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LionQueen

Clearing pores, getting rid of tiny bumps

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This is for SnowQueen (or whoever else would like to answer)... I've been reading Paula's Beauty Bible and a lot of posts on this forum and had a question about using Murad's Clarifying Cleanser (and maybe the toner also) in the PM, and Paula's Skin Balancing cleanser in the Am??? Would that be too much skin tug-of-war? (irritating at night, balancing in the morning)

I would really like to probably use all of the Paula's Choice products, but I worry that I need more of a medicated wash or something to keep new things popping up... (I know that you've said that those kind of cleansers are not much help, since it's washed down the drain, but I can't help feeling that I may need it...)

I've used Murad since about August of 2006, and have had good results... except for a few white heads or clear covered blackheads... I've just started using some of the Paula's choice items (balancing cleanser, toner, 1% AHA gel)... but after reading Paula's book, I wonder if I am damaging my skin with the Murad???

Thanks for any help,

Kristen

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How effective is azelaic acid for acne? I've just started using acnederm (azelaic acid) and totally abandoned my BHA and retin a. I've been getting whiteheads and clogged pores and bumps especially on my forehead. Im not sure if it's purging. Any idea?

Some people get great results with azelaic acid, others find that it does little or nothing to help, and then there are those for whom it makes acne worse. Which category you fall in depends on you. No one can tell you how well it will work for you specifically.

If you haven't been using azelaic acid that long (under a month), I would continue to use it and hope that things improve. I would recommend you try and use it for at least two months, unless you are obviously having a bad reaction. The breakouts you're experiencing may be irritation-related. Hopefully this should go away as your skin gets used to the treatment.

I experimented with azelaic acid for a little over a month; I found that it ultimately helped prevent clogged pores but that it was too irritating (it caused me to breakout in swollen red lumps which looked similar to acne that faded when I used an anti-irritation/allergy cream).

Thanks for the advice. Do you think I can use it with BHA? Previously I used BHA with retin a, it was great. Last time I tried for the first time using azelaic acid on top of BHA and my skin seems to look better than using azelaic acid alone.

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Will this still work for me even though my face and neck are covered severely in the bumps? I can't see an area of my face which is actually clear.. :(

If your acne is as bad as you are describing, you can try over-the-counter products, but chances are you'll probably need the help of a dermatologist.

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hi i've been referred to this thread from my other post! ive had oily skin and ingrained blackheads on my nose and cheeks for years now, so i'm going to start a regimen as suggested here with PC 2%bha gel, and diancneal. but i need a sunscreen don't i? can anybody recommend one that is cheapish and easily available in the u.k? i was considering the neutragena spf 30 sunscreen.

oh and any advice about anything NOT to mix with these two products- i'm a novice! i'm happy with my garnier pure a pore cleansing wash, but that has some salicylic acid in it? is this okay to use, their pore tightening toner is good too but again, it has S.A in it?

Salicylic acid should not be used with alkaline products, like bar soaps (but bar soaps really shouldn't be used on the skin anyway; see my pinned thread in this forum), because these can negatively impact the effectiveness of a salicylic acid product.

I would not recommend using more than one type of exfoliant, manual or chemical, at a time. Diacneal contains glycolic acid, so I would not recommend using this at the same time as your Paula's Choice BHA product.

Most salicylic acid products have too high of a pH (over 4) to allow the salicylic acid to act as an exfoliant, contain unnecessary skin irritants, or both. Sadly it can be difficult to find a well-formulated salicylic acid product; of those available Paula's are the best.

I would recommend the avoidance of any products which contain unnecessary skin irritants. I'm guessing your pore tightening toner most likely has a high concentration of alcohol and possibly even other skin irritants like menthol, which produce a tingling sensation that tricks the user into thinking that they can feel a product "working" when that tingling sensation is really an indication of irritation. Toners don't actually "tighten" pores, but if they contain irritants they can cause the tissue surrounding the pore to temporarily swell, making the pore appear smaller. Irritation damages the skin.

Salicylic acid cleansers can be OK to use, but I wouldn't rely on them as an actual means of exfoliation because 1) most cleansers have too high of a pH to allow the salicylic acid to act as an exfoliant and 2) the medication just gets rinsed off anyway (if you let the cleanser sit on your skin in hopes of giving the medication time to work you're allowing for additional irritation). Be careful; many salicylic acid cleansers contain harsh surfectants like sodium C14-16 olefin sulfonate and/or ingredients which produce that irritating tingling sensation. I wouldn't be able to tell you whether or not your cleanser is potentially problematic without seeing an ingredients list.

If you have oily skin you'll probably like Neutrogena's Dry-Touch Sunscreens, which are lightweight. They are broad-spectrum (meaning they provide sufficient protection from both UVA and UVB rays; many sunscreens lack adequate UVA protection), which is the only type of sunscreen you should buy. Not all sunscreens that claim to be broad-spectrum really are; if a sunscreen does not contain titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, avobenzone, mexoryl sx, or tinosorb, it is not broad-spectrum and shouldn't be relied upon for sun protection.

Although your new regimen should be great at fighting blackheads and blemishes, don't expect it to do much (if anything) for your oily skin. Oil production is primarily affected by hormones, not topical skincare products.

