I am an 18-year-old female who has suffered from acne since the age of 10. I started out with blackheads on my nose and acne in my t-zone. At age 10, I started using Clearasil products to clear my face up, with moderate success. Throughout high school, I had moderate acne that I controlled with various products. I eventually settled on AcneFree as my favorite system to use.
About three months after I started college, my acne became more severe, and the AcneFree Terminator 10 cream that I used changed from a salicylic acid to a 10% benzoyl peroxide formula that greatly irritated my skin. I switched around from product to product and have recently returned to using the AcneFree benzoyl peroxide face wash and the Terminator 10, but my condition has not improved. My acne has moved to mostly on my cheeks and a little around my eyebrows.
I have also made some diet/holistic modifications. I used to consume a lot of dairy products, but I have since limited my milk intake to only having it with cereal and occasionally having a glass on the side. I cut out a multivitamin with Vitamin B and a green tea high in Vitamin B after hearing that Vitamin B might contribute to acne. I am trying to cut out coffee as well. While diner food is not high quality, I maintain a pretty healthy diet and refrain from red meat. I am taking Vitamin A, echinacea, zinc and Vitamin C on a fairly regular basis. Thinking of starting on Vitamin D because I've heard that's good for the skin.
I'm not sure if the acne has to do with a change in diet, environmental factors, the products that I'm using, or simply genetics, but it's gotten to the point where it's getting pretty embarrassing and hard to cover with makeup. I feel like I come across as unhygenic or gross to other people, when I really do devote a lot of time to caring for my skin with little success.
Any advice -- new products, diet modifications, lifestyle changes -- would be appreciated. I'm hesitant to go on medication but would be open to any suggestions.