Seeking skin care and make-up products that will help heal scarring, cover them up, and stay on.
I’m a 40 year old Asian female with sensitive skin that is very oily (like thick wax at times) and very dry (peeling/cracking skin). I’ve always had a great complexion until 4 years ago or so when my reproductive and metabolic hormones went berserk causing cyclical painful deep knot like acne. (not menopausal) To add insult to injury, I've developed what appears to be age spots. Oh no! LOL
I'm currently using ProActive cleanser, toner, healing lotion, and oil-free moisturizer underneath BareEsscentual powder foundation, concealer, and mineral veil. While it has worked for a while, it now clumps on my face and dries out when I sweat the tiniest bit. Quite embarrassing to go anywhere at this point.
Experimenting with a lot of different products may do more harm than good so I turn to you. What can you recommend I should use? I prefer no preservative like parabens and such. Gluten-free is a MAJOR plus! Thanks for any advice you can offer.
Hi 10schick. I recommend checking out our Gluten-free thread which lists all the gluten-free products we carry. Here are some products that will help with all of your concerns.
Since your said your skin gets both dry and oily, that sounds like you have a combination skin type. I would try a primer that contains sun protection to prevent further hyperpigmentation, a foundation that is designed to balance out oily and dry complexions and a lightweight setting powder. I do not know, however, if the products I'm listing below are gluten-free so you will need to check their ingredients list if that's very important to you.
First of all, I would try Clinique Super City Block Oil-Free Daily Face Protector SPF 40. It’s a fantastic multi-tasking product that works as both a moisturizer and makeup primer. It’s a lightweight daily moisturizer that provides a high level of protection against both sun and environmental damage. Its sheer, weightless formula includes broad-spectrum UVA/UVB sun-blocking ingredients and antioxidants, which are good for your skin. Perfect for all skin types, even the most sensitive, this product can be worn alone or as an invisible makeup primer. This product is oil-free and non-acnegenic so it won’t clog your pores or cause breakouts. You can find it here: http://www.sephora.com/browse/product.jhtml?id=P14
Next about foundation...Clinique Superbalanced Makeup is an oil-free liquid foundation that's great for combination skin. It is a "smart" makeup that adds moisture and absorbs oil when and where needed. Whether you're dry in the cheeks or oily in the T-zone, Superbalanced Makeup gives you just what your skin needs for a naturally perfected look. The long-wearing liquid foundation is silky upon application and provides water-resistant, moderate, buildable coverage. It is designed especially for combination skin types and it is non-acnegenic so it won't clog your pores or cause breakouts. It is also streak-proof and sweat-proof. You can find it here: http://www.sephora.com/browse/product.jhtml?id=P12
Finally if you like to use a setting powder, I'd try Make Up For Ever's HD Microfinish Powder to set your foundation. It sets foundation and slightly mattifies your skin without changing its natural contours. This 100% mineral silica powder softens the appearance of imperfections. It completely evens out your complexion and one universal shade works for all skin tones. You can find it here: http://www.sephora.com/browse/product.jhtml?id=P21
Sephora carries several skincare products designed to lighten dark spots (hyperpigmentation) and acne scarring. Just in case you're interested in finding out more about these types of skincare products, I’ll list several different products since they vary in brands and prices so you can take a look.
First of all, there’s Clinique's Even Better Clinical Dark Spot Corrector which is a clinically proven serum that visibly reduces dark spots, age spots and acne scarring. This lightweight, layerable serum effectively evens skin tone. Dermatologists formulated it to be highly effective—yet safe and comfortable. According to clinical trials, this product delivers results comparable to a leading prescription ingredient. You'll notice results in as little as 4 weeks. At 12 weeks, you'll see a visible reduction in dark spots, age spots and traces of acne damage. It's appropriate for all skin types and ethnicities, even sensitive skins that may not tolerate other skin tone treatments. In clinical trials, this dermatologist-developed serum was comparable to a leading prescription ingredient in evening skin tone, including a verified 53% improvement in skin tone. You can find it here: http://sephora.com/browse/product.jhtml?id=P257535
Next, a product that you may want to consider using to lighten acne scarring is Clinique Acne Solutions Post Blemish Formula. It is an oil-free product designed for all skin types that fades the look of marks left by pimples and minimizes the look of acne discoloration over time. You can read more about it here: http://sephora.com/browse/product.jhtml?id=P188310
If you prefer all natural products, an organic product to fade dark spots and scars is Caudalie Vinoperfect Radiance Serum which is a highly concentrated oil-free serum that improves the appearance of dark spots and promotes even skin tone. Perfect for all skin types, it offers remarkable results, helping to correct dark spots, acne marks and scars. Naturally powerful ingredients work to counter stretch marks, scars, and damage while bolstering collagen and elastin to boost your skin’s radiance, as well. You can read more about it at: http://www.sephora.com/browse/product.jhtml?id=P94
Murad Age Spot & Pigment Lightening Gel is a scientifically-proven formula that lightens unwanted discolorations. It improves your skin's clarity with powerful skin lightening ingredients and by exfoliating damaged cells. It doesn't work overnight, so you have to be patient and give it a few weeks before you start seeing amazing results--it really does work. You can find it at: http://www.sephora.com/browse/product.jhtml?id=P40
Lastly, I wanted to let you know about Kinerase Scar Healing Therapy, which is an excellent product to help eliminate scars. It is a transparent gel treatment designed to reduce the appearance, discoloration, roughness and discomfort of both old and new scars. Unfortunately it is no longer sold at Sephora. Sephora stopped carrying Kinerase brand all together even though it is a top quality brand that is sold in many dermatologists’ offices throughout the country. You can find Kinerase brand products at Ulta stores or you can Google it to find other locations that carry it.
There are certain practices and medications that can help prevent acne scarring and assist the healing process if you do get acne scars. Below are a few tips:
- The most effective way to avoid acne scarring is by preventing acne from developing into a more severe form. So don't wait to see if acne will go away on its own. Begin treatment right away, and see your doctor if your acne is unresponsive to over-the-counter treatments.
- Inflamed acne lesions are much more likely to cause scars than non-inflamed lesions, so avoid doing anything that may further irritate your skin. This may include aggressive scrubbing, harsh skin care products, squeezing the blemish, etc.
- Squeezing a pimple can force debris deeper into the follicle, spread infection and worsen a blemish. When you pick at the skin, it can cause acute inflammation and seriously damage the skin's tissue. Remind yourself that "popping" that pimple can extend the healing time and may cause a permanent scar. Even though it’s hard sometimes, allow the blemish to heal on its own.
- Unprotected exposure to the sun causes more skin damage and delays healing, therefore wearing a good sunscreen is important.
- Using tretinoin (Retin-A, Renova, Avita) speeds up your skin's remodeling process and helps heal post-inflammatory changes.
- Appropriate formulations of Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) and Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHA) that contain the correct concentrations and are at the appropriate pH also help your skin's remodeling process.
- Picking at scabs should be avoided at all costs. Scabs form to protect the healing process that is going on underneath them. Pulling a scab off before it is ready interferes with the healing and remodeling process, prolonging the time that post-inflammatory changes will be visible.
By the way, I have suffered from cystic acne my entire adult life, so I understand how painful it is and how it can leave scarring behind. If you've never seen a dermatologist about it, I suggest doing so because the medication my dermatologist gave me for my cystic acne breakouts has helped immensely.
Good luck and I hope this helps!
Have a great day!