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Spotthedifference

Spot The Difference - Trying Out A Consistent Regimen

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My Background

I had 100% clear skin most of the time as a younger teenager. However, when I hit 18 several things happened all at once in my life:

I began University, ended my relationship and engagement of 2 years with my first ever boyfriend, lost several members of my family, became the lead role in a musical, was diagnosed with PCOS, had to come off the pill because of serious medical complications, went from underweight to a more healthy weight, grew taller by a considerable amount, got my first ever job and began to get far less sleep.

Needless to say my skin reacted to all of this very badly. Apparently my mum had acne at a similair age which cleared up over time, although the blackheads still remain around her nose.

I'm 19 now and my situation in life has greatly improved. Sadly though my skin is still acne prone and boughts of acne from the past have left hyperpigmentation. I'm now using a daily routine which this log will track the progress of.

What I suspect to be the main causes of my acne:

Hormones from my PCOS and coming off the birth control pill.

My skin:

Very pale white skin. My Heritage is white English/Irish/Scottish.

My skin concerns:

Oily T-zone, normal to dry cheeks (Combination skin)

Large, painful and inflamed whiteheads on both cheeks, predominantly on the left cheek

Hyperpigmentation on the left cheek, flat red/brown dots in a cluster

Blackheads around and on my nose and on my chin

Occasional severe breakout in the area besides the ends of my eyebrows, just above my cheeks

Under the skin bumps and a few active whiteheads on my forehead

My Regimen:

AM:

Just after waking up:

I try to always take my makeup off before bed, if however I've not managed to do this I remove all traces of my makeup with Asda's deep cleansing facial wipes.

Cleanse with Nubian Heritage African black soap. Wet a towel with warm water, rub black soap on to the towel. Use towel in circular motions to rub the soap in to the face. Allow the soap to dry on the face before rinsing with hands and cold water. Pat face dry with towel.

Use Simple Soothing toner. Apply in sections using cotton wool balls and upwards motions. Allow to dry.

Pop spots using Comdone Extractor. Insure the skin and tool are steralized using hot water.

Spot treat. First apply dabs of Witch Stick to all spots then apply Clearasil rapid action treatment cream to inflamed spots.

Apply BioRadiance skin whitening cream to only the hyperpigmentation with a cotton bud. Rub in with other end of the cotton bud.

Use Clean and Clear oil free dual action moisturizer.

Blend Roc's SPF50 dark spot protection sunscreen in with moisturizer. Leave to dry.

PM:

Just before bed:

Wash face with towel and cold water. Pat dry with towel. Use Asda deep cleansing wipes if I've been weaing makeup during the day.

Apply Jiff bottled lemon juice directly on to hyperpigmentation with clean fingers. Wash hands. Leave juice on for 1-3 hours.

Drink a glass of lemon water.

Wash juice off throughly with cold water.

Apply BioRadiance skin whitening cream to only the hyperpigmentation with a cotton bud. Rub in with other end of the cotton bud.

Apply Clearasil Over Night Lotion.

Weekly:

Tuesdays:

Montagne Jeunesse cucumber peel off face mask.

My Daily Supplements:

400mg Cod Liver Oil

10mg Vitamin B6

2000mg Evening Primrose Oil

Multivitamin with added Iron

Diindolylmethane Estrogen Metabolism supplement

1000mg Agnus Castus

My Diet:

I eat a lot of slow release carbs and dairy products. I have a particular love for oats, cluster cereals, pasta and Feta cheese although this is not all that my diet consists of. I do not believe that my acne is related to my diet and will not be changing what I eat.

My Exercise:

I currently run short distances for about 13 hours a week on average. I do a lot of walking at University but my Uni has currently come to the end of teaching for this year. I have plans to join a gym with my boyfriend and I am also going to start jogging for longer distances with him.

My Makeup:

Asda's own concealer

Barry M foundation creme in shade 2

Barry M translucent powder

These products match my skin well, do not generally look cakey and do not break me out.


Currently clear of acne with the occasional hormonal breakout. Check out my routines and progress updates here:
http://www.acne.org/...g-and-duac-gel/

Treat yourself as you treat others.


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Ok, so here's an update for today, the 9th April 2012:

I've continued to follow this regimen with the slight exception of forgetting my lemon juice and drink one night.

