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I am on a regimen that includes 10% BP (only on problem areas), 10% glycolic, a salicylic toner and Vivant 15% mandelic. It does sound like a strong regmine, i know, but it was designed for me by an esthetician who specializes in treating acne (and has a 95% success rate; she says most people she treats are clear in 8-12 wks).

Anyway, I've been on this regimen for 2 1/2 weeks. My chin was the only place I had pustules, most of my acne is non-inflammed (comendones on forehead, sometimes around the nose). My chin is clearing up - its mostly just marks that are left now. My forehead and nose are totally clear and smooth now. But, during the last 4-5 days I have started getting tiny breakouts around both sides of my mouth (outside the smile line area), and few spots along the temples and jawline and 1-2 along the cheekbone. I don't usually break out in these areas, but I am wondering if this might be purging from the mandelic? The spots are small, kind of hard little plugs and are not inflammed. They all kind of popped up around the same time. They aren't too noticeable, but I feel like they are ruining my progress! And I don't want more of them! Does this sound like purging?? I'm never sure about the difference between purging breakouts (which would be good) and product-induced breakouts (which would be bad). Thoughts???

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hi there,

good to hear you're having some success with your regimen! i may try some of that mandelic acid stuff soon...

i don't really have an answer to your question, but i've pondered it myself - it IS difficult to tell whether a breakout is product-caused or purging-caused... i know i recently tried a retinol / glycolic acid containing product and it was definitely causing a breakout / purge of some sort, within one to two days...

the larger issue is, will a purge-breakout in areas of your face where you don't normally break out just worsen your face overall? i know i'm at a stage in which i don't even want to deal with "initial breakouts". i feel that intial breakouts can be risky because it creates an inflammatory response in that zone regardless, and then you've got all these inflammation factors accumulated in that area, which can make that area more susceptible to future inflammation.

this is just random theorizing in my part, but i noticed that i started to break out in a particular area (post-pill use), and now i keep breaking out in that same area. i know i've got bacteria all over my face, so there's no reason that place in particular should keep breaking out. i think it's due to the inflammatory response / damaged epidermis and dermis in that region, which causes my body to overreact to bacteria in that region.

so bringing this back to your question - i don't think i'd risk continuing a product that was breaking me out right away, because it could lead to inflammation / damage in that region, making that region more prone to breakouts later on.

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Was the acid a perscrption?

No, it isn't a prescription. Its part of the regimen designed for me by the esthetician I am going to now. She specializes in treating acne, and has a 95% success rate. She says she gets most people clear in 8-12 wks. I've been seeing her about a month, and my skin is almost totally clear. The mandelic acid has caused me mild purging in the past - nothing bad, just tiny little microzits that go away pretty fast. Its nothing like the breakouts I got from the Differin I used to be on (that stuff gave me inflammed acne where I had none).

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