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I hope you guys don't mind me jumping in, as a newbie to these forums. I know these questions are directed to Snow Queen, but I hope it's okay for me to share what I've been reading, too. I just want to help, so let me know if I'm being too pushy and I'll back off. :)

It's really good to see someone dispelling the misinformation about skin care and acne treatments so everpresent on the web. I keep up with the dermatology journals, too. If you go to university, you probably have access to the scientific journals and you can go through them every day while you have your coffee. It drives me a little nuts how much "information" people are getting from websites, beauty magazines and even marketing copy. I cringe every time I see someone saying they steam their face or treat their acne with lemon juice or witch hazel.

Dave Suave, for goodness sake, tone down the exfoliation! Exfoliating is great, but too much is very irritating. Using Retin A, plus a physical exfoliant, plus a chemical exfoliant is way too much for anybody's skin. I would highly recommend you exfoliate significantly less, and pile on the anti-irritants and antioxidants.

Doesn't the clindamycin contain isopropyl alcohol? If so, it's very bad news for skin. Complex 15 is a decent moisturizer for dry skin, but it would be better to get one with anti-irritants and antioxidants, especially when you're treating your skin so harshly.

crazygamar, there isn't a purge period with anything. There can be a period where skin is getting used to a product, so sometimes things can get worse before they get better. Also remember, it can take anywhere from three days to several weeks before something builds up on your skin enough to cause acne. There are also several other factors such as weather change, pollution change, lifestyle change, diet change, hormone change, etc. that can worsen acne. In other words, it's extremely difficult to determine what caused a breakout.

The One Step Cleanser is great! A cleanser can't soothe, though. Cleansers will either effectively clean while irritating or effectively clean without any irritation. To soothe the skin, you need something that isn't rinsed off after a few seconds. What you need is a product with lots of anti-irritants and antioxidants and without anything harsh.

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Snow Queen,

This is going to be a mouthful, but I need to start this off somehow. I've had mild/moderate acne for ten years. I've tried all sorts of OTC and prescription topicals, but I've never kept with a routine long enough to really know what works. I do know that I have rather sensitive skin, so irritation and initial breakouts are usually the reason why I change course out of frustration. I've been using Paula's Choice BHA 2% Liquid for nearly four months. I think that it has helped improve my complexion, but I still get inflamed bumps every few weeks, and they take forever to go away. I think my problem may be that I don't use disinfectants enough, and I get clogged pores and infection from flaking. The BHA liquid seemed to be working fine all on its own, until after breaking out again last month, so I almost started Accutane, but decided to add Retin-A micro, Clindamycin phosphate liquid, and BP 2% instead. I have some Duac lotion, but I find that it's too thick and hard to remove so I recently began applying the Clindamycin liquid before the CSR BP at night, all on top of the BHA. I'm not sure if this is a good idea (the clindamycin). In the morning, I apply Retin-A Micro 0.04% on top of the BHA and then I put on Complex 15 moisturizer where needed (will add sunblock soon). I own a few of the OTC products that you recommend. Sometimes I use the Nivea Visage moisturizing toner after cleansing with either Spectro Gel or Dan's cleanser. I'm not wild about applying so many products (toner, BHA, BP, etc..) so I'm not sure if this is wise. Also, I've been using scrubs (along with the Bodyshop face brush at times.) lately. It has really helped my complexion, but I'm a little concerned about irritation. I find that I need scrubs and exfoliation because cleansers won't remove the visable dead skin. I use the scrub you recommended. Nivea for Men Energizing face scrub. Sometimes I use Carley's Clear & Smooth skin treatment scrub instead. I don't know if you've heard of it...it contains some of the irritating fruits and herbs, but the exfoliants are "cosmetic grade". I actually find it to be less drying than the Nivea for men. Is it OK to use these scrubs once a day? My main concern is that I may be doing too much, and when I change things around, I'm worried that I'm doing too little. While on any routine, I can never maintain balanced and calm skin for longer than a couple of days. At the moment, I'm paranoid that my cheek will erupt any day now because spots look a little red and puffy. The other cheek broke out last week, and i assumed it was due to the Retin-A. It's as if each cheek takes turns breaking out. Very aggravating. I need a routine that's right for me, and efficient enough. I know that I need to commit myself to a routine longer, but I still consider Accutane as an option if I cannot be satisfied with a topical solution by mid summer......and even with Accutane I understand that there is no garantee that it is worth the risk or even effective for people who fuss over minor break outs. Granted- I'd take small doses- but, what really has me scared is the bad reaction I had after recently having blood drawn during Accutane consideration. I nearly passed out with low blood pressure... the nurses were kinda freaking out and brought a doctor in, so now I'm afraid to have blood drawn unless I really need to. I've had blood drawn before and I was fine. Probably fasted too long or didn't drink enough water.

Thank you for reading

It sounds like you're doing way too much at the moment given that you have sensitive skin. I am a strong believer in combination therapy, but you have to start out slowly and monitor how well your skin reacts.

It's fine to use a scrub once daily, depending on how abrasive the scrub is. I'm not a big fan of Carley's Clear and Smooth products since they are soap products. If I remember right the scrub uses nut shell particles as the scrubbing agent, which can be too abrasive. Yes, they use cosmetics grade ingredients; so do all the other cosmetics companies. If you find the Nivea for Men scrub to be drying, don't use it. Well-formulated salicylic acid products are milder than manual scrubs, so I'd recommend you go back to the BHA product. Additionally, the abrasive action of scrubs can aggravate inflammatory lesions, causing further damage to the surrounding skin. Also, never use two exfoliants at the same time.

Retin-A and salicylic acid can be applied at the same time, but you might experience too much irritation should you try this. I would suggest applying the treatments at different times. You shouldn't apply the Retin-A more than once daily, but you can apply the salicylic acid as much as twice daily. If you are experiencing a great deal of irritation, you can reduce your applications of salicylic acid to once every other day, but most people seem to need at least a once daily application.

You say that you've been using Retin-A; for how long? It states in Retin-A's package insert that one can expect a temporary increase in breakouts. Benzoyl peroxide diminises the effectiveness of most retinoids, so you shouldn't use it at the same time.

Also, you're not likely to get results from using a 2% benzoyl peroxide product; a 2.5% concentration is the minimum requirement. Topical Clindamycin can be used at the same time as Retin-A and exfoliants like salicylic acid. For a disinfectant to be effective you should apply it at least once daily. For the time being I think you should only apply it once daily. At this point I would advise not using the benzoyl peroxide at all because you only need one type of disinfectant. Bacteria can become resistant to Clindamycin, so at some point you may need to start using a benzoyl peroxide product again in place of it. I recommend using a 2.5% benzoyl peroxide product should this occur.

Edit: Contrariwise brought to my attention that the liquid version of Clindamycin you're using most likely contains an irritating concentration of isopropyl alcohol. I would recommed you use a 2.5% product instead and not try to use the Clindamycin Liquid. You'll have to use the benzoyl peroxide separately from the Retin-A, as mentioned above.

