• Start a blog to chronicle your journey through your acne treatment. Or just start one for fun
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    “You’d be really pretty if you had clear skin.”

    I was 14 years old and having a sleepover at my friend's house when I realised that my skin was a noticeable problem. Not just to me, but to other people. I know her older sister won’t even remember making that comment but it’s stuck with me in the back of my mind ever since.

    The most frustrating part for me personally over the years hasn’t been my skin itself, but people giving me their (unwelcome) opinions and telling me why I had “bad” skin:

    “You don’t clean your face enough.” “You clean your face too much.” “You’re using the wrong skin care products.” “You need to clean your make-up brushes more often.” “If you didn’t wear make up, your skin would clear up.” “You need to stop eating chocolate.” “You need to drink more water” “It’s because you drink too much coffee.” “You should just cut out dairy full stop.” “You need to change your pillow cases more.” “You should go on the pill.” “You need to shower twice a day.” “You don’t wash your clothes enough.”

    If you’re not a medical professional, please don’t ever take it upon yourself to try to advise someone on how to treat their acne unless they ask for your advice. I wouldn’t have said I used to be particularly sensitive, but this constant uninvited scrutiny and pressure has completely knocked my confidence and made me ridiculously insecure.

    I’m now 24 years old and have suffered with mild to moderate cystic acne on my face, chest and back for just over 10 years. I am under no illusion that my acne could be a lot worse, but when it dictates simple things in your day to day life – how much money I spend on make up trying to cover it, how confident I felt attending meetings at work, what clothes I can buy, deciding which items of clothing that I already own that I can wear on a daily basis, whether or not I make plans with friends and even allowing myself to be comfortable enough around someone to be into a serious relationship – enough is enough!

    After trialling many different topical treatments, antibiotics and contraceptive pills that really didn’t agree with me, it was actually my gynecologist that suggested to my GP that I try Isotretinoin (more commonly known as Roaccutane). He was a specialist in PCOS and had seen “remarkable improvements” in his patients, and he felt like this would be a really effective solution given that my acne was not triggered by a hormone imbalance.

    I was really apprehensive about going ahead with the drug initially, as a friend of a friend of the family had died whilst taking it – needless to say that my family were against me taking it! However, as I started to do my research, the overwhelming success stories outnumbered the tragedies. Not just from anonymous people on forums but from friends, colleagues and classmates too.

    When my best friend got engaged this year and asked me to be her Maid of Honour that was the final straw. I couldn’t bare to be that person who refused to wear certain dresses because I was too insecure to have my back and/or chest “out”.

    I started on 30mg tablets on 20th July 2017. I’ll keep doing weekly updates on my side effects and progress as I personally found reading through these sorts of things incredibly informative and helpful. Without reading all of your journeys I wouldn’t have had the guts to go ahead with the treatment!

  1. Got a few more breakouts on forehead, side forehead and cheeks. Still quite red and inflamed. Lips begin to look dry after a couple hours of applying Vaseline.

    I feel like my mood has changed. I can't say for sure if it's the accutane, but I've started feeling down, less motivated. The initial breakout is really bad, so it could just be that. I prefer not to look in the bathroom mirror and I'm really not looking forward to going to work where hundreds of people each shift see my skin close-up. I also feel slightly more tired than usual.

    When I used benzoyl peroxide in 2013, it dried my skin out similar to now and also caused an initial bumpy/lumpy breakout similar to this, which improved after that. So hopefully similar will happen now, except the results will be permanent/long-lasting.

    I haven't had any joint ache yet, which is good because I'm into running/fitness and want to get back into that.

    There's still 2 days left of week 2, but I doubt much will change between now and then. If it does I'll add it to this post. I'm feeling positive about the future, it's just I know the first 1-2 months (or more) are going to be hell. I hope this is the worst of it, but I'm prepared for worse.

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    I had underestimated the need for a Spironolactone blog, but after not finding enough online about individual women's experiences I felt it was necessary to document. 

    I have PCOS and consistent hormonal acne that has only gotten worse as I've gotten older. Though my hormone levels for testosterone were average, my DHEA levels were extremely high. I am on Ortho Tri Cyclen Lo, which can effect DHEA levels overall. I have been prescribed 100mg Spironolactone, which I take in 2 50mg tablets morning and night with food. 

    The first 3 1/2 weeks on Spironolactone were pleasant - other than drinking more water and peeing more, I noticed no noticeable side effects. I did initially (within 3-4 days of Spiro use) break out pretty aggressively on my forehead, an area I rarely get acne, but that has since subsided. Though my endocrinologist told me my skin shouldn't "get worse before it gets better", mine most certainly did. All of a sudden, right around the end of the 3rd week into the 4th week on spiro, I broke out with the worst breakout I've had in a long time. At first I got small spots all over my cheeks and near my nose, and then eventually got 4-5 nasty cysts around my lip, chin and jawline, followed by 3 more cysts a few days later. Also, my acne is rarely cystic.

