Personal Shopper: Skincare help for Fiona

Fiona R. wrote, "Hello Outblush! I have been a huge fan for a long time now and I am coming you to for help. For years I have been testing different skin care products without much success. I'm 25 with combination skin that is very prone to breakouts. I would love to be able to find a cleanser, day moisture with SPF, concealer, foundation, basically anything that won't break out my skin. I live in Toronto, Canada with lots of access to many different stores. I really appreciate your help! Thanks!"

Fiona, Janetor here, and I have the same problems - adult acne-prone skin that's oily AND dry at the same time, but that's also very very very sensitive and reacts strongly to a lot of products. The biggest thing that has made a difference for me, personally, is a Clarisonic Mia skin brush. It really deep cleans and exfoliates, but does so gently, and makes the rest of your skincare work more effectively. Also, don't be afraid to take advantage of a store's return policy! Sephora is especially great about this - if you don't like it, return it and try something until you find what works.

1 - Philosophy Completely Clear Skin System ($35)

2 - Neutrogena Oil-Free Oil-Free Acne Stress Control, 3-in-1 Hydrating Acne Treatment ($8)

3 - Eucerin Everyday Protection Face Lotion SPF 30 ($9)

4 - Murad Live Clear Acne Complex Starter Kit ($33)

5 - Clinique Acne Solutions Clear Skin System Kit ($33)

6 - Cetaphil Antibacterial Gentle Cleansing Bar ($5)

8 - Clinique Acne Solutions Liquid Makeup ($25)

9 - Bare EscentualsRareMinerals Blemish Therapy ($28)

10 - Philosophy The Supernatural Airbrushed Canvas SPF 15 ($35)

11 - Clarisonic Mia Skin Cleansing System ($149)

P.S. Any Outblush readers have skincare product or makeup recommendations for Fiona? Let her know in the comments!

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Posted on 09.23.10 at 7:04 AM

I would like to suggest that I have a similar problem as you too, And I LOVE the Bare Minerals line. All of there products are prowder based and work amazing on break-outs and I will admit that I am lazy and I sleep in this make-up at night to and no break-outs in the morning. Hope this helps!


Posted on 09.23.10 at 8:35 AM

I have VERY oily and acne-prone sensitive skin, and I have been using Make-up Forever Mat Velvet Liquid Foundation, and I set it with Laura Mercier setting powder. It does a pretty good job keeping my oil in-check (only a few "blots" needed throughout the day) and it's very light on my face while giving great buildable coverage.


Posted on 09.23.10 at 9:22 AM

I would like to recommend the Clarisonic system. Yes,the sticker price seems expensive but I got mine about 2 years ago and am still using it! It works with any cleanser (I'm not much help there. Personally, I like Kiehl's products) and has done wonders for my skin. I think my skin has really cleared up a lot by using it. At first I thought it was silly to use something electronic to just wash my face but really, it seems to have done the trick.


Posted on 09.23.10 at 9:28 AM

I've been a huge fan of Philosophy Purity Made Simple cleanser which I alternate with Boscia Cleansing Oil. The Murad package that I bought at Sephora destroyed my skin for 3 months, huge cystic acne, product burns and redness. The Bare Escentuals powder blemish control works really well and evens out skin.


Posted on 09.23.10 at 10:44 AM

Vanicream. My allergist recommended it. It is THE purest stuff out there. They make cleaners, moisturizers, plus hair gel and other things. It can be found at Walgreens where I live. You might need to have your local pharmacy order it.


Posted on 09.23.10 at 10:46 AM

Vanicream. My allergist recommended it. It is THE purest stuff out there. They make cleaners, moisturizers, plus hair gel and other things. It can be found at Walgreens where I live. You might need to have your local pharmacy order it.


