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Caroline Hirons routine...retinols?

(23 Posts)
CremeDeSudo Wed 11-Mar-15 08:59:57

Hi everyone, am hoping someone might be able to advise on retinols..

Have recently kitted myself out for a Caroline Hirons routine, but my main area for concern is redness/scarring from acne. Do I need a retinol to get rid of these? Or will it fade eventually if I follow her general routine?

I've been reading her blog but not sure about this..would really appreciate help!

If it helps, this is what I'm doing

Cleanse with Superdrug Natural Radiant Hot Cloth Cleanser
REN Clarimatte Toner
Vichy Aqualia Thermal Serum
Cerave SPF and BB/CC Cream with additional SPF

Double cleanse with Superdrug hot cloth cleanser (do I need to use two separate cleansers, or is twice with this OK?)
REN Clarimatte
Vichy Serum
Astral for night cream (although I'm not sure I like it as it just sits on my skin)

Every other night I use Superdrug Natural Radiant Glycolic Peel.

Does this sound OK? Would a retinol help? I've only been following the routine for a week so I'm willing to be patient if you think this'll suffice!

CremeDeSudo Wed 11-Mar-15 15:48:49

Anyone? Help please!

biscuitbrew in return..!

Nabootique Wed 11-Mar-15 16:23:10

I'm no expert on retinols, but aren't they predominantly used for anti-aging? What kind of scarring do you have? Is it discolouration or actual pitting?

I'd definitely recommend a second cleanser. I use the same one as you for my morning cleanse sometimes, but at night I use a balm and then a cream/gel/lotion one, but the Superdrug one would be alright for the second cleanse. The double cleansing will definitely help with overall skin appearance. How would you describe your skin type?

CremeDeSudo Wed 11-Mar-15 16:34:11

Thanks for replying.

It's red marks so it looks like there's still spots there, but it's just the leftovers so to speak. Some pitting, but I'm less worried about that at the moment! They look less red in the morning, but after acid toning it seems to bring out the redness..

What second cleanser do you use? Would you recommend it?

I used to say I had normal to oily skin due to an oily T zone, but I think my skin changed when I had DS who is now 20mo. (I think treating it like it was still oily was what caused the break out that left the scarring tbh). It's not really oily or dry at the moment so I'm not sure what I'd call it! Just normal?

Nabootique Thu 12-Mar-15 07:35:04

If your acid toner is bringing out the redness it might be a bit harsh for you. I've not used that one, but I looked at the ingredients on their website and it has peppermint in it, which can be a bit irritating.

I had similar scarring to you and Indeed Labs Pepta-Bright and Boots Botanics Facial Oil sorted it right out. Now if I get a new spot and use those it heals so quickly!

For cleansers in the evening I use the Boots Botanics Balm to get rid of make up and then the second one depends on how my skin is that day. The Body Shop do some lovely ones. I have the seaweed one for when I'm a bit oily and the aloe vera one as well. If you are prone to a bit of redness the aloe vera one is lovely and calming.

CremeDeSudo Thu 12-Mar-15 08:26:29


I got the Clarimatte because it's meant to be one of the more gentle ones? Any suggestions on something more gentle still?

I'll definitely try the Botanics stuff - 3 for 2 at the moment too, bargain! Will also check out the Body Shop when I next get a voucher.

With the facial oils, what's the routine with them? Is it after cleanse/tone/serum and then in place of the astral?

Nabootique Thu 12-Mar-15 08:37:51

The acid content might be quite low, but I'm just wondering if your skin doesn't like the peppermint. Might not be the case. I like the Nip+Fab Glycolic pads best, but Bravura do some lovely toners too. have a new 40% off Body Shop voucher every week, I think. I always get one from there before I do my shopping grin

With the oil, I put it on last during my evening routine, over moisturiser. It sounds like the Astral might be a bit rich if it's just sitting on your skin, but I know some people swear by it. You could try the oil instead of moisturiser? My skin is combination, but also gets dehydrated (i.e. I quickly look crinkled) very easily, so I like to really layer it on at night.

