl peroxide twice a day then eventually used it only at night. I wasn’t able to apply benzoyl peroxide in the morning any longer. It’s time consuming, since it takes a good amount of time for the product to dry on the skin. I didn’t have the time. I had other obligations to attend to. After a month of using benzoyl peroxide (mainly at night), my skin cleared up 90%! I was shocked. It didn’t work before during the summer and at the beginning of this year. My skin stopped responding to it, and my acne wouldn’t budge. It would just stay as is while drying out of my skin. This time, it was like magic. I had cystic acne popping up out of nowhere. Whiteheads. Just random pimples popping up and dying out quickly. My skin looked clearer and healed after it went through some purging. But I still had a problem. Those closed comedones. They decided to make their mark. They stayed the same. Closed comedones became that 10% that I had trouble getting rid off. This is the type of acne I rarely have to deal with, so this was new to me. I’ve never experienced this before. Something else was going on with my skin that I was unaware of…

The Ordinary Skin Care Products

I noticed that I was using a lot of skin care products. A little too much. Were they necessary? My skin hasn’t improved using them for so many months or even years. I started using them to fix these skin problems and nothing came out of it. I decided to drop skin care products one by one. It took a lot of time to figure out what was going on, but it had to be done. Turns out that my skin can’t handle fermented ingredients. I tried products with fermented ingredients again (Benton Fermentation Essence, Dear Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin Drop), and my skin broke out in blackheads and closed comedones. Also, my skin has issues with The Ordinary skin care products. I was using The Ordinary for years thinking that it was doing good for my skin, but it wasn’t. I would consistently get blackheads and closed comedones with them too. No wonder why the acne treatments I used didn’t work on my skin. I was purposely causing my skin to break out by using these skin care products that weren’t compatible with my skin. I was going backwards. Once I stopped using these products, my breakouts started to go away. No more blackheads. Large open pores started to shrink. Closed comedones vanishing. I wasn’t getting any new breakouts anymore. I just had what I call leftover breakouts.

I eventually moved towards a minimal, simple skin care routine. That was one of the best decisions I’ve made this year for the health of my skin! If you’re dealing with acne and wondering why your acne won’t go away, take a good look at your skin care routine and make sure you’re not using any product that is causing more harm than good. Even if the product works for most people (or is very popular), that doesn’t mean it’ll work for you. My face hates The Ordinary skin care products, but my body is able to handle their products, so I only use them on my body. Also, what’s so great about a minimal, simple skin care routine is that you’ll be able to weed out if a product is working for you or not. In saying that, using more skin care products doesn’t mean you’ll achieve better or faster results. Sometimes less is more. Skincare just takes time to produce results. Well, most skin care products that is.

After adjusting to a boring skin care routine (lol), that’s when I decided to start my tret journey. My skin care consisted of a face wash, tret, an eye cream (love them), and sunscreen. I didn’t have a moisturizer. My skin tends to have issues with moisturizers, so I didn’t use one. I was a bit worried about this but went on my merry way to start my tret journey. haha. So when I started tret a couple of years ago, I think a lot of the skin care products I was using interfered with the benefits of tret and made the sides effects of tret worse. I was just using too many essences, serums, moisturizers, and creams. My skin care routine was pretty much out of control, and I really thought these products would help improve my skin. The opposite happened. And those skin care products had so many raves and amazing reviews! Some of them were overhyped. Fortunately, I’m free of that mindset and have moved on to something better. My skin is in a better state, and my mind is in healthier place. ✨

My first week using tret was going great at first but turned sour. I was only able to use it twice that week. The first day, my face felt warm and flushed. My face was red. It didn’t burn. I didn’t think much of it because that’s what happened to me before too. Since I wasn’t using any moisturizers, I just used tret alone at night. Only the acne treatment and nothing else on top. I woke up the next morning with some of my skin peeling off. My skin looked so soft, moist, and dewy. I liked what I was seeing. My skin didn’t feel dry at all. And I thought, maybe it could work this time around, so I continued to use it the next night the same way I used it the first night. Without a moisturizer. Oops, it didn’t turn out the way I thought it would. After the second night, my skin felt like sandpaper when I was washing my face. It didn’t feel good and didn’t look good. It looks like tret burned my skin. I had to take a break from tret to heal my skin. I applied a ton of moisturizers to heal the dryness, rough-feeling skin, itchiness, and inflammation.

But good news! My skin wasn’t damaged for too long. It took 4 days of consistently applying moisturizers including vaseline on my skin to heal my skin. Once my skin went back to its normal state, I started tret again. But this time, I made sure to add some serums and moisturizers in to keep my skin from drying out or becoming itchy. I’m usually able to use a retinoid without a moisturizer, but it’s different this time around. My skin is different and has changed so much. From this experience (lol), using a moisturizer is very important. I don’t do the sandwich method. I think that’s too much product on my skin. And knowing my skin, it doesn’t like the feeling of having too many layers of products on the skin. I’ll just end up breaking out. I know this because I’ve tried it before, and it didn’t make much of a difference in my skin. So I just apply tret directly to my skin. Next, apply moisturizers on top of tret. Most of the time, I don’t wait. I did the whole waiting thing before too, and it didn’t matter. It was just time wasted. haha.

So that’s my experience with tret during the first week. It didn’t go as planned, but I learned a few things. And that is to moisturize. It doesn’t have to be the most moisturizing product. Just any type of moisturizer that doesn’t cause breakouts. It’s better than nothing. By the way, I am using the 0.05% gel. I was prescribed the cream version initially, which didn’t work on my acnegenic skin. It ended up clogging my pores and making it worse due to it containing comedogenic ingredients. That may have been a contribution to a year wasted being on that version of tret. The gel seems to work better for me. It feels less oily on the skin and hasn’t clogged my pores. Since the first week didn’t go as planned, I wouldn’t call this my first true week experience with tret. It was more like an introduction. I had to restart tret once my skin calmed down, which it did. Well! I’ll make an update on my first real week on tret soon. Or you know, my first ONE MONTH experience and results on tret. I’ll see you all there!

My reviews on products pictured

Skinfood Rice Mask

The Ordinary Amino Acids + B5

The Ordinary Ascorbic Acid 8% Alpha Arbutin 2%

PanOxyl Acne Foaming Wash (10%)

For more posts on acne go here 👈🏻

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