So I decided to stop thinking to myself, "My acne just randomly got so bad out of nowhere, I didn't do anything to make it that way either..so what's the deal with it going from clear for months to severe for months?", and instead decided to write down all the possible reasons why my face got worse, and I definitely think my role in managing my acne/health definitely was a culprit of why it got as bad as it did.
By the way, a little background info...I graduated High school May 20, 2012. I moved out the day after I graduated and move in with my boyfriend to his apartment, he lives in a college town so that's why he had to move away from me. Where we live now is 3 hrs away from my hometown, where I lived with my parents and 1 older brother, and I did not get a long with any of them, but I do now. I've been living with my bf since May 21, 2012 and I started getting terrible severe acne in the most random spots, and had a lot cysts like 4-5 at the same time, I had one under my eye where the thinnest skin on my entire body is, so not sure how it got there in the first place. Anyways..these possible reasons are an explanation of how possibly moving here and the actions I have made here OR other reasons, may have made my acne flare up severely.
Here's everything I wrote down in my notebook, word for word, and I bullet-pointed it too, so it's not exactly in story form, but close enough.
- The first few months living here my diet changed drastically. Although it was a bit healthier than my usual diet, I still was eating worse foods and an excess of it too.
- My diet was sometimes like this.. (I'll say the things I remember eating from May-August, (August is when I started breaking out REAL bad.) *This is not a list of foods that I consumed every day, some of them I did, but I'm just generally telling you what I remember eating those months:
- Red Barron, Tony's pizza, Jack's pizza, nuts, chocolate poptarts, ramen noodles, oatmeal (rarely), a lot of chocolate dove pieces (4-5 bags), few boxes of Goldfish, a lot of grilled cheese sandwiches made with white bread (butter loaded on both bread pieces and also added 2 cheese slices, drank white cow milk sometimes, wasn't taking multi-vitamins a lot, a lot of fruit snacks, cake, drank Mike's Hard Lemonade alcohol a few times, microwavable popcorn, wasn't taking any dietary supplements, few cookies from boyfriend's mom, fiber one bars/sunbelt granola bars ,etc.
- I was sleeping at weird times a lot, I had to change it around due to my boyfriend's work schedule because we sleep at the same time, so most days he'd come at 5-8 a.m. from work, and we'd sleep then until 12p.m.-3p.m. in the afternoon. My sleep schedule was horrible and not consistent. I also didn't get a lot of sleep, and if I did it wasn't even past 5hrs sometimes.
- Might not have washed face thoroughly enough so might not have gotten dead skin off and etc,, but I was washing it gently and for 2-10 minutes in the bathroom which was not bad, so that probably isn't the culprit at all.
- I was barely hydrated, I didn't drink a lot of water or anything else really.
- I'd go weeks without passing stool, and didn't pee a lot every day.
- Temperatures were pretty hot and humid for those 4 months, would make my face feel hot and sweaty a lot and my whole body too.
- Ran out of my favorite cleanser before I started breaking out bad, I was using that cleanser for months when my skin was clear
- Went from using toner pretty much every day at my parent's house - to not using it at all
- Slept on my side where my face touched the dirty pillow case, the case was rarely washed
- Water here could be hard water and that's bad for skin, and it could have chlorine. The water at my parent's house was usually always soft w/o chlorine in it. I'm pretty sure I'm allergic to chlorine.
- Change in my overall life and lifestyle, mood swings, hormones, exercise changed from time to time a lot, and my diet changed a lot too
- Extra stress at the time for many reasons I'm sure
- Didn't shower a lot or enough, and I still tend to be lazy with showering because I don't go out a lot
- Maybe irritation from a good or something like a new cleanser or different topical treatment
- Started using a store brand salicylic acid cleanser that stung my face/itched/didn't come off easily/drying too
- Proceeded with using astringent toner w/ salicyilic acid in it after cleanser - then used witch hazel wipes either with the toner or by itself
- Then I used benzoyl peroxide from Clearasil and used it virtually every where and a lot of it (it was 2.5%)
- Then I started doing that same routine TWICE a day, not just at night
- Skin was tight, dry, and flaky from that ^
- Decided to stop doing that regimen after a few weeks and started the Caveman Regimen
- Skin healed on caveman regimen right away, probably because I was damaging/irritating it for so long
- Got a few pimples which went away quick (they were usually zits)
- Never had a cyst during regimen until I started taking off dead skin that built up for 3 weeks
- Did a few days on Caveman Regimen again after I took off the dead skin and then started using Witch Hazel from the bottle only, w/o water or any other products (it didn't help at all and skin was red)
- I didn't want to use Witch Hazel anymore so I resorted to washing face w/ Neutrogena cleanser with Chamomile and salicylic acid 2% and used Neutrogena All-In-1 Acne Control w/ salicylic acid 1%, vitamin A, and soy (I used this regimen, while alternating cleanser sometimes, from November 2nd-November 19th)
- Face felt amazing the first night I used this regimen. ^ It wasn't dry, tight, or irritated that night.
- During this regimen, each day that went by my skin stopped feeling "good" because I was overwashing, and was obsessed with getting off dead skin/flakes/cleanser suds, so I rubbed and scrubbed my skin way too much (Result: more blackheads, more acne, more redness; basically irritated, dry, tight, and flaky)
- During the time that I was doing that face regimen ^ I used to rub/scrub skin and be in the bathroom doing the face routine for 30 mins - 1hr..bad choice.
- Kept using that regimen until November 19th when I had to go to my boyfriend's Thanksgiving break
- Didn't wash face at all those entire 6 days
- My trouble spots, which were at that time 3-5 pimples, 1 was a cyst and 4 were zits, they decreased in size and dried up in those 6 days w/o washing
And it looked like this November 2nd:
And then after using a good regimen, it got bettere her, but I still worsened it at the same time, this is from November 27:
And from reading everything I wrote, it would seem that the Caveman Regimen is a pretty positive regimen, but I am not committed to it because I get build up dead skin really bad, but I have noticed the plugs come out of my skin on my most stubborn blackheads, so I would recommend the regimen for people who DON'T get bad build-up of dead skin and very noticeable shedding.
I did see improvement with my face washing regimen, but I irritated my skin when I rubbed/scrubbed/exfoliated too much, and using a lot of cleanser on your face is bad, only use a little amount, drying out the skin will make your acne worse..and spending a long time in the bathroom washing your face is also a no no. So those are my tips and advice..and also my acne story from the past few months. And my diet has never been good even when my skin was clear, so diet isn't a huge role, but it still matters.