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re-starting the regimen

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In the last week I had a few days with NO new spots! This is the first time this has happened since I was twelve! Sadly I got 3 yesterday because I used a different moisturiser and it broke me out. Just on a whim I tried a really rich one that I bought for my daughter's eczema and it made me greasy and spotty. I've gone back to my usual stuff now and they have calmed down already, phew!

My routine is:


wash with cetaphil gentle cleanser

moisturise with Naturally Thinking Simple moisturiser

use makeup (I've discovered that it really does stop me picking!)


Remove makeup with Clinique foaming cleanser

wash with cetaphil gentle cleanser

Dan's BP

moisturise with a few drops of jojoba oil followed by Naturally Thinking moisturiser.

For 'on the spot' treatment I'm using a blob of Oxy 10% BP, but only on the big ones.

I'd say my skin is looking normal now and with no flakes-at last!

Sorry I haven't written in a while, have had a whole load of crap happen last week. A pipe burst under the kitchen sink and flooded the house. All the carpets are ruined, skirting boards and walls. To top it all off we discovered what appears to be asbestos tiles underneath which have become warped and are coming up. No repairs can be done until they are all tested and removed. My hubby is having kittens as his dad died of asbestos induced cancer a couple of years ago. I'm worried too but he is really driving me mad with his stress.

On a plus point, I just had my 20 week scan and we decided to find out what we're having this time. It's a boy!

I'm so fed up with this site losing my entries all the time. I don't know how much time I've wasted typing things up just for them to disappear.

Anyway, I'm sorry I haven't written in a while, being away on holiday got me out of the habit.

Currently my skin looks almost normal again. I finally got rid of most of the dryness by reducing the BP application to night time only (2 pumps) and using double the moisturiser in the morning. I thought I would totally break out but my skin seems to have stabilised and is ok, I only have about one active zit at a time now. Another neat trick I've learned is to use mashed ripe avocado as a face mask! It's amazing and leaves my skin glowing and super moisturised. I highly recommend trying this once you have been on the regimen at least a month.

I have re-introduced makeup again. Not full foundation but concealer around my T zone mainly. This has really boosted my confidence and it hasn't made my skin worse, whereas even a few weeks ago even the tiniest bit of makeup made me flare up. This means that I have to add in a proper makeup cleanser too, I'm using a foaming one from Clinique and it's doing a good job. I still follow up with cetaphil cleanser afterwards to make sure everything is gone. So far, no adverse reactions so I'm really pleased!

The wedding that I went up to Scotland for went well. I was pleased that I looked nice for it and not mega zitty. I only had one on my forehead but my fringe covered it. My baby bump looked really huge next to another expectant mum's though, and she was two months ahead of me! I spent most of the wedding aawing at my 3 year old daughter, she looked so cute in a little red Chinese dress and she enjoyed strutting her stuff on the dance floor!

Had a bit of a manic week as our house sale/purchase all fell through, the people we wanted to buy from decided not to sell since their son just died and they were too upset. I understand completely but it was still a bit disappointing after going through legal processes for the last 4 months and spending lots of money on solicitors and surveys etc. Overall though, hubby and I are quite happy at the thought of not taking on a much bigger mortgage. I think we'll just extend the current house. It won't be as big as the new house would have been but means we will be able to pay off the mortgage in about 7 years.

Why does this website keep screwing up? My blog entries keep disappearing while I write them! So annoying.

I arrived in Scotland after an 8 hour drive and the first thing my mum says to me is "Wow, you're so spotty". Thanks very much. There was me thinking my skin was a bit better! I did have about 3 spots but she must have been looking at all the red marks as well.

I think I will cut my BP usage down to once a day in the evenings because my skin is unbearably dry again. Each time I move my face it feels like it is cracking and dead skin is dropping all over my clothes, despite using jojoba oil. I really need to sort things out before I attend this wedding on Saturday! I just don't feel presentable at the moment, I feel like a leper or something. This morning I bravely decided to forego the BP and went straight to moisturiser and jojoba oil. It felt SO good and my skin looks NICE today. I hope this doesn't break me out but it has been about 6 hours and no sign of new zits yet. We shall see....

