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products, emotions and targets :)

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I booked my appointment for the derm about a month ago (maybe less actually) and I was planning on asking for roaccutane.

My skin is currently looking pretty good – the best it’s looked for years. So I’m assuming that the derm will say no.

BUT! Does this mean that to continue my clear skin stint, I must continue my current regimen forever? What happens when I stop using epiduo? I currently average nearly £70 a month on skin care things – supps, prescriptions and Clinique shit. That is not sustainable. Which is why I’m hoping that I will be prescribed accutane anyway for a low dose for a short course to give myself the best shot of actually STAYING clear without doing weird stuff to myself all the time.

Also my whole bed time regimen is a joke. Sometimes I am tired and I just want to get to bed – I don’t want to wait 20 minutes while my epiduo dries for bloody hell’s sake!

Ok I am in a bad mood today because I just rang my insurance company and they said they would charge me £50 for my birthdate being incorrect on my policy. ANGER!

My mum bought me this super expensive Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour cream. It's not a cream though it's kinda like vaseline. Very thick and oily. It's been around for years and years and lots of people swear by it.

Last night I used it after my epiduo. This morning my skin was very soft but will not be able to tell if its making a difference for a few weeks. Fingers crossed!

On another note, I am still getting spots - one on my eyebrown, one on my lip. I'm kind of hoping that my acne goes through its bad phase by next week so that the derm can see clearly what I go through. Will print off my skin diary just in case.

Peace OUT. x


Skin status - definitely getting there. I'm the clearest I've been in about two years! I'm going to put this down to the Epiduo. Whilst the lemon and ACV toner I've been using has helped a lot, I think that using Epiduo AS PRESCRIBED rather than how I think is best has worked out well.

I've even started wearing foundation again (I think I do this the wrong way round - when my skin is really bad, I don't wear any make up - I want to let my skin breathe. When my skin is good, I feel like I look good and that I want to maximise my looks with makeup. Weird...).

Anyway, been feeling really really happy - I have a night out planned in the city on Saturday night and I have absolutely no feelings of wanting to bail or embarrassment about my skin. I've got lots planned for the week and socialising is making me feel really happy.

Last night I went to my friend's house. She also suffers with acne so we share tips quite often. I recommend the org to her all the time but I think she is just nonchalent about her acne - she is truly very very beautiful anyway. I was telling her about my derm appointment and about accutane and about the different teas I drink - it made me realise how OBSESSED I am with my skin! Truly truly obsessed.

Last night I rented 'Never Let Me Go' (shit book, even worse film) and her boyfriend and my boyfriend came to hers (incidentally, my boyfriend is her brother so it's a nice group). We were going to get pizza but I said absolutely not because of my skin. I actually made people change their plans for my skin! In the end we had a cheese and meat board. I was going to just have the vegetable crudités, olives and the cold meat but I fell off the wagon and had baked Camembert and crackers and lots and lots of chocolate. And wine. Oops!

But the whole thing was enhanced by the lazy susan. I bloody love a lazy susan, what an absolutely ingenious way of serving food!

Also it is lovely and sunny in the UK right now so I'm trying to spend more time out doors to help my skin. I quit sunbeds quite a while ago after I started seeing my skin ageing - so lots of D3 supps for me!

I'm going back to uni in October so I'm pretty excited about that. I've made a really big decision to move into my parents house. I haven't lived with them for three years but I just don't have enough space in the house I rent to do any studying. Big big big decision but I'm really happy. Hopefully it will work out.

Ahhh I'm revelling in this rare moment of being totally content with life!!

Last weekend, I had a shit time with my skin. I was so sad about it.

This week I've been eating really healthily. Haven't had any slip ups apart from two squares of dark chocolate and one muffin that I made myself (although it had zero sugar in it and sunflower spread instead of margarine.. was actually delicious surprisingly!).

Emotionally, I've been feeling a lot better. I have come to the conclusion that although my skin goes through periods of being in 'clearing up' and then goes back to breaking out. I need to stop getting excited every time I start clearing because I know it wont last.

The reason I feel calmer about my current break out is that I have decided to ask my derm for roaccutane. I've done lots of research and although the side effects are really grim, I need to explore the option because it has so many success stories with actually curing acne. eg. my mum. She took roaccutane and she never had acne again. And hers was more severe than mine.

