Can anyone share any skincare or over the counter products that have worked to help acne?
I've had antibiotics, pill and topicals from the GP over the years - none of which have hugely worked. I'm not sold on pushing further for Roaccutane and was just wondering if I was missing out on anything I could try!
Thanks in advance.
I had it for 10 years, got roaccutane it was gone within 3 months, wish I hadn't waited 10 years. My daughter suffers terribly too I'm just waiting for her to finish her education before getting her in it as it did make me depressed.
Kiehls' blue astringent toner.
Anti acne pads aimed at teenagers including those for boys - Oxy, Clearasil etc
Lots of exfoliating - plenty of sources don't recommend it but for me it was the best thing, not everyone is the same. I found scrub exfoliators better than the muslin cloths.
Various products from Bliss, which continued to make a long term difference once I was able to ditch the Kiehls and teenagers' stuff.
Some oil control stuff from Philosophy.
Refusing to use stuff with ingredients listed in comedogenicity tables, after starting to notice certain of these really did make it worse. Much as I'd have liked it to be the other way, most "natural" products gave me spots.
Pore strips actually worked quite well on my skin.
Wash cleansers and exfoliators off thoroughly.
Always wash flannels and face towels after one use
Can't remember all the products now TBH, these are the ones I used most, I think.
Some sources would say all this was really harsh on the skin, I can't say it would be right for everyone.
AHAs and exfoliating were also useful for body acne.
A couple of friends had an awful time on Roaccutane and still had to use quite a lot of anti-spot products. It was through one of them I started using the Oxy and Clearasil pads.
retin-a cream if you havent tried it - on prescription.
Suffered to varying degrees with mild but persistent acne; mainly on chin from about 16 onwards. Only time it was truly gone was during pregnancy and breastfeeding. After weaning second baby; it came back quite badly and after numerous antibiotics/ lotions, etc, I finally got a derm referral and subsequently roaccutane at age 37.
Best thing ever; wish I hadn't left it so long. Apart from dry lips and joint pain; I was absolutely fine - the pros of no acne far outweighed any cons of side effects (for me)
What has helped me me most is double cleansing, especially fid you wear makeup. Also adding in acids, Glycolic or Salicylic Toners. La Roche Effaclar Duo really helped in the beginning when I had very bad skin and now I use the acids to maintain everything.
Sorry, the only thing that cured my acne was Roaccutane.
If you're already on topicals, pill and antibiotics from the GP, then nothing you get over the counter/beauty, will touch it.
What's stopping you from taking it?
My side effects were minimal. Dry nose, I did have some days of feeling 'behind glass' but knowing it was just the Roaccutane and would pass put it in perspective. Also, not having acne increased my self esteem.
Why hasn't your GP offered you a referral to a dermatologist, if the treatments are having no affect? Only a dermatologist can offer you Roaccutane.
I would (and did) rather try Roaccutane than be on/off antibiotics for years.
Salicylic acid is better than AHAs.
but, it sounds to me that you've been through the ladder of care and the time has come to seriously consider Roaccutane. I know that's not what you want to hear but that's the bald fact of it.
One of the problems with online advice for skin is that someone's (subjective) 'severe' acne that responded to topicals, might be diagnosed as a dermatologist as mild, and of course that will respond well to topicals. Acne is a medical issue. Tho the cosmetic counters would have you believe otherwise.
Chronic, persistent acne leaving marks/scars after trying all other treatment? Roaccutane.
Meantime, add in salicylic acid, it will help.
Avoid dairy (not yet proven but I believe it to be true),
Avoid sugars including fruit (as much as humanly possible).
And get referred to a dermatologist.
Sorry I know it's not what you want to hear but absolutely nothing worked for me until roaccutane. The improvement was miraculous and I had minimal side effects. It was a really difficult decision but the best one I ever made and my only regret (similar to other posters) was not doing it sooner!
The only problem with roaccutane is that it's not permanent. My acne came back after approx 7 years of perfect skin. I managed to get it back under control by following Caroline Hiron's basic routine - double cleansing, exfoliating pads, retin-a and oil.
