Which exfoliator to use on your acne skin?

Question from a client: 

What is the difference between the Age Limit Advanced Refinishing Serum and the Clear Skin Ultra Gel? You have recommended the Age limit serum for me, however, my acne is still really bad.  So I’m curious if the Clear Skin Ultra would be a better exfoliator for me.

My Answer:

From your skin care chart, the last time you were in at Blue Turtle Spa, I made note of 3 potential issues…

  1. ingrown hairs caused by tweezing in chin area
  2. clogged pores in hairline due to shampoo and conditioner ingredients.
  3. the other note I made was about potential folliculitis (a medical condition). 

Because you are a dry skin type (Accutane has dramatically reduced your sebaceous fluid (aka oil) production), this means that the typical cause of pimples (too much oil and therefore a stimulant for bacterial growth) is not really relevant…. You do not have a typical acne skin condition.

My main concern is the level of dryness on the skin – hence the recommendation of age limit. However, it may work better to use a milder exfoliator 7 x per week rather than a stronger one less frequently. I would like to suggest you use the Gentle + Exfoliate Gel every night after cleansing. Believe it or not…but the milder exfoliator may control your acne pimples more than the stronger one.

For more information on exfoliation watch this SkinCareTV video.

Remember to always use the Clear-it on blemishes day and night before moisturizer.

For #1. When tweezing hairs, always tweeze in the direction of the hair – never in the opposite direction. If the hair breaks off without being properly tweezed out, it can cause an ingrown hair, and a subsequent pimple. Using the Gentle + Exfoliate Gel will reduce the potential for dry skin to help worsen the potential for ingrowns, and the Clear-it will help clear it up quickly.

For #2. In terms of the clogged pores and pimples in the hairline, you may want to try a totally different shampoo experience…try the Shea Touch Baby Shampoo… it does not foam nor have any tricks associated with most adult shampoos – it is just a really good lipid rich wash that will leave the hair soft and clean (not squeaky clean like most shampoos do). It may take a little getting used to, but it is amazing how it can help clear up clogged hairline pores that result from regular shampoo ingredients. Most modern shampoo ingredients are designed to coat the hair – they ‘stick’ to it and don’t rinse out so giving you the hair results you are expecting – HOWEVER, those same ingredients ‘stick’ to the skin around the hairline and neck, and don’t rinse out, so helping to clog pores in those areas and increase the potential for hairline breakouts and pimples.

For #3. For folliculitis, see your doctor – they will probably prescribe antibiotics…. If you want to try an alternative approach, use Gentle + Exfoliate Gel at night after gentle cleansing, apply Clear-it on pimples, and use aloCell Gel AM and PM to help strengthen and repair the skin. aloCell Gel is used before moisturizer and sunscreen. Always use a mineral sunscreen to protect against post inflammatory hyperpigmentation which often can result in the areas where you have folliculitis.

The information provided here is not meant to diagnose or cure any medical conditions. Please see your doctor or a trained medical professional should you have any concerns.

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