Hey, guys. It's been quite a long while since I last posted here, so I figured I should update you all with my progress. After a year of being on the Regimen, I quit. The side effects were just too much and I wasn't enjoying looking older than I really was (and appearing constantly sunburnt). I quit the Regimen in January 2012 and here I am now. 11 months later. It's been very hard indeed. I broke out severely a few months after quitting. The breakout I suffered did not respond to any treatments; prescription, over the counter or natural. I think the benzoyl peroxide had damaged the balance of my skin to the point of no return. Despite my diet being impeccable, nothing could control this breakout. Now, 11 months later, here I am. Incredibly scarred and still suffering with non-stop, persistent breakouts. The only positive is that it seems as though it's slowly getting better. I do breakout often, but it's no way as bad as it used to be. I'd like to think that I'm getting there. I'd love to hear from others who have quit BP and hear your stories. Any tips are welcomed. And to anyone who is interested, this is the regimen I've been using for the past 6 or so months: AM: Wash with goats milk soap, apply moisturiser (Moogoo Acne Cleansing Cream) PM: Wash with goats milk, tone with apple cider vinegar, apply moisturiser Additional: Bentonite clay mask 2x weekly Supplements: Cod Liver Oil, Zinc, Vitamin C
Okay, so as of yesterday it has been 2 months since going off of BP. I experienced a bad breakout a few weeks ago all over my face, and it was pretty damn awful to say the least. Interestingly, my forehead and chin (the places where I would apply the least amount of BP) cleared up relatively quickly, and now they are almost 100% clear (despite 3-4 very small active pimples); however, the places where I would apply the most BP (sides of my nose/cheeks) continued to break out terribly. As of now, my cheeks/nose are finally starting to settle down (touch wood) and all I'm left with now are a few smaller pimples and some red marks left from the larger ones, which heal up within a few weeks (not months and months like when I was using BP). Now, despite the red marks/pimples, I must say, my skin texture/tone looks fantastic. My pores are no longer humongous, I have no blackheads/clogged pores whatsoever, and no red, stinging skin. The mouth wrinkles are still present, but are no longer as large and deep as they were. I hated smiling around people when I had these wrinkles, but now, they're nearly unnoticable (thankfully). I'll be sure to report back in a month. )
So, as the title says, I have been BP-free for a month now, and I just wanted to share what has been going on during the past month or so. Just to recap, the reason I decided to go off of benzoyl peroxide was because of the multitude of side-effects which I was experiencing. My skin always looked dull and red (people would always ask if I was sunburnt), I had developed deep wrinkles around the side of my mouth which would make me look so much older, especially when I smiled, and I had clogged, enlarged pores all over my cheeks. To be short, my skin looked like crap. As I have mentioned in my earlier posts, I have had acne twice in my teenage years - once when I was 15, and again when I was 17 (conveniently when I first started dating my boyfriend), but in each circumstance, I never had "severe" acne, just lots of small pimples (all over my face when I was 15; on my cheeks/chin when I was 17). I am saying this because for some reason when I went on the regimen, though it did work, I would get random cystic pimples throughout the year I was on it, which I thought was very strange seeing as I'd never had them before. Back on topic, the past month has been very hard for me, going from being pimple-free (despite the random cyst) for nearly a year, to having pimples again. I do not want to deter anyone from going off of BP, but I'd think a break-out would be expected due to the skin being so depleted of moisture and being treated with such a harsh chemical for a long period of time. I'll try to simplify my experience so far as much as I can: Preparing to quit: Using BP only at night time for 1 week: During this week, I didn't really get too much of a negative response. I did not get any break-outs during this period, and I noticed that a lot of the redness and dryness subsided. Note: I began using a tea-tree oil/witch hazel toner about 2-3 weeks with BP before I prepared to wean off, just to get my skin used to a new product. Week 1 : Completely off BP: I understand that my "wean" did not go as originally intended (I was initially planning to wean very slowly, but I guess my anticipation got the better of me). This was my first week off of BP; I noticed that I did begin to experience very small pimples popping up around my T-zone (I assumed this happened because my oil-production was no longer being supressed and this area tends to be the most oily). The pimples, while very small, tended to be quite stubborn and did not completely heal for at least a week or so. Weeks 2-3: The time period between the second and third week off BP was when I noticed the most