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LionQueen

Clearing pores, getting rid of tiny bumps

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First off, thank you so much for all the info in this topic. It took me 3 days to get through it all, so I hope I don't double up anyone's question. I am sure you get tired of typing the same answers.

I am almost 31 and have finally decided to try to do something about my skin. I have had acne since puberty, it was inflammatory then, although not terribly bad, mostly just where I touch my face alot. Now I have 1 or 2 actual pimples, mostly just the clogged pores and blackheads. Very large pores on my nose and cheeks and between my brows. I also have patches of melasma on my forehead and occipital bones below my eyes that appeared when I was pregnant with my 4th baby. I tried a hydroquinone product for a while, I know they take a while to work, but it made me greasy and clogged my pores worse. My skin is not as oily as it used to be, but I still get greasy if I use the wrong moisturizer.

Here is my skincare routine, don't laugh. I wash my face with 'no-name' facial cleanser, once a day in the shower and that's it. If I am going to wear makeup, I have switched to mineral makeup and I am happy with it, I use a tiny drop of whatever moisturizer I can find and dab it on the dry spots so my makeup doesn't look flaky. But I only wear makeup about once a week.

So, now that I am a grown-up, LOL, I would like to alter my routine. After reading all your and Snow Queen's advice I think I need to use a BHA for some seriously deep exfoliation. But maybe the Mandelic woud be a better choice because of the dark patches I have. I would like to switch to a better cleanser, I know the one I am using is harsh, or would be if I washed my face twice a day like I should. And I need to start using a sunscreen. I also need a moisturizer to use before I apply my makeup, or maybe just a good toner or serum, like the red tea stuff, would be good enough.

My biggest question is what to start with. I know both of you have said not to change more than one thing at once. So, do I keep my cleanser, and start with the BHA, or do I switch cleansers first, wait a couple weeks then start the BHA. Also, as long as I don't get to dry, could I do the BHA and add the Mandelic later, doing one in the AM and one in the PM. Then maybe I could get the benefits of both, or is that overkill. I am concerned mostly with the little bumps and occasional pimples, but this big brown patch on my forehead really bugs me!!!

Thanks for any help you can give me, and sorry for the long post.

Josie

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After reading all your and Snow Queen's advice I think I need to use a BHA for some seriously deep exfoliation. But maybe the Mandelic woud be a better choice because of the dark patches I have. I would like to switch to a better cleanser, I know the one I am using is harsh, or would be if I washed my face twice a day like I should. And I need to start using a sunscreen. I also need a moisturizer to use before I apply my makeup, or maybe just a good toner or serum, like the red tea stuff, would be good enough.

My biggest question is what to start with. I know both of you have said not to change more than one thing at once. So, do I keep my cleanser, and start with the BHA, or do I switch cleansers first, wait a couple weeks then start the BHA. Also, as long as I don't get to dry, could I do the BHA and add the Mandelic later, doing one in the AM and one in the PM. Then maybe I could get the benefits of both, or is that overkill. I am concerned mostly with the little bumps and occasional pimples, but this big brown patch on my forehead really bugs me!!!

okay .... first things first! I suggest a visit to www.cosmeticscop.com or www.getthatglow.com and check out the Paula's Choice cleansers, moisturizers, and sunscreens. I don't use these myself so I have no particular recommendations, but I think you can get samples of everything very cheaply ...... so if I were you I would sample whatever looks interesting. (Snow Queen might have more specific suggestions here.) Also get some BHA samples ... probably liquid and/or gel, since you have somewhat oily skin.

Start with those .... use BHAs once a day .... and just see what you like. Once you decide on a cleanser and moisturizer/sunscreen, and once you've had a chance to see how your skin adjusts to the BHAs, then post back here and we'll talk about the next step. Mandelic is a possibility, but if that brown patch is a big priority for you, then kojic acid might be the logical next step.

How does that sound?

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After reading all your and Snow Queen's advice I think I need to use a BHA for some seriously deep exfoliation. But maybe the Mandelic woud be a better choice because of the dark patches I have. I would like to switch to a better cleanser, I know the one I am using is harsh, or would be if I washed my face twice a day like I should. And I need to start using a sunscreen. I also need a moisturizer to use before I apply my makeup, or maybe just a good toner or serum, like the red tea stuff, would be good enough.

