Key things to think about before reading this post: This regimen takes the necessary steps to make your face pores open wide enough to allow the treatments/products to act deeply on your skin, cleaning your skin efficiently and killing off bacteria effectively, preventing future breakouts.
I've been fighting acne for 3 years. When I first consulted with my doctor, she prescribed me with oral antibiotics and for months, they worked, the best of them was minocycline, which cleared 99% of my acne. But after my doctor changed my antibiotics to weaker ones, that was when my acne got worse to the point of near untreatable. Nothing worked. Even going back to minocycline didn't help. I tried the Regimen after seeing so many positive reviews, but after two weeks on the Regimen, it made my skin worse and flaky and for the past summer, I've been so frustrated about how terrible my skin looked. At one point, I didn't even want to go outside because I felt as if I would be too embarrassed about people seeing my papular-acne-filled skin. I also have extremely oily skin so despite treatments, my severe acne was inevitable.
However, I did some research. As a nursing major, I am really particular about rationale or the reason why things are used/done. I found out that the majority of my acne grew deep in my skin, so of course the Regimen was not effective since it works best on surface acne! To fight my stubborn deep under the skin acne, I needed to find a treatment that would be effective in that area. Also, I realized essential steps to the Regimen are important, so I implemented a few of those to my own regimen. With this regimen, I became 99% acne free in just 1-2 weeks. Also, I have almost stopped taking my antibiotic pills completely (I'm still on minocycline). I am now taking one pill every other day or two. I am on week 7 on this regimen and I am still 99% acne free. Occassionally, I would get a pimple or two but these are no longer deep pimples but surface pimples, which are easy to take care of with this regimen. I will list steps to my regimen and provide rationales on why I use these products/treatments:
Below are pics of my progress
Day 1 (8/10/13)
Day 5 (8/15/13)
Week 7 (now - 9/27/13)
Steps I've taken from The Regimen:
- Rub gently, don't scrub.
- Wait 5 - 15 minutes after drying or after each topical application.
- Generous amounts of moisturizer.
Items you'll need:
- Clarisonic brush (cleans better than using your bare hands)
- Clarisonic deep cleaning brush head (THIS IS ESSENTIAL; this will help reach and clean off the oils and dirt clogged deep under your skin really well)
- A wet-warm face towel (used once a night before you shower to help open your pores really wide!)
Products you'll need:
- Benzoyl Peroxide (10%) Clean and Clear continuous control http://www.cleanandc...l-acne-cleanser
USE ONCE A DAY IN THE MORNING ONLY!
- Cetaphil Oil control wash http://www.cetaphil....trol-foam-wash/
(if you do not have oily skin, the regular Cetaphil face wash can be used)
- Retin A micro (0.1%) (This will help exfoliate your skin and normalize the cell-turn over process, preventing your pores from being clogging up even more)
*Remember to apply this on 20 - 30 minutes AFTER showering. NEVER apply immediately after showering. You won't see results with Retin A until after 6 - 12 weeks of treatment.
Rationale: Use Micro because it is time-release meaning the drug will be released at certain periods of the time, lessening skin irritation, which is good because LESS irritation = LESS acne.
- Epiduo gel (adapalene 0.1%/benzoyl peroxide 2.5%) (Spot or area treatment; Also used when necessary) Used twice a day until you start Retin A micro. Then it becomes once a day (in the morning).
(if you can't get a prescription for this drug, getting an OTC benzoyl peroxide gel can be used but MAKE SURE it is 2.5%, nothing more or under)
How to use it: On your big pimples, add a spot of Epiduo on it and rub the gel in. Then dab another tiny amount on top of the pimple and let it dry. (By the time you wait 5-15 minutes before applying your moisturizer, the Epiduo gel will have dried up and be absorbed into your skin already)
On your little pimples, just rub a pea sized gently around the affected area.
You don't want to rub the gel all the way in because you should let the drug be absorbed on its own.
When to use it: - When you have big pimples or small ones. Initially, you want to use Epiduo twice a day, once in the morning and once at night. When your skin is 95 - 99% clear, you transition on to using Epiduo in the morning ONLY and then Retin-A micro at night. If you made it to the transition, Retin A is the one you trust to help combat your acne over night. It's a miracle worker.
Even if your skin has just become clear, you should continue to area treat (not spot treat) for a week then you can stop with Epiduo. Then it's just used whenever necessary as spot or area treatment.
