Checking in to report on the giant cyst that's formed on my chin. It's about an inch in total surface area and has three separate "heads." Pretty exciting. I hope that when I'm at dinner with friends tonight that it explodes and starts bleeding. Yay acne!
I've been skipping a day or two here and there and don't seem to be much worse for the wear. I've also been doing the regimen only once a day instead of twice and that seems to be working all right.
I'll probably stick with it, because it's been working better than anything else I've tried, but I'm not motivated enough to be super diligent and do the thing twice a day. I'm definitely not getting the beautiful clear skin that I've heard people talk about here.
Stress has been a big factor in my life lately, I hope that'll calm down soon and I can start feeling a little better about myself.
I have two huge, inflamed nodules on my back, but everything else seems all right for the moment. I'm getting very dry, which is annoying, but I'm okay with that if it means that I'm not broken out.
I've decided to order another large bottle of BP treatment as a sign of good faith to myself that I'm going to stick with it. It's still not fun to slather all this product on myself, and I'm hoping in time, I can stop using BP on my back so I can stop worrying about bleaching everything I own.
I've been doing the regimen sporadically the last few days and all I have to say is that at least the pimples I get are poppable. I even got one right where I set my sunglasses, though I hadn't worn sunglasses in days.
I've been waffling on whether to stay on the regimen this week because of my lack of results. Thursday was a bad day to make that decision. I broke out in 8 giant, pus and blood filled nodules all over my face. Those don't conceal well, at all. One of them spontaneously exploded during dinner with friends and I spent 20 minutes dabbing it in the bathroom to stop the bleeding.
This feels like an exercise in futility and I'm tired of throwing good money after all the products, and spending an hour waiting for everything I put on my face and back to dry. I've been not home the last few nights and it's pretty inconvenient to use someone else's bathroom for all that time since I can't wear a shirt while the AHA and BP dry. I might give this all another shot beginning Monday night, but will definitely be unhappy if I purge again. Trying to stick with it and not having great luck.
Skipped two days this weekend because I was feeling like a slave to the regimen and not getting any results.
As a result, I got two new nodules on my jawline and a few other miscellaneous bumps around. I'm not even a little bit convinced this wouldn't have happened had I been consistent. In fact, I think it might have been worse.
I guess I won't give up, but I'm not totally sure I should re-order the big bottle of BP, or spend any more money on anything else when nothing is really happening.
Three days ago, shortly after I posted my last blog update, my face exploded into a mess of whiteheads and nodules and pain. Ouch!
The two bothersome nodules eventually popped and have gone away (for the most part), one with some help, the other one its own. At one point during the day, I had no fewer than 8 trouble spots on my face. I was really feeling down about the whole regimen process, but I stayed patient. Just two days later, they've all gone away (for the most part) and everything looks so much better. I feel relieved but annoyed that I had to go through it at all. Today is the beginning of week 5 and i'm still getting new bumps/pustules. I freaking hate this. What's the point?
I switched cleansers this morning to the store brand of Cetaphil cleanser. What a difference! Everything looks and feels completely different! I'm so glad I made this change, because the flakes are starting to come off and it looks like i'm getting a lot smoother and more glowy.
BUT - the nodules are getting more aggressive. I have two that worry me right now. There's one next to my nose that got a white head tonight, so I popped it after the shower. there was LOTS of pus in there, so i'm glad to get it out and start the healing process. I think I'll add the AHA back into my face regimen to keep this stuff from happening again.
The other nodule doesn't have a white head, so i'll leave it be. I really truly thought my fourth week int o this regimen would see me clearer, but I guess my case is going to take a bit longer. I'm looking forward to being okay with not wearing makeup, finally. That has been my goal since I first broke out in cysts 8 years ago, and I feel like I'm about to turn a corner with all this.
As far as products go, I will definitely stick with the acne.org BP treatment, and the jojoba oil, but the AHA is a lot more expensive than the alpha hydrox brand. That makes a difference since I go through about 6 ounces every month. It's been a significant financial commitment since I am unemployed, but my confidence has no price. So I'll probably keep buying drugstore cleanser, moisturizer and AHA. That's all right with me. The jojoba has worked really nicely for what it needs to do, I just have to do things a little more gently and let it work.
The Cetaphil Oily Skin Cleanser has left me looking like a cracked fresco. This is not good. I'm taking it back to the store and hoping they'll let me exchange it for something better.
The skin around my eyes has all but run away and any lines I have around my eyes look questionable and much older than I am. Back it goes! I'll write more about my progress when I'm not so annoyed about how dry my face is.
I think the change in cleanser has left me red and peely. My skin looks pretty rough today, even though I had to wear makeup for an appointment. My neck is irritated again, but my back seems to look better for the moment. Today is the beginning of week 4.
