Jump to content
Acne.org
Search In
Find results that contain...
Find results in...
TheBean

Crossing my fingers! I think this is working!

Background on my current situation...42, acne history is pretty normal...skin has always been on the sensitive side. Started having more frequent mild to moderate break outs after turning 40, gradually worsening until I started to get frustrated and decide I had to do something about it.
Began researching the products and ingredients and treatments,  everything!  The trial and error phase has been rough,  but I'm learning a ton! 
I have decide to test my most recent theory.  All of these products geared to treat and are WAY too strong.  Which kind of makes sense from a marketing standpoint.  People want to see results NOW. The problem is,  anything that claims and delivers fast results (3 days to clearer skin,  etc.) would have a "rebound" effect on me and a week or two later I would start breaking out even WORSE.  
This last "remedy" triggered an outbreak that really took the cake. So, I decided the day before Thanksgiving to pull the plug.
I decided to back off of products that are geared towards "acne", save one or two. I mean,  I was using an acne soap,  acne toner,  multiple (three) spot treatments,  most of which would leave a horrible acid hole in my face like I got spattered with the blood-ooze in the movie "Alien". It was all just too much. Plus,  I backed off of all the extra supplements, except for my daily multi vitamin and vitamin d. Instead, I made a pact to eat more green vegetables every day. Like, a lot more!!!

My new night routine:
Remove makeup - Clinique rinse-off foaming cleanser (gently!)
Wash face - Clinique mild bar
Toner - Dickenson's Witch Hazel (the pharmaceutical blue label)
Spot treat - Phytomer Oligipur Blemish target gel (the ONLY spot treatment that NEVER leaves a hole or causes more acne on me.)
*Once every three to four nights (was doing this every night and it was over-exfoliating) - Peter Thomas Roth 10% Glycolic Acid Hydrating Gel

New Morning Routine: 
Wash face - Phytomer Accept Neutralizing Cleanser
Toner - Phytomer Flawless Skin Tonic
Treatment adds some moisture - Phytomer Acnipur
Moisturize - Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirsty Skin relief
Then makeup,  if desired....

I've been doing this almost two weeks and my skin is looking a thousand times better. The blemishes (nay, volcanoes!) I had erupting on my face started going down right away.  They didn't disappear magically,  but I wasn't looking for that.  I was looking for just steady progress. I've not had any new zits and the old ones are almost completely gone now. My skin has not been red, inflamed or irritated. So far,  I couldn't be happier with the progress. Even the redness and scars from the recent acne are healing and fading. 
I plan on tweaking this as my skin gradually adjusts...I do think I need a little more moisture... I'm going to hold steady with this for a while (4 to 6 weeks) since I'm still experiencing progress, before I try to change anything.
I will update...Wish me luck!

 

Edited by TheBean

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How has it been going? From your review I'm thinking of using the PTR glycolic acid gel as a chemical exfoliant since I have closed comedones that I'm trying to purge and get rid of. I do also have really sensitive skin so I'm hoping this works for me. Let me know the progress!

How has it been going? From your review I'm thinking of using the PTR glycolic acid gel as a chemical exfoliant since I have closed comedones that I'm trying to purge and get rid of. I do also have really sensitive skin so I'm hoping this works for me. Let me know the progress!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I tried a little bit of apple cider vinegar,  seemed to help purge some of the blackhead clogs left from my last bad soap experience,  but then I think it was causing more clogs than it helped, so I stopped. 
I decided to trade the mild bar in my regime for the Clinique Acne bar. 
I bought PTR's Max Complexion Correction pads and Mario Badescu Drying Lotion. I used them for a couple days. The pads are strong and burn a little...I won't use them every day,  here and there would seem sufficient. The drying lotion is only for active spots and works great. Really. Those are the only changes I've made to my regime so far. 
I had enough points saved up at Ulta to buy a Clarisonic Mia Fit (so it was free! ) with the Radiance brush head and used it for the first time this morning. 
Skin isn't perfect yet,  but I'm still improving!  Almost all of those blackheads have worked their way out...and the Clarisonic did make my face feel great today. My idea is to use it once a day...make up is nasty crap these days and doesn't want to come off.  That's just undeniable.  I'm optimistic about it. I'll be back with more updates.
Thanks for asking!!! :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Everyone,
So I wanted to give an update on how my routine was going. I have made some adjustments, but it is still pretty simple--maybe even more so. After about a month of sticking to the routine above, my skin had recovered greatly from my run-in with the bad soap (Blackheads and comedones EVERYWHERE).

At that point, I felt like my progress was stagnating. I suspected that I was starting to get some new blemishes (a few, but  NOTHING like what I had just gone through) from some of my current products. (Some ingredients can have a cumulative effect, so you won't see blemishes right away.) Many of the Phytomer products contain algae extracts, etc. 

