Avatar universal

How do I know?..

I've been looking at lots of skin care products lately because I'm getting way more into how I look and I'm trying to look good but the thing is, I don't know my skin type.. at all. Whenever I look online it says dry, normal/combination or oily but I'm not sure which I fit into. My skin has traits of combination and oily but when i go and look for products the "combination" ones seem to have stuff in them that I probably shouldn't use on my face like milk or soy.

Can someone help me figure out my skin type? I've gone to a dermatologist and she gave me medicine to help treat my acne but never told me much about my skin.

I mainly break out along my jawline (probably because I always sit with my chin against my hand in class when I'm bored. I have enlarged pores/blackheads all along my nose and cheeks, especially right under my eyes. I have a fair skin tone (red head dad, light skinned dark haired momma) so I have kind of a lot of freckles but not a lot of them are super dark brown, only a few. I also get pimples on my forehead and sometimes on my nose but that's rare. The skin on my cheeks seems to be dry right now because of the topical stuff from my dermatologist (retin-a micro gel, used in the morning and left on till night, and benzaclin gel used at night and left on till morning) but normally it feels pretty smooth and kind of soft but also kind of dry. My forehead feels scaly-ish which is probably because of all the imperfections on it but in the summer it is pretty oily and right now in the winter is feels dry and scaly. My jawline is pretty average.

I've always boughten stuff meant to dry the skin, so have I been using the wrong stuff this whole time?.. Help anyone.

Oh also, I have sensitive skin.. very sensitive skin. I used biore ice cleanser earlier in the shower and my face was glowing red, like mild sunburn red because of it.

Best Answer
1422814 tn?1333569702
You're skin is very similar to mine.  If you have sensitive skin, you need to use products that are meant for sensitive skin above all others.  Don't layer multiple products meant for treating acneic skin, which will make matters worse for sensitive skin.  Multiple acneic treatments that strip your skin's natural oils will leave dead skin cells on the surface and lead to more clogged pores.  

Since you're using retin-a and benzaclin, then it's best to pair up a mild facial cleanser (like Purpose or Cetaphil), a moisturizing toner (like Neutrogena's No Alcohol Toner), and a daily light moisturizer for sensitive skin (like Boots).  All these are available at Target for under $10 ea.  

Stay away from lactic acids (milk), salicylic acids, peroxides, and alcohols as long as you're using prescription acneic treatments.  If you ever stop with these topical treatments, a single twice-daily treatment, such as an acneic facial cleanser (like Neutrogena's Acne Wash with grapefruit extract) is a good substitute, followed with the above regimen.  

Keep in mind that any new skin regimen (topical) will take at least four to six weeks to see improvements.  
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563773 tn?1374246539
From your symptoms the dry skin of the forehead can be due to dry skin or seborrheic dermatitis. Dry skin results when there is not enough water in the stratum corneum for it to function properly. Too much soapy water, exposure to harsh chemicals, the normal aging process and certain types of skin diseases are some of the causes of decreased amounts of protective skin oils which in turn causes dry skin.

The mainstay of management is liberal use of moisturizers after washing with luke warm water. Soap should be used minimally. Moisturizers should be reapplied liberally during the day.

Regarding the blackheads, Cleanse the area thoroughly and apply a good mild exfoliating scrub on that. Apply a medicated cream or gel containing resorcinol, salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide. This helps is soaking the oil and helps in peeling away the blackheads.If benzoyl peroxide leaves your skin dry, apply an oil-free moisturizer after 10 mins of applying benzoyl peroxide.

If the symptoms still persist then please consult a dermatologist and get cysts ruled out.
It is very difficult to precisely confirm a diagnosis without examination and investigations and the answer is based on the medical information provided. For exact diagnosis, you are requested to consult your dermatologist. I sincerely hope that helps. Take care and please do keep me posted on how you are doing.

