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Thread: Benzyl Benzoate is Working Where All Else Has Failed

  1. #121
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    Sejon, can I ask what retinoids you used to bring you your good results? My Dr openly admits to having run out of options, and this is one of the few things I've yet to try.
    I used Differin gel (adapalene). My routine was to apply a roughly pea-sized amount mixed with a pea-sized amount of Skinoren gel (azelaic acid) nightly, which kept me satisfactorily clear. The reason I stopped is because my skin started to feel very dehydrated and tight, which led me to believe I was overburdening it, so I eventually stopped using the Differin. You might be able to tolerate it better.

    There's also retinaldehyde, a retinoid gentler than adapalene, and much gentler than the standard tretinoin, but supposedly just as effective, unlike retinol which has been proven to be considerably weaker. The only issue is that retinaldehyde is difficult to find in affordable products -- the only one I've come across is in Avene's Triacneal Expert.

    Both adalapene and retinaldehyde have several studies supporting their use as a treatment for papulo-pustular rosacea, since both are designed to be gentler than tretinoin, so rosacea patients have better success tolerating them.

  2. #122
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    Quote Originally Posted by sejon View Post
    I used Differin gel (adapalene). My routine was to apply a roughly pea-sized amount mixed with a pea-sized amount of Skinoren gel (azelaic acid) nightly, which kept me satisfactorily clear. The reason I stopped is because my skin started to feel very dehydrated and tight, which led me to believe I was overburdening it, so I eventually stopped using the Differin. You might be able to tolerate it better.

    There's also retinaldehyde, a retinoid gentler than adapalene, and much gentler than the standard tretinoin, but supposedly just as effective, unlike retinol which has been proven to be considerably weaker. The only issue is that retinaldehyde is difficult to find in affordable products -- the only one I've come across is in Avene's Triacneal Expert.

    Both adalapene and retinaldehyde have several studies supporting their use as a treatment for papulo-pustular rosacea, since both are designed to be gentler than tretinoin, so rosacea patients have better success tolerating them.
    Interesting. Did your doctor recommend that combination, or was it something you decided to try yourself? I'm currently having the opposite problem - excessive oiliness, which I'm really struggling to get back under control (though I don't know if I'm ready to attempt another topical just yet, such are the mental scars of my soolantra course). Having experienced both, I honestly don't know which is worse.

  3. #123
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    I wasn't prescribed the combination, but I found that the two worked synergistically together. Adapalene, like most retinoids, doesn't have any antibacterial effect per se -- they treat acne by increasing cellular turnover so the skin sheds itself more often thereby preventing plugs in the follicles -- so they're more effective when combined with an antibacterial. For this reason adapalene is often combined with benzoyl peroxide (and sold as Epiduo), but azelaic acid is a much gentler alternative to benzoyl peroxide. I used benzoyl peroxide extensively in the past and it severely dried out my skin, which I had to compensate for with very generous use of moisturiser -- by contrast, when I apply Skinoren gel I don't even need an additional moisturiser.

    My skin is very oily too, but skin can be oily and dehydrated, because the latter means it's lacking in hydration (water). In fact, dehydrated skin can often be excessively oily, because the skin can respond to dehydration and a compromised barrier function by ramping up oil production.

  4. #124
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    Quote Originally Posted by sejon View Post
    I wasn't prescribed the combination, but I found that the two worked synergistically together. Adapalene, like most retinoids, doesn't have any antibacterial effect per se -- they treat acne by increasing cellular turnover so the skin sheds itself more often thereby preventing plugs in the follicles -- so they're more effective when combined with an antibacterial. For this reason adapalene is often combined with benzoyl peroxide (and sold as Epiduo), but azelaic acid is a much gentler alternative to benzoyl peroxide. I used benzoyl peroxide extensively in the past and it severely dried out my skin, which I had to compensate for with very generous use of moisturiser -- by contrast, when I apply Skinoren gel I don't even need an additional moisturiser.

    My skin is very oily too, but skin can be oily and dehydrated, because the latter means it's lacking in hydration (water). In fact, dehydrated skin can often be excessively oily, because the skin can respond to dehydration and a compromised barrier function by ramping up oil production.
    Yes, I am aware of what you say, but I must admit I'm struggling to fully get my head around the 'cause and effect' of oily or dehydrated skin.

    Left alone, my skin isn't usually excessively oily. It has recently spiked again in this regard, which I put down to the fact that I had returned to washing my face daily with soap. I've long since tapered this right down again but without a corresponding reduction in oiliness, which has been frustrating. However, even very generous moisturiser use doesn't seem to have any effect on the oil levels - if anything, it probably only increases them further, which doesn't seem to fit the logic of oil being produced in response to dehydration.

    Do you have any tips on reducing oiliness? I suspect that if I just stopped washing my face again it would eventually calm down, but I don't want to do that as the result will most likely be my skin plugging up again over time (which I suspect was the culprit for the deeper, cystic boils I was prone to).

