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By Hyper Beam,

So my interview was today (which seemed like it went really well) and I'm pretty excited about that. I really hope I get this job, not only for the sake of having a job, but also because it seemed like a great environment and great people. Everyone I met was super nice, and it seemed like a very tight-knit, awesome group.

Even if I don't end up getting the job, I still feel really great because there was one massive difference between this interview and the others I've been to more recently - I wasn't worried about my face. Every interview I can remember having - ever - I've always felt more worried about if the interviewer was looking at my face, and this time I just didn't care. My face is so much clearer that it really doesn't look so bad at arm's length (or at least across a table.) No major red marks, nothing crazy hanging off my lip - nothing! I mean, there are a few marks, but they're much closer to the edges of my face now, and under my chin, so they aren't really as noticeable anyway.

It felt so good to be able to focus and just get this thing done. I feel so good right now.

I sort of cheated and pushed back doing the regimen until after I got home from the interview, because I was worried that my face would start flaking with the BP. So instead, I just washed with water and put on a little moisturizer for the really dry spots. Then I did it as normal when I got back (cleanser, BP, moisturize) and I think that worked out decently well. Obviously it's not something I want to do all the time, but once in a while it's probably okay.

Now to wait and cross my fingers...


By Hyper Beam,

Up late because I'm stressing (ever so slightly) about tomorrow. My interview got bumped up, but I think everything will be okay. I've been through so many rejections by this point that I have everything prepared and in order already, it's just the act of going through the interview and doing it that's difficult. Went and did a check on my face (not that there's anything I could do by this point anyway, but still) just a moment ago, and all is well. The redness isn't so bad, and I think I can keep the flaking under control at least through tomorrow morning. I'm planning to get up extra early to make sure my regimen is all in order, plus give myself some time to get my head on straight. Maybe a cup of tea or something. I've had almost no caffeinated beverages since I started the regimen and drinking more water about a week ago. I've definitely had many fewer headaches and just have a better feeling overall, which seems to correlate with my water intake. This is pretty good. I also got a package in the mail from a friend today, which was a lovely boost to my mood. I am hoping the good mood lasts through tomorrow morning. I keep reminding myself that I can do this! My face looks great, and all I have to do is have the confidence to match. :)

I've stuck out my regimen all weekend, and I'm already into week 2. I can't tell if my progress has slowed down, but the changes aren't as drastic as before. That's ok, I'm sure it will continue in time. My face is so much smoother, I just want to touch it all the time but I can't! Loving these changes.Sticking to the exercise routine as well. Seems I'm actually losing a little weight in the process, ha ha.I'm feeling pretty upbeat because I actually have a job interview this week. It's nice and close by to where I live as well. This would be a very welcome change in my life. Wish me luck!

week 1 ends!

By Hyper Beam,

My first week is finally over! I feel like I've made huge progress. I'm uploading comparison pictures, but it seems that they have to be approved before I can display them, so they'll be coming eventually. I've been sticking to my routine of washing and doing my regimen in the morning, going about my day, doing a workout and then showering at night and doing my nighttime regimen. I've also been consistently consuming more water. I've put together a pitcher in my fridge just for water, so I can see throughout the day how much I have left to go and it's always nice and chilly. Cold water just tastes better.Today has been the first day that my skin has seriously started flaking, but it's mainly in my chin area and around my mouth. It's not even very bad, and I think it'll eventually stop once this layer of skin turns over and the new stuff surfaces. I think I've got a handle on what amount of BP works best for me, and I've been sticking to it. (A dab about the size of a quarter, maybe a little bigger.) I've been playing around with moisturizers, and I think I might try running with just CeraVe or pick up some of Dan's moisturizer for the long haul. The Neutrogena stuff with SPF is nice, but I'm having trouble getting it to absorb sometimes. Sometimes it goes right on, sometimes not. It's odd. I am so seriously impressed by the progress I've made in just one week. I am sure there will be some weeks between now and clear skin where it seems like nothing is happening, but I am prepared to hang in there. I just have to keep reminding myself what the end goal is, and that if I've done so much already I can do the rest, too. My evening workouts have been a nice co-dependent habit alongside my regimen. I'm alternating days doing whatever aerobics I feel like on one night, and then running the next night. I've also made it a new goal to go out walking a few times a week, and did so tonight, so it was almost like I got in a double workout. In total I think I walked/ran 3-4 miles today in total. My legs are really feeling it, but that's why I'm alternating days - so my muscles can get a break on the off days and feel ready to go on running days. So far it is working. Though it's only sort of indirectly related to my skin, my physical fitness goal is to be more in shape so I can be much more active this summer. Working on improving the condition of my skin has really made me think about my health overall, and I'm feeling really motivated to do better things for my body. I'm not really overweight, but I'm not in great shape. My skin has been a wreck for years. I can do something about these things, and I'm going to.

