Sooo.. now I have blackheads. Which I've never had before. It's confusing, because it's like suddenly how my face looks has plummeted.. My red marks are extremely noticeable, I've lost my tan (already?!), and I'm getting all these little blackheads on my cheeks. Just my cheeks - so far... Though I suspect they are forming on my forehead as well.
I worry this is due to switching to Cetaphil cleanser about 2 weeks ago. I was singing it's praises and extremely satisfied with it but now I'm not so sure - am I just getting blackheads randomly, or is it something I did? Oh dear.
If anyone reads this that has blackheads experience, any suggestions to rid myself of them? I am still loyally on the Regimen and don't want to mess with it too much but they are really upsetting me.
Woot! I have fulfilled the criteria for veteran status on the boards today, that makes me happy
So in celebration, update for myself..
I don't remember what I talked about last time so I might be repeating myself. I have successfully integrated AHA+ into my Regimen - I use it every night now, and it has majorly cleared up my face as well as made it look radiant and smooth and soft. In the morning I still use the moisturizer, but I only need 2 pumps and 2-3 drops of jojoba oil and I'm smooth all day, no flakes.
For a week or two I actually purged due to the AHA+ addition - I had cystic acne, which I've never had before, and even some whiteheads on my forehead which I don't get forehead acne. And then it disappeared and everything was peachy. And still is!
Although I have 2 nasty bugbites on my problem cheek so it's kind of making it look like I have these weird inflamed pimples, but they're actually spider bites.
So now all that's left is a one or two very small pimples that are not a bother at all, and a lot of red marks on my problem side (my good side (left) has been clear for about 2 weeks except for one pimple, so all but one red mark cleared up already). Basically just waiting for my red spots to go away.
I'm excited because I cleared right around my period, and usually I get twice as bad around my period, so something must be going right~
I'm so excited to reach veteran status on the boards. I love posting - and I never posted anywhere before acne.org - and I feel like I might actually be helping people. Even if it's just one person I'd feel so special
Adios! (10 weeks and 6 days)
Forgot! I printed out a calender on colored paper, punched a hole at the top, attached a rubber band to which I attached a pen, folded it up and keep it in my purse at all times. Why do such a weird thing, you might say?
Well I wanted to be able to see at a glance what the past 2 weeks have been like acne-wise for me. I write down when I get breakouts, when I use AHA+ as a moisturizer, when (if ever) I miss a step of the Regimen, when I picked or scratched and I knew I shouldn't have, etc. That way I can look back over the past 2 weeks quickly and say "Maybe this caused my breakout". I'm trying to narrow down the cause(s).
I thought it was quite ingenious of myself.
I'm back, took me long enough, I know. I think tomorrow is the end of week 8, or beginning of week 8, I've lost track.
Anyway I realized a few days ago I haven't been using the Regimen quite right, which is irritating to me. I was wondering why I've been suffering breakouts (and some cystic acne, which I've only gotten twice before in my entire life).
Well, I did the whole wait 5 minutes between each step of the Regimen. I recently reread the steps to make sure I was doing everything right, because I was wondering why the heck it wasn't working for me, and then bam I realized you're not supposed to wait 5 minutes.. That's just kind of a general guideline.
RATHER, you are to wash your face, let it dry, put BP on, wait til it's fully gone, (add AHA+ at this point if you want, and wait for it to dry), then apply moisturizer and go on your happy way. See, when I was applying the moisturizer, I wasn't waiting for the BP to dry - and that wasn't giving the BP enough time to do it's thing.
After allowing the BP to fully dry for the past few days, my acne seems to be slowly improving. I'm wary of finding more underneath the skin so I try not to over scrutinize - if I stress myself out anymore I'm likely to have health repurcussions I have also been using the AHA+ as a moisturizer one night a week to help speed up the healing process.
I'm trying so hard to give the Regimen 3 months to work but it's difficult to not want to quit when things aren't going your way.
As a side note, I'm not thrilled with the cleanser - it is very drying, and I have a good long-standing relationship with Cetaphil so I am considering going back after doing some research on the site. Also, the moisturizer is less than ideal - it should be more moisturizing! I mean jojoba oil fixes that but I'm tired of being shiny-faced all the time. Even though my husband likes the yellow tint to it, sometimes I just want to feel normal.
I've been reading through other people's blogs, and I can see a few people have browsed through mine, and I've noticed 2 things:
1. No one ever seems to comment on any blog, and I feel like if I start people won't know how to react to that. Imagine a surprised badger. Yeah.
