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willow569

Willow's (Modified) Face Reality regimen

Well, the forehead lump was partially extractable (hurt like hell though!). My esthetician said she didn't think the whole thing came out, but she did get some of it. The swelling has gone down by about half this morning and its less painful than yesterday. And between my makeup and bangs, I should be able to cover it ok.

Most of my face was pretty clear, only needed a few extractions in most areas. I was more clogged than usual on my forehead though - had to get a bunch of little spots extracted. I have been noticed more clogged pores on my forehead, especially near my hairline. I don't think its related to any of my new moisturizers or AOX serums, because I rarely even use moisturizer on my forehead, since its usually pretty oily and rarely gets dry or flaky. I'm still thinking it has to be hair products. I use either a gel or smoothing lotion and hairspray. I've tried to go light on the amount of product i use on my bangs lately, but I'm still getting these forehead clogs.

I have to think that anything that is sticky enough to hold your hair in place can't be good for clog prone skin! I'm going to try just the Aloe Vera gel again and see if I can deal with less pretty bangs in order to keep my forehead clear. And maybe add some mandelic or glycolic and use it just on my forehead. I'm getting a Keratin Hair smoothing again next month, so that should make the bangs easier to style without using a lot of product.

If anyone has suggestions for non-comdeogenic hair products, please let me know though!! ;)

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Little to no improvement in the painful forehead zit. Still sore and slightly inflamed. I pricked the top and tiny bit of pus came out, but there's definitely more stuff under the skin. I've never had a forehead spot like this before It doesn't look that big on the surface (which is good), but its definitely painful and inflamed underneath. Since I pricked it open, I iced it then applied a little neosporin to prevent bacterial infection and also a little bit of Aczone, which is a good antiinflammatory. Still hurts a lot. At least I can pull my bangs over it, so its coverable. If it doesn't improve in another day or two, I'll probably go back and see if my esthetician can extract the rest of it or maybe go to my derm and see if he can drain it and/or give me a cortisone shot.

Everything else is clear, which is good! Even spots I normally break out are looking pretty darn good right now (knock on wood!)

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Forehead bump has reduced in size quite a bit and its not painful anymore. I don't know if its going to fully depart on its own, or if I'll need to get it extracted. I'm going to give it another week and see how it is then. I'm trying to be more careful of the products I use on my hair - I still think one or more of my hair products is causing an increase in forehead clogs. Its not too widespread, but normally I am totally zit free on my forehead.

I am really liking the MD formulations AOX Hydrating Serum. I use it twice a day, and only have to layer on a heavier moisturizer every 3rd day or so. I wish I had added an antioxidant serum a long time ago - it really seems to help brighten the skin and even out my skin tone, and helps the skin heal more quickly.

The jury is still out on the Arcona Raspberry toner pads. I use them every other day right now, and that seems to be working. I get a little too dry if I use them daily, since they contain alcohol.

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So, I've been continuing to fine tune my new regimen. Overall, my skin has been pretty good over the last month or so. My forehead clogs seem to have decreased - I'm trying a new hair styling product, so that may be helping.

I still get a few slightly inflamed clogs on the right side of my face, sort of next to my mouth/jawline area, and the occasional clog on my chin. I have been spot treating those areas with 8% mandelic, which is something I used to use but had stopped using when I was getting product irritation last fall. It really seems to be helping get rid of the clogged pores more quickly, so I am trying to work it back into my regimen. Right now, I am using it nightly to spot treat any existing clogged pores, and then all over my face every 3rd night, in place of the Derm A Gel. When my skin gets used to it again, I may try to layer it with the Derm A Gel, but I want to go slowly to avoid irritation.

I am still really liking the MD Formulations AOX Hydrating Gel a lot. I use it every morning, and then generally follow that with a slightly heavier moisturizer by Peter Thomas Roth. I've only used the PTR for about a month, so still waiting to see if it will clog me or not. So far, it seems to be going okay. Both products have a lot of antioxidants, which is something I am trying to add more of into my regimen. I recently ordered a Vit C Serum, which is supposed to be very good for skin aging concerns and brightening of the skin. I think adding antioxidants is important, especially for those who have used BPO - I recently read a research article that said that BPO strips off most of the skin's vit C and E. Even just one application of BPO wipes out virtually all of these vitamins from the skin. I've also cut down from 5% to 2.8% BPO (use it on my chin only), and have one night a week where I don't use any BPO - just to give my skin a break.

I'm still playing around with the Arcona Raspberry Toner pads. They tend to be a little drying, so I am just using 1/2 pad in the morning on my forehead and nose area, which tends to be the oiliest area of my skin. Don't know if I'll try them all over my face again or if I will repurchase when I run out.

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I've been using the new Vit C serum for 3 days now - so far so good! No irritation at all. Its a MAP product, which is supposed to be more gentle than L-ascorbic acid.

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I think I am finally close to coming up with a revised regimen. It took awhile of product testing, taking things out of my regimen to see what was irritating me, finding replacements for those products, etc.

