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Desperately In Need Of Some Advice! (Picture)


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#1 lalalalola

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 11:15 PM

I am currently nineteen years old, and before the beginning of my freshmen year last fall, I had absolutely perfect, clear skin. Not a single pimple in sight, literally. I have no idea what caused it to begin with, but it's been a hassle ever since. I try not to complain because I know it could be worse, but I'm tired of feeling so terribly insecure 24/7. I never want to show my face, and although I wear make-up, it's hard to cover the marks and pimples without having it cake up. It was hard enough for me to post a picture with a clean face, but I know it might help. I've tried plenty of products and routines, from simple drugstore items to all-natural "100% guarantee" product lines. Some products, like the exposed skin care line, worked for about three weeks until my skin became used to it, and others made my skin much, much worse. I refuse to even try Proactiv since I have very sensitive skin, and I try to stay away from harsh chemicals like sulfates. Not even benzoyl peroxide has given me improvements. I have generally oily skin (I live in FL so the humidity makes it a lot worse), but if I skip moisturizing a few mornings or nights, it can get pretty flaky and dry. My problem seems to be only whiteheads. I don't get blackheads, or swollen nodules. Just whiteheads until they come up to the surface, but that's if they do. I feel as though all the whiteheads under my forehead have been there for months and won't come out! You can't entirely tell from the picture, but my forehead is literally covered in those annoying bumps, and make-up is pretty useless when it comes to that. Usually every whitehead that comes up and dries off leaves it's mark behind also. My skin is thinner than others so the dark marks do become a problem. As you can tell on my cheeks, as soon as I think one pimple is gone, another comes up right on top of it, causing a cluster of marks and bumps. I cleanse and moisturize morning and night with Burt's Bees acne solutions products, I use a clay mask once a week, and exfoliate once a week. I also steam my face once a week, and that's usually alongside the mask or exfoliation. I've done so much to unclog my pores with no results. I'm a fairly healthy eater; I eat only whole-wheat products, fruits, vegetables, meats, etc. and I drink at least four bottles of water a day. Being the natural freak that I am, I have also tried homemade remedies and masks (again with no results). I'm prescribed to Adderall, and I have wondered if maybe that could be a factor, but I don't see how it really could be. As I mentioned, I do wear make-up, but I am very cautious when it comes to my routine, making sure I use primer, spf, and such to protect my skin. I know it's not severe, but it has become a serious problem for me and I want it to end. I would like to know what's worked for you? If there's anything I should or shouldn't be doing, please let me know, I would appreciate any advice! Thanks! And sorry for making this so long!

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#2 Binga

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Posted 21 October 2012 - 12:25 AM

Go to a derm and get a topical. Cut down sugary foods and increase your zinc, vitamin A and E intake from juicing and foods if possible.

#3 gecko333

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Posted 21 October 2012 - 05:12 AM

I'd also recommend trying a Retinoid Cream, like Differin, Retin-A, or a combination cream like Epiduo, they do take a few months to work but they'd be the next step.
Your make-up might be making things worse. Try going easy on it, if you can use more light powders, like Bare Minerals, go easy on any liquid foundation, if you do use one try and get a really light one, Clinique do an Anti-Blemish one which is lighter than most which a lot of people recommend, and make sure you take it all off thoroughly with a good, gentle make up remover.

A tip I try and give everyone is try not to stress, that is without a doubt the thing which breaks me out the worst. Whether its by just taking an hour to yourself everyday, listening to some relaxing music before bed, going to the gym more, to trying to cut out any stress-causing things in your life, stress triggers hormones which trigger acne, fact.

Good Luck :)

#4 armadillo

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Posted 21 October 2012 - 07:24 AM

Sudden acne at this age is probably hormonal, and you would need tests to find out what is going on with your testosterone and androgen levels. Often, an estrogen-only contraception pill keeps acne under control in adults, if it's not a 'serious' hormonal imbalance.

If it's not hormonal, you have these options still: retinoids, topical and oral, antibiotics, topical or oral or a combination of those.

How long did you use benzoyl peroxide for and and at what percentage?

#5 lalalalola

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Posted 21 October 2012 - 10:30 AM

I used a 2.5% benzoyl peroxide gel for about three weeks with no changes whatsoever. It just made my skin flaky.

#6 armadillo

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 08:11 AM

3 weeks is too soon to give up on benzoyl peroxide. That's a point where the flaking and dryness is at its worst and that's when most people are either tempted to give up and some of them do give up altogether. For a lot of people it takes up to 2 months (!) to see any improvement from BP. Almost all acne treatments need to be given a 3 month period to see if they work. Unfortunately there are no real 'quick fixes' for acne.

