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Clarisonic and Flaxseed Oil

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Just wanted to start a log of my results using a Clarisonic brush and taking Flaxseed Oil supplements.

I have mild/moderate acne for a number of years now (I'm 30). Started when I was about 14, then I went on to Dianette (called Diane-35 in US) birth control pills when I was 17 and had almost perfect skin for 10 years. Since I came off the pills, acne flared up again.

The teenage acne brand products didn't really seem to work (hey they didn't work when I was 14 either, why would they now!) and just dried out my skin.

About 6 months ago I switched to using natural skin care products - Dr Hauschka and Organic Pharmacy (not sure if you can get this outside of the UK). Although I still get breakouts (usually worse around the time of my period), the areas of skin without acne have been much healthier. Oh yeah, I'm a real picker too - keep promising myself I'm going to stop, but I just can't!

I've tried various supplements - Saw Palmetto, Evening Primrose Oil, multivitamin & probiotic, extra B5, extra zinc with copper, dendelion extract etc etc. Also tried cutting out wheat, dairy, meat from my diet and eating just vegetables, brown rice, salad and fruit. But I couldn't sustain that for long enough to see if it worked.

Recently I read about the Clarisonic skin brush. I already used a manual soft bristle face brush to wash with and thought I might try this. Yes it's expensive (and especially as I live in the UK I had to buy a voltage converter which invalidates the returns policy and warranty) but I've spent to much anyway over the years and I figured was worth a try.

So far I've been taking flaxseed oil capsules and a tablespoon of actual flaxseeds for 5 days and using the Clarisonic with the Organic Pharmacy cleanser for 2 days. I also used the Bliss Triple Oxygenating mask (doesn't dry and the oxygen kills bacteria) 2 days ago. So far so good, no real new breakouts and seem to have fewer blocked pores.

I'm also still taking multivitamin, probiotic, B5, zinc, saw palmetto and evening primrose oil. I use Organic Pharmacy manuka face cream with antioxidant gel as a moisturiser, use their herbal face toner (which contains green tea) and their blemish gel (contains manuka honey and tea tree). I drink at least 1 cup of green tea a day too, which I think seems to help.

I don't have any photos of me without makeup before I started the latest regime, but I'll upload how I look today and some progress photos as I go through.

I'm really hopeful on this one!

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It's 5 days later. My skin's been quite oily for the last couple of days, had 2 new breakouts.

And last night I went overboard picking. So as well as a couple of small spots, I have big red scabs on my face. Nice

Apart from that, I've kept to the Flaxseed supplements and using the Clarisonic and I've done one more Bliss oxygen mask. Pores do seem to be clearer, so maybe the 2 breakouts were some final flare up and there will be fewer from now on?

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Well, just in time for the weekend, my skin became terrible - greasy and lots of clogged pores. Had another picking attack, which didn't help.

But by Sunday it was looking much better and clearer, In despair on Saturday, I tried using some samples of "essential minerals" foundation (it's a powder that I heard of on this forum, I mixed it with my moisturiser to apply as I couldn't get the hang of applying with a brush). It gives pretty good coverage and I think maybe I started reacting to my Dr Hauschka foundation as my skin seemed to get so much better so quickly. So I'm going to keep using this until I run out and see if it stays good.

Still using the Clarisonic and flaxseed.

Been reading about the GL diet (which seems to have a few things in common with paleo) and am psyching myself up to starting on that. Not sure I'll be able to go without toe chocolate though...

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Didn't use the clarisonic or flaxseed for a couple of days as I went away for the weekend.

Not looking too bad at the moment - I definitely think the mineral makeup is better for me, just difficult to get the the right consistency mixing it with moisturiser to be able to spread. Maybe I'd better invest in a kabuki brush to apply as a powder.

At the moment, I probably have 4 or 5 red spots, which are all healing. Quite a few raised bumps which I'm trying not to touch and which really aren't very noticeable and a few clogges pores. Thinking of buying Bliss clog pore wash which I've read some good things about, although it doesn't really fit with my organic face wash/toner/spot treatment/face mask approach. Actually come to think of it while I was away I used a demralogica face wash rather than my organic pharmacy one. Maybe that helped keep my skin clear over the weekend?

Too much to think about!

Not started a low GI anything - ate half a large bar of Cadbury's chocolate yesterday and it's a birthday at work so eaten a cream cake and piece of chocolate tart today. That's going to help...

And I'm travelling with work next week so not sure how I'll be able to keep to my supplements and clarisonic use.

Been reading a bit about red/blue light treatments. They sound promising, but in one of the forums it sounds like a few people had initally promising results and then gave up. And if I'm honest I don't think the clarisonic is working all that well for me - it's not irritating me, but I don't think it neccessarily does any better than my manual face brush. So not sure I want to shell out £200 for a light. Found a site where you can hire for £36 a month so my see if that helps for a couple of months...

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Decided the mineral make up was helping, so I bought some Jane Iredale foundation from my Organic Pharmacy store. I like the coverage, but it's a little too "glowy" for me and seems to sink into (and emphasise) open pores after a couple of hours.

I'm applying my Dr Hauschka powder over the top and that looks quite good, and as long as I blot at lunchtime and after work it's OK though. May buy the pressed next time as I've heard that gives a more matt coverage. Also I think you can buy a primer that reduces oil, so may be worth a try.

So I'm away with work in LA this week, so eating out twice a day - not very good for trialling diet options.

I have a few (probably 4) fairly large angry red looking breakouts and a few (probably 10) raised bumps. But I'm pretty happy covering with this foundation.

