Thursday, 3 October 2013

Beauty Myths No. 2 - Skin Purging.

Your skin does not 'purge'.

If you start using a new product and suddenly have a face full of spots/redness/swelling - that product (or machine) is not for you.

There may be a risk of slight exacerbation of spots if you are acnaic and suddenly use a product high in salicylic acid for example, but that should not last for weeks on end.

I often hear things being sold saying 'this may make your skin purge for a while, but then it will be GREAT!'.

The reality is probably closer to 'this may give you a face full of spots, either because the ingredients are comedogenic, or your skin does not like some of the ingredients'.

The odd whitehead, i.e. proper traditional spot - appearing after using a new product is no big deal.

An angry red face with a mixture of swollen-won't-come-to-a-head spots, cysts, whiteheads and blackheads is not purging. It's your skin begging you to stop whatever it is you are doing. Listen to it.

Personally, even if my skin was bubbling under the surface like a dormant volcano, I'd rather treat it gently, use good facial plant based oils, massage it well and let it works it way through it. I don't want to use something that makes it erupt.

Hey ho. That's just moi.

120 comments:

  1. Thanks for this. Have read many product descriptions that claim your skin "will purge" and simply thought well that doesnt sound nice. For once my initial thoughts were right :) thank you

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    1. Hi caroline! I recentky used a lush mask of magnaminty mask and all the reviews were excellent! But safly it broke me out really bad and at dirst i thought it was purging as it brjngs all the impurities to the skin and there are huge angry pimples and under the skin pimples but now its just bad even after 1.5 months. Any suggestions for calming my skin? And my main problem is post pigmentation leaving big red spots adter the pimple is gone on my fair skin. Any suggestions to reduce that?

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  2. Thanks for this. Have read many product descriptions that claim your skin "will purge" and simply thought well that doesnt sound nice. For once my initial thoughts were right :) thank you

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  3. What about Clarisonics? I agree with you re: actual product on your face. But the "purge" stage of using the Clarisonic is well documented & kind of happened to me. Made my skin a bit flaky but then AMAZING after about a week!

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    1. I'm not a fan. I know that means the industry would literally like to line me up and shoot me but I think its over-exfoliating unless used REALLY gently.

      I mean this in the best possible way and don't mean to sound like a dick - but were you absolutely cleansing your skin 100% beforehand? PLEASE DON'T HATE ME.

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    2. Caroline - just started to read your blog & couldn't agree more. I think that a lot of people cleanse super fast with a gel or whatever but do not take use a washcloth which helps remove make-up. for me personally speaking there was no difference with the clarisonic vs a plain old flannel. plus clarisonic has become so . . .gimmicky ? with those made for feet and a separate one for eyes? Not for me. PS - I must add your skin looks so beautiful, soft and even toned!

      Cheers,
      Cassandra

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  4. This is so true, when I was younger I tried using a certain 3-step programme and my skin turned from bad to worse, I thought I'd wait 30-days to see if it cleared up, and when it didn't I went back to complain. I was told to wait another couple of months and when things didn't improve, I went back again, this time, for a full refund!

    It's such a shame that some companies feel it is acceptable to say this to people who are sometimes so desperate for good skin, they'll believe what they're told without question - the consultants on concessions are looked up to for their professional advice and shouldn't take advantage! I've learnt my lesson now, if I get a bad breakout which lasts longer than a few days, the products works its way into my bin!!

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  5. Dear Caroline, you're saying that we should treat our skin gently, so can I use liquid gold with Micro Cleanse and Balancing & Pore Refining Mask in the same time?

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    1. Alpha-H products are all ok to use together. Problems arise when you use differing strengths of acids/retinols etc - and invariably you won't know the %'s because companies very rarely give that info out. x

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  6. Oh my! I genuinely thought it was true! Thank you so much for doing this post, please do more of these 'beauty myths' posts, they're so helpful! xx

    www.peonyandpeach.blogspot.com

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  7. Not the best post to read while eating my breakfast perhaps but great to the point advice as always.

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  8. Am not disputing that this applies to "normal" skincare but what about pharmaceutical skincare i.e. Retin-A? Purging is a well-known part of the cycle of Retin-A.

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    1. Yes - I'm talking about high street brands in this instance - anything medical prescription strength is designed to alter your skin - that's why you need the prescription. I would still be wary if the 'purging' stage went on and on and on.... :)

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  9. I've been using the Neutrogena SPF 70 sunscreen, and have been breaking out since then. What to do?

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    1. Stop using it. Not much point going above a 50. And make sure you double cleanse - most people who break out using SPF do so because they don't take it off properly and it blocks the pores. PLEASE DON'T HATE ME. :)

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    2. Totally agree with this. If I use anything with SPF for more than a few days straight and don't cleanse my skin extremely thoroughly I get nasty break outs and or rashes . I find SPF aggravates my Perioral Dermatitis.

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  10. I guess the only exception is retin-A. The skin doesn't purge the first weeks but gets realy dry and flaky (for most, as always, every skin is different). But if you persevere, the results can be amazing.

