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My quest to end acne the all natural way

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I am a month and a half into restarting my birth control. Last time it took 3 months to get things under control so I just half a little ways left to go! My face was doing ok..I had a stubborn pimple on my left cheek (extremely common breakout place). Now that's healing but yesterday I broke out in about three more pimples all on the right side of my face. A small cluster on my chin, one whitehead near my mouth, a big red one on my nose (hello rudolf!), and a small one on my right cheek. Not horrible. I'm handling it well.

I've been taking DIM and maca supplements for hormonal imbalance (I've been off it about a week cuz I ran out and my mood has definitely been more sporadic). So I'll start on those again today and I'll also start apple cider vinegar pills (which showed good results after a months use in the past, as well as St. John's wort, which hopefully will help my mild depression. I'm using aspirin masks every few days and still using my 15% salicylic acid cleanser and I've started using my clarisonic once again. It made me breakout before but it also made my skin give off a little glow and helped redness. So I'm trying to be gentle with it. I know the clarisonic caused my nose pimple but I'm not sure if it caused my other pimples or if that's just hormones. Hard to tell.

But the cleanser with the clarisonic plus the aspirin mask makes my skin softer than ever!! And that cleanser kept my skin very soft to begin with.

Here's my regimen so far:


-rinse face with water

-take DIM

-take apple cider vinegar

-take maca

-take St. John's wort


-take off makeup with ponds cleansing wipes

-wash with sal acid cleanser w/ clarisonic

-(when needed, aspirin mask)

-take DIM

-take apple cider vinegar

-take maca

-take St. John's wort

So not that difficult! I know I'm gonna have to wait about another month for more consistently clear skin. And! Once my skin does clear I'm going to start on a hyperpigmentation regimen.

By summer, I'm hoping to have clear skin and a new job. What could be better?!

After the yogurt/lemon mask last night (kept on for 20-30 minutes) the redness in my face went down significantly. Love that mask! For anyone who wants to know, I used 0% fat Greek yogurt. The redness has not come back this morning and I feel the pimples have become smaller although that could be just be the lack of redness.

Started my diet this morning and had a very satisfying breakfast of grapefruit and toast with peanut butter. With breakfast I took one maca capsule and one DIM capsule then went to work. At work I experienced slight diarrhea (sorry, tmi?) so I'm not sure what that was caused by. But that was just once and I've felt perfect since then.

Just finished my lunch of toast with tuna and tea and feel full and satisfied. So far, after two meals lol, this is the best diet ever. So yummy.

I have been feeling happier the past few days and I'm wondering if the maca has anything to do with it? I also experienced a slight increase of libido this weekend which is great because that's one of my hormonal imbalance symptoms.

So this post wasn't all about my skin, but it is about my health which is the big picture here.

I'll try to keep updated.

Hello Ugly

Here comes breakout number two. It's all around my nose..not many, just two or three. But man are they red! I haaaate them but its part of the process.

Taking maca capsules 3x a day, as well as drinking lemon juice at night. The only difference it MAY be making is I've noticed my finger nails are much whiter..or so it seems. But for my face, it seems to be doing zip. I'll keep it up for now though.

I bought maca powder to put in smoothies today as well as DIM to take 2x daily. All part of the hormonal balancing routine.

Washing with 15% sal acid cleanser which seems to do more for me than anything else has though that's not saying too much.

Oh I also started my period today so these breakouts definitely seem hormone related (duh).

I want to get some apple cider vinegar tablets as well because I believe those helped quite well with cysts and oily skin after a months use.

Right now I've got a lemon/yogurt mask on to help with the bright redness. Yogurt tends to be a miracle when those nastys are big and red.

It may be worth while to note that tomorrow I'm starting the "military diet ". It's a three day diet and I'm not sure if its technically a cleanse but you lose water weight fast so I'd say that's pretty cleansing. If it makes a difference in my skin, which I doubt, I'll let y'all know.


The breakouts around my mouth have fully healed and I busted finished week 3 on ortho tri cyclen. For the past week I have also been drinking a cup of cold water with juice from half a lemon every night before bed. Not only is that great for your overall health, the reviews related to clearing acne are fantastic. I haven't noticed a definite lemon-related change although my complexion has definitely improved the past week. Hard to know if its the BC or the lemon or just natural healing. My face has reduced in oiliness significantly and the blotchiness is 80% improved (as in almost back to how it was). Skin is a bit bumpy with clogged pores and I only have three pimples on my face..two of which just formed from this morning. Both those are near my nose..a common breakout spot for me without BC. Hard to tell if they'll turn into whiteheads or not. We shall see!