    I, of course, was freaking out. I spent nights googling Spiro use, confirming that a breakout like this was normal. In that searching I discovered some theories:

    One woman's doctor had described Spironolactone's effect on treating repetitive hormonal acne as follows: Though very gradual, Spironolactone effectively 'tightens' your pores - many women notice oil reduction and a change in texture within the first week on the drug - and if you are someone, like me, who has had dormant breakouts beneath the surface of the skin for what seems like forever, they will all be pushed to the surface at once. When I was used to having max 3-4 pimples constantly, I suddenly could count 15+ on my face. 

    Don't freak out though. This is a huge sign that the Spironolactone is working. Remember - Spironolactone is clearing out your face from the inside, meaning that once the pimple you now see is gone, it will be 'gone' forever! (Unless you discontinue use). This put my mind at ease and redirected me to solving the problem as best I could. 

    Many dermatologists prescribe a topical cream to do a lot of the resurfacing on your face when you go on spiro. I have a pretty intensive skin care treatment already that I much prefer to prescription creams, so I never picked up the prescription. Don't be foolish like me - get that Retin-A/Tretinoin cream!!!! Your skin will need that upheaval of dead skin so that the inflamed pores can clear quickly and new ones will be calmed sooner, trust me. Even if your skin looks OK now, it's going to change, and it's better to be prepared than caught with some nasty breakouts. I recently picked up Peter Thomas Roth's AHA/BHA Acne Clearing Gel as a kind of replacement for the prescription cream, and have loved the noticeable effects thus far. I can wear this on my skin morning and night under moisturizer and know that my acne is being resurfaced and new pimples are kept at bay...but don't forget sunscreen!

    My esthetician also recommended (small and sparing) use of baking soda in your regular face mask 1-2 times a week. I also love baking soda and honey masks, as the antibacterial properties in honey clean my skin and restores moisture. I also religiously use P50 from Biologique Recherche - the "facial in a bottle", which also aids in exfoliation.

    I am now a day away from the end of Week 5 and I can tell you that my skin has not necessarily improved, but I have had no new flare ups or huge cysts. The pimples I did get last week have flattened and, other than a huge pesky cyst on my chin, I'm doing somewhat Ok. My acne is really focused in the upside-down triangle zone of chin to forehead that people always say to never pop pimples in. The skin that isn't breaking out looks so much smoother and like my "real" skin, before this whole acne mess began. You can really feel Spironolactone working as your face changes and responds, initially as well as gradually, and that has me hopeful for the future. 

    I am considering going back to my doctor to request an antibiotic like minocycline if my acne stays bad or gets much worse - many women have given advice on their initial breakout and say that an antibiotic cleared it right up. 

    Looking forward to documenting and wish all you other beautiful women the best of luck on your journey!! I hope this dispels some of your fears and anxieties and can help you power through for the long haul. :)
  2. YellowCopy
    Latest Entry

    Tomorrow starts my 6th week on the regime!

    So i got over that episode i had where i wanted to quit. Im starting to be super gentle with the steps of the regime, I'm incorporating AHA into my regime but it stings a little still so I'm only using a little less then half AHA and the more moisturizer so my face isn't red in the aam :)

    I broke out from the exfoliation but today my pimples were big, and now at night i can already see them shrinking. I think my acne scars are starting to fade! Ive been using AHA for a little over a week now. I also ran out of cleanser so i ordered the 16 oz of cleanser and moisturizer today.

    RN I have AHA on and its stunning so maybe ill use less tomorrow. I want to build up my tolerance to AHA very slowly because I'm not wearing makeup and if it stings then tomorrow i wake up with a red face ughhhh

    Heres my current skin routine

    2 pumps of cleanser, gently wash for about 20 seconds
    1 full fingers length of BP
    2 pumps of cetaphil moisturizer ( i use cetaphil so my face isn't yellow in the am) mixed with about 10 drops of jojoba oil. i find that the jojoba oil makes sure i don't flake most of the day, and also it thins out my moisturizer which makes it easier so spread around my face, so less irritation
    Wait about 1 hour for the moisturizer to sit, massage in the moisturizer a little more every 10-15 minutes or so. i let it sit for 1 hour or as long as possiblebefor using powder.

    Ive also started using tiny dabs of concleaer on my really red acne spots. This is making me much more comfortable because i don't feel as ugly, and i don't look caked with a full face of makeup!!

