Hello to all,
I'm 21 years old and I have been battling with acne since I was 12 years old. Back then, I only had one huge pimple that would surface and when I say huge, I mean extremely large and filled with gunk. People in my school would wait until after school while they were leaving in their cars to call me the most hurtful nicknames that they could. The most hurtful nickname was "rats nest,” and still till this day it has stuck in my head. Also, I remember being in class when I guy suddenly turns around and says to me “you could be so pretty if you didn’t have acne, have you used proactive
?” and that really hurt. Subconsciously, my self-esteem was damaged because of what people said about my acne. I wish I could have been stronger and not let people get to me, but I did. Ever since I was made fun of, I started to use acne products. You guys, I have tried it all, like many other acne sufferers. Neutrogena, Clearasil, acnefree... basically, any product you think can think of (EXCEPT Accutane) I have tried. This only aggravated my skin even more.
Fast-forward to my high school years, I still had acne and for a brief period Proactiv seemed to be working. It cleared up my skin but left me with itchy, dry, and cracked skin. Also, whenever I broke out the pimples were bigger and more inflamed. I decided to stop using Proactiv and my goodness! My face broke out so badly that I struggled even more to go to school because I hated people seeing me and I always thought of what they were thinking. I felt worthless and ugly compared to girls whose faces were pimple-free. I started to style my hair in a way that it covered my face and I wouldn’t dare to look people in the eyes. I truly feel that acne caused me to change from being a very social little girl to a reserved, shy teenager. Perhaps if I would have told my parents how badly I was being affected by it, they could have helped me deal with it in a better way. Soon I started to try home-made facial masks and they did soothe my skin but not enough to clear it all up. Towards my junior year, I started to see a dermatologist and she prescribed me Ziana, and Aczone. These two improved my acne and got rid of my scars, but left my skin extremely oily. Also, after a few months my face started to flare up all over again. Out of frustration, I stopped using it my senior year. I then started to experiment with oils to cleanse my face. I tried coconut oil first and it was a terrible idea (for my skin at least) because it gave me tiny little pimples throughout my entire face. I then tried hempseed oil and grapeseed seed oil. To be honest, my skin still hadn’t cleared up from the coconut oil, so I’m not sure if these two oils made my skin worse of if it was still trying to purge from the coconut oil. Also, some people say that coconut oil, or any oil really, will have you have an initial break out and then it should pass; however, I couldn’t deal with having acne right before I started college so I stopped. I also, tried Dr. Bronner’s Castile soap and although I diluted it, my skin was left very dry and that lead my skin to overproduce oil.
My first week of college started and I made an appointment with a new dermatologist in the town. He prescribed me pills (I can’t remember the name), Tretinoin Cream (USP 0.05%) and Clindamycin Phosphate (USP 1%). This combination along with a benzoyl peroxide cleanser cleared up my skin for a bit. I still have acne here and there, especially around my cheeks and nose. The pimples are small kind of like whiteheads; however, I started getting cystic acne around my chin for 3 weeks straight. My skin is STILL oily and the oil sits so heavy on my face. I use oil blotting sheets but I feels wrong to keep damaging my skin more and more with all of these products. My skin is practically screaming for help and I keep ignoring it. So, I started to look up internal things that could cause acne and I found a lot of information. Many people claimed that dairy, processed foods, grease, and refined sugars cause acne. One site led to another site and soon I was overwhelmed with how much this makes sense. It never crossed my mind that I consumed a lot foods that people claim that trigger acne. Around this time, my boyfriend decided to go vegetarian around April 2015 and I tried but failed the first time (because I didn’t take Vitamin B12). The second time I tried was around September 2015 when I watched Cowspiracy. Watching the video really pulled my heart strings and I then started a vegetarian journey. Towards December I stopped eating any kind of dairy, mainly because it caused me discomfort and gas when I ate it, and replaced it with dairy-free alternatives that taste just as good. Around February I watched this documentary called Earthlings and this helped me keep moving towards becoming vegan. At this same time, I stopped consuming eggs and replaced it with ground flaxseed with water (same consistency). My skin has benefited a lot from this, but it is still oily because of the products that I am using (Tretinoin Cream and Clindamycin Phosphate). So as of yesterday (March 12) I decided to slowly stop using these products and replace them with water as my natural cleanser.