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Double cleansing - with what?

(44 Posts)
umberellaonesie Fri 27-Jan-17 19:54:37

I am 35, acne prone skin managed by the pill and Aknemycin plus (tretinoin, erythromycin) nightly.
I cleanse morning and night with lush ultrabland removing with hot cloth.
I use forever living propels cream as a night cream and whatever daily moisturiser I have lying around (clinque, nivea, okay).
But recently my face is just meh. I think I need to change things up but terrified if aggravating my acne.
So any top tips now I am older, what could I double cleanse with?

MrDacresEUSubsidy Fri 27-Jan-17 20:00:18

OK - firstly you only need to double cleanse if you have been wearing makeup. If you have been MU free then a single cleanse is fine. Assuming that you do wear MU, then the rule of thumb is to use an oil based cleanser which will help lift off your makeup, then follow up with a creamy cleanser to actually clean your face. Think of it like taking a shower: You wouldn't get in it still wearing your clothes!

Caroline Hirons has some great cheat sheets about cleansing and acne prone skin: Site here

I don't know anything about FL products as I avoid MLM companies, so can't comment on whether the skincare is any good or not. However one thing to bear in mind is that acne prone skin usually responds well to salycylic acid. If you need a budget option then the Clearasil 5in1 pads are good (yes really!) if you follow them up with a nice hydrating spray afterwards.

The La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo moisturiser is very good for acne prone skin as well - I use it when I get hormone related breakouts.

MrDacresEUSubsidy Fri 27-Jan-17 20:02:01

Lush Ultrabland is fine - personally I find it next to impossible to get it all off of my face, so that's one thing worth bearing in mind. I prefer the Body Shop silky camomile cleansing oil - but I know the Lush stuff does have its devotees on here! You don't mention what kind of cloth you use? If it's a muslin then I'd be tempted to ditch it for a bog standard flannel. I find muslins not quite as good in getting everything off.

umberellaonesie Fri 27-Jan-17 20:05:23

I do wear make up every day.
Will check out the link. Thank you.
So my ultrabland is oil based so any creamy cleanser after that?
Is using salicylic acid ok with the tretinoin?

Gearhart Fri 27-Jan-17 21:48:36

I would say my skin really improved after I started double cleansing (agree with everything MrD said) and I'm also a Caroline Hirons reader and it's helped me out loads.
I would say you really want more of an oily cleanser or a solid oily balm like Clinique Take The Day Off balm or oil or Superfacialist Vitamin C+ Skin Renew Cleansing Oil is good and cheaper and sold at Boots. I also love the Dior one which is a bit pricey but lovely. Then I follow up with a gel-like cleanser that isn't too foaming - Superfacialist one is good too (if not a tiny bit drying).
My fave salicylic moisturiser is Garnier Skin Naturals Pure Active Daily Moisturiser mixed with a more gentle day cream. Also The Ordinary brand do a brilliant serum for blemished skin which contains niacinamide and zinc and I've found that to have really helped too.
Also normal flannels are far better than muslin cloths fo sho

MrDacresEUSubsidy Fri 27-Jan-17 22:43:41

Use a clean flannel every day - it's fine to use the same one for morning and night, but do change them every day to avoid bacteria build up, which won't help your acne. Salycylic should be fine unless your med instruction book specifically advises against it. You do need to be careful about stripping too much moisture out of your skin though, because if you don't re-balance then you can end up stimulating more oil production which could make your acne worse.

I use M&S Formula this one with hyaluronic acid. I've tried all sorts of cleansers and keep coming back to my Body Shop + M&S combo as they work really well for my skin.

La Roche Posay Serozinc is good for acne prone skin. If you are brave and fancy a tootle into the world of Korean and Asian skincare then the Benton Snail Gel Essence and Steam Cream are brilliant for acne. Seriously - I had a cystic spot that nothing was shifting and it had completely gone within 48 hours of using the Benton stuff. RubyRubyShop on eBay is a good supplier, although it can take a few weeks to arrive as it comes via international mail.

MrDacresEUSubsidy Fri 27-Jan-17 22:50:49

BTW - basic routine, assuming you've had makeup on that day.

1. Use eye makeup remover if you wear really stubborn mascara, otherwise no need.
2. Use oil based cleanser and gently massage into the skin with fingertips. Use a flannel which has been rinsed in hand hot water to remove. You need to go round your face, rinsing the flannel in hand hot water as needed - it normally takes me 2-3 goes.
3. Use a creamy cleanser and repeat step 2 again.
4. Acid tone with whatever product you are using - let's assume Clearasil pads. Follow up with a hydrating spray - assume La Roche Posay Serozinc.
At this point I normally apply my eye cream as I don't acid tone round my eyes. I find waiting 15-20 minutes after toning makes a difference - there is some science in this.
6. Apply serum.
7. Apply moisturiser / facial oil.

