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Treating bumpy, conjested skin without stripping the skin?

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pandora77
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Mon Mar 11, 2013 8:56 am      Reply with quote
Apologies in advance for this rambling post!

I am 35 and my skin is problematic, it is very oily but rather than have oil that spreads out over my face it seems to build up under the surface or in the pores forming blackheads. I am relatively line free (only some fine lines round my eyes) but my skin doesn't look good. It looks bumpy, dull, conjested open pores and with scattering of red marks from the few spots I get monthly.

I have tried various skincare regimes and my skin is better in that I no longer get active acne and I haven't aged prematurely but I am struggling to improve its current state and seem to be in a constant merry go round of stripping it of oil and conjestion and then having to use products that help rebuild the skins natural barried as I have gone too far. However it then goes too much the other way and ends up all clogged again and I just can't find the right balance.

I don't like to use make up really so having nice skin is important to me. I have used organic ranges such as Dr Hauschka, Jurlique and Neals Yard, I have used the oil cleansing method, salycilic acid washes, double cleanse, clarisonic, acne ranges, high end brands. I just can't get it right.

For some reason, although it feels nice the oil cleansing method doesn't seem to work for me, nor the clarisonic and reducing blackheads and bumps. I have been using retinoids for years now and while they stop my bumps turning cystic they just keep coming. I can give my skin a deep cleanse one night and by the next moring thick plugs of sebum are already back, filling up my pores so they never get a chance to shrink down.

I am currently using differin which is nice but I am not sure what to do with the rest of my routine. I have liked a couple of La Roche Posey products I have tried such as their cicaplast baume and thermal water spray but perhaps their cleansing products and moisturisers for problem skin would be useful. I've heard a lot about French women never using tap water or foaming cleansers as this damages the skins barrier but I feel very much my skin would end up badly clogged if I tried that.

I have a tria but have put off using it as I feel I need to get my skin into some sort of baseline shape before I do.

I am ready for a radical change, I don't want to be forty and still squeezing blackheads every night before bed. I think it could be hormone or diet related but not sure on how to sort it.

Any ideas?
pandora77
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Mon Mar 11, 2013 1:32 pm      Reply with quote
Here is a link to some pictures of my skin I took today, the red patches are small areas where I did a spot TCA peel last week and not spots, sorry they look a bit grim. I did not do a whole face TCA.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/65877675@N06/with/8548967773/#photo_8548967773
jazzi
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Mon Mar 11, 2013 3:42 pm      Reply with quote
My skin manages to clog up pretty fast as well, I hate that, but nothing changes that anyway, so I don't stress about it. I do notice however that when I cut out dairy skin isn't as bad, but the difference is almost insignificant.
I'm a faithful retinoid user as well and don't use foaming cleansers (well, occasionally i do while in shower) and just cleanse with Bioderma's Sensibio micellar water and it actually makes skin behave better. Less grime gets produced and skin is generally calmer.
Bioderma waters are great, Vichy's 3-in-1 water and La Roche Posay's Effaclar are great too. Others I've tried - not so great, shitty actually. Other La Roche Posay cleansers aren't my faves either, either too drying or don't agree with my skin. Except for the Effaclar foam cleanser in a can, that one was ok.
I should give a tiny warning though, some people have skins that don't like the cleansing waters, it's not a panacea by any means.

Anyway, a couple of weeks ago I got one of those sonic scrubber spatulas. And it's the best thing ever! Better than mechanical extractions or anything else, because it actually pushes the sludge Bad Grin out of pores. It's not a 100% improvement, but it works and it's gentler than other methods by far, plus in the scrubber mode it makes skin very soft and smooth. I use it a couple times a week after showering so skin is all softened up, probably could use it 3-4x, but i don't want to over-do it. Those scrubbers come in different shapes and prices, from $30-$500 so there's quite a range there and the main difference apparently is the number of PZT crystals inside the device, more is supposed to be better. I have no idea how many there are in the LW-006 ($50) unit I bought on eBay, but it gets the job done, it has a couple more options, a massage mode (relaxing!) and a toning mode with supposedly uses micro current, but I'm not sure about the current parameters, I don't play with that option much, the spatula isn't that nice for that IMO. And it has a cord so I don't have to worry about batteries or losing power.
YouTube has tons of videos that explain and show how those scrubbers work.
This one tells us how to get rid of aging horniness: Very Happy
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ukH_QUD4l5Q
pandora77
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Mon Mar 11, 2013 4:39 pm      Reply with quote
Aged horniness, what a way to put it I always thought that was something quite different, requiring another sort of gadget altogether Laughing

