I've finally taken the plunge and decided to do a blog now I'm on hopefully my last ever acne regime...
Me: I'm 25 year old British female, who's pretty healthy. I'm living and working in Southern China at the moment...My jobs stressful and it's not in the area which i want to work in for the rest of my life but I love the fact that I can travel around SE Asia easily and experience all the different cultures, languages (I'm trying to learn Mandarin!) and foods (I'm a big foody!).
My Acne: I have had acne since I was around 13. I've had one or two ups in those 12 years but mainly downs...Acne has at certain points taken over my life (I refuse to let it now!) and I do believe it has made me a stronger person BUT I am totally ready and determined to get rid of it once and for all.
It has changed sooo many times over the last 12 years so I won't run through it all but I think it's kind of hormonal as I tend to get red inflamed spots on my jawline and neck at certain times of the month and that has always been a problem area for me. I constantly have enlarged pores on the middle of my forehead as well as my cheeks which get blocked easily so I have a lot of blackheads and whiteheads there which get inflamed occasionally. I also have mild acne on my back and chest and red scars and some pock marks on my face mainly in the cheek area.
What I Have Tried So Far: Gonna make it a list so I don't get too carried away...
- Various Oral Antibiotics - 6months x 3 stints - Helped for bacne only but it came back worse after!
- Dianette BC Pill - 6months x 2 - 1st time it helped and i was almost clear but it made me depressed and vomit once or twice a week. 2nd time it helped, didn't make me sick, but i couldn't find a GP who would prescribe it for more than 6 months even though i begged! I came off it and of course acne came back worse than ever and actually started for the first time on my lower back with huge itchy red welts (GP said i had an allergic reaction to coming off it!!!)
- 5 other typed of BC Pills - 3 years - All made my face acne a lot worse and my skin was sooo oily. I hated them!
- Topical antibiotics - 6 months - helped slightly with the mider acne but came straight back again after being taken off them.
- Red and Blue Light box thingy - 1 year - helped with the inflammation once I had the spots but didn't do a thing to stop them coming up.
- Freederm (not sure if its available in the US) - 2/3years - Reduces inflammation and kept stuff under control on my face without any drying or irritation. However, it wasn't a miracle cure (i was only ever 60% clearer after using) and was costing me a fortune as i used so much of it. Can't get it in China either!
- Cutting out Dairy - 2 years now - One of the hardest things i've had to do and I do eat it occasionally but it helped with all of my inflamed cheek acne. Problem is when i do give in to temptation I notice I get inflamed spots on my cheeks straight away. Worth doing though and I feel much better for it as I also had stomach problems that have stopped.
- BP - On and off for a while plus a recent stint of 4months - Made my skin very irritable even though i was gentle and using loads of moisturiser, also made the jawline spots stay for months - didn't help with red marks either but I would say overall there was probably a 20% reduction in my face acne. Helped on back a lot!
My New Regime: So, now i'm in China it's easier to just see a dermatologist without jumping through hoops with GP's referrals like in the UK. So I went to Hong Kong, forked out a lot of cash to see one of the popular derms there. He listened to all my tales of acne battle failures and mild successes (which is more than most of the other GPs i've seen through the years has), had a proper look at my skin and decided to prescribe 0.1% Gel Differin and AHA lotion for my back and chest.
So here is my plan:
-Bioderma Micelle Solution - some French dermatological cleanser for oil control which is apparently gentle - recommended by derm.
- 0.1% Differin Gel for face (pea-size amount all over, at night). Every night unless I get irritated by it.
- Moisturise after if skin is tolerating the Differin with Body Shop SPF 15 Seaweed Moisturiser (which my skin likes) OR before Differin if my skin is sore.
- AHA lotion for back and chest every night.
- Daily exercise - well at least 3/4 times a week for 30mins.
- No dairy, healthy foods - not too much of the fried Chinese stuff. Lots of fruit and veg.
- No picking!
I'm really hopeful this time something is actually going to work...please, please, please....