My Skincare Diary: 20K, DIY & Tretinoin Updates, Mask Lemmings, and Samples

My blog hit 20,000 views today!  Which I know is small potatoes, or even just a daily goal for some people, but this is super exciting for me, so thank you to everyone for checking it out and even more so for those who subscribe and come back regularly!
Only edit was cropping and brighten/contrast.  BTW, I don't use Photoshop.  I edit all these things on my phone, because I'm gangsta'.
That isn't that clear...ENHANCE!

Gosh, that picture looks awful.  I just....ew.  Anyway, the picture on the left was taken on March 18, and the one on the right was today.  The truth skin basically looked like the left side up until like a week and a half ago, and then it rapidly started fading the acne scars.  I know there's still a lot, but you've no idea.  I've had those dark spots for years, and suddenly they're packing their bags and moving out of the neighborhood.  Some of those are newer from some stressful days and skin picking, but a lot of those especially along the chin area and behind the cheekbones have been there for ages, and I'm so ecstatic that they're going away.

I honestly don't think it's the Tretinoin that's doing it, or at least not the heavy lifting.  One thing it is doing really well is making sure I work out the tons of crap that's been in my skin/pores.  I swear, every time I use an oil cleanser, I get so much crap out.  I am also using some DIY C+E+Ferulic Acid as well as a DIY Niacinamide, and I think they're really helping with the fading.  I am trying to do video tutorials of them, but I am so not good at recording and directing these things, so I'm working my courage up to the point where I can record myself.  Here is a look at some of the notable ingredients though:

C+E+Ferulic Acid:  L-Ascorbic Acid, Tocopherol, Ferulic Acid, Sodium Lactate, Licorice Root Extract, Hyaluronic Acid, Glycerin, Allantoin, Sea Kelp Bioferment, Borage Seed Oil

Sodium lactate, as mentioned before, might be able to enhance L-AA's brightening and pigmentation fading abilities, and Licorice Root Extract is also known for its brightening abilities.  The others are nice topicals that are hydrating and anti-inflammatory.

Niacinamide:  Niacinamide, Panthenol, N-Acetyl Glucosamine, Licorice Root Extract, Green Tea Extract, Ceramides, Sodium Lactate, Tocopherol, Borage Seed Oil, Allantoin, Hyaluronic Acid, Glycerin

N-acetyl glucosamine (NAG) works in synergy with niacinamide to boost hyaluronic acid levels in the skin, brighten, and increase collagen.  Ceramides, when in the correct ratio with cholesterol and fatty acids, can penetrate and moisturize from within (otherwise, they're just fancy occlusives, like hyaluronic acid).

Glamour shot right here.
I can handle Tretinoin every night now, and I rarely use my AHA/BHAs anymore, not because my skin can't handle it, but because I'm already getting enough exfoliation from my Vit C serum and the Tretinoin, that any more doesn't make my skin look too hot.  I'm experimenting a little bit with wait times following washing my face, before applying the Tretinoin, and sometimes that results in some flakiness along my chin and nose area.  I can feel this happening though, and sometimes just do a quick cotton square mask soaked in some unwanted toner for a couple of minutes.  Anyone else do this?  It's nice for a quick mask when you don't feel like using an actual sheet mask.

Speaking of masks....I've been lemming after all these masks lately.  I picked up a couple more of the Freeset Donkey Milk "hydrogels", and 40 Innisfree It's Real masks (it was a 10+10 deal, and I had free shipping!), and I'm still.  Lusting.  Because The Beauty Wolf had to go and rave about these Whamisa hydrogels that look so heavenly with all their fermented ingredients and hanbangy goodness, so I think I'm going to try out Avecko finally and pick up a couple of other things I've been wanting to try.

I'm testing out this moisturizer from Biologique Recherche (mostly known for their Lotion P50), and oh wow, y'all, it's quite lovely.  I'll need to test for a few more weeks, but the texture is really interesting and it feels so nice.  It has yeast and "marine collagen" and I'm sure a bunch of other fancy and nice things, so we shall see if it's worth the tons o' money it costs.

My Innisfree free sample set finally arrived today.  It came in this little cardstock envelope that can be assembled into a little drawer, and I was working on it, but my 2 year old decided she wanted it more than I did,'s not going to be a little drawer anymore.  Poo.

But I love their samples.  They're easy to use, and they have caps so you can actually save and reuse them, like little toddler fruit purees!  I'm a little disappointed they didn't include the green tea sleeping pack, but it comes with the skin, essence, lotion, and cream, so that should be enough to at least try out their green tea line.


  1. Your skin looks so clear and glowy! Hope to hear more about these DIY serums because I've been plagued by old acne marks for years, too. I'm also on tretinoin, but I don't think that's supposed to help much with dark spots. --Angela

  2. Thank you!! *blushes* I'm trying to get these DIY videos made, but every time I go to record one, either my 2 year old decides she wants to join in, or I go to edit, and just kind of....stare blankly at it. The A.M. Vit C and P.M. Niacinamide has definitely been lightening my dark spots, and niacinamide and ceramides are suppose to be a very good supplement to Tretinoin (according to some literature I found) for helping with the skin barrier and some other things. What strength Tretinoin are you using?

  3. 0.08%. I'm doing Pocketderm, so it's already mixed with 4% niacinamide and 5% vitamin C (MAP). I've been on it for 5 months, but I'm not seeing real changes in my spots. What's the percentage of niacinamide in your serum?

  4. Mine is 5%, but I've found studies that show even 2% will offer benefits, just a little slower. I also have N-acetylglucosamine (NAG) in mine though, which works synergistically with niacinamid, so maybe that's why mine is responding so fast. My Tretinoin is only 0.05%, but I don't think I want it increased, at least for now. How long have you been on Tretinoin? Have you noticed collagen production yet?

  5. I've been on it for 5 months as of 1 or 2 weeks ago. I was using an OTC retinol/niacinamide/vitamin a product (Lytera) for 6 months before that. Maybe I have skin dysmorphic disorder, but I haven't noticed collagen production or a change in fine lines. I'm specifically keeping an eye on forehead lines (which are my most obvious) and don't notice any difference. I'm also keeping an eye on certain sunspots and see maybe a slight fading but that might be imagination. I'll take some pics at 6 months to measure my progress since I'm fully aware I might be too critical.