My biggest question is what to start with. I know both of you have said not to change more than one thing at once. So, do I keep my cleanser, and start with the BHA, or do I switch cleansers first, wait a couple weeks then start the BHA. Also, as long as I don't get to dry, could I do the BHA and add the Mandelic later, doing one in the AM and one in the PM. Then maybe I could get the benefits of both, or is that overkill. I am concerned mostly with the little bumps and occasional pimples, but this big brown patch on my forehead really bugs me!!!

okay .... first things first! I suggest a visit to www.cosmeticscop.com or www.getthatglow.com and check out the Paula's Choice cleansers, moisturizers, and sunscreens. I don't use these myself so I have no particular recommendations, but I think you can get samples of everything very cheaply ...... so if I were you I would sample whatever looks interesting. (Snow Queen might have more specific suggestions here.) Also get some BHA samples ... probably liquid and/or gel, since you have somewhat oily skin.

Start with those .... use BHAs once a day .... and just see what you like. Once you decide on a cleanser and moisturizer/sunscreen, and once you've had a chance to see how your skin adjusts to the BHAs, then post back here and we'll talk about the next step. Mandelic is a possibility, but if that brown patch is a big priority for you, then kojic acid might be the logical next step.

How does that sound?

Sounds perfect, I just ordered samples from Paula's Choice. I am excited to try them. It feels good to finally decide to do something about my skin after so long instead of just live with it.

Thanks so much, I'll keep you posted!!!

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Hi LionQueen. I read every page of your topic and many other ones. I am also another person trying to get my acne under control. I dont mean to bother you, but i found a few products that interest me while reading and i figured i would ask you more.

First off, My acne is mild i would say. I get frequent breakouts but not to the point where i need somthing like accutane. I also have blackheads, mostly around my nose, which arent very visible but still there. And lastly next to my nose on my cheek area i have large pores. thats my story. My breakouts i assume are inflammed....im not sure.....they normally show up as red bumps and eventually turn into whiteheads. The majority of my spots are reddish in color.

Green cream - I understand mostly about it after all the posts you put up. But i have one or two more questions, Is Retinol considered an AHA? Also is it considered an Exfoliator?

I've also been reading the disputes between salicylic Acid and this Mandelic acid which i havent heard of until recently. So im going to have to settle this for me. Which one is more anti-bacterial? The websites that i view on mandelic acid say as one of the top things that its anti-bacterial. The opposite for Salicylic acid, ive maybe found 1 website saying its anti-bacterial and it used the term antimicrobial, which im not quite sure of the difference. I guess im asking this because im trying to figure out which one would be better for my condition and at fighting whiteheads and not just blackheads.

Do you personally think Mandelic acid is safe to use? I dont want to be 50 and have droopy skin or smile and it tears apart like a chucky video, haha. Thank you more than i could possibly say.

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I know there are many products out there, mandelic acid, malic acid, retinol, BP, SA, sulfur, etc., but what do you think is the best for treating Whiteheads specifically. I consider mine inflammed also since my skin is always red and normally its a bump around the spot that is also red. thank you.

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Hey LQ,

alittle update:

After a long argumented battle w/ mother, she eventually decided to keep my appt. with the derm.

I just am kinda confused at what I should be doing at the moment...being that my appt is this tuesday...

I am still using cetaphil gentle cleanser...in the morning and spot treating w/ bp...and using cetaphil moisturizer (I dunno y i cant let go of cetaphil, even tho I know its not that great of a product)

My face is still dry tho...even just a gentle cleanser dries it out...anything, so I go to the moisturizer, and still it is dry? so I apply more and I tihnk it just adds to my problem...

anyway at night, I do the same, but apply PC bha's...

So your saying you think I should alternate between the 2? or what? I used the 1% last night and my face felt nice, no dryness what so ever...i went to bed w/ out even moisturizing...yet the 2% seems to require some moisturizing...

what do you suggest I follow with?

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do you suggest any products that I should use...should i stray away from cetaphil?

also do you know if moisturizing is really neccessary? I mean I feel dry, but do you know if its crucial to moisturize or what happens if you dont? I might post that as a question...I have so many questions...and not enough answers, and im sorry to burden you with all these Q's...