Another part of your problem is that you have not yet incorporated sunscreen into your regimen. You should have gotten a broad-spectrum SPF 15 or higher sunscreen the moment you started using any acne treatments as most acne treatments make the skin more sun-sensitive. If you can go to the store and get a sunscreen today.

I have no problem with those who choose to take Accutane, even for mild acne. Acne is a very frustrating condition to deal with, and even though topicals can control it the daily use of them can be a hassle. Even for those with mild acne, topicals might not be effective and Accutane can become the only option left. Just make sure you understand the risks, realize that Accutane may not work for you, and that your doctor approves.

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sorry for my bad english, yeah i mean initial breakout (how long they take)

anyway i start using clinique sunscreen since yesterday

and i need your advice in using it, somehow i feel its to thick and dry to fast when i apply on my face, that if i smeer it, it turn to flacky stuff

while if i dont smeer nicely, somehow it discolor my face (i dont know if clinique have several sunscreen color, to match user skin) but the one i got is whiter than my skin

so when i apply on my face, its make are than i apply more white

somehow i feel its like foundation, before adding another make up

since i am a guy, i dun use make up

so i need your advice again, many thanks before!

What people refer to as an "initial breakout" varies from person to person and depends on how your skin takes to a product.

The product does have a light tint to it, but for most people it blends in well. However, it sounds like the product isn't something you're ever likely to enjoy based on your above post. You can't dilute the product or apply anything else over it, because then you'll dilute the sunscreen's effectiveness. I would suggest applying less, but then you might not be applying enough product to get effective sun protection. If I knew which brands were easily available to you in Japan I would recommend an alternative product, but unfortunately I don't. I was searching Shisheido products and found the Shisheido Ultra Light Sunblock Lotion SPF 30, which looked OK.

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Hey there. Thanks again for your last post also.

Yes, I did mean retinoids. I never had any prescription ones, only over the counter. When I said many, I just meant many different name brands, La roche posay, green cream, afirm, etc.

I had a few more questions I can think of. Benzoyl peroxide, is there a purge period with that? I know some people who said that, and when I used it before I dont remember my face getting better right away, I actually got a few more here and there and sometimes they were even bigger bumps that could be felt under the skin.

Secondly, paulas choice cleansers, would using the One Step Cleanser for normal to dry skin be alright? I do remember using that at a friends house and I really liked it. It felt very cushiony just like the description says. I guess partially because it didnt foam. Also my face always tends to get dry with products no matter what they are. So i didnt know if that would be a bad choice or not.

Lastly, while im here. I have a lot of facial redness. Mostly the areas where i have breakouts, they are red. Im assuming its from the inflammation and also hyperpigmentation (I believe its called) after the spots are gone. Which paulas choice cleaser do you think would be most soothing? A lot of cleanser i use dont sooth my face, they seem to scrub it and make redness worse. So i was just wondering if anyone of hers would be best for soothing my face. As for moisturizer, is there any specific ones I should use in that area also for redness and inflammation?

Thanks again for your help, I will probably order sample and see how I react and then buy the whole products. I'll let you know how it goes for me. :) :)

OK, so if you've only been using over-the-counter retinoid products, one option for you should a purely over-the-counter regimen not work well enough for you is prescription retinoids. I especially like Retin-A Micro (your dermatologist would probably start you off with the 0.04% concentration) and would recommend it to you over regular Retin-A since it is gentler on the skin and more effective. However, different retinoids work better for different people. And anyway, you haven't tried your new regimen yet, but I like to outline alternatives so that you always have other options.

Some people report initial breakouts from certain treatments. Some of this I think is true (for example, Retin-A can cause a temporary increase in breakouts), while other parts of this sound to me like paranoia. If you get a breakout from benzoyl peroxide this would most likely be irritation-induced.

All of Paula's cleansers are surfectant-based and rinse well, so the cleanser residue associated with many creamy cleansers wouldn't be an issue provided you thoroughly rinse. All of Paula's cleansers are relatively mild; the ones designed for drier skin types tend to use more mild surfectants and might be better even for those with oily skin if those people experience irritation easily. If your skin is easily irritated it would be fine to use the One-Step Cleanser designed for normal to dry skin. Besides, you've already tried the product and liked how it felt and reacted with your skin.

The most mild cleanser Paula's Choice makes is the Skin Recovery Cleanser, which I've used and liked very well. It is not likely to cause irritation. To sooth skin you'll need to apply a product containing anti-inflammatory agents, such as a well-formulated moisturizer. If your skin is especially irritated the temporary use of a hydrocortisone product can be helpful, but I emphasize temporary use. Long-term use of hydrocortisone products can thin the skin and actually worsen acne. From your description it sounds like your redness is directly related to your acne. Disinfectants will help relieve inflammation, which I included in the regimen I suttested for you. Your redness should diminish once you start to get your skin under control. After an acne lesion heals it can leave what many users on this board refer to as a "red mark." This is not the same thing as hyperpigmentation, which is an excess of melanin that leaves a brown spot. Many people mistake these red marks for acne scars, but unlike true scars they should go away over time.

Hope things go well for you!

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I hope you guys don't mind me jumping in, as a newbie to these forums. I know these questions are directed to Snow Queen, but I hope it's okay for me to share what I've been reading, too. I just want to help, so let me know if I'm being too pushy and I'll back off. :)

It's really good to see someone dispelling the misinformation about skin care and acne treatments so everpresent on the web. I keep up with the dermatology journals, too. If you go to university, you probably have access to the scientific journals and you can go through them every day while you have your coffee. It drives me a little nuts how much "information" people are getting from websites, beauty magazines and even marketing copy. I cringe every time I see someone saying they steam their face or treat their acne with lemon juice or witch hazel.

Dave Suave, for goodness sake, tone down the exfoliation! Exfoliating is great, but too much is very irritating. Using Retin A, plus a physical exfoliant, plus a chemical exfoliant is way too much for anybody's skin. I would highly recommend you exfoliate significantly less, and pile on the anti-irritants and antioxidants.

Doesn't the clindamycin contain isopropyl alcohol? If so, it's very bad news for skin. Complex 15 is a decent moisturizer for dry skin, but it would be better to get one with anti-irritants and antioxidants, especially when you're treating your skin so harshly.

crazygamar, there isn't a purge period with anything. There can be a period where skin is getting used to a product, so sometimes things can get worse before they get better. Also remember, it can take anywhere from three days to several weeks before something builds up on your skin enough to cause acne. There are also several other factors such as weather change, pollution change, lifestyle change, diet change, hormone change, etc. that can worsen acne. In other words, it's extremely difficult to determine what caused a breakout.

The One Step Cleanser is great! A cleanser can't soothe, though. Cleansers will either effectively clean while irritating or effectively clean without any irritation. To soothe the skin, you need something that isn't rinsed off after a few seconds. What you need is a product with lots of anti-irritants and antioxidants and without anything harsh.

Thank you for your kind words, and no, I don't mind you sharing your input. I thought much of what you said makes sense. You give good advice and will be a welcom asset to these message boards.

