Good skin day, surprisingly! Whiteheads that popped up yesterday (possibly due to Jojoba oil?) are almost gone, and I have probably 4 active spots left that are minuscule and easily covered with Bare Minerals concealer. My skin feels probably about the best it has in a while - not tight or flaking! Maybe I'm finally getting acclimated to the BP. Last night, instead of mixing it in with my foundation, I used two drops of Jojoba oil to remove my makeup, and then I very gently rubbed a few more drops into my skin with my fingertips to rub all the icky flakes away. It seemed to work! Then I washed my face and applied moisturizer as usual. This morning - no new pimples, and my skin felt amazing. I hope it's not a fluke and I wake up tomorrow with awful whiteheads. Another thing - yesterday I drank 8 glasses of water with three tablespoons of lemon juice mixed in. I've always found my skin looks much better when I drink a bunch of water, but I'd never tried lemon juice before. It seems to help the redness. Additionally, I eat 1/2 teaspoon of minced garlic everyday. Definitely noticed a difference since I started doing this, about three weeks ago.
First Four days: I'm using Neutrogena On the Spot until my BP from Acne.org arrives. Skin is more supple, even looking - I'm very pleased with this. BP has yet to completely dry out my skin. No new pimples so far. I had two active pimples when beginning this regimen, and both are going away quickly - except for this miniscule whitehead by my nose, which isn't noticeable but it's unusually persistent against my slathering BP on it. Day Five: Okay, now the BP has caught up with me. Skin is flaky, tight - it flakes and peels when I change my expression considerably. Ew. Two new whiteheads on the side of my face. Pimples that were active when I first began are now gone, leaving ugly red marks in place (not a huge issue - scars are easily covered). Makeup is impossible to apply over this lizard skin, but once I get it on and it settles, my skin looks more even. Cracks by the end of the day, however. Flakes around my mouth and chin - looks like I've been eating crackers. Yuck. Day Six: More of the same. Tight. Flaky. New small raised red bumps on left cheek and along right jaw. Lovely. What happened to that lovely improvement the first few days? Ugh. These were probably just old pimples that are just now surfacing. I have to hope that's what this is, at least. Day Seven: Dan's BP arrived last night, as well as a bottle of jojoba oil. I'm incredibly nervous that this oil will cause a "purging" period and break me out. Dan's BP goes on better than Neutrogena, but it takes ridiculously long to dry. This is fine at night, but in the morning it prevents some issues. Last night I mixed two drops of jojoba oil with my moisturizer. This morning my skin is super supple and soft and not flaking at all. However, two new whiteheads on my left cheek. Yuck. Hope this is not going to happen all the time, because the jojoba feels excellent! Dan's BP, as expected, takes so long to dry this morning. I gave it 15 minutes to dry and then used a hairdryer on the "cool" setting. Didn't work that well - makeup goes on blotchy. Yuck. I'm going to try and use jojoba as an exfoliater and see if this causes less breakouts. I've heard such horror stories about jojoba causing massive purging!
I've decided to document my fight for clear skin, if for no other reason than I need to vent about it. I'm a 20 year old college student, and I recently started Dan's plan. If nobody ever reads this, fine - it's for me to better understand my skin. If anyone is reading this - don't give up. I won't. A brief history of my tumultuous relationship with my skin: In sixth grade I was the girl with oily skin. I remember someone mentioning to me that they could see their reflection on my forehead. I was understandably devestated. Acne quickly followed - little red bumps on my forehead and around my T-zone. In hindsight, it wasn't as terrible as I thought it was - but then again, everyone around me had clear skin. I used ProActiv for about a year, and it did virtually nothing. My skin was still outrageously oily and covered in bumps around my T-Zone. In eighth grade I went to the dermatologist and I started on Retin-A and doxycycline pills. My forehead and t-zone cleared up completely, leaving only little blackheads (which, compared to the alternative, were less mortifying), but I started breaking out on my cheeks and chin. My dermatologist put me on a new routine of minocycline pills, epiduo in the morning and differin at night. Slight improvement, but nothing major. I had whiteheads and red bumps still - particularly on my chin and cheekbones. Eventually, my dermatologist put me on a combination of Aczone topical gel, Differin, and Bactrim tablets. This had mixed results. Sometimes my skin was almost completely clear (granted, I still had terrible dark marks from old pimples). I used these prescriptions throughout high school, and on graduation day my skin was completely clear. I remember thinking that this was finally the end, that after years of acne I was nearing the end. I was completely wrong, of course. Over the summer before college, I broke out horribly. It could have been due to a number of things, such as working out more, the weather, diet - but either way, I went to my freshman year of college with what I can only describe as icky skin. I was oily, breaking out in medium red bumps on my cheeks, probably 4 or 5 at a time, as well as dark mark scars and blackheads speckled all over my t-zone. Freshman year of college was the worst year my skin had had, possibly ever. I was always breaking out, super oily, and probably only had about one clear week all year. I was still on the Bactrim/Aczone/Differin combo, and I washed my face with a 2.5% BP cream wash morning and night, as the dermatologist told me to. I was devastated over the state of my skin. I had resigned myself to waiting out the horrible breakouts. My dad had absolutely awful acne growing up (he said his nickname was pizza face, how charming) but he told me he cleared up by 25, so I was just hoping I would do the same. But I can't wait. My acne was never severe, but it's damn persistent. I've always been painstakingly careful about products I use. I change my pillow case every single night, wash gently, use only hypo-allergenic products that don't clog pores, wash my clothes and sheets with hypo-allergenic soap. So that brings us to now - My skin has cleared up quite a bit this summer (still on the Bactrim/Aczone/Differin combo) but I don't trust it to stay that way once I get back to college for my sophomore year. A week ago I began the Acne.org regimen with high hopes. I've given up my precious Aczone ($250 a tube!) and Differin ($100 a tube!) and I'm still on Bactrim for now. My regimen is as followed: Morning Wash with Purpose gentle cleanser Apply BP (Dan's BP) Apply moisturizer - Neutrogena oil-free for sensitive skin Use Maybelline dream mousse foundation as very light spot concealer if needed Light dusting of Bare Minerals foundation Night Use witch hazel to remove makeup Wash with Purpose gentle cleanser Apply BP (same as before) Apply moisturizer (same as before) So, here we go - countdown to clear skin.