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I've always had confidence but, being able to over come my acne will allow me to branch out of my comfort zone and discover what is really important to me. Along the way I'll place my trust in and cross-my-fingers that it all works o

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By Neve,

So here we are. Almost two years I've been apart of the communtiy and I still haven't found my turning point. There have definitely been some ups, and obviously some downs. I really thought I was starting to understand my skin though. I thought I knew what worked on it, and what didn't. I thought I was following the rules. But now I just don't know anymore. My skin has gone from being oily and getting random, unpredicable breakouts all over my face. To becoming more dry and senitive, but keeping my acne mostly contained to my cheeks and the occasional breakout on my chin. But the hyperpigmintation is crazy. At this point I really only have about five to ten active spots on my face at a time. But every single breakout I have leaves deep reddish-purple marks that stand out worse then my remaining pimples, along with some deeper scarring. 
So aside from trying to understand absolutely every aspect of acne and figuring out what irritates my skin, what products work, and so on. I'm now trying to combat this scarring issue. I don't pick at my skin, I've tried several skin brigthening porducts, and I make sure to wear my sunscreen. But it seems the only solution is to be patient and hope that everything heals itself. The trouble with this is that I spend my time and money on makeup. I used to swear against wearing makeup. I figured it was safer to leave my skin to breath, and I truly belived in embracing your natural beauty. Truthfully, I still feel this way and some days I'm really comfortable with my skin, and actualy feel cuter without the layers of foundation and concealer to hide beneath. But I feel like I owe it to the world and the people around me to cover everything up.
So the ideal out come would be to heal my skin. To prevent future break outs and help bring my skin back to what used to be. But topical treatments just aren't doing anything for me. I follow routine, I keep irritants away from my skin, but I'm still struggling. I know that there are far worse cases of acne than I have. But that doesn't mean I don't feel like I deserve clear skin. Along with continueing my washing routine, I've started taking birth control. So far I haven't seen any drastic results, but I know I have to give it time. I'm seriously going to look into diet research and see if there's a chance that changing my eating habits even more will benefit my skin. I do my best to eat clean already, but I'm really not very educated on potential acne trigger foods and other health aspects that may be benefitial for me.
Right now, I'm just trying to set myself up for success. I want what's best for me in my entire life, and I know that clearing up my acne would be a huge improvement on how I see myself. So I guess I just keep trying until I get to where I want to be.

For Real.

By Neve,

I don't know where I went, why I thought I should end my attempt at clear skin. But I don't think I was trying hard enough. As angry as I am right now at everything, I'm blaming the world for how afraid I am to try and get rid of my acne. I have to understand I have it for a reason, there is some point to me being covered in massive inflamed zits and deep purple scars, across my face, cheast, and back. I have to pull myself together and look forward. For me to be succesful It's about more than skin, I have to change who I am. I don't want to ever be the person who drowns herself in make-up before she leaves the house. I want to find my confidence and feel good again. I am ready to REALLY do this.

Day 18!

By Neve,

[img][/img] I am soooo frusterated my skin has just continued to break out. I am mad at myself for buying the morning burst facewash! It does not work [b]at all.[/b] I just want my skin to clear. Not only do I have large inflamed breakouts but, also dozens of whiteheads, and scars that aren't going anywhere fast. I want to be optimistic, But I feel I'm walking in the wrong direction. I hoped almost 20 days into this whole thing I'd see atleast a teeny tiny bit of prgress, but no. I've taken Proactiv toner out of my routine and have stuck to Dan's rules completely. I started using my Clean&Clear foaming facial again. I am crossing my fingers that my skin will start to clear this week or atleast show some signs of improvement. I can't handle another HUGE zit, along with the dry skin. I AM SO SICK AND TIRED OF THIS.

Day 14

By Neve,

Two week anniversary! All of this has become a lot more than just over coming my acne. I honestly want to be happy, but technically I am. I just want to refresh who I am and really become myself again. By feeling 100% comfortable in my own skin will help me open more doors in my life. I have a bout of break outs that have kind of bumming me out. This led to a false smile, some questions about my regimen, and a LOT of uneeded eating. I dont really eat bad foods but, I tend to eat more when I'm sad, like most people.

This led to me become really angry with myself. At first I blamed the Regimen because it's supposed to be stopping these future break outs and break downs but than I noticed I was the problem. For the rest of my life I want to be able to deal with a break out here and there and be patient. So I believe this is all a HUGE learning curve for me. I want to take a lot from this whole journey, so I've decided to commit to making positive lifestyle changes hat are needed to get me to where I want to be and allow me to never have to fake happiness.