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This is for SnowQueen (or whoever else would like to answer)... I've been reading Paula's Beauty Bible and a lot of posts on this forum and had a question about using Murad's Clarifying Cleanser (and maybe the toner also) in the PM, and Paula's Skin Balancing cleanser in the Am??? Would that be too much skin tug-of-war? (irritating at night, balancing in the morning)

I would really like to probably use all of the Paula's Choice products, but I worry that I need more of a medicated wash or something to keep new things popping up... (I know that you've said that those kind of cleansers are not much help, since it's washed down the drain, but I can't help feeling that I may need it...)

I've used Murad since about August of 2006, and have had good results... except for a few white heads or clear covered blackheads... I've just started using some of the Paula's choice items (balancing cleanser, toner, 1% AHA gel)... but after reading Paula's book, I wonder if I am damaging my skin with the Murad???

Thanks for any help,

Kristen

From what I understand the Murad regimen does feature unnecessarily irritating products using ingredients like drying alcohols, though I can't comment on specific products without seeing the complete ingredients lists.

It is best to avoid unnecessary skin irritants to prevent as much damage to the skin from occurring as possible. Notice I say "unnecessary" skin irritants; some irritation from various treatments like exfoliation is inevitable, but the benefits can outweigh the negatives. Ingredients which can be replaced by other, less-irritating ingredients or ingredients which are not helpful at all to the skin (like fragrance) are what I mean by skin irritants which are "unnecessary." Damage caused by these unnecessary skin irritnats may not be immediately noticeable (much like how the damage caused by the sun's UVA rays, which are primarily associated with causing premature aging and skin cancer, is not immediately noticeable), but that doesn't mean it isn't taking place. In addition irritation does not help acne; in fact, it prematurely kills skin cells which may not be properly sloughed off by the skin, increasing the risk of clogged pores. It can cause the skin to become even redder and more swollen, making a breakout look even worse. Those are other reasons why it's best to lessen the amount of irritation from products as much as possible.

Medicated cleansers really aren't the best way to go about treating acne because 1) most cleansers have too high of a pH to allow the salicylic acid to act as an exfoliant and 2) the medication just gets rinsed off anyway (if you let the cleanser sit on your skin in hopes of giving the medication time to work you're allowing for additional irritation). Also, many medicated cleansers contain harsh surfectants like sodium C14-16 olefin sulfonate and/or ingredients like menthol, which produce a tingling sensation to trick the user into thinking that he/she can feel a product "working" when what is really being felt is irritation. If you're having problems with inflammatory breakouts, it can be helpful to add a disinfecting product like one containing 2.5% benzoyl peroxide to your regimen (disinfectants should be applied to all areas of the skin prone to inflammatory breakouts at least once daily).

Did you mean to say that you purchased Paula's 1% BHA (salicylic acid) Gel? Salicylic acid, unlike the glycolic acid used in Paula's AHA products, is lipid soluble and can exfoliate both inside the pore and on the skin's surface. In addition, salicylic acid is related to aspirin and has anti-inflammatory properties, which is also a plus for use over swollen and irritated blemishes. If you find that the 1% concentration of salicylic acid is not effective enough for you, as many users of this site do, I recommend switching to the 2% concentration.

Make sure you wear a sunscreen during the daytime which is broad-spectrum (meaning it provides sufficient protection from both UVA and UVB rays; many sunscreens lack adequate UVA protection), which is the only type of sunscreen you should buy. Not all sunscreens that claim to be broad-spectrum really are; if a sunscreen does not contain titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, avobenzone, mexoryl sx, or tinosorb, it is not broad-spectrum and shouldn't be relied upon for sun protection.

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How effective is azelaic acid for acne? I've just started using acnederm (azelaic acid) and totally abandoned my BHA and retin a. I've been getting whiteheads and clogged pores and bumps especially on my forehead. Im not sure if it's purging. Any idea?

Some people get great results with azelaic acid, others find that it does little or nothing to help, and then there are those for whom it makes acne worse. Which category you fall in depends on you. No one can tell you how well it will work for you specifically.

If you haven't been using azelaic acid that long (under a month), I would continue to use it and hope that things improve. I would recommend you try and use it for at least two months, unless you are obviously having a bad reaction. The breakouts you're experiencing may be irritation-related. Hopefully this should go away as your skin gets used to the treatment.

I experimented with azelaic acid for a little over a month; I found that it ultimately helped prevent clogged pores but that it was too irritating (it caused me to breakout in swollen red lumps which looked similar to acne that faded when I used an anti-irritation/allergy cream).

Thanks for the advice. Do you think I can use it with BHA? Previously I used BHA with retin a, it was great. Last time I tried for the first time using azelaic acid on top of BHA and my skin seems to look better than using azelaic acid alone.

I personally wouldn't use azelaic acid (which has both exfoliating and disinfecting properties) in conjunction with salicylic acid (BHA) because it can be too irritating to use two exfoliants at the same time (retin-A is not actually an exfoliant; it works from the dermis to help normalize cell production and pore function and as a result speeds the skin's sloughing off process). If you do decide to do this, be sure to monitor your skin closely for signs of irritation. It would probably be best to get your dermatologist's opinion on the matter.

