Bad skin support thread, anyone?

(69 Posts)
Curtsey Wed 30-Jan-13 23:13:43

I see there are others who frequent S&B who have the same issues I have: general ugh-ness of skin, moderate acne, oiliness, occasional cysts, sensitive skin that's prone to redness and inflammation; the list goes on. Perhaps I am not the only one who has just been trudging on with it for years? Skin's never quite bad enough to get ultra-serious and spendy about, but have probably spent a fortune over about 15 years with this or that fiddly product.

I am getting married in May. I want my skin to be clear for it, or at least, better than it is right now. I am reluctant to go to the GP with this as I know I'll be fobbed off because my skin 'isn't bad enough'. I don't want to go on the Pill, and I don't want to take Roaccutane or antibiotics. (Plus, you have to pay for GP fees in the country I live in.) Here's what I know does help: sunlight (non-existant in the country I live in sad), loads of water, no caffeine, no sugar, strict veg-heavy diet. Willpower, essentially.

So, if anyone would like to join me on a skin-clearing diet, sign in here!

TinyDiamond Thu 31-Jan-13 22:43:11

yes me! back properly tomorrow

AmandaCooper Thu 31-Jan-13 22:45:09

Why not roaccutane? Granted it's pretty horrible but it completely sorted my skin out.

PoppyWearer Thu 31-Jan-13 22:49:14

Best thing I ever did was see a dermatologist. She confirmed my spots are hormonal, not diet. If I'm on the pill or pregnant/breast feeding my skin is great - what about you OP?

Dermatologist recommended a great face wash containing salycic (sp?) acid which was brilliant when my spots were bad.

She also prescribed a Retin-A gel which worked wonders too, but not for you if you are ttc, pregnant or bf'ing.

Curtsey Fri 01-Feb-13 10:16:12

Tiny - you'll be welcome!
Amanda, I'm breastfeeding and I assumed it's not compatible.
Poppy, I think my skin has been marginally better while I've been pregnant and breastfeeding. I wouldn't say it's been great, but it's been manageable. But during that time I've also been taking a multivitamin and switched to OCM, and it could be that, either! I have tried face washes and gels in the past but they don't seem to suit. They strip my skin and leave it raw and worse than ever. Minimal interference seems to work better for me. I will try to get a dermatologist appt. at some time in the future; right now, I don't really have the spare cash or time to pay for both the GP referral appointment that'd be required, and the consultation (&any follow-ups) itself.

I bought some 'hormonal balance' vitamins yesterday - a blend of fish oil, starflower oil and evening primrose oil. Hoping it can't hurt!

Bluebell99 Fri 01-Feb-13 10:45:32

I have just had good results with differin on prescription from my gp. I have been using it for about six months and skin is mostly clear.I alternate with panoxyl in mornings, differin at night.

Mrsap Fri 01-Feb-13 11:15:46

Probably not what u want to hear but I've had similar skin a my life, until I but the bullet and got a dermatologist referral.

Not looked back since. Skin is now fab, spot free, no oiliness, make up stay put all day.

Wish I'd gone to dr years ago!

Good luck with it all tho. Bad skin is horrible.

lurkingaround Fri 01-Feb-13 11:55:41

I second what Mrsap says. A lifelong sufferer here. Spent a fortune on nonsense and faffed about for years. While you may think it's expensive initially, in the long run, letting a deramatologist take care of and manage my skin was the cheapest thing I ever did. (I also have to pay where I live)

No, you can't take Roaccutane while breastfeeding but there's lots more you a dermatologist can do for you.

My skin has never looked better, I spend feck all on it these days, and I even look younger (thanks to the fantastic care and advice from the dermatologist).

Curtsey Fri 01-Feb-13 15:37:49

Thank you, folks. No, am happy to hear all advice and experience! May I ask those of who who've seen good results on precscription stuff how long you've been clear for? I've heard many people say that unfortunately they get a good 6 months or a year and then it all goes tits up again for some reason.

peachypips Fri 01-Feb-13 15:43:54

What did the dermatologists actually do? Or prescribe? I'm 34, still have hormonal spots, eczema, dry skin, oily skin (?!) lumpy skin etc.