I've taken a few ideas from blogger Dragos Roua and his post [i]A Better Life in 100 Ways. [/i]But before I say anything else I want to make it clear that I am in any way depressed. I am happy with myself but, understand simple positive changes that can be made and there is no better day to start the rest of my life than today (cheese-y I know, but the truth) !!

Wanting to change usually has some reason behind it. Once you know why you want to change it is easier to do so. I want to narrow down why I want to change. I believe there are a whole bunch of different factors; boerdom, appearance, trust, the need to be happy, to feel better, everything that has a part in my life is encouraging me to go out and grab who I want to be.

As I go over a few points from Dragos Roua's list, I want to point out I am doing this for myself and I am not looking to please anyone reading this. SO take any negative thoughts elses wear.

The first point that intrests me is [u]#3 Create a new habit[/u], I just think this sounds difficult but fun and I want to commit to creating a habit of Drinking a glass of pure water every morning! To hopefully charge and hydrate me for the start of my day.

[u]#7 Start a new diet[/u] This just kind of made me think that diets aren't just to lose weight. Different foods not only affect what I weigh, but also my skin, my health, my energy levels. I want to find a diet to suit me. Something with carbs and protein before I work out and light meals during the day. I really want to stick to eating as many organic, natural food products as possible.

Another one that caught my attention was [u]#8 start a journal.[/u] I absolutely love to write so this won't be difficult for me to get into the routine of sharing my thoughts, feelings, and ideas with an open page. I think by keeping everything inside I'm only stressing myself out. So if i can relax and just vent on paper I'll definatly give it a try.

[u]#9 Create and keep a Morning phrase[/u] don't really know what mine would be but, I want one! I need to give this some serious thought.

There are sooo many usuful inspiring thoughts on this list I wish I could share them all! But I want to make my own 100 list so I am going to end this post here!


Morning Burst

By Neve,

I just felt the need to talk about this.

I ran low on my Clean & Clear foaming facial wash, so silly me got intrested in the Morning Burst Cleanser. The fun commercial and pretty packaging got the best of me :( I've been using it for about 4 days and it seems to be working fine. But I just dont like it, it smells amazing and theres like a hand-full of strawberry seeds in the bottle. Overall it's a nice cleanser for someone without acne, not me. My issues are it doesn't really foam when you massage it into your skin, it's more like a gel. This makes it really difficult to take off without a face cloth and usually causes messy me to make a disater of the bathroom floor. It also leaves my skin feeling tight. I don't know if this has to do with me not getting it all off, or it's the cleanser's fault, either way it doesn't feel nice on my skin. I don't really know if it's doing my body acne any good, so thank goodness it's not a big bottle. End of story, I dont suggest it to anyone unless they have little to no acne.

Besides that all the products I am using work. Proactiv gets quite a bit of negative feedback that could easily turn me off of using their products but luckily the toner and BP they make works great for my face. I was thinking about bath tubs today and wondered if sittingg in a soapy bubble bath, or hot tub could have an effect on your skin. I'm sure in some way it does because it seems everything under the sun has some sort of affect on it. I may sound really negative but, I am actually really happy today and I like to think sharing my thougths will in some way help and inspire someone else. I dont really have much else to ramble about but, that's okay.

I might post some pictures of all the products I use, or do a travel post later about how travelling affects my skin and what I pack when I go away. But I might save that for Thursday because I'll be packing then anyway so I can snap a few pics of that.

Have a good day!


Day Nine- Dry Skin

By Neve,

As usual today come with a new challenge, luckily most of my break outs are starting to fade. I still have them but, they are a lot less inflamed and I haven't gotten any new ones. So my issue is dry skin! It isn't tight or uncomfortable or very noticeable. It really doesn't bother me that much but, I am curious to the reason behind it. From what I understand it is quite normal to experience dry skin while starting the Regimen. But this doesn't make sense to me because, I have dry flaky skin near my eyes/along the side of my nose/below my eyebrows, in like the crease of my eye I guess, if that made any sense!? I also have it below my chin, my point is theses are both areas I don't wash.

The only other thing I've been doing that I don't normally do is swimming. I guess it is understandable that this could be the cause of my dry skin. From what Dan has said swimming and washing would be over-washing. But I have been washing at the pool as soon as I exit the water. In hopes to avoid over washing. I'm curious though if it's the chlorine that causes my dry skin, and if it bothers other people. I found that I could go swimming in a lake for entire days for several weeks and not experience dry skin.

