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#1 mystory

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 07:39 PM

Here's my story:

 

As a teenager I had great skin on my face, a little oily with the occasional pimple, but I never thought twice about my face.

My back had very light acne, and for that reason at the age of 17 I decided to get on the pill Diane 35.

I have been on and off the pill with 1 to 2 year breaks in between, for the past 9 years.

 

The first time I got off Diane 35, at 19 years old, my face stayed good, and the back pimples came back as they were before.

I stayed off the pill for about 6 months, and then went back on it because of the back acne, completely oblivious and careless about what this pill would do to my system.

 

I stayed on the pill for over a year, and then stopped for nearly two years. After 1 year of being off the pill, my face was still good, and my back was back to normal. 

 

And then, out of nowhere, I started breaking out on my face. The breakouts were bad enough that I had to wear concealer or foundation to work everyday, but not bad enough that I was terribly depressed over it. I still went about my life and never thought twice about why I had suddenly developped acne.

 

After about 2 years off the pill, I decided I needed to get back on the pill for a number of reasons.

To put things into perspective, I really didn't stop and think twice about the kind of long term damage this pill could be doing to my system.

I stayed on the pill for 2 years and everyday felt increasingly guity for swallowing it.

I had become a lot more health conscious, and felt like I was doing something wrong and against my values everyday.

 

So after 2 years, I stopped again. That was in December 2011.

Over the past 3 years I had started using facial cleansers morning and night. Prior to that, I didn't worry too much about my skin and washed with water whenever I showered, but often went to bed with some makeup left on my face.

 

So when I stopped taking the pill, I was convinced that I would straighten out my health, eat well, drink a lot of water, take vitamins, WASH MY FACE morning and night and that this prevent me from breaking out.

 

Well I was wrong, after 3 months of being off the pill, I started breaking out on my face like I had never broken out before.

And then, I tried EVERYTHING, I cut out ALL sugar, stopped drinking alcohol, tried a million supplements (Vitex, B5, Zinc, Spearmint tea, you name it...), tried the acne.org regimen, tried other topicals, tried tanning my face... and the list goes on.

 

All this time, I was careful to ALWAYS wash my face morning and night.

At first, I was washing my face with Effaclar, then when I tried the acne.org regimen, I switched to the acne.org cleanser.

And here's what I found: ever time I tried topicals, my acne would flare up, my skin would get super sensitive, red and irritated, and waiting it out did nothing.

As a matter of fact, my worst ever break-out happened a few weeks into the acne.org regimen, and I was very gentle with my skin when cleansing/moisturizing.

 

My acne got really bad in June of last year. I was seriously depressed and started isolating myself from the world.

It was especially difficult for a 27 year old girl who always had good skin before, to deal with this because it completely changed my identity. I now think that getting acne actually made me a better person, and I will get into this in a future post, but it was so hard to see the good in this horrible situation.

 

Anyway, fast foward to 2 days ago, I started reflecting on why I got acne so bad this time around after stopping, and not before? Up until now, I had blamed it on the pill changing my system and making me more prone to breakouts, but if that was the case, how come the acne on my back hadn't gotten worse?

Could it be I was systematically doing something to my face that was causing this?

I tried so hard to recall what products I was using on my face the first and second time I stopped the pill, and wasn't breaking out, but for the life of me could not remember.

And then, it occured to me, what if I wasn't using any products? What if I wasn't washing my face. Could it be?

 

After thinking about it, I realized that I did not use to wash my face, like ever! And I started breaking out when I started washing my face, which threw me in a viscious circle of breaking out, then having to cover breakouts with makeup, then having to wash my face to remove the makeup, which would cause more breakouts, etc...

 

I thought more about it, and realized that everytime I tried topicals, it made matters SO much worse.

My conclusion: I had extremely sensitive skin which did not stand any irritants and retaliated in breakouts. Topicals were the worst, but a daily face wash was drying and irritating as well, and causing a chronic issue.

 

If my assumption is right, by STOPPING all cleansers, I would effectively solve my problem. My skin would go back to its initial state.

It would become less greasy, less irritated and eventually I would be able to go out without makeup!

Could it be? Did I actually figure it out this time?

 

Time will tell, but I have nothing to lose.

 

This is actually a summary of what I've been through with my acne problems. There's SO much more to cover, ex: my greasy forehead, and the other million things I've tried. But this will have to do for now. And if this my cure, I will document it for you.

