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Day 132

Well it was the week right before my period so I did get a pimple on my left smile crease. It's not noticeable with just a dab of concealer. It's one of those weird flat pimples that will not develop a head. It isn't deep either. Anyway, my skin has been kinda dry. I've been trying to exfoliate, but nothing seems to really help. Moisturizers just flake right off. As a result, my skin looks kinda dull :/ I've considered that maybe the mineral makeup I'm using makes it look worse, and although I absolutely love my Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation, I'm scared that it will make me break out...

Day 129

I guess that four months was the charm for me. I've been clear for about a week. It feels so good. I can wake up in the morning and go to the gym without worrying about putting makeup on. I can get out of the shower and not have to hide my face underneath a hoodie. I feel so free and I hope it continues.

I thank God that I went to the dermatologist and what she recommended worked. I am glad that I persevered and kept treating my acne for the past four months instead of giving up when I didn't see instant results.

Here's my regimen and I hope that maybe someone reading this can get the same results I did:

Morning: My dermatologist recommended CeraVe foaming facial cleanser. I used it for about 3 months but realized it made my skin too dry, so I switched to Purity facial cleanser by Philosophy. It doesn't irritate my skin at all and it removes all makeup at night.

Then I apply a pea sized drop of Acanya gel and spread it around my face. Sometimes I put sunscreen on after, but only depending on the weather :P

Makeup: The switch to Bare Minerals made a HUGE difference! I used to get tiny grain like bumps all over but once I switched makeup brands, it cleared up. Don't use drug store mineral makeup! I know it's cheaper, but it was the culprit for me.

Evening: Again, I wash my face with the Purity facial cleanser. I pat my face dry and then apply Atralin, as prescribed to me. I've been messing around with different moisturizers but my current favorite is the one put out by Bare Escentuals. It's really light and you don't need too much.

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Day 122

Knock on wood. I've been clear for a few days now. I'm hoping that since I've been treating my acne for almost 6 months now, it is finally kicking in. I overreacted in my last post...either that or the mask helped but I didn't break out. I'm still avoiding dairy. Actually, I've been avoiding all food lately. Crazy what acne can make you do just to stay clear.

Day 120

When I woke up this morning, my skin was clear. I had two marks fading, one of my chin and one on my left cheek. Stupid me, I couldn't resist eating ice cream at work today. I am not positive but I think dairy is a trigger for me. The cyst on my chin is beginning to return and the mark that was healing on my cheek gained another life. I put a mask on both spots hoping that both will be better tomorrow but I doubt it. If it looks as bad as I think it's going to tomorrow, I am not leaving the house.

Day 155

Well most of my acne from last week is healed. Just some little marks left, but I noticed two of the tiniest pimples on my right cheek. I mean you can't see them unless you look really close. But I want them to go away! I mean they are so damn tiny, more like a clogged pore. Acne medication should work really fast on them but I am not very optimistic :(

Day 152

Well I went to the gym this morning with no makeup on. Since I am so self conscious about my weight, I really didn't mind that much about my skin. The one I had on my right cheek a few days ago is gone. The cyst on my chin is gone, only the area is still a little discolored but it's fading really fast. However, since it's that time of month, I got a small pimple on my forehead above my right brow. It isn't huge and it isn't all that red but there is a tiny bump. I put medication on it for the night and I'm hoping it will be gone tomorrow. I hate when I get pimples on my forehead because it is so foreign to me. I hardly EVER get one there. My t-zone is always clear. Knock on wood.

I also tried a new makeup today: Estee Lauder Double Wear Light. And I love it! I have yet to see if it will wreck havoc on my skin but I sincerely hope it doesn't because it's so gorgeous. My skin looks absolutely flawless. None of the PIH shows.

Day 152

Well I went to the gym this morning with no makeup on. Since I am so self conscious about my weight, I really didn't mind that much about my skin. The one I had on my right cheek a few days ago is gone. The cyst on my chin is gone, only the area is still a little discolored but it's fading really fast. However, since it's that time of month, I got a small pimple on my forehead above my right brow. It isn't huge and it isn't all that red but there is a tiny bump. I put medication on it for the night and I'm hoping it will be gone tomorrow. I hate when I get pimples on my forehead because it is so foreign to me. I hardly EVER get one there. My t-zone is always clear. Knock on wood.

I also tried a new makeup today: Estee Lauder Double Wear Light. And I love it! I have yet to see if it will wreck havoc on my skin but I sincerely hope it doesn't because it's so gorgeous. My skin looks absolutely flawless. None of the PIH shows.

