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Terrible skin! Skincare and foundation advice needed.

(36 Posts)
Felix90 Mon 03-Feb-14 13:16:49

Just looking for some advice as I really need a good skincare routine and need recommendations for a new foundation! Sorry this may be a bit long.

I have suffered from acne for 10 years since I was around 13. Weirdly my spots improved slightly when I was pregnant, but now my DD is 5 weeks old and they are back to how they used to be. My chin is the worst affected area, and around my nose. I have sensitive skin and I'm allergic to something which is common in a lot of skincare and makeup but I have no idea what ingredient it is! My skin can get quite oily on my nose but then also very dry and flaky too. At the moment I've got massive sore spots on my chin, and my forehead and around my nose is really dry and flaky and it looks awful!

My skincare routine is currently rubbish and I know I need to make more of an effort. I've not been wearing makeup much as I've been in the house with DD most of the time, but when I do go out I cannot go without makeup. I use makeup wipes, Lush 'angels on bare skin' and then oil free Boots sensitive moisturiser afterwards. Can anyone help me with some decent products to buy which will be gentle on my skin but hopefully help me make my face look half decent without makeup? I've used Clinique's anti-blemish cleanser/toner/oil free moisturiser before but it wasn't anything spectacular.

Also I currently use Vichy Dermablend foundation in the lightest shade. I love it so much and the coverage is brilliant! When I first started using it, the lightest shade was too light for me, but now I'm guessing my skin has changed and it's too dark and makes me look a bit weird and orangey. I'm gutted as it's the perfect foundation that I spent years (and a hell of a lot of wasted money) looking for. I have Bareminerals products which are good when I'm having a 'good skin day,' but the coverage of the concealer isn't great and I have to use a lot for it to cover my spots which is costly. Also when my skin is dry, the products look awful and do not work for me. I loved Estée Lauder Double Wear when I tried it a few years ago, but unfortunately I'm mega allergic to it. I also used Clinique's anti-blemish foundation for a while but the coverage isn't very good. Can anyone recommend a solution for me? I wish I could carry on using the Dermablend but their colour selection isn't great and they don't do a lighter shade than the one I'm using sad

Sorry I've rambled a bit! Hopefully someone can help!

Financeprincess Mon 03-Feb-14 13:34:31

I recommend Paula's Choice BHA 2% lotion to everybody. I started getting spotty when I came off the pill, and this stuff sorted it out brilliantly. I apply it at night, like a night cream. You have to order it online.

Deathwatchbeetle Mon 03-Feb-14 14:19:32

Vichy and La Roche posay have some stuff for troubled skin.

Why not go to a big branch of Boots as they have a skin care advisor (at least they do at London Westfields).

As for the make up - cannot really help as I only had a few hormonal spots. However I was noseying on you tube and came across a young American lady who showed how she covered her acne up. You would never know looking at her with make up on how bad her acne was, and it was! I expect there are quite a few on you tube like that but you have to be a bit choosy as so many are American and either have a giggly girly voice or speak to fast you miss everything. I think she used Maybelline make up but cannot be sure.

Below is the link but I cannot do it so it turns blue and you can click on it - sorry!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ex33wtqnNz8

FrugalFashionista Mon 03-Feb-14 14:40:38

I have the same specs (including a tendency to get hormonal breakouts and allergies). I used to wear the LRP alternative to Dermablend but it was too orange on me, although paler than Dermablend. The alternative to ELDW is Revlon Colorstay.

Right now I only use LRP Effaclar K for moisturizing and Lily Lolo mineral concealer and foundation (palest shades). My skin is the best it's been in years. I apply the concealer on with an eye shadow blending brush (Mac 219) and the coverage is fantastic, even for very marked redness and hyperpigmented scars.

Ditch the wipes. I think I used too harsh products for my skin, right now I only use gentle castile soap and water - my skin is loving them.

