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Post in Acne-Prone Skin

Cystic/Adult Acne

Hi All, 


I am a 34 year old female who has always struggled with oily, acne prone skin and hormonal cystic acne on my chin, and cheeks and by my earlobes. I am also starting to get some fine lines and just feel as though my skin has lost its glow. 


Looking for recommendations for 


- oily/combination skin

- white head, cystic acne

- dehydrated skin

- anti-aging 


Thanks in advance!


Re: Cystic/Adult Acne

It sounds like you can benefit from including a retinol product into your routine. It can help with the acne and anti-aging. Just be advised that when you use retinol, you must avoid using any actives (vitamin c, salicylic acid, glycolic acid, etc) and religiously use sunscreen. It is preferred to use prescription grade for maximum efficacy, but there are a few retinol products available over the counter. A few options: Dr. Different Vitamin A Cream (available at Costco), Sunday Riley A+ High Does Retinol Serum, Drunk Elephant A-Passioni Retinol Cream. If you are open to seeing a dermatologist online, I would suggest Apostrophe. It costs $90 for their three-month supply of the Tretinoin + Clindamycin cream and it is effective. I used to have mild to moderate acne, and the cream cleared up my acne within a few days. I'll still use a few days of the week as maintenance, but I do not need to use it everyday any longer. 


To remove sunscreen/makeup, I would recommend using an oil cleanser and double cleanse. I find that a face cleanser does not complete the job. I use the Shu Uemura Porefinist2, but there are plenty of other oil cleansers out there. 


Good luck!

Re: Cystic/Adult Acne

Do you have products that you're already using, @MarloDrago or are you starting from scratch?

Re: Cystic/Adult Acne

right now i use micellar water and Hanalei papaya enzyme powder face cleaner, then i use Thayers witch hazel facial toner, the ordinary marine hyaluronics, and aveeno facial lotion in the AM. At night same thing but I add youth of the people superberry hydrate and glow night mask and don't use the aveeno  

But i find i have been breaking out way more than usual. I also have a cat in the house which is a new factor, and I do find i break out around cat fur.


My cystic acne is always a week or two before  my period on my chin and or cheeks. I have very large pores on my face and redness as well as clogged pores. 


I am willing to restart given my age and needs and use better products. 

Re: Cystic/Adult Acne

Those darn cats, haha! @MarloDrago Since you know the cat fur in a trigger, staying on top of cleaning that up is one thing to do. 


Looking at your routine, a couple of thoughts: For many people, witch hazel is very drying, especially for those of us with dehydrated skin. I'd consider switching to a more hydrating toner to help keep your skin balanced. I'm a big fan of K-beauty toners for this, but there are plenty of options for that in Sephora as well. You don't mention a sunscreen in your morning routine? You'll want to add that before moving on to treatments for the acne and pores. And sunscreen of course is the most important product for anti-aging!


Once you have a sunscreen in place, there are a few options you can consider adding. To help with the oiliness, pores, and some of the acne, you can try incorporating a clay mask once a week. I love both Caudalie Pore Minimizing Instant Detox Mask 2.5 oz/ 75 mL and Pixi Glow Mud Mask. Another ingredient I'd look for to help with the acne and keeping pores clean is BHA/salicylic acid. There are lots of options for products with this, Paula's Choice, CosRX, Caudalie, The Ordinary, The Inkey List. I'd start with using this maybe 2x a week and you can work up to every other day. Retinol is another ingredient option that is good for both acne and aging, but you'll also want to work that into your routine slowly. 



Re: Cystic/Adult Acne

Hi @MarloDrago!


I have oily but dehydrated skin with hormonal acne and the occasional whiteheads.  


For acne, I use Sunday Riley U.F.O. Salicylic Acid BHA Treatment Face Oil 1.18 oz/ 35 mL at night.  It's been great for my oily skin and acne since salicylic acid not only gets rid of acne, but kills the bacteria that cause them.  I still got a bit of hormonal acne during my monthly, but I didn't get as much and they faded much faster.  I started using this 3 weeks ago!


I use Tatcha The Serum Stick: Treatment & Touch Up Balm 0.28 oz/ 8g and then spray a bit of Tatcha Luminous Dewy Skin Mist 0.4 oz/ 12 mL before moisturizer (morning and night) to help keep my skin hydrated.


For wrinkles, retinol products are great and can also help with acne.  You won't be able to use them with certain ingredients so watch out for that!

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