Charliefox Fri 01-Feb-13 16:55:32

I developed terrible skin aged about 30. Had gorgeous skin up until that point. Have tried everything under the sun but not much helps. I've been on antibiotics for the last 8 or so years. It's the only thing that keeps it under control. Have come off them a couple of times, just to see what happens, and my skin just flares up with painful, cystic acne. It's taken me a long time to figure out that the less I do to it, the better it is. Any fiddling or interference of any kind (creams, facials etc) just inflames it even more. Its such a depressing condition to have. Ageing skin AND spots just seems so unfair sad

Jemster Fri 01-Feb-13 17:46:37

At the risk of sounding stupid when does a spot on face become a cyst? My ds has one on his cheek, it started like a small spot but gp said is a cyst and we are going to see a dermatologist. I'm a bit worried what treatment they will give as he's only 5.

QuinnFabray Fri 01-Feb-13 18:04:55

A no sugar diet absolutely helps my skin. I am a bit hormonal, but if I cut out sugar, my skin is so much clearer, less oily, less congested, also younger looking. It's so hard to stick to though.

Another thing that's helped, after years of spending money on hundreds of different things is salicylic acid. Whilst my skin is still quite oily, it's a lot less congested, is clearer and brighter, and I only very rarely get spots any more. Almost never. I used to breakout quite badly every month, and now I don't.

I mostly use La Roche-Posay Effaclar astringent lotion ( toner ) and Efflaclar Duo or Efflaclar K ( Efflaclar K seems to work better for me ). I also do Salicylic acid peels from Bravura, at home, when I feel I need to. I want to check out the Neutrogena range though, as that's supposed to be good, and is cheaper.

My skin isn't perfect, but I'm 37, ageing, and have a fair number of scars etc It's ten times better than it used to be though.

GrendelsMum Fri 01-Feb-13 19:53:11

I had terrible, terrible skin until I went to see a dermatologist, who put me on the pill - I think it was Dianette. And then it just gradually got better, and then stayed permanently better, except for a nasty side effect of a particular medicine I had to take for a short while. I was particularly upset about it because it was not that long before my wedding, but my lovely GP somehow convinced me that it didn't matter, and as it turned out, it didn't.

And now I don't have spots at all, and I don't really bother with makeup, and it's great. (Well, I currently have one freak spot, but you know what I mean.)

Curtsey Fri 01-Feb-13 20:35:47

I was on Dianette a few years ago, GrendelsMum, for maybe 2-3 years in total. It was miraculous. My skin and I loved it. But as far as I understand it's not frequently prescribed these days because it's quite strong and you're not supposed to stay on it longterm. How long did you take it for?

Charliefox, I totally understand how you feel! So you still take antibiotics every day then?

ErrorError Fri 01-Feb-13 20:54:40

My skin was fine up until I got the contraceptive implant (Implanon) 2 years ago. I love having no PMS etc, but the state of my skin is really wearing me down. I have a very oily t-zone and often get horrible teenage breakouts (I'm 27!) It's not as bad as full blown acne so I feel I can't go to my GP, I think they'd just tell me to change my diet, but I eat healthily and drink lots of water, so I'm not sure what else to do. Like others here, I have tried every lotion and potion going. Currently I'm using a Neutrogena daily face wash, and once or twice a week I use the Vitamin C microdermabrasion scrub instead (from The Body Shop.) I don't want to have the implant removed but I do want my skin to clear up! Argh!

GrendelsMum Fri 01-Feb-13 21:14:02

Curtsey - a GP friend did repeat prescriptions of Dianette for me for several years. I was on it longer than they would normally prescribe it for, as when they tried moving me off it onto something else I had various nasty side-effects that I hadn't had with Dianette. Finally I moved off it onto something which wasn't nearly as strong but that still had some anti-acne benefits, and I think the gradual move worked.

Charliefox Fri 01-Feb-13 21:33:12

Jemster - I can get normal spots. They typically come to a head, literally! I mostly get cystic type spots though, which are hard, painful lumps under the skin that typically don't come to a head but hang around for weeks on end. If you give in to the urge and squeeze them, holy cow, does it hurt and it achieves nothing other than inflaming them even further.