    Anneke

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    1. Yes - like comment above - Retin-A - prescription strength - is designed to alter your skin x

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  11. Ah I just started using the Aveda exfoliating toner, after switching from ren (which I loved, am just excited by All The Skin Things), and have been getting a few spots, so this makes me feel better. As an aside - my main problem is actually post-spot pigmentation, I'm guessing I should have stuck with ren? I didn't know Aveda was SA until I got it. :-*

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    1. What exactly do you mean aveda is "SA"? I have no clue what "SA" means and love aveda:-) please let me know! just made $150 US dollar purchase:-( thank you

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    2. Its probably salicylic acid yes? That's fine. x

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    3. Sorry, yes! Shouldn't have assumed you'd both be able to read my mind ha! Sorry Jessica, didn't mean to worry you! :)

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  12. I've recently started using Decleor Iris oil and the day after felt like I had loads of little lumps under the skin. Is this normal or is it purging? They don't turn into spotty spots, just little lumps.

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    1. You may have a problem with the essential oil content. Try using it just in one place on your face for a couple of sdays and monitor it - maybe your left cheek for example? :)

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    2. Good idea! Thanks x

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  13. I don't really believe skin purging too. But what about Retin-A? Many people I know who use Retin-A experienced "worst skin phase" before and now their skins are good. Would that be classified as skin purging?

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    1. Kind of - its skin altering - see comments above :)

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  14. I always thought that was true. But at the same time I've heard numerous experiences of "it purged for about a week and then suddenly my face became clear". Was never sure how to treat this.

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    1. Each skin is so different - hard to say. :)

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  15. I have a friend who is saving up to invest in a certain mechanised face-cleaning gadget (rhymes with Schmari Schmonic) and has had the full sales pitch from a salesperson in, eh, Schmephora. She has heard all about the glowing, acne-free skin she will have, after THE PURGE has ended. I am sending her a link to this page immediately!

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  16. I tend to agree with you Caroline. However we keep hearing it over and over again with certain products (clarisonic, some exfoliating products). How come there are so many documented cases of "purging" with these products? What causes skin to "purge" and then become fabulous? Is it just the skin getting used to the ingredients? I have always wondered this.

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  17. This happened to me with Retin-A. I'm sure it works for some but I used it for "the 3 months it takes to purge" and switched to glycolic. I since have more balanced, less sensitive, clearer skin. And no milia, which it seems to cause.

    I do however would like to use vitamin A in my routine while continuing glycolic exfoliants/toners.Caroline, (or anyone else) do you have advice on how to introduce it into my routine while continuing to use an exfoliant 3 times a week?

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    1. It's possibly the added ingredients in the tretinoin that you were using that caused your milia, but it could be you used too much too often which is what causes the damage/irritation. It needs to be used in the lowest strength for a couple of months then gradually go up to the middle strength etc. A famous youtube makeup guy says use it every night regardless of the amount of damage it does to your skin. That's all wrong. You start off using it twice a week then graduate to 3 times a week and so on until you are not experiencing any irritation. Always wait around 40 mins after washing your face to apply the tretinoin. Tretinoin will cause irritation if there is any trace of water on your skin. If you are experiencing more than flaking and mild redness then back off and wait a few days then go again. Your skin is screaming at you to stop damaging it.

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    2. I completely agree with you on slowing down and building a tolerance, which I did but I decided to make the switch to glycolic and feel good about it.
      Is it possible to use a lower strength vit a/retinol (like a serum) while still using AHAs?

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    3. You can use Tretinoin (Retin A) with mild glycolic Acid toners but start off the Tretinoin very slowly and build up over a few months. And, start using the 0.025% strength. That's the key to having no damage to the skin.

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    4. Melissa,
      I'm a nurse in a dermatologist's office -I use glycolic acid based toners daily and retinol (serum) which is non-prescription 3-4 times weekly. You can introduce a well-formulated retinol serum into your routine slowly as not to irritate your skin. Perhaps twice weekly and gradually work up to every other night. There are many, many studies that show this combination is beneficial. Glycolic acid only works to dissolve the top layer of skin while retinol works deeper and is not a peeling type active. You may notice some peeling from retinol but this is related to your skin adjusting. Like Caroline has mentioned previously in other posts it is good to use the glycolics and retinol products around the eye area as well - of course not in the eye itself! Also avoid any serums with drying alcohols (fatty alcohols like cetyl & cetearyl alcohols are fine and moisturising - denatured alc is drying and bad for skin), menthol, camphor, phenol, lavender and such other irritants. These are often added to give you the tingly feeling that a product is doing something but it is your skin simply being damaged. And also never forget the spf!

      Hope that helps a bit,

      Anna B

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  18. Thank you for this post! I used REN n.1 purity cleanser for around 2 weeks and I saw some spot under my skin on my forehead and my chin. after I stopped using it my skin is better... but I was wondering.. what can I do with the cleanser? should I use it maybe just once a week? I don't really feel like throwing away 30 pounds.. but i'm quite afraid! Thank you!!

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    1. I had the same problem with that balm! Make sure you remove it with a hot washcloth and use an AHA toner after. But if it continues, try another balm since purity balm has a lot of essential oils/very rich which can exacerbate acne. I switched to clinique ttdo balm on caroline's rec and its wonderful. Try returning it if you decide to...?

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  19. So many people have told me the exact opposite so thanks for clearing the misconceptions up for me.

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  20. I 100% agree. And why would I stick with a product that makes me "purge" even if it "only" (WHAT?! Seriously?) lasts for a month, when there are so many others out there that won't?

