Author Topic: Stupid Face Stuff  (Read 1945 times)

alm0stk00l

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Stupid Face Stuff
« on: January 11, 2022, 11:56:01 PM »
I am 39. At some point, I believed I would never get a pimple again. However, my face has decided to betray me in this area since I was 13 (now more than 26 years later) without letting up. Do any of you have a routine that helps stop stupid complexion issues once you are an adult? I am (relatively) rich and I still get ugly, large red pimples. It does not seem fair.

FLBiker

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Re: Stupid Face Stuff
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2022, 06:38:17 AM »
I don't have direct experience with this, but my wife used Proactive when she was a teen / early 20s and  had good results.

MayDay

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Re: Stupid Face Stuff
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2022, 06:55:37 AM »
Have you been to a dermatologist? If not, start there.

I am 39 and also still have acne prone skin. My dermatologist has me on 2 creams (one morning, one night) that are both very inexpensive, and do the trick almost completely.


cool7hand

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Re: Stupid Face Stuff
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2022, 10:12:03 AM »
There is a lot of anecdotal support in the paleo diet community about either gluten or dairy products, or both, contributing to a sub-optimal complexion. What folks do is cut out both groups for 30 days and see if there is a change. If so, they reintroduce foods slowly and track whether the symptoms begin to reoccur. For example, my wife has learned through this process that she can eat high quality dairy without a problem, but if she eats non-grass-fed dairy or dairy with a lot of chemicals/additives, she'll have a breakout. Maybe try eliminating both food groups for 30 days and see what happens?

Sandi_k

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Re: Stupid Face Stuff
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2022, 10:17:06 AM »
I have had oily skin all my post-adolescence life. Scrubs and stripping washes, etc.

As an adult, I found that using a gel-based alpha-hydroxy cleanser once per day was a great path. So I was with it in the morning before very light makeup application. In the evening, just warm water. I don't use much moisturizer, except in the depth of winter if the cleanser begins to dry out the non-T-Zone parts of my face. And I never use eye gel - too oily.

I had my first facial in years this past month, and the esthetician marveled that I had no blackheads and no whiteheads, and my skin was in very good shape.

So yeah - alpha hydroxy cleanser. $8 for a bottle via Amazon.

https://smile.amazon.com/Alpha-Skin-Care-Refreshing-Packaging/dp/B01D2M4I46/ref=sr_1_3?crid=18MMDHXYDSXD5&keywords=alpha+hydroxy+cleanser&qid=1642007791&rdc=1&sprefix=alpha+hydroxy+cleanser%2Caps%2C135&sr=8-3

maisymouser

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Re: Stupid Face Stuff
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2022, 10:25:05 AM »
Ugh. Me too. PTF.

I've been trying bentonite clay masks with limited success. I also have pretty horrible acne scars all over. Thankfully, I don't give a damn what other people think about how I look anymore (thank you late 20s wisdom), but yeah, I guess it would be *slightly* nicer to have better skin?

StarBright

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Re: Stupid Face Stuff
« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2022, 10:25:38 AM »
have you tried retinol or retinoid based products?

They are supposed to be great for pimples. I started to use over the counter retinol (ROC night correction) about 5 years ago as part of my general skin scare routine. It seemed to reduce my hormonal breakouts - I haven't had a major zit in about 5 years.

There are now retinol products that are specifically for acne.

I have several friends who get prescription retinoids from their dermatologist and swear by it for breakouts. One friend had pretty severe acne and was on accutane for all of college, she says rx retinol is way better.

AMandM

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Re: Stupid Face Stuff
« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2022, 02:55:23 PM »
I am (relatively) rich and I still get ugly, large red pimples. It does not seem fair.

Huh? It's not fair that you're rich but not also beautiful?