And so, I've made an appointment with my derm - 12th August. I feel like it's time to take dramatic action and stop faffing around with topicals that aren't working.

For the time being, I've changed my regimen. I've stopped using epiduo in the day time and now it is:


5 minute Organic Honey Mask

Clinique Acne Solutions Bar Soap

Mixture of freshly squeezed lemon juice and ACV as toner - apply with cotton wool

Cetaphil Moisturiser

(as usual, no makeup)


15 minute Organic Honey Mask

Clinique Acne Solutions Bar Soap

Clinique Acne Solutions Clarifying Lotion


Cetaphil Moisturiser

Also I bought some Vitamin A tablets last night and have added 1600IU a day to my huge supplement regimen.

I'm not going to use turmeric as a mask very often. The yellow is too apparent on my skin tone. I can't bring myself to drink it again, it was so disgusting. I am, however, using it in my food quite a bit. It's strong and an acquired taste but I'm sure I can disguise it with chilli.

Peace out everyone. As always I've been updating my skin diary in my gallery.

I will wait and see if this actually makes a difference...

Haven't written a blog for a while. Mainly been posting.

I've used epiduo for a month now. I think I was using it wrong. I'd apply it all over my chin at night, even the places that weren't broken out. In the morning I couldn't face the day without some kind of spot treatment to protect me. So I would dab small apounts of epiduo onto the active spots.

I read yesterday that Retin A shouldn't be over used - it irritates the skin and makes it more sensitive to breaking out (I hope I wrote that right...?) and I wondered if I might be doing the same thing with the epiduo.

So this morning I washed my face with Clinique Acne Solutions soap bar, then I waited for my skin to dry. Then I used freshly squeezed lemon juice and applied it all over my face like a toner with a cotton ball. I didn't dilute it so it did sting slightly. When that dried I put Cetaphil Moisturiser on like usual and went to work.

Current Status: Broken out. About 7 active spots, can't remember how many dying and baby spots there are at the moment. Big step back after all my epiduo progress. It's kind of gotten progressively worse since last Friday.

I do want to start treating the red/purple marks and scaring. I had held off on this before after a bad experience with BioOil. I heard that Turmeric is really good for helping scarring. Last Friday I mixed lemon juice with turmeric powder and a little water and applied like a mask to my face. I left it on for half an hour then washed off.

I haven't noticed any improvement yet but my skin was stained yellow. I had to wipe it away with a towel for ages.

I also read that consuming Turmeric is very good for lots of different things including acne and scaring. So I put one tsp of powder into my hot water and lemon slice this morning. It tasted really unpleasant. But I washed it down with water and didn't leave an after taste. It didn't stain my tongue or teeth so that's good.

I'm going to continue using Epiduo at night and lemon toner in the mornings and see how I get on.

Also I have a derm appointment on the 12th August and I'm going to ask for Accutane. I think enough is enough by now.

Day 22

I've added pictures to my gallery :cool:

I was thinking that finally the left side of my chin was clear of acne and that it was merely the scars that I would have to deal with. Wrong again. EVERY time I think I might be clear a brand new cluster of spots come up.

Last night I noticed that THREE new spots were forming and they were going to be big ones. I felt like crying. Why why why?!?! I’ve changed my diet, I don’t wear makeup, I don’t pick, I drink my body weight in water and green tea and I literally take SEVEN different supplements a day.

Also there is one on the right side of my mouth that has been there for quite a while and just gets bigger and bigger. I keep thinking it is dying and will fall off but NOPE. It keeps coming back to life. Antichrist spot. BAH!

Anyway last night my sales meeting ran until 8 so didn’t have a chance to get to the pharmacy. Got up extra early this morning to get it. Smothered by chin in BP (2.5%), waited for it to dry then used the moisturiser which is called Cetaphil. Wow that stuff is thick. Accidentally put way too much on. Luckily it soaked in pretty well. I will find out tonight how well it works under makeup.

So…. I begin a new regimen.

Clinique Acne Solutions Foaming Cleanser

Clinique Acne Solutions Clarifying Lotion

BP 2.5%

Cetaphil Moisturiser

This will be morning and night.

