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New Experiment For Oily Skin

I tend not to post about new products or regimens until after I've gotten results from them, but I'm hoping that posting this will help me stick to my newest regimen.

I'm about to start using 6 new products on the right side of my nose for 2 months to see if they reduce the amount of sebum that my skin produces. I did a similar experiment with peppermint oil last year, which yielded some noteworthy results:

The products I'm using contain a number of ingredients that are purported to either directly reduce sebum production or inhibit the production of DHT, which binds to the sebaceous glands and causes them to produce oil. Fortunately the topic of sebum reduction is a big deal in hair loss communities, so there are a lot of hair loss shampoos with ingredients that reduce sebum.

See my previous blog post for a list of key ingredients that have the potential to reduce sebum:

I have said this multiple times, but if you suffer from oily skin and are seeking a cure, please consider experimenting with (purportedly) sebum-reducing products like I am. The quickest way to find a solution for oily skin is to experiment for ourselves and see what actually works.

Here are the products I will be using, with their key ingredients in bold:

Pura d'or Hair Loss Prevention: Premium Organic Shampoo

Purified water, sodium cocoyl isethionate (derived from coconut), cocamidopropyl betaine (derived from coconut), tea tree oil, argan oil, DHT blocker (proprietary herbal blend), black seed (kanoji) oil, amla oil, nettle extract, biotin, saw palmetto, cedarwood oil, rosemary oil, sage extract, he shou wu (fo-ti), hibiscus oil, pygeum extract, pumpkin seed oil, green tea extract, zinc, soy isoflavones, beta sitosterols, aloe vera, niacin, vitamin E, B-vitamin complex, phenoxyethanol (mild preservative), grapefruit seed extract (natural preservative), lactic acid (naturally occurring in yogurt) & dead sea salt.

Swanson Tea Tree Oil Shampoo

Purified (deionized) water, lauryl glucoside, decyl glucoside, Aloe barbadensis (aloe vera) leaf gel, vegetable glycerin, phenoxyethanol, tea tree oil, Arnica montana flower extract, hydrolyzed wheat protein, Glycyrrhiza glabra (licorice) root extract, Echinacea purpurea (coneflower) root extract, Rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) leaf extract, Salvia officinalis (sage) leaf extract, Solanum lycopersicum (tomato) fruit extract, d-panthenol (vitamin B-5), sodium chloride, citric acid, xanthan gum, Origanum vulgare (oregano) leaf extract, Thymus vulgaris (thyme) leaf extract, Cinnamomum zeylanicum (cinnamon) bark extract, Rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) leaf extract, Lavandula angustifolia (lavender) flower extract, Citrus medica limonum (lemon) peel extract, Mentha piperita (peppermint) leaf extract, Hydrastis canadensis (goldenseal) root extract, Olea europaea (olive) leaf extract

Sibu Beauty, Sea Buckthorn Clarifying Toner

Water, SD alcohol 40-B, glycerin, pyrus malus (apple) fruit extract, inulin polyglyceryl-10 laurate, hippophae rhamnoides (seabuckthorn) fruit extract, hippophae rhamnoides (seabuckthorn) oil, algae extract, artemisia vulgaris extract, allantoin, chlorella vulgaris extract, aloe barbadensis leaf juice, laminaria digitata extract, leucojum aestivum bulb extract, hordeum distichon (barley) extract, phellodendron amurense bark extract, salicornia herbacea extract, santalum album (sandalwood) extract, caprylic/capric triglycerides, phospholipids, xanthan gum, phenethyl alcohol, benzoic acid, orange and lemon essential oils, ethylhexylglycerin, phytic acid.

Madre Labs, Camellia Care, EGCG Green Tea Skin Cream

Water, coco-caprylate, cetearyl olivate, glycerin, sorbitan olivate, EGCg from camellia sinensis (green tea) leaf extract, rosa canina (rose hips) fruit extract, resveratrol, melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree) leaf oil, citrus aurantium dulcis (orange) peel extract, sodium hyaluronate, tocopheryl acetate, caffeine, citrus medica limonum (peel) extract, lecithin, dimethicone, xanthan gum, acrylates/C10-30 alkyl acrylate crosspolymer, tetrasodium EDTA, propyl gallate, sodium hydroxide, phenoxyethanol, capryly glycol, sorbic acid.

