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Day 1...

I started getting acne when I was 11 years old. I remember getting a few pimples and feeling humiliated. The embarrassment increased exponentially when I got into my teens; my forehead, chin, and the area around my mouth started to break out with big, red, pussy zits. I developed a terrible habit of picking at my zits till they would bleed, which further aggravated my acne condition. My mother asked me to faithfully wash my face and to fight the temptation to pick at my face. My acne continued to worsen, eventually making its way to my jaw line and wreaking havoc. Nasty scars started to form on my forehead and around my mouth. I had new break-outs frequently. It was painful, both physically and emotionally. My mother eventually decided to take me to a dermatologist (I think I was about 14...). The dermatologist prescribed Retin-A, clindamycin, and doxycyclin. I started out by faithfully following the dermatologists instructions: I washed my face twice a day with Neutrogena's orange cleanser, I applied the clindamycin in the morning, the retin-a at night, and I took a doxycyclin capsule daily. After the first couple weeks, my face looked terrible. I felt like a big red lobster. My face peeled and bled. I had no moisturizer, and my face paid dearly for the lack thereof. After about 5 months, my face improved drastically. I would still have occasional breakouts, but they were nothing compared to my face's former nastiness. After about a year or so, I declared myself relatively acne free, and I discontinued the usage of the powerful products. The fall of my senior year in high school, my evil nemesis, acne, returned. My prescriptions had run out, so my mother took me to my dermatologist once again. He put me on the same regimen, this time suggesting a different cleanser (Clean and Clear's deep cleansing cleanser). Over the course of the next few months my face went through the same healing process it had done before (this time slightly less drastically). I got overwhelmed with AP tests and family issues the following spring, and my faithful face routine petered out. My face remained relatively clear throughout the summer, and in August of 2010 I bid goodbye to the midwest, my family, and my friends, and I headed to the east coast for college. College-life become really stressful. Late nights, intense assignments, too much caffeine, etc. My hormones were on a constant roller coaster. Everything about the east was different: the weather, the people, the lifestyle, etc. All of these variables added up to a series of nasty breakouts. Like the other two sections of my life in which I experiences similar breakouts, I started using my trusty combination of powerful acne meds. This time,however, but combination was not doing the trick (at all!). My face got worse everyday. My jawline started to look like raw meat, and the area around my mouth was constant covered with new zits. I began to feel miserable. Here I was, surrounded by new people (potential friends for goodness sake), and my face looked worse than ever before. It was devastating. I tried switching back to the orange Neutragena cleanser to no avail. I'm not in December, nearing the end of my fall semester, and my face is still disgusting looking. I didn't want to head home with no hope, so I did a google search, hoping and praying that I would find a 'quick fix' (or any fix really) for my acne. The first site on the results was acne.org. I thought, "How fitting...a whole website devoted to the nasty beast." I clicked on the link out of curiosity, and I spent the next hour just browsing the site: reading about the regimen, following certain discussions on the message boards, looking into a few blogs. When I saw the prices on the supplies for the Regimen, I was sold. I spent every last penny of my November work-study paycheck on the big package of cleanser, benzoyl peroxide, and moisturizer (I even threw in an order of jojoba oil for the heck of it). So here I sit on my dorm-room bed....psyching myself up to walk down to the mail center and pick up my package...I'm hoping and praying that I've struck gold! I'm ready to get back on track to clear skin for next semester! I've done enough reading about the Regimen...now it's time for less thought, more action! So here's to hoping that this system is my new trusty combination! Wish me luck! Time to go get that package!!! Addie