And thanks for letting me know that the Clindamycin Liquid contained a high concentration of isopropyl alcohol. I didn't think of this, but should of since many products designed for acne in liquid form tend to contain irritating concentrations of alcohol.

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Hey. I ordered my samples today, just thought I would let you know. I also went to getthatglow.com because they are discounting paulas choice products pretty cheap. I asked a rep. just to make sure that they are allowed to sell her products, i know sometimes these website sell knock offs. She replied that they are allowed but they are discounting them for the introduction of their new line called Renuvaderm, which she said are all fragrance and irritant-free, but without the chemical fillers and waxes that are in Paulas choice. Do you know anything about this, either the new line or it being better than paulas choice? Also I didnt think her products contained anything like that. Thanks, just thought I would ask you.

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Hey. I ordered my samples today, just thought I would let you know. I also went to getthatglow.com because they are discounting paulas choice products pretty cheap. I asked a rep. just to make sure that they are allowed to sell her products, i know sometimes these website sell knock offs. She replied that they are allowed but they are discounting them for the introduction of their new line called Renuvaderm, which she said are all fragrance and irritant-free, but without the chemical fillers and waxes that are in Paulas choice. Do you know anything about this, either the new line or it being better than paulas choice? Also I didnt think her products contained anything like that. Thanks, just thought I would ask you.

It really irritates me when a company mentions "evil" chemical fillers and waxes. First off, Renuvaderm products are not all free from chemical fillers. Just look at their ingredients lists. For some of the products you'll see waxy thickeners and other difficult to pronounce thickening agents to "fill" the product. These are necessary for many products because they give the product a more emollient feel and make it possible to spread the product easily. And besides, a product can't all be active ingredients. Usually active ingredients make up a very small percentage of a product.

Many "natural" cosmetics companies warn users to avoid chemicals, but even water is a chemical. What they really mean is to avoid products using synthetically manufactured ingredients. So, you're probably wondering if ingredients which can be derived from natural sources are better than those that can be made synthetically. There are many synthetic ingredients which are beneficial to the skin, and many natural ingredients which cause damage, and vice versa. You wouldn't want to put poison oak on your skin just because it grows in the middle of the woods, right? Additionally, there are ingredients which are created naturally that can also be created synthetically, so does that make the synthetically created versions inferior to those created naturally even though they have the same chemical compositions?

What you should be more concerned about is the use of unnecessary skin irritants in cosmetics, whether or not they are natural or synthetic. I was looking at the Renuvaderm Beta Hydroxy Acid Rinse-Off Exfoliator, and it looks like it contains an irritating concentration of alcohol. How is that better for the skin?

Waxy thickeners can cause breakouts for some people, and these are usually found in cream products designed for drier skin types. Because Paula does not design products just for acne-prone skin, some of her products do contain these types of potentially pore-clogging ingredients. However, her products designed for oily, acne-prone skin types do not contain ingredients which are likely to cause problems (though everyone is different; no company can truly claim that its product is "non-comedogenic").

I asked a sales represntative of Get that Glow about why Paula's Choice products were no longer being sold, and he said that Paula only wanted her products to be sold online at her website. I guess different sales represntatives are saying different things.

Anyway, sorry for the rant, and I hope you like the product samples you've ordered.

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Sorry Snow Queen, but did u say that foams are bad as cleansers? Im looking into buying a new fash wash. Bc im breaking out and face is getting oily im sure from the jojoba oil. And i read and i didnt see about the scrub and bha. Bc the proactiv wash has little beads and its 2.5% BP and then i use the 2% lotion from paulas choice. So i think that is bad. But any suggestions? im not sure which to switch to i just started lookin at clean and clear but im skeptical about drugstore products since i use to use them when i was younger. so any input would be very helpful.

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Sorry Snow Queen, but did u say that foams are bad as cleansers? Im looking into buying a new fash wash. Bc im breaking out and face is getting oily im sure from the jojoba oil. And i read and i didnt see about the scrub and bha. Bc the proactiv wash has little beads and its 2.5% BP and then i use the 2% lotion from paulas choice. So i think that is bad. But any suggestions? im not sure which to switch to i just started lookin at clean and clear but im skeptical about drugstore products since i use to use them when i was younger. so any input would be very helpful.

Foaming cleansers are fine provided they use gentle surfectants, but keep in mind that no cleanser will reduce oil production; even though the oil is removed it will always come back. Also, gentle cleansing alone really isn't enough to stop acne breakouts for most people.

The Proactiv cleanser, from what I understand, isn't very abrasive (though I've never actually used the product). It is gentle for that type of product. It contains 2.5% benzoyl peroxide, but the medication gets rinsed away. Anyway, what I guess I'm getting at is that it's probably not too bad to use the product with salicylic acid.

How long were you using the Proactiv cleanser and Paula's BHA? How did your skin seem to react?

How was your skin before you started using the jojoba oil, and how long have you been using jojoba oil for? If your skin is more oily even when you don't apply the jojoba oil, I would suspsect hormonal changes are to blame for your increase in breakouts.

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Thank you Snow Queen.

You guys are right. The Clindamycin liquid does contain alcohol. I can smell it! I haven't used it much, and I won't from now on.

Anyway, I meant to say 2.5% BP. I have Dan's BP. I'm aware of the Retin-A and BP interactions. Also, I believe I can handle the BHA with just about anything because I've been using it for nearly 4 months, so I think it is OK to stay with the BHA twice a day with caution. I've been using Retin-A for a couple weeks, and the BP routine hasn't been consistant. It's a tough call....I haven't really figured out a routine, but I understand what you mean about the potential danger of adding products. I'd appreciate any suggestions regarding manual exfoliation, and what action to take when the skin looks like it has too many flakes glued to it. I understand the difference between BHA exfoliation and manual exfoliation, I'm just concerned that my acne prone areas are shedding too much and not being cleansed off the surface.

After exfoliating with the Nivea energizing scrub and rinsing with Spectro Gel, I still saw flakes stuck to my skin. I tried to gently get rid of them with a cotton ball while applying Nivea Visage moisturizing toner.

I think I should start a journal and link you to it.

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Sorry Snow Queen, but did u say that foams are bad as cleansers? Im looking into buying a new fash wash. Bc im breaking out and face is getting oily im sure from the jojoba oil. And i read and i didnt see about the scrub and bha. Bc the proactiv wash has little beads and its 2.5% BP and then i use the 2% lotion from paulas choice. So i think that is bad. But any suggestions? im not sure which to switch to i just started lookin at clean and clear but im skeptical about drugstore products since i use to use them when i was younger. so any input would be very helpful.

Foaming cleansers are fine provided they use gentle surfectants, but keep in mind that no cleanser will reduce oil production; even though the oil is removed it will always come back. Also, gentle cleansing alone really isn't enough to stop acne breakouts for most people.

The Proactiv cleanser, from what I understand, isn't very abrasive (though I've never actually used the product). It is gentle for that type of product. It contains 2.5% benzoyl peroxide, but the medication gets rinsed away. Anyway, what I guess I'm getting at is that it's probably not too bad to use the product with salicylic acid.