CremeDeSudo Thu 12-Mar-15 08:42:01

Awesome thanks for you help smile (biscuitbrew)

Off to Boots at lunchtime!

Nabootique Thu 12-Mar-15 08:43:58

You're welcome smile Good luck!

jjwhite Wed 25-Mar-15 19:13:53

Hello! Just to throw in my two pence... And to ask how you are getting on?

I'm in a similar situation - I'm trying to get rid of PIH (the red marks after acne). I would've thought, looking at your current regime - that retinol might be a bit over-kill as well as the various low-percentage acid toners etc you've got going on.

If anything I would say forget the retinol, and instead invest in a decent glycolic product (e.g. Alpha H Liquid Gold) to use once or twice a week. You will see a visible difference. If that's out of your price range (it is quite expensive) then maybe think about a Bravura Glycolic peel to use once a week. I think you'll see better results upping your ahas rather than introducing retinols.

Let me know how you're getting on in any case! And can I ask - how did you get rid of the acne in the first place?

AND, on a whole other note - what do you think of the REN clarimatte? It's AHA and BHA right? Or atleast uses lactic acid as it's main active ingredient? I've been thinking about trying it for a while...

gingerfluffball Thu 26-Mar-15 00:38:32

I wouldn't rule out a retinol, they increase skin cell turnover and so speed up healing time. Good for old acne. You can get great results with them - depends how stubborn your skin is though, you might be okay with just some good quality skincare.

If I wasn't pregnant I would be going straight for a retinol to clear up my skin! smile

Truckingalong Thu 26-Mar-15 06:09:12

I have red marks left over from spots. I've used all of the above and am still going with the liquid gold but I can't see much difference. I've used obagi in the past, which is prescription only and not for the faint hearted but I've still got active spots and new red marks, so am reconsidering lasers but have tried it before and had to stop mid way through treatment as its so painful.

hauntedhenry Thu 26-Mar-15 07:13:37

I don't find liquid gold that good for acne - I prefer the Clarins exfoliating toner, it has a mixture of acids which is better for my acne prone skin, so I'd stick with the Clarimatte. Also, I wouldn't acid tone morning and evening, I think it's too much for your skin. I'd use the acid toner every other night or nightly if you think your skin is going to break out.

hauntedhenry Thu 26-Mar-15 07:15:49

Oops, posted too soon - haven't finished grin

Re the retinol, I'm curious too, and am considering trying it. If you do get some, let us know how you got on!

Champagnecharleyismyname Thu 26-Mar-15 08:34:18

I have just started using the skinceuticals 1.0 retinol. I have followed the instructions and so far just used a tiny amount twice a week. I have some pigmentation so I am using it mainly for that, I have had some slight flaking in the morning which comes off with toner.
My skin does look brighter so I will keep on with it, one area of pigmentation gas started to fade already.

FabULouse Thu 26-Mar-15 09:04:58

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Kundry Thu 26-Mar-15 09:19:22

I would get you skin settled and happy with an acid before adding in another product or you'll never know what the problem is. Sam Bunting recommends using a product for weeks before deciding as it takes that long for your skin to turn over and it be working on new skin.

Bumps under the skin and red marks should go just with acid. However using Clarimatte and the Glycolic peel may be overkill.

Proper scarring needs retinol and of course you get the anti-ageing and additional anti-acne effects of the retinol as well.

None of the over the counter retinols are as effective as prescription Retin-A so ignore all the retin-A horror stories of redness and flaking. Just start alternate days and build up.

Finally if you are going the whole hog, Astral isn't the best night moisturiser as it's basically just a load of mineral oil and no fancy ingredients. You would be better with Cerave night for extra ceramides - when I used Retin-A my skin loved Cerave, really calmed down the redness.

I'm more of a Sam Bunting woman than a Caroline Hirons but love their videos together. Sam has done several Q+As on here with a lot of recommendations.

