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feeling unpretty

acne.. hormones? birth control pills?

well i am new here. i discovered this website about a week ago.. what an amazing forum. wow, so much support for what feels like such an embarrassing topic. THANK you dan. honestly.

to 'set the scene'.. i am 30 years old.. female.. no kids.. not married.. fair to tan skin (depending on season, my location, etc).. in the years past, i have always had beautiful skin. ALWAYS! well, for the most part. i can remember time and time again being complimented on my gorgeous complexion. i guess i never thought it was true, or took it for granted..

then i turned 30. suddenly i have the worst acne i have ever had. it's probably considered 'moderate'.. it's really been getting me down!! suicidally down! well.. okay, i would never be so stupid, but it definitely puts a dent into my self-esteem, confidence, and motivation for an active social life. suddenly i feel.. ick.

the worst part, and i sense this with many of the participants on here, is the big mystery of - WHAT'S CAUSING IT?? i've done everything from blame foods and drinks to soaps to stress to my pillow case, you name it. the mystery, gotta love it.

so my current and most consisten theory behind my sudden acne is HORMONES. i was on birth control for years.. i was taking the pill for well over five years. i was on ortho-tricyclen. back in early april, i stopped the pill. i cannot remember any significant changes with my skin straight away. it wasn't until maybe mid-june or july.. changes. acne on my cheeks? this was a new concept. usually if i got a 'zit' or 'pimple' it would occur on my t-zone, chin for example.. and i would think 'well, serves me right for eating that chocolate cake yesterday.'

as the summer went by, breakouts on my cheeks (along with the rest of my face) would take place. by end of september, my acne was at an all-time high and ruining my self-esteem. the bumps were not so easy to hide with makeup. my mother would advise me to drink more water, thanks MOM that's great!

now, by november.. i feel like i have tried just about everything. there are times i will be looking in the mirror at time and just be absolutely devastated and discouraged. i did not want to go back on the pill.. i feel i am at a prime 'baby-making' age, and i wanted the birth control out of my system. well, i feel nature has coerced me back to the pill.. i am now taking YASMIN.

i would love to hear from other women who suspect hormones to be the culprit of their acne.. and any problems with birth control. i have never been on yasmin and don't know what to expect.

i am starting BFG's fiber/oxy regimen and i plan to keep a log on this.. keep you all posted. my skin has been getting absolutely trashed from bp, and i need to take a more gentle approach.

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so.. day one of BFG's fiber/oxy reg.

here is my account.

i went to TARGET to get the 3 materials needed. TARGET had the psyllium husk fiber (i bought the generic brand) but did not have the OXY treatments. TARGET had a few OXY products, but not the ones specified in the reg. so i paid $5.64 at TARGET for fiber and moved on to WALMART as suggested.

WALMART had both OXY treatments specified.. the soap and the 'chill factor'.. i paid $12.53 at WALMART.

knowing i'm sensitive to fiber, i chose to take only 3 capsules tonight. and what do you know, i had to go within the hour. everybody's bodies, skin, acne, and sensitivity is different.. so i may have to work up to the 6 capsules.. or, find the number that works for my particular female body.

i started the face washing part tonight. about 30 minutes ago. okay.. my thoughts. very different. i can't explain how, but i can tell this will be a different reg. i imagine the tingling from the chill factor is the 'oxygenation' taking place. the alpine scent from the soap smells a bit manly for my taste.. however, i would rather smell like a man than have acne. haha. and in all fairness, it smells way better than some of the other harsh products out there.

my hands are quite dry from lathering the soap. a good lotion for hands afterwards will be a necessity for me.

during this wash, my lingering red marks did not become as irritated as usual. which looks better and consequently, feels better.

my face feels good. clean. tight.

we'll see what happens. i'll keep you posted on my experience with this! i'm excited for something new and hopeful!

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okay day 2 of BFG's oxy/fiber reg.

http://www.acne.org/messageboard/My-cystic-acne-t170674.html

http://oxcleanreg.v33.org

i'm going to post my observations, in hopes of being helpful to others.

i'm realizing that it's not the oxy soap with the 'alpine scent' that smells manly, it's the chill factor. i have it on my face right now. it definitely smells nice, but sort of reminiscent of men's aftershave, haha. but as i say, small price (as a female) if it works!!

this morning my skin felt good. one new blemish, but generally on the surface.. not a deep stubborn one. which incidentally, i have a deep cyst on my chin that i am hoping will clear up soon.

the fiber. i suspect this is going to be very individual for everyone. i have no idea how large or small BFG is as a person. human bodies react differently. males and females react differently. size can matter too. BFG suggests 6 fiber capsules, based on what he uses. i suspect 3-4 daily capsules are going to be my limit. i take the fiber and find myself on the toilet (sorry) within the hour... and it's not pretty. haha. but that's me.

i leave town tomorrow and am a bit nervous about how this may affect my diligence with the reg.

