Thursday, 6 March 2014

Beauty Myth No.6 - Having spots means you have an oily/combination skin.

Most of the people I see have normal/dry/sensitive skin with spots. This is very different to acne.

I've only ever referred 3 people for roaccutane or medical intervention treatment in my entire career.

The vicious circle. It usually occurs via two paths.

Vicious Circle One: 
You had acne as a teenager and are now 28/34/47 and continue to treat your skin as if it is acnaic - even though your skin moved on when you were 19/20 and is actually normal - underneath that redness and sensitivity that was caused by years of using products for oily/combination skin - which dries it out and 'mattifies' (*cries*) it - which causes it to over-produce oil, give you angry red spots, burning cheeks and lead you to think that you are still an oily/combo skin and that your skin hates you. And usually makes you hate your skin and despair.

Vicious Circle Two:
You once had a few breakouts and went to a beauty counter/had a facial where you were told you had an oily/combination skin because your sales assistant/therapist has been trained in no way other than spots = acne = oily/combination = foaming = mattifying. Your skin was actually pretty normal. Now it's oily because it's dried out and is desperately trying to replenish itself so you are oily by 12/3pm and keep thinking that you have an 'oily' skin. You thus think you're doing everything wrong and your skin hates you. And usually makes you hate your skin and despair.

Below are pictures of one of my clients with a true 'acne' breakout. (used with their permission obviously)



I'm not suggesting that if your skin does not look like this that you don't have a problem.
I'm simply suggesting that we overuse the word 'acne' across the industry and don't train our people well enough to detect the difference between acne and hormonal breakouts/food intolerance spots or product reactions for example...
The majority of the people I see with breakouts have a normal/slightly dehydrated or sensitised skin with spots. That is very very different to acne. It can happen to anyone for any reason.
As a matter of interest the same client is pictured below after treatment:


So please, please. The next time you have breakouts - even if they are multiple - in different areas of the face - at different time of the month. They are spots. Don't treat your entire face as if you have an acne/combination skin. 
Think about what it could be. What have you done differently? have you ever had intolerance tests for food?Is your period due? Have you been on a 3 day bender?? Are you using an SLS shampoo in the shower and letting it run all over your face?

Treat the spots, take care of the skin. It is not your enemy. Don't treat it like it is.

Spots and acne are two very different things.



81 comments:

  1. This makes so much sense and I never thought about it this way! I'm 24 but pretty much only break out on my chin (ever since I was a young teen). I cannot...for the life of me figure out what is causing this major problem area. But now I know that I don't have to think of my entire face as blemish-prone/oily.

    Thanks Caroline!!

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    1. i have heard that chin spots are connected to hormones. anyone know if this is true?

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    2. I can't exactly verify it as such - my evidence is anecdotal. But I stopped taking the pill and broke out along my jawline. I thought at first it was a reaction to some new skin products I'd been trying out (and hadn't patch tested!) but once I started back on the pill it got much better. It's almost clear now.

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    3. I have also heard that breakouts on the jawline and chin are from eating too much dairy.

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    4. I have always heard this problem area is linked to hormones...but not really sure what I can do to fix the issue. I am on the pill (and have been for many years) but it does not seem to help my skin (chin area). (It was an issue before I started the pill and is still an issue on the pill.)

      Not sure about the dairy theory but I don't think that is my problem. It certainly could be a trigger for some people though!

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    5. I have read on Caroline's blog that your chin is basically the garbage bag of your face so to say. Are you sure you are cleansing properly?

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    6. I read on Caroline's blog that the chin is the garbage bag of the face so to say. Are you sure you are cleansing properly?

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    7. Hi Mallory,

      I have a similar problem, all around my mouth area - chin, side of the lips, and some on the cheekbones area. These areas are known hormonal zones from zits and after checking it out I noticed that they would "refill" about a week or so before my period. I've started taking an Evening Primrose supplement, which is supposed to calm the monthly hormonal breakout. So far it seems to be helping.

      I'm also trying the following:
      - washing my mouth area (carefully) with water and not only wiping with a napkin after I eat.
      - I try to not let my toothpaste come in contact with the surroundings of my mouth and wash those areas with water after brushing.
      - I try (really hard) not to lean, pick, or put random inanimate objects on face :)
      - personally, I am also using a sensitive cream by "Aderma," which helped me a lot. But that's subjective and I can't recommend it to everyone.

      Hope it helps!

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    8. I think/hope I am cleansing properly. I have been using REN ClearCalem 3 Clay cleanser at night and a benzoyl peroxide was in the morning. I do NOT use flannels/wash cloths because I have never liked them but Caroline does seem to promote them a good bit...so maybe I should try them.