- Any oil free moisturizer (ESSENTIAL to keep your skin hydrated)
- A shampoo for your hair that doesn't include conditioner (try to go for an all natural shampoo). An unnatural shampoo with conditioner will most likely clog your pores, making this regimen useless.
The jetlee629 regimen:
1. Wash your hands well!!!!
Rationale: You don't want to go putting dirty stuff on your face when washing it.
2. Wet your head with warm water and then wet your face. Limit face touching. Let the water do its work to wash away the oil and open up your pores at the same time. ALSO only use warm water. Don't use hot water or else (with your oily skin) it'll cook your skin like a sausage.
3. Push **two pumps of the Cetaphil oil control face wash onto your hand. With a free finger, distribute the foam wash equally onto your cheeks and forehead (the chin is optional depending if you have a lot of acne there or not). Just dab onto your skin and don't wash just yet. Save the washing for your Clarisonic brush.
4. Push *one pump of the Cetaphil wash onto your Clarisonic brush.
5. Use your Clarisonic brush (on the 2nd to lowest power to be as gentle as you can) and start cleaning on the area of your face that's the most oily (usually I start on my forehead and go to my nose/chin then my cheeks). If you are not using the deep cleaning brush, this regimen won't be effective. The deep cleaning brush is the most essential of the things you need! You can clean with the brush for as long as you like but try to keep it at between 1 - 2 cycles/minutes max. Remember to press the brush lightly and let the brush head do the work. You want to be as gentle as you can because the LESS gentle you are, the MORE acne you'll get (remember to put the setting at the 2nd lowest power).
6. Rinse after done cleaning with Clarisonic.
7. One - two pea sized amount of Benzoyl Peroxide (10%) wash, put your hands together and work up a lather until you feel the BP wash thicking up. Wash/rub your face gently and avoid scrubbing and avoid the eye areas! Wash no more than 10 seconds! I found the Clean and Clear the best.
Rationale: You use BP 10% wash after the Clarisonic cleaning because your pores are unclogged and still open so now you want the BP to kill off the bacteria found inside your still opened pores. Also the BP wash prevents future break outs.
8. Rinse off the BP wash with COLD WATER (Yes I said cold water...deal with it).
Rationale: Rinsing off with cold water will refreshing your hair/skin and MOST importantly, it'll close your pores, preventing anymore dirt/oil going back inside.
9. *Dab dry your face with a different towel than your body towel. Let the towel do the work.
10. Wait 5 - 15 minutes and then apply Epiduo gel on your face. Don't apply right after showering because it'll irritate your skin more. This drug will really "dry up" your big pimples. It is IMPORTANT to start slow then work your way up just as the Regimen recommends. In other words, start with a small amount. A pea size is usually enough cus this stuff works freaking well. You can do spot or area treatment, whatever you prefer. *Just remember to use sunscreen after cus this stuff is photosensitive!
Rationale: Epiduo is composed of both 0.1% adapalene and 2.5% benzoyl peroxide. Adapalene is a form of retinoid that, unlike retin a, is compatible with benzoyl peroxide. So while adapalene unclogs the pore of your pimple, the benzoyl peroxide is able to act more deeply on your active pimples, killing the bacteria affecting it.
[Note] If your skin has just started being clear of pimples, you should still apply this drug on your acne-prone areas in the morning until several days or a week since the first day of you being clear of pimples. Then it becomes spot treatment or used when necessary.
After 3-4 weeks, you'll see that some days you won't even use Epiduo in the morning!
11. After you apply Epiduo (or your OTC 2.5% BP) wait 5 - 15 minutes to let the gel absorb, then apply an oil-free moisturizer.
Rationale: With so much stuff on your face, you really want to hydrate your skin and prevent dryness. Be generous with the moisturizer! It's your best friend.
12. Put on a good quality SPF 30 sun screen. Usually I just apply the sunscreen on my affected or hyper-pigmented (brown spots that are left over by a pimple you popped) areas.
Rationale: Sunscreen is your other best friend in preventing further damage to your skin. It helps with scarring because it'll speed up the healing process and prevent photo-sensitivity at the same time!
THAT'S IT FOR MORNING! As of now, my skin is so clear that I usually just skip the Epiduo or spot treatment step in the morning and go straight into moisturizing my skin after showering then applying sun screen (I wait 5 - 15 minutes of course before applying moisturizer). I depend my acne fighting on the BP 10% wash. It's that good.
