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Combination to Oily Blemished Skin

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To learn more about combination to oily, acne-prone sensitive skin, explore responses from dermatologists and allergists to questions submitted by internet users during chat sessions organised by Bioderma.

An internet user’s question

Are acne and oily skin necessarily related?

Oily skin is caused by hyperseborrhoea, i.e. excess sebum. This sebum is secreted by the sebaceous glands located in certain areas of the body (face, torso, etc.) and their activity is influenced by hormones. There may be a family history. You can have oily skin without having acne but you can’t have acne without having oily skin.

Yes, putting a mattifying product on in the morning will avoid the 11am seborrhoea peak. Mattifying products act like sponges to absorb sebum. They may be tinted but are different from foundations, which clog the pores.

If it’s a foaming gel for the face and not a body gel that you’re putting on your face, it’s ok. If your skin feels tight afterwards, it means that the foaming gel is a bit too active, even if it’s made for the face. In that case, it would be better to use micellar water in the morning and evening. 

For microcysts, the best method is a dermatological skin cleaning, which involves evacuating each microcyst with a small stylus. You will be a bit red for two or three days, but this treatment doesn’t leave any scars. It’s also really effective. At a minimum, you’re starting anti-acne treatment from a healthy place, which helps you save a lot of time.

These days, laser treatment is a very effective way to get rid of acne scars. There aren’t really any alternative solutions. Pulsed light helps treat acne flare-ups but not scars. When performed properly, laser treatment isn’t painful and is highly effective on the face. Just 2 or 3 sessions are needed, depending on the intensity of the scars. On cleavage and the back, the results are more random and a few more sessions are needed.

An internet user’s question

At what age does acne start?

Acne most often starts around the age of 14, but it can start earlier during pre-puberty, around 10-11 years old. 

An internet user’s question

Do potatoes work on blackheads?

Potatoes contain starch, which has drying properties but isn’t the most revolutionary product for treating pimples. It’s best to use conventional products. The potato will only dry out surface sebum, which isn’t very useful. 

There is no miracle product; however, there are many products adapted to each type of acne. You need to be persistent because it takes time for any results to appear — a skin cycle lasts for 28 days. The results can be maintained if you follow the treatment well and make sure to use your creams every day. 

An internet user’s question

Does acne affect both girls and boys?

Yes. In boys, acne disappears faster, at the age of around 18-20 years. In girls, acne can last much longer because of make-up.

Tomatoes contain anti-oxidant active ingredients such as lycopene, which works to repair skin. This doesn’t really do much for acne. Plus, they’re not really very convenient to use! 

An internet user’s question

How can I eliminate blackheads?

By using suitable creams that have fruit or vitamin A acids, or prescription products that contain adapalene. And then following an appropriate cleansing routine that isn’t too aggressive if you use an additional treatment or that includes exfoliation if you aren’t using other treatments at the same time. 

If they’re red, it means they’re still inflamed, so they will gradually fade. If you’re really in a hurry because you’re getting married or have another important event, certain lasers reduce redness and get rid of red scars. But financially, it’s not really advantageous because the redness will eventually disappear on its own. Actually, it’s a scar when it’s deep, white and stable. In that situation, there are other types of lasers that can be used. 

An internet user’s question

How can I get rid of my blackheads?

A blackhead is a comedone. Acne always starts with a comedone, which is the initial acne lesion. A comedone that hasn’t been evacuated leads to a spiral of acne lesions. Getting rid of blackheads is the job of a dermatologist. Please don’t try to handle them yourself. Today, no acne resists the treatments prescribed by dermatologists. However, expect treatment to be long and demanding… There are no miracle treatments and it generally takes 3 to 6 months to get rid of acne.

An internet user’s question

How can I make acne scars disappear?

If they’re red marks after pimples, they’ll disappear within a few weeks or several months, but they will eventually fade. Scars are something final, something deep, something that doesn’t fade. And that’s when you will want to see a dermatologist. It’s possible to use lasers and peels to make them disappear or at least reduce them. 

Those are 2 different things. To reduce your pores, you should use acid-based creams that tighten pores and finish cleansing your face with cold water. To make your skin less dull, don’t smoke, and apply creams promoting radiant skin.

