Tag Archives: Clairsonic

I hate you, cystic acne

8 Nov

Zits suck, regardless of whether they’re pinhead-sized whiteheads or life-ruining, happiness-sucking, hide-your-face cysts. And for those of us who once saw a Discovery Channel promo for Face Eating Tumor and thought That title could totally apply to the throbbing behemoth on my chin, then you know a special kind of torture.

Because no matter how many cortisone shots you get, supplements you buy, or exfoliants you use, those suckers always seem to come back.

The truth is, there is no one-size-fits-all cure for cystic acne. In fact, it has dermatologists just as stymied as it does sufferers. Because even after they zap it with the best weapon in their arsenal (Accutane), there’s no guarantee that your skin won’t erupt again just in time for your wedding or corporate head shot.

That’s why I’ve chosen to share the five treatments that have worked best for me, in hopes that they might be a light-at-the-end-of the tunnel for anyone who has cancelled a night out or hidden behind a giant floppy hat because of cystic acne.


5. Alotta Omegas

Whenever I bump my head, I get a goose egg. Fall and bruise my knee, and suddenly there’s a grapefruit in the middle of my leg. After a while, I began to wonder if this overactive inflammatory response might also be contributing to my acne issues. So I headed over to DrWeil.com to see what I could do about it. Turns out that taking Omega-3 supplements and also Evening Primrose Oil (a healthy Omega-6) can significantly reduce inflammatory response. I’ve been taking these supplements religiously for two months now and my skin is noticably calmer and more even-toned.


4. Skip the Sweets

I went through an elimination diet phase where I cut out common allergens (dairy, processed sugar, gluten), then reintroduced them. Within two days of having a slice of cake, a gnarly cyst parked itself on my chin. For that reason, I am now passing on sweets and limiting myself to two alcoholic drinks when I choose to imbibe.


3. Pat Dry with Paper Towels

I’ve had several people freak out and tell me that paper towels are way too harsh for my skin. But given the alternative — drying my face with a hand towel festering in acne-causing bacteria — I’ll take the paper towel. The trick is pressing your face into the towel, then gently blotting. NO RUBBING ALLOWED. This has helped me keep my cysts flying solo…as opposed to growing small families on my face.


2. Clairsonic for Acne-Prone Skin

The best way to describe this is that it’s the skincare equivalent of an electric toothbrush. Once you clean your face with a Clairsonic, you’ll never feel as clean when you use your fingers. Because cysts have a tougher time forming when your pores are clean. Just be sure to get the brushes for acne-prone skin, they’re gentler than the regular strength and anti-microbial.


1. Renova

Differin left my skin flaky and irritated, making my acne flare-ups even worse than before. Renova — which couples a higher concentration with a creamier consistency — has been a game changer for me. Not only does it help prevent my acne, but it also treats the tiny wrinkles that are beginning to crop up around my eyes. And because it help’s my skin’s appearance in general, I feel like it’s easier to conceal those big ugly cysts when they do appear.