A began formulating a lengthy response after reading your post, Bacon, until I read what everyone else wrote. It's all been said (and rather well). While prone to lapses in judgment, on the whole, I do consider myself a rational person. I've convinced myself that everything will return to normal once I'm clear, but at 27, I've already missed so much. Perhaps I'm just deluding myselfâ€”attempting to justify my self-imposed exile.
No doubt, the psychological damage we've all incurred will take years to undo, but I've got to believeâ€”for my own sanityâ€”that achieving clear skin will have some beneficial effect on my life. In fact, that's all I've wanted since I was 14. For me, clear skin and happiness are inextricably linked. Obviously, there are exceptions (which I've largely ignored, to be honest), but I have to believe there's some truth to it, as most of my life has hinged upon this hope.
My opinion (self-serving though it may be) is that acne is, without a doubt, one of the biggestâ€”if not the biggestâ€”reason for our social anxiety. You can't blame acne for everything, but its deleterious effectâ€”physically and mentallyâ€”is undeniable. Attempting to reconcile these anxiety issues while still suffering from acne is quixotic, especially when you're just a mirror's glance away from an instant reminder. For me, accepting acne has always been akin to surrender, and I can't abide giving up. Will the anxiety disappear once the acne does? No, but our skin definitely plays a role in all this.
Good topic, by the way. And I'm keen to try your regimen.
A thousand apologies, Maria, for my quasi-sexist remark. Ironically, considering you've already done a 3-day fast, you're more man than me! Also, if wearing skirts and/or dresses makes fasting easier, I'd gladly adorn myself in said garments.
And Jay, honestly, I doubt this would work for everyone, and yeah, the diet sounds f'n awful. Maybe it's curiosity, maybe it's boredom, but I wanna give it a tryâ€”just to see what happens. Hell, it's worth a shot.
From what I read, it's important to ease your way back into solid foods. After the initial water fast, you move to fruit and vegetable juices, then nuts, seeds, and fruits, and finally solid foods.
I agree the fast is pointless long-term if you don't adopt a strict raw food diet afterward, but I choose to look at it as an elimination diet of sorts. If certain foods trigger your acne, they shouldn't be too tough to pinpoint following the fast. I'm curious to see how I reactâ€”physically and mentally.
At the very least it's a challenge, and challenges are always easier when you're facing them with other people.
Paul, I like where your head is at, my man. I'm also considering starting a water fast for kicks. Yeah, like for fun, because I'm f*cking crazed at this point. So over this acne b.s. Recently made it 36 hours on agua before I started having wet dreams about every food imaginable (When the thought of plain rice elicited an erection, I knew I was in trouble.)
That being said, I've tried every stupid regimen on this site, and the masochist in me likes this whole idea of fasting. Personally, I've gotten so paranoid that I can't eat food without fearing it will break me out. The answer: F*CK food! I'm down to chug water for the next 3-5 days if y'all will join me.
I'm not talking about some biblical 40-day fastâ€”just a few days to see if there's any validity to this fasting fad. It makes sense (then again, everything on this site made sense to me at some point), and I'm all about fasting if it restores my sexy.
Take off the skirts, fellas. Let's doooo this! (Cue barbarian war cry followed by death metal breakdown)
Feel for everyone here. Been to hell and back (ha!) with bacne. Mine is particularly frustrating because I am clear from May to September, like clockwork, but a mess the rest of the year.
The past two summers, I have been 99% clearâ€”maybe 3-4 spots in those months, which is mind-bogglingly awesome for someone who's never really known clear skin. I have been using the same regimen during the summer months and can safely say that, for whatever reason, it works for me.
Two products: Oxy Face Wash 10% BP Alpha Hydrox Oil-Free 10% AHA gel
I shower every night, using the Oxy on my back and shoulders with a body puff. After toweling off and letting my skin dry (10-15 minutes), I smear loads of the AHA gel on my problem areas. Caveat: This specific AHA gel, which I think is the strongest and most effective I've found, is awesome; however, it's only 1.7 fl. oz. and pretty pricey for the size (~$12). I swear by it, though, and it is, in my opinion, the key to the regimen. Sadly, this inexplicably stops working every autumn. FML.
Fast-forward to the present, and my back is miserable. I can't quite crack the winter bacne code and am constantly experimenting. My current regimen is similar to the one listed above, except I use the AHA lotion vs. the gel and a cream-based BP. Used this last winter with some success, but it's a complete fail right now. Maybe ease off on the body puff?
A little relieved to see the dead skin mask is, in fact, there, but it's only noticeable after showering (must be the heat, steam, or the errant drops of water that reveal it). If this is the biggest hurdle everyone faces, then this shouldn't be as bad as I thought.
The area around temples—which has always been a clogged. rough mess—is smooth and clear and probably the best it's been in years. My biggest problem was the sides of my neck, where I was continually breaking out in really painful cysts—made worse by an ill-advised 3-month Differin regime. Still get the occasional cyst there but FAR less frequently, and they seem to heal faster. I can't help but squeeze the more painful ones, though. Yes, it's bad, but the relief is indescribable, and they tend to linger and get re-inflamed if I leave them.
Haven't washed the problem areas on my chest and back for about 3 weeks, either. The dead skin is very prevalent on my body, and whenever I take off my shirt, it's like a snowstorm. Still breaking out, especially on my chest, whereas my back just feels rough to the touch, but not so much broken out. Hoping it subsides with more time.
