Skincare I Miss Using

Full Glam Makeup with Chocolate Brown Mascara!

In late summer of 2022, I had a major skin issue pop up. I’ve had bouts of dermatitis and perioral dermatitis before, I’ve suffered with psoriasis my entire life, and I sometimes have random eczema rashes that pop up . . .basically if it’s a skin issue, I’ve likely had it.

I generally have clear skin, but it was very common for me to get hormonal acne along my jawline. There were times, though, when I would be completely clear, like when I was using Retinol Reform religiously.

The skin issue that occurred in late 2022 was an angry, red, full-face rash that covered my forehead, spread down along my cheeks, and through my chin. I rushed to my dermatologist and she prescribed me a few different creams and an oral antibiotic.

Long story short, the creams did very little but the oral antibiotic fixed every single skin issue I was having.

I’ve since tapered off of the oral antibiotic and the skin irritation returned. Not in full force, but the texture and sensitivity are back.

I am on a quest to find the cause of my skin issues, which is much easier said than done!

I am working with a handful of doctors to assist in figuring out what is going on. I’ve already received a lot of advice from well-meaning people online, but at this time I’m focusing on my doctor’s recommendations.

This post, though, is all about what I’ve missed using since I pulled back on my skincare routine.

You know, I speak candidly about my love for something while I’m using it, but if I love something I don’t often quit using it, you know? Since I had to pull back from so many products, here are a few things I genuinely miss using.

I miss using Retinol Reform. That product truly did wonders for my skin in clearing it up, balancing texture, adding brightness, etc. I look back at photos of my skin when it was glowing, balanced, and clear. . . and that was when I was on a regular routine of Retinol Reform.

I miss using Skinceuticals Triple Lipid Restore. That was the richest, most hydrating moisturizer I’ve used and it felt so good on my dry skin. I hope I can get back to this product because my skin felt so great on it.

I miss using Vitamin C! I loved the Truth Serum from Ole Henricksen. I got so much hydration and brightness from that product! Admittedly I had been testing a few other Vitamin C products, but when I reflect back on skincare that really provided a noticeable change to my skin, this was one of those.

There are so many other products I have loved and used over the years, and to be completely honest I’m not sure how to proceed in the skincare realm while I take care of my skin. At this time I’m using dermatologist-recommended products and slowly testing makeup that has been fine for me in the past. It’s a long, daunting process, that is for sure.

“But Kate, what if those products caused your skin issue?” There isn’t a simple way to determine this unless I do a patch allergy test at an allergist. I use a lot of different products, so it truly could be one of a hundred things. . . at this time I’m looking at determining if the problem is from a root cause in my body or if it is, in fact, an external ingredient that has triggered a reaction.


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Lelia Fite says · 02.02.23

I had a rash/symptoms that you’re describing. After over a year, many prescriptions and skin allergy testing, I finally figured out it was caused by my facial cleanser. I tried various cleansers and what finally “worked” is Kiehl’s Clearly Corrective Brightening and Exfoliating Cleanser. No idea why this one works but my skin is back to “normal” although I still get small bumps (but not full rash) if I don’t use the steroid-like prescription cream.

Good luck!

Hannah says · 02.02.23

I went through a similar situation and got tired of trying to figure out, one-by-one what caused my skin issue, if anything at all related to the makeup/skincare products I was using. So, I threw everything out and started over completely. The EWG Skin Deep website is a great tool to use to help determine what brands and specific products have the least amount of harmful chemicals in them. I now use that site to look up products all the time before I buy, and like to share it with others who struggle with skin issues. Best of luck to you.

Liz Thiel says · 02.02.23

I love how gracefully you shared that you are working with doctors and weren’t looking for unsolicited advice. I can think of half a dozen situations where a well crafted response like that would have saved me energy and time. Thank you for demonstrating boundaries so well.

Katherine says · 02.02.23

When my skin gets dry or irritated my go-to is plain old Vaseline or Aquaphor. Perhaps it makes some people break out but I’ve never gotten a single zit from either. And they soothe redness and irritation in a snap. I’m a big believer in simple products with simple ingredients and petrolatum is the basis for every wound care ointment on the market.