GuitarStv

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Re: Stupid Face Stuff
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2022, 03:08:08 PM »
I've had cystic acne for most of my life.  Modifying diet (eliminating milk products, eliminating processed sugars, vegan, atkins) was completely ineffective.  Several different antibiotic treatments - totally ineffective (although I did find out that I'm allergic to tetracyclene - makes my eyes turn bright pink).  Various corticosteroids were ineffective.
 I've been to quite a few dermatologists over my life.  Dozens of different formulations and concentrations of hydrogen peroxide and benzoyl peroxide helped somewhat, but not a lot.

What worked really well was a prescription for accutane for about a year.  Cleared up 95% of the problem permentantly, but looking back at my life and the available medical evidence around it seems pretty clear that it also triggered severe depression and suicidal thoughts.  On balance, I'm not sure if I would recommend it.

LightStache

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Re: Stupid Face Stuff
« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2022, 03:15:41 PM »
I am (relatively) rich and I still get ugly, large red pimples. It does not seem fair.

Huh? It's not fair that you're rich but not also beautiful?

I thought OP's comment was hilarious! @AMandM you don't know that rich people are supposed to be able to buy beauty?

mspym

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Re: Stupid Face Stuff
« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2022, 04:14:28 PM »
Honestly, go to a good dermatologist. And generally the less you do to your skin the better.

wheninroma

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Re: Stupid Face Stuff
« Reply #11 on: January 12, 2022, 05:36:20 PM »
Yes, go see a dermatologist. Definitely worth it if you are (relatively) rich.

Fwiw, I've been on Accutane twice (inc right now, actually), and I'm a big fan. Nothing worked like it (also tried Proactiv, retinoids, etc.). My only side effects were lip dryness, but as mentioned in other posts, people have a variety of experiences. For me, it's been effective, and if you want to nuke the problem and never/rarely think about it again, it's worth considering. But (and your dermatologist should guide you to the same conclusion), start with something gentler and see how it goes.

Why I'm on it again: ~8 years after the first course, I started getting some recurring acne in a particular area of my forehead where I never used to get acne. I'm a perfectionist and after trying something else for a couple months, I figured why not, given how well I tolerated the side effects before. Had I not tolerated the first course well, then I probably wouldn't have done a second, but the improvement from course 1 was still worth doing in any case.

DeniseNJ

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Re: Stupid Face Stuff
« Reply #12 on: January 13, 2022, 07:40:38 AM »
Retin A (tretinoin).  See a dermatologist for script. 

If you don't want to go to a derm, you can use Differin Gel--they sell it over the counter now.

For ppl who have tried everything and still have a problem, if you put on a ton of benzol peroxide, I mean a ton, and moisturizer, bc it is drying, that will also cure it.

Rusted Rose

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Re: Stupid Face Stuff
« Reply #13 on: January 13, 2022, 08:32:25 AM »
I also had annoyances long past when I thought they should have stopped. Never super bad, but just never completely clear. I now am almost always clear outside of the occasional hormonal monthly effect or contact with masks.

Like some others here, I realized a while ago that the old oil-stripping cleanser idea did not work--it was drying and higher oil production kicked in to compensate. I switched to the oil-cleansing method. This in itself made a huge difference.

I now use organic coconut cooking oil, which has a little bit of soy lecithin that keeps it liquid. First I tried cooking spray, which I transferred to a dropper bottle, but I found some that is just bottled and pourable, much easier to transfer to the smaller container and no propellants.

For maintenance, a couple of times a week, I apply Paula's Choice BHA gel. Anything that has at least 2% of this active ingredient, which is salicylic acid (also found in willow bark and witch hazel, and the active ingredient in aspirin) works inside pores.

AHA is good too but doesn't have the inside pore action apparently. Also, AHA and BHA lose effectiveness when applied together, so divide these between morning/night/whatever.

Supposedly, niacinamide is also a thing (I have some from The Ordinary) but I haven't noticed any particular effect. I've never seen any results from retinol (or prescription Retin A) products either.