An internet user’s question

How should I care for my combination skin?

Don’t be too aggressive on dry areas — use a gentle cleanser so you don’t aggravate dryness. Use an anti-acne cream just on the T-zone and oily areas. 

The other option is to take an antibiotic, which will suspend your acne but doesn’t have permanent action. There is a risk of recurrence when you stop the treatment.

Definitely. You should apply an effective scrub for several minutes once or twice a week and rinse your face with cold water to tighten your pores. There are specific keratolytic (anti-acne) creams tailored to oily skin that may be recommended by your pharmacist or prescribed by your dermatologist. You can apply them every evening for several weeks.

If they are granules under the skin, they could be microcysts. Sometimes our skin feels granular and it’s just the skin thickening a bit at the base of the vellus hair. If that’s the case, it’s not acne, but something called keratosis pilaris. And there are creams that gently exfoliate this keratosis pilaris. But it’s best to see a dermatologist to find out what it is exactly; whether it’s acne or not. 

An internet user’s question

I have oily skin. How can I get rid of it?

Oily skin can be a skin type; some people always have oily skin. It can be somewhat bothersome because your face is shiny and a bit thicker. But in the long term, it’s very good because it means you will have fewer wrinkles and less dry skin. In other cases, oily skin is a phase related to acne and you will need to adopt an acne cleansing and treatment routine. Obviously this phase can last for several years, but it’s usually just a temporary

If you have oily skin, you don’t want to moisturise it too much. You want to listen to your skin’s needs. Use a moisturising cream that isn’t too rich when your skin feels tight but otherwise avoid using this type of cream.

Bumps in your nose aren’t necessarily acne. It can be an infected pimple and if so, you have to be very careful not to pop it because the nose communicates with the brain and there’s a risk for very annoying infectious problems. It could also be herpes in the nose. So, you should never touch bumps in your nose. Put on a bit of disinfectant with a cotton swab and consider making a doctor’s appointment so that bumps can be sampled, if necessary. 

Bumps in your nose aren’t necessarily acne. It can be an infected pimple and if so, you have to be very careful not to pop it because the nose communicates with the brain and there’s a risk for very annoying infectious problems. It could also be herpes in the nose. So, you should never touch bumps in your nose. Put on a bit of disinfectant with a cotton swab and consider making a doctor’s appointment so that bumps can be sampled, if necessary. 

Often, these are inflammatory acne pimples, which you should not pop. Instead, you should use creams prescribed by a dermatologist that will calm inflammation, make pimples less painful and help them recede. And, you should also check to make sure you don’t need a more comprehensive treatment, because this can often be hormonal acne. 

Yes, that’s too many, especially since they’re all healing creams. It would be better to use one effective cream. Healing creams are more suited to caring for wounds from trauma or after surgery. Normally, pimples heal by themselves if they haven’t been touched too much. It would be better to use anti-acne creams instead of healing creams. But, for sure, three creams is too many. 

An internet user’s question

Is all acne-prone skin also oily?

No. Often, acne-prone skin is oily because it has hyperseborrhoea, meaning the sebaceous glands over-secrete, along with acne. But for some people with eczema, their skin is acne-prone and dry because of the eczema. These cases are more difficult to treat. 

An internet user’s question

Is green clay beneficial?

Green clay is a natural product with drying properties that can be used on oily skin. But it is not sufficient for treating blackheads or pimples. It’s more effective at treating hyperseborrhoea than acne. 

A micellar lotion is a method for gently cleansing skin. Whether you use a micellar lotion, foaming gel or a milk, it’s important to cleanse in the evening to take off pollution, make-up and sweat.

An internet user’s question

Is the pill the solution for acne?

No. It is a solution, not THE solution. And it doesn’t work for everyone. But it is a solution if you need contraception at the same time. 

It’s true that in some cases, women have acne that persists even after adolescence. It’s often hormonal acne, so contraception can be useful here. Sometimes, it’s better to avoid an IUD with hormones. In any case, you should talk with a dermatologist or gynaecologist. There are always ways to find a solution. 

Stress is definitely part of it and there’s a hormonal influence related to your period. Lactose and gluten generally don’t cause acne, just digestive intolerance. I don’t see problems that look like acne. In terms of your blood, it’s more hormonal than a trace element deficiency, which isn’t known to cause acne. 

