I haven't updated for awhile because I really wanted to pay attention to my skin and get to the bottom of why my skin was still breaking out. I've been doing alot of research on PCOS and one of it's main symptoms, insulin resistance. What I've learned is that people that have insulin resistance don't process sugar and carbs normally. Consuming sugar and carbs can increase the levels of testosterone in the body and cause breakouts. Thinking about when my skin was at it's best over the years- it's always been when I've followed a low carb/sugar diet (which I've followed on and off for several years to keep a healthy weight). My worst breakouts, including when I started breaking out again a few weeks ago, have been when I've binged on sugar. I'm starting to understand the connection, and the importance of eating right, working out regularly, and trying to stay destressed, taking my zinc every day, and just trying to live a natural, healthy lifestyle. Some people might be able to eat whatever they want and still have great skin, but for me- sugar and carbs are my trigger. I still have alot to learn about PCOS. I'm still taking Yasmin to help regulate my hormones, and still using Proactive daily. I've been doing Lactic acid peels once a week, and they have helped my skin tone alot. All of these things help, but I think for me, diet and lifestyle is going to be the key. This article is really helpful...
Depressed today. Four new bumps after I thought my skin was getting better. I don't know why. I'm so sick of this acne rollercoaster. Still doing Proactive, & Yasmin. Did two 40% Lactic acid peels. Don't know if my latest breakouts are from the peels, stress, 'cause I've been wearing a motorcycle helmet again, or if it's just because I have crappy skin and always will. Some people wish for a million dollars. I wish for new skin.
I just started the last week of my second pack of Yasmin- the inactive pill week. As a regimen update, I'm back to Proactive with the refining mask and GT Moisturizer, and I've stopped the Differin. I used the Differin twice a day for 6 months and I feel it didn't do anything. In fact, alot of my hyperpigmentation has faded since I stopped using it- I think it was making things worse. As for the Johnson's 2-in-1 Acne and Mark eraser kit--- I did have some sucess with it, but the 10% BP and 2% SA were sooooo harsh and started making my skin look dry and aged.
The Proactive seems to be working great, but I must note-until I treated the root cause of my breakouts- hormones, Proctive didn't help at all. I think it's important to treat the cause, whether it's hormones, dairy, stress, etc.. then treat with topicals. I'm so glad I started Yasmin. I don't have any negative side effects. It cleared my skin and bumped me up a cup size.
What I'm left with, after 2 months on Yasmin- is one zit. That's all and that's amazing to me-2 months was all it took after so many months of just topicals doing nothing. The one rebellious zit I have left is a small pustule that's already drying out. My skin is still far from perfect. I have alot of hyperpigmentaton, and some small shallow scars. I've ordered a 40% Lactic Acid peel to deal with all that- hoping it also helps with some fine lines I've gotten from years of using harsh acne topicals. I'll probably do my first peel this week and review it after I've done a few. But I think, just maybe, I'm finnally winning in my epic battle vs. acne.
I'm on my third week of my second pack of Yasmin, and the good news is that I haven't had any new breakouts at all- which is pretty amazing. What's really frustrating, though is the few stubborn bumps that refuse to go away. They're very shallow, red inflamed bumps- not that big or anything, but still, they just won't clear up. Just when they seem to be slowly healing, one of them will swell back up into a bump. It usually go's back down after a few days, then another one swells up, like Whack -a- Mole.
I'm back to using Proactive, with the refining mask and Green tea moisturizer, plus Differin. I thought maybe the exfoliant in the cleanser would help the stubborn bumps. I'll just have to wait and see if this works- here we go again. I must say, that when I use Proactive, my skin at least feels sooooo clean and fresh.
I'm considering something new, though, if I'm not clear in a month or two. I'm thinking Retin A (although I don't think the Differin is doing anything) or even Accutane. I just want to knock out this last bit of acne for good!
"Mommy look at that lady!"
I overheard a little girl say this as she looked at me in Walmart the other day. Now, my skin has been looking pretty good- when I have my makeup on it's not that bad. But before I realized that she was checking me out 'cause I was all dressed up to go out, I felt that "acne paranoia"...I had flashbacks to when I was 14 years old, and my skin was bad- I mean bad...no, no- worse than that. I remember using all kinds of things on my skin that just burned it and dried it out. Every morning I would look in the mirror at my flaky, acne riddled skin and just want to cry. I didn't want to face the world.
