HOLY COW. I am now recovering (thankfully!) from a pretty intense reaction. On Valentine's Day, I wore my Laura Mercier Mineral Foundation and my face just exploded! Now, I've worn it several times before, and while I've experienced VERY MINOR itching, I never had a reaction as bad as that day. I wore it only out for dinner, didn't change any of my skin care products, and by the time I got home (about 2-3 hours later) my face was really itchy and uncomfortable. I wash it off, and my face was COVERED in stingy, itchy, scaly, peeling patches!! It was terrible! No amount of moisturizer could calm the peeling and stinging, and even worse, my usual face wash was stinging the patches. I'm attributing this reaction to the high concentration of bismuth oxychloride. I didn't think I was that sensitive to it, and while I've gotten minor itching, I didn't think this would happen... stupid me, because like all allergies, you don't know how your body reacts until it does and allergies can always intensify and that's why you should be smart and take your allergies seriously. Also, I should have been smarter and not try products that contain ingredients that are irritating to the skin knowing how sensitive I am... :/ but alas, I wasn't. Luckily, I did some research, and the following weekend from Valentine's Day I bought Avene's Extremely Gentle Cleanser and their moisturizer, Avene's Cream for Intolerant Skin-- these products are AMAZING. A week using those in place of my usual products, and my skin was healing nicely and is now almost as good as new! They were gentle and healing and did exactly what I needed them to do. Also, no break outs! Unfortunately, they are a bit too emollient to use day and night as I feel a bit oily when I use them twice a day, so I've resorted to using the cleanser in the day and my usual Clarins one at night. And I use my usual Olay Complete Sensitive Skin SPF 15 in the day and Dermalogica Active Moist moisturizer at night, except on those patches, I keep on with the Avene Cream for Intolerant skin. This is working nicely, so I may keep my routine like this permanently, especially since my skin is much more balanced now that I've been using the Avene products. I LOVE them. Also, I'm obviously never using that foundation again. Sticking back to my all time favorite MAC Face and Body. I wore it this past weekend and had absolutely no problems, and I've gone periods where I'd wear it everyday for a week or two with no issues or break outs. I really do love it, but mineral make up really appeals to me because it's so quick and easy to apply... hmm, so maybe I can find an alternative? After what just happened though, I don't think I'm going to give it a try for a while :/ haha My next Isolaz treatment is coming up in two weeks or so! Woo hoo! I can't believe how much I love going now. My acne is getting better to the point where maybe after another couple months, I can consider lessening my frequency even more... we shall see! P.S. Lastly, I was trying out Neutrogena's Healthy Skin Eye Cream for almost a month now, and while I'll do a more in depth review later, just know: IT IS FREAKING AMAZING! More on that later
So I've now tried the CeraVe AM SPF 30 for 4 days now and I broke out in small, flesh colored under the skin bumps on my left cheek. Also, a couple of them on my eye contour area on that side of my face where it probably migrated to. It's a shame, but it seems it's a little too rich for my skin. Too bad as I've definitely been able to tell it's a much better sunscreen than the Olay, but it looks like I'll have to switch back. Sigh... just wanted to update ya'll. I'll be doing a honey mask tonight and that usually helps take care of very minor break outs like the one I have now. If anyone can recommend a good moisturizer with at least SPF 30, please let me know!
