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Acne Sucks

bethsmilesbethsmiles Denver, CO member
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So I have a horrible problem with acne and I hate it, it makes me feel very self-conscious. I've tried so many different brands of acne treatment and they all work for a few months and then stop working after awhile. So I'm thinking about trying Clinique's acne stuff but before I drop $100 on this stuff I wanted to know if any of you had experience with it or have other suggestions. I've tried proactive, burt's bees (which worked the longest and the best), Clean and Clear, Neutrogena, and most of the ones you can buy off the shelves. I've also seen a dermatologist but he wanted to put me on this pill that had some pretty serious risks and you have to take a pregnancy test every month because you can't be on it when  you are pregnant because it causes birth defects. I just wasn't willing to go on something so intense I guess.

Anyways, I'm thinking about going back to Burt's Bees too but it would be nice to find something that won't stop working in a few months.


Re: Acne Sucks

  • luvdncn90luvdncn90 member
    100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    My good friend and hairstylist was on that last most serious medication you were talking about. She told me that if you get pregnant while on it they may make you abort the child because it can cause serious birth defects. I would use that option as only a last resort.

    Have you ever tried Nixon. It is a shampoo and conditioner treatment used for cancer patients but it also works really well as an acne medication. I actually used it for a while.

    I had some serious acne issues as well and the best thing that worked for me was Olay for sensitive skin. For some reason it's the only thing that worked.
  • bethsmilesbethsmiles Denver, CO member
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    edited December 2011
    I've never heard of that but I'll have to look into it.


  • sparkles88sparkles88 member
    Eighth Anniversary 1000 Comments
    edited December 2011
    I can't remember if you've mentioned using birth control pills before, Beth, but they can also work wonders on acne. Certain brands, especially the Ortho brands, have a very good reputation for clearing up skin. I use an Ortho BCP now, and I haven't had a full on pimple in months. When I feel one coming on, I apply a benzoyl peroxide cream right away. It usually stops the pimple in its tracks. Of course, BCP have their own set of side effects as well.

    BF took Accutane. I also recommend using this as a very last resort. The side effects that go with it can be severe and extensive. They practically give you a novel of side effects when you get your prescription every month! Thankfully BF's side effects were less severe, but miserable nonetheless. Accutane dries your skin and lips out like crazy, and no amount of lotion/chapstick seems to help. His skin got so dry that it got painful spots on it which almost resembled shingles!
  • bethsmilesbethsmiles Denver, CO member
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    edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_not-engaged-yet_acne-sucks?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special%20Topic%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:136Discussion:e982e408-335b-4827-a9cc-e262d2976e46Post:9c27d446-08b1-40f4-87cb-ada00a9f2a90">Re: Acne Sucks</a>:
    [QUOTE]I can't remember if you've mentioned using birth control pills before, Beth, but they can also work wonders on acne. Certain brands, especially the Ortho brands, have a very good reputation for clearing up skin. I use an Ortho BCP now, and I haven't had a full on pimple in months. When I feel one coming on, I apply a benzoyl peroxide cream right away. It usually stops the pimple in its tracks. Of course, BCP have their own set of side effects as well.
    Posted by sparkles88[/QUOTE]

    I've been considering BCPs too, especially since they are so cheap on my student health insurance. I'm just worried about the side-effects. I kind of have a fear of taking medications because the side-effects freak me out, so I avoid them but this acne problem is getting so irritating that I might just have to get over that.


  • edited December 2011
    Besides the pill, which as I understand you do not want to be on, I recommend zinc ointment. It accelerates the healing process and can be purchased (at least in Germany) in a simple drugstore. I am very careful with things I put on my skin, and I only use natural cosmetics, but zinc is a little miracle and harmless in my opinion.
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  • edited December 2011
    I'd go on hormonal BC STAT!  Seriously, my skin was AWESOME the whole time I was on it.  Now that I'm off of hormones, I'm more prone to breakouts.
  • heyimbrenheyimbren member
    2500 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Beth, I know what you mean about being hesitant over BCP and medications. But I have quite a few friends that say it was great for their skin, and the side effects were minimal.

    Have you ever gotten a professional facial? They can be pretty pricey (as are the products I use) but I figured out what my skin is like and found products that seem to work for me. Your problem might be too severe for this, thoug.

  • Elle1036Elle1036 member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 25 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited December 2011
    My brother used Accutane for a while and it worked miracles for him.  It does have some potentially nasty side effects, and you have to be really careful while you're on it, but if my understanding is right, you don't have to stay on it forever.  He went off of it after about a year and the acne hasn't come back.  Maybe it just got him through his awkward skin phase?
  • msjenna519msjenna519 member
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    edited September 2013
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  • bethsmilesbethsmiles Denver, CO member
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited December 2011
    Thanks for all the suggestions! I think I will talk to my doctor about BCP because I've heard from a lot of people that it really helps.


