Okay, just a heads up, I am EXHAUSTED in these photos. I took them the minute I woke up, not sure why. Try not to be too alarmed. Anyway, yesterday was pretty brutal. I went about the usual day with what I referred to as my "oatmeal face," which was kind of humorous, but also came from a place of grief. My boyfriend reassured me that my whiteheads weren't that bad before I left to go visit my parents, but I was still bummed about it. I knew they were going away, but they could've been a little faster before I had to stroll around New York with oatmeal face. And, of course, it was brought up at dinner, which proved to be disastrous. I made the mistake of bringing up my birth control, which I'm going to switch. I'm currently taking Sronyx (Alesse), which is higher in androgen levels, and can hurt acne. I brought up Ortho Tri Cyclen-Lo and its known skin-healing benefits to my mother in passing, which instantly became a huge debate on how to cure my acne. My father suggested Accutane at one point, which really set me off. I was pretty insulted and upset, especially because I don't like people talking about my skin unless I bring it up. I'm in the process of conquering my acne, but it's still a huge insecurity for me. It was a pretty nightmarish dinner. Moving on, I've ramped up the BP amount to the full finger's length. My skin seems to be okay with it, so that's good! I'll be starting AHA next week if all continues to go smoothly with the BP tolerance. My whiteheads are drying out and starting to go away, which is awesome. One popped on its own last night, but I helped the rest of the trapped gunk get out. It healed well, luckily! So, although it might not look like an improvement, my skin is way less congested than it used to be. Its sort of like someone with a brutally stuffy nose, and when it finally starts to clear, a lot of snot pours out, which is nasty, but a good sign. WOW, I'm tired. Looking forward to a more normal post tomorrow.
I realized today how amazing it is that I don't care about my face anymore. Well, I do, but not as much as I used to. It's quite a relief. For instance, I was running late to work this morning while doing the Regimen (so time consuming), so I slathered on my moisturizer and jojoba and walked outside, a greasy mess. And I couldn't have cared less. The Regimen seems to have worn me out emotionally; I can't be bothered to worry about what others are thinking about my skin. It's great. I have my days, but as I've said before, it's the good ones that make the trials of the Regimen worth it. Pressing forward, my purge has subsided, thank goodness. My skin seems to be clearing a lot faster now, and the flakiness isn't as bad as it was a few days ago. There's still a ton of redness and hyperpigmentation, but that's why I started using AHA last night. So far, I'm really liking this product. It's only been one night, but it totally works. I mixed it in with my moisturizer, which is what I'll do for this week. If my skin can handle it, I'll mix it in with the moisturizer and use it alone a couple of nights each week. After applying it, my face was stinging for a while, but it wasn't anything extreme. The smell was a bit unsettling (sort of like rum), but it faded quickly. When I woke up in the morning, I noticed that most of my flakes were completely gone! My skin was also a lot smoother. A bunch of small bumps became whiteheads, which will make them easier to remove. AHA seemed to exfoliate my skin really well, and it didn't dry it out like most chemicals do! Yay! Excited to continue My skin is slowly progressing, and it feels wonderful.
Well, I'm about half-way through my 7th week on the Regimen, and I'm quite pleased! The left side of my face is [almost] completely clear now, and the right side is well on its way. It has 1-2 tiny whiteheads currently. There's a papule on the side of my nose, but it's been shrinking. I still have a while to go before I get completely clear and achieve the complexion I want, but the Regimen is finally starting to work! My skin is now rapidly progressing, and it feels great. Of course, there's still a lot of hyperpigmentation on my face, but I expect the AHA to fade my red marks within 6 months or so. My skin is also still flaky and dry, especially after a night without AHA. I think I might use it more frequently. P.S. Sorry I haven't posted for over a week...It's been hard for me to be consistent with this, but at this point, I might just post weekly anyway.