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Woud you say that mandelic acid is better than BHA in terms of unclogging pores? BHA hasnt helped me get rid of my blackheads. In fact nothing does except facials. But they return after that.

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I am seriously considering purchasing this. I am 4 months post accutane and I've noticed some small pimples popping up and I am worried I might backtrack.

What level should I start at? I know it says if your skin is sensitive than you should start at level 3, but I always have trouble deciding whether or not my skin is sensitive. Perhaps I should stay on the safe side to begin with just in case?

Also, it says I only apply the level 3 green cream about once a week for about 3 weeks or so. Now, generally, I use mankua honey which is pretty effective at marking down pimples that are already on the surface, but not at making my pores better. So would it be a safe idea to use green cream once a week and manuka honey the rest of the week?

Thanks in advance.

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right now, i have 2 tiny pustules (one on nose and one on right jawline). i've been using BHA for almost 1 month now. i still only use it once every other day. even though my forehead has less amount of bumps, i feel like i have more tiny little bumps on my cheeks :confused:

also, i notice that there are many white things stuck on the sides of my nose. it's not inflamed or anything like that. they look like i can just pull them right off with my fingers.

Cool, that means the comedones are on their way out.

Can you tolerate the BHAs daily?

LQ i don't know what i should do :confused:

my face seems to be right where it started before i started using Paula's choice BHA. i've got a big papule (or maybe cyst) on my chin now..which is my problem area. i've only been using BHA once every other day. except for one time, i used it for 2 nights in a row. also, one pimple that has gone now looks like it's becoming bigger. i also have other pimples on my nose. and it's been 1 month now. it felt as though my skin was getting better though.

what do you think about using brown sugar as scrubs?

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Hello LionQueen. I have read all 21 pages of this thread and I think I understand most of it but I have a few quick questions just to verify that I understand it all.

If I switch over to the BHA liquid for my comedonal acne, am I correct in thinking that I should not be using Lac Hydrin 5 Lotion? Thats an AHA correct? And 2 exfoliators should not be used at the same time?

And its ok to use BP as a spot treatment while using BHA if any inflammatory acne appears. Correct? I apply it 30-45 minutes after the BHA?

And lastly, can I use a moisturizer? other than Lac Hydrin 5. Is it necessary? I know you dont care for the Cetaphil Lotion but I like it.

This thread has been very informative and I think it's awesome that you dedicate so much of your time answering so many questions. Thank you so much!

Lorrie

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So ...... if you have primarily comedonal acne (clogged pores, whiteheads & blackheads), here is what I have found to work:

I also agree with your theory and YES I also have ABSOLUTELY CLEAR SKIN TOO !! WOOO HOOO LOVIN IT!!!!!

I start with a simple washing of my face with ;

Dermalogica Anti Bacterial Face Wash, not harsh no drying, no bad ingredients

Then I use the 2.5% Benz cause it works and does not destroy my skin, just enough to keep my skin clear

NOW HERE IS THE BEST PRODUCT !!!!

I use REJUVENOL as my moisturizer, this stuff RULES

It not only improves my skin tone, elasticity and over all skin quality but ALSO More Importantly breaks down and eliminates those pesky bumps that are so damn stubborn and the Benz just does not get rid of.

Imagine that!! Something that works on Acne & keeps you clear while making your skin FLIPPIN Gorgeous and Soft & Smooth and OMG just GREAT

I found this stuff sort of on accident but very glad I did because I have never found anything else like it or the overall benefits it offers !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

If you have question send me a message, be glad to share

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My breakouts i assume are inflammed....im not sure.....they normally show up as red bumps and eventually turn into whiteheads. The majority of my spots are reddish in color.

Green cream - I understand mostly about it after all the posts you put up. But i have one or two more questions, Is Retinol considered an AHA? Also is it considered an Exfoliator?

I've also been reading the disputes between salicylic Acid and this Mandelic acid which i havent heard of until recently. So im going to have to settle this for me. Which one is more anti-bacterial? The websites that i view on mandelic acid say as one of the top things that its anti-bacterial. The opposite for Salicylic acid, ive maybe found 1 website saying its anti-bacterial and it used the term antimicrobial, which im not quite sure of the difference. I guess im asking this because im trying to figure out which one would be better for my condition and at fighting whiteheads and not just blackheads.

