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About this blog

I'm using birth control and topicals to try to clear my mild/moderate acne.

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So i'm sitting here with a bunch of moisturizer on my face feeling super sexy because my skin is looking DAMN GOOD.

All jokes aside, i'm honestly wondering why I didn't go to a doctor to get anything prescription until now. My acne was never serious, but it was worse than mild. I'd say it was in the moderate/mild range depending on what I was doing to it at the time. I struggled for years with bad skin. I had to wear makeup at all times- NO ONE got to see me without makeup (not my parents, not my friends, not any boy i'm getting sexy with, barely my roommate) because I had 4 or 5 fading marks and 8-10 active lesions at a time. I have icepick scars and a ton of post-inflammatory hyper-pigmentation from having acne so many years (if you haven't read any of my journals, its been pretty persistent for 10 years, and i'm only 21). So why didn't I ever DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT?! Its making me genuinely angry that I never did- once I took the step, it was so easy. I could have saved myself years of pain and self-consciousness. All I had to do was go to the clinic- it took me an hour (two if you count the original appointment to get my alesse prescription) and I get clear skin. I've been old enough for birth control for probably 8 years and I could have gotten an acne medicine at any time. I guess I was lazy, and I though that my acne wasn't bad enough for a prescription, I didn't want to go through the steps to get a derm, and that birth control would make me gain weight. Well, anyone who is reading this- learn from my mistakes. If your acne is mild/moderate, and you think that its going to be a pain in the ass to get a derm or go on the pill - JUST DO IT. I didn't need a derm (went to a clinic doctor) and it took me less than 2 weeks on the right pill+ a prescription acne medication to achieve 100% clear skin.

I'm a little bit tipsy right now, so this is rambly (a testament to how you don't need to give up alcohol eating habits to clear moderate acne?). But seriously. I didn't change my life at all, just by getting a doctor's opinion i've cleared my skin.

ORAL:

Flaxseed- less intense about taking a certain amount each day, but try to get at least 1/4c a week.

1 mulitvitamin (Vitamins A, C, B1, B2, D6, B12 and D, Beta-Carotene, Iron, Zinc, Copper, Selenium, Calcium, Iodine, Magnesium, Chromium, Biotin)

50mg extra Zinc

Marvelon birth control, taken as directed at the same time each night.

Morning routine:

1. Wash face with Phisioderm acne prone cleanser

2. Moisturize with Garnier Moisture Resuce Refreshing Gel Cream

Morning Makeup Routine:

1. Prime and moisturize with CoverFx Nourishing Anti-Aging Primer

2. Apply coverage- Usually Vichy's Dermablend and Make-Up Forever's Waterproof Concealer

4. Clarins Instant Light Blush for days I need longer wear (its a liquid so it goes on before my powder)

5. Finish with EITHER a mix of Korres Oil-Free Multivitamin Powder Compact and Purminerals Original powder compact (if I still need a bit of coverage; neither were suited to my skin when I used them) or CoverFx finishing powder (for natural looking fixing with no coverage)

6. Bareminerals loose powder blush for added flush if I need it

7. Everything else- eyes, lips, brows, whatever i'm in the mood for wink.png

Nighttime Routine:

1. Remove eye makeup with jojoba oil

1. Wash face with Phisioderm acne prone cleanser

3. Treat with Benzaclin prescription- 2 days spot treat, 1 day treat all over with 1/2 pump=

4. Moisturize with Garnier Moisture Resuce Refreshing Gel Cream + as much Jojoba as I need + Vitamin E cream for eye and mouth area (still trying to fix this super dry skin)

So i'm sitting here with a bunch of moisturizer on my face feeling super sexy because my skin is looking DAMN GOOD.

All jokes aside, i'm honestly wondering why I didn't go to a doctor to get anything prescription until now. My acne was never serious, but it was worse than mild. I'd say it was in the moderate/mild range depending on what I was doing to it at the time. I struggled for years with bad skin. I had to wear makeup at all times- NO ONE got to see me without makeup (not my parents, not my friends, not any boy i'm getting sexy with, barely my roommate) because I had 4 or 5 fading marks and 8-10 active lesions at a time. I have icepick scars and a ton of post-inflammatory hyper-pigmentation from having acne so many years (if you haven't read any of my journals, its been pretty persistent for 10 years, and i'm only 21). So why didn't I ever DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT?! Its making me genuinely angry that I never did- once I took the step, it was so easy. I could have saved myself years of pain and self-consciousness. All I had to do was go to the clinic- it took me an hour (two if you count the original appointment to get my alesse prescription) and I get clear skin. I've been old enough for birth control for probably 8 years and I could have gotten an acne medicine at any time. I guess I was lazy, and I though that my acne wasn't bad enough for a prescription, I didn't want to go through the steps to get a derm, and that birth control would make me gain weight. Well, anyone who is reading this- learn from my mistakes. If your acne is mild/moderate, and you think that its going to be a pain in the ass to get a derm or go on the pill - JUST DO IT. I didn't need a derm (went to a clinic doctor) and it took me less than 2 weeks on the right pill+ a prescription acne medication to achieve 100% clear skin.