Nature's Answer Saw Palmetto Berry

Water, glycerin,serenoa repens, 12-15% certified organic alcohol

Eucerin Redness Relief Soothing Night Crème

Water, Glycerin, Panthenol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Octyldodecanol, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Dimethicone, Squalane, Tapioca Starch, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate Citrate, Myristyl Myristate, Butylene Glycol, Benzyl Alcohol, Glycyrrhiza Inflata Root Extract, Carbomer, Phenoxyethanol, Ammonium Acryloydimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, Sodium Hydroxide, Methylparaben, Ethylparaben, DMDM Hydantoin.

I'll give these products at least 2 months to work their magic, and if I don't see any results then I'm going to switch to using Nizoral 2% shampoo, which contains ketoconazole.


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It's been over one month now since I started this new regimen. If these topicals are reducing my oil production, I haven't noticed it yet. But I'm still hopeful since the effectiveness of topical anti-androgens usually increases over time, and it often takes more than a month to see any significant effects.

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I've started leaving the shampoo products on my nose for 30 minutes before washing off, as opposed to the ~10 minutes I had been giving them previously. I've also decided to continue this regimen for at least one extra month. I may introduce Nizoral 2% shampoo into the mix during the third month.

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I still haven't noticed a reduction in oil. It's possible that it may be decreasing slightly, but not by any discernible amount. I dropped the two shampoos from my regimen yesterday because they were making my already poor skin texture look even worse. I'm still planning on trying Nizoral 2% if I can get a prescription from my derm.

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I'm ending this experiment today. I'm one week away from hitting the 3-month mark and I really can't say that the rate of sebum excretion on the right side of my nose has decreased. Or, if it has decreased, it's been so slight that it's not noticeable.

I have to say I'm genuinely disappointed. I had a lot of faith in this experiment because I was using so many key sebum-reducing ingredients. But unfortunately I have to chalk this up as yet another failed experiment. Story of my life haha.

On the flip side, however, my experiments over the past several months have made even more impressed with the results I got from using topical peppermint oil on the left side of my nose. The difference in oil production between the right and left sides of my nose is pretty striking.

My next experiment will be with a product called Noviderm Boreade Shine-Reducing Skincare. It contains a patented ingredient called 5-Alpha Avocuta that is purported to reduce sebum excretion. I'm giving it a shot even though I haven't seen any reviews for it, because on their website they cite studies that demonstrated sebum reduction. You can see the studies at this link, and if you go to the page for the Boreade Cleansing Cream (which contains the same key ingredient), you can see studies backing up the use of that product too: http://www.noviderm.com/eng/produit/13159/shine-reducing-skincare

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A while ago I developed a dark spot in the center of my nose. I'm not sure if "blackhead" is technically the right term for it. It was dark gray, bigger than a pore, hard, and felt like it was growing under the skin. It was so hard and deep that I couldn't pop it, so I resorted to chemical exfoliators like AHA and BHA, hoping they would gradually shed the skin until the spot disappeared.

This thing sat on my nose for over year not budging at all. It was so stubborn that I figured the only thing that would remove it was some kind of professional manual extraction.

Fast forward to 3 weeks ago, I bought the Clean & Clear Continuous Control Acne Cleanser to deal with a breakout of whiteheads. After a week of using the cleanser once a day, I noticed that the black spot on my nose was suddenly gone. Not just smaller, but gone. I'd had this thing for over a YEAR and it disappeared within one week of using this product.

I could never get a good picture of it, but I've attached a picture from Google of a black spot that looks very similar to what I had.

Aside from Accutane, I don't think I've ever used a product that had such an obvious effect on my skin. Unfortunately the cleanser didn't help in any other way. In fact it may have made my other acne worse, but it was a miracle worker for this one specific purpose.

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