Spots, Zits and Pimples R Us!

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Julie
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Re: Spots, Zits and Pimples R Us!

Postby Julie » Sun Jun 15, 2008 9:10 pm UTC

I'm not saying that nobody should ever take it... but recommending that over the internet as just a broad sweeping generalization to everyone (without mentioning the side effects) is too much. You need to be seen by doctors, you need to have tried EVERYTHING else before they even think of isotretinoin.

I was given the option of trying it, but I decided I'd rather not get all of those side effects, plus the whole birth control thing would be an annoyance for me... and the monthly pregnancy tests. They do blood tests, not urine tests, for pregnancy... so yeah, annoying.

What actually worked the best for me was going to a spa-type place and getting special treatments there- physical exfoliation and whatnot. Sorry it's not manlier for all of you guys with problems!
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Re: Spots, Zits and Pimples R Us!

Postby BazookaNinja » Sun Jun 15, 2008 11:06 pm UTC

Besides medication and creams, to not be redundant:

Sports (sweating cleans your pores)

Being in contact with the sun (it's a bit of a double edged sword though, it can make pre existing scars more permanent)

Not being stressed

A hairstyle that doesn't cover your face

Don't touch your face

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Re: Spots, Zits and Pimples R Us!

Postby arcticfox.sq » Mon Jun 16, 2008 4:03 am UTC

I'd recommend aloe cream, gel, extract or whatever. It's very good for your skin whether or not there's an acne or pimple problem. It's done wonders for me. I'm not sure where you buy it since mine was from my mom but I'm sure it's less than a simple internet search away. Or you could plant your own! :D Cutting aloe leaves open is very fun.
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Re: Spots, Zits and Pimples R Us!

Postby carbohydrated » Mon Jun 16, 2008 6:21 am UTC

I guess I'm the lucky one out of my family with the least dermatological problems out of everyone, but I'm pretty obsessive about cleaning my face at least twice a day.
I'll still get annoying breakouts approximately once a month (just before Shark Week. blarr), but I've found a pretty cheap and extremely effective solution (for me at least).

Aspirin contains acetyl-salicylic acid which is used in a lot of more expensive acne scrubs and face-washes.

This website is what finally convinced me to try this whole thing out:
http://makeupalley.com/product/showreview.asp/ItemID=14129/Aspirin_Mask/Unlisted_Brand/Masks/

It's a pretty simple procedure and I love love love to do it once or twice a week.
1. Get 2-3 uncoated generic brand aspirin (You know it's uncoated when you can scratch it with a nail and a little of the powder comes off)
2. Put it in a small bowl, and put 1-2 drops of water in there so the aspirin disintergrate into a mushy powder mix
3. I like to mix in something so it sticks to my face once it dries, so you can put almost anything in there. I usually use honey, mushed avocado or another moisturizing face mask
4. Apply on face and keep there for 10 ish minutes. Be careful to not get any in your eyes/nose/mouth since it can get a little irritating
5. Wash off as you'd wash off an exfoliating face scrub. The aspirin grains will still be there and it might be a little rough, so light circles. :)
6. MOISTURIZE. Lots.
7. ???
8. Profit!

Obviously this shouldn't be attempted if you're allergic to aspirin, and if you're not sure, get a little and apply to a small bit on your chin or hand to check.

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Re: Spots, Zits and Pimples R Us!

Postby ishikiri » Mon Jun 16, 2008 11:11 am UTC

I get spots but then I don't keep up with washing and stuff so its to be expected!

I also have some scarring from picking at them and stuff. Its lack picking at scabs but more fun!

I was on Oxytetracycline for a while (Year and a bit). It did work when I was taking it properly but I gave up on it a couple of months ago and my skin is no better/worse. However everyone I know who has been on it has had it affect their mood - beyond the normal degree of teenage pissed offness, including myself.
I asked my doctor about this and he said that it was basically bollocks/never been proven.
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Re: Spots, Zits and Pimples R Us!

Postby bigglesworth » Mon Jun 16, 2008 11:15 am UTC

That's because the treatment with those (supposed) side effects is Isotretoinin.

