Jump to content
Acne.org
Search In
Find results that contain...
Find results in...

Hi,

I've had mild to moderate (mostly moderate) acne for about 9 years (I am 22). I have tried a number of antibiotics, other prescription drugs, Retin A, other topicals (too many to list), and probably every OTC cream/product out there (from the drug store stuff to serious skin care products to proactiv). Nothing ever worked for me, and I mean nothing. I would read all these success stories and they would upset me - not that I wasn't happy for the other person, I just knew it would not work for me. Then I came across a book, Don't Go To The Cosmetics Counter Without Me (I am a big make-up/skin care products fanatic), and that was probably one of the best investments I have ever made. The book itself gives you only tips as to which products are worth the money and which ones are not (you'd be surprised), but the website to the book gives you tips as to how to get rid of acne. The most useful website for me was the following: http://www.cosmeticscop.com/learn/article....REFER=SKIN&ID=6

I would HIGHLY recommend it for everyone to read it (at least for education purposes). After reading the book, I made up my own regimen.

This is what I did.

Morning:

1.a) Wash face with gentle Neutrogena Fresh Foaming Cleanser (you would be surprised to find out that almost all of the cleansers that are supposed to HELP you with your acne CAUSE acne)

B) On some days (but not on others, depending on how dry/oily my skin was) I would use an exfoliant in the morning. I made my own exfoliant by mixing equal amounts of the Neutrogena Fresh Foaming Cleanser and baking soda (yup, the baking soda that's used for cooking; don't ask me why, that's what the author of the book suggested and it worked for me)

wait 10 minutes

2. Biotherm Biosource softening lotion (toner); according to the information on the above website, toners are to be used only by those people who have oily skin (and want to avoid moisturizing/making their skin oilier), but I also found it great for just removing the last traces of makeup (at night) or even exfoliating (if you use a soft makeup remover pad and your toner, it would make your skin LESS flaky and it appears less dry without the shininess).

wait 5 to 10 min

3. a) Differin (this is a topical prescription medication; if you cannot get Differin, please see above site for alternatives)

wait 7 to 10 minutes

B) At the beginning, I used to put benzoyl peroxide (5%) in the form of Clindoxyl Gel (topical prescription medication - PanOxyl (Canada) or any other benzoyl peroxide (2.5%, 5%, or 10%) will do; concentration depends on your skin/what works best for you). After about 2 weeks, this step was NOT necessary anymore (I used benzoyl peroxide at night only)

4. Makeup. I find that most people skip this step but it is important to give people tips as to how they should apply makeup when they are on any regimen. In the beginning, I had a hard time applying makeup. Before, I pretty much used concealer as foundation - it provides great coverage (but you HAVE to be very good at blending it in or else your makeup will look caked on). I couldn't do this on the regimen. Instead I used equal amouts of liquid foundation mixed with the Neutrogena Moisture Oil Free moisturizer (unfortunately, when it comes to foundations price IS equal to quality, at least for many products; I wouldn't suggest any because you have to choose something that works for you, but whatever your choice, I would advise you to DEFINITELY check the product on the website www.cosmeticscop.com ... if it is not listed, you may need to consult the aforementioned book as it rates over 30,000 products). This technique gives you only light coverage (I would use concealer ONLY on top of the blemishes and blend it in carefuly, and then use a setting powder to set in my makeup). Although it is very difficult, you will have to be patient (only a couple of weeks) until your face needs MINIMAL (almost no) makeup at all.

NIGHT

Repeat steps 1 to 3 (no makeup of course). Please note that I used benzoly peroxide EVERY night. Also, I forgot to mention it, but Differin is probably the ONLY medication that can be combined with benzoyl peroxide without being too harsh on your skin. If you cannot get your doctor to prescribe Differin and you use an alternative topical cream, use it in the morning (ONLY) and benzoyl peroxide at night.

After 2 weeks, my face cleared up completely. I am not exaggerating. For the past 9 years, I have NEVER looked at my skin and thought "WOW, it's clear; I like what I see". This really worked for me.

Of course, there is a catch or you'd have to think it's all just a bunch of BS. This regimen will make your skin very dry. At the very beginning, my skin was very dry and somewhat reddish (because I couldn't wear my regular makeup, people even asked me if I had gone on vacation/been using tanning salons). However, this will pass as your skin gets used to it. Sometimes, my skin would also feel tight and I would queestion if all of the steps were REALLY necessary or was some of the stuff I did overkill. I don't think anything was. All I know is that it made my skin clear for the first time in 9 years.