Hello! It is now day 98, and I just had my 6th Isolaz treatment today. It went well as usual, but I was especially pleased when my derm remarked, "You're skin's really improved!" So I thought this would be a good time to show some before and after pictures. Keep in mind my skin is still very far from perfect, but it is doing much, much better and I hope my skin continues to improve! (Also, I kind of should have probably used a better camera for the after pictures, but I hope you get the idea... doh! >.<) BEFORE (29 October 2011) left cheek chin So this was a few days before I started Isolaz on a "good" skin day. As you can see, there is a lot of redness/inflammation in the skin and quite a few pustular active break outs. This was a "good" day because the cysts weren't inflamed and being the sore pain in the asses that they are and none of the pustules were terribly huge. :/ Considering this was a "good" day, there were times when my skin would just be peppered with even more pustules, some that were just plain ginormous, with painful, swollen cysts... I definitely did not have the worst skin, but it was definitely not just light acne at this point. AFTER (23 January 2012) left cheek right cheek chin Now, I know it doesn't look THAT much better, but trust me, it is!! (Also, the camera isn't as good so the coloring is off--used Photobooth here on my MacBook, maybe I'll take better pictures on another camera another day). All those marks you see are superficial acne scars, meaning they're all just hyper pigmentation from where the acne used to be. The only active break outs I had that day were literally those 2 small whiteheads on my chin. While I obviously have pigmentation issues, the skin still looks much less "angry" and is much less red and inflamed. I also don't have ANY of those bigger nasty pustules which is AMAZING! Unfortunately, I do have 2 small pitted scars from some really big pustules, but besides that, all those brown dots should fade away with time. I'm not sure if these photos really show the improvements as well as it could have, but trust me! In the flesh, my skin looks much better. Not only does my derm say so, but the proof is truly in the pudding because my boyfriend says so too (and trust me, he is the brutally honest type...) At this point, my derm said my skin is actually still healing from the burns/reaction I got last February, and my skin's recovery/improvement is still going to be a slow, long term process. But at the end of the day, it is getting better. I'm still on the hunt for better skin care products, particularly moisturizers as while my skin is a bit oily, it is also dehydrated, so finding a good moisturizer that doesn't break me out and works to truly hydrate is kind of tough. My derm recommended to me CeraVe AM w/SPF 30. It's supposed to help restore and protect damaged skin and boost the healing process, so it has many more beneficial ingredients (such as ceramides, niacinamide, and hyaluronic acid) for me in comparison to my usual daytime moisturizer (Olay Complete SPF 15 for Sensitive Skin). I got a few samples so I'll be testing the CeraVe AM the next few days... I'll let ya'll know if it works and if I'll make the switch. Anywhoo, if I can have almost no zits in around 3 months with taking ANY medication, I am pretty impressed.
Hi everyone! Wow... can't believe it has been approximately 3 months since I started this log! Woo hoo I noticed that I've had quite a fair number of views, so I'm happy this has been helping others out. Clearing acne is so discouraging, and while different things work for different people, I love using acne.org as a resource to see what people's treatments are, and I would not have discovered Isolaz in the first place was it not for acne.org. This community/website is such a valuable resource -- kudos to you, Dan! Even if Dan's regimen doesn't work for you (like it didn't for me), there is still so much great info on this site and is home to such a supportive community. I'm also happy to say that my skin has MUCH improved since I started this log. Unfortunately it is almost that time of the month, so I do have one rather large inflamed pustule on my chin. But outside from that and a few lingering small cysts, my skin is pretty darn clear...! I am truly in disbelief, and my skin hasn't been this good in a long, long time. I am still doing Isolaz at 1 month intervals now, Differin every night, and I decreased my Clarisonic usage again to every other night--combination of these 3 has vastly improved my skin! I'm very pleased with the results. I am thinking of posting a few pictures, but they are kind of gross considering my skin was quite... yucky. I have a few photos of my skin on a "good day" a couple weeks before starting Isolaz. I may post them and also take pictures of my skin now to compare. I think that'd be helpful. While my acne hasn't been cured, it's definitely under control. My only gripe at the moment are those damn cysts on my cheek. Since shooting down that large cyst during my last appointment, the swelling went away from that particular one, but it revealed that there was actually a cluster of smaller cysts surrounding that big one. The Differin isn't making much of a differece on them, so I have a feeling I'm going to have quite a few cortisone shots after my next Isolaz treatment next week Don't mean to be such a baby, but they freaking hurt...! Haha. But I am happy that I'm not getting any new cysts, so once the existing ones are treated, I should be good to go. I am also still LOVING my skin care regimen. It works so well for me. I also want to point out that reading the ingredients list is SO IMPORTANT! http://www.zerozits.com/Articles/acnedetect.htm <-- this website is such a great place to check the comedogenicity of ingredients. I always double check the ingredient lists of any products I'm interested in trying on this list because whiile it's not a guarantee you won't break out from a certain product or the mixture of certain ingredients, I think it is the reason why I have much fewer "fail" products that break me out. But now that I love the products I'm using, I'm not planning to switch any time soon... hee hee If it ain't broke, don't fix it! I have added one product to my regimen though. I felt like it was time for me to get an eye cream to prevent any wrinkles/fine lines from creeping along. I'm already prone to dehydration lines, so I thought it was better to nip them in the bud while they weren't permanent yet. I have been using Neutrogena's Healthy Skin Eye Cream every other night, twice now, and I have to say... while I've just started using it, I'm kind of shocked. The little dehydration line is pretty much gone. I'm always a sceptic about these things, but I always put moisturizer on my eye contour, so I know the eyecream is either more effectively moisturizing to "plump" out the line, or is actually helping cell rejuvination to actually get rid of those teeny lines. I'll update again if it gives me milia or anything, and I'll just update in general after I've used it for a while, but yeah... so far so good. It does contain an AHA (glycolic acid) to help with cell turnover, retinyl palmiate that turns into retinol as the skin absorbs it (which I know I can tolerate because of my use of Differin), and is packed with antioxidants (Vitamin C and E) which my skin gets on with pretty well as it is in both my day and night moisturizers as well. So yeah, I am liking that at the moment and will update. Andddddd yeah. I think that is all for now. My next Isolaz treatment is next Wednesday, February 8th. I'll see ya'll again soon!