Curtesy - yes, I take oxytetracycline every day.

Quinn - I think a sugar free diet may help but I'm not sure if I can / want to give it up and police my diet to such an extent.

lurkingaround Fri 01-Feb-13 21:38:26

Error your implanon is most likely causing your acne. Implanon is a progesterone-only contraceptive and a real no-no for acne sufferers. My dermatologist advised me that even the Mirena coil which has a tiny amount of progesterone was a no-go for me. Sorry, but you may well suffer from acne as long as the implant is there. Topical stuff from your GP might help. Try this and see.

Jemster Fri 01-Feb-13 21:40:08

Thank you Charliefox, that does sound like my son's although he never complains that it hurts unless someone in his class touches it! How on earth do you get rid of them then? Do they eventually just go on their own? He has had his since before xmas, hence the gp now sending us to see a dermatologist. Poor thing, his face is so perfect and fresh otherwise.

lurkingaround Fri 01-Feb-13 21:41:27

Oh and for anyone with acne, watch your dairy intake, explained why here, and reduce fruit intake, fruit sugars (or acids, can't rem which) are pro-inflammatory.

catsandmouses Fri 01-Feb-13 21:53:21

My skin wasn't terrible, but had lots of small blackheads which I felt the need to squeeze on a regular basis.

For the last month I've been washing with Neutrogena spot stress control daily scrub (morning and night) and moisturinsing with the ultra light treatment moisturiser from the same range.

There has been a gradual, but definite, improvement and I will continue with these products as they are clearing my blackheads, leaving my skin soft and smooth and don't dry my skin (except a little bit around my nose). smile

I believe they contain salicylic acid.

Charliefox Fri 01-Feb-13 22:12:04

Blimey, if I eliminate sugar AND dairy, I'd have to eat some of that 'healthy food' <boak>

TinyDiamond Fri 01-Feb-13 22:58:56

I'm 25 and I've suffered with acne since I was 11. Really badly. It goes through phases of how bad it is and currently it isn't so extreme but I still hate, hate, hate it. I have tried many treatments including several antibiotics and topical treatments. None of which make a huge difference. I have pcos so mine is hormonal. My skin is also v greasy and I have to wash my hair every day.
The only thing that has ever helped my skin is dianette. I was on it for years and after about 9 months it cleared my skin totally. As others have said you are not meant to be on it as long as I was. The only reason I was is that it was during uni and I moved around alot so saw several doctors so nobody noticed.
I am on it again now but have only been allowed a 6 month script of it to clear my skin up and it hasn't really worked yet, I'm
On the last pack, although I have seen some improvement.
I am getting married in 6 months so want it sorting for then and need a plan that I can put into action.

I was considering peels, dermabrasion etc, light treatment? Can anyone tell me about any of these? Money is an issue, in that I have little. But am willing to save up if it's likely to work!

Has anyone tried lumie? I was thinking of buying one.

I eat relatively well but I do love alcohol and hidden sugars

TinyDiamond Fri 01-Feb-13 22:59:22

I also gave up dairy for an entire year. It made no difference for me

PoppyWearer Fri 01-Feb-13 23:14:06

If it helps anyone, I self-referred myself to local dermatologist (anyone in Surrey, I can recommend one!) and initial consultation was £90, then private prescription for Retin-A gel was £8. This was 2 years ago.

Bearing in mind that I had previously spent £70 on Skin Caviar stuff which did feck all for me. For the precise reason that my spots are hormonal. So I either need stuff that will control the hormones (Cerazette pill) or stuff that will control the natural collagen (oil production and plumpness of ski ) which is where the Retin-A gel comes in.

For me, it was definitely worth saving for.

ErrorError Wed 06-Feb-13 10:03:20

Thanks for the info lurking, I had suspected my Implant to be the cause, which I'm disappointed about because so far it has been the best contraception for me (bar skin issues.) When this one is due to come out I might consider taking a break from it and see if skin clears up (and if I lose weight!) and weigh up my options again. Good point about the dairy, that I never considered. I do eat a fair amount of cheese!

