So here is my story. Sorry if it's long.
I have had flawless skin my entire life. Ive had skin where people come up and ask me what moisturizer I use and if I am on the pill. They ask me what I do for facewash and basic hygeine questions. To tell you the truth, I never did anything. I never washed my face all through high school. I never once thought about it. I would shampoo my hair in the shower and the water would run over my face and that is all I did. After college, I started wearing more foundation and makeup (kept doing the bronzing stuff). It seemed natural I should use something to take off the heavier makeup so I used makeup remover and Dove sensitive soap (bar soap) in the shower, once a day. Sometimes I would fall asleep in my makeup (gross, but happend more than I'd care to admit). I still never. broke. out.
Until 6 months ago when my life changed completely.
I had a mark appear on my face. I thought it was a zit and just left it be as I often did with the rare and occasionaly zit I would get. However, it didn't go away. It turns out, it was just a tiny vein or broken cappilary. My doc (not a derm) misdiagnosed it as an infection. I went on some antibiotic for my face (doxycylin) and metrogel. I took it for a couple of weeks and when the thing didn't go away he sent me to a derm. The derm told me it was just a vein and not to worry. However, during these couple of weeks I had started washing my face more worried that I was somehow not cleaning enough and VOILA, more zits appear. The derm then puts me on some cleaning regimen and gives me fenacia and BP for my zits (no more antibiotics).
SO...I went from perfect, flawless skin to cystic acne along my cheeks in a matter of weeks. Sounds crazy right? I went from washing my face once a day to washing it a couple times a day and applying fenacia and spot treating with BP.
And it just got worse and worse from there. It would seem like the acne would go down and I would think, OK it's getting better...but NO, more bigger ones would come back. All along my cheeks. It was terrible. I went into hibernation and it sent me into deep depression, which I am currently in.
It has given me a really good perspective on people who suffer with this condition. I never understood it like I do now. It's terrible and isolating and you feel as thought it will never end. I feel before I was in control. I never thought about touching my face or worried about makeup or what I ate. Now, I obsess over it. I used to love shopping and looking pretty and now I never want to leave the house or get dressed up.
Because things just got worse with the more product I used, I decided to try the water-only / caveman method. I had read about it on here and it made sense to me because that's EXACTLY what I did my whole life for the flawless skin I had.
However, it's not going very well and I'm ready to give up.
Here's my routine the last couple of weeks:
1. Let water run down my face in the shower 1x a day. Warm, not cold or hot. Use a towel to dry my face.
I'm starting week 3.
First week: Dry skin flaking off, things seem better.
Second week: The cystic zits disappear and my face is instead covered in whiteheads. Super. I trade one problem for another. So, I have these red spots, scars, and white heads all over my face now and no clue when and if they will ever end. It is the worst it has ever looked in my life.
I'm going into my third week and I just feel so crippled and ugly. I know it sounds awful to say that because I know it's just a skin condition and people have way worse things to worry about but I seriously hate looking at my face in the mirror. I don't understand how I can not let shampoo not touch my face. Sometimes it touches my forehead and I get really upset because I try really hard to not let it touch my face. I tilt my head back and everything but I think still some of the soap splashes on my face. That's probably screwing things up for me.
Anyway, I'm about to give up, but I thought I would see if anyone had any advice. Crying everyday doesn't seem to be helping although I keep praying maybe the tears will burn off my whiteheads.