FrugalFashionista Mon 03-Feb-14 14:44:35

Oh and Effaclar AI is brilliant for the sore spots. And Eucerin 5% urea cream is good for treating flakiness and noncomedogenic (unlike really many other moisturizers). I also like LRP Cicaplast Baume B5 for sore, irritated skin.

Felix90 Mon 03-Feb-14 16:06:43

Thank you for the suggestions! I will take a look at them all. So should I be using just a good soap with water then a moisturiser and that's it? I assume that a simple routine is better than using loads of different products?

LittleBonnie Mon 03-Feb-14 16:09:11

Quinoderm is the only thing that really ever helped my acne (other than prescription drugs). You can buy it behind the counter and its cheap and very fast working.

Felix90 Mon 03-Feb-14 16:11:30

I've tried quinoderm after a recommendation from a friend but it really didn't agree with my skin. The only thing that has slightly worked for me is Panoxyl but it's been discontinued sad

RonaldMcDonald Mon 03-Feb-14 16:36:00

I use a rinse off cleanser...personally I like olay face cloths...you add water to them and they foam up...use them gentle on your face and rinse off with warm water pat dry
no need for toner ime
i then use neutrogena bha
then olay fragrance free serum
then this fella and i'm done

I put benzoly peroxide directly on anything dire dire dire but tbh now that i stick to this my skin is great/excellent
<if you are in the US some of the products are slightly different - especially the effaclar as it contains bp in US>

TheMaw Mon 03-Feb-14 23:21:53

Have a look on Caroline Hiron's blog, she knows everything about skin and you might be able to pick up a few tips. I've totally changed the way I look after my skin since finding it and it's made a massive difference.

delasi Tue 04-Feb-14 00:05:20

I have a similar-ish problem: acne since 13 (I turn 25 this year), dry skin, hard to match for foundation (pale but not pink or yellow). Acne got worse in pg angry after having levelled out a lot, but finally calming down now (DS is 1yo!).

I worked in a beauty hall for a while so I tried a lot of stuff because it was free!. I also got to pick up some honest tips from colleagues. I've seen dermatologists and had special spa treatment things and I was treated by my GP for acne during my teens and tried topical ointments, peroxide-based creams and antibiotics.

For skin:
- You have to look after it regularly. Unfortunately when you start slacking, skin starts to look worse. On the plus side, it's actually very easy to look after.
- Tea tree is amazing. Imo.
- Here's the basic outline: wash your face with some warm water, then use a gentle facial soap, wash with hands, rinse. I usually splash with cold water. Pat dry with a towel. Use a gentle toner to help close pores. Use a gentle moisturiser.
- do this at least once a day before bed.
- if you're wearing make up, remove simply and gently prior to washing: cotton wool, gentle make up remover. It doesn't matter if it's not 100% gone as washing will get the rest. Do NOT use wipes or astringent tonics.
- I exfoliate twice a week. After soaping, I use a soft facial brush (£3 Body Shop), very gently brush (no scrubbing!) and then rinse etc.

Products I personally use: mainly Boots own range or Body Shop on offer, Tea Tree products for cleansing and Aloe Vera for moisturising. I use a foaming soap, tea tree cleanser, and I have tea tree oil for bad breakouts - just dab on neat with a cotton bud or similar and it makes a fantastic spot treatment. I use an SPF moisturiser for day, and a slightly heavier cream at night. I use a simple eye cream and aloe vera gel dabbed around the eyes and other dry spots (bought at Holland & Barrett).

Some tips:
- no scrubbing, harsh treatment, nothing super stingy and drying out; these will most likely make your skin worse.
- moisturising can only do so much, it's more effective if you regularly gently exfoliate. If I'm going to put make up on, I moisturise, leave it to soak in, a few minutes later I moisturise again. Lightly, but the double moisturising makes a big difference to keep skin soft throughout the day and keeping make up on (it pretty much takes the same role as primer, only cheaper grin).
- cheaper brands tend to have less stuff packed into them, and products that are simpler often work better on your skin. A lot of people have reactions and/or unsatisfactory experiences with the 'premium' brands.

