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willow569

Willow's (Modified) Face Reality regimen

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Oh, I forgot to add, too. I watched a webinar of Dr. Fulton's on his Vivant Pharmaceuticals site. He had a slide that showed that Derm-A-Gel is equivalent to Retin-A .01; Exfol-A is equivalent to Retin-A .025 and Exfol-A-Forte is equivalent to Retin-A .05 as far as retinoids go.

That's interesting - I hadn't seen those comparisons before. If the Vivant products are really that strong, it makes sense that I can't step up to regular use of Exfol-A. I have to go really slow and carefully with retinoids. Differin really did a number on my skin, and every time I try to increase my use of Exfol-A, I start to break out again.

I don't know how much the new mandelic serum is. I got a free sample of it from FR. The Vivant products are all pretty pricey though, so I am sure this new one is expensive too! Face Reality also makes their own mandelic serums - an 8% and a 15%. They might me a little less expensive. I know that mandelic acid is a very expensive ingredient to use, so that drives alot of the cost for these products. I have used the FR mandelics on my chest and back to treat folliculitis, and they both worked really well.

And as to your question on Spiro - I actually have done very little research on the hormonal treatments for acne. I was older when I started having acne problems (and never have been on BCPs or any other hormonal meds), so I never really considered using these kinds treatments myself. I have read some good results from people on acne.org who have tried it for hormonal acne though. Are you pretty sure that your breakouts are tied to your hormonal cycle?

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I love Septra! Its the best antibiotic Ive been on!

Is that a co worker of yours in your avatar with you Kim? Thats a cute picture and do you really live in SF now?

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I love Septra! Its the best antibiotic Ive been on!

Is that a co worker of yours in your avatar with you Kim? Thats a cute picture and do you really live in SF now?

Glad the Septra is working for you. I know you've had a tough time finding the right medications for your acne! From the pics you posted before, it looks like things are improving for you?

Thanks for the compliment on my pic. The woman in the photo with me is Cheryl Burke, from the TV show "Dancing with the Stars". She is one of the professional dance instructors on the show. She has a dance studio in San Francisco and I have taken a few lessons from her. It was a great opportunity because I have been a big fan of hers since she came on the show.

I'm actually still living in the east bay, it is just easier for people out of the area to understand where I am if I say "SF bay area"!

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So, normally when I am broken out I stay home and hide and feel sorry for myself. Today though - I made myself stick to my original plan of going out to buy a used bicycle (haven't ridden one in many years and need to relearn before going to Burning Man!). Very glad I did, because I found a nice, sturdy mountain bike that I ended up buying. I even biked around the parking lot without killing myself or hitting anyone/anything!

It was a cool place that I went to buy it. Its a nonprofit that gets old bikes donated and then fixes them up and resells them. Kids from the community (mostly kids from Oakland and other east bay cities) work in the bike shop in sales and repairs. They get to learn bike repair skills and work towards earning their own bikes and equipment. Pretty cool concept! It was a pretty chaotic and unorganized process there though. It took forever to get a sales person's attention, and then they would walk away and forget about you. Guess they have some kinks to work out there. All in all, it was a good experience though and I got a good price on the bike.

Gonna go for a ride tomorrow... :)

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Hi willow! That mountain biking sounds fun. I am so glad you didn't let your emotions keep you from getting out and enjoying yourself. It makes a huge difference. :)

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I love Septra! Its the best antibiotic Ive been on!

Is that a co worker of yours in your avatar with you Kim? Thats a cute picture and do you really live in SF now?

Glad the Septra is working for you. I know you've had a tough time finding the right medications for your acne! From the pics you posted before, it looks like things are improving for you?

Thanks for the compliment on my pic. The woman in the photo with me is Cheryl Burke, from the TV show "Dancing with the Stars". She is one of the professional dance instructors on the show. She has a dance studio in San Francisco and I have taken a few lessons from her. It was a great opportunity because I have been a big fan of hers since she came on the show.

I'm actually still living in the east bay, it is just easier for people out of the area to understand where I am if I say "SF bay area"!

No, Im not on Septra now. Im referring to when I used to take it.

