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Anikarlo

Face Reality Acne & Skin Care Clinic

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Hello members and guests of Acne.org,

My name is Maia*, and I've just been officially diagnosed with non-inflamed acne. Sounds like I just told you that I have cancer and three months to live instead of a zit infestation. Even if I'm not likely to die from a pimple, I didn't even know what non-inflamed acne even was and I've been trying to evict them with little or no avail since they first moved in at age 13 (note: if you can't differentiate whether you have inflamed or non-flamed acne read the bottom of this log or go to Facerealityskincare.com and take a look at their before/after photos). It's easy for other people to scoff and tell you that it's just a rush of teenage hormones which will most likely disappear as you get older. Maybe true for some. A LOAD OF HORSE SHIT for those like me. Pardon my French.

So yesterday afternoon, I made my first visit to Face Reality, and thank whatever god you wish that they were easy to find, I've been proven to be annoyingly terrible at reading directions, but I made it here on the dot (they charge your card if you miss an appointment without 24 hour notice people,so don't waste their time!) I first took note of this clinic about a month ago from Yelp because they happened to have raving reviews, which I took as a good sign, but luck has it that a college student like me does not have a bottomless wallet to fund pricey treatments (not to mention products) at her disposal. But someone thought I should celebrate an early Christmas when my boyfriend, Juan Casanova, found this great opportunity to do some pro bono work for Face Reality and I just happen to fit their requirements.

Upon my entry into the building, I was warmly greeted by Patrick, whom I recognized as the voice I talked to over the phone. He told me to take a seat, kindly offering water and tea and when I sat down who else but Laura (the proud owner of Face Reality) was finishing up a client in front of me (who was notably in the further stages of acne treatment because her skin looked so healthy) testing mineral makeup which I found out later they have their own special blend (oooh..) I was moved shortly into a cozy room equipped with the familiar massage-like chair and the bonus of a fountain (brownie points for a serene setting). It wasn't until I was laying down that I heard the music playing from the speakers, which brings me to my next point, BRING AN IPOD TO YOUR SESSION. Especially if you need extractions. This is the part no one (especially estheticians) want you to hear because it's not pretty but it's almost always completely necessary for those who suffer from non-inflamed acne. Don't like pain? Ask yourself how much you'd like to see the skin you were born with instead of the skin you're stuck with right now. Trust me, it's not a day at the beach but it's no root canal. And if you can tough it out, you'll be worshiping the ground Laura walks on when she puts the soothing serum on your face. She explained in detail (without any humiliation on my part) what ingredients in food, fabrics, and makeup often irritate the skin and why to avoid them. An example (that even I had no idea about): seaweed (like in sushi, which I CRAVE all the damn time) contains a crazy amount of iodide content known to aggravate skin. As much as I wanted to despair at cutting back on sushi rolls, it was a giant relief for me to really understand what my skin reacts to and how I can actively prevent future breakouts instead of waking up to see my face in the mirror and feeling like I have no control over the pimples I have now and the gazillion more I know are coming.

Needless to say, I went home with a red face, however, in what I believe was a smart move on my part, I curled my hair so I felt a little less dumpy. My appointment was in the middle of the day so if I'm going to see people which I did, I can distract them with some spring-loaded hair and maybe some shiny reflective jewelry. You can't expect miracles to happen with your acne overnight, that's why it's called Face REALITY. What can I tell you, life sucks that way. Bring your pimple-pocked mug to Laura and deal with it. She does long distance too.

I was given a nicely typed regimen and a large baggie of products to follow for the next two weeks and if you'd like to see how it goes for me and decide for yourself whether this is what you are looking for, I'll be updating every 3-4 days on my progression towards clear skin.

Maia

*Some names have been changed because this is the Interweb where freaks and geeks reside and also I just liked test driving other people's names as my own. (I didn't confirm that I wasn't a freak (or geek) myself. >=)

ACNE TYPES:

Inflamed Acne: Visibly red, extremely sensitive and prone to oily skin. Looks like you've been dumped in a vat of hot Canola Oil and are suffering from it to this day. It runs in my family in two separate generations. If not treated properly, your face may look like my Uncle Freddy, who has as many craters in his cheeks as Utah has Mormons.

Non-Inflamed Acne: Bumpy dull skin, some acne but not as widespread as inflamed acne, dark spots, oily skin, and not sensitive or hot to the touch. My skin, I've noticed, adapts to cleansers very easily which disillusions me to think that new products are working and then I realize 2-3 weeks later that I break out once more. If you've got these symptoms or more, you may be like me and have a classic case of non-inflamed acne.

