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Time To Start The Regimen

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Day 34

Woke up to a few tiny breakouts this morning. Which is annoying seeing as I was so happy with just 2 actives yesterday... and now it's 5 - but that is still amazing for me (especially since they're all pretty small). I never really counted how many actives I typically had before the regimen but I know on the times that I tried to I stopped because the number would be getting so high and that just upset me more. Easily would have been over 20 on most occasions I think.

I don't know why but after my initial excitement / happiness over seeing progress in my skin yesterday, I started to feel horrible about myself. And I can't link feeling like that to my acne because yesterday would have been the best skin day I've had in years! I just felt ugly. Maybe it had to do with the scars/hyperpigmentation I have... maybe it's just me starting to get stressed with uni work...I don't know... It's probably a combination of things. But I can't help but feel like I have nothing going for me in life right now... still single (with no guys seeming to show interest in me), still on the job hunt. I guess those are the two things really getting to me right now.

Sorry, I'll stop now. Just needed to vent a little...

I have to try and focus on the positives though - like the fact my skin is improving and is so much better than it was a month ago in terms of acne. And that's definitely a positive!

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Lilly, don't beat yourself up too much. Even three months in and i have days where i feel deflated. Ufortunately acne is unpredicatble like that. I find that avoiding mirrors helps me tons and i only feel my acne when i wash.

1 month in is nothing so breakouts can and probably will continue until your sixth month so don't sweat it too much

Keep your head up

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Thanks Sasch :)

I've always been hard on myself but I know I need to work on that... so I'll try.

Hope everything is going well for you!

Day 35

I've got the flu or something :( So I'm feeling pretty rubbish in general. Also not going to use that much BP until I'm feeling better / when I don't need to have a tissue near my face every couple of minutes - it's just making the dryness/flakes worse.

But apart from feeling sick - today was ok as far as skin goes... I felt ok about it all today.

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Day 37

Had to head home from uni early today - I was just feeling too unwell. Being sick has made doing the regimen a little difficult... I feel like I'm rubbing off the little BP that I put on every time I have to grab a tissue. And my nose is so irritated just using the cetaphil moisturiser (no BP before) burns a lot! Oh well... can't help getting sick sometimes.

But on the up side, my Mum commented to me today that my skin has been looking much better these past few days :) It's really nice to hear that from someone in person. It's nice that it's not just me seeing improvements - that the improvements are big enough for others to notice!

I can see that I'm about to get a couple of little spots around my nose / upper lip (probably from irritation from tissues) but that's ok. They should clear up quickly once I can use BP there again.

This coming weekend will probably be a little stressful. I have a few things due Monday and I have to try and get to a different university's open day to figure out what other options I have for post-grad study. Figuring all that out is stressful and anxiety-provoking (for me) in itself! So hoping the rushing around and stress doesn't show on my skin too much.

Hope you're all doing well :)

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Lily,

This is my first post ever lol but I just wanted to say that you seem like a pretty awesome person and you should hang in there! From the last pic you posted, it seems as if the redness has subsided a lot., which is awesome! IMO that can feel just as bad as having acne. Hopefully the positive results keep coming and you have a great year at school.

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Lily,

This is my first post ever lol but I just wanted to say that you seem like a pretty awesome person and you should hang in there! From the last pic you posted, it seems as if the redness has subsided a lot., which is awesome! IMO that can feel just as bad as having acne. Hopefully the positive results keep coming and you have a great year at school.

Thank you!

Yes - trying to hang in there. Yesterday was a bit of a tough day emotionally so it's really nice to hear your encouraging words. And yeah, the redness has subsided a lot - which is awesome! Dryness isn't as bad as it used to be either :)

Don't hesitate to post more around these forums if you have questions about your own skin etc in the future :)

Thanks again!

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Day 41

(I'm really bad at keeping track of days - Every time I post, I'm writing the day number hesitantly tongue.png)

I went to a different university's open day today. It was pretty slow an boring because I got there 2 hours earlier than I needed to to hear the info session I was going for. But I killed time listening to the live music and eating fairy floss tongue.png They also had people (visual arts students I'm guessing) doing portraits for $5. They looked so good! Part of me wanted to have one done, but I was too worried about how someone would draw me... even though I've been feeling ok about my skin lately.

I still have some active acne, but nothing compared to what it was a month ago.

I guess there's not really a lot to say...

I'm still using Johnson's top-to-toe cleanser, Benzac BP with Cetaphil moisturiser and (I don't even remember the brand) jojoba oil at night and Neutrogena oil free SPF 15 moisturiser in the morning. I sometimes use a bit of cetaphil first in the AM if my skin has been really dry. I have a small bottle of and Aveeno SPF 15 moisturiser to try but I haven't used it yet. I patch tested it though and it's thicker than the Neutrogena one.

