Today is my first day on acne.org so I'm not sure where exactly to post this and I figured under 'general' was a good place to start!
I'm a 21 year old female and in the last 3-4 months I have developed the worst acne I've ever experienced.
I'm originally from a sub-tropical climate (Coastal SC). I have combination skin and due to the humidity and hot summers my t-zone was extremely oily. I moved to OK where it is a much drier climate than what I am accustomed to. Earlier this year, around May, I noticed my skin was becoming slightly more sensitive to make up products and moisturizers. I was washing with Neutrogena Rapid Clear Foaming Scrub twice a day. I would have very slight breakouts from time to time and very rarely I would get a cyst like pimple. I use to use benzoyl peroxide, but I've had to stop because my face just became too sensitive and I haven't been able to use it. Even when I was in middle school and high school my acne wasn't like this. I had a lot of oil, but I only had the occasional breakout of whiteheads which would clear up quickly.
Since I've moved I've developed crazy bad cystic acne on my chin, at one point I had 17 cysts on and around my chin. Luckily it hasn't gotten that bad in a couple months, but now I am getting cysts on the left side of my face along the jaw line near my ear and I'm having super small but painful pimples showing up on the right side on my lower cheek.
After moving I noticed I wasn't as oily, from the climate change, but my face became insanely dry. I noticed that the sensitivity of my skin also was greater and I had to stop using benzoyl peroxide and I eventually stopped using face washes with salicylic acid. I had even tried to use Neutrogena face wash for sensitive skin, but it wasn't helping my acne and it was just drying out my skin.
I was using Mary Kay moisturizer, but it wasn't doing the job. I tried the Neutrogena moisturizer for combination skin, but it didn't work at helping my dry skin and I didn't like the way it felt on application. The only moisturizer I've found to help sooth my skin and keep it moisturized is Palmer's Cocoa Butter Facial Moisturizer for sensitive skin. It has cocoa and shea butters. I just recently read that I shouldn't use cocoa butter for acne prone skin, but right now it is the ONLY thing that helps my skin stay soft and moisturized. I haven't noticed my face breaking out any more or any less since using it. I am going to look for a shea butter facial lotion for when I finish my tube of Palmer's.
In high school I used Formula 10.0.6 and loved it, so I ordered some to try again, but no luck. Neutrogena Rapid Clear Foaming Scrub
was my favorite face wash and as long as I'm using the Palmer's moisturizer or if I can find another extremely moisturizing lotion for my face I think I could go back to using it. A couple times a week I will make a baking soda/water paste and apply it to my nose to help with any blackheads. Sometimes I use pore strips and masks.
I've begun to only wash my face once a day due to it being so sensitive and dry. I use tea tree oil on my acne and it does help heal my breakouts. Being cystic it takes a while for my acne to go away, but the tea tree oil helps speed up the process and get rid of the redness so that they are less apparent.
Just a side note: at the end of the year I will be moving back south to a sub tropical climate so I expect that my face won't be as dry.
I'm sorry this post was so long I just wanted to get my regime out there. If anyone has any advice on face washes or facial lotions to try that would be totally great. I'm going to definitely look around the sight some more.