I'm 2/3 of the way done with the Regimen! I can't believe how much time has gone by, and I also can't believe how much better my face is. My acne seems to be 90% under control, which is so exciting for me. I really never thought this would happen, and it's such an amazing feeling! I can't believe all of the stress and time I put into this is starting to show such incredible results! Serious props to Dan. Of course, I'm still breaking out, but it feels a lot more normal. I might get a pimple or two here and there, but they go away within 1-2 days or are removed completely with a gentle squeeze. I noticed I'm also getting more pimples where I used to before my acne became problematic (i.e. hairline, nostril, etc.). Could be the birth control stopping the cheek acne, but I know I owe most of this progress to the Regimen. I also still have a ton of hyperpigmentation, which is pretty much all you'll see in these photos. I promise that it doesn't look as intensely red in reality...the AHA has actually been doing wonders on my red marks! They've lightened up a lot. Another thing worth mentioning is that my face is still pretty dry and flaky, but the AHA and jojoba seem to be keeping it manageable...at least, I can wear makeup over it without looking like a scaly, orange creature. I expect this to even out over the next month, we'll see! For all of those just starting the Regimen or who are losing hope, please stick with it. I haven't felt this good about my skin in ages, and you'll feel the same way too!! Woohoo!
Well, I'm still in the home stretch, and it's so exciting! I just have a few things to report: I slept in my makeup twice this week (oops)...The first time, I broke out on my problem cheek, but it was very minor and is practically gone now. The second time, I didn't break out at all, minus a couple of clogged pores from putting heavy face paint on my upper cheeks. Woo! I actually ended up skipping the Regimen enough this week where some days I was only able to do one application of BP. Thankfully (and surprisingly), I was completely fine. I might try to do this after using the Regimen for the full 3-4 months, since it would be a huge time saver. Also, I'd say I'm around 90% clear! Yay! I owe so much to the Regimen. My skin hasn't looked this good and hasn't felt this under-control in ages. Once I can get rid of my hyperpigmentation too, I'll know that this was a complete success. So excited.
Alright, I'm still hanging in here and doing my best to keep everything under control. Last night, I noticed a few of the last buried pimples were surfacing, which I didn't really have a strong opinion on. I was glad they were coming out, but if they got larger, I would pop them in the morning. Well, after applying 1/2 AHA and 1/2 moisturizer last night, they shrank considerably! I did notice that a papule is forming next to a whitehead I popped though...I've spot-treated it with AHA, so we'll see what happens. Two other small bumps appeared on my clearer side towards my jawline, which I'm pretty sure is just hormonal, and they're also shrinking now. Other than that, I'm still very dry, but exfoliating with jojoba in the shower has helped that a bit. I'm waiting all of this out, and remaining as positive as I can! Eep! Since tomorrow is officially the half-way point to 90 days on the Regimen, I shall post with pictures of how my skin's improved the past few days. Woohoo!
Hey guys, So, this is it! I've reached the end of my Regimen journey. It's been quite the adventure! After the full 3 suggested months, I'm finally clear. I still have hyperpigmentation issues, but that will also go away. After everything I've been through, I don't mind some temporary red marks. I just can't believe I've come this far. My skin is better than it's ever been on any other treatment I've tried. I would seriously recommend this to anyone with acne. This is the first thing I've tried that works. A few things I've learned while on the Regimen: 1. Patience is key: You will go through hell getting your skin the way you want it to be, and you just have to hang in there. 2. Lose old habits: I had to learn how to stop touching/picking my face, and even stopped wearing makeup for a while. I'm a lot more comfortable with my naked face now. 3. How to listen to your skin: I feel so much more in touch with my skin than ever before; I can usually tell what it can handle and what it can't, and how it'll react to most products. There's so much more, but I feel like those are some of the more important ones. I'm also so grateful to everyone on acne.org and the support I found on this site. It's really been an amazing experience. I plan to keep using the Regimen for the next 3-6 months or so, and then I might try to cut down on BP and see how my skin reacts. I'm also still taking Ortho Tri Cyclen-Lo, which is now a great fit for my skin. I'm also currently using AHA and moisturizer every night, and AHA on its own every other night. I also use it in the morning on my marks. I'm working hard to get a clear complexion! Meanwhile, I ended up finding a great foundation from Cover Fx. It's way better than the Tarte one, which was too orange on my skin. I'd highly recommend it! It's very hydrating. My skin is still a bit flaky, and I was considering switching from Dan's moisturizer to Cetaphil. Anyways, I'll be on here every once in a while. I wish all of you the best of luck! <3 Love, Liz
HOLY RABIES, my skin is responding to the globs of BP. Sorry for the Hotel Transylvania reference, by the way. My friend's infant sister has been watching it about five times each weekend. How she handles it, I don't know. Anyway, I just have to talk about my epiphany. I've read Dan's advice to use more BP countless times, and always acknowledged it but didn't really care, to be honest. I was slowly increasing the BP in my own timely manner for the sake of my sensitive skin. But, let me just advise you all: If it's been 3-4 weeks, USE AS MUCH BP AS YOUR FACE CAN HANDLE. YOU'RE JUST PROLONGING YOUR BREAKOUTS IF YOU HAVEN'T ALREADY. Don't go crazy, though. Use a finger's length, but make it a thick line. Everything on your face will die a painful, itchy, flaky death. It's so beautiful. And, it's totally worth the minor discomfort. That'll go away more easily than your acne, trust me. So, there's still a lot of redness and hyperpigmentation and all of that lovely stuff, but I just need to post these photos I took today. Compared to week 3, it's amazing (see gallery). Also, I have no idea what'll be happening by Tuesday (progress pic day) with the new birth control and staying in a hotel and not sleeping and shooting videos and all, so here you have it: Is it perfect? Goodness, no. But I'm just so happy that the majority of my skin is flat and not angry. Pretty much all of those marks (minus 1-2 and those small whiteheads on my forehead) are from old acne. It's great. I can't wait to start using AHA on those, too. I might have to kick up the jojoba though, since the area around my mouth is flaking again. Woops! I've heard that some people use jojoba to exfoliate the flakes a bit, so I might do that if they're not gone by the time I have to apply makeup. That's all for today. HAIL TO THE BP.
