Tyvonna
2 months ago
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Hello Tyvonna, looks like you are using the TO glycolic acid 7% toner daily? if yes, this can easily lead to over-exfoliation (and pigmentation issues as a result). Especially if you are also using Benzoyl Peroxide (Clean & Clear) daily.

I'd also recommend to be super cautious with the TO 30% peel. It ruined the skin for many people because of over-exfoliation. Once per week is the maximum frequency I'd recommend - and only if you are not using other exfoliators (like the 7% glycolic peel).

I'd also consider changing your moisturizer from Freck Beauty Rich Bitch Cactus + Vitamin C Moisturizer to a more hydrating and less risky product in terms of irritation, for example https://whatsinmyjar.com/product/beautystat-universal-pro-bio-moisture-boost-cream.

What do you think about trying a retinoid? Have you tried a retinoid before?

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Yes I have tretinoin gel just wasn't sure how to use it with the other products

I assume

Daytime

face wash CeraVe SA

Niacinamide serum

Ascorbic acid serum

Moisturizer

Nighttime

face wash CeraVe SA

Niacinamide serum

Ascorbic acid serum

Tretinoin

Moisturizer

*Glycolic acid once a week maybe? If no breakouts & just use persa gel if I have breakouts

I only use the persa gel when I have a breakout and I haven't been using the ordinary face peel since getting the glycolic acid. I am trying to rid of dark spots and was forewarned about both of those products.

Glycolic acid can't be used with tretinoin right?

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Glycolic acid can be used with tretinoin, it is actually one of the well-researched so called "combination therapies" for hypeperpigmentation. But the thing is everyone's skin has a limit of how much actives (and other potential irritants) it can tolerate. You can think about your skin tolerance as money on your bank account: if you "spend" it on one active, you might not have enough for another. You really don't want to go "over draft" with your skin tolerance, because if your skin gets an irritation, it can trigger new pigmentation issues.

Peels are more risky for dark-skinned people compared to fair-skinned ones. Also, tretinoin helps both with pigmentation and preventing breakouts. So overall I'd lean towards preferring tretinoin and only adding peels (glycolic acid and other AHAs) when you feel that you've got the "tolerance left in the bank" (and this is I think what you are already doing in your routine 👍).

(Important note: you didn't mention sunscreen in your AM, it's the most important part of treating and preventing pigmentation - but I get a sense you know it and probably just forgot to mention).

Apart from sunscreen, the routine you describe I think is good. Out of caution, I'd reduce the Ascorbic acid serum (assuming you are using 10-20% concentration) to once daily in the AM (to reduce the irritation risk). If you feel that your skin tolerates tretinoin well (as in you don't get a feeling of tightness, flaking, stinging), you can add a glycolic peel (7-15%) once a week - but I'd skip tretinoin on that day or at least do the peel in the AM (and be extra-religious in using a sunscreen on that day) and apply tretinoin at night).

Also, please be more careful with peels if your pigmentation spots are not from the old blemishes. Then it's better to go for less concentrated peels.

Try to be patient and stick with this routine long-term - 4-6 months to really see good results. Consistency & caution is the winning strategy.

I hope this helps!

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