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Vanessa's Personal Regimen

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#1 KissDontTell

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Posted 06 July 2011 - 04:05 PM

natural + organic skin care
​for oily, acne-prone, sensitive, & dehydrated skin




Posted Image My name's Vanessa, and for years I've been battling acne. The kind of acne that I have is mostly of the non-inflamed variety. Blackheads, whiteheads, stubborn flesh coloured bumps, etc. But I did have the occasional red, painful pus-filled zits as well. And don't forget the extremely oily skin. I used to be a chronic "pimple popper", which littered my already dark complexion with even darker hyperpigmentation. I've tried every face wash, toner, scrub, fade cream, and prescription medication you can name, excluding Accutane. I even tried professional microdermabrasion treatments and facials. I desperately jumped from product to product, and most things would burn my face and leave my skin dehydrated, but I didn't care. I thought it was helping. In the meantime, I would spend my mornings before school applying full-coverage makeup to somewhat conceal my skin issues.

After developing a chronic case of allergic contact dermatitis on my eyelids (I later found out I have a nickel allergy and the rash was triggered by my makeup), I decided to take a more natural and gentle approach to skin care. I was forced to go makeup-free, threw out my old acne products, and opted for items with better ingredients. I avoid products with synthetic fragrance, parabens, SLS, and other things that could potentially irritate my sensitive skin. I stopped eating dairy products, and slowly eliminated gluten and soy. Not being able to hide behind a mask of makeup anymore really opened my eyes to how heavily I depended on it in order to feel decent about myself. I was sick and tired of letting acne ruin my life and tear down my self-esteem. In July of 2011, I embarked on a skin care journey with the goal of finally getting my acne under control, once and for all. There's been ups and downs, and after much trial and error I finally have a solid skin care regimen and a plan to win the fight against acne. Here's my thread documenting my progress, from the positive to the negative.



current regimen as of august 25, 2012



Cleanse with Organique by Himalaya Neem and Turmeric Face Wash
Apply Earthwise Natural Alcohol Free Witch Hazel Distillate

Dr Dennis Gross Trifix Oil Free Hydrating Moisturizer


supplements + diet
2 Estrosmart Plus supplements

250mg Alpha Lipoic Acid

30mg Zinc

1200mg Vitamin C


Dairy free, gluten free and soy free, drink plenty of water, exercise, try to keep stress at a minimum, be very gentle with my skin!


Edited by KissDontTell, 09 September 2012 - 01:43 PM.


#2 hina2011

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Posted 06 July 2011 - 04:47 PM

I am with you on this regimen. I have been doing this for 11 days now without any cheatings. Although I have been doing this for about a month now with some natural cheatings like fullers earth and turmeric for spot treatments, since 11 days, I am completely on water only.I wash my face twice a day with hot water followed by little splash of cold water just to feel good...Once in my shower in the morning and once before going to bed, although I would love to just wash my face with water just once a day, I am not really strong still to let that second wash go until I am somewhat clear now.

Update on my progress

Forehead mostly clear, two very noticable red marks, and many more small small red marks. But no pimples
Chin, 5 pimples, and huge ones, uncountable red marks
Left cheek-3 pimples, three red flesh bumps and lots of red marks
Right cheek- 2 whiteheads, no active pimples, but lots of dark red spots as well.
Around the mouth- 5 pimples, although they are small.

Itching- Only on the chin and area around the mouth.
Deadskin/flaky skin/ Peeling- Only around the chin and the mouth.
dryness- only around the mouth and chin.

Skin condition- Looks best after 1 hour of my shower.. Looks worst before the shower in case I wake up after 8 am, if I wake up before 8 am, skin looks good for the day...I dont understand why is this, but it is..

I hate to write my own log until I am somewhat clear, thatway atleast I can share my experience with someone. Right now, my face is all messed up. So I will just be posting my experiences in other people's posts who do water only Regimen, and once I am somewhat clear, I will have my own log..