I've also been taking my maca pills but I haven't been very good about remembering them. I take at least two a day.

I've decided I'm going to start attacking my hormonal balance naturally. I'm going to keep taking maca pills as well as buy the powder to put in daily smoothies. I'm also going to take DIM which has amazing reviews when it comes to balancing hormones. And it was once very popular here on acne.org. I will also take apple cider vinegar supplements as I hate the taste. I've had pretty good success with them in the past (reduced inflamed acne and oiliness).

I really need encouragement here as I'm so bad about keeping up with a supplemental regimen. But these darn hormones are affecting more than just my complexion. I want to be balanced. And truly healed.

My breakout around my mouth is definitely drying up more and more each day. However, my complexion has just turned blotchy (even where I had no breakouts) and red. I've also got a breakout in my forehead coming to the surface. Foreheads usually clear for me so I know it's due to the BC. Overall my complexion has taken a major turn for the worse this past month but I'm on the road to recovery (sort of, if you can call being clear through artificial hormones recovering). It does scare me that BC is the only thing keeping my skin balanced. At the same time, it's a relief to finally know my acne is NOT caused by bad hygiene, it will NEVER be cured with topical products. It's good to know it IS a hormone issue. This makes my battle much easier.

Going out with a bunch of perfect, pore less skinned friends tonight with my perfect, pore less skinned husband. It'll be fun, but I hate the insecurity.

On the up side, I re-decorated my bathroom today :) it has a seaside theme with lovely oceanic colors, complete with a little sand and beach-scented candles. I quite like it and spent a good amount if time just looking at it all :) gotta find the pleasure of every day, what was your pleasure today?

I woke up this morning to some pimples having turned into whiteheads. I popped them gently using my needle method and did not squeeze but simply washed. Others seem a bit more dried up after popping them yesterday.

I'm doing my best not to stress about it. Besides that first day of this major breakout, I have been ok emotionally. I've been having to wear a little makeup to work which i don't like doing but it's all right. I know makeup on my upper lip will certainly not cause any more breakouts so I'm not too worried about it.

I think my face is more oily than usual as well. Probably the fluctuation of hormones from the BC? Hopefully it balances out.

Another thing I've started is taking maca root pills which seem to have tons of benefits, one of the greatest being hormonal balance. Some on these boards have found great results with maca and I'm adding then along to try to help get things normalized :) today is day two of taking these pills, so obviously way too early to give any benefits. I am starting off taking 2 pills a day. Once in the morning and once at night. Other benefits from maca are fuller breasts/butt, higher energy levels, and higher libido. Of course that's all just potential benefits. I'll let y'all know how the maca affects me because I wouldn't mind having any of those benefits ;)

Well folks, I'm back after nearly 5 months. To answer your question, yes, my routine of daily Trinessa (Birth control) plus 20% sal. acid cleanser plus grapeseed oil as a moisturizer plus Tazorac at night kept me clear. I would ONLY get a small breakout if I went a few days without cleansing or using the Taz.

Well.....I forgot my BC for a few days and just decided, to heck with it, I'm just not going to take it this month. WHY I decided that I have NO IDEA. Well, my skin was fine until about the third or fourth week off of it and BAM! I got three zits. My normal kind. The cystic kind. In a place I haven't had a single clogged pore or zit in months. I knew, immediately, it was because of the lack of birth control. And wouldn't you know it, those zits left huge red marks, just like good ol' times.

So, I frantically got back on BC, this time trying out the brand name Ortho Tri Cyclen rather than generic Trinessa because I've always heard the real thing is better. Well...it's been a little over a week on that and dang. Break. Out. Cue depression.

Seriously, I have close to 10 or so pimples now on my face. Inflammed, nasty whiteheads and cysts. All around my mouth so I know it's the birth control messing around with my hormones. I had hoped I could skip the initial breakout thing since I'd only been off it a month. No way, jose.

I also have been washing with emu oil and grapeseed oil, hoping it would give me the gorgeous glow of the OCM without the terrible, awful rash of the OCM (apparently, castor oil and I don't get along. See previous posts).

