Saturday, August 27, 2011

Anti-wrinkle care for oily, acne prone skin??

For every woman, anti-wrinkle care is essential. Yes, even for those that have acne prone skin. Those that still have moderate to moderate severe acne should not buy any anti-wrinkle products until most of your active acne has been taken care of. However, those with oily or acne prone skin that have their conditions more or less under control should get some anti-wrinkle care products.

So, what is most essential? Anti wrinkle eye cream is the most essential. If you don't know already, the skin around your eyes are the most fragile and sensitive. You should take care of this area well because wrinkles around your eyes are going to show your age or make you look older. This area is usually not affected by acne. From what I have seen, even for people with the most severe acne, the area around the eyes remains clear. You should use an anti wrinkle eye cream as soon as you turn 25 if not sooner.

What about the rest of your face?? Fortunately, those that suffer from acne problem do not have the same problems as other women when it comes to wrinkles. Even though oily skin over lubricates the skin, it tends to keep it young as well. Most people with oily skin tend to look younger. So, do we still need any anti wrinkle anti aging products? Yes and no. For those that are moderately oily, you can use a very light (water based) moisturizer to keep the wrinkles away. No need for those expensive anti wrinkle cream that most brands sell. Those really expensive creams that target wrinkles are for those with dry skin.

Your neck is an important part that you should not neglect. Your neck can show your age as well. You should apply moisturizer daily to your neck to take care of it well. This area is more prone to aging because this area is not as oily. You should use a generous amount of moisturizer on this area to keep it moist. Keeping your skin hydrated is the best way to avoid wrinkles.

Acne scar before and after retin-A (Tretinoin) treatment

I have some acne scars from years of suffering with acne. No surprise, most people have a lot more scars than me. I am lucky because my skin healed pretty well. However, I still have scars on my face that I am aware of. I had a very bad acne episode almost one year ago and you should take a look at those pictures because they are horrible (but I recovered, so there is hope for everyone). Since I had that episode, my family doctor prescribed Tretinoin for my skin.

Not only does it help with acne, it also helped a lot for my scars. It is amazing that most of my rolling scars have disappeared. I have a before and after photo to showing you the difference. My prescription is Tretinoin 0.025% gel. I am sure there are different concentrations of this stuff on the market. This drug works by making your skin peel.

I suspect that this drug will only help with the rolling scars because my little ice pick scar did not look any different. I guess I will just have to deal with that small scar on my face. Anyways, I have already used this drug continuously for about 3 to 4 months. My rolling scar in the picture on the side of my face were there from 7 to 8 years ago. I am very pleased with the results because I haven't seen anything that worked so well with minimal cost and side affects. You should give this treatment a try if you haven't already.

Last thing, when using retin-A products (Tretinoin), protect your skin well from the sun because it makes the skin more sensitive to UV-rays. Use a SPF 30 sunscreen for your face at all times even indoors because even short exposures have bad effects on your skin. I hope everyone can get rid of all their acne scars because acne scars are even worse than acne itself. It constantly reminds us of how much we suffered in the past.

Will keep you posted on other information I know about acne and acne treatments, check back often!!

Before (not a very good picture of the scars because I didn't believe anything can get rid of them, didn't want to take photo of these bad acne scars, however you can see a little bit of rolling scars beneath the acne itself).

After (note the better texture, looks like it's from different side, but it's the way the photo is taken).

My current situation with acne

My acne is more or less under control. It is not possible to get rid of it for good but it is largely under control. I stopped the birth control pill because having light to moderate upset stomach at night is very bothersome. I will only get on it if it's absolutely necessary again.

My cheeks are clear. My jawline is clear. My nose is clear. I have occasional small pimples on my forehead. However, my forehead is always a problem area for me in the past. So, I am pretty satisfied with just a few zits here and there.

My current products, tretinoin gel 0.025% on acne, erythromycin tropical gel USP, 2%, Bare minerals moisturizer and makeup and Neutrogena deep clean cream cleanser. No oral medicine is taken at this point. I must say that this routine works pretty well for me. For the first time in years, my skin is actually very soft to the touch. Almost unbelievable to me!! This is especially thanks for daily applications of the Bare minerals moisturizer.

Here are a few pictures of my face from different angles. Note the redness is due to spider veins.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Neutrogena Transparent Bar Acne Prone skin Formula Review

Used the Neutrogena Transparent Bar for Acne prone skin for many years in the past. I am not currently using this (replaced with Neutrogena Deep Clean Cream Cleanser, better for my more mature skin). When I first started using this almost 5 years ago, it was recommended to me by a dermatologist.

Benefits: good for teenage or very oily skin. Tends to get rid of oil and keep it at bay. Did not cause any irritation.

Side-affects: Leaves skin very dry and sometimes flaky.

Best for: teenager with very oily skin or adult with very oily skin.

Overall recommendation (out of five stars): 3 1/2 stars. I will only recommend this product to you if your skin is so oily it is almost unmanageable. This product will definitely help you get rid of some of those unwanted oil on the face.

Neutrogena Deep Clean Cream Cleanser Review

Currently using this product for my daily routine. This is not targeted for acne prone skin but I used it because of a recommendation from a friend. This product is available at most drug stores, Target, Walmart and online stores. Two dermatologists have recommended Neutrogena brand for my skin and it tends to be one of the lesser expensive brands that works for me. Here is the review.

Benefits: Very good for acne prone or currently active acne skin. Very gentle. Good for all kinds of acne skin. I have a friend that have moderate to severe acne and this product actively cleared up most of his acne. It is amazing and that had made me started using it.