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hi i've been referred to this thread from my other post! ive had oily skin and ingrained blackheads on my nose and cheeks for years now, so i'm going to start a regimen as suggested here with PC 2%bha gel, and diancneal. but i need a sunscreen don't i? can anybody recommend one that is cheapish and easily available in the u.k? i was considering the neutragena spf 30 sunscreen.

oh and any advice about anything NOT to mix with these two products- i'm a novice! i'm happy with my garnier pure a pore cleansing wash, but that has some salicylic acid in it? is this okay to use, their pore tightening toner is good too but again, it has S.A in it?

Salicylic acid should not be used with alkaline products, like bar soaps (but bar soaps really shouldn't be used on the skin anyway; see my pinned thread in this forum), because these can negatively impact the effectiveness of a salicylic acid product.

I would not recommend using more than one type of exfoliant, manual or chemical, at a time. Diacneal contains glycolic acid, so I would not recommend using this at the same time as your Paula's Choice BHA product.

Most salicylic acid products have too high of a pH (over 4) to allow the salicylic acid to act as an exfoliant, contain unnecessary skin irritants, or both. Sadly it can be difficult to find a well-formulated salicylic acid product; of those available Paula's are the best.

I would recommend the avoidance of any products which contain unnecessary skin irritants. I'm guessing your pore tightening toner most likely has a high concentration of alcohol and possibly even other skin irritants like menthol, which produce a tingling sensation that tricks the user into thinking that they can feel a product "working" when that tingling sensation is really an indication of irritation. Toners don't actually "tighten" pores, but if they contain irritants they can cause the tissue surrounding the pore to temporarily swell, making the pore appear smaller. Irritation damages the skin.

Salicylic acid cleansers can be OK to use, but I wouldn't rely on them as an actual means of exfoliation because 1) most cleansers have too high of a pH to allow the salicylic acid to act as an exfoliant and 2) the medication just gets rinsed off anyway (if you let the cleanser sit on your skin in hopes of giving the medication time to work you're allowing for additional irritation). Be careful; many salicylic acid cleansers contain harsh surfectants like sodium C14-16 olefin sulfonate and/or ingredients which produce that irritating tingling sensation. I wouldn't be able to tell you whether or not your cleanser is potentially problematic without seeing an ingredients list.

If you have oily skin you'll probably like Neutrogena's Dry-Touch Sunscreens, which are lightweight. They are broad-spectrum (meaning they provide sufficient protection from both UVA and UVB rays; many sunscreens lack adequate UVA protection), which is the only type of sunscreen you should buy. Not all sunscreens that claim to be broad-spectrum really are; if a sunscreen does not contain titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, avobenzone, mexoryl sx, or tinosorb, it is not broad-spectrum and shouldn't be relied upon for sun protection.

Although your new regimen should be great at fighting blackheads and blemishes, don't expect it to do much (if anything) for your oily skin. Oil production is primarily affected by hormones, not topical skincare products.

Thanks so much for your post, its nice to find a forum where people know what theyre talking about! What is glycolic acid? and What does it do? I thought about combining those products because lion queen suggested that or greencreem in combination with paula's choice BHA and her regimen looks similar to what i need.

So really the most kind of stripped down cleanser i can get (simple products?) would be the best?

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Thank you for replying. Unfourtunately my acne is as bad as I described. I've been to my doctors before and he's prescribed me many different types of antibiotics, but they never seem to have a big effect. I keep asking him to refer me to a dermatologist but he never does. The Paula's Choice 2% BHA Gel came in the post today, and I've bought the Clinique Liquid Facial Soap in Mild to cleanse with. Fingers crossed that these will help me to clear up a bit before I go on holiday in July :)

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This is for SnowQueen (or whoever else would like to answer)... I've been reading Paula's Beauty Bible and a lot of posts on this forum and had a question about using Murad's Clarifying Cleanser (and maybe the toner also) in the PM, and Paula's Skin Balancing cleanser in the Am??? Would that be too much skin tug-of-war? (irritating at night, balancing in the morning)

I would really like to probably use all of the Paula's Choice products, but I worry that I need more of a medicated wash or something to keep new things popping up... (I know that you've said that those kind of cleansers are not much help, since it's washed down the drain, but I can't help feeling that I may need it...)

I've used Murad since about August of 2006, and have had good results... except for a few white heads or clear covered blackheads... I've just started using some of the Paula's choice items (balancing cleanser, toner, 1% AHA gel)... but after reading Paula's book, I wonder if I am damaging my skin with the Murad???

Thanks for any help,

Kristen

From what I understand the Murad regimen does feature unnecessarily irritating products using ingredients like drying alcohols, though I can't comment on specific products without seeing the complete ingredients lists.

It is best to avoid unnecessary skin irritants to prevent as much damage to the skin from occurring as possible. Notice I say "unnecessary" skin irritants; some irritation from various treatments like exfoliation is inevitable, but the benefits can outweigh the negatives. Ingredients which can be replaced by other, less-irritating ingredients or ingredients which are not helpful at all to the skin (like fragrance) are what I mean by skin irritants which are "unnecessary." Damage caused by these unnecessary skin irritnats may not be immediately noticeable (much like how the damage caused by the sun's UVA rays, which are primarily associated with causing premature aging and skin cancer, is not immediately noticeable), but that doesn't mean it isn't taking place. In addition irritation does not help acne; in fact, it prematurely kills skin cells which may not be properly sloughed off by the skin, increasing the risk of clogged pores. It can cause the skin to become even redder and more swollen, making a breakout look even worse. Those are other reasons why it's best to lessen the amount of irritation from products as much as possible.