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so my current reg:

morning-

oxy soap

oxy chill factor

3-4 psyllium fiber caps

night-

oxy soap

oxy chill factor

YASMIN birth control pill

as needed-

tea tree oil and/or neosporin for small skin wounds

daily diet-

a variety of vitamins (c, e, garlic, flax seed oil, acidophilus, etc).

increased water intake

increased fruit, veggie intake when poss

no chips, chocolate, soda or energy drinks (at least until my skin gets a grip)

limited cheese and dairy (ugh, hate restricting diet)

avoid fried or greasy foods at all costs

no meat (only because i'm veggie anyway)

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day 3 of this oxy/fiber thing.

i don't think i will changing my fiber dosage any time soon. i take 3 capsules instead of the suggested 6. well, 3 does the trick for me.. and almost immediately. if i took any more fiber, i could be on the toilet all day (sorry, but true). so i am sticking with 3 for now. i know, what a rebel.

day 3 and as with yesterday, i woke up with a brand new spot on my face. i obviously wasn't thrilled about it.. like the rest of the world, i want instant gratification!! luckily not a deep pimple, so hopefully will clear up soon. patience, patience.. will see what happens.

when you have the chill factor on your face, it can sort of feel like drinking a slurpee really fast.. freezy brain. especially when cooler air hits it.

leaving town today, will try to update after return.

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okay. well i cannot say that my skin is looking spectacular. in fact, you would not catch me dead in public without my makeup.

i must admit, my diet and discipline has gone a bit to the wayside over the last week, as i have been having fun out of town. even still though, i have been trying to do what i can, use the OXY daily, take my vitamins, etc..

i'm quite upset that my skin takes so much effort these days, it is very frustrating, hence the reason for being on this website i suppose. *BIG SIGH*

i have noticed that this OXY/ FIBER reg does bring acne 'to a head' at a faster rate.. they surface and are poppable much quicker.. but still my skin is not looking great. i have also noticed something weird. i am getting pimples in strange places on my face, for example: eyebrow, lip, neck. it's as if the zits are going to come out regardless, surfacing out of bounds of the soap and cream. and yes, after my zits pop, i am getting little pore-size scabs, as i read is happening to others in the thread.

http://www.acne.org/messageboard/My-cystic-acne-t170674.html

http://oxcleanreg.v33.org

i have not given up on this reg yet. still have hope, we'll see what happens.

i am curious to hear more about acne and birth control pills.. if anyone can contribute advice or info, please do. i have been taking YASMIN, for the last month. no radical changes in skin yet.

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the things we do for beauty!! the things we do for a clear face.

i realized that it's the red marks that are really getting me down. i think my face might actually be clearing up (knock on wood), i'm down to just a couple of small active spots.. the rest of my skin is flat.. and easily concealable with foundation.

the red marks are bad. how long can i expect this to take? today i went to TARGET and bought APPLE CIDER VINEGAR (as suggested much within this site) for less than $1. i poured about a third of it out and filled the bottle back up with water.

so day #1 with APPLE CIDER VINEGAR added to the mix. i have read that this helps clear up red marks. i REALLY hope so. once my skin tone evens out again, i may gain some confidence back. the ACV smells absolutely revolting, like rotten eggs, i thought i would pass out, seriously!! i am applying the ACV topically to my face with a cotton ball. unlike some of you, i don't think i can get myself to drink it.. disgusting! as i said.. the things we do for beauty.

so my current reg:

morning-

oxy soap

oxy chill factor

3-4 psyllium fiber caps

night-

oxy soap

oxy chill factor

YASMIN birth control pill

1-2 psyllium fiber caps

**APPLE CIDER VINEGAR applied topically to face.

daily diet-

a variety of vitamins (c, e, garlic, flax seed oil, acidophilus, and a MULTI).