I really wanted to give the Clarisonic a try. The technology can actually drive products (the cleanser) deeper into your pores, so I wanted to be sure that the cleanser I used with it was one that I trusted to help clear me up--not clog me. I decided I should first try it with the Clinique Acne Solutions Face & Body Bar. (I've always had consistent results with it.) 

For roughly the first week, I used my Clarisonic in the morning...this week, I decided to try it at night...just to see if the time of day of usage makes a difference? (I DO NOT use it twice a day.) 

My revised night routine:
1)  Remove makeup - Clinique rinse-off foaming cleanser (gently!)
2)  Wash face - Clinique acne bar (with or without Clarisonic Mia Fit-Radiance head)
3)  Toner - Phytomer Flawless Skin Tonic with a tiny squirt of Dickenson's Witch Hazel (the pharmaceutical blue label) (I use this on a folded Bounty paper towel, because I discovered years ago that cotton balls/pads cause me to break out!)
*I rotate this with Peter Thomas Roth Max Complexion Correction Pads...I use this in place of my toner, I do not use both in the same night.

4)  Spot treat - Mario Badescu Drying Lotion

Revised Morning Routine: 
1)  Wash face, usually in the shower - Clinique acne bar (with or without Clarisonic Mia Fit-Radiance head)
2)  Toner - Phytomer Flawless Skin Tonic with a tiny squirt of Dickenson's Witch Hazel (the pharmaceutical blue label)
*I wait before continuing to the next steps...allowing my skin to cool and pores to close. Typically, I get dressed, brush my teeth, etc. Then, I resume my routine with the following steps.

3)  Moisturize - Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirsty Skin relief
Follow with makeup,  if desired....

This change has resulted in further improvement in my skin. The Clarisonic really improved my skin texture and discoloration and cleared out the last few blemishes rapidly. Also, oil production seems to be dropping and my pores are already starting to appear smaller, as well as lines. I am looking younger and more "glowy" too. I did take a couple breaks from it for a day or two, because I didn't want to over-exfoliate my skin. I'm only a week and a half into it now, but after about 5 days, my skin was officially CLEAR for about a day, Then, I a got another zit (was probably already forming under the skin.) It's already on the mend...and it was just ONE (Thanks Aunt Flo). :)


Since my skin is doing sooo much better - and it takes your  skin roughly 28 days to "turn over", I am going to try to stick with this for a month like I did last time...

 

Edited by TheBean

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Happy Friday!
I wanted to update again, since I had made some changes...and new discoveries in the last couple weeks.
I had started to get blackheads in unusual places again--which is not the norm for me. I've been carefully scrutinizing the ingredients to all my products and my routine...I suspected that the culprit was in the Acne Bar. Although it never bothered me before, I think the Clarisonic was driving it deeper into my pores and I was using it more frequently, etc. The Acne bar contains some corn starches. They absorb oil...but it makes a sticky paste. Mix it with butter and you'll know what I mean. Anyway...I decided to try revert back to the Clinique Mild Bar. This change resulted in instant results and reduction in blackheads. Yay! 
Also, I decided to forgo the Phytomer Toner because it contains Algae extracts. I've always had great success with Witch Hazel, but as I've gotten older it's become too drying and harsh (alcohol content)....I decided to give the Mario Badescu Aloe Toner a go and mix the two. The first week I did a 50/50 mix. It was working great...I noticed I was a tad dry by the end of the week, so I adjust the mixture this past week. I did higher ratio of Aloe and lower on the witch hazel....2 parts Aloe, 1 part witch hazel. I had been wanting to try the new Dramatically Different Cream, so I used a tiny amount of that a couple times this week to combat dryness.
The other thing I realized is that Butylene Glycol is a big offender for me. Anything that has it particularly high on the list (and especially in acne treatments) actually caused more acne or made existing ones worse. The ones that normally would've come to a small head and popped--just wouldn't...they'd dry out on the surface and turn into big cysts that wouldn't go away. I've been doing my best to reduce my exposure to it.
I've noticed real improvements in my skin this week. Old acne redness is fading quickly. Old acne spots are healing rapidly and overall texture has improved immensely. My oil production has dropped dramatically. 2 or 3 months ago I was having to blot and powder almost every hour throughout my day. The last 2 days, I didn't have to DO ANYTHING ALL DAY. I got home after work and looked in my bathroom mirror and still looked good. I couldn't believe it. (...a little over 12 hours.) No new blemishes...no cystic stuff.
Overall, my routine has simplified as I've gradually ditched unnecessary products...here is my current regime:
 

