I have been struggling with acne and breakouts for as long as I can rememeber. I have oily skin, large pores around my nose, blackheads on my nose and some on my chin, and hyperpigmentation from old pimples. I got my first pimple when I was about 7 years old, and began to consitenty break out starting around age 11 or 12. I have been seeing dermatologists for 5 years and throughout those 5 years I have been prescribed many antibiotics, topical treatments, and washes. I took a six month course of Accutane in 2010 because my skin was unresponsive to many treatments. Accutane worked somewhat for me, but left me depressed during the fianl months of my treatment. I am fine today but looking back, that was a painful emotional experience. Although Accutane did not clear my acne for good, it has enabled my skin to be more responsive to other treatments it once did not respond to. After my cycle of Accutane ended I have been prescribed multiple types of topical treatments such as the retanoid Tazorac gel in 0.05% and 0.1% strengths. I believe Tazorac gel has helped keep my acne under control, but did not clear my skin completely. In conjunciton with Tazorac gel I was using Duac topical gel on affected areas in the morning. I did not notice a huge improvement with this combination, but it kept my skin clearer than it has been prior to using these products. I take birth control (Lo Loestrin FE) which has improved my skin overall. I was also prescribed Solodyn (minocycline) for three months (October-Decemeber 2013). This antibiotic cleared my skin greatly, but my acne retured eventually, but not as severe. Three days ago I visited my dermatologist after stopping my Tazorac gel. He recommended I take antiobiotics, but I expressed my desire not to because I feel that it is unhealthy to take an antibiotic for an extended period of time. Because I have a few large pimples he administered cortisone injections into my large pimples to reduce the size of them and increase the healing process. He said it would take about two days to see results--I have noticed a reduction in size and some of them have beagn to heal. He also prescribed me to use Finacea (azelaic acid) Gel, 15% in the morning and Ziana (clindamycin phosphate 1.2% and tretinoin 0.025%) Gel to use at night. I remove my makeup with cold pressed unrefined coconut oil and wash my face with Cetaphil gentle cleanser. I used to use Dickinson's witch hazel as a toner but I am going to stop using it for a few weeks and see what happens. I moisturize my face with CeraVe moisturizing cream and when I go into sun I moisturize with Cetaphil daily moisturizer with SPF 15. Sometimes I will use a gentle scrub from Neutrogena that contains AHA & BHA when I feel as if my skin needs to be cleaned a little deeper. To exfoliate I use a papaya enzyme mask from Alba. I have been using a calcium bentonite mask at night for about a week to purge my skin so I can treat the acne that is forming under my skin. I read from an esthetician, Veronica Gorgeois, who makes youtube videos and has a facebook page that the best way to begin incorporating a clay mask into your routine is to use it consistently for two weeks, then decrease to 2-3 times a week, down to one time per week (as your skin permits). I will probably contiue to do the masks for another week while my skin purges and adjusts to the new combination of topical gels I am now using. I used to use a clairsonic with an acne brush head, but I haven't had the opportunity to buy new brush heads in the past few months. Hopefully my skin improves with the implementation of my new skin care routine. Below I will attach pictures of my bare skin in natural light from this morning.