Youre welcome and omg that is so cool!

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Hi willow! That mountain biking sounds fun. I am so glad you didn't let your emotions keep you from getting out and enjoying yourself. It makes a huge difference. :)

Yeah, it does make a difference. I know I'll end up feeling worse when I just sit around and think about my skin. I managed to cover up everything pretty well with my mineral makeup. Its just without it that you can see all the new redmarks.

I even got a compliment from the teenage girl in the bike shop on how young I look! :) (and I got carded buying a bottle of wine again!)

Most of the inflamation has gone down and the extractions are starting to scab over and heal. They look a bit worse because of that, but at least I know they are on the path to healing and going away!

Laura is sooo good with extractions. She can get really tough, deep lesions that others have a hard time getting out. She did say she had to put "a ridiculous amount of pressure" on a couple of the lesions - but they did come out. For those deeper clogged pores, that's usually the only way they come out. The downside are the redmarks though. They will gradually heal, but it takes awhile on skin as light as mine. She's also great at knowing which lesions are probably not ready to extract and she won't go after those if they don't come out easily.

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I use Mineralogie. Face Reality custom blends their own colors of the makeup to match your skin tone - its really cool! I don't think you can buy it online - just at salons that carry it. And not everyone does the custom blending thing.

I alternate that with my Prescriptives Virtual Matte liquid foundation, depending on how much coverage I want, how dry my skin is, etc.

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Things look slightly better this morning. Most of the extracted lesions are continuing to heal - they are in the flaky/scabbing stage. As long I keep them moisturized, makeup covers them pretty well. A couple spots might make another appearance - its hard to tell right now though.

The one above my lip that was such a big bump on Friday is almost totally gone now. I guess my Zeno does work sometimes!! Usually it just brings things to a head quicker, but occasionally it will make a developing zit go away completely.

So none of the lesions I've had during this recent breakout have gotten inflamed - its just all under-the-skin, noninflamed comedones.

I didn't use the mandelic 2 nights in a row because I've still be peeling like crazy from my facial - I figured I'd skip one night and use the mandelic again tonight.

Well, at least I am back to the point that when I have makeup on, you can't really see the spots. Without makeup is kinda scary at the moment, but at least I can cover all this up when I go out!

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just an update, i've got my products

acne wash

mandelic acid 8%

toner

acne med 2.5%

spf

canberry cream

no improvements yet, but it hasn't even been a week...

man i'm excited not to have to worry about acne anymore!

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just an update, i've got my products

acne wash

mandelic acid 8%

toner

acne med 2.5%

spf

canberry cream

no improvements yet, but it hasn't even been a week...

man i'm excited not to have to worry about acne anymore!

Start a log of your own so everyone can follow your progress. :) I wish you good luck with the Face Reality regimen.

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just an update, i've got my products

acne wash

mandelic acid 8%

toner

acne med 2.5%

spf

canberry cream

no improvements yet, but it hasn't even been a week...

man i'm excited not to have to worry about acne anymore!

Sounds like a good regimen! And it will definitely take more than a week for improvement - just be patient and do EXACTLY what they tell you to do. Sticking as close to their regimen as possible should help you clear up faster and get clearer overall.

Things are continuing to look better for me tonight. All of the inflammation in the extracted lesions is gone, so I am now just left with about half a dozen redmarks (which should gradually fade). Laura totally kicks ass at doing extractions - definitely a miracle worker!! My skin looks ten times better than it did before I went to see her on Friday. She truly has magic hands for treating acne. :)

At least with noninflamed lesions things heal fast once the comedones are extracted from the pores. Provided I don't get any new spots, I should be looking pretty darn good in another week or so!

