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I'm serious this time!!!

Hey all--

I've ghosted these boards for as long as I can remember, but never posted. So, here I am.

Here's a brief rundown of my history, which sounds like a lot of you have been through as well. My problem? I'm flaky. Maybe not my skin (bada-bum!) but in general, I am a 20-year old who lives in New York City. It's hard enough for me to stay on one product without being seduced by commercials or whatever else, but honestly it's so hard to go into Sephora without being tempted to buy a new line of expensive, ultimately useless skin care. To make things worse I started working for a beauty PR firm this summer, which means...you guess it, endless supplies of skincare to slather on. I started getting Peter Thomas Roth, Murad, and other lines at my disposal...and now my face is a mess.

I am half Brazilian and half Japanese, which means my complexion hovers between the two extremes. During winter, I could get extremely pale (think Devon Aoki, Kristin Kreuk) with yellow undertones. In the summer, however, a day at the beach transforms my complexion instantly into a dark, tanned tone that lasts for months. Unfortunately what's wonderful for a quick-fix has ultimately been the bane of my existence; similarly a single zit leaves a dark mark on my face that lasts for more than a year.

I've had acne since I was 14. At first it started out as your run of the mill teen acne, which meant a light smattering of forehead bumps and blackheads. Soon that progressed into full-fledged teen acne - breakouts along the oily sides of my nose, my chin, my forehead. I was a social, active honor student, and in my desperation for a quick fix i bought millions of drugstore acne products and pretty much slathered that shit on all at once. In the mornings I'd wake up at 6, pour on a load of disgusting foundation, and basically run on that until midnight. My skin, at one point, became so awful that I faked the flu for about two weeks and basically stayed home every day steaming my face and poking at it.

I think the lowest point that occured for me was that the summer between my sophomore and junior year of high school, my skin cleared up a lot by itself when I was abroad in Berlin. When I came back to New York I was immediately scouted for modeling and was on the brink of shooting a campaign for some companies. My acne, however, returned full force within two weeks and .. needless to say I had a pretty humiliating experience at the agency.

Since then my skin's been through so many cycles, sometimes good enough to just go out with concealer, sometimes gut-wrenching, "i am so, so ugly" type days. I'm in college now, and my demanding courseload, work, and social life leaves me little time to think about my skin actively...but now the sadness has just kind of stayed with me. My acne type now is basically adult acne: breakouts along the sides of my cheeks, clogged pores on nose and forehead. Scarring - awful, makes me look like I have so much more than I do. Skin Condition: complete oil slick.

Treatment Past:

One Round of Doxycycline antibiotics+benzaclin (great, for about 4 months, but it all came back.)

Zoderm BP 4% (not bad, but it dried my skin out)

Proactiv (Lotion and Toner are great, but I hate the cleanser! It's both harsh, gritty, and doesn't clean at all! anyone else feel the same?)

Murad (stay the hell away, the gel nighttime thing broke me out worse than I could ever imagine)

Dan's Acne Regimen (not bad)

Various Vitamin Regimens - I can never, ever tell..they're expensive, and I never know whether it's placebo or they actually do anything. Either way I've wasted a lot of money on them and they never did me any real good, except I did go on a massive B5 regimen for about 4 months. My thoughts on that is that, yes, while the oil control worked wonders for the first month, it ultimately leveled off and I got breakouts just like I did before after a while....which really, really made me sad. The negatives of the B5 itself is that my stomach pain/indigestion really never, ever got better, no matter how much food I took it with or anything else. My stomach would make the weirdest, most awful noises....it's hard to conduct life when I'd be running into the bathroom 20 minutes after ever meal! Right now I take GNC's women's multivitmains (in the big purple and pink box) - crazy percentages, great combo, awesome!

Birth Control Pills - OrthoTricylcen, Ortho Novum both broke me out horribly. Orth Evra, the patch, was great, after a couple of months my skin was really clear. I had to discontinue it, however, because of the increased risk of stroke, as high blood pressure runs in my family.

Differin - Itchy!!!! didn't do anything!

Assorted - PTR Products (waaay too harsh, too expensive), Ahava (smells great, but does about as much as a bar of Dove Soap), Sage (too much involvement, I honestly just have no time, and it's too expensive), ice (good, but I can't do it during the morning because I need to put on my makeup and waiting for my skin to calm down post-icing takes about half an hour), ACV Toner (did very little for me, and roomates gave me REALLY weird looks and complained about the smell all the time :shifty: )

None of these things, however, gave me a total clearing, except maybe for my first round of doxycycline. My mom is wary of antibiotic overusage, which is why I only went on one round... As for the BP, I'm just kind of sick of it. I feel like it damages my skin in the long run a lot more than it could help my acne, especially in the massive amounts that it's recommended in this website. Anything that can bleach my towels so dry has no business being on my face.

Right now:

Well, I've had it. I'm going back to school soon and this promises to be my toughest year yet. Between my internship, schoolwork, and applying for med schools, I'm going to be grade-A screwed. No more taking time off to pick at my face or sit at home feeling sorry for myself, or being so embarassed that I put on foundation after I get out of the shower so not even my roomates or boyfriends see me in my skin. I'm going to get rid of acne once and for all.

The Plan:

Back to basics. This mess of PTR and expensive cosmetic potions (which, by the way, I have a lot of, if any of you are interested in mostly-full bottles of glycolic exfoliating gels from Peter Thomas Roth (worth $50), Murad, or other lines, please get in touch with me...maybe they'll work for you!) has left my relatively clear skin at the beginning of the summer and oily, irritated mess.

I went to a famous derm on the Upper East Side for an appointment after weeks of wrangling with the receptionist. He put me on Doryx (sorry mom) and prescribed me Klaron Lotion....when we discussed my skin he said he wanted to give my skin some time to calm down so he could assess things further and maybe put me on accutane. I agreed.

Today at the drugstore I filled out the meds and picked up some unscented dove soap, complex 15 moisturize (which DR recommended), and Nivea Moisturizing Toner. The last product was there because...when I was in Germany and my skin cleared up, I suspected that it had something to do with what I used...the Nivea line in Europe is a godsend...really gentle, allergen free. What's funny is that when I was there I didn't appreciate it at all, and I thought my skin would freak out from being away from BP and Salicylic Acid.

All I'm going to do from now on is Wash, tone, and moisturize. GNC Multivitamin, Doryx at night, Klaron day and night after i moisturize. The end. We'll see how we do.

I'm starting a log so hopefully I'll give this a good amount of time before I flake off this regimen. I'm thinking of maybe reintroducing B5 into my life again....if I can get some tips as to how B5 could fit better into a busy lifestyle. I take the powder, because capsules didn't have as great of an effect...but what do you guys think? How about Oratin and that fiber that it has? Any proven supplements?

Thanks guys! I wish you all luck with your battles....and I'll try to post some pictures up soon!


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