[Skin Concerns] 36- suddenly dehydrated, dry, flaky, sensitive and acne.


I’ve had pretty clear skin all my life. Always fighting dryness and dehydration but nothing a bit of moisturizer couldn’t fix. Occasional pimple, usually around my period.

I started getting raging cystic acne about 6 months ago. I’d get 2-3 at a time and they were huge and painful and never came to a head. Always around chin and jawline.

Those seem to have stopped, thank goodness. Haven’t had one in a couple months. But my skin just seems to be getting worse overall. I’ve tried a few different products but nothing seems to help at all and a couple made it worse.

Current routine is-


splash cool water and pat dry

TO Matrixyl 10% + HA

CeraVe PM

Nivea cream in the blue tin

TO squalane

Biore UV watery essence


Same as morning but wash first with Cetaphil gentle and sometimes finish with a layer of Vaseline (and skip sunscreen)

I’ve tried TO vitamin C serum and it would seem to help for like the next day but make my skin even dryer and more flaky. Tried strides red on my chin for the acne but no luck and just made it more sensitive and flaky.

Have tried a few different moisturizers and pure HA but nothing made a difference. I think Neutrogena hydro boost may have contributed to the cystic acne but I’m not certain. Could be coincidence but I’m scared if it now haha.

I have a lot of acne scarring now on top of the sun damage and discoloration from tanning when I was younger (damn you early 2000s!) so I hoped to start a retinoid this winter but there’s no way my skin could endure it right now.

Even after layering massive amounts of all of my oils and moisturizers, my skin drinks it up and I look dried out an hour later. I do drink a lot of water and am otherwise hydrated. I have a janky kidney so Im good about staying on top of that.

I plan on seeing a derm soon if this doesn’t clear up. Spent over a decade basically living in hospitals and doctors offices (the janky kidney thing) so I have a bit of trauma and anxiety about doctor stuff and kinda struggle to force myself to an appt. Working on it.. But in the mean time, if any of you lovelies have suggestions or advice, I'm all ears. Thanks a bunch.

Also, thanks iPhone camera for the horrifyingly detailed images that somehow look even worse than I thought.

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