17 different women, 36 crazy children, 0 babies in utero
Adventures, Advice and Questions from a group of Mormon women who met in Queens, NY and have now scattered all over the place.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Blemishes, Pimples, and Zits...OH MY!

I have, what I consider to be, mild acne. I am looking for a solution, if any really exists. If talking about zits grosses you out, don't click "read more".

When I was a teenager I got plenty of t-zone pimples. Now I am 28 and I get those annoying deep pimples right in my cheeks. Yick. Sometimes the stubborn ones in the middle of my forehead. And unpleasant as it is, I'm a picker, poker, popper.

I don't always have them. But I can't say if it's the same time of the month that they appear. Just not sure if it's consistent.

I took some antibacterial medication that really took care of zits the year before my marriage. But, they compromise the effectiveness of "the pill" so I went off it. That was the best year for my face...hey...is that how I nailed that engagement? Gasp! I currently use "spot remover" by origins, but I don't know, it's not as magical as I'd hoped.

I've been using drugstore soap and face lotion for a long time and I'm ready for something new.

Here's what I'd like: Either

1) just a plain good-for-me cleanser and lotion so I know I'm not doing anything bad for my face. The pimples may come, but at least I'm not adding to them by using mediocre products.


2) a great anti-acne something. I'm really not interested in a 4-step $60 a month program. Unless everyone and their dog swears by it. I looked at Proactive. I almost went for it until I noticed a website with testimonials AGAINST it. It was scary! Definitley not going there.

Do any of you have good cleansers you trust? Lotions? Potions? Other techniques to fight the little bad boys? I'd much rather hear it from people I trust than people trying to sell me something!


  • I have extremely sensitive skin with rosacea, and I used to get those painful deep zits until about six months ago. I am in my 30s.

    Here's something weird about getting rid of the zits: I switched my hair products (away from Herbal Essences mousse and some sort of styling putty to Garnier fiber gum) and I have had next to no zit activity since the switch! It's the first time since my tween years that my face is clear. Yay! My theory is that there was some ingredient in the Herbal Essences not in the Garnier that got on my pillow and irritated my face. It didn't matter how often I changed the pillowcase.

    The cleanser I use on my face is expensive--about $17 a tube--but it lasts close to 3 months. It's Clinique rinse-off foaming cleanser. I like that it feels soft and creamy, smells mild, and keeps my skin from getting dry even though it does feel clean.

    Give a thought to hair product experimentation. I'm not sure the rest of what I do makes much difference. Good luck!
    posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 5/03/2007 04:21:00 PM  

  • How about getting an IUD and going back to the good facial cleanser stuff?
    posted by Blogger Kage at 5/03/2007 04:28:00 PM  

  • I ran into the same problem after having my second child and going off the pill. So after months of wondering if it was ever going to get better I went to a dermatologist who put me on a STRONG oral antibiotic and Retin-A at night.

    I'm always in favor of visiting a dr. and getting their opinion. It's an awful feeling when your skin isn't at its best!
    posted by Blogger chloe at 5/03/2007 04:36:00 PM  

  • my husband who is a microbiologist suggests switching up the cleanser you use. triclosan, salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide are common acne fighting ingredients in cleansers. use one with triclosan for a few months and then switch to salicylic acid for a few months then to benzoyl peroxide, etc.

    however, i have been using this cleanser from dermologica for a few years now because i love it so much. i buy it at a beauty supply shop [about $25 bucks but lasts a few months].

    i also have been using this blemish stick from desert essence which i love. it is only $5 at trader joes. i put it on morning and night after i wash my face, before moisturizer. it is great for reducing redness if you do pick at your face and for making new zits disappear.
    posted by Blogger brenbot at 5/03/2007 04:54:00 PM  

  • I get terrible zits/pimples once a month for a week..and it stinks. I also use the clinque cleanser and love it. It's clean and mild and does a great job.

    good luck finding something that works.
    posted by Blogger Kara at 5/03/2007 05:13:00 PM  

  • Cetaphil, Cetaphil, Cetaphil. Best cleanser ever. Gentle, lightly moisturizing but not enough to cause a breakout, mild, and no heavy perfumes. When I'm out of Cetaphil, I use Dove, and people always tell me that I have nice skin (I may be chubby with ugly shoes, but I have pretty skin, hee hee). I get zits now and then, but not often. When I start putting heavy duty stuff on my face - that's when I break out.
    posted by Anonymous Sue at 5/03/2007 05:58:00 PM  

  • I don't know what birth control you are on but I was on Desogen for 3 months and it completely cleared my skin up!
    posted by Blogger Maria Tortilla at 5/03/2007 06:12:00 PM  

  • " I currently use "spot remover" by origins, but I don't know, it's not as magical as I'd hoped."

    oh darn it, that was my only recommendation and it has been magical for me!

