Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Got acne? Your moisturizer may be to blame

Ok you guys, I know I promised that I would rotate all the clothes in my wardrobe, and share daily outfit posts here. But you know what they say about the best laid plans... Life has just gotten crazy. And I'm seriously in the middle of a quarterlife crisis. I mean, I just started seeing a new dermatologist, and he told me to stop moisturizing. I mean, what? This simply defies everything that every Cosmo girl in America has been taught about modern skincare! Cleanse, tone, moisturize. Every day. All the time. That's the routine; never waiver! Right? So, is my new doc a loony, or does he have a valid point? I decided to find out.

Ah, you feel so good. How could you be bad? If loving you is wrong, I don't wanna be right!

First off, I Googled (I mean, who wouldn't. Duh.). Many, many dermatology and medical websites claim that moisturizing is an essential part of a skincare routine. Ha! Just like I thought. "Experts" (at least, I hope they're experts) claim that moisturizing is needed to treat acne, because most topical acne meds are drying, and overly-dry skin can lead to more breakouts. But my derm swears that too much oil leads to breakouts (makes sense, actually), and that if we all would just leave our skin alone, it will produce enough oil to keep it hydrated. When I protested that my skin is super-dry and needs moisturizer, he said it's not my skin that's dry, but the products I'm using are drying it out. Using moisturizer is "a cultural thing." No way. He said that when you apply moisturizer, it's like rubbing in excess oil. But all of my products are oil-free! Not good enough, he said; even supposedly "oil-free" products can clog pores. Well, what about makeup? "We encourage people to use makeup," he said. "Makeup covers a multitude of sins."

But isn't makeup comedogenic? Apparently not. My doc says that since makeup sits on the surface of your skin, it doesn't penetrate enough to do any real damage; unlike moisturizer, which gets absorbed right away and seeps into your pores. Gross. So my derm gave me a sample of Cetaphil cleanser, told me to use that, and only that, and promised that I would notice a difference. "Stop moisturizing, and you will stop having acne breakouts." Just like that, eh? Well, heck. I'm 25 and have tried just about every acne treatment out there (I'm one of those who never broke out as a teen, but the minute I turned 20... spot city in my T-zone!) with mixed results. Sometimes I'll find what I deem a "miracle product," only to have my skin rebel within a few weeks of treatment. My skin, in addition to being breakout-prone, is crazy sensitive, and seems to ultimately reject whatever products I feed it. I have tried multiple brands. I have tried changing my diet. I have tried drinking tons of water. But the one thing I haven't tried? Not moisturizing. Even though the idea completely freaks me out, I've simply got to try it. What if my doc is right? I mean, he's the one with a dermatology degree, not me. Cosmo and Glamour are great and all, but my favorite magazines can't be my sole authority on skincare.

Step away from the moisturizer!

I'm worried that my face is going to look and feel like the Sahara, but other than that, I've got nothing to lose! So. Can I reduce my own dependency on oil? Check back to find out...

What about you? Are you completely dependent on your moisturizer? If so, what brand do you swear by? Every girl has a skincare story, and I'd love to hear from you!

6 comments:

going-in-sane said...

I think your dermatologist might be right! I used to noisturize my skin as well and thought I was doing the right thing. People kept telling me that when it comes to oily skin the most inportant thing is to moisturize. So I did. But I really wasn t seeing any results. A few weeks ago I read this article on a blog about a girl who stopped using to much product on her skin and used only soap and water. I decided to give it a go myself and truth be told I saw a difference in my skin. I stopped using moisturizer and toner altogether and my skins don´t feel dry at all. It in fact looks better.
So, here´s my story.
Looking forward to reading your final opinion.

-Ana, (In)Sane

Emily, Resplendent Tranquility said...

I use Cetaphil almost daily (I do, however, have another cleanser that I use maybe once or twice a week) and have found it to be the best so far.

I've never been one to moisturize my face much because it produces oil at a record speed. Very annoying, but very helpful on the occasion that my face gets dry from cleaning it. Only in the winter when severe patches of dry skin appear on my face will I opt for moisturizer, which, is usually Cetaphil.

I'll have to share with you some of the things my dermatologist has told me. Phone chat, soon? Yes! :)

Lexie, Little Boat said...

not that i'm an expert, but i think your derm is DEAD WRONG! lol! and to get through a midwestern winter you HAVE to have moisturizer, otherwise your face will diiiiiiie.

i use european beauty products (the ones that can be found at target! alba and an organic orange cleanser) and those are pretty good. every derm i've ever seen says my acne is hormonal, so moisturizing or not won't do much for that.

Bostonista said...

I've always only used a tiny bit of moisturizer but I use one that has saliclic acid and one that has benzoyl peroxide (I alternate them). I've stopped using toner altogether- a few weeks ago I bought Clinique's Acne toner and it dried out my normally super soft skin to scales!!! But I think it all depends on the individual- my derm feels that moisturizer is fairly important especially in the winter but that you need one that has multiple purposes.
xo

Emily, Ruby Slipper Traveller said...

Very interesting, and I'd love to hear the results. I never really used to moisturize, but now I do (Nivea generally, or Alba). My skin, like yours, tends to eventually reject whatever I put on it. Bah! Am eagerly awaiting the verdict!

Raquel said...

oh well you may feel horrified my this but I don't really put moisterizer on my face :O yeah I know I am crazy but I forget about it every single day! sometimes I put some cream of course but usually all I put is roses water, it's like a toner, cleans the skin. anyway, I should start a better cleaning/moisterizing routine!