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Post in Acne-Prone Skin

Adult acne not responding to treatment

I'm 35 and have been suffering from adult acne for about a year. I started out trying OTC skincare but it didn't help so I went to a dermatologist about 8 months ago. She prescribed me a benzoyl peroxide gel and Differin. It worked for a few months but then stopped working. I went back about 6 weeks ago and she changed me to a sodium sulfate/sulfur face wash and a stronger retinol at night; stopped the BP because it was too drying. I've seen no improvement still; in fact it's gotten worse and I'm so frustrated! I also got a facial a few weeks ago and the esthetician said that my skin was actually dehydratedband therefore producing more sebum to compensate, which very well could be contributing to my acne. One thing I did today was change my Clarisonic brush head from normal to delicate; which I mistakenly had chosen about 4 months ago. Maybe the "harsher" brush head contributed so hopefully this helps. I'm debating dropping the dermatologist and go hunting again through OTC products. Any advice, thoughts or suggestions are appreciated!

I second beautygirl3's praise of Derma Doctor's Aint Misb...

I second beautygirl3's praise of Derma Doctor's Aint Misbehavin' products.  The cleanser is effective and won't dry you out like other acne washes.  It helps with hormonal adult acne like nothing else. 

Hello,   You may want to change Dermatologist or do some...



You may want to change Dermatologist or do some research on your own.  I actually benefited and learned more about my skin and treatimg it from doing research.  I had been seen by no less than 5 Dermatologists who prescribed both topical and oral medication for my acne years ago.  I was put on medication which was contradictory for my skin tone and also for my age.  If you are black or have any brown coloring in your skin, Retin-A or Retin-A micro is not meant for this skin type.  It causes hypo-pigmentation. There are however, some companies that have good products which contain a retinol which are compatible for  Differin is meant for a certain age group.  I believe it is for 18-25 yrs of age.  I had bad reations to both of these medications.  Adult Acne is different from teenage acne. Older skin needs the hydration. Benzoyl Peroxide dries the skin out.  Drying out oily skin is one of the worst things you can do.  It just makes it worse by producing more oil to compensate for the oil which was lost.  You want to balance and regulate the amount of oil your skin produces.  You need a pH balanced cleanser which will keep your facial skin acidic which will not allow for the bad acne-causing bacterai to grow. You need to help you skin's acidic mantle. This is what keeps your skin's enviroment balanced by keeping away the bad bacteria and allowing the good bacteria.  Salicyclic Acid works well for doing this job.  Scrubs which contain nuts or particles which can be very abrasive are not good either.  Dermabrasion is really not good for oily or acne-prone skin because it stretches the pores.  The Clarisonic, I actually like....just be sure to use the correct brush head and to not over-wash your skin.  Using it a few times a week is fine.  Facial Peels be very careful with especially if they have acid.  Certain companies do make skin peels which are safe to use which contain no acid, but use enzymes(like lactobacillus) to exfoliate the skin.


Hope this helps you....




Re: Hello,   You may want to change Dermatologist or do some...

Hi Tallwoman - some excellent points and info, great post! Kudos - from, Shortgirl

Hi!  I had a similar problem a few years ago.  Have you c...

Hi!  I had a similar problem a few years ago.  Have you considered the possibility that your problem may be hormonal?  I had very bad cystic acne through my teens and 20s, and I continued to have breakouts through my 30s.  About the time I turned 40, I was so tired of treating it with everything (OTC, prescription topical lotions, etc.) and still having problems that I went to my doctor and asked him to test me for a hormonal imbalance.  That was the only other cause I could think of that would keep my acne from going away.  When the test results were back, he confirmed that I had a slight hormonal imbalance and put me on medication to correct it.  Within a month, my acne was gone, and my skin was starting to act "normal" for the first time.  Ever since then, I have been able to use "normal" skin care products.


I'm not saying this is the issue with your skin, but it was definitely my problem.  Not all acne can be cleared up with topical treatments alone.  It might be worth talking to your doctor about this, though.


I hope you get some relief soon!  Smiley Happy

I thought I conquered my teenage acne until it came back...

I thought I conquered my teenage acne until it came back at 23 but a different kind of zits. My teenage acne was a battle over oil but my adult skin needs to stay hydrated or it breaks out. Benzyl Peroxide treatments don't really do much for me cos they dry my skin out so much, it kind of puts me back to square one. This includes on my chest and shoulders - grrr! As far as products go, I've also had good results with Philosophy, like the respondent above. The other Sephora brand I really like is Jurlique - I can vouch for the calendula cream and a few of the hydrating sprays and serums. 

The other thing to consider is what's going on inside - hormone changes, allergies etc. It takes a combo of good skin care regime, birth control and careful diet (low on gluten, dairy, sugars, coffee) for me to have nice skin.

Hi, Murad has a line for adult acne, and their cleanser i...

Hi, Murad has a line for adult acne, and their cleanser is amazing! It's the Time Released Acne Cleanser, with .5% salicylic acid. Doesn't seem like much, but it works, I'm assuming since it's time released. It also has hylauronic acid to hydrate so you're not stripping your skin. If you're good on a cleanser, maybe try the Derma Doctor Ain't Misbehavin' Acne Control Serum. It's a blend of glycolic and salicylic acids and works awesome as well. Hope this helps!

