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Consistently Clear And Non-Irritated Skin At Last!

adalyn

5,225 views

I'm super excited to announce that my skin has been consistently clear and non-irritated for about a month now. The products I'm currently using have slowly weaned its way into my regimen - I'm starting to realize that skincare is a delicate balance of taking care of your skin - really listening to it on a daily basis to improve it overall. As a result, instead of completely switching products or starting completely new regimens, I've slowly incorporated the products into my regimen - especially with acne treatments. I'll discuss the strategy I used to treat acne after I tell you my skincare regimen. I do want to point out that my strategy involved a lot of experimenting with products before finding the right regimen.

AM

La Roche Posay Effaclar Purifying Gel Cleanser

Neutrogena Oil Free Acne Stress Control 3-in-1 Hydrating Acne Treatment

CeraVe Moisturizing Lotion

Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protection Creme For Face SPF55

MAKEUP

Laura Mercier Mineral Powder SPF 15

MAC Studio Finish Concealer

PM

Neutrogena Oil Free Acne Stress Control Power Clear Scrub [very gentle scrub with salicylic acid and AHA]

Neutrogena Visibly Clear 2-in-1 Wash Mask [use as a mask in the shower, has kaolin clay and salicylic acid]

La Roche Posay Effaclar Purifying Gel Cleanser [gentle cleanser after the mask]

La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo (5.5% Benzoyl Peroxide and 0.4% LHA)

CeraVe Moisturizing Lotion

Strategy

A. The overall strategy is this: gentle, gentle gentle. I can't stress this enough. The basic health of your skin with or without acne needs to be healthy first before fighting acne. It can't be irritated. I went through a round of prescription acne meds before realizing that the meds, although it eliminated acne, wrecked the health of skin so badly that I needed to go back to basic sensitive skin care products to fix that before focusing on treating acne again. My skin, though clear of acne, was dry, scaly, peeling, super sensitive, irritated, and red. It was so bad that it hurt and stung to touch or even to wash my face. I had to turn to Cetaphil and Cerave to restore my skin health. Then I focused on acne treatment.

For the acne treatments, I needed to use products that were good for sensitive skin so that my skin wouldn't get irritated and break out from that irritation. I focused on (1) gentle cleansing (2) hydration and (3) light, skin friendly makeup. All of these products are very gentle on the skin (aside from the Effaclar Duo, which initially irritated my skin because I was getting used to BP).

Remarks: (1) The La Roche Posay cleanser is a basic, gentle cleanser; the scrub is extremely gentle as well (the acne stress control line is actually really gentle for sensitive acne prone skin), and the mask is occasionally used in the shower for heavier - duty unclogging and pore cleansing, and even then is still very gentle on the skin. (2) Hydration is key to keeping the skin in great condition. Suprisingly, the Neutrogena 3-in-1 Treatment is not only acne fighting, but also extremely moisturizing. It has a watery gel consistency that puts moisture back into the skin with no greasiness. Applying the CeraVe Moisturizing Lotion after that locks in that watery moisture. The CeraVe lotion is also the best lotion I've ever tried: it has a thicker gel consistency than the treatment but also adds in moisture and locks it without greasiness. Both the treatment and the lotion are easily absorbed and leaves my dry combination skin well hydrated without any greasiness or dryness - a perfect balance. (3) I chose light mineral powder makeup to allow my skin to breathe and heal while being relatively easy to remove at night. Paired with a full coverage concealer that's well blended, my skin looks more evened out. For heavier overall coverage, I go for my Alima Pure mineral foundation.

B. Exfoliate/Disinfect

My derms have all prescribed me a combination of prescription exfoliants/keratolytic and antibiotics/antibacterials (bacteria eliminating drugs). Acne is caused by a clogged pore full of sebum, dead skin cells, bacteria. Exfoliants get rid of dead skin cells, and antibacterials eliminate bacteria. The only issue remaining is sebum/oil control - which for me wasn't a huge problem once I found out how to manage that through my moisturizers (stated above). Therefore, I decided to use a combination of an exfoliant and an antibacterial: salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide: one for the day and the other for the night. It's been effective.

C. Patience

One thing that I've learned over almost a decade of fighting acne is that skin changes don't take a few days - it takes weeks and months for long term results. Also, new products don't necessarily help with fighting acne in the short term - generally some acne products worsen acne before treating it. As I mentioned before too, that I had to go through several products for my strategy to work - to test out products on the skin and its interaction with other products as well.

As a matter of fact, I'm still in the transition of switching out and incorporating products into my skin care routine in order to further improve it. I'm going to switch out my La Roche Posay cleanser for Avene Cleanance Soapless Gel Cleanser for Oily Skin. It's another gentle cleanser, but it contains a bit pumpkin seed oil, which will probably have mildly better makeup removing qualities. It is also soapless and sodium laureth/lauryl sulfate (detergent that causes some irritation for some people) free. I'm also going to be adding another exfoliant - Alpha Hydrox 10% Enhanced Cream. From my experience chemical exfoliants (as opposed to physical exfoliants like scrubs) are much better at gently exfoliating skin. My skin also needs it because despite that my acne has cleared up, I'm still getting some plugged blackheads and pores as well as some dry skin. I'm hoping that the 10% AHA will fix that. I don't know whether I'll be using this in the AM or PM though - I'll have to figure that out. Either use it every other day and alternate with the Neutrogena treatment, or use it every other night and alternate with Effaclar Duo.

Here's what I hope to be my newer improved regimen:

AM

Avene Cleanance Soapless Gel Cleanser for Oily Skin

Neutrogena Oil Free Acne Stress Control 3-in-1 Hydrating Acne Treatment OR Alpha Hydrox 10% Enhanced Cream

CeraVe Moisturizing Lotion

Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protection Creme For Face SPF55

MAKEUP

Laura Mercier Mineral Powder SPF 15

MAC Studio Finish Concealer

PM

Neutrogena Oil Free Acne Stress Control Power Clear Scrub

Neutrogena Visibly Clear 2-in-1 Wash Mask (hopefully I won't need these anymore)

Avene Cleanance Soapless Gel Cleanser for Oily Skin

La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo OR Alpha Hydrox 10% Enhanced Cream

CeraVe Moisturizing Lotion



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I'm still new to the regimen(Acne.org). I'm starting my 2nd month now, but I already stopped using the regimen twice a day.. I use oatmeal and vanicream and eucerin during the day. I'm wondering if you could give me some advice whether I should also use my whitening and moisturizing mask (for my scarring) or would it be too harsh or early?

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Hi elouholic,

Thank you for reading my blog!

Unfortunately I'm not familiar with using whitening products and moisturizing masks in conjunction with acne, so I'm afraid that I can't answer your question, especially because I've been on the regimen for about three months, but haven't used whitening or moisturizing treatments during that time. But...

The only thing I think would say is, I'd advise to take care of one primary goal for your skin at a time so that your skin isn't dealing with too many products at once. So for me, when my skin got destroyed from using Retin-A, I focused on using sensitive skin care and dry skin products to repair my skin back to health. My next focus was treating the acne - successfully. Now that I've done that and got a basic and effective acne fighting routine down, I am focusing on treating my scarring but trying new products and noting whether my skin has reactions to it.

I'd really say in a nutshell that I wouldn't recommend using too many products at one time, even though it may not bother your skin that much only because in your overall routine, with different treatments and chemicals combined, it's hard to tell if your skin is improving or if skin problems could be dealt with by eliminating the offending product.

If you do want to use the masks though, I'd recommend using the masks once a week and seeing how your skin reacts to them.

I hope this helps!

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