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Which products to use? And can I use Retin-A and glycolic acid cream to...
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Which products to use? And can I use Retin-A and glycolic acid cream together?

I am a 30 year old woman, with very fair skin, who is starting to notice the early signs of aging on my face. I have lines around my eyes (not just crows feet, but under and around my eyes) and on my forehead. I am also beginning to notice smile lines around my mouth and the skin isn't as taut as before there.

I believe I have combination skin, although I'm not entirely sure. I have LOTS of blackheads on my nose, chin, upper cheeks and forehead. I also have flakey skin on my nose most days (not all) for some reason despite moisturizing, wearing sunblock and using glycolic acid lotion at night. I still get some acne close to menstruation around the jawline and chin, sometimes my cheeks too.

My older sister has been using Retin-A 0.05% in the evenings for a few months now and her skin looks nice. We both used Retin-A when we were young teens for acne and seemed to tolerate it well. I don't recall the strength.

I'm interested in using Retin-A to help with the aging and acne and possibly a glycolic acid cream called Aqua Glycolic Face Cream. I was planning to use the Aqua Glycolic Face Cream in the a.m. under my sunscreen (Blue Lizard Australian Suncream SPF 30 for Babies) and Retin-A 0.05% at night. Would this be safe and effective for the treatment/prevention of fine lines and acne, as well as the uneven skin texture?

Also, at present I just wash my face with Ivory bar soap. Could you recommend a good everyday cleanser?

Thanks so much for your help! I'm so confused about what to use that will truly make a difference. I'm starting to feel frightened over what I see in the mirror. I feel like my skin looks much older than 30. My goal would be to have smooth, firm, dewy, youthful looking skin! I'm very fair, so when my skin doesn't glow I look pasty and unhealthy. Help!
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You should be able to use both glycolic and Retin-A, but I suggest you start one (glycolic) and then add the other, just to make sure your skin can handle both (it should.)  I usually start tretinoin (Retin-A) for aging purposes at the 0.025% strength.  Be sure to use sunscreen when going out.  Your dermatologist who prescribes the Retin-A will discuss this, along with other measures you might consider, such as light chemical peels, once your skin regimen is set.  Cetaphil is a good, over-the-counter cleanser.

Best.

Dr. Rockoff
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