Also trying the Bliss clogged pores cream cleanser with my Clarisonic. I like it, smells really good and hasn't irritated my skin so far but I am still getting some clogged pores. Will give it a week and see how it is then.

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Liking the Jane Iredale - got the hang of using it as a concealer with a concealer brush. Only thing is after a couple of hours, the areas I've concelaed tend to look a little lighter than the rest of my skin so I have to constantly check and blend some more.

But covering alone isn't what I was after!

As I've said, I'm not convinced by the Clarisonic. I don't think it's irritating to my skin, just that my problem wasn't that I needed more exfoliation or to cleanse better, I already did that, so there was no real benefit to it. Wouldn't advise anyone to splash out on it.

The flaxseed oil - again I haven't seen an improvment, maybe it's because I'm using capsules rather than the oil. I'm going to double my dose until I've used them and try with the oil after that. Stopped taking Saw Palmetto as I don't think that was helping at all - I had very bad breakouts on my chin since starting that and I read one another log that someone had a similar problem.

I think that drinking at least a cup of green tea a day helps so going to start having 2 a day to see if that has an impact.

Also using a face mask every night - alternating a clay mask, oxygen mask and plain manuka honey mask, so I get the oils drawn out, bacteria killing oxygen and then antisceptic honey on rotation.

Had a serious conversation with my boyfriend about it - I've rented a blue/red light box (should arrive in a few days) and if there's no improvement by the end of April, I'll go to my doctor. The reason I haven't gone before is partly because I'm too embarrassed to show anyone my face without make up (I do go barefaced around the house so my boyfriend sees the worst...) and partly because I tried antibiotics and creams when I was a teenager and they didn't help at all then.

Fingers crossed for the lightbox.

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My lightbox arrived on Friday, I've used it 3 times so far. My boyfriend thinks it's all "snakeoil" and can't possibly do anything, in fact he says he thinks it must be bad for me sitting in front of it. But I pointed out that my skin always does clear up in the sun, and that this isn't supposed to damage skin like sun does so...

I know that 3 times isn't enough to be able to see an improvement, and that I always start something new and think it's working for me, and it turns out it's just my regular hormonal cycle and I start breaking out again in 3 weeks...but so far so good, don't actually have any active spots at the moment and my red marks all seem to be healing.

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I've been using the lightbox for nearly a week now, just doing it once a day for 15 minutes.

Maybe it's just a coincidence, but since I started using it, I've only had 2 new spots, which is really low for me, and the other areas seem to be healing.

Haven't been taking any supplements for the last few days, there isn't really a plan behind that, I just didn't think they were really doing anything and I want to see what the lightbox does (I'm renting it for 2 months so will have to decide if I'm going to keep it or not).

So far so good - if this keeps up, I'll be able to tell how badly my skin is scarred and start working on treating the scars instead of the acne.

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I've been using the lightbox for over 3 weeks now. I was using it every day, then I had to travel for work so didn't use it for a while - that conicided with my period and I did break out. Since I came back, I'm using it at least every other day for 15 minutes. And I think it is helping.

I'm by no means clear, but last night I actually considered going to the local shop with no make up on, which is something I would NEVER have considered before (I was too lazy to actually go in the end). I'm visiting my sister for the weekend and usually I start getting stressed becuase I know people will see me in the morning/at night with no make up and I feel quite relaxed about it.

I also think the mineral make up is helping and I'm fine tuning my skin care regime - still the Organic Pharmacy cleanser and toner and spot treat (I used to use this all over, but I think it actually clogged pores some), Bliss pore clog cleanser to remove make up and the Bliss Oxygen and Dr Hauschka clay face masks and at night I also use dermalogica booster which contains BP (I started using this when I stopped with the Organic Pharmacy treatment all over).

I've been trying not to pick, I haven't completely stopped but I'm getting better and that's definitely helping. I was concentrating at work yesterday and sat slumped with my chin in my hands for a while - I noticed last night that I now have some clogged pores and spots forming there - hopefully they won't come through, but it's a lesson to learn!

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Had a few ups and downs since my last post.

I visited my sister last weekend and was so pleased with my skin that I didn't mind sitting around having breakfast with no make up on. That's something I've not been comfortable with for years, since I was on dianette.

But this week I had a few small breakouts on one cheek and stupidly, rather than reaching for my dr hauschka clay mask, I picked. Then I started picking at my forehead. Then at my chin, and guess what, I grew monster spots - a giant one on my forehead and a giant one on my cheek which I just could not cover.

They're healing now, I used the lightbox and clay mask to help.

I'm sooo convinced that if I'd used my masks and not picked they would have been barely noticeable. Why don't I learn?

I'm still happy with the lightbox though - really would recommend giving it a try.

Off to Paris for the rest of the week so I won't have it with me - plan on taking my oxygen mask which I hope will help.

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It's the same old story. In Paris my skin was absolutely DREADFUL. Seriously huge spots, scabs that were impossible to cover.

I came back and with the clay masks and lightbox I started healing again nicely. Now (with makeup) my skin looks OK.

I guess it's either not being consistent with using the things that I know work, or it's hormones. I need to become more disciplined in recording the exact dates that I break out and when I start healing so I can figure out if it times in with my monthly cycle. If it is that, then I don't really know what the next step would be - I was on the pill for years which helped, but my boyfriend and I are thinking of starting a family so can't go on the pill. In fact can't use accutane or oral antibiotics either if we're trying to conceive! So let's hope that it is down to laziness and inconsistency in using my skin treatments so it's something I can fix.....

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