    2pumps of cleanser
    1 full fingers length of bP
    1 pump moisturizer, almost half AHA (i might use 3/4 moisturizer and 1/4 AHA tomorrow bc my face stings rn), 10 drops of jojoba

    ALSO, little by little i think my flakiness is going away. Maybe its from the AHA? Also when i shower and my face soaks in the water, ill gently gently rub circles on my face and its been taking off some of the dead layers of skin. I did that today. i feel its removing the layers sitting on top and now its making the AHA more effective to prevent new flakes forming. Maybe thats why my AHA burns a little more today?? My skin is baby smooth now on my forehead, nose, chin, and the fronts of my cheeks. like right under my eye area. I still get patchy on my cheeks and jawline. Things are looking up for this regime. Everyone says the first month is the worst. Maybe in these next few weeks ill start seeing real results??

  3. Hey Girls,

    Yesterday I just started my 6th packet of Estelle 35 ED Pill! And can I just say that my skin is looking amazing. I honestly couldn't be happier at this stage. It's not completely clear and I'm still getting the occasional large pimple, but they're easily dealt with. Cannot wait to see the skin in a few months time. 

    My boobs have defineltly grown bigger, I know this because I've had to go out and buy other bras... which is awesome!

    Though in a recent newspaper article, I've read that this particular pill has had some negative affects on Australian Women, so I'm starting to get a little scared continuing this pill. A recent Australian woman had blood clots in her legs (supposedly from this pill) and has to wear a full-leg, compression stocking for two years. So I'm a little worried, especially reading this. 

    Anyway, other than that, I've stuck to my daily/ nightly routine and I believe that has helped with the progression of my skin looking so much better. 

    I will post post photos later in the week or next week. Keep posted xxx

  4. While the majority of my skin-colored bumps and major acne is gone, I've noticed a few tiny to small whiteheads popping up, which is quite annoying but I'm doing my best to be patient (the plus side is that they go away pretty quickly!) Since I'm using Clean It Zero classic only at night, I'm considering switching to Clean it Zero Purity for sensitive skin (just in case it happens to be clogging my pores slightly, which I doubt but just accounting for possibilities) or double cleansing in the morning as well. Overall, though, this is definitely the best my skin has looked in a while and I'm hoping that it IS possible to completely control hormonal acne. The strange thing is, I usually only get acne on my forehead, but hormonal acne is typically on the lower half of the face.. but at the same time my period causes me to breakout so maybe my hormonal acne is different? Who knows but I'm doing my best to stay positive and maybe my skin will completely clear up! Right now I think the problem is preventing new pimples from sprouting. Next week my new cleanser should come, so hopefully that will help! Will provide updates as my skin changes but I have to say, I'm grateful that i only have 3 significant pimples on my face and that the rest are tiny. It's not the miracle I wanted, but it's for SURE a major improvement. 

  5. Beyouuuu
    Latest Entry

    Second week of down and I must say i see a difference but I must admit I haven't been strictly following my regime. I've been on vacation and I just haven't been doing what I'm suppose to do. This week forward I'm going to try to follow closely to my regime. I have notice I have 3 cystic like pimples hopefully the go away soon 













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  7. Worst Picking Yet... I knew this day would finally come where I just couldn't stand the pain and bumps anymore :( ... Unfortunately, I have picked my entire face leaving it completed inflamed, blood spots and swollen. The only upside is that all the whiteheads are completed extracted so hoping the redness and blood spots will soon fade. These pictures is of my right side, which is way worse than my left side. Stay tuned on my progress as my face begins to heal all over again. 

    Lower Back Ache... I am unsure if my lower back ache is from working out with a new technique or from the Accutane but thought I would document it.

    Sun exposure.... This past week, I have been in the Caribbean, however have been reapplying sunscreen to both my face and entire body to make sure I do not burn. Although the sunscreen and salt water burns my face, my hope is that the salt water will help take down the redness and swelling of the damage I have done. 

    No No to makeup... Because my face is completely swollen and hurts to touch, I currently cannot apply any makeup to my face due to a burning sensation and bruise like feeling. The only thing I will continue to put on my face is my everyday face sunscreen.

  8. Had a big breakout on my cheek this week but it seems to be calming down now. Just need the redness to go down :(
    Week15 (1).jpgWeek15.jpg

  9. hotglue01
    Latest Entry

    Welp, it’s been three full weeks on the Regimen.

    Status: I have to say, things have really started to clear up since my last post. I’m not sure if it was a change in mindset (focusing on the positive and on progress, not “perfection”) or if things just naturally started kicking into gear, but a lot of those blackheads on my forehead have started to flake off. Also, those small-but-irritating pimples that weren’t really going away… have mostly gone away. It’s kind of weird! My chin is still purging, although things are starting to really smooth out there. There are still some big blackheads that remain mostly on the underside, but I continue to have faith that things will continue to clear up.One thing that’s helped has been to revisit the timelines offered by posters and my own blog, and remembering that a) it doesn’t take 3 weeks, and 3 ) that my skin, even though I’ve been using BP for years now, needs time to adjust to the AMOUNT of BP that I’m now using twice a day (a fat glob of it). That said, the redness has started to really go down too, perhaps thanks to the safflower oil I’ve been using, but also perhaps thanks to time and just getting used to all this product on my face.

