Well, I freaked out yesterday, but it looks like my skin is back to progressing. Most of the areas that were popped yesterday are either now red marks or smaller whiteheads, which I'm fine with. It could've been worse! Of course, my skin is also back to its insanely dry, red, and burning routine. Applying the BP is never bad, but for some reason when I put on the 2 pumps of moisturizer (and 5-6 drops of jojoba now ) my skin starts freaking out and stinging like mad. It definitely needs the full 2 pumps, though. I just slather it on and let it absorb. I also always wait 15-20 minutes for the BP to dry beforehand, even if it feels dry sooner, so I guess I'm okay on that part. The moisturizer might be irritating regardless, especially during the first few weeks. The BP is just making my skin hate everything. I've been skipping out on the Philosophy SPF, mostly because I'm not in the sun that often, and it's another irritant to my skin. Even if it's not comedogenic, it burns pretty badly with the moisturizer. I only want to use it if I know I'm going to be exposed to the sun for more than 15-20 minutes. I have olive skin, so I'm not too concerned about it. I'm also going to switch the makeup I use for shows. The BB tinted moisturizer was a good idea, but I was reminded yesterday on the Regimen forum that mineral makeup is really the best way to go for acne-prone/sensitive skin. At first I was reluctant, because Bare Minerals was one of the causes of my acne, but Tarte cosmetics just came out with a new powder foundation that has nothing comedogenic in it! Wow. It's the first makeup I've seen without any comedogenic or irritating ingredients. I can't wait to try it this weekend. P.S. Is my face ever going to stop burning?
Last night and this morning might have set me back. It's hard to say for sure, but I'm kind of freaking out. First, I managed to forget my acne.org cleanser while I was at my boyfriend's house last night. I was pretty upset, and was frantically trying to figure out what to use to wash my face! I had some makeup on that I had tried on earlier in a store, and needed to get it off. Unfortunately, my boyfriend had NOTHING. Not even baby wipes. So, I pulled myself together and used the only thing I could: bar soap. Why. I know using it is extremely bad and irritating to your skin, but I did look up the ingredients of this one and it wasn't horrible. The biggest problem was that it had sodium chloride in it, which is a mild comedogenic irritant. I only washed my face for about 5 seconds with it, and the makeup came off, thank goodness. The good news was, I had my jojoba oil! It came! And goodness, did it help. When I woke up the next morning, my skin texture was greatly improved. The only problem was that my pimples were very prominent and angry looking. Everything else looked good, but when I got home before washing my face I couldn't stand them. Especially because my bathroom has fluorescent lighting, they looked horrible, and I was obsessing. I had to pop them. So, I squeezed all of the whiteheads out of my face. I'm pretty sad about it. It's so hard to stop doing it. My skin is so sensitive to everything that it (of course) made my face even redder, and some of the popped whiteheads were raised and even angrier-looking. I panicked, and put on a newly-purchased BB tinted moisturizer (SPF 15) from Tarte cosmetics. It's only supposed to be for shows, but I was too embarrassed to go into work with my face looking the way it did. I did mix the moisturizer with jojoba oil, so that helped a bit. My face still stings a bit, though. Not sure if that's a sign that it's healing or hurting. I am so bummed. These past few days have been challenging already, and now I've done this to my skin! All I can do is stay positive and hope the Regimen will be forgiving.
I have to say, I'm having trouble seeing any difference in my skin. There was hope for a while, but now it seems like it's back to the way it always was. Here's Week 2 from the "What To Expect" section on the Regimen page: 1. Further clearing, followed perhaps by a breakout. The breakout clears more quickly than usual. Skin is slightly less red and irritated. Red spots from old acne linger. 2. Clearing, followed by a breakout. Skin is still red, irritated and itchy. Person is considering other options. I definitely cleared and then broke out. I feel like my skin is closer to the second experience, since it's so sensitive. It is clearing up though, slowly but surely. At least this possibility is mentioned. It makes me feel like there's still hope. Maybe. I bumped up the amount of BP today, and my skin is stinging with the moisturizer/sunscreen again, but not intensely. Hanging in here.
