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Post in Acne-Prone Skin

Gentle cleanser or acne-specific cleanser?

I have combination skin with mild acne.  I am trying to figure out the best skincare regimen for me without going overboard with products.  I currently started using Dermadoctor's Ain't Misbehavin AHA/BHA Acne Cleanser and it's okay.  I am also using a retinoid at night along with an acne gel in the morning.  My question is this: is it better to use a basic gentle cleanser and then use acne treatments, or use an acne cleanser along with acne treatments?  Also if you suggest a basic gentle cleanser should I just go with a drugstore brand like Purpose or something?  I want to have a regimen that prevents breakouts as much as possible, but I also know you shouldn't overdo it.  Thanks for any thoughts or suggestions!

That's a good question. I've always wondered whether or n...

That's a good question. I've always wondered whether or not I should should use a basic cleanser with an acne treatment or both an acne cleanser and treatment. But I think you should try to see how your skin reacts when you use them all together. For me, I just use a regular face wash that removes makeup because most acne cleansers doesn't claim to remove makeup and sometimes they can a bit drying from the salicyclic acid or benzoyl peroxide. I use Boscia Purifying Cleansing gel by the way. For acne treatment, I use Boscia Clear Complexion treatment. It's quite gentle on the skin and I feel that it does work for me. Best of all, it's all natural. It feels practically like a watery gel, it's light weight and sinks right into the skin. It also does not overdry my skin which is a plus. You can try using this if you want, but everyone's skins are different so it may or may not work for you. Sometimes using both an acne cleanser and treatment can be a bit drying so I say you should try using a normal cleanser that removes makeup or just one that cleans your skin well if you don't use makeup. And just use the acne treatment day and night, and when it gets better, you can use it every night instead. So if you think your skin is overdrying, then you shouldn't use an acne cleanser, but if it's normal then I guess you should use both for maximum benefits. Oh and I never used Purpose cleansers before so I don't know, but it seems like a gentle brand made for sensitive skin, so it shouldn't hurt to try. This is long, haha. I hope this was somewhat helpful for you. Smiley Wink   

I really, really struggled to get my skin clear, and whil...

I really, really struggled to get my skin clear, and while I was trying out new products, I kind of obsessively researched this subject and was shocked by what I found out.  Personally I always go for mild cleansers now, but it's a personal decision based on preference, lifestyle, and--of course--your skin.


So medicated cleansers were basically invented to improve patient compliance and are considered ideal for teens, who may not always be the greatest when it comes to personal hygiene OR may do the opposite and overmedicate.  They are also highly recommended by many dermatologists who need to boost acne-fighting treatments but run into problems when it comes to pore-clogging ingredients in lotions or ointments mitigating the effects of the meds.  They're very easy to consistently use as well, and may be good for people who have trouble remembering to wash off their medicated products in the morning before applying makeup or whatever, which can lead to a lot of irritation.  (Similarly it's a good way to introduce helpful medications that can be hard to tolerate like benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid.)  And clinical studies have shown that women who have hormonal breakouts around their cycle can better control their acne by using a medicated cleanser regularly (without other medications needed.) 


They definitely are helpful for certain people, but I personally avoid them because the evidence I found supporting mild cleansers was much more compelling.  The results were overwhelmingly better for people using a nonmedicated cleanser when there was another medicated product in the mix. 


Many medicated cleansers are poorly formulated, and while DERMAdoctor's a good brand, I would be skeptical of most BHA cleansers on the market.  They're often loaded with masking fragrances and unneccessary botanicals that are actually really, really bad for acne.  They also assume that acne=very oily, which makes many of them very drying.  And you absolutely will need a separate makeup remover if you choose to use one--preferably one that isn't a wipe.  Otherwise there's no way to properly cleanse without damaging your skin, and you'll end up using too much friction.  Inflammation is a huge factor with acne, and many people have their mild acne turn cystic as a result of overmedicating or overwashing... Why risk it when you're not sure what your skin will respond to yet?  I feel like my cleansing routine is compromised when I use a medicated product because I'm limited by how long I can tolerate it on the skin and don't want to get it over my eye area (where I have the most comedogenic product residue), etc.  I'd personally prefer to use a mask to help boost any exfoliation or control oil if and when I need it.  The Clarisonic is also a worthwhile investment and in the long run, will save you money on product.


Since I've started using the Peter Thomas Roth Gentle Foaming Wash, I've been really happy with my skin.  It makes my face feel really, really clean  but comfortable and is sulfate-free and fragrance-free.  However, it is expensive.  Purpose, Neutrogena Fresh Foaming Wash, Olay Gentle Foaming Face Wash for Sensitive Skin, or Clean & ClearFoaming Facial Wash, Sensitive Skin all work pretty well for acne-prone skin and aren't drying.  Try to avoid fragrance if you can, and if you wear makeup, look for one that contains cocoamidopropyl betaine in the ingredients list.  It's one of the few detergents that can effectively break down silicones without being an oil.


On a completely different note, have you tried niacinamide?  Super awesome anti-inflammatory, acne-fighting ingredient that is perfect for people wanting to boost their routine without using too many meds.  PTR, DDF, and Philosophy all have products that include it.  Perhaps if cleansers aren't right for you, then focusing on nourishing your skin and cultivating the healing process may be a good option for you. 

I am 4 months post-Accutane. I would recommend Philosophy...

I am 4 months post-Accutane. I would recommend Philosophy facial cleanser, I have never had any problems with it. I especially love to use it with my Clarisonic. Everyone's skin is different. Have you tried using cleansing cloths like Neutragena or Burt's Bees?

Re: I am 4 months post-Accutane. I would recommend Philosophy...

ive been using Philosophy cleanser (the creamy one not the foam) for 2 yrs and all the sudden at 34 ive got acne. which form of the cleanser do u use?
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