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    Acne in the city
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    luminousliz posted:
    I'm 24 and feel 14 again, and not in a good way. I recently moved from a rural area to the big city (New York) and my skin is freaking out! It hasn't been this bad since high school. I have at lot of little bumps and redness, and then around three big honkers that roam around my face: As soon as one clears up, another one crops up to take it's place. I was wondering if this was a hormone thing cause I'd switched birth control pills for awhile, but I switched back a couple of months ago and my skin still sucks. The only other thing that's really different is my location. Now I'm wondering if it's air pollution. Anyone got any tips for fighting pollution- induced acne? I'm washing my face with St. Ives with 2% sacylic acid and treating with a 5% benzyol peroxide cream at night... which worked all through college but is now not cutting the mustard. What else can I be doing?
     
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    Annie_WebMD_Staff responded:
    Hi there, Acne can definitely get worse due to stress and moving is stressful so you may want to consider that if you've moved recently. A salicylic acid product that you wash off your face may not be left on the skin long enough to disinfect and exfoliate your skin so consider using OTC 2 percent salicylic acid pads such as those you'll find in the drugstore aisle. Clearsil, Oxy Pads, and Stridex are brands to consider. Benzoyl peroxide can also be used twice a day as well as acne bacteria doesn't take a break.. Also the summer humidity is something to consider and you may have to cleanse your face more often in the summer months too and use the OTC acne medications more often. Read more about acne by visiting the Acne Health Center too. - Annie
     
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    Majikbeemer responded:
    Hi there. I just wanted to make a suggestion to your acne problem. I am 22 yrs old and have been battling acne since I was 13. The BEST natural ance remedy is sulphur. Yea... I know it stinks, but i promise it is really worth it! You can purchase sulphur soap at most local health food stores. The name brand I use is "DermaKlear". It comes in a bar. Also, if you see a dermatologist try asking for RETINA cream. That is the next best. I would REALLY recommend trying to give your face a break from cleansers that contain sacylic acid AND benzoil peroxide. They are very harsh, and damage the skin because of over-use. Try giving your face a break from washing it so much too. WISHING YOU THE BEST -MORGAN :smile:
     
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    Cam1985 responded:
    I just wanted to second the notion of using sulphur. It has worked for me. I use it to spot treat only since it is drying. I'm allergic to benzoyl peroxide and SA (OTC or Rx) never really did all that much for me either. I moisturize with straight up aloe vera from a plant I have in the house. I some times use tea tree oil as well. At the moment, I still get a few flare-ups, but those happen as it gets closer to my period. Now I'm dealing with discoloration. As for the pollution, it can make the skin worse. Just be sure that you wash your face (I'd use just a basic cleanser like purpose, cerave, etc and no more than 2x a day) and get the "gunk" off your skin.
     
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    liquoriceallsort responded:
    Hi, Sorry to hear that your acne has got worse following a move to the city. Sometimes acne seems to have a mind of its own. I'm based in Europe and have seen great results from people taking 1000mg soluble vitamin C tablets (the effervescent ones you dissolve in water). They have the effect of stopping the spots from maturing, prevents scars and also helps existing spots goes away more quickly. One tablet per day dissolved in water, usually first thing in the morning works best although I have known people taking two or even three a day. The non-soluble tablets don't seem to work as well.
     