 

So this is my water only log, because I want and need your support, and because if this works, I will be the happiest girl on earth and I hope to help many many more people like me.

 

Here's my technique:

 

Every morning: Let water run over face in the shower, gently pat dry with a clean towel or paper towel.

Every night: Use the kitchen water spray to rinse face, don't touch or rub the face, and then pat dry with a clean towel of paper towel.

 

I'm still wearing my HG foundation, Almay Smartshade, which I cannot live without, and it doesn't make matters worse.

Of course, it would be better to go without makeup, but I have too many traces right now to even consider it.

The makeup doesn't come off completely with water, so we'll see if it becomes problematic...

 

So far I have been doing water only for 2 days. I got 1 new breakout today, which I suspect had already started before I started WO.

It's very small, and barely hurts, compared the to cystic ones I usually get.

 

My diet is also very minimalist, I've definitly noticed there's a correlation between what I eat and my breakouts, but this alone wasn't enough, so I won't get into my diet just yet.

Again, if this works for me I will document everything I'm doing that helps :)

 

More to follow in the coming days.

 

Praying for a miracle,

Mystory



#2 mystory

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 05:28 PM

Day 3 update:

 

Forehead which is usually smooth is now quite disgusting, bumpyish with a lot of dead skin and oily too.

Looking forward to be out of the "dead skin" build up phase.

No new pimples on face, just looks a little gross due to the makeup build-up.

I have 2 new pimples on neck, and that's because I've been picking at my neck.

 

That's all for today!

 

MS



#3 clark4488

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 08:06 PM

I'd like to offer some advice as I have quite a bit of experience in the water-only method. I first tried washing with just water years ago but ultimately gave up. Why? Because it made my face red, flaky, and had minimal effects on my acne. Sometime later in the similar vein of going chemical free, I tried the caveman regimen which, simply, is the approach of not washing your face altogether. This time my face looked much clearer but the dead skin build-up deterred me from sticking with it. I mention this because it would seem that going chemical-free was an overall failure for me.

 

Not too long ago however I felt compelled to do more research on how to successfully use only water since I was spending too much money on useless regimens. I had hit that wall where I wanted to just say screw it. Thankfully I found a post on this site that stressed the importance of using only cold water as opposed to warm or hot, and always letting your face air dry. In my previously mentioned attempt I used warm water and dried my face with a towel each time. Apparently warmer water is inflammatory and drying, and the water pressure in the shower can be irritating. This time around though, cold water has made all the difference. I can't urge you to start washing with cold water instead as soon as possible. I began doing it by splashing my face in the sink, but dead skin was starting to slowly build-up. I suggest using a wash cloth in accompaniment to gently scrub off the dead skin and then let your face air dry. I do it before I get in the shower and then try my best to not let the warmer shower water hit my face. I do this twice a day, morning and night. That's it.

 

I haven't had an initial breakout or purging of any kind, only clearer and clearer skin. Also, any zits I have gotten are extremely small and heal faster than they ever have in my entire life. I've always made things worse by picking the living hell out of my skin, but now I have nothing to pick, ha. I'm seriously so pumped to actually have things under control finally. Please update if you give this a shot and notice any positive results. I'd hate to see you waste your time and see no improvement or worsen things because of something as simple, but vital, as the water temperature. Good on you for ditching the chemicals.


Edited by clark4488, 20 March 2013 - 08:21 PM.


#4 lostinthefog87

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 01:49 AM

Hi,

 

I stumbled across your log and had to chime in.  I have dealt with cystic acne for 8 years trying everything but accutane and topical retinoids.

I recently decided to get off everything I was using topically (bp, clindamycin, moisturizer) and just use cleanser.   So far it's been the best decision I ever made.  2 weeks in and my skin looks so much better.  Do I still get acne?  Yes.  Is it as frequent and as inflammatory?  No.  Time will tell, but if I can devote 8 years of my life to topicals that only seemed to worsen my acne I can devote a year or two to cleanser only.  I actually would just like to use water, but going from sulfur, bp, antibiotics, etc to just a mild cleanser (Cerave) is a big jump.  Maybe in time I will take the plunge and just use water.

 

One benefit to this method:   much less time consuming and no flakes, no irritation!  It makes no sense that we put on cleanser to strip away oils, then slather on a topical cream that irritates our skin to no end, only to apply a moisturizer just to try and attempt to get back to the natural pH balance our skin should naturally have.  It never works, and the thing I like most about Cerave is the fact it was designed to protect and restore the skins natural protective barrier.  It's probably the last cleanser on this earth I will use again.