How long were you using the Proactiv cleanser and Paula's BHA? How did your skin seem to react?

How was your skin before you started using the jojoba oil, and how long have you been using jojoba oil for? If your skin is more oily even when you don't apply the jojoba oil, I would suspsect hormonal changes are to blame for your increase in breakouts.

ive been using pro activ for over a year and had the paula choice for about 2 months. the only place the paula lotion helped was the bumps closer to my nose. And before jojoba oil it was tight and dry after wash. And now it feels a bit oiler than it should and that is after wash with no mosturizer. I dont use any other mosturizer but that. But i do use this Vitamin e-oil and use as a primer. but i love how it smooths the skin so much. But over all my skin is looking more dull but oily. And right now i have a breakout on the side of my face that i never really get pimples on. Bc before i only had 2 on the other side. So i dont really know what to try.

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Thank you Snow Queen.

You guys are right. The Clindamycin liquid does contain alcohol. I can smell it! I haven't used it much, and I won't from now on.

Anyway, I meant to say 2.5% BP. I have Dan's BP. I'm aware of the Retin-A and BP interactions. Also, I believe I can handle the BHA with just about anything because I've been using it for nearly 4 months, so I think it is OK to stay with the BHA twice a day with caution. I've been using Retin-A for a couple weeks, and the BP routine hasn't been consistant. It's a tough call....I haven't really figured out a routine, but I understand what you mean about the potential danger of adding products. I'd appreciate any suggestions regarding manual exfoliation, and what action to take when the skin looks like it has too many flakes glued to it. I understand the difference between BHA exfoliation and manual exfoliation, I'm just concerned that my acne prone areas are shedding too much and not being cleansed off the surface.

After exfoliating with the Nivea energizing scrub and rinsing with Spectro Gel, I still saw flakes stuck to my skin. I tried to gently get rid of them with a cotton ball while applying Nivea Visage moisturizing toner.

I think I should start a journal and link you to it.

Retin-A can definately cause flaking of the skin and increased breakouts when you first start using it. It's up to you whether or not you use the BHA twice daily; like you said, do so with caution. Even though you've been using the BHA for four months you just started using the Retin-A, which increases the sensitivity of one's skin.

If you haven't been using the benzoyl peroxide consistantly (once daily), I doubt you've been getting much benefit from it.

Pick manual scrubs using bead-like particles, such one by Aveeno or Dove. If you like the baby brush method that's probably OK because it's not very abrasive from what I understand. Just make sure you keep the bristles clean. I wouldn't use a scrub prior to using a BHA product, and would avoid using scrubs over inflammatory lesions.

So, here's what I suggest. Use the salicylic acid product in the morning followed by benzoyl peroxide and sunscreen. At night use a scrub and Retin-A followed by a moisturizer over dry areas. If your skin seems to be getting too irritated reduce your use of one or some of the products. For example, you could use the Retin-A at night once every other day.

A journal would be a good idea. It would help you keep track of your skin and what products you were using for it.

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Sorry Snow Queen, but did u say that foams are bad as cleansers? Im looking into buying a new fash wash. Bc im breaking out and face is getting oily im sure from the jojoba oil. And i read and i didnt see about the scrub and bha. Bc the proactiv wash has little beads and its 2.5% BP and then i use the 2% lotion from paulas choice. So i think that is bad. But any suggestions? im not sure which to switch to i just started lookin at clean and clear but im skeptical about drugstore products since i use to use them when i was younger. so any input would be very helpful.

Foaming cleansers are fine provided they use gentle surfectants, but keep in mind that no cleanser will reduce oil production; even though the oil is removed it will always come back. Also, gentle cleansing alone really isn't enough to stop acne breakouts for most people.

The Proactiv cleanser, from what I understand, isn't very abrasive (though I've never actually used the product). It is gentle for that type of product. It contains 2.5% benzoyl peroxide, but the medication gets rinsed away. Anyway, what I guess I'm getting at is that it's probably not too bad to use the product with salicylic acid.

How long were you using the Proactiv cleanser and Paula's BHA? How did your skin seem to react?

How was your skin before you started using the jojoba oil, and how long have you been using jojoba oil for? If your skin is more oily even when you don't apply the jojoba oil, I would suspsect hormonal changes are to blame for your increase in breakouts.

ive been using pro activ for over a year and had the paula choice for about 2 months. the only place the paula lotion helped was the bumps closer to my nose. And before jojoba oil it was tight and dry after wash. And now it feels a bit oiler than it should and that is after wash with no mosturizer. I dont use any other mosturizer but that. But i do use this Vitamin e-oil and use as a primer. but i love how it smooths the skin so much. But over all my skin is looking more dull but oily. And right now i have a breakout on the side of my face that i never really get pimples on. Bc before i only had 2 on the other side. So i dont really know what to try.

It sounds like over-the-counter products probably aren't going to be enough to deal with your acne. My apologies if you've already mentioned this to me, but have you tried retinoids, and if so, which ones and for how long? How well did they work?

You might look into oral contraceptives to help reduce breakouts and control oil production. This is another thing that can be discussed with a doctor. (Again, my apologies if you've already discussed this with me.)

If your skin has been oilier than usual and doesn't feel dry at all, you shouldn't be using any moisturizer. I know you like the vitamin E oil because it smooths your face, but the use of moisturizers when they're not needed is likely causing your problem with skin dullness. Moisturizers mix with excess sebum and trap dead skin cells against the skin's surface, which increases the risk of clogged pores and can give the skin a dull appearance.

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Thank you Snow Queen.

You guys are right. The Clindamycin liquid does contain alcohol. I can smell it! I haven't used it much, and I won't from now on.

Anyway, I meant to say 2.5% BP. I have Dan's BP. I'm aware of the Retin-A and BP interactions. Also, I believe I can handle the BHA with just about anything because I've been using it for nearly 4 months, so I think it is OK to stay with the BHA twice a day with caution. I've been using Retin-A for a couple weeks, and the BP routine hasn't been consistant. It's a tough call....I haven't really figured out a routine, but I understand what you mean about the potential danger of adding products. I'd appreciate any suggestions regarding manual exfoliation, and what action to take when the skin looks like it has too many flakes glued to it. I understand the difference between BHA exfoliation and manual exfoliation, I'm just concerned that my acne prone areas are shedding too much and not being cleansed off the surface.

After exfoliating with the Nivea energizing scrub and rinsing with Spectro Gel, I still saw flakes stuck to my skin. I tried to gently get rid of them with a cotton ball while applying Nivea Visage moisturizing toner.

I think I should start a journal and link you to it.

Retin-A can definately cause flaking of the skin and increased breakouts when you first start using it. It's up to you whether or not you use the BHA twice daily; like you said, do so with caution. Even though you've been using the BHA for four months you just started using the Retin-A, which increases the sensitivity of one's skin.

If you haven't been using the benzoyl peroxide consistantly (once daily), I doubt you've been getting much benefit from it.

