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Post in Dry Skin
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!DRY, ACNE, DARK SPOTS! IN NEED OF NEW SKIN CARE PRODUCTS

I’m currently in search for new skin care products. I have dry skin, my forehead being a problem area as far as acne and I’m having issues getting rid of my dark spots. 
So far I’ve used cerave hydrating cleanser, cerave vitamin c serum and their sunscreen moisturizer in the morning. At night time I’ve used cerave acne control cleanser, the ordinary niacinamide + zinc serum, the ordinary glycolic acid toner and cerave night serum. They worked but after awhile, my skin got used to it and no longer works. Thank y’all in advance! 

Re: !DRY, ACNE, DARK SPOTS! IN NEED OF NEW SKIN CARE PRODUCTS

@sojeee  Skin doesn’t really "get used to” products, in the context of products no longer working. If your skin’s gotten even drier, or seems to have reverted back to dry, that could be caused by daily use of the glycolic acid toner. (That toner’s an exfoliant.) Overusing AHAs like glycolic acid can over-exfoliate your skin. Over-exfoliation breaks your skin barrier. This causes dry patches and sometimes scaly skin, and leaves your face wide open to acne-causing bacteria. 

 
Folks with dry skin can absolutely use glycolic acid. I have mostly-dry combo skin and use a leave-on 10% AHA exfoliant, with my dermatologist’s blessing. But regardless of skin type, AHA exfoliants shouldn’t be overused: stick to using it just 1-3 times a week, and never twice on the same day. 
 
If you have increased dry patches and/or scaly skin, perhaps also with redness or places that are painful to touch: temporarily remove both the vitamin C serum and the glycolic acid toner from your routine, and consider skipping the AM wash at least a few times a week. After a few weeks of this scaled back routine, if your skin’s in better condition, you can reintroduce the serum and toner—but don’t use that toner daily. Keep usage to just 1-3 times a week. 
 
More tweaks to consider for your current skincare routine: 
 
AM: 
Spoiler
Cleanser (optional step) - CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser. Try skipping your morning face wash a few times a week, and see if that helps reduce dryness. You can even wash just the parts of your face that need it. I sometimes skip the AM wash altogether (I just gently wipe my face with a wet plush microfiber cloth), but if my eye area needs more than a water wipe (allergies or infections can cause lots of tear residue/gunk around my eyes overnight), I use a cream cleanser only around my eyes. 
 
Treatments - In addition to CeraVe Vitamin C serum, consider a hydrating serum like The Ordinary Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA Hyperpigmentation Serum 1 oz/ 30 mL. Alpha arbutin’s a good ingredient for hyperpigmentation, and the hyaluronic acid should help boost your skin’s hydration. This serum does contain lactic acid which is an AHA, but the serum’s pH is too high for the AHA to exfoliate. I assume lactic acid’s here as an extra hydrator (it’s good at that) and/or a product pH adjuster. Apply this serum to damp skin. 

If you're acne-prone, consider adding a leave-on BHA exfoliant at least a few times a week. I'm listing this for AM because you're already using a BHA cleanser at night, but you could use a BHA exfoliant at night if you want. Some people can tolerate daily use of BHA with no skin barrier damage, while others find BHA too drying if used that frequently. I'm in the latter group, so I restrict usage to 1-3 times a week. The most popular BHA exfoliant is probably Paula's Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant 4 oz/ 118 mL . For my reactive/inflammation-prone skin, I prefer Paula's Choice CLEAR Anti-Redness Exfoliating Solution with 2% Salicylic Acid 4 oz/ 118 mL . A less expensive option is The INKEY List Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA) Blemish + Blackhead Serum 1 oz/ 30 mL . 
 
Moisturizer & sunscreen - Which CeraVe sunscreen moisturizer do you use? It might not be moisturizing enough for your skin, so you might need to layer it over a separate moisturizer that contains petrolatum (the most occlusive/moisturizing skincare ingredient available). And always apply any moisturizer while your skin’s damp. This ensures you’re not sealing in dryness. 
PM: 
Spoiler
Cleanser - CeraVe Acne Control Cleanser. Do you let this cleanser sit on your face for at least a couple minutes before rinsing off? That’s the only way the salicylic acid (BHA) in that cleanser can do its job. 
 
AHA Exfoliant (1-3 times a week) - The Ordinary 7% glycolic acid toner is fine to use, but not daily. I know The Ordinary says you can use it daily, but don’t do that. Even 7% glycolic acid is enough to break your skin barrier if overused. 
 
Hyperpigmentation & acne treatment - Consider adding azelaic acid to your routine. Azelaic acid can reduce hyperpigmentation, especially PIH (dark marks left behind by acne), and attacks acne-causing bacteria. You can spot/area-treat with azelaic acid, or apply it to your whole face. You can get a 20% Rx from a doctor, or try a 10% OTC product like FaceTheory Lumizela Azelaic Acid Serum A10, The Ordinary Azelaic Acid 10% Suspension Brightening Cream 1 oz/ 30 mL, or Paula's Choice 10% Azelaic Acid Booster 1 oz/ 30 mL (also contains 0.5% BHA). I've used all 3 of those OTC products and my favorite is Paula's Choice, followed closely by FaceTheory. 
 
The Ordinary’s niacinamide serum is good, but you might not need it if niacinamide’s also in some of your other skincare products. Also, some folks’ skin can’t tolerate 10% niacinamide on a daily basis. Try rolling this serum back to 1-2 uses a week and see if that helps your skin look and feel better. 
 
Moisturizer - You mentioned “CeraVe night serum,” but I don’t know what that is. Did you mean CeraVe night cream? If yes: which CeraVe night moisturizer do you use? (They make a couple.) 
 
I kept most (if not all) of your current products in my suggestions because they're probably still working fine. You might just be overusing one of them, and may want to add a few other products/ingredients to your routine to target hyperpigmentation and acne. 

Re: !DRY, ACNE, DARK SPOTS! IN NEED OF NEW SKIN CARE PRODUCTS

Hello, 

Thank you very much for your feedback! I’ll be checking out the products you mentioned as well as the tips you provided. 

For sunscreen right now I’m using La Roche-Posay Anthelios HA mineral sunscreen. 

For the night cream, I meant Cerave Night Facial Moisturizing Lotion. Do you have any suggestions on any other night creams? 

Re: !DRY, ACNE, DARK SPOTS! IN NEED OF NEW SKIN CARE PRODUCTS

Thanks for advice!

Re: !DRY, ACNE, DARK SPOTS! IN NEED OF NEW SKIN CARE PRODUCTS

If you have dry skin stay away from glycolic acid. Go for lactic or mandelic. Also probably over exfoliating is making you breakout (but ok me a year to get my face back). If your skin gets too dry your skin will over produce oil. I would focus on getting your skin barrier in better shape vs fighting the symptoms. Look for peptides, ceramides and I know it sounds boring but take a step back from actives until your skin barrier is stronger. Then vitamin c is a great first to add. All the best from a fellow dry-skin

Re: !DRY, ACNE, DARK SPOTS! IN NEED OF NEW SKIN CARE PRODUCTS

@sojeee  I really found that Summer Fridays CC Me Vitamin C + Niacinamide Serum 1.0 oz/ 30 mL  really helped me with my dark spots. And for my extra stubborn ones I like to use Peter Thomas Roth PRO Strength Niacinamide Discoloration Treatment 1.7 oz/ 50 mL  it’s definitely a little pricy but works well. 

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