The changes I have made in the last couple of months really seem to helping my skin stay more clog free, and has improved my skin tone and texture (smoother, more even tone, discoloration and red marks fading, etc.)

The new changes are:

-Face Reality 8% Mandelic as an all over treatment every 3rd night. I use it in place of the derm a gel those nights and also as a spot treatment on any developing clogged pores.

-Antioxidant moisturizers. I use MD Formulations Antioxidant Hydrating Gel 1-2x a day, depending on how dehydrated my skin is. I really, really love this product. It contains some great antioxidants like Superoxide Dismutase, Green Tea Extract, Licorice Extract and Yeast Extract.

Its not quite hydrating enough by itself though, so I also use Peter Thomas Roth's Oil Free Moisturizer. I am not quite as in love with this product, but it does moisturize pretty well and doesn't seem to be clogging me. It contains Vit A and E, so also great for skin. I try not to use it on my nose or apples of my cheeks, as it seems to make my pores look larger for some reason. I think It might be the high amount of propylene glycol that causes it.

-Silk Naturals Vitamin C Serum. I've only been using this for about 2 wks, but am really loving the effects so far! It makes my skin brighter, more even toned, fades discoloration. It uses a form of Vit C called MAP, which is less irritating that other forms of topical Vitamin C. It also contains peptides, which are good for skin firming and other antiaging effects. It will be another month or two before I know for sure that its not clogging me, but so far so good!

I ditched the Arcona Raspberry pads because I don't seem to need them, and they tend to dry out my skin. Might use them on my neck or chest, just to use them up!

I haven't had any inflamed zits in over 6 wks (and just one in the months prior to that), my clog prone areas have been much clearer. I had a facial last week and there was very little to extract, which makes me happy!! :dance:

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Ugh, spoke too soon! I think the Silk Naturals C Serum is breaking me out - got some weird bumps in the middle of my chin and a couple other spots that I thought were going to be cysts - I applied Aczone multiple times a day on one of them, and I think its gone. I have another potential spot on my chin that I slathered Aczone on last night and today. Hoping it doesn't develop into anything big either. Couple clogged pores - a couple on my jawline and one in the nasolabial folds. Pretty sure its the c-serum and not the PTR moisturizer (hoping, anyway - I'd hate to have to go on another moisturizer hunt!). I'm guessing that it was either the peptides in the serum or the tamarind seed extract. Bummer, because it was doing some other nice things for my skin.

I'm going to ditch the Silk Naturals c-serum and try making my own. I've found a few formulas that people seem to have had good results from. It looks pretty simple, so I just need to order the ingredients and equipment to make it.

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Hi Willow,

Has been reading your thread for a while (although I didn't finish reading the entire 42 pages), but I can tell that you are very determined in your battles with acne! A big clap for you!! :clap:

I am also an acne sufferer (face and back) for 13 years.

Would like to ask you some ques :

- How good is the facial place you went to (Face Reality) and how much does it cost for each facial? I wouldn't want my husband to nag at me for spending too much on facial stuffs. Hehe:)

- What is the best regimen have you used so far? You mentioned mandelic acid, is it suitable for sensitive skin? My face has been quite sensitive (reddish looking) after using the AHA products (NeoStrata) about 10 years ago...

- Haven you tried the ZNP soap, sea salt bathing and ACV? Any positive results from this? I am currently applying ACV topically and at the same time, consuming it everyday.

Also, knowing that you are from SF bay area too, which area is it? I am from the west coast and I just came here about 3 weeks ago. Thus, has been hunting for a good facial place, with good treatment as well as reasonable price for facials. Would personally prefer skilled estheticians in acne treatments :)

Do hope will get a reply from you soon. TIA!! :)

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Hi,

Thanks for reading my log! Yeah, its long, but skin stuff is always an ongoing battle! Plus I'm pretty anal about my skin. :)

Face Reality is very good at treating acne, I'd definitely recommend checking them out. I saw a big difference in my skin very quickly. Facials are $75. Its pricier when you first start because you are going in for treatments more often and you buy all your products at once. It tapers off over time though, after you start to clear you don't go in as often and then just replace products as you run out. Its worth the cost though. I always thought about all the money I spent on products that I either hated and only used once or twice or products that made my skin worse. I think I ended up ahead by letting Face Reality figure things out for me!

I know enough about skin and products now that I can do my own thing with my regimen, but I'm much better informed than I was when I first started with them.

Mandelic is less irritating than glycolic, but you still might be careful using it if your skin is really sensitive. I'd try a lower concentration at first, maybe every other night and see how your skin does.

I haven't tried ACV topically at all. I did take it internally for a body folliculitis problem I had. I think it helped for that. No idea if it would do anything for acne though. My guess is that it wouldn't do much. ZNP bar was good for my folliculitis because its antifungal. But, I don't think it does much for acne. No experience with sea salt, but I think it would tend to dry the skin out and possible increase irritation.

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