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I have been completely fed up with my acne! I have been struggling with acne since I was in elementary school and it has just become progressively worse. I have spent thousands of dollars trying to help with this debilitating skin condition, with no luck. I have kind of let my skin go because of University and I am currently battling mental illness, which has caused me to break out. As a person with multiple debilitating mental illnesses, acne is just another trigger that can cause extreme episodes. I always wonder if anyone else is in the same boat as I am (maybe that will be a separate entry)? Anyways, I've tried every cleanser, toner, moisturizer, mask, prescription, laser treatment you could ever imagine. I was even on antibiotics from my dermatologist for a while, but that didn't help. The only thing I haven't tried is Accutane! I'm too nervous to go on it because I've heard horror stories about it. However, I've also heard that it has saved peoples' lives, so I'm very conflicted. I have basically given up on products all together and I want to go back to the basics. For the first while I want to just use water and a washcloth since I chemically burnt my face from a mask I had just used. My skin has literally been cracking it is so dry and flaky! After a couple days or weeks of using only water, I'm going to try to find an extremely gentle cleanser and stick with it! I think my face has just become so terrible because of all the different chemicals that I've used on it! My skin needs a break! I have heard some positive feedback from the water-washcloth method, so I'm going to try to update my progress every week (hopefully with pictures). Wish me luck!

A little info about myself and my skin:

- I am 19 years old and has had acne since I was little

- I have been diagnosed with PCOS in the past, but it seems to be under control

- I usually have very oily skin with mild to severe acne

- my face has been red all over, probably from all the crap i've been putting on it

- I mainly break out on the sides of my face, on my cheekbones, jawline, cheeks and sometimes on my forehead (basically everywhere!)

- I have an obsessive habit of picking at my skin - which definitely adds to the problem

- I have dark pigmented marks all over my face from old pimples


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I just came across your post about your struggle with acne, and I can totally relate! I began getting extremely painful cysts under the skin when I was 11 years old, and it progressively worsened as I got older. I went to the doctor many times and was put on tetracycline, benzac, birth control, etc. I've tried probably every single acne cleanser, toner, moisturizer, and treatment, and nothing has ever completely eliminated the problem. Throughout high school, I would try my best to cover the blemishes up with makeup, but acne really took a toll on my perception of myself as well as my confidence, so I totally feel your pain. Although my acne has calmed down somewhat, there are still dark scars from past blemishes and some small zits on my forehead and around my chin. I was doing some research last month, and I finally decided to try the Regimen on Acne.org. I have been using it for about 3 weeks now, and I can see a difference in my skin. It has become extremely dry, and it also peels like crazy, but I haven't formed a bunch of new zits, and the ones that are currently on my face are beginning to shrink. Have you tried the Regimen? So far, it's the only thing that has had this great of a positive effect on my skin, other than the dryness. I know how depressing you can get from having acne, but I've learned to just not care so much. Everyone gets zits, and the people who have completely clear skin who never get pimples are just aliens (haha just kiddin'). I hope I have helped you at least a little bit! :)

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Thanks you so much for the comment! It's nice knowing you're not alone in this struggle for clear skin. I'm so happy to hear that your skin is clearing up! It must feel like weights are lifting off your shoulders! I actually haven't tried the Regimen yet. I heard about it a long time ago, but never thought to give it a try. Now that my acne has completely flared up again I definitely think I should give it a try. And I totally have friends that have completely clear skin, and I definitely think they are aliens :P

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I can relate too -- my face went through a terrible phase the last 2 years (I'm almost 29 now) where it wouldn't respond to ANYTHING. And I literally tried every single product, including antibiotic pills, except for accutane. I'm using spironolactone, which is also a pill, but it's not an antibiotic. It helps regulate your hormones by blocking testosterone receptors. It's usually prescribed for high blood pressure, but happens to have that great side effect, so more and more derms are prescribing it to female patients with "hormonal" acne, which mine definitely was. I would get deep cysts around my chin, jaw and mouth and it would get WAY worse when I was PMSing or if I was stressed out. I've been on it for over a month and have seen amazing improvements. Still not 100% clear, but a huge difference in the oil my skin is producing (or lack thereof!) so much so that I can go 2+ days without washing my hair, which would never happen before. I'm on 100mg/day. I asked my doctor about it after my best friend told me she had been using it for 4+ years, and she literally has PERFECTLY clear skin. I would definitely recommend looking into it further, especially since you said you had PCOS, since this is prescribed for that as well. I also noticed that my red, irritated skin has gotten much better since I stopped using so many harsh topical products, and I'm actually breaking out less. I totally agree with you about the different chemicals! I just use a mild cleanser for sensitive skin, moisturize with oil-free sensitive formula, and use the spiro pill. Whatever you decide to do, good luck with it! Hang in there and try and stay positive!

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