My acne story :
YEAH. this is long as everything, but please read it all. I have a complicated story, but I need someone's insight.
Basically, I have had really mild acne since I hit puberty, which is pretty natural, and which I expected to get rid of when I became older. Well, as I have gotten older (I am a 19 year old white female, living in the US), my acne has only gotten worse.
I started getting pimples around my hairline, sometimes on my cheeks and chin about a year ago when I started working nights and going to school full time in the morning. I knew it was related to stress and sleep patterns, but I could not change it.
The products I was using were the same I had used ever since I started washing my face, clean & clear morning burst and a light moisturizer. I started using benzamycin when I was about 16, which my doctor prescribed after I complained about my minor pimples (First mistake I made, IMO). The mild acne seemed to get kind of under control, but at the same time, I still had break outs, and my skin was always ridiculously dry and red.
Back to about a year ago, 2 years after using benzamycin religiously every day.
I decided to stop using the prescription cream cold turkey at the beginning of 2013, because my acne was starting to get even worse from all the stress, and the the hating of my job, my school, and my town (I hated my town with a burning passion). My acne didn't seem to get worse after using it, but it stayed pretty bad.
Now let's get to the weird part.
I finally quit my job of working nights to move to Italy for the summer, where I basically stopped washing my face as much (sometimes using a crappy walmart version of Proactiv), partied on the weekends, drank a tiny bit (glass of wine every once in a while), had a crazy sleep schedule, and worked a ton at my internship. But I was freaking as happy as I could be, and only stressed a bit as I was constantly speaking my second language which I hadn't perfected. My acne started clearing up like there was no tomorrow (odd?). My diet hadn't changed, except that I was eating seasonal, fresh fruits and veg, a ton of white bread and pasta, parmeggiano reggiano, and a butt load of the most DELISH olive oil I have ever had. I went to the adriatic sea quite a bit and rode my bike to my job every morning, took a lot of walks with friends, danced at every party (italians party hardcore), and basically lived like an Italian queen--and had zero pimples. WTF?
Then paradise was ripped from under me in mid August of this year. And everything went to hell. and fell into the deepest, bitterest depression I have ever had the displeasure of having.
A week after I got back, I started getting little tiny red bumps all over my face. I'm just like "ok, well, at least they are pretty easily covered by makeup!" So I pile a bunch of crap on my forehead and still look like a hottie when I returned to school. I will add that I started going to the same hick community college again, in the same horrible small town with small minded hillbillies, and this time, I was jobless and living again at my parents'. The acne just started getting worse, so I stopped wearing makeup, thinking it was the cause. Nope. More acne. This time, not only was it on my forehead, but it spread to my cheeks. No, no, not small bumps, big fatties that wouldn't pop even if you tried prodding it with a needle. And if they did pop, they bled. Yes, yes, you don't have to tell me that is bad.. however, I had never had acne, so I thought it was healthy to purge my skin of the demonic puss that plagued my pores.
So I started doing a 2.5 BP face wash twice a day with a toner and moisturizer with BP. Well, that never got rid of my acne, if anything, it made my skin dry and nasty and really freaking red. So after a couple weeks of that crap, I was done.
"Let's go back to nature!" I said. How naive of me! I started with honey washes (not organic and raw because I was an acne novice) and sea salt masks and olive oil. HELLZNAW. My acne just multiplied exponentially. Bah. I was stumped... a month after Italy, and I had full fledged pizza face. I then started getting all paranoid... started searching the web for every darned home remedy for acne. I started taking supplements.. borage seed oil, fish oil, zinc, magnesium, vit A, vit B complex, vit E. "Ah, this is sure to do the trick. I am just low on vitamins fatty acids, is all! oh ho ho!" I happily took pills every freaking meal time as directed, every day, for months. During this time, I was educating myself 4 hours a day on acne. Knowledge is power! They say. Well I looked at thelovevitamin.com and thought, well she cured her acne with sunshine, exercise, and happiness. Hard to do in late autumn... Then, acneeinstein.com. He's all scientific! No dairy, lots of antioxidants, no high GI foods! Gut is connected to skin! BWAHRAHAHARR. That was when I started looking into the diet side of things. First no sugar, sugar is bad, then no dairy, dairy is bad, then, only raw mostly green, then paleo diet, ACV MIRACLE CURE, then FAST EVERY TWO WEEKS. I think these people want us to starve to death and not enjoy a normal life. With all this researching, I started looking at skinacea.com, then acne.org forums, and blah blah blah. So many remedies, so little time. I mean, I am going to move to Chicago in January! Can I please have clear skin by then?