To address occasional issues, benzoyl peroxide works well--but NOTE that market demand has caused almost every maker to drop anything but "maximum strength" by now, which I find too harsh and drying (10%). Neutrogena still makes their old 2.5%, thank the gods!

I've never noticed any effects from changes in what I eat.

Yep ... these things take some trial and error and a dose of YMMV.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2022, 07:43:35 PM by Rusted Rose »

Archipelago

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Re: Stupid Face Stuff
« Reply #14 on: January 13, 2022, 09:28:54 AM »
I can also speak well of isotretinoin (accutane). I had persistent acne for several years and felt like I was working nonstop to get it under control. And I did everything. Antibiotics, prescription creams, washing pillowcases constantly, face washing routine, pretty much anything you can think of for skin care. I didn't have bad, deep acne but it was persistent and enough to my self confidence quite a bit.

1 course of accutane permanently shrank my pores and cleared my acne. I still get acne, but it's a fraction of what it used to be and clears away on its own. The only thing I do now is put moisturizer on. Accutane treatment was a substantial commitment for 6-9 months, but it was well worth it to me. Dry lips, dry skin, monthly blood drawing, monthly dermatology visits, etc. About $1000 is what I was in for after adding up all the costs associated with it (depending on your insurance). Some of the side effects can be severe, you really have to research and understand what you're getting into. But in the end I had a great experience with the treatment.

yachi

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Re: Stupid Face Stuff
« Reply #15 on: January 13, 2022, 09:48:05 AM »

DeniseNJ

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Re: Stupid Face Stuff
« Reply #16 on: January 13, 2022, 10:21:58 AM »
I don't recommend most OTC retinol products.  They are mostly for aging and are really not enough for that anyway.  Get a script from a derm for Retin A (tretinoin), which is great for both acne and aging.  Differin was made OTC in the last couple of yrs and is also excellent for both acne and wrinkles.

You can also get actual prescription Retin A, with other active ingredients from Curology for $20 per month.  Their Retin A is even stronger than what's available at the pharmacy, plus they will put two other actives in it depending on your issues.  I have discoloration so I have azelaic acid and niacinamide in mine.

When you are 50 you will be happy you started Retin A at 39.

achvfi

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Re: Stupid Face Stuff
« Reply #17 on: January 13, 2022, 11:24:50 AM »
There is a lot of anecdotal support in the paleo diet community about either gluten or dairy products, or both, contributing to a sub-optimal complexion. What folks do is cut out both groups for 30 days and see if there is a change. If so, they reintroduce foods slowly and track whether the symptoms begin to reoccur. For example, my wife has learned through this process that she can eat high quality dairy without a problem, but if she eats non-grass-fed dairy or dairy with a lot of chemicals/additives, she'll have a breakout. Maybe try eliminating both food groups for 30 days and see what happens?

+1 Paleo even better natural keto (More animal products less plant foods) Or Cut back on plant food that are questionable and slowly add them back in. You may need to be patient, but its addressing the root cause, instead of putting on a band aid to your problem.

Explore the foods you eat, its likely there is something you put in your body food/skincare products your skin/body doesn't tolerate well..

Be very careful with skincare products, including retinol related products.

GuitarStv

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Re: Stupid Face Stuff
« Reply #18 on: January 13, 2022, 01:17:47 PM »
There is a lot of anecdotal support in the paleo diet community about either gluten or dairy products, or both, contributing to a sub-optimal complexion. What folks do is cut out both groups for 30 days and see if there is a change. If so, they reintroduce foods slowly and track whether the symptoms begin to reoccur. For example, my wife has learned through this process that she can eat high quality dairy without a problem, but if she eats non-grass-fed dairy or dairy with a lot of chemicals/additives, she'll have a breakout. Maybe try eliminating both food groups for 30 days and see what happens?

+1 Paleo even better natural keto (More animal products less plant foods) Or Cut back on plant food that are questionable and slowly add them back in. You may need to be patient, but its addressing the root cause, instead of putting on a band aid to your problem.