break outs. They were still very small, but there would be more and more of them as the days passed. The main areas they would come up in was around my T-zone, forehead and chin. While I did begin to panic and worry that I'd relapse and go running back to BP, I persisted with my current regimen. I found that the pimples on my chin and forehead began to clear as I entered the 3rd week, but more pimples began to arise around my nose/cheeks. Also, it should be noted that by this time, the redness had completely faded, the clogged pores and enlarged pores had gone. The deep wrinkles around my mouth had also improved about 80%. Weeks 3-4: As mentioned above, my skin had begun to break out quite badly during the third week, but this began to improve around the 1 month mark. I developed 3 larger pimples around my left side of my face in the 3rd week, which were very inflamed in comparison to the other small, relatively un-inflamed pimples I had around my nose. Nearing the end of the 4th week (the last few days), I have had no new pimples for a week (exept one small one on my chin which I'm going to blame my lady hormones for), and the large, red pimples have reduced in size and faded quite well. The smaller pimples around my T-zone are also fading. So I'm hoping that I've endured the worst of it now (knock on wood). Also, boyfriend has even commented that my skin looks much healthier than it did whilst on BP, so I guess that's a plus. I'll continue to update as the months progress. Feel free to leave a comment or any questions.
Okay, so it's been a year since starting the regimen. I won't deny that it has worked at clearing my acne, but overall, it has caused me to have other skin issues which I've never experienced before in my life; redness, dryness, wrinkles, clogged pores, blackheads and hyperpigmentation which lasts for months on end. When I had acne when I was 15 and wasn't doing anything to treat my face, I would pop pimples constantly and the red mark afterwards would heal within days. Nowadays, if I do pop a pimple, it takes months and months for the redness to heal. Furthermore, I have never dealt with clogged pores and blackheads in my life until I started the regimen. Nor have I ever had dry, red skin. When I went back to visit my high school after graduating (I started the regimen after graduating), the teachers commented that my face looked "different" and that I had gotten wrinkles around my mouth that I've never had before using benzoyl peroxide. At this point, the side effects are far outweighing the benefits. As of Monday this week, I have stopped using BP at night time, replacing it with a diluted tea tree oil solution and using witch hazel/tea tree as a toner to get rid of the blackheads and huge pores thanks to the BP. It seems to be working; my face no longer has the texture of a golfball. I plan on slowly weaning off the BP and replacing it with tea tree oil. I do expect a breakout, but I honestly do not care. I don't want to look like I'm 50 when I'm 25. If anyone has had any experience with weaning off of BP, I'd be glad to hear your stories. People who attempt to convince me to stay on the regimen, I will hear what you say; however, my mind is set. I am well aware of the mechanism of action of BP, as I am a student nurse, so I don't need to hear any sort of preaching about how effectively it works. Thanks.
I'm not happy. I've got 5 big, active pimples and numerous other little ones that have all popped up in the last week. Nothing about my regimen has changed. Needless to say, I'm pretty upset. That's all I'm going to say.
So, anyone who has read my previous blogs would know that I was having trouble dealing with pores/blackheads... well I solved that problem! Here's how: Every night I'll wash my face gently with a microfibre wash-cloth (using the same cleanser) This worked really well for me! I think it's also helping deal with the red marks a bit. Anyway, as for my acne, it had really subsided until I caught a cold about two weeks ago and ended up with tonsillitis. My GP made me go on abocillin which caused me to have a lovely cystic break-out just as my skin was free of pimples. Thank you, winter! But now that I'm off the abocillin, my skin has settled down again; however, now I have some lovely fresh red marks. Oh well! No new pimples in sight though, so that's a plus! *knock on wood* Also, if you've read my last blog, you'd probably get the impression that I was very depressed. I've since adopted a new positive attitude and I feel waaaaay better about myself! Here's how I did that: 1. Stopped looking in the mirror every 5 minutes and observing each and every flaw, 2. Stopped putting myself down and comparing myself to "perfect" skinned people, 3. Trying to not feel guilty when I have something "bad" to eat, 4. Keeping myself busy with ANYTHING (the dishes, cleaning, reading, writing, walking, being with friends, etc) 5. Thinking with a positive attitude (i.e., you're still beautiful no matter what!) In my honest opinion, people with acne are much more humble and are generally very nice and accepting. I feel that acne has made me a better person (shock, horror!). Be happy guys!
