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micheniche

Three Fix Log

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On the 31st of May, I've started using Rationale's Three Fix Kit. It contains three items:

1. Cleanse - A mild, slightly acidic, anti-bacterial cleanser to get rid of debris, excess oil and impurities without harming the integrity of your skin.

2. Unclog - 18 percent AHA, 5 percent BHA with Niacinamide

3. Clear - Benzoyl Peroxide, 5 percent with Niacinamide 2 percent

Use twice a day, all three steps.

In the morning, I use a SPF 15 sunblock. I rarely go out. :)

In the evening, if I feel a little dry from my heater, I use a little oil-free, glycerin based moisturizer.

I'm keeping a log here to share with you guys my journey to clear skin. According to Rationale Skincare, within 10 weeks, I will see results.

My skin condition:

History of skin: Had been battling mild acne for a few years. Started since I was 12.

-August 2010: Perfect complexion. No blackheads, whiteheads whatsover

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-December 2010: Hundreds of white bumps surfaced all over my skin.

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-April 2010: Decided to do something about my skin

Treatments underwent so far:

- April: 2 BHA 8 percent peels. Improved skin condition but decided to stop it because the place where i got the peels were quite unprofessional. Communication was poor. They did not tell me what to expect from the peel

- May: 1 microderm + enzyme peel. Improved skin clarity but did nothing to my acne.

Upcoming treatment:

- 7th June: 16 percent BHA peel OR 20 percent Lactic acid peel w. extractions

Supplements that I take:

-Vitamin D 1000 IU (Once per day)

-Grapeseed extract 12000 mg (Twice per day)

-Zinc (Occasionally - realized that it doesn't do much about my acne)

-Evening Primrose oil (1000 mg per day)

-Fish oil (1000 mg per day)

-Probiotics (Twice per day, 1 billion strain)

-2 iron pills with Vit. C (5 mg each)

Diet:

-Lots of fruits and vegetables

-Less sugary and oily treats

-No junk food!

-One serving of meat per day (Fish, chicken, pork, beef)

-No kelp.

-When craving for something, I eat pistachios

Day 1 of using the threefix kit.

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Day 4 of using the kit.

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Going through purging phase.

The purging is quite gradual. On day 2, there were only 3-4 spots per cheek. On day 4, as you can see, is quite serious. Sometimes, the zits explode themselves when I put the products on. Most of my whiteheads are raised. They are pretty obvious. It's ugly but some of them rolled out themselves. Pretty disgusting.

I feel very ugly. I don't want to see anybody at this stage. I hope that this will clear before my US study trip. I'm going with a huge bunch of students. I feel very ugly at the moment. Sigh...

Sometimes, I feel like crying because I have really bad skin. BUT I have to persist!

In case you're wondering, YOU ONLY NEED TO USE TWO-THREE DROPS OF UNCLOG (all over face), and ONE-TWO DROPS OF CLEAR (on affected areas) only.

So far, I have not experienced any irritation. I think it must be the niacin-amide. Previously, I used Paula's Choice BHA, it did nothing on my skin.

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My mom felt that my skin is going to peel anytime soon because it looks a little duller than usual. Maybe it is so... Some of the breakouts have died down but new ones have erupted! :( A few pustules rolled off today, leaving red marks, that are slowing turning brown.

Anyway, on my right cheek, one of the pimples are really painful! Oh well, what can I expect? My face is clearing itself up!


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Today I plucked out two whiteheads by accident and two pustules ruptured on their own. Seeing all of this is scary. I tried a 20 percent zinc oxide sunscreen today. It left a white cast but covered up the redness nicely. :)


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Some of the red marks have reduced in size. I've got few new blind pimples popping up. Not few. Just five. So it's a good thing. But the two new ones on my right cheek are hurting like hell. :( Not good.

Last night was dry so I've decided to add a little moisturizer to keep things in check. Also, I've decided to change my night regimen:

PM:

1. Cleanse

2. Unclog

3. Retinaldehyde

I'll use Clear or BP only in the morning.


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Oh, another advice. DON'T EVER PICK ON YOUR FACE even if the pustules appear ripe. It will explode themselves (if you use the right products). Picking will only lead to worse skin. Trust me! I've tried popping a ripened pustule and two more grew on the same spot. Ahewhroshdfidfh!!

SO WHATEVER YOU DO, DO NOT PICK!


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My sister pointed out to me that all of my whiteheads look so poppable. Well, that explains why my face has been feeling prickly lately. Those buggers are dying to come out! Today is day 6 of my regimen. Some of the red marks have clearly subsided! This is miraculous!