Thanks Jazzi, that is actually a pretty good idea to get one of those. I think I once had some sort of mega version of that used on me at a salon in my 20's and it was like the machine just vibrated the gunk out of my pores but I didn't know you could get a home version. I had a quick look on ebay and you can get a LW-006 fairly cheaply so I will sleep on it and maybe order one tomorrow and then try and pick up one of those cleansing waters when I am next out, not sure what is available here in the uk.

In desperation I just dug out my old Dr Hauschka clay mask and steam bath and I forgot that it is actually quite a good mask which doesn't over dry like most clay masks so I must get back into that again as my skin does look a bit better after using it.
pandora77
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Mon Mar 11, 2013 6:15 pm      Reply with quote
Just bought that skin scrubber on ebay, should hopefully arrive in a week or so, will let you know how it works out for me!

Thanks again for the recommendation!
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Mon Mar 11, 2013 8:05 pm      Reply with quote
Hi Pandora77,

I wonder if you might have sebaceous hyperplasia. I have it, and some of your skin texture looks similar to mine. I've battled it all my life, and, I'm sorry to say, it's difficult to treat.

This website has a pretty comprehensive explanation of SH, and there a couple threads on the forums that reference it.

http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1059368-overview

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Tue Mar 12, 2013 2:44 am      Reply with quote
jazzi wrote:
My skin manages to clog up pretty fast as well, I hate that, but nothing changes that anyway, so I don't stress about it. I do notice however that when I cut out dairy skin isn't as bad, but the difference is almost insignificant.
I'm a faithful retinoid user as well and don't use foaming cleansers (well, occasionally i do while in shower) and just cleanse with Bioderma's Sensibio micellar water and it actually makes skin behave better. Less grime gets produced and skin is generally calmer.
Bioderma waters are great, Vichy's 3-in-1 water and La Roche Posay's Effaclar are great too. Others I've tried - not so great, shitty actually. Other La Roche Posay cleansers aren't my faves either, either too drying or don't agree with my skin. Except for the Effaclar foam cleanser in a can, that one was ok.
I should give a tiny warning though, some people have skins that don't like the cleansing waters, it's not a panacea by any means.

Anyway, a couple of weeks ago I got one of those sonic scrubber spatulas. And it's the best thing ever! Better than mechanical extractions or anything else, because it actually pushes the sludge Bad Grin out of pores. It's not a 100% improvement, but it works and it's gentler than other methods by far, plus in the scrubber mode it makes skin very soft and smooth. I use it a couple times a week after showering so skin is all softened up, probably could use it 3-4x, but i don't want to over-do it. Those scrubbers come in different shapes and prices, from $30-$500 so there's quite a range there and the main difference apparently is the number of PZT crystals inside the device, more is supposed to be better. I have no idea how many there are in the LW-006 ($50) unit I bought on eBay, but it gets the job done, it has a couple more options, a massage mode (relaxing!) and a toning mode with supposedly uses micro current, but I'm not sure about the current parameters, I don't play with that option much, the spatula isn't that nice for that IMO. And it has a cord so I don't have to worry about batteries or losing power.
YouTube has tons of videos that explain and show how those scrubbers work.
This one tells us how to get rid of aging horniness: Very Happy
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ukH_QUD4l5Q



Just a question about the skin scrubber...does anyone know if this would be suitable for a teenager? My 13 year old has badly congested skin but not what I would call acne. Clogged pores, blackheads etc. He has a clarisonic and we have tried every topical thing under the sun to clear his skin. It is not sensitive at all, very resilient skin....
pandora77
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Tue Mar 12, 2013 6:05 am      Reply with quote
jwaduveev wrote:
Hi Pandora77,

I wonder if you might have sebaceous hyperplasia. I have it, and some of your skin texture looks similar to mine. I've battled it all my life, and, I'm sorry to say, it's difficult to treat.