run run run

By Hyper Beam,

Did another, slightly more intense workout last night. I think that coupled with my water intake is really helping, because the improvement this morning was just as noticeable as it was yesterday. I plan to try and incorporate this into my daily routine from here out. Even if it isn't actually helping, it can't be a bad thing anyway. I had forgotten that Wii Fit has a mode that lets you run for a specified amount of time so you can switch the TV over to watch something while you're running. I threw on some cartoons and managed to push through about an hour of running, which is a first for me. I think the distraction really helped because I know that when I have nothing else to think about I'll quit as soon as I start feeling tired. So that was pretty cool, anyway. According to my pedometer I did about 2 miles - not bad. So that's about it. I've been sticking with things as normal, and I'm seeing good results so far. I can't wait to see where I am a month from now, or even two months. One of my biggest reasons for starting the regimen in the first place was that I always feel like people judge me by my skin rather than who I am, especially in the bout of job interviews I've been through lately. I already feel like I could walk into one with much more confidence than I would have a week ago. The worst spots have all but disappeared, and the ones that are left are starting to smooth out. My scars (which I already knew were there) are starting to show, and they're honestly not as bad as I remember them. Maybe I can work on getting them to fade a little bit in time, but even if I can't I'd still be happy. Scars are easier to overlook than huge red spots. Tomorrow is photo day, so I can do my first comparison! I'm debating posting them here but we'll see, ha ha.

day 6 go!

By Hyper Beam,

Day 6 go!I woke up this morning with my face feeling really tight. Not that unpleasant dry kind of tight, just different than usual. It was an odd feeling. I went through my usual morning thing and took my time getting to the bathroom just a bit ago. What a freaking difference! I couldn't believe it!Today, most of the small spots are totally gone, the medium sized ones are a lot smaller, and cyst-dude is practically GONE. I couldn't believe the change that happened just overnight. I really didn't do anything differently yesterday or last night, other than drinking more water (I actually got in that whole 8 glasses of water thing yesterday!) and I did a mild workout last night before bed for the first time in a while. Just Wii Fit, but that's aerobics all the same, right?? Maybe the extra hydration and working up a little sweat helped move things through my pores or something, who knows. I did shower last night before bed instead of in the AM, so maybe that made a difference as well. I'm going to try it again tonight and see if I can level up my face again tomorrow morning. :DA lot of redness is down as well today, though that seems to fluctuate throughout the day anyway. My skin is not really flaking at all, which is nice. Occasionally it just gets a little bit dry, but it's not like serious flaking. Although sometimes I wind up with bits in my eyes which makes them water like crazy, probably from the BP residue or something. Ow. D: The other thing that is driving me crazy is that horrible grungy skin feeling I get by the end of the day. I'm sure it's just from the layers of BP and moisturizer on my skin, along with dead skin, but ugh. It makes me feel like I haven't showered in days and is making me crazy. D: Regardless of the little annoyances, I'm so happy with the progress I've made already. Maybe my skin was in better shape than I though, or maybe I'm just doing something right this time around. This is about the level of progress I had during my first week with prescription stuff from the dermatologist, and I bounced back eventually (which I guess is normal) so I'm trying not to get my hopes up too high. Still, it makes me feel great to see such a rapid change. I plan to stick it out for a while, as close as I can get to clear. This is by far the cheapest and easiest method I've ever tried, and to see results so fast is a big motivator. I'm excited to get to Saturday so I can take pictures again and compare. Science!

day 5 and on

By Hyper Beam,

Okay, so today is day 5. Doing pretty good so far. Keeping on track with morning and evening and so on. Since last night and into today my skin has started to feel kind of peely, but not in a bad way. When I'm washing in the shower, I can feel chunks of skin coming off which is disgusting and awesome all at once. At least I know it's working!

In general, some of my smallest spots are already pretty much gone. The bigger ones are starting to go down pretty quickly, too. Before I started they were starting to get really painful, and as of today the pain is pretty much gone. Awesome. I have what looks like a smallish cyst on one of my cheekbones and he's fading fast as well. Those are the worst.

At the moment, I'm overdue on doing my routine for this morning because there are repairmen in my bathroom. Fixing a leak. I can't wait for them to leave not only so I can clean up, but also because I really have to pee. I've been doing pretty well with my goal of drinking more water every day, but I didn't think about it this morning and have been drinking water all morning. This is terrible. Anyway, maybe it's a placebo effect but I do think drinking more water is making me feel better in general. I'm a headachey kind of person and I just haven't been feeling them over the past few days, so it could be related.

One of the most annoying things to crop up so far is the way my hands are drying out from using all the various products involved with the regimen. I feel like I constantly have to apply hand lotion to make them feel normal. It's not so bad because I have this really good smelling honey-scented lotion that makes me want to eat my own hands, but it's a little bothersome.