Medicated cleansers really aren't the best way to go about treating acne because 1) most cleansers have too high of a pH to allow the salicylic acid to act as an exfoliant and 2) the medication just gets rinsed off anyway (if you let the cleanser sit on your skin in hopes of giving the medication time to work you're allowing for additional irritation). Also, many medicated cleansers contain harsh surfectants like sodium C14-16 olefin sulfonate and/or ingredients like menthol, which produce a tingling sensation to trick the user into thinking that he/she can feel a product "working" when what is really being felt is irritation. If you're having problems with inflammatory breakouts, it can be helpful to add a disinfecting product like one containing 2.5% benzoyl peroxide to your regimen (disinfectants should be applied to all areas of the skin prone to inflammatory breakouts at least once daily).

Did you mean to say that you purchased Paula's 1% BHA (salicylic acid) Gel? Salicylic acid, unlike the glycolic acid used in Paula's AHA products, is lipid soluble and can exfoliate both inside the pore and on the skin's surface. In addition, salicylic acid is related to aspirin and has anti-inflammatory properties, which is also a plus for use over swollen and irritated blemishes. If you find that the 1% concentration of salicylic acid is not effective enough for you, as many users of this site do, I recommend switching to the 2% concentration.

Make sure you wear a sunscreen during the daytime which is broad-spectrum (meaning it provides sufficient protection from both UVA and UVB rays; many sunscreens lack adequate UVA protection), which is the only type of sunscreen you should buy. Not all sunscreens that claim to be broad-spectrum really are; if a sunscreen does not contain titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, avobenzone, mexoryl sx, or tinosorb, it is not broad-spectrum and shouldn't be relied upon for sun protection.

Thanks for replying.... yes, I did mean BHA... here is the list of ingredients for the Murad Cleanser: Ingredients

Salicylic Acid (1.5%)

Water (Aqua), Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate, Methyl Gluceth-20, PPG-26-Buteth-26, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Butylene Glycol, Cimicifuga Racemosa Root Extract, Camellia Oleifera Leaf Extract, Triclosan,

Menthol, Citrus Aurantium Amara (Bitter Orange) Oil, Cymbopogon Nardus (Citronella) Oil, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Peel Oil, Citrus Aurantifolia (Lime) Oil, Lavandula Hybrida Oil, Citrus Tangerina (Tangerine) Oil, Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Kernel Oil, Tetrasodium EDTA, Methylparaben

Toner: Ingredients

Water (Aqua), Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Water, Butylene Glycol, PPG-5-Ceteth-20, Algae Extract, Propylene Glycol, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Fruit Extract, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract, Lecithin, Tocopherol, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Allantoin, Palmitoyl Hydroxypropyltrimonium Amylopectin/Glycerin Crosspolymer, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Extract, PEG-12 Dimethicone, Menthol, Menthoxypropanediol, Cymbopogon Schoenanthus Oil, Citric Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Blue 1 (CI 42090), Ext.Violet 2 (CI 60730)

I guess this may be too irritating???

Kristen

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hi i've been referred to this thread from my other post! ive had oily skin and ingrained blackheads on my nose and cheeks for years now, so i'm going to start a regimen as suggested here with PC 2%bha gel, and diancneal. but i need a sunscreen don't i? can anybody recommend one that is cheapish and easily available in the u.k? i was considering the neutragena spf 30 sunscreen.

oh and any advice about anything NOT to mix with these two products- i'm a novice! i'm happy with my garnier pure a pore cleansing wash, but that has some salicylic acid in it? is this okay to use, their pore tightening toner is good too but again, it has S.A in it?

Salicylic acid should not be used with alkaline products, like bar soaps (but bar soaps really shouldn't be used on the skin anyway; see my pinned thread in this forum), because these can negatively impact the effectiveness of a salicylic acid product.

I would not recommend using more than one type of exfoliant, manual or chemical, at a time. Diacneal contains glycolic acid, so I would not recommend using this at the same time as your Paula's Choice BHA product.

Most salicylic acid products have too high of a pH (over 4) to allow the salicylic acid to act as an exfoliant, contain unnecessary skin irritants, or both. Sadly it can be difficult to find a well-formulated salicylic acid product; of those available Paula's are the best.

I would recommend the avoidance of any products which contain unnecessary skin irritants. I'm guessing your pore tightening toner most likely has a high concentration of alcohol and possibly even other skin irritants like menthol, which produce a tingling sensation that tricks the user into thinking that they can feel a product "working" when that tingling sensation is really an indication of irritation. Toners don't actually "tighten" pores, but if they contain irritants they can cause the tissue surrounding the pore to temporarily swell, making the pore appear smaller. Irritation damages the skin.

Salicylic acid cleansers can be OK to use, but I wouldn't rely on them as an actual means of exfoliation because 1) most cleansers have too high of a pH to allow the salicylic acid to act as an exfoliant and 2) the medication just gets rinsed off anyway (if you let the cleanser sit on your skin in hopes of giving the medication time to work you're allowing for additional irritation). Be careful; many salicylic acid cleansers contain harsh surfectants like sodium C14-16 olefin sulfonate and/or ingredients which produce that irritating tingling sensation. I wouldn't be able to tell you whether or not your cleanser is potentially problematic without seeing an ingredients list.