    My dilemma right now, which I brought onto myself I guess with bad timing, is this: I started a whole new regimen (Somme Institute... anybody have any experience with them?) at the same time as I stopped taking the pill, and my face turned into a mess. I have no idea if the products had something to do with it, or if it was just hormones, or both. For the sake of science, I shall give them another go when my skin is back to normal because man, they are not cheap. But if my skin freaks out again even half of what it is doing right now, I will not even think twice before binning them, even if my wallet weeps. Hmmm.

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    1. I just had to pipe in here regarding Somme Institute. Using their products was hellacious for me. The breakouts started right away and would not stop. Full on zit beard. Giant cysts. It was disgusting. I stuck with it for about 90 days, and then I had to seriously rehab my skin.

      However, I will say that while I agree an extended purge points to things not working well... I know for a fact that my skin was really clogged from years of ill-use, mineral oil products and routinely (GASP!) going to sleep at night without washing my face. I know, I've learned. So when I started using products that exfoliated, I expected to purge all of those below-the-surface bumps, and purge them I did.

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    2. Thanks for your reply Nicole! Oh dear, I am sorry that you had to go through that.

      Yeah, I think I agree with you. If someone's skin is already in bad shape, I would expect it's normal for all those clogs to come out at some point. In my case though, it was excellent. Up until 1-2 months ago I rarely EVER got cysts (like 1-2 per year!), I would only get the occasional spot once a month, and my skin was very smooth, no under surface bumps. Forward to two weeks ago, and I too had a full on zit beard! Hilarious, don't know whether to laugh or cry...thankfully it looks like its on it's way to recovery. I interrupted the use of the Somme stuff, but I am actually very very curious to know if they were the culprit, which is why I want to try again when I get back on the pill and all returns to normal. But now I am scared, my skin hasn't looked this bad since middle school (I am 28).

      I hope your skin is looking fabulous now :)

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    3. I have never used Somme Institute, so I can't comment on their efficacy, but I do have something to say about the Pill. After I stopped taking the pill my face completely exploded with acne - I am in my early 20's and had probably experienced just two or three zits in my adolescence. I went to my doctor in desperation, and she told me that in the same way that going on the pill can help if you have acne, the hormones and changes in the endocrine system you experience when you stop taking it can make you break out as well.

      Nothing worked on this hormonal acne for me until my doctor prescribed an antibiotic topical gel and tretinoin. I used the antiobiotic during the day for two months and the tretinoin a few times a week in the evenings and everything has finally cleared up.

      I'm not a doctor and have no medical evidence on hand to back myself up with, but I'd really think that given your situation, the hormonal changes may be a more primary cause.

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    4. Hi anon, yes I agree with you, as I said above I have no idea if the products have anything to do with it. In fact before reading of so many people having a similar reaction as Nicole's to their products, I was 100% sure it was only hormones (and actually what you are saying IS backed up by science :) It is well known that hormonal changes are a primary cause for acne). But as the scientist that I am, I should have known better than to alter two variables in my little experiment at once. Hence the "need" to repeat it with one of those variables (hormonal) under control. In any case, I have no choice but to go back on the pill, and a very specific one at that. I suffer from PCOS and my condition is such that this particular pill (I've tried most, they didn't work) is the only thing that can keep me from getting huge cysts in my ovaries (I do internal ultrasounds every 1-2 years to check), bleed like there is no tomorrow (meaning I have been anemic most of my life, severely at some point), and get cramps that make it impossible to do anything. So... we will see ;)

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    5. I'm so glad to read your reply... I've been on Somme for almost two months and my skin is TERRIBLE... it has never been worse. There are no signs of it getting better but I've spent hundreds and hundreds on this regime, not to mention the mental investment believing that it will work, so not really sure what to do...

      I'm breaking out on my chin and jaw, where I have never had pimples before. Your description of a pimple beard is very apt! Every day I wake to new pussy pimples and every day I want to cry and die. All the (sponsored) blog posts have nothing but positive shit to say about Somme so it's really, really hard to find true feedback, hence why I'm so excited, (but so sad), to read your comment. And I've contacted Somme twice asking for advice and keep getting told that ny experience is normal, despite it contradicting all the (paid) blog posts... But it's been two months and my skin has never looked worse. Apparantely everyone is getting great results except me??

      Please help! Give me advice! What do I do? How is your situation now? Does it get better? Are my pimple beard and horrendous breakouts normal or have I been fooled and deceived by Somme?

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  21. I'm so glad you've written this. I avoid certain devices because of this so called skin purging! My skin has benefited so much from your advice of just simply looking after it well!
    x

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  22. What do you think of the La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo - everyone says it makes your skin 'purge' and it seemed to do that on me so I stopped using it - right thing to do ?!?

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  23. thank you for posting this! i've never bought into the idea of skin purging, but have always kind of wondered if there was any truth to it. i've read so many product reviews and heard plenty of friends describe "purging" phases that go on for MONTHS. i mean, at some point, you have to accept that a product just isn't working for you!

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  24. Love this post! Oh how I continued to use my Clarisonic waiting for the "purge" to finish... :)

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  25. Really useful post!! I have sent you an email 4 days ago but still no answer..:-(( thank you!!! Nina B.

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  26. When I used EH I got massive under the skin spots and tried to allow the skin to get used to it... BAD idea.


