So first off I really have to thank Dan. The idea that you really can get clear skin without paying thousands of dollars on treatments is absolutely wonderful! As I have mentioned before I have tried quite a few products. In this post I want to talk about The success I have had with the regimen. As I have mentioned my skin has been a roller coaster, I have pictures my skin has had great days, and pictures (some of which I have deleted) which testify I have also had bad periods of my skin history. At the beginning of 2013 my skin started going through a really bad period. Things had been manageable for a few months at the end of 2012, but then about beginning of February of 2013 my skin got pretty bad. I started getting really bad cystic acne. I had previously broken out mostly on my cheeks, but this time around it was my cheeks, my upper lip, my chin and neck (previously I never got acne on my neck, only my face) I had just started dating my boyfriend, and well needless to say I felt ugly. I really liked him and I felt awful about myself because I felt as though anyone who saw me with him would look at me, then at him, and wonder "why is this good-looking guy with this girl [with acne]?" I was happy and miserable at the same time: Happy because I was so excited to be dating someone who was as amazing as my boyfriend is, and miserable because I couldn't look myself in the mirror and see anything beautiful about myself. And even though he would try so hard to reassure me he thought I was beautiful, I couldn't see it in myself. I was looking for a solution, something to help me manage and keep my acne under control. In March I desperately begged my new physician to put me on accutane (this was my third time - I will write more about my experience with accutane in another post), but this really didn't do much for me and I started to worry about the health risks I was subjecting myself to exposing myself to it. I had been a member of acne.org for almost a year and then I thought, "I need to fully put this regimen to the test". Before I had used 10% benzoyle peroxide. I decided to order the 2% from acne.org. I thought "what do I have to lose? I've tried just about everything else!" At the beginning of April 2013 I started the regimen. I used a basic face wash, facial moisturizer, from the drugstore and followed the regimen religiously. I can't say the results were overnight ones, nor did I expect them to be. I knew it would take about three months to really be clear. Then by May it was getting better, kind of dry (my body was still getting rid of the accutane in my system I think), but as long as I moisturized the flakey-ness was manageable, and no black heads!. Then by June, there were less new lesions and the cysts were virtually gone. By end of June there were only a few small white heads, which would clear up within a day or two. Now mid July, my skin is virtually acne free! My current challenge now is healing scars, which I know will take time. I just started trying a new product, it is by Seacret, it is a mineral-rich peeling gel. I figured I might as well try it. It is for once a week use and is supposed to exfoliate the skin. if you are curious about it here is a link to the website: http://www.seacretspa.com/facial-Peeling-Gel (by the way I am not trying to promote it, I am just letting you know what I am trying) As the month goes by I'll update you on how my scars are healing and whether I think it is worth investing in or not. As of right now I alternate using Simple moisturizing face wash as well as Aveeno clear complexion cream cleanser. I like these two cleansers because they don't over foam, they are light, they don't dry out my skin, and they don't leave any residue. I find other products I have tried like Clean&Clear leave a residue on my face and that just prevents it from absorbing the moisturizer. I decided to post some pics to give you an idea of what my skin looks like now and what it looked like at the beginning of April as I started the Regimen (I know it doesn't look so bad, but I had makeup on, I was kind of self concious when I had the pics taken and was wearing makeup to hide the acne), as well as what my current scaring looks like. I will talk about my experience on accutane in another post, as well as my continued healing as I use the mineral peeling gel. I hope you find success using the regimen. It takes determination to keep at it, especially when it feels like nothing is working, but don't give up! And even when your skin gets clear KEEP TO THE REGIMEN! It is the only way I have found to stay clear! If anyone is reading this and you have any questions or suggestions, by all means I am open to positive constructive feedback!
I am not gonna pretend I am some revolutionary wise woman. I am still going through the healing process. But half my life has been my struggle with acne. I just want to share my experiences and tell you about what I have tried, or what I am trying, what is working for me, what hasn't worked for me, and what I feel, think, and discover. I want this to be a positive space. I want to share what I have experienced as someone who suffers from Acne Vulgaris and what I have learned. to tell my story from the beginning would require a long post. A really long post. I just want to introduce myself. Hi, I am Lenny, I love to dance, sing, sketch, and watch movies. I read a lot about nutrition and when I shop for skin products I read the labels and like to ask questions. I like to try products and give them a chance to prove me they work, or unfortunately in many instances that they don't work (at least for me) I am in my mid 20s and first started getting acne when I was 12. I will be writing about the products I am using now, why I like them or updates on new products I am trying, what I do to uplift my spirits when I get down about "my face" (as I do sometimes), and what I have done nutrition wise which I feel effects the condition of my skin. And really anything else that comes up. I know this is kind of a hodge podge of stuff and not really specific, but I hope if you choose to read I can offer some perspective and enlightenment on your journey to healthier skin.