If you have oily skin you'll probably like Neutrogena's Dry-Touch Sunscreens, which are lightweight. They are broad-spectrum (meaning they provide sufficient protection from both UVA and UVB rays; many sunscreens lack adequate UVA protection), which is the only type of sunscreen you should buy. Not all sunscreens that claim to be broad-spectrum really are; if a sunscreen does not contain titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, avobenzone, mexoryl sx, or tinosorb, it is not broad-spectrum and shouldn't be relied upon for sun protection.

Although your new regimen should be great at fighting blackheads and blemishes, don't expect it to do much (if anything) for your oily skin. Oil production is primarily affected by hormones, not topical skincare products.

Thanks so much for your post, its nice to find a forum where people know what theyre talking about! What is glycolic acid? and What does it do? I thought about combining those products because lion queen suggested that or greencreem in combination with paula's choice BHA and her regimen looks similar to what i need.

So really the most kind of stripped down cleanser i can get (simple products?) would be the best?

If you are talking about buying products with the shortest ingredients lists possible, that can reduce the risk of having a negative reaction from one or some of the ingredients because there are fewer ingredients to worry about in the first place. However, this is not fool-proof; just because a product has a short ingredients list does not mean it is free from ingredients which commonly cause irritation. I would recommend buying cleansers which contain gentle cleansing agents and preferrably no fragrance. Emollient cleansers can be problematic for those with breakout-prone skin because the emollients may not rinse cleanly.

Medicated cleansers aren't necessarily terrible to use depending on the ingredients they contain, they're just not nearly as effective as leave-on products containing the same medications (as mentioned in my previous response to you). I wouldn't splurge on a medicated cleanser or cleanser of any kind. You should expect a cleanser to cleanse well while rinsing cleanly and to cause as little irritation as possible; claims that cleansers can do substantially more then that are exaggerated.

Glycolic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid which exfoliates the skin surface. I don't recommend it over salicylic acid for those with breakout-prone skin because unlike salicylic acid it does not exfoliate inside the pore. Also, salicylic acid has anti-inflammatory properties due to its relationship with aspirin, which can be beneficial as well. You can use exfoliants with retinoids like Green Cream, though I wouldn't use more than one exfoliant at the same time. I'm fairly certain that LionQueen used a cleanser containing a chemical exfoliant followed by Paula's BHA; this is probably OK (provided that the cleanser is gentle) because as mentioned in my previous response rinse-off chemical exfoliants that are in contact with the skin for only a short time don't tend to be that effective. Here's an article about chemical exfoliants which should help you:

http://www.cosmeticscop.com/learn/art.asp?ID=159

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Thank you for replying. Unfourtunately my acne is as bad as I described. I've been to my doctors before and he's prescribed me many different types of antibiotics, but they never seem to have a big effect. I keep asking him to refer me to a dermatologist but he never does. The Paula's Choice 2% BHA Gel came in the post today, and I've bought the Clinique Liquid Facial Soap in Mild to cleanse with. Fingers crossed that these will help me to clear up a bit before I go on holiday in July :)

That's too bad; your acne sounds like it is a terrible ordeal for you. Hopefully an over-the-counter regimen will help. I apologize if I sound pessimistic, but there is a good chance that over-the-counter products will not be enough on their own (though they definately could help a lot).

I don't know why doctors and dermatologists first prescribe antibiotics to acne sufferers; they should be used as a last resort or to help get breakouts under control in the first place because they cannot be used long-term. Once you stop using them, your breakouts will come back if you haven't found other effective treatment options.

You may have to research a dermatologist in your area on your own; that's absurd that your doctor won't refer you to one. You may also consider going to a different doctor in hopes that you'll have better luck. If neither of those options is easy for you, ask your doctor about topical treatment options like prescription retinoids.

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This is for SnowQueen (or whoever else would like to answer)... I've been reading Paula's Beauty Bible and a lot of posts on this forum and had a question about using Murad's Clarifying Cleanser (and maybe the toner also) in the PM, and Paula's Skin Balancing cleanser in the Am??? Would that be too much skin tug-of-war? (irritating at night, balancing in the morning)

I would really like to probably use all of the Paula's Choice products, but I worry that I need more of a medicated wash or something to keep new things popping up... (I know that you've said that those kind of cleansers are not much help, since it's washed down the drain, but I can't help feeling that I may need it...)

I've used Murad since about August of 2006, and have had good results... except for a few white heads or clear covered blackheads... I've just started using some of the Paula's choice items (balancing cleanser, toner, 1% AHA gel)... but after reading Paula's book, I wonder if I am damaging my skin with the Murad???

Thanks for any help,

Kristen

From what I understand the Murad regimen does feature unnecessarily irritating products using ingredients like drying alcohols, though I can't comment on specific products without seeing the complete ingredients lists.

It is best to avoid unnecessary skin irritants to prevent as much damage to the skin from occurring as possible. Notice I say "unnecessary" skin irritants; some irritation from various treatments like exfoliation is inevitable, but the benefits can outweigh the negatives. Ingredients which can be replaced by other, less-irritating ingredients or ingredients which are not helpful at all to the skin (like fragrance) are what I mean by skin irritants which are "unnecessary." Damage caused by these unnecessary skin irritnats may not be immediately noticeable (much like how the damage caused by the sun's UVA rays, which are primarily associated with causing premature aging and skin cancer, is not immediately noticeable), but that doesn't mean it isn't taking place. In addition irritation does not help acne; in fact, it prematurely kills skin cells which may not be properly sloughed off by the skin, increasing the risk of clogged pores. It can cause the skin to become even redder and more swollen, making a breakout look even worse. Those are other reasons why it's best to lessen the amount of irritation from products as much as possible.

