67 posts in this topic

Day 7: finished with week 1!
A closed comedones on my chin erupted today and I popped it gently. I'm having weird dryness issues - my skin where I'm apply the topicals is not super dry, but the skin around my eyes has been red and flaking! As well as my lips. I'm not sure why. I guess the topicals are dying my whole face out, and everything suffers, even if the topicals aren't been applied directly on. I've been using Nivea creme to combat the dry patches around my eyes and a lot of burts bees lip balm.
ALSO I've realized that I never really brought up my diet. I've been a vegetarian for 6 years and recently went vegan a couple of months ago - for ethical reasons, not for my acne. But I was hoping my acne would get better as a result. I do not think going vegan has made it improve any, maybe it takes more time than a couple of months to see results. Also, I've been really bad at staying completely vegan over the past month with Christmas and eating nonvegan desserts and stuff, so maybe it's not a fair indication of how my skin will actually change. Of course, now that I've changed my topical regimen, I won't really be able to tell if my vegan diet is working or if it's the topicals.

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Week 2 Day 1:
Another 2 comedones on my chin inflamed today. I really think the topicals are bringing everything up to the surface. I've began gently exfoliating with a washcloth to get rid of some dry flakes. 

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Week 3 Day 2:
A couple more closed comedones on my chin have inflamed and I pushed them out. Right now, I have a lot of hyper pigmentation on my chin as well as many more comedones that need to surface. I have one more around my nose and one between my eyes. So that's good. I feel like my initial breakout has hit a lull, but maybe more is to come. My skin is still really dry.

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Week 3 Day 5:
A comedone in between my eyes inflamed as well as another 2 on my chin. Still so many more to go! Everywhere else is pretty clear except for my chin.

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Week 5, Day 1:
Another 3 or so comedones/blackheads on my chin have pushed themselves out, so that's good, as well as a couple clogged pores between my eyes. The Tazorac/Finacea routine is bringing up new clogs then inflaming them so they can be extracted. I think the bad initial breakout is over, and now everything is just more slowly coming out.

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Week 8, Day 4.

It's been a while. I broke out super badly a couple of weeks ago - 3 comedones that turned into cystic pimples on my chin. I rarely get cystic acne, and think it happened because I ate cheese the day before. The cysts have healed and right now, comedones are just popping up and purging as inflamed pimples every so often. I extract something almost every day. Everywhere is pretty clear except for my chin, that's always the problem area. However, I definitely see an improvement. The problem I have is hyperpigmentation from all the breakouts, but that usually fades pretty quickly for me, especially if I use AHA gel. Slowly but surely getting clear!

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Almost done with Week 9.
But I still see a bunch of closed comedones on my chin - no clogged pores anywhere else, really. Between my eyes is clear, as in the creases of my nose and on my upper lip. My forehead has a few tiny blackheads, as does my nose, but those are always there. 3 more weeks until I begin to see actual results, but I still feel like my chin is so clogged. I guess from before it's definitely improved, but still, I'm impatient.

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End of Week 10!

I'm almost to the 12 week mark. My skin continues to improve! My chin is clearing up nicely, I only have about 10 comedones left. In the past couple of days, 4 surfaced and I extracted them. I'm looking forward to my chin getting even more clear! I think it may take more than 12 weeks - last time I went on 0.05% Taz, it took about 6 months for everything to clear instead of 3. I think 3 months is when stuff starts looking pretty good, but then it takes more time to totally clear. So I'm hoping by June my face will look good.
I went to my derm today - she said that my skin looks good and that it should continue to improve! She says the hyperpigmentation left behind by my clogged pores breaking out should fade with time, and that she can always do glycolic peels to speed things up. Hyperpigmentation fades pretty quickly for me, so I'm not too worried. I didn't have extractions done - I find that my skin heals better if I just let the clogs surface on their own, rather than trying to force them out.

Also, I bought my derm's line of sunscreen - I'm hoping this is good for the sunny spring and summer days. I'm always concerned that something is going to break me out from the drugstore.

Edited by katie789

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End of Week 13:
Wow, I'm past the 12 week mark. My skin is doing great. I have about 5 comedones left on my chin - which is crazy - because I started with so many. It's nice to be able to count the ones that are left. I'm really hoping new ones don't pop up. So far, it looks pretty good.
I've been super lazy about using Fiancee and my AHA and BHA gels. I use each of them maybe twice a week. I mostly just use moisturizer in the morning and that's it. I'm using Tazorac every night, though.
However, I'm looking to change my routine. I was sick with the flu the other week, and was just washing my face once a day, and I noticed that my skin looked so much better - glowing and even - instead of red, irritated and flaky. I think I may be over washing. So, my plan is to use one of those AHA/BHA pads in the morning to wipe off my face but not actually wash it with water. I've been using the Stridex Maximum Strength 2% BHA pads, which I like and are alcohol free, but I'd also like to use on with an AHA as well. I thought about getting the Peter Thomas Roth ones, but they're so expensive, so I'm not sure. Also, they have alcohol in them. This way I can use the Fiancee over the AHA and BHA and not have to alternate days.

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Hi, it's been a while. 

Stridex pads did not end up working for me - I felt like they made my face get greasy very quickly and didn't do much for my skin. I went back to my PC AHA and BHA gels, which are my favorites. I've also given up on Finacea because it was just too much to add it into my routine as well.

Currently, my skin is doing pretty well. I have a few clogged pores on my chin and between my eyes, but it's pretty solid. However, my skin is pretty dry from the sun and being at the beach. Also, the skin around my eyes is super super dry, and has been ever since I stopped using Cera Ve lotion in January. So, I've decided to make my own moisturizer/serum with glycerin and hyaluronic acid, both which are very hydrating. If you want the recipe please let me know :) I'm trying to start using more natural products with fewer ingredients and chemicals.