2. All the blogs tend to talk about journeys. And that's something acne really does produce a sense of: a journey. Yes, you have sidequests where you focus on other parts of your body, like hair, and makeup, and nails, and stretch marks, and tanning, and weight. But you always come back to your acne. Always wanting to solve it. It starts when you hit puberty and your face blows up with acne, and continues onward, onward, until you finally get fed up with feeling extreme loathing at your face/body because of all those marring dots.
Then you join the forum, and write blogs and post queries and answer questions to the best of your ability. There's a community of a ton of people who feel the same. That's pretty cool.
(not saying there aren't people who don't feel as strongly as we do. I'm sure there are plenty of people on acne.org who are kind of wimpy and not truly determined. not insulting anyone in particular)
So, I've been breaking out very badly and I remember hearing something about how it can take up to two weeks for acne to surface (due to irritation, etc.). So I thought about what I've done in the past two weeks to irritate my face, and truth is I've done everything to. I've rubbed it a lot when it got dry (before I realized using a little jojoba oil in the moisturizer then reapplying plain jojoba oil on my skin very lightly when dry is extremely effective), and I've picked (yes I've failed in my 30-day no picking challenge. Sad day). And I haven't been very gentle on my Regimen - I've been more concerned about getting it done quickly rather than getting it done right.
So I've been keeping this in mind. I think a key is actually acting very loving to your skin. Being very gentle and soft and thorough with where you apply BP and moisturizer is very very important. Otherwise you won't be getting any better... And that's no fun. That's why you started the Regimen in the first place, huh?
Just checking in before I leave for work. I went to one of those day counter things because once the Regimen started working for me I stopped keeping track of what day it was. And it's day 25, or 3 weeks and 4 days. Awesome!
I had a slight breakout this week, about Saturday, and it's cleared mostly today, Tuesday, so that's pretty good. New acne is clearing fast, and not developing much. I had a zit on Sunday which I was dying to pick, so I gave in and picked. Bad idea. It got super red and inflamed and the head on it got even bigger, and it was really painful. So on Monday while I was going about my daily work, I was answering the phones like I always do (receptionist) and I pulled the phone across my face so I could use my computer and talk and then BAM I hit my zit. It was so painful. But that night the swelling started to go down and today it has a little scab on it and it's not so angry and red - well it's still a little red but it's not threatening to attach anymore.
That's about it... Keeping up with the Regimen, except I adjusted it so I use full BP at night and only 2/3 during the day, to help control the crazy flaking I was having. I like the jojoba a lot, except if I use it as a massage oil it's too much for my body to handle and I develop a rash on my neck, which is where the thyroid is, so I don't want to be endangering that. I just go with whatever oil the masseuse and/or my husband has. I don't break out from it so that's good. The jojoba oil does help a lot, it leaves my face looking a little oily but that's better than flaking like crazy and looking like you're suffering from leprosy.
So jojoba oil good, using BP 2/3 during the day and full at night is good.
I work in an office environment, so I want to blame the HVAC for the dryness of my skin, but I really think the moisturizer isn't fully doing it for me. At first I was blaming the moisturizer to the effect that it wasn't fully absorbing into my skin and it was actually the moisturizer flaking off and not my skin, but as an experiment this morning I only used 1.5 squirts instead of the recommended 3 and my skin is still just as flaky as it was when I used 3. So I still think my moisturizer is not absorbing all the way for some reason, but instead of the moisturizer flaking off it really is my skin.
SO! With some research, I have decided to go to Super Supplements today and get some 100% Jojoba Oil (they sell 16oz for $10.00 when it's not on sale; cheaper when it is.. awesome!) and will try the method of "exfoliation" pinned to The Regimen area of the chat. Because I have been rubbing my face constantly trying to get the dead skin off and that will only cause more irritation and pimples, I know, which I'm frustrated at myself for but when you are the face of the office (as the receptionist) and you look like you're molting, it's time for a change. I'm not far enough in the Regimen to use AHA (but I am DYING to), Jojoba Oil is my next go to.
I don't think I'll ever stop calling it joe-joe-bah though (as opposed to ho-HO-ba like it really is).
Other notes, treatment is proceeding well. Still getting some new pimples but only 2 at a time as opposed to 5 or 6. That is excellant news! Trying to stay upbeat and positive - the only thing that's holding me down is the excessive dryness.