    For just over a month I have been getting breakouts on my jawline (awful), I have been losing a lot of weight around my face and I read this can sometimes lead to this. Or I've been using hydraluron? I would really appreciate your help Xx

    Olivia

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    1. I had the same problem with the EH balm I really wanted to love it but I have now a nearly full tub sat in my cupboard as my skin just didn't get on with it. I'm now using the Clinique take the day off balm and my skin is looking soooo much better. I think we just have to remember your skin is as individual as your fingerprint and what works for some won't work for all. Hope you find what's causing your probs Hun :) x

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  27. Caroline, I agree that an extended purge is probably not good. But, I know for me that I came from a place where I had really not cared for my skin for years (mineral oil, sleeping with makeup on, etc.) and I had gotten to the point where there were small lumps under my skin that I could feel. Shudder. Anyway, when I began caring for my skin and especially when I started using exfoliants I expected all of that gunk to come out. And come out it did... I don't know, I feel like a month is a reasonable timeframe? Is this crazy?

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  28. I have Rosacea.. For the first time in many many years it's controlled down to just slightly pink cheeks. I spent years thinking purging was the way forward. Actually all my skin was decent quality, gentle products- and a double cleanse with a hot cloth every night.
    Skin needs TLC, not abusing & purging

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  29. HA! I knew it :) Thanks Caroline, you rock!

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  30. Oh gosh, I used an Alpha-H moisturizer with salicylic acid in it TWICE and it gave me spots so I dropped it... Do you think I should've stuck to it? haha I used it for the black heads on my nose, I might give it another go. x

    Fernanda | Ferdie's Beauty Finds

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  31. Hi Caroline I love your blog!

    I just wanted to know if you think I should still take fish oil supplements as well as the Evening Primrose and Zinc I already take - or is the evening primrose enough???

    Thank you!

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    1. Primrose Oil is Omega 6 fatty acids. Fish oil is Omega 3 fatty acids.
      Omega 6 is not good to take as a supplement as we get enough from our daily diet.
      Omega 3 on the other hand is very good to take as a supplement. It is very important to make sure you get plenty of Omega 3.
      My advice is drop the Primrose Oil and take Fish Oil.

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    2. Thanks for that MaryB - My mum told me to take primrose oil because it can help alleviate pain with period. . but i'm thinking it doesn't really work as i'm in pain right now! lol.

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  32. Three cheers for common sense!
    :)

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  33. I am always wondering whether I should go for a product that claims to "make you purge :P for a while and then expect brilliant results" or not. But thanks to you I didn't have to learn this the hard way. Mwaaaaaaaaa you are the best and our saviour.

    xx

    Happy Locks
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  34. I have always agreed with this 'purge' thing as being a myth. When I was a teenager (long time ago) all my friends got on that famous 3 step programme and were all told that there skin would break out at first then would be fine after. Well some of the girls I knew went from normal teen skin to full on bright red and swollen or acne full faces!. But kept using it as they were told it would be fine in the end. I never bought that as to me it just looked like skin reacting to products that were far too harsh. I smelt the cleansing fluid from that range back then and it smelt like it could strip paint!

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  35. Thanks for continuing this series, Caroline! You are priceless!!! I've never believed in purging, because stuff that made my skin react, simply continued to do so...
    Some things that have made my skin (cough) "purge" during the past few years -
    Aveda creams
    EL ANR
    Nuxe Creme Prodigeuse (got it as a GWP with the oil, which I adore, but only use on my body)
    The new LRP 50+ Anthelios (sadly, as I loved the texture...)


    Caroline - do you already have an opinion on the new Clinique eye cream of which you posted s photo the other day?
    Got the Weleda rose eye cream as GWP the other day. Anyone has experience with that? Does not seem so high tech, jus plant stuff...

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  36. Thanks for this: question though, quit smoking just over a month ago and skin has been HORRENDOUS (dry, but spotty and irritated around chin/mouth/jaw). Had hoped that my skin is just ridding itself of smoking nasties and this will pass but after reading post not sure now?? Please help - it's your fault I quit in the first place :)

    Kat

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    1. When I quit smoking the same thing happened to me. Awful, awful acne. I was doing everything right - good skincare routine, drinking loads of water, eating healthily - nothing helped. For me, the only thing which sorted my skin out was taking zinc supplements. I took quite a high dosage; 50-75mg a day. This is above the RDA, so not necessarily advising you to do this, but do some research into it - there is lots of info online. While I was researching, I also read that quitting smoking can disrupt zinc serum levels in your body, which would make sense - zinc is essential for skin health. I would maybe start off taking the RDA (10mg) and then increase if you don't see/feel any effect after a week; when you are taking the right dosage for you, your skin should start to calm down within a few days. Don't go above 100mg as this can deplete other minerals in your body. And don't take it on an empty stomach; it will make you feel sick. Hope this helps; I remember how miserable it made me. Quitting smoking is supposed to improve your skin, not ruin it! x

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    2. Anna, thank you for the suggestion, right now I'll try anything, like you said, I expected to feel better about myself after quitting but half a stone heavier with a spotty face is not a good incentive to stay off the cigs. BUT I'm determined not to start smoking again so I'll be getting me some zinc!

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  37. I bought and tried aveda Hydrating mask last night today I have loads of inchy red lumps on my skin, it was 28 pound what a waste of money...

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    1. Eve take it BACK!!! A reaction is totally refundable (if they're an ehtical company!).