And yeah, I think it's kinda nice washing with the oils. I don't believe they've irritated me at all or caused any breakouts. But, with this current hormonal breakout on the loose, I feel I need to get back to my sal acid cleanser. I want something stronger to maybe help lessen the damage here.

It's hard to think it's going to take another 3 months to get my skin back in control. That's seriously depressing to me. But, I got off my regimen. I got comfortable.

I also haven't used Taz for over a month now (mostly because I ran out and haven't made a derm appointment to get a refill), but I don't think that has played much of a part. I really think it's the birth control that makes or breaks my face. I'm not surprised. All acne is hormonal.

I'm soooo tempted to dive into a chest of natural hormone therapy things but I don't want it to interfere with the work of the BC. So, I'm gonna try to ride this out. But, as you all know better than anyone, it is soooo terrible to deal with. So so hard. There's nothing I hate more than acne. There's nothing I hate more about turning 23 is knowing I'm a freakin adult with freakin acne. That's so hard.

Anyways, just gonna keep updating for my own personal sake. Progress tracking and all that.

The breakout continues. I've only been on Trinessa birth control (generic of Ortho tri cyclen) for 7 weeks, one week short of two months, and I think I see a pattern of breaking out the week before my period. It's not HORRIBLE, two little whiteheads on my upper cheekbone, one clogged pore near my nose on the right side, a trail of three small pimples on my ride side as well, and two big ones under my nose, above my lip, which I NEVER breakout there. Those two are the biggest, reddest and most painful so they are definitely odd ball pimples. The others are small and hardly noticable but I notice them. Other than that, my forehead has cleared up perfectly (I usually have some small clogged pores that don't bother me, but I've noticed that I don't even have those anymore). It is all healing and I'm at the end of the breakout so that's good. I'm just wondering if that is part of the initial breakout period or if I should switch to regular brand (Ortho tri cyclen). But I'm going to give it a few more months. I'm kinda hearing it takes at least 3 months at the norm to get acclimated. I am happy to know, at least, that these breakouts ARE hormonal. My breakouts have never followed a pattern before so its a relief to KNOW these breakouts are hormone related.

Any one else have success with birth control pills? How long did it take you to clear? From looking around, it took some people 6 months to see results, others were clear within the first month. I know, everyone's different so it's hard to get a true answer. But it's encouraging to hear, at least, that these pills could still clear me up :)

Happy Friday, beautiful world.

So, last night i took my first pill to start week 3 in my cycle. And, Boom, breakout today. Minor, simply small clogged pores, but I have about 5-6 when I average 1-2 now. I was a bit surprised as I took off my makeup tonight and saw them because I don't remember seeing them yesturday or even this morning. A bit annoying, yes. So, it's seeming like the third week of my BC cycle is the week I breakout. Anyone know if this will balance itself out in time? This is only my second month on the pill.

For the most part, my skin is looking good, I'm more and more confident without any makeup and my red marks are fading thought they are still tons of them and still visible. I don't do much anymore except remove makeup with Ponds wipes, wash with a 20% (yes, that's correct) salicylic face wash, wait about 30 minutes, then apply Tazorac .05 cream. All that's at night, I simply rinse my face with water when I wake up. So, safe to say, my facial routine is at it's most bare these days and i love it like that.

So we will see how this breakout goes. Obviously, I'm wishing it didn't come at all, but in comparison, it's very minor and I'm not going to stress over it.

Day 93

Well, speak of the devil, I had a little breakout last week. One small yet deep pimple (kind of like a cyst). I haven't had one of those in months. It was right below my eye which is unusual. Then I got one tiny tiny whitehead on either cheek, a very popular place for breakouts, and a few dots on my forehead which I don't fuss at all over. 6 months ago, I would think today was a magical, miraculous looking face day. But obviously now that Im more used to a clearer face, this had upset me. Not only that, but my face was oily all of a sudden again! Random!!

Today, I woke up with balanced oil once again, thank goodness. I think it all had to do with being on my 3rd week of BC pills, the pills before my "period". So I'm on my period now, second day, and I seem to be healing up and getting back on track.

I kind of what to start drinking green tea and see if that does anything. Although, one, I hate tea. And two, I want to see how a second month of BC does for me, see if I clear up any more or not.

