Frustration and anger at having severe acne seem to be a regular thing for me. Which really doesn't help considering acne is hormone related and to a certain extent we control our hormones through our mindset. One thing I've struggled with lately is that though a diet change has gotten rid of all of my blackheads/oily skin/typical acne, I now have severe painful cystic acne that seems to flare up around my period. Ironic really, that at the worst time of the month when I'm most 'emotional' I break out like crazy which of course just gives me something else to get pissed off about. I'm so incredibly sick of acne it's nearly debilitating. I research shit way too much and have spent loads of money on topical crap including proactiv and countless other brands. What I've found consistently with those types of treatment is that they absolutely ruin my skin. It'll be dry but oily, peeling, red, and sore. Lines start showing on my face and the acne keeps coming back. Maybe it works well for people with less sensitive skin but what's that supposed to mean? Am I screwed cause my skin is different? Actually the routine I've been using as of late has seemed to be clearing scars and existing acne right now (I'm just expecting another bout of acne in about 2 weeks right before my period.). What I use may sound crazy but it makes your skin baby soft and clears up scars pretty decently. I mix about a T. of raw honey, a T. unfiltered apple cider vinegar, some fresh lemon juice, good quality sea salt (which I make sure is dissolved so as to not break open and irritate my current lesions.) and aloe vera gel (the kind that goes in the fridge because it doesn't have loads of skin irritating preservatives.). This is what I use as a cleanser and occasionally a mask if I have time to let it sit. I was using a cleanser from the health food store but even that seemed to make me break out more. So I've decided that I'm not going to put anything on my face that I can't also eat. Besides maybe the mineral makeup I've just started to use.. Maybe I could eat that but I think I'll pass. I'm now using Merle Norman's mineral makeup that has about 4 ingredients. Everything else was clogging my pores and not lasting half a day. So a few years ago my Mom took me to the natural path. For reasons other than acne actually, at that time it wasn't too bad. The lady was very adamant that I was allergic to milk and should go cold turkey off it. Now, especially over the last year I've avoided dairy and dairy products. Even goats milk, which I was having for awhile but also didn't seem to agree with me. I even stopped having cheese for the most part which is seriously difficult when you love it so much. But as of late I've slipped up a bit... Some cheese here, yogurt there, cake... you know how it goes. And I've also realized that SUGAR seems to break me out pretty damn bad. So after some more research and talking to my parents I've realized I probably have one of two things: either hemochromatosis (my Dad has it and I have some of the symptoms) or a candida yeast infection, which I have a lot more of the symptoms of. I am so frustrated with my acne right now, good god, I've had complete strangers telling me what I should do for my skin and that was terribly embarrassing. I eat fairly healthy too... But I think a few things, like my love for nuts and chocolate and sweets have definitely not helped my case. So I've decided to cut back drastically on the sugar and glutenous things (I may also have an allergy to that or it could just be the candida feeding off of it.) and stop drinking so much beer! It's horrid really. I think as my love for beer has grown, so has my acne. Another thing I've started up over the last 2 months is juicing. I juice every day if possible. And I juice mostly vegetables (I throw in either a few apples or carrots depending to make the juice more palatable.). It has seemed to help in some respects; It gives me more energy, curbs mindless eating, etc. and helped to clear the blackheads I had and improved the texture of my skin. I also have found that borage oil/evening primrose oil has helped immensely with moisturizing my skin from the inside out. I used to have super dry skin all over--my legs, my arms, blah blah blah. I've also noticed that bruises seem to heal faster for me. I've also started a hormone balancing supplement called EstroSense. Not sure about it yet, it's supposed to take 2 periods to work. It did seem to shorten my last period though. I get fairly severe depression around my period so I'm hoping it'll help with that. I recently discovered that my Dad has to take meds for bipolar (thanks for telling me.) and I'll be surprised if my issue is not related. Okay I'll shut up now. Just had to get that out, don't know if anyone will read this or if it'll be at all helpful. I'm just hoping to keep track of what I'm doing/have done so I can figure shit out in the future. Here's to hoping it works.