  • caitlin.cavecaitlin.cave member
    100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    I use the rare minerals stuff.  It's expensive too, but my skin is soooo much less broken out now.  Granted, I didn't ever have honest acne, more like three or four zits at a time that never went away.
  • desertsundesertsun member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 25 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited December 2011
    Beth, PLEASE check out the following links:
    http://www.cosmeticscop.com/acne-and-acne-treatment.aspx
    http://www.cosmeticscop.com/best-acne-fighting-products.aspx

    I have combination skin, and this is the regimen that works for me:
    Neutrogena Fresh Foaming Cleanser
    (I do also really like Olay's sensitive skin with aloe foaming wash. it's a little less drying, so I use that sometimes in the summer or in the pm).
    Neutrogena Oil Free Acne Stress Control 3 in 1 Hydrating Treatment
    (this is my miracle face treatment. love this stuff! It has TWO percent salicylic acid, so basically TWICE as much of the active ingredient as proactiv's similar product).

    Both of those every am. And in the pm if I'm being good, but often I skip. Bad, I know. You will obv. have better results if you wash and exfoliate am and pm.

    Every other am, Paula's Choice Extra Strength Acne Fighting treatment all over my face.

    Every am, Olay Regenerist UV Defense Daily Regenerating lotion, SPF 15

    In the pm, I use Paula's Choice antioxidant serums as a moisturizer.

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  • meamollymeamolly member
    Seventh Anniversary 500 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Have you thought about getting a facial? I heard that an acne facial can help. I am thinking of getting one my self.
  • bethsmilesbethsmiles Denver, CO member
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited December 2011
    Desert you are the queen of advice giving! Those links are awesome.

    Meamolly - I've never heard of those. What are they?


  • edited December 2011
    I've always had acne. I hate having acne in my 20s and I always feel like i'm going through puberty or something. I actually like acnefree. It's in an orange box thing. There are 3 steps in it. First you wash your face, then put some junk on it, then put another thing on it. Idk what it is exactly. But, I've been using it for seriously the past 5 years. I still have breakouts, and it's not totally gone, but whenever I try to switch to something it just makes it worse.
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  • edited December 2011
    I had acne ranging form tolerable to awful for the last 10 years. My skin constantly had this gross bumpy texture, even when I wasn't broken out. I tried Proactiv and over the counter stuff too... like you said, some things work for a while then just quit being effective. Right now I'm on a combination of low-dose antibiotics, Retin-A, and Finacea all prescribed by my dermatologist. I also use a Benzoyl Peroxide wash every other morning. But everybody's face is different, and I definitely recommend going back to a dermatologist and getting a professional opinion... and sometimes it's a matter of finding the right dermatologist. I went to one for a couple of years that barely helped, and once I started seeing a new one and he got me on a different regimen of meds, it's like my face miraculously transformed. GL to you finding what works!

    Edited because Spell Check is my friend :)
  • deburnindeburnin member
    1000 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Personally, I do not recommend going on BCPs just to control acne. It's just a temporary fix. I regret messing with my natural hormones for the last three years. Going off the pill now has been a b*tch. My acne is actually worse than before I went on them.

    I really like Duac Topical Gel and Nature's Cure. They tend to help.
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  • edited December 2011
    My ex-roommate did Accutane. Her cholesterol went from normal to the 300s within 2 months, and she had rectal bleeding. Her cholesterol came back down when she was done, but she had to take fish oil supplements 3X a day during her treatment. She stayed on Accutane regardless of her side effects. Her skin is now perfect (she has been done for almost a year), but I still fear that she messed her body up in the long term. IMO, it's not worth it to cause rectal bleeding and high cholesterol that can later cause a stroke or heart attack. 

    Birth control will clear up mild acne, but what I think you're describing is more severe, esp if your dermatologist is recommending the big guns (accutane). If I was you, I'd go on an all natural organic diet, cutting out trans fat and high fructose corn syrup, as well as continuing to try other soaps. Prescriptives is supposed to be a good brand, as well as Dermalogica and Peter Thomas Roth. All of these can be purchased at Ulta. 
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  • edited December 2011
    Both my BF and sis were on accutane.  Neither of them had any side effects, but they did have to get a blood test every month. 

    BC did not do a thing for my acne, so it does not help with acne for everyone.

    Alcohol can be really bad for the skin as well as stress.  I agree with Nursey about cutting certain foods out.

