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Cleanser dilemma - PLEASE - NEED ADVICE

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I am pulling my hair out trying to pick a cleanser.  I used to use a BP 2.5 cleanser but then wanted something ultra gentle so I've been using baby shampoo for the last month.  Results haven't been as bad as you'd think.  The real big under the skin lasts for weeks types of pimples have stopped (So I feel the BP was causing that.) But, I've broken out a bit with littles ones, especially on my forehead and near my skin.  They go away quickly but they still appeared.  I REALLY want to keep using a gentle cleanser rather than one with harsh chemicals in it, but every single one I think of using contains pore clogging or irritating to acne prone skin ingredients - Cetearyl Alcohol, Sodium Chloride, Sodium Laureth Sulfate  - (Cerave, Purpose, Cetaphil, Olay, the list goes on.)  These are for my skin type yet why do they have these ingredients!? 

 

Is there anything someone can recommend that I can pick up at the store that is for acne prone and oily skin, that will actually do something for my skin and is gentle and doesn't contain these bad ingredients? I need something that is gentle that'll at least do something. Baby shampoo doesn't do crap b/c it's not supposed to ,and it has sulfates.  That's probably what's irritating me.

 

Any help please? I would greatly appreciate it.  I need something ASAP so I can get my skin better, with something that actually helps it but doesn't irritate it. Thank you.

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I advised someone else to try using the oil cleansing method with argan oil. I made another post about it because they had such great results (she has cystic acne too btw). I don't know if you've tried the OCM but back when I had acne and fairly oily skin it really helped to balance things. Surprisingly it didn't make me oilier, or break out my incredibly acne-prone skin at the time. Argan oil isn't cheap so I don't use it every night but when I do I always wake up with glowing skin. 

By the way, since you mentioned you get cystic acne, I thought I'd include that I used to get those too. The deep, painful ones :/ No fun!

Edited by Luna878

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I would think it would make my skin oilier, interesting.  I still really want to use a regular over the counter gentle one instead of baby shampoo.  I was seeing some good things about Neutrogena fresh foam. I just don't know.

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I caved in and I'm just going to use the BP 2.5 cleanser again b/c my skin has gotten worse and I can't take it anymore.  A month and a half off of it, don't know why it's such a delayed effect.  I started vitamin D recently and I don't know if that's causing it? it's supposed to be good though. To be honest my skin never got completely under control and things took longer to heal on just baby shampoo, BUT, it seemed like it was going to work.

 

Really don't understand my skin.

 

I still might try something else once I get my skin back to control with the BP.  I guess I'd just rather get a big one than dozens of littles ones.  I guess those are my options.

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Sorry you're having all that trouble with cleansers. I hope you can figure this out! I used to think just about everything was gonna break me out. I was half-right, because my skin is VERY acne-prone. But once I took care of my gut/diet I noticed after a while that I could begin to use old cleansers and products that I thought were the bane of my acne before, and they were no issue at all. Feel free to pm me if you want more advice on internal stuff because it could easily turn into a looonng post!

Two other great cleansers I've used are 1) plain 'ol Honey (doesn't take off makeup though) and 2) Purpose Gentle Cleansing Wash (I think there are reviews of it somewhere on this site). Hope this helps!

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People need to stop being totally afraid of certain ingredients, particularly Cetearyl Alcohol and Sodium Chloride, as long as they aren't the first ones on the list, I would still try to avoid SLS. 

Honestly, the most success I ever had with my skin during my acne struggle was using brands like PanOxyl and CeraVe hydrating cleanser (I have sensitive, dry, skin, prone to inflammatory acne). I tried the "organic" stuff for along time, like neem and tea trea oil- and while it might be fine for me now that my acne is under control - it just wasn't effective on its own. The medication in PanOxyl creamy wash 4% got rid of the existing infection and prevented new infections from forming. 4% turned out to be the perfect amount of BP, because it was potent enough to be effective but not too irritating (and the creaminess of the wash made it feel gentle). I still use it when I have an occasional menstrual pimple. And the CeraVe was gentle and the ceramides in it protected the moisture barrier in my skin. 

