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For women with fair, sensitive, oily-combo skin

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I am a former acne sufferer. I've been acne-free for the past two months thanks to my regimen, my skin has changed dramatically, so I thought I would share my regiment for those with similar skin problems that may be looking for a change. Also a list of some things that may be causing you acne.

THE PROBLEM: Since I was 12 until about two months ago (I am now 20), I've had oily-combination skin which broke out extremely easily, congestion (little clusters of stubborn pimples) on the forehead, bad zits on the apples of the cheeks and the chin and in between the brows. My skin is very very pale and sensitive to products. I tried everything from Cetaphil to ProActive to pure Tea Tree Oil, nothing has worked until now.

THE SOLUTIONS: Two months ago I went for a Face Mapping at Dermalogica counter in my department store. I invested in the Special Cleansing Gel. I saw improvements within a week, dramatic improvements in 4 weeks. I continue to use it now, its fabulous and even though very expensive, you only need to use the amount of a 5 cent coin drop in your palm and then soap it up like mad, so it lasts a long time. You can ask the Dermalogica assistant to demonstrate it for you. Discounts at: ry.com.au and skincarestore.com.au. But Dermalogica use face mapping to give you the right skn analysis, and they will know better what products you should use for your individual problems. Dont try to self-analyse, you'll probably get it wrong like I did the first time.

I no longer have oily skin or bad acne at all, my skin is actually very normal and the pimples are minimal. All that remain are the dark spots/ belmish marks from the acne I used to have, but I am looking into some products to help that now, as well as redness (Estee Lauder's Verite range is great for sensitive skin, using Verite Calming Fluid under makeup helps reduce redness).

For congestion / clusters I have been using the Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant - amazing. For a moisturiser I use Clinique Super Rescue Antioxidant Moisturiser. If you have pimples on your legs/thighs/arms as I do, I use Dermalogica Body Scub (this is quite pricy for the amount you have to use, but the improvements are amazing).

Now, if you use soap - dont. Massive mistake that I took way too long in trying to change. I thought if I had oily skin the soap will dry it up, that is so not true, it in fact inflames redness in the zits. In place of facial soap I use Clinique Facial Liquid for Combo skin, but they also have it for Dry and Oily.

For Sun Protection SPF: Yes, I experienced the same problems with clogging of pores even when using the mildest of sunscreens. I now use Clinique City Block primer SPF 25 as a base underneath my foundation (can also be worn alone), this will not clog your pores in any way.

So you can try these things for about six to eight weeks, see how it goes down with your skin. I am so happy with it, I cant believe it took me so long to find the right thing. Here are some other tips, though, which also have improved my skin majorly:

-Buy good quality make up. Cheap stuff like Revlon/Maybelline/anything you get in a pharmacy, is rubbish and ruining your skin and clogging your pores. I use Estee Lauder, but Clinique also have a great range. I know its expensive, but you will not see the same results with the skin care if you keep using cheap face-ruining foundations. I also recommend buying a foundation brush instead of rubbing your foundation into your skin with you fingers, this really clogs pores, the foundation brush will mean you have to use less makeup and have a more even coverage.

-Reduce / eliminate SALT. I used to love salt, I used copious amounts in my food. Having a salty diet when you have acne is the equivalent of rubbing salt into a wound. Acne / breakouts are the bodys response to inflammation/injury, so eating lots of salt only makes it worse/redder.

- Also, you may have an intolerance toward Dairy products, cheese, milk, yoghurt, cream etc. I found that I did and the moment I stopped dairy my skin conditions improved (as well as my sinuses). So maybe eliminate dairy for a month or two to see if makes any change.

- Red meat is also not the greatest for skin inflammation. I wouldnt recommend cutting it out completely if you dont want to (I love my meat, too), but too much red meat is an irritant to acne. I now only eat it once a week.

- For big zits, I'm talking about the major ones that show up like craters here and there, the only thing that i've ever found really works is good ol' Clearasil Acne Cream. But dont use this all over your face, only on the problem spots.

- Hate to say it, but constipation affects skin!! Get your bowls moving regularly, you will see a big improvement especially in the chin area.

Can't think of everything right now, but I can post some more tips up later. I've learned a lot over the last two years on how to care for my skin (and what is truly bad for it), so if you've found any of my suggestions helpful for your particular skin-type, I'm glad.


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