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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Alright, so during the school year I was living a pretty carefree lifestyle and my skin was getting a lot better. I've always had problems with my skin, I have an oily/shiny t-zone and I also get pimples around my mouth area. I'm a guy, and have never put too much thought into my skin troubles. Lately though I've been really stressed with work and smoking more often, as a result my skin has gotten a lot worse. Now I always have some kind of breakout going on instead of just the occasional pimple. I also have a bad habit of picking at my zits... I try and try to leave them alone but I always end up caving in. Lately I've been worried about ending up with permanent scars.

So, I need a little help finding something that works for my skin. I'm a guy, and most of this exfoliation talk goes right over my head. I would say that my skin is oilier then average, and it has always bothered me having a shiny forehead. I also have tiny blackhead looking things on my nose and bumps around my chin that have been more prominent lately. I'm pretty sure they're clogged pores but I don't know how to go about unclogging them. I'm currently washing my face twice a day with cetaphil cleanser for oily skin. I've had a hard time finding a moisturizer that leaves my skin looking good, everything I've tried so far leaves my skin looking even greasier... even the oil free ones. The other day one of my friends told me it looked like I was really sweaty or something. It's really been hurting my self confidence.

I also have pretty sensitive skin and sometimes it's hard to shave without making everything worse. Lately I've been taking minocycline and it helped a little bit; however, it hurts my stomach and gives me headaches. I'm gonna stop taking that and I also have some prescription benzol peroxide stuff I use on my face once a day. Where am I going wrong here??? why does my skin continue to get worse? I don't wanna have permanent scars and it'd also be nice to unclog some of the pores around my chin. They're starting to stand out more and lately it's really been bothering me.
 

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Try to find a gel moisturizer. They tend to be lighter and less greasy looking. Are you using too much product? Have you considered a clay mask to clean pores and absorb some of the excess oils? I'm not a big fan of cetaphil. Too mild. Look for a salicylic acid face wash because it will help keep the pores from clogging up. Have you tried an anti-acne astringent after you wash to disinfect? Dont over scrub or over cleanse. That will make matters worse. I always used mario badescu acne products. They do samples too. You have nothing to lose. I had horrible skin and they work. Good luck. Keep looking here because everyone has great advice.
 

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I have lots of troubles with my skin from time to time as well, and yes stress can aggravate things unfortunately. You just need to keep trying out things until you find something that may work for your skin.
There's a regimen I tried out some years ago which worked rather ok on my acne and it's very inexpensive: Scrub face gently in the morning with baking soda mixed with some water to make a paste (bicarbonate, not baking powder or such), and afterwards tone with ACV (apple cider vinegar diluted with water 1:1). Use some gel-moisturizer and finally put some benzoyl peroxide on your pimples. Before bed just cleanse with a mild cleanser, tone and use benzoyl peroxide.
You can also once or twice a week put on a clay mask, steam your face (sometimes I massage my face with olive oil and then steam my face for maybe 10 minutes, then wipe everything of and lots of junk comes out of those pores!), use a egg-white mask.
Have you tried moisturizing with aloe gel on a damp face? It work for some but too dry looking for others.
Also, yeah it might be tricky trying to shave while having lots of acne/bumps..maybe trim instead?

By far the best that worked for me was using a very gentle but foamy facewash without any salicylic acid or anything added to it, baking soda to exfoliate, ACV-toner and a 10% glycolic acid cream to moisturize with every night when I had acne. But our skin reacts different, hope you find what works for you!
 

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Well, if it happened after you've been more stressed, and started smoking more often, definitely tone down those two actions!

If you can, work on de-stressing yourself, maybe by doing some breathing exercises, taking a warm bath and just relaxing. Then worry about finding an acne treatment. By then, maybe your skin will have cleared up already!
 

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I agree with Amanda. However, stress does not cause acne...it only aggravates an existing outbreak. smoking,, well thats not good for anyone but its bound to aggravate the skin as well since it's basically toxins being inputted into the body. Whatever gets put in seems to always be a tell tale sign reflected on the skin.