The red spots and old blemishes on my back are starting to subside. My face still isn't blemish free. I have the little nodules next to my nose, and I got a new cluster of blemishes at the corner of my mouth this morning. They seem to be better and will probably be mostly gone by tomorrow after I apply some BP after tonight's shower.
I have these weird little nodules on each side of my nose today. They seem a little questionable and swollen but I'm going to just LEAVE THEM ALONE as much as I'd like to pick them.
I still get a new blemish here and there, but nothing like before. I even got a new one on my back, which kind of broke my heart, to be honest. I'm about to finish week three and I'm trying to manage my expectations of clarity. This feels like a whole lot of work and I'm not getting the results I want. So I'll just keep plugging away.
The irritation seems to be subsiding, somewhat, especially on my neck. Somehow I managed to let the BP migrate halfway down my neck and it was causing this really itchy, red ring right below where my skin is attempting to clear. The acne under my chin/neck has always made me crazy. About 3 years ago, I started to break out with big, juicy pustules right under my chin at the jawline. Nothing I did would work on them, but as soon as I'd get a chance to see a derm, they'd go away (OF COURSE!).
In trying the Regimen, I can tell the raised bumps are much smaller, flatter and they don't develop into full on zits. That's very exciting! It's very weird to have a clear face and then look up to know that people notice the acne under your chin.
My back seems to be less irritated and dry. There's nothing I'd like better than to put some Body Shop Body Butter on it, but I know that's not going to happen for a very long time. Instead, I have been putting moisturizer mixed with jojoba oil on it, especially on the back of my neck/top of my back where the BP seems to concentrate and makes the skin a little peely.
Today, I have two new little nodule things on my jawline, as well. They both seem to have a little bit of liquid/pus in them, but only one has shown any kind of white head. I might try to pop it after tonight's shower, but only if the head gets bigger. I'd rather not pop it, but if it gets worse, I'll have to do battle. This is very different from the attitude I had when my cystic acne was so bad, I didn't care what I did to my skin, so I'd just pop them with a safety pin and let the blood/pus come out. I know those kinds of actions have long-lasting, scarring consequences and I'm trying to be NICE to my skin instead of beat it up.
Overall, everything looks much nicer/smoother and less oily. No kidding about the jojoba oil. Skin loves this stuff! I've been applying it between treatments on the areas that are more dry, like around the eyes and on the neck. It's really great stuff!
My back is still not responding much, if at all. The skin is more dry, and I don't really see any NEW spots, but the old ones are just hanging out there every time I look. I want those GONE, NOW! *yes, I know I'm an impatient woman*
One very weird consequence whose source I couldn't even guess is that my friends say I look more tanned. Maybe because I'm not wearing a load of foundation to cover the red spots, maybe because I have been very diligent about getting 20 minutes of sun per day (WITH SPF) and that makes a big difference. Whatever the cause, I like that my skin looks healthier and less deathly pale and questionable
I'm getting irritated at being irritated. It's showing up on my neck, the back of my neck and some on my back.
I looked back through the regimen steps for the back and saw that i'm using FAR too much BP and AHA on my back. I guess I got overzealous hoping more product would clear me faster... I know that's not true now. So I've started moisturizing further down my neck to keep it from getting red and peely. It seems to help!
The thing that continues to amaze me is how my skin is responding. I woke up this morning and thought,"holy S---, whose face is that?" My current blemishes last less than a day, if less than 12 hours, and don't get swollen. It's pretty amazing!
I'm not sure if I feel better because I've taken control of my acne, or if I really am getting clearer, but whatever it is, it's working for me.
Taking an active role in my breakouts is a new step for me. I've always chalked my acne up to hormones and shrugged, as though there were nothing I can do about it. With my most recent troublesome breakout, I decided it was because I'd gone off birth control. I started the BC again, and yet nothing was getting any better. Having heard about the Regimen for years on various messageboards, I decided to give it a go. I had nothing else to lose, why not try?
I'm having a hard time not feeling like it slows me down some days, because I live in a humid climate and it takes a while for everything to dry so I can get dressed for my day or for bed. I'm also not wild about wearing a white undershirt in the springtime when I'd rather be wearing a pretty sundress. Thinking about how much clearer my back will be in a few weeks is the only reason I haven't completely given up on it. In the meantime, I can settle for wearing pretty dresses with a tank top underneath.
The back is definitely not responding as well as my face, which is hard not to be disappointed about. My face is definitely improving and I'm thankful for it. The blemishes I do get last less than a day and don't get as swollen and painful as they were before. It has to be the combo of AHA/BP, from what I've read. I know starting with AHA on the face from day one wasn't the best idea, but so far it's working for me. We shall see!