How do I sort out a complex product problem and acne?
Petra – thank you for writing and I hear your frustration on this. A couple of general thoughts that may help and then some specifics. Remember that while products can make certain types of acne somewhat worse, they don’t cause cysts. And, at the end of the day, your hormones and your genes are far more important, especially for cystic acne. Also at 43, you may be trending into perimenopause with more variation month to month in your hormone levels. Here is more information on acne for you.
Regarding controlling your acne well, have you seen a good Dermatologist and at least considered either spironolactone (helps to control your hormones levels without birth control) to help with the cystic acne. Another route to consider, is oral antibiotics only for 7-10 days with severe, cystic breakouts. Again, your Dermatologist can help you.
Regarding products, have you worked with the mineral powder sunscreens like Colorescience or the Jane Iredale Mineral Powder foundation which has an SPF 20? SkinMedica has a new product out Calmplex which is helpful to reduce redness. I would vote against the argan oil, it may make you worse over time. Please make sure all your products say noncomedogenic. Your prescription meds from your doctor are good. Remember it takes 8-10 weeks to see a difference most of the time when you change products. If you have a breakout two weeks into a new product, it’s usually the hormones, not the product. Hope this helps, Dr. I