      Thanks for the Primrose tip Shelly! I'm going to go buy those this week. I will look our for that Aderma cream... but I live in the states so I'm not sure if its available here.

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    9. I was using a bezoyl peroxide wash as well, at the height of my zit and really bad skin period. I noticed that even though it was helping at the beginning my skin began to look tired and grew sensitive. Personally, I recommend trying something else after a while.

      Good luck with the Primrose oil :)

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  2. I really enjoyed this post - I know so many people who attack their skin if it gets spotty, which kills me to see!

    http://ninegrandstudent.co.uk/

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  3. Amazing post, Caroline. My skin is very sensitive and spotty on my left cheek in one particular patch at the moment... But I know that it isn't really acne. Thank you for all of your wonderful advise!

    www.sophiemakesup.blogspot.com

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  4. Such a good post! I need to see you as I've taken roaccutane but I need help keeping my skin clear however I couldn't get an appointment with you :'(

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  5. My sister is 26 and her skin is identical to your clients photos in this post. Her GP keeps fobbing her off with oral antibiotics and mean while her skin stays the same. Do you have and recommendations for her as her confidence and self esteem are rock bottom.

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    1. Has she tried trying a different GP? A second opinion might be beneficial. I hope it gets sorted. Having acne can be so traumatic, I hope the best for her :(

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  6. I'm a Portuguese girl with oily/combination skin and hair. I've learned long ago that my skin reacts much better to gentle cleansing and plenty of protection / hydration than it does to harsh cleansing and mattifying produts. This actually happened when I spent a winter in the UK and I was using a "mattifying" line from Helena Rubinstein at the time, and my skin felt very tight and uncomfortable... I went to a department store and the sales assistant gave me a sample of Clarins Huile Lotus and I of course found it a very strange notion at first to put oil on my face, but I started using it at night and my skin was so calm and balanced in the morning! So that was a turnaround moment for me.

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  7. This is exactly how I used to view my skin. My face always had spots, it was always oily, and yet some of my skin would peel. I had no idea I was the problem! I've been following your suggestions and product recommendations for about a year and now I rarely have spots (only during that time of the month and when I've had too many sweets). My skin still seems combination, but my oily areas are nowhere near the oil slicks they used to be.

    Also, I purchased Pepta-Bright a couple weeks ago and it's amazing! Walgreens is finally wising up and offering some Indeed Labs products. My store only has Eyesilic, Nanoblur, Snoxin, and Pepta-Bright right now, but I'm holding my breath for Hydraluron!

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  8. Caroline, I'm so anxious and confused. I'm nearly positive my skin type is oily. I wanted to take a more natural approach to treating my acne but my Ren Clearcalm is failing me. I'm not as bad as what is pictured above, but I still got lots of clogged pores and big reds around my chin, jaw and hairline. I'm only a student making minimum wage so I'm pretty afraid to buy anything really expensive and not have it work for me. My mom just bought me a "benzoyl peroxide cleansing bar" and I really don't want to go down that middle school path again :| I know you're busy but I have no idea what to do anymore. If you or any other readers could give me an idea of where to start I'd be really grateful.

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    1. I'm definitely not an expert, but those BP cleansing bars typically dry people out terribly and cause more irritation than they help. I would switch to a gentle cleanser and save any active ingredients for your lotions and serums. For example, wash with a gentle cleanser like Purpose, apply your moisturizer then apply a BP cream over top (I like Neutrogena On-the-Spot or Clean & Clear Persa Gel). The lotion will act as a buffer and prevent irritation.

      Like I said, I am definitely no expert. However, when I was dealing with these problems as an early teen this definitely helped.

      vanitytalkbeauty.blogspot.com

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    2. If you can get your hands on some Kate Somerville Goat moisturiser it's a treat for acne! It's not available here in the UK but you can get it from Kate's website. I don't have acne, but I get hormonal spots on my chin/mouth area and this clears it right up!

      You could also think about getting some good oils into your skincare routine. If you haven't read Caroline's cheat sheets over there >>>>> then do so, right now. Acne, routine, cleansing, read them, read them again, print them out and pick what's right for you!

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    3. I think it could be worth trying Burts Bees Intense Hydration Cream Cleanser, at least as a morning cleanse. It will help counter any dryness that may be caused by other cleansers and I find whatever's in it, whether it be the probiotic technology or not, does help keep my spots away. I've also used Michael Todd's Blue-green algae toner with success, which is antibacterial and helps with breakouts. Both are very affordable! Good luck!

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  9. Amen to that. People tend to dry their skin out with the mattifying products and skin needs to produce more and more oil. This could cause spots.