However, I do think that it's usually best to avoid too many ingredients and added fragrance, etc. I recommend you look into CeraVe and Simple products - they have options for oily skin and for dry skin. Neutrogena, Aveeno, and even Cetaphil have too many ingredients, and I don't trust them for my skin - Neutrogena makes a great mascara though!

Remember, you don't want to dry out  your skin!  

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20 minutes ago, SiriBai said:

People need to stop being totally afraid of certain ingredients, particularly Cetearyl Alcohol and Sodium Chloride, as long as they aren't the first ones on the list, I would still try to avoid SLS. 

Honestly, the most success I ever had with my skin during my acne struggle was using brands like PanOxyl and CeraVe hydrating cleanser (I have sensitive, dry, skin, prone to inflammatory acne). I tried the "organic" stuff for along time, like neem and tea trea oil- and while it might be fine for me now that my acne is under control - it just wasn't effective on its own. The medication in PanOxyl creamy wash 4% got rid of the existing infection and prevented new infections from forming. 4% turned out to be the perfect amount of BP, because it was potent enough to be effective but not too irritating (and the creaminess of the wash made it feel gentle). I still use it when I have an occasional menstrual pimple. And the CeraVe was gentle and the ceramides in it protected the moisture barrier in my skin. 

However, I do think that it's usually best to avoid too many ingredients and added fragrance, etc. I recommend you look into CeraVe and Simple products - they have options for oily skin and for dry skin. Neutrogena, Aveeno, and even Cetaphil have too many ingredients, and I don't trust them for my skin - Neutrogena makes a great mascara though!

Remember, you don't want to dry out  your skin!  

I agree.

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Thanks for all the replies.  I have thought about Purpose cleanser but again, some of the reviews and ingredients throw me off.  I tried baby shampoo, didn't do anything and apparently I need something.

yea I just wish I knew what was the cause (don't we all?)  BP cleansers just seem to keep it under control and get it back under control, I just have wanted to be BP free b/c I know it's not good, but I guess I can't be.  Without it I'm too oily and exposed.  I really thought that as well about it just being a cleanser and it shouldn't matter so much...the fact that it just goes on the face and right off..that it couldn't make as much of a difference as it seems to.  I've read soooo many bad things about cetaphil as well.  Speaking of them...anyone know much about Cetaphil dermacontrol? It doesn't contain any of the "bad" ingredients, and it has some good reviews, and is designed for acne-prone and oily skin like mine.  Was thinking of trying that b/c it's "gentle."


My goal has been to just rely on a cleanser but it doesn't seem to work out.  I was doing the acnefree 3 step for ten years and have been off it for a year after slowly weening off of it b/c it lead to cysts towards the end for some reason so I was tired of going through the trouble without it working, so I just use the 2.5 BP cleanser from the kit that I can buy separately.  And my general doctor gave me clindamycin as well, only it's the water based one, and I've been dabbing that with a cotton ball on the spots I am more keen to break out in, and it seems to work for the most part. 


Well that's a good point about things like Cetearyl Alcohol and Sodium Chloride and how they're not the first one listed. 

Cerave cleansers I go back and forth on, b/c the foaming one contains sodium chloride which I don't want ,and the hydrating one doesn't but it's not for oily skin, just dry skin.

My dermatologist offered me accutane, or tretinoin and told me to use baby shampoo.  I was too afraid to use the tretinoin b/c I read horror stories about it so, I just tried the baby shampoo and my clindamycin, and it wasn't enough. So that's why I went back to using the BP cleanser and still the clindamycin, morning only.  I wish my dermatologist was more helpful.

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Get a filtered shower head!!!! You will be amazed how your water is damaging your skin and hair. A filter will filter chemicals making your hard water softer. Trust me, I have tried everything before I started washing my body with only filtered water. Wash your face with combinations of honey, lemon, and coconut oil. Thayers Witch Hazel (No Alcohol) as toner. Use aloe Vera gel as moisturizer. Tea tree oil is great too. Best of wishes.

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