My skin appears to be about 90% clear. I'm so happy! There are a few ever so slightly raised lumps on my left and right cheeks but my very active, angry acne seems to be gone. Two large spots close together have gone off my right cheek and left quite bright red hyperpigmentation. On the plus side the older brown spots on my left cheek are fading really well with the help of the lemon juice. The scab from the large spot on my forehead has fallen off.

I've been walking around with no make up on. My mum commented yesterday that my skin seems to be improving, and my boyfriend touched my face and said for the first time ever that I had 'really smooth skin'. He's not ever said this before, but it was something I got a lot when I was clear from other people. I think this regimen is actually working! My skin is soft to the touch, it's not painful anymore and my marks are fading in a really promising way. The only new acne that I've gotten whilst following this routine is the tiniest little blackhead near my hair line, which is absolutley undetectable unless you blatantly stare at my skin for a few minutes in search of blemishes. I'm nowhere near how clear I used to be, but I've a feeling that once my marks fade (and if the acne doesn't come back too badly, fingers crossed!) I'll be able to start going makeup free all the time again. I didn't feel self concious about my face once over these last few days of being bare faced. It's amazing! I really, really think that the toner, sun screen and night lotion are particularly strong in my search for better skin.

Well, I'll keep you updated! Smile people, you're beautiful! grinwink.gif


Currently clear of acne with the occasional hormonal breakout. Check out my routines and progress updates here:
http://www.acne.org/...g-and-duac-gel/

Treat yourself as you treat others.


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I'm feeling so ludicrously happy right now, it seems that I've got things under control. It's just amazing! I've also started using 'BioRadiance' skin whitening cream on my hyperpigmentation today. I'll see how best to fit it in to my routine then update it in the first post.


Currently clear of acne with the occasional hormonal breakout. Check out my routines and progress updates here:
http://www.acne.org/...g-and-duac-gel/

Treat yourself as you treat others.


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An update of my current skin concerns:

My skin concerns:

Maintaining even skin texture, preventing oily T-zone from coming back

Stopping new whiteheads from forming

Fading hyperpigmentation on my left and right cheeks and forehead

Keeping the blackheads around and on my nose and on my chin at bay

These are my current goals. I'm hopeful that no new spots seem to be forming since I've begun the regimen. I have quite a lot of very small blackheads around my nose and chin which I clear out daily, I feel this may be something I just have to live with and maintain. I have a lot more PIH than when I started the regimen due to where spots have failed to heal properly and this is now in more areas too, so my focus other than keeping the acne away is to fade those red/brown spots!


Currently clear of acne with the occasional hormonal breakout. Check out my routines and progress updates here:
http://www.acne.org/...g-and-duac-gel/

Treat yourself as you treat others.


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Ok, so the BioRadiance cream seems to have made my hyperpigmentation darker (hmm, I guess I've always gone against the norm!) so I'm going to stop using that for now. I exfoliated my skin with Clean and Clear daily facial scrub last night because my skin had some dry fragile layers on the surface where some of my larger spots had been and the hyperpigmentation seems to have faded quite a bit this morning.

That time of the month has hit me today and I'm pleased to report that, despite the usual pain, upset stomach and every other symptom from my stupid PCOS, my acne is *still* dead. I'm a bit intrigued as to what the very very subtle bumps under my skin are (where the big spots on my cheeks were) but they don't appear to be getting larger nor shrinking, and you can't see them, only feel them. Hmm. Not a major issue, they're not painful and don't actually appear to be spots. Maybe they're slightly raised scarring? They seem to be in the areas where the hyperpigmentation also lives.


Currently clear of acne with the occasional hormonal breakout. Check out my routines and progress updates here:
http://www.acne.org/...g-and-duac-gel/

Treat yourself as you treat others.


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Great progress. Nice smile too! biggrin.png

Not too sure what to make of the bumps on your skin which you mentioned. The only thing I can think of is Keratosis Pilaris. I get it on my elbows and knees and that's pretty much how you described. Harmless. I think that's to do with calcium, like it just clumps together or something. May well find that it disperses just as quickly as you've started to notice it.

Reading through logs and posts in general during the time I've been here, it's interesting to me to see the number of women who report issues with their skin and also have PCOS. Up until a few years ago I hadn't heard of it, then I met a girl who has it. It seemed to be a really big issue for her and I think whatever extreme symptoms she'd experienced in the past had also been an issue for her ex-boyfriend because she seemed pretty wary of opening up to a new guy about it. I figured I might be able to make that easier for her if I understood more and showed her I was there for support, so I started reading and learning what it was all about. We didn't even get together in the end, such is life, but I guess I learned something new. What strikes me now is that despite the severity of her case, her skin was absolutely flawless. That didn't really help me out because my skin was crap at the time, but that's another story...