Day 150

It's that time a month again and now that the cyst I had for a month on my chin is gone, I woke up with a small papule on my right cheek. I shouldn't complain. It is just one and concealer covers it pretty well. Still, I am so jealous of the girls in my dorm who get out of the shower and have perfect complexions. I feel like I will always struggle with acne. Maybe not as bad as it was before, but I'll always get a blemish every now and again. I will probably always need to be on a prescription. I sincerely hope my derm doesn't take me off my medication. I really do wish I had gotten acne when I was a teenager, when I could grow out of it. Adult acne sucks! We can't grow out of it. We can control it to some extent but I know I personally will never be the way that I was as a teenager, as in never had a zit. And it's true, I didn't know what acne was until I turned 19. My skin sure made up for lost time. I wish I could forget those days where I thoughtlessly slept with my makeup on, never moisturized or cleansed. I didn't even own any facial cleansers, toners, or lotions. My skin was just clear all the time. I wish I hadn't taken it for granted.

Well I am pretty clear...I've been trying not to wear makeup while I'm at home on spring break. I did a mask today so I'm hoping that helps my enlarged pores. The nodule on my chin that I had about 3 weeks ago left a mark that isn't fading. It's gonna take awhile. In the meantime, I have a few clogged pores near the same vicinity that will not go away. So basically, my chin is the problem area. My forehead and nose are clear as are my cheeks with the exception of a few clogged pores that are only noticeable when the skin is stretched out. I suppose I should be happy and I am...but I've been feeling really down lately, which is making me psychoanalyze and over-think about my skin. Over break I have been watching a lot of television and I can't help but notice and be jealous of all the women with perfect skin. Even without breakouts and a face full of acne, I never think I'll be able to reach their level of perfection. I'll always have a somewhat uneven skintone. All my family and friends think I'm crazy. They don't see what I see, but then again they aren't stretching out my skin and looking at it under a magnifying mirror. If I have a miniscule red spot, I notice it, but no one else does and it really bugs me. Maybe it's all in my head.

Day 131

It's been about two week now and the nodule on my chin is finally diminishing. There is still a red mark but it's easy to cover up with just a dab of concealer. Despite all my attempts to rid the clogged pores on my left cheek, they are still there. I don't want to poke and prod at them and get them inflamed because right now they aren't visible unless you stretch out the skin. I have a few dormant bumps on my right cheek as well but you can only feel them when you slowly touch the area. I'm not sure what to do about it except wait it out. Medication doesn't seem to help. I still have some hyperpigmentation but it's slowly getting lighter. I wish I could afford to get a facial because my pores are huge :( but I recall that you aren't supposed to get facials when you are on acne medication.

Day 128

So if anything, the nodule on my chin has only gotten worse. It got a white head last night so I pricked it with a needle and some junk oozed out. Sorry for being so graphic. But it's still there and it's really hard and it hurts. Nothing I put on it is helping it go down. I'm not even sure it will be gone by next week. I wish I could get it extracted but I don't think I'll be able to make an appointment in time. This really sucks. And the red mark on my right cheek isn't fading very well. I've been treating the clogged pores on my upper left cheek but one of them looks inflamed today. Yesterday, I had to put a Bandaid on my chin at work because it looked so bad. Needless ti say, I did not receive good tips. My parents wanted me to go to church with them this morning but there's no way I am going looking like this, My boyfriend also wants to hang out but I am so embarrassed. I don't think I'll be able to attend class this week, not like this. There's no way this bandaid is coming off. Even if it looks weird, it's been than the red almost purple inflamed dime sized zit on my chin.

Day 126

I had been doing really well but it's my time of month and now I have the most painful nodule I've ever had in my life on my chin. Before I got acne really bad, the only pimples I ever got were during this time of the month on my chin. It seems that I am back in this cycle. It doesn't hurt nearly as bad as it did the past two days. I couldn't talk or chew at all without excruciating pain. It felt like something was drilling into my skin and into my mouth and teeth. No amount of ibuprofen helped. The only temporary relief comes when I apply a warm compress. Even so, the nodule is showing no signs of diminishing anytime soon. If the past is any predictor, it will be gone by next week. In the meantime, I plan on applying a clay mask tonight to get rid of a few clogged pores. Last night I applied some SA before working out and then buffed my face with oil. It got rid of a few of the clogged pores but not all of them. I have a few on my upper left cheek and some blackheads on my chin that were stubborn. I also had a small pimple on my right cheek but it's drying up now. There's a mark, but it should be gone within 2 days or so. I can't wait to go back to having clear skin. It's been so nice to not wear makeup every day.

