Post # 1
I’ve had oily skin all my life and since my teen years have struggled on and off with acne. At the moment it is worse than ever before and I’ve run out of options to try and my skin is making me feel so crappy about myself.
So first off, the list of things I’ve tried and results, in order:
- Diane pill – didn’t work at all
- Yaz pill – no effect on my skin
- Dr prescribed antibiotics – no visible effect
- Dr prescribed cream (Duac) – no real improvement
- Benzac (Benzyl peroxide) – tried this in high school, worked well but made my skin peel like you would not believe, had to ALWAYS apply PawPaw to my whole face and my skin was all the way up to 10% strength when I finally gave up on this, it did stay clear for a year or so though
- Proactiv – absolutely awful, soooo harsh, didn’t use this for long
- “Natural” skincare – cut out all products except water and moisturiser, then gradually introduced bicarb soda as an exfoliant – this worked well to keep my skin clean and not awful, but still huge blind pimples
- Natural skincare step 2 – added honey as a cleanser and ACV as toner, then moisturiser. Minimal exfoliating but with bicarb. This worked for about a week and then my skin got absolutely horrible. I have continued for about a full month and my skin is just getting worse and worse. My rosacea is getting really bad as well and i’m breaking out on my cheeks and forehead when it’s usually just my chin. The other thing worth mentioning is after using this my skin is COVERED in whiteheads and it makes me look disgusting like I never wash my face! I’m talking about 10 new whiteheads a day! 🙁
More info: I don’t exercise much, I eat okay, not that great, about 50/50 good food vs bad food and I’ve also been pretty stressed lately so that wouldn’t help at all. I’ll attach pictures if I need to but obviously would rather my pimply face wasn’t on the interwebs. 🙁
I would really appreciate any suggestions, I would head straight to a dermatologist but I’m so flat broke at the moment so going to a dermatologist is low on the list of priorities right now. Same goes for products and dr’s visits, I’ll try anything but I’d prefer suggestions that aren’t going to break the bank!
Thank you so much in advance.
Post # 3
I have horrible skin too and have just learned to cover it up. Recently I started taking spiranalactone which really helps. I use head and shoulders classic to washy my face with too. Totally weird but something about the zinc is supposed to help your skin. My sister started using it too and she sayhere’s skin is so clear. Just make sure you moisturize later.
Post # 4
Have you tried an elimination diet? If your acne hasn’t responded to medication, that would be the first thing I’d try.
Post # 5
I have very oily skin too. I used Lush’s Fresh Farmacy and that worked really well but I wanted a cleanser with a pump instead of a bar so I switched to Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Facial Cleanser andI LOVE IT. I haven’t broken out, my skin isn’t as oily and after using it for 3+ months I think my skin has less redness.
After I wash with Neutrogena I use Clinique Clarifying Lotion 2 (for combo skin b/c I do have some dry spots) and that gets excess oil/dirt off my face.
Now for the crazy part, I have oily skin but it was super dry/flaky in a few spots, Clinique recommended their Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief cream/gel (gel for an oily face? I was skeptical to say the least). This immediately sinks in to my face and doesn’t make it greasy/oily at all. I think since it does such a great job moisturzing my face it doesn’t need to create excess oils for my face (or something crazy like that!)
By using these products my oil production has gone down I’d say at least half of what it used to be. I was blotting at least 4-5x/day. Now I only blot at lunch and maybe after work if I’m going out.
Also I switched from foundations to BB Cream (I’ve used many so PM me if you want recommendations) and my face doesn’t break out as much and I feel my skin can breathe better without the heavy foundation on it.
Post # 6
@ParisM: I think at this point you probably should make seeing a dermatologist your main priority, savings-wise.
Unfortunately it seems like you have fairly complex acne, so any products we suggest will be hit or miss and likely won’t work. I would suggest going on Accutane, but of course you need a dermatologist to prescribe that.
A couple of tips, though – you still need moisturizer even though your skin is oily. I would also avoid harsh products that will aggravate your skin. I am also not sure that changing your diet will magically cure your acne. I think that’s wishful thinking. Diet does not cause acne, and it’s debated whether eating chocolate (or whatever junk food) will make you break out. Depends on the individual.
