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Post in Skincare Aware

Skincare 101: Discussions, Questions and All

This is a place to discuss everything skincare.


- Have a question about a product (Or type of product)

- Need recommendations

- Learned a new tip or trick you want to share with fellow skincare junkies

- New to skincare and lost about where to start

- Have a skincare emergency ( Bad reaction, broken dropper, lost lid of a jar)


Images From top left to clockwise (Essencz, Garnier, Men's Fitness, Harper Bazaar)


We have some great thread about skincare but I feel we don't have a general place to discuss skincare which is open for everything from lowend products to luxury skincare. 


Other skincare threads you may like to explore




Re: Skincare 101: Discussions, Questions and All

@k617 I know we've talked about this before, but I believe you and I are in the same boat and it's a terrible one Smiley Sad


I'm pretty sure it's a cyst. It's not a major one that you see when you search up images, but unfortunately the characteristics are there. 


I just had a small cyst disappear on my chin, but a new one appeared. Mine don't get "shiny" as you put it, but skin does flake off from the centre. I believe the cause is either hormones or something lifestyle related. My skin has been changing in the last year, so that might be the reason.


Generally, I use a mud mask and exfoliating products to bring the cyst closer to the surface so I can attempt to expel it. I know it's not great to pop a cyst like a normal pimple since there's more than just pus in there. But once I get them close enough to the surface, they behave like a normal pimple with more gunk coming out. However, my cysts are pretty small (a couple mm in diameter). Based on your picture, mine appear smaller and I have been seeing results with my tactic.


Once everything gets out, they flatten out and disappear. It's not hard anymore since the gunk is gone, but it leaves a terrible scar. Most likely since this method is rather rough. I can deal with scars since I do like to wear concealer and foundation. I have freckles and beauty marks on my face, so I'm used to darker spots on my face. With your goal of going foundation-free I don't recommend it as your top defense because the scars are tough.


And my derm process sucks! I have to get a referral to my derm from my family doctor before attempting an appointment. My mom and sisters go to him, but their skin is worse (oily and acne prone), so there's never a rush for me. Our family doc knows my skin isn't as problematic, so he sees no use giving a referral Smiley Mad

Re: Skincare 101: Discussions, Questions and All

I feel your pain @Melissa136! Smiley Sad 

The first cyst I ever got last summer, I tried everything to bring it to the surface so I could pop it... ice, heat, aloe, lemon juice, sulphur masks, mud masks, you name did shrink over the course of a few weeks, but was still leaving a very unsightly bump in the middle of my face. I got annoyed, and tried to poke it to drain it. It drained, eventually, but barely anything came out. Big mistake. It left a huge crater and very red mark. It was easier to conceal that way, BUT I have rarely scarred (texture; I have plenty of hyperpigmentation) and this left a nasty one. Since then, I've learned not to handle these cysts too much. Thankfully, the mark has faded significantly 8 months's till there, but way easier to conceal now (foundation-free but still spot concealing Smiley Happy)


An epsom salt rub/mask has been the most effective treatment for me. I actually had one drain on its own while I was GENTLY massaging dissolving salt crystals into my skin. 


I hear ya on the derm. My doctor looked at me and I could imagine him rolling his eyes in his mind when I was basically freaking out about the cyst on my nose. He didn't see it as a priority. All I wanted was for him to prescribe me something to tide me over, but nope. Cortisone injection.

Re: Skincare 101: Discussions, Questions and All

Happy to report my cyst has gone down to a regular sized pimple. I think it's possible it could have been a large papule. Whatever it was, I'm glad it's 60% improved. 


The first week, lots of hot and cold compresses throughout the day. I got creative with everyday items which made it less of a chore: a thick tissue over a hot cup of coffee, freshly boiled egg in face towel, tissue over metal water bottle with ice water. At night before bed, Pixi glow mud mask, Herbivore Blue Tansy mask, and a new mask from Eminence called Eight Greens.


After the mask, AHA or retinol as usual all over my face (I alternate nights), and whatever the other product used as spot treatment on the zit only.  Yesterday it shrunk noticeably and the surface felt squishier vs. One hard lump. Today I applied some Epsom salt and Mario Badescu buffering lotion (one of the first drying products I've used on this sucker these past 10 days), took a short nap and finally it's looking much flatter and less red. 



Re: Skincare 101: Discussions, Questions and All

As has been established below, that is most definitely a nodule or cyst. :/ I've gotten them on and off since I was a teen and to be very honest, the only thing that has helped is Biacna (canadian trade name). I have also learned to never attempt to pop these unless I see a very obvious whitehead. 


Most people use retina-A daily, or on a regular basis, but it's actually not bad for spot treating. I use Biacna every other night and when I feel one of those coming on (usually my skin there gets pink or feels a tingly pain) I spot treat that area nightly. *Usually* this results in the thing getting flaky and peeling a bit but never really swelling up into a lump.


My derm has also prescribed Aczone, an spot-treating antibiotic gel which I apply on the lump in the morning. The combo of these two drugs cuts the swollen-lump/ugly phase down to a couple days for me.

Re: Skincare 101: Discussions, Questions and All

Apparently The Ordinary Retinoid is not for me. I waited for over a week and whethe previous dry patches were completely gone I used it only once very sparingly and still ended up with this. I think I'll just toss it out. 