The other strangeness so far has been getting the darn moisturizer to sink into my face! I feel like I have to work and work to get it in. If I don't, it leaves weird white marks. It's not like I go anywhere that often (in public) to care too much about it, but it's annoying all the same. If I use any less, my face feels like a desert and the itching drives me crazy. When I run out of my current moisturizer, I might try the product because at least I know what's in it and the prices are pretty good. I'm not married to Neutrogena, I just liked the quality of the face wash I was using and so the moisturizer seemed like a good bet as well. I suppose that's how it goes.

Although I've come to really enjoy the sunscreen-ish smell of the Neutrogena stuff. It reminds me of visiting Disney World (which, incidentally, was the last time I was almost totally clear.) I hope I can get myself together so that the next time I go, I'll look equally good in pictures as I did back then. :)

at the start

By Hyper Beam,

I'm starting the regimen after years of acne and various acne treatments. I tried it a few years ago, but wound up heading in to a dermatologist because I was simply too frustrated with my face. I have pretty moderate acne, which can be better on some days and terrible on others. I've had it since I was probably twelve years old, and I'm 25 now. Unfortunately, I'm unemployed at the moment and have no insurance, which means no more dermatologist. I've been off prescription treatments for around a year now and my face has finally settled back into it's pre-prescription state. Which is not great, to say the least. I've been trying to find a job for months, and I'm almost certain that the state of my skin plays a factor because I feel like I can just see the interviewers analyzing my skin more than my skills. So it's time to make a change. I obviously haven't got the money or coverage for derma visits anymore, so that's out. The regimen seems like an inexpensive and simple solution; likely the best I'll get in my current financial state. I'm going to give it a run, and hopefully log my progress here. I'm a few days in at this point, and my skin already feels like it's starting to heal - what a relief. Here's my plan so far: AM- Wash with Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash: The stuff in the big orange tube. I've been using this for years, and it definitely makes my face feel better. It doesn't irritate me, doesn't smell bad, and feels very soothing. It looks as though it might be discontinued though; I haven't been able to find any for a while. It looks like there are other "flavors" of the same stuff, which I'm not thrilled with because the containers are so small and I don't like strong scents. Plus, they cost more. :/ So we'll see what happens when I run out, I guess. Might pick up the cleanser instead. - Apply a generous amount of BP treatment: I've previously used Neutrogena On-the-Spot (so tiny!) as well as Duac maybe a year ago, so my skin is pretty accepting of BP. It doesn't irritate and redden as much as it did when I first started using it, which is nice since there isn't much to get used to. - Moisturize with Neutrogena Oil-Free Moisturizer with SPF 15: Kind of a whim since it fit the best in terms of ingredients. A little expensive, but it's lasted a long time so far so that's okay. I don't really like the sunscreeny smell, but it seems to fade after a while (or else I'm just getting used to it) but the texture is nice and my skin absorbs it well. Feels nice. PM- Wash again with Neutrogena Oil-Free wash- Apply another generous dab of BP- Moisturize with CeraVe: I have quite a bit of this leftover from my run with the dermatologst, so I might as well use it up. It doesn't have the SPF that the Neutrogena moisturizer does, so I might as well use the CeraVe at night since I'll be sleeping anyway. A break from the sunscreen smell is also nice. Throughout the day- Drink more water: This is something I've been guilty of for a long time, so now's as good a time as any to work on this as well. My motivating factor is to drink a glass of water for every soda or juice/sugary drink I have. Hopefully this will help to even things out, since I'm trying to slowly cut back on soda anyway. I've been keeping a glass of water around while I work at the computer and do other tasks, so it's easier to subconsciously consume more of it. Hopefully the two habits (regimen and drinking water) will help keep each other going and become more routine for me.- Eat more fruits/veggies: I eat a pretty average-to-healthy diet, so it's not like this is a problem, but eating more fruits and vegetables certainly can't be a bad thing. I'm working under the assumption that additional vitamins will only help my skin in its effort to heal itself. I don't have the budget for additional supplemental vitamins, so it's easier to work it into my food budget and simply eat better. To keep track of my progress, I'm planning to snap a picture of my face from either side every Saturday (since that's when I actually started) so I can see what's changed over time. I can already see some healing taking place two days in, but it's too early to make a judgement yet. Still, some of the pain in my skin is fading away, and some of the smaller problem spots are already starting to heal up. The larger spots look like they're starting to heal around the edges, but I know from experience that it will be some time before any treatment really takes effect on them. I guess in some way being unemployed is a blessing and a curse; being unemployed sucks, but it also gives me some time to work on this and not worry so much about what co-workers think of me. Hopefully my skin will clear up, and I'll stop being judged by the marks on my face. Let's do this.

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