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
Well, after some much needed moisturizer and jojoba, my skin is back on its way. The swelling is completely gone, and the redness has gone down significantly. Also, the popped areas are still healing. They're not completely gone, but they're looking a lot less angry! I did have to exfoliate with jojoba oil this morning, though. I rubbed a good amount of it between my hands and massaged my face with it in the shower. It works better for me when my flakes are wet; they just come right off! Thank goodness. I noticed that there's still some stuff that needs to surface properly, so hopefully that'll happen soon. At this point, most pimples that are ready to go can be removed pretty easily. The hyperpigmentation is once again my biggest concern right now, which I'm grateful for. I should probably wait until I'm completely clear though before I focus on my red marks. I am hoping so much that this is the last cycle of purging. Nothing extremely deep seems to be forming, which is a good sign. However, my 3rd week of Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo started yesterday, which means that I'll be ingesting the highest level of hormones for the week. After that, I take the placebo pills. I'll have to wait and see how it all works out!
I might have gone a bit overboard on the AHA. I feel like there's no proper instruction on how much to use! I read somewhere to use 1/2 AHA and 1/2 moisturizer...does that mean one pump of moisturizer and one pump's worth of AHA? Because I did that. And oh man, that was a lot of AHA. My face BURNED so badly. I wasn't sure what to do, so I just dealt with it. Luckily, in the morning, nothing terrible had happened, but my skin is pretty red and sore today. It looks like a minor sunburn. Hopefully I can feel out how much AHA I should really be using with my moisturizer...but anyone please feel free to tell me! I've also been pretty sensitive lately about my hyperpigmentation marks. They're very apparent, and from a distance it almost looks like I have severe acne because my spots are just so red! A couple of users on the forums reminded me that I'm probably noticing my red marks more because there's less active acne, which I realized is accurate. Living under fluorescent lighting doesn't really help, either. There are still a few tiny whiteheads on my cheeks, but they're practically falling off of my face, and not inflamed at all. Feeling grateful for this progress so far, and I need to keep reminding myself that I'm only 1/3 way there. Meanwhile, I'm going to submerge my face into a bucket of ice. Just kidding. But seriously, I would.
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.
MY MOISTURIZER CAME! HUZZAH! I'M SAVED! My face feels so much better, and there's no more flakiness. Thank goodness. That's the only good part. Before you look at these photos, I'm just going to point out that indeed, my face is pretty damaged right now. Yesterday I had SO MANY whiteheads, and I caved and went on a popping spree. I might have even went a little overboard, but the good news is that the swelling is down, and now there are just scabs, which means they're healing! The only issue is that the redness is pretty unsightly. I really do swear that this is progress from last week. Everything was just underneath, and now stuff is coming back up and getting removed or going away. It needs time to heal, but unfortunately my skin didn't have time to do that before I took pictures of it. So, enjoy. When my skin gets to heal a bit more I'll post pictures for my half-way point of the Regimen. Peace.
