ALL My Current Skin Concerns + How I’m Treating Them (Cystic Acne, Discoloration, Pores & More!)

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While overall I have nothing big to complain about when it comes to my skin, there are a few things that I’m working on right now. So in this post, I’m going to talk about my current skin concerns plus what I’m doing to treat it. If you’re clueless about how to start your own skincare routine, make sure you stick around to the end of this post for some really important skincare posts you need to read.

Some quick background info on me and my skin:

* I have oily skin, though it’s not as oily as it has been. This is pretty common as we get older—even those with oily skin will notice that it isn’t as oily, but it’s still oily. This typically has meant that I need to add products that are slightly more hydrating.

* I’m in my 30s so my hormones are the cause of a majority of my issues. This is also pretty common as we get older.

Note: the images used in this post are screenshots from a video demo I did on the Cover FX Power Play Concealer—it was easier and quicker to just use that than to have to get new pics all over again. So in some photos you’ll see the concealer under my eyes (aside from the ones showing my under eye concerns—there’s no concealer on there).

Facial Hair

I joke about this often, but when I was a kid I used to look at older women and wonder HOW it was possible that they didn’t see they had a moustache or beard. Then it happened to me and now I get it…lol.

In case you didn’t know, facial hair is something that is pretty common among women as we hit our 30s and beyond. In a nutshell, as we get older, our hormones change and our estrogen levels tend to drop causing things like facial hair and acne.

I eventually will get laser hair removal—I’ve been on the extreme slow bop about getting it. But in the meantime, I just leave it alone until I actually need to be somewhere important. I’ve taken the “if you’re close enough to see my facial hair, you’re too close and deserve to see every little springy hair” lol.

When I do get rid of it, I use the Dermaflash which is an amazing exfoliating tool that also rids the face of peach fuzz. My skin feels like a baby’s bottom after I use it. But of course the hair grows back so I’m back at square one sometimes even less than a week later.

Cystic Acne

I think when some people hear “cystic acne” they picture a colony of bright red acne in clusters all over the face. But cystic acne can also come as a few sporadic pimples or even just one. Cystic acne often looks like a pus-filled pimple that won’t come to a head and often lingers around for so long you contemplate charging it rent.

Here’s a more official description from WebMD:

What Is It?
You get a pimple when a pore in your skin gets clogged, usually with dead skin cells. Sometimes bacteria get trapped inside the pore, too, causing the area to become red and swollen.

Cystic acne happens when this infection goes deep into your skin, creating a red, tender bump that’s full of pus. It may hurt or itch. If a cyst bursts, the infection can spread, causing more breakouts.

You DO NOT want to pick at or pop a cystic pimple no matter how tempting it is. Like WebMD just said, if it bursts you can cause the infection to spread and cause even more problems.

I spoke to dermatologist Dr. Michelle Henry (she’s the same derm who gave me my filler—make sure you check out our videos together here, here, and here) and she told me my best course of action is to make sure I keep my pores as clear as possible (read more about this here). One of the best courses of action to treating cystic acne is through the care of a derm who will prescribe a topical treatment or perhaps a cortisone shot to tame the giant.

I don’t get cystic acne often, but have used Sunday Riley U.F.O. off and on when I get them. In some cases it has helped to shrink cystic pimples I’ve had and in some cases it has done absolutely nothing. It’s a popular product though, so if you’re interested in trying it, I would either get it in one of those skincare sets that come out every now and then OR if you have a friend who would also use it, go halfsies on a bottle.

Adult Acne

This is one of my most recurring issues, but although I do have a few small breakouts, I’m actually in one of my non-acne phases. I’m not talking about cystic acne here which I have in its own category since I don’t really treat them the same way.

Although I don’t have adult acne issues right now, (btw, it’s caused by a change in hormones that happen as we get older) I’m still adding this to this list because they can come back…lol. When I have it, I use the Murad Anti-Aging Acne line which features low dosage salicylic acid treatments to help prevent and treat breakouts. Read more about it here.

HONORABLE MENTION: HYPERPIGMENTATION
One thing that comes with the cycle of adult acne for me is HYPERPIGMENTATION. Though I have a spot on my forehead that has faded significantly since I got it and still needs to be faded, I don’t consider hyperpigmentation a current issue for me right now because that spot is so minor. BUT I did have the worst hyperpigmentation I had in over a decade not too long ago, so make sure you read about it here for info on what I did to treat those dark spots.

Pores

I didn’t have many pore issues until just about this year when I started noticing that they were more visible in the area between my nose and my cheeks. So I’m going to continue of course with my regular cleansing routine both day and night (double cleansing when I have makeup on) and recently added the Murad Pomegranate Exfoliating Mask in the area I most need it near my cheeks maybe once or twice every other week. I’m careful not to overdo things especially as this is a new product I’m introducing into my routine. For more regular exfoliating, I like to use something gentle and have since re-bought the Tata Harper Glow kit (it contains the Regenerating Cleanser which I’ll use 1-2 times a week to gently exfoliate. It also contains the Resurfacing Mask which you can combine with the cleanser to get a nice glow detailed here—I do that only when needed which isn’t very often).