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Hi! Wow you're brave, that's a pretty intense regimen! I'm sorry to see the purging phase isn't treating you too nicely. Hopefully a perfect complexion awaits on the other side? :)

What do you use to moisturize?

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Hi! Wow you're brave, that's a pretty intense regimen! I'm sorry to see the purging phase isn't treating you too nicely. Hopefully a perfect complexion awaits on the other side? :)

What do you use to moisturize?

Ooh, I use rationale's moisture plus. It's a really light moisturizer but I only moisturize when necessary. My derm says it's actually counterproductive to moisturize because you're feeding acne food!

The only time I moisturized was day 2 and day 5. The weather was really cold and we turned on the heater. A moisturizer was necessary. :)

Oh, and i use a sunscreen that has antioxidants in it. The sunscreen is by Results RX. It's called Reflect. It's SPF 15 ( I stay indoors most of the time). :)

I sometimes use Rationale's SPF 30 20 percent zinc oxide oil free sunscreen. It's really good because it covers up the redness but leaves a white cast, turning me into a temporary geisha. :D


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I washed my face this evening. A few more whiteheads popped out. One pimple literally rolled off itself. I had this funny image of cute dried yellow balls rolling off my skin and swimming in the skin. Sounds wrong but yeah...


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Hi! Wow you're brave, that's a pretty intense regimen! I'm sorry to see the purging phase isn't treating you too nicely. Hopefully a perfect complexion awaits on the other side? :)

What do you use to moisturize?

Ooh, I use rationale's moisture plus. It's a really light moisturizer but I only moisturize when necessary. My derm says it's actually counterproductive to moisturize because you're feeding acne food!

The only time I moisturized was day 2 and day 5. The weather was really cold and we turned on the heater. A moisturizer was necessary. :)

Oh, and i use a sunscreen that has antioxidants in it. The sunscreen is by Results RX. It's called Reflect. It's SPF 15 ( I stay indoors most of the time). :)

I sometimes use Rationale's SPF 30 20 percent zinc oxide oil free sunscreen. It's really good because it covers up the redness but leaves a white cast, turning me into a temporary geisha. :D

Oh. my. god. who is your dermatologist? She actually said that about moisturizer? Are you kidding me? I'm sorry I want to become a dermatologist and, just, oh my god! I can't believe she told you that! What else has she told you??

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Hi! Wow you're brave, that's a pretty intense regimen! I'm sorry to see the purging phase isn't treating you too nicely. Hopefully a perfect complexion awaits on the other side? :)

What do you use to moisturize?

Ooh, I use rationale's moisture plus. It's a really light moisturizer but I only moisturize when necessary. My derm says it's actually counterproductive to moisturize because you're feeding acne food!

The only time I moisturized was day 2 and day 5. The weather was really cold and we turned on the heater. A moisturizer was necessary. :)

Oh, and i use a sunscreen that has antioxidants in it. The sunscreen is by Results RX. It's called Reflect. It's SPF 15 ( I stay indoors most of the time). :)

I sometimes use Rationale's SPF 30 20 percent zinc oxide oil free sunscreen. It's really good because it covers up the redness but leaves a white cast, turning me into a temporary geisha. :D

Oh. my. god. who is your dermatologist? She actually said that about moisturizer? Are you kidding me? I'm sorry I want to become a dermatologist and, just, oh my god! I can't believe she told you that! What else has she told you??

Uh... if your skin is really oily like mine, applying moisturizer is going to make it oilier. Moisturizer is suited only for dry skin. To be honest, I've stopped moisturizing for a two days and I did notice a difference....

Also, this is not the first time i heard something like this. In fact, it's my third time. You only use moisturizer to buffer something (like retinoids) or to combat flakiness.

You might want to try and read this in Derm TV too. :) Moisturizer is necessary when you have dry skin. My skin is a far cry from dry skin! That's why i have acne all over the place!

Previously, I have this belief that if you don't moisturize, your skin will counterbalance it by letting more oil out on your skin. So I use moisturizer in spite of really oily skin. And my pores got clogged so badly!

Well, now I realize that the opposite is true. Your skin can do the job. Also, the retinaldehyde and the BHA/AHA actually helps hydrate my skin. It sounds so wrong saying it here... but you have to be in position to understand how this is happening!

Anyway, moisturizer is acne food for oily skin but it is the HG for dry skin. :) It will be funny to get acne all over your face with dry skin. My sister has dry skin. She uses moisturizer and never gets breakouts! She has only three blackheads on her face by the way.


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Hello! I'm so happy today. :) My purging phase has died down a little. More whiteheads are rolling off itself! Also, some of the pimples popped itself when I used my cleanser!

