- Wash with Acne.org cleanser (10 seconds, rinse)
- Wait 15 min. Apply Acne.org BP.
- Wait 10 min. Apply Acne.org moisturizer with 5 drops jojoba oil.
- No Makeup
- Wait a few minutes. Check face for flakes. Sigh. Leave house
- Wash with Acne.org cleanser (10 seconds, rinse)
- Wait 5 minutes. Apply thin layer of jojoba oil.
- Wait 10 minutes. Apply Acne.org BP.
- Wait 10 minutes. Apply Acne.org moistruizer with 5 drops jojoba oil.
- Check face for any improvement. Sigh. Go to bed.
A little background on me:
I'll be turning 20 next week and, up until about 9 months ago, I've never had problems with acne. I used to eat whatever I wanted and spend only a couple minutes washing my face morning and night with some kind of cleanser and a washcloth (gasp). I never worried about my face. I didn't seriously abuse it, the only makeup I wore was a light coating of foundation, oil-free and non comedogenic, and I always washed it off before bed. Because mama taught me right. (Humor)
So long story short I had clear skin and now I don't. Typical, right? I'm no dermatologist (if I was, I'd probably have awesome skin and not be on here), but I would classify my acne as mild to slightly moderate. Those terms have always been so vague to me, though, so let's just say I have acne and it consistently sucks on an everyday bases.
Before starting this regimen, I tried countless acne facial washes/systems, visited good ol' Dr. Derm and tried glycolic peels, benzoyl peroxide, differin, plus various other creams, and even tried prayer (JK). Obviously, nothing worked.
My theories as to why my skin has decided to revolt against me:
- Lack of exercise: My middle and high school years I played soccer. Almost nonstop. Club season in the fall, indoor in the winter, school season in the spring, and summer camps during, you guessed it, summer. I'm a sophomore in college now and, due to high levels of work and studying, don't have time to play anymore. Maybe the complete turn-around of my activity level has thrown my body out of whack. And as a result my face now looks whack. (More humor)
- Genetic: My older brother developed severe acne when he was 13. He became obsessed with his face and that, among many other factors, led to the development of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Another reason why I fear the hell out of acne. (More on that later, perhaps)
- Karma: I never appreciated my clear skin and now I see how wrong I was to take it for granted. Forgive me, skin.
And so all of that background leads up to where I am today.
Day 15 on the Regimen: Being human.
A few days ago I actually felt hopeful because I didn't get any new pimples, and the ones I already had seemed to be healing quite nicely. Of course, it's the end of the day today and I can see several new pimples forming, one quite large on my forehead, as well as something that might be a cyst on my left cheek. Also, a pimple has decided to take residence right underneath my bottom lip. How convenient and sexy. Maybe I will just pretend it's a beauty mark.
I know it's only been two weeks but it's so discouraging to look at myself in the mirror and see absolutely no progress with all the hard work I've been putting into getting clear. Since September 2010, I've totally eliminated caffeine and chocolate from my diet, have cut tremendously down on my sugar intake, eat a salad a day and tons of fruit, take vitamins daily, and have been drinking mostly water and some juice. Two weeks ago I started the regimen and, let me tell you, boy do I regret that now (due to having to attend class and actually talk to other human beings). I had no idea what I was getting myself into, was naive about the effects of this much BP, and honestly was expecting results within weeks that I probably wont see for months. How easy it is to look to the past and criticize your actions based on the knowledge you have now.
Reasons why I should have waited until summer to start the Regimen:
- Flakes: BP has turned my face into a flaky monster. Seriously. I've been craving Frosted Flakes cereal for breakfast because I love irony. Or maybe that would just be a play on words. Either way, up until a few days ago my face has been flake central. Luckily the jojoba oil has seemed to calm that down (I apply a layer after cleansing and before BP). Not sure if jojoba oil is making me break out though. I've read that there's a purging stage so hopefully this will pass.
- "Purge-atory": Pimples, pimples everywhere! Some small, some big enough to be considered volcanoes (gross exaggeration- wow! double meanings everywhere in this post). Not all over, but consistent and definitely noticeable. Most are coming to a head and clearing out quicker than they would without BP, but they are still leaving behind horrid, horrid red marks.
- Flakes + big pimples= No makeup: Let's be honest, it's not hiding anything at this phase anyway. But wait, everyone says no makeup is a good thing! A good thing for my skin maybe. My self-esteem, on the other hand, has officially dropped ~9000 points. And it wasn't even that high to begin with.
- Itchiness: Good googly moogly has my face been itchy! Here I am trying not to touch it in order to prevent spreading more bacteria/irritation and the damn thing has to itch everywhere and taunt me.
- Redness: You're (presumably) on the same regimen as me. You know what I'm talking about. Nothing like your face looking beet red while the rest of your body looks normal to make you feel good about yourself.
Humor and symptoms aside, let's talk about my biggest problem. I'm just too hard on myself. I read what people say on here because I'm looking for encouragement in my own struggle with acne. I know that my face could look so much worse, but before this year I hardly paid attention to my face at all. I think I got a few pimples in high school, but honestly I can't remember one time where the state of my face caused me to miss out on something I wanted to do. Now days it seems like I'm always hiding from people. I feel confined to my room. I don't want my family to see me. I wont even get started on my boyfriend. I find myself constantly making excuses every time he wants to spend time together so that he wont have to see my face. So that I wont have to go outside and feel so... exposed. He says not to worry about how I look. Yeah, that's easy to say, coming from a guy who's never had a pimple of his own. I guess I have enough for the both of us now.
I try to joke to lighten the mood, but I hate feeling this way. I'm constantly frustrated and maybe even depressed. I get angry when people try to have a conversation with me because I'm paranoid that everyone can see how bad my face looks, that everyone's judging me.
As dramatic as this sounds, I feel as if acne is ruining my life. That's the thing about it. If you let it, acne will control you. Psychologically that is. Maybe my face doesn't look as bad as I think it does. People probably really don't notice or care like I think they do. There are definitely more important things I should be focused on, like exams, or spending time with my parents and boyfriend while I still can. But none of that matters because, as humans, we're all innately selfish. We see ourselves as the center of the world and don't think about other people's problems when our own are staring right back at us in the mirror. We magnify our blemishes and faults because they are ours, they are always with us, and they often block out our good qualities.
And I get it. I understand all of this. I know there are more important things in life. But still I find myself spending hours in front of the mirror, checking to see how my acne looks from this angle or that, adding 30 minutes to my morning and night routine in cleansing, hoping every night before I fall asleep that my face will look better in the morning, that all this hard work is for something... that one day I'll have clear skin again and can go back to living the way I used to.
I want my life back. I'm starting this blog so that I can record my progress in getting it back. One way or the other, clear skin or not, I'm going to start living again. My way.
Thanks for reading,