I wish I could get a higher SPF though. Being naturally pale and living in Australia makes me weary of sun damage (plus increased sensitivity from BP and more when I add AHA) but it's hard to find suitable sunscreens. At least the SPF in the moisturisers are better than nothing!

I still haven't started AHA yet... I'm worried it might make me start peeling or something... so I'll wait until this Thursday night - so I have the Friday and weekend for my skin to adjust to it if it does make my skin peel or go red.

I don't have the acne.org AHA, but for people who use that AHA - do you use it twice a day? Is it in place of a moisturiser or do you apply it after BP and before moisturiser?

I'll try and use the product I have in a similar way if I can.

I haven't done a photo update (even just for my own tracking) in a while. Well it feels like a long time for me - I just feel like I've had a lot going on lately! Might do one in the next week if I have time or remember.

Edit: Forgot to mention that on ocassions where my skin is feeling very dry I've been gently exfoliating with a face towel after cleansing. I don't do this often though but when I have done it, it's worked well for me and hasn't seemed to irritate my skin or cause breakouts (which is great because I think every exfoliating scrub or wash I've tried in my life has caused breakouts for me). I know this isn't part of the regimen, which is why I use this method sparingly, but sometimes I feel I need to - and like I said, it works well for me.

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Hi just like you, I think that the acne.org line is a little expensive.

I've done some research and I found products with similar ingredients from the acne. org regimen.

There is an Alpha Hydrox lotion which you can find at wallgreens for 12.99 6 oz. bottle.

Look for Dr. Song benzoyl peroxide 2.5% on amazon, it is way cheaper but still has the same active ingredient.

As for cleansers I would just recommend neutrogena or clean and clear, it will save u a bunch instead of purchasing from the site :)

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Thanks for the suggestions. I don't purchase any of my products through acne.org (can't afford the shipping). I'm in Australia though so we don't have a wallgreens. I'm guessing Alpha Hydrox is the brand name? I haven't heard of it before but I'll have a look to see if it's around here somewhere.

As for everything else, I'm pretty happy with the products I've got for now - but thanks again for the suggestions :)

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Glad you keep updating! Good to see how others are doing, sounds like your doing great. I'm about to move up to twice a day application tomorrow, so I'm curious to see how my face will handle it. Hopefully it just gets better and better for you!

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Glad you keep updating! Good to see how others are doing, sounds like your doing great. I'm about to move up to twice a day application tomorrow, so I'm curious to see how my face will handle it. Hopefully it just gets better and better for you!

Thank you :)

Good luck with using twice a day! I think the best thing to do is go slowly - but only you know your skin so you'll know when you're able to start increasing the actual amount of BP. Don't worry if your skin gets really red or dry or flaky - it's all just part of the process :P Hope it goes well!

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Day 42

Dealing with more breakouts today. A couple of tiny whiteheads on forehead and upper lip and then a few bigger ones (4) around my chin / jaw. Not sure what's causing them... could be diet related as I've had a fair bit of junk in my diet these past few days. Could be hormones or maybe it's from using the face towel to exfoliate - but I haven't done that recently... It's really hard to figure out the cause of breakouts! I'll use some BP in the morning more often this week I think.

Today was really hot for a winter day here! (it was around 29 - 30 degrees celcius so around 84 degrees fahrenheit) - my skin just looked a mess by the end of the day. It got quite oily and the little makeup I wore did not look good and had basically worn off - not really hiding / covering anything at all. So I'm thinking of just stopping with makeup. Or at least start heading in that direction by picking one day a week where I have to go to uni (and can't just get away with 'hiding' at home) and make myself not wear makeup that day... I might look at getting a BB cream too which will hopefully help cover redness (not from BP - I just naturally have pink / red 'undertones') at least and maybe a bit of pigmentation. Basically the same as what I do now... but I get the feeling that a BB cream might be better for the skin? Not sure but I'll look into it. And I'll be trying to go out without makeup more often. Not something I thought I'd try doing until I had much better skin! So wish me luck :P

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Day 42

Dealing with more breakouts today. A couple of tiny whiteheads on forehead and upper lip and then a few bigger ones (4) around my chin / jaw. Not sure what's causing them... could be diet related as I've had a fair bit of junk in my diet these past few days. Could be hormones or maybe it's from using the face towel to exfoliate - but I haven't done that recently... It's really hard to figure out the cause of breakouts! I'll use some BP in the morning more often this week I think.

