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Yikes! Advice please - (detailed post for you detectives!)

Hey all,

Just for the record I live in Auckland, New Zealand - which is really hot right now and doesn't have that many good acne products... ;]

A couple of months ago my acne started getting out of control! I don't seem to have any scaring or anything like that, just a general redness on cheeks / chin and frequent whiteheads (never more then 3 or 4 at a time, at worst) in those areas, occasionally on the forehead. At least 1 a day though... sad.gif

It was really pissing me off so I jumped on the ol' internet and started searching to see what I could do about the situation. Found this here Acne.org and decided to give 'The Regimen' a try!

First month was quite good I must say! At first I was a little bit sketched out 'cause applying the 2.5% BP (I believe the brand name for it is Peroxyl?) at night after a face wash ment almost instant flakey skin (everywhere!), somewhat irritated, but good results by morning. I can only find Cetaphil products here in New Zealand so I picked up the cleansing bar & the moisturizer... They worked great for the first little while...

It seems now that things have stopped improving, and are actually getting worse! This is ~ the 2 or 3 month mark... I haven't been applying the 2.5% BP religiously, which may be a problem, but if I try and use the stuff everynight my skin becomes increddddibly dry w/ many more spots appearing by morning... Cetaphil Moisturizer doesn't seem to be working, it feels really greasy and always seems to make things worse instead of better!

So... here is my 3 day cycle as it stands w/ face conditions:


Day 1 - Morning:

- Wake up: face feels partly dry and a bit sweaty from hot NZ night. Feels very dry if previous night was a 2.5% BP night. Very gross feeling!

- In shower I wash my face w/ the Cetaphil Gentle Cleansing Bar w/ a good lather for about 3 to 5 minutes... I suspect I may be doing this too long, but I just keep workin' the lather until my face feels tingly all over... This feels much better then the crappy morning face.

- Step out of shower, can already feel face drying out... (either due from too long lather, or crappy as moisturizing! I can't seem to keep my face moisture-happy but not greasy!)

- Brushing the ol' teeth I can already feel face tightening, a fine layer of dry skin all over... eek! Fortunatly, today is Day 1 which means -> Shaving!!!

- After a good long shave my face is feeling great... very smooth, almost no need for moisturizer (although I have been applying a little Cetaphil, can't decide if it feels better or worse!) This is the happiest day for me: Shave day my skin feels healthy, smooth... even existing whiteheads seem to blend in w/ the skin around them... To be fair, face is still quite red, but it feels right.

Day 1 - Evening

- After a long and productive day (haha) it's time to sleep. Face has started to feel a bit dry and greasy again, whiteheads are becoming more pronounced... Probably due to sweating during hot as NZ day.

- Before bed I brush teeth, and again spend a good 5 -> 10 minutes infront of the sink w/ Cetaphil Bar workin' the lather till face feels nice and clean and tingly. Possibly doing this too long, not sure...

- At this time I usually apply 2.5% BP, 2 finger worth, to all red areas of face... It's easy to apply having shaved that morning, and I'm anxious to continue the good feeling skin of the day...

- I generally avoid using the Cetaphil Moisturizer before bed 'cause as far as I can tell it makes things worse by morning when combined w/ a warm or muggy night...

Day 2 - Morning

- Wake up, face feels tight and greasy again... kinda itchy grrr... Head over to the sink and review the night's damages... I'm not sure but it seems that as my chin beard grows back in, acne around it gets worse... the day after shave day is usually quite downhill!

- Wishing it was shave day it's back into the shower for the usual 5 min of yummy Cetaphil Cleansing Bar... I'm pretty fond of this product! I hope it's not trying to kill me.

- Stepping out of the shower, skin is tightening, very dry... This is due to the BP of the night before, and the randomness of the moisturizer... Again, wishing it was shave day (I can't shave too often 'cause it really cuts up my sensitive skin heh) I attempt to apply some Cetaphil Moisturizer...

- The end result: 1/2 greasy, 1/2 dry face... new stubble from beard creating new whiteheads seemingly out of thin air... redness... itchy... BLEH!

Day 2 - Evening

- Annoyed from my random face during the day, it's sink time! 5 min of Cetaphil Bar, feels good to get the sweat/grease from the day off the face... Acne is usually looking pretty crap right about now, whiteheads developing from the morning, face drying out after the wash...

- Again tempted not to use cetaphil moisturizer... do we detect a trend here??? =D (Some recommendations as far as moisturizers would be excellent!)

- Sometimes I bite the bullet and go w/ another healthy dose of 2.5% BP, sometimes not... it depends how crappy my face feels really... I think it might help to always use BP at least every second day?

- Skin feels dry or dry & greasy as I go to bed.