I am actually thinking to go back to my previous routine before I started Ordinary products and then introduce new products again with a bit more Gap say two weeks between every new product.

For Retinoid though, Maybe oil based Retinoid serum would be a bit gentle ( I have used REN in past without any bad reaction) and a better choice for me. 

Right now I can feel the pain of people who have sensitive skin. This type of reaction is new to me and very irritating.



Re: Skincare 101: Discussions, Questions and All

That's too bad! I have wondered if the formulation of that Retinoid is missing some of the things that contribute to better comfort. So far I've only been able to use it following the Whamisa rich toner, which must give me just enough cushion. I kind of want a thread just for retinX, where we can talk about all the things we have tried/used/abandoned/love. Maybe too specific though!

Re: Skincare 101: Discussions, Questions and All

It could be that @fairywell  The first two product I started using from the brand were Caffine solution and Alpha Arbutin 2% and my skin doesn't hate them. This Retinoid is the third product I am trying to incorporate but it just isn't sitting well.

@Mochapj Do you think I should skip the idea of using Retinoid all together and once my skin heals, I start using Azylic Acid once a wk or would that be even stronger? 

The other option is I use only Caffine and Alpha Arbutin from The Ordinary and find a gentle Retinol formula from another brand.

Re: Skincare 101: Discussions, Questions and All

@fatimamummy as others have mentioned, your reaction to retinoids is fairly common.


They tend to make the skin worse for a time before it gets "better".  Speaking from my own experience (on both prescription and non) it was about 6 weeks of my acneic outbreaks getting worse than they'd been before I started, before the retinoid started to clear everything up.  So, it's up to you whether you feel like toughing it out for the long term anti-aging benefits that it could provide.  


Personally, I stopped using retinoids/retinols last year because while my skin stopped showing these congested pores eventually, it never stopped feeling stripped and dry - no matter how many moisturizing products I used or how I buffered it.  I also noticed after 9 months of using these products (6 on prescription retinoid, 3 on OTC retinol) my cheek pores became larger and more visible than they were prior to my treatment. 


I definitely wouldn't start using the Azelaic Acid until your skin heals.  It's supposed to be targeted for redness and rosacea but with your skin already in a bit of an irritated condition, it's not the best idea to introduce another new thing into the mix.

Re: Skincare 101: Discussions, Questions and All

Thank you @Mochapj Hmm let's see maybe I use it once a week for a few more weeks and then decide if I am comfortable with continuing it. 

Re: Skincare 101: Discussions, Questions and All

I can't use any retinol/tretinoin but adapalene (like differin) works on me with very minor irritation. 

I wouldn't think oil formula is necessarily less irritating since retinoid is oil soluble??

Re: Skincare 101: Discussions, Questions and All

Haven't read too far into this thread yet. But I was curious if anyone else has experienced clear, skin tag like bumps on their face? I have pretty clear skin, usual blackheads on my nose here and there, an occasional break out and redness on my cheeks. I can't pin point a product that causes them, but it has been bothering me. I should look into going to a dermatologist I guess!

Re: Skincare 101: Discussions, Questions and All

Skin a flappy piece of skin on your face? Or do you mean whiteheads/closed comedones?

Re: Skincare 101: Discussions, Questions and All

I'll have to take a photo and show what I mean lol The closest skin thing that I can think of that it looks like is a skin tag, it is a raised bump on my face, not a whitehead. Nothing comes out of it. I have picked at them before, and they seem to grow back eventually in the same spot.

Re: Skincare 101: Discussions, Questions and All



Could it be milia?  They don't show a whitehead, and it is hard to extract them unless you (a pro) makes an incision.  

Re: Skincare 101: Discussions, Questions and All

@greenchilli I will post a picture later. I googled milia and it doesn't look like the photos I saw. But what do I know? I took photos a few days ago and will post them once I am home from work! (:

Re: Skincare 101: Discussions, Questions and All

IMG_2078.JPGIgnore my sideways photo, it's late and I'm too tired to figure out how to rotate it. These are the bumps I'm talking about! Not sure what it is.. Not a pimple and I have accidentally scratched/scraped them off and they seem to come back in the same place.. HALP! @k617 @greenchilli

Re: Skincare 101: Discussions, Questions and All



If it were me, I would stop picking at it and ignore it.  I see two tiny bumps, I thought you had a bunch of big bumps!  Faces are full of such oddities that are not necessarily skin concerns.  It could be just an accumulation of skin cells.  


Your skin looks in good will cause more harm.

Re: Skincare 101: Discussions, Questions and All

@greenchilli I have two on that side, about 4 on the other and 3 on my chin. Not sure what they are..But I def don't mess with them anymore.

Re: Skincare 101: Discussions, Questions and All

@kissXmakeup I don't think they look like skin tags... I get those on my face if something is irritating it. I get them in places where I don't usually break out. 

Re: Skincare 101: Discussions, Questions and All

Looks like it could be a reaction to a certain product. I've had that if my skin hasn't agreed to something (like foundation, blush etc)..

Re: Skincare 101: Discussions, Questions and All

@kissXmakeup I have to agree with what others are suggesting. I got these type of bumps a while ago when I started using PTR water drench cloud cream. It took almost ober week for them to clear after I discontinue the use of this cream.

I think you need to look into what new product you started using around the time these appear on your face. 

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