So from what you're doing I would first get rid of the Astral, leave off the glycolic peel then stick to the programme for 4 weeks, then consider doing the peel, then after another 4 weeks add the retinol.

Otherwise your skin will go mental, you won't know what the issue is and you will have spent a fortune on product grin

jjwhite Thu 26-Mar-15 10:02:14

Hmm re: the retinoid suggestion (Retin-A) for instance - I am currently using Differin (one of the most gentle retinoids) and it does make your skin dry/peel even if you go really carefully and do it alternate nights. (I've now been using them for four months and I still haven't found the magic way to avoid the adverse reactions!) I also haven't seen a more noticeable effect from the retinoid than from the glycolic acid (high strength ones used a couple of times a week, and not alongside other acid toners - I think you have to decide one or the other). I would also add that in the UK retinoids are all prescription medications, so you'd have to convince your doctor to give you a prescription.

Retinols are basically weaker versions of retinoids and given that, for me personally (and this won't be true for everyone obviously) I haven't seen a significant improvement with the retinoids to my acne scars I would've thought that retinols aren't going to be much better than acids, and as other people have been saying - retinols plus toners plus acid peels would just be massive overkill and your skin will not thank you!

I think either way - decide what approach to go for - either retinols, or acid peels/liquid gold, or regular lower-strength acids and then just stick by them for a month or so to decide what you think...

And then report back - as I'm dying to hear other people's experiences!

Champagnecharleyismyname Thu 26-Mar-15 15:28:14

Ooh interesting thread. I will leave off the toner then while using the retinol, I am surprised by the amount of flaking I have had as I have literally used it twice and s tiny bit but it has definitely helped fade my pigmentation marks. I am also slathering on a factor 30 moisturiser. I thinking will use it for a couple of months and then back to my normal routine.

CremeDeSudo Thu 26-Mar-15 17:00:20

Hi all

OK well I bought the botanics cleanser, make up remover and facial oil following this thread. I've used the superdrug peel twice a week but I can't say I notice much difference when using it so probably won't buy more.

So I've been following the above routine with the make up remover, a double cleanse and the facial oil after the serum instead of the astral.

I'm noticing a huge difference! Really pleased so far! Scarring has definitely faded. I use BB cream without any additional concealer now which is a revelation grin I feel much more glowy and plump somehow grin

I've had two large spots on my chin since starting and a little one by my eyebrow. I came on this week though so thinking it's probably hormonal.

I like the clarimatte but I'm tempted to try pixiglow however it's not on amazon atm. probably a good thing! wondering about the first aid pads..

Am also tempted to get some liquid gold next month when I get a bit of extra cash from work. The sheep in me is struggling to resist!

In the meantime I'm going to take advantage of the triple points at Boots tmw - any recommendations on serums for the scarring?

Think I'll leave the retinol for now..

CremeDeSudo Thu 26-Mar-15 17:01:31

Whoops forgot to say that it was a course of antibiotics that got rid of them for me. I had a staph infection apparently.

Will also check out Sam Bunting!

jjwhite Thu 26-Mar-15 17:22:22

Great - sounds like a good plan CremeDeSudo.

I would also add that I used Pixi Glow tonic for a while a couple of years ago - it was a bit 'meh' so I would save your money and put it towards the Liquid Gold next month (that's what I'd do anyway!)

I very much doubt the Pixi glow would be in any way a step up from the Clarimatte? Clarins gentle exfoliating toner might be, but it is a bit more expensive (I think £25ish). I also used the Clarins one and if I were to repurchase one it would be Clarins and not the Pixi one.

Good luck and let us know how you get on!

carolinehirons Mon 08-Jun-15 21:40:36

Hi JJwhite. PBI - but actually the Pixi GT is a world of difference from Clarimatte which has had virtually all the acid removed save for an antioxidant level. Hence the new name. It's no longer what it was. Sorry for jumping in! smile

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