Do you personally think Mandelic acid is safe to use? I dont want to be 50 and have droopy skin or smile and it tears apart like a chucky video, haha. Thank you more than i could possibly say.

Retinol is not an AHA. One of its effects on the skin is to cause mild surface peeling, so yes, I guess you could consider it an exfoliator .... but that's not the only thing it does.

Salicylic and mandelic are both anti-bacterial; I really don't know which one is more so. Both are safe to use, at the appropriate concentration and pH. Both are effective; it's really a question of what works best for your skin, and you won't know unless you try.

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I know there are many products out there, mandelic acid, malic acid, retinol, BP, SA, sulfur, etc., but what do you think is the best for treating Whiteheads specifically. I consider mine inflammed also since my skin is always red and normally its a bump around the spot that is also red. thank you.

I don't have inflammatory acne myself, and I don't consider myself an expert on it at all.

I tend to recommend that people with mild/moderate inflammatory acne check out the Dan Kern Regimen, which is based on using 2.5% benzoyl peroxide as an antibacterial agent.

Seeing a derm might also be a good idea.

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I am seriously considering purchasing this. I am 4 months post accutane and I've noticed some small pimples popping up and I am worried I might backtrack.

What level should I start at? I know it says if your skin is sensitive than you should start at level 3, but I always have trouble deciding whether or not my skin is sensitive. Perhaps I should stay on the safe side to begin with just in case?

Also, it says I only apply the level 3 green cream about once a week for about 3 weeks or so. Now, generally, I use mankua honey which is pretty effective at marking down pimples that are already on the surface, but not at making my pores better. So would it be a safe idea to use green cream once a week and manuka honey the rest of the week?

Thanks in advance.

If you are serious about using Green Cream, buy some samples first -- both of Level 3 and Level 6.

Use the Level 3 samples first. Try every other night for awhile, then nightly if you have no redness or irritation. If your skin tolerates it well, try the Level 6 every other night.

Pay close attention to how your skin responds to each product and base your ordering decision on that.

I don't know anything about manuka honey so I won't comment on that at all.

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do you suggest any products that I should use...should i stray away from cetaphil?

also do you know if moisturizing is really neccessary? I mean I feel dry, but do you know if its crucial to moisturize or what happens if you dont? I might post that as a question...I have so many questions...and not enough answers, and im sorry to burden you with all these Q's...

I'm not a big fan of Cetaphil, but I know a lot of people like it ...... I guess I'm neutral.

Paula's Choice is a pretty dependable brand for good cleansers and moisturizers .... you can try out samples and see what works for you. www.cosmeticscop.com or www.getthatglow.com

If your skin feels dry, it may be the result of a bad cleanser .... or a product that is damaging your skin. The whole baking soda fiasco you described could have damaged your skin to the point of dryness.

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Woud you say that mandelic acid is better than BHA in terms of unclogging pores? BHA hasnt helped me get rid of my blackheads. In fact nothing does except facials. But they return after that.

Everyone's skin is different. If BHAs haven't worked for you after 8-10 weeks, it might be time to try something else.

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do you suggest any products that I should use...should i stray away from cetaphil?

also do you know if moisturizing is really neccessary? I mean I feel dry, but do you know if its crucial to moisturize or what happens if you dont? I might post that as a question...I have so many questions...and not enough answers, and im sorry to burden you with all these Q's...

I'm not a big fan of Cetaphil, but I know a lot of people like it ...... I guess I'm neutral.

Paula's Choice is a pretty dependable brand for good cleansers and moisturizers .... you can try out samples and see what works for you. www.cosmeticscop.com or www.getthatglow.com

If your skin feels dry, it may be the result of a bad cleanser .... or a product that is damaging your skin. The whole baking soda fiasco you described could have damaged your skin to the point of dryness.

:clap:

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LQ i don't know what i should do :confused:

my face seems to be right where it started before i started using Paula's choice BHA. i've got a big papule (or maybe cyst) on my chin now..which is my problem area. i've only been using BHA once every other day. except for one time, i used it for 2 nights in a row. also, one pimple that has gone now looks like it's becoming bigger. i also have other pimples on my nose. and it's been 1 month now. it felt as though my skin was getting better though.

what do you think about using brown sugar as scrubs?

