Hi everyone! I'm not sure if this is the right forum to be posting this but I wanted to share my regimen in case it's helpful for anyone else. I am gorgeously clear, and very thrilled.
Regimen: Water, Benzoyl peroxide gel, and Zinc oxide sunblock. And that is ALL.
1) Wash face with mineral water only twice a day (Evian Brumisateur mineral water spray).
I recently discovered that I have a sensitivity to nickel, and it got me wondering if I might be sensitive to other metals (or even other substances in tap water.) So I stopped washing my face in the shower and at the sink, and instead began using just the Evian mineral water spray and toweling it off gently. No soap, cleanser, or cream. Guys, it's like night and day. My chin and cheeks aren't constantly red anymore! I am absolutely stunned. Tap water never touches my face now.
2) Apply a thin layer of 10% Benzoyl Peroxide twice a day after washing (Clean & Clear Persa-Gel 10: ACTIVE INGREDIENT: Benzoyl Peroxide (10%) INACTIVE INGREDIENTS: Carbomer, Disodium EDTA, Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose, Laureth-4, Sodium Hydroxide, Water.)
Yes, I know that 2.5% is "just as effective"...but even if this is true for 99 people out of 100, I am that 100th person. Let me put it this way: I can slather 10% BP all over my face, even in a thick layer, twice a day, and all I have to show for it is some very mild dryness. My skin apparently loves BP and just inhales it. This stuff is also water soluble, so when I "wash" my face with the spray in the morning, it's completely clean.
3) In the morning only, apply zinc oxide sunblock after BP. (Devita Solar Protective Moisturizer: ACTIVE INGREDIENT: Zinc oxide 19%. INACTIVE INGREDIENTS: Aloe barbadensis (certified organic aloe vera gel), Purified Water (aqua), Capric/caprylic triglycerides (derived from coconut oil), Glycerin (vegetable), Hyaluronic acid (vegan source), Glyceryl stearate SE (derived from vegetable oil), Stearic acid, Lecithin phospholipid, Tocopherol (vitamin E), Allantoin, Vitis vinifera (grape) seed extract.).
I am surprised that this sunblock isn't more popular. It's the only sunblock I have ever found that goes on smoothly and doesn't seem to irritate my skin. The only caveat is that because it's zinc oxide based you have to apply it generously for it to "work." But it doubles as my moisturizer and I just love it. It also applies best when I rub it between my hands a little and warm it up first.
Also, it's water soluble, so when I "wash" my face in the evening with the mineral water, my face is once again left clean.
Diet: Wheat-free, dairy-free, low carb. To translate, I mostly eat meats and vegetables. I also drink lots of water. I started modifying my diet years ago with mixed results. It certainly seemed to "help," in that my acne became less severe and breakouts were less frequent, but I was far from clear.
Behavior: I thought it would be nearly impossible, but I stopped picking at my skin. (21 days and counting.) This has been huge, guys. Absolutely horribly difficult (I have an acne.org blog about how I've been doing, including making lists of reasons not to pick and ultimately bribing myself with Chanel nail polish) but it's totally worth it.
Makeup: I don't use foundation anymore, ever. I have some red marks from breakouts of yore, and I "pinpoint" cover them with a Shiseido concealer pencil if I feel like it. (I use eyeshadow, lipstick, etc. but that pencil is all I ever use on my skin. I don't need anything else!)