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Post in Acne-Prone Skin

help! adult acne, sensitive skin

I'm a 26-year-old female and have had crummy skin since I was 13 that seems to just get worse and worse.  My skin is sensitive and dry.  I get lots of little white bumps, never-ending clogged pores, occasional big sensitive zits, and occasional deep cystic zits.  I do not have health insurance/money to see a dermatologist, but I've only been using grocery store products up to this point, so I would like to try investing in some higher end products that might work better.


My current routine:

-Cetaphil cleanser, always use washcloth (tried using clean hands, makes acne much worse - dead skin and grossness build up like crazy)

-Neutrogenia moisturizer for sensitive skin

-Neutrogenia exfoliating scrub 1 or 2 times/week (salicylic acid I believe)

-little bit of 2.5% benzoyl peroxide every other night or so (too much makes me rashy)

-have been using maybelline foundation, but think I'm going to switch to something else because I think it's making my skin worse

-some kind of makeup remover wipes


Diet:  Overall, pretty healthy.  Hate milk anyway, but I've been cutting way back on cheese over the past few months.  Have a weakness for nightly glass of wine and once a week pizza.


I am SO frustrated and ready to fix this!!  I am HIGHLY prone to itchy, gross rashes, and it seems like every time I try something new, I get rashy.  I tried a tea tree oil routine for 3 months, and it didn't help (maybe made it a little worse).  Occasionally I'll get the urge to be proactive and try something new, and often I will end up with a rash on my face.  I've settled on my current routine because it at least doesn't make things worse, but things don't seem to get better either.  Going totally without makeup seems to make things a little better, but not a lot better (and damages my confidence immensely).  Once tried a sort of clarisonic rip-off brush and it gave my a terrible, terrible rash.


Also get clogged pores on chest, shoulders, and quite a lot on my back.  Clogged pores turn into zits if I pick at them (unfortunately I have a problem with this).


Suggestions from anyone are soo greatly appreciated!!!  I'm being brave and attaching pictures in hope that someone will have some insight on what I'm dealing with.  Thank you in advance!


Re: help! adult acne, sensitive skin

I had the similar issue till the age of 26. I switched between a lot of brands and moisturizers. What helped me was the Shiseido White Lucent cleanser toner moisturizer kit. It reduced and after six months stopped the breakout. I have been switching between Shiseido and Clarins White plus since then or using an origins mask for extra dry skin times. Clarins works much better on my skin Vs Shiseido but shiseido helped fix my problem of breakouts like no other brand.


I gave a try to clarisonic last month but it started my breakouts (now in control). 



Re: help! adult acne, sensitive skin

It really is trial and error, unfortunately. I've read through the posts, and things that work for some people don't work for me at all. My breakouts are mostly hormonal and the only food that impacts my skin really is sugar candies, but it could be helpful to try cutting out certain foods to see if it helps (and maybe try to do them one at a time so you know which ones making a difference). I've been using cosdna dot com recently to help determine which products are most likely to cause acne or irritation, and that's helped a bit.


The only cleansers that have ever worked for me are Boscia's Purifying and Clear Complexion. They are gentle and good for sensitive skin. Still trying to find a scrub or mask that doesn't cause red bumps on my face.


Good luck!


Re: help! adult acne, sensitive skin

I'm on the same boat as you. Same age. Same age when acne started popping up. The degree of acne on your photos even look like mine. However, just two months ago I went to see a dermatologist despite it being $75 a visit and with the combination of pills and a cream, it has gotten better. At least new large cystic pimples haven't popped up (yay!) and when rare new mini pimples form, they go away quicker. When I first went to see a dermatologist years ago, what he prescribed for me didn't help and even my family doctor didn't help. So I will say that even if you can't, try to go to different dermatologists to get different opinions. I know it's expensive, but in hindsight, it cuts down on a lot of products you use like right now I just use a drug store cleanser, sunscreen, and that cream that the dermatologist prescribed. Nothing else. That beats spending $100 every 3 months on high end products. I hope this helps and good luck!

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