I've been fighting acne for 4 years now. I started on Proactiv like everybody else, and it worked- for 9 months. Then my acne got progressively worse and worse. My derm put me on differin (did nothing), benzoil peroxide products (nada), and tazorac. I stuck with taz for about a year. It didn't seem to help, but didn't seem to hurt it either. I used to use benzaclin to spot treat, and it worked when I was younger, before any of this major breakout stuff happened.
I read about holistic treatments, and went to strictly a cleanser (Clinique rinse off foaming cleanser- it didn't seem to break me out, but i could never tell), and coconut oil. twice a day. Things seemed to improve, my skin stopped drying out, but the acne stayed.
In the past 5 weeks or so, I've been doing the following (3x a week):
-apply coconut oil in a paste, let it sit for ~10 min
-rinse off, apply Bragg's organic ACV
-re-wet face, apply coconut oil.
In the morning, I just use the cleanser and coconut oil, as the rest seems harsh for 2x a day. Once a week, I do a mask with aveda's outer peace mask.
Suggestions? I'm getting really frustrated at this point, and my acne is the ONE thing making my self esteem lower than it should be. Like I hate shaving b/c i know i'm going to break out again and I can see all my spots. I just want it to go away finally and i feel like i'm the only upperclassman in college still with acne. My pic is attached, tell me how bad/good/easily better it can be. I need support
Since you started the new regimen 5 weeks ago, have you seen any particular improvements or setbacks?
In your picture it looks like you break out mainly around your mouth. Is that right? I can't help but wonder if the toothpaste you are using could be exacerbating that area. It was just a thought and easy to switch to see if it makes a difference. I have heard some reports of Fluoride aggravating acne.
Some background...I have a 15 year old son who has had acne for 3-4 years and his is worse on his forehead, but he also gets it on his jawline and a little on his cheeks. A lot of things haven't worked for him but it is acceptable at this point. He started Retin-A a few weeks back to see if he could get some more improvement and to help some pitting on his cheeks. Early on he started out with antibiotic creams and pills from the dermatologist and when that didn't work and actually made things worse, I started looking for more natural approaches. Some helped, some didn't. He got very clear with a 10% sulfur ointment over the past summer. He also started taking Rainbow Light Active Teen supplements and Vitamin D drops. Then school rolled around and he had a setback and the sulfur stopped working. He is currently fairly stable (there's always acne, but a little doesn't seem to bother him especially since there are no longer any huge pimples like before) washing with water and a washcloth in the shower each morning, using Dickinson's Witch Hazel and Aloe pads at night and applying a 3% 3.0 pH salicylic acid toner after that. He skips this 2-3 nights a week and only applies the Retin-A cream .025%. He has oily skin and refuses to use a cleanser other than water and those pads. I used to push acne cleansers on him and all he saw was a worsening effect so I quit bugging him about it and he seems to do better without them. His skin is oily, and nothing ever dries his skin out so he never uses oils or moisturizers. That may change with the Retin-A, but not so far. So he ended up using a variety of natural and chemical approaches, but definitely no more antibiotics.
So this is the path he is currently taking towards getting clear, and others have their ways. It seems to be a lot of trial and error based on lifestyle, skin type, genetics, etc. We have also learned that once something starts working not to get our hopes up that it will continue to work.
Along the way he did try ACV but didn't really see results, although he may not have stuck with it long enough, mostly because of the smell. Others on this board have reported good results so it may be worthwhile to continue. It seems that most people start with a low concentration and then move up to stronger strengths and even spot treat with 100%. We've never tried coconut oil probably because his skin is oily and never dry.
Also, if you can stand the smell of ACV, give yogurt a try as a cleanser and a mask. It has a pH of 5.5 and is a lactic acid AHA. Everyone who has tried it that I know loves it, and when it dries on your skin it doesn't smell. You can also leave it on all night. All you need is 1/2 a teaspoon. Maybe add a little fruit juice or honey to mask the smell.
Hope that helps. With a little trial and error you should be able to find a natural solution to clear your skin, especially with your knowledge of chemistry!
Edited by gingergirl22, 09 November 2012 - 01:35 PM.