One natural treatment for acne that is effective is pure organic honey. Yep, sticky but effective. Honey has the properties within it to kill bacteria that causes acne. Other than that, you need to ensure that you wash with a gentle natural cleansing gel formulated especially for sensitive skin. You should be cleansing twice daily but instead of wiping dry your face, let it air dry. This way you reduce your risk of re-introducing bacteria back onto your skin from towels.

I have more skin care tips but too much to type here. If you or anyone else inquires, I can point you to some pretty useful information.
 

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It's a long time debate and studies have proved that it's a common myth. If stress caused acne, everyone would have acne because everyone has stress (regardless to how severe)....and everyone doesn't have acne problems.

What stress does is worsen an acne flare up and make it more severe. There's a difference between something initiating an acne flare up and something cause an already existing acne flare up to become worst or heal slower. It's also important to note that it's been discovered that some drugs that are used to treat people with severe stress can cause acne as a side-effect.

Check out Ancne dot org under myths and
Acne dot com under myths and claims

(I cant' post links yet)
 

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Hi greyfox77, welcome to this site, as you can see this site and these people are a foutain of knowledge. I agree that perhaps you should be using amild mousse cleanser but would add that facial cleansing brush would also help, as you can scrub better with it without scratching your skin. You could try tea tree oil on the affected areas as well. If you need help with getting rid of blackheads, perhaps go for a facial, where the esthetician removes them for you. Hope this helps.
 

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I agree with mony. Tea Tree Oil is effective for many but you do have to see what works best for you. What's funny is acne is caused by an overproduction of oil that has gotten clogged in the pores and then you turn around and put more oil (tea tree) on it to help it go away!

Organic Pure Honey is another natural alternative you can try.
 

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I'm with you on the Cetaphil. I don't see where it does anything.

Try to find a gel moisturizer. They tend to be lighter and less greasy looking. Are you using too much product? Have you considered a clay mask to clean pores and absorb some of the excess oils? I'm not a big fan of cetaphil. Too mild. Look for a salicylic acid face wash because it will help keep the pores from clogging up. Have you tried an anti-acne astringent after you wash to disinfect? Dont over scrub or over cleanse. That will make matters worse. I always used mario badescu acne products. They do samples too. You have nothing to lose. I had horrible skin and they work. Good luck. Keep looking here because everyone has great advice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
First of all, thanks for all the great advice. I've been pretty busy lately but things are finally starting to slow down. I'm settled in for the school year and I feel like my stress levels have decreased a lot. I've also been able to cut down on my smoking; however, I'm still haven't been able to get rid of this acne. I started taking my minocycline again... I figure I'll stop as soon as this outbreak clears up. It's been going on all summer and I don't wanna end up with a bunch of scars. I've had better control of my diet too so I feel like that should help. I wouldn't call my acne severe at all, my face was pretty clear last year. Lately it has been getting bad though, I've had quite a few breakouts around my mouth and they're starting to get pretty consistent and harder to get rid of.

Lately I've been using an exfoliating gel cleanser in the morning and then neutragina 2 in 1 exfoliating/clensing pads at night. On top of that I use some differin adapelene at night. I found a good moisturizer for my skin (cerave) that doesn't leave it oily, but I've had to use ALOT of it.. but the acne keeps getting worse. The exfoliating pads definitely do a good job unclogging my pores, but I think my skin is too sensitive for all the stuff I'm doing to it because pimples are constantly appearing.

I can be a little obsessive about my acne too, I find it very hard to restrain myself from picking at pimples when they turn into white heads. I'll eventually end up popping them and then they either go away or another one shows up. I also feel very self conscious around people when I have acne... especially around girls. I'm afraid that I'll end up with a bunch of scars and funky lookin skin.

