About 5 years ago I told myself that when I am 100% clear of my acne I would share my journey. This past year I have been 100% clear and think it is time to share this story of mine. 5 years ago I had severe acne. I still remember the worse of it. My acne had become so out of control that it was painful to open my mouth due to the lesions on my cheeks and chin. It was the worst year of my life and mentally/emotionally scared me. BUT 5 years later I am finally clear of Acne! Here's what I did during these 5 years.
Before: Before I started my fully committed journey of clearing my skin I would spend hundreds of dollars on over the counter items that would never help me in a million years. I would go and get something prescribed from the derm, take it for a week, and give up. Nothing worked and my acne got worse from all the chemicals I was putting on my skin. One day my derm put me on Accutane. I took it for two weeks and thought I was going to kill myself. The side effects were severe, to say the least. After those two weeks of torture, I cut ALL medications and washed my face with water only. No soaps, no chemicals, no moisturizer, NOTHING. And you know what? My skin looked a good 20-30% better than it had in years. After a while, I decided that I was going to go back to the derm with a different mindset. I was going to take what she prescribed to me and not return until requested by her. I also banned myself from the acne aisle at Walgreens!! This is a rough outline as to what happened.
Year 1: My derm prescribed me Retin-A Micro .1% and an antibiotic. I religiously took this every day of the week except for Sunday. That was my skin “rest” day. Nothing went on my skin that day of the week. My progress was 0% maybe even down to -10-20%. I told myself that I am not giving up and kept going. SIDE NOTE: I also refused to wear a moisturizer. I am a firm believer that If you moisturize with chem exfoliant it will lead to break outs or unbalanced results. Some may debate that but it's my opinion.
Year 2: Still going with the same regimen except I removed some random face wash with Cetaphil gentle skin cleanser and stopped taking antibiotics. I also began to do a 100% water regimen. No sodas, milk, or sugary juice. Still not putting anything on my face on Sundays. My progress this year was around 15% clear. I remember around this time my derm recommended that I try a new topical but I refused!
Year 3: Return of antibiotics and a switch from Cetaphil Gentle to Cetaphil Daily. I also began to use Walgreens 1% benzoyl peroxide as an emergency spot treatment. A mental “law” was also put into place. I no longer looked in the mirror for my own good. Only when getting ready in the AM and PM. This help reduced stress ALOT. My progress this year was 30-50% clear.
Year 4: Retin-A reduced to every other day with a skin “rest” day on Wednesday and Sunday. I was easily 80-90% clear by now.
Year 5: I now use my Retin-A on an as need basis. I have learned to read my skin and know when my skin needs support from Retin-A. I still have my skin rest on Wednesdays and Sundays no matter what.
-Your skin needs rest! Give it a day to breathe and it will thank you in return!
-Don’t let acne get to you mentally! This helped me tremendously.
-Think of your regimen as law. If you want to change it think about it for some time. If you decide to make a change it needs to be minor.
-Read your skin. Know when your skin needs extra support or some more time to breathe. Its hard to explain but really take time to examine your skin and you will learn this to be true.
-DO NOT GIVE UP. Whatever you decide to do don't give up! If you keep at it there is a much bigger chance that you will clear up. It took me 5 years and it was 100% with it.
I really hope this post will help someone out there!
Year 3 Year 5