Okay. I just need to vent a little here. I apologize in advance. WHY is my skin doing this? The initial clearing was absolutely a tease. There's this decently-sized red bump on my cheek and whiteheads on both my forehead and cheeks. This is so uncool. I have to admit that yes, my skin is getting less inflamed and these breakouts will heal like the rest, but goodness this is saddening. Especially without the aid of face makeup. I can't stop looking at my skin. Look at my photo for this entry, seriously! I couldn't even give a profile view (I'll have to do that tomorrow anyway). I'm so annoyed and insecure. It doesn't look that bad because it's not high def, but oh, it's bad. I also have to admit that some of this might be my fault, since I had to break down and remove a few whiteheads. Even if I do this correctly, they seem to come back. But, the problem is if I don't, THEY GO BACK INTO MY FACE. I SWEAR. THEY BECOME BUMPS. Or, they become a big red spot that takes months to go away. Curse you, sensitive scar-prone olive skin! I won't give in. I still refuse to wear makeup (unless it's for a show), and I cannot keep popping my face. It's so counterproductive. Maybe I should get rid of my mirror and reduce the risk of temptation. Who knows. At least I can bump up the BP dosage on Tuesday. Everything must go. P.S. I've been researching foundations I can wear for shows, and I've pretty much come to the conclusion that all makeup is comedogenic in some way. But, Clinique Redness Solutions foundation seems to only have one comedogenic ingredient (sodium chloride) near the bottom of the list, and many people who are acne-prone seem to enjoy it. Not a bad idea for someone who suffers from redness! I might give it a go. I'll update on that. P.P.S. Death to Bare Minerals.
So, the flakiness of my skin has improved a bit! It's still pretty dry, though. Not a big deal. What's been making me upset is that my forehead broke out with a few whiteheads. They're pretty small in size and have been healing fine, but I just wish they weren't there! I'm also getting a couple of small bumps on my cheeks, but they haven't surfaced yet. I'm pretty bummed right now. I did read that for Week 2 of The Regimen, a breakout can happen. So, I know I'm not doing anything wrong, but I really hope this clears up soon! The good news is that my face is still bright and the places where my old cases were are healing quite nicely. I'll just have to wait this out. The pictures for Week 2 will show whether I've made real progress or not!
I don't have much time to write, but there's not much to update. My skin is EXTREMELY dry, and the area around my mouth (not a problem area) is peeling. Pretty weird. There are two whiteheads pushing out of my face, and they should be gone soon like the rest of my breakouts! Red marks are still pretty apparent. I've had to use a lot of moisturizer throughout the day. Jojoba, I need you!
I almost forgot to write about my progress today, mostly because nothing exciting happened. However, I do have some things to report. My face is still really sensitive. Ow. But, the BP is still clearing it up! All of my whiteheads are now just red marks, which I much prefer. I didn't pop them, so hopefully they don't stay long! I've heard things about BP causing hyperpigmentation, but we'll see! When I use the moisturizer it burns my skin pretty badly, but I won't do anything about it until I see if the jojoba oil calms it down. It's not unbearable, but it definitely hurts. However, it does calm down the redness in my skin if I reapply another pump of it after a few hours. All is good! Just hanging in there for now.