Here comes the other sad part (the first one being that I have awful skin - naturally). I've stopped the regimen. I got to see what it's like to have clear skin, and now I want it FOR GOOD. So I have stopped everything (today is day 3 and I am getting small red blemishes all over, but no big/cystic breakouts YET) because I want my face to get worse before my next appointment with my dermatologist. I am going to ask for Accutane and I will not leave the office until she prescribes it.

This HONESTLY worked for me, but it is too much work. I can't see myself doing this for another ten years. First, it's too expensive (I could have paid off my education for the amount of money I have spent on skin care products and makeup in the past), and it's a lot of work.

If you do decide to give it a try, good luck. Give it a week or two before you get discouraged - you should see results by then.

Feel free to ask any questions you may have.

a.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You make a very interesting point. I'm beginning to realize that something is not a "cure" if it's not humanly possible to keep it up. For instance, my daughter (14) who has the skin problem, was given about 7 different prescriptions from the derm. Three to do in the morning, four at night. Then she's supposed to get these $95 peels, too. The meds, with insurance, cost about $60 a month. The insurance covers about $150. Right now she's doing aha wash, duac, and mino in the morning, aha, brevoxyl, xerac (for her back) and tazorac, and mino at night. Her skin is looking a little better, I guess, but not great. Even if it did work, I wouldn't call it a cure. The derm says her kind of acne (clogged pores) won't be cured by accutane.

She's only 14. How can she possible keep this up for years and years?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

whoknows,

I am sorry to hear that your daughter has skin problems as well. Mine started around the time I was 13, and unfortunately, things will not get better if you don't do anything/wait. I've been told numerous times that accutane is not for me, but that's a load of BS. First of all, clogged pores MAY have to do with the function of sebaceous (oil producing) glands. IF the glands are over-producing sebum, while at the same time the cell turnover is somehow impaired (in other words, if new cells are made faster than old ones are shed), you are bound to have acne. If it was just a matter of cell turnover, the skin would be dull and patchy, but one would not necessarily break out. In that case, with regular (simple and cheap) exfoliation and accutane, you shouldn't have a problem (regardless of your skin type/acne type).

I have come to realize that a multi-billion dollar industry is based on me and your daughter and everyone else here having problems, so we have to take everything they say with a grain of salt. I mean think about it, how could it possibly be in the interest of dermatologists to cure our skin problems? They LIVE off our coming to see them every two months just so we can tell them, no, the meds they prescribed didn't work. Then of course they prescribe us new ones, and off we go, back to square 1. Or the skin care industry - WHY would it make things that work if we are spending all this money on things that DON'T work anyway? (This way, at least we will come back when they come up with something NEW AND IMPROVED).

I know I sound like a cynic, but I'm not cynical, just realistic. After 9 years of being told that THE ONLY THING THAT CAN CURE ACNE is NOT for me, I've had enough. I'm going to give it a try no matter what. I'll let you know if it turned out to be just right for me.

Good luck with your daughters problems.

a.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi guys, I understand what you guys mean. I've had acne since I was 14. Its very disappointing, after years of antibiotics and prescription topicals and OTC products that seemed to work for others dont work for me. However, I found Paula Begoun's website, just like you, flawed, and ordered her stuff. I've only been using the prodducts for about days,and I can see a difference. My skin is getting better, and hopefully it will totally clear up. Here's what I do. Its not too difficult:

Morning:

1) Cleanse with Paula's Choice (PC) Skin Balancing Cleanser

2) Tone with PC's Final Touch Toner

3) Moisturise. I use Lancome's Blanc Expert Hydrating Fluid (It's a whitening fluid, but it did help with the red mars, A BIT)

4) Sunblock. Lancome's Foundation Base SPF 20. It's tinted, so I dont have to apply any makeup after that, as it covers pretty well. You can use powder after this for a better coverage.

Before evening shower (e.g. after coming home from uni/work)

1) Cleanse with PC's Skin Balancing Cleanser

2) PureDeming Intense Gel (Leave on for at least 45 mins - 1 hour)

Evening:

1) Cleanse with PC's Skin Balancing Cleanser

2) Tone with PC's Final Touch Toner

3) PC's 2.5% Benzoyl Peroxide

4) Moisturiser (Lancome)

I've ordered Mandelic Acid Serum, still waitig for it to arrive. So, I'm gonna add BP in them morning, and use the serum at night. As you can see, I'm not only trying to treat the acne, also trying to treat the scars.