Good Luck to all of you, who are doing the water only regimen. Keep us updated, so that people who have the same skin types, could get more confidence on our experiences when others go through it as well. My target is September, If I dont get clear by september, I need to do somethi ng else to clear my skin, but definately no topical products as well after september. May be I will think about antibiotics after september to help my skin temporarily for 6 months since I am planning to get married early next year. Anyways, I have high hopes for the water only regimen!

#3 KissDontTell

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Posted 06 July 2011 - 05:50 PM

@Kris: Feel free to post whatever progress you make here. It's nice to have this little "support system". I wish you the best of luck with clearing your skin. (:
@Ashley: Thanks! I will also be keeping up with your updates as well. amused.gif

#4 hina2011

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Posted 07 July 2011 - 12:38 PM

My face is not looking good today, when I came out from the shower, within 30 minutes, my skin was all peely/flaky, i dont know what its called, but it was all very very dry, I had to come to the office with the same skin, which was shameful for me. I sit with 8 other people in a conference room...Also, today the flakiness and peeling reached my forehead, my cheeks, which is so bad.. I dont know what to do about it since I have to come to the office everyday. Guys, you need to help me out here with some suggestions. And I am not getting enough sleep now due to itching all night.

#5 KissDontTell

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Posted 07 July 2011 - 06:26 PM

July 7: Acne: Well, I received my "gift" today. Bleh that's a whole other story. I have gotten a couple of small whiteheads on my cheeks, but to my pleasant surprise, NO inflamed papules, pustules or cysts! Which is what usually what happens every month. So, *knock on wood* hopefully things continue going smoothly. My forehead is still improving more and more every day. (: So that's good. Some minor flaking on my forehead between my eyebrows, but I can deal.

Eczema: It's been 2 days off my cortisone ointment, and whatever "progress" I made with my eyelids has disappeared. rolleyes.gif I'm not surprised. The good news is, NO MORE EYELID TWITCHING. I don't care what anyone says, that's why they were twitching. And that can't be good.

Edited by KissDontTell, 07 July 2011 - 06:37 PM.


#6 KissDontTell

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Posted 07 July 2011 - 06:35 PM

QUOTE (kris2011 @ Jul 7 2011, 02:38 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
My face is not looking good today, when I came out from the shower, within 30 minutes, my skin was all peely/flaky, i dont know what its called, but it was all very very dry, I had to come to the office with the same skin, which was shameful for me. I sit with 8 other people in a conference room...Also, today the flakiness and peeling reached my forehead, my cheeks, which is so bad.. I dont know what to do about it since I have to come to the office everyday. Guys, you need to help me out here with some suggestions. And I am not getting enough sleep now due to itching all night.


You're probably not going to like this suggestion .. but maybe you could try a light oil or something? :S Like grapeseed oil? There was a period of time when I used a little of that at night before bed, and it really made my skin soft and gave it a nice glow. And it didn't break me out, either. Just a suggestion?

#7 KissDontTell

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Posted 07 July 2011 - 06:44 PM

QUOTE (i am ashley. @ Jul 7 2011, 08:30 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
LOL, weird. Your eczema may even get better after a while, who knows.If not, then I'd say use that cream if it's needed, since eczema can be a difficult condition to manage.


That cream scares me, to be honest. :/ I know it was prescribed to me and all, but it's never recommended to use cortisone around your eyes. It's just that he wanted to clear it up as fast as possible. But the eye twitching .. it was freaky. Like, it was twitching violently. Every day. So being the paranoid person I am, I'm just going to cross my fingers and hope it goes away on it's own, now that I'm not putting anything on my face. I mentioned somewhere else on this site that I think the allergen is the nickel in my makeup, sooooo .. eusa_pray.gif

#8 AmaraG

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Posted 07 July 2011 - 06:53 PM

OMG who would put nickel in make-up? I dont doubt you but seriously, these companies should know better. eusa_naughty.gif
Probably more than half or all people are sensitive to nickel if not outright allergic...
t=There is a woman at my job who only has to touch a button, or a clothes hanger with nickel and she breaks out in huge hives within minutes!
yes definately avoid it if you have eczema it certainly cant help.