My revised night routine:
1)  Remove makeup - Clinique rinse-off foaming cleanser (gently!)
2)  Wash face - Clinique MILD bar
3)  Toner –  WH/ MB mixture described above
4)  Spot treatments – Oxy 3-in 1 Maximum pads (spot treat only) and/or Mario Badescu Drying Lotion

Revised Morning Routine: 
1)  Wash face, usually in the shower - Clinique MILD bar (with or without Clarisonic Mia Fit-Radiance head—only 2 or 3 times a week)
2)  Toner – Same mixture as stated above
3)  Moisturize - Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirsty Skin relief; on top, but only as needed: Clinique Dramatically Different Cream

 





 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice regime! Glad it is going so well for you.
I love Witch Hazel as a refresher instead of toner these days. I get 100% Witch Hazel at Target and pour  it into a  bottle left from a coconut water face spray. I spray it after cleanse my face with a toner and before the serums/oils etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks! 
Yeah--I tried using Thayer's Witch Hazel without the alcohol. The problem with that is they don't even distill it, So the impurities and contaminants remain and I could tell...
I had been using the Clinique Moisture Surge Spray the same way you describe for years...it was originally a miracle product that soothed my skin and prevented blemishes, but recently I began to suspect it was having the opposite effect. Yep--they reformulated somewhere along the line and it too now has BG--the 2nd or 3rd ingredient! I've been considering replacing it by putting the MB Aloe toner in a spray bottle.
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

UGH! BREAKOUT! 
I'm so mad...my skin was looking better and better...I had NOTHING! Friday and Saturday...everything was perfect. NOTHING...
Sunday, My skin was looking kind of oily and I started feeling like I have a few clogged pores? I had a few blackheads that I noticed...hmm. 
Then--by Sunday night I started feeling the bumps...a few on my right cheek. 
I woke up yesterday, sure enough...I've got like 5 on my right cheek. 3 are clustered rather close together. They all seem to be cystic. I also have a small one on my left cheek and one lower near my jawline. I've also got 2 on either side of my nose--and I never really break out on my nose.
So, now I can't decide if it was something I put on my face or something I ate? Is that possible?
Every time I feel like I'm getting it figured out, THIS HAPPENS!!!
 
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
27 minutes ago, TheBean said:

UGH! BREAKOUT! 
I'm so mad...my skin was looking better and better...I had NOTHING! Friday and Saturday...everything was perfect. NOTHING...
Sunday, My skin was looking kind of oily and I started feeling like I have a few clogged pores? I had a few blackheads that I noticed...hmm. 
Then--by Sunday night I started feeling the bumps...a few on my right cheek. 
I woke up yesterday, sure enough...I've got like 5 on my right cheek. 3 are clustered rather close together. They all seem to be cystic. I also have a small one on my left cheek and one lower near my jawline. I've also got 2 on either side of my nose--and I never really break out on my nose.
So, now I can't decide if it was something I put on my face or something I ate? Is that possible?
Every time I feel like I'm getting it figured out, THIS HAPPENS!!!
 
 

:( Bar soap always makes me break out badly. Probably all the fatty substances/derivatives inside of it.  Gel cleansers are a lot safer. Also, some people just take weeks to break out to a new product. You can try eliminating each product one by one and see what happens. I hope it works out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Clinique Mild Bar doesn't have a lot of garbage in it and I've been using it for more than 20 years. They haven't changed the formula. I tried switching away from it a couple times, but I always seem to do better when I'm using it...Alternatively, if you look at the ingredients on a liquid cleanser, they are worse than this--and I haven't been able to find one yet that doesn't break me out terribly...
The ingredients of Clinique bar vs. Cetaphil:
Clinique MILD Bar:

Ingredient Function UV Acne Irritant Safety q1.gif
Sodium palmate 
 
‧Surfactant
‧Viscosity Control
‧Emulsifier
     
1
Sodium cocoate 
 
‧Surfactant
‧Emulsifier
     
1
Water 
 
‧Solvent      
1
Petrolatum 
 
‧Antistatic
‧Emollient
  0 0
4
Glycerin 
 
‧Solvent
‧Moisturizer
  0 0
2
Sodium chloride 
 
‧Viscosity Control      
1
Trisodium HEDTA 
 
       
1
Titanium Dioxide 
 
‧Pigment
‧Sunscreen
uva2.gif  uvb4.gif 0 0
1
~
3
Iron Oxides 
 
‧Pigment   0 0
2
Yellow 5 
 
‧Pigment      
3

Cetaphil:
Ingredient Function Acne Irritant Safety q1.gif
Water
 
‧Solvent    
1
Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate
 
‧Surfactant    
3
Acrylates/
steareth-20 methacrylate copolymer
 
‧Viscosity Control    
2
Glycerin
 
‧Solvent
‧Moisturizer
0 0
2
PEG-200 Hydrogenated Glyceryl Palmate
 
‧Emollient    
3
Sodium Laureth Sulfate
 
‧Surfactant
‧Emulsifier
3 2
3
Butylene Glycol
 
‧Solvent
‧Moisturizer
1 0
1
PEG-7 Glyceryl Cocoate
 
‧Surfactant    
4
Phenoxyethanol
 
‧Preservative    
4
Panthenol
 
‧Antistatic
‧Moisturizer
0 0
1
PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil
 