Side-affects: None for me.

Best for: all kinds of acne skin to use.

Overall recommendation (out of five stars): a solid 5 stars. Please give this a try if you haven't. This product will not irritate the most sensitive skin (ie. me).

Neutrogena Acne Oil Free Acne Wash Daily Scrub Review

I am still using this product every night because it is so effective against my blackheads on the nose. You can get this product in most drug stores, Target, Walmart or online sources. This is one of my favorite products from Neutrogena. My skin is ultra sensitive and oily at the same time, but most Neutrogena products tend to be good for my skin. Okay, here is the complete review.

Benefits: So effective against blackheads. The little bead gets rid of all the most stubborn blackheads you have in a very gentle way. You just have to gently message the beads around the area that you have lots of blackheads for less than a minute. You will notice afterwards that all the blackheads are gone. This product is better than Biore's blackhead strip in two ways. First, it gets rid of the most stubborn blackheads. Second, it won't cause irritation to the nose because Biore's strip needs to be removed after it sticks to the nose (for me, this caused slight irritation). This is also very good for exfoliating your skin because the beads are just so gentle and effective.

Side-affects: Slight irritation to cystic acne. The little beads that help with blackhead removal tend to irritate the cystic acne.

Best for: Blackheads, slight to moderate acne. I wouldn't recommend this product for someone with moderate severe or severe acne because it can cause injury to a deep cystic acne.
Overall recommendation (out of five stars): 5 stars. This is the best treatment for blackheads and slight acne. Gentle yet effective.

Neutrogena On-the-Spot Acne Treatment Review

I have used this product extensively in the past where my acne was moderate to moderate severe. Since I am doing a series of reviews on Neutrogena products that I have used in the past or still currently using, I will be using the same format so that people can easily follow. So this entry is dedicated to the Neutrogena On-the-Spot Acne treatment gel.

Benefits: Helps acne heal faster and also prevent scars. The active ingredient is benzoyl peroxide which works really well to help the healing process of an active acne. It can also prevent new acne from forming. However, it is 2.5% benzoyl peroxide which will irritate those that are sensitive to this chemical. This caused only slight irritation for my skin.

Side-affects: Can cause redness / itchy for those that are sensitive to this chemical. You can also get little red bumps all over the area that you applied this gel to. However, it is gentler than other benzoyl peroxide medicine or gel that I have used in the past.
Best for: Moderate acne. This will not help those deep cystic acne. It is only good for slight to moderate acne time.

Overall recommendation (out of five stars): 4 stars, because it is overall an effective product for slight to moderate acne. Does help the healing process significantly. However, it is brand name so it is on the more expensive side. For a little container, it cost around six dollars.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

How to choose a sunscreen sunblock for oily, combination and acne prone skin

Sunscreen / sunblock is essential for those that have light skin, eyes and hair. Those that have darker skin, eyes and hair tend to be more resistant to the damaging UV rays of the sun. People that have oily, combination and acne prone skin have a much difficult time with selecting the right sunscreen. The wrong kind of sun protection will clog pores and cause a nasty breakout. I know this very well because I had difficulties in selecting the right kind of sunscreen / sunblock for my oily problem prone skin.

There are two main categories of sunscreens / sunblocks, chemical and physical barrier. I personally prefer the physical barrier (zinc oxide and titanium dioxide) because I just think that it is better for the skin and is a very board spectrum (UV-A and UV-B). Here is a brief main characteristics for chemical and physical barrier sunscreens. Furthermore, physical barrier type of sunscreen are very good for those with sensitive oily skin. It is very gentle and will not cause irritation. And many people with oily skin know that most cheap sunscreen are not intended for us to use because it is oil based.

Makeup can be used in place of a sunscreen / sunblock for oily skin for normal exposure. Many different brands of makeup offer sunscreen SPF 15, 20 or 30 in their makeup. This makes it easier for those with oily, combination or acne prone skin because your makeup should not flare up your skin. I trust only bare minerals with my skin because of actual good experience with it. I am not afflicted with them at all and only recommend what works best for my skin. A little bit background, my skin is not only oily / acne prone, it is super sensitive as well.

Powder sunscreens / sunblocks are best for oily, combination and acne prone skin. The creams tend to irritate your skin much more than a powder. All natural mineral powder sunscreens are some of the best alternative to traditional cream based sunscreen. The one from Bare minerals is highly recommended by me because I have used it myself. It is a physical barrier type of sunscreen; and I firmly stand by physical barrier types that uses both zinc oxide and titanium dioxide as active ingredients. It is board spectrum and will definitely shield you from both UV-A and UV-B radiation. However, you should supplement this sunscreen / sunblock with another one that contains either zinc oxide or avobenone for more UV-A protection.  You must have both UV-A and UV-B protection!!
What I recommend is only good for little to normal sun exposure.  If you are in the sun for extended period of time, I recommend a water resistant sunscreen / sunblock.  You will still have to re-apply every 20 minutes to be save.  Those that are water resistant are cream based, just remember to select the ones that says that they don't clog pores.

Another thing with oily, combination and acne prone skin is to wear a very light moisturizer to balance the oil production. This sounds counter productive. However, the reason that the skin produces so much oil is to hydrate the skin. If your skin thinks that it is already hydrated, it will produce less oil. I personally believe this because nowadays I never leave the house without moisturizer and it has significantly improved my oiliness. The trick is to find a very good moisturizer for your skin. I personally recommend two brands, Neutrogena and Bare minerals. I am not afflicted with any of them but everything is from personal experience. Sunscreen / sunblock should be put on top of your moisturizer.