Oxytetracycline is just an antibiotic. And could never cause that.
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Re: Spots, Zits and Pimples R Us!

Postby the_bandersnatch » Mon Jun 16, 2008 11:33 am UTC

I've had really bad skin my whole life, and even though I'm now 27 and supposedly well past the hormonal surges of the teenage years that cause bad skin I still need to be very careful lest I return to my pimply ways. However, you wouldn't be able to tell I had bad skin as I have developed an all-round way of dealing with it over the years, might be worth giving it a try for those of you who also have the nightmare of bad skin:

● Wash face at least twice a day with a salicylic acid containing facewash/facescrub. Yes, it will dry the skin, so it is also essential that you moisturise as well after each wash. Get a non-scented moisturiser cream if your skin is extra sensitive.

● Use Quinoderm cream every night. I cannot recommend this stuff highly enough. It comes in 2 doses: 5% active ingredient or 10%. Start by trying the 5% cream to see how your skin deals with it, I find this is fine for me. If your skin doesn't take, speak to your pharmacist about trying one of the similar creams on the market.

● Drink plenty of water, at all times. Get used to drinking water on a regular basis, make it part of your lifestyle, a habit that you don't even think about anymore. It's worth it in any case for the other associated health benefits (younger looking skin, less chance of kidney stones, etc.)

● Take vitamins every day, but specifically vitamin C. This will help your immune system deal with the spot causing bacteria.

● Get healthy amounts of sunshine, but don't go overboard as it will cause premature aging and make sure your moisturise regularly too.

● Get a good sweat on, as it helps clean the pores. Sports, athletics, and extended sex sessions are good ways to achieve this :D


I haven't tried the aspirin-paste method above, but it sounds interesting and I'm tempted to give it go soon to see if helps any. Anyone who has troubles dealing with bad skin certainly has my sympathies, it certainly was a huge dampener on my confidence for many years, but with enough tinkering around I'm certain that there's ways of dealing with it for everyone out there, it just took me a few years to find my best method.
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Re: Spots, Zits and Pimples R Us!

Postby Flying Betty » Mon Jun 16, 2008 10:34 pm UTC

Ugh. I had typical but fairly mild acne as a teenager- nothing to write home about, and it mostly cleared up when I was in college. But then when I was 21 or so my face flared up and went haywire. So I've spent about 4 years fighting this off. I hates it. I hate relying on makeup, but my face is bad enough that I don't like to leave home without covering up my spots and that makes me sad. I've tried various normal and hippieish remedies, and have been seeing a doctor about it (again) for the past couple of months. I just started a new treatment plan so hopefully this one will work out.

I'm further hampered by the fact that my skin is incredibly, painfully sensitive.Some of your suggestions (pumice?!?!) were making my face hurt just reading about it. I have to walk a very fine line between things being effective and things that are too drying or just flat out painful. I'm supposed to go back on benzoyl peroxide this week and I'm a little bit ambivalent about this and am planning to take it very, very slowly. I've used it successfully a few years ago, but the last time I tried it my face got angry- bright red, hot to the touch, so sensitive that I couldn't bear to have my hair brush against it.

Things I've tried: Tea tree oil- indifferent. I used a pretty mild concentration, and it didn't bother me but it didn't seem to do anything
Washing with oil- seems counterintuitive, but the idea is that you use oil to dissolve the oil in your pores and then steam it off and wipe clean with a lot of hot water. This actually got rid of the worst of the flakiness, and didn't make my face hurt. I didn't use it for any length of time, partially out of a general fear of adding more oil to my skin and partially because it's a lot more effort than just slapping on something from a bottle and rinsing it off quickly.
Salycylic acid- This kept the pimples at bay in high school. It is a little bit on the harsh and drying side but what isn't? It does absolutely nothing for my current acne unfortunately.
Oral antibiotics (clindamycin perhaps? I don't remember what it was but this was about 3-4 months ago): Worked really well. Cleared things up a lot with no noticeable side effects. But then I finished taking it and my face flared right back up again
Differin- I just stopped this to try other stuff after 3-4 months. It did nothing. It also didn't make my face terribly irritated which was nice considering how much the packaging warns about it

Current plan (just started it last week) topical antibiotics- It hurt to apply at first but I think I'm finally starting to get used to it. I am supposed to be using benzoyl peroxide in conjunction and I'm planning to start that pretty soon now that I'm ok with the antibiotic. In 2-3 weeks I start using Retin-A, which should be metric tons of fun considering how harsh on the skin that one is supposed to be.
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Re: Spots, Zits and Pimples R Us!