    My back has also started to clear up pretty miraculously. There are still a few active lesions – I’d say three is a generous estimate – with a few more (maybe 4 or 5) dying down. So, while I didn’t quite reach my goal of no active back acne by July 16th, I came close and that’s encouragement enough.All this in 3 weeks, too! I’m legit looking forward to seeing what happens in the next three weeks… I seem to have hit an asymptote!

    Oh, and my chest is OK… that big giant thing that erupted two weeks ago is mainly gone, although it’s going out with one more final fight. Whatever, that means it’s going away for good, and I don’t even really care about it. There are maybe two other bumps in between my boobs (ha) that are on their way out, and other than that my chest is pretty clear. Differin takes care of it. Although it is red (less so, but still) because of how sensitive it is to the sun…Anyway, I guess I’ll update my goals before signing off:-Back clear of all acne (active and dying) by my friend’s wedding on the 29th (2 weeks!)

    -Face clear of all active acne by the 29th!

    -Some fading of red marks on both face and back by August 4th (when I leave for Japan)

    -Most red marks faded by the 16th of August (when I dance in a super cool Buddhist festival!)

    OK, that is all. Time to go to work and serve people kung pao chicken…

  10. So, I am over 2 weeks on Accutane now and this week my skin has completely cleared except for two small whiteheads I've had (one was on the end of my chin.) I seem to have been controlling the dryness on my face too. As I mentioned in my last entry I am loving the Aveeno skin relief moisture cream! I have been using that since I started Accutane and it does not make me break out! This moisturiser soaks into my skin lovely. My skin looks hydrated which I haven't seen in a long time and from that it has a glow to it! The only con I find with the Aveeno after some hours it gets a sticky feeling to it on my face. I have decided to use it at night all over my face before bed and then in the mornings after washing my face I only put it on the areas I find that are dry and slightly flaky, that works lovely. My lips are still mega dry so I use my lip balm every half hour as I need constant topping up! My scalp is still the most dried part for me , it's really flaky on my head. I'm using the coconut oil every weekend now to hydrate my scalp so that the flakiness does not build up. My nose is still dry inside and I constantly have to use tissues to clean it out.  I'm finding this week my eyes are drying up a bit , in the afternoons they look quite red and I feel they are drowsy. It goes away after a while.

    Other than that I haven't experienced any other side effects!

    I will add, today I went out so I put my make up on and for the first time in a long time I felt good in my own skin , really good actually!!!;D  ( I use Bareminerals make up, the natural stuff!)


  11. Late post but I did not have much change from my last entry.

    The last few months have flown by and I am almost done with my treatment. I consider myself lucky that the worst of my symptoms were some chapped lips and joint pain. i have been on 40mg for my whole course and will continue to be on 40mg for the remainder, which will leave me at a cumulative dose of 6,000mg or 120mg/kg which is the lower end of the goal dose. 

    I have had no change really only fading marks. No more symptoms to report. Pics below of my problem areas, amazing to see how far my skin has come. IMG_2341.JPGIMG_2342.JPG

  12. I haven't been on for a while as i've been emersing myself in school.  I'm on my last 3 classes so i can almost see the light at the end of the tunnel.  Speaking of and my acne are in a good place.  Spiro is working really well and i can say my skin is stable.  I break out pretty normally like around my period but its minor and not as anxiety inducing as it once was.  For my chin which is a mixture of rosacea and some PD, i am using soolantra which has been pretty amazing.  I hardly break out there, even during my period.  

    Next steps.....

    Starting in September, my derm will start weening me down on my dosage.  This drug while being God sent has helped my weight to balloon (though my poor eating habits haven't helped).   I also don't like being on any medication for such a long period of time.  I shudder to think that skin will revert back to it's form but praying it won't.  I'l keep everyone posted!

  13. I have now been on Accutane for almost a month now. I have seen an improvement on my face, as I am hardly getting any whiteheads, and if I do they are going away very quickly with little effort. My back however has gone very bumpy, but I am praying this is where the blackheads are being pushed out. All the old spots on my back are drying out very quickly which is a positive.

    However, on the negative side I am really starting to see the side effects kicking in. I have dry lips constantly which i am trying to moisturise every hour. I am also getting very small dry patches across my face. But luckily, it seems that once the dry patches go they leave behind clearer skin. Additionally, I may having very frequent but small nose bleeds which seem to stop before it ever reaches the outside of my face. And i am still experiencing a very dry and flaky scalp.

    I am planning to raise my dosage next week to 40mg, so i would expect the side effects to get worse. 

