Monday, January 21st, 2008

NEW COLUMN ALERT! Step Into My Shoes is a new column that I am testing out that will revolve around “what if” scenarios. The point is for you to put yourself into the person’s shoes and come up with remedies for them, and offer any advice you can for them. Sometimes the scenarios might be outlandish, ridiculous, hilarious, or totally and utterly applicable and serious. You are welcome to submit your own scenarios, too! Just e-mail them to [email protected].

SCENARIO: I have skin that is dry, dull and has clogged pores, but also has oil on top. Some spots are worse than others (for both the oil and the dryness). If I moisturize to try to help the dry skin, it just gets oilier and lightweight moistuizers don’t work at all. Exfoliating is a no no (most of the time) since I use prescription acne gel that will irritate my skin if I use exfoliant while using it. Is there any mask/toner/peel/anything to make my dull sensetive skin radiant?

Situation courtesy of Sadie!

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15 thoughts on “Step Into My Shoes – Dry, oily, what!

  1. Tanya

    Sadie, I would suggest talking to your Derm about this issue. The sad thing is acne medications tend to cause the problem your having currently and there isn’t a lot you can do about it until you are done with your medication. Patience is going to be your best friend during this hard time. That having been said please be really careful with whatever products you do choose, as some of them can and will worsen your super sensative skin….its better to use any products your Derm suggests instead of trying to battle the problem and making things worse for a longer period of time. Many of us have been in the same situation your in currently, myself included, and there isn’t a lot you can do that will help except time.

  2. Tekoa

    You’ll probably have to sign up for a microdermabrasion which can be done at a dermatologist or spa. It buffs off the top layer of dead skin (thus unglogging pores and removing dull skin) to reveal healthier, glowing skin.

    Second. Stop using the irritating acne gell!!!! *takes out a loudspeaker* ACNE CREAM SHOULD NOT SERIOUSLY IRRITATE YOUR SKIN! Okay, seriously now. If one can’t exfoliate that’s a sign that the medical product is too strong/its poorly formulated (a sad fact in many non-doctor perscribed medication). Might take a few tries, but there are acne medications that will reduce acne but not make your face TOO flaky or sensitive.

    Oh, and probably self evident, but use products that are designed for sensitive skin.

    • Tekoa

      Oh, probably should say “Don’t stop a doctor perscribed treatment without first consulting the doctor.”

  3. Sarah

    I’d also say talk to the dermatologist about changing your prescription. I know I went to a dermatologist for my acne and it did work but my skin often looked just as bad because of flaky dry skin. Now I use gentler stuff and my skin looks much better and feels great.

  4. Kimberly

    I have the exact same problem & the only cream I can find moisterizing enough for my skin is Avon All in One Max. This comes in two forms the cream, & lotion, personally I use the cream & find it works better than anything else of any price range.

  5. toni

    I would take to the Derm about how he/she feels about Proactiv with your acne gel. I was prescribed Retina and he also told me to use Proactive. Cetaphil(i think thats how its spelled) is a lotion used for sensitive skin in hospitals and offices. Its usually used with skin irratation. Maybe you could look into using that. That my skin care army and i have some of the nicest skin of my life.

    • Tanya

      I agree with Toni, try Cetaphil (yea Im not sure how is spelled either) and it works great for pissed off skin.

  6. Leigh

    I’m going to have a pretty specific answer here, haha… get LUSH: Angels on Bare Skin face wash, Eau Roma water, and Celestial face cream. Just a couple weeks ago my skin was extremely dry (it was never NOT really flaky and gross), extremely sensitive from prescription acne cream, and also around my nose and forehead was oily on top… (it’s been like that for years, no matter what I tried) Then I went out on a limb and tried those three previously mentioned LUSH products… and now my skin is glowing, not dry at all, not red, and the few pimples that I do get go away much faster than when I was using Cetaphil to wash, Cetaphil face lotion, and Olay face cream (as well as the prescription stuff). <333 LUSH

  7. Ivy

    your acne treatment gel is probably too harsh for your skin, thus overdrying the skin (causing the dry patches and dullness) and the skin is counter-reacting to the overdrying by producing more oil (which is why you are also oily). your skin might not necessarily be “sensitive”, but it might rather be irritated by an overly abraisive acne treatment gel.

    your first bet is to discontinue the acne treatment gel and seek an alternative treatment (if you actually have acne at all). the clogged pores are probably a result of the dry dead skin cells and excess oil builing up in your pores. i would invest in a good, yet mild CLARIFYING cleanser, that will help lift the backup in the pores and reset your skin – like the MURAD CLARIFYING CLEANSER. to combat the dry patches and excess oiliness, you need to use a good moisturizer that will also help your skin reset and produce the correct amount of oil. a moisturizer designed for COMBINATION skin will help – it will mattify the oily spots and deliver a good amount of moisture where needed. to help with the clogged pores and dullness, try a clay or kaolin based mask. the clay will help draw out impurities in the skin and will also condition it as it does so – CO BIGELOW CLARIFYING MUD MASK or The Body Shop WARMING MINERAL MASK.


  8. Erin

    Try the charcoal scrub from Origins. It’s not very harsh, but the charcoal invades your pores (yes, initially making them black) but once you get it all washed out the charcoal makes your skin less oily.

  9. Erin

    I also really do believe in Cetaphil for everyone’s skin because the best thing to do is to just gently wipe it off instead of washing it, which can dry you out. If you leave that thin film of cleanser on then your skin won’t work overtime.

  10. brooklynbee

    I agree w/ Leigh re Lush’s Angels on Bare Skin. It is excellent for gentle exfoliation and balancing out dryness/oiliness!! I use that 1x/day and Cetaphil 1x/day. :)

  11. Rabi

    I agree with everyone that recommends talking to your Dermatologist. There are exfoliating products out there that won’t scratch your skin, so some products that mention Alpha Hydroxy Acids (Glycolic Acid) or Lactic Acid will work to exfoliate your skin, but not further irritate your acne. Lactic acid (from milk) also has moisturizing properties, so a good peel with lactic acid may replace a separate moisturizer.. Product that say Beta Hydrox Acids (or Salicylic acid) work to keep the oil in your skin nice and loose and flowing, so your pores don’t get clogged. When I went through my acne phase, I found that these type of products helped keep my pores cleared and my skin looking fresh, and I made sure that they didn’t conflict with the acne medication that was killing the bacteria on my skin. Your dermatologist will be able to work with you to see if your oil is a result of product buildup (you can fix that) or hormones (only time can fix that one…), but there are options out there… My only other recommendation is to ask your doctor to recommend a good sunscreen for use while you’re being treated. Sometimes, the sun can react with your acne medication, causing side effects.

    Drama, I know….girl, I was there….

  12. kristina

    i am seeing a dermatologist for my acne and was prescribed benzaclin during the day and retin a at night. i quickly hurried along to origins and purchased a cleanser: checks and balances, toner: united state (for oiler days) and a perfect world (for dryer days), scrub: modern friction (use 2-3 times a week), mask: clear improvement (use 1-2 times a week), and after i cleanse and tone i use Dr. Weil serum (tones down redness from sensitivity caused by dermatologist’s products) and lotion (oil free!!, lightweight and soothing).

    although i have been very religious with my treatment, i still get minor breakouts once in a while but my skin has never looked better, overall.

    origins gives out really generous samples too. it doesnt hurt to try it.