Today was really hot for a winter day here! (it was around 29 - 30 degrees celcius so around 84 degrees fahrenheit) - my skin just looked a mess by the end of the day. It got quite oily and the little makeup I wore did not look good and had basically worn off - not really hiding / covering anything at all. So I'm thinking of just stopping with makeup. Or at least start heading in that direction by picking one day a week where I have to go to uni (and can't just get away with 'hiding' at home) and make myself not wear makeup that day... I might look at getting a BB cream too which will hopefully help cover redness (not from BP - I just naturally have pink / red 'undertones') at least and maybe a bit of pigmentation. Basically the same as what I do now... but I get the feeling that a BB cream might be better for the skin? Not sure but I'll look into it. And I'll be trying to go out without makeup more often. Not something I thought I'd try doing until I had much better skin! So wish me luck tongue.png

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I don't know if you have incorporated AHA into your regimen, but a great trick I learned is to apply AHA as a spot treatment after cleansing your face. It really helps the spot go down and applying it before the BP helps in preventing red marks.

Thanks for the tip :)

I'm going to start it tonight so I'll try it that way for a while before putting it on larger areas. I do have quite a bit of pigmentation on my cheeks (which have been pretty clear for a week or so now) so I hope the AHA / BHA product I have will help with that eventually!!

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Day 45

So I've just applied my AHA / BHA product for the first time tonight - (It's 'Skin Doctors Gamma Hydroxy'). I ended up applying a super thin layer all over my face but just a little more on active spots. It isn't painful but it tingled for a little while but has stopped now. I'll apply BP in a few minutes.

Just realised I should probably have taken a 'before AHA' photo for my own record but didn't even think of that until now... I'll try and remember for the morning.

I do have a number of active spots. I'm going with the idea that they're hormonal. There's really only 2 annoying ones - one on the edge of my right jaw and one on my lower left side / jaw area. I have a couple of smaller spots around the right side of my mouth and a few tiny whiteheads on my chin, upper lip and forehead. Actually there's one other annoying one but it's hardly visible - it's right on the edge of my lip and is a super tiny whitehead - maybe it's from toothpaste or lip balm? Probably just because it wanted to happen though tongue.png

Skin felt quite dry today. I was worried it was going to look flaky but thankfully it didn't.

I'm still looking for work :/ Came across an ad today to be one of those sales people that stands at a stall in the middle of a shopping center for proactiv - I don't think they'd hire me with skin like mine and my dislike for majority of their products tongue.png

Edit - just applied BP... very strange though.... The BP became very thin / watery when rubbing it in / moving it over the skin. It normally stays pretty thick. So for some reason the tiny amount of the AHA/BHA has made my BP go thin. I don't know how else to describe it. I'll have to see what happens though (if my skin keeps improving or not). Maybe I'll have to use AHA on it's own every few days at night? or maybe BP in the morning and AHA at night (or vice versa). Not sure yet... but it's weird that it reacted that way with the BP eusa_think.gif

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Hi Lily! I use the AHA about 10 minutes after I apply BP, dunno if that makes a difference or not but I notice I get less irritation/weird texture of the BP that way.

Anyways, wishing you lots of luck with the job search!

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Hi Lily! I use the AHA about 10 minutes after I apply BP, dunno if that makes a difference or not but I notice I get less irritation/weird texture of the BP that way.

Anyways, wishing you lots of luck with the job search!

Hi Flagg!

Thanks for the tip smile.png I'll try it that way next time I use it and see how it goes. How often should I be using the AHA too by the way? Just every few days?

I think I'll need all the luck I can get - no one seems to be hiring at the moment. Ah well... Have to keep on trying.

Day 47

Skin is doing pretty good but seems to be getting a bit flaky again and I'm guessing that's from the AHA. I have a few active spots - mainly a couple near mouth / chin, one on lower left cheek / jaw and one up toward my right eye.

And I actually (finally) remembered to get some update photos taken! I wish my camera was better quality, I think it's making my skin look a bit better than it is - but the improvement is pretty close! The only thing is that in person / when I look directly in the mirror the pigmentation is darker / more obvious looking. And I do have a few active spots now but it's a little hard to tell in the photos I think. So I do still have a fair way to go. I am still breaking out but it really is so much better than before I started the regimen! When I was putting the photos together I was actually shocked to see how far my skin has come in a fairly short time! I knew my skin had improved but I didn't think it was by so much smile.png Really hoping things continue this way.

So the photos on the left are from a week before I started the regimen. The photos on the right were taken this morning - day 47 (end of week 6) of the regimen.