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    I've had acne since the age of 19.  I am now 28.  Mostly mild over the years but in recent years it has become more cystic and painful.  Nothing worked long-term; various topicals (antibiotics, BP creams), oral antibiotics and one type of retinoid.  I was allergic to Lymecycline so the other antibiotics were a no-go.  Finally referred to dermatology in January this year and now starting Isotretinoin.

    Overview: Month one has been fairly easy so far.   Skin has remained largely the same as it was pre-accutane but I feel that it's healing faster (albeit very dry).  It's weird having dry skin when it's normally so oily.

    Symptoms: The main symptom is the dryness of my lips and skin all over.   The area around my nose is very dry and sore.  My lips peel and crack constantly.  Lip balm is an essential at the moment but I'm not finding I need to strictly use a certain type - anything helps really (see recommendations below for further information).  My head is also very dry and itchy.  

    Skin/spots: My skin appeared to improve with only a few cysts in my eyebrow area and forehead, all of which dried up very quickly and disappeared.  About half way through this week (week 3) I developed a very painful cyst on my inner eyebrow area (which in turn caused my already enlarged gland to become tender and more swollen; I have enlarged glands due to my acne) which wasn't good.  I used a tiny bit of Sudocrem to help dry it up and it's starting to heal.  This morning I gained another two white head type spots on my eyebrows and a cyst on my chin which feels painful but isn't as bad as normal. 

    Products I'm using/recommend: My regime is much simpler.  Starting with cleanser I am using the La Roche-Posay Effaclar H Hydrating Cleansing Cream to wash my face, it's really gentle and my skin feels very clean after using it.  This stuff is specially designed for people to use in conjunction with over-drying treatments.   I'm using La Roche-Posay Effaclar H Soothing Moisturiser.  This is a godsend as it's really gentle.  A little seems to go a long way. I'm using more around my nose area as it's drier there.  For makeup I am using the bareMinerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream.  This is really light but coupled with concealer it gives a decent coverage of spots whilst not looking like you're wearing much make up at all.  

    I'm using Aveeno Skin Relief Nourishing Lotion for my body and Head and Shoulders Anti-Dandruff Shampoo for my hair.

    For my lips - the classic Carmex (the Strawberry one is good too as it has SPF 25 in), BabyLips by Maybelline is good too (the non-coloured ones).

    Let me know if this is helpful at all.

    Natty x

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    Wow so it turns out the shiny scab was just a normal scab, it just took a long time before it formed an actual one-looks like it will be easier to cover with makeup for the next few days, and will soon flake off-phew!!! For the redness on my cheeks, I went and bought some bp, I cannot believe how much of the redness around the pimples has gone down. There are quite a few whiteheads that have appeared since last night though, I don't know if that's the bp or just coincidence. I'll try not to pick at these and see if they go themselves (not sure if I'll have the will power though!). There are also whiteheads which seem more yellow in colour and don't appear to be raised above the skin, it will be interesting to see if these go with  the bp.

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    Sorryyyy I've been waaayyy too busy these past few days but heres my update for the past three days. The antibiotics are fine, I'm following instructions quite carefully like not lying down after taking them, drinking enough water, etc. I'm not sure how they are alone because I use differin in conjunction with the antibiotics so I can't really tell which one's doing the work. Or maybe it's just both of them, I have no idea haha. My skin has been slightly better. In the past few days I've only had one inflamed pimple plus a few white heads as opposed to 10 inflamed pimples and way too many white heads for me to deal with. During the first few days of using differin, my skin felt fine and didn't really sting or burn when I applied moisturiser. But for some reason, these past two nights, my skin has been stinging after applying moisturiser and I have no idea why. I heard that it's a common side effect so I'm not taking it too seriously now and just accepting it for what it does but should I be alarmed? I don't know. But yep here's my update.

  14. Let me start by saying that I'm the worst haha. I was very consistent updating for about two weeks, then I went off the grid...oops. 
    Well, I am officially completely finished with Claravis! I was on it for a total of 5 months and I have been finished for about 5 additional months. My feelings towards this process is very two-sided. On one end, I really do have virtually perfect skin and no noticeable scaring. But on the other hand, my body basically went through hell, which I'll explain below. Overall? I do think that Claravis can be very effective, but I DO NOT RECOMMEND using it unless EVERY OTHER OPTION is attempted. 

    Here are my symptoms that I experienced/still experience (symptoms that I still deal with will have an *  by it):
    Physical: dry-itchy skin, oily hair, sunburn*, heat rash, sweaty upper lip*, dry mouth*, easy dehydration*, very low alcohol tolerance*, moderate and new allergic reactions*, headache, nausea, appetite fluctuations (both starving or not hungry for entire days), weight gain, red eyes
    Emotional/Mental/Psychological: mood swings, general anxiety, social anxiety, mild depression, occasional confusion, bouts of random crying, etc.