I probably won't be doing much blogging over the next week as I'm on holiday visiting my parents in Scotland/attending a friend's wedding but will try to give at least one update.

The day after my recent exfoliation horror wasn't as bad as I'd thought it would be, I didn't get more red or spotty but just felt like my skin was burning with the BP. All the same I won't be trying that again.

I got one new spot yesterday but no others so my skin is looking okay, not clear but a million times better than it has been for months. I am quite flaky today (both mentally and skin-wise!) so maybe I need to moisturise more, I'm wearing all black today and look like I have dandruff. I never thought I would be the victim of face dandruff!

On a more personal note I went to see a magic show today with hubby and daughter and learned how to make balloon animals! I don't know why we got turd coloured balloons to make the parrots though. I also bought a pressure cooker; sounds really boring but I'm well excited! I was always scared of those things exploding but I found out that the new ones have safety valves and don't do that anymore. Imagine, bolognese sauce in 30 minutes, pot roast in 45 minutes, stew in 10 minutes, soup in 5.....how did I live without one for so long? I made a delicious bean and sausage casserole in 10 minutes today and it tasted as though I'd been slow cooking it for 3 hours. If you don't have one, get one now!!!

I'm almost all packed and ready for a long 9-10 hour drive tomorrow. I will try to resist looking in the car mirror at my skin. I swear they make me look much worse than I really do, like aeroplane toilet mirrors, they magnify every zit and mark and shadow. I think I will make excuses not to drive....

A lesson learned. DON'T EXFOLIATE ON THE REGIMEN!!! After resisting for so long I stupidly got my clarisonic out and exfoliated the crap out my skin. I did get loads of gunk out, but some of it was only partially out of my pores so I decided to pick....and squeeze! The next error was putting BP onto my red raw face and it really hurt! The small red one (yes, I squished the bejeesus out of it) next to my nose has suddently grown a lot under the skin and feels all hot. Stupid stupid stupid. Only truckloads of luck will ensure that I don't wake up with a face full of zits tomorrow after all the irritation I've caused.

Skin aside, I had a midwife appointment today and got to hear the baby's heartbeat, so at least everything is ok. My daughter has decided to name the bump DeeBee. I think she's quite excited at the prospect of having a little bro or sis, she says she's going to share all her toys-aaw! I got all my old maternity clothes out of the attic but they're so FAT looking, surely I didn't fit into those last time?!

After all my makeup shopping yesterday I looked so dolled up, I even had smoky dramatic eyes! I would have put false lashes on if I had somewhere to go to. Sadly, hubby was not in the mood for any fun at all as he got food poisoning from having eggs benedict for breakfast with his boss. When it came to taking the makeup off I was reminded of how I really didn't look glamorous in real life AND I got 3 new zits. Serves me right! I was better behaved today and only used a tiny tiny smudge of concealer on some of my red scars. The BP did work well last night though, the 3 spots were much smaller than expected today.

Still have a little dry skin around my jaw, it feels like crepe paper! I hope I'm not stuck with the dryness forever. I wonder how long it takes for the skin to fully adjust to the full 2 pumps of BP?

I just suddenly remembered that I have a wedding in Scotland mid October and I will need to find makeup that will work on my 'new' skin. Gulp. Although my skin doesn't look that dry anymore, any attempt to use makeup shows up any previously invisible flakes. None of my existing stuff is working so I went to a giant Boots store today to have a look. Nothing seemed the right colour and everything looked so cakey, I'm used to seeing my skin being more natural now! BTW, here's a tip for product shopping: take little tiny travel sized jars with you. Add blank labels and take a pen. That way you can take home any samples you like without having to ask. Make sure you write what's in each jar! I took a sample of a foundation from Lancome but I have a feeling it won't be The One. I got some false lashes and a recipe book though!