Just gets me wondering if perhaps there's a degree of comfort for people if they know that acne is a symptom of the condition and that's something they can attribute it to. Otherwise, you're left trying to figure out what the heck is causing it for no obvious reason and that can be a lengthy process of trial and error.

Anyway, with any luck you'll be able to even out your skin tone over time and also balance out any oiliness. In both cases, I think my best course of treatment has been time and patience. Anything I used on pigmentation or marks seemed to break me out, and really focusing on reducing the oiliness all the time resulted in me drying my skin out and creating another problem. Seems that sometimes, when it comes to allowing our skin to find its natural balance, less is more.

smile.png


Thoughts become words
Words become actions
Actions become habits
Habits become character
Character becomes destiny
It is time to change my destiny

You look like a guy I banged once.


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Thankyou :)

That sounds possible, it's nice to know that it could maybe be something less to worry about. I'll see if it goes away on it's own and try not to poke at it too much.

I'd not thought of it before, but I suppose you're right in that it's nice to understand what's causing the acne (or at least what's likely to be causing it). It was very sweet of you to take the time and effort to look it all up and show such an interest in her. It's quite a difficult condition for many reasons eusa_boohoo.gif but I really disliked the effect it what having on my skin inpaticular. I've found through talking to others with it that the symptoms can vary vastly between different people and that the severity of the actual problem does not always indicate severity of the symptoms. For instance, I myself have never had problems with insulin levels and weight gain, but get some of the other symptoms quite strongly. It's nice to know that there's something I can be doing about the acne though, because trying to deal with the other symptoms can be summarized in this one smiley: eusa_wall.gif

Thanks for the advice. I've found that time does seem to be the biggest factor affecting the hyperpigmentation. It's getting better steadily though.

I had the mildest and briefest spot in the world today. It sat on my nose for a morning then seemed to decided that it didn't want to exist anymore. I now can't find it on my face. Madness! biggrin.png

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Currently clear of acne with the occasional hormonal breakout. Check out my routines and progress updates here:
http://www.acne.org/...g-and-duac-gel/

Treat yourself as you treat others.


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So, not much to report today except that my mum stroked my face and went 'so soft!' - so my skin texture has definitley improved! smile.png Despite incredible stress (end of the year coursework and boyfriend's gorgeous model friend anybody?) I'm still clear except for that one tiny spot on the bridge of my nose (never got 'em there before!). I forgot my lemon juice again last night and found to my surprise that my hyperpigmentation seems to be better this morning.


Currently clear of acne with the occasional hormonal breakout. Check out my routines and progress updates here:
http://www.acne.org/...g-and-duac-gel/

Treat yourself as you treat others.


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Still no spots, and that's after two days of full face make-up sealed in with sealent spray! (I know, bad Spotthedifference, bad!). My hyperpigmentation is fading very well with just time, I've cut out the lemon juice now. My skin is looking so much better these days! I would definitley recommend giving this regimen a try. It's the best thing that I've ever done for my skin.


Currently clear of acne with the occasional hormonal breakout. Check out my routines and progress updates here:
http://www.acne.org/...g-and-duac-gel/

Treat yourself as you treat others.


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Wow, really good regime. I am looking into ways of clearing up my relatively mild acne with other products rather than medication. I have never heard of Nubian Heritage African black soap, might have to give that a try. Do Holland and Barrett or somewhere like that sell it?

Thanks :)

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Thankyou! I'm still using the regimen daily. I had a mild break out a few days ago from wearing heavy makeup for most of the day and sweating a fair bit, but it's already cleared up. Not only is this keeping spots away (when I don't throw makeup at my skin) but it also seems to clear them up rather quickly.

I don't know is the honest answer, I don't think I saw any in there when I went in for some supplements. I get most of my supplies from the wonderful world of Ebay.

This regimen has worked wonderfully well for me. My skin is finally at the point where I don't feel like I have to hide it with foundation any more. I can once again leave the house with nothing on my face and not feel embarassed or worried about comments. Thankyou for the support guys!


Currently clear of acne with the occasional hormonal breakout. Check out my routines and progress updates here:
http://www.acne.org/...g-and-duac-gel/

Treat yourself as you treat others.


