I apologize in advance because this might turn out a little long, but a lot needs to be said to fully explain what's going on. I come here in a hopefully successful attempt to solve the problem I've had for the last 5 years.
Without further ado, I'll cut straight to the beginning. It all began when I was around 17 or 18, and had started to develop somewhat of an OCD over my skin. I had become obsessed with keeping it pale (and still am to be honest.) For the first time in my life, I began to buy soap and face washes, and exfoliators and invest in beauty products to help make my skin look glowy and lightened. The problem is, and I didn't realize this then because of my OCD, but I had great skin. It was already pretty light, and I had no acne or whiteheads whatsoever. Maybe the occasional whitehead on the forehead or chin, but who doesn't have that?
It was only when I began to use these products that I began to develop a cluster of whiteheads on my cheeks. It didn't matter after that if I had a single red zit on my cheek or forehead, or if I had broken out randomly. They were always there. They always seem to be in the same place too. They've not budged for years. From time to time I see a new one, but it'll go away with some washing. From time to time they flatten out when using a new, effective product, and then they'll return almost perfectly. I'm so baffled, because I've never seen anyone else have this problem. Their whiteheads come and go.
I do have a few enlarged pores from years of popping zits, but they're not really that noticeable and I don't really worry about them.
I'm extremely confused because yes, it's obvious that maybe I shouldn't have started to obsess in the first place. Unfortunately, I can't change that now. I now have what feels and looks like a permanent set of whiteheads sitting on my cheeks. I know you guys might be thinking 'she definitely has milia.' I'd almost rather that because at least I'd know what it is and how to treat it. It's not milia. They're either enlarged pores, whiteheads, or a mixture of both. They're not noticeable really, but in the right lighting they're pretty obvious. They make my skin and complexion look ruddy and tired, and it's never 100% smooth anymore.
About a week ago, I started using a new face wash called Origins Checks and Balances Frothy Face Wash, in line with Pangea lime toner and some Neutrogena sunblock (to protect against the rays. I use it as a moisturizer.) My doctor recommended the Neutrogena for moisturizer use because of my acne complaint. This regimen seemed to do wonders for a good 4 or 5 days. My skin smoothed out completely and I looked fresh and renewed. I could run my hands along my cheeks and they didn't feel like sandpaper for the first time in a long time. All good things come to an end though- because two days ago, it's returned to it's normal ruddy state. The whiteheads have returned with a vengeance, and there's no living this attack down. They're now attacking my nose as well. Hopefully I can get rid of them with exfoliation.
I've tried everything in the skincare spectrum it seems. I've tried 3 different antibiotics as well. Nothing has really helped, or only temporarily helps. I think part of the problem is that I have no clue whatsoever what my skin type is. I've taken tests online and others have told me I have normal or combination skin. When I tie myself down to a regimen for either one of those though, the products have no effect, lose effect, or the whiteheads just get worse. I don't do anything too rough to my skin, and I don't wash it too much. I make sure to keep it away from the elements as much as possible too. I am beginning to wonder if my rough skin is a reflection of my diet? I don't eat too well, but that can't seriously be the only thing. It would've started before I was 18 if that were the case. I'm so confused, and would really like to try to get rid of them once and for all. I want to feel confident again, and walk out into the sunlight without the fear of my makeup sinking into the ugly texture of my skin on my cheeks.
It's so frustrating because I'm a model, and I meet other models who have the most beautiful, smooth skin. I know it's achievable for me too, but I don't even know where to begin. I only recently got signed to an agency so I don't have the most amazing budget either. If I'm lucky, I can buy two skincare products a month, and they'd probably be under $30. With that being said, I can't buy into the miraculous world of acne and skincare products. I can't afford it, nor can I afford a dermatologist at the time being.
I come here with a cry for help, and to see if anyone has any suggestions or knows what could possibly be going on with all of this information I've provided. If you need to ask questions, feel free to ask and I'll answer as soon as possible. If worse comes to worst, I will see a dermatologist if I have to. I'm trying to avoid that though because prescriptions are costly and I lack health insurance on top of that.
If you read all of this, thank you. If you try to help or can help in any way, thank you so much <3 I'm desperate at this point.
Edited by verluxt, 09 February 2012 - 12:52 AM.