Hiya! I'm so stupid... I blogged this passed Wednesday when I had my Isolaz treatment, then I accidentally closed the window. DOH! >.< So here it goes again... So I had my 5th Isolaz treatment 2 days ago. It went pretty much the same as usual, and as usual, left me with really soft, clean skin that flattened out any active break outs. In addition, I am super happy to report I don't have to take antibiotics!!!!!! I was really concerned that my derm was going to suggest it since the cyst on my cheek hasn't cleared for many months, but she inspected my skin and said that since I wasn't getting any new cysts, she didn't want to put me on medication. So she just shot it down with cortisone. While it hurt like a bitch, I'm SO HAPPY because it gave instant relief! I've had that cyst since the end of summer, and had forgotten what it felt like not to have that pressure there (because there is still pressure, even when its not sore). I can finally smile and my face feel normal!!! And double joy for it not denting because I've gotten dents in the past where other spots have been given a cortisone shot. I'm also just relieved that I don't have to take antibiotics! I'm really hesistant about taking antbiotics since I don't want my body to build tolerance against it, and I'm scared that when I get off it my acne will just come back with a vengence. So yes... I'm really happy! It was a great visit. )))))) Haha, that sounds so dorky. But yeah, my skin is actually doing great. I have very few active break outs lately, and am actually having a bout of no active ones at all at the moment. This is the first time in almost a year since I've had clear skin to last more than a couple days! *knocks on wood... don't jinx me now!* In addition, now that my skin is better, I only have to go in for Isolaz once a month now, so that's nice too. Although, I have noticed a "side effect" (not sure if that's the right term) of Isolaz on me. I noticed that after I have the treatment, in the next few days, I get dry patches that flake off. And while it's peel-y and dry, it is uncomfortable and gross to look at, but I kind of can't complain, because when it peels off, the skin underneath is really healthy looking and nice. Small price to pay, but I've noticed that always happening now that I've gone in 5 times. But I don't mind since my skin is in the best condition it's been in in a long time. I've also been using Differin lotion (adapalene 0.1%) for about 10 weeks now, and it's been working really, really well for me. I still use it every night, and It doesn't irritate my sensitive skin and it speeds up the healing of any active break outs. It doesn't work that great for large cysts, but for smaller ones, its cleared them up. I continue to use it on areas that used to have break outs, and for the most part, it controls my acne so I don't break out at the same place again. Also, the Clarisonic has been going well. I haven't used it the last couple of days since I just had Isolaz, but I may use it tonight or tomorrow. Anywhoo, it's really helped keep my skin clear. I've upped using it every night though from every other night, and my skin has been tolerating it really well--no irritation at all. My skin is much less congested and it's defintely brighter and healthier looking. The combo of Isolaz, Differin, and the Clarisonic have been doing wonders! I'm definitely going to keep it up and I hope my skin continues to improve. Til next time!