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Alright, so it's been a fair while, and sadly this regimen worked brilliantly for a bit then promptly began to cause very dry and sensitive skin. That in itself didn't make me give up on it - I kept with it until it stopped working and I began to break out again.

So I've changed up what I'm doing with my skin. This time I'm trying to go more natural with the ultimate goal being to have less things (especially synthetic chemicals) on my face both day and night, thus giving my skin more time to heal naturally and be closer to it's natural state.

It's been a lot better recently because I started some natural methods about a month ago however a few days ago I did a very deep exfoliation to pop some old and deep under the skin bumps which has made my face red with a lot of scabs.

And here's what I've been doing for my skin for a few days and what I'm going to be doing from now on:

When I wake up:

I pop my spots with a comedone extractor.

I wash my face with plain cold water and a towel.

I dab some Bio Oil on the red patch on my chin.

I use ROC's factor 30/50 non pore clogging sunscreen for the face.

I drink a cup of pure green tea with an added spoon of pure honey on an empty stomach before breakfast.

I take the multi vitamins from the old regimen; they've not changed any.

During the day:

I sometimes wait until the green tea bag has cooled down a bit then wipe it across my face, leave it on for 10-30 minutes then rinse with cold water.

I drink another 1-3 cups of green tea throughout the day.

I drink a glass of water for every cup of tea, then more on top of that, as caffeine can dehydrate you.

I sometimes mix up two table spoons of baking soda and one tablespoon of pure honey into a paste and apply it to my whole face, I leave the mixture on for 30 minutes then rinse off with cold water and a towel. I do this when my skin is feeling dull, tired or oily, but never more than 3 times a week.

Before bed:

I dab a witch stick over my spots.

I dab some Bio Oil on the red patch on my chin.

I rub a cooled down green tea bag over my face before bed and leave it on until the next morning.

On a Saturday I:

Use a microdermabrasion cloth to exfoliate my face.

Then I use a Montagne Jeunesse 'break out' clay mask.


Currently clear of acne with the occasional hormonal breakout. Check out my routines and progress updates here:
http://www.acne.org/...g-and-duac-gel/

Treat yourself as you treat others.


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Ok, so my hormones brought in painful to the touch spots near my eyebrows and on my nose yesterday. Yaaaayyy! On the plus side, my cheeks are healing up pretty well. I did realize that the green tea applied topically was breaking me out though. How did I notice this? Well, because I got spots on my jaw and neck, which *never happens*. Ever. So I knocked that on the head, which is a shame because it was really making my skin quite soft. Internal consumption is doing me the power of good though - because, for the first time in a few years, I have no cysts on my ovaries. Nadda. None. And my monthly doom has been much easier and less stressful on the old body than usual, even if it's still giving my skin a kicking.

I've realized that my face is actually really dry at the moment, so I guess it's probably pumping out more oil to make up for it, but the oil is never actually reaching the surface, it's just clogging up all of my pores. Great idea nature! Cloggy pores have been a massive issue for me at the moment. Whilst I was researching some natural moisturisers to try to put some non spot causing moisture back into my skin - I eventually settled on 100% raw, unrefined, organic shea butter, I'm going to work out how to fit that into my routine once it arrives and I've had a play with the stuff - I came across a lot of people mentioning using black soap in conjunction with it.

That's when I went and digged out my Nubian Heritage African black soap. Why did I stop using it? Well, I guess when my old routine stopped working I just shoved all of it off to one side - in for a penny, in for a pound, right? But I figure that 1) it always (without fail) left my skin almost *too* clean and 2) It actually does fit underneath the all natural category. So I washed my face with it last night, dabbed on my beloved Witch Stick (we've been together for six years now on and off) and then did absolutley nothing else to my skin for the night.

I woke up with very clean feeling skin with tighter pores, reduced spots and less inflamation and weeping spot goo (I know, I know). My skin was feeling on the drier side though, and in my panic about too much never surfacing oil I ended up slapping on some of the Simple light moisturiser. I figure it'll do for now until the Shea butter arrives, even if I do look like Edward Cullen in the mean time (was glitter REALLY a necessary ingrediant? Oi).

On the brighter side of things I know how to use a foundation brush now, so once I'm back to wearing the makeup again (I'm giving my skin time to breathe right now) I'll be able to hide the redness better. Huzzah!

Gotta love being snow white pale. Really accentuates those lovely red bits.


Currently clear of acne with the occasional hormonal breakout. Check out my routines and progress updates here:
http://www.acne.org/...g-and-duac-gel/

Treat yourself as you treat others.