Something crazy happened this morning. I don't really know what it means, but I'm going to go over yesterday first and try to figure out what's going on as you read this. Alright, so yesterday, I managed to get out of my apartment and hang out with an old friend. It had been a while and I was feeling a little sensitive about my skin, so I gave in and put on my tinted moisturizer. It might be because I've been abstaining and have forgotten the way it normally looks on my face, but wow, I really dislike makeup now. Even just the tinted moisturizer annoyed me; it made my pores and pimples stand out even more, especially in the light. I'm also pretty sure that my skin is becoming more sensitive to makeup, and prefers to be without it. Throughout the night, I watched my whiteheads grow in size, I swear. To be fair, this might have been my skin healing and pushing them out, but the makeup was definitely not helping, I can promise that. Anyway, I ended up crashing around 2am. Although I was exhausted beyond belief (I work very early normally so I was pretty sleep-deprived to begin with), I dragged myself to the bathroom to do the Regimen. I couldn't bear the thought of sleeping in that ungodly tinted moisturizer and seeing the consequences of skipping a day of the Regimen. I might have used a little more of the BP by accident, but nothing was dramatically different about my routine. So, when I wake up in the morning, I go to the mirror to wash my face, and BOOM! My skin is about 60% clearer than it was the day before. I'm not complaining, believe me, but...WHAT?! Is this a tease?! I continued with the rest of the morning Regimen, and like yesterday, my face is burning. I'm not sure if this is bad, but I can't cut back down on anything now! My skin is on an acne-murdering spree! It's awesome! Woohoo! I'm worried about irritation, but I still feel like this level of discomfort is normal. I won't pull back unless I actually see any adverse effects. Also, I have a strong suspicion that my sunscreen is what's causing the burning sensation, which is fine. I used the full two pumps of moisturizer today, and I think that'll help with the irritation. I also reapplied the moisturizer once or twice yesterday, which helped calm down a lot of the redness in my skin. Still waiting on that jojoba oil! I can't wait to write about it. Anyway, we'll see what happens with the random clearing of my skin. It might have just been a good night on the Regimen, or it might be working a lot faster than I anticipated! Updates to come. Stay hopeful, and stop wearing makeup. Your skin will thank you, and you're beautiful anyway
Day 8 has proven so far to be quite the challenge. First, let me just say that the Regimen is still awesome. My skin is still progressing quite smoothly and at the proper pace However, my skin is definitely feeling the increased amount of BP, and it seems to be purging like no other. I don't really mean that it's breaking out. It just seems to be screaming, "EVERYTHING ON ME WILL DIE A PAINFUL DEATH." So, what's going on with my skin? Time to investigate: 1. I did have a minor breakout last night, the cause of which I'm still trying to figure out. I have a very red papule on the side of my nose and a growing pimple on the side of my face. And woah, they're smaller than usual, but SO RED. I used some ice to try to calm them down, which helped the swelling but not the redness. 2. The area around my mouth is really flaky. This weirds me out, since that's not a problem area for me, and I generally tend to avoid spreading much BP there because it's very sensitive. 3. Every small problem area on my face appears to be burning in the ninth circle of hell. It's just red. So red. And my whiteheads are still diminishing, but that's because they're melting in the flames. Okay, maybe I'm exaggerating a bit. My skin isn't inflamed, but just very red and dry, and the breakout last night kind of bummed me out. Still, I think this is a normal part of the Regimen, especially after increasing the BP. I also have to keep reminding myself that I just started, and my skin needs extra time to get used to things. If further irritation continues, I'll use a bit less BP. We'll see. On the bright side, the jojoba oil is still on its way, which will help out my skin a ton and maybe my tattoo. Cause that's also suffering.
To be honest, I wouldn't recommend that you compare these pictures to my before pictures. I promise my skin didn't get worse! These are much better quality. In the before pics, you can really only see redness, but my skin was oily and a bit inflamed. Now, it's a lot brighter and my breakouts have decreased in size considerably! Today I also bumped up the amount of BP I use daily; I've been using the same amount as the length of the top section of my pointer finger nightly (my skin was already pretty used to BP to start), and now I'll be using that much in the morning and at night. It's only been a week, so there's a long way to go, but I am happy with my results so far. I'm also glad that I've been getting comfortable not wearing any face makeup. And, of course, my skin is healing much faster because I've gotten rid of it. Here's what Dan says one should expect about a week into the regimen (just for review): "Week 1: Mild improvement. Skin is red, irritated, and itches." Mild improvement has absolutely happened! Also, my skin is obviously quite red. It's slightly irritated; it stings a bit with the moisturizer/sunscreen, but it's very slight. It doesn't itch. My new tattoo, however, that itches. But I won't be putting any BP on that anytime soon.