Postby tryptanymph » Mon Jun 16, 2008 11:36 pm UTC

Flying Betty wrote:Ugh. I had typical but fairly mild acne as a teenager- nothing to write home about

You write home about things like acne?

Okay, the only over-the-counter thing I haven't tried yet is Clearasil. And I haven't tried it yet because it's expensive.

I'm kinda debating it. Spot and acne creams have a tendency to do nothing, or make my skin flare up. I'd rather avoid looking REALLY ANGRY for once. If I try it on my hand or arm or something, and it doesn't have a reaction, does that mean it's safe to try?
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Re: Spots, Zits and Pimples R Us!

Postby mrbaggins » Mon Jun 16, 2008 11:45 pm UTC

Semi-related, I tend to get nasty spots after shaving, but not every time. Also, I usually don't end up cutting myself at all, but sometimes I come out looking like I lost a fight with a lawnmower. What's up with that?


Spots, or small bleedy sections?

In either case, fresh sharp razors and HOT HOT Oh me yarm IT BURNS water.

And if you can steam up the bathroom a little even better. I now ALWAYS shave just after a shower so that my skin has had MORE hot water on it. And it solved this problem completely.
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Re: Spots, Zits and Pimples R Us!

Postby recurve boy » Tue Jun 17, 2008 1:08 pm UTC

sleepygamer wrote:
Flying Betty wrote:Ugh. I had typical but fairly mild acne as a teenager- nothing to write home about

You write home about things like acne?

Okay, the only over-the-counter thing I haven't tried yet is Clearasil. And I haven't tried it yet because it's expensive.

I'm kinda debating it. Spot and acne creams have a tendency to do nothing, or make my skin flare up. I'd rather avoid looking REALLY ANGRY for once. If I try it on my hand or arm or something, and it doesn't have a reaction, does that mean it's safe to try?


Most over the counter stuff does very little. See a doctor, that worked for me. Where worked == improvement.

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Re: Spots, Zits and Pimples R Us!

Postby namaize » Wed Jun 18, 2008 12:52 am UTC

I tend to just use OTC exfoliating washes, which generally work (or at least don't not work?) until right before Shark Week, blech.

I don't really moisturize though, which I see is a recurring topic in this thread, so... recommendations for good moisturizers? Or things to look for in good moisturizers?

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Re: Spots, Zits and Pimples R Us!

Postby Sasha » Sat Jul 26, 2008 1:43 am UTC

I've been using witch hazel http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Witch_hazel_(astringent) and it seems to work nicely. Most recently, a lurker appeared on my nose (Like a typical lurker only after a few days it comes up, like a nasty boil) and I put witch hazel on it and it's smaller and hurts less. Alcohol does mean things to my skin.

Witch-hazel.
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Re: Spots, Zits and Pimples R Us!

Postby a thing » Sat Jul 26, 2008 7:10 am UTC

Aloe vera twice daily, no zits ever get big enough to be noticeable unless close and go away relatively quickly. Also makes skin smooth and soft. Tea tree oil helps too, but is more expensive and aloe vera alone is still great.
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Re: Spots, Zits and Pimples R Us!

Postby cycoden » Sun Jul 27, 2008 9:45 am UTC

I found minocycline worked really well, and had the unexpected benefit of reducing my skins sensitivity to the sun. However, I found as soon as I stopped, the acne would return.

Roaccutane is the nuclear bomb of acne treatments. I was prescribed a course of roaccutane, and its not something to be taken lightly (my mum, who used to be a nurse, was not remotely happy that i'd decided to do this.)