Hi lo1978 - I know just how you feel, I was known for my...

Hi lo1978 - I know just how you feel, I was known for my perfect, flawless unblemished skin, and then it happened. I started to get severe Cystic Acne, made even worse when your skin is absolutely white, and I'm not kidding about my whiteness. i.e. I was in the hospital once and then again a few years later. When the phlebotomist came to try to get a vein she said she remembered me, because I was the only person she'd ever seen who was whiter than the pillowcases. I was mistaken for a lifesize (5' 2'') China doll, I could go on forever with this, but I think you get my point. I sympathize with you completely. I regular doc's Rx meds and then the Dermatologists meds,nothing really worked. Although the Derm is the one who told me that 2 meds the regular doc had me on commonly cause this, interesting that he didn't know or wouldn't admit that. Anyhow, tried Murad, Proactiv, so many different things. Smiley Sad nothing helped Smiley Sad My inability to find virtually ANY cosmetic cover up products light enough for me, super saddening.


Finally I tried Philosophy and finally.... AAAHHHH- the Angels began to sing. I use Philosophy Purity Made Simple Cleanser (I also use Philosophy Exfoliating Face Wash now, although I wouldn't recommend that this early on and most definitely not with a Clarisonic - I don't even use that combo now) I started with Phil. The Oxygen Peel, this is not like a chemical peel (it ends up looking like the Mrs Doubtfire Meringue Pie Emergency Social Worker Visit Tea Sweetening Face Mask - if you saw the movie you'll know what I mean, if not....well....then you Need to see it- at the very least it will make you laugh and take your mind off of this issue)That has to be removed carefully. That's followed by Hope in a Bottle which is a moisturizer an acne treatment, which I alternated with another Phil. acne product, can find out the name for you, can't think of it now) If you want to try the Oxy Peel you could send me a PM and I'll send you some tips for removing and getting the most out of this product, ffrom my own use and chats with different people @ Philosophy. This was really a Godsend, I didn't set out to use all Philosophy products, it just worked out that way. So feel free to PM me if you want any more info. I honestly feel for you and hope that it may help you the way it helped me. (I still use these products, just not with as much frequency. I always use the cleansers and use the Oxy Peel fairly regularly) Hope this helps, let me know if I can be of any further assistance. Everyone is so different, it can be nearly impossible to deal with and find the right combo that works. Hang in there. Smiley Sad


ps, I'd be very, very wary about Estheticians and other facialists, my mother had a horrible experience as did a friend. With my mother, this woman got on this spot which wasn't anything that could be seen, and for whatever reason she was focused on that spot and did something that really hurt. My mother ended up with a giant welt (for lack of a better description) that was red and bruised and risen so high off of her face. it stayed like that for nearly a year! Not pretty, So please be very careful with that.


pps- You might want to look at philosophy's website and read about their history, it's very interesting and informative. They originally made products for use in dermatologists office. I don't want to say anymore, don't remember all the details and don't want to tell an innocent lie.

Hi again lo1978 - was just thinking and realized I maybe...

Hi again lo1978 - was just thinking and realized I maybe should've mentioned starting fresh is a good option, whether you decide to go with my Philosophy suggestion or somebody else's. Stop using all other products and just start with a new cleanser,(Phil. Purity Cleanser) do that for 2-preferably 3 weeks. Then add a treatment product (my opinion Hope In A Bottle) Do that for a few weeks (and then move on to the other treatment product that I'm trying to find the name of for you for a couple of weeks). Then go onto the next step (me- The Oxygen Peel, which you follow with Hope in a Bottle) This way you can see what may or may not be working. It also gives your skin a chance to adjusst to each new product rather than attacking it with a bunch of things at once. I know this will seem annoying and possibly a waste of time with all of the waiting, but I look at it this way, you've dealt with and suffered through it for this long, and allthough you want to get rid of it ASAP, waiting a few more months might not be the worst thing in the world. Again, let me know if you want to discuss this further, you know where to find me, I'm just a PM away if you're interested. I hope whatever you decide to do you;ll come back and let us know how things are going for you. Best of luck. Smiley Happy


ps - Although I love my clarisonic dearly, you might want to hold off on it for a little while, see what just washing with your cleanser and hands can do, then maybe add a soft wash cloth. Bring back the Clarisonic and a 'scrub/exfoliant' like Philosophy Exfoliating Daily face wash, down the road a bit. For starters, go gently and try not to open anything up, you know, the 'icky' stiuff. Hope you'll keep us updated.  

Hi I'm 29 and have/had been dealing w adult acne for appr...

Hi I'm 29 and have/had been dealing w adult acne for approx 3 years as well. I also tried BP and Diffren as well as Retinol from a dermatologist. Nothing worked and in fact, I felt it got worse. Then I purchased product from an esthetician. Surprisingly, some of the creams they sell have a much higher concentration of retinol then ones prescribed. I would recommend meeting w an esthetician for a consultation and possibly a microdermabrasion/chemical peel combo and then purchasing some night retinol serum/cream. Alternate that with a moisturizing cream every other night and then incorporate a vitamin C moisturizing cream in the morning. Vitamin C will help lighten any scars you may have and brighten your skin. Also, dont forget to change your clarisonic brush head at least every 3 months & keep in a clean, dry place. Good luck!
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