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My sweet child has been battling acne for a couple of years now. It started out as minor blackheads and escalated into cystic looking acne in a matter of months. We tried natural remedies at first. Aloe vera helped me as a teen and I hoped it would help her as well. It did not. Social media then led her down a path of broken promises with a long list of recommendations. Again, no luck. Her acne seemed to be getting worse by the day. She even complained about pain. The swelling beneath the skin hurt her. I was looking for a dermatologist when I stumbled upon Differin Gel.

I was watching TikTok one night and noticed my go to gal Sonia V. talking about Differin in multiple videos. She recommends it for the Retin Aid benefits on maturing skin. Since I'm now in the "over 30" maturing skin category, I ordered some. Little did I know, it was sold and labeled as an "acne" product. I gave the tube to my daughter just to see if it would do anything.

Look at the difference.

She started using Differin Gel around December - January. I don't have an exact date but it was definitely around the New Year (winter holiday break). In less than 3 months her breakouts and the type of acne has drastically changed. The blind pimples are gone. The redness is gone. Her texture is coming back and her breakouts are less noticeable. Her skincare routine is pretty basic too. Much easier than all the things she tried before. AND less expensive! I'll break down the routine by AM/PM below.


Cleanser: Neutrogena Bar

Moisturizer: Palmers Cocoa Butter + Vitamin E

SPF: Aveeno Ultra-Calming


Cleanser: Neutrogena Bar

Topical: Differin Gel

Moisturizer: Palmers Cocoa Butter + Vitamin E

Moisturizer: Aquaphor


If you're a beginner or new to retin aids, use as directed. She started using differin gel every two days the first 5-6 weeks. She's up to every other day now. She's young, some nights she forgets.

Use a pea size amount and focus on the areas needed. For her, it's her cheeks, chin and forehead.

Let the product dry for 10-15 minutes before applying moisturizer. She started using cocoa butter because Cerave moisturizer was irritating her when paired with Differin. She hasn't experienced that sensation with cocoa butter. She also rubs a little Aquaphor around her nose and lips to reduce the dryness. Differin will dry you out if not careful. She's managing it pretty well with this combo. Beware of skin imitation!

In the morning, be sure to cleanse, moisturize and add some SPF. You're never too young or old for SPF!

Be patient. We're just noticing the changes in her face after 2+ months. We can't really say if purging occurred since her skin was at it's absolute worse when she started using this product. It also hasn't caused me any purging. I'll post my own updated routine soon. Let me know if it helps.

Xx Dee

Conscious Skincare Routine

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