Hey all. I have been dealing with acne for a long time. I've seen a derm before but last time I saw one they wanted me to do a daily antibiotic and that's not really an option for me. I would go see one now but it takes about 5 months to get in to see one in our area. I have been struggling lately with my acne. It ranges from cystic acne (main problem) to white heads to black heads and usually occurs on my chin. I know some of it is probably stress because I recently started going back to school. Last summer I switched to Neutogena's Natural collection and was having no problems then all the sudden it was cyst city. The only change I can remember around this time was I tried a BB cream instead of my foundation.
I switched back to my foundation and have been using Dermadoctor's Ain't Misbehavin' face wash and Origin's Active Charcoal Face Mask every few days. On my breakouts, I have been using Clinique's Acne Solutions Emergency Gel-Lotion Intensif Benzoyl Peroxide acne medication. It doesn't seem to be helping and may even be making things worse. I don't use a toner because I was told by my derm once that it can actually close pores and causes cysts. I also don't really use a moisturizer because I'm too worried something will break me out.
I'm kind of on my last line. It is starting to spread to my forehead and even some small spots on my cheeks. I'm just so frustrated. What do you guys recommend? I'm considering trying a sulfur spot treatment instead but am still looking for a moisturizer that will help keep things calm.
Stop using so many acne products is one thing. It could be the reason why you are breaking out so much.
One thing that I have found that works the best on my acne is Dr. Dennis Gross Daily Face peels. I use this after I cleanse with a creamy cleanser at nighttime, followed by a moisturizer without alcohol. I use the mud mask twice a week and the day after, I use a moisturizing mask to help with possible drying affects. I use my toner only in the morning and always wear a sunscreen.
And I think that is it. Oh and I use a clarisonic too, but only once or twice a week.
Re: Desperate[ Edited ]
First off, I would stop using all the acne products because you could actually be causing more breakouts by being so aggressive and it could be making your skin angry. I know it's hard because when you see your skin so irritated, all you want to do is scrub the heck out of it. The most gentle face products I can recommend that have helped me are actually from Trader Joe's! The Antioxidant Facial Cleanser & Moisturizer. I believe they were only about $6. Then choose only one acne product on breakouts.
I'm gonna have to try your recommendation. I've only tried their jojoba oil (which is wonderful for makeup removal and I guess intense moisture for people with dry skin). Trader Joe's<3
Brilliant point! I think a lot of my blemishes and cysts were from too aggressive products and tools (Clarisonic). Once I stopped it all and moved to gentler products, those issues are gone, baby, gone!
I had been dealing with acne for a long time but only had occasional breakouts. It wasn't until recently it really flared up. I have avoided going to the doctor simply because I worry about applying true antibiotic creams to my face as I have had a history of antibiotic resistant skin cysts (not on my face though). I am hesitant to use any three step kit as my derm previously told me that toners can make cysts worse or even cause them. I have been using the Dermadoctors face was as the instructions suggested and I did also find a sulfur cream and tried it for the first time last night. I know this sounds stupid but I think it's really going to work. I was actually have new cysts/white heads develop every day and this seemed to really dry everything out. For moisturizer I picked up Cetaphil Daily Facial Moisturizer to use in non-break out areas. It says it is non-comedogenic so hopefully it works. I don't know about everyone else but this is just frustrating to keep buying products and throwing them away.
Acne is frustrating and annoying--especially when it's longterm. My skin and breakouts react really well to sulfur too and the results I see with my sulfur mask are immediate so it doesn't sound stupid or strange to me at all to hear you say that you think it's really going to work. That makes me excited for you!
I would suggest stopping all things your using now and start on the Murad Acne Complex Kit or Kate Somerville's Blemish Banisher Kit. I would also suggest using the Glamglow mask as directed and not using anything else but these. I work for a derm and he says the same thing about toners so I feel like you made a good choice there. Hope this helps!
I think it was smart to go back to your foundation, since it sounds like the BB cream triggered the acne. I'm assuming if you used a brush or make-up sponge to apply the BB cream you've washed it since then.
I us Kate Somerville's sulfur-based spot treatment. Although the directions say it can be applied up to three times a day, I usually only apply it at night because applying make-up over it rubs it off. It is somewhat drying, though. I wonder if your skin is getting too dry with the benzoyl peroxide, especially since you think it may be making your skin worse.
I'm fairly new to moisurizer, so please take this with an extra grain of salt, but I think Clinique makes some sort of skin calming moisturizer. I've used their moisture surge product, and while I found it wasn't moisturizing enough to serve as a night cream, the texture makes it able for me to apply over make-up during the day if my skin is feeling dry.
Finally, because the acne seems to be spreading, try washing your pillowcases more frequently, and if you use a washcloth on your face, that too. Also, have a designated towel for drying your face - don't use it for drying your hands and don't let anyone else use it.
My sure-fire face and cyst calmer is witch hazel. I got rid of practically all of my bacne at one point by putting it on a cloth and letting it soak on my back. It's super cheap and you can get it anywhere, so it doesn't hurt to try it.
Murad's acne kit seems pretty nice from what I've tried of it from my sister's kit. It's calmed down some of my cysts in the past 24 hours and didn't cause the skin on my shoulders to riot.
If you can get to your family doctor, try to see if you can get a combined gel prescribed that covered by your insurance or clindamycin phosphate (CP) gel and some Rx BP or tretinoin to go with it (CP has been clinically found to be more effective when used as a duo).
You mentioned at first that you've been struggling with acne for a long time, but then you mentioned you've been dealing with it recently. In terms of the products you've been using, how long have you been using them? I think you should give it some time before adding a new product. I would also suggest using the product as suggested in the directions, like twice a day unless your skin is absolutely sensitive to the product. As for a dermatologist, if you're having a hard time, I would suggest going to your family doctor because he/she may know you more than the dermatologist and help you with samples and/or cheaper alternatives. I hope this helps and good luck!