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valiweep

AHA tip (probably most helpful for newbies)

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Hi all, my name is Val, I'm new here at acne.org. I live in the US.

I am 29, and have very sensitive combination-to-dry skin, and light but persistent acne (not severe at all, but annoying and occasionally slightly embarrassing/painful). I started out a few weeks ago with the Purpose soap, Neutrogena on-the-spot, and a light spf 30 moisturizer by Eucerin. I had painfully red, dry, flaky skin in 2 days, only using the BP lightly at night- ugh! I stopped a few days, then re-started with Cetaphil gentle skin cleanser, Cetaphil moisturizing lotion, the Neutrogena BP cream, and- a homemade fruit acid (AHA) toner. NO irritation at all this time, no dry skin, acne totally cleared in a few days (and I still only use the BP at night, very light application since I don't need very much). Obviously my experience is different than those with more severe acne than mine, but I wanted to share something that really helped me in starting the program.

ANYWAY, here's my tip:

AHA's are great for taking care of the dry skin, they really seem to break it down and let the BP and moisturizer both penetrate and work much better. Rather than buy another cream, I make my own, something I learned about and had experience with from my natural homemade skincare days (which was fun, but didn't clear my acne). The acids are present in fresh fruits, in varying concentrations of course. Some great choices are lemons (ouch, dilute, dilute!) and strawberries. My favorite easy method:

Juice a fresh lemon, and dilute the juice with the same volume again of water. That's it. Keep it in the fridge, it will keep about a week or so as long as you keep it refrigerated. Pull it out and use it as a toner- apply it liberally with a cotton ball after using your cleanser. Leave it on a few minutes (5-10)- less if it feels burny-itchy, or longer until it dries if it feels ok. RINSE it off (don't leave it on, you'll have sticky and possibly more irritated skin). Then go on with the regimen- let your skin dry well, and go on with the BP cream.

If it feels too strong, just dilute it with more water. Diluting the lemon juice with an equal amount of water is almost a little too strong for my skin, so I only use it once a day. If you want it stronger, add less water next time. You can use it twice a day if you want, or just once a day like I do, whatever you think is best. And obviously, this won't feel too good on any open sores, so avoid those!

This has really taken care of the dry skin problem in getting used to the BP for me, even with my sensitive skin. Applying AHA's in this way may be more gentle because they don't stay on the skin all day- just a few minutes, right when you need it (before BP and moisturizer). There are more elaborate recipes- one of my favorites is from "Better Basics for the Home" by Annie Berthold Bond. I make a big batch and freeze it in ice cubes, which you just pull out and use as needed. I'd be happy to post the recipe here if anyone is interested. Hope someone finds this as helpful as I have! :)

-Val

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Don't lemons have oil in them and could that possibly lead to skin problems?

Lemon peels have oil in them, which won't be in the juice. Lemon juice does not have any oil in it. The following link is to the USDA food nutrient composition database, search for "Lemon juice, raw", and you'll see that there aren't any lipids (fat) in it.

http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp/search/

-Val

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