Yesterday I was anxious about my face's reaction to the insane amount of makeup I had to wear yesterday, but apparently, for no reason. Dan's products continue to amaze me. As soon as I got home, I scrambled to take my makeup off, which the cleanser did effortlessly. I lamented a bit while looking at my clogged pores, but finished the rest of the regimen and went to bed. When I woke up, I was amazed to find that my skin is back to the way it was before! It even still looks like it's improving: it's a lot brighter today. Hail to The Regimen, seriously. My skin luckily has a lot of time to relax this week before covering up again this weekend. I bought Philosophy's Hope In A Jar SPF 30, which is non-comedogenic. Philosophy must realize that they have one of the few non-comedogenic sunscreens on the market, since the tube was about $40. Woah, right? But, it'll last a long time, since I mix it with Dan's moisturizer, which he recommends. I also happen to really like this product, because it doesn't make my skin oily but instead gives it a nice glow Absolutely worth the investment. I guess I'm grateful that the makeup didn't permanently set back my skin's progress, but it also confuses me. I do believe I have acne cosmetica, so it would make sense for my skin to react to a heavy cream foundation, but will I always have this reaction to makeup now? I don't really want to wear foundation daily, which is why I'm working so hard on my skin, but when I have to again for another shoot or show, what do I do? It's also really unsettling to have my bumps show up in photos and videos. Perhaps this is just temporary, and the better my skin gets, the better it'll be able to handle makeup. I also often forget that makeup can make clogged pores stand out; a lot of the time my skin actually looks smoother just left alone! Anyway, I'm posting my one week progress pictures tomorrow. Looking forward to it!
Today I had a photo shoot, but unfortunately no personal makeup artist. So, I went to Sephora for a walk-in application. I was really bummed about wearing heavy makeup all day, but I knew it had to be done for the camera. I was even more bummed when the artist slathered Murad moisturizer and Kat Von D foundation all over my face (a very heavy foundation that can be used to cover tattoos as well). Don't get me wrong, she was incredible and I loved the way the pictures came out, but when I looked at my face afterwards I could tell my pores were suffering. My diminished whiteheads were also growing. Hopefully this won't do too much damage...once I wash up and use BP it should balance out. I also bought Philosophy Hope In A Jar SPF 30, so no more makeup during the week!!! YAY! This way, I won't feel as badly about having to wear it for shows and such. P.S. I can't wait to wash my face.
I used Dan's products for the first time last night and this morning, and all I can say is, wow. I can already tell that these are by far the best products I've ever purchased. Everything does exactly what it's supposed to do! The cleanser is super gentle but removes all of the dirt on my face and tightens my pores. The BP treatment is smooth when applying and SUPER effective without overdrying my face (SO much better than Neutrogena On The Spot), and the moisturizer makes my skin feel super smooth and doesn't make it oily. I am in love. Needless to say, I still have a long way to go, but my skin is really thanking me for this decision. It's already calmed down so much; I can't wait to post progress pics on Tuesday! P.S. I'm still trying to figure out my SPF situation. Right now I've been mixing my tinted moisturizer with Dan's moisturizer, and I like the sheer coverage/extra moisture from it. Also, I have a photoshoot tomorrow, so I'm going to have to wear camera-ready makeup. Ugh. I guess finding a good primer to protect my skin will be the way to go. I'll update on what products I used. Let me know if you guys have used anything for this that didn't make you break out!
Dan's products have arrived! I'm so excited! I can't wait to update on how they feel/work out, but first, I have some news from yesterday: SO, I had full coverage for my performance last night. I used Bare Minerals powder, and quite honestly, I've decided that I hate the way it looks on my face. I have very oily skin, and Bare Minerals has no problem showing that. I wasn't sure why a powder would make skin oily at first; maybe because I didn't use the matte formula? Anyway, Bare Minerals has also always accentuated the large pores on the apples of my cheeks. For me, powder-based makeup also seems to make my breakouts stand out more, especially in the light. I was really self-conscious about that last night. I decided to do some research, especially because I was afraid of breaking out today because of the makeup, and LOOK WHAT I FOUND: Bare Minerals Foundation has Bismuth Oxychloride listed as the first inactive ingredient. This ingredient is HIGHLY comedogenic, and is known to cause cystic acne. Insane, right?! I feel so cheated by Bare Minerals now, especially because when I first tried the product (acne-free), I was in love with its easy and flawless coverage. But, I'm starting to suspect that it was the cause of my acne. Unbelievable. I never realized how careful one with sensitive skin has to be with makeup. Nevertheless, I looked into my Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer as well, and found that it has a mild comedogenic ingredient. I wonder if I should just give up on makeup altogether, or deal with it. I used to use Clinique foundation, but I don't know if that's non-comedogenic, since their website doesn't list their ingredients. Because I like the coverage/SPF, I think I'll try mixing the tinted moisturizer with Dan's moisturizer in the morning. We'll see how that goes. Stay safe, fellow makeup users. P.S. I was so frustrated with my whiteheads last night that I squeezed 'em out...gross. I know you're not supposed to do that, but these were simply not going away, and the BP cleaned them up pretty well! Just have to try not to do that often.