I just need to say, WOW, my skin was flaky yesterday. I have no idea what happened. I washed my face and flakes came off on my towel! I could've peeled so much of my face off. It was weird, but I suppose it's better to let some layers shed and keep my skin as fresh as possible. Gotta get all of the rest of that buried acne out of there! Speaking of such, I'm very irked by a cluster of bumps under my skin on my problem cheek. The other side of my face is SO much clearer, what's going on with this one? It could be because I sleep on that side, it could be the way I part my hair, it could be deep acne from popping last week, it could be the new birth control, it could be anything. The problem is, I have no idea what, but it's either coming out or reducing anyway, so whatever. There are also some similar bumps on my forehead, but they're not red. This might be a birth control situation. Not sure. When I was younger I would get unnoticeable bumps (unless you felt them) under my skin that never surfaced. No idea what those were. Besides those complaints, however, things are looking pretty good. The difference between Week 3 and Week 5 is immense. I can finally see some improvement in my progress photos! Yay! That's all. Enjoy looking at my face. If anyone knows what is going on with that army of bumps, let me know. Thanks! P.S. One important thing I forgot to mention, I'm running out of moisturizer. It should get here by the end of this week or the beginning of next week. I'm compensating with more jojoba.
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.
I'm worried about my face. I'm pretty sure it's irrational, but it's scary to see my acne change almost half-way through the Regimen. It doesn't look as unsightly now, but my skin is SO flaky and red, and these bumps under my face have a pretty smooth, shiny texture, and it's hard to see the pores around them...might be cystic? I have no idea. I want to blame the birth control, but I'm scared to because I have to wait 3 months to see if it'll help or not. Woo. I could be overreacting, though. The fact that my skin isn't exploding in whiteheads every day is pretty fantastic. I'm pretty sure it's adjusting to everything. I also just started AHA, which could be digging super deep stuff out. I need to chill. On the bright side, I'm using Eucerin repair creme as a temporary moisturizer, and that's going well. I'll just have to wait this out and see what happens.
As mentioned previously, I've now been using the full amount of BP since Monday night. So far, my skin is loving it. I feel like waiting to increase the amount weekly was a smart idea at first, since I needed my skin to slowly adjust to the chemical, but after a while, I was just prolonging my progress. Everything is drying up and shriveling away again, which is so lovely! I feel like makeup will be a lot more successful this weekend Also, I've decided to compromise my impulse to pop whiteheads. If I have a whitehead that looks like it's ready to go, I'll follow Dan's guidelines and gently try to remove it. If I can't, I'll just leave it be. So far, it's been working out pretty well! There's an increased amount of redness/scabbing (ew) on my face, but at least it's flatter, and I don't believe it'll scar. I also believed at first that I had acne cosmetica when I began the Regimen. This might have been the case, but now I think it's purely hormonal. My breakouts are in hormonal areas (forehead occasionally; cheeks), and they start under the skin. Sometimes they don't even turn into whiteheads, and the ones that do are a bit inflamed. The Regimen is helping, no doubt, but I think I need to start battling my acne from the inside as well, which is why I'll be switching to a birth control with lower androgen levels. Woohoo! I'll also be starting AHA soon, probably within the next two weeks. There is a LOT of hyperpigmentation happening on my cheeks, which hopefully it'll relieve. Feelin' optimistic today.
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
Okay, this isn't good. My skin is SO flaky! I look like a scaly reptile! The worst part is, I'm clearing incredibly, but I feel like that's because my skin is so dry that nothing can live on my face. It's so dry, I can hardly even smile like a normal person. 3 pumps of moisturizer didn't even work for long. I tried exfoliating with jojoba oil, which was suggested on the boards, but of course it didn't work once I washed my face. This is insane. I don't know what to do! I have to wear makeup this weekend! How am I going to do that? AH! So lost.
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?
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.
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.
