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Moderately Severe Acne On Combination Skin (Pics)

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#1 Pianina

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 07:30 AM

Hello everybody,

Would like to get some advice on how to treat moderate acne on a very dry flaky skin, which tends to get oily sometimes.
My skin is a nightmare in winter - no matter how much I drink or moisturize (I even put on an air moisturizer in my room), it's extremely dry and breaks out at the same time. It makes it impossible to treat those pimples, because topic creams like Duac or blemish control creams make it peel off. I have recently started with laser procedures, haven't notice any improvement, just got a bit worse on one cheek. But I will give it a try.
Otherwise, I have small scars and red spots, but not much cysts. My pimples are small and after a while gets filled with pus.
Here are the pictures! (Any advice would be appreciated )

file:///C:/Users/Justina/Desktop/IMG_1026.JPGPosted ImagePosted ImagePosted Image

#2 Spotthedifference

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 08:20 AM

Pretty lady alert!

Have you tried using jojoba oil? I had the same problem - very dry skin on the surface.

#3 Pianina

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 09:53 AM

Thanks! (blush)

No, I haven't tried using jojoba, the only oil that I've tried was linseed. I'm a bit afraid to use oils on my skin, since it's very unpredictable - I never know what's gonna irritate it. :)
In which way to use the jojoba oil?

#4 Spotthedifference

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 09:58 AM

Fair enough - I had the same concern as most natural products clog my pores. I apply one or two drops as a moisturizer and dab off any excess with a towel.

#5 tracy521

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 10:37 AM

you are very pretty and have nice eyes! your acne looks fairly mild to me and i used to use just clinadmycin lotion back in the day when mine was more mild (it wont dry out your skin at all) but i had the best luck with benzaclin. it is very drying but i found that when i used the olay regenerist deep hydration cream or the olay restorative sleep cream with it my skin was fine. i tried tons of different moisturizers but nothing has ever worked for my dry skin like those two. i get them on ebay for like $15 since they are close to $30 in stores.
a good salicylic acid chemical peel would help your skin too or you could try a jessner peel which has a few different things. it will help your existing acne and fade your red marks a bit too.

Edited by tracy521, 11 January 2013 - 10:43 AM.


#6 hopeful26

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 10:49 AM

I second the pretty lady alert! :)

I would highly recommend Argan Oil. I also had combination skin, particularly around the chin area, and on my eyelids (though that was, I believe, either dermatitis or eczema. Using the Argan oil was a lifesaver. I basically swapped out my moisturizer for pure, organic Argan oil, slathered on fairly liberally. I've found the quality much better than jojoba oil or sweet almond oil (which both left my skin a bit bumpy and never seemed to really "soak in"). With the Argan oil, I really feel like my skin absorbed it. I thought I would be dealing with dry skin and wrinkles around the eyes forever, but it miraculously healed within about a month of consistent usage. Now I would say my skin is totally balanced, no dry patches whatsoever. It won't break you out, either.

#7 Pianina

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 11:25 AM

Thank you all for the compliments, didn't expect any, putting in such unattractive pictures :)
I will definitely give Argan or Jojoba oil a try, it doesn't sound so harmful after all. Maybe it can help me restore the protective oil layer on my skin. By the way, my eyelids and hands (especially between the fingers) are so dry it gets soar. Any contact with water gives a burning feeling.

Tracy - I use Duac for my pimples, but it seems that my skin gets resistant to all kind of creams. Will check out those you recommended! I heard jessner peel is very painful, is it safe? So far I have only done AHA peeling, and it felt like my skin was being burned and then flayed...

Does anyone know if there is some drink or juice that can help you balance your skin from the inside?

#8 tracy521

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 02:21 PM

hey i get tca peels because i am allergy to saliclyic acid but my friend gets the jessner peels and she said they arent painful at all. now the tca peels i had done only burned a little when i had the 2nd layer applied but otherwise it was fine. i do like the tca peels too because they help dry up my acne and help with hyperpigmentation as well. they also clearn out the pores too. all those peels are totally safe as long as you go to a reputable place to get them. i wouldnt do them myself.

