persistanceprevails

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Persistance Prevails
on 29/04/2014
OK, this is going to be long. I've put a summary at the bottom. I decided to give a long explanation as that way perhaps more people can relate to different bits of details.<br/>I'm 23, male & have cystic (inflamed) acne. I have had very mild acne since 16 (1-2 every month) but since I came back from Uni 2 years ago, my face has exploded (1-4 cystic spots every week, coupled with acne marks makes unpleasant viewing). I tried Proactiv about a year ago and it cleared me up in 1.5 months and was naturally over the moon and become overconfident. I didn't like being dependent on a 3 step programme everyday for the rest of my life so I decided to switch to a more mild cleanser. And that's when it happened, my acne became much worse and more persistent - which I have seen with a lot of other people using Proactiv.<br/>In September 2013 I became depressed and went to a dermatologist who put me on antibiotics (minocycline I think), I didn't notice much difference and after 8 weeks, I decided to quit. I didn't want to become dependent on antibiotics everyday and didn't feel comfortable taking them.<br/>In November 2013 I then started BP and the regimen, however this made my face extremely red and whilst I got no new spots, my skin was extremely dry and my acne marks just would not go away (I heard BP slows down the healing process). The worst thing about the BP is it stimulated my oil glands to work overtime, because my face was so dry after a week I noticed about 5 hours after applying, my forehead especially was secreting a large amount of oil. This made me panic and I knew would just start a battle on my face of oil production vs BP and decided enough was enough and this was not the best approach.<br/>I kept researching online and in December 2013 I found Jojoba oil (briefly it has anti-inflammatory, anti-septic and anti-bacterial properties whilst containing essential fatty acids and Vit E), since this was natural and chemical-free I thought this would be the best option long term. I firstly used it as a moisturizer but it just sat on my skin and made my face feel really greasy. I left it for 6 hours and it still didn't absorb.. so I was about to throw this product away and went to wash it off. I noticed that when I washed it away, my skin was left feeling soft and had that 'glow' i had been reading about. I researched further and saw that people used this as a cleanser.. and herein starts the real story.<br/>HOW I APPLIED IT: In the shower, I washed my hair with shampoo first (trying not to get too much water on my face) so that the steam and heat from the water would open my pores. Once my skin was damp, I then took about 2-3 drops of oil into my palm and used my index finger to dip into the oil and place on my face, massaging in a circular motion. Once all the oil was on my face I would massage for about a minute and let it rest for 30 seconds before washing it off with the shower water. It will feel like its not coming off your skin but this is normal, don't try and scape it off. Once you finish, just gently pat your face with a towel and let the rest of the oil sink in.<br/>DURATION: I had a lot of acne marks more than active cysts at this point so I was looking to see any improvement with the hyper-pigmentation. However, this didn't really help. I honestly believe time is the best remedy. Having said that, I didn't get any new acne and my skin-tone had evened out after 3 weeks. In week 4 though I noticed I had some clogged pores, but they weren't cystic - they were under the skin. At this point I nearly quit as I heard it was clogging for some people and thought my face might explode. BUT I continued and by week 8 SOME of the clogged pores came to a head (very small dot like cysts that went away with minimal marks remaining). However I still have 1 remaining clogged pore still but because it is not inflamed or red, it isn't visible and I'm confident it will come through eventually.<br/>OILINESS: After 12 weeks, my skin became 85% clear but I had one major problem. Since using BP, my face was producing excess oil. I heard Jojoba would regulate that but it didn't in this timeframe. I showered at 7am and by 3pm my face was quite shiny. I decided that I would stop the Jojoba to see if my oil would decrease. A week after I stopped I noticed a considerable reduction in oiliness so I left it off for another week. However last month (March 2014) I developed 3 large inflamed cysts on my left cheek (I NEVER had this whilst using Jojoba oil) and I'm still recovering from the marks. I decided to go back to Jojoba but cut it down to 1 drop for my entire face. I did this for 3 weeks but the oiliness was roughly the same as using 2-3 drops.<br/>PRESENT: So 3 weeks ago I decided again to come off Jojoba, and for 2 weeks it was great, my oiliness was reducing by the second week and had no new cysts - I finally thought I'd beaten acne! I decided to swap the Jojoba for ACV (Apple Cider Vinegar) toner followed by Aloe Vera gel in the evenings instead of the morning. I heard ACV can balance oil production and remove acne marks (I had a few left on my left cheek). I diluted 50/50 with water and had no irritation... Then last Friday I developed one HUGE spot on my right cheek and 4 more large cysts on the right hand side of my face. I'm now back on Jojoba in the morning shower since Sunday and there is gradual reduction in the inflammation which I expect to clear by next week but will have more marks to deal with which will probably take another 2 months.<br/>COMMENTS: I think Jojoba is great, it did what I wanted and cleared up my cystic acne. It takes a long time to be effective, 8 - 12 weeks to see the full benefit. However I have 2 (perhaps minor) issues with it: It causes some clogged pores (although not inflamed) which take forever to reach a head... It's not visible but you know its there which is frustrating. Secondly it didn't reduce my oil production (in fact my skin was more oily). Although, strangely enough even though my skin was oily I never broke out whilst on Jojoba. My theory is this is because that if my pores became blocked, they would be unclogged the next morning by Jojoba. I've heard it can take 6 months or more for skin oil to become regulated so maybe this is a premature criticism.<br/>BLOCKED PORES AND NEW REGIMEN: Jojoba oil is NOT non-comedogenic (for those who hate double negatives, jojoba IS COMEDOGENIC). It has a rating of 2/5 on the comedogenic scale (0 being non-clogging and 5 being certain to clog pores) and so this is why people break out from it. I've now discovered a new oil which I am beginning this week which has a comedogenic rating of 0 (Yes - ZERO, it will not clog pores at all). I am replacing Jojoba with this and will use it for 12 weeks or more. I want to see if it is as effective whilst being able to control oil production and not cause clogged pores. I am going to post this same review in the forums but with updates on this new oil. Please feel free to follow me if your interested.<br/>SUMMARY:<br/>PRO'S<br/>Clears cystic acne<br/>Reduces inflammation<br/>Makes skin 'glow'<br/>Prevents new breakouts<br/>CON'S<br/>Can clog pores<br/>Did not reduce oiliness after 3 months use<br/>Requires 8 - 12 weeks to see significant improvement<br/>Does not fade acne marks/scars<br/>If your skin is not suitable then I think you will know in a week. I had a small 'purging' phase but my face didn't explode, I just had small cysts come to a head. If after a week you are breaking out badly, I wouldn't continue using it - it is usually bad sign in my experience.<br/>Having said that if you don't see anything/minor improvements then keep going. With any treatment I have to remind you as I've learned - persistence prevails. It will take time to see results. I don't think absorbing chemicals through our skin everyday is beneficial in the long term - it creates more toxins that your liver has to remove.<br/>Best of luck friends.