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Combination skin..desperate help!

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I am about to be 21 years old and never had to fight with acne until last year, and now it seems I'm dealing with a constant breakout within the T-zone area and around my hairline. I don't wear make-up other than eyeliners and mascara so I don't what could be causing the break outs and since I've never really had to deal with acne I haven't a clue on what to use or where to start. I currently use a daily scrub by clearasal blackhead eliminating scrub and to be honest it seems to do nothing for me. I've been looking into some skin care kits but I dont know what works and what doesnt or what is good for combination skin. If you have any ideas or product suggestions that might help please reply any information will be greatly appreciated

 
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First of all, Aloha & Welcome to MuT CollegeBytes! You're definitely in the right place to get info from a diverse group of women.

I'm not sure what's causing your breakouts, but there are a few factors that could be involved. First, if you're under stress, this will definitely create mayhem to your skin. Try to add lots of leafy, green vegetables into your diet along w/lots of water to help combat the stress.

Second, try changing your cleanser. It could be that it's too harsh for everyday use, which might end up making your skin produce more oil. If you haven't already done so, add a toner & a moisturizer to your routine to help prevent excessive breakouts.

Third, if you work w/your hands often, make sure they're clean. Also, try to wipe down your phone(s) w/an alcohol wipe to remove excess oils & possibly do the same w/your keyboard--especially if you share your computer w/friends, roommates or coworkers. Last, change your pillowcase weekly & also try to change your face towel every 2 days--or simply dry your face w/a paper towel like Bounty or Brawny. By changing your towel, you don't recontaminate your face w/oils previously removed.

Last, if you've changed your shampoo or conditioner recently, you might want to reconsider this. I found that after changing either, my skin will break out along the hairline to accommodate the change. Try rinsing your hair w/cool water for about 90 seconds to make sure any excess residue is completely gone.

Hopefully, these will help. Definitely do the pillowcase & towel thing immediately. I use a fresh wash cloth every 2 days & have seen a HUGE difference in my skin since I trying this 2 years ago.

Good luck!

 
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Hi Collegebytes, welcome to MuT! What are you studying in school? We've got some other students here as well... computer science, graphic design, fashion design etc. I was a theater major.


I have to second all of Gail & Kim's advice, especially making sure your pillowcases & towels are fresh! If you continue to have problems, I'd suggest visiting a dermatologist for topical medication, like Differin gel (my holy grail).

 

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Hi and welcome to MakeupTalk! I agree with others about the reasons that might be causing the breakouts like stress, wrong cleanser etc. It's hard to pin point so good luck with trying to narrow down the possibilities. If it's hormonal it's just going to take some time. Stress is definitely a huge factor. I notice myself that as soon as I feel very stressed I get breakouts. Finding a good skin care program (cleanser, toner and a moisturizer) and sticking to it is the key. Even though you don't use makeup it's still very important to wash your face every day preferable morning and night but if your skin is too dry which in turn can be causing breakouts nightime cleansing should be enough.

 
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Welcome to MakeupTalk, Collegebytes! I'm Janelle from NY - nice to meet you!
I actually had the opposite... I had breakouts when I was younger, but they cleared up around 21... guess it could be triggered by a hormonal thing like Kim said. I also started using Murad Acne Complex Kit - and perscription Differin gel... and that really helped a lot (Especially the Murad, since I didn't get the Differin until about a year ago to spot treat) The girls gave lots of good tips... hope it helps!
 
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Originally Posted by Joyeuux ... computer science... hehe, that would be me!

Anyways, I'm 23 and still deal with acne on parts of my face. I went to a dermatologist for years, and tried several prescription creams, and he also gave me a whole list of other things to do. However, he said that my "acne" was not "true" acne, rather it was just clogged pores caused my oily skin. If your blemishes are small and hard instead of large and white you may have similar skin as me.

Since I wanted to save money (my parents stopped buying me things once I got married
) and my skin isn't as bad as it used to be, I've switched to over-the-counter treatments. Right now I am using Stridex for Sensitive Skin, which contains only 0.5% salicyclic acid (a common acne-fighting medicine), since too high of doses can dry and irritate my skin. However it's not working that great so I will either switch to 2% salicyclic acid and/or add benzoyl peroxide to my routine, another common ingredient. (Or maybe I will break down and get a prescription refill. Using Clindegel in the morning and Tazorac at night worked well for me.) If you want to try one of these OTC medicines, I recommend starting with a low dose first to make sure it doesn't irritate your skin, and if it doesn't make a difference maybe you can try higher doses. Also there's no need to apply acne medicines to the dry areas of your skin, since that will probably just irritate it. Start with 0.5% or 1% salicyclic acid, and 2.5% or 5% benzoyl peroxide (most benzoyl peroxide creams have 10% which I remember used to dry out my skin.) Also, I *think* it was benzoyl peroxide that can bleach your clothes and pillowcases (although maybe I remember wrong and it was a prescription cream that did that), so if you use it at night use white pillowcases and sleep in an old t-shirt. I am also using Biore's Shine Control Foaming Wash in the morning, and while I do think it gets my skin clean it doesn't help with the shine much.

My dermatologist stressed the importance of keeping oil off of my face. Here are a few of his suggestions in addition to the prescriptions:

  • Wash your face twice a day to remove any oils. He also suggested using Cetaphil soap (or Dove soap if your skin starts getting dry) and a Buf Puf sponge to clean and exfoliate in one step. I still do this daily, at night.

  • Many shampoos and all conditioners contain oils that can clog your pores. My dermatologist gave me a list of "safe" shampoos, the only ones I remember are Herbal Essence and Prell. To avoid oils from conditioners getting on your face, only apply conditioner to the ends of your hair (besides, applying conditioner to the roots can weigh down your hair!)

  • If you ever do wear other make-up, make sure it is non-comedogenic or non-acnegenic (ie, non-pore-clogging -- products labeled "oil free" may still contain other pore-clogging ingredients).

  • If you use a moisturizer on your face, make sure it is also non-comedogenic. My doctor recommended Cetaphil.

  • While eating greasy foods or chocolate has not been proven to cause acne, if you have grease on your hands then accidently touch your face you can spread those oils to your face. My doctor said to wash my face after every time I ate greasy foods like french fries, but um, yeah, I don't do that because I don't want to reapply all my makeup! In general, just avoid touching your face to spread oils.
Hope that helps!

 
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Hey, I had another thought -- what do you use to wash your face? Loofah sponge, washcloth? Whatever you are using, make sure that it <i>thoroughly</i> dries out between each use. I had a friend in high school that had terrible acne for years, tried a ton of different prescriptions (some with bad side effects) and nothing helped. Finally, a doctor determined that it was not acne, but a bacterial infection caused by her loofah sponge -- the sponge never dried out in the middle and bacteria were growing in it! She went on a "campaign" telling all her friends how evil loofah sponges are, and I've always used washcloths because of it -- at least with a washcloth it is easy to feel if it is dry!


 

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