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Makeup & Skincare/Cystic acne flare ups


Dear Ms. Logan-Hearn,

I'm a light-olive complexion Latino. I thought I would ask and see if you can help me.

I've had cystic acne since I was 13. I am now 40. I'm really fatigued and depressed because of very hard things happening in my life right now. I also have very oily skin. I notice that I flare up badly when I am stressed out and/or dehydrated. The acne only adds to my stress. I'm just sick and tired of it.

I'm not overweight, but I do love sweets. I try to drink a lot of water. I have been using Proactiv Solution for many years and it helped a lot during a time when I was much worse. Years ago, I added the daily oil control which worked more wonders. But I still flare up sometimes.

Can you please give me advice as to how I can minimize if not altogether end this at this point in my life? If there are foods I can eat or anything I can do more of, I'll do it.

Thank you for your time during your busy schedule. Happy New Year.


Hi David and so sorry for such a late reply (don't know how you know it, but yes, I'm a pretty busy multi-tasker, lol). You know, you may have answered your own question...simple, but smart! What I mean is, if you've been using Proactiv Solution for your acne flare-ups for years with success, then you began using Daily Oil Control which added to that success, then you need to stick with it. Now as for the stress you mentioned, it may very well be that instead of you getting stressed by the acne, maybe the cystic acne is caused by the stress:)

If you are drinking plenty of water as you say, but are still dehydrated, there could be something else you may be eating or drinking (besides water) that may be contributing to the dehydration. This may or may not pertain to you, but smoking, alcohol consumption or certain medications or sicknesses can contribute to dehydration, even if you're drinking plenty of water.

So if any of those things pertain to you, you may want to reconsider the amount you are taking in to help reduce dehydration. If those things do not pertain to you, then continue drinking as much water (flavored or otherwise if you're bored with plain water) as you can, as it is a great hydrator for the body and skin. Also, reducing the stress may help by eliminating the source. Stress, in and of itself, is a big culprit in causing acne and sickness. David, I'm confirming that you are on to something - stress needs to go.

Btw, simply eating apples are good for acne. This is because apples are full of fiber which helps maintain good digestion - crucial for healthy, clear skin. Plus, apples contain several minerals that help promote good skin and health. Acne can also be caused by hormonal imbalance. So whatever topical products are working, most skin care experts and doctors agree that many causes of cystic acne start from inside. So David, in a nutshell, let's start with what's easiest first:

*Eat maybe 3-4 apples per day(eat the skin also - provides the fiber)
*Keep using Proactiv Solution
*Keep drinking plenty of water
*Reduce or eliminate stress in your life

Hope this helps, David. God bless you!


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Tara Logan-Hearn


I will, according to my knowledge and experience, answer questions that involve providing information, tips, and advice in an effort to help one improve the following common ethnic and black skin care concerns:

Although make-up is not my specialty, I'm happy to help with advice on caring for the skin while wearing makeup. I affirm that I can not answer questions to which attention by a doctor is necessary.


I've written for Bella Online, Beauty and Sugar, Self Growth and Oily Skin Blog. I've written the e-book entitled, "Achieving Flawless Skin of Color - 2 Easy Steps to Clear, Even-toned Skin From the Inside Out", which is now published.


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