Day 112

Well the one active I had below my mouth came back :( I was stupid and used a Q tip when it was just a clogged pore and now it is a full out inflamed, swollen pimple. I'm supposed to go home this weekend for my dad's birthday and I am going to see my boyfriend tonight. Last time I saw him, I wasn't wearing makeup because my skin was so clear. This really sucks. I thought it was gone, I've been applying medication on it every day and every morning, but to no avail. To make matters worse, I have a bandaid on my chest because I have the most painful pimple I've EVER had there. I usually don't get body acne, but if I don't shower every day or if I wear the same shirt twice in a week without washing it, I break out. Well I have a clay mask on that evil little monster right now so hopefully it won't look as bad later tonight.

Hope all is well for everyone else :)

Day 110

The past two days have been really rough. I had two actives and it has really brought me down. I guess I've finally come to realize that I'll never ever have the same skin I had as a teenager. I have adult acne and I'm stuck with it for life. Although I sometimes stay clear for a week or two, it is never consistent. There really isn't much else I can do. I was so depressed earlier that I walked in the freezing cold wind to get fast food. I've been trying to eat healthy, but screw it. I'm unhappy. Not eating the food I want is a huge struggle. No one else I know has to think about the things they eat. I'll probably suffer the consequence in the next few days, but it doesn't really matter. No matter what I do, I eventually break out anyway so might as well enjoy something.

Day 108

I went two days without makeup. It felt great! But I think I'm on the verge of a massive breakout. I have so many clogged pores! I skipped one morning of using my cleanser and I haven't been using the Acanya in the morning for a few days now. Won't be doing that again. My face is a disgusting red blotchy mess right now :( guess the fight, isn't quite over.

Day 108

I went two days without makeup. It felt great! But I think I'm on the verge of a massive breakout. I have so many clogged pores! I skipped one morning of using my cleanser and I haven't been using the Acanya in the morning for a few days now. Won't be doing that again. My face is a disgusting red blotchy mess right now :( guess the fight, isn't quite over.

Day 99

I never thought it would happen but I am finally consistently clear. It's hard to believe what I see when I look in the mirror now. When I touch my face, I am surprised to find that it is so smooth. My next big challenge is to find peace within myself about the way I look. I'm gonna have to repair about 3 years worth of damage to my self esteem. Anyway, I'll check in from time to time and try to give as much encouragement to everyone that I can. I know how difficult the struggle with acne can be. But after some trial and error, I do believe it is curable. There is a treatment for everyone.

All the best! Keep strong and know there's a cure.

XOXO

Day 88

Am I really gonna have to deal with this disease for the rest of my life? I want to know! It is so unfair that my skin teased me with clear skin for about two weeks and now I look like this. Granted it probably wouldn't look as bad as it does if I hadn't picked and squeezed but I couldn't help myself! It's probably gonna be a week before this clears up and by then I assume I'll have others to replace it. Even if that isn't the case, I will have new hyperpigmentation marks when there used to be none. This just had to happen when I'm back at school :( At home I am more equipped to deal with it. I'm able to be patient. But when I'm at school surrounded by so many gorgeous girls that have absolutely no skincare routine whatsoever, I am desperate. I don't understand what's happening! I'm on a diet. I take my vitamins and I am using the medication. In 2 days, I'll hit the 3 month mark. If I'm still not clear, that must mean that it didn't work. Maybe I will have to go on Accutane after all. At least then if my acne goes away, I probably won't have to deal with it ever again.

Day 87

I wish I could remain positive but tonight is one of those nights where I'm gonna cry myself to sleep tonight because of my skin. It's hard to believe that only a week ago I was clear. All I wanted was to be clear when I got back to school, but the day I come back, of course I get an active. Two days later and now I have three actives. One is in the same place it was the other day on my right cheek. It keeps vanishing and then popping up again. Then, as a result of my stupid picking yesterday, I have one on my chin near my mouth. I accidentally scraped the skin off with a Q tip so it's going to take awhile to heal. Boo :( I am so depressed. I was doing so well! What happened? Something about school must be a toxic environment for my skin. Maybe it's the stress, but being surrounded by people with perfect skin is making me so desperate! I want to be one of them.