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  10. Dominique cutts6 March 2014 at 14:10

    I really hope you see this & can give me some advice *cross fingers*. I'm 18 & I had clear skin until I was 16 (the odd spot once a month). My skin started to break out so I went to the doctors & they prescribed me epiduo gel for acne Vulgaris (may I add they said to use it every am/pm until my 'acne' went & I had no routine besides a make up wipe & epiduo) I used the gel for over a year on my entire face and it caused burning, redness and flaking. I know I should have stopped but the acne made me so insecure! I can no longer wear make up or cover my spots because my skin is constantly a flakey mess (I wish I was exaggerating but I'm not, even itching my nose causes flakes to literally fall off) no matter what skin care products I use (clinique balm, pixi glow tonic, serozinc, hydraluron, origins moisturiser) I researched online that epiduo had a ph of 2 and should have only been used for 2 months so I stopped using epiduo and these products and tried to use more alkaline products to get my ph back to normal but nothing works & I just don't know what to do? My skin has been like this for 2 years where I have been trying loads of products to get it back to normal. I'm worried the doctors will only make it worse. What can I do to restore my skin back to being healthy?

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    1. Epiduo does cause skin to peel horrendously but it can be very effective on the acne so don't lose hope. I found using it twice a day is far too much (I know it's the recommend dose and perfectly safe) as it causes extreme sensitivity and the sunburn-like peeling you described. However I have found it is possible to use the epiduo strategically on blemished areas and get good results providing that you exfoliate and moisturise effectively. At p.m I cleanse, apply epiduo to problem areas only and then use a moisturising product on the other areas. The following a.m cleanse and moisturise as normal, no epiduo. I repeat these two steps for 1 to 3 days until the problems subside. When each blemished area turns the corner I immediately stop the epiduo step. Use a chemical exfoliator like Alpha H liquid Gold, leave for 15mins, cleanse, then moisturise the whole face -this treats and solves the flaking and peeling (which should be much less severe as a much smaller amount of epiduo has been used), after all, no skincare can be effective through a layer of dead peeling skin. At this stage, it's crucial to treat the now healing but still enflamed/dry/raw areas of sensitivity (caused by the blemish + side effects of the epiduo) with something extra to protect them, prevent further flare up and accelerate healing. I've had the best results bar none using Blistex Lip Relief Cream for this task (the bonus is it's also pain relieving). Repeat these a.m and p.m steps as long as required until you can switch back to your regular cleanse, exfoliate (as gently as possible, no scrubbing!) and moisturise. The Alpha H liquid Gold a few times per week will really help you out in general, not just during a breakout -it allows your other skincare to actually work. Trust me I've tried a lot of things over 12 years (I'm 31) and if I could've told my 18 year old self this trick, it might have saved me a lot of misery!! I hope it works for you :-) For the record, I've never got on with balm cleansers (shoot me down Caroline!), I like Bioderma solution micellaire followed by a wash and rosewater/aloe vera toner. Good luck!

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    2. I actually don't like micellar waters that much, I think they tend to dry the skin, I do like to use them on my eye area, but for on my face I like balm and oils and then Ren or Aveda cleansers. If this was my face I think I'd start at the beginning, cleanse, tone, treat, moisturise, at night, packing in the goodness with some nice oils, I like some of Kiehls oils and balm.

      I don't know if I'm reading it wrong or not, but I wouldn't put Blistex Lip Cream anywhere near my face, but that's just me, for me, that hand cream on your face.. nah.. I'd find a product made for my face.

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    3. I’ve been in this situation, (I’m 29) and I think you’ve just knocked your skin off balance so much now that it needs a break and you need to give yourself a break too. After taking acne medication then all the different prescription creams etc I found none of it worked and the texture of my skin was horrible and so red, dry and angry. A bad cycle of too many chemicals for over a year, the stress of the acne getting worse and the cost of all the products that didn’t work was making me really miserable... I took advice from a good source, and I bought a bottle of cetaphil and a quality cleanser (to get make up off at end of day) and used a little twice a day with hot cloth, avoided foundations and concealers much as poss and got lots of sleep (so imp, for skin) and fresh air. I avoided too much sugar, alcohol or crisps (my vice) and I then treated every day as a new day. I’d really look at the texture of my skin each morning, the breakouts the different areas. I stopped putting stronger treatments all over my face, only where I really needed it.. I didn’t wash in really hot or cold water, always washed in the basin with a clean muslin, clean pillowcase every night, hair tied up... Never left my ‘treatment’ gels/creams/retinoids on overnight. I do a clay mask once a week, and I do a glyco mask once a week, and I follow CH’s routine to the letter now. All the info you need is on this site, and I now don’t have spots just fading scars. This isn’t down to one product its about treating your skin gently and with respect and letting it heal, not bombarding it. If you take away give back. There is no miracle product, you will have lovely skin again, you just need to think of it as your friend not your enemy! I also found psychologically it’s good to look at any areas on your face of good skin (even if only small) and try and keep them really happy,see how they react to your products I found this helped me to get a good regime.
      (alpha h didn’t work at all for me and I wouldn’t use lip/hand creams either, this site has all the product reccs you need)