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Avatar universal
I don't have a passport yet, so I'm stuck with local Canadian cities like Windsor, Sarnia, London and Toronto. I think Swedish Skin is only available online now, or something. I need to look into it because they have some really great products.

My derm told me to use the retin-a micro gel every morning and the benzaclin every night which is actually helping my acne a lot but it's making my skin dry out as I mentioned earlier. The constant never ending dryness of it is making dead skin start to build up so I need an exfoliator to get rid of it, I even read a review that someone posted suggesting using an exfoliator once a week at least while using benzaclin. Only one way to find out how my skin will react.. My derm said I can lesson the micro gel to once every other day if I want.

One thing that I don't get though is she said I can put it all over my face but the pharmacist said not to. I did anyway because I'd rather help my whole face than specific spots.

Because of my skin sensitivity + the added photo/sun sensitivity from the micro gel, I think I'll opt for the Cetaphil moisturizer both day and night. I'm going to Sephora tomorrow so I may ask the sales people there what's good for my skin when it comes to moisturizing and toning.

Thanks for the tip on thickness! It will really help when it comes to applying all this stuff.

I'll keep you updated with my results and if this works I may even start making skincare vids for people who have these problems on youtube. :)

Helpful - 0
1422814 tn?1333569702
Toronto is too far away, can you cross the border to the Detroit suburbs for the day?  That's close by!  : )  I haven't heard of Swedish Skin, but I've heard that apple cider vinegar contains natural alpha hydroxy acids to detoxify skin and help the pH balance.

If your dermatologist recommended to use the retin-a micro gel everyday, follow through with it.  But if he/she didn't tell you already, the retin-a micro gel shouldn't be used with other treatments in combination.  Limit your daily regimen to cleanser + toner + micro gel + spf.  Then your nighttime regimen would be cleanser + toner + moisturizer.  Exfoliation should be very limited or avoided when using the micro gel, because it's essentially exfoliating your skin already.

And yes, you need SPF, whether its a separate sunscreen or a built-in moisturizer.  Personally I use the built-in moisturizer, its quicker.  Aveeno Ultra-Calming SPF 15 moisturizer is good, and Cetaphil SPF 50 facial moisturizer is probably the most effective.

Another tip is to apply facial products in the order of its thickness.  The thinner product goes on first, the thickest goes on last.  So apply the spf moisturizer before or after the micro gel based on its thickness.

You'll have to let me know about the micro gel, it wasn't around when I used the retin-a cream.  Looks like a good product.
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Avatar universal
I've heard lots of good things about Cetaphil so I may go and look for that. I live in Canada though (4 hours from Toronto but I'll be there twice this week) so any ideas on where I may be able to buy that here? :P

Have you ever heard of or used Swedish Skin? I kind of want to try out their exfoliator and moisturizer. I'm pretty sure it's mostly all natural and has apple in it.

The Biore Ice cleanser that made my face look like I was sunburnt for a good 10-ish min had salicylic acid in it.. I've learned to not use that anymore. Haha.

Should my basic routine be sensitive cleanser, exfoliator (once/twice a week), moisturizing toner, prescription topical and then moisturizer?

I'm not exactly sure where to work in the prescription stuff, especially with a moisturizer because the prescription stuff has a really strong drying effect. Am I supposed to wait a certain amount of time and then put it on, or alternate daily or?..

My idea was to go about the routine you suggested + exfoliate but alternate the days I use the moisturizer and the topical stuff. Day one: Night time moisturizer, day time retin-a, Day two: day time moisturizer, night time benzaclin and so on, every other day.

Oh also because the topical stuff makes my skin more sun sensitive, should I use sunscreen or a moisturizer with built in SPF? Suggestions on good and affordable ones?
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Oh I'd also like to ad that I noticed most of my break outs and enlarged pores/blackheads happen in the areas that reacted bad and turned sunburn red when I used my Biore Ice cleanser with 2% salicylic acid.
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