You shouldn’t make such a big deal of it. Your skin is oily which means you will be much less wrinkled than someone with dry skin. So that’s an advantage. Regarding your acne problem, you should see a dermatologist who can prescribe a comprehensive programme to treat your acne. In the meantime, use products tailored to oily skin as recommended by your pharmacist and go and see a good beautician for deep skin cleansing.

With inflamed pimples, you shouldn’t do too much to them. There are anti-inflammatory dermatological creams that are only available by prescription. They will reduce the inflammation in one or two days. You’ll want to put on some foundation using light taps so that it sticks to the pimple, then put on a bit of powder. If the pimple is infected, don’t use the brush or puff because you may contaminate your powder. Instead, use a small cotton swab and throw it away afterwards. 

First, it’s important to note that skin cleaning is a dermatological medical treatment but it is not reimbursed. It can be part of acne treatment, but you would only do it once or twice, not 10 times. And it always has to be done while using a treatment product. You can’t just do a skin cleaning and that’s it. It’s also good to remember that dermatologists are so busy treating skin cancer and many other more serious problems that they sometimes have less time to devote to cosmetic treatments. But you can find a dermatologist who will do skin cleaning as part of an acne treatment. 

Apply a cream that isn’t too rich and claims to have anti-acne action and light moisturising action. To cleanse your skin at night, use a special “oily skin” micellar water instead of soap.

Products can be rapidly effective; this is the anti-inflammatories working. But you always need to continue treatment longer for a long-term effect because the skin cycle is 28 days. This is how long it takes for skin to be renewed and blackheads to be eliminated. It takes at least one month for treatment to be effective. Organic and natural products don’t offer an efficacy guarantee, just a safety guarantee, meaning they aren’t dangerous. But “not dangerous” doesn’t necessarily mean “effective”. But, all products made by pharmacists and laboratories have proven efficacy and safety, meaning they pose no danger, even if they aren’t organic. It’s up to you to choose what you want, but if you want something effective and safe, you can trust laboratories because they have very, very strict standards. And, by the way, just because something is natural doesn’t mean it’s safe. Foxgloves are a plant with a substance used in cardiac treatments; it can be lethal. Nature isn’t necessarily a good girl…

Avoid wearing make-up if you have acne. Foundations clog pores. Go for a specific correcting stick sold in pharmacies. If you wear make-up every day and your pores are clogged, you will still have acne; it’s a vicious circle.

Use a mattifying cream in the morning after thoroughly cleansing your face (micellar water), then finish with a touch of loose powder applied with a large brush.

Milia are the same things as microcysts, but don’t last as long. They are small blemishes that don’t have an opening in the skin and are smaller than microcysts. This causes small white grains below the skin. Children can get them; they can show up independent of acne or they can appear along with acne. To remove them, you usually need to rely on a dermatologist because they need to be pierced since there is no exit orifice. 

You can either use a cream each day with fruit acids or vitamin A acid for daily exfoliation. You won’t need to do anything else. Or, if you don’t use a specific cream, you can use physical methods: after rinsing your face with warm water or using a mask that opens pores, evacuate blackheads yourself or have an aesthetician take care of them. And for people with lots of cysts and blackheads, get a dermatological cleaning at your dermatologist’s office. 

An internet user’s question

What’s the right way to pop my pimples?

First, you should only touch “ripe” pimples, meaning those that have become whiteheads. Take two compresses or two clean paper tissues and gently pierce the pimple, then disinfect it. And, if you can’t press it out, this means the pimple isn’t ready. At that point, you have to stop or you will cause scarring. There’s also a risk that it will become even more inflamed and leave marks. 

Not necessarily. It means that all of the pus is gone, that you’ve reached the bottom of the pimple and you should stop pressing. If you continue, that’s when you might leave a mark because you’ll be forcing blood into the tissues. You have to stop, disinfect and calm the situation.

An internet user’s question

Will a toning lotion help treat pimples?

A toning lotion helps improve skin quality. It can be astringent, drying the skin a bit to stimulate it. Or, if it’s a soothing lotion, it will calm skin. But it works more on seborrhoea and skin texture than on pimples themselves, which are deeper in the skin.