Pick manual scrubs using bead-like particles, such one by Aveeno or Dove. If you like the baby brush method that's probably OK because it's not very abrasive from what I understand. Just make sure you keep the bristles clean. I wouldn't use a scrub prior to using a BHA product, and would avoid using scrubs over inflammatory lesions.

So, here's what I suggest. Use the salicylic acid product in the morning followed by benzoyl peroxide and sunscreen. At night use a scrub and Retin-A followed by a moisturizer over dry areas. If your skin seems to be getting too irritated reduce your use of one or some of the products. For example, you could use the Retin-A at night once every other day.

A journal would be a good idea. It would help you keep track of your skin and what products you were using for it.

Yeah.. I really need to stay with the BP. As I mentioned before, I think Duac may be a little thicker and harder to wash off than Dan's BP. Do you think Dan's BP is good enough compared to something like Duac or Benzaclin? My insurance plan doesn't allow co-payments. I have to pay out of pocket and submit claims. Its annoying. I'm actually using samples my Dermatologist gave me. Not many Duacs , but he has boxes of Retin-A Micro, and my school's pharmacy actually carries Retin-A and they allow co-payments. They don't carry Duac, but I think they have Benzaclin. I've tried all these products years ago btw. I always gave up at some point due to irritation and being frustrated with moderate success at best. I hate to bring another problem up, but do I even need Retin-A? Is it the key to long term avoidance of inflamed bumps? Because its the bumps that really keep me anxious.

I'm comfortable with using a baby brush while using a scrub once a day. I disinfect the brush with alcohol and then rinse it in hot water. I'll check out the Dove or Aveeno. Right now I'm using Nivea mens energizing scrub.

Is it OK if I do the routine in reverse? I don't really like putting BP on in the morning.

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Thank you Snow Queen.

You guys are right. The Clindamycin liquid does contain alcohol. I can smell it! I haven't used it much, and I won't from now on.

Anyway, I meant to say 2.5% BP. I have Dan's BP. I'm aware of the Retin-A and BP interactions. Also, I believe I can handle the BHA with just about anything because I've been using it for nearly 4 months, so I think it is OK to stay with the BHA twice a day with caution. I've been using Retin-A for a couple weeks, and the BP routine hasn't been consistant. It's a tough call....I haven't really figured out a routine, but I understand what you mean about the potential danger of adding products. I'd appreciate any suggestions regarding manual exfoliation, and what action to take when the skin looks like it has too many flakes glued to it. I understand the difference between BHA exfoliation and manual exfoliation, I'm just concerned that my acne prone areas are shedding too much and not being cleansed off the surface.

After exfoliating with the Nivea energizing scrub and rinsing with Spectro Gel, I still saw flakes stuck to my skin. I tried to gently get rid of them with a cotton ball while applying Nivea Visage moisturizing toner.

I think I should start a journal and link you to it.

Retin-A can definately cause flaking of the skin and increased breakouts when you first start using it. It's up to you whether or not you use the BHA twice daily; like you said, do so with caution. Even though you've been using the BHA for four months you just started using the Retin-A, which increases the sensitivity of one's skin.

If you haven't been using the benzoyl peroxide consistantly (once daily), I doubt you've been getting much benefit from it.

Pick manual scrubs using bead-like particles, such one by Aveeno or Dove. If you like the baby brush method that's probably OK because it's not very abrasive from what I understand. Just make sure you keep the bristles clean. I wouldn't use a scrub prior to using a BHA product, and would avoid using scrubs over inflammatory lesions.

So, here's what I suggest. Use the salicylic acid product in the morning followed by benzoyl peroxide and sunscreen. At night use a scrub and Retin-A followed by a moisturizer over dry areas. If your skin seems to be getting too irritated reduce your use of one or some of the products. For example, you could use the Retin-A at night once every other day.

A journal would be a good idea. It would help you keep track of your skin and what products you were using for it.

Yeah.. I really need to stay with the BP. As I mentioned before, I think Duac may be a little thicker and harder to wash off than Dan's BP. Do you think Dan's BP is good enough compared to something like Duac or Benzaclin? My insurance plan doesn't allow co-payments. I have to pay out of pocket and submit claims. Its annoying. I'm actually using samples my Dermatologist gave me. Not many Duacs , but he has boxes of Retin-A Micro, and my school's pharmacy actually carries Retin-A and they allow co-payments. They don't carry Duac, but I think they have Benzaclin. I've tried all these products years ago btw. I always gave up at some point due to irritation and being frustrated with moderate success at best. I hate to bring another problem up, but do I even need Retin-A? Is it the key to long term avoidance of inflamed bumps? Because its the bumps that really keep me anxious.

I'm comfortable with using a baby brush while using a scrub once a day. I disinfect the brush in alcohol and then rinse it with hot water. I'll check out the Dove or Aveeno. Right now I'm using Nivea mens energizing scrub.

Is it OK if I do the routine in reverse? I don't really like putting BP on in the morning.

Both Duac and Benzaclin use 5% concentrations of benzoyl peroxide, and have 1% concentrations of Clindamycin. Bacteria can become resistant to Clindamycin over time, but the benzoyl peroxide would still effectively kill bacteria. Anyway, both products are stronger than Dan's 2.5% benzoyl peroxide. I would recommend you use Dan's first and consider Duac or Benzaclin only if the DKR Gel proves to be ineffective for you.

If you haven't had success with over-the-counter treatments alone, I would recommend you give Retin-A a chance to work. I know the initial breakout phase is awful, but the results can be worth it. I'm not going to say that it's the "key" to long-term avoidence of acne because different things work for different people. Plus you would need to continue using it even after you're clear becuase unless you've outgrown acne it will come back once you've stopped effectively treating it.

I wouldn't use the baby brush with the scrub; I thought the baby brush was used with a regular cleanser. I worry that using the baby brush along with a scrub is too abrasive.

You can do the routine in reverse, just be sure to wear sunscreen during the daytime.

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How is this?

Morning

-Nivea mens energizing scrub..rinse

-wash with spectro gel (best pH I've found)

-Nivea Visage moisturizing toner

-Retin-A Micro 0.04%

-need sunblock

Night

-exfoliate with baby brush while washing with Dan's cleanser

-Nivea Visage moisturizing toner

-Paula's BHA2% Liquid

-Dan's BP

I'm not too sure if I want to continue using the Nivea toner and scrub. I may replace them with Dove, Aveeno, more Paula, etc. I haven't used the Nivea toner much because i feel that it adds quite a layer of substance so that everything else sort of glides over it way too smoothly. Unless that is a good thing. I don't want things to get too gunky though. Also been changing cleansers like mad. I've tried Eucerin redness relief (a little drying), Purpose liquid (also drying to my surprise). I'd say I like Dan's cleanser and Spectro Gel the most, although I'm not sure if Spectro Gel cleans well enough. One thing about Spectro though is that it's very soothing and seems to restore pH. I like using it in the shower after the scrub. Between the BHA, cleanser, and toner, i don't really want to buy everything online. It's expensive. Although , I am a little curious about Paula's toner and cleanser. I also wouldn't mind trying the Clinique cleanser that you use. Haven't found it in stores yet.

