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Adult Hormonal Acne, DKR and Diet

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OK so.... I'm an idiot. Well, not really an idiot, but I honestly wonder why I did this to myself - and why I canNOT stop picking in a vengeful rage against my poor, poor face. I added extra glycolic acid to the parts that are in the picture as obviously red and messed up. The rest of my skin basically looks fine, though since cutting down to just 1G Pantothenic acid supplementing a day it is definitely getting oilier.

Background info - I bought 70% Glycolic acid undiluted (extremely high percentage - use at your own risk) off Amazon for like, $15 or something. Prior to that I had used a whole bottle of salcylic acid treatments (I think they were 20%) over the course of 8 weeks or so. Each bottle has about 15 peels. I've done TCA peels (I think) with a facialist back when I was working and rich. Well, now I'm unemployed and poor so I just DIY.... to slightly terrifying results as you can see from the pics.

Anyways these can be good in helping resurface scars... which is what I wanted to do. The 70% glycolic is SUPER strong though, and can really burn. BE-WARE. Seriously. I'm embarrassed to leave the house tomorrow.

I have been nursing my wounds by applying pure organic coconut oil to the red bits, and picking incessantly (Bad Bad Bad, I know). I think the coconut oil will be good though, since it has antibacterial properties... however, I feel a new pimple on my chin. Hormones. Or oil applied? Who knows.

I'm taking a slight deviation from the regimen here.

My neck acne has cleared!!!! And still no big cystic acne (PHEW) along the jawline, but I do have cyst-like acne that is smaller and just as stubborn...

All in all, I'd say my skin is slightly better than it was in Feb/March. Diet is crucial, as usual.

While I love juicing, I was noticing it was making me a bit fat - believe it or not - and that the sugar content in the juices is something of concern. I'm trying to incorporate more organic, local meats and wild fish into my diet now. I also eat spoonfuls of coconut oil. I'm basically following this diet 'the primal bluebrint' which is similar to paleo diet but includes a more comprehensive lifestyle plan.

Anyways, I am pretty horrified with my stupid glycolic peel results. I only left it on my skin for like, a minute or two - tops. I think I'm going to throw the bottle away - or otherwise wait until I have no active acne to do another one in some time. I made the mistake of trying to 'burn' away the pimples - and ended up with these freaky ass big red spots in the places I 'spot' treated. I know it won't scar (I have some experience with these things) I just have to stay out of the sun and stop picking. Actually after the redness subsides it should leave my skin looking better in a day or two... Perhaps I should update then.

What I am going to do is try and be better about being consistent.

I have been doing DKR - but a modified version of it because my skin simply cannot handle the method of doing moisturizer after lathering a thick layer of bp on. It spreads the bp all over, and causes way too much irritation. The cleanser is pretty drying too, I've noticed. Anyways - I still do thick layers of the bp around the jawline and cheeks (I just moisturize the other parts of my face first).

The pix, sorry if they are gross, I am posting them here as a "cautionary tale" of sorts. But also, there is hope - especially with these peels, it's usually worse before it gets better.

But overall, I'd REALLY like to update with smooth clear perfectly nice acne free pics very very soon.... This whole mild/moderate adult/hormonal bla bla acne thing is really getting old.

I haven't been great about following the regimen to a T as recommended by Dan, unfortunately... It has been too drying to my skin, and using moisturizer after applying the BP just inevitably has me slathering it on parts of my face I don't have acne to begin with - which causes it to look sorta damaged and doesn't help me keep it concentrated on the problem areas like around my chin. I was using Cetaphil cleanser and moisturizer because they are a bit more nourishing, but now that I've run out of those I will resume using the products from the regimen and hopefully that will see me more clear in a few weeks.

NO NEW CYSTIC ACNE AT ALL so far... I think that is primarily because I completely cut out Greek yogurt from my diet, which I was eating basically every day before when I used to have the cystic acne the worst. I assumed yogurt wasn't dairy because the probiotics 'feed' off the lactose... But anyways, just wanted to flag that for anyone who might be curious about yogurt and has female hormonal acne. While I enjoyed the protein and probiotics of yogurt, I'm not going to risk the acne by re-introducing it.

Still trying to maintain a mostly gluten free diet - but I've cheated - and cheated with things like cake/muffins/bagel/donut - especially last weekend. You can see in the pix that I'm kinda breaking out. I've been trying to do gluten free for a few years now and manage to be about 75% of the time, so it's just a matter of taking it to that next level. I think I'll always have to make an exception for cake though - just not every single month (cause we all know there are always plenty of occasions).

Been picking the acne that is on my neck like mad - I know, I know. Something about it not being on my face makes it extra hard for me not to pick at it. I never had neck acne before so it bothers me that much more... It's more foreign! More of a strange invader I absolutely must demolish... HA. No, this is bad, must stop.