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  11. Thank you so much for this post. I used to have actual acne, but now that I've gotten older I've learned to notice what my skin needs by its breakouts. At the moment, my cheeks are tight and irritated with spots and I know it's because I haven't found a decent moisturizer yet.

    vanitytalkbeauty.blogspot.com

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  12. How about showing us more pictures/examples of each so we can act accordingly? On that note, how about hyperpigmentation vs uneven tone vs melasma vs whatever else? I really have trouble choosing products because it's all so vague and there's no - forgive me - illustration of what they're meant to treat.

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    1. This is a brilliant idea. I second this!

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    2. Me too. Pictures would be a great help.

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    3. I feel this would be a great help too! I have trouble choosing products for my skin type especially moisturiser

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  13. Ms. H - Went to the dr. for a quick glabella botox yesterday. He took a close look at my face (43 yr old, PCOS, cystic acne once a month, etc, etc) and said, "Whatever it is that you're doing, please keep doing it". He noted that my skin was hydrated and calm. I was sooooooo chuffed. We talked about gentle cleansers, fish oil and an anti-inflammitory diet. He was quite pleased that I was getting such good and practical advice. My skin and I thank you so very much.

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  14. i always assumed i had combi skin because the skin on my t-zone has an oily slick on it when i wake up, but the rest of my face is lovely! not oily but not dry either, nice and soft. i don't get spots usually though, just the oiliness. am i combi???

    how can you tell what your skin type is? (feel v stupid for asking this question!)

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  15. Wonderful post, thank you! I'm so glad you're getting this information out there - I only wish I had known about it when I was a teenager.

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  16. Caroline, I am using a cleanser that is still creamy and doesn't strip my skin but doesn't make me super oily either. I've started using Piki Gold tonic and I use a prescribed retinol on my skin. I moisturize with spf in the day and an antioxident night cream for combination skin at night. I have been told by my derm that I have oily skin. I am oily by about 8:00 in the morning and I wake up oily. I guess I was just wondering if I am aggivating my skin in any way. I had pretty horrible breakouts in my teens and really up until the last year or so (I'm 29 but will be 30 next month). I get a spot ot two every now and again but treat it and it clears up. Just wanted to see if the excessive oiliness that I have had since I was about 12 is now my own doing. Wow that was a lot for a comment. Sorry.

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  17. This is actually great to know. I had never ever ever in my life had acne. I had the occasional blemish every now and again but nothing that bothered me at all until last winter when my skin pretty much freaked out and I had acne (pretty much exactly like in the picture) all along both sides of my jawline and down to half my neck. Avene triacneal and rosehip seed oil saved my skin (obviously not overnight) and now I'm back to occasional spots. The only bummer is that the texture of my skin hasn't recovered from it, don't know if it ever will.
    Anyway, I saw a major difference in the whole process when I started using a face oil to hydrate instead of drying it out. Seemed counter intuitive at the time but makes so much sense now.

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  18. Very informative! After taking a look into my dermatologist's book I don't complain about my skin anymore! But more importantly, I don't strip it out with drying products that I don't need!
    xo
    The Beauty Break // http://beautytimebreak.blogspot.com

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  19. Hi Caroline,
    Can you tell me what the deal is with "backne" because I have spots on my back and chest and was wondering how to treat them. And how do I get rid of scarring on my back, there are little white spots (depigmentation?).
    Thanks

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    1. Yes this would be amazing help.. I also suffer from 'backne' that is more like traditional acne (like the photo above) but on my face I only have the occasional one spot.
      my scaring is terrible but its just so hard to put any lotions on it because it is my back ..
      Thanks xxx

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    2. I used to have this - then read somewhere that it could be caused by hair conditioner. So I started making sure I wash my back with shower gel AFTER rinsing conditioner out of my hair, and it's been pretty much fine and dandy ever since.

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    3. I got this too - from shampoo! Rinse rinse rinse! Tresemme particularly is bad for this. I think it's the SLS in them, but even when I have tried SLS free s'poo, I still get it if I don't rinse/back brush after shampooing/conditioning.

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  20. This is a great post and fantastic advice. So many people who get the odd spot start saying they've got acne.

