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tigerlily86

Starting a new regimen

Hi! I've been suffering with moderate to severe acne for almost ten years now. I'm really fed up with it. I've learned to live with it the best I can, and I can go months at a time without really thinking too much about it (just got so used to it). I've started to notice traits in my personality that are linked to my skin -- I always second guess myself. Maybe it's because I overthink things, and that's just part of my personality...but I really do think acne has contributed to it as well. You feel insecure about your face so often, you start to doubt yourself in other ways.

Anyway.

I've been to dermatologists many times, when I was younger I was put on BP, retin-A (I think that's what it's called), anti-biotics, and various other gels and creams over the years. These all worked with mild to moderate success, but very rarely in my life have I been clear or almost clear at any given point (and those times that I was, I wasn't on any prescribed medication, so go figure).

I've been looking over the posts here, seeing what different people use and trying to figure out a regimen for myself. I really think I need accutane, but my insurance won't kick in until next month so I'll have to wait on that -- and even then once it's been prescribed I hear it takes awhile to actually get the medicine :( So in the meantime, I thought I'd give a regimen a shot. I've never really had one before, so why not try it.

Please, please if you have any advice of your own on starting a regimen, let me know. Any advice period is welcome.

Here's what I've just started on:

Morning~

Cetaphil face wash (been using it for years, it's good to my skin)

Neutrogena alcohol-free toner (doesn't burn, feels good...not sure if it IS good yet though)

Tea tree oil moisturizing gel (The Body Shop brand, for oily/blemished skin)

I wait a couple of minutes in between each product and make sure to wash my hands.

Night~

Cetaphil face wash

Neutrogena alcohol-free toner

Neutrogena on-the-spot BP 2.5%

I've been following this for a couple days so far, and my face does seem to be clearing up a little. But I know from experience not to hold my breath, because the zits form awhile before you can see them *sigh* so anyway, I'll be taking photos every week of the progress.

I'm keeping the steps short because I've never been a big fan of putting layers of things on my face. If you have any critiques of the list, I'd love to hear them. I was also wondering what people think of tea tree oil moisturizer? It is doing a good job for me so far, but I do have to use more than I'd liked to so my whole face is hydrated (I get dry really easily).

Thanks!

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Hi Tigerlily,

Welcome!

I know it is terribly frustrating to be dealing with this all this time. If you feel Accutane is warranted, go ahead and make an appointment with a derm now, because there is usually a wait to get in anyway. Your insurance should be kicked in by the time the appoitment rolls around.

As for a regimen to do in the meantime, have you considered Dan's Clear Skin Regimen? It's the one on the front page of this website. You already have the products necessary, why not give it a go and see what happens.

You just need a gentle unmedicated cleanser, 2.5% benzoyl peroxide (neutrogena on the spot is fine), and an oil-free non-comedogenic moisturizer.

I'll link you to the full details, read through and see what you think.

http://www.acne.org/regimen.html

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Hi Brandy, thanks for the reply!

Yes, I'm going to call within the next few days to make an appointment. I'm really excited at just the idea of getting to be put on Accutane...I really do think it's warranted and probably has been for a couple of years but I only just recently read up on it and researched it sufficiently enough to be comfortable with it. Before I had heard too many horror stories and read the long, long list of side effects and got scared away.

Anyway, thanks for the recommendation. I had been thinking about ordering Dan's BP gel, and will definitely look into it if the Neutrogena doesn't do well (but now that I've bought that I'm going to see how it does).

It hasn't even been a week yet since I've been doing the morning + night regimen and already my skin is looking better. It was really breaking out something awful but the regimen seemed to contain that *crosses fingers*

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So on Wednesday (in 3 days) it'll be a week since I've been doing the regimen ~ but my skin is looking better already. Most of the breakout in my cheek area has gone away except for a few stubborn ones...but they are going away I hope.

The BP is making my face really, really dry and the moisturizer doesn't seem to be moisturizing enough. I've heard that the Cetaphil moisturizer is too oily for some...and I've heard really good things so far about the Aveeno moisturizer -- maybe I'll try it. Then again, maybe I'm using too much BP...? :think:

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Yeah, so my skin is really really oily today which is a result of (if I'm not mistaking) overly dry skin that the oil glands try to compensate for. Does anyone here have experience with the Aveeno mositurizer? I think I'm going to buy some today.

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Well I didn't end up getting a new moisturizer just yet, but I did get jojoba oil based on some of the suggestions in the forums. So I'm changing the regimen a little:

Morning~

Cetaphil face wash

Neutrogena alcohol-free toner

Tea tree oil moisturizing gel mixed with a few drops of jojoba oil

Wait a few minutes in between each step and wash hands. I suppose after a week, and after my skin is more used to the BP I'll add that step in the morning too (or is it necessary?).

Night~

Cetaphil face wash

Put a few drops of jojoba oil on wet face, pat dry (it seems up in the air as to when the best time to apply the oil is - after or before BP, a lot of people says both ways work so I'm trying it like this)

Neutrogena on-the-spot BP 2.5%

Should I moisturize at night? Seems a little unnecessary if the jojoba oil is good for that..