Day 3 - Morning

- Same as Day 2 except Acne is always worse this day as well!

- Lately I haven't been able to wait until Day 1 before shaving, 'cause Acne is pretty bad at this point and a shave always feels excellent and generally leaves face feeling clean and smooth. So it's hit and miss... if I do shave on this day, refer to Day 1... otherwise... Same as Day 2. =D If ya follow... hehe

Day 3 - Evening

- If I shaved this morning - BP time, skin feels pretty good but know it'll be crap by tomorrow.

- If haven't shaved, Acne / dryness generally pretty bad! 5 min wash w/ Cetaphil Bar infront of Sink and it's off to bed. If I didn't BP on Day 2 evening, then it's BP time. 2 fingers worth generally...

- Happy that Day 1 is shave day, I sleep a sound sleep.


Alright! So, having written an essay - let me just summarize:

- shave day = excellent, although it may be an illusion...

- beard growing in = worse acne, I think...

- cetaphil moisturizer = greasy / shiny skin... is this helping?!

- BP = even 2 fingers worth these days doesn't "feel" much different during the night, is it supposed to tingle or do anything neat? Also - is it important to be consistant w/ this stuff? Every 2nd day? Every night?

I'd apply it every night but my skin gets SO DRY after about a week straight of it!

Everything was going great for the first month, but things have started spiraling... acne getting worse, skin getting dryer... eek!

*pant pant* *out of breath* Any suggestions? I'm more then happy to switch my 'routine' around in any way... I like to shower in the morning 'cause it sets me up for the day and i'm generally hot/sweaty from the night.... Recommendations as far as Moisturizers? I'll have a look at my local pharmacey here in Auckland - we have some stuff but not lots... Help!

Thanks guys!!!

- Jae

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Hi Jae, welcome to the boards. I'm from Auckland too although I don't live there anymore so I can't sympathise with the weather - although I hear you're having a crazy summer this year.

My piece of advice is: you are overwashing. 5-10 minutes' scrubbing is WAY TOO MUCH. Get a gentle cleanser (I use SpectroJel but I'm not sure if you can get it there, fellow Kiwi frances uses Cetaphil I believe) and only leave it on your face a short while - even a minute is probably too long. Treat your skin gently and it will thank you, I promise. And use a sunblock every day - BP makes your skin more sensitive, and I know about NZ sunburns, believe me!

Frances is a good person to ask about products in NZ, she knows a LOT about skincare, and she checks this board, so she may jump in with advice. Otherwise, I would pm her if I were you.

Good luck & keep us posted! O:)

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Hi Jae,

Aunties' Vanessa and Frances can help you O:)

Firstly you've lost me on the Day 1,2,3 malarcky. So I am ignoring that.


There are only 2 brands of 2.5% bp preparation in NZ.

*Panoxyl...a gel available in an oil or water based formula. It is a pretty irritating product (it dries and reddens).

*Benzac 2.5. Benzac is a better product...is is far gentler, contains co-polymers which help it dry and absorb fast. It is cheaper and comes in a larger tube also. Get your hands on it...it is about $23 for a 50gm tube.


IMO...don't use a bar product if you are dry. You need to swap to a liquid.

This is when being in NZ sucks..there aren't many.

Cetaphil Liquid is what I use. There are other options...like alpha keri facewash, freemans do one as well...I've never used them so can't comment as to what they are like.


Cetaphil should be ok....I imagine it is a fairly benign preparation...but it might be heavy on the mineral oil content...depends on the exact one you are using. I would change your cleanser and bp and then determine whether you need a new moisturiser. If you decide you want to change here are some options…

From Dan’s list Neutrogena oil free and Olay complete are available in NZ

My recommendations….For night I like Avene optimale moisturisers (you can get them from Unichem) and Clarins both are pricey and smell girly. I’ve seen NZ made SAS products in the supermarket recently and I’ve read their ingredient lists which sounds very promising… think they’re moisturiser is about $7.00. As V said you need to use a spf in the day...better to combine a spf and moituriser rather than use 2 products. Ego QV do a nice day moisturiser with SPF 20 that you can get from larger chemists.

Your procedure:

Vanessa has said it and I agree...Stop doing water torture on your face This is your biggest problem. Overwashing is drying and irritating and I have found it seems to stimulate intense dryness followed often by intense oil production. A 10c piece amount of liquid cleanser gently smoothed over your face for 15 seconds under the shower is more than sufficient.

What is the deal with your shaving?….what product are you using…it sounds to me like your are cleansing twice in a row. I can’t help you on this aspect as I am not a guy………….Dan? any advice.

You need to stick to a routine…Cleanse, BP, Moisturise twice daily. Don’t skimp or skip bp...it is the only barrier between you and a breakout.

PM me if you feel I can be of any help.

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