Where My Skin is at Now
After all the time I've been using the Regimen, I think I've come to know it pretty well. My skin is clear and I can almost predict my breakouts based on how well I've been following the rules Dan gives on this site. In fact, its not only clear, I dare say its healthy and beautiful. Dark spots from my previously moderate-severe acne-d face have long since faded. Whenever I breakout now the pimples are small and barely noticeable. I actually have a papule underneath my eye right now, I think it looks pretty cute for some reason haha. I also have a bit of neck acne, but you know, the amount that I have now is so small in comparison to what I had in junior high and my freshmen year of highschool. (I'm in college now by the way, crazy, I know...I started the regimen second semester of my sophomore year of high school). PLUS, the REASON why I have even this small amount of acne is because of my tendency to skip moisuterizing at night, the occasional day where I wake up late/am really tired at night and decide to skip the regimen all together, and my tendency to rush through applying treatment and moisterizer and thus end up using more pressure on my skin than is necessary (if you've read up on the rules, you'd know that skin irritation causes acne!).
Advantages of the Regimen
There is a huge advantage to using the Regimen that I'll just go ahead and get out of the way. IT WORKS. Okay, now of course there are exceptions since the human race differs genetically and environmentally from person to person, but I'd say as far as all the things I tried freshmen year (including a DERMATOLOGIST) the Regimen was the thing I stuck with. Part of that is because it was the only skin care I did consistently enough to make it work, but with Dan's advice and a helpful board right on the site that sells the product, I had all skincare information I needed to understand what I needed to do in order for it to actually work. Which brings me to another point. A huge part of the success of the Regimen for me was being able to access the resources on this site. It felt so much more human and realistic to me than getting a product through my dermologist from some company somewhere.
Why I Avoided Accutane and Chose the Regimen Instead
Now, Accutane has a lot of support and blogs dedicated to people who chose to use it, so it has some of the same advantages as the Regimen. However, it just wasn't for me. All of the forms my dad and I had to go through, knowing that I'd have to take a BLOOD TEST every month, and having to take home an "I Pledge" DVD when I chose abstinence as my form of birth control, sent me flying to the internet for more answers. I read about all the possible side effects (including death by freakin' suicide) and was frightened by the thought of having to break out even MORE before my acne went away (The Regimen has an adjustment period too, but I think its shorter and less dramatic). Plus, I read somewhere that Accutane worked by basically permanently damaging your oil glands so they would stop clogging your pores. The thought of damaging my own skin just irked me the wrong way, and basically, the idea of taking accutane just felt WRONG to me, it made me feel all nervous and icky. So I chose to stick with topical treatments, and by the grace of the interent I found this site and discovered the information I needed. Whala! My long journey with the Regimen began.
Disadvantages of the Regimen
1. You have to buy more when you run out. (AKA--not a PERMANENT solution)
2. The products tend to run out at different rates, at least for me, so you end up with left over whatever because something ran out sooner than the others (for me moisterizer tends to run out the quickest and cleanser lasts the longest.)
3. Its impossible to do the Regimen effectively if you're in a hurry (like you woke up late and have 10 minutes to get to class--better count on NOT doing the Regimen that morning!)
4. It comes off when you swim or shower, so you HAVE to shower either before you do it in the morning, or before you use it at night.
---I was on the swim team while using the regimen, and I put on jojoba oil after practice before I walked home sometimes, but to be honest my skin actually did not respond badly to this complication and my breakouts were not exaggerated, despite the fact the goggles frequently flipped over when I dived (swimteam newb) and thus caused skin irritation. My body acne cleared a bit too.
5. You have to factor it in when you go to camps, overnight class trips, etc. But after you've been using it for a while, skipping it for a couple days does NOT do that much harm (unless a small batch of pimples everywhere is absolutely horrible, which to me it isn't).
Tips for Using the Regimen
For one thing, actually read and follow the procedures and rules Dan offers as free information. What I'm saying here simply adds to that information. Putting on treatment and moisterizer mindfully really helps the action of not using excess pressure. As in keep your mind in the present, really pay attention to how it feels to glide these products over your skin. Practice loving your skin. Imagine positive energy leaking out your fingertips as you take your time and breathe deeply. Its easy when going about everyday in a set routine to begin to rush through it, but think of this as a perfect opportunity to check in with an important part of your body. If you can feel love towards it even while its covered in acne (like if you're just starting) then all the power to you! Remember that this acne is not your enemy, it is simply biology. Its part of the screen that keeps your vulnerable inards safe, which is very important and worthy of appreciation.