As for make up, I found Laura Mercier to be really good. Highly pigmented so you can get very good coverage without having to cake it on and they have a good range of skin tones. I would check it out, I used the Silk Crème foundation which is more recommended for blemish prone skin. Their hydrating primer is also fantastic. The two together cost £60-70, so it's not dirt cheap, but they lasted me a whole year. The tinted moisturiser is also really good as is the setting powder but that's more of delving into the whole range... smile

Once your complexion settles however and your skin is better moisturised, you will find that you are able to use a lot more ranges. I used LM products as truly nothing else could work for me, and I still like them and have them, but I can now also use Bare Minerals and Max Factor which had some foundations I liked but couldn't get away with due to a lack of coverage and drying out very easily.

Ok, so this is very long but hopefully some of it is useful!

delasi Tue 04-Feb-14 00:08:27

*I was referring to cheaper brands for skincare, not make up, given my LM follow up!

ItsaMissTerri Tue 04-Feb-14 00:12:04

I would also recommend you checkout Caroline Hirons blog. Some of her tips re cleansing balms/milks and using a facial oil have improved my skin a lot.

K8Middleton Tue 04-Feb-14 00:16:03

Are you breastfeeding your lovely new baby? If you are some products are contra-indicated even for topical use, such as BHAs and retinoids.

Instead of products with BHAs or retinoids in them you could try a Derma flannel from Bravaura? Similar action but ok if you're breastfeeding. Gentle hot cloth cleansing with Superdrug vitamin E products or Eve Lom if you're feeling flush.

Congratulations on baby btw!

shoeprincess2 Tue 04-Feb-14 07:28:59

Congratulations on your baby. Hot cloth cleansing with a flannel and Superdrug's Vitamin E hot cloth cleanser has done wonders for my skin. It is really creamy, but really gentle. Avoid any harsh products, as they just seem to exacerbate the issue. I tend to chop and change with moisturisers, but I have heard good things about Simple's hydrating moisturiser. Good luck and enjoy those newborn snuggles x

Felix90 Tue 04-Feb-14 08:45:02

Wow thank you everyone! I wasn't expecting so many responses. Unfortunately I had to stop bf at 4 weeks sad I'm really interested in this hot cloth cleansing thing so will look that up too. I can't wait to go shopping!

FrugalFashionista Tue 04-Feb-14 09:16:02

Enjoy shopping but please go slow, reintroduce new products and routines gradually. An overload of products may be too much for tricky skin - my skin improved dramatically when I had to discontinue all makeup and skincare (perioral eczema) and I found that a minimalist routine really works for me. Delasi has great suggestions.

Also remember that everyone is a bit different! Hot cloths and oil cleaning are fantastic for many but can also trigger rosacea and cystic acne. My mild rosacea is normally synptom free but hot cloth cleansing triggers it. And I got cystic acne and purple scarring from oil-cleaning. When I avoid natural oils in skincare, my skin looks much better.

Oh, and if your skin was better during pregnancy, hormonal contraception might be an easy solution. Talk to your GP, there are other medicinal alternatives too and they are definitely worth trying, skincare is a good solution only for very mild acne. My brothers share my skin problems and Roaccutane was great for them.

RonaldMcDonald Tue 04-Feb-14 09:23:48

Felix, as a word of caution I used a hot cloth for yrs in the Eve Lom system. My skin was often broken out and red. I am unsure if it was a bit too harsh in terms of heat and cold or if the formulation of the product was just killing my skin, maybe Liz Earle is better???
Certainly I had much bigger pores, redness, raw patches, dry skin and the dreaded lumps...I thought it was just my lot. Now my skin is great but it took a trip to the derm and really cutting back on my skin routine to the very boring products I listed.
I was spending £££ on my skin and loved products and was so so so helpful of anything new and miracle
Now I use the same cheap stuff every boring day and have excellent skin.

I think I try to remember about beauty bloggers that their blog would be pretty short if they said---well this stuff works so I'll stop here. It is their job to keep testing and trying and luring!