After the first two days of taking roaccutane, I found myself with significant joint pain. Fortunately, this subsided after a few days. The main issues I had with roaccutane is that my skin went back to being very easily burnt, you have to carefully manage your diet as roaccutane can temporarily increase your cholestrol levels, my acne got a lot worse before it got better and no drinking. I had half a can of vodka premix after 4 months teetotalling, and I felt really fucked, i felt like i was sunk in the chair, my perception slowed and couldn't move for a few minutes. A mate of mine drank all the time while he was taking roaccutane, and he still has terrible acne.

I didn't suffer depression though - that said, I was older than the average roaccutane user (20-21 years old IIRC), and this is a symptom that seems to be indicated for teenagers (thats the perception i get from the media anyway). I remember watching this: http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/content/ ... 636278.htm a few years ago and its worth reading.

Possibly the only long term effect is my hair is a lot thinner than my brothers. I'm not real happy about that, but given the issues it was causing me at the time, on balance I'm glad I did.
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Re: Spots, Zits and Pimples R Us!

Postby recurve boy » Sun Jul 27, 2008 11:03 am UTC

a thing wrote:Aloe vera twice daily, no zits ever get big enough to be noticeable unless close and go away relatively quickly. Also makes skin smooth and soft. Tea tree oil helps too, but is more expensive and aloe vera alone is still great.


Depends on how bad your case is I think.

When it is enough of a problem to see a doctor, your want the prescription stuff if you want to see any effect.

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Re: Spots, Zits and Pimples R Us!

Postby tryptanymph » Sun Jul 27, 2008 12:16 pm UTC

Wombat wrote:Witch-hazel.

Ah. That happens to be one of the things that I have a reaction too. The spot goes all hard and swells under the skin. Not pleasant, and it really hurts.

Lately I've been keeping the population down. I dunno. Maybe I'm finally coming out of puberty. It's only been 5 years. *Sulk*
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Re: Spots, Zits and Pimples R Us!

Postby hermaj » Sun Jul 27, 2008 12:56 pm UTC

carbohydrated wrote:Aspirin masque stuff.


That sounds really fanastic, I'll have to try it. I'm mostly happy with my skin, but it can get a bit oily and nothing ever seems to budge the blackheads on my nose. That's inexpensive enough to be worth a few shots.

At the moment I'm using a Ten-O-Six daily facial cleanser/scrub that seems to clean my skin well while still maintaining rather a creamy base. It feels wonderful and I don't have to put much if any moisturiser on afterwards. The only trouble is that I found it at the bottom of our cabinet and I have no idea how long we've had it and if it's still made. :P Otherwise I might have to recreate it by adding sorbelene to a daily salycyclic acid scrub.

As for spots going hard and swelling under the skin - I don't know about witch hazel but my skin seems to love pulling that trick all on its own. I rarely get a clean whitehead, I usually get a painful blackish-looking hard mass under the skin, particularly on my jawline and on my temples, and they eventually scab. Luckily I don't get them too often, and I haven't had any in recent weeks, so fingers crossed.

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Re: Spots, Zits and Pimples R Us!

Postby kriel » Sun Jul 27, 2008 1:46 pm UTC

Alright. I randomly feel like making a TL;DR of the thread. So here we go!

Medications:

Salicylic Acid: (OTC ingredient) Some say it works, some say it just dries out your skin.

Benzoyl Peroxide: (OTC ingredient) Recommended by a doctor as something to look for, if Salicylic Acid is ineffective. Quinoderm is a recommended example. (It also apparently stains some fabric, so don't use it and then go sleep on your fave pillowcase)

Isotrenin / Roaccutane: (Prescription) It's "the nuclear bomb of acne treatments." Works really well, but has a shitton of sideffects.

(Random other prescriptions) - See what your doctor / dermatologist recommends.

Other stuffs:

Aspirin Mask - Uh. Seems like your stereotypical home remedy.

Aloe Gel - Is there anything this crap dosen't do?