MrsMarigold Wed 06-Feb-13 11:54:31

I had issues for ages but Panoxyl aquagel 2.5 sorted me out but it's gone off the market and my skin is dire now. It only cost £3 too.

hatcam Wed 06-Feb-13 12:22:20

I have spent a fortune over the years and tried everything. I have to say that a private dermatologist has been the best money ever spent. I have a simple regime that I can stick to and the products she recommends are not necessarily expensive.

I wash with Cetaphil, then use Duac, then cetaphil lotion and a sunscreen by Obagi which almost acts like a primer. I use whatever eye cream I fancy - the dermatologist says it doesn't really matter and I could just use cetaphil moisturiser but I quite like the one I've got. In the evening I wash with cetaphil and then apply Differin, eye cream and lip balm. That's it. No faffing, no worrying about what product does what and best of all I no longer feel like a slave to the marketing twaddle of all the expensive products in the dept stores! I am like an ad man's dream - very easily suckered into all the promises and beautiful packaging though, I appreciate not everyone believes all the rubbish peddled.

The dermatologist (who is completely lovely, glamorous but not scary and very normal looking - she just looks great in a very natural way, and v funny) is very strict about what make up you put on and I think this has made an enormous difference. She says if it doesn't say non comedogenic and oil free, don't use it. I've followed this to the letter. She thinks that Estée Lauder double wear and mac are pretty awful for easily upset acne prone skin and she has a list of products she prefers. Some expensive, some not.

Would recommend wholeheartedly, I should have done this years ago. Bad skin is miserable and there are more interesting things to be doing than having to worry about your skin - that feeling when you get up before you look in the mirror, dreading what will have emerged overnight. Life is too short. Ask your doctor or go and see a dermatologist directly.

sansucre Wed 06-Feb-13 12:22:49

I had completely clear skin until I hit 30, and then almost overnight, it became similar to yours. Fast forward 5 years and it's cleared up, almost completely but it's taken a long time and through a system of trial and error. I did consult a dermatologist and a doctor but I didn't like their suggestions so ploughed on ahead by myself.

I honestly think our skin reflects what is going on internally and I realised stress had a lot to do with it, diet too, although my hormones played a huge part, which stress set off.

Krill oil, taken in capsule oil is something I swear by. It stinks I'm afraid, but it is by the far best fish oil out there and it was when I started to take it my skin took a turn for the better.

I've also noticed that when I eat less sugar/refined carbs, my skin is better too.

I cleanse using jojoba oil and take it off with a hot cloth. Since using face oil, my skin has also improved. Salicylic facial peels have also worked. (Also great for blackheads.) Ren's Vitamin C exfoliator is also great, as is the face mask.

I wish you lots of luck, it's a long journey, mostly one of trial and error as what works for one person doesn't work for the next. It will all come good in the end, I swear. I was in John Lewis the other day buying a blusher and the girl remarked upon how lovely my skin was, something that still surprises me somewhat as I remember how bad it was less than a year ago.

Curtsey Wed 06-Feb-13 23:08:52

Well, today wasn't great, in that I ate a lot of bread/white flour, but in general I've eaten pretty well over the last week or so, and have clamped down on sneaky chocolate. I am also drinking even more water than I usually do (I usually drink quite a lot). And I'm taking a blend of fish, evening primrose, and starflower oil. I'm cleansing with coconut oil as I have been for quite a while and moisturising in the morning with bog-standard Nivea Light Moisturising Lotion with SPF15 (it's the ONLY moisturiser that works for me to hydrate without my skin becoming congested or too greasy for a make-up base).

I almost don't want to say it incase I jinx things but I think I am already seeing a bit of a difference. I'm still having one cup of tea and one cup of coffee a day, but the next step is to wean myself onto one cup and to cut out sugar even more. So, encouraging. And I find that using a basic witch hazel gel at night if necessary keeps on top of spots without causing flare-ups. Keeping products simple really seems to be a major factor.

sansucre - ha, great name - that's lovely to get that compliment about your skin smile

civilfawlty Wed 06-Feb-13 23:17:29

Hello. I too have low grade rubbish skin. I'm interested in the salycylic peels and also in finding a dermatologist in London (preferably north). Could anyone recommend either please?