 

I really would like to hear the long term results of this.  We need to be as persistent with this as we were with harsh topicals!

 

One other note:  I find when I am eating nothing but junk, such as McDonalds, frozen food, dairy, potatoes, preservative laden food, I get the worst flare ups.  Diet and acne are very much linked.  Although i believe some cases that are severe or persistent cannot always be cured just by diet, they can dramatically reduce.

 

Please keep us updated.  I will be keeping a close eye on this log because it is very similar to what i'm doing.  My diet though is pretty different than yours:  i still smoke and drink beer, eat red meat quite a bit, etc. However I avoid dairy, white rice, limit pasta, and try to eat fresh foods without chemicals.  At least i'm making somewhat of an effort, right?


Edited by lostinthefog87, 21 March 2013 - 01:57 AM.


#5 mystory

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Posted 31 March 2013 - 06:13 AM

I'd like to offer some advice as I have quite a bit of experience in the water-only method. I first tried washing with just water years ago but ultimately gave up. Why? Because it made my face red, flaky, and had minimal effects on my acne. Sometime later in the similar vein of going chemical free, I tried the caveman regimen which, simply, is the approach of not washing your face altogether. This time my face looked much clearer but the dead skin build-up deterred me from sticking with it. I mention this because it would seem that going chemical-free was an overall failure for me.

 

Not too long ago however I felt compelled to do more research on how to successfully use only water since I was spending too much money on useless regimens. I had hit that wall where I wanted to just say screw it. Thankfully I found a post on this site that stressed the importance of using only cold water as opposed to warm or hot, and always letting your face air dry. In my previously mentioned attempt I used warm water and dried my face with a towel each time. Apparently warmer water is inflammatory and drying, and the water pressure in the shower can be irritating. This time around though, cold water has made all the difference. I can't urge you to start washing with cold water instead as soon as possible. I began doing it by splashing my face in the sink, but dead skin was starting to slowly build-up. I suggest using a wash cloth in accompaniment to gently scrub off the dead skin and then let your face air dry. I do it before I get in the shower and then try my best to not let the warmer shower water hit my face. I do this twice a day, morning and night. That's it.

 

I haven't had an initial breakout or purging of any kind, only clearer and clearer skin. Also, any zits I have gotten are extremely small and heal faster than they ever have in my entire life. I've always made things worse by picking the living hell out of my skin, but now I have nothing to pick, ha. I'm seriously so pumped to actually have things under control finally. Please update if you give this a shot and notice any positive results. I'd hate to see you waste your time and see no improvement or worsen things because of something as simple, but vital, as the water temperature. Good on you for ditching the chemicals.

 

 

Thank you so much for taking to time to tell me about your experience!

After a few days of doing water-only and feeling gross and dirty, I decided that logically this regimen would not work for me given that I was wearing makeup.

Sleeping with my makeup up is obviously a bad idea, for obvious reasons. However, I know I've damaged my acid mantle (or skin's natural barrier) with years of using drying cleansers day and night. So what to do about that? Obviously, using cleansers is NOT the way to go, and I can't go back to my old ways, it wasn't working for me and my face was always dry yet oily and irritated.

 

So after a lot of research on the acid mantle, etc... I've come up with this modified version:

 

Morning:

1. Rinse with COLD water (I do that in the shower, so avoid as much as possible the hot water I use to wash my hair, and at the end of the shower proceed to rinsing my face with colder water).

2. Pat dry with a paper towel (I wonder if this might be irritating my skin too, perhaps I should switch to a clean towel? Something to keep in mind for later updates).

3. Spray Rose Water on my face and neck (Rose water is a great toner and helps restore the acid mantle). I use the brand Cortas, it's food grade.

4. Let the rose water air dry

5. Apply my makeup (Almay Smart Shade, safest makeup for acne)

 

Night:

1. On a cotton pad, pour a generous amount of acne.org Jojoba oil and gently wipe face with both sides of the cotton pad to remove makeup. I only started doing this yesterday and was amazed at how well it removed the makeup. Time will tell if this will break me out...

2. Rinse face with cold water

3. Pat dry with paper towel

4. Spray rose water on face and let air dry

5. Go to bed and have a goodnight's sleep smile.png

 

I will update in a few days to tell you if this is working or broke me out worse.

 

Right now: My left side is almost completely clear, I can't quite believe it, only one or two minor specs.