WOOTS! So overjoyed. Tomorrow, I'm going for a chemical peel. I know this whole routine may sound harsh but, it's working beautifully. Also, in my entire 7 day journey of using these products twice per day, I have never felt irritation or sensitivity.

Anyway picture time!

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As you can see, there is less redness. :D

My skin is so much smoother too! The whiteheads are flattened and many of them have reduced in size. Some of them have their heads sticking out. All my blackheads have surfaced and are ready to go. But of course, I won't be picking my face. I'll leave that to professionals.

I've tried so many products! FINALLY SOMETHING THAT WORKS.

In case you're wondering what I've tried:

-Exuviance (Used it for five years, it was good in the beginning but lead to more congested skin in the end)

-Neostrata (Gentle but not strong enough for my stubborn acne)

-Aspect Dr (They have good post chem peel products but the acne products are doubtful...)

-Results RX, Cosmedix and Societe (The acne products contain alcohol! Steer clear away from acne products with alcohol people! It will strip away your skin! And they talk about chirally correct. I'm a science person. Chirally correct? Our skin is smarter than that!)

-Clear Skin Care (Australian brand. More suited for dealing with KP than acne. I'm using it on my KP-ed arms)

-Paula's Choice (Paula is a good marketing woman. The stuff that she write on her website, especially the reviews, are doubtful. She gives good reviews to her own products. I feel that her moisturizer and toner has way too much silicones. Her BHA did nothing on my face)

-Kiehls (Their gentle cleanser, I suspect, has soap in it and their astringent has alcohol)

-Aesop (Too drying for my skin and made breakouts worse)

-Estee Lauder (Too much parfum!)

Not to bash these brands but hey whatever works on you. I've spent too much money on products that did not work. Some of them, I threw them out even they are 90 percent full. :(

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Hi! Wow you're brave, that's a pretty intense regimen! I'm sorry to see the purging phase isn't treating you too nicely. Hopefully a perfect complexion awaits on the other side? :)

What do you use to moisturize?

Ooh, I use rationale's moisture plus. It's a really light moisturizer but I only moisturize when necessary. My derm says it's actually counterproductive to moisturize because you're feeding acne food!

The only time I moisturized was day 2 and day 5. The weather was really cold and we turned on the heater. A moisturizer was necessary. :)

Oh, and i use a sunscreen that has antioxidants in it. The sunscreen is by Results RX. It's called Reflect. It's SPF 15 ( I stay indoors most of the time). :)

I sometimes use Rationale's SPF 30 20 percent zinc oxide oil free sunscreen. It's really good because it covers up the redness but leaves a white cast, turning me into a temporary geisha. :D

Oh. my. god. who is your dermatologist? She actually said that about moisturizer? Are you kidding me? I'm sorry I want to become a dermatologist and, just, oh my god! I can't believe she told you that! What else has she told you??

Uh... if your skin is really oily like mine, applying moisturizer is going to make it oilier. Moisturizer is suited only for dry skin. To be honest, I've stopped moisturizing for a two days and I did notice a difference....

Also, this is not the first time i heard something like this. In fact, it's my third time. You only use moisturizer to buffer something (like retinoids) or to combat flakiness.

You might want to try and read this in Derm TV too. :) Moisturizer is necessary when you have dry skin. My skin is a far cry from dry skin! That's why i have acne all over the place!

Previously, I have this belief that if you don't moisturize, your skin will counterbalance it by letting more oil out on your skin. So I use moisturizer in spite of really oily skin. And my pores got clogged so badly!

Well, now I realize that the opposite is true. Your skin can do the job. Also, the retinaldehyde and the BHA/AHA actually helps hydrate my skin. It sounds so wrong saying it here... but you have to be in position to understand how this is happening!

Anyway, moisturizer is acne food for oily skin but it is the HG for dry skin. :) It will be funny to get acne all over your face with dry skin. My sister has dry skin. She uses moisturizer and never gets breakouts! She has only three blackheads on her face by the way.

Ok, yeah I totally see where you're coming from. If you have oily skin, moisturizer can be fairly smothering and unnecessary. What you really want to do is give your skin the chance to take care of itself, so true. But, here's just a few things that I know: if you naturally have oily skin and consequent acne, it's usually a pretty good idea to try to regulate oil production. A really good way to do that is not moisturizer! Moisturizer just holds moisture, but it can't truly moisturize for you or hydrate your skin. This is why lots of people stop cleansing, you know? They just let their skin do its thing and take care of itself. I'm not really for that, honestly. And so, when it comes to going a route of trying an intense regimen, you risk stripping your skin of what it needs to protect itself (despite appearing moisturized due to oil or what have you). I mean, that's just the logic of it. Sorry I freaked on you, really! And AHA's can be moisturizing definitely.