    I really did have acne as a teenager. My back, chest and face looked like that poor ladies face and even water in the shower hitting it caused me agony. I also suffer from endometriosis which causes hormonal breakouts along my jaw (left side only - could this be linked to my endo being on my left ovary?). If you have a spare minute to get back to me, what specific product do you recommend to help with hormonal breakouts?

    Laura x | Life and Lipstick

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  21. Bingo! I went through Vicious circle no 1 for years until a clearly well trained counter lady looked at me in horror when I said I had oily skin and said she could tell a mile off it was dry, dehydrated and stripped. I took her advice and started using gentle cleansers, liquid exfoliants and really hydrating serums and moisturisers with gentle treatments for blemishes. Within a month my skin was calm and now it's a million times better. I still get blemishes and have a number if old scars (probably made worse by the harsh products) but my skin is so much happier. I think product advertising helps perpetuate this blemishes = oily skin myth. How many anti blemish products are labelled "dry/blemish prone skin" compared to those labelled "oily/blemish prone skin"?

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  22. Medic by background, dermatology failed my skin, psych meds made it dry and sweaty. This blog has made my skin 95% better in 6 weeks.... Only tried for 25 yrs to get rid of acne, spots. Couldn't look people in the eye, used to hide my face. People made comments about my skin like I hadn't noticed! Anyway I think chemical exfoliation is the key as is knowing your sensitives- by a process of deduction- ie looking at the hundreds of pounds worth of skin care maybe thousands? That I used once as it caused a flare up I realise my skin doesn't like Shea butter, limone and limool and rose hip oils. The Shea butter in rent made me

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  23. Sorry to add to previous ren moisturisers with Shea butter broke me out, the omega face oil ren disaster for me but have seen does good for others. Shame as like philosophy of products. Anyway chemical exfoliation is the key
    I now cleanse with Clinique ttdo balm twice a day; followed by pixi glow twice daily or glycolic pads from nip and fab are fab! I use alpha h liquid gold 2-3 times a week, on other nights use decleor balm or love dauphin purifying balm ( not being discontinued- I emailed); am use hydaluron followed by gasp Waitrose baby bottom butter!! But am waiting for goat milk moisturiser to come and also have done well in past with decker hydrafloral. Added in 3000mg flaxseed as I'm veggie. Skin is so much better people r now commenting on how good it looks! Ps baby bottom butter makes it peachy! Hope this helps someone anyway.... I'm looking for another balm cleanser and will prob go for the liquid gold or balance me one. Ps clarins balm is on that cheap smells website. Caroline I don't know you but thank you so much

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  24. Sorry to add to previous ren moisturisers with Shea butter broke me out, the omega face oil ren disaster for me but have seen does good for others. Shame as like philosophy of products. Anyway chemical exfoliation is the key
    I now cleanse with Clinique ttdo balm twice a day; followed by pixi glow twice daily or glycolic pads from nip and fab are fab! I use alpha h liquid gold 2-3 times a week, on other nights use decleor balm or love dauphin purifying balm ( not being discontinued- I emailed); am use hydaluron followed by gasp Waitrose baby bottom butter!! But am waiting for goat milk moisturiser to come and also have done well in past with decker hydrafloral. Added in 3000mg flaxseed as I'm veggie. Skin is so much better people r now commenting on how good it looks! Ps baby bottom butter makes it peachy! Hope this helps someone anyway.... I'm looking for another balm cleanser and will prob go for the liquid gold or balance me one. Ps clarins balm is on that cheap smells website. Caroline I don't know you but thank you so much

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    1. Where did you order your Goat? Kate's website? I'm looking for another source of this, I had actually thought about getting some kind of group buy thing going for this anyway, I was gutted when I added it to my Sephora basket and Sephora won't deliver Kate to the UK :-(

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    2. I'd join in Louise! Want to try goat too, think Kate website is the only way

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  25. Thank you so much for posting this! I've been trying to spread the word that "acne" products are not the way to go for spots. I used them for over a decade with nothing but disappointment and then came across your blog and started to use different products (normal/dry/sensitive skin) and my skin has done a 180!

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  26. Hi Caroline! Quick question (not rrelated to this in any way) but I'm going on holiday soon and I'm on the hunt for an SPF, but I Use Perricone MD photo plasma moisturiser which has SPF 50, if I'm wearing this do I also need SPF (I'm guessing yes but just checking). Thank you :)

    Olivia

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  27. I'm in my mid 30's and am on an RX for hormonal acne. It has made my skin more dry and I hate that part but keeps the flare ups at bay. I do still have spots but am now fighting dehydration as well. Is there a list of products that you recommend somewhere? I'm new to the blog and love skincare and really want to improve the look and texture of my skin!

