Hey guys! After a year of silent stalking I finally joined the community! My brief history: I had mild acne as a teen, was prescribed topical 1% clyndamycin and YAZ bc at 15. My skin was virtually clear! It wasn't perfect but I was happy. I used to show horses, I was an assistant trainer jumper working my way into the Prix's. Needless to say, I got a lot of exercise, sun, and dirt on my face. I used really harsh products like St. Ives Blemish and Blackhead apricot scrub to clean all that crap off, but it worked for a long time! I also used cetaphil fragrance free lotion and garnier anti sun damage with spf. I ate really healthy, and I was happy. Unfortunately, when I turned 20 I picked up mononucleosis from some nasty beer pong cups (I wasn't hooking up with anyone so it's my only guess). I was on and off of antibiotics and steroids for almost two years, dealing with the mono and secondary infections such as bronchitis, strep and gastroenteritis. I lost a ton of weight and had to quit riding due to the chronic bronchitis infections. In order to combat the weight loss, I threw my healthy diet out the window and binged on high calorie foods and junk food. I developed cystic acne from my diet change and prescribed steroids, and I feel like the antibiotics probably also contributed. Eventually, I got better but I was left with chronic fatigue and cystic acne! Argh! At 22, I saw a derm who recommended fragrance free neutrogena clear bar, and gave me some Tazorac and Aczone. She also recommended that I clean up my diet, which took some will power after a year-long junk food binge. I still used the garnier lotion along with these new products and my skin began to clear. During summer of 2014, I was looking up dandruff cures and stumbled upon a lot of information regarding man-made chemical preservatives in shampoo and conditioner. I started using Shea Moisture hair care products and wham! My dandruff was gone and my hair is super shiny and soft. I was intrigued, and began looking at other ways to reduce preservatives in my beauty regimen. I started using sweet almond oil as a moisturizer and noticed that my lesions would heal more quickly, and my cysts were less inflamed. I also noticed that I wasn't as oily halfway through the day. Soon after, I started using a honey aspirin mask once a week, and my skin got even better! Two weeks ago I started using Shea Moisture African Black Soap, with no ill effects. Now I'm super excited about my new skin care journey, and I really want to document and share my experiences with you guys, as yours have helped me so much! My current regimen: 2x daily washing with Shea Moisture African Black Soap 2x daily moisturizing with Aura Cacia jojoba oil and NOW foods sweet almond oil 1x daily at night spot treat with Tazorac gel (I ran out of Aczone and can't get another script for awhile, but I'm doing better w/out) 1x weekly mask of 4 uncoated aspirin dissolved in 1 tsp ACV with the mother, mix in with 1/2 tbs raw organic honey. I leave it on for an hour or two, depending on how much time I have. Still taking YAZ bc everyday (I tried to switch to whichever one is new with more folic acid but it messed up my cycle, sorry if TMI) 1x daily 10 mg Lycopene 1x daily 25 mg Zinc 2-3x daily 1000 mg fish oil (unspecified source...kinda gross planning to change to flax seed oil) 2-3x weekly 5000 mg Biotin (this is a ridiculous amount so I don't take it every day) Makeup: Bare Minerals Matte foundation powder in the lightest color they make Honeybee gardens black mascara Activated Charcoal mixed with jojoba for eyeliner Almay green eyes palate (idk what this is called haha sorry) Burt's Bees red lip crayon thingy *I don't wear make up often, and I only use the foundation as a spot cover with a CLEAN concealer brush as any excess will make me break out. My profile pic is me lookin fancy for date night, so I'm definitely wearing makeup there! I just picked up: Bentonite clay for spot treatments Activated charcoal for masks and makeup Non-iodized fine sea salt to make a toner with I'm going to give my current regimen a few more weeks before incorporating these new items on my face. I usually test new stuff on my chest and back first because if something will make my face break out, it will make my chest and back break out too. Just tried the sea salt toner last night on my chest with no immediate ill effects. I plan to only use the bentonite or activated charcoal 1x a week, starting next week. Anyways, enjoy my pics with my naked makeup free face! Feel free to comment, I'm open to suggestions but be warned! I'm a nursing student with access to peer reviewed publications and text books about dermatology and I do not appreciate junk science.