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    2. Would but don't have the receipt, that may have to be my new year res.. Keep the bloody receipt....thanks thou. X

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    3. It's obvious it's an Aveda product because it's branded - right? I take back EVERY Clinique product that I react to - believe me there are lots - and I never take a receipt. I tell the sales lady I've reacted and explain the circumstances and always get an exchange or refund. Just take the tube back to the nearest Aveda counter and explain.

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  38. I know you probably get this alot, but I love your blog!
    Your humour when it comes to skincare is brilliant! You simplify it!
    And thank you for teaching me not to fall for marketing plots! :) X.

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  40. Hi Caroline, can you offer any advice with regard to the Indeed products I'm using the Snoxin serum and wondered whether I could use the hydraluron on top and then moisturise, Do you know if this will cause any adverse reaction i.e the serum not working or interfering? Your blog has chnaged my skin care massively and I know have a better idea of how to treat my skin properly. Thank you x

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    1. Hi Cee chic - I purchased my weight in Indeed products on my last trip to Canada and I use the Snoxin and Hydraluron together all the time and love them. I let the Snoxin sink in a bit before I apply the Hydraluron simply because if you don't sometimes you can see whatever serum you put on move around a bit under the clear Hydraluron. But other than that I have no problems and the efficacy of each seems to be unaffected. I haven't run into an Indeed product yet that I didn't like. :-)

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    2. Thank you Jennifer I decided to give them both a go and all going well so far. Really appreciate your help.

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  41. I KNEW it!! Thanks for confirming what common sense should have told me all along!

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  42. What about with p50v lotion. All the reviews say your purge for a few weeks than your skin is amazing!? I tried and then couldnt get past the purging. Was I doing something wrong?

    Also, do you have an opinion on Benzoyl Peroxide?

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  43. Yes! Thank you! I used a certain all-signing, all-dancing face cleansing gadget for about two weeks before I gave up because it had brought about a face full of angry, under-the-skin blemishes that would not come to a head for love nor money. When I spoke the the SA who sold it to me she told me I should keep using it for another SIX WEEKS and wouldn't hear a single bad word against it, despite the fact I was using it so gently it was almost pointless and my face was in actual pain. It was given away pretty swiftly and if I even catch a hint of the word purge I give and evil glare and move on.

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  44. If I just started using the clarins exfoliating toner and after a day or toe I noticed more spots, is this ok, like the salicylic reaction? Or should I not use glycolic acid products? Please help.

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    1. Yo! Some people, like me, like maybe you, are very sensitive to exfoliation. Clarisonic, Clarins exfoliating toner, Alpha-H Liquid Gold, even nice bubbly-fairy exfoliators from organic companies make my face go nuts. Red bumps, angry cystic acne, more blackheads, pores are more apparent, name it girlfriend...
      Give it 5 days. Or use it every 3 days, to see how your skin react in between application. If it never gets better, if your spots are not going away, then the product is not for you. I had people telling me I should use a product for 2 months before I can say for sure it is not for me, with all the purging theory bullcrap. Believe me -and I've been through this- a supposedly miracle product doesn't worth all the acne scars you could get in those two months just to see if perhaps, maybe, probably, supposedly the product will end up working wonders for you.
      Now, I do know that all these products I've just mentioned work like a miracle for LOADS of people. I wish they would work the same for me but they don't. Listen to your skin, don't push your luck, that is my advice. Especially if you have hypersensitive skin!
      I am no Caroline, but that is my opinion.
      Take care xo

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  45. How do you combat those under the skin spots? They never come to a head and are just a painful lump. Thanks

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  46. Very informative post, I have been having extreme breakouts on my skin, post using a new acne cleansing product.

    I have been using this for 2 weeks now, and although I am starting to see the difference gradually, I noticed flare-ups and it has been troubling me ever since, so thanks for the informative post. I will most certainly stop using this new product, or try exfoliating and watch for any improvements.

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  47. I know you get thousands of comments saying this, but, just wanted to say thanks so much for all your useful information, I overhauled my whole skincare routine (former lover of foaming face washes *hides*) and my face has never been so good (had grade 9 acne and still healing the scars) I've told everyone I know about this blog and lectured all my friends on facewipes haha. thank you!

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  48. I am 43 yo and I getting huge cystic spots every month - tried different products (serozinc, double cleansing, hydraluron etc) all kinds of vitamins (oil fish from Lamberts, probiotics etc etc). Nothing is helping and I am extremely upset with my face (and I have very bad hyperpigmented skin...). I stopped using different products thinking they could be the "enemy". Now, I am suspicious about Smashbox PHOTO FINISH FOUNDATION PRIMER LIGHT. I switched from M.A.C primer to this one. has anyone ever had break-outs with this primer? Any recommendation on another primer?
    Thanks a lot!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Have you seen a doctor? cystic acne is deep within the pore and is almost always related to hormones (and you said this happens monthly). I doubt it is one single product you need to single out but rather looking at the 'whole picture'. This was happening to me and I was desperate to blame it on something I was using topically. After seeing my doctor I started using mild cleansers and other skincare and added salicylic acid to my routine which really healed the acne and scarring. I also used Retin-A. Now no matter what I use I never get breakouts. it may be worth your time just getting this checked out. Cosmetic acne/clogged pores from makeup/lotions etc usually show up on the skin in the form of whiteheads, papules/pustules etc. Good luck and perhaps read the Acne cheat sheet Caroline has here.