Thank you

Jemster Wed 06-Feb-13 23:20:34

Poppywearer I would be interested in having the details of your Surrey dermatologist please. Thanks.

TinyDiamond Thu 07-Feb-13 00:09:01

hat cam can you give more details of what make up is recommended?

WifeofPie Thu 07-Feb-13 00:11:47

The pill can work wonders on your type of skin. Don't dismiss it out of can correct hormonal imbalances that are often the root of the problems you describe.

WifeofPie Thu 07-Feb-13 00:16:36

Yy to jojoba oil, as sansucre mentioned above. It's amazing for oily, sensitive skins. It's soothing and balancing and absolutely will not cause break-outs.

minttulip Thu 07-Feb-13 08:51:32

Im always interested in skin threads, Ive had such up & down times with skin since my teens (now 36) & even sometime when you think youve found the cure, things can always take a downturn again. Years ago I was on dermatologist prescribed antibiotics (minocin), I was delighted, but this is only a temporary cure, my breakouts came back after a while of not taking them. What Ive found is working really well for me at the moment is switching cleanser, make up, sunscreen etc to non comedogenic. It really makes a huge difference by not clogging your pores. So now Im using Cetaphil cleanser, bare minerals make up and I use an Aloe Vera gel as a moisturiser. I think the mistake Ive made all these years is treating my skin as oily & constantly using harsher acne fighting products. Now Ive learned I actually have really sensitive skin and choose appropriate products, my skin is so much calmer & clear. I also try to drink as much water as possible during the day.

Curtsey Thu 07-Feb-13 10:03:45

Hi minttulip, yes, agreed, my skin is also very sensitive and shouldnt' be treated with anything harsh. Like many others I got suckered into all of those floor-stripping washes and gels as a teen angry

WifeofPi - yes, I totally agree that the right pill can work wonders. For me the right pill was Dianette, and this was amazing for several years, but it was a temporary cure since GPs don't like you to stay on it. I was then prescribed Yasmin and my spots came back straight away. Out of interest, can anyone recommend a pill type that has worked for their skin?

hatcam Thu 07-Feb-13 11:18:10

Tinydiamond - recommended make up includes

Vichy dermablend foundation - there's a knack to using this, see Lisa eldridge's video and you need a tiny amount

Vichy dermablend concealer - I love this, prefer it to Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage and Bobbi Bown concealer stick. I do pinpoint concealing with an eyeliner brush and blend with my finger. Sounds like a faff, but I don't spend more than 5 mins on my whole make up.

Lancôme teint miracle and teint idole - colours not right for me but teint miracle in particular is lovely

Nars tinted moisturiser - this is my favourite

And no powder on spot prone congested areas!! If I get a shiny nose which I do quite quickly I just pat with a tissue.

She is not so particular about what you put on non spot prone/congested areas, so I just use regular cream blusher and bobbi Brown under eye corrector/concealer. I used to use bourjois foundation but I have ditched it and honestly, my skin is much much better.

Basically she says if a foundation/tinted moisturiser doesn't say oil free/non comedogenic then don't use it.

I was at the end of my tether with my skin - it wasn't horrendous but it was just low grade crap and sometimes very irritated. I also felt I was being sold really expensive products (genefique/advanced repair I'm looking at you) by an orange faced lady who would tell me about their clinical trials (87% people out of a base of 72 cats agreed blah blah). Not to mention the high street skin clinic that sold me eye wateringly expensive retinol treatments with no proper advice and fobbed me off with total boswellox.

I saw a cosmetic dermatologist who happens to have a clinic in Harley st. Sounds terribly terribly posh, but it's not and I think it has saved me £££ in the long term when it is easy to get suckered in to parting with upwards of £30 or £40 for an eye cream or a face wash or whatever. Would recommend. She even has a great blog for a bit of advice!

kitsilano Thu 07-Feb-13 11:23:58

hatcam - could you tell me the details of your dermatologist?

Fluffycloudland77 Thu 07-Feb-13 11:26:50

Have any of you tried MSM from solgar? I got mine off amazon.

It's a form of sulphar, it's meant to keep skin healthy and "glowy", it makes you break out for the first few days but they go really quickly.

