Greetings All! I have never written on the site before but have referred to it soooo many times that I feel like I have to give back now that I have found some success.
First about me: I'm a 28-year old female who had mild acne from 13-17 (T-zone), which then advanced to moderate acne (it hit my cheeks). Nothing worked, or it worked with reduced effectivity: Tazorac; Retin-A; Differin; antibiotics, BP, etc.
At 19 I found B5 blogs that suggested it would inhibit the production of sebum and so I started dosing heavily on that. It was very successful in the short term. But it dried out my skin so quickly that I got a few scars for the first time -- a sign of what was to come. I was fairly clear for the rest of college but any time I got a pimple it lasted aeons bc the lack of moisture on my face kept my skin from healing. The B5 lost its effectiveness eventually, and by that time my skin was super-dry and looked less vibrant than it should have at my age. I would not recommend B5 to anyone as a result. It is really harmful to the skin in the long term, as it makes it so dehydrated.
So last year I finally stopped taking B5 and went to a dermatologist again. I have been on Epiduo and BC (Sprintec), and Clindamycin for a year. I was a lot happier on this for a while, but I was still not ever totally clear, and the Epiduo or the Clindamycin was still seriously drying out my face. My forehead in particular looked like crepe paper that had discolored. I also started to get wrinkles that never existed before in the eye-forehead area. This seriously freaked me out. My acne was slowly getting worse though, and it's clearly hormonal at this age.
So, I read a TON. And this is my new regimen, through which I've finally started to see results:
1) Wash with Cetaphil
2) Alternate small amounts of Epiduo/Clindamycin only on my cheeks/chin (where it is the worst) every other night
3) Honey Mask (mix Manuka honey and water) keep on thru the night (it's annoying but so worth it!)
1) Vitamin C
2) 50 mg Zinc Gluconate
3) 840mg 3x Licorice root (make sure it has glycyrrhiza)
The real game changers here are the Honey and the Licorice root. I'm at week 3 with the honey and 10 days with licorice.
Seriously, the texture of my face changed from the honey. It's softened it so much and the lines have reduced a great deal and the discoloration is even fading. The licorice works to keep my hormones in check. Do NOT exceed the recommended dosage. There is a risk of increased blood pressure so if you have high blood pressure be VERY careful. Get yourself checked regardless. Finally, supplement with Potassium, as licorice taken in this quantity has a tendency to deplete potassium levels (I love bananas so this is fine for me). After a week I noticed that the oil on my T-zone was easing up a lot. It's not totally gone, but the breakouts have decreased significantly. Still many red marks, sadly.
I will update to let you know how things progress in a week!