Occasionally I'll wear BB Cream (I've been rotating from some Sephora samples of Dr Jart, Smashbox and Boscia) but this stuff does NOT smooth over the BP at all! Nightmares! So it's best to just use spot concealer, which I've never had problems with in the past clogging pores. I suspect the BB cream could potentially exacerbate comedonal acne (pretty much everything that covers my whole face I don't trust).

Perhaps the BP is also helping to keep the cystic acne at bay, but I have a hunch that completely eliminating dairy, as well as reducing coffee to a few times a week vs every day is part of it.

One thing the BP hasn't been so successful at is clearing up my damn comedonal acne - those little white bumps... I'm pretty bad about picking those too, and if I can just keep my hands off my face I'm sure I'll have way more luck clearing the acne overall.

Anyways - let's be positive here. YAY for no cystic acne!

And also, I got a juicer and have been drinking various vegetable/fruit juice combos daily. It's important to go easy on the fruits - ratio out fruit to veggie 1:5 or something... making it not sweet, but not too bitter. Juicing makes my skin GLOW and look really healthy and even toned. I cannot recommend it enough - and buying juice is NOT the same thing.

I'll juice kale/cucumber/celery/romaine/lemon/green apple (lowest in sugars) and ginger for a kick, or carrots with grapefruit and parsnips, sometimes beets... Anyways it's pretty great.

Gonna try and be a lot more strict with the no gluten moving forward, as well as more faithfully follow the regimen as much as I can.

Also, my skin started to get a bit more oily over the past few weeks - one thing I stopped being faithful with was the Pantothenic Acid supplementation. When I first started megadosing, my skin dramatically dried up. I've tapered the dose down to 1000mg/day, but in the past couple weeks had slacked on even taking that much (was worried about it making me deficient in other B-vitamins). So I am going to try and stick to taking at least 1000-2000mg daily again in order to dry the skin up a bit more.

Here's to hoping my next update is TOTALLY CLEAR!

NO NEW PIMPLES!!! I am scared to jinx this, seriously... I usually always have at least one or two...

Anyways, doing the regimen still, but I had some Cetaphil cleanser leftover and it is much gentler than the DKR cleanser so I have been using Cetaphil instead for the past few days.

Today I ate cake and chocolate (yeah Easter) so that will be a good test to see if this is the regimen keeping me clear! I got my period yesterday so normally at this time of the month I usually have 3-4 pimples. Now? NONE!!!!!

A couple things I'm doing differently with diet -

NO MORE GREEK YOGURT... I think the yogurt was contributing to my acne all this time...

NO MORE COFFEE EVERYDAY... I've been a big coffee drinker, at least a cup a day every day, but over the past week I have been drinking green tea occasionally, and I only had coffee twice.

GREEN JUICING = super food, super nutrient dense... juicing kale, apples, celery, lettuce, cucumber, ginger, lemon... and drinking juices all day then maybe eating one large meal. Also making carrot, grapefruit juices in the afternoon.. mmm..

So between these things and the regimen I may just be TOTALLY CLEAR... So far, no new pimples. All my active acne has cleared up, and I just have the scars to deal with now. I still however have comedonal acne which is basically just those annoying clogged pores along my chin and on the left side of my face.

So far so good, though. Too sleepy tonight but will update with pix soon.

LA di dah, new little under the skin thing on my chin - def a hormonal bugger.

Been eating this cake I made, leftovers of it, quite a bit as it's the only thing that makes me feel a bit better. Well, SUSHI lunch also made me feel really good today. I could feel the omega-3s seeping in.

Lathering on very generous amounts of BP over only active chin area, even layering 1 or 2 extra layers on throughout the night seems to be helping shrink what I have.

The pimples that appear, disappear VERY quickly now, but red marks seem to linger longer.

Normally I'd be having worse breakouts right now so I think the regimen is starting to work it's magic.

I exfoliated with my hands the other day in the shower. I know Dan says NO rubbing but I had a layer of skin built up so I felt I had to, and it was where I don't have acne anyways - so it is fine so far.

I'm generally really quite sick from discontinuing this antidepressant. I know this isn't the forum to talk about it, so I'll keep it brief, but it is seriously causing me a lot of challenging symptoms so while my acne is clearing a little bit it seems, my main priority is fighting through these withdrawals... hoping to feel less nauseas / dizzy / hopeless about depression very very soon you guys! Doing running and going to start juicing lots of greens tomorrow in order to really double down on the nutrition.

So, today I ate -

quinoa/rice/kale with hummus and amino acids (again)

popcorn I popped w/ olive oil and salt

salmon sashimi, salmon avocado roll, yellow tuna roll (really felt great during/after this meal - raw fish is sooo good for mood)

lots of leftover cake which I made for grandma (cocoa based and 2/3 gluten free, made with olive oil mostly - lots of sugar but oh well, I'm going through a lot and eating this makes me feel kinda nice - and it's not loaded with chemicals like a supermarket cake, so I'm ok with it though it's not ideal, obviously... I exercised today a little bit as well)

no alcohol, no illegal drugs (hey, I'm in recovery - almost 2 months - so - just trying to be thankful for another day doing it right)

anywayyyyyssss.... tiny chin pimple... other than that, the other two pimples are gone now, just have red marks... and that cyst I squeezed last night, is MERCIFULLY showing spontaneous healing despite my crazzzzy attacks...

so, yeah.