Left side

Right side

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Wow Lilly, your skin has made such incredible progress you must be so pleased!!! And it looks like it's tolerating the BP really well now too - no irritated redness that I can see! Hopefully the flakes will sort themselves out when your skin's more accustomed to the AHA but it's still brilliant progress regardless. I'm so pleased for you! :)

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Day 48

Went out for breakfast with my family this morning and wore nearly no makeup. Just a very sheer coverage foundation (close to a tinted moisturiser really so not a lot of coverage at all) and didn't bother concealing the active spots I have any more than what the light foundation achieved. And I felt fine about it (until I caught my reflection in the car mirror but I was already on my way then so I just 'brushed it off' and got on with my morning). But it was a good morning and I'm feeling better about myself and with the idea of going out with little makeup on.

Wow Lilly, your skin has made such incredible progress you must be so pleased!!! And it looks like it's tolerating the BP really well now too - no irritated redness that I can see! Hopefully the flakes will sort themselves out when your skin's more accustomed to the AHA but it's still brilliant progress regardless. I'm so pleased for you! smile.png

Thank you!! :) Yeah it's coping well with BP now. My skin always has a bit of a red / pink look to it (not including hyperpigmentation) but it's not that irritated redness from BP anymore which is good.

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great improvement lilly, so happy for you! I get breakouts in exactly the same spots as you do, and some of them do not look hormonal they just look like folliculitis almost. Mine seem to respond to anti-fungal things like tea tree oil rather than antibacterial/acne treatments. Go figure!

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Hi Lilly,

Have been following your thread for a while and just wanted to say your skin has made great progress. You should be really pleased!

I tried the regimen myself for quite a while but found it too time consuming, especially with a hectic uni schedule.

Anyway really pleased it's working for you.

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great improvement lilly, so happy for you! I get breakouts in exactly the same spots as you do, and some of them do not look hormonal they just look like folliculitis almost. Mine seem to respond to anti-fungal things like tea tree oil rather than antibacterial/acne treatments. Go figure!

Thank you!

That's great that your skin responds to things like TTO. I used that for quite a while before starting the regimen (when I quit BP before ending up back on it rolleyes.gif ) and it definitely helped but not to a point where I was almost clear or feeling better about it all / myself unfortunately.

Hi Lilly,

Have been following your thread for a while and just wanted to say your skin has made great progress. You should be really pleased!

I tried the regimen myself for quite a while but found it too time consuming, especially with a hectic uni schedule.

Anyway really pleased it's working for you.

Thank you!

I hear you on it being so time consuming though! It's really hard to fit with my uni schedule too - which is why I've been applying the BP part of the regimen only once a day (at night) for most days of the week. (So I'm surprised to have had such good results with it in a relatively short amount of time).

Hope everything is going well for you all :)

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Day 50

Note to self: stay away from the bathroom mirror from 2pm until the sun is down! That afternoon sunlight is horrible and shows up every single little red mark. Not good for self-esteem / when you're trying to work on self-esteem . I had been feeling good until I caught my reflection this afternoon in that lighting.

Other than that, and a couple more small breakouts on my chin, things are doing pretty well.

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Day 50

Note to self: stay away from the bathroom mirror from 2pm until the sun is down! That afternoon sunlight is horrible and shows up every single little red mark. Not good for self-esteem / when you're trying to work on self-esteem . I had been feeling good until I caught my reflection this afternoon in that lighting.

Other than that, and a couple more small breakouts on my chin, things are doing pretty well.

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Day 50

Note to self: stay away from the bathroom mirror from 2pm until the sun is down! That afternoon sunlight is horrible and shows up every single little red mark. Not good for self-esteem / when you're trying to work on self-esteem . I had been feeling good until I caught my reflection this afternoon in that lighting.

Other than that, and a couple more small breakouts on my chin, things are doing pretty well.

I know exactly what you mean about different lighting conditions and mirrors haha. I find my skin always looks the worst in car rear-vision mirrors.... weird.

Often I leave the house thinking my skin looks alright, then next minute my self esteem is destroyed when I see my skin reflected in a mirror or window somewhere!

Now I only allow myself to look in mirror once a day at night time only.

Your making great progress though, so I'm sure it won't be an issue for you much longer.

Weird how something simple like that can completely change your day. Car mirrors are probably the worst! I had that exact thing happen on the weekend - left the house feeling good but caught my reflection in the rear-view and that changed things. But, thankfully, it was one of those times where I was able to brush it off and get on with my day without it bothering me. Wish it were always like that!

Thanks again :) I think things will be getting better for me confidence-wise as my skin hopefully improves more, but it will be a slow process. I won't be able to 'undo' years of acne related image / confidence / anxiety issues quickly - but I'm working on it - that's all I can do.

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