Beauty Q&A: Skin

Monday, October 4, 2010

Q: So I'm really tired of having these bumps all over my face, most particularly along the jaw line/edge of my face (does that make sense?). Anyways, I am looking for something that helps. I think it probably does not help that I always rest my head in my hand when I'm bored so I'm trying to stop that but it really sucks when i have to worry about these stupid bumps on the perimeter of my face.
I use the St. Ives Apricot Scrub in the shower right now and Neutrogena moisturizer.

[Before attempting to answer this question I asked some follow up inquiries of my own, the first one being what types of bumps they were- the white heads you get with zits, blackheads, or the white bumps that are under skin can't be squeezed (milia)? Secondly I asked if the scrub was the only cleanser used. Lastly I needed to know what type of skin she had: dry, normal, combination, oily. Answers: All of the above, yes it was the only cleanser, and combination skin.]

A: First things first- an exfoliating cleanser should only be used max 3-4 times a week, especially when it's something like that St. Ives on where the actual particles themselves are on the bigger side. A product like this should be used in addition to a regular cleanser, not on its own.

With combination skin you're going to have to be careful with any type of cleanser - you'll want to treat the acne without drying out the rest of your face. Neutrogena has a gentle cream cleanser, its Oil Free Acne Stress Control Power Cream Wash, that has ingredients to prevent irritation and redness. It also has 2% salicylic acid to treat any existing acne and I find it a nice soothing alternative to some of the other products I use on my face.

Still there could be other reasons. As you say you're aware that sometimes you rest your face on your hands so try to cut back on that. Remember to wash your pillow cases often, check where your phone rests against your face when you use it and try not to pick! That's the hardest for me, because I admit I'm a picker, so at the very least make sure your hands are completely clean and that whatever acne you're looking to excise is ready for it; if you pick at it too early you can actually make it worse and possibly leave a scar.

Finally you might also want to consider looking into a gentler exfoliant that could work better on your skin. There are ones you can try that have finer grains or no even no grains at all - chemical exfoliants are very popular with some people. 

The idea is to gently cleanse the skin morning and evening, then in addition to that use an exfoliator/mask a few times a week. You don't have to use the same thing morning and night (I don't) but watching your skin and seeing how it reacts is what's important. 

For more information here's a great article on WebMD  about the care of acne prone skin and one from Beauty Advice on the types/uses of exfoliators.

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