Day 86

I am so proud of myself! Not only did I eat today, but I went out without makeup on! This is such a huge step for me! I had one active today but it's gone now. Unfortunately, I did screw up and started squeezing some clogged pores so my face looks blotchy and red. I won't be doing that again. Hopefully tomorrow morning my face will be as clear as it was 10 minutes ago. Although the medication I was prescribed is making a difference, I noticed that my skin is a lot more oily than it used to be. I NEVER had a problem with oily skin. After some research, I discovered that the oil is my skin's way of moisturizing itself since the medication is so drying :/ out with one problem and in with another. I've also been taking a multivitamin for about a week and a half now so that may have made the difference. However, I am really nervous about this week because it is the week before my cycle which usually wrecks havoc on my face. I can only hope that this time will be different but I guess I just have to wait and see.

Day 84

I've managed to get through the last 5 days without any actives. It feels good, but in my head I still feel ugly. It's just a matter of time before I get a new active (probably tomorrow, I felt a bump on my right cheek which I'm icing atm). I woke up at 6 this morning to attend an appointment with my dermatologist. She's pleased with my progress like I assumed she would be. I asked about my discoloration and she said all she could suggest was to give it time to fade. Looks like there's no way I will ever be able to go makeup free. The marks are just sad reminders. Anyone can tell that I used to have acne. I don't want that to be the first thing people notice. I go back to school in two days and I am really scared about being back in that judgment zone. I'm terrified of using the public bathroom and the horrible lighting.

Day 81

This morning at 9 am I woke up with a small pimple on the right side of my upper lip. I squeezed it and got all the junk out really easily. I went back to sleep and 2 hours later was back to being clear. I guess this means I've been clear for about 3 days straight. Honestly, it's weird when I look at myself in the mirror now. I'm just completely shocked that I am not horrified by what I see. I wish I could say that everything is all better now. Don't get me wrong, I am beyond happy! This is the best I've looked in about a year and a half, but the emotional pain is still there. I still catch myself hoping no one is looking at me. I keep my distance from everyone and I always worry about my makeup coming off. I guess it will take time for me to get used to it. Although I am glad that the combination of birth control and Acanya and Atralin worked for me, I wish I took a more natural approach. I wish it never came to this. I feel guilty for being so harsh on my skin and putting so many chemicals on it. In the long run, it won't be good. I can't be on birth control forever and I'm sure that my dermatologist will take me off my other prescriptions in the future. I need to find a way to guarantee that the acne won't come back. So in the meantime I am going to be as healthy as I can: diet, exercise, and taking supplements. Hopefully it will be enough.

Day 79

Success! I had my first completely clear day today. I noticed two or three clogged pores tho so it probably won't last long but I'm enjoying it for as long as it lasts. Maybe by next month I will be consistently clear. Anyway I am posting some pictures of my progress.

Day 77

I managed to get through the wedding on Wednesday. With makeup on, my skin looked pretty clear because I had no bumps. I was clear yesterday too. I was clear for half the day today but around 2, I realized I had a bump on my left cheek. It was really red and didn't have a head but I was able to squeeze all the junk out. Maybe not the best idea, but I didn't damage any skin. There's still a bump there and I am wearing makeup but maybe by tomorrow it will be gone. Otherwise, my skin has been very dry. Since I can't be consistently clear, I am thinking about maybe changing my diet or taking some kind of supplement or vitamin. Any suggestions are appreciated.

Day 74

I have one active on my right cheek. A few clogged pores but other than that I am pretty clear. The PIH marks are still fading. It looks especially bad after getting out of the shower, but usually when I wake up in the morning, most of the redness is gone. Anyway, I'm really hoping that I'll be clear on Wednesday for the wedding. I can hide the PIH, but you can't hide a bump with makeup. Last night I actually took my makeup off early and watched the football game with my boyfriend. He noticed the improvement and even went so far as to claim that I look so much happier without makeup on. Ultimately it is my goal to start wearing less makeup but I'm not at that point where I'm comfortable without it yet. I'm also supposed to meet with my derm sometime in the next couple weeks. I'm sure they will notice the improvement but all I see is the post-acne marks and the fact that I am still not 100% clear. As of yet, I haven't had a day when I'm completely clear. Usually I have one active at a time. Although it's better than having 4 or 5 at time, even one is enough to bring my spirits down. I guess I still have another 2 weeks or so before I reach the 3 month mark, so I shouldn't be surprised that I'm not 100% yet. Even then though, 2 weeks doesn't seem too far away so I doubt I'll be completely clear by then either. It's an ongoing process and I really don't know when I'll finally get out of this tunnel.