      Zoe x

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  49. Hi, my daughter is almost 13 and is suffering from acne. We have been to the doctor and she is cleansing and moisturising with Cetaphil and using Brevoxyl, but it is not clearing up, in fact is getting worse (she has been using Brevoxyl for 2.5 months). She is very upset and I am really worried. Do you know of a good dermatologist near Cambridge? Or any other advice. I would love an appointment with you but I don't think we can make it to London except in half term. Many thanks, Emma

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  50. Talking sense in this post, definitely - if your skin is breaking out painfully and it doesn't usually, you've clearly got an allergy or sensitivity to an ingredient. I do, however, think that the advice for plant based oils isn't good for us with sensitive skin - my allergies are actually quite plant/flower based (sensitive to most plant extracts, allergic to rose!

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  51. My skin breaks out the next few days from the Omorovicza deep cleansing mask then it it so so clear afterwards. Is that purging?

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  52. 22 best way tighten loose skin: http://eskintightening.com/how-to-tighten-skin/

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  53. Here are 22 best way to tighten loose skin. http://eskintightening.com/how-to-tighten-skin/

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  54. This happens to me frequently. The latest is with Kate Sommerville products - so sad.

    Hormones post baby #1 are killing my skin (at least I think they are hormones) - I was curious if you speak to when you would recommend heading to an MD, versus an esthetician.

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  55. I just had this happen with Kate Sommerville Goat Milk cream - so very very sad for me, and very lucky for my mother! I was wondering if you could speak to when, in your opinion, one should see an MD vs an esthetician. Hormones from baby #1 are destroying my skin (at least I think its hormones) and I'm not sure which way to go. All of a sudden I'm having product reactions to products that I have used for years and I'm about at the end of my rope!

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  56. Amen! I've been saying that for years.. If you skin responds negatively to a product... stop using it!!
    I love your blog. keep up the good work.

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  57. I do so hate when peddlers of nonsense negative reaction to skincare product is due to skin purging. Even an ounce of critical thinking shows this can't be true.. but alas, the myth keeps on going. Thanks for setting it straight.

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  58. Caroline - would you say that something like medical grade skincare (deemed such by a medical aesthetician I work with) is also designed to alter the skin, and would warrant a bit of change in the skin?

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    Replies
    1. medical grade skincare is just a marketing term. ex - kinerase. they choose to sell only in certain clinics or offices etc. But it is considered cosmetic. anything that changes the skin must a) have a drug facts label or b) require a prescription.

      Delete
  59. Oh my God,

    Talking about ''skin purging'', I just went through about 3 months of ''my-skin-is-just-purging-it'll-be-better-soon'' kind of mantra and let me tell you all: don't go through this. Especially if you have hypersensitive skin like mine: YOUR SKIN WILL NOT GET BETTER / STOP THINKING IT IS PURGING! NOW.
    I have been using some all-stars products that were just so incredibly wrong for my skin and I just ended up crying in my GP's office and then left with a prescription of anti-histamine and a prescribed routine of ''WATER CLEANSE ONLY - Do not put any kind of cream or potion on your skin''. After 3 days of water cleansing only, all my angry red cystic bumps came to a whiteheads, some other burst on their own and basically, everything started healing (sorry for the gross details). Anyway, LISTEN TO YOUR SKIN. CAROLINE IS SO DAMN RIGHT. My skin was clearly telling me that I was doing things wrong and I just would not listen to it, because of that skin-F*****G-purging-myth. When I started back to square one, my face calmed down and decided to clear itself up. That is how it is supposed to be. I truly believe now that if you don't see any improvement in using a skincare product after 3 days of using it, then the product is not for you. I have only reintroduced one product as of now, which is Hydra-Calm cleanser from REN and my skin is still on its healing process and I didn't have any purging-type of reaction. I am very scared to go through this skincare reintegration process, as I am not sure exactly what provoked all this carnage on my skin.

    Anyway, this story is a bit extreme, but you see my point.

    CAROLINE: I have a question for you: Because I am not using any products at all now, my face is horribly dehydrated. I haven't try Hydraluron and I was wondering if that could be a good option for now? Have you heard of anyone having a allergic reaction to it???
    (**BY THE WAY, I do not know what caused all that damage to my face. It could be either ''science'' or ''natural'' as I was using both kind of product when it all happened**).

    Ouf, it was good to get this all out of my chest!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Thenomad

      A colleague of mine was having problems with her skin and her doctor also told her to cleanse with water only. This surprised me as surely you're just leaving grime on your face by only using water (without a cleanser)? Anyway, I gave her some of my 'The Body Shop Aloe Calming Facial Cleanser' and she loves it. She has REALLY sensitive skin and this doesn't aggravate it at all. Maybe it's something you could try to cleanse your face?

      Although I have an oily T-Zone, I had a couple of very dry patches on my face. The skin just under my nose and on my chin kept peeling off by the end of the day (not a great look when you're wearing foundation). I used Estee Lauder's Resilience Lift Extreme Ultra Firming Mask as a moisturiser on these areas. If you read the ingredients list, it's full of goodies! I never use it as a mask because the ingredients are too good not to leave on. I'm no expert, but it really worked for me and the very next day my skin was no longer peeling. Good times! Might be something else you could try to help your dehydration? The only thing to be cautious of is the fragrance.

      I'm sure Caroline has some better suggestions. I just thought I'd reply to your message because your post reminded me of my colleague. Good luck with finding the right products for you x

      Delete
    2. Hello Felicity!!