PLEASE work this time. I am beginning to lose my rag with this.

So I've added more pictures to my album - Please have a look and maybe let me know if it seems like it's getting any better? My obsession is blinding me a bit.

The big new spot on my chin is very painful as is the one on my left cheek. As quickly as the old spots are diminishing new ones are forming. VERY frustrating!

I experimented last night with vitamin E oil - popped a capsule and rubbed into my skin. It is SO thick. My boyfriend came round without warning and found it hilarious. He puts up with such a lot of crazy experiments with my skin. Honey and lemon masks, egg masks etc.

I broke my no wheat diet - he brought round a bottle of wine and a box of Kelloggs fruit and fibre. He declared that he had bought round some 'treats'. The reason being he had previously seen me snacking on dry cereal at his house so assumed that I had a bran/dried fruit fettish. No Rob, you simply don't do enough food shopping, I take what I can get.

I ate it anyway. yum.

Annyway, emotionally I am feeling OK about my skin. Recently I seem to skip between acceptance and MURDERY ANGER that it keeps bloody coming back. Ahhh I am enjoying the peace of mind today but uncomfortably awaiting the rage. (I am such an exaggerater...)

Over the weekend I had my promo gig. I had to dress like a 60s air hostess and approach lots of people to promote the new Lynx spray. My colleagues on the job were three beautiful, thin working models. I was out of place but I didn't notice, I felt confident with my makeup and in the sexy uniform and actually got just as much attention as the real models.

Then on Sunday I visited my parents.

The first thing my mum said to me was "Abi your skin looks terrible. Go to Clinique and get a refund."

I cried for half an hour. It totally killed my confidence. I wanted to cancel all my plans. I have never felt more self conscious and insecure.

I actually felt like I was making progress and looking better. The worst part was is that I always tell myself "Abi, you notice your skin more than everyone else. When people look at you, they don't only see acne". And now I know I was just kidding myself.

So here I am, emotionally starting over. And trying not to blame my mum for trying to help and be constructive and accidentally hurting me.

B3 has stopped giving me the flush, I don't know whether to up my dose again if my body has got used to it... Will do some research today. And some work of course!

Day 15

Thursday 16th June

Did a quick lemon and honey face mask in the bath yesterday. It was quick because I ran a bath, prepared the mixture, got my bath playlist on... mmm sunk into the warm water with the sweet sticky mask healing my skin - paradise.

BANG BANG BANG "ABS WE ARE LEAVING FOR THE CINEMA IN TEN MINUTES AND YOUR BOYFRIEND IS HERE". Ah shit I forgot he was coming and I deifnitely forgot about seeing X Men First Class.

Jumped out of the bath and washed my face. Decided to go sans make up, even though my skin is in that stage of healing and being white and crusty and rank.

I took 200mg Niacin B3 just as the film started so I could get my flush over and done with in the dark (clever hey!)

After the cinema I went to the bathroom and looked in the mirror for a while... Girls standing next to me had such smooth skin and mine looked so red and bumpy in comparison. For the rest of the night I was careful to turn my head away from my boyfriend and let my hair fall forwards to cover my face.

This morning my skin does look like its healing and getting better. I know the crustiness will fall off eventually so I'm restraining myself from getting my nails involved and having a pick fest.

I've added new photos to my gallery to show my progress. I'm keeping it in my head that my skin DOES look a lot better than before and trying not to let the money and effort and anger get to me!

Wednesday 15th June 2011

I bought some new supplements yesterday! Spent 25squid on those little bastards. Was very interested in the Niacin after reading review on here.

Took 200mg this morning and I definitely experienced the flush. First my ears got hot and red, I looked in my rear view mirror and caught sight of my face, it looked as if I'd been slapped. So red. Then my hands and arms... I looked in the mirror and saw blotchy redness...

Anyway it only lasted for about half an hour.

I have two new spots on my cheeks that are quite painful. The ones on my chin are being a bit stubborn… I used lemon juice again last night, couple of minutes after I applied I felt very tight and uncomfortable.

I looked in the mirror and it looked like I’d been in an altercation with a cheese grater. Definitely won’t use lemon on it’s own again, will mix it 50/50 with honey.