This website has a pretty comprehensive explanation of SH, and there a couple threads on the forums that reference it.

http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1059368-overview


I have thought I had sebaceous hyperplasia in the past, my father seems to have a some of these leisions on his face. I have one bump on my forehead which is the classic sort of donught type shape but it is small, perhaps due to my use of retinoid products over the last few years. Perhaps I do have it in the early stages and will see more of these as I get older, I hope not though. Most of my bumps do not seem to be like sebaceous hyperplasia more like a deeper, larger sort of milla very difficult to remove but occasionally I can squeeze a large ball of sebum from them which is white because it hasn't been exposed to the air to oxidise. My skin texture is bad due to these bumps and open pores along with some scaring. This morning when I woke up my skin was very smooth, and matte but as the day goes on my pores open up and my skin takes on a waxy course appearance. I probably do have some issue with over active sebatious glands but sebaceous hyperplasia doesn't seem to be my main issue just at the moment.

Thank you for the link!
pandora77
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Tue Mar 12, 2013 6:10 am      Reply with quote
Rebecca1 wrote:


Just a question about the skin scrubber...does anyone know if this would be suitable for a teenager? My 13 year old has badly congested skin but not what I would call acne. Clogged pores, blackheads etc. He has a clarisonic and we have tried every topical thing under the sun to clear his skin. It is not sensitive at all, very resilient skin....


I haven't tried the device yet but I have pretty thick tough skin and over the years of squeezing blackheads my pores seem stretched out and scared even. This machine looks like it does the same job of cleaning out pores in a more gentle fashion and hopefully would leave the skin undamaged.

They are not so very expensive to try out from ebay which is why I thought I would give it a go. I am sure some salons offer it as a treatment if you wanted to let him try it there first.
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Tue Mar 12, 2013 7:31 am      Reply with quote
As long as when he uses a Clarisonic, that he uses the gentliest tip to start and not press too hard on the skin... Use a foaming gel (or cream) with the Clarisonic..... Good luck! Smile

Rebecca1 wrote:

He has a clarisonic and we have tried every topical thing under the sun to clear his skin. It is not sensitive at all, very resilient skin....
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Tue Mar 12, 2013 2:09 pm      Reply with quote
Pandora,
I think I am starting to get the kind of zit you are talking about. Very difficult to extract, a large milia like seed and leaving painful marks!! I am 38 and have battled acne all of my teens, had 20s off, 30s, battling zits and wrinkles now Neutral
At least on a positive note, you are not aging yet. I look forward to seeing which products are suggested. Whatever you do, you don't want to strip your skin. Please tell me more about this type of zit. I only have them on my cheek.
Thanks and good luck!!

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Tue Mar 12, 2013 8:41 pm      Reply with quote
Retin-A. My skin used to be filled with junk all the time. My active breakouts can be attributed to a food allergy as well as topical sensitivities, but it was always congested. Not anymore!

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Rebecca1
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Wed Mar 13, 2013 1:19 am      Reply with quote
pandora77 wrote:
Rebecca1 wrote:


Just a question about the skin scrubber...does anyone know if this would be suitable for a teenager? My 13 year old has badly congested skin but not what I would call acne. Clogged pores, blackheads etc. He has a clarisonic and we have tried every topical thing under the sun to clear his skin. It is not sensitive at all, very resilient skin....


I haven't tried the device yet but I have pretty thick tough skin and over the years of squeezing blackheads my pores seem stretched out and scared even. This machine looks like it does the same job of cleaning out pores in a more gentle fashion and hopefully would leave the skin undamaged.

They are not so very expensive to try out from ebay which is why I thought I would give it a go. I am sure some salons offer it as a treatment if you wanted to let him try it there first.