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Hi there! I messaged you a while back when things were beginning again for me. I had made an appointment a few months back with FR, but cancelled and never got to rescheduling. I have been dealing with closed comedones/small and medium sized cysts on my cheeks since october. I tried the regimen but it never stopped the cysts from forming. I was always getting 3 or 4 a week. Finally, I was about to reschedule at FR 2 weeks ago and stumbled upon a womans site (I also stumbled upon in march and said forget it since I thought I would get better)that has done wonders for people with even severe cystic acne. So I had a consultation and bought herbal toners, cleanser, exfoliator and some vitamin c serum. I go in for my actual facial on the 16th. Basically she says the root of all acne needs to be removed-saying that pores that have "seeds" (cores) have to be removed or you get the flare ups! I had 3 cysts sitting on my cheeks for 1 month until I saw her. 2 of them were HUGE and kept scabbing over and falling off over again. I knew they had gunk in it but I figured it would go away on its own. She asked me to extract them during my consultation. She removed 4 "seeds" from the HUGE one and 2 from the smaller one. They healed up nicely and I only have 1, yes 1 light brown mark from that big volcanoe. So my skin has been healing a lot since I saw her. She recommended vitamin c (lots of it), zinc, lots of white tea and ice. I feel almost free again in a way, but don't want to jinx things. Can I ask you how your esthetician extracts your cloged pores? She poked mine with a fine lancet and pushed. Then she poked with a lancet again after removal of the core and this time had some antiseptic on the lancet. I had an @sswipe at work who ALWAYS comments on why my skin is breaking out tell me that I looked real happy friday. I was like what, I'm always happy! He said no you're happier bcuz ur skin cleared up! NERVE! I mean do people think before they talk?? Sheesh! Anyway, I was just trying to find out a little bit about how things go for you as far as facials/extractions. Hopefully you get some time to respond back. I appreciate it and sorry this was so long!

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Hi there! I messaged you a while back when things were beginning again for me. I had made an appointment a few months back with FR, but cancelled and never got to rescheduling. I have been dealing with closed comedones/small and medium sized cysts on my cheeks since october. I tried the regimen but it never stopped the cysts from forming. I was always getting 3 or 4 a week. Finally, I was about to reschedule at FR 2 weeks ago and stumbled upon a womans site (I also stumbled upon in march and said forget it since I thought I would get better)that has done wonders for people with even severe cystic acne. So I had a consultation and bought herbal toners, cleanser, exfoliator and some vitamin c serum. I go in for my actual facial on the 16th. Basically she says the root of all acne needs to be removed-saying that pores that have "seeds" (cores) have to be removed or you get the flare ups! I had 3 cysts sitting on my cheeks for 1 month until I saw her. 2 of them were HUGE and kept scabbing over and falling off over again. I knew they had gunk in it but I figured it would go away on its own. She asked me to extract them during my consultation. She removed 4 "seeds" from the HUGE one and 2 from the smaller one. They healed up nicely and I only have 1, yes 1 light brown mark from that big volcanoe. So my skin has been healing a lot since I saw her. She recommended vitamin c (lots of it), zinc, lots of white tea and ice. I feel almost free again in a way, but don't want to jinx things. Can I ask you how your esthetician extracts your cloged pores? She poked mine with a fine lancet and pushed. Then she poked with a lancet again after removal of the core and this time had some antiseptic on the lancet. I had an @sswipe at work who ALWAYS comments on why my skin is breaking out tell me that I looked real happy friday. I was like what, I'm always happy! He said no you're happier bcuz ur skin cleared up! NERVE! I mean do people think before they talk?? Sheesh! Anyway, I was just trying to find out a little bit about how things go for you as far as facials/extractions. Hopefully you get some time to respond back. I appreciate it and sorry this was so long!

Hi -

Glad you found someone for your facials and treatment. I think extractions are critical as well. Cysts can be really tricky to get the core out of though, so I am surprised your esthetician goes after those. She is right that spots will often come back over and over again if the core is still inside. I think that is why cysts often come back after coritsone injections.

At Face Reality, I don't think they generally go after deep cysts when they are doing extractions. When they do extract inflamed lesions, closed comedones, etc. they use a lancet and then gentle push and press on the skin to get the core to come out. I find it greatly speeds healing time (I don't get cysts, but more noninflamed acne with the occasional inflamed pimple) and the spots tend not to come back. Its important to get the whole core out, which is probably why people doing their own extractions have problems with spots coming back.