Brittany says · 02.02.23

I hear you and can understand where you’re coming from. I’ve always had very sensitive skin. This past year, I developed a skin reaction to my makeup – brands that I had been using forever. After doing extensive patch testing, I discovered that I’m allergic to limonene, lanolin and carmine – three very common ingredients in makeup, I’ve come to learn. While a bit overwhelming at times, I’ve now learned so much about skincare and makeup ingredients. I’m enjoying the discovery of learning about cleaner brands that work just as well! I’m sorry you’re experiencing this frustration, and hopefully your med team can help you navigate what is the root cause!

Sara K. says · 02.03.23

I have the exact same issue with my skin and yes it took me a couple of years to get rid of it. The steroid cream and antibiotics always caused a rebound breakout when I stopped. I ended up using a combination of Soolantra (ivermectin cream) at night and Metronidazole in the morning for 2 months and it finally cleared up and has been clear for a year now. The dermatologist started with Tacrolimus at night and switched to Soolantra because after I stopped the Tacrolimus the rash would return after a month or so and now I have been clear for awhile. I am back with my retinol cream and other products fine and I no longer use the prescription creams. Ask your dermatologist about this combo of ointments.

Amy says · 02.03.23

You could try eliminating gluten for a week to see if it makes a difference. I think your skin challenges are related to a food sensitivity.

Kate says · 02.03.23

I’m working with doctors and have determined that I do not have a gluten sensitivity.

Tracy Stegall says · 02.04.23

I have had a similar issue. Strongly encourage the allergist! I ended up being allergic to several additives and knowing exactly what they are helps me choose products.
I am unfortunately allergic to coconut which is rare. It’s HARD to find products without any derivatives. But…if I’m careful in reviewing ingredients I avoid the rashes and other effects.

Kate says · 02.04.23

I’ve had a full allergy panel, no allergies!

Kate says · 02.05.23

I just wanted to say thank you for sharing your journey with this. I am going through something similar. It’s made me so self conscious about my face. My dermatologist has me on a prescription face wash and topical cream along with a certain vitamin. It’s only gotten worse though so the antibiotic will be the next step when I got back in a couple of weeks. It’s just been really frustrating. My dermatologist said they’re not sure why this happens, but I wondering if I need to start looking into the why more.

Ashley says · 02.05.23

I’ve been struggling with perineal dermatitis for 6 months now before I finally got in to see a dermatologist. Every time I was struggling I’d think of you. It was nice to know others have the problem and I knew I needed the antibiotic. As soon as started taking it has finally cleared up. I’m just hoping it will stay gone. Thank you for sharing your story so we know we aren’t alone.

Corinne says · 02.05.23

Hi Kate,
I am rooting for you on your journey! Are you keeping track of ingredients in products that might irritate? That would be such a great app to be able to pick your products and have the list of ingredients in there and see if there are common ingredients that irritate you. 🤯🤪

Jill says · 02.05.23

I can totally relate to trying to figure out a mystery issue! Years of dermatitis that didn’t make sense and no allergies. I finally figured out I was reacting to soy derived ingredients, which was in everything. It felt depressing to find new products because I LOVE skincare and make up. My issue was caused by SIBO (an intestinal issue), which was healed by a magical antibiotic but the soy intolerance remained. A few years later and I only have to steer clear of straight up soy and tocophorol, so at least more skin care and make up are becoming accessible to me. I’m sorry for the loooooong game of trial and error you’re in and hope for the day for you when you’ll be like, “yay! I know the source of the issue!” And can find new products you love.

Heather says · 02.05.23

So well said. Good luck!

Erika says · 02.08.23

As someone who has recently developed rosacea and eczema, I empathize. I hope they are able to determine the root cause. It is so frustrating, I know!

Tien says · 02.10.23

I know it sounds crazy, but have you tried tallow products?

Sarah says · 02.10.23

I had a patch allergy test done with my dermatologist and found out I am allergic to Limonene, which is in a lot of beauty products. I also have a sensitivity to fragrance. I feel your pain. I cannot use products that I love and its been hard to find products that make my skin feel like it use to. I hope you find what is going on with your skin.

Danyell Robinson says · 02.11.23

Hi Kate! I have been having this same issue and working with a dermatology myself, but I am in a rural area with few choices, and we don’t seem to be getting anywhere. Antibiotics are the only treatment that seems to work. If you wouldn’t mind sharing what you learn along the way, I would be so grateful!

Char says · 03.01.23

Maybe this is your diet. Maybe try that hair analysis. Sugar, wheat, refined and processed foods are so very bad for your skin.

Kate says · 03.03.23

I’m working with my doctors, thank you!!