If MY acne is showing improvement - despite me eating tons of cake and picking at my skin, I think that's a decent testament to the regimen's efficacy so far...

here's some pix, one from last night I tried uploading but I don't think it worked, it's me eating cake after picking (sin of all sins!) and then two shots of me tonight and the pimples are all healing except for one little new one.

isn't that how it goes? they all heal and a new one emerges... wonderful comfort.gif

ps, makeup is like, impossible right now... my skin is SO dry - even tinted moisturizer and bb cream looks awful - so I'm basically going without it for awhile.

[Regimen Day 8]

Or... Why am I so crazy?

I'm gonna try not to get too down on myself here and try and just chug my water, because I broke a few promises I outlined in an effort to exert more control over myself last night in the 'note on wheat' comment.


4/2/2012 - Diet

  • Leftover brown rice, quinoa and kale with Bragg's liquid amino acids (so good) and a little lemon hummus mixed in (good girl!)
  • Herbalife allergy-free shake with ice, unsweetened almond milk, and cocoa
  • Four slices of.......... pizza........
  • A little bday cake I made for grandma (2/3 gluten free, avocado 'frosting', plenty of sugar and cocoa but whatever it was good)

So, ya know, this whole diet thing is obviously tough. What I ran up against today is the same as yesterday, which is just very intense nausea all day as well as some extreme bowel issues. I'm not sure if this is a little virus or what, but I'm putting my bet on discontinuation symptoms from this antidepressant I had been taking since February called Pristiq. Symptoms can be nausea, dizziness and a host of other terrible things. It's pretty rough, day 3 off this med, but I'm managing the best I can. I know this is all pretty unrelated to acne, but anyways. Here's the deal: my skin looks great in the mornings, red marks pale and bumps flattened and usually by the end of each day things look worse without necessarily getting worse - they just look that way.

Regimen is tough, I'm moisturizing and down to BP spot treatment post moisturizing once a day still.

Today I picked... I picked A LOT!!! I picked at every little thing, and then some. It was satisfying. Ugh. I know, I know. It's bad. I'm going to attach pix from my post-picking so you can see how red and blotchy I made my face, and I am posing with this cake which I am eating with my bare hands in bed. Glamour!

Sugar, gluten, picking your face and cheese pizza... all these things are purportedly BAD for your skin. I'm 28 and don't I know it. But this is MY BLOG, and I can do what I want.

It's hard enough managing going off psychiatric meds, then blabbing about it on the internet while trying to feel better about still having acne now that I'm so not a teen anymore.

Gonna just chill, take some more deep breaths, and forgive myself for I know not what I do...SIKE. I tooootally know what I'm doing, and obviously it ain't pretty. But the point is, tomorrow is another day. This nausea sucks, and weaning off meds sucks, not having a job sucks, and having acne is THE WORST OF ALL SUCKY-NESS - (actually, losing loved ones is way worse, now that I think of it). But anyways. Yadda yadda. Despite all these cheats and diversions, mad face rummaging and sugar up the wazoo - I think the regimen may just be working, albeit slowly.

It's good not to be totally perfect whilst conducting these scientific experiments on one's self. How else could I isolate the causes of success =/not= DKR without the occasional slice of pizza or birthday cake? (The picking, on the other hand...that's just something that's got to go, no matter what... and it's something I'll have to keep working on like an alcoholic in AA, 'one day at a time...')

[Regimen DAY 7]

Ok so I just wrote a post in the message board topic that I had started, and it wouldn't let me continue to update with pix so I've decided to port my progress over to this blog in order to keep a running photo diary... hoping that this turns out to be progress!

Cheated on my no wheat/no dairy - last night and today had two bowls of spaghetti with meat sauce.

3 new pimples around chin/jawline cropped up last night so I think it's probably hormones and not related to my diet diversion.

DKR is going well but it irritated my skin so much on Day 5 that I am moisturizing after washing now, and waiting awhile before SPOT treating big amounts of BP around my chin/jaw/cheeks ONLY.

So far my acne is a little bit worse, but the pimples that came up are minor and seem to be disappearing really fast. The closed comedones around my left temple are... well, it's hard to tell. They are still there but sometimes it seems like they are drying up and shrinking down. Time will tell.

You can see how irritated my neck got in the picture. Thats just from applying moisturizer after BP, which I believe just spread the BP around to parts I didn't need it, thus causing redness/dryness and ... wrinkles oh joy. In general I love the products Dan sent though, the moisturizer doesn't break me out and the cleanser is nice and simple and gentle. The BP hopefully will get me 100% clear....