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Post in Acne-Prone Skin

Not a question, just a heads up to anyone acne-prone with sensitive skin

This is based on my own experience and of course these ingredients work differently for everyone. If AHA for you is not satan's piss but like the touch of an angel, I am very happy for you.


Just avoid any products with the following in them (yes, despite what that annoying, french-braided, perfect skinned and ever-smiling shop clerk is trying to tell you)and I'm tired of hearing people raving about it:

AHA/BHA : aka satan's piss - just makes the skin red, irritated and whoosh - the next day you have even more pimples. No, it will not get better if you try it for another week, thank you very much. 

Vitamin C : I mean in small, small doses okay - in diluted form. But a concentrated dosage over your entire face? Good luck. 

Lemon fruit extract/raw lemon directly on your face: I am crying, lighting candles in your name.

And the biggest villain of them all:

Salicylic Acid: They tell you that it's your friend. But it's not - it's a sneaky devil that lies on your skin without trouble - for the first 24 hours. Then all hell breaks loose as your face breaks out, and you end up crying on the couch with a box of nachos, watching 5 hour documentaries about dying whales. 

disclaimer: I have nothing against french braids. 

Re: Not a question, just a heads up to anyone acne-prone with sensitive skin

I think this post may be misleading for some. As mentioned in posts below, everyone's skin is different. My skin likes BHA but doesn't like AHA quite as much. However, in terms of AHA, it does do better with lactic acid rather than glycolic acid. 


I used to put vitamin C serum on my pimples as a teenager to get rid of them. It no longer works now, but back then it was a sure thing that vitamin C would stop breakouts in their tracks. NO idea why. 

The one thing that I DO agree is lemon juice. But that's because the pH of raw lemon is 2, which is WAY too acidic for your skin's natural pH and would throw off the balance. Same goes for apple cider vinegar...but again, everyone's skin is different and you'll find tons of rave reviews of both of those things. 


Active ingredients like AHA, BHA, vitamin C and retinol take time for your skin to get used to. It might take multiple tries to find the product that works for you. And sometimes, it just isn't for you. That does NOT mean it won't work for someone else with the same skin type (Because there's always something that'll be different). 


And  you need to introduce it slowly, otherwise your skin will react. I thought my skin hated retinol, until I backed off completely, took a break for a few months, and tried again slowly. 


Ever consider that the perfect-skinned shop clerk perhaps was there once, and those products actually helped? 

Re: Not a question, just a heads up to anyone acne-prone with sensitive skin

After being "helped" by too many sinister shop clerks, who have more information about what a product is "supposed to do" rather than what suits my skin type, I would say that 99% of the time they just want to sell their stuff (which is you know, understandable but not helpful ). Of course all of these ingredients work differently for everyone, I am just sharing my experience. It was a bad relationship from start to finish, and I am not looking to rekindle it. 

Re: Not a question, just a heads up to anyone acne-prone with sensitive skin

@rawheadrex This is why I'm always reluctant to give any specific product recommendations, here or to people I know IRL. And the whole "what's the best X product?"--I avoid questions like those and think they're ridiculous.


Most of the time, you don't know until you've tried it. At least now you can focus on finding something that works for you 🙂

Re: Not a question, just a heads up to anyone acne-prone with sensitive skin

Even though they don't work for you, I wouldn't deter others since these are fantastic ingredients when used correctly. They are recommended a lot for a reason and have a lot of scientific basis behind them.


AHA/BHA: These are fantastic ingredients when used correctly and not blindly. If your skin becomes red and irritated, your skin is over exfoliated since these are chemical exfoliators.


Those new to this ingredient should not be diving head first and using it 3 times a day, especially with sensitive skin. You need to build up tolerance by using a minimal amount first, perhaps once or twice a week and then build up to several times a week. If you break out the first few times you use it, your skin may be purging. AHA also makes you sensitive to sunlight, which can cause redness if you're not using sunscreen. Other factors may also be other skin care actives you are using at the same time like retinols which can overwhelm your skin. I understand this ingredient isn't for everyone, but I wouldn't deter everyone from it without research or talking to a derm. Of course, if you consistently get bad results over a period of time, stop all use, but a week in skincare is hardly any time when judging for results. Even with consistent use I only use BHAs/AHAs about once a week nowadays.


Vitamin C: There are different forms of vitamin C and they are not all equal. I believe L-ascorbic acid is the most effective based on current research, but there is also other forms that work better for different people. I agree that a diluted form is probably better than concentrated, but also make sure that your vitamin C hasn't oxidized so you aren't rubbing expired product on your face. 


Lemon: I agree, don't rub lemon on your face. pH for lemon is extremely acidic and not made for skin chemistry and can cause more damage in the long run.


Salicylic acid: is a BHA


Re: Not a question, just a heads up to anyone acne-prone with sensitive skin

salicylic acid is a BHA. its good you know what your skin doesn't like. but everyone's skin is different. personally, i like aha/bha, but i have to make sure not to use it more than 3 times a week. or else my skin breaks out like you described.

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