So, I've been reading Acne.org reviews and some of the board for a very long time, and now I'm going to start posting so I can keep better track of what's working and what isn't for my skin.
I was on Accutane when I was 19, for mild-moderate, but STUBBORN acne. My skin was gorgeous for years, and then I started taking HBC. My skin continued to be fine, but when I got my IUD and stopped the HBC at 25, my skin went insane. It was worse than it had ever been. I had three cystic pimples on my cheek that ruptured under the skin into one nasty infection that scarred, along with constantly getting painful pimples around my mouth and on my chin. My derm (different than my original dermatologist, because I had moved to Arizona) put me on Finacea and Differin, which calmed my skin down a bit, but I continued to break out. Upon moving back to Indiana, I started using Retin-A, and I broke out horribly for about two months, and then cleared pretty well, but my skin was irritated and dry the entire time. I decided to stop using the Retin-A, b/c my skin was pretty well under control, and try to be more gentle with it. My skin was calm for a while (using Pond's to wash my face, ACV & water toner), but I wanted to switch to BHA, b/c my husband didn't like the smell of the ACV. I purged horribly from the BHA (Paula's Choice), and then tried mixing in tea tree oil with the ACV, epsom salt poultices, etc. I now have three large painful pimples on my chin, and two on my cheek, one of which is healing very slowly.
I'm hoping that by simplifying my regimen, I can figure out what is actually working and what just aggravates my skin. I'm hoping not to have to start using Retin-A again, b/c my skin was so irritated. BP makes my skin swell and turn red, and I really, really don't want to take hormones. I'm turning 30 in June, and I really thought pimples would be over by now!