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The shea butter came today! I have to say, I adore this stuff. I really hope it doesn't break me out.

It came in a 100g tub, which is a decent size considering you don't need to use very much at all on your face.

First impressions -

It's in just about pliable chunks of ivory off-white butter. The smell is very strongly nutty, but it's a pleasent and fresh kind of smell. It reminds me very prominently of taking a walk around a protected forest. The consistancy is thick which is ideal for me as I don't like thinner feeling products, I like something that I can really mold and mess about with.

I washed my hands thoroughly and then got a very small corner of a chunk and tried to rub it inbetween my hands. This didn't seem to do anything, so I started rubbing the chunk over my face instead. It dissolved gradually and didn't feel overly greasy as it went on - it felt very slick, but not in the way where you feel like your skin is getting congested. I was able to rub the shea over my eyelids and lips without any irritation despite my eyes still being very sensitive after a pretty bad alergic reaction that affected them a week ago.

The shea butter currently seems to be sitting on top of my skin. My face looks very shiney, but this is something that the Simple moisturiser did as well. My skin doesn't feel nearly as dry or tight as before I applied it, although I think I'll have to wait for it to absorb properly before I reap the real benefits.

Hopefully the combined black soap and shea butter will help to clear out the bad stuff that's congesting my skin and put some good moisture back in there.


Currently clear of acne with the occasional hormonal breakout. Check out my routines and progress updates here:
http://www.acne.org/...g-and-duac-gel/

Treat yourself as you treat others.


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Ugh... well, my face is a right old mess today. It's a continuation of my current break out, not a new one. Still going ahead with the natural regimen.


Currently clear of acne with the occasional hormonal breakout. Check out my routines and progress updates here:
http://www.acne.org/...g-and-duac-gel/

Treat yourself as you treat others.


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My pores have been bleeding over the course of the last 2 days. I think it might be a result of the baking soda and honey mask, so I'll be discontinuing the use of the baking soda. I may still use honey from time to time depending on how I feel.

I have a few little tiny whiteheads - the kind that come to a head by the time you've noticed that they're there - on my cheeks. I popped them and they became inflamed, red and noticeable. I'm starting to think that maybe that's why the bacteria spreads underneath my skin and I get so many spots in that area, so for the next few days I'm going to try not to pop my barely noticeable ones.

I've been trying to drink 8 glasses of water a day because I'm dehydrated (in general, not just my skin). I've been keeping up with the green tea and also eating 50g of hazlenuts a day, an apple and a large portion of mized vegetables. I'm not cutting out my usual little treats and meal preferences but it's a heck of a lot more healthy than I usually attempt to be.

So here's my regimen now:

When I wake up:

Wash face with Nubian Heritage's african black soap. Apply soap to a clean towel with warm water and rub the soap into the skin. Leave for a minute. Rinse off with cold water and pat the skin dry.

Rub 100% pure unrefined shea butter into the skin on my face using clean hands, including my eyelids and lips. If I'm staying at home for a while I just leave it as it is, if I'm going out I dab off the excess with a paper towel and use face powder to dim the glow a bit.

Apply ROC factor 50/30 suncream if I'll be going in the sun.

Drink a cup of green tea on an empty stomach then take my multivitamins.

Throughout the day:

Drink another 1-3 cups of green tea.

Eat an apple.

Eat a portion of mixed vegetables.

Eat 50g of hazlenuts.

Drink 8 glasses of water.

Before bed:

Wipe off any makeup with Asda's deep cleansing wipes.

Wash face with Nubian Heritage's african black soap. Apply soap to a clean towel with warm water and rub the soap into the skin. Leave for a minute. Rinse off with cold water and pat the skin dry.

Rub 100% pure unrefined shea butter into the skin on my face using clean hands, including my eyelids and lips. Sleep in it.


Currently clear of acne with the occasional hormonal breakout. Check out my routines and progress updates here:
http://www.acne.org/...g-and-duac-gel/

Treat yourself as you treat others.


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My pores have been bleeding over the course of the last 2 days. I think it might be a result of the baking soda and honey mask, so I'll be discontinuing the use of the baking soda. I may still use honey from time to time depending on how I feel.

I have a few little tiny whiteheads - the kind that come to a head by the time you've noticed that they're there - on my cheeks. I popped them and they became inflamed, red and noticeable. I'm starting to think that maybe that's why the bacteria spreads underneath my skin and I get so many spots in that area, so for the next few days I'm going to try not to pop my barely noticeable ones.