#9 KissDontTell

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Posted 07 July 2011 - 08:00 PM

I don't really want to go into great detail about it, because after all, this is an acne website. xD But apparently, (and this is just from hours of extensive online research) the pigments in makeup, specifically iron oxides, contain traces of nickel. CI 77491, CI 77492, and CI 77499 for example. The black colour in things like eyeliner and mascara is from black iron oxide, which contains nickel. Also, companies don't have to list nickel as an ingredient in their makeup. It may sound far fetched to think that that's what I'm allergic to, but there are numerous other reasons why I'm about 98% sure that I have a nickel allergy, not just the eyelid thing. But once again, I'm not going to get into it. I'm sure you guys don't want to hear me go on and on about it anyway LOL. eusa_boohoo.gif But yeah, I'll know for sure in November when I get tested.

#10 hina2011

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Posted 07 July 2011 - 08:10 PM

QUOTE (i am ashley. @ Jul 7 2011, 06:46 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (KissDontTell @ Jul 7 2011, 05:35 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (kris2011 @ Jul 7 2011, 02:38 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
My face is not looking good today, when I came out from the shower, within 30 minutes, my skin was all peely/flaky, i dont know what its called, but it was all very very dry, I had to come to the office with the same skin, which was shameful for me. I sit with 8 other people in a conference room...Also, today the flakiness and peeling reached my forehead, my cheeks, which is so bad.. I dont know what to do about it since I have to come to the office everyday. Guys, you need to help me out here with some suggestions. And I am not getting enough sleep now due to itching all night.


You're probably not going to like this suggestion .. but maybe you could try a light oil or something? :S Like grapeseed oil? There was a period of time when I used a little of that at night before bed, and it really made my skin soft and gave it a nice glow. And it didn't break me out, either. Just a suggestion?

I'd actually suggest she just not shower in the morning. I had the exact same issue as she did for a number of weeks before it all peeled off, and now I never get that issue (or at least it's not visible).


I just took a shower in the evening, and I am not going to take shower tommorow morning. I hope the office colleagues dont run away from me, but who knows I havent taken a shower eusa_shhh.gif . Since I break out a lot around the mouth area, I decided to stop using the toothpaste and use salt water instead. Some of the days, I will be using baking soda as well for brushing my teeth, just read somewhere on the internet, its supposed to be a good cleanser... I definately need to make sure that I dont smell bad while I talk, probably I will chew some gum in the office lol.gif

#11 hina2011

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Posted 07 July 2011 - 08:15 PM

QUOTE (KissDontTell @ Jul 7 2011, 06:35 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (kris2011 @ Jul 7 2011, 02:38 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
My face is not looking good today, when I came out from the shower, within 30 minutes, my skin was all peely/flaky, i dont know what its called, but it was all very very dry, I had to come to the office with the same skin, which was shameful for me. I sit with 8 other people in a conference room...Also, today the flakiness and peeling reached my forehead, my cheeks, which is so bad.. I dont know what to do about it since I have to come to the office everyday. Guys, you need to help me out here with some suggestions. And I am not getting enough sleep now due to itching all night.


You're probably not going to like this suggestion .. but maybe you could try a light oil or something? :S Like grapeseed oil? There was a period of time when I used a little of that at night before bed, and it really made my skin soft and gave it a nice glow. And it didn't break me out, either. Just a suggestion?


Thanks for the suggestion, will keep this in mind. I will try not showering in the morning for like another week, and if that doesnt work, I may try this grapeseed oil, atleast on the chin. Because thats the area which is looking the worst, and also around the mouth rolleyes.gif I am seriously scared every morning to go to the office with such a flaky face. I hope this phases out soon...My forehead is still clear too, but today I dont know why, my red marks on the forehead were more noticeable then the past 10 days.