Posted on 09.23.10 at 10:53 AM

I'm also 25 with the same skin concerns... For face wash and treatment I use (and LOVE!) the Neutrogena Acne Systems line and it's helped reduce my oiliness tons. I use Bare Minerals make-up or Clinique's tinted moisturizer for my sensitive skin, and for a bit of extra mattification (is that a word?), I've found that Laura Geller's Welcome Matte works wonders without any irritation. I'm also from AK and found that none of these are drying in the wintertime! Good luck :)


Posted on 09.23.10 at 12:52 PM

OMG! For sure get the Clarisonic! So great.
I have the same type of skin and it can be super frustrating. I live in Chicago so probably have the same environmental (weather) factors, more or less, as you do in Toronto. For me acne treatments TOO drying but with regular breakouts what else do you do?! I've FINALLY found a balance with using a kind of pu-pu platter of lines. This is what is working for me:
MORNING: Kate Somerville Gentle Daily Wash, Clarifying Treatment Toner & Anti Bac Clearing Lotion (this especially has made a huge difference. And you just put a little bit where you're breaking out. Other things like the Murad Acne Spot Treatment just dried the surface of my skin). Then Boscia Enlivening Amino-AG Eye Treatment & Vital Daily Moisture SPF 15, Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer (light, which is oil- free) and finally Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer (can also get oil-free).

NIGHT: Boscia MakeUp-BreakUp Cool Cleansing Oil (takes off mascara and all), Kate Somerville Clarifying Treatment Toner & Anti Bac Clearing Lotion, Pangea Organics Himalayan Geranium & Pomegranate Balancing Oil (I know, oil? But it is ah-mazing. it really balances and nourishes). Then twice a week Kate Somerville Clearing Mask (a MUST). And of corse the Clarisonic morning and night. (Sephora sells all of this but I'm sure you can find it other places too).
Now that I had to write that all down it seems like a lot... But I hope some of it will help! I totally feel your pain!!


Posted on 09.23.10 at 12:59 PM

The Clinique stuff burnt my skin, which is weird considering Ive used everything from Noxema, to Clearasil, Neutrogena, to that stuff Jessica Simpson used to endorse (don't remember the name anymore). The Mario Badescu drying lotion actually works without nuking your poor skin. I would be careful what I get since Toronto is really dry. Eucerin is a good brand and man their moisturizer is THICK. My favourite moisturiser is Clarins though.


Posted on 09.23.10 at 1:04 PM

p.s. MEDERMA is AWESOME for slowly fading acne scars!!


Posted on 09.23.10 at 1:12 PM

The all-over blemish solution from Dr. Dennis Gross skincare has worked like a miracle for me. I put it on after I've washed my face and before I moisturize. It's a little pricey but completely worth it.


Posted on 09.23.10 at 2:15 PM

I would recommend Aveda's Outer Peace line. Not only is it all natural, but it actually works!!! I've tried just about everything to control my skin, which is oily in some places, dry in others and always prone to breakouts. The Outer Peace stuff is the best I've ever used.

Samantha Merry

Posted on 09.23.10 at 9:23 PM

For 5 years I have been using Origins skin care products. I would recommend Origins Checks and Balances face wash followed by Origins A Perfect World SPF 25 moisturizer. After a long night I might also use the Origins No Puffery cooling mask for puffy eyes. --


Posted on 09.24.10 at 6:29 AM

I am 29 years old and have the same skin type. I use Glyderm Gentle Cleanser, which you can get on I've been using this for years and it is the only thing that keeps me from breaking out. I use the Eucerin moisturizer recommended and the Philosophy airbrushed canvas mineral makeup that is recommended as well. That combination works great for the daytime. At night I use Neutrogena ageless intensives tone correcting serum. It is a moisturizer, and the retinol helps to control breakouts. I tried a million things before I found this combination, so I know how frustrating this skin type is, but now people actually tell me I have nice skin!


Posted on 09.24.10 at 7:58 PM

My dermatologist recommended CeraVe lotions and creams to me and let me tell you, they are amazing. I use the AM and PM facial lotions and the regular body lotion and love each of them. Seriously, I got rid of all of my fancy lotions and have stuck with CeraVe for all of my moisturizing needs. In addition, it works beautifully with mineral makeup, even at the end of the day. In Chicago, I can only seem to find it at Walgreens, but I know it's available from as well. Good luck!


Posted on 09.27.10 at 3:46 PM

Origins' Out Of Trouble mask is amazing for trouble spots. One of its active ingredients is sulfur, which is really underused in acne product in the states these days - it helps dry up whiteheads more quickly than benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid and is totally natural. $10 for a tube that lasts me about a year is a phenomenal value - I love this stuff!

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