    So if you struggle with acne like I did, where you tried everything to no avail, yes, Claravis is an option. However, I would look further into other factors of your life. If you currently consume dairy or gluten, try going a week or so without to see if it makes a difference. If you have a bad habit of not washing off your makeup or wearing makeup most days, try going an entire week with a clean face or strictly removing makeup and washing your face morning and night. Or perhaps change your makeup to a natural or sensitive-skin friendly formula. If you consume processed foods or excessive sugar/candy, make an effort to reduce those products to a minimum. Wash your pillow ONCE PER WEEK. Wash your makeup brushes ONCE EVERY TWO WEEKS. Try increasing your vitamins and minerals. Consider birth control pills as an option to regulate hormones.

    Basically, Claravis did a great job making the skin on my face pretty, but it TOOK A MASSIVE TOLL ON THE REST OF MY BODY.

    Not only was the period during treatment hard, I am assuming some of the side-effects will last the rest of my life. I can now barely drink because I get drunk off of two or three drinks and feel like misery the following day. I have a new array of allergies that I have never experienced before, which is scary as hell because I still am not sure exactly what I am allergic to/if some allergic reactions are more or less severe. My upper lip sweats like crazy and I still have occasional mood swings/periods of anxiety.

    Below I have attached pictures of my clean face, about two minutes after washing, so you can see the results. But take into consideration all other factors besidIMG_7109.JPGIMG_7106.JPGIMG_7104.JPGIMG_7103.JPGes just the post-physical.

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    This is my first time v-blogging on this website! I've read many articles but I never thought about joining you guys!! 

    I'm gonna try to keep it short but make sure to mention everything... 
    I'm 19 years old and I have a semi-sensitive and oily skin. I have suffered from mild to severe acne and whiteheads since 13. During my middle school, I used a lot chemical products to clear my skin and none worked at all. Starting high school I fell in love with natural remedies so I started trying different things. I always eat clean but what I learned during these years, that eating anything sweet makes me breakout very quick. So my first step was cutting the sugar down as much as possible, both in my food and my drinks (I know it can be very hard for some of you guys but trust me, both your body and your skin will appreciate you in the long term).
    Next I increased my water intake daily from 30 ounces to 60 (the goal is to drink half of your body weight in ounces!) 

    I have searched so many DIY treatment and tried many things. I tried steaming method for 4 weeks and applied oils after but didn't see any changes on my skin. Then I tried oil cleaning method with hemp seed oil for 6 weeks but unfortunately made me breakout more and left my skin oily (I truly hoped it would work). 

    Three months ago I started this new routin:

    Morning routine:
    I mixed 1:1 ratio of apple cider vinegar with filtered water (if you have a sensitive skin, use twice more filtered water. 1:2 ratio of ACV to water) in a spray bottle. In the morning, I wash my hands thoroughly (because bacteria is one of the common reasons for acne) and then i wash my face with warm water (a little too warm so it would open the pores) for about a minute. Then I dry my face off with tissues (I don't use towel because of bacteria being transferred to my face). Then spray my ACV toner on a cotton pad and whipe my face with it (you'll be amazed as the cotton pad turns gray due to the dirt and dead skin on the face!!!). Then I let it dry for 2 minutes and I apply my Elta Md sunscreen for acne prone face. I live in Florida so sunscreen is a must for me! I know it can be hard for some of you girls out there, but avoiding foundation helps acne to clear up so much easier because the foundation extremely clogges the pores. 

    Night Routine: 
    After washing my hands well, I wash my face with Shea Moister Africa black soap while using warm water. Pat dry my skin with tissues like the morning routine. Then I apply the same ACV toner with cotton pad. After it's completely dried, I cut a small piece from my aloe Vera leaf (you can purchase it from your local grocery store) and I rub the piece on my face, covering my face with its gel. Then, I rub my face till it feels like the gel is completely dried in your face. **don't forget to reastore the leaf in the refrigerator). Then I go to bed.

    My face has cleared miraculously!! My scars are also fading away! For the past 3 weeks, I only had one or two tiny pimples around my chin! The ACV might make you breakout the first or the second week, but be patient because it's bringing deeper clogged pores to the surface!! I also noticed my skin tone evened out and my face is not oily anymore since the ACV balances the pH level. ^^One thing to remember, make sure you change your pillow cover often, since oil and bacteria can transfer easily to your skin!

    one last thing, everything goes hand in hand. The routin by itself might not help as much. So make sure you eat healthy, drink good amount of water, and stick to the routine! 

    Today I purchased a bottle of witch hazel to mix with ACV because I've heard it can give better results. I'll definitely update how that one goes...