Woot, my skin is looking AWESOME. The Regimen is really starting to work for me. This weekend I bumped the BP from 2 pumps to 3 pumps (the full amount), and I think that was the last nail in my acne's coffin - it's fleeing in the other direction. Trying not to get too over confident in it but I feel super awesome
The flaking sometimes gets bothersome, I'm pretty sure it's the excess moisturizer but I can't say without a doubt it is. I developed 2 new pimples so I have a total of 2 active pimples - the rest are completely receded into the skin and not infected at all so they are in fact going away. All that remains are some red spots and the 2 active pimples. I would get all grumbly about the red spots but I will try to give them time instead of complaining - I mean 9 days ago I was having emotional breakdowns from acne and now it's mostly gone, at least for the time being; I should be celebrating!
So perhaps that's what I will do. I should be enjoying the decline in acne. Hopefully it will stay this way, and keep declining until it is only one pimple every once in a while.
So, to answer everyone who is wondering if acne.org really works, so far it is working for me.
Oh it's been a bit since I've been online. I could give all sorts of excuses, I have many of them, but to sum up - I was playing video games to ignore the stress that was mounting up at work and in my personal life. And now it's all gone, whoosh! Which is very nice Except today I remain tired and wanting to return home and play Legend of Mana with my husband.
So, acne related things for my records and further review at a later date-
I had 2 pimples on the side of my face directly next to my hairline that I was keeping an eye on to see how the BP affected newly developing pimples. At first they looked angry and ready to attack with redness and inflammation. Within 2 days they started going down though - they never went full blown irritated/infected. So 1 point to acne.org, 0 to acne.
I had 2 huge whiteheads that my husband was dying to pick (he's a picker but doesn't get many pimples so he used to get frenzied over mine - disgusting!), so I told him he could lance 'em with a sanitized needle and then VERY GENTLY push the gunk out and not aggravate them more. He did so and they receded happily. My only complaint is all my pimples are leaving big red spots where they used to be. I hope they go away soon.
I've noticed the lotion is what makes your face look so tan, because it's yellow. Which is why people with paler skin are complaining about looking yellow, while people with a naturally yellow skin tone are looking tanner (or so I assume, I know I am at least). Also, it stains clothes, towels, etc, and I do not know if they wash out yet (have not done laundry).
Had my first BP-bleached shirt last night - did the Regimen right before bed and didn't let the lotion dry, and the lotion carried the BP onto my shirt and shirt sleeve (I sleep on my arm) and ta-dah! first stain.
My face looks incredibly dry after washing, but not after BP or moisturizer, which feels very very weird and wrong when I think about. Thankfully it's quickly remedied, obviously.
The peeling I have present I suspect is actually the lotion and not my skin, because the lotion goes on rather thick and my face doesn't absorb all of it and then I find some flakes on the bridge of my nose (only there, really). How odd.
I think my face is ready to switch to full dosage instead of 2/3rds dosage of BP - my face does not get red or puffy at all anymore, it hasn't for almost the past 5 days.
Whew that was a lot more than I thought. But really, I'm looking to learn as much as I can about the Regimen by paying extremely close attention to the early portions of the Regimen, so I can tell others what's normal, etc. when they start the Regimen as well. I want to be very helpful once I have a clear face and know exactly what I'm doing. I have not missed one dosage of acne stuffs yet.
On another note, I am currently in that womanly time of the month and I have not had a war break out on my face like usual. In fact, my acne right now is similar to but not exactly like my acne I usually had when my face was calmer and I wasn't in the womanly time. So I'm very curious to see what happens when I get back to that non-PMSing stage of the month - will I clear up considerably?
Sweat seems to not cause an outbreak by any means as long as I am still careful not to touch my face and I gently dab with a towel when I get home. However I did get a sunburn the other day, as mentioned, and it healed up very quickly but it alerts me to how sensitive your face really is on BP. Now I keep in mind the "20 minutes or more" rule- if you'll be out in the sun for 20 minutes or more, wear a hat to prevent burning.
I think that's it.
I am content.
I woke up this morning with some flaking around my mouth area so I will be sure to apply enough moisturizer there, and my husband said my face swelled a little bit last night - but I'm not too worried honestly. I expect some side effects for the first few weeks. I went for a walk with my husband to get my 10k+ steps in for the day, we walked approx 4.5 miles. It was really great to be out in the sun for a while - we have so little of it in Washington!
