Recovering over-exfoliated/damaged skin

Question: Hi there Back in March I started using Retin-A and hydrocortisone to help fade my acne marks. After 3 months of usage, I noticed my skin sensitivity had jumped and it had become pink, delicate, and oily. So i stopped using it in June and began to let my skin recover. However at the end of July, I got a mild sunburn while at the beach (the sweat seemed to have washed off my sunscreen).. and the following week in the shower my skin flaked and peeled when I rubbed it. A week after my skin started producing excessive amounts of oil. I know that it is because I have stripped off the top moisture barrier of my already over-exfoliated skin, thus causing my skin to produce excess oil to compensate. It has been like this for 2 weeks now, and it's very discomforting as I have to blot my face with oil sheets every 2 hours. I used to have combination skin...only a little oily on the T-zone but never enough to need blotting sheets. Now I am ridiculously oily!! (and also breaking out from it too). It's no longer pink like it used to be when I was on Retin-A... but after I wash my face, my skin feels like it doesn't need moisturizer... (my normal skin months ago would feel very tight if i didn't moisture right away). I am wondering if you know how long it will take for my skin to heal and restore its moisture barrier and go back to its normal oil production. And if there is anything I can do to help speed up the process. Currently I am just using cetaphil to cleanse, and moisture with oil-free Shiesido moisturizer. Thank you so much! Alicia

Every skin has a different healing process and how long it takes. The skin care regimen you are using is good, however although it may sound strange at night I recommend you use a ultra healing, moisturizing product such as PCA Skin Silkcoat Balm – pHaze 20 or Dermalogica Barrier Repair. During the day I recommend you use a oil control gel or lotion such as NeoStrata Oil Control Gel. Best skin care wishes.

Meagan, Esthetician