Happy New Year all! So I really wanted to write about my new Clarisonic Mia. I know I've only had it for a couple of days, but it seriously is AMAZING!!!!! I was ready to be disappointed, because it really is just a face brush, but it cleans so so sooooo well! I am so shocked. I don't know how those vibrations do it, but it totally decongested my skin since I bought it 5 days ago. I have the blue one and use the 'delicate' brush. Ever since that horrible reaction I always talk about, my skin had not only gotten super sensitive, but also really lazy and really dull. It was always congested, especially on my cheek and chin area, and had such a hard time regulating itself properly. Dead skin wouldn't shed, but just accumulate and leave a dry, tough layer of skin, which also clogged pores and caused more acne. Also, sebum would just sit in my pores and just dried and stay clogged no matter what cleanser I used. Literally, my skin only looked enlivened and youthful again after microderm sessions and Isolaz because they were so deep cleaning that my healthy skin underneath finally could show through. To say I am shocked that the Clarisonic gives me results comparable to a kind of deep clean as the Isolaz/microderm/facial is an understatement. I know the Clarisonic doesn't disinfect my face like Isolaz, but I really feel it decongests just as well. My face was so smooth literally after using it 2 times (I use it once a day, every other night or so). I use it the same as the complextion brush from Sephora; I barely push the Clarisonic into my skin, and gently sweep it around my face in circular motions. My skin felt just like after having Isolaz done or microderm... could not believe it, even after just 1 time using it! And it also really helped with the inflamation/redness in my skin now that the skin isn't working so hard to fight infections/push out the congestion. I am so impressed. My skin is soft, supple, and glowy/youthful again! I am so so pleased, you truly have no idea. Not only was I embarassed of my acne, but also the condition of my skin--I remember I've mentioned this before, but it felt like it was aging and had all these dehydration lines and just dry/rough texture. Now, that my acne is clearing and my skin condition is much better, I really feel like I'm getting my skin back! Thank goodness!! A lot of people said the Clarisonic made their skin "purge" but outside of 2 tiny, tiny bumps, I haven't broken out. Maybe there wasn't anything under my skin to purge anymore as it's been purging for the last 2 months? Idk. But yes, I am starting to feel good about my skin again. Outside of 1 single pustle, those 2 tiny bumps, and the big cyst on my cheek (sadly, even after the head drained, that persistant cyst remained :/ at least it stopped swelling and is barely visible under my skin), my skin is clear. I look normal again! I'm so ridiculously happy, like I feel only other acne suffers can understand that happiness. So hopefully, my skin will be all clear very soon. I'm really praying that my next Isolaz treatment finally gets rid of that cyst once and for all. If not, maybe she'll put me on antibiotics short term?? Idk... I really wish my derm would just shoot it down with a coritsone shot, but I do have the tendency to get a dent in the skin where the cyst was, and it takes a week or 2 to fill back in. Sigh... I will ask her my options when I see her next week. Also, now that my skin has calmed down after pigging out like crazy over Christmas, I really wanted to highlight again the products I've been using for months now that have really helped. You'll probably notice my love for French skin care products. I do think they're so good for sensitive skin because the water in France/Europe is horrible, so their skin products are always trying to neutralize pH levels and are exceedingly gentle because of hard water issues. And my skin absolutely loves it! Below are the products I've been using for at least 4 to 5 months now, and what I'll probably continue to use for a long, long time. Sorry this post was long! Hope it was helpful. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Eye make up remover: Bioderma Sensibio H2O Face make up remover: Clarins Cleansing Milk with Alpine Herbs for Normal to Dry Skin Cleanser: Clarins Gentle Foaming Cleanser with Shea Butter for Dry or Sensitive Skin Day moisturizer: Olay Complete SPF 15 moisturizer for Sensitive Skin Night moisturizer: Dermalogica Active Moist (for most days), Janssen Cosmeceuticals Aquatense Moisture Gel (for super dry skin; still itches my skin due to allergy to algae extract, but still the best moisturizer I've found for super dry skin) Acne medication/treatments: Differin lotion (adapalene 0.01%), Isolaz Tools: CVS premium cotton pads for removing make up, Clarisonic every other night or less, cotton buds for applying Differin --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ps. Don't know if it interests anyone, but if you're wondering what face make up I use that doesn't break me out, I use MAC Face and Body foundation set with Maybelline Dream Matte pressed powder OR Laura Mercier Mineral Foundation (SPF 15, loose powder). I hardly wear foundation because I don't like the idea of adding products that may clog pores, but if I do, it's one of those 2 and I've never had a problem with either of them. Other foundations I've tried that broke me out are MAC Mineralize Satin Finish liquid foundation and Bare Minerals mineral foundation.