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  28. My face is a little worse than the picture above--i'm going to see a dermatologist in nyc next month, but I've seen two dermatologists before who did absolutely nothing for me. What did the patient above do to make it so much better?

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  29. very good post. I thought my skin was oily/combination when around a year back then. I was wrong. My skin became oily 4-5 hours after I've washed it. Now I'm treating it with more care after reading your posts. Caroline, you are a true saver of my skin! Now definitely exfoliate and hydrate as my top priorities

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  30. I've been using a treatment to get rid of my spots & so far its keeping them at bay. I kind of feel bad about referring to them as acne now. Oops. But they can get really bad if I don't use anything for them. Whenever I have seen a GP about it they don't bother to find out the cause of the problem just throw antibiotics or BP at me. I hate BP. I am considering trying a naturopath in the hopes that becoming healthier will fix my skin problem. But they are so expensive!

    melaniface

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  32. Not to mention how aggravating it is for those of us who do suffer with true acne when we hear people who get a tiny hormonal breakout each month fretting about their "acne" and how "disgusting" or painful their ONE spot is!

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  33. hi Caroline,
    I've recently had a breakout on my chin and jaw area.it's the second time happening and it tends to happen in spring.I'm 33 and this has been happening for the past 2 years.last year I've been to see the GP and he said it was dermatitis.I can't help but feel it's an allergic reaction but i don't know to what because i don't have hay fever and what else could it be in the spring?
    I have 2 choices:pollen or some kind of newly developed sun sensitivity.Have any of you ladies ever experienced anthing similar to what I'm describing?
    it actually looks like tiny red spot and my skin feels quite soft to touch.I forgot to say that my skin is mostly oily.
    plzzzzzzzzzzz i need help

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    1. You might actually be developing hay fever - I didn't start with autumn hay fever until I was 16, and my grandmother didn't get it until she was in her 40s!

      That said, tiny red dots are what I get from sun sensitivity. That only developed around age 30 also; I wasn't sun-sensitive prior to that. It was linked to my also developing rosacea. I don't get the dots on my face anymore only because I never, ever leave the house without a high SPF on. I do still occasionally get them on my hands, because I keep forgetting to put more sunscreen on them after washing, duh. But I've started carrying round a tube of Clinique's hand cream with SPF 15, as my hands are generally far less sensitive than my face!

      For my face, I use La Roche Posay sun block - it's specifically formulated for people with sun sensitivity, and it's lovely besides. Where you have mostly oily skin, the Extreme Fluid version would probably work best. I have drier skin, so I use the Melt-in Cream version.

      Also, whilst you say you don't have hay fever, you don't mention any other allergies - if you do have others, then it may be an interaction. I find that my food allergies are more sensitive when my hay fever is active and vice versa.

      Hope that helps some!


      To Caroline - Great post. I do have combo skin, but in that my T zone is less dry than my cheeks. Not oily at all!

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    2. thank you so much for your advice.funny enough I actually bought the la roche posay sunblock and their la roche posay effaclar duo and it worked magic for my skin.
      80% of my spots have dissipated and I couldn't be happier.
      I really cant praise the effaclar duo enough.amazing stuff. My face is softer and firmer than ever.
      Big La Roche Posay fan now

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  34. Deat Caroline, I've been trying out a couple of products from Perricone, namely the Eyelid Serum, Face Finishing moisturiser and Chia Seed serum(which smells lovely!) I also received a deluxe sample of the Nutritive Cleanser, which I remember reading about in one of your earlier blog posts. The serums and moisturisers worked pretty well, especially when I was travelling to winter climates last month- the Chia serum helped quite a bit. I brought the small bottle of cleanser along, it was ok, didnt do anything bad to my skin. However a couple of weeks back I started breaking out on my chin and cheeks, probably due to hormones and stress. I do have a history of hormonal breakouts but honestly, after following your blog, changing products my skin has been very stable for the past half a year. Last night though, I was just browsing thru the Perricone website yesterday, and saw SLS listed as the 2nd ingredient in the Nutritive Cleanser(!!!!) Could this have possibly contributed to my breakouts too?? I am just curious, why would a brand like Perricone use SLS in its cleansers and even state on the website that it doesn't strip or dry the skin? This cleanser foams lightly. I am just quite perplexed. (Pinches self for not reading the inci list like I usually do, before trying out the cleanser)

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  35. i know what you mean. i think I used too aggressive foaming cleansers when I was younger. now I am 28 and I have a lot of spots on my chin. I also have milia.. a lot of tiny milia on my chin. I get to remove them by a pro.. but in a few weeks they are here again. what can I do? is a oat meal scrub good for me? thank you.

