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About hotglue01

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  1. Week 4, Day 3

    Hello, Since last time, my face has continued its purging. This time, it's the pesky blackheads on the left side of no-man's-land, with a little help from Mr. Period (misgendering periods is funny, lulz). I've also been eating poorly on and off, which is to say that I eat too many sweets, or I don't eat too regularly. This sounds strict, but I'm not on a diet to lose weight; I'm just interested in tracking connections between what I eat and what my skin looks like, and I don't seem to be doing a very good job of that! Ha! Maybe I'll start updating more frequently... Other than that, my face is looking pretty good. My complexion looks great-- it's just the few stray lesions I have, some of which are the new developments in no-man's-land and the bottom of my chin, and others -- the one on my left cheek, and above my left eyebrow -- are lingering. I also got a few SYMMETRICAL blackheads on my jawline along with my period. The connection is obvious, so I'll see if I can be a bit kinder to myself and stress out less around my period. Men, consider yourselves lucky: period zits tend to be big and painful, and last a while. Luckily, my skin seems to be clearing up much faster than it was during the summer. I've been sticking to my regimen of reduced BP day and night, Cerave, and jojoba before BP applications (with occasional additional drops of BP in the Cerave). I'm trying not to touch my face, but I notice that the places where I inadvertently touch it -- especially under the chin in the "fish hook area" and the rest of my chin, and mouth area, and also forehead -- seem to get more blackheads. My cheeks, except for the lingering stray from August, look really good. Last: my blackheads seem to be drying up and falling out more than turning into giant boils, so that's encouraging! My chest: I got frustrated and made an appointment with a doctor (which is easy on a college campus! Yay, student health!), who actually seemed to know what he was talking about re: BP and skin care. He agreed that it was some kind of follicular infection, and prescribed generic Differin. I actually went on Japanese Differin several years ago during my initial war with cystic acne and folliculitis and it did a lot to help inflammation and generally stop things from getting full-blown. I'm finding the same to be true now-- my chest is definitely a lot more calm, and there are no new lesions except where I choose to dig at those tempting sebum plugs. To anyone reading this thing: DO NOT PICK YOUR SKIN, EVER!!! It never works... a lesson I seem to have to learn repeatedly. Anyway, my chest is clearing up, which is good and frankly one less thing to worry about. I'll try to maintain this after I'm done the course of Differin. In general, things are OK. I'll upuload pics some day soon to more clearly track my progress. It's all about that headspace of progress... if I'm not thinking about it, then I lose track of the goal and have to start over. I'm excited about what's to come!
  2. Week 3, Day 3

    Greetings! Well, I certainly dropped the ball on updating this thing. I don't have internet in my apartment, which is really nice (it's like vintage living!), but also means I have, well, less access to the internet. Anyway, on to skin matters: Face: Those blackheads on the bottom right side of my chin are purging. They aren't cysts, which is a thankful change of pace; they're basically just white dots which, while I'm tempted to pop them, NEVER WORKS. I keep having to learn this lesson... whenever I pop pimples, it rarely to never gets the clog of sebum out and I usually end up irritating it, and regretting my decision to pick immediately afterward. The blackheads by my temples turned into similar zits, only slightly bigger but with a shorter life span. I have an annoying lip zit, but those tends to go away soon and are at least masked by the redness of my lips themselves. I still have a lingering cyst smack dab in the middle of my left cheek, which is taking its sweet time to heal (it's been there since the end of August!), but is slowly but surely reducing in circumference and diameter every day. This is the third cyst like this on my face, where they're shrinking into red marks rather than flattening out completely first. It's new, but honestly, the red mark that remains is far smaller than having the cysts flatten out and leave archaeological evidence of their biggest diameter as a red mark. Does anyone out there know what I mean? Other than that, my complexion is looking pretty good. The sections that are clear (the rest of my cheeks, my entire right cheek, most of my forehead, most of my jawlines) are gorgeous, glowing, and dewy. The remaining areas to be purged are the no-man's-land blackheads on the left side, and a few more blackheads scattered about both jawlines and my left cheek. Interestingly (and thankfully!), my blackheads are doing this amazing thing where they FALL OUT without turning into pimples. It's amazing, and I hope they continue to do that! Back: Totally clear, using no products. Yay! I think my bacne is gone for good. Maybe it is a psychosomatic thing? Chest: Sigh. Progress on the dreaded folliculitis is slow, but steady. The right side has no more inflamed papules, and while the blackhead-esque bumps are also starting to go away, traces of them remain and I swear they flare up sometimes. I'm still trying to figure out when, but it seems to be when I'm dehydrated, when I eat sugar, and... not sure when else. I'll keep you updated. The right side is still purging, but I have no idea what to do about folliculitis. When it was at its worst back in 2010, I went on antibiotics which cleared it up, along with most of my bacne, which at the time was severe: at least 60 