I did have one small, pea-sized nodule on my jawline that was too deep for them to get at. I went to a great derm in San Francisco and he applied anestheic to the nodule so he could dig deeper under the skin. He popped out the core and applied cortisone and the nodule went away and never came back (I had it for several months, so it was great to finally get rid of it!). Most derms, from what I can tell, don't bother with the extraction step which may be why people get recurring cysts that just won't completely go away.

So, yeah - I totally think that extrations are an important part of getting and staying clear and its important to find someone who knows how to do extractions well.

Keep me posted on your progress with your esthetician!

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Wow - things look even better this morning! These lesions are healing up really fast. I was peeling like crazy again yesterday, so I still didn't use the mandelic last night. I think I am going to try to work it in to my regimen tonight though.

I am still in awe of how great Laura is at extractions - she almost always gets the cores out and the lesions almost never come back again afterwards (that's not the case with others that have done extractions on me).

I went over and got a few supplies for my new bike, include a trunk rack so I can actually drive to the cool places to bike around here. It took me most of the afternoon to figure out how to mount the rack and how to tie my bike to it. I took it over to the bike shop to get pointers on how to do it better, which helped a lot. So I haven't actually had a chance to go on a ride yet, but hopefully next weekend!!

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Things just keep getting better and better. :clap: You would never guess that just a few days ago I had half a dozen lesions around my mouth. I know I keep saying this, but Laura really is a miracle worker with skin. I'm sooo happy right now!

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Hi! Thanks for responding so fast. Ok, I am glad you said they use lancets. When she started extractin I was like "needle??" I got all freaked! No no, the cyst had been sitting there for 1 month to the point where it got so deflated no one could see a bump anymore! Just a huge red mark. I could still feel a bump but it didn't hurt anymore. She poked, pushed and removed 4 cores and even showed them to me. TMI maybe but I think it got so big bcuz it was a cluster that got inflammed. Gross! So now I'm deaking with a lot of blacheads around the Tzone. I was trying to push a few out to see if the were going to be easy to extract. Bad idea but it wasn't too bad. I'm hoping she won't get upset that I want her to start slow with extractions instead of removing everything she can see. I'm scurrred! I really don't want to look like a battle zone. I look fairly clear at the moment for the exception of a tiny inflammed zit that appeared close to that colony where she extracted by 2 weeks ago. Another thing I noticed was that I didn't have any zits or inflamed mountains appear for 16 days. That is miraculous because I usually get 2 to 3 a week.boooooo I'm bummed but my period is due today so hopefully I won't get that much more! I stopped eating dairy 6 weeks ago and have really, really noticed a difference in skin as well. Before stopping dairy it was 4 to 5 a week, 5 to 7 during my period and then about 3 after that. So I'm hoping for the best.

Honestly, what is your advice? Should I let her poke every "potential" cyst on my appointment or should I have her start off slow? I just don't want to look so effed up, but I will be on vacation for 8 days after the actual facial...she calls it acne surgey...I laughed so hard! Okay...well I look forward to chattin with you! Thanks for your time and imput :)

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Hi guys!! Well I called my esthetician today to see if she could extract the one I got last nite and she actually said she had a cancellation. That I might as well see her today if I could. So I'm off today and I said hmmmmm..do I want to go to work tomorrow all red and bumpy or look like I stung by bees all over my face on the 23rd for my nieces big birthday party.... Ya I think I will go to work instead. I'm so nervous and she told me I would heal in 3 days time. Which I know I will because the ones she extracted 2 weeks ago were gone by day 4. Anyway, wish me luck..so scared!

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Hi guys!! Well I called my esthetician today to see if she could extract the one I got last nite and she actually said she had a cancellation. That I might as well see her today if I could. So I'm off today and I said hmmmmm..do I want to go to work tomorrow all red and bumpy or look like I stung by bees all over my face on the 23rd for my nieces big birthday party.... Ya I think I will go to work instead. I'm so nervous and she told me I would heal in 3 days time. Which I know I will because the ones she extracted 2 weeks ago were gone by day 4. Anyway, wish me luck..so scared!

I'm sure it will be fine! Its sounds like she knows what she is doing, so I wouldn't worry. My extractions generally heal in a few days. Don't freak out if they look bad right afterwards though - sometimes they do, but it almost always goes away quickly (at least for me!).

