I'm a 25-year-old with hormonal acne and oily skin. A dermatologist told me I should consider cutting retinol out of my skincare routine.

·2 min read
Gebrael skin clinic
Gebrael is a 25-year-old with hormonal acne and oily skin.Gebrael Tesfahun/Insider
  • Gebrael is a 25-year-old who volunteered to have his skincare routine reviewed for Insider's Skin Clinic.

  • Gebrael said he struggles with oily skin, acne, and textured pores.

  • If you'd like to have your skincare routine reviewed by experts, fill out this form.

Gebrael is a 25-year-old who volunteered to have his skincare routine reviewed by a dermatologist for Insider's skin clinic.

As someone with oily skin, Gebrael told Insider his biggest skincare concerns are breakouts, inflammation, and blackheads, as well as improving his skin texture.

Dr. Kenneth Mark, a dermatologist and cosmetic dermatology expert, told Insider how Gebrael can improve his routine and which products he should ditch.

Gebrael's routine is in perfect order

Gebrael starts his day by washing his face with CeraVe acne foaming cleanser, followed up with The Ordinary's glycolic acid 7% toner. He tops it off with Cetaphil pro oil's absorbing moisturizer to hydrate his skin.

At night, Gebrael cleanses his face with the CeraVe acne foaming cleanser again. He layers Differin Gel adapeline gel 0.1% on his face to chemically exfoliate and uses Cerave PM facial moisturizer as his final step.

"He isn't making any major mistakes, and it's a good regiment if he's tolerating all the products and they are working," Mark said.

He should consider switching toners for something less drying

Mark told Insider he should switch his toner for something that directly addresses irritation.

"I would recommend switching the glycolic acid toner out for a salicylic-based one, as it is a main ingredient for acne and is anti-inflammatory to oil glands," Mark said.

In addition to swapping out his toner, Gebrael should reconsider if retinol is the right exfoliant for him. Retinol can be great for chemically exfoliating the skin by stripping the top layer, but can cause irritation and swelling for people with sensitive skin.

"Overall, Gebrael's routine is good as long as it's working, and he's tolerating all the products. However, if he's getting red at all then he should stop using the Differin Gel adapeline gel 0.1% because it is a retinoid and can be irritating," Mark said.

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