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Post in Acne-Prone Skin

Beauty 101

I'm someone very new to acne. I fortunately went through all my younger years without ever getting pimples. Maybe 1 a year. I never knew how miserable it was when dealing with multiple pimples daily. I'm in hell. I have what i believe to be hormonal cystic acne. Due to my age now and my hormones changing yet again 😒

I can't use any of my old products that worked well for me previously. Im presently going through trial and error with all different products for all different uses. Make up for acne prone skin. Products with no oils. Products with glycolic acid (terrifying)

Even my best asset which is my hair. Its insanely thick and wildly curly. But all my old faithfuls no longer keep it beautiful and tame. Im so lost now. Some days i don't feel like im even a woman. I don't know how to do half the things with my make up that i see other people doing and when i try i look like a 2 year old that got into mommy's make up. I need guidance and patience. And advice from people who once were clueless like me. And now they aren't. Lol anyone who can offer advice and tips is greatly appreciated ❤❤❤

Re: Beauty 101

Hi @Millylipz ! I feel you on the changing skin lament: in my mid 40s, I had to completely change my skincare routine because my skin threw a huge tantrum at products I'd used for decades. Part of that was due to skin changes, but some of it was also caused by the products themselves: they contained irritating ingredients that had damaged my skin over time, bit by bit, until my skin could no longer hide the damage. 😞 


Skincare tips (and questions): 


What's your skin type and behavior, besides acne-prone? 

Example: I call my skin mostly-dry combo. I'm oily on and around my nose, kinda "normal" (balanced) on my forehead, and dry everywhere else. My oily zone will develop flakey dry patches if I don't keep it well hydrated and moisturized. 

Also, my skin's very prone to inflammation. Simply rubbing my face too much will cause lots of redness that won't quickly disappear. There are many ingredients I can't use on my face without a painful bad reaction of red bumps, flakey scaly patches, or hives: essential perfuming oils, citrus oils or juices, lavender extract, certain fragrance components like hexyl cinnamal, etc. I'm allergic to benzoyl peroxide. And I typically have some surface redness in the center of my face. 

What was your old skincare routine? Some of your old products might still be good for your skin. 


See a board-certified dermatologist, if you can, either in person or via video conference. 

A dermatologist can diagnose your skin condition(s), prescribe medications as needed, and help you build a skincare routine for your particular skin. 

Plus, a good derm is a fantastic resource for all your skincare questions. I mean, you've got an expert's ear during your appointment, so get your money's worth! 🙂 By now, my derm's surprised whenever I don't have any questions for him. 

Deep cystic acne often doesn't respond well to the usual topical acne ingredients, so I definitely recommend consulting a dermatologist about it. 

Some derms will recommend injections because many topical products can't get deep enough into your skin layers to touch cystic acne. But there may be oral prescriptions you can take for your acne, as well as dietary changes. (Whenever I eat too much dairy, I get acne along my jawline. Dairy is one of my acne triggers. So is stress, unfortunately.) 

A derm might also recommend a topical retinoid prescription, like tretinoin, to treat acne. You can also try an OTC retinoid like retinol, retinaldehyde, or adapalene. (Adapalene is also available in Rx strength.) Retinoids do work deep in the skin. They can speed up the acne cycle, which can cause a month of "purging"—a sudden increase of new acne—and that's a good thing! Think of it as the retinoid evicting acne-causing bacteria from your skin. I've used retinoids for nearly 2 years, mainly for hyperpigmentation and skin texture but also for light acne control, and my skin's definitely improved. I still get occasional acne, but it doesn't stick around as long as it used to. 

Glycolic acid is good at removing the top layer of dead skin cells from your face, and it can help reduce some skin texture. But for acne (aside from deep cystic acne), salicylic acid (BHA) is a better option. 

BHA is oil soluble, unlike AHAs (like glycolic acid) which are water soluble. So, BHA can get down into your pores and degunk them. BHA can't always get deep enough to address deep cystic acne, but it's quite effective for other types of acne. BHA also exfoliates the top layer of your skin. Have you already tried any BHA products? One that contains 2% salicylic acid is usually sufficient. 

Learn about skincare ingredients: what they can and can't do, and which issues they target. This will help you figure out what ingredients—and products containing them—may work well for your skin issues and skincare goals. 

One of my favorite skincare resources is INCIDecoder: a growing database where you can search for specific products or ingredients. Another fave resource is Lab Muffin: a blog and youtube channel (also an instagram channel, but I'm rarely on IG) run by a chemist named Michelle who backs up all her info with scientific data. 

And there are several dermatologists and cosmetic chemists on youtube. I don't follow any of them, but I occasionally search their videos for expert info on specific ingredients/products, so I can corroborate info. (I recommend listening to derms and chemists more than skincare influencers or "specialists" who have no medical or chemistry training.) If you start watching various youtube derms, you'll notice they don't all agree on ingredients and products. Heck, one of the most popular youtube derms is Dr. Dray, and my own derm disagrees with her about various things. 😂 Remember that youtube derms are not your derm: they haven't personally seen your skin or diagnosed you. 

Other beauty-related tip: check out the Virtual Masterclass Thread where folks post online tutorials and masterclasses for makeup, skincare, and haircare. These are a good way to get tips and tricks from pros. Also, Sephora has some good tutorials on their youtube channel. 



And remember that all this stuff takes practice and patience. Don't beat yourself up over any of this. It took me about a year of practice and various makeup brush tests to nail down the best-for-me smokey eye. For my skin issues, I began deep-diving into skincare, from learning about specific ingredients and asking derms questions to crazy things like reading clinical studies (when available). No matter which approach(es) you take, you'll eventually reach your goals. 🙂 

Re: Beauty 101

Some of my acne go-tos!

tarte knockout daily exfoliating cleanser 4.19 oz/ 124 mL tarte Knockout Tingle Treatment Toner 5 oz/ 150 mL Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Oil The INKEY List Succinic Acid Treatment 0.5 oz/ 15 mL Farmacy Deep Sweep 2% BHA Pore Cleaning Toner with Moringa + Papaya 4.0 oz/ 120 mL Farmacy HONEYMOON GLOW AHA Resurfacing Night Serum with Hydrating Honey + Gentle Flower Acids 1 oz/ 30 mL 



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