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Day 1

Evening Routine

I began my regimen the same evening as my first in-clinic treatment earlier that day. I was given that large zip-locked bag of goodies containing the steps to clear skin. It contained Acne scrub, Acne Med, Salicylic Antiseptic Toner, Polygel Serum, Oil-free SPF 30 Micro TZ Sunblock, Cranberry cream, and dixie cups. Can't bring this load to the airport, no can do bud, that's why they think one step ahead of you and give you perfect 3 ounce empty bottles to fill just in case you need to flee the country.

I performed the 6 steps type-written on a sheet of paper, which I need to be reminded to put the instructions in a clear slip folder so I don't soak it with all my splashing. Here's how it goes:

Step 1: Wash w/ acne scrub.

Step 2: Ice breakouts using ice in dixie cup to reduce inflammation.

Step 3: Apply Acne Med (leave on for 15 min for today)

Step 4: Wash off with cleanser

Step 5: Apply Toner

Step 6: Apply Cranberry cream (my favorite part)

My skin felt fresh and it looked glossy and a little red from getting stripped of all the dirt and oil. I changed the sheets to fresh pillow cases washed without fabric softener and went to bed.

I thought scrubbing my face twice with acne scrub might make my face raw but with Toner and the right moisturizer made it bearable and surprisingly not at all oily (I really don't like greasy moisturizers).

Day 2

Morning routine:

Step 1: Wash with Acne scrub

Step 2: Ice breakouts

Step 3: Apply Toner

Step 4: Apply Polygel Serum and wait few minutes for it to absorb

Step 6: Apply Oil free Sunblock

My skin felt tighter but not dry. There is (hallelujah!) no flaking or dryness. This is the MAIN reason I detest most skin medications such as Retin-A that really just suck all moisture and leaves you instead picking off peeling dead skin. Boo. Face Reality stresses that if your skin does become dry and irritated to call them and they will find what works for your specific needs.

This is now the time where I put on my face and my eyes (makeup and contacts for those who are reading this and going WTF is wrong with your anatomy.) and I noticed how well my makeup looks after I just adhered to the regimen. In the past, the familiar dry flakiness of other medications make it so difficult to put on foundation and powder without looking obvious that your face if falling off one layer at a time. It passes my concealer test with flying colors. So far.

Stay tuned for Day 3 and 4.

Maia

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Maia,

Great post! Thanks so much for all the details. I'll be very interested in your progress as I'm starting up with FRSCC next month (I live 3,000 miles away but will be in CA next month and have a consult and treatment planned with them, then to continue long distance.)

How long did your redness last after the extractions and treatment? Were you red all over, more of a flushed look, or just red on the extraction sites? How many extractions did Laura do?

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Glad to see your first post! I have been a client of theirs for over a year now and I have had very good results from their treatments. Looking forward to seeing your progress too!! Good luck.

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Hi, Maia -- I merged your 2 topics into one, just to keep things simpler. To keep posting in this thread, be sure to click on the "Add Reply" button at the bottom .... I think you may accidentally have clicked "New Topic" before.

good luck with your regimen!

LQ

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Day 3 and 4

Acne has been drastically reduced but on day 3 it was flaking in the T zone and a little on my cheeks and nose.

Day 4 was a little more oily but I guess I'd rather be a little oily than flaky.

Any new zits? just one in fact. But I could actually chalk that up to sickness. My boyfriend transferred whatever bug he had and I've been in bed all day battling a fever.

Application of Acne Med (benzoyl) will be stretched to 30 minutes instead of 15 and soon it will be 1 hour.

I need to go and get a few more dixie cups to ice my face with.

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I have acne splattered in every open area of my face so I was mildly red for the afternoon. Laura laughed and pointed out that today would not be a good day to have a hot date. The after-pain isn't bad at all. =)

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2 weeks in!

My face has improved and my boyfriend (Juan Casanova >=) has noticed the change exponentially. My face no longer flakes and I'm terribly addicted to the cranberry cream. I heard that I may stop using the cream these next few weeks and that brings a pout to my face. My second appointment with Face Reality is today at 3pm and I'm already happy that the extractions will be far less in count than the first time around. Every day I wake up with this little glimmer of happiness that I'm pro-actively doing something about my acne and in a way, I don't stress out about it anymore (which could also be a factor in why I'm not breaking out as much). I'll update later tonight about my second treatment. Check back later for all the juicy details! mm...that lost most of its appeal when I thought about acne. I'll have to come up with better adjectives to describe pimples.

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2 weeks in!

My face has improved and my boyfriend (Juan Casanova >=) has noticed the change exponentially. My face no longer flakes and I'm terribly addicted to the cranberry cream. I heard that I may stop using the cream these next few weeks and that brings a pout to my face. My second appointment with Face Reality is today at 3pm and I'm already happy that the extractions will be far less in count than the first time around. Every day I wake up with this little glimmer of happiness that I'm pro-actively doing something about my acne and in a way, I don't stress out about it anymore (which could also be a factor in why I'm not breaking out as much). I'll update later tonight about my second treatment. Check back later for all the juicy details! mm...that lost most of its appeal when I thought about acne. I'll have to come up with better adjectives to describe pimples.