But oh well, like I said before it doesn't bother me appearance-wise, hopefully with a little more moisturizer it will clear in a few days. The only thing I worry about is my skin trying to compensate and produce extra oil. Although I don't believe it is at that stage yet.

Besides dry skin, I think I'm doing really well. My face is improving, I know my chest and back are going to take more time, but either than two break outs, my chest is looking pretty good. I was interested in buying som AHA but from reviews I've read it hasn't been great. I think I'll stick to cleansing and BP for my back and maybe once it clears I'll use some for my scars. I'd defiantly order it from Dan just because it's a product I've never used so I'll trust he's made one with the right ingredients for our skin. But I'll also read what he says about it and perhaps invest in some sooner.

Stay positive!

Day Seven!

By Neve,

*Sigh* As my first week passes looking back I don't know how well it really went. When I'm focused and on track I feel great and do great, but it's hard when things start to get in the way. Between swimming, and having company over I started to get tired andwould quickly wash before jumping ino bed. Followed by me sleeping until noon and rushing to wash and start my day. This made the quality of my washing awful, I didn't give my skin a chance to absorb what I was putting on it before piling on something else! I then found myself skipping a wash while on a camping trip and feeling horrible when I woke up to two breakouts on my left temple.

So all of this led to me typing out a checklist similar to Dan's, that I now follow [u]strictly.[/u] Washing comes first from now on. This first week has been strange, I found myself just feeling happier knowing I was working toward clear skin. Even though my skin isn't really clear I feel 110% better if I'm trying to help it than I do when I sit around using the same old products that don't work and wishing for clear skin. Most of all I'm proud of myself for commiting to this. I'm really excited to see results but, most of all I want prvention of future acne. I'm a HUGE believer in loving yourself before you can make a change. And right now I couldn't be happier with myself, so hopefully all will go now from here on out!

Facing The Facts

By Neve,

I'm not a huge fan of water. This sounds really bad, but I honestly don't drink near enough water. I drink it while I'm working out and if I'm craving water (which doesn't happen very often) and everywhere I read everything is telling me that drinking water is just fantastic! It will make me feel better, help clear my skin, keep me hydrated. But let's face it water is boring, boring, boring. But I believe if I set my mind to it I can replace 90% of what I drink with water. With the help of a cute water bottle and some fruit to mix in with it I will find out if water is really all it's made up to be. Has anyone else found that water has made a difference in their life?? Best wishes for everyone and DRINK WATER!!

Day 3

By Neve,

WOW . . . Nothing has happened yet, which I am okay with. Luckily my skin has held up really well, no irritation at all. I feel like I've put my face through more in the last three days then I have in the past three months!! I'm so happy I've found the regimen, I spent pretty all of yesterday in the sun, which usually leads to me breaking out mainly on my forehead. But with the help of an amazing sunscreen and strictly following all of the rules the regimen, I haven't which feels amazing!

I bought new moisturizer yesterday, not because I wanted to try something different. It was just the only one I could find at the time, and I desperately needed one. I don't really like to go even one wash without following with lotion. The one found was Simple Replenishing Rich Moisturizer - for sensitive skin. It was a little pricey but works fantastically it isn't greasy and instantly soothes your skin. I'm really, really happy I got it because I've been doing a LOT of swimming and it is perfect for right after a wash
that followed being in the pool. It annoys me that I've suddenly been so busy, normally this would be taking a toll on my face. But so far it's been so good!

I do have some questions/concerns not regarding the regimen, but more just daily life with acne. I know that really used pillowcases can cause acne but I want to know how often I should be changing so I can avoid future breakouts. Another thing I'm curious about is whether the time you apply spot treatment matters. By that I mean before or after moisturizing. The blemish stick I use is wonderful, it works great and the only irritation it the initial sting when you first apply it. But I want get the most out of all products and do the best I can for my skin.

The last thing I've been thinking about today was my body acne. I'm really frustrated with how difficult it is to wash my chest and back twice a day. Whenever I shower I always wash then but, once in front of the sink I can't find a way to comfortably and effectively wash without soaking everything around me, or spending an extra twenty minutes in the bathroom. It's also hard to do because I need the bathroom to myself ( and of course there is only one!!! :| ) and people are constantly wanting while I'm trying to wash.

For my first three days though I believe things are going really well. I'm excited to continue and happy with all the products I'm using. Good luck to everyone else! Stay positive!

