Reading through these, I can so relate. May of last year I started using Paula's Choice. I started the regular strength toner 2x a day and it was rough at first, but then my skin did start to improve. I actually had some clear days. And every day my skin was clear, I thought, wow is this how other people feel (not having to constantly think about their skin, or cry in front of mirrors, or feel ugly/embarrassed/depressed??). I really thought I found something. I knew salycycilc acid worked fairly well for me as I had some succes with stridex years back. But I think my conclusion is:
My skin is just stupid.
After a year----I'm still getting painful cysts. No, my spots are not coming up smaller and resolving faster like I thought. I'm back to wincing when I look in the mirror and feeling like I'm NEVER going to get where I want to be.
My initial response to everyone above is to hang in there and keep going, but then I think about myself and really I'm just tired. I'm tired of trying. It's not really hopelessness but more acceptance. It just is what it is. After 15 years of dealing with this in one way or another (various degrees of severity), I'm of the mind that my skin just sucks. I don't know why. It doesn't shed right, it makes too much oil.. who knows. I know I always get little clog seeds that come out of every bump..so my lining is inefficient or something. But, I tried stuff to address that and while many of my pores look good, I still obviously have problem areas. Should I bump up to the 2% gel and just purge everything out and deal with the aftermath? Should I try this or that?? *shrug*
UGH I'm just tired of having to think of a strategy and constantly try to battle my skin. It's exhausting and honestly I devote way too many hours of every day focusing on my skin. A sad thought is.. if I met someone that I knew from 10 years ago, or even 5, and haven't seen since then, I would STILL have the SAME skin and they would probably think, wow even after all this time they are still dealing with that. That's a pretty sad realization...
Calendula, I feel you on everything you said. I am at that point where I just want to say to hell with it and pretend that I don't have acne. No one in my family struggles like I do and can't understand how I feel. My relationship with God and my friend and family is what makes dealing with this bearable. I think if I quit having all these expectations, I would be a much content person. It's just like a person with a birthmark - they live with it but after a while, it becomes a natural part of them.