  15. Soooo. I am back! Why am I back?? Because my acne is back.  So I stayed pretty clear the last couple of years since my last entry, and then I had a baby! Can't use most acne products while pregnant AND you can't use most acne products while breastfeeding.  So being pregnant and then breastfeeding for a year, that was almost 2 years of horrible horrible skin! With crazy hormones and all I just could not stay clear. I would say it was mild to moderate, but definitely still there.  I would say the last 2 months have been really bad. I kicked my prescriptions to to curb (spironolactone and tazorac) and started to use natural products.  Nothing is working. So I am back on my 30 day waiting period for round 2 of accutane. Am I a little apprehensive? Of course! But I am desperate at this point.  My 30 days will be up on July 12th.  
    Current condition of my skin; not a lot of breakouts, just a lot of hyperpigmentation. I'm a picker. I have to stop this, but it is soooooooooo satisfying.  I'm not one of those pickers that gets in the mirror and just goes to town. I'm an unconscious picker. I pick when I'm driving, I pick when i'm watching TV, I pick when i'm going to bed. I have to stop this. I know I am just making it worse, but I cannot help it.  I need pickers anonymous. I'm so tired of this. I'm tired of always thinking about my skin! I'm 37 and I still have acne! When does this end?????? Oh and I wish people would stop telling me it's not that bad! You are seeing me with makeup on so yeah its not that bad then! But guess what???? I'd like a makeup free day where I don't have to worry about people looking at my skin! So here goes.....round 2!!!!
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    Im so rubbish at writing these now because nothing much seems to change with my skin - I have a lot to write this time though!

    So, since my last post i mentioned that my periods have been really painful since starting Roaccutane, having said this, my past 2 periods have been fine and *touch wood* relatively pain free..
    My skin is very much up and down, some weeks it looks beautiful and completely clear, other times I have minor breakouts of tiny red spots. They don't last long though. 
    I saw my dermatologist a few weeks ago, he gave me another 2 months because I had complained to him that I was still suffering minor breakouts. Subsequently, when I had my appointment my skin was looking the best it had in a while. That night I had a breakout of 3/4 pimples, I can't remember where about on my face but 2 days prior to that appointment I had started a ketogenic diet.
    For those that aren't familiar with the keto diet, its basically low carb, high fat and moderate protein - similar to the atkins diet. I think I was suffering a breakout from my drastic diet change. The 4 weeks since starting the veto diet have made SUCH an improvement on my skin, clearer, my dark circles round my eyes were lighter and the energy I had was incredible. I would jump out of bed in the morning at 6am without even thinking of touching the snooze button.
    Over the weekend that we've just had It was my husband and my 1 year wedding anniversary, we went to Sushi Samba in London which was incredible. I had toyed with the idea of sticking with the ketogenic diet or to sack it off for the weekend, I decided on the latter. Massive mistake. I went crazy with the carbs from Saturday morning to Sunday lunch, literally binge ate everything beige. OMG it was good but totally not worth it, my stomach blew up like I was 8 months pregnant and my skin has gone blotchy and tiny pimples have come up round my eyes and mouth. Im not sure if this is my perioral dermatitis making a come back or my carb load from the weekend. I was back to ketoing on Monday so hopefully I'll see some improvements in my skin this week and feel less lethargic/crappy.
    Although I felt ill after my carb loading weekend, Im almost glad I did it. It's made me realise how much of a difference cutting out carbs has on my body; I really can't handle them and feel 1000x better not having any, not to mention my skin looks far better on a keto diet. 

    I want to keep this blog acne/accutane related but I think it's really important to find a diet that works for your acne too. I was always very against the idea that junk food/food in general has any affect on your skin but I'm not so sure now..! 

    The whole reason I started the veto diet was so I could shift a couple of pounds for my impending holiday, which brings me back to accutane. I saw on instagram this morning that a girl I follow went from 60mg p/d to 20mg p/d for her holiday in an attempt to reduce any burning to the skin. I know that accutane stays in your system for 1 month after taking it so I don't know if that would really work but I'm debating doing it for my holidays in August just as extra precautions. I'm not overly bothered about tanning this year although it would be nice to get some colour as opposed to being 'pale and interesting' like my dad always says..! 


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    I am getting ready to start my second round of Accutane at the beginning of August 2017. Am I terrified? Oh, yes. Even after swearing by Accutane after my first treatment ended, I still have so much trepidation going into this second treatment... around 11 years after my first treatment ( age 15/16).

    Let me state.... Accutane works. But it's so damn slow. Your body has to adjust, your skin has to change, you have to go through the side effects. Basically, you have to walk through hell in order to enter into heaven. But, according to 16-year old me, "I'd do it again". Little did I know... I would have to do just that. 

