It's been awhile since I logged into acne.org.... and I think my time away was really good for me. At first, I liked having access to a community of people who were going through the same issues as me. But then I found myself getting a leeeeetle obsessive about it- specifically, I would focus too much on what others were/weren't eating and micro analyze my own diet looking for "flaws". Some time away was definitely warranted.
In my time away, I've still been applying Retin-A and Duac... Sometimes my face gets too dry/flaky and on those days I don't use either one of my topicals. I give my skin a break. The moisturizers I've been using are both old favorites by Avalon Organics: one is Vitamin C and I use that at night, applying it a few minutes before the Retin-A to give it a chance to absorb. I haven't had any problems with the Vit C interacting with the Vit A. The other moisturizer(s) I use has lavender oil in it- I use both the night and day formulation depending on how dry my skin is. I'm still thinking I might switch this one out, because the lavender often gives my skin a weird burning sensation. There's a jojoba oil formulation, also by AO, that I might try when I get the $.
Other than that, my diet has changed pretty drastically. It's a bummer on the one hand, because I was a committed vegan for a couple of years and I really loved my friends and my lifestyle- if that makes sense. Then, obviously, there are the ethical reasons I was vegan. But, I'd been having health issues with my thyroid and chronic fatigue as well as gastrointestinal issues. It was time to make a change, and I connected with a really great network of local farmers so I have an awesome hookup to people who really care about what they do. I buy all local, organic produce and local, pastured, raw dairy/eggs. My meat is local, organic, and grass-fed. Once I got past the weird ethical conundrum I found myself in (as a human who desires not to consume other animals, but who had to make a choice whether or not to live a miserable, unhealthy existence or not) I tearfully ate my first bit of meat in seven years and that was that. I've eaten dairy, eggs, and meat pretty regularly since then- about three or four times a week. I still love me some lentils, though. ALSO: I gave up on the idea of eating gluten free. It wasn't that it was too difficult, it was that I didn't find it changed much for me. I do soak my grains now, which has helped so so so much with gastro issues. I also take a probiotic.
One thing I've still been focusing on is the idea of loving myself as I am RIGHT NOW. Sometimes I find myself thinking "I'll love myself when I have clear skin or smooth hair or a flatter stomach (and so on and so forth)". Loving myself in the present? It's more difficult. I seriously obsess over whether people like/don't like me based on the state of my skin, and that is a flat-out shame. My skin right now is not awful- it's cleared up maybe 75+%? More, maybe. It's tough to tell, because I do have a ton of red spots/scars and like I said, sometimes my skin gets so freaking dry that it's flaking and the idea of it looking "better" is relative. I have less than four active pimples right now, none of them huge, for what its worth.
I guess that's it for my little update. I may or may not post progress pictures soon-ish.