Think of it this way – if your body was sick, you would go to the doctor, right? Why not with your skin? Do you try home remedies for everything? I know sometimes we place less importance on skin health and mental health, but we really shouldn’t.
Post # 7
Drink lots of water and have you tried a retinol? I use one from Philosophy called Help Me Retinol. It’s kind of pricey, but its the only thing I’ve found to help my skin. (I also have oily since, prone to acne.)
Post # 8
I’ve had acne ever since my teens, and was only able to get it under control with a retinoid (Tazorac) and Duac. It’s also been *loads* better after I purchased my Clarisonic (and use the acne brush; even the sensitive is too harsh) and use it once daily. If you get a Clarisonic, you will most likely get a pretty bad initial acne flare-up – the one I had brought three nasty cysts to the surface of the skin and caused really bad peeling for about a week. I was not a happy camper but my skin did clear up.
1) Any skincare regimen you work on will take 6 weeks to see the full effect. And you have to be consistent with it.
2) Use a gentle cleanser (non medicated; I like Purpose Cleansing Wash but Cetaphil works too) and a moisturizer (I use Cetaphil moisturizing lotion but I might try the cream since I’ve been getting drier lately). These two products are both really cheap and last a long time (I spend about $12 each for both but they last 4-6 months). Then put whatever treatment you are using on top of that. I use a drop of Tazorac at night and spot-treat Duac in the morning.
3) I’m not sure what kind of antibiotic you were on but I’ve used Oracea in the past with some success; there’s not enough to build up a resistent-strain bacteria, but enough to provide anti-inflammatory benefits.
4) The absolute best thing for my skin is regular exercise. I’m in the home stretch of my graduate program so I haven’t been working out as much and surprise! I get some bad acne spots around my chin.
Since the Clarisonic doesn’t provide enough manual exfoliation for me, I’ve been experimenting with weekly masks and peels. If I use one of those I do it at night and skip the Tazorac, mixing in a couple pumps of an anti-aging serum instead.
Post # 9
My sister is an esthtician, not a dermo but she knows a thing or 2 about skin care. Her biggest tips for me when my face started acting up (and I’ll be honest, I’m one of those lucky assholes who’s really had very few issues until the last year or 2 & I’m now 30).
Drink LOTS of water.
Wash your face every day in the morning and the evening
if you sleep with your arms above your head or your arms/shoulders touching your face, wear long sleeves so you’re not rubbing skin on skin
change your pillow-case & sheets frequently and use mild degergents, avoiding fabric softeners if you can
avoid foundations if you can, if you must use a good primer to help protect your skin
use toner before your moisturizers, helps balance your skin’s pH.
Post # 10
I know this is extreme and a last resort for most people (which it was for me), but Acutane was the only thing that ever worked for me. I had oily skin/acne since I was about 11 years old (I’m now 24) and tried everything to get rid of it. Nothing worked. Finally I decided to try Acutane as a last resort…I was 22 maybe? Anyways, it worked great. I now have “normal” skin, so not oily but not dry. I rarely get bad breakouts. Still get one or two every so often but not much. My skin still doesn’t look too good because I’m fair skinned and my face shows every single red spot/scar from previous acne but at least I don’t have active breakouts anymore!!
Post # 11
-Exercise (makeup-free) 5-6 days a week
-Use gentle, oil-free, fragrance-free cleansers and lotions. I like Cerave products, which you can get at the drug store.
-Stop with the harsh “exfoliating” scrubs all the time–they probably are making your skin go into overdrive with oil production.
-This isn’t really a tip, but I know when I went on birth control (Yaz) briefly, and it was messing with my cycle so I went off it, my skin got reeeeally bad and oily for about a year after I stopped taking it. The change in your hormonal balance after being on BC can really screw up your skin, but it will eventually get better!
-Try a peel, and see if it gets your skin to clear up (I got a free Exuviance peel from a technician while shopping the other day, and my acne/rosacea have definitely almost disappeared).
-If all else fails, go see a dermatologist. Ask them if they have any coupons for Rx meds–I used coupons for both Aczone and Retin-A Micro, and got them for about $30/bottle.
Post # 12
@ParisM: I also have oily skin, but never had to deal with super terrible acne until a couple of months ago.
