Treatment of Tretinoin Purge and Tips On How to Avoid It.

Here’s an article to help you get through the skin changes (breakouts, redness, dryness) that come with using retinol, tretinoin, differin adapalene gel, tazorotene and every other retinoid.

Introducing retinoids to your routine can be super scary, especially when you’re aware of the pain (especially breakouts and dryness) before the glory.

Tretinoin purge
Image of tretinoin purge
Left: tretinoin acne breakout period
Right: After the purge, skin smoothening out
CREDIT: Health Magazine

Here’s how to get through the tretinion purging period or “retinization” period (the adjustment period in which the skin adapts to a retinoid treatment. During this period skin may become irritated, resulting in dryness, scaling, redness or a burning or stinging sensation and acne breakouts)

1. Start Slowly.

Don’t use twice daily or daily. DON’T APPLY RETINOIDS DAILY. 1-2 times a week (preferably in the evening because too many people do not apply sunscreen religiously and so should have no business with retinoids in the morning). Apply 1-2 times a week till your skin adjusts.

2. From the first week of your Retinoid use, you need to make sure your routine is as gentle as possible. Think of your skin during the first few weeks of using retinoids as a Cranky child: do everything to not upset this baby or it’ll scream your house down.

– Use a gentle cleanser (not one that strips your skin of all its possessions).

– Keep your abrasive physical exfoliants (like your brown sugar scrubs and Apricot scrubs and all your DIY scrubs) away from your face.

– No peels or peel off masks.

– Retinoids are handling your exfoliation at this point so there’s no need for your salicylic acid or glycolic acid because those can be too harsh on a skin going through retinization (remember your skin is a cranky baby)

At this point, you need to ensure your entire routine is as hydrating and as soothing as possible.

3. Before applying tretinoin, adapalene and the other members of their clique, hydrate/moisturize your skin properly. You can do this with a toner/essence/serum that contains hydrating/moisturizing ingredients hyaluronic Acid, glycerine, ceramides and the rest😊

So, apply retinol/retinoids over hydrating toner/serum/essence/cream.

4. Don’t forget to lock in moisture.

You need a healthy skin barrier to get through the retinization period also known as purging.

“Moisturized skin has a better barrier function.” So, MOISTURIZE, MOISTURIZE, MOISTURIZE.

5. Soothe dry patches with a moisturizer or a soothing product.

6. Wear Sunscreen in the morning and Re-apply every two hours.

You need to be extremely patient when using retinoids. Like almost everything else in life, there are ups and downs before the victory.

You’ll most likely want to quit in the first few weeks when your skin is doing a madness because of retinol. Be patient.

CAVEAT: Retin A should not be used by pregnant women on women planning to get pregnant because it causes severe congenital birth defects.

CREDIT: Skin Pieces


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