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    LiveWellToday responded:
    I've been struggling with acne for a while myself. It sounds like you and I have similar issues: small bumps and redness, with a couple large ones that decide to pop up. I felt too embarrassed to step outside without makeup on, even with one or two pimples. Air pollution and stress can definitely contribute to acne, like those above have said. You can't help the pollution, but you can cut back on stress, not to mention things that cause stress and things you do in response to stress. For me, my acne situation has improved within the last two weeks after months of it being such a bother. What's changed? I stopped using benzoyl peroxide - mine was Proactiv, and that's only 2.5% bp concentration. It can be extremely drying, even used once a day or every other day, even with a moisturizer - my face flaked. Gross. So, I started using Neutrogena's Oil-Free Acne Wash. I think it's 2% or 2.5% salicylic acid. It's amazing, the difference. Doesn't dry my skin, and I use it twice a day. I've been using that for a month, but I only REALLy started seeing progress when I stopped wearing foundation and powder two weeks ago - anything other than a decent amount of eye makeup. It was difficult to step outside without it at first, but my skin looks so much better - and it's kind of liberating. My mom hadn't seen me since I stopped wearing foundation, and when we went out to lunch yesterday, she thought I had foundation on. Nope. Nada. I definitely second sulfur as a great spot treatment for blemishes. Another great one? Tea tree oil. A study I read about in my Nutritional Healing book found that it worked as well as benzoyl peroxide - WITHOUT THE DRYING EFFECT. It's true. Burt's Bees Blemish Stick with Tea Tree Oil is amazing. Don't forget to moisturize. Alcohol-free, oil-free, hypoallergenic, noncomedogenic (won't clog pores) moisturizes are the best. One with SPF 15 is better. I used Aveeno Ultra-calming daily moisturizer with SPF 15. That worked well. I just bought Target brand facial moisturizing lotion with SPF 15 - Neutrogena knock-off, and a bit cheaper, but the same ingredients. Another thing - I've cut back on my sweets intake. Don't get me wrong - I love my sweets. I have frozen yogurt at least once, sometimes twice a week, with other sweets in between. But learn how to moderate those, especially if you eat them out of stress. Reach for veggies and fruit, high quality protein, and good fats. I'm thinking walnuts, greek yogurt (22g/8oz for Trader Joe's No-Fat brand). A healthy diet is crucial for just feeling good, but it's AMAZING at how much it can help your skin. Not to mention exercise - sweat that icky stress out! (Then wash your face :smile: ) Sorry if this is a bit long-winded, but I figured it would be best to be detailed. So, to recap: - Drop benzoyl peroxide - too drying. - Keep up the salicylic acid wash - make sure you don't wash it off too fast, or it won't slough off the dead skin. - Stop wearing foundation and powder and concealer. Let that skin breathe! - Use sulfur or tea tree oil for spot treatments. Either works well for me. See which works better for you. - Get an oil-free, alcohol-free, noncomedogenic, hypoallergenic moisturizer. Aveeno's Ultra-calming daily moisturizer with feverfew helps with the redness, and is all of the above. The Ultra-calming Night Cream is pretty nice too - hydrating - but not necessary. BUT! I think some people are allergic to feverfew, so test a drop on your arm before putting it on your face. - Watch your sweets! Cut back if it's a problem. - Exercise to relieve stress and sweat the gunk out of your system - but wash your face afterwards! This has all helped me. My skin looks great and it's that time in my menstrual cycle when I should be absolutely erupting and red - and trying to cover up with makeup. But my face looks the best it's looked in several years. Good luck! I hope I've helped a bit! :smile:
     
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    Msafiri responded:
    I had exactly the same problem when I moved to NYC about a year ago. My skin, which hadn't bothered me for years, got all teenage on me. It was awful. The good news is, as you become accustomed to the city, your skin adjusts. What I found is that it was a combination of stress and pollution. To get rid of the dirt, the regular drug store stuff just wouldn't work for me, and sacylic acid just made my skin dry out (so I had acne on ashy skin - not cool). Although it's pricey, Dermalogica Special Cleansing Gel really works for me. It gets in there and clears out the impurities beautifully without drying my skin out. I use the whole range, but I think the Special Cleansing Gel is their top product. If you're apprehensive about spending a whole lot of money on face stuff, go check out their face bar at 110 Grand Street (Soho, just west of Broadway, near Top Shop) -- I'm pretty sure they "diagnose" your skin for free and can send you off with a few samples, so you can see how you feel about the product before you fork out for it.
     
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    Maslyuzik responded:
    I am in the same boat. I just moved to Chicago and my skin went crazy. I've never had acne on my cheeks and they are huge. I think it is because of stress moving to a new city and of course pollution.

    I am trying to basically wash my face thoughtfully and stay away from going crazy w. Salicylic Acid or Benzoyl. Before my elephant sized breakouts, I was using Retin A for about a month or two, so I was surprised to start having enormous pimples all of a sudden.

    So I started using Daily Thermal Mini-Peel by Olay ($22) and Dove Exfoliating Soap, followed by my usual routine of Retin A at night. I am not sure whats helping, maybe not stressing out so much or me using those products, but something is working.

    I have had acne forever and one thing I learned there should be a balance between moisturizing your face and drying it out. I am now 23 and i am still struggling with pimples. Using good moisturizer, esp. during winter and maybe some spot treatment during the night should do the trick. Make up is important too. I try to use non comedonic and clinique brand is nice. I hope this helps
     
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    grahambe responded:
    You may want to try Manuka Honey. Check out the ManukaHoneyUSA website. There are many testimonials there. My wife used it and it healed a terrible foot ulcer and helps her acid reflux. A friend is having great results with her acne by using Manuka Honey.


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