Took some pictures of my face last night, and some today, and will keep monitoring the progress of my acne. It already is getting a little bit better - redness is actually down, which is cool, and one of my whiteheads receded and pushed out the hard stuff that I used to get when I picked (I'm stopping! I know!). I'm hoping to one day be on the Success Stories page - that would make me so happy!
I'm curious to see how the sweat affects me - hopefully not at all. I gently blotted with a towel afterwards to get off excess moisture and let the small remainder evaporate.
Off to spend time with my family - ZOOM
(Will check others blogs later.. Looking for happy and successful people! Suggestions?)
Did my first installment of the Regimen.. took about 20-25 minutes, which I did not mind as I made dinner in between. It may make mornings difficult (to get ready in time for work) but if I have to wake up earlier to combat acne then so be it.
The cleanser was.. interesting. I don't feel like it did much of anything, mainly because it didn't feel like my Cetaphil, but I will trust it for now...
The treatment felt amazing. It was so easy to smooth on gently, and it felt really great to smooth everywhere on my face. I took extra care to get along my hairline and jawline (where pimples like to creep up on me unsuspectingly). I adore the treatment.
The lotion was burny. I don't know why. I didn't mind the color or the feel of it, but it caused some burning when I put it on, and it was intense until about 5 minutes after I put the lotion on, and I can still feel it a little bit now even 20 minutes afterwards. It didn't hurt per say, and it doesn't really bother me, but this formula is not supposed to burn. I suspect my skin may just be getting accustomed to it.
We'll see how things progress!
I could very well be talking to myself but I am okay with that, I think it will be good to document what is going on with my experience with the Regimen, even if it is only for my uses.
First off! Background information! I am in my late teens but I am married (recently - last December! And it's going awesome!). I'm a religious person but will not go into that - let's just say it helps me be optimistic and balanced in life. I have a small apartment downtown and walk to work everyday, where I am a receptionist. I try to pay close attention to my health, mostly by eating well and getting 10k+ steps a day (I led my whole life as a chubby kid until about 15, when I started caring that I was chubby). I am a lot healthier than I used to be, but still suffer from acne. I'm moderately knowledgeable in health topics, as well as good at math and great at English. I took 4 years of Spanish in high school and will always have a love for that language. I play some video games, I was addicted as a kid but have a much healthier perspective of them. I mostly like Nintendo-original games like Super Mario Galaxy, Legend of Zelda, Donkey Kong, etc., and I also like JRPGs (Japanese Role Playing Games) and I'm selective about my RPGs (any other style role playing games). I read a lot, I used to dedicate myself to fiction but I'm branching out into more scientific things - I love to know why things happen and be able to explain them. My entire life I wanted to be a teacher, and while I am not, I still love teaching people what I know. I'm very friendly and love love love idle banter so have at it.
I have been looking at the Regimen and considering it for about 6 months. It convinced me to switch to using Benzoyl Peroxide (BP), but I didn't have a steady job then so I couldn't afford the Regimen. Now I have a great job so I can afford it, and I was previously using Clean & Clear Advantage 3-in-1 Exfoliating Cleanser, which I feel like didn't do much of anything. I mean it kind of helped, but only when I left it on for 20-30 minutes, which didn't feel like it should be healthy but it did clear up my acne a little bit. It also left my face bright red, so... I mainly did it at night.
I think I will ask the message board if I should use the full amount of BP immediately since my skin already has a tolerance to it (I mean what I was using before contained 10% BP! and I never flaked or was embarrassingly red), and I doubt I'll get a reply tonight, so it will be an adventure.
Yes, as mentioned above, I am starting tonight. My supplies arrived today while I was at work and I squealed with glee as I found them at my door when I arrived home. I am really truly excited to try this because I have no doubt it will help me or cure my acne completely. Hopefully I can remain this dedicated to the Regimen throughout it.. Hehehe. Right now, I'd say I have moderate acne when I don't do the whole leave the 10% BP on for 20-30 minutes every night. I know it's hormonal because I am well aware I have high amounts of androgens/testosterone (the 12.25% Mexican I am does not do me well in the hormones dept.). I get all these whiteheads on my face, and blackheads on my back and cheeks, and sometimes the pimples get red and inflamed. My acne is mostly on my cheeks, and I have a heart shaped face, so I have a lot of territory for the pimples to occupy. It's no fun. I haven't went a single day without 4 to 14 pimples since I was maybe 11.
It distresses me. It really does. Which is why Acne.org gives me hope.
Well, at 7:00 PM it's time for the Regimen.