The steps are basically the same as morning except a few slight differences...
1. First step is to steam your face. Use a steamer or a warm towel. If you're using a towel, which I have used, you want it to be a warm compress. So wet your towel and compress it on your cheeks, forehead, and nose.
Rationale. THIS IS A KEY STEP. When you first start this regimen, you should steam your face every night because you want your pores to be open really wide, which allows the treatments to effectively act on the deeper areas of your skin, cleaning your skin a lot better. Steaming is a technique that is proven to be effective. People don't do it because they're just too lazy to do it.
2. *Remember to wash your hands!
3. After washing your hair first (yes your hair first!) and wash your face with the Cetaphil + Clarisonic (same steps as morning) deep cleaning brush combo, you DO NOT (I say DO NOT) use the BP wash. Rinse with cold water. Dab dry your face after showering.
Rationale: Using the BP wash more than once a day will dry up and irritate your skin, making your skin look and feel worse.
5. This step will depend on how clear your face is and how long you have been on this regimen. Remember to wait 5 - 15 minutes after drying your face before applying either 1) Epiduo or 2) Retin A micro! (NOT BOTH, just one or the other)
If you just started this regimen remember you should put Epiduo on your affected areas both morning and night until your skin is 95 - 99% clear. Then when your skin IS 95 - 99% clear, transition over to using Epiduo in the morning ONLY and then commit to using Retin A Micro at night. You can be generous with the Epiduo and Retin A because give it 6-7 hours and it'll make your pimples dry up like grapes over night. When I transitioned to using Retin A Micro at night, I've seen huge differences over night. Retin-A basically stabilizes and keeps your skin clear, not making it worse.
*Remember to apply this on 20 - 30 minutes AFTER showering. NEVER apply immediately after showering.
6. After applying either Epiduo or Retin A Micro, wait 5 - 15 minutes, then apply your oil free moisturizer.
7. That's all for the night.
Keep doing this process and you'll see results within a couple days! Cleaning the deeper areas of your skin really makes a HUGE difference.
- WASH WASH WASH your hands before getting into the shower! Try to think of showering as a sterile procedure.
- Clean your Clarisonic brush EVERY two days! This is important because you don't want to be putting more dirt under your skin if your brush is unclean. See below for steps on how to clean your brush.
- Only apply one topical acne medication at night, Epidio OR Retin - A micro. NEVER both!
- When you plan on cleaning your hair, you MUST do that first before washing your face. You don't want to wash your face first and then risk having the oils and dirt seep down onto your face to make it dirty again. Your pores are open so you want to limit the amount of contamination as possible.
- WATER!!! HYDRATE YOUR SKIN! Drinking more water will help with future break outs as well! Other options include green tea, a natural antioxidant that will clean your system.
- STEAM AT NIGHT! Always think of which steps really open your pores so you can clean them really well while you're showering.
- BP Wash ONCE per day (in the morning ONLY)
- MOISTURIZE and SUN SCREEN
- 5 - 15 minute wait period after drying your skin with a towel and after every Epiduo or Retina application!
- *DO NOT USE Retin - A Micro until 20 - 30 minutes AFTER showering. It says in the directions as well...so read them!
Can you use a Salicylic Acid scrub or Glycolic acid peel?
Yes you can. After 3-4 weeks of being committed to this regimen, you can start implementing these products into the regimen. These two products are what I am using now to keep my skin smooth and decrease my hyper pigmentation spots. Since I am acne free, my focus now is on preventing future breakouts and decreasing the brown color spots. What I do is I use SA scrub that includes Glycolic acid once every other night or two. I work into a lather and rub the SA scrub gently around my face. Then I rinse and use the Cetaphil and Clarisonic Combo.
How to clean your Clarisonic brush head:
Use an anti-bacterial dish or hand soap (MUST be antibacterial)
1. Run your brush with warm to hot water.
2. Put a small amount on your brush head.
3. With your thumb or fingers, clean the brush hairs until your brush is nice and foamy/bubbly.
4. Rinse your brush head running under hot water to remove the soap and kill remaining bacteria at the same time.
5. Attach back onto your brush handle and you're good to go!
Hope this regimen works and feel free to add comments or questions if you have any. Thanks!