Hi all! I hope everyone is having a happy holiday season Since my skin was doing much better after my last Isolaz treatment, I decided to hold off on it and go in again in 4 weeks. My next Isolaz appointment is on January 11th. Although my skin is doing significantly better, unfortunately I'm still breaking out in 2-4 pustules every few weeks or so. I've noticed as soon as my old breakouts completely go away, new ones crop up and it's so annoying...!! I feel like my skin stays clear for 2 days at the longest before breaking out again. Also that one particularly stubborn cyst on my cheek that has been there since the end of the summer has finally erupted out of my skin and it is SO BLOODY PAINFUL! I hope it means the end of it, but geez... it's so painful that I really can't say I'm happy. And I got a really inflamed cyst on my nose, and it's itchy and sore too... so my face is not feeling that great at the moment. I'm thinking the holiday pigging out had a lot to do with this last breakout, so hopefully everything will calm down in a few days when my eating habits go back to normal. While that cyst on my cheek finally seems like it's on its way to its death, my derm did mention maybe antibiotics were the next step if my skin doesn't clear up. I've been dreading to hear her say that, but I already have had an inkling since I've gotten Isolaz every 2 weeks 4 times now and while it's really helped, my skin isn't as good as it can be and the results have kind of plateaued. So I've been doing some research on different antibiotics to talk to her about at my next appointment. I'm strongly considering Doxycycline. I know it's usually the last resort if you can't tolerate Tetracycline and Minocycline or have shown no improvement on those 2. But I'm going to stop fiddling around because I know I don't have the strongest stomach and why am I going to wait to take this as a last resort when I've been suffering for so long? Unless my derm has any objections, I'd really prefer to try this first. Also my boyfriend takes this religiously for his acne and his skin is SUPER clear now. So I know it works if taken correctly. So we shall see... Lastly, I think I'm going to go ahead and buy the Clarisonic Mia tonight. I've been wanting it for a long time, but couldn't justify paying over $100 for a face brush. But my sisters got me a Sephora gift card for Christmas, so I think that is what I'll use it for. Also my skin has just been awful to me the last few days... It's dry as sandpaper. Driving for 12 hours during the holiday season with the heater on, and being at my parent's house where the heater is on pretty much all day has just sucked my skin dry. My skin is flaking like it is healing from sunburn... it's horrible. :/ So the Clarisonic would be nice to use right now... haha. Happy to be back in LA where it's not terribly cold and I don't need to use a heater. In fact, I've been sleeping with a humidifier on full blast since I've been back and it's helped loads. Agghhhh... today is just not a good skin day. And unfortunately, it makes me feel pretty rotten. But it'll be better soon, and it already is a lot better from where I started 57 days ago. Getting rid of acne requires a lot of time and patience...... poop.
Hi all! I wanted to write about other skin care things I do periodically that have been helping my skin. While most days I just wash, moisturize, then pop on Differin (only at night), some days I do add extra steps if my skin is looking a bit lackluster. These are the things that have been helping me non-medicine-wise, so I thought I'd share. My favorite thing at the moment is the $5 complexion brush from Sephora. I wish I could get a Clarisonic, but being out of my budget, this will do. I use this every other night or so whenever my skin gets really flaky from the Differin. I gently massage in my cleanser in circular motions WITHOUT pushing the brush into my face. DO NOT scrub your face, it will just exacerbate any sensitives. The point is just to gently buff off the flakies. And it works perfectly! I love it. While it would be nice to have the Clarisonic, this little brush is definitely one of the best $5 I've ever spent as it is so effective! I've been using it for over a year now. Definitely recommend. Another skin "treatment" I am loving is honey. I use pure, organic, raw honey that you can buy at any grocery store (cost me $10 for a large jar and I am still using the same jar 6 months later). You know those pesky, flesh colored bumps that aren't whiteheads or plugged pores? After cleansing, I slather on a thin layer whenever I see them starting to prop up and leave on for 10-15 minutes. I wash it off, moisturize and Differin as usual. The next morning they usually completely disapear. This ALWAYS works for me, it's amazing! How it works is that when honey reacts with your skin's moisture, it produces hydrogen peroxide that is slowly released so it is not irritating to your skin. The hydrogen peroxide disinfects and calms inflammation. Some people really invest in their honey by buying a medical grade honey called Manuka Honey. Manuka is a stronger disinfectant, but I find regular grocery store honey just fine--I just make sure it is pure, raw, and organic. I also use honey on any really large inflamed pimples and do the same 10-15 minutes, and it really helps calm them down by the next day. Lastly, I don't know about you ladies out there, but whenever I pluck my eyebrows, I get little clogged pores where some of the hairs get pulled out. So I make sure to cleanse the area with Bioderma before plucking. Then after, I use a toner to close the pores. I either use Dickenson's Witchazel or Clarins Toning Lotion with Chamomile. I prefer the latter as the witchazel contains 14% alcohol and is drying, but both work just fine, and this works really well. This is also the only time I ever use a toner, btw, so I like it because I feel all prepped and pampered... hehe. I know these little extra tid bits aren't miracle workers, but they really do help me maintain clearer skin. I am a very simple person and prefer to stick to the simplest skin care routine, so it's not a lot of stuff but if it works for you, it works! My next Isolaz treatment is on Thursday the 15th! So excited! Happy to report that the only blemishes I have on my skin today are dried up remainders of healing pimples. Hopefully my skin stays clear!