Edit: Ooooh I forgot I scheduled a derm appointment for the 15th of November!! :dance:

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Wellllll, I've made a lot of changes over the past two days to the regimen. I passed the one week marker and my skin is looking better than a week ago for sure! I'm still breaking out a little bit though, but I suspect that's due to not being constant with a strict regimen yet (though I will be once I've got it down, I think I do now) and being close to my monthly breakout fest *yay for womanhood* :doh:

So I was able to get the Aveeno Calm moisturizer, it's really really nice (smells good too) ... BUT it doesn't combat the flakes completely, which I'm kind of bummed about. So here's the updated regimen:

Morning~

Cetaphil face wash

Neutrogena on-the-spot BP 2.5% (thought I would wait to add this step in the am and pm until after my skin was more used to the BP once again)

Aveeno Ultra-Calming daily moisturizer SPF 15 mixed with two three drops of jojoba oil

Wait a few minutes in between each step and wash hands.

Night~

Cetaphil face wash

Neutrogena Alcohol-Free toner

Neutrogena on-the-spot BP 2.5%

So I'm going to keep to this regimen for awhile now to see how it does.

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Hi tigerlily86, :)

Glad the CSR is doing you some good. As you have recently started, I would recommend you apply a bit of moisturizer at night, until you get used to the BP. Some people here say that smiling whilst applying the regimen helps reduce flakes, because smiling stretches the skin. I personally go a step further and lower my jaw like a Scream painting! I don't get flakes now, but then again I am 6 months in...

Anyway, good luck, and I hope the accutane won't be necessary. :)

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Some people here say that smiling whilst applying the regimen helps reduce flakes, because smiling stretches the skin. I personally go a step further and lower my jaw like a Scream painting!

Hi tinman! Thanks for the suggestion, that sounds like a good idea. I applied mositurizer this morning with three drops of jojoba oil instead of two and it worked wonderfully! It really made a difference so I'm glad for that. Thanks for the well wishes too :D

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As promised, here is a pic of the right side of my face the day before I started the CSR and one week after I started it. A lot of the blemishes are gone but the red scarring remains so it doesn't look like it's improved much. It has, but I know it's going to improve more so I'll post pics on week 2 *crosses fingers*

But yeah, as I said before, I do think my skin warrants Accutane :( so I'm really looking forward to my derm appointment.

IPB Image

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Hi tigerlilly, it looks like your skin has made a decent improvemnet in such a short time =) good luck!

in my opinion cetaphil moisturizer works really well for night time, and i personally use purpose moisturizer with spf 15 it can be a little shiny after applying it though, i only use it during the day when i need it because my make-up has spf 15 as well.

best wishes!

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Hi tigerlilly, it looks like your skin has made a decent improvemnet in such a short time =) good luck!

in my opinion cetaphil moisturizer works really well for night time, and i personally use purpose moisturizer with spf 15 it can be a little shiny after applying it though, i only use it during the day when i need it because my make-up has spf 15 as well.

best wishes!

Thanks! :D Can you get this purpose moisturizer in drug stores? I'm kind of hesitant to get the Cetaphil moisturizer though because I've seen a lot of people have complaints about it and how it's way too greasy (but that is does control flakes).

What moisturizer do you use now beentheredonethat? I see in your sig it says something about Green Cream?

I tried something a little different tonight after washing with my Cetaphil, I put a LOT of jojoba oil all over the acne affected areas and just blotted slightly with a towel to a semi-dry state. Then I let my face air dry and it felt really soft and hydrated...then I applied the BP and usually my skin gets really dry after that but the jojoba oil seemed to prevent that. My skin feels okay now, not dry or oily. I think I'll be switching off using the toner one night and then doing this the next.

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I tried something a little different tonight after washing with my Cetaphil, I put a LOT of jojoba oil all over the acne affected areas and just blotted slightly with a towel to a semi-dry state. Then I let my face air dry and it felt really soft and hydrated...then I applied the BP and usually my skin gets really dry after that but the jojoba oil seemed to prevent that. My skin feels okay now, not dry or oily. I think I'll be switching off using the toner one night and then doing this the next.

Haha, that ^^ up there, don't do that in the morning if you're reading this for tips/advice!! LOL, it made my skin SO HORRIBLY OILY today, my makeup went on terrible...but alas I had to go to school and won't miss it no matter how bad my skin looks.

I find it so hard to get a nice equilibrium in my skin, it's either too dry or too oily (except for last night). Urgh.

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So I've been experimenting a lot lately. This is trial and error, through and through :) oh well as long as i find something that works for my skin.

Last night I finally replaced the horrible Aveeno moisturizer with one that's a little more natural.

It's Alba brand jasmine and vitamin E moisture cream and it feels soooooooo good!!! Love it so far, but today we'll see if it stands the test of moisturizing well enough before makeup and not making my face cakey.

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We have really similar skin! I use jojoba oil right now instead of moisturizer which I found is heaps better..doesn't make me look too oily though.