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I apologize for the delay, our network at home has been down for days which I found ironic being that my mother works for At&t and so I'm here at the university campus computer lab with 50 other students furiously typing up essays for their next class. I'm just waiting for my history exam at 10am, no biggie (lies!). I'll just coast with confidence that my wits and expansive knowledge will get me through the next few hours (you're in denial, woman), and that in the end, I know damn well, I studied long and hard enough to get no less than a beautiful red 'A' on the midterm (hah! whatever keeps you warm and snuggly in the night).

Okay, so maybe I'm cramming a little right now but let me tell you something I"m not stressed about....my face!!! that's right ladies and gents, my FACE. That's a first in a long, long time that I have not broken out in pocked face fury in little more than a century. WOOOOOO! I seem to be putting Laura's work to the stress test what with midterms, my fluctuating internet situation, unemployment, and that unavoidable christmas season coming soon. She's a miracle worker if she pulls this off within the next four weeks.

HO! I almost forgot to mention that I have a new addition to my family of regimen bottles. The Hydrating Emulsifier. Sounds like a fancy name for a fire extinguisher doesn't it? It has stopped my face from the turning into the dry tundras of the Sahara desert and I smell and feel like baby butt (clean...baby butt) after I'm through. Thank. You. Laura. The Acne Kicking Superwoman who saves my day, now what can you do for snarling history teachers?

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Great to hear that things are going well. So, Laura is "The Acne Kicking Superwoman who saves your day"? I think she would like that phrase... Sounds like she needs a costume with a cape to go with that job title! :)

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So, where are you going to college and what is your major? I hope you get that "A" on your midterm!! Sometimes I miss those college days.... (definitely not the "living on an $800 stipend and having to eat cereal for dinner" part though...)

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So glad to hear you're doing so well! You've put a lot of my fears at ease as I'll be starting with FR next week. That Hydrating Emulsifier sounds like something I could use!

Yeah, Willow, I hear you on missing those college days, but an $800 stipend? I lived off about $25 a week. I had ramen noodles every night instead of the cereal! Seems like a lifetime ago...

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So glad to hear you're doing so well! You've put a lot of my fears at ease as I'll be starting with FR next week. That Hydrating Emulsifier sounds like something I could use!

Yeah, Willow, I hear you on missing those college days, but an $800 stipend? I lived off about $25 a week. I had ramen noodles every night instead of the cereal! Seems like a lifetime ago...

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I think, instead of regaling you with stories about my very low key thanksgiving this past weekend I will sum up briefly with two turkeys celebrated with two different parties, lots of butter, vegetarian takeout, the occasional bucket of Crisco and the enthused reunion of family members gone unvisited throughout the year. This gap in time since last Thanksgiving inevitably unfolds a years worth of humiliating stories told with plenty of animated faces and a few jazz hands thrown in for shock value. With one side of the family, we had the entire dinner catered from the local grocery store ordered off a menu with titles such as the Ultimate Turkey Dinner which serves 8-10. On the other side, (done in true Chinese fashion) the turkey was killed four hours earlier stuffed with sticky rice which I handpicked from the rice paddy in the backyard that afternoon. Yeah, loads of back-twisting fun filled with everything that reminds me that I'm Asian. It was my hippie sister that got stuck with the vegetarian takeout, but we threw her a bone (an organic/free-range/soy/tofu/holistic/non-fat bone) by giving her a bowl of hand-mashed potatoes. But she had to eat it without gravy because we used turkey juices to add flavor. She was blessed with great skin. Can you tell by the jealousy dripping like the gravy down my chin? But HAH! Not today! No one felt the overwhelming urge they usually get to point out that I have pimples resembling my Nana's cottage cheese ass this year and I'll give you three guesses why they didn't and if you don't guess right the first time by now I'll slap you with the cold freshly caught fish my uncle has swimming in the kiddie pool outside.

Edit: I need to add a change from two turkey's to three, apparently my sister's chiropractor was handing out whole frozen turkeys as a thank you for her frequent returns. Whaddaya think bout that? Free turkey! You think that would work for Face Reality next year? Laura? Pat? Guys?

It would be great! The conversation would flow something like this:

Laura: You're done for today, Tiny Tim, extractions weren't all that bad were they?

Tiny Tim: *whimpers at Laura with big saucer-like eyes*

Pat: While I schedule your next appointment, here, take this large turkey to your family! *throws a turkey to Tim*

Laura: Happy Thanksgiving!