Discoloration

I have natural discoloration on my eyelids and underneath my eyes. Since getting filler, the discoloration under my eyes is now more pronounced because the area where I had the discoloration is now lifted. My derm gave me a prescription compound that contained a higher percentage of hydroquinone and kojic than you can get over the counter to help lighten the discoloration, which it has, but there was an expiration date on it (which makes sense as most derms would not advise using some of these products that lighten the skin/fade dark spots for more than about 2-3 months). I still have some discoloration under my eyes, but nothing that concealer can’t fix. I don’t and never have been concerned with the fact that my eyelids are naturally darker than the rest of my skin. It is what it is and happens to a lot of women with deeper skin. And again, it’s nothing a concealer or foundation can’t cover. See concealer reviews here and foundation reviews here.

My current skincare regimen

DAY:

During the day I cleanse with Murad Resurgence Renewing Cleansing Cream and then I use an SPF moisturizer (even if I’m working from home most of the day—sun exposure is cumulative and I still get exposed because I work near an open window). I switch SPF moisturizers depending on what the weather is doing and since the weather goes from fall to high summer like every other day, I’m switching moisturizers pretty often. Read more about this in the Moisturizer Switch-Up: How it Can Help Your Skin and Makeup.

I rotate between Olay Luminous Whip with SPF 25, Murad Oil Control Mattifier with SPF 15 PA+++, and Murad Pore Rescue Balancing Moisturizer with SPF 15 PA+++. I use the Olay Luminous Whip with SPF 25 whenever I want an added radiance to my skin (without the grease) and it also works like a makeup primer. I use the Murad Oil Control Mattifier with SPF 15 PA+++ when it’s really hot out and I want more of a natural matte finish, and then I use the Murad Pore Rescue Balancing Moisturizer with SPF 15 PA+++ when the weather is around the 50s to 60s. Sadly, we’ve experienced all of those different types of weather in less than a month. Right now we seem to be in a “oh, summer’s back?” phase with temps getting in the 80s in October. SMH.

I also use an eye cream–right now It Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Eye Cream because it has hyaluronic acid in it, but I am also going to try the Ole Henriksen Banana Bright Eye Cream which was in one of the 5 HUGE boxes of beauty Sephora sent me (watch it here). Eye creams aren’t some magical product that will give you super dramatic results (for that you need to see a derm), BUT they are needed because the under eye area is quite delicate and needs the moisture they provide. Slathering that cream under the eye area consistently can help slow down the look of a number of things like premature wrinkles and puffiness.

NIGHT:

If I’m wearing makeup, I’ll remove it with boscia MakeUP BreakUP Cleansing Oil and then follow with Murad Renewing Cleansing Cream (Glow Recipe Blueberry Bounce Cleanser also does this with the use of just one product). I’ll also swipe near my hairline with the Olay Micellar Water to ensure all traces of makeup and oil are gone.

Most nights I’ll use the Murad Resurgence Retinol Youth Renewal Serum, but if I’m having some breakouts, I’ll use the Murad Anti-Aging Acne Advanced Acne And Wrinkle Reducer and once in a while the Sunday Riley U.F.O.

I’ll use the same eye cream I mentioned above in my day time routine.

For my night cream (find out why it’s important to use night cream here), I’ve been using Olay Regenerist Cream in the Fragrance Free formula—it’s packed with Vitamin B3 aka niacinamide which helps improve skin’s resilience, hydration, skin tone, smoothness, pore appearance, brightness, and surface cell turnover.


ONCE IN A WHILE:

I’ve just started using Tata Harper Regenerating Cleanser again once or twice a week to exfoliate. Maybe once a month or so, I’ll use it in conjunction with the Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask (get deets on this here).

I also like to do a treatment to deep clean and in the past I’ve used Peter Thomas Roth Acne Sulfur Masque (I also like it as a spot treatment for big resilient pimples), but lately I’ve been trying the Murad Pore Extractor Pomegranate Mask particularly in the area on my cheeks where my pores are more apparent.

2-3 times a week I’ll cleanse with my regular cleanser with my Clarisonic.

Every once in awhile I’ll use the Dermaflash to remove facial hair like I mentioned earlier in this post—typically when I have to be somewhere “important.”

Posts/Videos to Read/Watch:

My Filler Experience

Something You Need to Know About Oily Skin Once You Hit 30

Allergic Reactions + How I Figure Them All Out

Need Help with Your Skincare Routine? Read THIS.

Yup, I Still Use My Clarisonic + Other Skincare Things You Should Know…

How to Get a Glowy Neutral Glam Makeup Look (Even with Oily Skin!)

Girl, Quit Playing and Get Your Nighttime Routine in Order

Here’s What You Need in Your Nighttime Skincare Routine

16 More Sunscreens That Won’t Make You Ashy

Makeup Primers: Do You Need Them? Find Out Here

Adult Acne. Wrote a Post about it, Like to Read it? Here it Go.

Girl, *This* is How to Get Rid of Dark Spots (A Refresher)

My Dark Spots Update: Everything I Did to Treat Them!

Is Drunk Elephant Worth the Coins?

What’s the Deal with the Pearlessence Brand?

Browse through ALL of my skincare posts here. You can browse by skincare topic by going to me menu bar above and hover over Beauty > Skin.

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About Danielle

A former finance girl, Danielle is a New York City based freelance writer and fashion and beauty expert. She's a Hofstra University and Fashion Institute of Technology grad with an obsession with fashion and beauty which she loves to tell you all about every weekday on her award-winning blog. Think of her as your style and beauty entourage all wrapped up into one bubbly brown package. Danielle's work and expertise can be found in print and across the web in Cosmopolitan for Latinas, Allure.com, and more! She's also appeared as an on-air style and beauty expert on The Real, CBS New York's "The Couch" and WPIX11's Savvy Shopper segment.

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