Moisturizer can be acne food for oily skin in the sense that...I think...if moisturizer is your only line of defense against true moisturization and hydration. Oh and, letting oil do it's job is a really good idea, as long as it is properly regulated. A lot of people have success with using moisturizers as a means of regulating their oil production (and there is an adjustment period). You know what I mean? I wrote a whole article about the molecular structure of certain moisturizers and how that interacts with your skin, etc etc, but it's really boring and long. Don't listen to me lol.

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And good luck with your chemical peel! My first chemical peel was a godsend. It just got so dang pricey. I'm waiting for salicylic acid 15% in the mail to start doing my own weekly. Awesome progress!

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My sebum is well regulated by the niacinamide in my products. :) It my sound like the stuff I'm using is strong but so far nothing has happened. I have used products that claim to be mild but they are so harsh, it sent my skin to the burning pits of hell!

Are you still studying?

I love chem peels! After the dead skin falls off, you get baby soft skin!


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I went for a chemical peel today, with extractions. It wasn't too bad. The extractions did not left my face bruised like nobody's business. I'm a happy kid! I can't believe I can be so excited about peels!


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Last night, I got slightly overzealous by the UNCLOG. It left my acne itchy, but left the perfect patches of skin untouched. I wonder why!

Anyway, I must not press too much of the product! BIG BIG MISTAKE.

Also, I used a little more moisturizer than usual to counter the itchiness of my acne. I accidentally put it on my nose. BIG BIG MISTAKE. My nose looked like an oil spillage!

Lessons learnt:

1. Less is more. Even if you squirt too much of product, apply it on my KP-ed arms.

2. Avoid putting moisturizer on T-zone at all costs! Moisturizer is acne food!


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This morning, I used lesser UNCLOG and even lesser CLEAR. I don't see the point of putting so much of CLEAR when my purging (round 1) has stopped. Not sure if there would be a round 2 in purging. That would be very interesting. I hope the purging ends before my US trip. I don't want to look horrifying. Plus, I don't use makeup. I don't see the point of putting foundation on skin. Eyeliner yes. Lip gloss MAYBE (ever since I started taking iron, I don't need lipgloss anymore). Foundation - fricking no way!


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Got a chemical peel two days ago. Face felt quite tight yesterday. Today, it was better. No peeling in sight but skin is darker. Signs of a peel to come!


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Chemical peel status: Skin darkened considerably. I look like a lizard now! Also four new pimples ( I think it's part of the purging!). Some whiteheads turned black, shriveled up and roll off! My skin is suprisingly, quite hydrated in spite of the peel! Something must be off somewhere because in my previous peels, my skin is usually dry as hell!

:)


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My skin has turned very leathery and started to flake slightly. It's not a really traumatic peel, 12 percent SA... In fact it's quite mild. Yet, it does bring out a little more remnant gunk. My purging was not as bad as the first one. About 8 zits popped out instead of having 50 over, like my initial breakout... Yes 50 over. I've got like hundreds of whiteheads. It's expected that 10 years of pimples will appear on my face in one go....

Anyway, pictures:

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The red marks are more than usual because I had extractions along with the peel. :)

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Again, if you're wondering, I don't use make up to conceal any of my zits. I just walk out into the streets, broad daylight, with a face looking like this. I know for so many people, it will be a horrifying experience. At some point of my purging process, my face looked so horrible that I didn't want to go anywhere. BUT HEY, this is acne. 90 percent of the people have it. It's depressing but you have to get rid of it instead of covering it up. Covering it up doesn't mean it's not there.


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I had serious flaking when I washed my face this morning. Also, I've decided to get rid of my blackheads. My nose is clear but there was so much of flaking going on. I slapped some BP after extractions to prevent any sort of infection. Then, I put zinc oxide on my face instead of using the suncreen with titanium dioxide. I prefer using the zinc oxide sunscreen although my other tit. dioxide sunscreen has more antioxidants. Also, zinc oxide helps fade red marks faster.


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Sigh. Another round of purging after the chemical peel. Well, while chemical peel does improve how your skin looks, it also does another thing: exfoliate.

After starting the regimen, I had my first IB and it died after 7 days. Now, it's time for another round of IB. I noticed that some of the zits subsided faster than usual. Yet, it's still quite frustrating. Oh well, the only way these gazillion whiteheads are going to go away is by either extractions or breakouts. I asked my nurse if breakouts were normal when starting anti-acne products. She said yes.

Having said that, the patches where my face had no acne did not breakout. In fact, they looked so nice and smooth, that they are my only hope. They motivate me to get my clear skin back and not acne conquer my rightful "land".


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