I've been feeling really depressed lately. I'm still breaking out a little bit... and though I will admit that my skin has cleared up a lot and the red marks are SLOWLY fading... I'm now dealing with huge blackheads and these weird hard white plugs kind of stuck in my pores. They just stay in my skin and don't leave. I have no idea of what they are or how to remove them, so if anyone who reads this can relate, please let me know. As for the whole depression thing, I honestly don't know what brought it on. Maybe it's due to end of semester exams starting this weekend. But all I can say is I feel AWFUL about my appearance these days and spend every day crying. My boyfriend of nearly 7 months has absolutely perfect skin and I hate the way I look next to him... Ahh. I hope this all passes...
Okay, I really don't know why I didn't start blogging this sooner, but anyway! So I've been on this regimen for exactly 4 months today. My acne is/was quite mild I suppose, but as you would know, any sort of acne can really affect your confidence. So, up until the age of about 14/15, I'd had relatively clear skin. The occasional pimple here and there, not too bad. But when I hit grade 10 (around 15 years old) my skin when absolutely berserk. I had horribly severe acne and it absolutely destroyed my confidence. I don't remember what exactly made the acne go away, but it left quite quickly (in about a few months) and my face [surprisingly] was left with no scarring. From then on, from grade 11 to 12 (16 - 17 years old) I'd get a few pimples here and there, again, nothing too bad. Now, I've graduated High School and am in University, and the pimples have come back with a vengeance. Luckily for me, it is not as bad as it was when I was 15; however, it is still making me considerably less confident. A few months ago, I desperately went to my GP and asked what I could do to get rid of the acne. He recommened benzoyl peroxide (2.5%) and then to go on up (5% - 10%) as my skin got used to it. I quickly ran [literally] to the chemist, sped off home and hastily applied the peroxide to my face, expecting results the next day. Well, that didn't happen. Nor did it happen over a month. Or two. Now, during this time I was extremely depressed and was constantly lurking on the internet for miracle cures and remedies. I came across acne.org and found myself being sucked in to reading all the reviews and, eventually, coming across the regimen. I thought to myself - what do I have to lose? And so, the regimen began. Now, I must say, my skin has definitely improved since going on the regimen. BUT. It is no way near clear. I still find myself breaking out. Just so you guys know, here is what I do on a daily basis: Morning: Wash with Neutrogena Acne Soap Apply 2.5% benzoyl peroxide Moisturise with Cetaphil lotion Apply makeup Night: Wash with acne soap Apply 2.5% benzoyl peroxide Moisturise with Cetaphil lotion Diet [daily]: 2 x fruit 5 x vegetables 3-5 cups green tea 8-10 glasses of water Supplements: Zinc Vitamin C Evening Primrose Oil Alright! So, it has been 4 months so far and although most of the pimples are gone, I'm still breaking out quite often. I know it says that it takes around 2-3 months to start being clear, but I disagree. It must take a longer time. Now, I do admit, I'm still very self-conscious about my face. I will constantly be looking in a mirror and noticing every mark left by pimples and examining each and every pore. If I do see a new pimple coming, or wake up to a new mark, I get sick in the stomach. I know it's not doing any good stressing about it, but it's just the way it is, and I'm sure a lot of you can agree. I plan on sticking with the regimen - I am definitely not giving up! I'll definitely keep tracking my progress as the weeks go on.