Medicated cleansers really aren't the best way to go about treating acne because 1) most cleansers have too high of a pH to allow the salicylic acid to act as an exfoliant and 2) the medication just gets rinsed off anyway (if you let the cleanser sit on your skin in hopes of giving the medication time to work you're allowing for additional irritation). Also, many medicated cleansers contain harsh surfectants like sodium C14-16 olefin sulfonate and/or ingredients like menthol, which produce a tingling sensation to trick the user into thinking that he/she can feel a product "working" when what is really being felt is irritation. If you're having problems with inflammatory breakouts, it can be helpful to add a disinfecting product like one containing 2.5% benzoyl peroxide to your regimen (disinfectants should be applied to all areas of the skin prone to inflammatory breakouts at least once daily).

Did you mean to say that you purchased Paula's 1% BHA (salicylic acid) Gel? Salicylic acid, unlike the glycolic acid used in Paula's AHA products, is lipid soluble and can exfoliate both inside the pore and on the skin's surface. In addition, salicylic acid is related to aspirin and has anti-inflammatory properties, which is also a plus for use over swollen and irritated blemishes. If you find that the 1% concentration of salicylic acid is not effective enough for you, as many users of this site do, I recommend switching to the 2% concentration.

Make sure you wear a sunscreen during the daytime which is broad-spectrum (meaning it provides sufficient protection from both UVA and UVB rays; many sunscreens lack adequate UVA protection), which is the only type of sunscreen you should buy. Not all sunscreens that claim to be broad-spectrum really are; if a sunscreen does not contain titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, avobenzone, mexoryl sx, or tinosorb, it is not broad-spectrum and shouldn't be relied upon for sun protection.

Thanks for replying.... yes, I did mean BHA... here is the list of ingredients for the Murad Cleanser: Ingredients

Salicylic Acid (1.5%)

Water (Aqua), Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate, Methyl Gluceth-20, PPG-26-Buteth-26, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Butylene Glycol, Cimicifuga Racemosa Root Extract, Camellia Oleifera Leaf Extract, Triclosan,

Menthol, Citrus Aurantium Amara (Bitter Orange) Oil, Cymbopogon Nardus (Citronella) Oil, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Peel Oil, Citrus Aurantifolia (Lime) Oil, Lavandula Hybrida Oil, Citrus Tangerina (Tangerine) Oil, Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Kernel Oil, Tetrasodium EDTA, Methylparaben

Toner: Ingredients

Water (Aqua), Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Water, Butylene Glycol, PPG-5-Ceteth-20, Algae Extract, Propylene Glycol, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Fruit Extract, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract, Lecithin, Tocopherol, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Allantoin, Palmitoyl Hydroxypropyltrimonium Amylopectin/Glycerin Crosspolymer, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Extract, PEG-12 Dimethicone, Menthol, Menthoxypropanediol, Cymbopogon Schoenanthus Oil, Citric Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Blue 1 (CI 42090), Ext.Violet 2 (CI 60730)

I guess this may be too irritating???

Kristen

The cleanser could be worse; it contains sodium C14-16 olefin sulfonate, but not as the primary surfectant. However, I would not recommend it overall because it contains other skin irritants like menthol and citrus extracts. I'm guessing you can feel a tingling sensation when you use this cleanser, right? That is an obvious sign of irritation that should be avoided.

Similar comments apply to the toner. It could be worse (at least it's not alcohol-based), but it too contains irritants like menthol and citrus extracts.

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I've also added this in the Blackhead section... (they too have a good discussion on BHA)...

I'm very afraid of the "purging" process that might occur after using BHA... I have Paula's choice products, but I've only been using the BHA 1% (and just recently started w/ the 2%) gel on my nose only... I guess I'm testing it there because it's not too scary if I get a breakout on my nose... I just don't want to breakout anywhere else that may cause scarring....

Does anyone have any suggestions or advice?

thanks,

Kristen

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I've also added this in the Blackhead section... (they too have a good discussion on BHA)...

I'm very afraid of the "purging" process that might occur after using BHA... I have Paula's choice products, but I've only been using the BHA 1% (and just recently started w/ the 2%) gel on my nose only... I guess I'm testing it there because it's not too scary if I get a breakout on my nose... I just don't want to breakout anywhere else that may cause scarring....

Does anyone have any suggestions or advice?

thanks,

Kristen

The way I see it many of the breakouts one experiences when first using salicylic acid would have happened over time anyway. And in the longrun, salicylic acid should help prevent breakouts. Assuming salicylic acid is an effective treatment for you like it is for many, you would most likely be subject to more scarring if you didn't use it than if you did.

When you say you're afraid of scarring, do you mean red marks, which are not really scars, or true indented or raised acne scars?

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I guess the "scarring" I'm referring to would be any noticeable sign of a past blemish... maybe more of the redness, and a tiny indentation (possibly left from the topical Benzamycin applied)...

