It's a little late to start a log on Week 11 but better late than never I guess! I didn't want to at first, cos I thought it might make me more obsessed with my skin but whatever, I'm obsessed anyway!
Today's a little discouraging because although I cleared up pretty well by about Week 9 (I'm talking zero zits and maybe 1 clogged pore), I currently have 4 zits and about 6 clogged pores. Nothing too major, I know but it's still kinda depressing. Plus, I'm convinced that all the PIH just makes everything look worse. My acne is pretty much localized on the apples of my cheeks but 5 weeks into the regimen, I started breaking out on my chin and along my jawline. And they were pretty big. Luckily that's all gone now but they've left some pretty devastating PIH in their wake.
Anyway, it's not like I don't know why I broke out. In fact, I should have kinda expected it. I didn't slather on my BP for two days last week and another two days the week before. My skin was just way too red and flakey, to the point where it burned when I put on the BP. It's pretty odd because by Week 4, I'd pretty much gotten over the burning and redness but now it seems to happen like once every three weeks and lasts for about three days. Does anyone else experience this cyclical burning-redness-flakiness?
Anyway, I'm back to slathering on my BP so hopefully my skin clears up again and then I can focus on dealing with the PIH and some icepick scarring that I have.
And I guess I should talk a little bit about my skin history, it's pretty much an initiation ritual! So here goes:
In high school, I had perfect skin. My skin was a little on the oilier side (pitfalls of living in hot and humid Singapore) but I hardly got zits - in fact, I don't even think I had them at all. And my cheeks had this perpetual pink glow to them. Even when my friends all started getting those tiny little zits on their foreheads (you know, those small headless kinds that come by the dozens?), my face was clear. So I wasn't at all concerned with what I put on my face, and basically used some harsh cleanser in hopes that it would get rid of the excess oil. On hindsight, that was incredibly stupid and I was incredibly lucky that nothing happened despite me treating my skin so badly but I didn't know better. I guess it's always only when something bad happens that you start to panic and and do things properly
Anyway, in my senior year in high school I had some forehead zits. I blame it on the incredibly greasy school cafetaria. Nothing too devastating but my mom insisted that I go to a GP and he prescribed some topical clindamycin which pretty much cleared everything up and didn't leave a single mark. This ordeal probably lasted for about 2 months and the rest of my two years, I was again zit free.
In 2008, I had a eight month break before I started university. It was a pretty devastating time for me emotionally and mentally because things weren't going the way I'd planned for them too. I shan't elaborate anymore because honestly, it's a boring story. Suffice to say, I pretty much cried everyday during that period. During that time, I also had a pretty intensive internship at a local newspaper which involved many, many late nights. I also started wearing powder foundation (I can't even for the life of me remember why, since I had pretty damn awesome skin). Sad to say, I learnt to put on makeup before I learnt about properly removing it. After about 4 months, I started to develop some clogged pores and pimples. Nothing very major but it perpetuated the foundation cycle because I couldn't deal with having 3 zits growing on my face (I know, poor me..)
In August, I started university and it's a pretty intense course. I ate poorly, slept very little, did zero exercise and drank (too much) caffeine. I think my face pretty much exploded in zits. I went to see a GP and she prescribed doxycycline and differin. Other than telling me that my skin might get a little worse before it got better, she didn't tell me anything else. My skin got pretty bad. My cheeks were covered with tiny pus-filled pimples and it wasn't going away. I was utterly mortified. And the GP also forgot to tell me to take the doxycycline on a full stomach so I had to deal with perpetual nausea as well, without knowing why. I stuck with the doxycycline until I finished my prescription and gave up on the Differin after 3 weeks. On hindsight, if I had done a little research I might have decided to stick with it. Maybe it would have yielded good results and I wouldn't have have the PIH I have today co. But oh well. To anyone reading this, knowledge is really power. You need to do your own research!
Anyway, fast forward nearly 3 years. I'm 21 this year and I've tried countless washes, scrubs, masks, facials, Retin-A and more doxycycline (on a full stomach this time round!) The Retin-A and doxycycline was a pretty good combo but everytime I tried to wean myself off the doxycycline, the zits would come back. So after a year, I gave up on the Retin-A. I'm not sure if Retin-A actually helped to fade my PIH - it could have been the one year but in any case, Retin-A started me on using sunblock pretty religiously. And that helps with preventing your PIH from getting darker.
In July this year, my skin was looking pretty decent because I'd just come off doxycycline. But after that I went backpacking in Vietnam and Cambodia for about 3 weeks and when I came back, my skin was pretty clogged up. It was probably all the sweat mixed with sunblock. Plus I was vain and insisted on wearing concealer the whole time (I know, I'm ridiculous) and I didn't bring along my makeup remover and instead, relied on makeup removing wipes (utterly ineffective things!). I contemplated going back on doxycycline but I was convinced that it was doing terrible things to my stomach so I decided to search for an alternative. I've known about acne.org for a long time but I never really thought of trying it.
Anyway, on 9 September I took the plunge with drugstore products. Benzac 2.5% and Cetaphil Wash and Moisturizer and after 1.5 months, it worked well enough for me to order Dan's products.
Whew, that was a long post. Anyway, we'll see how it goes. I have no doubt that the regimen will clear up my existing breakout but it's the waiting that's the hardest part and fighting the urge to check my face in the mirror every hour to see if the zits have miraculously disappeared. But in any case, I think the regimen has really taught me to be gentle with my skin. I think in the past, I was probably confusing and irritating my skin with all the stuff I was using on it everyday so it just broke out even more.
Anyway, I'll probably update again soon. Good luck to anyone else on the regimen