In terms of how I feel about my skin today, I don’t feel sad about it. I can’t wait for my hair appointment tomorrow to get my roots done – bad hair AND bad skin doesn’t fill me with confidence about myself!

Day 13

Tuesday 14th June 2011

New large spot on my cheek, my chin has about 8 active spots, a couple of dying ones. My chin, nose and sides of nose seem to have developed yet more black heads - but I can deal with those later.

Although my breakout is quite bad, I think that it is probably just a purge and that it is getting better. I'm feeling quite positive about my skin today. Will go for a walk in the sun (if it appears) on my lunch break to get a dose of vit D and seratonin :cool:

Oh and I meant to go get new supplements yesterday: B3, B5, fish oil and vit D. But by the time I got to the shops I realised I'd forgotten my purse - dumbass!

Will get those today and hopefully they will help...

Also I realised I have nearly no fat in my diet so will get an an avacado for my lunch to have with a smoked salmon and spinnach salad with lemon juice dressing :wacko:

Oh and it is urgent that my skin gets a little better by Saturday because I'm doing a promotion campaign for Lynx spray and I'm pretty much getting paid to look nice and be confident, hurry up good skin!

PS I forgot to say how DRYYYYY my skin is now. The moisturiser half way empty in less than two weeks because I need to use SO much to get any effect. Will definitely sack it off after this tube.

Day 12

Monday 13th June 2011

I totally ruined my skin diet over the weekend... Friday went for a Japanese with my family and friends. So it was rice city and we drank so much that on the train back we were dancing up and down the carriage singing (the carriage of people ended up joining in AND the conductor, wish I could post youtube videos on here. It was like a flash mob of middle aged people).

Saturday I ate my weight in cakes and curry and drank enough wine to find it a good idea to bump and grind to improvised jazz with my friends - typical family party for me.

Anyway, my skin has broken out quite a bit. I've persevered with the Clinique regimen but the moisturiser is nearly finished!!!!! I only bought it 13 days ago. It's so drying that you need to use quite a lot. I'm thinking about returning it and starting on the perscription moisturiser instead.

Oh and I did a lemon and honey mask on Saturday whilst in the bath (see above) which did improve the appearance of my skin around the blemishes but did absolutely nothing for my existing spots.

Last night I went to my boyfriends house to chill out and watch LOTR and feast more. His housemate's girlfriend was there and is honest to god the most BEAUTIFUL girl I've seen in my life, her skin has never heard of a pore. She looks like a cross between Megan Fox and Olivia Wilde. I feel SO self conscious around her so I caked myself in foundation. My boyfriend found it all a bit strange, I pretty much never wear makeup around him - never thought I'd be embarrassed because of WEARING makeup!!

New regimen - morning and night clinique routine, honey and lemon mask one hour before bed.

Day 11

Sunday 12th June 2011

Ugly skin break out from weekend piss up...

Did hang over recovery with a long hot bath with a honey and lemon mask with Its Always Sunny In Phillidelphia (best show ever, why does that not air in the UK?!?!?!) on my laptop. After I took it off my skin definitely looks more alive but the zits are still quite rank looking...

10th June cont.

Just got back from my derm appointment. I don't feel like it was very successful, she gave me a perscription for some vit A + BP topical cream and some perscription moisturiser. So I guess I've wasted a shit load of cash on the clinique stuff. 8 weeks before I will see ANY results which makes me feel so crappy.

My mum had very bad acne and went on roaccatain when she was my age and the derm explained that it's nothing that I'm doing wrong - it's just genetics. Which makes me feel worse. I wish it was something I was doing so that I could change it. a 'pre-disposition' to acne makes me feel really out of control.


(today is the 14th of June and I've still not picked up my prescription, lazy!)

Day 9

Friday 10th June 2011

Last night I was meant to go for a family meal and then go to my boyfriends house. People who have seen my skin at its worst and love me anyway. I had a break out yesterday and I felt so depressed, I've been doing EVERYTHING for my skin and literally spent over £100 on products this month.