You just have to be patient and put up with the side effects, unless they get unbearable or you get an allergic reaction.

I recommend you give Dan's regimen a try, and as with any treatment it's very important to be consistent and precise. Don't skip days and don't get lazy with it, otherwise it won't work. And that's my advice for any kind of acne treatment you recieve/use. Posted Image

However, I still think there's a strong possibility your acne is due to a hormonal imbalance/sensitivity and I recommend you see your doctor.

Edited by armadillo, 22 October 2012 - 08:12 AM.


#7 Buttsoup

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 03:38 PM

SNIP


About the topicals, you want to use a cleanserl that is pH neutral. You don't want to use a cleanser that is more acidic than your skin. Read Dan's guide to acne products for ingredients that you want to avoid. I'd give you the name of my cleanser if you could get it in the US, but I'm pretty sure it's locally made. As for moisturizing you want to use a a moisturizer which doesn't contain any oils (with a few exceptions like jojoba oil) and is easy to apply to your face (it shouldn't be like a paste). The moisturizer which works for me is from the line Avene and is called Hydrance optimale. I use the light variant.

Here's a link:
http://www.drugstore....yQf8lg4O65NvuA

Regarding the whole natural vs chemical discussion, a well-formulated chemical application can be just as good or better than a natural product. Some natural products are great, and some are very alkaline and just as drying as your drugstore Clearasil. So really, you just need to look at each product as its own drug and look at the ingredients of each own. There is no way to generalize and say natural products are better or chemical products are better. It is very dependent on the specific ingredients and the formulation. The one thing that SOME natural products have is simplicity. African black soap does not contain nearly as many ingredients as your typical bodywash. So you're less likely to mess things up, so to speak.

Optionally you can put on some benzoyl peroxide if you want to dry out your pimples quicker. Just be careful not too use too much, esspecially when your skin is not used to it. Make sure to treat each pimple individually. Something to also take into account is that BP actually speeds up the aging process.

I don't think that following these steps will have a tremendous impact on your skin however. Mainly because I believe your sudden acne break out to be hormonal. That doesn't mean that you can't do anything about it though. It just means that it's something internal. Diet for instance could be of more importance. Although your diet seems fine to be. You could try to eliminate gluten and diary if you want to be anal, as those can cause acne for some people (gluten gives me acne breakouts). I wouldn't bother with it yet. There's many other options you can choose before you go down that lane. A fellow acne.org poster found something which might very well work for you. You can read all about it here!

Lastly I would just like to point out that you have NO reason whatsoever to hide your face. You're a pretty girl, noone is paying attention to your acne.

Edited by Buttsoup, 22 October 2012 - 03:44 PM.


#8 howoriginal

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 07:50 PM

I don't really have much advice to give, being that I'm new here and to acne in general, but I just wanted to say that you're very beautiful! You have a nice skin color and the skin in between your acne is very clear. The bones in your face are structured quite well, too. :) I'm actually attracted to girls (and guys...) with acne because "perfect" people intimidate me. haha Oh, and I live in Florida as well, and the the humidity does not help!

#9 betterness24

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 08:03 PM

Yea just wanted to agree with ^^^ and that being you are beautiful! Acne or not- you're face is gorgeous.

You mentioned you eat whole wheat.. which is in fact an acne aggravator for a lot of people. Whole wheat is not the same as whole grains (quinoa, buckwheat, brown rices, wild rices, barley, etc.)

Try cutting the whole wheats and switch to whole grains and see if anything changes! Prob won't, but worth a shot!

#10 lightersUP

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 08:10 PM

You're very pretty! Sorry to hear about your breakout..

I know you've tried many products, but I just wanna recommend a couple that have done wonders for me personally. The first is BHA chemical peel (30% salicylic acid) which you do once a week. You can get this off amazon.com for about $20. The peel will unclog your pores over time.

The next product is Dickinson's Witch Hazel. This is a natural but effective toner that you can add into your current routine. Just use it after you wash your face. It will help your active acne since it disinfects. If bacteria on your face is the culprit behind your acne, then this will help wipe them out.

Good luck and I hope your skin clears!

#11 Itsbeenawhile

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 02:51 AM

A natural beauty, I got lost in your eyes!

On another note, fish oil really helps me. Its very anti-inflammatory.