It was just three days ago I took a visit to the doctor and was prescribed Differin .1% and Clyindamicin gel. I can only hope that these will be the miracle to my 5 year battle against, dum dum DUM! Acne. I first started breaking out at just 10 years old. I felt like such an outcast in my 5th grade class, none of the other girls had these strange red bumps on their faces! It really messed with how I saw myself and I really started to isolate myself from others. I can still remember how I would get so frustrated that when I got home from school every day I would stand in front of the mirror and try to scratch them all off. Big mistake. Every time my face would end up bleeding all over and it would be scabbed the next day. But I did this for a whole year until realizing I was only making it worse. At this point I really didn't have many good friends left since I had become a bit of a social outcast, and I could definitely say that the 5th grade may have been one of the lowest points in my life so far. Sixth grade came along (aka middle school) and I decided to go to the school outside of my area so it would be a nice fresh start. At this point I was 12 years old and had pretty severe acne on my cheeks, temples, and forehead. Not a pretty sight, especially since it was the start of puberty. Sixth grade was a new beginning though and I met tons of amazing friends that didn't care what I looked like. I still felt really lonely that nobody else really had acne though. A few months into sixth grade, I took my first visit to the dermatologist where I was prescribed a Retin-A treatment to use at nighttime. I really wish they had never given me it though since I wasn't educated about acne AT ALL back then. I made the newbie mistake of globbing as much as I could on the first night so results would come faster. Again, big mistake, my face freaked out and pimples sprung everywhere. I became super sensitive to the sun, super dry and flaky and my face was red literally for months!! Everyone thought I had some weird blushing disorder, which is really embarrassing and actually made me blush, making my face redder. When 7th grade came along, I gave up on prescription antibiotics and started using the basic acne face wash from any drugstore. I can't tell you how much money I wasted on stupid scented face washes or bead scrubbers that claimed it wouldl clear your skin. NOPE. Never did nada. By 8th grade I had really just given up and stopped trying to clear my skin. I still washed every morning and night with Purpose cleanser and moisturized with Purpose Moisturizer, nothing got better nothing go worse. However, summer going into 9th grade, I was fed up with stupid acne. I knew something had to happen. I started educating myself with my new laptop on everything acne. I'd find myself hours a day trying to find that magic cure. That entire year I came across all sorts of strange treatments like honey-oatmeal masks, eating only apples for 3 days (wtf), diets with no sugar or dairy (that lasted about 20 minutes), etc. Anyways, there is some weird stuff out there, and honestly I tried it all. Of course, never worked.... I knew I needed something longterm anyways, I didn't want to have to change my entire lifestyle in order to get nice skin for just a week. The first thing I came across that finally started working was drinking 8-10 cups of water a day. BAM! In about 2 weeks my skin looked 3x better and you have no idea what kind of confidence boost that was. Plus, bonus benefit! I lost 5 lbs of water weight! Whoo! With more and more months of healthy diet and excercise I found my skin improving more and more which brings me to right now. Summer before sophmore year in high school. My skin is left with few pimples but TONS of those irritating little bumps all over my forehead, cheeks and chin, plus little clusters of blackheads here and there. 3 Days into my differin treatment, I am seeing the most positive results I have seen in all my nastyful acne years. I am AMAZED. I am really hoping to see completely clear skin in the next year so bare with me! I feel as a teenage girl it is so important to be able to look at yourself and see a beautiful person. This is such a crucial point in my life and I want to make the best of it by being confident with myself. If anyone bothers reading this blog, join me in the journey to finally reaching clear skin and living the teenage dream remember to post comments and questions!