Explore the foods you eat, its likely there is something you put in your body food/skincare products your skin/body doesn't tolerate well..

I'd recommend that everyone try changing elimination diets or altering what you're eating to see if there's any benefit - but do it with the knowledge that for an awful lot of people there is no benefit whatsoever and does not address the root cause of the problem.

achvfi

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Re: Stupid Face Stuff
« Reply #19 on: January 13, 2022, 02:56:30 PM »
There is a lot of anecdotal support in the paleo diet community about either gluten or dairy products, or both, contributing to a sub-optimal complexion. What folks do is cut out both groups for 30 days and see if there is a change. If so, they reintroduce foods slowly and track whether the symptoms begin to reoccur. For example, my wife has learned through this process that she can eat high quality dairy without a problem, but if she eats non-grass-fed dairy or dairy with a lot of chemicals/additives, she'll have a breakout. Maybe try eliminating both food groups for 30 days and see what happens?

+1 Paleo even better natural keto (More animal products less plant foods) Or Cut back on plant food that are questionable and slowly add them back in. You may need to be patient, but its addressing the root cause, instead of putting on a band aid to your problem.

Explore the foods you eat, its likely there is something you put in your body food/skincare products your skin/body doesn't tolerate well..

I'd recommend that everyone try changing elimination diets or altering what you're eating to see if there's any benefit - but do it with the knowledge that for an awful lot of people there is no benefit whatsoever and does not address the root cause of the problem.

Sure. And know that it works for lot of people, including me. Its like an prolonged investigation. It can be frustrating at times, you will need to have patience and be willing to try new ideas.

seemsright

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Re: Stupid Face Stuff
« Reply #20 on: January 13, 2022, 05:13:06 PM »
The best thing I have ever found for my face is dr bronner's soap. two drops and a bit of water and rub into my face for about a minute and rinse off fully is the best product ever. Twice a day is what I do. It is even working for my preteen when I can get her to leave it on long enough. A bottle lasts both my DD and I about a year.

It is cheap, it works wonders and it is easy.

Weisass

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Re: Stupid Face Stuff
« Reply #21 on: January 13, 2022, 05:57:19 PM »
Maybe you need more face mites? https://www.livescience.com/65533-your-face-mites-never-poop.html

Watching my daughters face as she watched that video was worth every second. Thanks @yachi for the nightmares!

Chrissy

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Re: Stupid Face Stuff
« Reply #22 on: January 13, 2022, 07:42:35 PM »
Yes, I have a routine, but... well, it's a good thing you're rich.  I'm in my 40s and had tried everything:  antibiotics, Accutane, prescription creams, Proactiv, etc.  It all worked for awhile, and then didn't work anymore.  Now, I'm on a bespoke line from an esthetician who specializes in adult acne:  https://www.daniela.com/index.html.  It's taken 2 years of consulting with her and tinkering with the routine, but I'm totally clear now.  She will work with you remotely if you want, through her Eval by Email program, which is how I started.  Here's what I do:

MORNING
B5 Wash
Citrus C Toner
Anti-Ox HA while toner is still wet
Soothing C Serum
Mark Lees Sunscreen

NIGHT
B5 Wash
Citrus C Toner
Anti-Ox HA while toner is still wet
Multi-AHA Serum or Soothing C Serum, rotating
Hydrating Lotion

ONCE A WEEK
Zinc-Sulfur Mask

I also bought the Mark Lees Base Peux Grasse, concealer, and Shine Fix Pre-filled Brush.  One tip that she gave me that made a huge difference was discontinuing my multivitamin.  Apparently, the Biotin in multi-vitamins is a major culprit for some.

iluvzbeach

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Re: Stupid Face Stuff
« Reply #23 on: January 13, 2022, 08:13:17 PM »
I am 51 and have just finally successfully eliminated my acne in the past few years. What has helped me most is salicylic acid facial products. I used to use some ProActiv salicylic acid products but have switched to Clinique for the same, or less, cost and no subscription requirement. I typically stock up during their 30% off sales that I get notified of via email. Here’s my daily routine:

