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My skin is terrible, what do I do?


Re: My skin is terrible, what do I do?

  • I had major acne a couple of years ago at the age of 26 - nothing's more embarrassing than sitting for an appointment at the dermatologist's office surrounded by teenagers!

    However, with that being said, don't go over-the-counter.  Go back to your dermatologist and stick to a regimen for much longer than a month.  It usually takes about three months before seeing consistent results from a topical product like Retin-A, so if you ditch it after a month, you'll only end up with more breakouts.  Most prescription medications are designed to break you out first, because they're essentially bringing all the acne to the surface so you'll eventually have new, blemish-free skin.  I know this is incredibly painful and embarrassing, but trust me TRUST ME, it gets so much better, and the results are worth it.

    For my severe acne, I used the following regimen:

    Generic version of Retin-A
    Clyndamicin (it's a topical antibiotic that you apply after the Retin-A.  Here's a tip: apply it five minutes after your Retin-A, as this helps minimize the breakouts you get during the process).  

    I used Cetaphil for my moisturizer, and Nuetrogena for my face wash.  Don't use a skin brush with this regimen, because your skin is going to be pretty sensitive for awhile.

    Also, if you're not already taking birth control, I highly recommend it.  It sounds like your acne is hormone-related, which means you need to essentially balance them out to put a permanent stop to your acne.  

    This regimen should give you MORE than enough time to get clear in time for your wedding.  :) Good luck!!
  • My dermatologist prescribed Benzaclin for my very similar skin. Way less harsh than Retin-A and other prescription creams. I didn't want to take a pill either. It works great. Also, I only wash my face at night and after the gym. It seemed weird at first, but the morning washes were leading to drying, and in the end, more breakouts! I still can't kick the little breakouts where my glasses rub my temples, but it's not noticable.
  • emmaaaemmaaa North Carolina mod
    Moderator 2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary

    @mbliss85 Thanks for the avice! I think I just need a very in-depth appointment to talk with my dermatologist and figure out what is going on. I will say I have been on birth control before and decided to stop, for personal reasons and feelings, but also because I gained 20 pounds (my own fault), my acne got worse, my hair started falling out, and my periods became irregular and did not help my cramps.

    @kgd757 I have tried to not wash my face in the morning but it always feels so gross! Maybe I should really try for more than a week though...

  • For what it's worth, I think you're making the right decision to have a good sit down with your dermatologist to talk about your options. And you do need to keep in mind that any regimen you choose to go with takes time to work properly. I'm in the exact same boat - and it's a sometimes sucky boat to be in, I feel you! I've tried countless products to try to combat my acne (try being a first time bride to be at 39!) and I'm still waiting for progress, it's a slow process. But have some patience and do your diligence, it *will* pay off for you. Congrats and best of luck to you - this is just a hiccup!
  • I apologize for repeating if this has already been mentioned, but I LOVE Pronexin.  I have used MANY popular products (Murad, Proactiv etc) and this has been the first product to truly show a drastic difference.  I have oily skin as well but also can get dry around my mouth.  Pronexin drew me in by the fact that it ends up being about 10 bucks a month and it is ALL NATURAL.  My skin is sensitive and I felt like a lot of the popular brands really did more harm than help.  Plus this is ONE the morning and at night.  I started using it a couple months ago and I wont be stopping even after my wedding!  Best of luck though...I think we all worry of bad skin on the wedding day but I have noticed big differences with the Pronexin, Biotin (vitamin for skin, hair and nails) and even more water than the recommended 8 glasses a day :)  Congrats on your big day!
  • Have you tried the Rx gel Ziana? It doesn't make you peel but it cuts oiliness and prevents breakouts. I sweat like a seventh grader and it keeps my skin in check even in the worst environmental conditions.
  • Tea Tree Oil! You can get it at a vitamin shop!
  • Most recently, I've been singing the praises of Epsom salts!  You can make a gentle, exfoliating mask / scrub by adding the Epsom salts to a cream cleanser.  I use Neutrogena Deep Clean Cream Cleanser, add about a handful of Epsom salts to it, and gently massage onto my face and back.  It really brightens up my skin, and my pores are visibly smaller!  It's amazing.
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  • I had acne my whole life too.  Nothing over the counter worked.  Proactiv DESTROYED my skin, making it dry and red.  I went to a dermatologist who prescribed Retin-A, which made it worse and she refused to take me off it (I'm convinced she had a deal with the company; she always gave tons of samples).  Then I switched dermatologists and my second one put me on Accutane...which cleared the acne but my skin was still really dry and red (and Accutane comes with lots of potential side effects).   He didn't prescribe anything for that and I ended up losing my insurance at the time and had to stop seeing him before I could fight him on it.