    It's a real catch 22...
    Last edited by davem81; 24th September 2019 at 07:13 AM.

  5. #125
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    If there were a straightforward way to reduce your skin's oil production, I'd love to know it. Sadly I'm unaware of anything that will do that.

    As someone who's suffered from very dehydrated skin, I can at least share some of the things I did to remedy that. Firstly I stopped using any actives like adapalene, salicylic acid, glycolic acid, and even azelaic acid to give my skin a break. Secondly I stopped using a cleanser and just washed with water. Thirdly I would put on a thin layer of petroleum jelly or Cerave Healing Ointment on my face before bed, to lock in any moisturiser. I did this for a few months until the sensation of tightness disappeared, and then I gradually reintroduced the Skinoren Gel.

    I haven't reintroduced any retinoid (if I do I might try a retinaldehyde like the Avene Triacneal rather than go back to Differin) and I still wash only with water most days. I only use a cleanser on a "as needed" basis, for instance if my face looks particularly dirty. I think over-cleansing even with a gentle surfactant cleanser (twice a day everyday, without exception) was probably the biggest culprit to my dehydration, even more so than the Differin.

  6. #126
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    Quote Originally Posted by sejon View Post
    If there were a straightforward way to reduce your skin's oil production, I'd love to know it. Sadly I'm unaware of anything that will do that.
    If you have not read about Lutein with Zeazanthin which was started as a post here at RF by Marcello, an attorney, this treatment is a natural one to reduce your skin's oil production.
    Brady Barrows
    Blog - Join the RRDi



  7. #127
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    Thanks, Brady -- I'll look into it. I did try supplementing with astaxanthin for a few months, which is another carotenoid, but didn't notice anything like the dramatic results mentioned in the post you linked to.

    Also, Nick, as you mentioned you've been using Selsun shampoo with good results, I thought I'd mention my recent experience. I've been travelling around eastern Europe for a few weeks, and had been lax about using any anti-fungal shampoos during this time simply because I forgot to bring one with me. I didn't notice any problems for most of this time so I even forgot to buy one while I'm here, until just a couple days ago my scalp started to become very itchy -- sometimes intensely so -- and I could feel the crusty flakes forming when I rubbed through my hair. Fortunately, the apartment where I'm staying in Kiev had a leftover bottle of a Ukrainian brand of selenium sulphide shampoo, so I washed my hair with that and found instant relief. Now, after just two uses, my scalp is well on its way to recovery. In my experience, selenium sulphide has been the most fast-acting shampoo to provide relief.

    So impressed with it, I went to a pharmacy here to pick up a bottle for myself, and interestingly it even comes bundled with a 1% selenium sulphide cream -- something I'd have never encountered in the UK.

    20190924_131243.jpg

    The cream is quite basic, here are the ingredients:
    Aqua, Cetyl Alcohol, Stearyl Alcohol, Sodium Ceteareth Sulfate, Glycerin, Potassium Ceteareth Phosphate, Selenium Sulfide, Parfum, Cinnamic Alcohol, DMDM Hydantoin, Citric Acid.

    I'd be curious to test this just on isolated parts of my face, seeing as I have such success with selenium sulphide on my scalp.

  8. #128
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    Quote Originally Posted by sejon View Post
    I haven't reintroduced any retinoid (if I do I might try a retinaldehyde like the Avene Triacneal rather than go back to Differin) and I still wash only with water most days. I only use a cleanser on a "as needed" basis, for instance if my face looks particularly dirty. I think over-cleansing even with a gentle surfactant cleanser (twice a day everyday, without exception) was probably the biggest culprit to my dehydration, even more so than the Differin.
    I'd strongly agree with this. My skin was at it's oiliest when I was blindly following the standard 'wash your face twice a day without fail' advice - this was several years ago. I then stopped washing my face with anything but water and even then, limiting it to no more than once per day. A vast reduction in oiliness (and a smaller but noticeable drop in my wider symptoms) soon followed.

    This coincided with my best period of the 12 years I've suffered from facial skin problems. My symptoms didn't disappear, but they reduced to a much more manageable level, allowing me to mostly have my life back for a while. However, I used various active treatments during (the earlier part of) this time, so it's not easy to pinpoint exactly what it was that helped the most. I then had a period, a little over three years when I used no treatments at all and washed my face only very sparsely with plain water. This was again a mostly trouble-free time.

    What happened more recently was that my symptoms slowly began to become more troublesome again, mostly in the form of isolated, deep cystic acne-type boils. I'd get one of these every month or two, but they tended to be so deep and obvious that having one had a very significant effect on my appearance. This eventually led me to make a (reluctant) return to active treatment...