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Sorry Snow Queen, but did u say that foams are bad as cleansers? Im looking into buying a new fash wash. Bc im breaking out and face is getting oily im sure from the jojoba oil. And i read and i didnt see about the scrub and bha. Bc the proactiv wash has little beads and its 2.5% BP and then i use the 2% lotion from paulas choice. So i think that is bad. But any suggestions? im not sure which to switch to i just started lookin at clean and clear but im skeptical about drugstore products since i use to use them when i was younger. so any input would be very helpful.

Foaming cleansers are fine provided they use gentle surfectants, but keep in mind that no cleanser will reduce oil production; even though the oil is removed it will always come back. Also, gentle cleansing alone really isn't enough to stop acne breakouts for most people.

The Proactiv cleanser, from what I understand, isn't very abrasive (though I've never actually used the product). It is gentle for that type of product. It contains 2.5% benzoyl peroxide, but the medication gets rinsed away. Anyway, what I guess I'm getting at is that it's probably not too bad to use the product with salicylic acid.

How long were you using the Proactiv cleanser and Paula's BHA? How did your skin seem to react?

How was your skin before you started using the jojoba oil, and how long have you been using jojoba oil for? If your skin is more oily even when you don't apply the jojoba oil, I would suspsect hormonal changes are to blame for your increase in breakouts.

ive been using pro activ for over a year and had the paula choice for about 2 months. the only place the paula lotion helped was the bumps closer to my nose. And before jojoba oil it was tight and dry after wash. And now it feels a bit oiler than it should and that is after wash with no mosturizer. I dont use any other mosturizer but that. But i do use this Vitamin e-oil and use as a primer. but i love how it smooths the skin so much. But over all my skin is looking more dull but oily. And right now i have a breakout on the side of my face that i never really get pimples on. Bc before i only had 2 on the other side. So i dont really know what to try.

It sounds like over-the-counter products probably aren't going to be enough to deal with your acne. My apologies if you've already mentioned this to me, but have you tried retinoids, and if so, which ones and for how long? How well did they work?

You might look into oral contraceptives to help reduce breakouts and control oil production. This is another thing that can be discussed with a doctor. (Again, my apologies if you've already discussed this with me.)

If your skin has been oilier than usual and doesn't feel dry at all, you shouldn't be using any moisturizer. I know you like the vitamin E oil because it smooths your face, but the use of moisturizers when they're not needed is likely causing your problem with skin dullness. Moisturizers mix with excess sebum and trap dead skin cells against the skin's surface, which increases the risk of clogged pores and can give the skin a dull appearance.

I also use the toner, would u say that affects it, bc i really dont know what it is really for. I use it bc after makeup remover wipes and after cleansing, the toner takes off all that extra dirt. and i dont know if thats good or bad. and sorry if im asking too many questions but u seem to have a good and reasonable answer and plus ur face is perfect and im sure you got there somehow with knowledge.

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Hi.

wow.

that list was big but good thing i read it.

I was gonna buy witch hazel for aftershave.

Ingredients:

Natural Witch Hazel Extract and fragrance, Aloe Vera, Purified Water and natural grain alcohol (10% as a preservative).

also.

i've been in shaving forums and all they do is suggest shaving soaps because canned foams and gels are full of bad crap for your face.

the two soaps they recommended.

"GOLD DACHS SHAVE SOAP"

The word from Germany is that Gold Dachs is particularly good for those with sensitive skin who sometimes are irritated by other shave soaps or creams. Natural ingredients derived from plants, no harsh chemicals, no preservatives, moisturizers.

and.

"UNSCENTED SHEA BUTTER shaving soap"

Ingredients: Olive, Coconut, Palm and Castor Oils, Shea Butter, Cocoa Butter, Sodium Hydroxide (Lye), Mountain Spring Water.

both are for sensitive, dry skin which i have. supposedly the soaps help u get a closer shave without, no ingrown hairs or razor bumps.

can u help snow queen?

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haha dont worry, you werent ranting. I understand how you feel. I think a lot of companies just try and make money, not caring what type of product they make.

I figured since its on sale for half the price of what it is on paulas website, I might as well buy a few.

One last thing, my regimen.

During the PM I was going to cleanse, apply BHA, apply BP, apply moisturizer

I dont think there is any wait time between the BHA and BP or the BP and moisturizer right?

And then During the AM I was going to skip the BP, just disinfect at night. But do you think that the BHA alone will be enough to hold off my breakouts through the day? Thats one big problem I have, is trying to control them throughout the day, which I think mentioned before, I can go out wth a clear face and come home with 3 or 4 breakouts. truthfully, out of all the products Ive used, I think mandelic acid was the only one that actually haulted any at all during the day, I may still get 1 or 2, but not everyday. Green cream came close but still didnt compete.

Lastly, speaking of mandelic, do you think that one is better than the other, between mandelic and salicylic? I e-mailed paula, through the Dear paula section and got a response back. Not from her though, haha. But the guy said that there are no medical studies proving that mandelic is any more anti-bacterial than salicylic. He also said that theres no studies showing that mandelic penetrates even near as deep as salicylic does. The reason i asked that, is because i used to spot treat with mandelic when i first got it, and the spots i put it on were almost gone over night, nothing but a red dot left really. So i thought maybe it was better than salicylic in the anti-bacterial or anti-inflammatory sense. I also read on a website that Salicylic has no affect on the p. bacteria that causes acne, while most sites claim that mandelic does. I just figured I would ask to get your thoughts.

on that note, thank you very very much for all your help. Those should be my last questions. I'll wait until I get my samples and see how everything goes, hopefully it will all work great. I'll let you know after a few weeks how im making out. thank you so much again.

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just yesterday i got some new face wash, which contains "sodium laureth"

i dont have many spots just a few here and there. find a new product?

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How is this?

Morning

-Nivea mens energizing scrub..rinse

-wash with spectro gel (best pH I've found)

-Nivea Visage moisturizing toner

-Retin-A Micro 0.04%

-need sunblock

Night

-exfoliate with baby brush while washing with Dan's cleanser

-Nivea Visage moisturizing toner

-Paula's BHA2% Liquid

-Dan's BP

I'm not too sure if I want to continue using the Nivea toner and scrub. I may replace them with Dove, Aveeno, more Paula, etc. I haven't used the Nivea toner much because i feel that it adds quite a layer of substance so that everything else sort of glides over it way too smoothly. Unless that is a good thing. I don't want things to get too gunky though. Also been changing cleansers like mad. I've tried Eucerin redness relief (a little drying), Purpose liquid (also drying to my surprise). I'd say I like Dan's cleanser and Spectro Gel the most, although I'm not sure if Spectro Gel cleans well enough. One thing about Spectro though is that it's very soothing and seems to restore pH. I like using it in the shower after the scrub. Between the BHA, cleanser, and toner, i don't really want to buy everything online. It's expensive. Although , I am a little curious about Paula's toner and cleanser. I also wouldn't mind trying the Clinique cleanser that you use. Haven't found it in stores yet.