My last Isolaz treatment was last Thursday, December 1st. It went pretty much the same as all the other times. It was my 3rd treatment. I am actually starting to see a significant improvement in my skin. I do have 6 small whiteheads/pustules at the moment, but they are small. I noticed that I stopped getting really big inflammatory acne which makes such a huge difference! My skin for once is no longer always inflamed and sore and is now much more even and smooth. The texture is also very soft and even. My left cheek in particular is healing very quickly, more than the right, however both are significantly improved. This may sound weird, but after my really bad allergic reaction in February, I always felt like my skin was pre-maturely aging and damaged because my skin never fully healed up from the acne and the burns before erupting again in a breakout. I always looked like I had these fine lines or dehydration lines (idk what they were at that point) that really freaked me out because I'm only 22. But they've gone away too! Overall, my skin looks a lot like before I had that terrible reaction; less damaged and much more youthful and even looking again. I'm so happy to know that the damage wasn't permanent, and the acne can heal properly and much more quickly now that my skin is effectively being disinfected and deep cleaned. I'm still using Differin every night, and while it still dries out my skin, it really does speed up clearing any spots, both big and small. I'm still really liking it and am keeping it up. I know it can take 8-12 weeks to really start working, and considering it's only been about 5 weeks, I know I should keep on. I am concerned about a couple of smaller cysts on my cheekbones that constantly break out in and around the same place over and over again. While it looks much better and is healing nicely, I'm afraid of it breaking out again because I just really want the area to heal. My next Isolaz appointment is next Thursday, Dec. 15. I'll keep everyone posted
I'm into my 3rd week of acne treatments now and I'm definitely still purging. I have 9 little whiteheads, a couple of them inflamed. Although, I'm happy to say that I have no new cysts and the ones I have had are still shrinking. While these little pesky whiteheads are annoying, they aren't bad at all. They will probably clear up in a day or 2 thanks to Differin. It's always the really big whiteheads and cysts/nodules you have to worry about because they take forever to heal and leave nasty scars. My next Isolaz treatment is on December 1st. Already looking forward to it as it'll be one step closer to finally being clear!!
I had my second Isolaz treatment yesterday, and as expected, it went well. My derm started the same way by wiping down my face with wet gauze. She then upped the setting of the laser from the last treatment and went over my face twice this time (she only did the laser part once last time), then passed over my face with the vacuum. I asked her to avoid my forehead because of the hickey marks, and she said that was fine as I don't particularly breakout on my forehead anyway. After the Isolaz, she extracted what the vacuum couldn't suck out, slapped on some moisturizer, and I was done. In and out of there in half an hour again. Like last time, my skin is suuuuuuuper soft and smooth. I love the feeling of my skin the next day. Also, my skin seems to have built up tolerance as it definitely was not as sensitive as last time after. Aside from the pinkness and a couple of the extractions stinging, my face felt totally normal after the treatment. Today, the pinkness is gone, and the only inflamed parts of my skin is where she extracted a couple stubborn spots (particularly one spot that used to be a cyst but came to the surface... that one kept oozing oil yesterday. Nasty, I know :/). So far, I'm really happy with the progress of my skin. And the Differin helps clear my pimples so much more quickly these days. I am actually loving the combination of the two treatments together. For the most part, I already don't really have that many active breakouts anymore; sometimes there are as few as 3 zits on my face these days. Most of the red marks on my skin are just scars at this point. The Isolaz treatment works so instantly too, it boggles my mind. Two cysts I had yesterday are flat and almost gone this morning. So amazing! While it is still too soon to say I'm completely clear, I am hoping in a few more treatments I finally will be...!!! ps. it also helps that I love my derm. She is so nice, understanding, knowledgeable, and very attentive. All my life I usually dread going to the doctors for any reason, but just because my derm is so great, I actually look forward to going back.