    If you wear makeup to cover up pimples, I highly recommend Bare Minerals.  I noticed an improvement with my acne after I started using it and I love it!
  • rickylee244rickylee244 member
    500 Comments
    edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_not-engaged-yet_acne-sucks?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special Topic Wedding BoardsForum:136Discussion:e982e408-335b-4827-a9cc-e262d2976e46Post:a381bc3e-aca6-4fd7-8b77-1f7ed7eb636e">Re: Acne Sucks</a>:
    [QUOTE]I had acne ranging form tolerable to awful for the last 10 years. My skin constantly had this gross bumpy texture, even when I wasn't broken out. I tried Proactiv and over the counter stuff too... like you said, some things work for a while then just quit being effective.<strong> Right now I'm on a combination of low-dose antibiotics, Retin-A</strong>, and Finacea all prescribed by my dermatologist. I also use a Benzoyl Peroxide wash every other morning. But everybody's face is different, and I definitely recommend going back to a dermatologist and getting a professional opinion... and sometimes it's a matter of finding the right dermatologist. I went to one for a couple of years that barely helped, and once I started seeing a new one and he got me on a different regimen of meds, it's like my face miraculously transformed. GL to you finding what works! Edited because Spell Check is my friend :)
    Posted by Daisy125[/QUOTE]
     
    I am on the above plus a combination Benzoyl peroxide wash (high %)/ cream, another thing that kills bacteria on the skin, All perscribed by a dermitologist.  Also, I can go there anytime I have a cystic pimple and get an injection of hydrocortizone to reduce the swelling and pain. 

    As previously said, you need to find the right dermatologist and find the right combination for you.  If it is severe and you are getting cystic acne you need to see a dermatologist, the over the counter solutions are really not strong enough to work.
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  • meamollymeamolly member
    Seventh Anniversary 500 Comments
    edited December 2011
    you go in for several treatments. it clears the pores and balances it back out once the impurities have been fully removed.

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  • leia1979leia1979 member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 100 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited December 2011
    Sorry I'm a little late, but like Rickylee and Daisy, I just finished oral antibiotics and I use Retin-A every night. (I've now been on oral antibiotics twice in a little over a year.)

    If you haven't tried this combo, I would definitely try it before something as drastic as Accutane. The oral antibiotics aren't great (Doxycycline made me nauseous, the Minocycline just made me hungry), but it's much milder. I started with 0.05% Retin-A and now I'm up to 0.1% on my face and 0.05% on my back (which is strangely more sensitive than my face).

    I think Benzoyl Peroxide is very effective, too, if you can tolerate it. Acne.org sells a large tube of 2.5% BP for a decent price. I am unfortunately super-sensitive to BP and can only use it as a spot treatment.

    I would also recommend a gentle cleanser like Cetaphil. If you face is oily, you can start with the normal to oily skin kind and then move to the gentle cleanser.

    ETA: I also wanted to say I really understand the frustration. I've had acne since I was 10. It got a lot better in my early 20s and came back with a vengeance at 26. At 31, my back decided to take a turn for the worse, and for awhile I wouldn't let FI see or touch it.
  • edited December 2011
    Try no soda, drink water and eat fruit. Also exfoliate 3 times a week.
  • edited December 2011
    I agree with PP's about birth control, but I can understand why you don't want it. 
    I haven't used the Clinique acne soap, but I do use their 3-step system and I LOVE it! i had really bad acne (and most products only worked for a little bit, as you said) as well, and now using Clinique for several months and my skin is glowing! It is worth the money! 
  • SKP82SKP82 member
    2500 Comments Second Anniversary Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    Hey Beth!  I have had a horrible time with acne for awhile (since I've been in my late 20s, it's been better, but far from perfect).

    When I was in high school, it was the worst.  I started seeing an esthetician (person who gives facials) twice a month.  It really helped my skin because (if you see a good one), she purges your pores to get rid of all of the nastiness under your skin that results in break outs.  It's painful, but it is what works best.

    Since then, I haven't been able to afford to have facial so frequently (I wish I could!).  The best products I've found are Aveda's Outer Peace products (clicky).  Honestly, I have tried everything (including the Clinique line and Proactive) and it is the only one that worked for me long-term.

    I would suggest going to a place where you can return the products if they don't work for you.  Aveda allows you to return the products after you use them as does Bath and Body Works and Sephora.  Yes, these products are more pricey, but they work and you can take them back if they don't.

    Another suggestion if you can't afford to see an esthetician regularly is to go to a skin care school in your area.  They are much cheaper.  But, when you call to make an appointment, be sure to tell them that you want them to be able to do extractions (where they purge your pores), because I think that comes later in their training.

    Good luck to you and come back and tell us what works!
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  • edited December 2011
    OP - Have you tried the Proactiv Deep Cleansing Wash (clicky)?  I have pretty bad acne too and using just the regular 3 step Proactiv kit doesn't work for me.  I use the 3 step kit AND the deep cleansing wash every day and only get a few pimples here and there and the big nasty ones are a thing of the past. 
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  • edited December 2011
    Just want to give you a virtual hug.

    I know how much pain acne can cause physically and emotionally. I'm 24 and have been living with acne most of my life. I've done everything from expensive light therapy to oral medications to macrobiotic and gluten free diets. My parents loved ones and doctors have been so supportive of helping me with this but it just won't seem to go away. It's now tolerable but still is really hard on me.

    Hang in there and best of luck to you.
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