Let me know how it goes.

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Honestly, what is your advice? Should I let her poke every "potential" cyst on my appointment or should I have her start off slow? I just don't want to look so effed up, but I will be on vacation for 8 days after the actual facial...she calls it acne surgey...I laughed so hard! Okay...well I look forward to chattin with you! Thanks for your time and imput :)

I think I would let her decide how much to extract. It sounds like she is experienced with doing extractions, so she should be able to decide how much your skin can handle at a session.

Personally, I like it when they get everything out of my skin - I get less breakouts when they do that. Just think of all those unextracted comedones as little zits-in-waiting. They gotta come out somehow, and products don't always totally do the job.

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Thank you soooo much! I sit here on my crackberry cel phone in her waiting area NERVOUS as hell reading your message. She just looked at me and asked if I poked the cyst I got last nite! I said no- she said 100 percent (as she was putting on her glasses to come look) because I can tell. I said nope! If I didn't see her today I would have picked it but I figured since I'm seeing her I might as well wait and let her do it. That was HARD! So I will post after surgery...hahahaha. Wish me luch cuz I sure need it. Thank you for your support!

Talin

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Alright well my extractions went super smoothe. Better than I imagined. Actually she put a lancet to the cyst on my chhek, one under my nose and a few blackheads. Everything else was just lightly pressed on with a tissue. So after extractions she steamed my face, did a microdermabrasion( that took a total of like 3 minutes- is that how long it usually takes? Forgot to ask) a vienna peel and a healing maks. I got there at 430 and out at 7pm. She said my skin doesn't even have acne anymore. Just clogged pores. So miraculously today (even when I left her last nite) I have not a tinge of irritation. I only have a few picked ones showing today. My mom says my skin looks very silky. I'm not trying to be perfect just trying to improve and any improvement will make me so happy. I do feel some very minor itching in some areas but nothing big. I know by tomorrow that will subside and by saturday I should be looking much better. Anyways, I will post tomorrow with my progress...

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Alright well my extractions went super smoothe. Better than I imagined. Actually she put a lancet to the cyst on my chhek, one under my nose and a few blackheads. Everything else was just lightly pressed on with a tissue. So after extractions she steamed my face, did a microdermabrasion( that took a total of like 3 minutes- is that how long it usually takes? Forgot to ask) a vienna peel and a healing maks. I got there at 430 and out at 7pm. She said my skin doesn't even have acne anymore. Just clogged pores. So miraculously today (even when I left her last nite) I have not a tinge of irritation. I only have a few picked ones showing today. My mom says my skin looks very silky. I'm not trying to be perfect just trying to improve and any improvement will make me so happy. I do feel some very minor itching in some areas but nothing big. I know by tomorrow that will subside and by saturday I should be looking much better. Anyways, I will post tomorrow with my progress...

Glad that everything went well. I don't know about the usual time for microderm. I have never had it done. Face Reality only started doing microderm recently, and only on certain types of clients (e.g., pregnant women that they can't use topicals on and for some clients who want the antiaging effects). Microderm can actually flare up inflamed acne due to its potential for irritating the skin, so its best to be cautious with its use. It might be ok with comedonal acne (which is what it sounds like you mostly have right now).

Oh, and just so you know - clogged pores are still a form of acne. Its just not the more visible, inflamed kind of acne that most people think of (pustules, cysts, etc.). Clogged pores are just the starting point for other types of acne lesions. For some people, these clogged pores rarely get inflamed, others aren't so lucky! It sounds like she has gotten your inflamed acne under control and is now starting to work on the noninflamed acne that you still have (blackheads and closed comedones). Its definitely a big step in the right direction though! The noninflamed stuff takes longer to get under control, so just be patient.

Most of my redmarks have continued to fade over the last couple of days, so I'm pretty much back to looking clear again. I do have one tiny spot on the back edge of my jawline, but nothing that's really visible.

I used the 8% mandelic again last night, under the Derm A Gel. I didn't get any irritation and I'm not too peely today. I'll probably use it again tonight and then skip tomorrow night.

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