It has been exactly one week now since my Isolaz treatment and so far, things are well. 2 of those cysts cleared up, and the other is on it's way to healing. Another cyst came up though as well as 3 small pustles but the small ones aren't a big deal. It's expected anyway as I'm in the purging stage and it's that time of the month. Regardless, my skin is doing much better overall. There is much less inflamation and my skin is still very smooth looking and feeling and looking much brighter and less "angry" if that makes sense. So I'm still very happy. I am also loving the Differin! Outside of the purging, it does make my pimples clear up much more quickly. Some teeny tiny ones that don't even come up yet disappear completely overnight or in a day or two when I put it on. It is still making me dry though, but that is expected. Still on the hunt for better moisturizers, but so far the combination of the three I'm using are helping with the flakies. Can't wait til my next Isolaz treatment next Thursday!
Okay, so my skin is full blown broken out. 3 cysts that have been under my skin for the last couple of months came up to the surface. While my face is swollen and sore, I have to say I'm growing to like Differin. It seems to speed up the life cycle of these cysts. One is already a whitehead, and the other two will probably come to a head by today or tomorrow. While I don't like breaking out (especially with such large, painful ones), they've been under my skin for so long as hard bumps that I'm actually happy they are finally on their way to healing. Hopefully they won't scar too badly... Maybe I'll put some honey on them tonight after cleansing, then rinse it off before moisturizing and Differin. Honey is really good at calming down inflamation, and sometimes if I put them on tiny, little under the skin bumps, they disappear completely by the next morning.
Okay, so not much has changed since yesterday. But I am starting to breakout a tiny bit -- a couple on my chin and a couple on my cheeks. People have mentioned getting an initial breakout from both Isolaz sucking all the bacteria to the surface and Differin purging the skin. While it kind of sucks, I like the idea of purging as it means my body is expelling all this bacteria and gunk. So hopefully in a few weeks to a month or so, it will have brought everything out. Also, it could be a bit aggravated as it's the week before my period and I always breakout this week (sorry if that's TMI). Forgot that I didn't mention that my next Isolaz treatment is on November 17th. Also, I need to find a new moisturizer. My skin is super dry... the building I work in is air conditioned, and even though the weather is getting colder, the central heating doesn't turn on which is super annoying! So we all have space heaters under our desks which just suck any moisture that may be left. And I live in Los Angeles which is arid and dry anyway... So if anyone knows of a super intensive moisturizer for winter time, please let me know. Besides that, I'm just quite happy at how much healthier my skin looks.