huge, hard, inflamed cysts all over my back and shoulder blades. Sigh... those were hard days, but I'm thankful to have gotten through it. THAT SAID: I swear, maintaining clear skin is much easier than clearing up skin. AHA worked wonders on my body, even in lieu of BP. Maybe I'll get some and keep working with it... it also helped with the dreaded flakes on my face, especially in no-man's-land. THAT THAT SAID: The flakes in that area were dreadful, but are largely under control so long as I use jojoba oil there before applying BP. Yes, I switched back to jojoba and it moisturizes much better than safflower oil. Safflower oil is light, and it has a beautiful texture that I think would work better for my skin once it's clear and I don't need to treat so aggressively with BP; in the meantime, I'll keep using jojoba. On that note, I have continued to use a reduced amount of BP (about a pea size all over my face), and it seems to be working just fine. In fact, the places where I use it most (chin, no man's land, chest) seem to have the hardest time with acne. Food for thought... Oh, with regard to food, I do definitely notice a correlation with sugar an acne. My skin in general just looks worse when I eat too much sugar, which happens when my sister makes delicious cookies ro when I can't say no to ice cream at night... sigh. I'll keep trackign this! Maybe I'll keep a food log, or just write in here more regularly, because it keeps me on track and helps with the emotional side of acne. To close, I will say that having clear goals when it comes to healing acne is important; it's what kept me on track last time, and this time around I've just been lalzy and haven't dedicated as much mental space to it as I was able to before (damn you, dissertation!). My first goal has thus been decided: CLEAR SKIN ON FACE AND BODY BY NOVEMBER 1ST. This means no new acne or signs of new acne; red marks are fine. OK, I'm off. Will report back soon!
  3. Hello again, Welp, let’s get into it, I suppose. Current state: face looks dull. Lingering blackheads that don’t know if they want to become full-blown pimples are red and looming on my upper left cheekbone and temple area, with similar pre-lesions on the right side of my face. My chin is clearing up after repeated bouts of irritation, dryness, and a few giant pimples (though not quite cysts). They’re clearing up, and a few blackheads remain on the left side of the dreaded area by the chin/jawline/mouth. The right side has more or less purged, but I’ve still got blackheads on the bottom of my chin, and lots of red marks on my chin, jawline, and a few strays on my cheek. Oy. My jawlines are also recovering from a few giant cysts on the right-hand side, which have left handsome red-marks that I’m sure to be dealing with for a few months. The right jawline recently had a breakout, but it was mainly on the surface and is mostly cleared up, except for some blackheads that are ripe (ew, but you know what I mean). Both jawlines, and my neck, are dry, taught, and so flakey that if I touch them, a wave of flakes ripples across them. My forehead and cheeks remain mostly clear, with a few stray zits that are super small and go away in a few days on my forehead, and a huge cyst right in the middle of my left cheek that was from a festering blackhead. Sigh. It came up the week before my period, but it’s still lingering and I’m afraid to touch it. How I deplore cysts… Chest: upper part covered in an assortment of tiny skin-colored or red bumps. I’m currently treating it with an anti… yeast cream (…), which yielded good results when I (reluctantly) tried it in Japan as per the recommendation of my acne soul mate and best friend L, whom I’ve mentioned tons of times in this blog. It worked, but when I ran out of the cream the folliculitis came back, and it’s been in full bloom since my flight back to the US. Products: Top Care knock-off Cetaphil face wash and lotion, DKR BP, and organic safflower oil that I add to my lotion or put on my face before BP in the really dry areas. I did my research and found that safflower oil is one of the least comodogenic oils out there—less even than jojoba! And I found that DKR’s jojoba made my skin feel kind of waxy in recent years. But maybe that’s an attitude problem? It’s hard to tell. Anyone else out there wonder if the products have changed over the years? Emotions: I don’t feel great about my skin right now, but I’m trying to keep a positive attitude. I don’t really wear make-up anymore (except mascara and sunscreen that I’ve used for years and know doesn’t break me out, not least because I used it when I was totally clear), because I’m trying to create as little variables as possible. Plus, it just doesn’t look good on skin that’s so prone to flaking up anyway… I’m also a bit stressed just from travelling to and from Japan in the past month, moving, and now trying to finish my dissertation. Not least of all, I’m sorting through my traumatic childhood, and the stress of doing so can’t be left out of the equation. I’m not freaking out much and instead feel pretty together right now, but I’ve got a lot going on inside and am in the process of learning to be patient, understanding, and ACCEPTING OF MYSELF. The problem is that I seem to equate my attractiveness and worth as a person with the state of my acne, which is unhealthy, but also a realistic assessment of my current emotional state, so there ya go. I’ve eaten pretty healthy today, but probably haven’t drank enough water. Time to do that, I suppose… Oh, how I use DKR: I’m thinking that I’m not washing my face for a short enough time, not using the fingerlight touch all the time, perhaps not using enough BP, and not waiting enough time between steps. I also tend to touch my face a lot during the day. I’ll be sure to work on these aspects as well, and report back… Le sigh. Time to go eat and try not to pass out…