My right side has 4-5 bumbs, 2 of which are active and this is caused by trying the horrible Powder FX foundation a few days ago. HUGE MISTAKE.

I also have 2 pimples on my chin which were caused, I suspect, by the Powder FX and trying this yogurt mask I read about (In an attempt to help the acid mantle). The yogurt mask works for a lot of people but apparently for me it cause little white heads, so I'll be staying away from that.

 

OK well that's all for today!

 

Talk to you soon smile.png

 

MyStory


Edited by mystory, 31 March 2013 - 06:16 AM.


#6 clark4488

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Posted 06 April 2013 - 03:50 PM

Thank you so much for taking to time to tell me about your experience!

After a few days of doing water-only and feeling gross and dirty, I decided that logically this regimen would not work for me given that I was wearing makeup.

Sleeping with my makeup up is obviously a bad idea, for obvious reasons. However, I know I've damaged my acid mantle (or skin's natural barrier) with years of using drying cleansers day and night. So what to do about that? Obviously, using cleansers is NOT the way to go, and I can't go back to my old ways, it wasn't working for me and my face was always dry yet oily and irritated.

 

So after a lot of research on the acid mantle, etc... I've come up with this modified version:

 

Morning:

1. Rinse with COLD water (I do that in the shower, so avoid as much as possible the hot water I use to wash my hair, and at the end of the shower proceed to rinsing my face with colder water).

2. Pat dry with a paper towel (I wonder if this might be irritating my skin too, perhaps I should switch to a clean towel? Something to keep in mind for later updates).

3. Spray Rose Water on my face and neck (Rose water is a great toner and helps restore the acid mantle). I use the brand Cortas, it's food grade.

4. Let the rose water air dry

5. Apply my makeup (Almay Smart Shade, safest makeup for acne)

 

Night:

1. On a cotton pad, pour a generous amount of acne.org Jojoba oil and gently wipe face with both sides of the cotton pad to remove makeup. I only started doing this yesterday and was amazed at how well it removed the makeup. Time will tell if this will break me out...

2. Rinse face with cold water

3. Pat dry with paper towel

4. Spray rose water on face and let air dry

5. Go to bed and have a goodnight's sleep smile.png

 

I will update in a few days to tell you if this is working or broke me out worse.

 

Right now: My left side is almost completely clear, I can't quite believe it, only one or two minor specs.

My right side has 4-5 bumbs, 2 of which are active and this is caused by trying the horrible Powder FX foundation a few days ago. HUGE MISTAKE.

I also have 2 pimples on my chin which were caused, I suspect, by the Powder FX and trying this yogurt mask I read about (In an attempt to help the acid mantle). The yogurt mask works for a lot of people but apparently for me it cause little white heads, so I'll be staying away from that.

 

OK well that's all for today!

 

Talk to you soon smile.png

 

MyStory

 

Hey there, to be honest I figured girls would probably be turned off of this regimen because of makeup removal. At least you're still determined to find a way to make it work. My one suggestion with your daily and nightly routine would be to let your face AIR DRY, always. I would even do this before applying the rose water. I wish I understood the science behind it better, but letting my own face air dry alleviated dryness, redness, and irritation. That simple. 

 

Are you still having success with jojoba oil? It majorly clogged my pores in the past but perhaps I was using too much to wash my face. I've also read that it's common to have one side of your face that is more prone to breakouts than the other. I have the same problem. Each area of the face correlates to an internal source. Look up an 'acne face map' for Chinese medicine's internal reasoning behind acne if you haven't already. Good luck and keep the updates coming. You're on the right path.


Edited by clark4488, 06 April 2013 - 04:00 PM.


#7 Tryst

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 01:08 AM

I've been thinking about doing a water only regimen. I'm terrified to try it though. But... I guess it's worth the risk. I've been using Ivory Soap and a salicylic acid toner for about a week, and it just seems to be making me break out with those annoying tiny white bumps.

I think I'll go down to using just ivory soap for a while, then slowly ween myself off of it. I don't want to go cold turkey because I don't want to have a massive breakout.

I'm going to keep tabs on your progress. I'm hoping this water thing is for real. I'm getting desperate.

One piece of advice I have... Don't keep adding products/treatments. This is a mistake I've made in the past. Stick with one thing for AT LEAST two weeks. Though really you should stick to it for one to two months. Let your skin get used to it, see if there is any improvement, and then move forward. Even if it's natural, don't layer the stuff on. Good luck!




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