I started taking it when I realised it was the major supplement used in these health and beauty tablets.

I think it's meant to reduce scarring and speed up healing.

I'd echo everyone else and say see a dermatologist, it will save money in the long run. Add it to your wedding budget maybe? wink

I self-treated for acne for years before finally seeing a dermatologist and finding out I actually had rosacea, which is actually made worse by most acne treatments.

She also recommended Cetaphil cleanser (it's very popular among dermatologists).

I use mostly Avene products as they are all made for sensitive skin.

My skin looks loads better than it used to. The right products are key but really it helps to have a professional diagnosis.

lurkingaround Thu 07-Feb-13 12:17:57

Curtsey Yasmin is a very skin friendly pill. Dianette is great and my skin was good for years on it, but my derm still put her eyes to heaven when I gave that as an excuse for not having taken Roaccutane sooner (than the ripe old age of 40!). That's a great idea dreamingbo has of adding the derm appointments to the wedding budget. Seriously, if you can at all, you should. And you may not even need a GP referral letter.

My pet high horse/hobby horse is the fairytales that cosmetic companies sell us. You will look 20 years younger if you buy etc etc and like you say hatcam, 92% of 20 women using this looked a collective 100 years younger.. it's such a heap of shite. Given the billions the cosmetic compaines make, and the billions of products sold, how come we all have skin problems? Oh, and I haven't notice many women looking younger....

Bluesue26 Thu 07-Feb-13 14:18:44

Have you tried zinc? I was taking it for a while for something and noticed that although it didn't stop me getting spots, they did clear up very quickly.

hatcam Thu 07-Feb-13 16:39:09

Kitsilano I see Dr Sam Bunting, very easy to look up her details on the web but I'll message you with her email/tel.

Very normal and non-scary. She has also not 'upsold' me at all, in any way which I really like and which means I'll continue to see her. There was no hard sell at all for any particular products or anything, just great advice, a sensible regime, recommended sunscreen and a prescription for Differin and Duac.

TheWombat Fri 08-Feb-13 17:55:59

Hi everyone signs in spottily

I've decided to embark on a clear-skin mission blush. I'm 35, and my skin breaks out regularly around my chin, neck and jawline. I also have very large visible pores, but my skin doesn't seem very oily - it's not tight and flaky, but it looks dehydrated and of course, to crown it all, I'm starting to get fine lines and pigmentation. In short: delightful. It's time to sort it all out.

A course of antibiotics cleared up the worst of it about 3-4 years ago, but I don't want to stay on them long term, and I don't feel like my skin is bad enough to warrant a trip to a dermatologist.

I'm mulling over the following
1) Trying out the Clarisonic with a gentle cleanser. QVC has a 30day money-back guarantee. [ link here]] My skin doesn't like many cleansers - Philosophy Purity gave me spots, as do lots of the non-wash off cleansers. And the gel-based ones either do nothing and seem like a waste of money, or leave my skin feeling tight and stretched-feeling. Most of the time I resort to soap and water because at least it doesn't make the spots worse. Unfortunately I can't say the same for the effect on wrinkles! The Cetaphil cleanser sounds good - could I use that with Clarisonic for extra benefits?

2) Buying the Lumie Clear link here I'm intrigued by this, it has good reviews on amazon and MUA and seems to be backed by research. If anyone's tried it I'd be interested in knowing more..

3) Dermalogica overnight clearing booster (heard good things about this). I've been recommended dermalogica products, but think most of their anti-acne range will be too drying for me, so I thought I could incorporate the clearing booster with some of the other products for normal / combination skin or the ones that contain lactic acid.

4) Salicylic acid peels (maybe every two weeks)

I like Alpha H products (their gycolic mask is lovely) and found them to have a good brightening effect. I recently bought a sample their Vitamin C serum off ebay - it has hylauronic acid in it, but not in an oil-slicky base, and my skin seems to be tolerating it well.

Oof - well, at least you can tell I've been giving it some thought blush. I'll report back with some progress in a few days..