That looks pretty good, though personally I wouldn't use the baby brush prior to the BHA. Why not just use the baby brush in the morning with your cleanser and not buy a scrub at all?

I love Paula's Skin Balancing Toner. I wouldn't go so far as to say that it controls oil production (you shouldn't expect that from any toner), but it is a very good product. I haven't tried any of Paula's other toners, but if your skin has been having problems with dryness and flakiness one of her toners formulated for drier skin types might be better for you. You can always order product samples if you're not sure.

Clinique products are sold at Clinique cosmetics counters, which are in most major department stores.

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Sorry Snow Queen, but did u say that foams are bad as cleansers? Im looking into buying a new fash wash. Bc im breaking out and face is getting oily im sure from the jojoba oil. And i read and i didnt see about the scrub and bha. Bc the proactiv wash has little beads and its 2.5% BP and then i use the 2% lotion from paulas choice. So i think that is bad. But any suggestions? im not sure which to switch to i just started lookin at clean and clear but im skeptical about drugstore products since i use to use them when i was younger. so any input would be very helpful.

Foaming cleansers are fine provided they use gentle surfectants, but keep in mind that no cleanser will reduce oil production; even though the oil is removed it will always come back. Also, gentle cleansing alone really isn't enough to stop acne breakouts for most people.

The Proactiv cleanser, from what I understand, isn't very abrasive (though I've never actually used the product). It is gentle for that type of product. It contains 2.5% benzoyl peroxide, but the medication gets rinsed away. Anyway, what I guess I'm getting at is that it's probably not too bad to use the product with salicylic acid.

How long were you using the Proactiv cleanser and Paula's BHA? How did your skin seem to react?

How was your skin before you started using the jojoba oil, and how long have you been using jojoba oil for? If your skin is more oily even when you don't apply the jojoba oil, I would suspsect hormonal changes are to blame for your increase in breakouts.

ive been using pro activ for over a year and had the paula choice for about 2 months. the only place the paula lotion helped was the bumps closer to my nose. And before jojoba oil it was tight and dry after wash. And now it feels a bit oiler than it should and that is after wash with no mosturizer. I dont use any other mosturizer but that. But i do use this Vitamin e-oil and use as a primer. but i love how it smooths the skin so much. But over all my skin is looking more dull but oily. And right now i have a breakout on the side of my face that i never really get pimples on. Bc before i only had 2 on the other side. So i dont really know what to try.

It sounds like over-the-counter products probably aren't going to be enough to deal with your acne. My apologies if you've already mentioned this to me, but have you tried retinoids, and if so, which ones and for how long? How well did they work?

You might look into oral contraceptives to help reduce breakouts and control oil production. This is another thing that can be discussed with a doctor. (Again, my apologies if you've already discussed this with me.)

If your skin has been oilier than usual and doesn't feel dry at all, you shouldn't be using any moisturizer. I know you like the vitamin E oil because it smooths your face, but the use of moisturizers when they're not needed is likely causing your problem with skin dullness. Moisturizers mix with excess sebum and trap dead skin cells against the skin's surface, which increases the risk of clogged pores and can give the skin a dull appearance.

I also use the toner, would u say that affects it, bc i really dont know what it is really for. I use it bc after makeup remover wipes and after cleansing, the toner takes off all that extra dirt. and i dont know if thats good or bad. and sorry if im asking too many questions but u seem to have a good and reasonable answer and plus ur face is perfect and im sure you got there somehow with knowledge.

Which toner are you using? A toner is an extra-cleansing step that can sooth skin after cleansing and help remove flakiness. It can add beneficial ingredients (anti-irritants, antioxidants, water-binding agents, cell-communicating ingredients) to oily skin types without slathering on moisturizers that can make breakouts worse. But all this depends on the toner's formulation; some toners only serve to irritate and dry the skin.

Anyway, since you didn't mention that you've used oral contraceptives or retinoids, they might be worth looking into. Retinoids help normalize cell production and pore function, while certain oral contraceptives can help diminsh oil production and thereby clogged pores. You can make an appointment with your doctor to find out.

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Hi.

wow.

that list was big but good thing i read it.

I was gonna buy witch hazel for aftershave.

Ingredients:

Natural Witch Hazel Extract and fragrance, Aloe Vera, Purified Water and natural grain alcohol (10% as a preservative).

also.

i've been in shaving forums and all they do is suggest shaving soaps because canned foams and gels are full of bad crap for your face.

the two soaps they recommended.

"GOLD DACHS SHAVE SOAP"

The word from Germany is that Gold Dachs is particularly good for those with sensitive skin who sometimes are irritated by other shave soaps or creams. Natural ingredients derived from plants, no harsh chemicals, no preservatives, moisturizers.

and.

"UNSCENTED SHEA BUTTER shaving soap"

Ingredients: Olive, Coconut, Palm and Castor Oils, Shea Butter, Cocoa Butter, Sodium Hydroxide (Lye), Mountain Spring Water.

both are for sensitive, dry skin which i have. supposedly the soaps help u get a closer shave without, no ingrown hairs or razor bumps.

can u help snow queen?

I wouldn't use the witch hazel product you mentioned above. It is likely to cause irritation which can actually cause ingrown hairs. What might help sooth the skin and prevent ingrown hairs after shaving is to dissolve two or three uncoated aspirin in a quarter cup of water, since aspirin has anti-inflammatory properties. Instead of using plain water, you can also use soothing ingredients like glycerin and green tea (green tea also has anti-oxidant properties). Don't make a big batch of this mixture, since there are no preservatives to prevent it from going bad.

Shaving gels, creams, and foams are not bad for the face provided they don't contain any unnecessary skin irritants. It doesn't matter if these irritants can either be derived naturally or synthetically; naturally-derived ingredients are not necesarily good for the skin (see my reply to crazygamar on page 40 concerning this issue). And just because something is a chemical doesn't make it bad; water is a chemical. Your shaving product should be emollient and fomulated as gently as possible.

I wouldn't recommend using soap products of any kind, no matter how gentle they claim to be(see Part I of the first post to this thread). Soaps are made with lye, which can absolutely be a harsh chemical. You'd be better off using gentle liquid surfectant-based cleansers like those recommended in Part II of the first post to this thread.

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haha dont worry, you werent ranting. I understand how you feel. I think a lot of companies just try and make money, not caring what type of product they make.

I figured since its on sale for half the price of what it is on paulas website, I might as well buy a few.

One last thing, my regimen.

During the PM I was going to cleanse, apply BHA, apply BP, apply moisturizer

I dont think there is any wait time between the BHA and BP or the BP and moisturizer right?

And then During the AM I was going to skip the BP, just disinfect at night. But do you think that the BHA alone will be enough to hold off my breakouts through the day? Thats one big problem I have, is trying to control them throughout the day, which I think mentioned before, I can go out wth a clear face and come home with 3 or 4 breakouts. truthfully, out of all the products Ive used, I think mandelic acid was the only one that actually haulted any at all during the day, I may still get 1 or 2, but not everyday. Green cream came close but still didnt compete.