I haven't been getting out as much and I feel like I'm letting something stupid hold me back, which brings me to another question. Does acne bother girls? I know it's not attractive, but I'm a guy and girls are definitely attracted to very different things. Is acne something that can turn a girl off, or is it pretty easy for you guys to look past it. And I want an honest answer here too, Don't worry about sounding shallow. There's a girl I haven't hung out with for awhile because I've been away from town for the summer. She's tried to get a hold of me a couple of times since i've been back, but I'm sort of avoiding her until I get my acne under control. We hooked up a couple of times before I left town, but I haven't really talked to her since then. I really like her though and she's very beautiful. I don't want her too see my face and think I'm dirty and unattractive, she's one of the few girls in this town I have a lot in common with. Plus, I'm afraid of acting awkward... I'm painfully aware of what's going on with my face. I feel like this forum is dominated by girls, any advice would be very helpful.
 

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Try to use this routine against pimples, it's simple and easy to use:

- Cleans your face with cleanser of choice.
- Put moisturizer on your face for oily skin.
- Put Benzoyl Peroxide on the areas with pimples.

Simple, and easy to use plus it is cheap
. And if it keeps gettings worser, just visit a doctor. There are many medicins for acne skin, like anti-biotics which help a lot! ( i've taken anti-biotics for 0,5 years and really worked well). Or isotretinoin in bad cases. Anyway i wish you goodluck
.
 

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greyfox-

Stop using the exfoliator!! The cleansing pads too!! That is not a good idea when you have acne. Using an exfoliator will just aggrevate the acne you have. Cleanse your face trying not to scrub it at all. At night after you have washed you face use the differin. That alone will be fine. You need them to dry up. By exfoliating, you are just opening them up again.

Don't stop with the minocycline once your break out goes away. Continue using it as your Dr prescribed it. Stop and go stop and go with any medication isn't doing your acne any good. You need to be consistant with it.

Also, having had acne myself, I totally understand your insecurities with it. I always felt like anywhere I went people noticed how bad my face was. Honestly, people don't notice it as much as you think they do. Try not to be so self conscience about it. Plus, if a girl isn't going to like you because you have acne this isn't someone you want to waste your time with anyways! It doesn't matter what is on the outside, it's what's on the inside that counts-


Don't wait until your face is clear, call her anyways, before you miss the chance!!
 

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Excellent advice! Gymrat, I know a man who has acne and I find him very handsome!
It makes me sad to think that poor grayfox is to embarrassed to make that call because of his face.
I totally understand the feeling though.

My oldest had acne pretty bad in high school. He had to go on Accutane when he was 16. I was so afraid to have him on that stuff, but the results were amazing!! He had the same cute girlfriend all 4 years of high school. She met him with acne and they graduated 100% without it!! Now when he looks back at pictures he can't believe how severe his acne was. But looking at him today, you would never even know he had it.


Somethings are worth the risk, especially when your self confidence is at risk.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks for the advice, I'll stop using the exfoliating pads. I had a feeling they were making everything worse. What's a good cleanser for sensitive/oily skin that I can find at a store? I've got a grapefruit acne scrub from neutrogina, but I think I need to get something else. It has little beads in it and I'm afraid they'll make my acne worse.

After taking the minocycline my acne's starting to slow down. I finally feel like it's starting to clear up, and now that summers over I'll be able to maintain it better. I really hate taking the minocycline though. I almost feel like the side effects are worse then the benefits. First of all, it makes me feel anxious and uneasy which is the last thing I need right now. It also gives me a headache and makes me feel nauseous. It also makes my tongue swell up a little and sometimes It feels like I have to put alot of effort into swallowing/talking correctly. I read about the side effects before I started taking it and they really kinda suck. I've been taking it for a little more then a week now, should these side effects go away? I also heard that the minocycline doesn't actually stop acne it just reduces swelling/irritation. That's why I wanted to quit when my face clears up.

You're right about the girl though. I'll have to give her a call anyway, I'm really good at finding reasons not to go after the things I actually want in life. She just seems like the type of girl that meets plenty of attractive guys all the time, and I don't want her to think of me as a friend. I hate that feeling.
 

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Sounds to me like you have super sensitive skin and with that said, maybe you should stop using the products on the market that are filled with harsh chemicals. Rule of thumb, if you can't pronounce it, don't buy it.