~Wash face in shower with Clinique Acne Solutions Cleansing Foam
~Apply Clinique Acne Solutions Clarifying Lotion w/cotton round

In the evening, I do the following:

~Clean face & remove any make-up with Costco’s Facial Towelettes
~Apply Clinique Acne Solutions Clarifying Lotion
~Apply Clinique Acne Solutions Clearing Gel to my normal “problem” areas (chin, nose, temples)

I change my pillow case every day & try to be very careful about touching my face. I do all of the above no matter how tired I might be; it’s become a non-negotiable part of my day.

My skin has NEVER looked so good. Wish I’d started this back when I was a teen. (I do not work for Clinique or Costco.)

P.S. For years I used benzoyl peroxide products and they dried out my skin, making the acne worse. The salicylic acid products don’t do that.

Linea_Norway

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Re: Stupid Face Stuff
« Reply #24 on: January 14, 2022, 01:44:00 AM »
This site discribed the cause pretty well, in my opinion.
https://newsinhealth.nih.gov/2010/01/understanding-acne

I got a bad skin as a teenager and started on a hormone pill that was primarily an acne medicin and also a BC pill. Worked well for me, although I learned later that it is high risk for women to use it. Last year (more than 30 years later), I was urged by a doctor to stop the medicin because it is not supposed to be good for women above 40 to use. So I did stop it.

The pimps came back indeed. Mostly in weird places like in my neck hairline. It was pretty bad in the summer. It helped to put my hair up to make the area less sweaty. I am still considering having it cut short.
I also have outbreaks on my face timetimes, but locally and often only one or two at the time.
I squeeze them out. Maybe that is a bad thing, but it hasn't given me scars. And they often disappear once they are emptied.

I usually don't used any skin products and face creams, as I have the impression that those clot your pores. I do of course use sunscreen when that is necessary. Although that was not the cause of my recent outbreak in my face. It may have been related to touching my face, as it is an area I often push with my fingers. I will try to be more aware of that and avoid it. And I will see which suncream is best for this type of skin. When I use sunscreen, I tend to wash it off before bedtime, as I find it very sticky.

ixtap

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Re: Stupid Face Stuff
« Reply #25 on: January 14, 2022, 03:51:22 AM »
DH still had really bad skin when we met. Two things have helped.

1) it cleared up somewhat when he tried my more minimalist skin routine. Unless it is dirty, I only wash my face in the shower with a sensitive skin body wash. Other than that, I only splash water on my face, then dry it off. If my hands feel a bit oily after splashing the water, I might grab the body wash, but more often, I wash my hands and after rinsing them, splash again. If I feel I need a lotion, I use a sensitive skin (usually Aveeno, but also Oil of Okay) SPF lotion.

2) his issues practically disappeared when he did an elimination diet and discovered a couple of food triggers. For him, one was the oft blamed dairy, but it seems to be the proteins, not the lactose.

jamster

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Re: Stupid Face Stuff
« Reply #26 on: January 14, 2022, 05:46:10 AM »
I just turned 40. Have also had pretty bad acne for most of my life, and have experimented with just about every skin care routine permutation I could think of.

What finally started working for me a few years ago:

  • Topical Retin A (tretinoin). It almost makes breakouts worse for the first few weeks/months, but after a while it really helped me avoid the worst breakouts.
  • I stopped washing my face with soap or cleanser, period. At first I thought this would be gross, but I read something a few years ago that said all the washing that acne-prone people do can sometimes end up irritating skin and just causing breakouts to be worse, and that if you’re on Retin-A, the cellular turnover you get from that is way more important than whatever minor cleansing effect you get from an OTC cleanser anyway. So, I stopped using facial cleansing products, and I noticed in the weeks after that my breakouts weren’t as bad. When I shower, I just splash some water on my face, and . . . That’s it.
  • Good moisturizer during the day. So many moisturizers feel oily and make me feel more breakout-prone, so finding a good one that actually doesn’t aggravate my breakouts was a multi-year project. I have finally settled on the Cerave PM face lotion, which is super light and just sort of disappears into my face with no gross film.