Lastly, speaking of mandelic, do you think that one is better than the other, between mandelic and salicylic? I e-mailed paula, through the Dear paula section and got a response back. Not from her though, haha. But the guy said that there are no medical studies proving that mandelic is any more anti-bacterial than salicylic. He also said that theres no studies showing that mandelic penetrates even near as deep as salicylic does. The reason i asked that, is because i used to spot treat with mandelic when i first got it, and the spots i put it on were almost gone over night, nothing but a red dot left really. So i thought maybe it was better than salicylic in the anti-bacterial or anti-inflammatory sense. I also read on a website that Salicylic has no affect on the p. bacteria that causes acne, while most sites claim that mandelic does. I just figured I would ask to get your thoughts.

on that note, thank you very very much for all your help. Those should be my last questions. I'll wait until I get my samples and see how everything goes, hopefully it will all work great. I'll let you know after a few weeks how im making out. thank you so much again.

Your regimen sounds good, just make sure you wear a broad-spectrum SPF 15 or higher sunscreen in the daytime. You don't have to wait inbetween the applications of various treatments for any length of time. If you are having problems with irritation, though, waiting 15-30 minutes in between product applications might help lessen that irritation.

Salicylic acid has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. I would think that salicylic acid would be best able to fight the anaerobic p. acnes bacteria by exfoliating the clog inside the pore, allowing oxygen into the pore and killing the bacteria. Like the Paula's Choice representative said, there's no substantiated research proving mandelic acid is better against p. acnes than salicylic acid is. I'm also not sure that there is any substantiated research specifically referring to salicylic acid's effectiveness in killing p. acnes bacteria; I just know it is documented as having some antimicrobial properties. Mandelic acid is categorized as an alpha hydroxy acid, and alpha hydroxy acids are not known for their ability to penetrate into the pore. Salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid, and beta hydroxy acids are.

I think you know this already anyway, but you'll get best results with salicylic acid if you don't spot treat because spot treating only addresses the acne you see on your skin's surface and not the acne which is forming under the skin that might take weeks to appear. The best treatment for acne is prevention.

I can't say that salicylic acid will stop you from getting a visible breakout in the middle of the day. As mentioned above, clogged pores can form for weeks under the skin prior to becoming visible, so although something might trigger the inflammation of a clogged pore in a short period of time that clogged pore didn't happen overnight or within a matter of hours. If you're still having problems with inflammatory breakouts, you might apply benzoyl peroxide in the morning after the salicylic acid as well. Hopefully if you've been using salicylic acid consistantly you'll find that in a month or two you won't be getting as many clogged pores as you used to.

Did you use Green Cream by itself? If Green Cream worked well for you on its own, you might get even better results using Green Cream and salicylic acid together.

just yesterday i got some new face wash, which contains "sodium laureth"

i dont have many spots just a few here and there. find a new product?

Sodium laureth sulfate is a gentle surfectant, sodium lauryl sulfate is a harsh surfectant. There is a difference between the two. Provided your cleanser contains no unnecessary skin irritants, it should be fine to use. (Though cleansing alone really isn't enough to control breakouts for most people.)

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Sorry Snow Queen, but did u say that foams are bad as cleansers? Im looking into buying a new fash wash. Bc im breaking out and face is getting oily im sure from the jojoba oil. And i read and i didnt see about the scrub and bha. Bc the proactiv wash has little beads and its 2.5% BP and then i use the 2% lotion from paulas choice. So i think that is bad. But any suggestions? im not sure which to switch to i just started lookin at clean and clear but im skeptical about drugstore products since i use to use them when i was younger. so any input would be very helpful.

Foaming cleansers are fine provided they use gentle surfectants, but keep in mind that no cleanser will reduce oil production; even though the oil is removed it will always come back. Also, gentle cleansing alone really isn't enough to stop acne breakouts for most people.

The Proactiv cleanser, from what I understand, isn't very abrasive (though I've never actually used the product). It is gentle for that type of product. It contains 2.5% benzoyl peroxide, but the medication gets rinsed away. Anyway, what I guess I'm getting at is that it's probably not too bad to use the product with salicylic acid.

How long were you using the Proactiv cleanser and Paula's BHA? How did your skin seem to react?

How was your skin before you started using the jojoba oil, and how long have you been using jojoba oil for? If your skin is more oily even when you don't apply the jojoba oil, I would suspsect hormonal changes are to blame for your increase in breakouts.

ive been using pro activ for over a year and had the paula choice for about 2 months. the only place the paula lotion helped was the bumps closer to my nose. And before jojoba oil it was tight and dry after wash. And now it feels a bit oiler than it should and that is after wash with no mosturizer. I dont use any other mosturizer but that. But i do use this Vitamin e-oil and use as a primer. but i love how it smooths the skin so much. But over all my skin is looking more dull but oily. And right now i have a breakout on the side of my face that i never really get pimples on. Bc before i only had 2 on the other side. So i dont really know what to try.

It sounds like over-the-counter products probably aren't going to be enough to deal with your acne. My apologies if you've already mentioned this to me, but have you tried retinoids, and if so, which ones and for how long? How well did they work?

You might look into oral contraceptives to help reduce breakouts and control oil production. This is another thing that can be discussed with a doctor. (Again, my apologies if you've already discussed this with me.)

If your skin has been oilier than usual and doesn't feel dry at all, you shouldn't be using any moisturizer. I know you like the vitamin E oil because it smooths your face, but the use of moisturizers when they're not needed is likely causing your problem with skin dullness. Moisturizers mix with excess sebum and trap dead skin cells against the skin's surface, which increases the risk of clogged pores and can give the skin a dull appearance.

I also use the toner, would u say that affects it, bc i really dont know what it is really for. I use it bc after makeup remover wipes and after cleansing, the toner takes off all that extra dirt. and i dont know if thats good or bad. and sorry if im asking too many questions but u seem to have a good and reasonable answer and plus ur face is perfect and im sure you got there somehow with knowledge.

Which toner are you using? A toner is an extra-cleansing step that can sooth skin after cleansing and help remove flakiness. It can add beneficial ingredients (anti-irritants, antioxidants, water-binding agents, cell-communicating ingredients) to oily skin types without slathering on moisturizers that can make breakouts worse. But all this depends on the toner's formulation; some toners only serve to irritate and dry the skin.

Anyway, since you didn't mention that you've used oral contraceptives or retinoids, they might be worth looking into. Retinoids help normalize cell production and pore function, while certain oral contraceptives can help diminsh oil production and thereby clogged pores. You can make an appointment with your doctor to find out.

I use the proactiv toner. I would like to use antibiotics but i do know they interefere with my birthcontrol and so that is a problem with me. The only reason i dont go to the dermatologist is bc that is the only thing my insurance doesnt cover and its ridiculously expensive. So its really hard for us to do something like that and my parents dont think my acne is that bad to help pay for it. So that is why im trying to get as much help here as much as i can

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