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  36. Thank you for your post! You really got me thinking...
    I have always believed that I have very oily skin with spots. But lately I've run out of my usual glucolic acid cleansing foam and have been using one for sensitive skin and - shock, horror - my skin is fine. It's still shiny but not as much as it used to be and I don't have more spots than usual (rather less *cough*). I can even use jojoba oil to hydrate it in the evenings... I don't trust my skin yet but reading your post really gives me hope :)

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  37. Would love it if you could blog about roseacea one day. Have to say since following your cleansing advice my skin has calmed down massively but I still have very angry reactive red cheeks.
    I didn't really get many spots as a teenager other than on my chin - they are at their worst at PMT time. A handy reminder to all that know me to watch their step...

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  38. hi this is so true, I wish I knew that when I was teenager. my battle with spots started when I was 13 and only now when I am 33 my skin starts to look normal. I went through a bunch of dermatologiests, gynecologiests and beauticians who told me to use all those drying and matting products, I think I tried out most of the stuff that is commonly recommended for acne, I had taken roaccutane treatment twice and nothing seemed to be working. Eventually around one and half year ago I end up at endocrynologists who cleared all my problems in a few months. Additionally I discovered your blog and since nearly a year I completely change my skin routine. My skin never looked so good, of course I had many scars after torturing my skin for 20 years with unsuitable products, but first time I am not ashamed to show my face without make up. this is priceless feeling, thank you Caroline.

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  39. This post makes so much sense!! This really feels like my story - my mom kept complaining I had severe acne (I'm 21) and that I had to use all these products... since a few months I've totally changed my skincare routine to more normal skin products and my skin has never been happier. Thank you for writing this!

    redlipsandbeautybits.blogspot.com

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  40. Love this post! Several people have told me I have oily skin, when I just don't and my skin has ended up dehydrated and sensitive! Recently, I've been using A-Derma Rhealba wash to take my makeup off, then Neal's Yard Rose Balm, with a face cloth, followed by Eucerin moisturiser. Slowly adding in the Pixi Glow tonic once every other day, along with Hydraluron and I have the Clinique Take Off The Day balm, Ren Omega serum and Lush A Breath of Fresh Air to try out (I'm going to introduce them all individually/slowly so I know what might cause breakouts).

    My skin can sometimes be quite similar to the client's in the photo! I've had bad skin since I was 11 and tried everything recommended by the NHS, the final straw was them telling me the only option was accutane, which was a polite "no" from me as I think the side effects are too much for me to handle (My acne has completely ruined my self-esteem but having ruined self-esteem along with every other side effect under the sun is something I don't think I can do!). I have IBS too, I don't know whether this will cause any problems? I asked my GP for a hormone test to which they said no as I probably didn't have any hormone problems. Any advice? After 11 years, I'm getting pretty desperate. Thank you for everything so far!

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  41. Hi Caroline! I have become addicted to your blog and recently added the First Aid Beauty Radiance Pads to my routine morning and night. How can you tell whether or not its best to use something like this twice a day after cleansing? Or just to keep to use at night? I have been using these lovely pads for about 3 weeks and struggle with clogged pores, so as it starts to clear those pores out over time I am hoping the goal is to then keep my pores clean with consistent use! Have you heard of these pads? DO you think it is too much to use them twice daily?

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  42. I will also say that I had normal/dry skin and did develop acne similar to the girl in the picture. A course of Roaccutane saved my face and I am now blessed to have perfectly clear normal/combo skin with zero scarring. I agree with the lack of knowledge surrounding products for acneic skin as I was always recommended oil control astringent products - dermalogica, kheils I'm looking at you - but i am so glad I saw the light!! Use the products your skin actually needs and it will love you for it!

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  43. Hi Caroline, thank you so much for this post.what is the deal with dairy and spots? Spoke to my GP, she said there is no such thing. Is it because I am a sufferer of PCOS? I am not drinking any milk or coffee now for months, no cheese, no pizzas, nothing. Only epiduo at night, it broke me out for the first two weeks, now it is getting much better but am still getting whiteheads on my jawline.

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  44. Amazing Advice Caroline, Sometimes people Don't understand the difference between acne and dry skin, I'm glad you have pointed out the difference.

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  45. I can recognize myself in the first case and no longer use all the foaming and mattifying junk. But one thing I still use is azelaic acid.. I got the cream version from my dr and it's working for my clogged pores, but is it bad for dehydrated skin? Glycolics doesn't help me as much as the azelaic acid but if it's bad I don't want to use it.

