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Trying Tretinoin for Acne: Week 8 Update (w/ Tretinoin Purge Pictures)

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Folks, we’ve made it to the 2-month mark of using tretinoin! For 8 weeks I’ve been sharing my experience with tretinoin here on StrutYours.com. I’ve been using the thoughtfully formulated Strut Anti Aging Formula with 0.05% tretinoin in hopes to clear my mild adult acne. 

If you’re interested you can follow from the beginning to learn how I prepped my skin and learn about the products I’ve been loving lately.

So far I’ve learned a lot about the dos and don’ts of tretinoin. I've learned more about what to expect, and can share my journey with some real tretinoin experience under my belt.

This week I want to share my week 8 update and my favorite tretinoin tips that I’ve learned so far. If you also deal with acne but are nervous about the tretinoin process, you’re in the right place! 


Tretinoin update week 8 - We're still purging folks

As you’ll know from my week 7 update, the tretinoin purge is in full swing. Areas of my skin are looking brand new while other areas are breaking out a bit with deep-seated pimples. 

While I am technically on week 8 of tretinoin, I’ve only been “regularly” using it for 5 weeks because I inched in during my acclimation period. While this does elongate the timeline, it’s important to let your skin acclimate to the product.

During this week I had lots of week 7 pimples clear up but welcomed a few more “purge pimple friends.” 


Irritation level: 1/10 

My skin was a little flakier and drier this week. This is likely due to using less hyaluronic acid than I normally do. Guys, hyaluronic acid really makes a difference. 


Acne report: Purgin’. 3/10 (It’s been worse.)

The pimples this week are still coming from deep in my skin, and coming up in the same unusual areas (for me the forehead, inner cheek by my nose, and on my chin.) 


These pimples pop up overnight and often come in pairs. Since they are larger, they take a few days to clear. 

The pimples on my upper cheek and forehead don’t leave a mark after they’ve healed, but the pimples on the chin and side of the face seem to be leaving small pink marks that will fade over time. (Sunscreen is important, folks!) 

For me, this purging process has been annoying, but definitely not enough for me to shy away from the product. After speaking with so many people about their tretinoin experience, I’ve found that acne prone people find clearer skin around the 3-4 month mark of regular use.  


Trying Tretinoin tips from 8 weeks in 

Learn from my mistakes, and my trial and error. These tips are really no joke. These are tried and tested. 

  • Always wait for your skin to fully dry! I’ve gotten lazy before, didn’t wait for my skin to completely dry and my irritation level went from a zero to a 4 in a day! 
  • Pimple stickers are your best friend. I can’t tell you how much these have helped during the purge. 
  • Don’t pick at your pimples, especially if you scar easily. You could be causing a longer-lasting problem.  
  • Don’t use acne washes with BHA acid (salicylic acid) even if the purge gets bad. It’s just too exfoliating and the irritation isn’t worth it (at least for me). 
  • Instead, try a low percentage of benzoyl peroxide wash in the morning if your “purge pimples” need a little help.
  • Using hyaluronic acid and niacinamide really does make a huge difference! I stopped using it to see if it made a difference. The verdict is -- YES it really does. 
  • You’ve got to prioritize your skin barrier throughout this process. If tretinoin gets to be too much, slow down, or use a buffering lotion before putting on tretinoin. 
  • Be gentle with exfoliation. Don’t overdo it. Try just a wet washcloth to get flaky skin to slough off. 


Follow along to learn more about trying tretinoin

Tretinoin can be a very intimidating product for people. The tretinoin purge is infamous but from my experience so far, it’s been a very gradual process. Pimples come and pimples go. I’ve never had a “whole face” of pimple eruptions. 

Remember that some people that use tretinoin never experience a skin purge. Everyone’s experience is a little different. 


If you have acne and want to try tretinoin, read the Trying Tretinoin series to learn about what to expect and how you can use this powerful retinoid the right way. 

Trying Tretinoin Week 1 Complete Step-by-Step Skin Routine 

Week 2 Trying Tretinoin Series

Week 3 Trying Tretinoin Series

Week 4 Trying Tretinoin Series

Week 5 Trying Tretinoin Series

Week 7 Trying Tretinoin Series

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