      You are so right about the grime and everything... I don't use foundation anymore (for now anyway, until my skin get better) but I work in a restaurant and it was important for me to use something to remove that filthy greasy invisible layer that was probably covering my face after every single work shift. That is why I have since reintroduce Ren Hydra-calm cleanser and so far so good. In the past (a year or two ago), I had a great time with The Body Shop Tea Tree skincare products, then I developed an intolerance or something and it seems now that I can't use anything ''The Body Shop'' on my face. I think I have tried all their different ranges!

      I do also have an oily T-Zone and very dry patches everywhere else. I will be looking into Estee Lauder's Resilience Lift Extreme. I am 26 years old thought and I am scared this product might be too heavy for me? I am just so scared of long ingredient list now that I have just went through the worst time skin wise... That is why I thought Hydraluron might be good for me, with fewer ingredients, no perfume and to be honest, all the comments and hype around it. I have even wrote to Indeed Labs to get some advice and see if they thought Hydraluron could help my weird skin and they've not been very helpful -bummer!- so I am not sure if I want to invest or not...

      Anyway, thank you so much for your reply! It is great to get recommendations and discuss about different solutions :)

      xoxo

      Delete
    3. Hi Thenomad

      The Body Shop Tea Tree range doesn't contain a great deal of tea tree. It's so far down the ingredients list that I'm surprised that they're allowed to call it the 'Tea Tree' range hehe. The toners and masks also contain a lot of alcohol - not great if you've got sensitive skin!

      I would highly recommend their Aloe cleanser, though. You could always try one of the travel sizes - honestly, it's lovely! I also use their 'Matte It' primer on my T-zone, which is also a fabulous product. On top of that I use Clinique's Even Better foundation. It's covers the slightly red skin under my nose and either side of my chin and doesn't cause me any problems.

      I am only just 28 so a similar age to you and I don't find Estee Lauder's Resilience Lift Extreme Ultra Firming Mask too heavy. However, I usually only use it on my dry patches. I will only use it all over my face in the evening if I feel my skin really needs it. I know it's going to be a life-saver with winter coming!

      I suppose it's best to remember that what may be an irritant to you will not be an irritant for someone else. 100 people could be fine with a product but you may be sensitive to an ingredient and react to it! I don't get on with Simple skincare products and E45 lotion. They make my skin sting! Yet, they're marketed as being suitable for sensitive skin. As for Hydraluron, I personally love it!

      Are you supplementing with fish oil? It's one of the best pieces of Caroline's advice that I have followed. It has made a great difference to my skin. I don't eat meat or fish so I have really benefited from it xxx

      Delete
    4. I might have to go to Body Shop and get a sample of the Aloe cleanser then! I guess it doesn't hurt to give it a try... :)

      I have just bought Hydraluron this morning. I could not stand looking at my skin, my fine lines, enlarged pores and ashy tone anymore. When I put it on for the first time, I just wanted to put more and more!!! It felt like such a relief! Crazy stuff. I really hope I will get on with it, now I just need to find the right moisturizer. My skin is a bit red now and I am having my finger crossed that it is not because of Hydraluron...

      I have been taking fish oil supplement for about 2 1/2 months now. I was taking them before, whilst and after my terrible break out.... So I am not sure if it actually helps or not. I take Holland and Barrett Triple Omega 3-6-9 1200mg twice a day, H&B Evening primrose Oil 1000 mg at night, H&B Vitamin B-100 in the morning as well as H&B Vitamin C-1000mg. I wish I could say all these supplements has changed something but I really don't know and I don't really feel like it did yet. The skin is a big organ so I am giving it an another two months before I decide to purchase all my supplements again or not. The only thing I've noticed is I don't seem to get as much mood swings, which is great.

      Thank you so much for your time, I really enjoy your replies :) xxx

      Delete
    5. Hi Thenomad

      You're welcome! It's a shame there's no way of getting each other's email addresses without having to post them on this public forum - there's quite a lot of products I'd love to tell you about without hijacking this thread LOL. My friends with skin like yours have loved the products I've suggested they try. I've got quite sensitive skin so I've tried a million products and read ingredients lists like there's no tomorrow!

      All of the ladies I know with really sensitive skin that have tried the Aloe cleanser have loved it. You get 50% off on the Body Shop website at the moment if you buy 8 things. The majority of the 8 items that I bought were bottles of that cleanser teehee!

      How are you getting on with the Hydraluron? I'd be really surprised if you were sensitive to it. It doesn't have anything aggravating in it. I typed every ingredient into a skincare database and they are all good ingredients. The only thing I do find with Hydraluron is that if you use too much, it can 'peel' when applying makeup, especially if you use it alongside a silicone-based moisturiser. I use it every night, without fail, but not so much in the mornings.

      Goodness, you take a lot of supplements! Mind you, so do I. I take 2-4 capsules of 1000mg fish oil, 2 Acidophilus Lactobacillus (probiotic), Echinacea (I'm a primary teacher and need all the immune defence I can get hehe) and a multivitamin. The omega fats will be the supplement helping with your mood swings. Be careful with all that Vit C, though, as it can upset your tummy. Plus, it's water soluble, so you will just pass any excess in your urine (making for expensive pee). The fat soluble vitamins (e.g. Vit A) are the ones to be really careful with when supplementing as your body can't excrete them in the same way (leading to toxicity levels). Definitely stick with the Omega fats. I'm sure I read a post from Caroline about it taking quite a few months for fish oil supplementation to make a noticeable difference to your skin.

