Alright! So it's been two month since I've started the regime properly. I had immediately noticed a difference and had chronicled my progress over the first month with detailed obs once a week along side taking pictures. *gasp* my skin had cleared up within the month! Better yet, my hormonal acne didn't sprout up. I'd still get some breakouts, but they were small and cleared up quickly. However, I noticed that things changed during the second month (beginning of Sept-now). My skin is clearer than it's been pre-regime, but some of my acne that went away in the first month has returned, hormonal and all. I'm a bit at a loss as to why it's returning (mildly). I stick to the regimen now especially closely, the hardening effect's subsided, there's no burning and what not...but I'm finding my skin not as clear as the first month. I'm curious as to whether anyone's experienced this, and if you've turned to adding AHA, how's that helped/not helped.
Here we are again! Nearly 7 years ago I started the regime...as a teenager. Back then would I have thought that the nearly 23-year-old me would still have problem skin? Maybe, but not this bad. I can say, this is the worst my skin has been in. Ever. Growing up, cystic acne or inflammatory acne wasn't all too common. For me it was whiteheads, mostly. And only in my T-zone. I never would get acne of any type on my checks, chin, jawline...whatever. Back then, the only inflammatory acne I got was above my lip, and sometimes on my forhead. But by and large the majority were plugged pores on my forehead and around my nose. Back then I also wore MASSIVE amounts of foundation. At 14 I was wearing the thickest cream concealer Estee lauder sold. I didn't really need it, the acne was a normal part of puberty, but I probably was influenced by my dance toupe, by the image of what an "attractive and popular" female looks like: clear skin, flawless. As I started getting accustomed to wearing such coverage, people knew me by the girl that "has amazing skin, flawless, like a doll". Can't really stop wearing foundation after that, ne? It's like when you've only ever seen someone with eye makeup on...and when they take it off..suddenly they look---odd. Same thing. At 14: Estee Luader Cream concealer. Thickest and strongest coverage. This was just for my under eyes and spot concealing At 15: Estee Lauder Lucidity foundation This is a medium-buildable coverage foundation. I remember that it was a bit oily on my skin and could come off with a good rub. I would wear this in the morning before class....then go into the washroom at lunch time and apply another coat. Oh my... At 16: Estee Lauder Double Wear foundation. Full coverage,build able, lasts easily 15 hours. This is the strongest and more wearproof foundation I've used. Waterproof, sweatproof. I could wear this all day, and then the next day. With all the performances I'd do, this was the IT foundation that make my skin flawless. By grade 11 and 12 I was wearing the most foundation, ever. In some photos it looks like I was wearing a mask. At 18: Estee Lauder Double Wear Light foundation. Decided it was time to stop fusking up my face with lots of heavy foundations. So I opted for a lighter version of the double wear. Med-build able coverage and light, this was the foundation I found to be the best trade off. At 19: Continued to use the same foundation, however started watering it down. Currently (22): Haven't switched, still the go-to foundation for proper coverage. However, I stopped wearing foundation regularly, instead I use a Double Wear pen as a spot-concealer. The irony of all this is as I reduced my makeup quantity my skin has gotten worst. When I was laying on loads as a teen, my skin wasn't all to bad in relation to others. Now that I try to wear a minimal amount, my skin is at it's worst. Breakouts and acne scars along my cheeks, jawline, chin. I've broken out more across my forehead than I ever recall previously. The only difference is that unlike when I was a teenager, I don't have many breakouts around my nose or upper lip. However, the acne I do get now can be cystic, nodular (bah!), or the typical inflamed and whiteheads. Basically, anything! For years my dermas and I were trying to figure out the culprit. Going off birth control? Food? Change in activity level? Hormones? Seems the biggest culprit was going off the pill. As we all know, specific bands of BCP are used to control acne, going off such medications (or any BCP) can fusk up your androgen levels..amongst everything else..introducing some really funky acne shiz. When i was 16 I went on the regime for a bit. And it worked well enough, I do recall that much. However, it required waking up an extra 30-40 minutes earlier each morning on a school day---nothing a senior wants to do, so I fell out from that. Given the flareup of seborrhea dermatitis on my face that's plagued me for a few years, I stopped all together using BP because that obviously aggravated the condition. Hence the reason I watered down my foundation--it was less to do with having a natural coverage and more to do with how pasty it went on my scaly skin. However, I can't stay inactive about this, my derm is right. I've been prescribed antibiotics, creams, and considered going back on the pill, but I feel that the regime has the least amount of side effects. So what the hell, lets give it a go. Another possibly BCP-correlated side effect I noticed once I went of it, was that I started to get chest and back acne. It was pretty bad on my chest early this year. Since then it's toned down...I would say probably because above everything, I don't touch it. My back acne is only localized from my neck to my shoulder blades...and sometimes it flares up, sometimes it doesn't. Once again, not touching the area helped clear it up a bit. As far as those breakout go....I'm not treating them yet, I hope that if start exercising that may help. The biggest difference I notice with my skin actually when I do exercise, is my chest and face my star to itch or burn this last year or two....quite odd. Still lots of scars on my back, that I never had as a teen...but I just do my best not to touch it. ANYWAY. Here it is. Everything. I ordered Dan's BP and just received it yesterday. Great quality and price, given we don't have 2.5% in Canada (at least where I am), and 1 gram is about 7-$ here, so I'm saving a good 25$ with him. Applied the recommended amount last night, and this morning. Yes, yes, I'm only suppose to do it once a day for the first week, but I'm basically going based on how my face reacts. Minor itchy and redness for a few minutes afterwards, but nothing unusual. I do apply a bit more moisturizer as my SD has started to flare up again. Being in university now, or just out of any routine that requires me to wake up obscenely early means I can have more patience with this routine. I will expect the infamous breakout for the next 2 weeks,as I do recall that happening years ago. Honestly, I probably would have stopped using it when I broke out if it wasn't for the advice and reviews on this site that said that was perfectly normal. Seven years ago this site wasn't as organized, polished, informative....nor did it have the support community that's here now. Time to utilize all of that! Cheers