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God, I hope this lasts.

I am now experiencing my first period since I started the regimen and I am very pleasantly surprised. I have a few bumps on my face. They aren't red at all. Small and barely visible. I also have three spots on my chest but they are already getting better. My neck is clear save for a few pink spots and my back has pretty much cleared up. My skin is also a little lackluster, but, all in all, I am impressed. I really didn't think the regimen could stabilize the awful hormonal breakouts I get every month, but here we are. Hooray! If I can stabilize my monthly hormonal breakout it is very likely that I can keep my skin clear all of the time. I don't tend to break out generally, but the nastiness that I get once a month lasts until the next one. As soon as it would start to clear up it would start all over again. A vicious cycle. A variety of birth controls have failed to do what the regimen has done. God, I hope this lasts.

Stupid hormones.

Woke up with four zits on my jawline. Nothing too awful. They're small and they're not cysts, but they hurt like the dickens. I believe I read somewhere that breakouts along your jawline are hormonal. I guess I can expect a period soon. This will be my first period since I've started my new regimen and I'm curious and terrified to see what happens. Can I keep this under control? Usually my face explodes. I really, really don't want that to happen. I also have a spot on my cheek, but my skin looks good in general. Just sticking to the regimen.

Still clear...you know, mostly.

All is well...ish. Nothing too awful to report. Woke up with a couple of white heads on my jawline. I'll spot treat those and that should be that. All of the spots on my chest have healed but the pinkness is persistent. Nothing seems to be speeding up that process. I started taking a vitamin A supplement Saturday and I've been really tired since then. I'm not sure what that is about and I'm beginning to wonder if it could be too much A. I think the dosage is rather high. (8000 i.u.) I'm going to research that. I find that my skin is more dry than usual. I'm reluctant to use a heavier moisturizer as it's been ridiculously humid and the moisturizer just makes me feel even more sticky. I'm considering trying something new, but I'm a little nervous. Normally I'm all for experimentation but my skin is actually relatively clear and I don't want to go f-ing that up. Hrm.


Yesterday, for the first time in ages, I left the house without makeup! I was so thrilled I teared up a bit. I've been continuing my regimen. The only thing I did differently was a glycolic treatment on Thursday because my skin was still pretty dry from that baking soda exfoliation. I find glycolic acid is really helpful in removing dead/dry skin without doing any damage. When I woke up yesterday morning the cyst that was forming on my chin was completely gone. Vanished. And without having grown to significant proportions! I continued to treat the cyst on my cheek with hydrogen peroxide (just once a day since the initial experiment) and it's now just a red spot. Nearly all of the other red spots are gone. I have no active blemishes on my face and just one on my neck and one on my chest. Huzzah! It was sooooo wonderful to be out sans make up. I even attended a party. I usually don't use eye make up because all the foundation and concealer makes me feel overly made up, but I didn't have to worry about that last night. I got to use some of the many eye shadows I've had stashed away. On a not so happy note, my back is breaking out. It's not horrible, and I really think it's just that I can't wash it very well and it's been reallllllly hot. I'll have to invest in some sort of implement...

The cyst and baking soda exfoliation

After reading through many reviews and posts I decided to try a baking soda exfoliation. Since I still needed to wash my face I just mixed a tablespoon into my cleanser. The result was a very fine, gentle exfloliant. Nice. I gently scrubbed my face, neck and chest for about a minute and rinsed. Immediately after my skin felt really smooth. It didn't feel particularly dry. About ten minutes post scrub, however, my face was veeeeerrrrry dehydrated. Typically, as per the regimen, I would slather my face in BP after my bedtime washing, but I felt that would be a bit risky considering. Instead I opted for my Neutrogena AHA moisturizer, which I don't use very often as it makes my skin feel greasy. When I woke up my face still felt really smooth and soft, but it was also still a bit dry. I really didn't expect that. Usually my skin is a hot mess after I use the AHA moisturizer. (Must have been pretty dry to have absorbed all that.) I applied some witch hazel and then a light moisturizer. I can see some peely spots that weren't there before. Also, my entire face is red. It's like a mask, which is less annoying to me than splotchiness. It's kind of nice to have an even skin tone even if I resemble a tomato. The good news is my spots are drying up as well. It's too soon to say whether it really helps. I'll try it again after my skin regains some of it's moisture. I think it has potential. I read someone mixes it into olive oil to minimize the drying. I think I'll give it a try. Now, the cyst. The swelling is completely gone. All the goo seems to be gone, as well. Now it's a very red lesion. Not the prettiest thing to look at but it's well on in the healing process. That's impressive. I'm not sure if it's entirely because of the peroxide. I also used BP, toothpaste and then the baking soda. Still, the hydrogen peroxide did help. I won't say for sure that it's worth it at this point. Guess that depends on how long this redness lasts because it's pretty intensely red. I have another cyst forming on my chin. It's still rather small so I'm not going to poke at it just yet.

