I'm starting the regimen after years of acne and various acne treatments. I tried it a few years ago, but wound up heading in to a dermatologist because I was simply too frustrated with my face. I have pretty moderate acne, which can be better on some days and terrible on others. I've had it since I was probably twelve years old, and I'm 25 now. Unfortunately, I'm unemployed at the moment and have no insurance, which means no more dermatologist. I've been off prescription treatments for around a year now and my face has finally settled back into it's pre-prescription state. Which is not great, to say the least. I've been trying to find a job for months, and I'm almost certain that the state of my skin plays a factor because I feel like I can just see the interviewers analyzing my skin more than my skills. So it's time to make a change. I obviously haven't got the money or coverage for derma visits anymore, so that's out. The regimen seems like an inexpensive and simple solution; likely the best I'll get in my current financial state. I'm going to give it a run, and hopefully log my progress here. I'm a few days in at this point, and my skin already feels like it's starting to heal - what a relief. Here's my plan so far: AM- Wash with Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash: The stuff in the big orange tube. I've been using this for years, and it definitely makes my face feel better. It doesn't irritate me, doesn't smell bad, and feels very soothing. It looks as though it might be discontinued though; I haven't been able to find any for a while. It looks like there are other "flavors" of the same stuff, which I'm not thrilled with because the containers are so small and I don't like strong scents. Plus, they cost more. :/ So we'll see what happens when I run out, I guess. Might pick up the acne.org cleanser instead. - Apply a generous amount of acne.org BP treatment: I've previously used Neutrogena On-the-Spot (so tiny!) as well as Duac maybe a year ago, so my skin is pretty accepting of BP. It doesn't irritate and redden as much as it did when I first started using it, which is nice since there isn't much to get used to. - Moisturize with Neutrogena Oil-Free Moisturizer with SPF 15: Kind of a whim since it fit the best in terms of ingredients. A little expensive, but it's lasted a long time so far so that's okay. I don't really like the sunscreeny smell, but it seems to fade after a while (or else I'm just getting used to it) but the texture is nice and my skin absorbs it well. Feels nice. PM- Wash again with Neutrogena Oil-Free wash- Apply another generous dab of acne.org BP- Moisturize with CeraVe: I have quite a bit of this leftover from my run with the dermatologst, so I might as well use it up. It doesn't have the SPF that the Neutrogena moisturizer does, so I might as well use the CeraVe at night since I'll be sleeping anyway. A break from the sunscreen smell is also nice. Throughout the day- Drink more water: This is something I've been guilty of for a long time, so now's as good a time as any to work on this as well. My motivating factor is to drink a glass of water for every soda or juice/sugary drink I have. Hopefully this will help to even things out, since I'm trying to slowly cut back on soda anyway. I've been keeping a glass of water around while I work at the computer and do other tasks, so it's easier to subconsciously consume more of it. Hopefully the two habits (regimen and drinking water) will help keep each other going and become more routine for me.- Eat more fruits/veggies: I eat a pretty average-to-healthy diet, so it's not like this is a problem, but eating more fruits and vegetables certainly can't be a bad thing. I'm working under the assumption that additional vitamins will only help my skin in its effort to heal itself. I don't have the budget for additional supplemental vitamins, so it's easier to work it into my food budget and simply eat better. To keep track of my progress, I'm planning to snap a picture of my face from either side every Saturday (since that's when I actually started) so I can see what's changed over time. I can already see some healing taking place two days in, but it's too early to make a judgement yet. Still, some of the pain in my skin is fading away, and some of the smaller problem spots are already starting to heal up. The larger spots look like they're starting to heal around the edges, but I know from experience that it will be some time before any treatment really takes effect on them. I guess in some way being unemployed is a blessing and a curse; being unemployed sucks, but it also gives me some time to work on this and not worry so much about what co-workers think of me. Hopefully my skin will clear up, and I'll stop being judged by the marks on my face. Let's do this.
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