  4. Five Years Later...

    Well… greetings! I'm more or less positive that no one reads this thing anymore, but I've decided to start writing in a blog again to sort out my skin issues once and for all. For anyone curious, I provided a long history of my acne pre-DKR in the first two entries; I retired the blog when my skin cleared up on the regimen, and was entering repetitive (though grateful!) posts about how my skin, face and body, was the best it ever looked. Five years later, here I am. My skin is by no means where it was when I hit acne rock-bottom in 2010 shortly before trying DKR and keeping a blog, but I've found that I've hit a few walls, and want to work them out. There's something about writing out anxieties and experiences that helps me (/us?) to keep positive, and remain goal-oriented. SO, I present my post-DKR blog five-year acne and skin history below: What Happened After retiring the blog in May of 2011, my skin was fine until deep summer hit in July of the same year. That’s when I found myself back to what I've come to call the self-explanatory "Red Chin Syndrome," which I'm sure many of us on DKR can relate to. I then started to break out in that peskily (is that a word?) sensitive area by the mouth/chin/jawline after an epic bout of the dreaded flakes; meanwhile, sweat – which is unavoidable for me in the summer, since I sweat like a 400 pound man -- seemed to irritate the whole mix. I wasn’t happy, but wasn’t exactly worried that I’d ever go back to where I had once been. I figured that, so long as I was slapping some BP and moisturizer on my face twice a day, that I could maintain clear skin. This hasn’t exactly proved true, hence the blog restart… To remind any superfan (loll jk) readers (and to inform any new ones?), my acne went from consistently mild to quite severe (cysts with the lifespan of at least a few weeks all over my face and body, new lesions daily that felt like a soul-crushing game of acne whack-a-mole) after moving to Japan. In the fall of 2011 I returned back to the United States to embark on a PhD, of which I am currently starting my sixth (dear lord…) year in Upstate New York. Throughout my time in graduate school (and in subsequent times back in Japan since then, including a year doing dissertation research), my skin has never gone back to where it was, but it has also never achieved the levels of clarity that it had when I was keeping the blog and doing DKR faithfully. I’m here now to figure out why my skin is acne prone to begin with, to get to the root of it, and get beautiful, clear, dewy, healthy skin. Now: Skin, Issues, Goals Current situation: minor but consistent breakouts on my chin, temples, upper cheekbones, and jawlines (I’ll be sure to take some pictures and post them in the gallery). I’ll get a cyst on my chin or jawline (or cheek, as in now) once a month or so, which I suspect corresponds with my lady time, particularly ovulation. My back is more or less clear, but my chest… oy. Folliculitis is back with a vengeance. I THINK it’s folliculitis as it doesn’t respond to BP (and because I’ve read that folliculitis is often fungal in nature, not bacterial), but does seem to respond, at least temporarily, from topical anti-fungal medication. Overall, my complexion just looks kind of dull… my skin isn’t particularly bad, but it’s also not particularly good, and I’d love to have beautiful skin again. I felt so confident when my skin was flawless… it was a source of joy, not just a relief from stress. THAT SAID, my goal is to get back to clear skin all over my faced and body, and to feel good about not wearing make-up. I want glowing, healthy, dewy skin… I don’t want dryness and hyper-sensitivity anymore. My other goal is to maintain skin, if possible, WITHOUT BP. I’ll do the Regimen faithfully to achieve clear skin again and will keep track of my progress here, but I’ve noticed the following walls that seem to be limitations of the regimen: - How sensitive my skin is on DKR. I get flakes often, but can’t exfoliate for risk of further irritating my skin after all the BP and lotion. -It’s expensive! It’s worth it to have clear skin, but it adds up, and shipping also takes forever in the US (I get the precious BP less than a week when I’m in Japan… damn you, USPS!). -How exact you have to be with DKR. I may just be ungrateful and slightly bitter about my skin now, but I must admit that I AM SICK of having