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Post in Beauty Advisors

What am I doing wrong?

I have combination skin that tends to breakout in my t-zone.

It's cold in the winters where I live and I'm also indoors alot with forced heat.


I've been having trouble with dry flaky skin, mainly in my tzone.

I posted my concerns before and I changed my skincare products - Kate Somerville Gentle Daily Wash, Kate Somerville Goats Milk Cream, Clarisonic (2x a week), First Aid Beauty Oatmeal Mask (1x a week).


Other reads have suggested I only cleanse once a day at night. I havent tried this yet but am open to giving this a shot.


A small dry patch has shown up this past week around the corner of my mouth. I've tried using JM argan oil on my face, but that is too heavy and causes me to breakout.


I dont really want to keep spending money on new products and want to work with what I have. Any other suggestions?



Thank you!


Re: What am I doing wrong?

What are you currently using for skin care and cosmetics? What have you tried in the past?


Re: What am I doing wrong?

I've tried the Boscia Oil Free moisturizer and Purifying cleanser, Josie Maran cleanser and Argan Oil, Cetaphil Daily Wash (a gel cleanser which was too drying), Kate Somerville Nourish and Oil Free Moisturizers.

Re: What am I doing wrong?

How often are you breaking out? Ex. 1-12 pimples a month or 12-15+ pimples a month?

Re: What am I doing wrong?

I get small little bumps on my forehead (clogged porse?) and 1-5 pimples a month (usually around my chin).

Re: What am I doing wrong?

It appears your skin may be more dry/dehydrated rather than combination. Though you do have break outs, they dont appear to be in as high of a number where it would be deemed an acne issue. Blemishes and pimples can arise as problematic or periodic issues for skin types that are even not combination.


Since you're in colder weather/exposed to the elements, washing your face just once a day will prevent your skin from being in shock with freshly introduced water that can evaporate and in turn, cause the loss of excess moisture needed when hit with colder air or even drier air due to heaters being cranked up.


The products you have listed from Kate Somerville and FAB seem to be in line with helping your issues, but I would advise bumping up use of the Clarisonic to every other night or even daily if your skin can tolerate it. Work your way up to that level, don't just change up your routine to using it nightly. This should help bring issue of the clogged pores/small bumps at your forehead to the surface to clear itself.


You may consider using a glycolic based face wash as that will help chemically exfoliate your skin to rid excess dry areas and promote healthy and new cellular regeneration. Glycolic acids are fruit enzymes and also an alpha hydroxy acid, that help break down and dissolve dead surface skin as well as work on a cellular level to even a complexion, brighten, and maintain a sense of balance. I'm a personal fan of Anthony Logistics Glycolic Wash as it's void of many extra/filler ingredients, is effective, and is conditioning as to not dry out skin. You can use this wash 2-3 times a week in conjunction with your Kate face wash. It's even gentle enough to use daily, as I do.


For the blemishes you get, go off this info to help find the best product with active ingredients to use as a spot treatment:


If your blemishes tend to be red, swollen, and sensitive to the touch, I would recommend a low dosage, benzoyl peroxide treatment like Neutrogena's On the Spot Treatment that has 2.5% BP. BP introduces oxygen into the pore to clear trapped oil and bacteria, be sure not to over use or overdose on a higher percentage like 5% or even 10% as too much can lead to overdrying of the skin.


If your blemishes are hard, pustular whiteheads that you want to be rid of quickly, try a treatment with sulphur like Murad's Spot Treatment. The sulphur dries out the whitehead so that portion is diminished and the problem area is minimized. You can apply sulphur treatments up to 3x a day, but start slow, again, too much can over dry skin.


For your general round up of blemishes, salicylic acid is the way to go as not only does it rid skin of bacteria, but it also helps to shed dead skin cells and layers that can build up and emphasize the look of break outs. Boscia's Willow Bark Treatment uses willowherb and jojoba as a more natural form of SA to treat breakouts and even basic lines like Clean & Clear to Neutrogena have SA treatments.


Avoid combining more than one acne treatment product as it may cause the area to dry out. Again, SA will be your best, overall defense for various types of blemishes.


Follow up with a moisturizer as you don't want these products to dry out areas and add to the factor of the weather affecting your skin.


You may also consider looking into a line called CeraVe, it's a very basic line sold online and in drug stores packed with ceramides and hyaluronic acid, both working together to strengthen lipid and skin cell barrier walls and bind healthy moisture to skin. They have a range of face washes and lotions, I advise starting with the SPF 30, which will help give broad spectrum UV protection and keep skin hydrated.


Try to exfoliate first as that will tackle the issue of dry spots and flakes, and using a chemical based exfoliant will be more gentle on areas with pimples/blemishes rather than a physical scrub.

Re: What am I doing wrong?

Do you think I should continue using the Kate Somerville products I have?


Janinebt suggested the Soap and Glory Clarity face wash and Nars Oil Free Moisturizer. What do you think about changing my moisturizer?


I'm just really looking to take care of my dry skin so it's not flaky anymore.

Re: What am I doing wrong?

The S & G wash that Janine recommended can be used in conjunction with as it has scrubbing particles. Try using it once or twice (choose either that one or the Anthony wash I recommended) to try alongside your Kate wash.


The particles in the S & G wash are gentle, but do be aware that if your skin/blemishes react or worsen, than a physical based exfoliant or wash might still be too rough, even if the particles are softer or more fine, leaving it up to chemical based washes like the AL glycolic wash.


