graceann graceann
2 months ago

clear skin

I've been struggling with acne for a few years now. I never had acne in my teens, but it started in my early 20s. I never had a skincare routine before then. It isn't so bad now if I'm consistent with what I am doing now, but the problem is that I'm not consistent. I feel like I have more oily skin, but now and then my skin will randomly be very dry and flakey on my forehead. Maybe once a month it'll be like that. I get acne on my forehead and under my cheekbones in the contour areas, and also big blackheads under my eyes. I wear makeup every day, sometimes foundation but sometimes not. I always wear concealer, powder, contour, and blush. I wash my face twice at the end of the day. I don't know what I'm doing and my skin isn't that bad, but it makes me sad that I can't fix it after so long. The first picture I took today while at work, and the rest are from 3 months ago to show how bad it got. To be fair, I was probably trying to pop my acne before taking the pictures, and I probably hadn't been keeping up with any skincare at the time. Also, I'm adding the products I use, but I don't remember what moisturizer I use and I actually think I bought it on sale because it had been discontinued. I'm pretty sure it's a Neutrogena face moisturizer SPF 30, but I can't find it online.

Cetaphil - Gentle Skin Facial Cleanser
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Sun Bum - Moisturizing Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50
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Dr. Brandt Skincare - Triple Antioxidant Eye Cream
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Paula's choice - 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant
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AM - Everyday
1
Gentle Skin Cleanser Wash Cetaphil - Gentle Skin Cleanser Wash
2
PAULA'S CHOICE Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant Patchology - PAULA'S CHOICE Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant
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Oil Free Facial Moisturizer SPF 15 Sunscreen Glycerin Neutrogena - Oil Free Facial Moisturizer SPF 15 Sunscreen Glycerin
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Do Not Age with Dr. Brandt Triple Peptide Eye Cream Dr. Brandt - Do Not Age with Dr. Brandt Triple Peptide Eye Cream
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Face Lotion SPF 50 Sun Bum - Face Lotion SPF 50
PM - Everyday
1
Gentle Skin Cleanser Wash Cetaphil - Gentle Skin Cleanser Wash
2
PAULA'S CHOICE Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant Patchology - PAULA'S CHOICE Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant
3
Oil Free Facial Moisturizer SPF 15 Sunscreen Glycerin Neutrogena - Oil Free Facial Moisturizer SPF 15 Sunscreen Glycerin
4
Unscented Aquaphor Healing Ointment Aquaphor - Unscented Aquaphor Healing Ointment
2
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Can I just start by saying you are very beautiful? 😊 I think the dryness and flakiness that you sometimes get could be a sign of overexfoliation - and the Paula's choice 2% BHA twice per day can certainly do it. It's best to limit this product to about 2 times per week. I don't think that inconsistency in your skincare is the reason for acne flare ups, the cause is most likely hormonal (could be stress-related). Retinoids are usually the best topical treatment for managing acne. The good news is that they also have an anti-aging benefit, so it is also a great option for adult skincare:). Have you tried adapalene (Differin gel) in the past? (It is an OTC retinoid in the US, it is particularly good for preventing acne)

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Before I read this, I was about to say the some of the same things. And you are so beautiful! I have struggled with acne off and on my whole life. A retinoid made all the difference for me. I agree that the Paula’s Choice is probably making you dry. I made the same mistake and over exfoliated, not knowing not to use every day. I recommend exfoliating at night, and like Maria said, only twice a week. It is good though for acne. On the nights you exfoliate, don’t use a retinoid. Also w a retinoid, you might have to work up to 5 times a week, depending on your skin. There is also a really good moisturizing oil that helps w acne. It’s Herbivore Lapis Oil, and it helped me a lot. I also wonder if a different face wash would help. I use Osmia black clay soap. It’s very gentle but for acne. Also a vitamin c serum can lighten any blemish marks you have. Lastly, you may have already tested it, but I wonder if the sun bum has anything that is breaking you out. I’d recommend a routine like: Night: 1. wash 2. retinoid or Paula’s choice bha 3. herbivore lapis oil or other moisturizer Morning: 1. wash 2. vitamin c serum 3. moisturize w lapis or other 4. sunscreen I’m sorry you are struggling. I hope it’s better soon.

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Thank you, Brooke, that's very sweet! I didn't know what a retinoid was before, but I'll ease one into my skincare routine. I'll also get that oil if it isn't expensive, so thanks for telling me about that! For the sun bum, I actually have not tried another sunscreen. I did decide to stop wearing it for about a month to see if my skin would clear up at all and it did not change my skin. For the vitamin c serum, would I use it only on blemish marks or apply it all over? Again, thanks for the advice and kind words :)

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You’re welcome. For the vitamin C serum, use it all over. It’s really good for your skin. Helps w anti aging too. Timeless has a good one and also Drunk Elephant’s C is good.

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Thank you for the advice and kind words! I have not tried adapalene, but I will look it up and try it! I don't know anything about skincare or products at all, so thank you for telling me about the Paula's choice. I just saw a random tik tok of someone who uses it twice a day to get rid of her blackheads. You're also probably right about the acne being hormonal as well. I sometimes struggle badly with anxiety in a way I hadn't as a teenager. I appreciate the help, Maria! Thanks :)

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You can start with adapalene slowly - for example, first 2-3 times a week and you can decide to use it more frequently if you like the effect (the max is once daily, most people prefer applying it at night after cleansing and before a moisturizer. A product example (but there are other brands): https://whatsinmyjar.com/product/differin-adapalene-gel-0-1-acne-treatment. Whenever I get "hormonal" (if you can even say it like this - I mean skin feeling unhappy, breakouts, stressed), I try to get more conscious about self-care: limit my social media empty time (like spending the first 30 min in the morning without touching my phone at least), taking my Omega-3 supplement (I take fish oil), no coffee after 3 pm (or switch to tea after this time at least), and getting enough physical movement in. I find it helps to re-balance, and i don't mind even if it's just a placebo effect:)

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