Good luck!!! Acne is so frustrating.

alm0stk00l

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Re: Stupid Face Stuff
« Reply #27 on: January 14, 2022, 07:32:01 PM »
Wow. The responses I have received are amazing. Thank you to everyone for sharing different perspectives and approaches. I am going to build a routine based on these responses and see what works best.

There are so many excellent, thoughtful responses and different perspectives that one thing I have been able to take from this is that it isn't a unique problem. That has helped me feel a lot better about the struggle because now I can see that I am not alone. Thank you to everyone who shared their experience.

A few things to mention: I appreciate the recommendations to visit a derm, but for whatever reason, their advice never seems to move me in the direction I am hoping. I was on Acutane when I was 18-19 and it did help a lot. At that time I had the face they used to make fun of in 80s movies when they called someone crater face; where my face was more red splotches than skin. Since then I no longer have the persistent acne, but when I have a breakout it is of the very noticeable, large, red type.

I will experiment with than many awesome suggestions provided. Thank you all!

I am (relatively) rich and I still get ugly, large red pimples. It does not seem fair.

Huh? It's not fair that you're rich but not also beautiful?

To this particulare quote, you are correct. That was a very tool-ish way for me to phrase that and I appreciate you calling me out.

maisymouser

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Re: Stupid Face Stuff
« Reply #28 on: January 15, 2022, 07:09:43 AM »
Yeah alm0st, I am right there with you, I assure you. I have always thought my skin would clear up by the time I was 30 but a wonderful complexion has still failed to manifest. I would be curious to know whether there is advice on acne scars... After getting *moderately* better control over my acne over the course of the last 10 years, now I'm dealing mostly with uneven texture and pitting all over my face.

To add insult to injury, the first guy I had relations with in college once asked me "no offense, but what's wrong with your skin and your face?" [that clearly did not last and I married a wonderful human being who never makes me feel that self-conscious about my body]

ETA: I am Mustachian, of course, and have eliminated expensive surgical procedures that don't actually improve my health from the list of possible options. I've been on a retinoid for about a year but haven't seen too much difference. Acne scars are probably just something I need to live with indefinitely, but trying to do *something* feels better than doing nothing. Which maybe, as I write this, is counterproductive. I dunno.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2022, 07:12:41 AM by maisymouser »

LaineyAZ

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Re: Stupid Face Stuff
« Reply #29 on: January 15, 2022, 07:39:21 AM »
I saw a TV program recently where a dermatologist used lasers, among other things, as part of their treatment of a young man with severe acne.  The patient said that his father also had acne, so I believe part of this is genetic?  But the before and after photos were stunning, his skin was basically completely cleared.

Anyway, I think there are better skin treatments now than even a few years ago, so I'm agreeing with the recommendation to go to a dermatologist.  Bring your credit card, of course, because insurance considers all of this "cosmetic." 

GreenSheep

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Re: Stupid Face Stuff
« Reply #30 on: January 15, 2022, 01:12:41 PM »
These twin sisters fixed their acne by removing fats/oils from their diet. Almost all food contains some amount of fat (even broccoli, for example, contains a tiny bit), but they removed everything that has more than a tiny bit -- meat, dairy, nuts, avocados, etc. It seems to have worked for them and apparently a lot of people they've helped to do the same. It appears that a very careful diet alone is enough, but if you're looking for a "safe" moisturizer, cleanser, etc., they do sell those -- and their website includes an ingredient checker so you can enter an ingredient list for a product you're considering and it will tell you whether there are pore-clogging ingredients.

https://clear-skin-diet.myshopify.com/pages/our-story

GuitarStv

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Re: Stupid Face Stuff
« Reply #31 on: January 15, 2022, 03:53:09 PM »
It appears that a very careful diet alone is enough

As long as you can trust what someone who has built a whole career selling people the secrets to their magical anti-acne diet says.