A couple of things:
Went the whole nine yards and grew out the beard. Dealing with some really painful ingrown hairs/cysts underneath, which may be an unrelated condition. You'd think not shaving would help, but the hairs continue to get trapped beneath the skin and have to be removed (not fun). Thank God they're not visible. Easier to resist touching them. A lot of flaking here as well.
Contrary to what most people say, your face DOES smell. At least mine does. Whenever I turn my head in the wind, I'll catch a whiff of my malodorous, unwashed mug and, boy, it is not pleasant. I will admit that I kinda enjoy the stench. Then again, I enjoy Dutch ovens too. I'm weird.
Sorry this was long. I've been away (ya know, living in my cave and all).
Congrats, Hello. I think I speak for most here when I say I'd be interested in reading your log. Wapak has been incredibly helpful and I believe more detailed logs like his would benefit us all.
I'm nearing the three-week mark of no washing, and I've greatly reduced the number of showers I take (from twice a day to twice a week). I'm interested in the no-poo method also, but not sure if I can hack it. I switched to organic shampoo, which I think is a step in the right direction, but I've noticed that I'm losing several strands of hair with each washing. Kind of unusual considering I cut out all the supposedly harmful chemicals.
Seems there's a dozen of these topics, so i just post in all of them, lol. I'm currently on day 17 of this whole not washing/not giving a flying F regimen. While it's very liberating not washing or feeling the need to shower every day (twice a day, in my case), I haven't noticed a dramatic reduction in breakouts yet. Still getting frequent cysts along the sides of my neck, which I never had until 'bout 6 months ago.
As someone who dealt with EXTREMELY oily skin for ages, I love this regimen. It's completely balanced my skin, and I can go all day without that heavy, disgustingly greasy feeling we all know and hate. After roughly 12 years of continuous topical/antibiotic use, I felt this was necessary to actually "get to know" my skin.
I'm digressing, sorry. Here's my thing, guys: I haven't been the least bit flaky so far and have yet to witness this famous dead skin mask. What gives? Anyone else not getting it? I shower about 3-4 times a week, and water does tend to spray or trickle down my face, but I blot it off quickly. I don't think that's enough to hinder the healing. Just a little concerned.
I'm on day 11 or so of not washing my mug. Still breaking out with a few cysts on a regular basis, especially on my neck, which is definitely not cool. Forehead looks (and feels) bumpy; overall, my complexion is pretty beat.
I shower every 2-3 days, and yes, water occasionally trickles down my face or sprays on my neck. I blot it off as soon as it happens, but I'm not being ridiculous about the no water thing. If a trace amount unintentionally touches my skin, I don't flip out. It happens.
I can see that this is going to be a long process, and I have no idea if it will work. I will say that I LOVE not washing/showering twice a day like I used to. I was so obsessive about washing my face daily. Now, I don't f'n care, and it's fun. Biggest change is the oiliness. I can see the shine, but I don't feel it. I can go all day without that heavy, greasy sensation. That's probably the only thing keeping me going at this point. My face may not look so hot right now, but it feels much better.
Haven't posted in quite a while, but I've been lurking daily. Stumbled upon this topic and others like it today during a really bad bout of "FML." I'm a self-admitted hope whore and always looking for the next potential "cure" (I know, I know). Needless to say, I'm intrigued by this approach, as I've been a slave to various regimens for over 12 years now and am on the brink of madness.
Two quick questions:
1. How does this regimen affect body acne? Are you supposed to avoid water altogether (i.e. no showering) for it to work on the body as well?
2. What's the verdict on washing your hair? Shampoo or no?
My back has been roughly 95% clear for over a year from using AHA every day. I use the Enhanced Lotion from Alpha Hydrox during the fall/winter and their gel, which is a stronger formulation, during the spring/summer. I still get the occasional spot, but I rarely get those huge painful lumps anymore. I've been battling bacne for YEARS and so it's a big deal when I can say I'm content with how it looks now, as I'm never really satisfied.
I should mention that I initially complemented the AHA with 10% BP gel nightly, which cleared the more severe breakouts. I've been using just the AHA now day/night since October. My back is the only area I feel is under control these days. It's a nice feeling.
^^^ I live about five minutes from the beach, so what I did was fill an empty milk jug with ocean water, which I then poured into a small spray bottle. I've been spraying my face with the saltwater for the past three days or so, and I kinda like the simple, natural approach. It's too early to tell if it's working, but I'll update after a few weeks.
I eased off the MA for a day. Things are much better. I'm actually encouraged that the MA is capable of irritating and burning my skin. Lol. It sounds crazy, I know, but after all the products I've tried, I thought my skin was lifeless.
Question: Skin is peeling in the areas I applied the MA. Is this normal/good? At least it's doing something.
I was initially applying the MA to my nose with my fingertips and it didn't burn at all. I wasn't sure it was working, so I began using a Q-tip, as someone had suggested. Well, it's burning! Lol. For me, that's good news, because everyone else claimed the MA stung a bit, but I didn't notice that at all, at first. Anyway, it's been about two weeks, and I've started applying the MA to my temples, where a lot of blackheads tend to crop up. Now my right side is smooth and even, but my left side is red, irritated, and blotchy. I'm wondering if this is a result of purging and will eventually subside, or am I overusing the MA?