I've been trying to drink 8 glasses of water a day because I'm dehydrated (in general, not just my skin). I've been keeping up with the green tea and also eating 50g of hazlenuts a day, an apple and a large portion of mized vegetables. I'm not cutting out my usual little treats and meal preferences but it's a heck of a lot more healthy than I usually attempt to be.

So here's my regimen now:

When I wake up:

Wash face with Nubian Heritage's african black soap. Apply soap to a clean towel with warm water and rub the soap into the skin. Leave for a minute. Rinse off with cold water and pat the skin dry.

Rub 100% pure unrefined shea butter into the skin on my face using clean hands, including my eyelids and lips. If I'm staying at home for a while I just leave it as it is, if I'm going out I dab off the excess with a paper towel and use face powder to dim the glow a bit.

Apply ROC factor 50/30 suncream if I'll be going in the sun.

Drink a cup of green tea on an empty stomach then take my multivitamins.

Throughout the day:

Drink another 1-3 cups of green tea.

Eat an apple.

Eat a portion of mixed vegetables.

Eat 50g of hazlenuts.

Drink 8 glasses of water.

Before bed:

Wipe off any makeup with Asda's deep cleansing wipes.

Wash face with Nubian Heritage's african black soap. Apply soap to a clean towel with warm water and rub the soap into the skin. Leave for a minute. Rinse off with cold water and pat the skin dry.

Rub 100% pure unrefined shea butter into the skin on my face using clean hands, including my eyelids and lips. Sleep in it.

I love the fact that you smile in your pictures despite having acne. One of the moderators mentioned the same thing to me and it is a brilliant idea. Why should acne stop us from feeling human. You're very pretty by the way and have a lovely complexion (i can definitely tell). One unsolicited suggestion though is not to pop. I know how tempting it can be but its best to let it be. That way when your face finally clears up you won't have such a hard time with scars and pih.

Also, get one regimen and stick to it instead of jumping from one regimen to the next (i did that a lot this summer and my skin is paying for it right now).

Good Luck and keep us posted!


It's a rocky road but like everything else in life, there is always a beginning and an end. Here's to finding my end.

God is good to me..........more than I deserve.

James 1:2-4

Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.


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Thankyou smile.png You're very right, there's no reason not to smile. Acne can be a bit of an emotional struggle, but when it comes down to it, I have a lot to be thankful for. Plus smiles can be infectous sometimes, so I hope that a bit of a grin can help pick up people that are maybe feeling a little down.

The no popping is definitley a great suggestion thanks, and one I've begun to consider myself. The overall appearance does tend to look better without the inflamation that extraction causes as well. It's also great advice about the persistance with regimens - I'd have loved to carry on with my old one, but it really did feel a bit much and start turning up less and less results. I've had to cut out green tea applied topically from this regimen because it broke me out in places which I've never had problems with before, and the baking soda caused tiny dots of blood all over my face where my pores are, but I do think I'll be going ahead with the rest of it. I decided to incorporate the diet for my health as opposed to the acne - even when I used to have no acne I still had a diet lacking in greens and water, and it's not been doing my immune system any favours.


Currently clear of acne with the occasional hormonal breakout. Check out my routines and progress updates here:
http://www.acne.org/...g-and-duac-gel/

Treat yourself as you treat others.


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My face isn't sore any more. It feels better to the touch, not sure it's looking any better though.


Currently clear of acne with the occasional hormonal breakout. Check out my routines and progress updates here:
http://www.acne.org/...g-and-duac-gel/

Treat yourself as you treat others.


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I've got a few tiny little white heads on my cheeks and hair line since I've not been picking at my skin. Turns out most of my acne is the non inflamed kind when left to it's own devices, which doesn't look quite as bad as the big red lumps I'd inflict on it from broken skin.

I've put some lemon juice on my hyperpigmentation today. It seems to have gone down a little bit.


Currently clear of acne with the occasional hormonal breakout. Check out my routines and progress updates here:
http://www.acne.org/...g-and-duac-gel/

Treat yourself as you treat others.


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Ok, so I've realized a few things since my last update. I went about a week or so without doing anything to my skin to see what it's like in it's natural state.

Here are some things which make the acne worse:

Shea butter. It's a wonderful substance that smells like forests and makes your skin glow, but it's just too heavy for my face, and it gave me lots of clogged pores. It's a fantastic lip balm and great for sore cracked heals though.

