Let me start this article by saying I am fairly knowledgable about skincare, and that my skin is fairly tolerant of all that I do to it. I have tried all types of retinols such as over the counter retinol cream, differing, retin a, and Tazorac. So what is Tazorac for, how does it work, and how do you use it?
First off, Tazorac is a prescription acne treatment, and is a retinoid. Being a retinoid, it means that the main mode of action is that it speeds up the cell turnover rate, as well as normalizes the skins normal cycle. I was prescribed tazorac for severe acne.
What is Tazorac? Tazorac is a prescription acne treatment, and is a retinoid. Being a retinoid, it means that the main mode of action is that it speeds up the cell turnover rate, as well as normalizes the skins normal cycle. Its one of the strongest retinoids available.
What is it used for? Tazorac is mainly used for the treatment of severe acne. It can be used in other ways, but the the side effects usually make it not worth it. For example, Tazorac can be used for wrinkles, but in that case, retin a might be a better choice since it provides better results for wrinkles while being less irritating. Again, for light or moderate acne, Tazorac might not be the best choice, since Retin A will likely be able to do the same job with less irritation. For that reason, its usually used only for severe or cystic acne.
How does it work? All retinoids work in a similar manner, they speed up the rate at which the skin regenerates, which means that scars, pimples, etc all heal and cycle through much quicker. For example, if on your skin not treated by a retinoid has a scar/pimple, it will take twice as long to heal as skin treated by a retinoid. It also helps normalize the skin, and prevent dead skin cells from getting trapped in the pores. Oftentimes acne is caused by dead skin cells getting stuck in pores, and results in them blocking and becoming a pimple. Retinoids help speed up the cell turn over process, so that dead skin cells do not have the same amount of time to get “Stuck” as in normal skin. Retinoids also thin the skin out, and make it appear more youthful and “baby-like”.
How do you use it? Tazorac comes in either a cream, or a gel. How often you apply Tazorac should be decided between you and your doctor, but what I can say, is that the more you ease into it, the better. So rather than starting with applying tax every night, maybe start once a week, then twice a week… etc. This helps mitigate the side effects, and doesn’t significantly slow down the process. The first step is to wash your face with a gentle skin cleanser. Pat skin dry, and let it air dry for at least an hour. After the skin has dried for an hour, you can safely apply the Tazorc. Apply a pea sized amount in a thin layer all over the face. You can apply a moisturizer after the tazorac has sunk in.
Its very, very important that you wait at least an hour after washing your face to apply Tazorc. Trust me, if you apply a retinoid right after washing your face, your skin will flip. Over the next few days it will become inflamed, peeley, and royally pissed off. Something with the retinoids reacting with the moisture in your skin… so be-warned!
What should I expect in the first few weeks? Initially, your skin will hate you. Tazorac can make your skin very dry, peeley, and inflamed. These side effects usually subside in a few months. The worst side effect is the peeling, your skin will peel like you have never thought possible. I felt like I had a sunburn everyday for months. Adding to this, you will begin to break out much more than normal. This is your skin “Purging” and is important to get out. If you ease into using retinoids, then the side effects can be lessened.
My Experience: When I tried Taz, i had moderate acne. It wasn’t the worst I’ve ever seen, but it was certainly bad enough. My doctor never warned me about only applying an hour after washing my face, so needless to say, my skin was very pissed off for the first few weeks. My skin peeled SO MUCH. Every time I took a shower, my skin would come off in chunks. No joke. It was like I was sunburnt.
After the initial breakout, and irritation, I have to say I was quite pleased with the glow that it had given my skin. My skin was very soft, and was very “Glowy”. Unfortunately, it was still very peeley. I had used Tazorac for about 5 months, and the side effects never completely subsided. The worst side effect was the peeling, it prevented me from wearing any makeup, since my skin was flaking off and peeling at all times. I’m not sure why, but my skin just never got used to the stuff. Adding to that, my acne never 100% went away. My breakouts were lessened, sure, and they healed faster, sure, but the acne never went away. If I was going to deal with all those side effects, It would have to completely get rid of my acne.
I eventually had it with all of the irritation and peeling, so I switched to Retin- A. I was much happier with Retin A, as it was much more tolerable, and the peeling subsided within a month, not like 6 months with Tazorac.
Overall, If you have incredibly tolerant, resistent, skin with sever acne, then Tazorac would be a great bet for you. If you have moderate acne, and your skin is more sensitive, or if you are looking for help with wrinkles, then Retin-A would be your best bet. Leave a comment if you have any experience with any Retinoids!