So now after all of my research, I have this ridiculous skin care regimen:
ON MAH FACE:
ORGANIC RAW honey wash in the morning, followed by ACV toner with lemon juice and filtered water, Cinnamon nutmeg and ORGANIC RAW honey mask every afternoon, tea tree oil, lavender oil, and jojoba oil for moisturizer/cleanser at night, topical probiotics to keep my "facial flora and fauna" all balanced and junk before bed. Sometimes if I wear foundation (which is rare, even though I get stares without it) I will switch to a stronger natural cleanser than honey, such as MyChelle Dermaceuticals white cranberry face wash.
IN MAH BELLY:
PILLS ALL DA PILLS. I started taking triphala in the morning and night, taking cod liver oil, probiotics, ACV internally, vitamins, A, B, E, then zinc, magnesium, etc. I do this every day, without fail. I drink a ton of water.... like 2 gallons a day, maybe more.
Then I stopped eating sugar, and then started limiting my sugar intake, and even limiting how much fruit I eat (I start feeling bad after I satisfy a craving for a banana--am I developing an eating disorder from acne? WTFRICK?) I don't eat dairy, and I try to eat one fish a week, because meat is expensive. I am trying to limit my salt intake, but it's hard when you have to eat all these veggies. I don't eat bread. I don't eat cereal anymore--my love.
I eat carrots, kale, swiss chard, apples, prunes, celery, cucumbers, barley, japonica black rice, brown rice, rice milk, almonds, seeds, fish, quinoa, onion, garlic, oats, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, corn, spinach, lentils, and on occasion, when I'm feeling a bit on the wild side, I will eat dried pineapple to help my insatiable sweet tooth, and maybe even a whole grain pita pocket....etc etc etc. my family thinks I am a nut, BTW.
Yoga, ballet, HIIT workouts sometimes, and walking. I exercise 5-6 times a week
Relaxation and stress:
Prayer, and lots of it. Then journaling. And lots of sleep. I average about 8-9 hours a night. CUZ IM UNEMPLOYED HEH.
I try to wash my pillowcase every day, and my sheets every week. I wash my hair every 2 to 3 days with an overpriced natural shampoo I got from a hippy health foods store. and then you saw my skincare routine. Pretty holisticallly standard.
HA lost some weight guys! More skinny than ever! POSITIVES MAN!
Oh, and I have I told you a wonderful wonderful tidbit? I still have acne. Yeah. I think today I counted 23 pimples on my cheeks, chin, and jawline. Not to mention the wonderful hyper pigmentation. Most of the pimples are on my right side, whereas a month ago, it was concentrated on my left.
I'm starting to think this is a bigger problem than just diet and skincare and hygiene. I am now looking at the more serious things. Liver probs, thyroid probs, estrogen dominance, and possibly androgen dominance.
I bought a couple days ago Estroblock on Amazon. I am going to start taking Burdock root. If these don't work in the next few months.... I will have to break down and go to the dreaded dermatologist. I don't want to have to take birth control....and accutane...I already am extremely depressed--haven't felt any happiness since Italy.
With my acne, my self esteem... it's basically nonexistent. I used to go out with my friends, love talking to people. Lately, I have become quite introverted. I rarely want to leave my room.
I cry every time I look in the mirror. This isn't me. I want my beautiful confident me to show.
I am tired of people telling me that my skin is the elephant in the room. I have gotten comments from "oh wow, is that a horrible an allergic reaction?" to boys telling me, "you would be so beautiful without acne" to little cousins not wanting to kiss me because my "face looks weird and lumpy." Yeah. One thing I have learned from this is that people are cruel. And also, I love the acne community. You guys really understand.
If anyone has insight on my hormonal acne. Please help. I am so desperate. I am taking money out of my college funds to pay for all of these supplements and organic foods.
These pictures shown are successive.
The one of my confident babe face is me a month in italy with NO ZITS.
Photo on 7-18-13 at 3.04 PM.jpg 74.71K 55 downloads
The other was taken 2 months after Italy
DSCN3623.JPG 21.85K 53 downloads
And the other was taken two weeks ago.
Foto del 12-1-13 alle 3.21 PM.jpg 63.68K 57 downloads