    This was when I went on soolantra. After initially promising results, I had the mother of all breakouts after about three months of daily use. Alongside this came a massive re-spiking of facial oiliness, something I hadn't experienced for several years at that point. I eventually surrendered and came off the soolantra altogether after a little over five months, with things only getting worse. Eventually the oiliness reduced a bit, but my general symptoms remained extremely troublesome. My theory now is that the extreme oiliness that followed my soolantra use inflamed either a bacteria or a fungus in my skin, the consequences of which I'm still suffering. I also realised at this point that my skin was very badly clogged up, and that this was actually, probably, the original problem that had been causing the boils before I even went down the soolantra route. This in turn was when I returned to 'active' face-washing.

    The results of this were largely very good. The condition and appearance of my skin is significantly improved for being cleansed and exfoliated at least semi-regularly. The issue, of course, is the resultant increase in oiliness. Even though I was only cleansing once per day (with a mind to my previous experience), this still resulted in the excessive oiliness that I'm now finding very hard to bring back down.

    So as I said, it's a total catch-22. It appears that my skin needs at least some 'active' cleansing to help prevent problems from building up, but even relatively restrained amounts of this seem to prompt excessive oil production - which in turn probably exacerbates my symptoms. What to do...?
    Last edited by davem81; 29th September 2019 at 06:35 PM.

  9. #129
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    Helo Nick, Sorry I did not read the whole thing but I have some questions:

    - What are your symptoms exactly?
    I realized that you had an oily skin but what about your rosacea? Do you have a tendency to flush? after eating for example? Does the BB help for flushes ?

    I ask because I think I have a type of rosacea that is more "internal", I mean that I feel that my whole body is going bad, I have gastric problems, fatigue , hot flushs, etc. And I wonder if you also had these symptoms?

    Because for this type of symptoms I doubt that a topical product is enough to solve the internal problem (auto-immunity or hormonal, I guess)

  10. #130
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    Quote Originally Posted by davem81 View Post
    I'd strongly agree with this. My skin was at it's oiliest when I was blindly following the standard 'wash your face twice a day without fail' advice - this was several years ago. I then stopped washing my face with anything but water and even then, limiting it to no more than once per day. A vast reduction in oiliness (and a smaller but noticeable drop in my wider symptoms) soon followed.

    This coincided with my best period of the 12 years I've suffered from facial skin problems. My symptoms didn't disappear, but they reduced to a much more manageable level, allowing me to mostly have my life back for a while. However, I used various active treatments during (the earlier part of) this time, so it's not easy to pinpoint exactly what it was that helped the most. I then had a period, a little over three years when I used no treatments at all and washed my face only very sparsely with plain water. This was again a mostly trouble-free time.

    What happened more recently was that my symptoms slowly began to become more troublesome again, mostly in the form of isolated, deep cystic acne-type boils. I'd get one of these every month or two, but they tended to be so deep and obvious that having one had a very significant effect on my appearance. This eventually led me to make a (reluctant) return to active treatment...

    This was when I went on soolantra. After initially promising results, I had the mother of all breakouts after about three months of daily use. Alongside this came a massive re-spiking of facial oiliness, something I hadn't experienced for several years at that point. I eventually surrendered and came off the soolantra altogether after a little over five months, with things only getting worse. Eventually the oiliness reduced a bit, but my general symptoms remained extremely troublesome. My theory now is that the extreme oiliness that followed my soolantra use inflamed either a bacteria or a fungus in my skin, the consequences of which I'm still suffering. I also realised at this point that my skin was very badly clogged up, and that this was actually, probably, the original problem that had been causing the boils before I even went down the soolantra route. This in turn was when I returned to 'active' face-washing.

    The results of this were largely very good. The condition and appearance of my skin is significantly improved for being cleansed and exfoliated at least semi-regularly. The issue, of course, is the resultant increase in oiliness. Even though I was only cleansing once per day (with a mind to my previous experience), this still resulted in the excessive oiliness that I'm now finding very hard to bring back down.

    So as I said, it's a total catch-22. It appears that my skin needs at least some 'active' cleansing to help prevent problems, but even relatively restrained amountsof this seem to prompt excessive oil production. What to do...?
    So happy that i comeback ,to share my experience, and hearing from you guys
    So it has been now more than one year that’s i am using diluted zz cream only night applications,i was cleansing with sulfur soap but I stopped using it because i recognized that it dry out my face so i was cleaning my face only with water , my face was doing well and still,but i was thinking recently that zz cream residue stayed on my face because i was cleaning only with water and I experienced dead skin when i took hot shower once a week,so i decided to purchased eucerin dermatoclean a mild cleansing milk that i decided to used it every day ,after 2weeks and boom i had rosacea flare up that i am dealing with it till now,now i using only water and zz cream
    But the weird thing that i started developing a deep cystic acne in my forehead that i never had problem with
    I don’t use zz cream on my forehead because i didn’t have problems there,i remember i applied one or two times in my forehead
    IMG_1599.JPG
    Here is a photo of my forehead and it hurts us hell



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