RonaldMcDonald Tue 04-Feb-14 09:25:05

frugal utterly agree re oil cleansing...my skin was a state

Felix90 Tue 04-Feb-14 09:25:54

That's interesting about rosacea. My sister has recently been diagnosed with it after having angry red spotty skin for a couple of years after having my niece. I often wonder if that's part of what my problem is too. I'm tempted to go to the GP and see what they say.

I think I'm going to go for a gentle facial soap and try the body shop soft facial brush a couple of times as week as recommended by delasi smile I really want to try the hot cloth cleansing but will wait for now. I've saved the superdrug one in my favourites for future reference!

What are people's opinions on the Simple range for a moisturiser and possibly a makeup remover? Is the range actually gentle on skin or is it just a marketing ploy? I'd like to try and not spend too much on new products as I've spent a fortune over the years! Then if it doesn't work out for me I've not lost out too much. Is there any particular face soap anyone can recommend?

YouseewhathappensLarry Tue 04-Feb-14 09:49:17

I have similar skin to yours after my baby a few months back I have loads of spots but it's super sensitive I've been using elemis tri enzyme wash and it's great also been using Roche posay effaclar under my moisturiser

FrugalFashionista Tue 04-Feb-14 10:04:00

Felix it seems to be a sad fact that some of us long-term acne sufferers morph over to rosacea as we age sad It's common among people with pale skin and most people on my mother's side have it. I avoid scrubs and exfoliation because of rosacea - gentle brushing might work but I have not tried it because my family members tend to get couperosa/broken capillaries and thread veins and I'm not taking any risks. Perioral (an extreme reaction to unknown triggers in detergents, cosmetics or skincare) seems to be a part of the acne/rosacea spectrum too.

I've become an expert on INCIs. Some claim that Simple is too harsh on them, personally I have not tried it. Currently, I'm avoiding SLS, SLES and sodium coco-sulphates in products and it seems to work. I've reverted to simple unperfumed castile soap because of my perioral and it's just right for me used once daily.

I also noticed that my jawline acne disappeared when I stopped using natural oil based lip balm.

My skin loves zinc for some reason (LRP Cicaplast Baume B5, nappy cream for breakouts and zinc in mineral makeup).

Lisa Elridge has a great video on how to cover acne, google it.

I realize my post sounds depressing but right now my skin is in great shape, almost a good as during my pregnancies! You'll get there too but seeing a GP/dermatologist might be a good idea!

Felix90 Tue 04-Feb-14 10:11:55

I just googled perioral (never heard of it before!) and that's definitely what I have!!! When I have a reaction to cosmetics, I get a very sore/dry rash around my mouth, nose and eyes and it looks exactly like the pictures. I've always been baffled about what it is and now I know after all these years shock

I will look up the LRP stuff (I also have the foundation you recommended on my shortlist to try) and also the Lisa Elridge video. Thank you!

FrugalFashionista Tue 04-Feb-14 10:22:27

Ronald I agree 100%!
If I were a cosmetics blogger this would be my blog:

Evening routine
Tepid water
Castile soap (mine is homemade with wheat bran but you can use Le Chat or buy something from a natural store)

Morning routine
LRP Effaclar K or Eucerin 5% urea for moisturizing
<have breakfast while it sinks in>
Lily Lolo concealer, foundation and lip gloss
Chanel blusher and highlighter
Avene thermal water mist for fixing the makeup
Shiseido brow pencil

Breakout control
(not needed now because I don't have any)
LRP Effaclar AI once daily on jawline
Fissan nappy cream or LRP Cicaplast Baume B5 on red, sore areas

End of blog wink

FrugalFashionista Tue 04-Feb-14 10:30:26

Very sorry to hear that Felix but very glad if you found and answer! It's very common, a good thread here.

Most important, don't use cortisones on it, they make it worse. Don't go product shopping now, suspend all skincare for a few weeks and let your skin heal. Then re-intoduce products very slowly and gradually! Mine is gone now but I've noticed that it will re-erupt if I use eye shadow, eye pencils or lipstick sad

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