AllRightSoFar Fri 08-Feb-13 22:22:57

I thought Dianette was being withdrawn because of the links to deaths/causing depression?
I really want to hear that the lumie thing really works. They are selling reconditioned ones on the website for £80 rather than the cheapest price of £120 elsewhere.
I've heard the red light pens are amazing at healing users, cold sores even tooth ache so there must be something in it!?

Fluffycloudland77 Sat 09-Feb-13 09:48:07

Has anyone tried applying fresh lemon juice as toner? I used to do this years ago but stopped for some reason.

I'm going food shopping tomorrow so I'll buy some lemons again.

Chiggers Sat 09-Feb-13 10:01:34

Fluffy, MSM was originally used to keep the ligaments and tendons of racehorses in good nick. Nowadays, it has been formulated for joint health in humans.

kitsilano Sat 09-Feb-13 15:12:13

Thanks very much hatcam, I'll look her up

jumpinghoops Sat 09-Feb-13 15:42:35

TheWombat- I usually have v similar sounding skin to yours (currently pregnant which seems to be the only time my skin is ok).

I wanted to recommend that you look at the dermalogica special cleansing gel and alpha-h balancing cleanser both of which I have found are great for my kind of oily, dehydrated with jawline spots skin.

I picked up a Tresonic from amazon which is similar to the clarisonic and works well with both of these cleansers. I personally had more success with origins on the spot than the derm. clearing booster but everyone of course is different. Have you ever tried the dermalogica face mapping? They can recommend the products they think might work for you.

GrendelsMum Sat 09-Feb-13 17:56:38

Just want to say to everyone that if you haven't been to see your doctor about recurring spots, it's cheaper and potentially much more effective than spending money on cleansing products, if the problem's hormonal. The pill she switched me onto that isn't Dianette was also good, if not as fabulously miraculously transformational.

<twirls in her spot free skin>

TinyDiamond Sat 09-Feb-13 18:49:37

Which pill was that then?

TheWombat Sun 10-Feb-13 14:09:15

Hi there JumpingHoops <crappy skin fist bump> I'm really glad to hear that you've had success with the Dermalogica special cleansing gel as I've just invested in that! I agree with you about Alpha H products - lovely and not all cloggy on congested areas. I'm really liking the Alpha H vitamin C serum - I've used it for about 3 days now and although it's early days, my skin does look brighter in the morning.

I have gone and bought the Lumie clear and will use it religiously every night and report back. Apparently it takes about 3 weeks before results occur so I will have to try and be patient...

Fluffycloudland77 Sun 10-Feb-13 14:32:15

Well I've bought some lemons so I will use the juice as a toner later.

GrendelsMum Sun 10-Feb-13 14:42:19

Unfortunately I can't remember which pill it was - it did the job and my skin's been clear ever since. I suddenly realised that all my expensive cleansers made absolutely no difference and stopped using them all together.

Chiggers Sun 10-Feb-13 17:59:58

Have any of you tried egg white and ground cloves face mask?

I mixed the egg white with 1/2 teaspoon of ground cloves and my skin was less inflamed and soft as a baby's bum. It makes the face tingle a bit, but I just waited until the tingling stopped, waited about 5-10mins after and washed off. I was shocked at how 2 simple store-cupboard ingredients could make such a difference.

One warning about cloves.....Do not use clove oil neat on your face. I, stupidly, did it to see what effect it had. Believe me, it wasn't nice grin. I had to go splash freezing cold water to take the sting out of it. I must remind myself never to do that again grin. Have to say that it wasn't one of my better judgements in life wink.

shrimponastick Mon 11-Feb-13 20:28:54

I am in the bad skin gang too.

I guess by 45 I thought it would have cleared up, but no....

After years of various contraceptive pills, the winner for perfectly clear, non oily skin was Dianette. However had to stop it due to discovering a blood ckotting disorder.

Gp referred me to the derm (nhs) who px differin gel, and said I could try trimethoprim long term.

Have been using the Differin for almost a year now. It does make my skin look fresher. The anti biotics seen to keep any eruptions small, and they clear within a day.

Am going for a check up blood test tomorrow to ensure that my body is ok to keep up the trimethoprim.

The derm said it was the most effective treatment, other than roaccutane.

Still bloody oily though.

