ow! my face!
February 20, 2008 12:50 PM   Subscribe

I just started using Tazorac, and of course now my skin hates me (temporarily, I hope). Any recommendations for moisturizers?

I've been using the Tazorac to treat acne for about a week now. I know that it's gonna get worse before it gets better (thanks to this earlier post). In the meantime, I'm on a quest for the perfect moisturizer. Tazorac makes my skin both incredibly dry AND incredibly sensitive (think sunburn). All the lotions I've tried feel good for about 1.5 seconds before the burning sensation sets in and I race for a washcloth. So far I've used a generic knockoff of Cetaphil, Jergens Shea Butter, Aveeno (regular formula), and plain sunscreen. These were what I had laying around the house; I'm a bit of a product junkie.

What's the best lotion for my sensitive, dry, acne-prone skin?
posted by kidsleepy to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (17 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Yeah that was my previous question and I never did figure out the right moisturizer. I just kept using *any* moisturizer every hour or so and usually had the sensitive skin version of oil of olay on hand. I ended up quitting tazorac both because I hated it and I got pregnant. I'm also a huge fan of Kiehl's Sodium PCA Oil Free but didn't tend to carry it around with me.
posted by otherwordlyglow at 12:59 PM on February 20, 2008

Best answer: I have had great success with olive oil.
posted by buriednexttoyou at 1:20 PM on February 20, 2008

I use Tazorac occasionally too, and I've felt your pain. Honestly, I've found that the burning goes away after a few seconds (and that rubbing lotion off just irritates the skin even more).

If you don't mind the greasy feeling, try Aquaphor. (It's meant to soothe wounds although if you get it on your hands you'll feel like you're going to leave a trail of slime everywhere.) My kids use real Cetaphil (not the generic), and it's really quite mild. I think the non-generic Cetaphil is more viscous than the generic. (Make sure you're using the stuff in the jar and not the pump bottle.)

Many products use an alcohol-based fragrance. The alcohol will sting your raw skin. If you want to experiment, look for fragrance-free versions.
posted by QuantumMeruit at 1:21 PM on February 20, 2008

I love Clinique's Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion. If you want a bigger tube, do what I do and buy M-Lotion -same exact product, different container.
posted by radioamy at 1:21 PM on February 20, 2008

I have super sensitive skin and it loves Annemarie Borlind products. You can get them at places like Whole Foods or your local natural foods store - most will have samples you can take home and try and see if they work well before paying $35 for a bottle. For sunscreen I use Aubrey Organics

I used to use Cetaphil and Aveeno but found that something in them was wreaking havoc on my skin.
posted by fiercekitten at 1:24 PM on February 20, 2008 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I would give real Cetaphil a try. I never had any problems with it hurting me and it's about the blandest thing out there IIRC. I used Cetaphil in the AM and a glycolic product in the PM. The chemical treatments always seem to hurt more in the winter, when your skin is already dry, etc. But once you get through the first few minutes it goes away.

A good resource is the message boards on acne.org, btw. Lots of people on there going through the same stuff with tons of (sometimes) good advice and product suggestions. You could also call your doc and ask him/her for suggestions. S/he might also want to put you on something different. Good luck.
posted by ml98tu at 1:26 PM on February 20, 2008

Tazorac is a strong Px retinoid; in addition to buffering it with a good moisturizer, you could try easing into the routine instead of slathering it all over your face every night. A couple of strategies: apply it every night for 1 hour, then wash your face and moisturize. Do this until your skin stops reacting with the redness and burning, then step up to 2 hours a night, then 3 hours, etc. Or, use the Tazorac two nights a week until your skin calms down. Then 3x per week, 4x per week, etc. You'll still get the benefits of the retinoid, but without so much irritation.

Make sure you're only using a pea-sized amount of Tazorac when you apply, and wear a good SPF every day. More ideas, as always, can be found on the Skincare Board at makeupalley.com, especially recomendations for good moisturizers and non-irritating sunscreens.
posted by junkbox at 1:28 PM on February 20, 2008

I use tazorac as well and yes, ouch, it is potent stuff!

I use Cetaphil (the "real" Cetaphil) and the Aveeno Ultra Calming line. The Aveeno creams and moisturizers feel really good - cooling and soothing (unlike most products, which burn).

I have also read that cleansing oils are a good way to deal with tazorac affected skin, but I have never tried them.
posted by suki at 2:01 PM on February 20, 2008

Jojoba oil?

Failing that, try Curel, regular strength. My experience is only one datapoint, but I find that it irritates me the least. Anything with oatmeal makes me peel.
posted by gjc at 3:04 PM on February 20, 2008

Best answer: When my skin is having a sensitive episode or reacting to too much product, I always go for olive oil -- a small amount rubbed between the palms and patted in gently. It absorbs quickly, is very moisturizing, and doesn't sting even a smidge.
posted by tigerbelly at 3:09 PM on February 20, 2008

I got some Purpose lotion from a friend who said that her dermatologist recommended it after everything else made her ultra-sensitive skin unhappy. It's been great for me, completely inoffensive. Track some down and give it a try.

Also - my own dermatologist recommended some Carmol-20 (or maybe 10) when I had a weird neck breakout. It's got "urea" in it, which is super good at penetrating the dermis and delivering moisture into the skin. Don't worry, urea is completely odorless and clean and just fine.

Finally, when I've been in the most dire straits, I've just showered or otherwise moistened my skin with water, then put on some Vaseline. I don't recommend this generally, but it stops the itching/dryness, and is otherwise a good emergency measure.

Yes, I have bad skin sometimes, but I'm coping.

Also - cut out sugar and caffeine if you haven't already; that can help.
posted by amtho at 3:32 PM on February 20, 2008

My dermatologist recommended Eucerin Original, and I used it with great success when I was on Tazorac (and then later on isotretinoin). I still use it every day and love it. Lasts forever, not that expensive, readily available, *really* moisturizes, doesn't sting, and isn't smelly or greasy.
posted by acridrabbit at 7:43 PM on February 20, 2008

Creme de la Mer? Pricey, but very soothing.
posted by Lleyam at 5:10 AM on February 21, 2008

Response by poster: I'm going to give the olive oil thing a try, because it just sounds cool. And thanks to ml98tu for the acne.org link- very helpful!
posted by kidsleepy at 6:29 AM on February 21, 2008

:) I like it because I now moisturise if/when I want to not daily because I need to, (among various other reasons), quite simply it is 'The Shit'.
posted by mu~ha~ha~ha~har at 10:56 AM on February 23, 2008

Response by poster: i've been using olive oil for the past five days and it's working wonderfully!
posted by kidsleepy at 9:57 AM on February 25, 2008

Best answer: another update: i've been able to back off the olive oil after changing my application technique. instead of applying tazorac immediately after washing my face, i wait a few hours so that my skin is completely dry. i'll wash my face when i get home from work, and then put the tazorac on before i go to bed. this has helped out A LOT.
posted by kidsleepy at 7:48 AM on June 27, 2008

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