Small update and now heading to bed. Goodnight :)

So, good news everyone! Within just about two or three days on the generic version of Ortho Tri Cyclen, I could tell a difference in the oiliness of my skin!! Now I'm at the three week mark and there's vast improvement on my oiliness. I was using Physicians Formula Healthy Wear SPF 50 powder foundation along with a little coverup and found that my skin was oily when I wore that but when I woke up in the morning (obviously without makeup), my skin appeared perfectly balanced. So, suddenly I was oily with makeup and balanced without it. So, I switched from the powder to the liquid version of the same makeup (which I already had) and, voila! My skin's oil production is as normal as I can remember in years. It's amazing. This is what I was hoping for but I wasn't certain it'd actually happen hah.

I'm also weening myself off minocycline. I don't take it every night anymore (kinda just when I feel like it, like every other night or every third night), and I'm still doing great. I just want to finish off the bottle I have now then be done with it (the bottle has about three pills left in it).

The new facial cleanser I'm using now is a D-R-E-A-M. I can't recall the brand name at the moment but it's not big and well known like Clearasil or anything. I found it exclusively on Amazon.com and it is a cream cleanser that has 20% salicylic acid in it. So, it's lighter than an actual chemical peel, just light enough to use every day as a cleanser. O my goodness, it's perfect for me! For those with real sensitive skin, I'm not saying I'd recommend it as 20% salicylic acid could cause burns on some I can only imagine, but for me, between that and the Tazorac, my pores are looking great! ANd boy does my skin feel baby's butt soft. I was having a small breakout (i think from the hormones of the pill when I first started) around my lower cheek and mouth and this cleanser and the taz cleared it up with no fuss. Whenever i get a little bump or clogged pore, it's gone by the next day. You have no idea how much of a miracle that is. Not to mention the fantastic exfoliation I'm getting has evened out my complexion and red acne scars significantly!! I can look at myself, naked faced, and LIKE what I see. Not just, I can look at myself in the mirror, but I want to look at myself. I feel beautiful. I'm not dependent on makeup anymore and I'm not deathly afraid of being seen without it.

I still have a ways to go with the red marks but it's soooo much better.

I'm so happy with my skin right now. I've been clear (i consider minor clogged pores still clear) for weeks now. Starting the BC to balance my oil production and using that cleanser to get some extra pore cleansing action and still using Tazorac cream at night seems to be a perfect combo for me. And the best thing is, this regimen is totally anti-aging as well! All that exfoliation keeps wrinkles away ( not that I have to worry about that at 22).

How is everyone else doing? I've noticed that my blog gets a pretty good amount of hits and it surprises me. I hope I can be an encouragement. Trust me when I say that I used to read blogs about people getting clear and saying to myself, that'll never be me, that'll never be real. I know the worst of it. Don't stop trying. It's worth it.

So tonight was my very first night taking my very first birth control pill. Im taking it, ultimately, because I am getting married in October. But I also requested an anti-androgen BC to see if it helps at all with, not only my breakouts, but with my oily skin.

As far as I have learned from my research online, oily skin is caused by an excessive amount of androgens, or, more specifically, DHT, a product of androgens. So, by taking Trinessa (the generic of Ortho tri Cyclen), I'll be (hopefully) absorbing an anti-androgen to normalize my hormonal levels. I'm REALLY hoping this will normalize my oil production as I really don't like my oily skin. Sure, compared to my acne, the oil levels are totally bareable. But having my makeup last but a few hours and feeling like a greasy, shiny mess isn't all that fun. Not to mention oily skin is a huge factor in breakouts. I'm keeping my pores much more clear of dead skin by using my Tazorac (and some salicylic acid), and if I can keep excess oils from getting trapped, that'd help my skin all the more.

So it's day 1 for Birth Control, Trinessa to be exact. And day 69 on Taz and Mino.

I got a lot of sun this weekend. I did get a sunburn but, honestly, I LIKE facial sunburns. It helps hide my scars and also helps dry up any existing pimples. Only one small whitehead at the moment, I'm doing well.

I've tanned very much this weekend and it's helped even my skin tone, which is what I was hoping.

I'm doing a yogurt mask right now to help with the burn itself as well as the sting of it. Yogurt masks do wonders for redness.

Hope you all are doing well with your skin! Summer can be a very difficult time because you want to wear as little makeup as possible and that can be hard when your face is inflamed. I know it's difficult, but every day you persevere is a day closer to gorgeous skin!

