I've decided to document my fight for clear skin, if for no other reason than I need to vent about it. I'm a 20 year old college student, and I recently started Dan's plan. If nobody ever reads this, fine - it's for me to better understand my skin. If anyone is reading this - don't give up. I won't.
A brief history of my tumultuous relationship with my skin:
In sixth grade I was the girl with oily skin. I remember someone mentioning to me that they could see their reflection on my forehead. I was understandably devestated. Acne quickly followed - little red bumps on my forehead and around my T-zone. In hindsight, it wasn't as terrible as I thought it was - but then again, everyone around me had clear skin. I used ProActiv for about a year, and it did virtually nothing. My skin was still outrageously oily and covered in bumps around my T-Zone.
In eighth grade I went to the dermatologist and I started on Retin-A and doxycycline pills. My forehead and t-zone cleared up completely, leaving only little blackheads (which, compared to the alternative, were less mortifying), but I started breaking out on my cheeks and chin. My dermatologist put me on a new routine of minocycline pills, epiduo in the morning and differin at night. Slight improvement, but nothing major. I had whiteheads and red bumps still - particularly on my chin and cheekbones.
Eventually, my dermatologist put me on a combination of Aczone topical gel, Differin, and Bactrim tablets. This had mixed results. Sometimes my skin was almost completely clear (granted, I still had terrible dark marks from old pimples). I used these prescriptions throughout high school, and on graduation day my skin was completely clear. I remember thinking that this was finally the end, that after years of acne I was nearing the end. I was completely wrong, of course. Over the summer before college, I broke out horribly. It could have been due to a number of things, such as working out more, the weather, diet - but either way, I went to my freshman year of college with what I can only describe as icky skin. I was oily, breaking out in medium red bumps on my cheeks, probably 4 or 5 at a time, as well as dark mark scars and blackheads speckled all over my t-zone.
Freshman year of college was the worst year my skin had had, possibly ever. I was always breaking out, super oily, and probably only had about one clear week all year. I was still on the Bactrim/Aczone/Differin combo, and I washed my face with a 2.5% BP cream wash morning and night, as the dermatologist told me to. I was devastated over the state of my skin. I had resigned myself to waiting out the horrible breakouts.
My dad had absolutely awful acne growing up (he said his nickname was pizza face, how charming) but he told me he cleared up by 25, so I was just hoping I would do the same. But I can't wait. My acne was never severe, but it's damn persistent. I've always been painstakingly careful about products I use. I change my pillow case every single night, wash gently, use only hypo-allergenic products that don't clog pores, wash my clothes and sheets with hypo-allergenic soap.
So that brings us to now -
My skin has cleared up quite a bit this summer (still on the Bactrim/Aczone/Differin combo) but I don't trust it to stay that way once I get back to college for my sophomore year. A week ago I began the Acne.org regimen with high hopes. I've given up my precious Aczone ($250 a tube!) and Differin ($100 a tube!) and I'm still on Bactrim for now. My regimen is as followed:
Wash with Purpose gentle cleanser
Apply BP (Dan's BP)
Apply moisturizer - Neutrogena oil-free for sensitive skin
Use Maybelline dream mousse foundation as very light spot concealer if needed
Light dusting of Bare Minerals foundation
Use witch hazel to remove makeup
Wash with Purpose gentle cleanser
Apply BP (same as before)
Apply moisturizer (same as before)
So, here we go - countdown to clear skin.