    If you're committed to the BC pill, ortho-tri-cyclen is the anti-acne one.
    posted by Blogger cchrissyy at 5/03/2007 06:40:00 PM  

  • I have had acne my ENTIRE life. OR almost! I have gone to a dermatologist and been on prescribed medication from being 13 years old to about 2o yrs old, when I finished with Accutane.(the medication that is no longer in use because people's liver's were being ruined.)

    Anyway- my point is I have learned to live with and deal with acne. I should mention that from the age of 14 until this last year I have worked as a model too-which usually requires CLEAR SKIN. I have been able to keep it under control with a regimen.

    Cleanse with something non drying -lately I have liked The Healing Garden- Skin Organics- "rehydrate-facial cleansing milk" The first ingredient is organic aloe vera. I find it very softening and soothing.

    I then will use a toner with 2% Salicilic Acid. That helps to get rid of black and white heads.

    If you have large pimples, salicilic acid doesn't help as much as spot treating with a cream or gel that has 10% benzyl peroxide. I do that at night usually.

    After that I will put on a GOOD eye cream and a moisturizer with sunscreen!

    And my foundation has sunscreen too. Make sure your foundation and powders don't have oils in them that could break you out.

    Once a week or so I use a heavy clay based mask. I HIGHLY reccommend doing that- it makes my face look smoother, acne smaller, and pores tighter.

    Also- wash your makeup brushes,sponges, and pillowcases very regularly to keep them clean. I also wear my hair up at night to keep it off my face.

    Sorry so long- but I have had to do this for years- and it has worked well, so maybe someone else who needs help will try it.
    posted by Blogger Rachel H at 5/04/2007 06:52:00 AM  

  • Rachel H-

    Accutane is still in use, just so you know.

    Personally, I love the MaryKay toner.
    posted by Blogger Emily C at 5/04/2007 07:28:00 AM  

  • Ah, a topic dear to my heart. I struggled with acne in high school and early college--tried all the over-the-counter stuff for teens like Clean & Clear, etc., as well as Neutrogena, went to a dermatologist who prescribed at different times Differin gel, clindamycin (this was in a roll-top thing like deodorant), minocycline (pills), and erythromycin (pills). The pills worked but made me dizzy. The clindamycin dried out my skin and the Differin made it red.

    Finally in college I took a tip from my SIL who suggested the Dove Unscented beauty bar (not Sensitive Skin; it says it's fragrance-free but isn't really) along with benzamycin (a prescription topical gel that comes in a jar and is part benzoyl peroxide, part erythromycin) and Cetaphil lotion to top it off (benzamycin can be drying if you use a lot. It feels kinda like glue). Seven years later I have still never had more than the occasional zit.

    I stopped using Cetaphil lotion a few years ago except in dry spots and only use the benzamycin in spots where I feel or see a zit coming on. I have gotten benzamycin prescriptions from my various family doctors in places I have lived--just explained I have sensitive skin, asked for it, and gotten it. Depending on insurance it's not too expensive, at most it was $30 a jar and at the least it was $5 a jar.

    For me, I think it's about the unscented Dove bar. It's inexpensive--a couple of bucks for a big pack of bars--and amazing for sensitive skin. I preach its merits to all who will hear. Also frequent pillowcase washes/changes help. I have been on Alesse and Mircette bc and not been aware of any interaction between that and benzamycin.
    posted by Blogger Eliza at 5/04/2007 07:42:00 AM  

  • The only thing that has worked for this zit-infested girl was birth control (years back when I actually took the pill) and MaryKay. When I used MaryKay consistently (wash and moisturizer) my acne went away. Sometimes I wish I still used it...~sigh~
    posted by Blogger Cheryl at 5/04/2007 08:31:00 AM  