Edited by tracy521, 11 January 2013 - 02:22 PM.


#9 Green Gables

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 03:03 PM

I would look into hormonal treatment. It's the only thing that helped my acne. You probably have been on some form of hormonal birth control before, however not all birth controls are created equal. Only some help acne. You can also try more subtle ways of controlling your hormones by lowering your stress levels, getting enough sleep, and avoiding dairy and sugar. Vitamin D and vitamin A are great choices to help acne from the inside.

Your active acne doesn't look too bad at the moment but I can see you're developing rolling scars. Gotta get those in check, they only get worse as you age and your skin gets less elastic. Just looking out for you.

#10 WishClean

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 07:38 PM

there are some good posts on balancing the Ph of your skin to combat dryness (and excessive oiliness, whatever extreme you are at). I recently stumbled upon sebamed products at cvs, and I remembered that a dermatologist had recommended them to me years ago when I was in highschool. I have now began using their moisturizing cream again and it has really hydrated my face. For me it is a bit too hydrating to wear during the day because my skin is more oily, but for dry skin it should be perfect. If you can't find this particular brand, look into other Ph balancing products (the ideal Ph for healthy skin is supposed to be 5.5). Hope this helps

Edited by WishClean28, 11 January 2013 - 07:39 PM.


#11 hopeful26

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 08:14 PM

I have heard that daily vegetable juicing (with a minimal amount of fruit) can be very effective for clearing skin and restoring internal and external balance. I tried it for a short time and it did seem to help, but I found the process too arduous. It might be worth a shot, though. Are you taking any fish oil or omega supplements? I had a naturopath suggest taking spoonfuls of flaxseed oil (or fish oil - flavored if you can find it) per day to help with that. Takes a few weeks to kick in but it can help (just make sure you ease into it so that your bowels aren't shocked ;)).

#12 Pianina

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 04:11 AM

I would look into hormonal treatment. It's the only thing that helped my acne. You probably have been on some form of hormonal birth control before, however not all birth controls are created equal. Only some help acne. You can also try more subtle ways of controlling your hormones by lowering your stress levels, getting enough sleep, and avoiding dairy and sugar. Vitamin D and vitamin A are great choices to help acne from the inside.

Your active acne doesn't look too bad at the moment but I can see you're developing rolling scars. Gotta get those in check, they only get worse as you age and your skin gets less elastic. Just looking out for you.


I've been taking BP for nearly two years and it didn't do much except for giving me side effects like fatigue, mood swings and at some times depression. Didn't want to stay on it longer because of that...But maybe I should try some other sort, should I risk?
You're right it' those scars that give me headache... I'm going through red light laser treatment (have done 4 procedures so far) and then I'm thinking to try Fraxel for my scars and pigmentation.
By the way, any ideas how to improve the look of my dirty complexion? I've been doing AHA masks and then letting the cosmetologist clean my pores, but as my skin is very unpredictable and can get triggered by anything, it was ending up having more inflamed pimples after such procedures.

there are some good posts on balancing the Ph of your skin to combat dryness (and excessive oiliness, whatever extreme you are at). I recently stumbled upon sebamed products at cvs, and I remembered that a dermatologist had recommended them to me years ago when I was in highschool. I have now began using their moisturizing cream again and it has really hydrated my face. For me it is a bit too hydrating to wear during the day because my skin is more oily, but for dry skin it should be perfect. If you can't find this particular brand, look into other Ph balancing products (the ideal Ph for healthy skin is supposed to be 5.5). Hope this helps


Oh yes, Sebamed products are really good. I almost forgot about them. When I had teenage acne, that was also the first product line my derm recommended :)

I have heard that daily vegetable juicing (with a minimal amount of fruit) can be very effective for clearing skin and restoring internal and external balance. I tried it for a short time and it did seem to help, but I found the process too arduous. It might be worth a shot, though. Are you taking any fish oil or omega supplements? I had a naturopath suggest taking spoonfuls of flaxseed oil (or fish oil - flavored if you can find it) per day to help with that. Takes a few weeks to kick in but it can help (just make sure you ease into it so that your bowels aren't shocked Posted Image).