to rub all a cocktail of chemicals, lotion, and oil on my face twice a day, at exact-ish intervals… it feels icky, especially in the summertime with all the sweat (and sweat seems to “reactivate” the BP). What I have found over the past five years is that clear skin on DKR requires diligent, near constant upkeep, and endless cycles of dry skin, flakes, irritation, breakouts, and treating… I find myself so often in the following pickle “My skin is flaking and irritated, but still has acne. Do I do the regimen and more or less guarantee further dryness, or forgo the regimen for a few days to let my skin reset and risk new lesions popping up because I wasn’t diligent with the BP?” -Bleaching my clothes. Self-explanatory… I’d love to wear pajamas that aren’t BP stained t-shirts. It’s like a constant reminder: “YOU HAVE ACNE!!!” Essentially, I feel like DKR is a great way to clear up skin, but it hasn’t proven to be a sustainable skin care routine in my life. Of course, I’ll still use DKR to get clear and document the process here, but as mentioned, my ultimate goal is to wean myself off and sustain clear skin through other means. I know, I know: it’s a big goal, and maybe I’m being picky… and let’s not forget that I often fall into some sort of acne dysmorphia (I was shamed from the scar boards several years ago, rightfully so!). But I’ve paid attention to what seem like strong correlations between acne and the mind/body connection that I’m interested in keeping track of here to get to the root cause of acne, rather than treat it with BP from the outside in. As follows: -Stress! This is an ambiguous term, of course, but whenever I’m stressed my skin goes haywire. As mentioned earlier in the post, Perhaps the solution is to work on reducing my stress through other means, rather than topically treat the symptoms of stress (acne). -Symmetrical acne?? This may sound odd, but it’s totally a thing: my acne is symmetrical. If I get a big zit on the left side of my face, I can almost set my watch to the right side producing something similar a week later. This leads me to think that there’s something internal going on, and that acne cannot be entirely controlled from the outside in (and even if it is, I don’t want to play cat-and-mouse with my acne anymore…). -Food? I swear, if I eat a lot of sugar or salty, fatty foods, my skin gets worse. Sugar definitely makes my chest folliculitis, which ebbs and flows like some grotesque tide, flare up, and when I eat salty foods I can actually FEEL my face pulsate. I dunno, maybe I’m just being paranoid, but I do think there’s something to this. I asked an acupuncturist/Chinese doctor (maaaaan) what she thought, and she said that eating lots of fruits and veggies is great for skin, and that sugar and fats definitely contribute to acne. So… I will try to be mindful of this? -Consistency. I get the sense that what makes DKR so successful is less the BP itself (although it does seem to help, of course), but rather the gentleness, lack of touching your face, and consistency that the regimen demands. My skin really likes routine, and is healthiest when it’s balanced (i.e. NOT DRY). The drying properties of BP no longer seem to agree with my skin, and the irritation it creates ends up giving me more acne. I’m wondering if, once I’m clear, I can switch over to more natural products and leave my face alone as much as possible. -Irritation. Again, I feel like my face is pretty irritated on DKR, and I’ve been doing it for years now. Rubbing BP and then lotion all over my face, plus the consistent dryness and flakes over the years, leads me to think that 1) I am either doing the regimen wrong due to laziness (rubbing too hard, not waiting between steps), which is totally possible, and/or 2) that the regimen ITSELF is irritating. Bold play, I know! IN SUM, I’m hoping to first get clear, and will do DKR diligently before I start to try and wean myself off. I’m also hoping to get rid of folliculitis somehow… AHA? Yeast… cream? I’ll be sure to keep track of everything in here! This blog will thus chronicle my experiences with DKR (and I will do it EXACTLY), as well as take into account the aforementioned suspicions above. Wish me luck! Oy, a long and incoherent post. I blame jet-lag; I just got back from Japan yesterday, where my skin flared up for the LAST TIME before I have decided to take action. Now: OPERATION CLEAR SKIN 2.0 COMMENCES!