Tea Tree Oil - Maybe? Some people say it's good.

Sea Salt Scrub - Recommended by a few people.

Witch Hazel - again, somebody said it helped them out.

Rubbing Alcohol - Same good and bads as Salicylic acid. Gets rid of them (maybe) but dries out your skin.

Habits / Common Sense:

-Wash/Clean at least twice a day.

-Keep your skin moisturized. Through some kind of moisturizer is recommended, but drinking a lot of water is a good idea too. This goes double if you're using salicylic acid (or something else that dries you out).

-Keep your hair from touching your face.
-(Keep your hands from your face, as well.)

-Don't pick / scratch / touch / look at them funny. It'll just make 'em worse. We swear.

-Change your pillowcases often.

-Make sure your makeup is the non-clogging kind.

-Get a good sweat going. (I'm still suspicious of this one, but a few people have said it.) It helps clear out the pores.


Uhhhh... Yeah. I think I got most of it.

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Re: Spots, Zits and Pimples R Us!

Postby kriel » Sun Jul 27, 2008 3:39 pm UTC

Yes, I know, I'm double posting. I didn't want to contaminate the TL;DR.

In the instance when you get white/yellow caps, (meaning the... what's the word for the stuff inside? Pus? is close to the surface...) Is it okay to pop them? Yes, I know, no picking. But there's a difference between popping them to get the stuff out, and picking at them over and over again.

I also remember this being an hour-long debate in junior high, most of the arguments being prefaced with 'Well my mommy said...' but I don't remember it ever being resolved.

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Re: Spots, Zits and Pimples R Us!

Postby Sunsnail » Sun Jul 27, 2008 4:12 pm UTC

Dermatologist didn't help me at all for 3 years. I stopped going and decided to do my own thing. It has actually worked very well.

Wash face 2-3 times a day with regular DIAL soap.
Put on benzoyl peroxide 10% cream at least once a day, and plenty of it.

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Re: Spots, Zits and Pimples R Us!

Postby Flying Betty » Sun Jul 27, 2008 4:24 pm UTC

As to popping, from what I've been reading the consensus is that it's bad but people are going to do it anyway, so there are a few sites that give recommended directions for popping pimples. linky, linky

In case people hadn't picked up on this, an aspirin mask is essentially salycylic acid, in concentrated home-remedy form. So you may want to be cautious if you already use a salycylic acid wash/scrub or react badly to the stuff.

From my experience with benzoyl peroxide, it bleaches towels and t-shirts, but left my pillowcases untouched. (Not that I have to worry about that anymore; my skin decided to react very, very badly to it the last time or two I used it so I'm not touching it again.)
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Re: Spots, Zits and Pimples R Us!

Postby hermaj » Mon Jul 28, 2008 1:38 am UTC

Flying Betty wrote:In case people hadn't picked up on this, an aspirin mask is essentially salycylic acid, in concentrated home-remedy form. So you may want to be cautious if you already use a salycylic acid wash/scrub or react badly to the stuff.


I... don't think that's quite right, but I'm not confident enough to say what is. I seem to remember making aspirin from salicyclic acid in a chem lab a few years ago, or possibly the other way around. *googles*

Acetylsalicyclic acid. That's the one. Salicyclic acid is a metabolite of it. I don't know what kind of practical difference that makes, but chemically they're not the same.

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Re: Spots, Zits and Pimples R Us!

Postby stockpot » Mon Jul 28, 2008 2:17 am UTC

Poor man's solution (good for mild cases):
1. Wash and dry face.
2. Pour boiling water over the corner of a towel.
3. As soon as the wet towel doesn't hurt to touch, press it to your face/back/wherever, and hold it there until it stops being very warm.
4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 a few times.

It won't kill bacteria like the fancy medications, but it will help you keep your pores a little cleaner.

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Re: Spots, Zits and Pimples R Us!