Skin is looking so much better today, although feeling a bit drier. I think I didn't use enough moisturiser-I wonder if it's ok to use more during the day when I need it? I have no new zits and and for the first time in months, no whiteheads. Hooray!

As a makeup and product junkie I am trying SO hard to resist all my lovely bottles of foundation, exfoliators and face masks. Maybe it's just the nice packaging, or maybe it's all the remaining miniscule bits of dry skin tempting me. Perhaps I should hide everything or chuck it all away! At least I'm getting better at not picking so much.

Zit-wise there are no new ones which is AMAZING, although if you were to put paint on my face and stick it onto a piece of paper a la potato printing style you would still see a pizza because of all the remaining bumps, scars and scabs (Hmm, scab pizza). My cheeks are looking fairly clear though and dare I say it, looked like they had a healthy glow? Must be the lighting as I've never had that before! My mouth and chin area is still red (although not dry now!) and makes me look like I have a goatee. Not a good look for a pregnant lady, I'm like a bearded blimp.

The jojoba oil is still working, although I'm finding that it doesn't mix particularly well with moisturiser and goes all lumpy. I've started applying a few drops of the oil on my face first and then applying the moisturiser on top. It's faster this way too as the cream just smoothes on easily.

I've been trying to eat more healthily by aiming to have a mainly vegetarian diet but failed miserably yesterday in Ikea as the meatballs and chips looked too good. They were worth the guilt though! I made minestrone soup in the evening to make up for it. I definitely feel that whenever I eat more meat and/or junk my skin is not so good. I think I need to plan more tasty veggie meals. This week I plan to cook veggie hot and sour soup, vegetable gyoza and aubergine parmigiana. Phwooaar, I feel hungry now!

It's been about 4 days of using the full amount of Dan's BP with jojoba oil and my skin suddenly almost cleared last night. Today I have about 4 spots but they're healing ones, not new ones. I'm so astonished! The Cetaphil cleanser seems to be helping too as it doesn't strip my skin and is really gentle. I can't contribute any improvement to the cetaphil mopisturiser though since I only used it once and it stung a lot. I did spend a few hours in the sun yesterday so maybe that helped? It was almost 30 degrees Celsius and it was the 1st October in the UK-amazing or what?! I was at a children's farm with my 3 year old daughter and husband and had a lovely day feeding the animals. The highlight was when my daughter's whole hand was engulfed by a cow's mouth, much to her disgust!

This is what I am using twice a day:

  • Cetaphil gentle cleanser
  • A spray of green tea on my face (and drinking 2-3 cups a day)
  • Dan's BP-full amount
  • Naturally Thinking Simply natural moisture cream
  • a few drops of jojoba oil, also from naturally thinking (www.naturallythinking.com

I am trying really hard not to touch my face and I'm following Dan's directions exactly. I'm also changing my towels and pillow cases more often. I didn't think my skin would ever clear but it looks like it will happen very soon.

I still look a bit pants since I have lots of red marks from old spots but I can deal with that!

Oh my goodness, I didn't realise how amazing jojoba oil was! I had used it before as a body moisturiser but not on my face as I didn't really know how to use it properly. About 4 days ago I stared mixing it into my moisturiser and within about a day my skin stopped looking like a flaky red pastry and was almost normal! I wish I'd used it earlier, it has made a massive difference to the feel and comfort of my face. Because it's less dry I am no longer picking so much and I have a lot less zits. I have about 6 new spots around my mouth and chin and several that are healing but they have mostly cleared from the rest of my face. I am still getting new ones every day though although less than before.