Keep us updated with the progress.

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We have really similar skin! I use jojoba oil right now instead of moisturizer which I found is heaps better..doesn't make me look too oily though.

Keep us updated with the progress.

Hi! Jojoba oil does really well for me too except in the morning :( not sure why but it makes me really super oily in the morning but at night it's perfect for right before the BP. The moisturizer I switched to does the job!!!!! Yay no more flaking! It's really great, smells good, feels soothing (not greasy) and doesn't take long to absorb completely.

I've had a minor breakout along my jaw line this past week, and I think it's because of my period (my skin always goes haywire this time of the month). Oh well, have about 5 actives right now, let's see how long they last.

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Hi tigerlilly, it looks like your skin has made a decent improvemnet in such a short time =) good luck!

in my opinion cetaphil moisturizer works really well for night time, and i personally use purpose moisturizer with spf 15 it can be a little shiny after applying it though, i only use it during the day when i need it because my make-up has spf 15 as well.

best wishes!

Thanks! :D Can you get this purpose moisturizer in drug stores? I'm kind of hesitant to get the Cetaphil moisturizer though because I've seen a lot of people have complaints about it and how it's way too greasy (but that is does control flakes).

What moisturizer do you use now beentheredonethat? I see in your sig it says something about Green Cream?

I tried something a little different tonight after washing with my Cetaphil, I put a LOT of jojoba oil all over the acne affected areas and just blotted slightly with a towel to a semi-dry state. Then I let my face air dry and it felt really soft and hydrated...then I applied the BP and usually my skin gets really dry after that but the jojoba oil seemed to prevent that. My skin feels okay now, not dry or oily. I think I'll be switching off using the toner one night and then doing this the next.

lately i've been using a little bit of cetaphil in the day and alot at night. the make-up i use which is a loose powder controls shine decently and the pressed powser works even better. usually when i get home from class i'll wash my face and use my toner and alpha hydrox lotion with aha. i haven't been using the purpose moisturizer lately because of the cold weather drying out my skin. yes you can get it in drugstores and most supermarkets but i think if the jojoba oil is working you should stick with that it's all about what works best for you. hell i think i may try that * my skin is starting to flake from the cold*. plus purpose can leave you a little shiny like cetaphil because of the SPF. sorry i haven't used green cream. is Green Cream that the scar/acne treatment cream? anyway, alternating toner/ jojoba is a good idea . let us know how it goes. :D

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lately i've been using a little bit of cetaphil in the day and alot at night. the make-up i use which is a loose powder controls shine decently and the pressed powser works even better. usually when i get home from class i'll wash my face and use my toner and alpha hydrox lotion with aha. i haven't been using the purpose moisturizer lately because of the cold weather drying out my skin. yes you can get it in drugstores and most supermarkets but i think if the jojoba oil is working you should stick with that it's all about what works best for you. hell i think i may try that * my skin is starting to flake from the cold*. plus purpose can leave you a little shiny like cetaphil because of the SPF. sorry i haven't used green cream. is Green Cream that the scar/acne treatment cream? anyway, alternating toner/ jojoba is a good idea . let us know how it goes. :D

Yeah I hear ya, it's getting drastically colder each day here too..which is why it was important for me to switch moisturizers -- the Aveeno wasn't working :doubt: I have since found a moisturizer that is great! If you keep getting flakes you might want to try it, it knocked them out completely, it's the Alba brand jasmine and vitamin E moisture cream (you can get it from an organic's/health store, or online probably).

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Update 11/5

Basically I'm abadoning BP, because after using it for about two weeks I remembered why I stopped using it in my teen years. It seems to just dry you out a lot (which I did get a handle on with the moisturizer I bought) and control your acne, rather than getting rid of it :confused:

So I've been weaning myself off of it instead of just quitting it and getting a horrible outbreak as a result. Also, a note, I've stopped eating dairy and I have noticed it's making a difference in my skin!

I've only been using BP once a day, either at night or in the morning, and the other half of the day/night I just wash with water and moisturize. I also have been using a blemish stick (with tea tree oil) here and there, as a replacement, eventually, for the BP.

But so far, so good. Like I said, since I haven't been consuming dairy, I haven't had any breakouts, even though I'm not using the BP as much.

Once I wean myself off of it completely, I'll post my new regimen, with the brand name of the blemish stick and we'll see how well that medicates.

Wish me luck! :D

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What moisturizer do you use now beentheredonethat? I see in your sig it says something about Green Cream?

I use the Shiseido moisturizer listed in my sig (the first one with an SPF i've ever been able to use). Green Cream is not a moisturizer, it's actually an over the counter topical retinoid.

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Big update!!! I went to the derm today and got prescribed Accutane! :dance:

So in a month I go back and can get the prescription. I'm very happy. I really think it would take something as drastic as this dangerous drug to help my skin. I have continued with the CSR on and off for this whole time, but alas, my acne is too severe just yet for it to make me and keep me clear.

So anyway, I'm back on the BP and will continue until I get my first dose of tane.

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