PRICE: £8.40 (prescription charge)
MY STORY: I recently found myself between retinols. Around the same time my hormonal breakouts were for whatever reason getting worse. I was just managing to clear the scars from the last break out when the next month’s began.
My usual retinols weren’t keeping the acne or scarring at bay & I knew it was time to see my GP when after several weeks of trying to manage with skincare, I wasn’t succeeding. I’m quite lucky with my medical background in knowing when medical treatment can be beneficial & what’s available.
I requested a topical retinoid. These are available on NHS prescription for acne & are far more potent (& less expensive) than anything I’ve purchased from skincare brands.
The catch is that they must be used with care. My skin can tolerate this once a week, twice maximum. I peel a little on day 2-3 after use, don’t be fooled if you don’t immediately get dry skin after use & don’t make the mistake of using this daily from day 1.
After 8 weeks of use & in combination with vitamin c on other nights, my skin is clearer & brighter than before & I barely had a hormonal break out this month.
The usual caveats apply – not for pregnant women, requires daily sunscreen etc. But if you’re looking for a retinol to help your acne & can tolerate a retinoid of this strength in your routine, it’s worth seeing your GP before spending all your money on something less effective.
AIM: treats mild-moderate acne
DIRECTIONS: use at night after cleansing above serums & underneath moisturiser (or above moisturiser if you’re sensitive to it)
Adapalene 0.1%: topical retinoid binds to retinoic acid receptors in nuclei of skin cells & change their behaviour to block keratinisation (hardening) of skin cells, whilst also promoting growth of new cells. Also blocks immune cells getting to site of acne formation which inhibits inflammatory reactions.
PROS: excellent value, proven acne treatment, anti ageing.
CONS: can cause irritation/peeling, using less amount or less frequently will reduce this, not for pregnant women. Can cause sun sensitivity if not using SPF.