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Sorry for not reading all 30 pages of this thread, so I'm not sure if this has been asked before. I want to try Mandelic acid, I'm already using LOTD aloe vera gelly and organic jojoba oil, but should I also use something else to help my acne? How would Azelaic acid effect me if I'm using Mandelic acid as well? Will I get a IB if I decide to use Green Cream?

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Hi,

Paula's Choice Matifying gel has really helped me with my acne (i am not an employee nor associated in any way with them). and neutrogena microderma kit has also helped for a year, but after that it just came back...

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Thank you so much. I think I am a bit clearer on the whole thing now.

So basically I should just start out with the BHA paula's choice 2% stuff. How many times would I use that? I checked the website and I couldn't find it there.

I have a good moisturizer but I am not sure what a good cleanser would be.

I guess that I should just buy the paula's choice BHA lotion and apply that in the morning and then just see how that works? Should I wash my face when I apply the lotion too in the morning?

I'm sorry for all the questions. They have more than likely been answered already 5 million different times 5 million different ways, but i am absolutely desperate.

Thank you for all the help that you have given me so far. I am the only person in my family to suffer from acne this badly and so far no one has been able to help me or will help me. So I am pretty much desperate at this point. :confused:

You can use salicylic acid as often as twice daily and as little as once every day, though I recommend using it at least once daily.

As far as cleanser recommendations go, avoid bar cleansers and soap products. These tend to be drying and don't rinse cleanly from the skin, making breakotus more likely. In addition, soap products tend to have alkaline pH levels, which will diminish the effectiveness of pH-sensitive products like salicylic acid. Olay's Gentle Foaming Face Wash for Sensitive Skin, Eucerin's Redness Relief Cleanser, and Purpose's Gentle Cleansing Wash would all be fine.

Always apply salicylic acid to freshly cleansed skin so that it can penetrate as intended.

Also, there is a slight difference in the Paula's Choice BHA products. If your skin gets oily, you'll prefer a liquid or gel consistancy; otherwise you will probably prefer a lotion. The heavier the consistancy (with the liquid being the lightest and the lotion being the heaviest), the slower the delivery of salicylic acid, meaning the less irritation it will cause. Out of all the BHA products, the 2% BHA Liquid has the lowest pH, making it the most potent (most potent does not necessarily mean better, especially if your skin is very reactive). The 1% BHA Lotion is the gentlest, though most people have better success with the 2% BHA products. As far as application goes, many people have trouble applying the Liquid; the Gel and Lotion tend to be easier to apply.

If your moisturizer doesn't contain a broad-spectrum SPF 15 or higher, you'll need to get another one, especially since salicylic acid makes the skin more sun-sensitive than it already is. (Broad-spectrum sunscreens provide sufficient protection against both UVA and UVB rays; sunscreens are only required to protect against UVB rays. They contain at least one of these ingredients: titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, avobenzone, mexoryl sx, and tinosorb.) You can check my pinned thread in this forum (Part II of the first post) for sunscreen recommendations.

I was going to get the eucerin redness relief cleanser for my daughter but it has SLS in it. It seemd like all these mild cleansers have SLS in it. Do you think it would still be ok to get? I also was wondering if anyone has used it and had any benefit from it getting rid of the redness that BP causes?

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Do the BHAs and Green Cream work for those with inflamed acne?

I sometimes get little skin colored bumps on my forehead, and will get pinkish/red bumps on my chin/jawline and sometimes the side of my face or nose.

Would I benefit from this stuff or would something else be better?

Thanks!!

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Well I've been using the BHA's + Diacneal consistently now since about February. My problem since about september has suddenly been comedonal acne, mainly on the chin.

It seemed to be clearing up some, but in the last couple of weeks I've noticed many are returning. Not sure if they are new or in the same spots but I can't get them under control anymore.....

I wonder if I should switch from my usual cleanser Aveeno to another product. I have a bottle of Avene Cleanance....has anyone had any experience with this cleanser?

My chin has suddenly become more oily than normal and seems to be the only oily area on my face...I'm 28 years old btw...never had acne problems prior to this.

Thanks in advance...

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I'm getting a little bored with writing the same advice over and over again in this forum, so I'm starting this thread to put down everything I know. If you have questions for me, post 'em here, OK? And if you have anything to add, please feel free to chime in wherever.

For those of you who don't know me: I'm 42 and have had acne since I was 12 or so. Information I came across on this board has enabled me to clear up my mild/moderate acne to the point where no one ever realizes I have acne at all. And after spending a lot of time and money trying out various products, I'm finally down to a pretty simple regimen that is working well for me.

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

PAULA'S CHOICE BHAs (available at www.cosmeticscop.com)

I only started using this product recently, but I am a total convert. I think this should be your first line of defense. I never thought salicylic acid would work on my face -- I've had horrid reactions to other SA products -- but this stuff is awesome!

I use the 2% BHA gel. The 1% isn't strong enough for me; I think it's probably for people with highly sensitive skin. The 2% liquid was messy to use, and my skin didn't like the 2% lotion at all.

I recommend trying this product first because it is CHEAP -- about $15 for a 4 oz bottle, which will last you for months. You can get sample packets extremely cheaply if you want to try out the different formulations before placing a full order.

