First of all, thanks to everyone who followed this project for their support, encouragement, and kind words that I had somehow inspired them. It really means a lot; having acne is a very isolating experience, so I'm really happy that this blog could make some people feel like they're not alone and that the DKR experience is often a collective one.
I had always been bothered by acne, and I distinctly remember thinking any number of times that I'd simply never be one of those people with beautiful skin. I didn't wear much make-up, though, and didn't really think about it to the point of detriment.
Almost two years ago-- which I cannot believe-- I moved to Japan to teach English in two rural public schools. The experience has been absolutely incredible, but along with the highs came some intense lows: I developed severe acne. It was gradual at first and because of how happy I was by my entirely new life in Japan I didn't really notice. But by February 2010 I hit rock-bottom and broke down crying after catching sight of myself in the mirror. On top of all this, my body had broken out horribly and I felt like my naked body was destroyed: my back was covered in cysts, and my chest was also affected quite badly.
My experimentations with prescription acne and non-acne medications (antibiotics, Marvelon birth control and Differin) yielded some positive results but nothing so dramatic that I was eager to continue; that is, I was always curious about DKR since I had kept coming back to this site for questions regarding acne, acne treatments and for the emotional comfort that came with knowing that I wasn't alone. By May of 2010, the acne on my face and body had mainly deflated, for lack of a better term, but I was still plagued with pustules, blackheads, whiteheads, loads of red marks and cysts. I wore makeup as if it were my war paint, and at my low point it took me about half an hour to cover my acne in the morning. It was still visible, and I hated the feel of such heavy makeup and the fact that I had to do it, but I felt like I needed it in order to be seen in public. I was miserable and would tear up at the sight or thought of my skin.
In mid-May I caved and bought Dan's BP and AHA as a last-ditch effort. I was impressed and surprised with how quickly the materials arrived, and I immediately began the Regimen. Unfortunately, I began too fast and my face was red, irritated, broken out and flaking off, giving it the appearance of some bullshit desert landscape in Arizona or something (lol). I actually once told my principal that I had to go to the post office during work hours when, in reality, I went home to exfoliate and re-apply my makeup, lawlz...
But despite the rocky start, I had faith that DKR would work; I just had a gut feeling, as hard as that is to explain, though perhaps it was in part due to it being a last-ditch effort to clear up the infection once and for all and I simply had to believe it would be the treatment to work. Around three weeks in I started to notice a significant improvement both in the acne and in the dryness, and the AHA was wonderfully fading my body acne red marks. I was starting to feel filled with hope.
By July, I went in public with no makeup and went swimming with my friends; no one noticed my skin.
By late July, I hiked Mount Fuji with no makeup and felt good about it-- a goal I had set for myself and reached.
By August, I was going days at a time with no makeup but mascara and my bacne red marks were totally gone.
By September, I no longer feared my makeup sweating off in the course of a day.
By October, I was getting compliments on my complexion for being clear, soft and smooth.
By November, my red marks were finally starting to disappear, even on my chest.
By December, my face was nearly flawless, except for a few boxcars on my forehead.
After deciding to use L'Oreal's home microdermabrasion kit and Mederma scar gel, my boxcars went away and my face was taken to new levels. Now, in April of 2011, I get compliments on my face almost daily, and I am 100% comfortable without any foundation. My skin is so clear, milky and smooth, and I have 0 scars, 0 red marks and 0 acne. It's rare for me to even get a clogged pore at this point.
Admittedly, I do not do the Regimen nearly as strictly as I once had, but it is a total non-issue. As long as my face gets some BP action and some moisturizer, I'm good to go. I no longer wear heavy foundation in any capacity and usually go with a tinted SPF and pressed powder. It's a feeling that will never get old... the days when I thought about my skin literally constantly are no longer a part of me. That personal hell is finally over. My anxiety about acne is gone, and I feel like-- and have felt like-- I can live my life to the fullest yet again.
My skin has been totally fine for a number of months now, and I know that if I keep doing what I'm doing now nothing will change at all. That being the case, I think it's time to retire this blog.
There is tons of stuff in here about the ups and downs of the Regimen, about folliculitis, body acne and face acne (obviously), and dryness. If you take the time to read I'm sure you'll find some answers.
Thank you so much again for all your support. You've been wonderful and I wish nothing but the best for all of you out there. I feel like I've graduated from this site... I hope you feel the same one day too.
Take care, and clear skin ahoy!