So, it's been a bit over two months and I'll explain how the journey has been so far:

Minocycline 100 grams, twice per day, kept me fairly clear. I wasn't getting big, nasty whiteheads much anymore but was still getting small whiteheads and more clusters of clogged pores/white heads, which is unusual for me. I thought that the antibiotics just weren't clearing me completely, but in fact I was just experiencing the "purge" or "initial breakout" from using Tazorac cream once per night. The breakouts lasted..oh gosh...like a month or a month and a half? They weren't bad but they were there. But I noticed my skin was much smoother and my breakouts were more superficial than normal.

Now I'm two months in and my skin is doing well! I still get some clogged pores or a tiny whitehead every so often. But my entire face is very smooth, the tone of it is better ( not wildly better, but better), and I'm overall very pleased with my progress so far. I am now taking only one antibiotic a day instead of two and it has not effected me negatively at all. But I'm still using Tazorac cream every night. I am also using Ponds makeup removing towlette's which I love as well as Oxy 10% Benzoyle Peroxide face wash. I like that face wash pretty well and I don't experience any dryness or irritation from it and I believe it does help with any breakouts. However, I am interested in purchasing a 10 or 15% glycolic acid cleanser to help keep my pores clear even more as well as help in fading my hyperpigmentation which is still noticeable and EVERYWHERE on my face. Anyone have experience with glycolic acid cleansers? I'm also wanting to help shrink my pores as they are quite large. It's not a huge deal for me but obviously invisible pores are the best kind of pores ;)

I sure hope I'm tracking my days correctly. Anyways, it has been almost 2 months and I'm doing really well! I accidentally missed my follow up dermatology appointment which I need to reschedule but I've lowered my antibiotic intake to one pill once a day instead of twice per day. No increase in breakouts as a result.

My red marks are fading pretty nicely and I'm simply using Tazorac once at night, trying to wait at least 10 minutes (up to 30 minutes) after washing to apply. I use a pea size amount for my entire face and it has kept me very clear. I have a little outbreak of clogged pores at an area of the left cheek very common to have clogged pores. It's resulted in one tiny whitehead which i'm not even touching. It'll be gone in a blink.

So I'm very pleased with my regimen thus far. I feel like the Tazorac is doing a good job and the little breakouts I was having are over.

Other than minocycline once a day and Taz once daily, the only other things I use on my face are:

Morning, rinse with water.

Makeup includes Makeup Forever concealer for red spots

Physicians Formula SPF 50 Powder Foundation.

Throughout the day I'll blot or apply oil control powder to freshen up.

At night I'll get my face wet with lukewarm water and remove makeup with my trusty Ponds Original Towlettes. I'll follow that with Oxy 10% Benzoyle Peroxide face wash.

And that's it. I find it very minimalistic and I'm loving it. And, yes, it is AMAZING to not have to pile on the makeup every single morning the moment I wake up. I can go with just a dab of concealer and be comfortable :) Although I enjoy using my powder foundation because it also supplies ample SPF.

Day 45

My forehead is a little broke out now. No idea where that came from..my forehead is almost always clear. Oh well.

The little bumps are finally starting to rise up around my mouth. I hope that means they heal soon.

I'm getting scheduled to go in for birth control tomorrow. I'm hoping the BC can help regulate my hormones and thus help the acne.

So it's day 42 and I'm still using Tazorac every night along with 100 mg of minocycline twice a day. I now have developed these small, flesh colored bumps all around my mouth. It looks like your common hormonal acne ( you know, the small zits that always appear around the chin/lips), but I've NEVER had this kind of acne before. So, I assume it's the Tazorac. I'm almost kind of thankful that SOMETHING is happening. I take these breakouts as a sign that Taz is doing its job.

I'd had consistant bumps around my mouth (they aren't even hardly noticable, just very bumpy. They don't bother me much but obviously I want them gone) for..I'm not really sure how long..a week or two. I have a hard time guessing on how much time has gone by. 4 days can feel like 4 weeks to me when I'm waiting for a breakout to heal lol.

Like i said, they aren't hardly noticable and my skin is better than before this regimen. I've also noticed my scars are lighter. It was kind of an all-of-a-sudden thing. Like I woke up one morning and, huh, my scars are much less noticable. Still there and still plentiful. But better. Another thing telling that Taz is doing its job.