#12 hina2011

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Posted 08 July 2011 - 11:14 AM

So I didnt take a shower today morning, feeling alright, not much of a difference eusa_boohoo.gif
Face is not oily as well...
However, I feel that my progress is too slow, or may be I am too impatient rolleyes.gif
I feel like everday my face is exactly the same, little red, flaky, peely, dead skin and too rough. I mean its not smooth at all. Its like I dont even wash my face at all, I mean there is no tone to my skin at all.. May be i need to be little bit patient now and stop whining everyday on my face eusa_naughty.gif

#13 hina2011

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Posted 08 July 2011 - 11:36 AM

QUOTE (i am ashley. @ Jul 8 2011, 12:19 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
You are just impatient. I hated my skin for probably 3 weeks when I started this in May. And now I have a nice tone to it, the texture is a lot better, very smooth (other than any remaining bumps and minor clogs), and naturally glowy. You should try not looking in the mirror every weekend and perhaps not in the evening once you've finished your day and will not be going out. Might help, as you'll not be so focused on your face.


I agree, I am impatient, I have also decided that I wont be visiting this site more than 3 times a day. That helps. Yesterday, I just visited may be 3-4 times, and I got a pretty good sleep..Sometimes, when I keep visiting this site often, I get bad dreams and I keep thinking about my face in my dreams.. And also the mirror, my biggest enemy.
By the way, the picture in your avatar, is it recent? If it is, then I must say, you are acne and spot free totally. Is it with makeup or makeup free?

#14 KissDontTell

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Posted 08 July 2011 - 01:07 PM

July 8: Acne: No significant change, so I'll just talk about how my skin is looking right now.
My face is so full of whiteheads and blackheads, but that's nothing new. At least I think that's what they are ... a part of me wants to just give my face a good steaming and then go an a squeezing spree, but I know that's a REALLY bad idea, so I'm just going to avoid the mirror for the rest of the day before I do something stupid. xD Ugh, my pores are so clogged. I will definitely have to address that issue eventually. I'm interested in trying a glycolic acid cleanser, but that won't be until later on in the summer/early fall. And my 2%BHA should be coming in the mail any day now .. I wonder how I'm going to resist temptation to start using it. LOL.

Eczema: No significant change. It's not worse though! *my attempt at trying to be positive*

#15 KissDontTell

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Posted 08 July 2011 - 01:12 PM

QUOTE (i am ashley. @ Jul 8 2011, 12:52 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (AmaraG @ Jul 7 2011, 05:53 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
OMG who would put nickel in make-up? I dont doubt you but seriously, these companies should know better. eusa_naughty.gif
Probably more than half or all people are sensitive to nickel if not outright allergic...
t=There is a woman at my job who only has to touch a button, or a clothes hanger with nickel and she breaks out in huge hives within minutes!
yes definately avoid it if you have eczema it certainly cant help.

Nickel is in earrings rights? Whenever I wear earrings (affordable kinds, I don't have any expensive ones), my ears get all hot, itchy, and red.

The same thing happens to me, or should I say used to happen to me lol. Not only would they itch, they would crust, ooze, bleed, and swell. (and I have 8 ear piercings so you can just imagine the inflammation.) -_- I used to wear earrings from Ardene. I recently switched to sterling silver earrings, no more ear issues! I bought them from Wal-Mart and they're pretty cute. Make sure they're marked nickel free and lead free. wink.gif

#16 hina2011

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Posted 08 July 2011 - 03:21 PM

QUOTE (KissDontTell @ Jul 8 2011, 01:07 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
July 8: Acne: No significant change, so I'll just talk about how my skin is looking right now.
My face is so full of whiteheads and blackheads, but that's nothing new. At least I think that's what they are ... a part of me wants to just give my face a good steaming and then go an a squeezing spree, but I know that's a REALLY bad idea, so I'm just going to avoid the mirror for the rest of the day before I do something stupid. xD Ugh, my pores are so clogged. I will definitely have to address that issue eventually. I'm interested in trying a glycolic acid cleanser, but that won't be until later on in the summer/early fall. And my 2%BHA should be coming in the mail any day now .. I wonder how I'm going to resist temptation to start using it. LOL.

Eczema: No significant change. It's not worse though! *my attempt at trying to be positive*


I thought you opened this log for water-only regimen?? Dont give up so early. Even if you get the 2% BHA, just resist for now, and lets continue with the water-only regimen. Atleast I have company to share my ups and downs. And who knows, there may be something good coming up with our skin soon..