Science bit - the surface of the skin is slightly acidic and is known as the acid mantle. When you cleanse you temporarily change the PH of the surface of your skin, so the point of acid toning is to help return the skin's PH to where it should be. If left completely alone it can take 20-30 mins for the skin's normal PH to return. I have found that I get the best results from my routine if I leave a gap between acid toning and applying serum.

umberellaonesie Fri 27-Jan-17 23:51:20

So I think I pretty much do this apart from the 2nd cleanse and toner and serum.
So think I will start by adding those and seeing how I go and can then start tweaking.
The problem I have is dryness at certain points in the month but if I stop the tretinoin then I get spots so definitely need rebalance.

umberellaonesie Fri 27-Jan-17 23:52:08

What serum do folk like? And is that morning and night?

IJustLostTheGame Sat 28-Jan-17 10:50:15

I use nivea serums because they're always on offer in tescos and my budget is small.
I have the one in an all white tube for the day, that has hyaluronic acid in it. I like it.
The night one has these yellow blobs in and I'm not too keen on it to be honest. In the morning I still have squished yellow goo on my face.

plimsolls Sat 28-Jan-17 10:53:00

Don't use Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish. I know loads of people who've found it triggered cystic spots

I think shea butter is meant to be quite bad for acne prone skin and it's in a lot of stuff.

Might be worth checking out The Ordinary range of skin care.

MrDacresEUSubsidy Sat 28-Jan-17 15:07:22

It's worth setting aside an hour if you can spare it, get settled with a cuppa and make sure you have plenty of charge on your tablet or laptop.

First place to start is on Caroline Hirons' website - there are lots of other good resources available but her cheat sheets are really helpful and will explain some of the basics. One of the most common misconceptions is that oily and/or acne prone skin needs to be dried out to remove the excess oil. The problem is that your skin will simply produce more oil to compensate or you'll end up with dry patches. Both are symptomatic of dehydrated skin - it's just that different skin types will have different hydration needs.

Beautypedia is a great place to read reviews which will tell you whether a product is worth the money or not. I tend to read CH (and others) making a note of anything that interests me, then if I want to confirm further I'll look on Beautypedia. Handily it also allows you to look at reviews by the type of product - so you could look at 'serum' and then sort the results by the star rating (5 being the best, 1 being poor).

If you have dry patches already then look for products which have hyaluronic acid in them - it helps draw and retain moisture so is very good for helping to hydrate. Layering is another good technique - so instead of expecting one product like a moisturiser to do all the work, you use multiple products as the cumulative effect of them can give you much better results.

Unfortunately a lot of this is trial and error! The rule of thumb is that your acid toner and your serum are the areas where you should pay the most attention - and be prepared to spend the majority of your budget. Cleansers can be pretty bog standard - the spendy ones don't really make a huge different IME. Likewise moisturiser is really just sealing in your serum so you can go a bit cheaper there if you need to. Or you could use a facial oil - don't be put off by them as there are some great ones out there!

Not all serums are equal and one that is brilliant for one person might be crap on another - it depends on your skin and the issues you are looking to address. In your shoes I'd look for something that's a good all rounder; Olay Regenerist is one I am using at the moment and is nice and light. As a PP has said 'The Ordinary' is a very good range of extremely well priced products (I use several other products made by Deciem, which is the company behind it). If you want to buy in real life and want a budget option, then the Aldi Lacura range is nice. I'm currently using the Lacura night cream as an evening moisturiser.

PollyPerky Sat 28-Jan-17 15:34:35

I think some of the advice here is a bit complicated and liable to cause more issues.

I had / have no idea about using an oil based cleanser first blah blah. I am 'lucky' to have very good skin which is mainly (imo) down to diet and sun block for the last 25 years.

I remove make up with a cleanser- anything from £20 for Clinique to £4 for Loreal - then swish all over with micellar water on cotton wool. That's it.

OP you might want to consider Roaccutane if the antibiotics don't work. One of my DDs has given up antibiotics for acne due to concerns about gut issues after being on them for years and is seeing no difference. (They had a course of Roaccutane which worked but then the spots came back though not too badly.)

PollyPerky Sat 28-Jan-17 15:37:08

I'd avoid oil if you have acne. Ditto serums. You'll be overloading your skin. I'm a fan of Olay Regenerist 3 Point after using £45 Clinique for years but am much older than you smile

MrDacresEUSubsidy Sat 28-Jan-17 16:45:50

I disagree with the point about overloading skin - serum is designed to work in conjunction with moisturiser! But it's entirely about finding the products that work for you. Likewise oils - some oils would be a disaster for acne prone skin, but others would be fine.