You are using a minimal level of BHAs right now, I think .... just 1% every other night, right?

I don't think that's enough by itself to keep your acne in check. Can your skin tolerate a higher concentration? or more frequent usage? or an additional product?

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If I switch over to the BHA liquid for my comedonal acne, am I correct in thinking that I should not be using Lac Hydrin 5 Lotion? Thats an AHA correct? And 2 exfoliators should not be used at the same time?

And its ok to use BP as a spot treatment while using BHA if any inflammatory acne appears. Correct? I apply it 30-45 minutes after the BHA?

And lastly, can I use a moisturizer? other than Lac Hydrin 5. Is it necessary? I know you dont care for the Cetaphil Lotion but I like it.

You can definitely use a moisturizer .... just wait 30-45 minutes after applying the BHAs. Same with the BP.

And if you want to continue with the Lac Hydrin, give it a try. There aren't any hard & fast rules here. Some people can tolerate regimens that others can't. If it seems to be stinging your face or causing redness, just try using it less frequently or not at all. You won't know until you try.

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^i actually use clinique mild clarifying lotion as my toner every morning and evening(alternating with BHA). snow queen suggested it as one of the toners in her thread. it has .5% SA.

also, i'm wondering. SA sloughs off dead skin cells on the surface of the face. isn't there a need to scrub a little in order to make them fall off our face? or does it happen when we cleanse our face gently?

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^i actually use clinique mild clarifying lotion as my toner every morning and evening(alternating with BHA). snow queen suggested it as one of the toners in her thread. it has .5% SA.

also, i'm wondering. SA sloughs off dead skin cells on the surface of the face. isn't there a need to scrub a little in order to make them fall off our face? or does it happen when we cleanse our face gently?

yeah ....... that's still very low-level use, definitely not enough to control inflammatory acne. Do you have extremely sensitive skin?

Oh, right, I forgot you had a question about exfoliating with brown sugar. I am a big believer in exfoliation .... just be very cautious and don't overdo it with whatever you use. If sugar works for you, go for it. Other possibilities: silica scrubs (the microbeads won't scratch your skin), enzyme cleansers/peels, or a soft facial brush.

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Thank you for getting back to me LionQueen. I know you had alot of posts to answer. I am in the process of reading your log. Very interesting stuff! It's great that you are trying all these different products and sharing your results. You rock! Saves me time and money, neither of which I have alot of. Thanks Again! Lorrie

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^i actually use clinique mild clarifying lotion as my toner every morning and evening(alternating with BHA). snow queen suggested it as one of the toners in her thread. it has .5% SA.

also, i'm wondering. SA sloughs off dead skin cells on the surface of the face. isn't there a need to scrub a little in order to make them fall off our face? or does it happen when we cleanse our face gently?

For the record I did say that the Clinique toner would provide some exfoliation, but probably not enough to make any significant difference on its own becuase its pH and concentration of salicylic acid are both just barely enough to actually produce any exfoliation.

hello snow queen!

what do you think about using Clinique mild clarifying lotion with .5% SA morning and evening as my toner? do you think that'd provide enough exfoliation? or i was thinking of adding a manual exfoliation once a week on top of that.

thanks!

Clinique's Mild Clarifying Lotion will provide some exfoliation, but I doubt it would be enough for most acne sufferers because 1) the pH just barely allows for exfoliation and 2) there's not a very strong concentration of salicylic acid in the product. You may wish to use the once weekly manual exfoliation like you mentioned.

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Recently I started to use BHA sometimes twice a day, morning and night (maybe every other night). My skin seems to handling this just fine. I'm just curious if I should also try using the Diacneal twice a day as well, or would that be too much? Of course I'd just like to speed up the process....What do you think?

Also, I'd like to add a couple of other things to my regimen, maybe some vitamins or fish oils or whatever (I'm not even sure what!). What would be a nice compliment to my regimen? Or what do you see that is missing from it? So far my regimen is working just fine for me, just wanna add a little somethin somethin if you know what I mean.

THANKS!:)

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