I tried to power through, did a honey mask to take down the redness and used a makeup brush to apply the clinique anti blemish foundation. It kind of made the raised lumps look more obvious and the shaddows and zits made the foundation look darker - it looked like I had a strange beard.

I ended up cancelling on everyone and stayed in. It made me feel so depressed that I'd spent yet another evening doing jack shit because of my skin.

My boyfriend called me and for the first time I told him how upset I am about my skin - I was crying and choking and blubbering about how ANGRY I am. He told me he still thinks I'm beautiful but I still couldn't stop crying until I fell asleep.

I am so exhausted - I am powerless to acne.

I have my first appointment with the dermatologist today so hopefully I can get some answers from a professional rather than a barbie in a labcoat at the clinique counter.

Day 8

Thursday 9th June 2011

Woke up this morning and have had a few new pimples. I think it is because I was on the phone at work yesterday and was holding the receiver to my face with my shoulder. Also work is VERY stressful at the moment so I suppose that isn't helping.

Despite this, my skin does look like it is healing. But I'm not going to get too excited because I can see some bigger zits hiding under the skin ready to emerge.

The Clinique Anti Blemish Foundation is proving to be the best foundation I've tried so far. It hasn't caused me to break out and is definitely drying the pimples out. I'm going to buy a foundation brush to help apply it more evenly but I am afraid of the bacteria on makeup brushes - does anyone have any tips for this?

Oh and I tried a honey mask last night. I lay in the bath watching gossip girl on my laptop with raw runny honey all over my face. It did make my skin feel softer and took the redness away slightly, but I ended up just licking the honey off my face. So delicious.

Day 7

Wednesday 8th June 2011

Last night I went to the pub and had some greasy fried foods then had a huge bag of sweets at the cinema so I was fearing break out this morning from all the crappy food and wine. Especially because I wore the new Clinique foundation ALL day yesterday - and I rarely/never wear makeup all day.

This morning, no new spots. The pimples that came up on Sunday are fading very quickly. My skin seems less oily.

The redness is still quite apparent - I used to use sudacrem to sort out the reddness but I think the thick cream caused more pimples simultaneously.

The dying pimples are very dry. What I will say about the foundation is that so far - it is very good. BUT it is drier than my skin is used to. I looked in the mirror yesterday and saw that there were dry tiny circles of skin lifting away from my face. My boyfriend thought I'd got crumbs on my face and tried to brush it off (that was actually quite funny). I'm sure this will stop if the wash etc sorts out the pimples.

Day 6

Tuesday 7th June 2011

At work yesterday, I was the least productive I've ever been. Spent the entire day on here and looking at review for different products. Decided to give lemon a shot. I've not had great experiences of putting food on my face - the egg STUNK, the mask was tight and uncomfortable and my housemates thought I had a bizarre fetish.

I squeezed some lemon into a ramikin and let a cotton wool ball soak up the juice. I applied it all over my face hoping to neutralise the PH of my face (that sounds sciency but really I'm just guessing). Then I got in the bath hoping that it would steam my pores open to allow the lemon in.

I didn't see immediate results but this morning my face does look less angry. I can't tell if that is down to the Clinique routine or the lemon. Also I have upped my dosage of Zinc to 50mg instead of 25mg.

I went back to the Clinique counter today and asked for the Anti Blemish foundation as I heard it can help heal existing zits and not aggravate new ones. The nice lady colour matched for me perfectly. I've read bad reviews about the anti blemish foundation... That the colours are bad and that it looks fake and cakey. I think that it really is just down to getting the right product for your skin? I applied it with my fingers this morning just to areas with red spots or active zits and it covered just as well as Maybelline minerals liquid and BETTER than Bare Minerals (which was a waste of money, I wish I could return).

I'll update on how the new routine goes adding foundation. I'm just a bit tired of coming into the office looking like I've just rolled out of bed because my face is naked and appears to have been clawed with a garden rake.

Day 5

Monday 6th June 2011

My skin seemed to be getting a little better. I didn't have any new spots Saturday or Sunday. The Clinique is drying out the spots so that when they die there is a tiny circle of dead skin that comes away with the clarifying lotion.

I wore foundation on Saturday because the redness was quite bad and I think it broke me out... On Sunday evening I noticed that there were three baby spots forming around my mouth. I'm using the Clinique Blemish Gel on all the spots so I am hoping that these don't develop.

