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Skin problems or acne?

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Old 01-06-2011, 10:22 AM   #1
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Question Skin problems or acne?

Anyone suffer this? I do. As a teenager, I rarely had a pimple, but once I gave birth to DD, my hormones hit the fan and I experienced all manner of fun stuff such as a SEVEN MONTH LONG period (was beginning to think I was cursed! Tried BCP; Depo shot-nothing stopped it. Finally stopped after getting an IUD) and my face broke out like a pubesent kid! I've had cystic acne ever since. I hate it because I've now got some scarring and almost a constant "spot". Any photos I do allow to be taken, I edit because it's embarrassing!

Anyone out there got any tried and true methods of dealing with this? I've gone to a dermatologist who put me on doxy antibiotics for it, which worked until the Rx ran out, so she tried some acidic cream which was very harsh on my skin. I've tried proactiv, mary kay, avon and clinique pimple treatments as well as anything I could find in a drugstore.

I had a facial about 2 years ago and the girl doing it reccomended I use an antibacterial face soap, so i got some dermalogica ($$$!) and it helped a bit, but I still kept at least one spot all the time. I recently started using cetaphil antibacterial soap and it also seems to help, but doesn't clear it all up. Went for another facial about 3 mos ago and they suggested phytoclear lotion by cosmedix. It's a moisturizer with an anti-breakout treatment in it. I use it daily and also do at home micro-derm treatments once a week (also their suggestion). I am just so tired of having bad skin!
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Old 01-06-2011, 11:12 AM   #2
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I had cystic acne as a teenager and it was awful. I was very good at covering the redness, but you can't cover the bumps. After years of Retin A, another topical, and several antibiotics, I finally went on Accutane and it was a miracle for me. It was a pain while I was on it - dry skin, chapped lips, no sun, but nothing awful. My skin cleared up and stayed that way for years and years. The only time I broke out was when I wasn't taking care of myself (the student years: cigs, vodka, fast food, too many jobs, not enough sleep - as my friend B always said, garbage in = garbage out) but it was NOTHING like the cysts I had been dealing with.

I did break out towards the end of my pregnancy and after. Proactive cleared it up, but it's really harsh. At this point, I find that avoiding sugar and lots of salt really helps. Sticking with a whole foods, moderately low carb diet for a week or two will clear it right up. Obviously, I don't always do that so once I get it clear I try to stick to gentle cleansers (Cetaphil, Basis, etc) and moisturizers, but nothing really helps as much as eliminating junky food and replacing it with whole foods.

Accutane was a miracle for me. Even though I still break out if I don't take care of myself, it's not those cysts that take months to heal (and hurt!), it's just regular not-taking-care-of-myself skin problems. It's been about 15 years and it's still one of the better things I've done for myself!
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Old 01-06-2011, 12:05 PM   #3
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I used to breakout pretty bad..I had dry skin & ugly pimples. Then about 3 months ago, I was surfing around Sephora.com, and came across this: Clarisonic Skincare Brush http://sephora.com/browse/product.jh... aginate=true I started using it..and omg!! My face cleared up, the dry skin is gone!! It's truly godsend!!! It cleans your skin better, so skin can absorb skincare better. I did run out of the cleanser that it came with..so I just use Philosophy Purity. I do believe there is a cheaper one out there now..but I do not remember what it is.
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Old 01-06-2011, 12:35 PM   #4
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I'm 51 and STILL fight the pimple battle. I finally got them under control by using a product called Rezamid, either alone or under makeup. Every time I think I can do without it, I start breaking out again.

The plus side to this life-long battle is my skin has been so naturally moisturized that I have pretty amazing skin once I get even a light coat of foundation on to cover the years of acne-healing redness.
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Old 01-06-2011, 12:43 PM   #5
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I've heard Retin A is good, but other than that, I'd recommend a strict skin-care regime. Exfoliate once every 2-3 days (gently, if you have inflamed or sore spots) and use an anti-spot foam wash morning and night, and always moisturise after, even if you have greasy skin. The sebum glands won't produce so much oil if your skin is well moisturised, and the sebum is a huge obstacle when you're dealing with acne - or it was for me, anyway. Since I've become this strict with my routine, my skin is a million times better, though I get the occasional breakout before my period!! Hope this helps!
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Old 01-06-2011, 12:52 PM   #6
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Thank you for the suggestions ladies! I want to look into that Clarsonic brush! I forgot to mention that I use retinol every day as well for the scarring and redness. I might have to call the doc for more doxy too cause it's out of hand right now.
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Old 01-07-2011, 02:50 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Shopaholic1204 View Post
I used to breakout pretty bad..I had dry skin & ugly pimples. Then about 3 months ago, I was surfing around Sephora.com, and came across this: Clarisonic Skincare Brush. I started using it..and omg!! My face cleared up, the dry skin is gone!! It's truly godsend!!! It cleans your skin better, so skin can absorb skincare better. I did run out of the cleanser that it came with..so I just use Philosophy Purity. I do believe there is a cheaper one out there now..but I do not remember what it is.
A second vote for the Clarisonic. I change my brush once a month.

I never had bad acne, but did have a clogged-pores-on-forehead problem ... in two weeks, this thing made my forehead perfect. Seriously. By the time I got married in August (I bought it in June), my skin was amazing. The only thing it can't do is reduce the hyperpigmentation on the sides of my chin (I get the same pimples month after month at That Time, so I need a little laser work to get rid of those spots.)

Some other things that have helped while not killing my super-sensitive skin:

~Switching to Cetaphil cleanser

~Using only oil free moisturizer with sunscreen, rather than sunscreen AND moisturizer. I use Mario Badescu everything (I like the SPF 17 moisturizer b/c it's cheaper and lighter than the SPF30), except cleanser and toner (price isn't worth it, even though MB products are less expensive than most department store brands -- on par with Oil of Olay).

~Getting a super gentle toner that's alcohol free (v. important!) -- I use Thayer's (you can get it at Whole Foods, or online, it's dirt cheap -- $7)

~Introducing vitamin C serum. It makes my skin glowy.

I used to use anti-acne serum, buffering lotion, etc., but since the Clarisonic, I haven't needed any of it. And the lack of these products on my skin has calmed it, too.

I don't use cleansing oils. Ever. They work well, but most make me break out or have a product to which I'm allergic.

I try to get a facial 3 or 4 times a year. If I had the $ and lived in NYC, near Mario Badescu's salon, I'd go once a month.

Seriously, every penny I paid for the Clarisonic was a penny well spent.
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Old 01-07-2011, 03:10 PM   #8
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I've read three posts about Clarisonic in two days on here. I'm nearly convinced - but that seems like so much money if it doesn't work . Accggkk.
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Old 01-07-2011, 03:35 PM   #9
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I've read three posts about Clarisonic in two days on here. I'm nearly convinced - but that seems like so much money if it doesn't work . Accggkk.
Buy from somewhere that'll let you return it in two weeks/a month/whatever if it doesn't work out

Also, I'd start with a Sensitive brush head ... you can move up to normal or down to delicate if you have to.

(And you can get it 20 percent off, I think, on SkincareRX.com with code MUA20. But I dunno what their return policy is.)
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Old 01-07-2011, 04:14 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eskinomad View Post
I've read three posts about Clarisonic in two days on here. I'm nearly convinced - but that seems like so much money if it doesn't work . Accggkk.
Read more about it yourself. Go to Sephora.com and read the reviews. I didn't read the reviews..but I was ready for something different. I'm so glad I bought it!! My face looks & feels so much better. I'm buying my hubby his own!
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