Postby Wolf » Mon Aug 18, 2008 11:28 pm UTC

I don't have particularly terrible acne, but, on the recommendation of this thread, I went out and bought some benzoyl peroxide today in hopes of clearing up what I have. Hopefully it'll be more effective and maybe less skin drying than the salicylic acid, as I found when I used that stuff frequently my skin started flaking.
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Re: Spots, Zits and Pimples R Us!

Postby Likpok » Mon Aug 18, 2008 11:49 pm UTC

hermaj wrote:
Flying Betty wrote:In case people hadn't picked up on this, an aspirin mask is essentially salycylic acid, in concentrated home-remedy form. So you may want to be cautious if you already use a salycylic acid wash/scrub or react badly to the stuff.


I... don't think that's quite right, but I'm not confident enough to say what is. I seem to remember making aspirin from salicyclic acid in a chem lab a few years ago, or possibly the other way around. *googles*

Acetylsalicyclic acid. That's the one. Salicyclic acid is a metabolite of it. I don't know what kind of practical difference that makes, but chemically they're not the same.


There was a thread about this a while ago. This same myth came up (actually from me). Someone pointed out this difference, and that hence the chemical effects are likely very different. The person who was pointing this out seemed to have some degree of knowledge about this.
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Re: Spots, Zits and Pimples R Us!

Postby Shro » Tue Aug 19, 2008 2:38 am UTC

Being a long time acne sufferer, and biologically inclined, I've been quite interested in acne medications and the like. I've been on a variety of medications, so here goes:

Doxycycline: An oral antibiotic. Tetracycline family, also used to prevent malaria. You take about two months worth of this stuff when you're starting out on an acne regimen. I would carry it around with me, because you never know when they'll be a medical emergency where people are stranded and they need antibiotics desperately or they'll die! (I watch too much House.) Anyway, you obviously need a prescription for this stuff, so not for the budget minded.

Clindamyacin: A topical antibiotic. I had them in little alcohol pads, and then in a mix with benzoyl peroxide. The alcohol pads were horrible for me, but the stuff with the benzoyl peroxide is awesome. I use it as a spot treater when I get icky spots I need to clear up quickly. It dries it right out.

Benzoyl Peroxide: Used in conjunction with Clindamyacin. It's effectively a bleach and kills everything. But it dries out your skin. Best way of dealing with that is SPOT TREATING with this stuff. Don't rub it all over your face if you're super sensitive to it.

Retin-A Micro- Sweet stuff this is. I used the lower concentration available, and it makes skin look *gorgeous* if you keep up with it.

Salicylic Acid: Also used as a spot treater.

Sulfur Masks: Used occasionally to treat problem skin.

Birth Control: Super awesome option for me. Cleared my skin right up, and made me regular, and all that jazz. Cons: sex drive went pbbbhhtt, which sucked hardcore. Takes a couple months to get used to it too.

One of the reasons a lot of this stuff makes skin so dry and flaky is because it increases the rate of cell turnover. Makes your skin grow faster, if you will. Also, a lot of this stuff actually thins out the top layer of your skin, SO WEAR SUNSCREEN if you are using this stuff. This is so incredibly important, I can not stress it enough. I'm Indian, and have brown skin, and I still wore sunscreen when I was treating my skin for acne.

I see you guys have a couple of questions on which moisturizers are the best. I've got a few recommendations:
Cetaphil Face Moisturizer: This stuff even has some sunscreen built in! Also relatively inexpensive. Their cleansers are amazingly gentle as well, great for sensitive skin.
Lush: This place does organic, fresh stuff, and it's pretty amazing, and smells good too. Expensive.
Andrew Weil Line from Origins: Plantidote: What I use. Works to prevent acne by reducing inflammation. Used as a preventative so I don't even get acne.

What has worked the best for me, having sensitive skin, is using gentle moisturizers, exfoliaters and cleansers, and spot treating with the big guns. Everybody's skin is different, and don't get discouraged if the first thing you try doesn't end of working for you. If you have the means, go to a dermatologist, or else you might end up spending even more money on OTC stuff that doesn't end up working.
argyl3: My idea of being a rebel is splitting infinitives.
Alisto: Rebel without a clause?

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www.justthetipcalculator.com


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