Thanks!! I just bought one too!! see how it goes.....Smile
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Wed Mar 13, 2013 6:20 am      Reply with quote
Looking forward to hearing more about your success with the skin spatula. I really want one but as a professional, I feel like I need to buy the $350 one even if just for home use. $50 sounds much better!!

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Wed Mar 13, 2013 8:26 am      Reply with quote
Rebecca1 wrote:
Just a question about the skin scrubber...does anyone know if this would be suitable for a teenager? My 13 year old has badly congested skin but not what I would call acne. Clogged pores, blackheads etc. He has a clarisonic and we have tried every topical thing under the sun to clear his skin. It is not sensitive at all, very resilient skin....


The sonic spatula could be The Thing that helps with skin like that, even at young age, because it approaches the problem from a bit different angle.
Clarisonic is hugely popular, for whatever reasons, but I've never seen that it is as good at cleaning out pores as this spatula method. To me, Clarisonic just scratches the darkened/oxidized surface and makes the comedon look better for a day or two and it does nothing for the under the skin impurities. Sonic manages those better by far on my skin, and the gross and already hardened crap can be easily pushed to surface by pressing the edge of the spatula near the comedon and that it. Easier on skin that pushing with those looped spoon extractors, which inevitably do ruin the skin in long run, no matter how good my technique is. Sad Not dissing Clarisonic or other brushes as such, they just do things my skin doesn't like and don't do things I'd like to be done. Embarassed

Topical stuff is 99% useless, seriously. Retinoids are great for reducing the amount of grime being produced, but they do very little to remove the already present grime. Except when I throw inhumanly high concentration of retinol at my skin and make it shed a couple layers. And I prefer retinol over tretinoin, even though I use both, but my skin looks better when on retinol. Tretinoin is just cheaper sometimes. Laughing
Salicylic and mandelic acids are good for keeping skin clean, alone they take ages to work, but I imagine that together with spatula it would make a huge difference. Drying though.
Some of those peel-off and clay masks are good at loosening up the pore contents but the level of effectiveness is very variable and they tend to strip skin of more than just the sludge in pores. Gave up on those things 10+ years ago.
Best thing, sonic spatula works with plain tap water, so no chemicals or stuffz are involved, although anything watery can be used, even usual cleansers, maybe that gives extra cleansing kick.

One thing I keep procrastinating... I want to mix galvanic desincrustation with the sonic scrubber on cleanse mode, that should make either a huge difference or ruin skin forever. Maybe when I retire I'll have time to try that. Rolling Eyes
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Wed Mar 13, 2013 6:59 pm      Reply with quote
jazzi wrote:
Rebecca1 wrote:
Just a question about the skin scrubber...does anyone know if this would be suitable for a teenager? My 13 year old has badly congested skin but not what I would call acne. Clogged pores, blackheads etc. He has a clarisonic and we have tried every topical thing under the sun to clear his skin. It is not sensitive at all, very resilient skin....


The sonic spatula could be The Thing that helps with skin like that, even at young age, because it approaches the problem from a bit different angle.
Clarisonic is hugely popular, for whatever reasons, but I've never seen that it is as good at cleaning out pores as this spatula method. To me, Clarisonic just scratches the darkened/oxidized surface and makes the comedon look better for a day or two and it does nothing for the under the skin impurities. Sonic manages those better by far on my skin, and the gross and already hardened crap can be easily pushed to surface by pressing the edge of the spatula near the comedon and that it. Easier on skin that pushing with those looped spoon extractors, which inevitably do ruin the skin in long run, no matter how good my technique is. Sad Not dissing Clarisonic or other brushes as such, they just do things my skin doesn't like and don't do things I'd like to be done. Embarassed

Topical stuff is 99% useless, seriously. Retinoids are great for reducing the amount of grime being produced, but they do very little to remove the already present grime. Except when I throw inhumanly high concentration of retinol at my skin and make it shed a couple layers. And I prefer retinol over tretinoin, even though I use both, but my skin looks better when on retinol. Tretinoin is just cheaper sometimes. Laughing
Salicylic and mandelic acids are good for keeping skin clean, alone they take ages to work, but I imagine that together with spatula it would make a huge difference. Drying though.
Some of those peel-off and clay masks are good at loosening up the pore contents but the level of effectiveness is very variable and they tend to strip skin of more than just the sludge in pores. Gave up on those things 10+ years ago.
Best thing, sonic spatula works with plain tap water, so no chemicals or stuffz are involved, although anything watery can be used, even usual cleansers, maybe that gives extra cleansing kick.