After running three packs of Yasmin together I'm having my week break so I was expecting to get a few pimples.

The large cyst that was forming on my chin never reached the full volcano status that I'm used to. It has actually nearly gone - encouraging.

I finally got a reply from the doctors and have an appointment with the dermatologist on Friday after 4 months of waiting- hooray!

Day 2

Friday 3rd June 2011

Today, no new spots. The cystic monster on my chin hasn't got any bigger but still red. The ones around my mouth and cheek are dying and looking crispy, no new spots. So far so good.

I'm not wearing any make up at all but will try wearing foundation tonight when I go out for dinner. I use bare minerals which isn't great for coverage but I feel safer that it won't give me MORE spots (so they say). I can't wait for clear skin so I can wear good makeup again or better yet, not need to wear any at all. Fingers crossed!

Thursday 2nd June 2011

So I start with the Foaming Wash - 1 pump. Smells a little bit like grout but not unpleasant.

Pat face dry with my clean towel (I wash my towels within an inch of their lives - rigid as hell)

I use a cotton bud to apply the exfoliating clarifying lotion which has a fine powder in it that removes dead cells (and it does, cotton wool looks yellow with dead skin bits on it) This step makes me face sting a little which I like because I think it's probably working

Once it's dry I use the oil free moisturiser. I used to use Palmers Butter on my face because it contains Vitamin E so comparatively, my face feels dry. But not tight or unbarable.

Then I dot the gel onto my spots. This step makes me realise how many I have...

Over night my red spots have already gotten their white faces out. I love/hate this stage because I know that spot is nearly gone but also I can't put makeup on it because it is so 3D and tempramental. My skin does look a little clearer.


I have been posting my progress on the forum but have decided to move it all to a blog instead.

I started getting acne about three years ago. I went to Australia (frickin awesome!) gained 3 stone due to over indulgence and general happiness. Returned to the UK and lost 3 stone in three months due to training for three peaks challenge and quitting the beer (I miss you beer!)

My formally clear skin went insane! I had cyctic nodules and a lot of red angry spots, mainly around my mouth but also spread to my cheeks. I wish I had some photos of it at its worst but I was so depressed that I stopped appearing in photos... I'm sure everyone here will know how it feels to look in the mirror and feel so exhausted from fighting this persistent b@stard that you have to swallow back tears and look away...

I have learnt my lesson RE squeezing spots. I'm NEVER going to squeeze another. Spots go in a week, scars last for years.

Things I have tried:

Gaining weight

Drinking over 6 pints of water a day (seems to work but I am forever needing a wee)

Eating a gazillion fruit and veg

Taking supplements - zinc, evening primrose oil, sea kelp, skin hair and nails, vitamin B5 (these are mega expensive and I'm not sure if they actually work)

Taking oxytetracycline - I hear these stain your teeth

Using Duac BP Gel - This majorly thinned the skin around my mouth and caused me to have deep lines. I'm 22. damn you duac!

Paracetamol Face Mask - pretty good exfoliator

Egg White Face Mask - Made me smell like an egg and my housemates thought I was weird

Washing my sheets twice a week.

Clean & Clear Gel

Tea Tree Foam Face Wash

Tea Tree Cream

Bio Oil - Why did I pay so much money to get more spots?

Sudacrem - this worked REALLY well getting rid of old acne scars

NONE of the above worked at getting rid of my acne.

Currently I am on Yasmin which is mainly beause I didn't get on with IUD and needed different birth control. I can't see it doing much to my skin and it has made my boobs enormous and I am ravenously hungry.

OK so back to Clinique Anti Blemish 3-Step System

I went to the Debenhams, the lady was wearing a lab coat which I found quite funny. She talked me through the science of why people get spots (kinda preaching the the choir buddy). Talked me through the 3-Step system and also sold me on a fourth which is a topical gel similar to Clean & Clear 4 Hour Gel apart from it doesn't explode every time you take the top off.

Paid £55 (ish) for the 4 steps. Used as soon as I got home. I currently have 5 large red spots around my mouth, a cyctic nodule on my chin and several more small red bumps getting themselves ready.