Anyhow, OP has hopefully got some points to think about and hopefully she'll find something which works for her.

PollyPerky Sat 28-Jan-17 16:48:20

No, serum is designed to be yet another product women spend their money on smile!

I've yet to see any true scientific evidence that the smaller molecules in serum do anything at all for skin.

It's all hype to make money.

If women want to believe they 'need' serums etc that's up to them. But it's all smoke and mirrors.

MrDacresEUSubsidy Sat 28-Jan-17 17:10:14

Each to their own with their opinion! I disagree - some of the marketing promises are utter bullshit, other stuff does genuinely make a difference. Via MN Style & Beauty I discovered Caroline Hirons and subsequently the Asian and Korean skincare threads. This was approx 2 years ago. If someone had told me back in 2014 that within 6 months I'd be quite happy to wear only a tiny bit of concealer under my eyes and powder on my face to take off the shine, then I'd have keeled over laughing. But following the advice I found (a bit of which I have related above) has made a HUGE difference to my skin. I don't smoke nor do I sunbathe and I use SPF. But some people have skin issues which no amount of sleep, water, healthy eating and sun avoidance will help. From a personal perspective I would also rather try a different facial care routine first, before going onto something like Roaccutane (which I know has done wonders for some people, but it would be logical to rule out other options first, as at the end of the day it's a drug with side-effects attached to it)

MrDacresEUSubsidy Sat 28-Jan-17 17:12:15

E.g. You've mentioned using miscellar water. That might work brilliantly for you but it's not great for me as it's very drying, which can stimulate oil production (and does on me) which can then lead to acne. The first time I tried MW, I ended up with the most awful cystic acne. However a friend of mine - who also is spot prone - absolutely swears by it. Horses for courses and all that!

PollyPerky Sat 28-Jan-17 17:57:10

Miscellar water is oil in water so not sure why you found it drying? I don't have oily skin- in fact it's pretty normal but would feel tight after using water on it ( but live in a hard water area.)

I mentioned Roaccutane as the OP is already taking antibiotics. Long term these can be harmful and one DD thought they had contributed to her IBS. Roaccutane is a short sharp treatment compared to years and years of ABs. Roaccutane was suggested by a consultant dermo who said DDs acne was hormonal and would be there will menopause- and all the creams etc in the world wouldn't sort it.

MrDacresEUSubsidy Sat 28-Jan-17 23:20:32

Good for you Polly.

ggirl Sun 29-Jan-17 00:01:29

I know someone who went to see famous dermatologist and she was told double cleansing was a load of crap.Was told to use a simple cream cleanser and water.

I was a bit miffed as I've just bloody bought the pix/hirons double cleanser.

hollinhurst84 Sun 29-Jan-17 01:40:21

I think most beauty people agree some stuff makes a difference
BHA/AHA - acids for exfoliating rather than physical scrubs
Retinol - only thing as far as I'm aware that's proven for anti ageing and can be good with acne too
SPF - obvious reasons

If it's working, keep it simple
I remove eye makeup first then cleanse with a balm. If my skin has a massive acne flare I strip it back to cleanse, treat, moisturise (I use benzoyl peroxide topically)
I would be reluctant to recommend any retinol/serum etc with you having the antibiotics - are they topical or oral?
Loads of water, fish oil can help

buckeejit Sun 29-Jan-17 01:47:59

I double cleanse-looking for a new oil cleanser-been using una Brennan & fancy a change. Dermalogica pre cleanse is nice so may get it.

I love Emma hardie balm for 2nd cleanse & agree flannel not muslin.

I've been looking after my skin with spf for about a year. It's generally better but recently got quite a few milia round my eyes & they're a bugger to get rid of!

I've tried a lot of high end skincare recently & for me nothing individual works miracles but the regime as a whole does

JemimaMuddledUp Sun 29-Jan-17 07:54:18

I'm on a budget and usually use Superdrug own brand products. I use their hot cloth cleanser twice a day. At night I use miscellar water first to take my make up off. After the hot cloth cleanser I use day or night cream as relevant. If my skin is a bit dry I put serum on first. I have eye cream but often forget to use it.

I had an M&S beauty advent calendar as a gift and have been using the acid peels a couple of times a week which works really well.

PollyPerky Sun 29-Jan-17 08:24:03

Good for you Polly.


You mean MrDacre that you can't tolerate another opinion or some related advice on meds, without getting miffed ands sarcy? This is S&B not AIBU!

Have a lovely day smile

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