My oily skin is manageable now, not insanely excessive, but still oily. Glad that phase is over. I've almost gone two months! Yay me!! (btw, this is probably the longest I've ever stuck with a regimen lol)

Anyone have similar experience with those small, flesh colored bumps?

Day 33

My skin doesn't seem to be QUITE as oily as before. I've had two days where it seemed my oil production was actually normal (as in, not excessively oily at all), but for the most part, I just seem to be back at my normal excessively oily level. I'm still getting little clogged pores and whiteheads and I just know it's from the oily skin. I'm wanting to get birth control with an antiandrogen so hopefully it can help that.

The thing about my using Tazorac, I haven't experienced ANY side effects. No flaking, no peeling, no redness, no irritation, nothing. And, I guess that's kinda a good thing, but it makes me wonder if it's even working? I'm scared to get off minocycline if the taz isn't going to help keep me clear. Anyone else experience this? I don't want to stop using it because I'm a month into it, but then again, if it isn't working, I want to switch to retin-a or something.

Ok, I lied, I did have one side effect of the Taz and that was crazy oily skin. Other than that, I would never have been able to tell I was even using the product. I can't really tell if my red marks are fading or not either. I mean, they are, but I don't know if they are just fading because of time or if the Taz is speeding it along. It's all hard to tell. All I know is the minocycline works to keep me 95% clear.

Tomorrow marks one month on Tazorac cream and minocycline twice daily. I'm not perfectly clear but I am no longer very concerned about my complexion (though i still am, I'm just not obsessing anymore). I have a couple small bumps around my mouth but I just started my period and I'm wondering if that's why (though I normally never notice any breakouts in association with my cycle). I'm thinking it's either that or the fact that I often have my blankets touching my chin area when I sleep. I also have an area on my left cheek area that is constantly congested and has been for months. A pimple takes forever to fully go away and right when it does, one or two more pop up right beside it. It'll be a surface area of about the size of my fingernail that is congested and takes months to get all the junk cleared out. That is very common in my kind of acne, that is, patches that are continuous pimple spots that will break out continuously for months before it finally clears.

I'm looking for things to control my oily skin as I know that is a big contributing factor into my breakouts. I'll be scheduling to get birth control soon and I believe that will help (I'm getting married too so it's not just for acne) and I'm going to try taking high doses of MSM as sulfur soap (type of MSM) keeps me matte longer than if I use a regular cleanser.

I'm a bit surprised the antibiotics aren't keeping me as clear as I expected. I'm still getting minor breakouts but I believe it has more to do with my pores getting clogged with all the sebum I produce. And I am producing excessive amounts on Tazorac.

I wouldn't be surprised if birth control sorts out my acne completely. Off-balanced hormones=oily skin. Oily skin=acne. Birth control=balancing hormones. Balanced hormones=balanced skin. Balanced skin=acne free. And since my oily skin and my acne sprung up as a packaged deal at about 17 or 18, I'm thinking that's what's causing it. Though I could be wrong, I've been wrong many times before.

Day 22

I had been clear for a good amount of days but I have about 3 small pimples pop up on my left cheek now and I think it may be because I ran out of makeup remover wipes and have just been washing once with my Juice Beauty milk cleanser. That cleanser claims to remove all makeup but nothing ever seems to really except my Ponds wipes. So I need to go out and get more of those. I also missed my tazorac last night because I was just too dang tired. I fell right to sleep, I didn't want to wait 30 minutes for my face to dry to put in on.

I haven't experienced ANY signs that the tazorac is working or not. No flakiness, no dryness, yes my skin is cleared up but I think that has to do with the antibiotics. The only thing I notice difference from Taz is my skin is incredibly, nastily oily now, but that's as common side effect from using Tazorac (as if my skin wasn't oily enough to start). I havn't had an initial breakout or any drying and I kind of assumed that was because I'm using such a gentle, organic cleanser.

I did use my Oxy cleanser tonight after using Juice Beauty just to get some of that benzoyle peroxide cleansing action for my small little breakout. Hopefully that'll help it. I'll also spot treat those spots with Benzaclin which will zap them. :)

I'm going to ask my derm for the Tazorac gel next time. I kind of want to get off antibiotics to see if this tazorac is actually doing anything but then I'm like...eh, no way! My skin is finally almost normal! lol

I do still suffer from extreme hyperpigmentation but that's easy to cover with makeup and it doesn't bother me neeeeaarrr as much as raised, red, nasty pimples do.