Okay! So far so good. Today's going to be interesting, though. It's only been two days, but I'm enjoying this. STILL waiting on Dan's products, but the BP's definitely working it's magic, despite my redness/flakes. I mentioned in my previous post that I accidentally popped a pimple...woops! BUT, I put some tomato juice on it, and today there was minimal redness and absolutely no swelling. Lovely! I was so excited about these results that I made a tomato juice/seed mask this morning and left it on for about an hour. This didn't really do anything noticeable yet; not sure if it will. The pimples I have right now are very tiny, but very stubborn (resisting to pop them all the time). In retrospect, I probably should just stick to the regimen. I think from now on I'll only use tomato juice in emergencies (tomato juice is also less irritating than lemon juice). I'm kind of scared about today, since I'll be performing a show. This means I'll be wearing a full face of makeup, which I don't like doing, especially because I have suspicions that I have acne cosmetica from years of putting comedogenic makeup on my face every day. I use Bare Minerals for shows, which I suppose is the safest to use for full, matte coverage. However, I was recently told that Bare Minerals actually turns into a liquid foundation after it sets into the skin. We'll see if it has any negative effects, but one night should be fine. Just have to have a clean brush and be gentle! And the BP should kill anything left over. Note: I didn't put on Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer today, since I won't be outside until later when I'm wearing Bare Minerals (has SPF). Also, I don't want to layer makeup, since tinted moisturizer technically still is makeup. I used my night cream instead; I figured my skin could use the extra moisture while I'm sitting around all day! Can't wait to check in tomorrow! Liz
I counted last night as my official night on The Regimen...although Dan's products still haven't arrived, I want to start. I dropped the Retin A to stay true to Dan's strategy...Here are my products right now before Dan's come: Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Facial Cleanser (psh, okay. but hey, it's non-comedogenic) Neutrogena On The Spot Acne Treatment (BP 2.5%) Alba Botanica Even Advanced Night Cream During the day I wear Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer SPF 25. Waiting for some jojoba oil to arrive for extra moisture too...my skin is so dry! Anyway, I had a flare up last weekend from drinking/smoking I'm pretty sure...and then I overcompensated and used a TON of BP and Retin A to try and fix it. Because that works. But, I've learned my lesson! Since dropping the Retin A my skin has calmed down a lot, and the BP is definitely clearing up my skin better this way, even though it's been one night. AND I accidentally popped a pimple that DEFINITELY wasn't supposed to be while trying to get hair dye off of my face...oops. Might put some tomato on it. Stay classy, Liz P.S. I'm only going to post pictures weekly; I feel like that shows my progress better than posting every day.
Alright. Dan's products come in about a day or two, and I'm ready to start this. I've tried pretty much everything. I've wasted (or not wasted, because at least I know they don't work!) tons of money on products and procedures that have never made my acne go away. It's only been almost a year, but I know that I shouldn't have to wait that long to have clear skin again. I can do this. I just have to be persistent, and stop torturing my skin with new products and treatments. It's insane! Every time I went to someone with my skin problems, they would tell me to do something different. No one seems to know what the best solution is. Even my dermatologist hasn't given me the results I wanted; he recently prescribed BP in the morning and Retin A cream at night, but it's way too harsh on my skin. Unfortunately though, it's been the only thing keeping it somewhat contained...or at least, that's how I feel. I'm too afraid to drop my prescriptions, which I've done in the past with little success. Current condition of skin: Very red today. Lots of little bumps on my cheeks and forehead that you can see in the light, and inflammation on my cheeks (problem spot). Tonight/tomorrow will be the last of this current regimen. Moving on to bigger and better things. I might even decide to let my skin have a break before starting Dan's Regimen. I'm not entirely sure; I'll keep you posted. -Liz P.S. Sorry about the lack of clarity in the pictures! From now on I'll take them in better lighting.