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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!

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.

dreamingbohemian Thu 07-Feb-13 11:31:27

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

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