Oh, also, since I stopped using Benzaclin as a nightly, full facial treatment, my excessive hair shedding has also stopped. Interesting.

That's all for now! I'll try to update again. Almost one month down on Tazorac!!!

Today starts week 2! I'm curious to see if I'll start getting that dreaded IB this week, as this seems to be the popular week for it to start. I only have one pimple right now and it seems to be healing after I zapped it with some shots of benzaclin and OD'd on the Tazorac. Still no flakiness or dryness, my skin is soft and pretty smooth. Red marks seem to be fading some. I went to Six Flags this weekend and didn't wear my usual sunscreen foundation (just concealer) to try to get a tan to help with the hyperpigmentation. I don't think I tanned much lol Nonetheless, I felt pretty confident about my skin :)

Short update, but just wanted to write something. So far, my new cleanser, Juice Beauty Cleansing Milk, is going great. Totally organic and contains all those great oils I love, and it hasn't broken me out at all. Keeping my skin well hydrated too. Does a decent job at removing makeup but I always use Ponds Wet Towlettes before cleansing anyways so that doesn't matter. Those things remove makeup like a boss.

Well, as one pimple goes into the healing stage, another pops up. It seems as though I can never be 100% clear, but I'm not complaining because I'm loads better on this regime. And the pimples are so small they aren't even really noticeable, more like little bumps, but obviously I'd much rather go without!

This little booger is on my left side, just to the left of the bottom of my nose which has been a common hangout for pimples the past few months. Not sure why, but it's like I'll have patches on my face where pimples will grow and die, in that one area, for months! Then they finally go away, but another patch pops up. It's so weird! But I put some benzaclin on it to hopefully stomp its growth. That's the only new pimple, still have some clogged pores (don't care much about those) and one or two healing pimples. Other than that it's just extreme hyperpigmentation.

My skin texture is loads smoother. In fact, I can't remember the last time my face felt so smooth. Pores are seeming a bit smaller/clearer (I'm guessing that's the Tazorac). I'll be starting week 2 in just a few days, and that's when I hear most people get their initial breakout from Taz. I'm not terribly worried about that because I know the minocycline is keeping me pretty clear (I'm soooo thankful for it!). I've also had NO dryness or irritation from the Tazorac so far. Usually retinoids are known to cause bad flakiness but that has not been the case for me. It helps that I'm using an all natural and thus very moisturizing cleanser.

By the way, I used a new cleanser today from Juice Beauty; their cleansing milk which is made with several oils like grapeseed and safflower. I'm hoping it won't break me out! (please please pleeease!) As many of you know, using the official, homemade oil cleansing method caused a MASSIVE breakout (allergic reaction I believe) that is common for many who try the method. However, the oils made my skin tone so radiant and gave me such soft, supple, glowing, plump skin that I just had to keep trying organic cleansers. This one from Juice Beauty has awesome, all natural ingredients and I'm hoping this professional mix will be just what my skin needs.

I'm going on a road trip this weekend and am so happy not to have to worry about my skin (as much). Have I mentioned how thankful I am to be on this regime?

Day 9

I had two small pimples pop up on my right cheek. They're still there but aren't really noticable to anyone but myself. I had one pimple on my chin but I popped it and it is healing easily. I popped another pimple on my left cheek and it seems to be healing over nicely. All around, this is the best/smoothest/clearest my skin has been in who knows how long. Thank you minocycline!

I used my Burts Bees deep pore scrub tonight. I like it because it is all natural, the second ingredient being grapeseed oil :) Thankfully, using oils this way (in over the counter products instead of straight from the bottle) doesn't break me out. It exfoliates fairly nicely and gently and my skins feeling pretty smooth.

Hyperpigmentation seems to be a little lighter but that could just be my imagination as I'm not sure I've gotten a lot of exfoliation after just a week of Tazorac. I'm halfway through week 2 and havn't really broken out yet (knock on wood!), I really think the antibiotics will keep whatever initial breakout I have in check. I don't think it'll be too bad.

One thing I'm still battling with is my oily skin. Bleeehhh. Tonight, I used witch hazel as a toner. I never use a toner but figure, hey, I'll give it a shot. I've used witch hazel in the past and don't remember it doing much but I'll try again.