I wouldn’t use anything and it was fine. I had a couple of zits here and there so I decided to use Neutrogena. WORST MISTAKE EVER. It made me brake out soooo bad. It got bad! So bad and noticeable to the point where even my friends and family where like “OMG what happened?” That made me feel like crap, because people where pointing out my acne :'( Made me feel even more terrible about myself and more stressed out. I wouldn’t leave my house whatsoever!
After like 2 months of trying to deal with it myself, eating healthy and nothing but water 24/7, I decided to order proactiv. It wasn’t working at first and I got really frustrated but my FI kept telling me not to stop, so I didn’t. I’m glad I didn’t, now I’m zit free and I only use it like once every 2 weeks.
Proactiv dried my skin in the beginning but it’s because my skin wasn’t used to it but now it’s back to normal 🙂
My question to you is: You say you used Benzac (Benzyl peroxide) you said it worked right, but how long did you use it for? You say you used proactiv, how long did you use that for?
As far as results you have to be patient! It’s not going to work from one day to another. If certain products make your skin dry, maybe you should wait it out and see if it gets better. Another thing I don’t want to sound mean but personally, I would prefer dry skin over acne any day, so maybe you should reconsider on the things that have worked for you.
Post # 13
my sisters other tip – avoid SCRUB exfoliants as they tend to irritate, use a chemical exfoliant if you have sensitive skin, start with something not too stong and increase if needed.
Honestly, my chin is/was my biggest problem, because i sleep with my arm above my head my chin ended up pressed against my shoulder. Once I started wearing a t-shirt instead of a tank to bed it has been SO much better, it’s not perfect but instead of monsters all over my chin all the time I’ll have maybe 1 during my cycle and that’s it.
I also found using the Stilla corrector serum is wonderful, keeps my face from getting shiny but it’s nice and light and I don’t even feel it!
Post # 14
Are you sure you actually have oily skin?
I thought I had oily skin my entire life, and was still breaking out at 27, and using blotting papers all day. Six months ago I went in for a facial and the girl informed me I do not have oily skin. I have combination/dry skin. Acne and oily skin products strip away all the oils from your skin, and if you don’t actually have oily skin, they make you produce more oil to replace what was stripped away…so you use more products, and the cycle gets worse.
I switched to dry/combination skin products and literally have not used a blotting paper or had a zit (minus if I do something stupid like not wash off my makeup after a night of partying) since.
It might be worth even just going to a facialist to ask about your skin type.
Post # 15
The elimination diet suggestion is a good one. Once I cut out gluten and most diary, I went from having painful, embarrassing cystic acne to having occasional hormonal break-outs, and they’re really mild. I’d had terrible acne for years and years, from about age 23 to 29, and after I cut out the gluten, it improved dramatically within about three months. I’m not saying gluten is your problem, but it’s worth looking at your diet. With all of the hormones pumped into cattle these days, dairy products are dodgy, and if you have any inflammation issues at all, gluten can sometimes aggravate them. I’d read a bit about it, if I was you, and try to make some dietary shifts to cleaner eating. It’s a small change that can have big impacts.
Otherwise, tea tree oil is a big help in clearing up acne, as is the oil cleansing method. If your skin is over-producing oil, then one of the best things to do is to use olive oil in order to cleanse it. Super gentle, very moisturizing, and really effective.
Post # 16
I have acne-prone skin (though it’s dry):
– I use a low grade benzoyl peroxide (1.5%) non-foaming wash twice a day. I get my face wet to soften the top layer, massage it in, and then take a wet washcloth and gently go over my face in circles. This is a daily gentle exfoliant. Do not rinse!
– Twice a week, I swap out the wash for a benzoyl peroxide scrub with microbeads (no jagged edges tearing open your skin).
– Exfoliating too much is very bad for your skin. It can lead to increased oil production, dullness/flakes (your skin is not allowing dead cells to slough off in order to protect itself).
– Moisturize while your face is still damp.
– Find a list of irritating/comedogenic ingredients and AVOID them in your facial products (here’s a good one that lists comedogenic factor : irritating factor, and this same list with products that have these ingredients in them). I had to cut out even the 1s and 2s. :
– Exercise! Sweat is great for your skin.
– Drink lots and lots of water.
I use a local woman’s skincare line and it’s been great. I switched over to Everyday Minerals foundation (only has a few ingredients) and wash my brushes weekly with antibac soap. I still get acne, but it, and my skin, is much better.