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It seems there are many mixed messages about acne and exfoliation. I'm sure you have observed this as well. Exfoliating [I]can[/I] aggravate the skin. But so can nearly anything else you do to your face! :) Just remember, everything in moderation. One of the main causes of acne is the skin's inability to effectively shed it's dry, dead layers. This combined with oil and bacteria results in the visit from our friend, acne - which I am sure you know, as well. So....

It would make sense that to control acne, you need to: 1. Help skin to slough it's dead layers. 2. Control oil production. 3. Reduce bacteria. Therefore, exfoliation seems to be necessary. And as you know, there are many options. Salicylic acid is an exfoliant - it increases the skin's ability to shed and not block pores. If you do not want to "scrub", you can use salicylic acid. While that is an option, I believe that your suggestion of baking soda is probably a good one. I think that it would be an effective and gentle exfoliant. Let us know how it works!
My skin got a lot worse from exfoliating. When I went to the derm about a month ago, she told me to stop exfoliating, and she gave me more gentle products. Since then, my acne has improved a lot.
There are two ways to exfoliate the skin: Manual (using some kind of scrub like baking soda) and also chemical (alpha hydroxy acid, salicylic acid, glycolic acid, vitamin A acid).

Exfoliating is necessary for acne sufferers. The top layer of skin needs help shedding so the pores don't get clogged. However, manual exfoliation will irritate acne and can make it worse. The best way for acne sufferers to exfoliate is to use a chemical method. There are plenty of over the counter types of acid such as salicylic and glycolic. These two are very good, however if acne persists then your next step is to see a dermatologist because they can give you a better exfoliation such as differin, tazorac, retin-A. These are all derivatives of vitamin A and will do the best job of removing dead skin cells and unclogging pores. This is the only thing that has worked for me.
[QUOTE=Hamer]There are two ways to exfoliate the skin: Manual (using some kind of scrub like baking soda) and also chemical (alpha hydroxy acid, salicylic acid, glycolic acid, vitamin A acid).

Exfoliating is necessary for acne sufferers. The top layer of skin needs help shedding so the pores don't get clogged. However, manual exfoliation will irritate acne and can make it worse. The best way for acne sufferers to exfoliate is to use a chemical method. There are plenty of over the counter types of acid such as salicylic and glycolic. These two are very good, however if acne persists then your next step is to see a dermatologist because they can give you a better exfoliation such as differin, tazorac, retin-A. These are all derivatives of vitamin A and will do the best job of removing dead skin cells and unclogging pores. This is the only thing that has worked for me.[/QUOTE]

Hamer, do you think using SA and Differin is a good idea? I have a Clean & Clear Blackhead Scrub, which did an amazing job on my back (I didn't use Differin there)... I've been on Differin for 8 weeks - it was good in the beginning... My skin tone got better, pores got smaller, some comedones went away. Now, however, all of a sudden, I started getting inflamed pimples again - don't know what to do. Do you have any suggestions?





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