‧Surfactant    
3
Disodium EDTA
 
     
1
Methylparaben
 
‧Preservative 0 0
4
Masking Fragrance no matched results

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Seriously...if anyone has any insight on the above...the ingredients listed...suggestions...anything.
I found this Olay Fresh Effects Acne Hater cleanser--anyone try this? The ingredients...
 

Ingredient Function Acne Irritant Safety q1.gif
Salicylic Acid 
2%
‧Exfoliator
‧Whitening
   
4
Water 
 
‧Solvent    
1
Sodium Lauroamphoacetate 
 
‧Surfactant    
1
Polypropylene 
 
‧Viscosity Control    
1
Sodium myristoyl sarcosinate 
 
‧Surfactant
‧Viscosity Control
‧Antistatic
   
2
Sodium Trideceth Sulfate 
 
‧Surfactant    
1
Glycerin 
 
‧Solvent
‧Moisturizer
0 0
2
Sorbitol 
 
‧Viscosity Control
‧Moisturizer
0 0
1
Oxidized polyethylene 
 
‧Viscosity Control    
3
Acrylates Copolymer 
 
‧Antistatic    
2
Fragrance 
 
‧Fragrance    
1
~
4
PEG-120 Methyl Glucose Trioleate 
 
‧Viscosity Control
‧Emollient
   
3
PEG-100 
 
‧Moisturizer    
3
Citric Acid 
 
‧pH Adjusters    
2
Disodium EDTA 
 
     
1
Sodium Dehydroacetate 
 
‧Preservative    
1
Panthenol 
 
‧Antistatic
‧Moisturizer
0 0
1
Chamomilla Recutita Flower Extract 
 
     
1
Citrus Aurantium Dulcis Flower Extract 
 
     
1
Mentha Piperita Leaf Extract 
 
     
1
Methylchloroisothiazolinone 
 
‧Preservative    
6
Methylisothiazolinone 
 
‧Preservative    
7
Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract 
 
‧Moisturizer
‧Antioxidant
‧Emollient
‧Astringent
‧Sunscreen
   
2
Chromium Hydroxide Green 
 
‧Pigment    
2
~
4
Iron Oxides 
 
‧Pigment 0 0
2
Provitamin B5 
 
‧Antistatic
‧Moisturizer
0 0
1
Citrus 
 
     
1
Mint 
 
     
1
Chamomile 
 
‧Anti-inflammatory
‧Whitening
2 0
4
Green Tea 
 
‧Antioxidant    
1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So, I did some "recon" on my new zits last night...I picked. It wasn't just to feed my fancy of picking...I really wanted to do some investigating. The bumps appear cyst-like, but I really wanted to know if they are cysts, or clogs/blackheads. 
As [most of you] realize, I had a bad run-in several weeks back with a cleanser that resulted in a TON of clogged pores and blackheads. They've been gradually clearing...but the process can take a loooong time. I actually reached the point of little to no blemishes, until I reached a string of several days I was actually clear. (Fading red marks only.)
I find it a little strange that these all seemed to come out at once--within a 24-hour period. Today, they are looking better already and I don't have any new since these popped-up overnight Sunday to Monday. That's why I suspected maybe it was something I ate over the weekend that I don't normally indulge in. 
The big discovery of my picking adventure last night (after a prolonged washing in very warm water to help open the pores) is that they actually contain hard oil plugs, or basically--blackheads. 
Any new insight out there into obliterating and avoiding blackheads?
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Update:
It is now Wednesday morning and I did not get my usual Sunday-Monday breakout.  My skin is looking way better this week.  (I'm not expecting it to hold out through AF that way.) 
My cleansing routine has not changed...so far it's good. I did not eat especially restrictive or anything.
 I have been patch testing Neutrogena's new moisturizer Hydro Boost water gel with SPF 15. Apparently,  it has no comedogenic ingredients.  None (?!). So far,  so good. 

I started using NPC 9 days ago. I also stated taking DIM, Vitex and turmeric. I recently added Inositol,  selenium and magnesium (Friday night). I take them twice a day. 

I've seen really quick results so far, I'm hoping it's not a fluke. This week, I haven't even seen any new blackheads or clogs.

Getting hormones balanced takes time,  so I'm not expecting this ride to go without bumps...I'll continue to update.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Personalized Advice Quiz - All of Acne.org in just a few minutes


×