I've tried everything under the sun. Duac, Differin, Acanya, Atralin, Metrogel, Doryx...so many prescriptions & none have worked. I asked my friend what she did to stop her acne. She said she only washes her face when she felt it was necessary, otherwise she didn't use cleansers when she felt it wasn't needed. So... that's what I'm trying now.
It has now been 11 days since I started this. I used to use cleansers daytime & nighttime to wash my face. It could be something gentle like Cetaphil or something with exfoliation like Olay efoliator or Body Shop Vitamin C exfoliation.
I stopped using most of the products. I wash my face with luke warm water & pat dry with a towel. There are times I do use a gentle cleanser, for instance when I've had a really hard work out. I also still use exfoliators but only about once a week. The rest of the time, it's just water. So... I've had only 2 tiny breakouts thus far! They were so small & insignificant that I was thrilled by the results.
After 10 days though, I've noticed tiny bumps on my forehead. Note that my forehead has been 99% clear for over 1/2 a year now, if not more. I have only been breaking out on my cheeks in the past 2 years. So, I've decided maybe my forehead loved the cleansers, whereas my cheeks didn't. I have started using a gentle cleanser only on my forehead to get rid of the bump. Hopefully, this strategy will work considering my forehead has been awesome for a long time whereas my cheeks were breaking out constantly. So I must have been doing something right with my forehead. No need to change that routine.
Before this experience, I just assumed my whole face was to be treated the same. I don't know why it's taken me 22 years to realize that they probably produce oils differently.
With this new routine, I've found that my skin isn't producing as much oil as it was when I was using a cleanser on my whole face. With the lower oil production, means less breakouts. What a new concept! haha I don't know why it didn't hit me sooner. I guess I felt that if I didn't clean my face, it would break out but I was wrong. Water still does a decent cleaning with or without a cleanser.
I have been 10 days free of the big red hurtie (my term) acne now. I will see how long this will last.