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Differin (Adapalene)

Although acne is due to a combination of genetic and hormonal factors, certain influences can exacerbate it and so should be avoided.
It can be hard for acne sufferers to withstand the pressures of advertising, enticing them to use a lot of inappropriate cosmetics. Because they may lack self-esteem, acne sufferers tend to be vulnerable and are likely to be misleading by cosmetic sales staff, whose main interest is to sell something, irrespective of its effect. On the other hand, people with acne may benefit psychologically from using an appropriate make-up which helps to camouflage blemishes without adversely affecting the skin.
Skin care products, particularly moisturizers and creamy cleansers, tend to aggravate acne by blocking the oil glands which in turn leads to more blackheads, whiteheads and pimples. Moisturizers do not prevent ageing or wrinkles and are only useful for people with dry skin. Because acne is caused by excessive oil production, people with acne have predominantly oily skin and therefore will not benefit from using moisturizers. Only if the skin becomes excessively dry is a moisturizer necessary. A light, oil-free preparation should be used, for example, Neutrogena moisturizer, Nivea Visage, Nutrasorb or Almay lotion for oily skin. There products will not aggravate pimples, while heavier moisturizing creams will only exacerbate acne. Vitamin E cream, which is often falsely promoted to help heal scarring, is of no real value for acne scars and may even worsen the acne by clogging the pores. Non-creamy cleansers should be used, for example mild soaps such as Almay oil control soap, Clinique soap bar or Neutrogena for oily skin, or liquid cleansers such as Cetaphil Lotion, Almay foaming cleanser or Yardley foaming cleanser.
Many people with acne are discouraged from using foundation make-ups. The majority of foundations is oil-based and so is unsuitable. But there are ranges of ‘oil-free’ make-up which can be safely used. Examples here are Maquicontrole (Lancome), Demi-matte (Estee Lauder), Revlon New Complexion oil-free make-up, Clinique Oil Free foundation, Max Factor Pan-cake or oil-free foundation, Shiseido ‘Pureness’, and Almay oil-free foundation. True water-based foundations such as Clinique Pore Minimizer and other ‘shake’ lotions are too dry and spread poorly on the skin, giving uneven coverage and an overall unsatisfactory cosmetic result. All powders (dusting and compressed powders) are very suitable for acne skin and in fact absorb oil. Contrary to popular belief, they do not clog the pores.
Medicated ‘cover sticks’ may also be used directly on acne spots. They often contain an active anti-acne ingredient plus pigment to disguise the blemishes. Examples include Clearasil, Eskamel, Oxycover and Clinique medicated cover sticks. On the other hand, ordinary non-medicated cover sticks contain oil and aggravate acne.
Use of an appropriate foundation and powder should be encouraged if this will improve an individual’s self-confidence, while other skin care products should be avoided or kept to a basic minimum. Despite this counseling, many young women are so brainwashed by cosmetic advertising that they feel moisturizers are essential for their skin’s wellbeing. They complain that their face feels tight after washing, that it must need a cream to soften it. The truth is that ‘tight’ skin is less likely to sag and wrinkle, and so should be seen as an advantage.

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