ThiccyNicky ThiccyNicky
2 months ago

Is salicylic acid + adapalene too harsh?

I’ve been using salicylic acid for about a month now and I just started using adapalene (less than a week), but I recently had a painful burning sensation after applying salicylic acid at night, especially in the creases in my nose area. I thought rubbing moisturizer on would soothe it but it made it hurt even more. Should I use salicylic acid less frequently than twice a day?

Acne prone skin and my skin type is normal to dry.
AM - Everyday
1
Acne Foaming Cream Cleanser CeraVe - Acne Foaming Cream Cleanser
2
2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant Paula's choice - 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant
3
Adapalene Gel 0.1% Acne Treatment Differin - Adapalene Gel 0.1% Acne Treatment
4
Toleriane Double Repair Moisturizer La Roche-Posay - Toleriane Double Repair Moisturizer
5
Face Sheer Tint Hydrating Sunscreen SPF 30 CeraVe - Face Sheer Tint Hydrating Sunscreen SPF 30
PM - Everyday
1
Acne Foaming Cream Cleanser CeraVe - Acne Foaming Cream Cleanser
2
2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant Paula's choice - 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant
3
Toleriane Double Repair Moisturizer La Roche-Posay - Toleriane Double Repair Moisturizer
1
3
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I think you should use it less for sure! Even though you're using sunscreen, using both exfoliant and adapalene in the morning might be too much. I'd try to either move both to PM only and see how your skin reacts, or use one in the morning and the other one in the evening. Or even alternate between them if you get more irritations. Moreover, unless you have oily skin, you might consider skipping morning cleanser and only cleansing with water in the AM, as it might add extra irritation. Hope this helps :)

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Thank you for your reply! I’m going to try just using adapalene in the morning and salicylic acid at night.

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If you have normal-to-dry skin you definitely should not be using 2% BHA twice a day. People with oily skin can safely use it more often as it strips oil but despite what Paula's Choice recommends, dermatologists all say to use Salicylic Acid leave-on treatments twice a week at most. You are using it way too often and drying out your skin! Definitely don't use it at the same time of day you apply Adapalene either. The combo is just way too much for your skin barrier! You can however use Salicylic acid cleansers up to twice a day as long as they are rinsed off normally. You mentioned you just started Adapalene a week ago. I wouldn't advise using it every day already if you have irritation. Start off using it every third night for a couple of weeks, then every other night for a couple of weeks to slowly build up your tolerance until you can use it every night. As the previous commenter said, switch the Adapalene to nightime as it increases your sensitivity to sunlight. You've got some great products in your routine. I have normal-to-dry skin, acne and sensitivity as well and I almost exclusively use Cerave and Toleriane products in my routine! One last thing I would recommend is to try "slugging" on nights when you aren't using either Salicylic Acid or Adapalene. Basically you finish off your routine by applying a thin layer of a barrier ointment like Cerave Healing Ointment, Aquaphor Healing Ointment, La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Baum B5, or just plain old Vaseline. This works wonders for trapping all of the moisture in your skin and repairing your skin barrier quickly. Just don't do it on nights when you've applied actives like Adapelene or SA or you'll trap them on your skin and increase their potency. Best of luck!

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