    My mom's esthetician recommended monthly facials and the Image skin care line about a year ago.  Honestly, I'm not dry or red anymore and my skin hasn't ever looked better and feels awesome.  I found an esthetician locally to do my facials four months ago for relatively cheap.  $65 for 60 minutes and that's in Los Angeles.   The Image products can be expensive but you don't need very much.  I use their Clear Cell Salicylic Gel both in the morning and night; a 6 oz bottle is usually about $20 on Amazon and lasts me about 5 or 6 months.  I used their Vital C Hydrating Lotion in the morning and their Clear Cell medicated acne lotion at night.  I've had those 2oz bottles for 8 months and still have some left; those are about $30 on Amazon.  I use their sunscreen when I'm not wearing my foundation; my esthetician sold me that for $35 4 months ago and I still have a ton left.

    I have insurance again and see a dermatologist for mole checks and dry scalp when it flares up, but they don't do anything with my face since between the Image regimen and my awesome esthetician, it's pretty much taken care of.

    Good luck!
  • Maybe try seeing a new dermatologist? I have acne-prone skin too and the #1 best thing that's helped me has been a retinoid cream, in a strength that can really only be prescribed by a doctor. You should start it now, though, as you can go through a "purging" period of a month or so, where all the gross gunk that was under your skin rises to the surface and causes a temporary increase in breakouts. After that though, the results are fantastic!

    Also, facials have been a big help for me. They are not inexpensive, but it helps to clear out my skin and keep it clam. 

    Hope this helps! :)
  • emmaaaemmaaa North Carolina mod
    Moderator 2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary
    @Knottie33582710 Thanks for your suggestion. since posting this my skin has really cleared up. Turns out I was using too strong of products and needed more gentle cleansing!

    Also, you can change your user name to something of your choice so that we can recognize you :)

  • plainjane0415plainjane0415 The hills of Tennessee member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments First Anniversary Name Dropper
    I have very troublesome skin acne/rosacea combo, hormonal breakouts, you name it.. the thing that has worked the best for me so far has been a gentle cleanser (I use cetaphil) and visiting a dermatologist about my skin issues.  They can get to the bottom of what is causing the breakouts and can either prescribe a topical, or oral medication to help with that.  It really has been the only thing that has worked for me.  I would not recommend the clarisonic.  It's a very harsh tool, and if you have sensitive skin it can really mess it up.  I have one, I used it for a few months and my skin was at its worst when I was using it. I do not recommend it.  But again, that's my personal experience, skin care is so personal to everyone, that's why I would recommend seeing a dermatologist to see if they can help :)
  • emanon321emanon321 member
    25 Love Its 10 Comments First Anniversary Name Dropper
    edited August 2014
    A good dermatologist is a must. I've been to so many. After trying a few different things my current dermatologist realized there was something going on and referred me to an allergy specialist. I went in and got the poke test for food allergies and found out I was eating foods I was allergic to every day! I stopped eating the foods I was allergic to and things have really improved. I still have issues and use a combination of things many people have mentioned already after working with my dermatologist, but my acne's not terrorizing my life anymore.
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