I'm not taking any supplements for the moment, but I'm eating a lot of salmon and walnuts to get those fatty acids naturally. I'm afraid any food supplements will break me out badly... Flaxseed is indeed an excellent thing - I've been drinking minced flaxseeds together with a spoon of flaxeed oil mixed with water. It helped my digestive system (I have a really really bad stomach), and my skin became a bit brighter. Yesterday in the evening I started doing this again and also rubbed some flaxseed oil into my extremely dry hands and eyelids - well today they feel like new. Wow!

#13 Green Gables

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 10:28 PM


I would look into hormonal treatment. It's the only thing that helped my acne. You probably have been on some form of hormonal birth control before, however not all birth controls are created equal. Only some help acne. You can also try more subtle ways of controlling your hormones by lowering your stress levels, getting enough sleep, and avoiding dairy and sugar. Vitamin D and vitamin A are great choices to help acne from the inside.

Your active acne doesn't look too bad at the moment but I can see you're developing rolling scars. Gotta get those in check, they only get worse as you age and your skin gets less elastic. Just looking out for you.


I've been taking BP for nearly two years and it didn't do much except for giving me side effects like fatigue, mood swings and at some times depression. Didn't want to stay on it longer because of that...But maybe I should try some other sort, should I risk?
You're right it' those scars that give me headache... I'm going through red light laser treatment (have done 4 procedures so far) and then I'm thinking to try Fraxel for my scars and pigmentation.
By the way, any ideas how to improve the look of my dirty complexion? I've been doing AHA masks and then letting the cosmetologist clean my pores, but as my skin is very unpredictable and can get triggered by anything, it was ending up having more inflamed pimples after such procedures.



I would definitely switch up your BP. There is some info in my signature about it. Not all BPs are created equal. Many don't help acne or even make acne worse. And everyone's body chemistry is so individual that you can see loads of difference by changing brands.

If by "dirtiness" you mean the blotchiness, I would just get some Vbeam laser treatments after you do the Fraxel. The Fraxel is disruptive enough that I would do that first for the rolling scars, then treat the blotchiness as the last step with Vbeam.

Or did you mean the clogged pores?

Edited by Green Gables, 12 January 2013 - 10:29 PM.


#14 hopeful26

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 11:45 PM

I have one more idea for you :) you say you have really bad digestion - this is huge, and form what I've read, is quite common amongst acne sufferers. I'm thinking (if you haven't done this already) you might want to try out an elimination diet to check for food intolerances. Dairy is huge, but wheat and gluten containing products, as well as soy, caffeine, and sugar are all known triggers for acne. I recently went gluten free (about a month ago) and I have noticed a huge difference in my digestion. I won't go into detail, but lets just say things were uncomfortable and overactive fairy frequently. Snce then, everything has normalized about 95%. I used to suffer from a milk intolerance (even lactaid bothered me), but since dropping gluten, I'm now able to tolerate milk without any adverse reaction. I don't really drum much, but it was amazing to be able to enjoy a latte without the stomach gurgles, pain, gas, and toilet trips the next day! That all being said, I haven't noticed a huge difference in my skin. It might be too early to tell, or perhaps, (as I suspect), my spots are hormonal (always break out mid cycle around ovulation, and then a little bit before/after my period).

Good luck!!!