I also did a 3 day skin cleanse by Dr Perricone - another CH recommendation- it basically involves eating nothing but salmon for 3 days and it really did work.
I'm reluctant to try Roaccutane because I have had treatment for a life threatening illness and I think I've had my fill of drugs.
Have you seen a nutritionist? A proper one obviously, not a quack. A friend has appallingly painful acne and has found that cutting out dairy has helped her no end. It's not a cure, but it's a huge improvement for her. She did it under proper medical advice, so I'd recommend trying the same.
Thanks for the suggestions all.
I know no over the counter is going to fix it but I'm happy to give something a go that may help reduce a little.
I don't eat/drink much dairy. I switched to almond milk. Has helped a little.
I think I'll go back to the GP to see if I have any other options left.
Am looking into lift therapy but it is £££. I've been looking at the home versions (I have another thread about it).
Ah. I understand your Roaccutane reluctance so. I still think it's worth chatting it through with a derm so as you can make a fully informed decision. I do understand tho. Hope you're well now.
Do go back to your GP. There are always options.
And I would be referred to a derm. I still thnk it's worth chatting it through with a derm so as you can make a fully informed decision. I do understand tho. At a minimum, any derm worth their salt will be able to hugely help acne, with or without Roaccutane. I wouldn't spend £££ on OTC products or therapies, most are limited. Try the GP/derm route first.
And just a note of caution re the almond milk. In some (genetically susceptible) people, nuts can worsen acne. It sounds like you are ok with it, but keep an eye.
I've struggled with dodgy skin for years and now have got it looking better but cannot deviate from the routine. Acnecide everynight even if it looks perfect, the second I stop I get breakouts. Remove makeup with micellar water, cleanse with Clarins oil melt.
Hi OP. The Dermalogica Medibac range has worked really well for my son. He uses the Clearing Skin Wash and the Overnight Clearing Gel. Don't bother with their Clear Start range which did nothing for him.
He also found that cutting back on dairy improved things - I buy Almond Milk for him now.
I know someone else for whom Hibiscrub worked very well. It's an antibacterial wash used by surgeons pre-op to disinfect their hands.
I regret using the strong Clearasil type products when I was younger: I'm convinced that the lines I have on my forehead are in part a result of using harsh products to try to dry out my skin.
What has worked for me - and again I wish I had found it earlier - was a course of a drug called spirolactanone. It's not for everyone, as it can lower blood pressure (actually a good thing for me) and can be a diuretic (I didn't notice that effect), but in combination with a topical antibiotic gel and a retinol gel my skin is now pretty good. (Not perfect, I doubt I'll ever get that! But I can go out with only a dab or two of concealer, and if I dot get a spot it goes in a day rather than lurking for weeks and being so painful)
Worth exploring this option with your GP before going down the roaccutane route?
Another vote for Spironolactone. I have been taking a fairly low dose for 18 months. It's a miracle worker for me.
Myproblem was oily skin - face, neck, chest and back. Within 3 weeks of taking the spiro my skin was normal. Not dry - just normal.
I tried everything, and I mean everything. Even Chinese medicine.
Roaccutane is the only thing that worked. 3 months, all gone and never came back.
I suffered for 25+ years, wish I'd tried it sooner.
Have a read of Caroline Hirons blog- you should try and commit to 3 months of a proper routine before exploring roaccutane- it's quite a severe drug. I would invest in some good skincare and get into a routine if you don't already. Good luck
DD (14) bought Neutrogena
Acne Correct/Cover Moisturizer in the USA recently and her skin looks amazing. It's really cleared up her forehead.
It has Salicylic Acid in it. You can buy it on Amazon.
Daily I bloody love The Hirons (even met her!) and have been following her blog advice and cheat sheets etc for ages.
The woman is a genius- she saved my skin. Rave about her to everyone and anyone!
Euphemia - I agree, the Neutrogena moisturiser is good (I'm in the US), but it did nothing to stop the hard, painful cystic chin spots I got every month
Glad to see another spiro fan! (OP - I mis-spelt it - Sovain has it right)
finacea gel (azelaic acid) worked for me. But laser treatments got rid of them completely.
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