    Since my first treatment, I was clear for probably a good 5-6 years before the acne started to work its way back to my face. I never thought my acne was bad enough for another course of Accutane, so my derm would prescribe me antibiotics. Specifically, Solodyn which for a long time, effectively worked to keep the large, red and inflamed bumps at bay. That is until my newest derm told me that I couldn't keep resorting to antibiotics to clear my skin. 1.) My body was already building an immunity to it, thus the mgs had to keep getting increased, 2.) antibiotics are not safe for long-term use. So, when I started having my yearly acne flare-up (which had been occurring like clockwork around 8-9 months post-Solodyn), my derm decided to switch me to Tazorac and Spironolactone. The combo that initiated my downhill spiral into the worst acne I've had since high school. 

    I tried to stick it out, but after having intense cystic places on my cheek, I scheduled a follow-up appointment. I burst into tears right there in the office. My face hurt, my makeup looked wrecked, I was fatigued from getting such little sleep due to my acne anxiety.... so, she put me back on Solodyn without hesitation. Solodyn began to slow the occurrence of new breakouts, but I still... kept... breaking.... out. I tried to be patient. I tried to let it get into my system. Three weeks in, I saw little improvement and my stomach began to hurt, something it had never done before when taking Solodyn. During that "crying-spell" appointment, my derm stated that after this, if there was no improvement, she recommended that I take Accutane again. 

    To reiterate, three weeks in, I saw little improvement using Solodyn, Ziana & Aczone. My chin, a place I'd never had issues with before, had (and still has) deep, cystic places that would just spread and spread and spread. They were painful. I attributed these breakouts to the Spiro which targets certain hormones. It really messed me up hormonally , and I'm still waiting to have my period after 2 months being off of the medication. Anyway, during those three weeks I really started reconsidering Accutane again. I had already tried changing my diet, taking supplements, exercising, sleeping more, being more gentle with my skin, not picking, etc. But my skin would not make any postiive changes. It would not slow its breaking out. It was irritated. I was irritated even more.

    So, I stepped out of my office at work and made the call to my dermatologist. I said that I wanted to take the plunge... I wanted a second course of Accutane. Things happened so fast. The next morning I was filling out the paperwork and within two days I was all set. First pregnancy test cleared (as you have to take two negative tests before getting your first prescription). My second pregnancy test will be taken through my bloodwork on the 31st of July. After that clears and I answer my iPledge questionare, I will be prescribed 40 mg (20 mgs more than my initial Accutane course). 

    So, what am I doing the month before my treatment begins? I am prepping. Mentally, emotionally, spiritually because I know that this process is... well, a process. I am getting by body ready for the dryness by "pre-moisturizing". I am making sure that I have all of the essentials: CeraVe lotions, Aquaphor, gentle hair shampoo (I opted for baby shampoo/wash), Eczema bath oats (as I got eczema the first time), eye drops (as I got an infection in both eyes), and the best of the best lip moisturizers. I am mentally preparing for another initial breakout (I had a pretty severe one my first time), and I am being selective on the information I choose to read/watch as to not spark any negative thinking before my treatment begins. I am being self-loving and gentle on my skin before I start the meds. 

    I have no plans to share my "before photos" until I start seeing an improvement. This is a skin journey for me, and I don't want to display my skin right now until I am comfortable with my process. However, I would like to communicate with any other users who are currently in the "waiting" period before their treatment.

    Let's stay in touch! 


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    Its been a little over two weeks. During my second week with epiduo, I didn't seem to notice any difference in my skin, but it hasn't exactly gotten worse either. I did have a break out, but it was like any typical breakout I normally would get. A line down my cheek, and a cystic one under the skin that is painful to touch. My other cheek however, is relatively clear to what it had been like last week. I find that the Epiduo has been slightly helping to clear up the breakups faster, but their still isn't much difference in the severity of my skin. 

    With that said, It's still pretty early to see significant results, so I'm still trying to remain hopeful, even though I have strong doubts that any topical will really work for me. 

  16. Well, I'm coming up on a year already! Slowly but surely seeing progress and making moves towards the skin I've always wanted. 

    I have been feeling disheartened as of late as I sort of felt like I had stopped seeing and progress or change. Everything seems to be pretty stagnant and I have become more focused on procuring quality makeup and learning makeup tricks to cover up the rest of what's left. I've always known that chemicals at these levels weren't going to remove physical scars (if anything even will) so I figured I've gotten to a stopping point. 

    But this morning my coworker once again mentioned how much better my skin was looking and I decided it was time to compare again. And I can't say I'm overly disappointed. The coloring is even. The pores even seem somewhat refined. And the scars seem a little more shallow than before. 

    I realize I'll always be more critical than anyone else, (although an incredibly blunt person made me realize recently that this may not actually be true when he mentioned he still thinks I'm cute even if the scarring is bad...thanks

    ...) but I'm still determined to continue on this path and hopefully get where I'm trying to go with the way I look. 

    So here's to 7 months and continued improvement!