I'm a little bit tipsy right now, so this is rambly (a testament to how you don't need to give up alcohol eating habits to clear moderate acne?). But seriously. I didn't change my life at all, just by getting a doctor's opinion i've cleared my skin.

ORAL:

Flaxseed- less intense about taking a certain amount each day, but try to get at least 1/4c a week.

1 mulitvitamin (Vitamins A, C, B1, B2, D6, B12 and D, Beta-Carotene, Iron, Zinc, Copper, Selenium, Calcium, Iodine, Magnesium, Chromium, Biotin)

50mg extra Zinc

Marvelon birth control, taken as directed at the same time each night.

Morning routine:

1. Wash face with Phisioderm acne prone cleanser

2. Moisturize with Garnier Moisture Resuce Refreshing Gel Cream

Morning Makeup Routine:

1. Prime and moisturize with CoverFx Nourishing Anti-Aging Primer

2. Apply coverage- Usually Vichy's Dermablend and Make-Up Forever's Waterproof Concealer

4. Clarins Instant Light Blush for days I need longer wear (its a liquid so it goes on before my powder)

5. Finish with EITHER a mix of Korres Oil-Free Multivitamin Powder Compact and Purminerals Original powder compact (if I still need a bit of coverage; neither were suited to my skin when I used them) or CoverFx finishing powder (for natural looking fixing with no coverage)

6. Bareminerals loose powder blush for added flush if I need it

7. Everything else- eyes, lips, brows, whatever i'm in the mood for wink.png

Nighttime Routine:

1. Remove eye makeup with jojoba oil

1. Wash face with Phisioderm acne prone cleanser

3. Treat with Benzaclin prescription- 2 days spot treat, 1 day treat all over with 1/2 pump=

4. Moisturize with Garnier Moisture Resuce Refreshing Gel Cream + as much Jojoba as I need + Vitamin E cream for eye and mouth area (still trying to fix this super dry skin)

So yesterday marked the last pill of my third pack of Alesse. I breezed through them really quickly- partly due to the fact that I skipped a period by taking them consecutively, but mainly because I took one measly pill 4 hours late and it sparked a 10 day breakthrough bleeding extravaganza. I had to double up my dosage on three separate days (two days in a row which seemed to stop it, then two days later it came back and I doubled again). The Alesse didn't do any of the horror story stuff i've read on this board to my skin- it made it look pretty damn nice. Nicer than its been in a while. But I still wasn't close to clear by the end of the third pack- I was having clear days, but I was also using my borrowed Tactuo and I usually had a few whiteheads or a cyst just under the surface. So obviously I decided to switch pills- if im going to be on the pill it should be one that clears me. The fact that my skin got better on a pill as low estrogen/high androgenic activity as Alesse hopefully means it will improve even more on a better one.

The doctor I went to to get my new pill was awesome! I go to a clinic doctor- I don't have a gyno or a derm, and my family doctor is far away. I had finally decided I wanted an acne topical presciption as well, and we talked a lot about my acne and the pill. He switched me to Marvelon- medium androgenic, but higher estrogen so fingers crossed. He said it should help with breakthrough bleeding as well. He also gave me Benzaclin lotion (BP and topical antibiotic) and let me know that next time I come in wanting to switch pills for purely acne, he'll give me spiro instead. Its nice to know I have that option in three months.

I'm trying to work out a good regime with this Benzaclin- its so drying!

So due to my lack of money and resulting generous gifts from my acne prone friends, i've switched up my regime and have managed to achieve clear skin, although maybe (hopefully not!) temporarily.

ORAL:

No more flaxseed- I ran out and have not had the funds to buy more. Hopefully I will reintroduce later; I'm not sure if it was contributing to my skin clearing but it wasn't hurting and its a good dose of healthy fiber regardless.

1 mulitvitamin (Vitamins A, C, B1, B2, D6, B12 and D, Beta-Carotene, Iron, Zinc, Copper, Selenium, Calcium, Iodine, Magnesium, Chromium, Biotin)

50mg extra Zinc

Added 1000IU extra Vitamin D3

Alesse birth control, taken as directed at the same time each night. Started skipping the placebos- I had flare ups on them and my doctor said it was fine to skip my period as long as I withdraw every 3 months (every 4 packs). I love not getting my period!

Morning routine:

1. Wash face with african black soap- been loving this soap, i'm sticking with it for sure.

2. Switched toners to Vichy Normaderm for acne prone skin- lemongrass oil began to irritate my skin too much. I like the Normaderm so far.

