REALLY Stubborn Blackheads
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Stubborn Blackheads! I've got combo type 1 skin (aka I burn if I just walk the dog around the block/usually wear the lightest shade in all brands of foundation) and am disabled so I only wash my face every other evening and if I've been outside. I've managed to erradicate any acne issues except old scarring (only get hormonal pustules) but I can't get rid of the blackheads/large pores and hardened sebum bumps under the epidermis which I've had since I was in high school (now in my late 30s)! It makes applying foundation/powder a nightmare. Always turns out uneven and flakey,no matter the primer/moisturizer. I prefer more green products but have no issues with retinols, etc just not parabens, etc. Should I use a peel, mask, scrub, other? I use my Clarisonic Plus and Purity cleanser nights and always after wearing makeup, would just adding in the Micro wash before makeup application work or should I try something else? TIA! -Alex
P.S. I've been to a dermatologist who sold me retinol pads similar to philosophy but stronger- liked the pads but they didn't help with the blackheads/pores. I also cannot tolerate manual extraction AT ALL. I've tried different places over the years and not only was it expensive, it hurt so much I soaked the table with sweat and left looking like a rabid cat attacked me. It also led to cystic acne flares each time and even rosacea so no manual extractions for this girl! I'd rather wait a month or two for an OTC product/s to work
Have you tried any enzyme/fruit acid peels? or serum/moisturizer that helps with "cellular regeneration" or skin "renewal"? I had a ~1-2mm ho le on my cheek from squeezing a blackhead in my teenage years and it was actually bottomless (I can't see the bottom even when I stretch my skin). I was on an enzyme mask and "renewal" serm/moisturizer kick for the last couple of years and now it's shallow enough to be just a dent and getting better. So they do help to bring junk under the skin to the surface, and I can see it's effect on whiteheads. Look for enzyme/fruit acid peels, and keywords like "renewal", "resurfacing", "regeneration".
I have tried Ren F10 when it first came out, now it's reformulated for mature skin I believe, and it really helped to jumpstart my skin. I didn't even know it was dry and dull (I have oily combo) until I saw my dewy fresh face the next day. Origins Brighter by Nature peel pad really helped to soften/smooth my skin and did lighten up the dark spot a bit. Something to keep in mind, try not to use Retinol and Glycolic/AHA/BHA together. They are both anti-ager and helps with skin, but they kind of cancels out each other's effectiveness when piled on top of each other (look it up online).