Retinol + Dark Under-eye Circles + Acne

by teejayes


I’m going to start using some Retinol products and document how they work to address three issues with my skin:
      (i) dark under-eye circles;
      (ii) sebaceous filaments on my cheeks and chin;
      (iii) sun spots on my forehead.
I was motivated to try retinol because I understand it is (one of?) the only products that can work on genetic, dark under-eye circles. In the case of genetic under eye circles, no amount of sleep, re-hydration, de-puffing, or anti-wrinkling will affect the thin skin, veins, and sunkeness of the eunder-eye area. That’s just not the right approach. Retinol apparently works to rebuild the collagen in the skin, and so (supposedly) will thicken the skin so that the veins are not visible, and the under-eye area is not sunken. Retinol is also supposed to be one of the few medicated (as opposed to cosmetic) ingredients that one can buy over the counter. It frustrates me because the majority of eye creams or serums are aimed at puffiness. But I seem to have the exact opposite problem! I also don’t have any wrinkles!

The products I will be using:
(a) RoC Retinonal Corexion Sensitive Eye Cream (for the under-eye area).
(b) Neutrogena Ageless Intensives Anti-Wrinkle Deep Wrinkle Night Moisturiser (for the face generally).

neutro RoC

My Sun Spots:
I should begin by saying that these don’t really bother me. I find them an oddity. Especially the way that they are distributed on my forehead. The only time I really notice them is when I wear makeup/foundation. At the hairline, they are much darker than my skin and look silly when I wear makeup over them. However, they are where one would normally put some bronzer or contour. Once I put bronzer/countour around the hair line, it looks fine.

My Under Eye Circles: 
These are caused by having thin skin in the under-eye area. This is genetic and my parents have it too. It means that: (1) my veins and blood vessels show through the skin causing dark under eye circles; (2) I have a sunken under-eye area which creates shadows, again causing under eye-circles. As you will see from my photos below, this is obvious even when wearing concealer – the colouring is only half the problem.

My Acne / Sebaceous Filaments:
I’m 28 and still have acne! This drives me insane and makes me feel like a teenager. Sebaceous filaments are the things that everyone has on their nose. Only I have also them all over my cheeks, chin and cleavage. I feel that this photo perfectly illustrates my skin on a bad day. If I leave them they become darker and darker (like blackheads), and I also get small white lumps where there is a build up under the skin. But when I squeeze them out, my skin looks great for a day, and then not only do they start fillng up again, but I also get pimples and scabs caused from squeezing my skin. I use Benzac AC (benzoyl peroxide) with a fair amount of success. I have tried using prescription Differin (also a retinoidAcne and aging) which caused too much drying. The same with salicyclic acid (aka hydroxybenzoic acid), which additionally aggravates my eczema. I have found that my skin clears up the most when I am free-diving every day — it must be the salt water. However, I have not been able to replicate this in the home by washing my face with salt, or anything.



My dark under-eye circles:  

My under-eyes with loads of concealer:
(The dark under-eyes are still visible!)  

My acne:
Also see this
CheekAcnechin copy

My Sun Spots:
(Not super obvious here – it’s hard to get a good photo)


…. coming soon…