One thing I keep procrastinating... I want to mix galvanic desincrustation with the sonic scrubber on cleanse mode, that should make either a huge difference or ruin skin forever. Maybe when I retire I'll have time to try that. Rolling Eyes


Thankyou Jazzi, that was hugely helpful. I have bought a spatula for him and cant wait to try it out. (he is on camp at the moment but will return with a face full of grime tomorrow!!) The clarisonic "appears" to clean his skin, when he gets out of the shower it always looks greatly improved, but it definitely isnt helping/stopping the skin getting clogged. So I totally agree with you there. Have tried every topical and was just about to try "phisohex" but might hold off now as it has a few nasty ingredients.

His skin is usually just clogged, not inflammed, irritated or infected, so I reckon this might be just the thing that makes the difference!

thanks again ( and sorry to hijack this thread Embarassed )
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Thu Mar 14, 2013 7:42 am      Reply with quote
Rebecca - I would confirm he is using products with salicylic acid (vs benzoyl peroxide) as that will help clean out the pores vs killing the P. bacteria.

Dermal Clay cleanser from Dermalogica doesn't have any actives for acne but the clay sucks up extra oil - common issue for teen boys! But probably too strong to use 2x per day. Use with the Clarisonic with a sensitive, delicate or acne brush head and his skin will feel like silk.

I don't have any Target/drug store cleansers I love enough to suggest. Image makes a nice acne cleanser, Dermalogica makes a teen line for acne that kids seems to like. The Medibac Dermalogica cleanser is ok(with salicylic).
Maybe La Roche-Posay Effaclar is good? I am interested in the spot treat product that combines salicylic and B. Peroxide but I haven't tried it yet.
The hard part about acne is you need to change up your routine every 2 weeks (read this in skin magazine). That doesn't mean brand new stuff every 2 weeks, but you should have a few items to rotate.

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Thu Mar 14, 2013 9:11 am      Reply with quote
That's a strange notion, to need to change something in your routine that often. I think derms are pretty adamant that people are consistent with the products they use and don't switch around, and I trust that opinion a lot more. For one because nothing topical gives serious results in 2 weeks. And in those couple weeks the tiny benefits that do happen are lost. Salicylic acid cleansers take about 6 weeks alone to make a difference on pores. No offense, but that is one strange magazine. Are you sure that wasn't one of those commercial magazine things where they want people to purchase boatload of products and never finish anything. Embarassed I know those hair stylist magazines try to swindle people just like that, by telling people they need to switch shampoos often, which isn't true either. According to trichologists (as in hair doctors) you might want to have a more nourishing anti-static shampoo for winter and then one regulating one for summer and one of those chelating/cleansing shampoos if there is a lot of build-up, but that's pretty much it. Oh, I'm totally going off-topic. Must stop before swerving into consumerism's environmental effects.

Anyway, against better judgment I did try the double process of galvanic disincrustation and then sonic cleansing... Yeah, don't do that! Overkill. I did end up with 2 raw spots on both my cheeks. But it also blasted a pile of grungy crap out of my skin, so no regrets there. Just, it's twice as harsh compared to normal sonic cleansing. But still gentler than mechanical extractions. Because those raw spots are tiny.
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Thu Mar 14, 2013 6:47 pm      Reply with quote
Ligea wrote:
Pandora,
I think I am starting to get the kind of zit you are talking about. Very difficult to extract, a large milia like seed and leaving painful marks!! I am 38 and have battled acne all of my teens, had 20s off, 30s, battling zits and wrinkles now Neutral
At least on a positive note, you are not aging yet. I look forward to seeing which products are suggested. Whatever you do, you don't want to strip your skin. Please tell me more about this type of zit. I only have them on my cheek.
Thanks and good luck!!