My current routine:

AM - Cera Ve foaming wash, AHA+BHA gels, moisturizer from my derm (tomorrow will be subbed with the serum!)
PM - Cera Ve wash, moisturizer, Tazorac

I'm trying to get rid of my last few clogged pores. My skin is pretty stable right now, but not perfect. Part of it may be due to me using a sunscreen for the first half of the summer that I'm pretty sure clogged me. But who knows. A couple of ideas I have going forward about my skincare:

1. Start using a high linoleic acid content oil as the last part of my night routine. Skin that clogs and has acne is often deficient in this acid, and applying it topically can help.

2. Use African black soap again as a wash. I liked using it a year ago, and although I'm not sure how much it will really do for my clogs, it's a nice natural alternative to the Cera Ve.

3. Start using Fiancea again, it's supposed to be good for clogs.

4. Go back to my derm for her advice!

I'm trying to change one thing at a time (first the moisturizer switch) so I can really monitor what is happening and know what's working.

Edited by katie789

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Currently, my skin is not doing great. It's the worst it's been in a couple of years. I went off my birth control (Loestrin) in early June, and by the end of September, my skin was a mess. I have clogged pores (mostly around my chin and mouth) as well as some cystic pimples on my chin and between my eyes. I know it's hormonal because it's cystic and mostly on the lower part of my face.

I'm so frustrated. I'm still using Taz at night and have started using Fiancea during the day. I'm really hoping that Fiancee helps to clear it up, so I'll see. However, I'm worried that I'll have to go back on birth control again.

I saw my derm yesterday. She said that I could either do a series of expensive peels, go back on BC, or take Spironolactone. I don't want to spend a ton of money on peels (and if it's hormonal I'm not even getting to the root of the issue) and the side effects of Spiro scare me. Because I didn't have bad side effects on BC (I just hated taking a pill every day) I might go back on that. Ugh. For now, I'm seeing if Fiancee helps (my skin seems to be purging, which is a good sign) and thinking about going back on BC.

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So Finacea has helped somewhat, it seems to have eradicated some clogged pores. However, there are still so many clogs, and I keep getting cystic pimples, especially on my chin. I currently have 6 cysts on my face. I'm definitely at my wit's end - I've given my body 8 months to adjust and it has not. I'm also concerned about scarring from the cysts - I don't have any aside fro hyperpigmentation, but if it continues to get worse, it could be a concern. My skin was not great before BC, so I'm thinking I just have hormonal acne, and the only way to treat it is through BC. I have a doctor's appt tomorrow, and I'm going to get a new prescription. Hopefully it clears my skin up in a few months.

I'm wondering how effective Tazorac actually is, if my acne seems to be hormonal. Is Taz really doing anything for me or would BC be sufficient? I'm a little scared to go off of it, though.

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My doctor gave me a prescription for Loryna, the generic of Yaz. I'm a little worried because I've read bad reviews of Yaz and health warnings, but if it regulates my mood swings and acne, it might be worth the risk. Also, there's a risk with any birth control. And I wasn't perfectly happy with Loestrin - I got really bad cramps with it, and would bleed if I took my pill even 3 hours late. My skin was also never super clear - definitely improved, but I would still get bad breakouts at times. So maybe something else would be nice to try.

I took my first pill this evening. I will keep everyone updated on how my skin reacts as well as how this pill affects me otherwise :)

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I was on Loryna (Yaz generic) for a week and I hated it. I had to pee all of the time (it's a diuretic) and I would wake up multiple times at night to use the bathroom. I also starting getting pain in my leg, shoulders, and arm. My doctor said the pain might be due to dehydration. I was drinking many, many glasses of water a day and always felt thirsty . So yeah, this pill is not for me.
Instead, I got prescribed Ortho Cyclen. I'm really hoping this works - the progestin in it is low androgenic (as opposed to Loestrin, which is higher androgenic) so it should be good for acne. Loestrin already helped my skin be fairly clear (just because it stabilizes your hormones), but I did have bad periods of breakouts and my skin was never perfect. I'm hoping Ortho Cyclen is better. It also has a higher dose of estrogen (35 mcg vs. 20 in Loestrin and Yaz), so I'm wondering how this will affect me. I was looking for a higher dose, anyways, because I don't know if the 20 mcg was enough for me. I will let everyone know how this goes!

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I've been on Ortho Cyclen for 2 weeks now. So far, I haven't had any negative side effects. I feel the same as I did prior to starting it.

The rest of my routine is:

AM: Cera Ve Foaming Cleanser
Nip and Fab Glycolic Night Pads
Derma E Purifying Oil-Free Charcoal Moisturizer

PM: Same cleanser
Same moisturizer
Tazorac 0.1%

I stopped using Finacea because so many topical were drying out my skin, and I'm too lazy to put on 3 different things in the mornings haha. I stopped using the Paula's Choice gels because it was annoying to always mix them and wait for the gel to dry - swiping a pad is much easier. I love te Nip and Fab ones! They have mandelic, salicylic, and glycolic acid, as well as hyaluronic acid, so they are great for my pores and hydrating too. They are also alcohol free. I really love the Derma E moisturizer as well - it is hydrating but does not make my face shiny.
My skin has been so dry for the past few days. I'm not sure whether it's due to the birth control decreasing the sebum production in my skin, the cold weather, or the fact that I just switched from Taz cream to gel (pharmacy just gave me a different one, the switch was not intentional). Around my eyes, where I do not put the Taz is dry too though, so maybe it's the weather or my hormones.

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