this forum helped me a shitload almost 1.5 years ago when i started having a terrible outbreak around the jawline area, so i wanted to share my update and new (unfortunate) development. Kind of a long post, but I hope others can glean some information that can help them learn something new, or validate any hunches they may have thought of. At the end of the post are my conclusions if you want to skip the read.
I had some active acne due to a breakout from laser treating my old scars leftover from my teenas (i'm 25 now). to combat the breakout, i learned from this forum and introduced new things into my acne treatment, ranging from all sorts of topicals (AHA, BHA, BP, CP, LacSal, TCA, etc.) and vitamins. When i started taking vitamins i started to breakout like crazy on my jawline - only after a few bad months did i start doing more indepth research about the vitamins and linked it to one of the B vitamins. I think magnesium was not good for me either. I dropped those two and stuck with Vitamin A, C, E, zinc, and fish oil. I cleared up.
CLEAR SKIN (those were the days......)
About 5 months ago I was working in another country and i needed some lotion, so i went to the local 7-eleven. I bought what i thought was lotion, looked harmless enough. I applied it to the area between my lower lip and chin because it tends to get dry there. I have no idea what the hell i bought, but it essentially burned me. That area was red for about 3 weeks, and then the skin started to harden and peel off. Fortunately enough, the redness has gone away and the skin is soft there now, so there was no permanent damage.
Until then, I was actively shaving with a razor every 2-3 days. When my face was clean shaven, the area that was red from that damned 7-eleven product me absolutely look retarded, so i started to trim with an electric razor so i had some stubble (black hair) which made the area seem relatively less red. I was trimming until the redness subsided weeks later. After that, I hit the razor again and with a clean shave noticed a ton of acne bumps under my jawline where it meets the neck. Thrown off guard, I believed them to be caused by irritation from the blade, so I went back to trimming. This was the worst decision i have ever made.
I should have stuck with shaving with a blade, but i moved towards the trimming so the stubble would hide my newly discovered acne bumps. Slowly by surely over the next few months, I started to breakout along the jawline area where i maintained stubble (i dont have much facial hair on the cheeks). Becuase i kept breaking out, and i didnt want to be clean shaven as it would accentuate my acne, i maintained the stubble. It got pretty bad to the point where the acne started to leave pits on my jawline, an area that i NEVER had scarring (i have scarring mostly on temples and cheeks). So i started thinking that not Shaving was causing my acne. Based on internet research on other peoples experiences, it seems to go 40/40/20 (40% say shaving is a good exfoliation method which is great because dry skin can cause acne, which i am a firm believer in / 40% say shaving breaks them out / 20% say shaving has nothing to do with acne)
Recently, I bit the bullet and shaved with a razor again. Unfortunately I was horrified at seeing exactly what had been going on down there, and the damage the acne left behind. But I've razor shaved twice thus far and I am a believer that it is actually helping my skin. My jawline area used to always be flaky (most likely from the BHA), and i could never properly exfoliate that area because i was breaking out (usually i massage my skin with my fingers to rub off the dead skin, that works great for everywhere on the rest of my face which is clear). But after razor shaving and washing face, my jawline is noticeable less flaky thanks to the razor removing that gunk for me.
I think trimming with the electric razor fucked me over for two reasons. First, the trimmer blades could have been dull, which would be actually tearing and causing damage to my skin. I had been using that trimmer for over a year. Second, the trimmer was not sanitized as often as i should have. Imagine your trimmer running across active acne and carrying bacteria to other parts of the face. Sure, you can argue this happens with a razor - but I use Dan's facewash for shaving so at least the razor is always being cleaned with soap during every use. And razors are disposable so theres a lot of new blades every couple of shaves.
Halfway into the time that I was breaking out due to not razor shaving, I dropped Vitamin A and Fish Oil because i started to suspect those viatmins to be linked with my hair shedding. As with most internet research, theres always two sides to the argument but I felt that there was more articles in favor of Vitamin A and Fish Oil causing hair loss when taken in large doses. I was more worried about Vitamin A becuase the pills i bought were 50,000 IU per pill, which is someting like 4000% of your RDI. During the days I was hyped about all the vitamins curing acne, i could have been taking up to two pills a day, once in the morning and once at night. Having taken Vitamin A in such large doses, I believe i was approaching or already at vitamin A toxicity - one side-effect of which is hair loss.
I dropped vitamin A and Fish Oil in the beginning and noticed decrease in daily shedding after about 1-2 weeks. Wish i had stopped sooner because there was a period of months when i was shedding real bad. However, keep in mind that I dropped these vitamins while I was still breaking out. At that time, I had forgotten how good vitamin A can be since in high doses its similar to Retin A - but I didnt notice the possiblity that dropping Vitamin A could have been making my acne worse.....since my face had already gone to hell. But a week before I decided to start razor shaving again, I jumped back on Vitamin A, hoping to aid in my acne fight. I plan to reduce Vitamin A once my acne is fully under control because it is bad for my hair)
Clearly, some of you may say that since I started vitamin A and razor shaving around the same time, its not a controlled experiment because I cannot tell for certain what is helping the reduction of my active acne (finally). But keepin mind that in the first half of my break out i was still on Vitamin A, but not razor shaving - and i was breaking out bad. Therefore my conclusion is that most importantly, razor shaving is a godsend for my skin, and that also I believe Vitamin A still has great effects too.
CONCLUSION (short version of story)
- When I was on a lot of vitamins and razor shaving often, I was clear.
- When I maintained the vitamins and switched to a trimmer, I started to break out.
- I stopped taking vitamin A due to toxicity which i believe was causing hair loss, and continued to break out.
- After putting pieces of the puzzle together, I started vitamin A again (I needed every help possible to get the acne under control), and razor shaving
- My acne is finally starting to calm down - now my focus is to lighten hyperpigmentation and apply topicals that will help some of my leftover craters
I hope you will be able to find some takeaways from my story. Best of luck to everyone.
Vitamins/shaving/acneshaving acne scars vitamin a magnesium fish oil zinc tca aha alpha hydroxy acid
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