Jojoba oil is one of my new favorite skin products, seriously. My skin has been much less flaky and irritated because of it. It still burns when I use the moisturizer, but the jojoba has diminished a lot of the redness in my face. I was pretty surprised yesterday to see the difference after work when I looked in the mirror! I've even been putting a bit of it on throughout the day. It's oily, but it gives my olive skin such a lovely golden shine. The Greeks had the right idea with olive oil, and jojoba seems to be the non-acnegenic oil of champions. My skin is also still clearing! Yay! Even my boyfriend said something about it today. I'm feeling pretty good. There's a small cluster of little bumps at the top of my nose (in between my eyebrows), but my period is coming in a few days, so I don't even count that as a problem breakout. Needless to say, there are still some issues, and I expect to see some on the Regimen for a while. Two whiteheads were popped again on my cheek, closer to my upper lip. I was scrutinizing way too much in the mirror, and one accidentally just came right off. It was definitely ready to go, but I could have done without the bleeding. That always makes me nervous. I panicked a bit and nervously played with the small whitehead next to it, which I forcefully removed. So, now I have two bleeding pores I spot treated them with some BP to hopefully bring down some of the swelling and redness. There's also a papule growing near my nose (on the other side of my face this time), which always kind of bothers me. Papules are so apparent, and they take forever to go away! Ugh! Not much I can do about it, though. I also have to wear makeup this weekend, as usual, which unfortunately won't be mineral makeup. My makeup store doesn't update their Tarte products until next week, so I plan on using the BB tinted moisturizer this weekend before I exchange it. It isn't that bad of a product anyway, especially for one weekend, I just wish it didn't have sodium chloride in it. Oh well! Update on popped whiteheads and makeup to come tomorrow, just gotta chill and go with the flow here.
So, I'm pretty much out of moisturizer. I've been scraping out whatever I can get from the bottle and putting a ton of jojoba in it. I'm hesitant about getting a temporary moisturizer, but maybe I'll give in. I'm worried about not moisturizing properly with the BP and AHA and all that's attacking my skin right now. Speaking of what's attacking my skin, I can tell that this new birth control is changing my acne a little bit. It's more underneath my skin now, but I'm actually okay with that, because it's not visible, and it doesn't hurt. If it pops out, great, it can leave, and if it doesn't, even better, because it decided not to show up anyway. It's so much better than having an evil, horrid whitehead that stretches to get out of your face, but won't leave for a week. I can dig it. It's still a little disconcerting though...I still have a long way to go in the Regimen, and I have to wait 3 months to see if this birth control helps or not as well. It's a little trying, but oh well. Gotta stick with it.
I was battling the idea of posting pictures of how my skin looks with makeup, but decided against it. Not because it looks bad (coverage is nice, we all know that), but because it doesn't matter. This is about conquering acne and being proud of your skin, not showing how to hide yourself. If I could go without makeup every weekend, I would. The problem is that my image is a pretty big part of my job. It's not the most important part, but it's enough to need to look really damn good for the media, which sucks. I can't just waltz on stage with a red face...I mean, I could, but I shouldn't. I hate it, but that's why my goal is to have clear skin; I want to be able to free myself from those pressures and love my skin, and to be able to show those shallower people that I love it, too! Soon. Anyway, yesterday, in all of my hypocrisy, I wore my arch nemesis, Bare Minerals. I knew that mineral makeup could beat liquid makeup any day (especially for those with oily or combo skin), so I set my grudges aside and applied it after my moisturizer dried. AND, LO AND BEHOLD, IT WAS QUITE IRRITATING. It was irritating because my bumps (the popped ones this time weren't so kind as to diminish entirely) were so pronounced, it was embarrassing. I kept putting my hair in my face because I couldn't stand the way the powder illuminated them in the light. Also, the makeup, as most of us know, is simply irritating to the skin. It was itching all day. Curse you, bismuth oxychloride; curse you, mica. Sephora updates their Tarte products soon, and as soon as they do, that new mineral makeup is MINE. I am done with makeup that makes my skin look like bubble wrap. DONE. Moving on, by the end of the day, the only breakout that appeared to be makeup/irritant-induced was a small whitehead on my chin. Not bad. I washed that stuff off as fast as I could, to find that the whiteheads I was so eager to pop the night before had come back, and with a vengeance. This is why I dislike popping my face. They're pretty heinous, but it looks like they're trying to push out of my face, which I approve of. I think I'll just leave them be, but don't be surprised if they show up in my week 3 photos tomorrow. When I compare my current skin to the photos from last week and the week before, I sometimes wonder if my skin is worse, but then I realize that it's just healing. When I'm able to look at my skin objectively, I can see that almost all of my clogged pores are gone, and the ones that aren't have become whiteheads. So, in a way, it looks worse, but it's sort of like an epic purge. Also, most of the redness on my skin is from old acne, which I much prefer. Not bad at all. This is such an interesting learning process. I've changed so much in these past few weeks, and it feels like I'm developing a real understanding for my skin, which is something I've never had. I only used to have frustration, which is STILL TOTALLY HERE, but it's different now, because I can handle it, and I am in control. It feels good to say (type) that. Sorry about the long narcissistic epiphanies. Progress pictures tomorrow, WOOHOO! Love, Liz (I feel like something this long and personal needs a signature)