Day One

By Neve,

I've just completed my first morning of my personal version if the Regimin. I'm following the rules as best as possible but, I am restricted in some ways. I was currently on Proactiv which is bought, and paid for by my mom, who along with my sister still use. I've used it for several years, I tried some different products along the way but figured if Proactiv was working so well for my family it should work for me. Eventually I came to the conclusion that I was settling for OK skin. Proactiv didn't really prevent future break-outs or speed up the healing of current pimples. I'm sure it works well for others, but it wasn't helping me. With that said I'm still sort of using Proactiv because I cannot afford all new products, but I am doing my best to make it work.

[u]My Products[/u]
What I am using is [i]Clean&Clear foaming cleanser, Proactiv toner, Proactiv benzoyl peroxide, St.Ives Timeless Skin, Proactiv Oil free moisturizer, [/i]and[i] Burt's Bees Herbal blemish stick. [/i]I also use lemon extract as a natural skin lightner for scarring and I am planning to invest in some AHA for my body acne.

[u]My Routine[/u]
#1 when using a cleanser I follow Dan's direction and wash my face with warm water, apply cleanser for 10 sec. and then rinse. I try to avoid using a wash cloth unless I'm desperate for some reason (this is new to me because I've always needed a cloth to remove Proactiv Step one from my face).
#2 I found that Proactiv's toner is actually a great product so I just apply it lightly with a cotton pad to dry skin, evenly over my face. Then I give that a few minutes to dry.
#3 I use a whole 'whack' of bp because there is moisturizer included with Proactiv's. I've never really noticed much of a result from this but, I'm going to give it a try before purchasing a different one.
#4 It takes about 15 min. for that to dry, I just go about my day and then come back to apply mosturizer to my face. I'm using Proactiv oil free at the moment but, I really like St. Ives timeless skin.
#5 I give lotion quite awhile to absorb into my skin, then once it feels dry I use th blemish stick and apply it directly to any spots, big or small. It's the best spot treatment I've used. I see reduced redness in about 2 days and it doesn't make them really red before they fade it just skips right to the fading.
#6 I found that lemon works AMAZING on scars. so again I let my skin dry and then evenly apply lemon extract (that I just squeeze from fresh lemons into a bowl and keep until I've used it all up.) evenly onto my face and noticed improvment in scars with a week or so. I stopped doing this while I was on vacation and I did break out on my left cheek and ended up with 3 or 4 lovely scars so hopefully I will see improvement in those.

That is my complete routine unless I'm going to see a lot of sun then I use an oil free sunscreen. In the evening I do the same routine but, start in th shower and wash my cheast and back also. I'd really like to order some AHA so I can start using that on my back! I do have sensative skin but, I am used to most of these products already. If your intrested in trying lemon extract start with water and lemon and gradually work up to just lemon. For people worried about dry skin, just double your amount of lotion and it will help keep on top of that. I'm excited to see results!

Let It Begin

By Neve,

My acne doesn't control me, it isn't severe and painful and constantly stopping me from meeting my potential. But it's always there, not only physically dotting my face and covering my cheast and back, but mentally. In the back of my mind I know that it puts me out from the rest of my friends who can comfortably wear tank-tops and cute dresses. I know that some people look at my skin before they look at ME. But before I begin the regimin I want to know why I'm doing it.

From between the ages 9-10 something set me apart from others in my class. It wasn't noticable, not even to me at the time. But like others would soon do as I expected, I added washing my face to my bedtime routine. Then suddenly it became a thirty minute process morning and night accompanied by blemishes beginning to appear on my face. Now going to a friend's house meant either skipping a wash, or awkwardly washing as quickly as I could while they brushed their teeth and waited for me to finish.Luckily at the time it was only the odd break-out here and there and I was comfortable (and lazy enough) to skip washes even when it was just as easy to do it anyway. Then my level of activity started to come into play, spending 12+ hours training in gymnastics, joining the volleyball team, and still participating in gym class had an affect on my skin. Between stress and sweat it seemed impossible to keep the acne away. The more I worried the more my body seemed to work against me, as I developed cheast and back acne.

Eventually it came to a point where waking up in the morning the first thing I did was study my acne and determine the best outfit and hairstyle to hide it. I avoided using make-up as I still do. At times while my skin was quite good I believed that all I had to do was deal with it for a couple years and it would be gone. But while acne still speckled my face I awkowledged the truth that it wasn't going anywhere until I did something about it.

I developed the motto that for every flaw I had I'd work twice as hard to perfect something else. This did me good, as I received awards and compliments on my nails, but it also caused me to become a perfectionist constantly in search of perfect and never settling for anything else. This lead to dissappoint and eventually brought me back to my longing to recieve compliments on my perfect skin.

So now, wide awake in the middle of the night I'm still searching for that beautiful skin that so many other naturally have and I am determined to achieve.
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