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bwood
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I am female, 40 years old, dealt with acne forever. In the past I have taken antibiotics, used RetinA, Benzyol Perioxide, Accutane all with mixed success. I have had three children in the last 4 years so I haven't taken anything or used anything topical for several years. The acne flared during my pregnancies but I just lived with it. My third child was born 9 months ago and my acne has been consistently present since she was born. My acne is concentrated on my cheeks and forehead, with some on my jawline. I was using Dove sensitive bar soap and Aveeno lotion. I want to find better cleansing and moisturizing products.

I found your site and have placed two product orders. I started using Coral Kavi two times a day, witch hazel as toner twice a day, and SPF 30 in the morning and Hyaluronic Acid 95 at night. After two days I could see the color of my skin was improved and the bumps I had were starting to heal. But by the end of the first week my skin was very dry and tight. I ordered DermaWash and Salicylic Acid 8. I stopped using Coral and started washing twice daily with DermaWash and using SPF 30 morning and Hyaluronic Acid 95 evening. My skin got a little better but was still dry and new large bumps were forming daily. I have done two Salicylic Acid 8 peels for 20 seconds, one week apart. The first went well, the second left my skin very dry and flaky I have read your feedback to others on the forum and have now scaled back my product use. Right now I am seeing my dry skin start to improve, but bumps are still forming. My current regime (as of this last week) is:

morning: cleanse with water, use SPF 30
evening: cleanse with DermaWash, witch hazel as toner, Hyaluronic Acid 95, and spot treat bumps with Salicylic Acid 8
My questions:
1) My skin tingles a little after using DermaWash and I have to moisturize after cleansing with it because my skin feels tight. Do you suggest I try a different cleanser? Or do I need more time to adjust to DW?
2) Do you believe there will be any benefit to me using your toner instead of witch hazel?
3) Do you think I should use the Glycolipidic Moisturizer in addition to the Hyaluronic Acid 95?
4) I want to have something to use as spot treatment. Salicylic Acid 8 is having a positive impact, but it is taking 4-5 days to heal bumps. I am curious about trying SA 15 for spot treatment only. Do you recommend I try that, or should I try the Sulfur Suspension as spot treatment?

 

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It sounds like you have found the right products to treat your acne but that the application intervals are too close together. Your skin may be too sensitive to use the products as directed, and given your current regimen, it appears you've already discovered that:

morning: cleanse with water, use SPF 30
evening: cleanse with DermaWash, witch hazel as toner, Hyaluronic Acid 95, and spot treat bumps with Salicylic Acid 8


The regimen above is a good one for sensitive skin, though you may wish to cut out the witch hazel altogether. And do remember that a spot treatment must be applied only to a lesion and not to the skin surrounding it. Your goal is to open up comedones, and you only need a 1mm diameter application of salicylic acid on top of the lesion to be effective. And if you are using Salicylic Acid 8 as a spot treatment, then you shouldn't really be using it as a mask once weekly (especially on skin as sensitive as yours).

Also, no need to bring in the Glycolipidic Moisturizer right now: you don't have naturally dry skin that you are attempting to protect from the onset of premature aging. You have acne-prone skin that you are drying out with too many antiseborrheics, and so your best course of action would be to lengthen application intervals until your skin no longer feels dry and no longer exhibits signs of new acne infection.

You're almost there.. keep fine-tuning and let us know how things go. Cleansing with water morning and night five days out of seven isn't out of the realm of possibility, so don't be afraid to explore those outlying regimens.

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  • 4 weeks later...

For the last three weeks I have cleansed with water morning and night 4-5 days a week and used DermaWash on 2-3 evenings. I continue to use SPF 30 mornings and Hyaluronic Acid 95 evenings.

 

Overall my dryness is getting better, but every time I use DW my skin shows signs of peeling/flakes. There has been some clearing of bumps on the skin, but I have new bumps, both small and large, forming daily.

 

Any other advice, or do I just have to be patient.

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With DermaWash applied two to three times per week and with no other antiseborrheics in your regimen, it is noteworthy that you still are observing symptoms of dryness. It would seem your skin is very susceptible to dryness, and this is not uncommon among patients who have undergone treatment with isotretinoin drugs in the past.

 

You also mention that you have taken antibiotics in the past for your acne. It was a common practice in the 1980's and 1990's to put patients on long-term antibiotic regimens to treat acne. It is widely held today that the long-term use of antibiotics creates resistant strains of acne that persist into adulthood and are extremely difficult to treat. Hormonal shifts due to pregnancy and nursing can further exacerbate breakouts. We do have many users of our products who fit this profile (5-10 years of antibiotic use (e.g., tetracycline) coupled with 4-6 months of isotretinoin treatment) and who have found a balance of our products to reduce their rate of acne infection by up to 90%.

 

At this stage, you may want to change up your regimen again to see if you can achieve an improvement. For example, you may want to switch to a very mild cleanser (e.g., Cetaphil - made by Galderma) and then administer a salicylic acid mask (KAVI, 8%) every two weeks. That regimen also works well in cases similar to yours.

 

Let us know how things go over the next month. We want to help and also learn what ultimately works for you.

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