GreenSheep

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Re: Stupid Face Stuff
« Reply #32 on: January 16, 2022, 05:27:05 AM »
It appears that a very careful diet alone is enough

As long as you can trust what someone who has built a whole career selling people the secrets to their magical anti-acne diet says.

In general, I agree with you. If someone is selling something, then their advice isn't unbiased and it should be carefully scrutinized. But people have to make a living, and when a person has solved a problem they had, they tend to get very passionate about it and want to tell the world. MMM created a website to shout to the world about how to improve their financial situation. He also sells ads on his website. Does that mean his advice is invalid?

When it comes to food sensitivities... I just don't see the harm in trying an elimination diet. If it works, great. If it doesn't, you can go back to eating whatever you were before, with the reassurance that it's not what you're eating that's causing the problem. In the case of these two women, you can get all the information about the diet changes for free online, without having to buy their book, their products, etc. I haven't tried this myself (never had an acne problem), but I've seen diet changes work for lots of other things, so if I had acne, I'd give it a try.

GuitarStv

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Re: Stupid Face Stuff
« Reply #33 on: January 16, 2022, 11:18:35 AM »
It appears that a very careful diet alone is enough

As long as you can trust what someone who has built a whole career selling people the secrets to their magical anti-acne diet says.

In general, I agree with you. If someone is selling something, then their advice isn't unbiased and it should be carefully scrutinized. But people have to make a living, and when a person has solved a problem they had, they tend to get very passionate about it and want to tell the world. MMM created a website to shout to the world about how to improve their financial situation. He also sells ads on his website. Does that mean his advice is invalid?

When it comes to food sensitivities... I just don't see the harm in trying an elimination diet. If it works, great. If it doesn't, you can go back to eating whatever you were before, with the reassurance that it's not what you're eating that's causing the problem. In the case of these two women, you can get all the information about the diet changes for free online, without having to buy their book, their products, etc. I haven't tried this myself (never had an acne problem), but I've seen diet changes work for lots of other things, so if I had acne, I'd give it a try.

I don't have any problem with trying an elimination diet either - they're generally pretty easy and low risk (no risk?) to try.  I tried quite a few of them under the advice of well-meaning people.  These people tended to then inform me that I must be doing something wrong when the diet change didn't produce the effect that they expected.  There also often appears to be an undercurrent of blame - "bad things happen to people who do bad things (in this case diet) so obviously the acne is the fault of the person who has it" in some of the folks who recommend dietary change and other unproven/holistic treatments.  As someone who had very bad acne for a very long time, I have difficulty conveying the emotional toll that both can take on a person.  There's a pretty significant cottage industry of charlatans and quacks promoting all sorts of unproven 'cures' for acne, who are eager to cause feelings of guilt ("I just need to do X!") to aid in sales.

There are a lot of theories about diet and it's link to acne, but few large scale, well run studies that show real improvement.  For many people, acne is a temporary thing that occurs in puberty and that will resolve in early adulthood without any treatment whatsoever.  This leads to very common recommendations for various 'cures' with little real evidence supporting them.  I've spoken with dozens of dermatologists over my life about acne.  Most of them said that dietary change was worth a try and could help (specifically a low glycemic diet - although low dairy diets were also recommended).  None of them put faith in it as an effective cure for severe cystic acne, more as a step that might help medication to reduce more severe symptoms.  None would recommend diet alone as a way to cure the problem.

FWIW - the current theory isn't that acne's relation to food is a 'food sensitivities' issue.  This isn't an allergy.  It's that some foods are believed to increase types of hormone production - and cystic acne is very closely linked to the hormone balance of the body.  Insulin spikes in particular are also known to increase sebum production, which is linked to clogging/infection of pores on the skin.