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I used to have hormonal acne that looked similar to yours, but Ecological Formula's Melazepam (with Azelaic Acid) cleared it up 100%. It's stronger than the Ordinary's.
I mix mine in with moisturizer as it is strong and irritating on its own but I have no problems with it whatsoever. It's my holy grail!!!
I think you’re crazy beautiful and I love your nose ring. I understand how difficult it is to feel that way when you’re unhappy with your skin, but just sharing what I see looking at your photo.
I agree with others suggesting to see a doc because a prescription might be the best route if your acne is hormonal, or symptomatic of something else (like pcos or a food sensitivity, etc.).
In my anecdotal experience, my personal skin saver was azelaic acid. I’ve used it once a night for about 6 weeks now and it cleared my skin significantly. I had several breakouts along my jaw, neck, chin and suspect they were hormonal/inflammatory. They are gone and without pigmentation. The amazing thing about azelaic acid is studies have proven it (at 15%-20% concentrations) to be more effective than 2% hydroquinone (with similar efficacy to 4%) at skin lightening by inhibiting malignant melanocytes (the cells that govern melanin production) to reduce post-inflammatory marks and scarring (PIH). Yet, it doesn’t target “normal” pigmentation (like my full-face of freckles).
Here’s an older study, but in my peak of researching I found many others in support of these and similar claims.
Another anecdote - my skin also seems brighter, has a better tone, and when I popped a whitehead two days ago (which I honestly don’t usually do, but I knew this would speed up its cycle from past experience), I treated it with my same nightly routine of moisturizer and azelaic acid (15% Finacea gel), with CeraVe healing ointment and this morning, it feels like the rest of my skin (smooth, no scab) and is hardly even noticeable. Even to myself, it’s sorta unreal. Here’s the remnants on *post-day 3 of this pimple.
So, if you can’t tell, I’m passionate about this stuff because it’s been a game changer for my routine and I’m fine if that means using it for years to come. Finacea works for me and I buy it for ~$30 (with shipping) online from an international pharmacy, whereas it’s usually RX and much more costly. Amazon sells a 20% alternative called Melazepam that I haven’t tried, but other SKAs have and seem to like, too. Obligatory YMMV, but I think it’s worth trying when clinically it’s well-tolerated and perhaps it will do wonders for you, too. All the best in your skin journey, OP. <3
Of course! I remember making posts a year ago and two years ago and desperately awaiting for someone to answer my questions. So I always like to pay it forward!
So to be honest. I stuck with a very basic routine of wash, apply medicated lotions, moisturize, and then sunscreen.
I did that for a long time. Because I was so nervous to add new products in.
Right now, my face wash can be one of two products. My face loves Vanicream, which I get at target. Or I will use La Roche Posay face wash (the non foaming kind. Anything with foam kills my face).
Those two are my HGs in terms of face wash.
CeraVe PM moisturizer is my HG. I use it AM, PM and any time in between. Lol. I love it. I will go through bottles and I don’t care how much it costs.
Elta MD sunscreen is my HG. I love that it’s tinted. It’s a physical barrier rather than chemical. (Which my face hates) it doesn’t smell like sunscreen. It goes on great. It’s bomb.
My big thing was starting facemask sheets. I did a lot of research on what facemasks were best for those with sensitive skin or rosacea. What I found was Leaders Insolution tea tree face masks. My face loves tea tree.
Any of the Leaders facemasks were awesome for me. I still buy them on amazon.
I also did research on Rosacea and chemical exfoliation. I was one of those people who used to rub the horrid St Ives scrub all over my face thinking it was exfoliating. Not realizing that I was damaging my moister barrier. I read on several subreddits that those with Rosacea benefit more from AAs rather than BHAs or AHAs. So I found a thread that recommended Melazepam.
That’s the one I use. I use it every third day or so. It helps chemically exfoliate my skin.
I have FINALLY just started using Witch hazel as a toner. I bought Thayers alcohol free with rose hip in it. And it’s awesome. I apply it after I wash my face and before I moisturize.
I also just bought The Ordinary’s Nicinamide and Zinc serum. It has been wonderful for minimizing pores and helping with the texture of my skin. My face loves nicinamide. ( Which is why CeraVe PM lotion is my HG). And zinc.
To help with redness. I use a a small amount of color correcting primer along with the tinted sunscreen. It works wonders.
2nd the azelaic acid! It’s been helping with my hormonal acne much faster than Tretinoin, and hasn’t dried my skin out or made me peel in the process.
I use Ecological Formulas 20% Melazepam Cream (Amazon, $12.90) because I’m cheap, and it’s made a huge difference in terms of both new acne (virtually none) and pigmentation from old spots.
Best of luck with your skin! I know it can feel hopeless, but you’ll get through this and look great.
No prescription required! I ordered his from amazon, although it looks like the price went up a few dollars since I ordered it.
Azelaic acid is often recommended for hormonal acne. This is available on Canadian Amazon: https://www.amazon.ca/Ecological-Formulas-Melazepam-Cream/dp/B018IVHWRQ/
If you're looking for a new moisturizer, Cerave, Vanicream, Eucerin, and La Roche Posay are popular brands.
Sorry just saw this but I got it here