My order for Cetaphil came through yesterday (took ages) and I tried the gentle cleanser and moisturising cream last night. The cleanser is unlike any other I've tried, it is like a translucent cream cleanser which doesn't foam up but rinses off really easily. I like how it feels, it does feel gentle and doesn't strip my skin. I don't know if it's any good for removing makeup though but it claims to be. The moisturiser is thick and creamy. It moisturised well mixed with the jojoba oil but my face did sting afterwards.

I am feeling more encouraged now, I still don't look great but things are a lot better than they were a few weeks ago.

All the original breakouts have gone now but I have a whole new set of pimples with whiteheads!

Two days ago I thought that all the whiteheads had dried up but they're having another party so I'm not too pleased at the mess. They're mainly on my T zone. I admit that I have been touching my face too much as the skin is so dry; I've been picking and rubbing at it. I really need to stop! I'm hoping that once my skin gets more used to the BP it won't be so itchy and I won't be as tempted. The thing is, I'm not even aware of it sometimes.

I was watching some reviews on youtube and one girl on the regimen said that wearing foundation actually helped to stop her pickinig because she didn't want to mess it up. I guess it depends whether zits are caused by the makeup or the picking! There's no way I can wear foundation anyway as my skin is cracking so much. I just got some jojoba oil so I will add a little to my moisturiser to see if it helps. Previously when I was on the regimen I used the basic moisturiser from Naturally Thinking but they must have changed the formula as it's thicker and greasier than I remember. It's also not mixing well over the BP. So, but I went ahead and ordered Cetaphil gentle cleanser and moisturising cream from Lloyds Pharmacy (not seen it in the shops here). I was going to try Dan's cleanser and moisturiser but went for the cheaper option! It's about £21 including delivery.

I went out for the first time without any makeup today! Up to now I'd been dusting a little powder foundation over the red areas but I went out whiteheads and all to drop my daughter off at nursery and then traipsed to the supermarket. No one said anything of course but I felt a bit self conscious; however, I did survive and I'm proud of my small achievement.

I've just started week 3 of the regimen and my skin has cleared a lot, at present there are only 6 medium zits and some tiny ones. I still don't feel confident though as my face is so red, itchy and flaky. The last couple of days have been especially bad in the morning. Both days I've had to wash the BP and moisturiser off completely as it burned so much it was unbearable. I think I will continue with the BP at night but give it a break in the morning. I'm using half a finger's length of panoxyl 2.5 in the evening so it's not that much yet.

Now that things have cleared up more I've started noticing hundreds of little red marks from old spots. I'm not worrying too much about them yet until I get clear. In future I would like to try Dan's AHA. Many years ago Garnier used to make an AHA moisturiser which was brilliant but they disontinued it after a year or so; I hope Dan's will be as good. I really wish he would sell stuff via someone in the UK (Hey Dan, maybe you could let me do it!!) so that we wouldn't have to shell out for high postage and customs. I would love to try the whole range.

Make-up wise I have cut down on my usage as it won't work over this mega dry skin. I can get away with a light dusting of powder foundation and it's not breaking me out. I'm using The Barbara Daly one from Tesco and it gives a good coverage for me to feel ok enough to go out in public but it's not perfect. I don't dare use too much for fear of the cakey face look.

I'm still using the green tea spray a few times a day and drinking 2-3 cups as well. I think my skin cleared up much faster after I introduced it so I will continue with it. To re-hydrate my skin I've found a way to make a non irritating face mask (it doesn't require scrubbing or rinsing off). I got some compressed face masks and dipped them into green tea. They are thin cloths shaped like a mask and are compressed into a little tablet. When you stick one into fluid it expands and you can open it out and put it on. After a few minutes you can remove it-no mess at all! Have a look on ebay. You can use any liquid with them, like milk/dilute lemon juice/cucumber juice etc as there is no product inbedded within them.

I'm also trying to drink more water. I have an Android app on my phone which reminds me to drink and it shows a graph for how well I've done. It's noticeable that my skin gets worse when I drop below 5 glasses a day so I must remember to keep it up!