3. Skipping the morning BP- I use Duac at night now!

4. Moisturize with Garnier Moisture Resuce Refreshing Gel Cream (no jojoba since its too greasy for a good makeup base)

Morning Makeup Routine:

1. Prime with Nars Pore-Refining Primer

2. Apply 3 Parts Vichy's Pro-Even BB Cream with 1 Part Make Up Forever Full Coverage Waterproof Concealer all over my face in a light layer

3. Use pure concealer sparingly on spots that are still dark

4. Clarins Instant Light Blush for days I need longer wear (its a liquid so it goes on before my powder)

5. Finish with EITHER Korres Oil-Free Multivitamin Powder Compact (for a very light powder finish) or Purminerals Original powder compact (if I still need a bit of coverage)

6. Bareminerals loose powder blush for added flush if I need it

7. Everything else- eyes, lips, brows, whatever I'm in the mood for

Nighttime Routine:

1. Remove eye makeup with jojoba oil

2. Wash face with african black soap

3. Every 2-3 nights treat all over with Tactuo Gel, let dry (this is some sort of a generic or Canadian version of Duac? Its Adapalene and 2.5% BP)

4. Use AHA 10% Glycolic Acid on other between nights.

5. Moisturize with Garnier Moisture Resuce Refreshing Gel Cream + as much Jojoba as I need.

6. Moisturize the eye area with pure jojoba

7. Apply Vitamin E Cream to eye area or any patches of flaking skin for extra moisture.

5. Use store-brand topical antibiotic cream with 3 antibiotics on any scabs or popped acne, cover with band-aid (Have not needed this step in a while)

I probably won't post in this blog very much, but I wanted to share my journey with everyone and have my whole story in one place so people know where i'm coming from.

My battle with acne started years ago, probably when I was 11 or 12. I hit puberty early (I was 9) so I got to go through the awkward phase even sooner than most. Yay! I started out with the typical solutions to acne- when you're 11, mom says 'Just wash your face and you'll grow out of it soon enough'. When it became apparent I wasn't growing out of it, I moved on to an acne cleanser/acne moisturizer, and when that didn't work I started Proactiv. I was about 14, and even though it worked for maybe 5 months to somewhat clear my skin (I'd still have one or two zits, but not 10) it really screwed me up in the long run. It was over-drying and I would scrub so hard that I eventually caused a lot of scarring that has still not gone away. When it eventually stopped working and I stopped using it, the breakouts were so bad that I ended up with even worse scarring and hyper-pigmentation. Then the battle with bad concealers and an endless cycle of makeup that ends up causing new acne began. For the last 3 years i've been more careful about gentle, non-comedogenic products and been on a constant wash/ BP/ moisturize regime. However, nothing has really improved in that time so in the last 6 months I've gotten serious about my skin. I did a lot of research, bought the right products, and made an effort to stop popping and picking, which has always been a problem for me.

I've been using this new regime in its entirety for only one month, but i've been introducing it part by part for a while now. In the past month my skin has improved drastically, but I know it could be a little early to see results. The major change in the past month it that I began Alesse birth control, so if it continues to work i'll let everyone know- I know its very androgenic but its a nice low dose option for me and its been great so far. My acne has gone from mild/moderate to very mild- I went from 6-7 inflamed lesions and perhaps 10 whiteheads at a time to a few whiteheads and between 0-1 inflamed pustules at a time. My skin feels smoother and looks so much more even in texture. It's less oily as well (although i've always been combination leaning towards dry, so thats not necessarily something I needed).

Without further ado, my current regime!

ORAL:

2 tbsp flaxseed, 1-2 tsp flaxseed oil

1 mulitvitamin (Vitamins A, C, B1, B2, D6, B12 and D, Beta-Carotene, Iron, Zinc, Copper, Selenium, Calcium, Iodine, Magnesium, Chromium, Biotin)

50mg extra Zinc

Alesse birth control, taken as directed at the same time each night.

Morning routine:

1. Wash face with african black soap

2. Tone with 2 drops lemongrass essential oil diluted onto a wet cotton ball

3. Spot treat with Spectro's BP for sensitive skin (2.5%)

4. Moisturize with BB Cream+ 3 drops jojoba oil

Morning Makeup Routine:

1. Prime and moisturize with Vichy's Pro-Even BB Cream + 3 drops jojoba oil

2. Apply 2 Parts BB Cream with 1 Part Make Up Forever Full Coverage Waterproof Concealer with a brush to hyper-pigmentation

3. Use pure concealer sparingly on spots that are still dark

4. Clarins Instant Light Blush for days I need longer wear (its a liquid so it goes on before my powder)

5. Finish with EITHER Korres Oil-Free Multivitamin Powder Compact (for a very light powder finish) or Purminerals Original powder compact (if I still need a bit of coverage)

6. Bareminerals loose powder blush for added flush if I need it

7. Everything else- eyes, lips, brows, whatever i'm in the mood for wink.png

Nighttime Routine:

1. Remove eye makeup with jojoba oil

2. Wash face with african black soap

3. Treat all over with Spectro's BP for sensitive skin (2.5%), let dry

4. Treat hyper-pigmentation and budding acne with AHA 10% Glycolic Acid

5. Moisturize with Garnier Moisture Resuce Refreshing Gel Cream + as much Jojoba as I need

6. Moisturize the eye area with pure jojoba

5. Use store-brand topical antibiotic cream with 3 antibiotics on any scabs or popped acne

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