I don't think people who have never dealt with acne will ever understand the feeling- hopelessness, despair; wanting so badly to have clear skin, something most people take for granted. Wishing to not have to slather on makeup to go to the mailbox. I always wonder if I would be a more confident person had I not suffered from severe acne during my formative, teenage years.
Sites like this one didn't exist yet when I was a teen, but I think they are such a help in dealing with the phsycological aspect of acne. It's nice to have support and know your not the only one. We're all in this together!!! lol
I've come to realize, that the best way to treat acne might be to go at it from every angle possible- a full frontal assault. My regimen has become treating through hormones, topicals, and diet and lifestyle.
The Yasmin has definitely kept me from getting new breakouts every day, like I was before. It seems to be keeping things at bay, although I don't know if it would be enough to just use, with nothing else.
My topicals couldn't knock out my acne on their own, but by adding the Yasmin, they're really starting to be able to work to clear and heal. I'm still using the Johnson and Johnson 2-in-1 Acne Advantage kit, 1% Differin, and Proactive Green Tea Moisturizer. I also use Oil Of Olay Regenerist Eye Serum around my eyes, so I don't get dry from the topicals.
I'm still taking a Zinc supplement every day. I'm drinking lots of water, and eating low carb/low sugar. I've started working out this week, cardio and weight training. Sweating helps get rid of waste in the body, so who knows- maybe it will help my skin. I wanted to take Saw Palmetto- studies have shown it may help hormonal acne, but it may also interfere with Birth Control- so it's a no go. It would probably be helpful to someone not on BCP, especially if taken with, say, Spirolactanone.
So It's been a little over a month of this all out war with my acne, and I must say- with this approach, my skin has gotten so much better, fast. After struggling for so many months with ineffective topicals and antibiotics- I'm really happy. I still have a ways to go, but my skin is getting there!
Just finished my last week of (inactive) pills from my first Yasmin pack. My skin definitely seems back on track to getting clear. All of the old breakouts are healing and clearing. I have alot of hyperpigmentation. If I could get rid of all of it, my skin would be looking pretty good. I did get one cystic breakout on my jawline during the week of inactive pills. This may have been because I was away from home one night and had to wash my face with soap, I dunno.
My new regimen is this--
AM- Wash with Johnsons Breakout Erasing Cleanser ( 10 % BP)
Johnsons Mark Erasing Spot Treatment (2% Salicylic acid)
Proactive Green tea moisturizer (wonderful product, love it)
PM- Same, but with Johnsons Nightly Mark Clearing lotion instead of the Spot Treatment (1% Salicylic acid)
I haven't decided if I'm going to switch back to Proactive or not when this kit is done, the Johnsons seems to be working good. I've had sucess with Proactive in the past, but it seemed to stop working as well for me recently.
As far as the Yasmin, I'm still happy with it. Haven't had anymore emotional effects, or any other bad side effects. I think it really is helping my skin, along with the topicals. I found out from my Dr. that I definitley have PCOS, which explains the skin issues. She said my testosterone levels weren't that bad, surprisingly, but that my LH/FSH hormones were high, whatever that means. I'm kinda confused by all this- especially because I'm not overweight, and not infertile- the 2 main symptoms of PCOS. I've been trying to get back to eating low carb, low sugar, high fiber and lean protein. This is supposed to help, and ironically, it's how I've been eating for years anyway. I have alot of research to do on this still, but any thoughts or input on PCOS would be greatly appreciated!!!!
Ahhh...setbacks... I ran out of Proactiv cleanser almost a week ago, and I've been dilluting the last little bit left in the bottle to wash my face with. I noticed immedietly that the breakouts I still had seemed to stop healing/clearing up. To make matters worse, last night I went to bed bare faced, without applying Differin. When I woke up, I had a few teeny-tiny pustules, and one of the red spots that had been healing swelled back up into a cyst. So I picked up a Clean and Clear 2-in-1 Acne and Mark Eraser Kit. I got it just to use the cleanser, at least until my Proactiv gets here. The cleanser is hard core 10% Benzoyl Peroxide, so hopefully it (with the Differin) does the trick. Seems crazy to be treating topically with Proactiv and Differin, but My face is still super oily, it needs it. I think I'd have better luck switching to Retin A, I just don't want to deal with another 3 month initial breakout.