      Felicity xx

      Delete
  60. Quite honestly I've alwyas thought that our skin doesn't really purge, but so many people convinced me I was wrong!
    I'm glad I read your post because I see now, and the comments agree as well, that I wasn't crazy and that just because everyone says that product works, it doesn't have to work for my skin!

    You have a really awesome blog!

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  61. I'm so happy that you've said this was a myth. I can't tell you how many products that after two weeks I've given up on because my face was still breaking out and have had people tell me that I was just purging and I should stick with it. Makes me feel so much better. I'm slowly learning to just stick with what works for my skin, and slowly finding out what those products are.

    Mana
    Fashion and Happy Things

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  62. Oh, I love this post! Totally agree.
    But, what about things like juice cleanses or switching to a "cleaner" diet. A lot of people say their skin actually gets worse? Is this just a myth as well?

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  63. Hi Caroline! I just started reading your blog and you have great tips! A question I have is if it is better to switch up your cleansing routine once in a while? I have a routine now that is really working for me, but I've heard before that it is a good idea to switch it up because your skin gets used to the routine and the cleansing will not be as effective? I have no idea if that is true, but just wanted to ask you your opinion! Thank you

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  64. Hi Caroline,

    I just started reading your blog and you have great tips! One question I have is if it is a good idea to switch up cleansing routines after a while? I've heard before that your skin gets used to the cleansing routine you use and it will begin to be less effective. I have no idea if this is true, but I thought I would ask your opinion about it!

    Thank you!

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  65. Hi Caroline,
    At the end of August I bought the Origins GinZing moisturiser and only my forehead broke out in massive under the skin spots that have nearly healed now (THIS IS FRICKIN NEARLY NOVEMBER), was it the product or could it have been something else? Is it weird that it only broke me out on my forehead? Also, I have bad scarring on my chin could you recommend a product to help with it?

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  66. Hi caroline i started using alot of lush products on my face which hasnt gone to well, large and small bumps all around the lower half of my face and a tad sore. Ive stopped using it all and gone back to my liz earle routine but the spots are still all lingering under my skin and wont budge! Can you recommend anything that will help?I have sensitive skin but very oily t zone. Thank you!

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  67. I completely agree with this post. All the products I have ever used that have made my skin 'purge' are actually just making it ten times worse overall. The worst ever example of this I can give is the hideous Obagi products prescribed by a very high profile London-based cosmetic dermatologist which made my skin so bad the next time I saw her she recommended Roacuutane. I now use all Caroline's recommendations and it's must better (post roaccutane).

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  68. Im new to you im thinking of getting the emma hardie cleansing balm what moisreriser would you suggest for blemished spotty combination skin sometimes dry some times oily

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  69. I'm really excited, (and saddened), to read your comments re: Somme... i've been using the regime for 2 months now and my skin is TERRIBLE, it has never been worse. I've searched the internet to see if anyone has experienced a similar reaction but all the (sponsored) blog posts rave about how wonderful the regime is and how they glow and never breakout. So, I guess I am the only person the regime does not work for?? I've invested hundreds and hundreds in Somme, (not to mention the mental investment in praying and needing Somme to work), so have no idea what to do?

    Your description of a zit beard is very apt, as I have puss-y pimples covering my chin and jaw where I have never had pimples before... and although I'm no longer getting blind pimples, I'm constantly getting puss-y variety, which is another new experience. Every day I wake with new pimples and want to cry and die. I've contacted Somme twice asking what to do, asking for advice, and keep getting told that what I'm experiencing is normal and a 'good' thing... then why is no one else experiencing this?? Why is my skin worse than ever before?? Surely purging suggests that the skin is purging what is currently wrong with it, not making new issues?

    So, what do I do? How is your situation now? All improved? Your skin is glowing and no more horrendous purging and breakouts? I'm hoping that you will tell me all is good, and I'll believe you over the numerous (paid and dishonest) blog posts. Please help! I very badly want Somme to work... :-(

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  70. Hi Iv been using proactiv 3step in the mornings for around a week, and Liz Earle hot cloth cleanser In evenings, I'm not sure which ones the culprit but my skin is breaking out! Help

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  71. Caroline, after hearing you rave about p50 I ordered a bottle and was so excited for my rough, splotchy, dry, sensitive, and sometimes pimply (on the chin) to become balanced and glowing. While my blackheads have miraculously disappeared, my cheeks have developed spots, both tiny flesh-colored bumps and pimples! What is concerning is that I NEVER have broken out on my cheeks, only my chin. What could be causing these weird tiny bumps that never seem to come to a head, and are in a place I have never ever broken out? And if it is the acid causing it, how do I balance out my skin with the acid step you always suggest? I trust your advice whole-heartely, and would love any guidance to what could cause this. :)

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  72. Hi caroline,
    I have really sensitive skin & a few products i have used have left my cheeks really blotchy & with little bumps on my forehead following smaller red spots on my cheek. I have used simple, clinique & now using dermalogica but not finding its enough for my skin infact the skin smoothing cream isnt moisturising my skin enough. Leaves my pores open everytime i cleanse tone & moisturise.
    Could this be that i'm allergic to a specific ingrediant that these products are using?? What do you suggest i use???

    Thanks

    sarah

    ReplyDelete

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