  • I got really bad acne after having my children. Some of the things that have really helped me are using Cetaphil for my shower cleanser and morning facial cleanser. It's cheap and works really well. I use Oil of Olay deep cleansing facial cloths at night. In the morning I use Duac topical gel in the morning after cleansing and Azelex cream at night after cleansing. I was on oral meds too, but stopped taking those a few months ago. My face has cleared up so much it's amazing. I also make sure to use oil free makeup and I use a daily moisturizer that is oil free as well. I have been seeing a dermatologist and have "acne surgeries" which are 1/2 hour facials every month. Just based on my experience, I would find a dermatologist in your area that offers the facials, switch to a cetaphil type facial & body cleanser, and make sure that your make-up is oil free. I hope these suggestions help! :-)
    posted by Anonymous mkc at 5/04/2007 10:24:00 AM  

  • I take my makeup off with baby wipes every night - just like my Mom, who has been using them for years, along with Cetaphil - (except that I use biodegradable wipes). It's gentle on my skin...
    posted by Anonymous Wendy at 5/04/2007 01:13:00 PM  

  • Thanks everyone for the tips! I appreciate having somewhere to start from now--with all your experiences and suggestions. And Sue, I love your perspecitve on your great skin despite chubbiness ugly shoes! Ha! Sometimes that's just how it goes, eh?
    posted by Blogger Katie at 5/05/2007 05:22:00 AM  

  • Skin, the eternal annoyance.
    I had horrible skin until a few years ago. It made wearing cosmetics no fun at all and I LOVE my makeup.(You can only disguise a pimple as a beauty mark for so long until someone notices that it's always in a different spot on your face.)
    I was one with the deep cyst-like blemishes and they were always there. I used Proactiv and it worked wonders, but it's not perfect for everyone.BUT, I don't use the whole program. Since it's so dry here I exfoliate about twice a week. You have to give all that stuff escaping your pores an opening to get out of. If you can't use an agressive exfoliator (a scrub) find a moisturizer with a passive exfoliator(a chemical), most lines carry something like that. A gentle toner is a nice middle step, something with fruit extracts will help exfoliate too, or you can rub pineapple on your face, but I say use a toner. I found a nice oil free cleanser at the drug store that I use day and night, and I follow up with toner, the Proactiv lotion and my treatments (anti-wrinkle creams, etc..)
    I tweak it when my skin starts to act up, tougher cleanser, lighter lotion, etc... After all these years I've got a pretty good understanding of how my skin works, but it wasn't easy!!
    posted by Blogger Mo Mommy at 5/05/2007 07:43:00 AM  

  • I too have tried many perscribed and over the counter items. what i have found that works and has left my face blemishless::

    1.Duac (topical cream-perscribed from your doctor-its amazing with no redness or peeling side affects-works like magic potion)
    2. Birth Control pills(I personally take Yazmin)
    3. Benzoyl Peroxcide 7.00 (in my face wash)

    the system is easy,quick and has great results! just ask your doctor, they will be able to help you
    posted by Anonymous dnebeker at 5/05/2007 07:58:00 PM  

  • My doc told me that all BC pills reduce acne, it's just that ortho-tri-cyclin paid for a study so that they can officially say "clinically proven."

    I wasn't going to post here because I have great skin, but then I read Eliza's comments and I had to agree--DOVE bar. My grandmother swore by it and I do as well.

    I thought back to when I had more problem skin. My skin wasn't the problem, I just wasn't caring for it in the best way. Once I figured out that I had dry skin and started using intensive moisturizes twice a day, my problem skin turned into my beautiful skin.

    I use Dove twice a day, exfoiliate a couple times a week with a wash, and moisturize, moisturize, moisturize. Sunscreen goes without saying (but I just did day it.)

    Now, it sounds like your problem isn't a topical issue (like my dry skin.) It sounds like you have cystic acne which is best cured by a dermotologist. There may be nothing topical that works, which is why you haven't found a solution yet.
    posted by Blogger Azúcar at 5/06/2007 09:05:00 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.
    posted by Blogger exfoliatiora at 5/12/2007 11:34:00 PM  

  • Very useful and excellent information..

    You may also find it useful to visit my website: http://www.healinginstitute.info
    posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 6/29/2007 11:30:00 PM  

  • Hey ladies I just wanted to ask if anyone of you had a great facial cleanser that you toataly swear by - I use velocity by mary kay and it usually works but I think I want something better. Help if you can! hehe thx-megan,12
    posted by Anonymous *SAM* at 12/13/2007 07:43:00 PM  

  • Hi,

    You have a nice blog. Acne affects more than just your skin. It can affect your entire life in very personal ways. I came across this product "Acme Terminator" in this website http://www.acneterminator.net. It seems to be good.

    posted by Blogger camilynn at 3/25/2010 11:21:00 PM  

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