I guess these zits are like closed comedones but they seem deeper down, when I get a biggish one I always worry that it will end up a large sebaceous cyst if I just keep letting it sit there. I tend to be quite agressive with the salycilic acid to try and get rid of them. This sometimes work other times I do pick and I do have a couple of scars from digging these out. You can get these zits removed by a beauty therapist who uses electrcautery but that can still sometimes leave a mark and new ones to come. I think altering diet (low GI) to reduce hormonal oily skin helps as well as use of salycilic acid and a retinod but of course there is a problem with over drying.
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Thu Mar 14, 2013 6:54 pm      Reply with quote
Thanks to all for all the info posted, Jazzi that information about salycilic acid face washes taking 6 weeks to work is very useful, I would be curious about the galvanic decrustation? My basic understanding about galvanic is that one setting basically disrupts the skins barrier and pushes blackeads etc out of your skin and the other setting takes things back to normal and pushes treatments into the skin? They are very hard to come by in my neck of the woods, when I did ask a beauty therapist about them she said they were very bad for the skin, but I've often wondered if its not just what my skin needs!

On masks I really do think the Dr Hauschka Clay mask is different and better than other masks I have used, it does help control oil and it isn't as drying as other clay masks, perhaps because you steam the skin first and then keep the mask itself damp?
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Fri Mar 15, 2013 6:19 am      Reply with quote
Cleaning without stripping? Have you tried OCM?

What is OCM?
http://www.theoilcleansingmethod.com/


Easy Rinse Version of OCM:

http://skinessentialactives.blogspot.tw/2012/06/oil-cleansing-method-emulsified-ocm.html


For me, OCM with hemp oil has been a skin saver. It solves all my problems: blackheads, uneven tone, acne.

More on OCM here:
http://www.essentialdayspa.com/forum/viewthread.php?p=6489060&highlight=ocm#6489060

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Fri Mar 15, 2013 6:43 am      Reply with quote
"Hemp oil saved my skin" thread is here:

http://www.essentialdayspa.com/forum/viewthread.php?p=460095&highlight=hemp+oil#460095

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Fri Mar 15, 2013 9:23 am      Reply with quote
RussianSunshine wrote:
Cleaning without stripping? Have you tried OCM?

What is OCM?
http://www.theoilcleansingmethod.com/


Easy Rinse Version of OCM:

http://skinessentialactives.blogspot.tw/2012/06/oil-cleansing-method-emulsified-ocm.html


For me, OCM with hemp oil has been a skin saver. It solves all my problems: blackheads, uneven tone, acne.

More on OCM here:
http://www.essentialdayspa.com/forum/viewthread.php?p=6489060&highlight=ocm#6489060


Hi RussianSunshine,
Any preference between Polysorbate 20 or 80 For OCM?. Will OCM with Polysorbate completely remove a very hard to remove, silicone based, sunscreen? Thanks.

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Fri Mar 15, 2013 11:10 am      Reply with quote
doodles wrote:
Hi RussianSunshine,
Any preference between Polysorbate 20 or 80 For OCM?. Will OCM with Polysorbate completely remove a very hard to remove, silicone based, sunscreen? Thanks.


No, no difference.

1) Massage the oil into your face
2) Soak your washcloth ( I use this one: http://www.iherb.com/Earth-Therapeutics-Anti-Bacterial-Complexion-Towel-11-25-in-x-12-in/22289) in steamy natural water.
3) Hold the washcloth to cover your face. Allow it to stay until it cools. Wipe gently, rinse well.
4) Repeat 3 times.
5) Let the washcloth remove all the traces of makeup, dead skin, impurities.

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Epionce skincare, La Roche-Posay sunblocks, Oxygenetix foundation.
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Fri Mar 15, 2013 12:05 pm      Reply with quote
Thanks RussianSunshine!

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48 years old. Very acne prone. Staples: Retin-A/Tazorac and C serum.
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Thu Apr 24, 2014 9:07 am
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