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  46. I just wanted to take the minute to thank you. I had really bad skin from age 12 onwards for ca. 15 years. I did everything bad you described above and last year I wanted to try one last thing before giving up and accepting the fact that I just have many bad spots, like all the time, always. I did an extensive research and with respecting some food intolerances and following your advice (cheat sheets!) I have the best skin since pre puberty. Unbeliveable, but true. So with all my heart and my happy skin - thank you, Caroline!

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  47. It is quite sad that most people think acne = oily skin, because when I was a teen and had a few breakouts I went to the pharmacy and the people working there recommended products, which really dried out my skin and damaged my skin. Now at almost 20 I have dry, dehydrated skin with acne and I am on Roaccutane. My skin is worse now than it was when I was 14, which maybe is due to the wrong products I have used in the past? I don't know. I just hope Roaccutane was the right "choice".
    http://beautychai.blogspot.de/

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  48. Hi Caroline, have been following your blog for a while now and have had bouts of moderate cystic acne since I was 15. I'm now 23. Went to see a dermatologist the other day because I've tried a lot of your advice and nothing has worked. The derm gave me a toner with alcohol and glycolic acid in it (brand: reversa) and a cetaphil foaming, mattifying cleanser (*gasp*). She also prescribed me tactuo (adapalene and benzoyl peroxide) to use as a mask 3 times a week, a Neutrogena moisturiser with benzoyl peroxide added to it for day time, a course of tetracycline, and 4 Blu-U light treatments. When I asked her if my acne could be allergy related she bluntly said No, that it was caused by using too heavy moisturisers and using my clinique cleansing balm. I don't really know what advice I'm looking for, I'm just really frustrated because I trust your advice but I want to get rid of my acne!!! Is there any advice you can give me? Thank you so much for you advice and constant entertainment!!! Jess, Vancouver, Canada xx

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    Replies
    1. Hi Jess. It's a tricky one. Try their routine - if it works - great. I personally have no time for any dermatologist that says your skin is not affected by what you eat/drink or allergies. Try it - it may be that a modified version of what we both suggest works.
      Cx

      Delete
  49. I wholeheartedly agree with this post. I fell into the second category, I had normalish teenage skin which suffered with a few breakouts and was told by various beauty counters I should use acne products (lots of benzoyl peroxide). When your a teenager and know nothing about skincare it's so easy to be convinced (in particular clinique and dermatologist facialists). The products resulted in me having horrific skin which has only just calmed down. Thank you so much Caroline for helping to educate me on skincare. So difficult to know whether you're being told the truth in shops when they're trying to get sales

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  50. The advice given at beauty counters to anyone with oily/acne skin makes me angry these days. I wish I had all the money I spend on those awful products over the years. I've always had open clogged pores, blackheads and spots and none of them worked.

    Walked into l'Occitane's store one day and was gently led to their serums/moisturizers. Best thing I'd ever done for my skin up till then. My skin brightened and softened and began to look much better. But I need exfoliators also and when I went searching for a good one I stumbled on Caroline's blog. Because I'd already seen good results from using a decent serum/moisturizer I was ready to believe her every word on the subject.

    Bought the Liquid Gold, the Indeed Reface retinoid, the hydraluron, the Pepta-Bright, the Radiance Pads, a balm cleanser. I could see changes right away and within a couple of months I could finally face the world with a clear skin. I still use the L'Occitane serum and moisturizer because I love them and they work.

    I also avoid supermarket shampoos and body cleansers like the plague.

    I can't recommend Caroline's regime for oily skin enough. I found that proper exfoliation and a really good moisturizing serum is key. I've also taken on board Caroline's idea of using flannels. I bought a heap of baby washers which are softer (and cheaper) and I'm anal about keeping them clean and using once only.

    Caroline knows what she's about. If you have bad skin I'd listen to her.

    And many thanks Mrs Hirons. xx

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  51. Can't believe I've just found this article- love it though. I have a friend who believed she had acne and oily skin on her face but the rest of her skin was super sensitive. I found out when we were sharing a hotel room and dragged her out skincare shopping for gentle cleansing and a more protective moisturiser (she was still using a product from a brand aimed at spot prone teens to moisturise) . After over 10 years of covering her skin with the thickest foundation possible to disguise her 'acne and rosacea' she can now go out without a base as her skin has improved. I am bragging but that was my finest skincare moment and only based on my own 'acne/oily skin' issues that I later found out were caused by the harsh SLS based cleansers aimed at teens and spot prone skin.
    For anyone out there with spots/acne/oily skin issues do as Caroline said and try looking at what you put on your skin and in your body before punishing it with harsh treatments.

    ReplyDelete

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