Forwardscatter Wed 13-Feb-13 19:16:42

Can anyone recommend a good dermatologist in London? The time has come - I look so crap these days.

shrimponastick Wed 13-Feb-13 19:18:14

Can you go through gp first. See an nhs derm, and if no joy then go private?

Not in London area, so no advice on that sorry.

Forwardscatter Wed 13-Feb-13 19:27:39

I can just about afford to see someone privately and in all honesty I'm impatient.. So I'd prefer to go down that route.


hatcam Wed 13-Feb-13 22:35:36

Forwardscatter I would very much recommend the dr I mentioned earlier - Dr Sam Bunting, she has a clinic in Harley Street. Easy to look her up but I will pm you with her number.

Like I said earlier, it's not cheap, but I feel I'm getting really good value for money as I'm not endlessly trying different products which can get really expensive. I dread to think what I've spent over the years. My routine is straightforward and touch wood, my skin is better than it's ever been. Shock horror, I went out with no make up the other day. This is unheard of for me! Not since about 1985.

daylily Thu 14-Feb-13 15:53:30

Hatcam can you give a ball park figure for a consultation with the dermatologist?
Thanks PM if you prefer.

Fluffycloudland77 Thu 14-Feb-13 16:35:04

I've just ordered a retin a cream off amazon. It's 0.025% which I thought was a good strength to start with then I could move up to 0.05 then 0.1 if needed.

shrimponastick Thu 14-Feb-13 16:53:29

Following the post about seeing a private derm I have googled a few local to myself also.

I went to see the NHS derm last year as I wanted to go on Roaccutane. Having spent over 30 years with oily skin and acne, I am getting a bit fed up smile

The NHS derm didn't deem my skin bad enough for the roaccutane, which is why I am on the trimethoprim and differin gel. However it is't perfect- I have two lovely spots on my chin today ( and am going to a wedding tomorrow grrr...). It is just so darn oily. It feels dirty ):

I wonder if I would have more joy persuading a private d;erm to prescribe roaccutane. I read on forums about older women taking a low dose to manage similar skin to mine. But I think they are mostly in the USA - hence it all gets paid for - rather than NHS where money is tight.

hatcam Thu 14-Feb-13 21:36:13

Hi shrimponastick - firstly sympathies, spots before a big do are rubbish and annoying. Not sure that roaccutane is always the answer - it can cause terrible side effects and not always achieve the results you want. You might have better luck at a private derm as they may look more at the whole picture - all the the things you're putting on your skin - and also sometimes have a better range of products they can recommend. Hope it works out.

Curtsey Tue 19-Feb-13 21:03:17


So, I went to the GP today and we discussed it and I'm going to go back on Dianette for 6 months. She was totally happy to prescribe it, and said that maybe I just need a short burst of it to help really clear out the acne. I don't really think that it's a permanent solution at all but at the end of the day I don't want to get pregnant anytime this year and I also know that Dianette works for me. I just want a break from hating looking in the mirror!

I feel so much happier already - except the only thing is I do need to wean DD off the boob before I start it as she said it gets into the breastmilk. I was going to be doing that anyway over the next month or so so in a way it's kind of made the decision for me. Would really encourage anyone who's dithering about a GP appointment to just go do it! I also got a prescription for another niggling thing that I'd been putting off, so just feel better all round smile

GrendelsMum Tue 19-Feb-13 21:14:19

That's brilliant! Very glad to hear it. Maybe after the Dianette has cleared it out of your system she could move you onto something that will help keep it under control.

Curtsey Wed 20-Feb-13 10:27:22

Thanks, Grendels (love your name btw). And cheers to everyone on this thread who has shared their experience! While I do think that sugar and white carbs help nobody's skin, at the end of the day, my diet really is pretty good and it's just depressing at my age to be obessing over allowing myself one cup of tea or coffee a day for fear I'm ruining my skin. And I'm fairly confident about the gentle products I'm now using - the days of using harsh facial washes etc. are long gone. The problem is hormonal, it always has been. So, yeah, I just need a little break really, and then we can see how it looks after 6 months. Impatient to get going but I'll have to wait a few weeks yet while I'm weaning DD and until next AF arrives!

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