#17 KissDontTell

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Posted 08 July 2011 - 04:06 PM

QUOTE (kris2011 @ Jul 8 2011, 05:21 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (KissDontTell @ Jul 8 2011, 01:07 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
July 8: Acne: No significant change, so I'll just talk about how my skin is looking right now.
My face is so full of whiteheads and blackheads, but that's nothing new. At least I think that's what they are ... a part of me wants to just give my face a good steaming and then go an a squeezing spree, but I know that's a REALLY bad idea, so I'm just going to avoid the mirror for the rest of the day before I do something stupid. xD Ugh, my pores are so clogged. I will definitely have to address that issue eventually. I'm interested in trying a glycolic acid cleanser, but that won't be until later on in the summer/early fall. And my 2%BHA should be coming in the mail any day now .. I wonder how I'm going to resist temptation to start using it. LOL.

Eczema: No significant change. It's not worse though! *my attempt at trying to be positive*


I thought you opened this log for water-only regimen?? Dont give up so early. Even if you get the 2% BHA, just resist for now, and lets continue with the water-only regimen. Atleast I have company to share my ups and downs. And who knows, there may be something good coming up with our skin soon..


LOL, I know I know. No giving up here! eusa_naughty.gif I had ordered the BHA with my mom a few days prior to starting this thread. I'm going to hang in there and give this some time before I come to a conclusion as to whether is was beneficial or not. (:

#18 hina2011

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Posted 08 July 2011 - 06:24 PM

QUOTE (KissDontTell @ Jul 8 2011, 04:06 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
LOL, I know I know. No giving up here! eusa_naughty.gif I had ordered the BHA with my mom a few days prior to starting this thread. I'm going to hang in there and give this some time before I come to a conclusion as to whether is was beneficial or not. (:


Yes, no giving up.. eusa_naughty.gif Atleast give it a month. Although I may give up early, but you hang in there.. lol.gif
I am just kidding, I wont be giving up as well. Lets give it a month more!

#19 hina2011

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Posted 08 July 2011 - 08:07 PM

Guys, do you think washing the face with warm/cold water is better than washing with more hot water? I was reading some of the posts from waterwater, and he used warm water/cold water to wash his face. Now, since it worked for him doesnt mean it would work for us. But, if I remember back in my teen days, in my country, we just had cold water being used for bathing. Only people who were rich, would put boilers in their home and make water hot before bathing to take warm bath. But in my house, it was always cold water. Also, I started getting more acne when I turned 21. And when I was 24, I came to US, thats when the actual breakout started. So only after I came to US, I started getting more breakouts and all...And the only change was hot water.. Because it was free here, I used to take hot showers instead of cold, and then it became a habbit..
Also,I havent seen anybody in my personal life with cystic acne back in my home country. So, I am suspecting it could be the water temp? or the atmosphere change?
The only problem I have now with cold water is that, since I have been using hot water now since 3-4 years, when I wash with cold water, my face doesnt feel so clean, so I dont know what to do... I really wish I could go back to taking cold showers, but I fear that I would breakout more..

#20 KissDontTell

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Posted 08 July 2011 - 09:28 PM

I read somewhere that it's not good to wash your skin with very cold or very hot water. I don't remember where I heard this though... But anyway, I don't see the harm in just washing with cold water, it doesn't necessarily have to be ice cold right? I personally feel weird washing with cooler water, it just feels weird to me, haha. So I usually stick to warm or lukewarm water.

Anyway, I don't think that changing the water temperature is going to break you out. But then again, what do I know? Lol ..maybe just try lukewarm water first. smile.gif

On another note, I'm feeling pretty guilty right now because I just squeezed out a couple of blackheads. neutral.gif It was out of sheer boredom, too. I didn't really do much though, just squeezed out the ones that were like ... pushing out of my pores and looking really gross. That just happened to be the majority of them though. But yeah, it didn't take much effort to extract them ... ugh they are the bane of my existence. I dabbed some tea tree oil on my problem areas as well. I hope I don't wake up tomorrow to an army of pimples. I will be soooooo mad at myself. -_- Note to self: STAY AWAY FROM MIRRORS. They are evil.

Edited by KissDontTell, 08 July 2011 - 09:28 PM.