Hello everyone! I created this blog to track my skin's progress as I begin Isolaz treatments. Mainly, this blog is for me to keep track of how I'm doing, but anyone and everyone, please feel free to comment with your feedback. I'm 22 years old and I've had acne since I was a teenager. It has always been relatively light to moderate until recently. In high school I have used topicals such as Duac and Atralin which were severely drying for me and worked okay, but never fully cleared my skin (Atralin probably did me more harm than good as while it would dry up my pimples, it caused my skin to be so dry that I broke out even more). I stopped using them in college, but started breaking out more severly earlier this year. This past February, I picked up some over the counter benzoyl peroxide from the drugstore (Neutrogena's On the Spot 2.5% BP) which was a very low dose of BP (Duac contains at least 5%, I believe) and had a HORRIBLE allergic reaction. I got a painful, horrible rash all over my face that blistered. I could not even wash my face with plain water for over a week. For the next 3 months, I could only cleanse my face with a 1:6 ratio of apple cider vinegar and water and moisturize with jojoba oil. Now that my skin has healed, it is terribly, terribly sensitized and even more prone to acne. And to make matters worse, not only did I now develop this allergy to BP, but I am also allergic to aspirin and therefore also salicylic acid---both over-the-counter medicines commonly prescribed for acne. 6 months after that terrible reaction, I had 3 rounds of microdermabrasion to slough off all the dead skin and scarring that had accumulated. While that had helped slightly lessen my breakouts more recently by removing the dead skin accumulating in my pores, my breakouts are still relatively moderate to moderately severe with whiteheads/papules and cystic/nodular acne. Antibiotics are not an option I am willing to consider yet because I hate the idea of being dependent on oral medication, and I am not even going to consider Accutane because I don't think the risks/side effects are worth it. So, Isolaz sounded like my only option that I was truly confortable with. I went for my first treatment yesterday, and I'm happy to say that so far, so good! My derm started by wiping down my face with wet gauze and inspected my skin before proceeding with the lazer first. She made sure it was on the lowest setting to ease my skin into it and will increase the setting everytime I come in for another treatment. The lazer just felt like a warm light---no pain at all, just a warm sensation. After she went around my whole face with the lazer, the started with the vaccuum. After she wiped down my face again one last time, did a few extractions of whatever the vacuum couldn't suck out, applied moisturizer, and was done! It probably took 30 minutes at the longest. I did have to get one cortisone shot though on a particularly large nodule on my jaw, but it was fine. Initially, while the treatment didn't hurt, my skin felt warm and flushed after and a little tender. My skin stayed pink for maybe 2 or 3 hours before calming down. And WOW! My skin was sooooo smooth and soft! It felt so clean and nice. I did get a couple "hickies" on my forehead from the vaccuum, which I read happens occasionally since the skin on the forehead tends to be thinner, but they are already starting to fade away. In 2-3 days, they will probably be gone. I may ask my derm not to do my forehead next time as I don't really breakout on my forehead, just 1 or 2 flesh colored bumps which can probably just be extracted. Today when I woke up, I was SHOCKED. My skin was no longer tender or the slightest bit red (outside of the hickies). And my skin was still very smooth and supple. All the acne I had the day before (both pustular and cystic) were all flat and pretty much gone (except a teeny tiny one that I'll explain in the next paragraph). I am definitely impressed and Isolaz is starting to look very promising. I didn't see any improvement with my scarring as others have mentioned, but that's okay. I don't want to get my hopes up though, so we shall see... In addition, my derm gave me a sample of Differin and said that I needed to use some sort of topical in conjunction with Isolaz for better results. She chose Differin keeping my sensitivity and allergies in mind. It is the lowest concentration retinoid available and should be the least irritating. It works by cleaning out the pore from the inside out and helping skin turnover, so it should be a nice compliment to the Isolaz. I tried a tiny amount on a pimple that had started forming under my skin last night. Miraculously, it already came to a head by this morning. It did sting upon application, but no severe drying like when I had used Duac or Atralin, and certainly no allergic reaction. So I'll slowly start putting it on more and more of my face as it seems promising as well. So that is where I am on day 2. Hopefully thing keep getting better from here! Also, I'll list all the products I use below, in case anyone is wondering about the products I use on a daily basis. After trying SO MANY skin care products, particularly after that reaction I got in February, these are currently what's working for me. I've been using all of these for at least 3 months now, so I'll update if anything changes. xxo ---------------- Morning cleanser: Clarins Gentle Foaming Cleanser for Dry or Sensitive Skin moisturizer: Olay Complete Daily Moisturizer for Sensitive Skin SPF 15 Night make-up remover: Bioderma Crealine H2O or Pond's Cold Cream cleanser: Clarins Gentle Foaming Cleanser for Dry or Sensitive Skin moisturizer: Dermalogica Active Moist (when my skin is not too dry), Clarins HydraQuench Moisturizing Cream for Normal to Dry Skin (when my skin is more dry), or Janssen Cosmeseuticals Aquatense Gel-Cream Moisturizer (if had my skin resurfaced with microderm, but while this is the most moisturizing and soothing out of the 3, it contains algae extract which itches my skin and sometimes gives me hives, so I don't like using it a lot). Nighttime acne treatments Neosporin w/pain relief - it does relieve the pain a bit, but I mostly chose it because the only other ingredient outside of the medicine is petrolatum; mostly I use this when I can see a pimple forming which does stop it 4 out of 5 times, or if a pimple had popped to disinfect it Differin - just used it yesterday, so far only on actual pimples. Stings but is tolerable.