How to deal with skin that is both sensitive and acne prone.

Please HELP!! I read your last question posted on skin care for rosacea. My problem is I have rosacea/sensitive skin AND breakout prone skin with white/blackheads and clogged pores in my tzone. Can you please give me some product recommendations that will calm my skin AND NOT break me out?? I really need recommendations for cleansers and moisturizers. It seems like everything is geared toward oily acne prone or dry aging skin. I don't know what category I fit in. I'm not oily much at all and tend to be on the dry side. I'm a 32 year old female living in the south. Also, what are your thoughts on Finacea for the rosacea when you have breakout prone skin? I've read that it causes some people who are breakout prone to have clogged pores and more breakouts. Really hope to hear from you and THANK YOU for your time!!!

Glad you wrote.   I’ll try to give you some ideas.   Many people who have “sensitive skin” do have rosacea, or are easily irritated, but many have also become allergic to one or several of the many chemicals used in skincare products.   If you try a product usually okay for sensitive skin and you still react, that may be the reason. 

  • Many rosacea medications come in both a cream and a gel.  You may need to try both. Some “creams” are very light and don’t tend to cause clogging and some “gels” are more alcohol based (drying) and some gels have more of a glycerin or hyaluronic acid base, for example, and more moisturizing.  The terms creams, lotions and gels are often too general to be helpful.  You may do best with a more moisturizing gel base. 
  • Finacea, Azelex and azelaic acid (the generic) all have the same active but different bases and Finacea comes in both a cream and a gel.  Usually, Finacea improves both rosacea and acne.  Again, you may need to try different forms.
  • Cleansers  (gentle is good) – some ideas  one organic and Cerave and Cetaphil lotion cleansers may be fine.
  • Moisturizers –  Links to two  –   one organic and one not – that are good for senstive skin and won’t clog pores. 
  • Expect to pay more in general for skincare because these products are harder to find and harder to formulate.

Hope this helps,  Dr. I

Dr. Brandith Irwin, MD

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