So I ended a 28 day streak 6 days go and noticed some inconsistencies:
My face was irritated (red/dry) and broken out the morning after I masturbated. I began using a new product the night before (which I discarded) and attributed the painful breakout to both strong irritation + masturbating the previous night.
I broke out again this morning. This perplexes me because todays break out is substantially worse than my breakout from masturbating after 28 days of nofap. Had I masturbated last night - I would have presumed this to be a direct repercussion of masturbation and so I wondered:
When I masturbated once/twice a week - I had attributed all my break outs to masturbation. Then when I went 4 weeks no fap and STILL broke out - I immediately attributed it to other factors.
The fact of the matter is, I'm beginning to think that face would look exactly the same now, regardless of whether I've masturbated or not this past month.
I noticed correlations between masturbation + past because I was conscious of them. If I'm going to search for a correlation - I'm going to believe I've found one.
In reality, I can't say I've found much connection yet but maybe 1.5 months isn't enough time. All I can truly say is - my acne is very stubborn and nofap just gave me something to blame my acne on when it clearly isn't the sole or true verdict.
Perusing photos from the past also revealed that my skin hasn't improved much and still experiences intermittent breakouts and inexplicable moments of improvement.
In other words, hoping that simply not-fapping would resolve acne for me seemed too good and easy to be true. My acne remains an enigma and I do not believe following linear approaches and methods is conducive. I think the more pragmatic approach would be a more holistic awareness of acne - rather than a black and white, clear cut theory that dictates when someone will break out.