#15 Pianina

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 02:04 PM

I have one more idea for you Posted Image you say you have really bad digestion - this is huge, and form what I've read, is quite common amongst acne sufferers. I'm thinking (if you haven't done this already) you might want to try out an elimination diet to check for food intolerances. Dairy is huge, but wheat and gluten containing products, as well as soy, caffeine, and sugar are all known triggers for acne. I recently went gluten free (about a month ago) and I have noticed a huge difference in my digestion. I won't go into detail, but lets just say things were uncomfortable and overactive fairy frequently. Snce then, everything has normalized about 95%. I used to suffer from a milk intolerance (even lactaid bothered me), but since dropping gluten, I'm now able to tolerate milk without any adverse reaction. I don't really drum much, but it was amazing to be able to enjoy a latte without the stomach gurgles, pain, gas, and toilet trips the next day! That all being said, I haven't noticed a huge difference in my skin. It might be too early to tell, or perhaps, (as I suspect), my spots are hormonal (always break out mid cycle around ovulation, and then a little bit before/after my period).

Good luck!!!



I have bad digestion ever since I was a child - a fault of bad pediatrician who put me on antibiotics in a very early age. I guess that messed my stomach up quite a bit. Actually I tried to cut gluten containing products and did a blood test to check my tolerance to dairy and gluten - the result was negative, I tolerate both. Despite that, I read a lot about how milk industry "pollutes" milk with antibiotics and hormones stimulating cow's milk production. It grosses me out enough to not consume dairy products at all, or only buy the eco-friendly ones. Besides I'm a pesce-pollotarian - it means I only eat chicken and fish, no mammal meat. Do you think if that can affect acne in any way? Maybe it's better to be a full vegetarian, any ideas? Posted Image
My doctor told me it's quite common that people have both gluten and lactose intolerance, and that lactose intolerance is possible to "heal", but not the gluten one.

Edited by Pianina, 13 January 2013 - 02:05 PM.


#16 hopeful26

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 02:18 PM

That's terrible about the childhood antibiotics :( a friends baby was put on a similar protocol, and they experienced such a hard time with their poor, fussy baby. Are you taking probiotics now? (Can't remember if you said that in previous posts). That's great that you don't have a gluten or dairy intolerance! I strongly suspect that I do have a gluten intolerance, to some degree. Im waiting for the results of my celiac panel (taken before I went GF) with much anticipation - they should be back within the next 2 weeks. As far as meats go, I would say that yes, any type of conventional meat could cause breakouts, if hormones are used. Of course, you can avoid that by choosing grass fed or organic options. I will also say that the years I was vegetarian/vegan were some of my worst skin years. It all depends on how you eat, but as a vegetarian I ate more soy, dairy, and beans for protein, and more carbs to feel full (it was also my heaviest years, ironically), ugh. I think the blood sugar effect was a trigger for my breakouts. My best skin comes from a low carb, dairy free diet. Meat doesn't seem to be a trigger. Many people eating Paleo report skin clearing, so my thought would be that, rather than a vegetarian diet, would be the way to go. Just some food for thought :)

#17 WishClean

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 02:19 PM

Intolerance and sensitivity are different. Some people can tolerate small amounts of dairy but are still sensitive to a lot of dairy in their diets, for example. I was a full vegetarian for over 10 years (I now eat a bit of fish, but no meat), and I don't think it improved my acne that much because I was compensating by eating refined foods, soy, tofu, and other foods that supposedly feed candida. I also had some vitamin deficiencies, and was getting my protein from mostly synthetic sources which was not the healthiest option. Did the blood tests you had done detect sensitivity to certain foods, or just intolerance/ allergy?

Edited by WishClean28, 13 January 2013 - 02:19 PM.


#18 Sweetea

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 06:17 PM

Wow my face looks just like yours!

Edited by Sweetea, 18 April 2014 - 04:12 AM.


#19 Cassie88

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 04:52 PM

Your acne looks more mild than moderate severe and you are very pretty! If you're looking for a really good/hardcore moisturiser I suggest Vichy nutrilogie 2 intensive nourishing moisturizer cream, skin just drinks it up, but start fairly light as its quite strong.

#20 drewfish01

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 08:13 PM

How old are you by the way?