I would suggest starting off with trying out exfoliation first before changing creams.


If you get the S & G wash, don't use it with your Clarisonic as the particles are physical enough without the aid of the brush head, but the AL wash can be used with the Clarisonic.

Re: What am I doing wrong?

Thanks for all of your help! I think I will start off cleansing my face once a day. I'll also start using my Clarisonic every other night along with my Kate Somerville Gentle face wash and continue using the Goatmilk cream morning and night.



Re: What am I doing wrong?

No prob, Janine brings up a good point that IF you notice that the Kate products are what is causing the break outs, then stop using them, but if that's not the cause, then I don't see a reason to stop them.


How long have you been using the Clarisonic? Did you have the small bumps on your forehead before you started using it?

Re: What am I doing wrong?

I've had my Clarisonic for about two years now. I'd say I've consistently used it atleast 2 or 3 times a week since I got it.


Ever since I hit my 20's I've struggled with small bumps on my forehead.

Re: What am I doing wrong?

Okay, just double checking to be sure it wasn't a purging phase with new/introductory use of the Clarisonic! Smiley Very Happy

Re: What am I doing wrong?

I've used it for over a year and no, I did not have small bumps before using it.


Re: What am I doing wrong?

As much as you were suggested to use your Clarisonic every other day, I would be careful with it.  I had those small bumps and they were caused by using the clarisonic too much.  

Re: What am I doing wrong?

I would not recommend using Kate Somerville products if they are breaking you out as it sounds like the cream is too dense and as a result your skin is reacting to it. Stick to something lighter.


You actually can use the cleanser with your clarisonic if you want, as the exfoliating beads are light enough for the skinbrush. I do this often myself too Smiley Happy. Stick to using your clarisonic a few times a week I would not advise using it everyday, as this will cause your skin to over purge thus more blemishes could appear.


It is still possible to have combination/oily skin with dry patches, especially during the cooler months.

Whimsically yours,

Re: What am I doing wrong?

What do you think about Clinique Moisture Surge Intense? Cetaphil Gentle Face Wash?

Re: What am I doing wrong?

Hi arete,


Your skin sounds very similiar to mine. Although I have combination skin I do have a tendency to breakout and get a few dry patches during the chillier months.


Soap & Glory's Face Soap and Clarity has been a lifesaver for me this season. It smooths, cleans, and scrubs without being harsh on the skin. The gentle exfoliating beads will help to rejuvinate your skin leaving you with a soft and clean feeling face. I'd recommend using this in conjunction with a precision pore cleansing pad which will help in giving you an extra exfoliating boost.


In terms of moisturizing I'd say go with something that is very lightweight. Oils may be too heavy for your skin. The new NARS Skin aqua gel luminous oil-free moisturizer is supurb for combination skin types. It's insanely lightweight, yet packs a pretty heavy moisturizing punch. It leaves the skin feeling velvety. Since it is oil-free it won't give you that icky greasy feeling Smiley Happy.


Soap & Glory - Face Soap and Clarity™ 3-In-1 Daily-Detox Vitamin C Facial WashSEPHORA COLLECTION - Precision Pore Cleansing Pad

NARS - Aqua Gel Luminous Oil-Free Moisturizer

Whimsically yours,

Re: What am I doing wrong?

Thanks for the advice!


Do you suggest only washing once a day? Do you use the Soap and Glory face wash everyday?


Re: What am I doing wrong?

Yep I use the Soap and Glory face wash daily Smiley Happy. If I do feel the need from something a bit more abbrasive but still gentle I'll use Bliss' Foaming Cleanser.


Bliss - Fabulous Foaming Face Wash

Whimsically yours,

Re: What am I doing wrong?

Dry flaky skin is usually due to either over or under exfoliating and not enough moisture afterward. I would recommend cleanse less in the morning, or bump up the exfoliation to see if they help. I have dry combination skin in the winter with dry indoor heat and strong wind outside, I don't cleanse in the morning, just wipe off the oil/stuff leftover from the night with a damp towel. If the flaky skin doesn't want to come off and extra exfoliation only make your skin feel thinner/fragile/tender, then try an enzyme mask or moisturizer that promotes cell regeneration/renewal.


I think I also commented on your previous post where you were looking at a couple different moisturizers? If that was you and advice above doesn't help, then you probably want a slightly heavier moisturizer (you asked about Sheer Transformation if I recall correctly). Clinique Moisture Surge and NARS are gel cream. If you get dry skin because everything you apply seems to sit on top and doesn't sink in, those are great options. If you get dry skin because the moisturizer sinks in but disappears and leaves it as dry as before after a couple hours, then you need something richer, more creamy, so it's more protective (Sheer transformation etc).


ps. If it's just one little patch of dry skin and the rest are perfect, try just rubbing a tiny bit of argan oil on that spot after you moisturized.

Re: What am I doing wrong?

With your skin being all over the place like it is I would defintely go with the suggestions that Janine gave you.

Re: What am I doing wrong?

Flaky skin = over-drying or over-exfoliating.  I completely stopped using the Clairsonic for that reason exactly.  Now, I use Murad's Time Release Cleanser (has salicylic acid in it that chemically exfoliates without being harsh AND controls blemishes) and follow with Murad's Age-Fighting Moisturizer.  At night during the winter, I've been using Murad's Vitamin C cleanser and night cream to plump things up, hydrate, add water, and repair at bedtime.  HUGE difference in my skin after just 1 day!

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