I decided to write a blog post mainly for the purpose of telling my story to myself. If you are reading this it is because I'm sure at some point in your life you have had to (or are currently) experiencing the effects of Acne Vulgaris. Why am I addressing it under its scientific medical term you may ask? well because quite frankly I believe it doesn't get the proper attention it deserves. I figured telling my story (which is probably like many others) was the best way to help you the reader understand. And when I tell my story I am telling it so that you can feel like there really is a true sense of community support out there. I started getting acne when I was 12 years old. And unfortunately for me I was one of the few kids in my class who got it that early. It really wasn't all that bad. But the consequences of being one of the first in my class to experience in the "delights" of puberty, were well not fun in the slightest. I still remember how in my grade 7 class my teacher decided to assign our tables by last name. Unfortunately for me (yet again) I was the only girl at my table. It was the worst way to start the year. Acne and being teased by the boys. The most humiliating taunt was when one boy would recite the TV commercial for an acne medication and the rest of them would snigger or laugh. It was awful. I really didn't think I was beautiful. In highschool I decided I didn't want to care about boys. My acne varied from being manageable to uncontrolable (in my teenage mind). I look back at pictures of myself and I realize it wasn't as terrible as I remember it to be. In fact I have some pictures where I had completely clear skin, and others where it was a little worse than normal teenage acne. When I was a teen my family physician would give me samples of clyndoxil (basically benzoil peroxide 10%) or other creams. I tried proactive when I was 17 turning 18 for two months hoping for the best, but seeing no real results. My acne actually got worse when I turned 18 however. I remember thinking I was finally getting over the worst of it. Little did I know it was only the beginning of my journey. When I started college my skin got pretty bad (cystic acne mostly on my cheeks) and I started to get some scarring. my doctor then recommended I go on the pill. She first put me on the Diane-35 for a 3 months with no visible results, so I stopped for a while. Then Yasmine for 3 months, still not much, so back on the Diane-35 this time for 7 months or so. I got frustrated so I stopped. Back and forth this continued for two years. Then I finally convinced my doctor to put me on accutane when I was 20. I thought that was my miracle pill. I wanted results. Acutane did work for the 6 months I was on it. but after being off it for 6 months the acne returned. I tried to convince my doctor to give me a longer treatment than 6 months (because a sit in doctor-dermatologist recommended I should, but my regular doctor said she didn't think I needed it). My doctor put me back on the Diane-35 for a few months as well as Yasmine (on again and off again) for the next 3 years. While I was taking these on and off I would try topical medications or treatments. I tried Proactive again for 6 months, I tried Murad for 3 months. These two just dried out my skin (Proactive) more than when I was on accutane, and tightened and dried my skin which caused more breakouts and scarring (Murad). And all the while I had people come and tell me what I should and shouldn't take, eat, try. I had (and still occasionally have) people tell me I should rub yogurt on my face, drink more water (which I always cary around a bottle of water with me FYI), make honey masks, eat more fruit (which I am the only person I know of whose mother tells her she needs to eat something other than fruits and veggies), that I need to relax more (yes true, stress is one of my acne triggers), I have gone to natural health stores (which I believe in) where they gave me cleansing Chinese traditional medications, I cut out dairy, and have limited the amount of wheat (gluten) I consume, I have had magnetic therapy treatments,... all in all I have tried most things out there. I can tell you it has been (and sometimes still is) a frustrating road, but this blog is where I intend to share my experiences with products I have tried, methods I have experimented with, and my feelings about acne and managing it, because the reality is, there is no "cure" its like people with Diabetes or celiac's disease, we can only manage our condition, which will help us live happy lives regardless of the challenges we face (both physical and emotional) from our medical conditions. I hope this gives you an idea of what I intend to achieve by putting my thoughts out into the world. I intend to be positive and share my experiences and hope some of what I have learned can benefit the rest of the acne.org community