I promised myself that if The Regimen worked for me then I would post on Acne.org so that's what I'm doing
I have had acne since I was about 17. The kind of acne that's really under the skin, red bumps; red, peeling, blistering, weeping skin. My skin would crack because it was so irritated. I couldn't wear make-up on it, I couldn't use any face wash or anything like that - it was farrrr too sensitive - and I would NEVER not wear make-up. I was ashamed. After an entire summer of being cooped up in my house because my face was red raw and I was too embarrassed to be seen in public, I went to do something about it.
Cue years of back and forth to the doctor. I had creams, gels, tablets, antibiotics. I tried 2 different pills which I had to stop due to increased risk of blood clots in my family. I couldn't take Roaccutane as I have had severe depression before and I'm considered high-risk (Roaccutane can increase your risk of depression). Nothing worked. And I was miserable. Some days it was easy to cover up with make up, others it wasn't.
I switched to mineral make up a few years ago to eliminate some of the damage oily products did to my skin. It didn't really help, but it felt better. It was more expensive but it seemed worth it to me. But I still needed something more.
My first experience with Benzoyl Peroxide came in the form of a 5% cream. BIG MISTAKE. This is too high a percentage. ALWAYS USE 2.5%!! My face was damaged so bad. It took weeks to recover.
When I stumbled across Acne.org I honestly didn't think it would work but I tried because what did I have to lose?
I knew it would be hard. But I was determined.
I also decided to eliminate anything else that could be affecting it, and considered the following:
I refuse to allow people to stress me out. I do yoga, I work out, I walk and take in nature. I CHILL OUT. A few reasons: I have bad anxiety. I've had severe (life-changing) depression. And my hormones affect my skin. It's not worth getting stressed out as it leads to bad skin which makes you more stressed out. My advice to you is to eliminate stress, get rid of negative people around you, and I urge you to take time to just relax. IF you can't, at least try to change your perspective. Don't worry so much. It will affect your skin. Easier said than done, I know, but try. If you're reading this and you're on Acne.org then you're desperate to sort your skin out - just like I was. Trust me - you need to relax.
I can't stress this enough - you need to eat well. For your mental health, your physical health - and YOUR SKIN. You need to give your body every chance of regulating itself and being in tip-top health. So eat healthily. Veg, fruit etc. I don't drink milk - I'm lactose intolerant anyway, but even if I wasn't, I wouldn't drink/eat it. Because it's bad for your skin - the hormones, the congestion. None of it is good for you. It doesn't affect everybody but it affects a lot of people - and a lot of people that don't realise what milk is doing to them!! Give it a go. Take it out of your diet for a week or two. Just treat your body like a temple. YOU HAVE TO FOR GOOD SKIN.
3. The Regimen
...works!! Follow it strictly. Use the right products. Hardly touch your skin. Be very careful applying products.
Use non-comodegenic make-up, NEVER CHEAP OILY MAKE UP! Too many chemicals and irritants, totally not good for your skin. If you can afford it, use mineral make-up. But make sure it's actually mineral make-up (some claims to be but still has loads of products in). Be careful with what you buy. It is better to wear no make-up than bad make-up. I know your skin must look awful and red and irritated and it's embarrassing right now but in the long run, you have to not try and cover it up with more crap because it will make it worse.
When I first started the Regimen the Benzoyl Perozide (I used Epiduo gel) burnt my skin - it's a well-known side-effect of this product. The skin was burnt, flaking off, and looked awful (see my pic!). I had to go to work and face clients with a face so red my boyfriend called me a lobster (he's lovely really, he was just joking - you have to see the funny side!! But only with people close to you... if a stranger in the street said it it would prob be more upsetting!). I work in the music industry so I have to deal with A LOT of people on a regular basis... and I couldn't even look them in the eyes when I spoke to them. I wore a scarf over my head and face when I went out. I was so distressed I lied and said I had had a severe allergic reaction to something and needed to let my skin heal. - If you have to, I suggest you use this lie, if you're too embarrassed to tell the truth. It's ok to lie to make yourself feel a little more comfy whilst going through this awful process - it makes you feel better about having a burnt face and people won't take the mick. Do what you have to to make yourself feel better whilst going through this because IT IS NOT EASY. Luckily I didn't do this whilst at school which I imagine would be 100 times worse so I'm lucky - I'm sure a lot of you out there are teens and this is the hardest thing you've ever done, letting your peers see you like this. Keep going - be strong. IT'S WORTH IT.
I thought at the time that I had done the wrong thing - "How can this constant burning possibly work??" - my face hurt and itched so much I wanted to cry but I knew I couldn't because that would make my skin worse. I just stuck at it, I carried on, I TRUSTED that this website was right. And it was!
After a month I introduced an AHA to my moisturiser after the BP - my scars are now fading! They're still there but they're fading. Happy!
So I've posted my pic below to show my progress.
Any questions please feel free to ask. I am sooooo happy to give back to others who may be in the position I was in a few months ago!
I should also mention that Epiduo do an app where you can track your skin progress, it's called 'Epi-Tracker'. You can set it to remind you when to apply the BP and everything, and you can take photos of your skin and rate them. There's also a great app called 'Spotcheck' that does the same thing. Both very useful!
Cetaphil Face Wash (only actually started using this after 2 months, the rest of the time I just used warm water to wash my face)
Epiduo 0.1% / 2.5% Gel (adapalene / benzoyl peroxide) - available only by prescription
Cetaphil (High Tolerance) Moisturising Cream
Ren Skincare Resurfacing AHA Concentrate
Jojoba oil (pure, unrefined)
Oh yeah, did I mention? My skin's clear after 2 months I thought it would be at least 6! Yay!
Good luck everyone
P.S When I took these photos I didn't care about looking good or getting a great angle, I just wanted to get as many of the spots in as possible. Therefore most of them are seriously unflattering but sometimes you just gotta be honest! Just look at the last photo and see how clear my skin is!
Edited by carlospark, 14 January 2014 - 07:46 AM.