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,