Coconut oil. It makes my hair glisten, gets rid of my mum's keratosis pilaris on the back of her arms, my dog loves to eat the stuff, it's completley natural (like the shea butter), a great lipbalm, grew back my eyebrows when they got over waxed and plucked, gave me very long strong eyelashes, it's a fantastic body moisturizer and basically useful for more things than I can mention. But it clogs up my pores something terrible when left on for longer than a few minutes. It does help active spots, but it spreads really easily, so sleeping in it isn't a good idea for me.

Topical green tea. It soothes the skin well, but it forms like a film over the skin which doesn't let my pores breathe if I try to leave it on for longer than half an hour.

Topical lemon juice. The same problem as the green tea. This is easily remedied by only leaving it on for a short while and washing it off of course.

Holika and Holika Petite BB clearing cream. As much as this is fantastic coverage, natural looking makeup, it really does sink right into your face - and the pores on my cheeks don't like it. At. All.

Hormones. I really can be doing the same thing with my skin and it'll be amazing or horrible depending on what time of the month it is.

Dry skin. My skin has a few moments of getting really oily just lately, something which has never happened before. I think the oil is just making it's way to the surface now whereas it was getting stuck in the pores before.

Picking. It spreads the bacteria, makes my face sore and makes everything look ten times worse. I just can't stand having visable white heads!

Artificial chemicals. I didn't realize how red they made my skin until I stopped using them. It's a lot less sensitive now that I've stopped.

Over loading on treatments. I never gave my poor skin a rest before.

Hair products. If I let my hair touch my face when it's dripping with product then it's break out time. I'm still using the products, but keeping them off my face.

Wearing makeup during physical activities. Yeah, this one's a no brainer I guess.

Here are some things that have helped make it better:

Drinking green tea. Pure, unrefined, just on it's own green tea. Man is it gorgeous and good for you. I can't even tell you how many things this has helped with, including acne inflamation.

Going long periods of time without makeup. Yes, this one definitley sucks, but it's helped.

Being outside. A couple of minutes sun exposure has helped, but I'm not risking being outside too long without some SPF. I'm pale as anything and I burn like a lobster. Skin cancer - no thankyou.

Fruit and vegetables. I used to hate them, but now I get sulky if I've not had any in a while. Helping out your over all health can never be a bad thing.

Drinking lots of water. I drink A LOT during the day, especially an hour or so before bed. It helps a lot with skin hydration.

Keeping my hands clean. I do this anyway, but I've been making an effort to touch my face only with clean hands. It doesn't make a *huge* difference to be honest, but it doesn't hurt either.

Exfoliating often. I was kind of inconsistent with my exfoliating before - exfoliating infrequently and roughly. If I use sugar to exfoliate every three days or so with moderate pressure I get the best results.

Zinc. Oh, what a wonderful mineral. It's increased my skin healing times by about half, and I'm adjusting to it rapidly.

Honey, cinnamon and lemon juice masks. I use a combination of these different things depending on what I'm experiencing. All three things bring down inflammation after a picking episode.

Calcium Bentonite clay and apple cider vinegar masks. They really dry out actives and reduce clogs.

Sleeping with nothing on my face. As my mum says, 'your skin was made to heal itself'. I use over night treatments sparingly now, and let night time be my skin's chance to breathe.

Frequent warm then cold showers. Showers actually reduce the redness of my skin somewhat, not to mention significantly reducing the clogged pores on my back and chest. I did of course take showers before, but I need one pretty much every day at the moment, whereas in the past it's been every couple or three days.

Regular exercise. I go to the gym six times a week now for my health, but it seems to help with acne too, though I rarely build up a sweat (I work hard, but I've never sweated much).

A positive outlook. If I'm thinking less about my skin it seems to get a bit better. This may just be a placebo effect but hey, I'll take what I can get.

Things that haven't made a difference either way.

Dairy. I can drink milk and eat cheese all day or never, it doesn't change anything. Topical milk has helped with skin softness though.

Sugar. I ate So. Much. Sugar. not long ago at a party. My skin was no different the next day. I don't typically eat a lot of sugar anyway though.

Evening Primrose oil, agnus castus, Vitamin B complex, DIM plus, Vitamin C, Multi vitamin, Omega 3 fish oil. I take all of these for different reasons to my acne: they help with hormone regulation and immunity boosting, but they don't do much for my acne.


