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Question: For the past few months, every time I am about to get a blemish I take the proper steps to prevent it and, instead of fading, it leaves a purple spot on my face. The lower half of my face is covered in what looks like acne scarring but isn’t. They eventually fade but this takes at least five months. Do you have any suggestions as how to aid the healing process?

Answer: There is nothing worse than having to be reminded of the blemishes that have happened in life, especially when they are on your face. Since your spots seem to fade during treatment, we suggest that in addition to your treatment you wear sunscreen everyday. It is so important to protect your skin, especially when you’re using products that contain ingredients that make your skin more sensitive to sunlight. Also know that the sun contributes to making the spots stay around longer since it does produce melanin in the skin. 

For good measure, here are some product suggestions for getting your skin to a flawless state:

 

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Alpha Hydrox Nourishing Cleanser contains Glycolic Acid and micro beads to help slough off dead skin cells and will also keep your skin blemish-free. $8.49, drugstore.com

 

 

 

 

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Bliss Peeling Groovy works to even out skin tone, but is much gentler than traditional fading gels. It’s moisturizing as well, so using this with any acne treatments you already use won’t contribute to drying out your skin. $65, blissworld.com

 

 

 

 

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DDF Protect and Correct Moisturizer SPF 15 contains a potent micro-radiance complex that diminishes the look of discoloration. Since it also contains SPF 15, it will protect your skin from UVA/UVB damage and future hyperpigmentation. $60, sephora.com

Looking for a good cleanser for your own personal skin type? By choosing a cleanser that suits your skin you’ll not only give your skin what it needs, but in time will make it look amazing. These are our picks:

 

 

For Normal Skin:

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Ahava Cleansing Cream self-adjusts to your skin’s pH level so it never overdries. We love that the creamy smooth consistency thoroughly cleanses and comforts skin on the first application, then removes oil, dirt, makeup, and other impurities without a trace left behind. $20, spalook.com

 

 

 

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Phisoderm Deep Cleaning Cream Cleanser for Normal to Dry Skin is a pure and simple face wash that really cleans your skin. It nurtures skin with vitamin E for moisture and replenishes with aloe and chamomile. $4.79, drugstore.com

 

 

 

For Combination Skin:

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Jurlique Purifying Foaming Cleanser is rich in lavender and tea tree oil to lift away surface impurities and help rebalance excess oil while soothing the dry parts of your face. The best part about this cleanser is that it leaves skin clean and refreshed, never dry. $40 sephora.com

 


 

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Avene Gentle Gel Cleanser is what we call a no-frills cleanser. It’s soap-free, rinses clean, and is suitable for normal to combination skin, eliminating impurities and makeup while soothing and softening the skin. $17, spalook.com

 

 

 

 

For Dry Skin:

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Cetaphil is mild enough for babies and even dermatologists love it. It’s clean, simple, and isn’t packed with chemicals or perfumes that can irritate the skin. It soothes and softens as it cleanses, helping the skin retain needed moisture. $7.99, drugstore.com

 

 

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Lancome ‘Galatee Confort’ Comforting Milky Creme Cleanser is great for dry skin because it’s emollient-rich and milky, giving dry skin the moisture it thirsts for. This melts away makeup and impurities and instantly comforts skin with honey and sweet almond extracts. from $30, nordstrom.com

 

 

 

For Oily/Acne-Prone Skin:

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Biore Blemish Fighting Ice Cleanser is the go-to cleanser to keep oil under control and keep blemishes at bay. Lavender soothes skin irritated by drying acne products, while salicylic acid keeps pores clean. $7.99, drugstore.com

 


 

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Murad Acne Clarifying Cleanser is one of the best when it comes to deep-cleaning clogged pores. This gel, featuring antibacterial triclosan and salicylic acid, helps to gently but effectively reduce acne blemishes to keep skin clear. $26, sephora.com

 

 

 

For Sensitive Skin

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Caudalie Gentle Cleanser leaves skin clean, feeling soft and free of impurities and makeup. This mild fluid protects skin against free radicals, gives skin new clarity and balance, and is free of parabens, sulfates, synthetic dyes and phthalates. $26, sephora.com

 

 

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Olay foaming Face Wash for Sensitive Skin was created especially for the special needs of sensitive skin. This gentle cleanser is soap-free, oil-free and gently, yet effectively, cleans without overdrying. A plus is that it comes as close to being “unscented” as a cleanser can be. $4.49, drugstore.com

 

 

 

For Mature Skin:

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Aveeno Positively Radiant Cleanser not only contains moisture-rich soy extracts and light diffusers to leave you with luminous looking skin, but this won’t overdry skin which is great when you’re skin is older. $7.49, drugstore.com

 


 

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Bioelements Moisture Positive Cleanser is rich and creamy, great for skin that is losing moisture. With natural plant extracts and aromatherapist oils to leave your skin feeling soft, clean and comfortable, skin will be hydrated, radiant and refreshed. $28, spalook.com

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We admit it: Sometimes we’re not in the mood to go through our entire cleansing routine before bed. Of course, we’d feel guilty going to bed without washing our faces, so on those nights we’re looking for something quick, yet effective, to remove our makeup, we reach for Neutrogena’s Make-up Remover Cleansing Towelettes. They are a great way to take off all traces of our makeup, including regular and waterproof mascara, so we can go to bed— guilt free. $8.99, drugstore.com 

amarte aqua veil.jpgWith a refreshing cucumber scent and water-like feel, Amarte Aqua Veil Pure Hydrating Serum is a quick-absorbing hydrator that we can’t get enough of. We all live in different climates, but keeping moisture in our skin is always a high priority. Because it’s a humectant (contrary to the term serum), it attracts water to the skin, helping to keep it in balance. So it’s great for dry skin seeking extra moisture, as well as oily skin because it doesn’t add extra oil. We use it in addition to our regular moisturizer and our skin loves it.

 

Honestly, if we could slather our entire bodies with this we would, but since it doesn’t come in that big of a size, we will gladly settle for applying it to our faces, necks and decolletages each day and night. $44, amarteusa.com

Q: What’s the best and quickest way to get rid of blackheads? I’ve already tried many things; salicylic acid does not do anything for my blackheads or whiteheads.

Woman Looking Into Mirror

A: Blackheads are little annoying things that aren’t the same as typical acne. While salicylic acid can aid in keeping them at bay, it won’t get rid of them on its own. You see, blackheads are caused by excess oil that has clogged a pore. This clog occurs when the built-up oil is unable to come up to the surface of the skin because the pore is misshapen or impaired and dead skin cells blocking the way. When the pore is open, the oil is exposed to oxygen, which reacts and turns it a dark color, resulting in a blackhead.

Here’s our simple recipe for removing blackheads:

  • After cleansing, use a mild scrub or skin exfoliant to remove any dead cells and expose the blackhead. Pat your face dry.
  • Place a slightly warm compress on your face for about 8-12 minutes in order to soften the blackhead, making it easier to remove. Pat your face dry again.
  • Wrap a piece of tissue on the tip of each index finger to avoid slipping, which could tear the skin and cause damage.
  • Gently apply even pressure to both sides of the blackhead by pushing down, then up around the blemish. Think of trying to apply the pressure from “underneath” the blackhead.
  • Attempt this no more than twice— you don’t want to bruise your skin or cause damage to your skin.

 

Allow a couple of days to go by before you attempt to extract again. Between these attempts, try using a clay mask to absorb excess oil. Also, consider visiting a dermatologist, as he or she may be able to prescribe a treatment containing a retinoid to keep pores functioning properly, thus keeping pore blockage to a minimum.

Best of luck.

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