Opt for natural products. See what happens.

Thanks for the advice, I'll stop using the exfoliating pads. I had a feeling they were making everything worse. What's a good cleanser for sensitive/oily skin that I can find at a store? I've got a grapefruit acne scrub from neutrogina, but I think I need to get something else. It has little beads in it and I'm afraid they'll make my acne worse.

After taking the minocycline my acne's starting to slow down. I finally feel like it's starting to clear up, and now that summers over I'll be able to maintain it better. I really hate taking the minocycline though. I almost feel like the side effects are worse then the benefits. First of all, it makes me feel anxious and uneasy which is the last thing I need right now. It also gives me a headache and makes me feel nauseous. It also makes my tongue swell up a little and sometimes It feels like I have to put alot of effort into swallowing/talking correctly. I read about the side effects before I started taking it and they really kinda suck. I've been taking it for a little more then a week now, should these side effects go away? I also heard that the minocycline doesn't actually stop acne it just reduces swelling/irritation. That's why I wanted to quit when my face clears up.

You're right about the girl though. I'll have to give her a call anyway, I'm really good at finding reasons not to go after the things I actually want in life. She just seems like the type of girl that meets plenty of attractive guys all the time, and I don't want her to think of me as a friend. I hate that feeling.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Does anybody have experience with the zeno? I'm thinking I might buy one to try it out. I really like the thought of stoping a pimple before it even starts. This way I don't have to worry about picking at acne and scarring. It sounds like a good idea, has anybody had any luck using the zeno?
 

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Thanks for the advice, I'll stop using the exfoliating pads. I had a feeling they were making everything worse. What's a good cleanser for sensitive/oily skin that I can find at a store? I've got a grapefruit acne scrub from neutrogina, but I think I need to get something else. It has little beads in it and I'm afraid they'll make my acne worse.

After taking the minocycline my acne's starting to slow down. I finally feel like it's starting to clear up, and now that summers over I'll be able to maintain it better. I really hate taking the minocycline though. I almost feel like the side effects are worse then the benefits. First of all, it makes me feel anxious and uneasy which is the last thing I need right now. It also gives me a headache and makes me feel nauseous. It also makes my tongue swell up a little and sometimes It feels like I have to put alot of effort into swallowing/talking correctly. I read about the side effects before I started taking it and they really kinda suck. I've been taking it for a little more then a week now, should these side effects go away? I also heard that the minocycline doesn't actually stop acne it just reduces swelling/irritation. That's why I wanted to quit when my face clears up.

You're right about the girl though. I'll have to give her a call anyway, I'm really good at finding reasons not to go after the things I actually want in life. She just seems like the type of girl that meets plenty of attractive guys all the time, and I don't want her to think of me as a friend. I hate that feeling.
Greyfox, I know exactly what scrub you are using. Its pink isn't is? I wouldn't use any product with the little beads. For cleansers you can try, purpose, cetaphil, or even clearasil. Clearasil has a new "Ultra" line. They have a ultra acne face wash (that is a gel) and an ultra face wash, both look good. Look for a face wash with salicylic acid in it. This works AWESOME for acne prone skin.

If you have only been taking the minocycline for a week, I would try it for another week or so. If you continue having problems with it try something else. I used minocycline and didn't have any of the side effects you are discribing. The swollen tongue shouldn't be happening, and you should let your Dr know. There are so many other antibiotics you can try. Doxycycline, Tetracycline, and Azithromycin are a few you could try. Keep using the differin too though.

And CALL THE GIRL-
just because she looks like a girl that meets plenty of attractive guys means you should jump right in!! You just might be the attractive guy she has been waiting for-
Get on that
 

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Does anybody have experience with the zeno? I'm thinking I might buy one to try it out. I really like the thought of stoping a pimple before it even starts. This way I don't have to worry about picking at acne and scarring. It sounds like a good idea, has anybody had any luck using the zeno?
Zeno=waste of money!!
 
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