Also, these steps are pretty basic, IMO. Just cleanse, tone, moisturise, with just an extra step.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wendy,

thanks for sharing the info concerning Paula's products. I have to say, she really does sound sencere and everything she says makes sense, (both from a medical and logical perspective). However, I still think it's too much work:), but I am glad to know it works for you.

a.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

phew.. yeah you guys have a lot of work! i can't stand doing complicated regimens. i've done them in the past and it was like.. half of the time i didn't have the energy to spend 15 minutes in the bathroom putting all of this stuff on. so i was very inconsistent because of that. too much work for me!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

flawed, yes, I agree. After trying her products, I really trust her. THe stuff works for me. Of course, it doesnt work for everyone, if you go to www.makeupalley.com. If you think this is hard work, I hope you find something easy that works for you. But beware of Accutane though. It can cause depression and many more. I had depression with birth control pills, so, I cant try accutane. Not that I want to anyways. And, the acne could return after a year or so. It's not a 100% cure.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Flawed,

1. Do you have a lot of white hard bumps on your forehead/cheeks/chin?

2. Is your derm going to prescribe you accutane?

3. Let us know how it goes.

4. Good luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

in response to wendy's post...

i am aware of the side effects of accutane. i don't think depression is something one should mess with (ie. if you become depressed, you should not continue the treatment), however, there are many side effects that topical treatments have (and we are rarely ever told about those). when i was on the regimen i described above, i had insomnia the whole time and it continued for a while after i discontinued the use of the products. Although this is not something that you are ever warned about (nor am i aware of it being mentioned in the first place), i think biologically, there is a reason that extended use of topica treatments can affect more than your skin. pain receptors are the free nerve endings and they are found in the skin around the base of hair follicles and also on the surface of the skin. The free endings respond to all kinds of changes (temperature, pH level changes and pretty much everything) and of course, as with any excitation of nerves, the effect is not only local but can affect your central nervous system. now think about it, what you are doing is applying things like glycolic acid, benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, etc (you don't even need to know what they are/what they do... the words peroxide and ACID should be enough to alter you) DIRECTLY on your skin (i.e. nerve endings). This CANNOT be good for your entire central nervous system (CNS) no matter what people say. I mean think about it... everyone who starts ANY regimen gets dry skin, sometimes it's red (look almost burned), etc... just substitute the problems you've had with your skin while on any regimen. Of course that's going to affect more than just your face. (Think of a sunburn... we consider that to be bad and we avoid it like the plague... glycolic acid and benzoyl peroxide could remove paint from the wall, let alone agitate your CNS. Like i said, i honestly do believe that my sleep disruption was related to the things I was doing to my skin...

just one more thing about the accutane... i find acne depressing... sometimes (when i break out and my face not only looks bad but hurts too), i don't feel like doing anything... i skip schools on really bad days... if i have a breakout, i dont go to the gym because i cant stand the thought of people seeing me without makeup, etc... it affects me mentally as much as physically, but unlike accutane, it NEVER stops...

also, people who do not see great results the first time they take accutane, their chances are improved significantly during a second round.

phew......

now the response to whoknows's post...

yes, i do get whiteheads on my forehead. i dont have them on my chin and nose... there i have blackheads (which are essentially whiteheads that come to the surface and oxidize)....

i have an appointment on the 16th, so i will let you know if i get the accutane... (if i don't respond that day, thats cause i refused to leave the derm's office until i get it)...

a.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

that to "alter you" makes no sense.... i meant to warn you... doing too many things at the same time... bah...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

flawed, that was a long post smile.gif If you had bad reactions to BP, then dont use it. I dont really have bad reactions to them, my skin is naturally dry and oily at the same time!!! Its not combination, cause then it'd be oily on the Tzone and dry at the cheeks. Mine are like, dry everywhere, then oily everywhere. Sheesh! I do use Glycolic acid, I dont react badly to them. Just a slight peeling. IMO, topical products are hardly absorbed into the body, whereas, oral treatments go directly into our body. I dont know about topical products affecting the central nervous system, havent done any research on it. I cant be bothered anyways. I jsut want a cure, no matter what. Just not accutane, cant take it. I understand how you felt about acne making you depressed, I feel the same too. I've had it for 8 years. But, the depression you get with accutane (if you do), is different. Its really bad, and trust me, you dont want to mess with it. If you are already depressed, I'd advise you to tell your derm about it, so that he can make sure you are not at risk of getting depression. This is actually my main concern, because its horrible. Otherwise, good luck. By the way, differin cream helped me with blackheads and whiteheads. Just apply it after cleansing at night, thats it. It doesnt dry skin out as well. When;s your appointment with yuor derm again?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Personalized Advice Quiz - All of Acne.org in just a few minutes


×