Currently clear of acne with the occasional hormonal breakout. Check out my routines and progress updates here:
http://www.acne.org/...g-and-duac-gel/

Treat yourself as you treat others.


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My current regimen

Yes, another one. I'll settle down eventually, promise.

AM

Drink one/two cups of green tea.

Drink several cups of water (I don't count, I just drink as much as I can without adverse side effects).

Take Vitamin B complex, agnus castus, Evening Primrose Oil, Multi vitamin, Vitamin C, DIM plus, Omega 3 Fish Oil.

Splash face with warm/hot water. Lather up Peppermint soap bar (from 'New Dawn' shop on Ebay) on wet hands and rub all over face. Leave on for two minutes. Splash face with warm'hot water to remove the soap then splash face with cold water to close up the pores. Pat skin gently dry with a clean towel.

Apply a very very small amount of Bio Oil if the skin is feeling too dry.

PM

Spend an hour at the gym.

Have a shower. Exfoliate everywhere on the body to prevent clogged pores. Shave. Exfoliate again to ensure hairs grow back properly and don't get ingrown. Let warm water drum over acne affected areas. Rinse shaven areas with cold water to reduce inflamation from shaving.

Take zinc supplement during tea time.

Drink another cup of green tea.

Drink more water.

Splash face with warm/hot water. Lather up Peppermint soap bar (from 'New Dawn' shop on Ebay) on wet hands and rub all over face. Leave on for two minutes. Splash face with warm'hot water to remove the soap then splash face with cold water to close up the pores. Pat skin gently dry with a clean towel.

On Occasion

Twice a week - mix up calcium bentonite clay and apple cider vinegar using plastic utensils. Apply to face, leave on for an hour/an hour and a half/until dry. Take off with wet cotton wool balls. Apply a tiny amount of Bio Oil as a moisturizer. I do this in the PM after washing so that the minerals in the mask stay on my skin.

Every three days - Wet face with cold water. Dab wet finger tips into white sugar. Rub finger tips over the face with moderate pressure in circular motions to exfoliate. Wash off with cold water. Pat skin dry with clean towel. I do this in the PM so that my skin isn't then vunerable during the day.

Whenever I've picked at my skin - Mix together honey and cinnamon. Apply to affected areas. Leave on as long as possible (usually about an hour) then rinse off and pat skin dry with a clean towel. I do this either in the AM or PM.

When my face is dry - Use a pure honey mask. Leave on for as long as I feel like it. Rinse off. Pat skin dry with a clean towel.

When I get red marks - Apply neat lemon juice to the affected areas. Apply cinnamon powder over the top whilst still wet. Allow to sit for half an hour to a minute. I do this in the PM as lemon juice increases sun sensitivity.

When I have large, inflamed, open wound type lesions - Apply salt water. Leave on for 15 minutes then rinse. Pat skin dry with a towel. This one stings like a mother, but it really does sort out those weeping, horrible sore spots.


Currently clear of acne with the occasional hormonal breakout. Check out my routines and progress updates here:
http://www.acne.org/...g-and-duac-gel/

Treat yourself as you treat others.


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My skin is looking a lot better today. I think it's mostly because of my hormones (the moment mother nature came knocking my spots started shrinking, and have been doing so ever since) but my regimen seems to be helping too.

Right now I'm mostly dealing with dry flaking skin and red patches on the areas where spots have just healed, a few non angry actives (mostly on my left side) and a few left over clogged pores on both cheeks. There's also a random bright red active right in the middle of my forehead where I never usually get them, but next to my eyebrows is clear, as is my jaw, chin, inbetween my eyebrows, my nose, around my mouth and the rest of my forehead.

Honey and cinnamon is so lovely for taking the pain from the spots away and the soap is absolutley amazing. My skin doesn't feel stripped or oily after washing - just clean, and the peppermint has a lovely cooling effect on my skin whilst it's on. I think the PH and sebum balancing thing may be true as I've not had an oily episode since I started using it and my skin feels softer and firmer but more pliable, like I can push clogged pores right out whereas they were lodged in there before.

I reserve judegement on the zinc until I've had the entire 60 capsules (over a 60 day period). Something is speeding my skin healing times up though, and I think it may be that.

I've had no adverse reactions from coming off the chemicals so far.


Currently clear of acne with the occasional hormonal breakout. Check out my routines and progress updates here:
http://www.acne.org/...g-and-duac-gel/

Treat yourself as you treat others.


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