Tiny Tim: God bless us, every one! *he says with tears in his eyes*

How'd I do? Good? Good? .... What? No? I'm not helping? That's not what you picked me to do as a pro bono client? You want me to stop schlupping around and schtick to the program and get back to informing those johns and janes about the regimen? What schmucks I tell you. No holiday humor. ah, who am I kidding, I wouldn't be cracking jokes if I was breaking out. My face has dramatically cleared up in contrast to day 1 and I often get my boyfriend rubbing his face next to mine more than I care to declare because he thinks my skin is softer than his cat when in turn, I'm wondering whether he's turned into one the way he keeps marking my cheek with territorial gestures when he's not purring.

I've implemented a new addition to my face regimen to include Vivant Derm-A Gel, a patented Vitamin A skin conditioner which I apply in my evening routine after the Toner and before the Hydrating Emulsifier and Acne Med. It is said to encourage the production of new cells and gives your skin a rosy hue. My next treatment has been scheduled for November 30th, so pop in to hear from me again very soon.

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Updating two hours before my appointment, I have two new pimples that made their debut last night, I noticed that most of the zits try popping up in the most obscure areas that I might have missed such as my hairline or under my chin. My skin has long stopped flaking and my parents are complimenting how smooth (and shiny?) my face looks. Now when I take off my makeup at the end of the day, I only see the scars from past acne now which I hope to take care of soon. My session is at 2pm today and these treatments have become one of the highlights of my weeks.

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Updating two hours before my appointment, I have two new pimples that made their debut last night, I noticed that most of the zits try popping up in the most obscure areas that I might have missed such as my hairline or under my chin. My skin has long stopped flaking and my parents are complimenting how smooth (and shiny?) my face looks. Now when I take off my makeup at the end of the day, I only see the scars from past acne now which I hope to take care of soon. My session is at 2pm today and these treatments have become one of the highlights of my weeks.
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It's been a long delay since I last updated which means I have a lot of catch up to do. My last treatment took place just this past Friday and I've been putting the regimen hard at work between studying for finals, christmas shopping, and getting the house renovated. The newest additions of visible acne have been from lack of sleep and irritation from my cell phone. Yeah my cell phone. It's left a flurry of both inflamed and non-inflamed pimples on my left cheek. I feel like I have a sideburn.

The first week, there was a raging development of flaky, dry skin from the peels applied from my previous session. It looked like I had taken a cheese grater to my face, my mom balked when I had the audacity to asked my sister if she would like some of the Parmesan cheese that I plastered to my face with Elmers glue. I brought the hydrating emulsifier to use for touch ups because I know all too well how lotion does with powder and facial products. I used the emulsifier for a couple days and by the fourth day, my skin returned to its former glory.

I also received two new products I'm very excited to incorporate into my regimen. The first being the Mandelic Toner (3%) which I use every evening after cleansing and the second being, Bleaching lotion to lighten the skin and even out the skin tones. It's what I've been waiting for, to finally see some of these scars disappear because nobody is gonna miss them and I may get the chance to see some clear skin even without the aid of make up some day soon.

My current regimen now looks like this:

Morning Routine

Cleanse using Acne Face Scrub

Apply Salicylic Toner

Alternate between Derm-A Gel and Bleaching Lotion Forte

Apply Poly Gel Serum (8%)

Hydrating Emulsifer

Spot treat with Acne med (5%) if needed

Sunscreen

[u]

Evening Routine

Cleanse with Acne Face Scrub

Apply Mandelic Acid Toner (3%)

Apply Exfol-A

Hydrating Emulsion

Acne Med (5%)

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Update:

My skin is now reacting towards the new additions of the regimen. My face has recently begun peeling once again, not something I enjoy particularly, but I'm hopeful that this will bring around the skin hiding under the dead cells and be rid of some scars I'd like to see diminished.

During this process, what do people do to keep excessive peeling under control?

Up to this point, the Hydrating Emulsifier has been a great help but it does little now. I was expecting it, especially since I know it's too good to be true to lighten scars without some flaking. Any suggestions?

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Hello everyone, this is "Juan"writing at "Maia's" hoarse request.

Maia is very very sick with a case of strep throat. While the holidays were very merry, they were also a little miserable.

Maia will resume her posting very soon, until then, she wants to let you know that her regimen has not changed since the last treatment. She received an enzyme mask (as she nags me to highlight in bold) for hydration and the usual extractions.

We both wish everyone a Happy New Year!

Morning Routine

Cleanse using Acne Face Scrub

Apply Salicylic Toner

Alternate between Derm-A Gel and Bleaching Lotion Forte

Apply Poly Gel Serum (8%)

Hydrating Emulsifer

Spot treat with Acne med (5%) if needed

Sunscreen

Evening Routine

Cleanse with Acne Face Scrub

Apply Mandelic Acid Toner (3%)

Apply Exfol-A

Hydrating Emulsion

Acne Med (5%)

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