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Adapting Regimen For Daily Bike Commuting To Work

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I'm looking for advice on adapting my regimen to daily bicycle commuting and the inevitable sweat/irritation/sun exposure that will happen with this change. Currently I take public transit to and from work so this is not an issue. The ride will be about 4 miles each way. The weather should be moderate (50-90 degrees F).

A little background: I've had acne since puberty and am now 29 years old; my mother had severe acne into her 40's so I believe it's largely genetic for me. My acne is primarily inflammatory, with some non-inflamed blackheads. I've never had cysts. My skin is naturally oily but with all the BP and exfoliants I use, it tends to get flaky. If I skip even one application of BP, I will break out. I'm extremely sensitive to any kind of physical irritation-- for example, wearing a clean, freshly washed hat for an hour will break out my forehead. Sleeping on my side for a night will break out my cheek, even if I use a clean pillowcase. Letting a wisp of hair fall over my forehead can trigger a breakout. Basically anything touching my face, even if it's clean, will break me out.

So my issues with bike commuting are this: 1) wearing a helmet is going wreak havoc on my cheeks and forehead and 2) how do I adapt my regimen to deal with sweatiness/irritation from the ride? Luckily there is a gym in my building with sinks and a changing room so I'll be able to change clothes and do my post-ride regimen there. Since I tend to the dry/flaky side, I don't want to be washing and applying topicals before and after my ride each way (4 times a day).

Here is my current regimen (as you can see I'm a Paula devotee):


1. Wash with tepid water and Paula's Moisture Boost cleanser

2. Apply Paula's 2.5% BP

3. (If skin not too dry, sometimes apply Paula's BHA-- skipping this lately because I've been flaky)

4. Moisturize with Cerave SPF 15 moisturizer


1. Wash with tepid water and Paula's Moisture Boost cleanser

2. Apply exfoliant (alternate between Paula's 2% BHA liquid or gel, Paula's 10% AHA, or Dan's AHA)

3. Wait about 30 min and apply Paula's 2.5% BP

4. Moisturize with Paula's Moisture Boost moisturizer + 1-2 drops jojoba oil (if using Dan's AHA and I'm not too dry, skip this step)

Here is my possible plan for the cycling regimen. Please review and let me know your thoughts (especially where I've got question marks)!

A.M. (at home):

1. Around 7:30 a.m.: Shower and wash face with tepid water (no cleanser)

2. Apply some kind of treatment -- BP? BHA?

3. Moisturize w/ 30+ SPF sunscreen

4. Ride to work (wearing helmet) - Leave at about 8:15 a.m. and arrive around 9 a.m.

At work:

1. Wash face with Paula's Moisture Boost cleanser

2. Apply topicals -- definitely BP. What about an exfoliant?

3. Moisturize - SPF or no?

4. Do light make-up

5. Wipe down inside of helmet and straps with 70% isopropyl alcohol


1. Ride back home - Arrive around 6:30 p.m.

2. Shower, wash hair, and wash face with Paula's Moisture Boost cleanser

3. Apply exfoliant -- which one? Whichever I did not use in the a.m. application?

4. Wait about 30 min and apply Paula's 2.5% BP

5. Moisturize with Paula's Moisture Boost + 1-2 drops jojoba oil (if using Dan's AHA, skip this step)

Thoughts? Suggestions? Your experiences?

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