As for as the Yasmin- I am still hopeful, however I have to be honest, the past two days I've been in a real funk, I'm talking bad (ie- suicidal thoughts). This is not typical for me, and there's nothing going on in my life to give any reason for it. At the moment, I feel fine, but I'm definitely monitering this possible side effect carefully.
On a more positive note, I guess the one good thing to come from this week is that my boobs are still getting bigger Haha- sorry, but for someone who is soooo small normally, getting this effect w/o surgery is pretty awesome.
Ok, so maybe in my next entry I'll have more positive things to post about!
I'm on week 2, and so far, my skin is getting dramatically clearer. I didn't expect it to work this fast, but all of the cystic acne and red inflamed breakouts on my cheeks are healing. I had 3 days left of Minocyclin, but decided to just stop taking it. Three months is waaaaaay to long to be on an antibiotic and let's just say I started getting some of the bad antibiotic side effects. I got a few teeny-tiny, shallow pustules right after I went off it, but they're pretty much gone already. I'm just hoping now that I continue to clear up without any weird side effects.
Speaking of side effects....I had alot of concerns about going on hormonal birth control, (I envisioned becoming a bloated, emotional wreck with no Mojo- lol) but so far, I haven't had any emotional changes, and my sex drive hasn't diminished. If any thing, it's increased. I haven't had any weight gain other than my boobies getting bigger I'm a small 32 A, so this is a side effect I was hoping for, and sure enough, even though it's only been 2 weeks- they're definitely bigger! (and thank God, not sore or anything) My husband is pretty happy with that-lol!
Forgot to mention- I'm currently using Proactiv cleanser, + I've been on Differin .1% twice a day, and Minocycline for 3 months which hasn't helped at all- I was still getting breakouts just about every day, with no flaking or peeling to show that it was even working. I started taking Zinc 2 days ago, hoping it would help my skin heal 'cause I have alot of hyperpigmentation on my cheeks and some shallow scarring.
Hi all- here's brief summary of my acne experience thus far: So I'm 27, and have suffered moderate to extremely severe acne on and off since I was 14 (depressing!) In my teen years, I had success getting clear using Minocycline and Differin 0.3% (the strong stuff) This combo worked great , but the first 3 months are horrible- terrible ib + flaking. Over the years, though, whenever I got clear and stopped the antibiotic, I would breakout again. My acne was mostly in my t-zone, the worst breakouts being on my forehead. So for years I was on and off this combo, trying everything under the sun, also- Benzaclin, Clindamyacin, Duac, otc products, glycolic peels, laser hair removal, diet, zinc etc... I managed to get my skin somewhat under control using Proactiv. PA cleared me up and kept me relatively clear as long as I used the steps religously WITH the Refining Mask.
So last Summer, everything went wrong- I'm still not sure if it was from getting laser hair removal and the hydrocortisone gunk they put on your skin, or from wearing a full face motorcycle helmet often, or from taking a Plan B- It was just a perfect storm- But I started getting cystic acne bad all over my cheeks and jawline. I also started breaking out on my shoulders and back for the first time. I finnally decided to do some research and get to the bottom of what was causing my skin issues. I realized my acne was probably hormonal- plus with irregular/missing periods, excessive hair growth... (gross, I know) I ended up getting diagnosed with PCOS (I have 3 kids btw- it hasn't affected my fertility)
After alot of research, it seemed like Yasmin birth control was the way to go for hormonal acne 'cause it has anti androgen type hormones in it. My concerns were mostly blood clot risk and lowered sex drive (the horror) I hadn't been on bc for years. So.....it's been 6 days so far and I'm VERY hopeful. I haven't had any new breakouts which is awesome, and the acne I have is starting to heal. (fingers crossed!!!)