The Differin diaries
When we last spoke, I was about to try Differin, a prescription retinoid cream, in a last-ditch attempt to get my acne under control. If unsuccessful, the next step would be to ask for referral to a dermatologist. Differin is available on prescription from the NHS, but I ordered mine through the Boots online acne clinic. There was a short survey, and you have to give the details of your GP in order for checks to be carried out. It is more expensive than a normal prescription (£24) but within a couple of days I had the Differin ready to start using.
Two months in, I think I am starting to notice a difference. It's definitely a marathon not a sprint! I still have spots, I won't deny that. But there are definitely fewer of them - particularly on my cheeks. (Those spots are the reason that I haven't worn blusher in over 2 years). There are still stubborn, sometimes cystic, spots on my jawline and the very top of my neck. I think that this is likely to be down to me touching the skin there too often - since trying to stop touching my face, I often rest my hands under my chin etc - so this is something that I need to stop.
I have also started using a vitamin C serum in the mornings, recommended by some of my favourite beauty bloggers (Caroline Hirons and Nadine Baggot in particular) as well as the skincare group that I am in on Facebook. The one that I ordered is from Garden of Wisdom (available at Victoria Health) and cost £10. It's had pretty rave reviews and was reasonably priced, so worth a shot.
The plan now is to continue using Differin, adding in a niacinamide serum in the evenings after it, and keep up the vitamin C in the mornings. A lot of people with acne (myself included) make the mistake of using super drying products to try to clear up spots, which can leave you with flaky skin elsewhere. I am making more of an effort to keep my skin really hydrated. (This is important as Differin can make your skin more sensitive/dry). After a couple more months of my new routine, I will report back, but for now I'm feeling positive about my skin for the first time in a long time.