Experiment with hydrogen peroxide

I developed a cyst a few days ago, after being cyst free for three weeks, I might add. I used a dab of honey to relieve the pain and that did it's job, but nothing helped to shrivel the monster. I was staring into the medicine cabinet, contemplating put more BP on the spot when I noticed the hydrogen peroxide. Hmm. I figure it's peroxide so what can it hurt? I checked the reviews, though, just to be sure. Oodles of reports of positive results. I cleaned a needle and poked the cyst and then I used a q-tip to apply the peroxide. There was minimal stinging and some bubbling. I checked back several hours later and noticed the swelling had gone down significantly and a head was now visible. Yucky, yes, but it's progress. I applied more peroxide and a dot of toothpaste in an attempt to draw the yuck out. Just checked on the beast again and most of the swelling now gone and a nasty splotch is left. There was some oozing. Again, it's yucky, but it's part of the process. I just accomplished in one day what usually takes seven to ten. Still, it's too soon to tell. I'm curious to see it tomorrow. I also noticed another cyst forming on my chin. What is that about? My period is three weeks away so I doubt that is the cause. I'm going to try 70 mg of zinc for a couple of days and see it that helps. I have a party to go to Saturday, dammit! Perhaps tonight is the night to try baking soda as an exfoliant. Hope I don't make this worse...

What I'm doing now...

After many trials and tribulations and little success I've decided to try Dan's method. Well, I've altered it a bit at least until I find better products. So, my regimen looks something like this: Morning- Gently rinse off the previous night's BP (neutrogena 2.5%) Use Dickinson's Witch Hazel on face, neck and chest Afternoon- Wash face with St. Ives Green Tea cleanser (contains 2% salicylic acid) Spot treat with BP Moisturize with Clean & Clear Dual Action Moisturizer (contains 0.5% salicylic acid) I generally use a little make up in the afternoon. Mostly just concealer and pressed powder. Evening- Wash face with St. Ives Green Tea cleanser (contains 2% salicylic acid) Use Dickinson's Witch Hazel on face, neck and chest Slather on the BP Not exactly what Dan recommends. I've found that my face gets really sticky and oily if I use a moisturizer on top of generous helpings of Benzoyl Peroxide. I intend to mess around with other brands/types of moisturizers and BP. If I am not successful I'll likely order Acne.Org's products. So far I've seen improvements. What I've found in the past is that BP always works...for a little while. I'm going to keep better track of this regimen to see if it's the BP that is letting me down or if I become less diligent as my skin improves, which, I'm sure, is likely. I take a number of supplements specifically for my skin. Omega 3-6-9 has helped my skin's moisture levels. I had dry skin previous to taking this and acne products always made it worse. Painfully so. But this has done wonders. My skin is supple and not at all oily. Even the copious helpings of BP haven't dried my skin. I also take 50 mg of zinc everyday. I find I don't feel nauseated as long as I take it with a meal. Has it helped? Well, since I've started taking zinc I have only had one, that's right, just one cyst. While it doesn't seem to have helped with the rest of my acne it's worth it to take since it helps with the painful cysts. And as an added bonus I got over a cold in 36 hours. Woot! Nothing else I'm taking seems to have made much of a difference. I continue to take them because of their other benefits.