GREEN CREAM/DIACNEAL/Other mild OTC retinoids, such as Jan Marini and Vivant products

If the BHAs aren't quite enough to purge your pores, or if you want to improve the overall quality and radiance of your skin, I recommend these products. They are not cheap. GC goes for $40-50 per bottle, and a bottle lasts 4-6 weeks .... but it is one of the best products I have ever run across. It really works. There's a long GC thread in the OTC forum, and here a couple of useful websites: www.greencream.com, www.lindasy.com

I buy my GC from Linda Sy because their customer service and shipping are just amazingly good. Most people with normal skin can start with Level 6; if you have very sensitive skin, you may want to start with Level 3.

I am currently layering GC on top of the BHAs at night. After cleansing, I apply a thin layer of the BHA 2% gel all over my face, wait 30 minutes, then apply a small squirt of Green Cream. I usually use Level 9 (I've been at this for awhile) but sometimes dial back to Level 6 if my face seems to be getting sensitive.

I used Diacneal for awhile, and found it effective as well ... but GC just made my skin look prettier. If you live in Canada or Europe, Diacneal may be easier for you to get your hands on. It is made by Avene.

EDIT: Just wanted to add that for people with mild acne, these OTC retinoids can actually be more effective than the stronger prescription products because the irritation factor is so much lower. I used Retin A for awhile, and although it cleared my pimples, it made my skin look horrible .... red, oily, and irritated. It's great for moderate/severe acne but I think it's overkill for mild.

MANDELIC ACID

If your skin doesn't like BHAs ... try mandelic acid. It is awesome against blackheads especially, and there's a long mandelic thread in the Blackheads forum if you want more information.

If you have oily skin, the best mandelic product is probably the 15% Vivant mandelic serum, available at www.dianayvonne.com (I think she sells samples). If you have dry or sensitive skin, or are using topical retinoids, you are better off using the 10% or 15% alcohol-free serums from www.gardenofwisdom.com.

I was using mandelic with Green Cream all summer (I combined the 10% and 15% GoW serums) and just loved it .... but now that winter has set in, my skin can't take the drying effect anymore. When the humidity sets in again, I will probably go back to using mandelic.

Lionqueen,

Thanks for the post- I think I am going to try the Mandelic with Green Cream to see if that helps. Or, would you suggest starting with the BHA instead of mandelic? I am 31 and have had asult acne since I was about 22. I get some nodules, but mostly just blackheads and bumps. Very frustrating. I have tried EVERYTHING - proactive, differin, OTC products, skinceuticals, etc. Nothing seems to work. I would LOVE your advice. Also, I didn't see if you mentioned what cleanser you use. I would love to know. And, thanks for taking time to share your findings. For someone that doesn't have acne, it's impossible to know how horribly this affects us. I would give anything to have clear skin. :)

--Andrea

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Lionqueen, do you think it's a good idea to apply the GC over 'red spots/marks' (where a zit used to be); do you think it would help improve that? I have a lot of those on my chin and upper lip.

Also, how long do you think the purging phase is, on average? I've been on GC for a couple weeks now and my skin looks pretty horrible at the moment . Will it be at least a month or few months before I start seeing good results? Thanks.

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Lionqueen, do you think it's a good idea to apply the GC over 'red spots/marks' (where a zit used to be); do you think it would help improve that? I have a lot of those on my chin and upper lip.

Also, how long do you think the purging phase is, on average? I've been on GC for a couple weeks now and my skin looks pretty horrible at the moment . Will it be at least a month or few months before I start seeing good results? Thanks.

for people that looking lionqueen, we havent see her for quite a while, so in mean time there voulenteer like snowprincess and other giving nice advice...

anyway since this type of question has been asked for many many times, i believe the answer would be same ...

GC (retinol) acts as inner skin restructuring... so it not only acne, it can help other problem too like sunburn or scar... in my experience with greencream... yeah it will make you breakout more often than leaving alone or using bha ....

but isnt that good, gc help push out those things and make your skin beautiful later

the purging process different each people... some people told me they only suffer purging for 1 month only... while other took more than 3 months... for me, i been using gc since late april, and i still get breakout until now, so its been around 2months

but in my personal experience, the purging might really bad in first 2 weeks, as i get big cysts ... but now i no longer get big cysts... the breakout still occurs but in place that trapped comedoes stuck... so after the breakout... the skin clean and rarely i got breakout on the skin that cleared up...

well advice from all people that can manage to clean their face from acne is patient.... keep your regimen at least for 3 months before you change to other regimen

hope helps

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Would it be fine if I just used Paula's choice and forget about adding the greencream. It says that greencream is meant for antu-aging (I'm only 19, and I don't really have wrinkles or things of the sort).

Does the greencream help get rid of scarring?

But what would you recommend from Paula's Choice? She has a lot of products. Would just the cleanser, toner, and moisturizer work? Or should I add in exfoliating products, treatment products, masks, ect ect? I've never used PC's, but I've heard good things about it.

I really need help. I have moderate/mild acne; and oily to dry skin. And what I'm using right now, doesn't seem to be doing anything. I'm using Aveeno Ultra Calming Sensitive Skin Foaming Cleanser, and Acnexus. I use Acnexus 3 times a week at night (Mon/Wed/Fri) and the rest of the time I use the Aveeno. My regiment doesn't seem to be clearing my skin, but it does break out from time to time (as of now I can feel a pimple coming at the corner of my nose).

Please tell me what you think? I am really sick of having pimples on my skin.

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