Well, tonight marks the end of day 6 on my new regimen which consists of:

Morning: Rinsing with water and taking minocycline

Evening: Remove makeup with Ponds towlettes, washing with organic cleansing milk, waiting 10-30 minutes to apply Tazorac, take a second minocycline.

The antibiotics have been keeping me pretty clear. I did have a couple small pimples pop up these past few days. One above my lip, one on my lip (both unlikely places for me to get pimples), one on left cheek and left upper cheekbone (places I've been battling with for months), and just today a small bump arose on my right cheek. My cheeks are where I always break out and it's often in the exact same spot I get reoccurring pimples. Well, no surprise I've got three small (hardly noticable) bumps that I'm spot treating with benzaclin before using Tazorac. The two pimples around my mouth are not big deals at all. I can feel an under the skin bump forming on my chin which wasn't there this morning. My forehead is completely clear but that is not uncommon. So, basically, I'm getting little pimples where I normally get them. I'm hoping it's the Tazorac which is bringing them back up to the surface. I'm about to start week 2 on Taz and isn't that when most people start their initial breakout? i'm hoping to minimize that with my antibiotics.

Last post I mentioned how I threw up and suspected the antibiotics. Well, I haven't felt sick since then and I have continued to take them twice a day, however i have been taking them with breakfast instead of right when I wake up.

Hyperpigmentation is baaaaad. I really notice it when I'm not completely broken out but it doesn't bother me as much as pimples because it's easy to cover. Still, I'm hoping the Tazorac will work in that area as well.

I'm excited to start Week 2 on Tazorac and Minocycline :) I'll keep updating with my progress. Thanks to all who read and comment! I'm amazed at how many views my blog gets!

Happy Monday!

Here we go! I went to the derm (who barely even glanced at my face, but she gave me what I want) and I got minocycline which I'm to take twice a day and tazorac. I was wanting retin a but they're pretty much the same thing so I'm not complaining too much. (total side note: don't you hate it when you feel you know more about acne than your derm does? Yeah, me too!)

So this is day 3 and I'm pretty clear. I had one small whitehead pop up throughout this day but I popped it very easily with a needle and cleansed. I'm using an organic, moisturizing cleanser which keeps my skin from dehydrating and once I'm out of that I'm going to try the organic cleanser from Juice Beauty (I think that's their name).

I have some clogged pores randomly but nothing major. I just have started so I havn't seen anything as of yet which is, of course, to be expected. Just wanted to let everyone know that I'm on my new regime :) Very excited, very optimistic that this will be the death of my skin woes.

Today, however, at work I felt sick three times and the third time, right after I clocked out, I actually had to go the bathroom and threw up. Yeah, so I'm thinking it was the minocycline. My derm told me to take twice a day at 100 mg a piece, which I've been doing, but I'm not sure if that's going to work out. We'll see...

Things have been looking better this past week. My left side is clear, chin is clear, right side has like two spots which are hardly noticeable and forehead has one new bump that won't turn into anything. So far it's looking like I'll have good skin for graduation which would, obviously, be AWESOME. Benzaclin works well for me. It doesn't make me 100% clear but it's the best thing I've used.

As for the hair loss or shedding or whatever it is, I'm not as freaked out by it as I was. I don't think it's severe I think it's just natural shedding.

Even so, I'm hoping to get on a new regime in a weeks time that should end acne for me for EVER. I want minocycline and retin a. Now, I've used retin a before and never thought it did anything for me. Now, I'm thinking I just didn't give it time and I was also using it years ago when my acne didn't bother me enough to stay on a consistent schedule, so I most likely didn't use retin a properly. I CERTAINLY didn't use it consistently for the 3 months or so it takes to work.

So, why do I want this combination?

Minocycline cleared me like nobody's business last time I used it, however, acne came back of course when I stopped it. Retin a has a great history of working as long as users can tough out the purging period and the amount of time it takes to actually work. I want the minocycline to keep my clear for the several months it takes retin a to work. I want to use retin a because your skin cannot get immune to it and it is also one of the very best anti-aging products on the market. I'm only 22, but by starting my anti-aging routine now is better than starting when I actually have wrinkles. I figure I might as well kill two birds (acne and aging) with one stone (retin a).

I figure I can be off minocycline in a few months once retin a starts working so that by the time I get married I won't have to be on both the antibiotic and birth control at the same time (since mino kind of inhibits the effects of birth control)

What do ya'll think, a good plan?