So furious, spent ages writing my blog and it just disappeared!! Going to shorten this entry now.

My skin has shown improvement in week 2. The original breakout has gone but a new one has taken it's place. Although not as severe, it's still quite bad. I have had several whiteheads, big red spots around my mouth and a hard cyst under my jaw. My skin overall is very red, tight, dry and flaky, as if I've had a chemical peel. Not a good look! Makeup definitely doesn't work but I can get away with a tiny amount of concealer on some of them. I have had to burst the whiteheads though as I need to see other human beings during the day and I can't face letting anyone see them in their full glory.

Given up on the panoxyl 10 wash for now, it was far too irritating at this stage, perhaps later I will give it a go once my skin looks less raw.

I am currently 14 weeks pregnant and had been suffering with severe indigestion. My mum suggested that I had been eating too much sugar and that I should try green tea. She was totally right, I had been eating more sweet food lately and the tea calmed down my stomach a lot. As a result I have been googling green tea and read reviews on makeup alley and acne.org. It turns out that it's good for acne too if you drink and apply it to the skin. Yesterday I drank 3 cups and sprayed it on my face after washing/before BP. This morning my skin looked so much better, the spots had shrunk a lot! It got me thinking about something that happened about 12 years ago. I was living in Taiwan for a year ( I studied Chinese at university) and my skin was completely acne free. As soon as I returned to the Uk it all came back again. I thought it might be to do with diet or climate but maybe it's to do with tea as well. When I was there almost 95% of what I drank was tea. In Taiwan they are tea crazy and everywhere you go you can try different varieties, even in 7-eleven! I am going to re-start this habit, although I can't go too mad since I am pregnant. Will probably limit myself to 3-4 cups a day.

I don't know why I never learn! This is going to be the third time I've started the regimen.

Silly me got too complacent and too lazy and I had two or three weeks away from using BP. BAM!! The worst breakout I've ever had in my life, my face was so awful I felt like I should be in a medical textbook. I had so many zits I couldn't even count them, they were red, full of pus, sore and most of all, embarrassing. There was no way I could cover them up with makeup, there wasn't a millimetre of clear skin. I've concluded that my skin will not function without benzoyl peroxide anymore, it is addicted!

I came straight to acne.org to refresh my memory of the regimen and promptly re-ordered supplies of panoxyl 2.5%. I still have half a bottle of Dan's BP but am normally wary of using it because when it evaporates it really hurts my eyes, however, until panoxyl arrives I will use it as I am out of everything else.

So far so good, within hours my skin had started to calm down. The next day I was getting the red dry face I remembered from last time: I really hate this bit! I must remember to never stop the regimen again so I don't have to go through this stage yet again.

Today is day 4 I think and nearly all the white heads have gone, the irritation has started to go as well because I switched from Simple moisturiser to Aveeno and it doesn't sting now. My skin is feeling pretty rough and bumpy but at least there are no gigantic spots. All of them about half the size they were but still very red. Several new ones have appeared under my mouth and on my chin but I have faith that they will clear soon. My forehead has millions of tiny bumps all over it and the same tiny bumps are covering the area under my ears. I hope that they will eventually clear, I don't normally suffer from them.

Psychologically I just felt yucky and disgusted with myself. Yesterday to combat this I started taking Bach's Crab Apple flower remedy. I was reading a book about flower remedies by Phillip Chancellor and he wrote about some case studies where acne was cured by them. I've taken 5 doses and I feel better already; I don't feel as horrified by my skin today whereas normally my current level of spottiness would be much more distressing.

I spent the last couple of days obsessing over product reviews and have just ordered panoxyl 10 face wash. Check out the reviews on makeupalley.com! I hope it will be a miracle product for me too. I am using Organic Surge's face wash and haven't been particularly impressed so I'm alternating with Naturally Thinking's liquid soap. I don't know if it will be too harsh to use a second BP product but there's only one way to find out.