increased water intake

increased fruit, veggie intake when poss

no chips, chocolate, soda or energy drinks (at least until my skin gets a grip)

limited cheese and dairy (ugh, hate restricting diet)

limited alcohol consumption

avoid fried or greasy foods at all costs

no meat (only because i'm veggie anyway)

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i feel like i'm having a good skin day. i think the new reg may actually be working!

i'll tell you though, it's the red marks, the 'pseudo scars,' that are bringing me down. the red marks make me feel as though my face is not clear.. even when it is free of active acne.

so i want to know how long it takes for these polka dots to go away.

the other day i actually had a soda/ energy drink, something i had temporarily banned from my diet. last night i had a bit of chocolate.. and more than a bit of cheese. so far no changes in skin from these diet 'mistakes'.... which is good. maybe i don't have to eat like an obsessive-compulsive health freak for the rest of my life just to keep away the acne.

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i am realizing that i cannot do the OXY part of this reg in the shower. i HAVE to use a washcloth at the sink.. no moderating this for me! if the soap and/or cream gets on any other part of my body (such as neck) my skin freaks out- huge, itchy, red welts, that i imagine to be in reaction to the BP. i only have facial acne.

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well knock on wood. i think that my acne problem may be getting under control. in fact, i'm starting to look in the mirror more often.

i wish i knew which aspect of my overall 'reg' was contributing the most.. is it the BFG'S oxy/fiber.. or is it the yasmin birth control pills.. or maybe the excessive vitamin consumption and changes to my diet, including absolutely NO SODA. i'm a diet pepsi fan, so that sucks.

anyway, i have made little adjustments/ additions to my personal reg as i go along. for one, i have started experimenting with the red marks. at night, after the ACV toner, i put vitamin E on my red marks.. straight up vitamin E.. i open up one of my vitamin capsules and squeeze it on there.

i have also been taking the 'recommended' dose of fiber. at first, i thought 6 fiber pills would be too much for me.. so i worked up to it. what i do now, is 4 fiber pills in the morning and 2 at night.

i pray for no sudden breakouts. i'm actually quite paranoid now.. now that my skin is getting a grasp.

i went for a tan today. i was feeling pasty and like my face was too pale, especially from all of the 'work' that's been going into it. BP, soap, and chemicals. so i went for a tan and i feel better from the glow. whether this is good for me or not, i'm not sure.. but my instinct feels okay with it.

i think the yasmin bcp are causing me headaches and depression. anyone else?

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i cannot say i am very excited about my skin today. :snooty:

i have two new spots.. one on my cheek (small) and one close to my mouth (tender).

i do not enjoy being back on the pill.. in fact, i quite despise it. what other option do i have as a female, to 'regulate' my hormones??? what can i take, what can i do?? i feel deep down that my acne problem is very hormonal.. it makes perfect sense. i go off the pill and BAM! face is a mess. how do you naturally balance hormones???

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i hate my skin. :wall:

one night out and face seems a wreck. i had popcorn, diet soda, and several glasses of red wine. apparently this is not okay. i have three or more active spots and my red marks are inflamed.

this is ridiculous. i am frustrated and depressed. :(:mad:

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it scares me that my skin can go from 'under control' to an 'uproar' in a matter of hours. there will be no false sense of security here. i will constantly be paranoid of a random breakout.

my skin looks okay this morning. going for another tan today......

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posted in 'adult acne' --> 'adult acne and relationships'

http://www.acne.org/messageboard/index.php...0833&st=240

being 30 and suddenly back in the singles scene, let me tell you, acne can make things very stifling!! i find myself having severe anxiety about staying the night anywhere, or spending too much time with someone. it's horrible. i can't 'be myself'.. unless people REALLY know me, they are NOT going to see me without my makeup. those of you who are married or in long and understanding relationships, be grateful. the stress of finding a new relationship under these conditions is depressing. :wall::cry:

i was looking at pictures of myself from this time last year. my skin was gorgeous. what gives!!

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well thought it was time for an update.

my skin is doing 'okay' and for the most part under (some sort of) control. it looks and feels WAY better than it did a month ago.. thinking back: what a nightmare!! i'm still not completely zit-free, i always seem to have one or two to deal with.. which is frustrating but at least some improvement is happening. i have a spot on my right cheek right now.

i am still working the OXY/FIBER reg, birth control pills, and on a less consistent basis and ONLY at night, APPLE CIDER VINEGAR (i hate smelling like salad dressing).

i try not to over-do any BENZOYL PEROXIDE at any time. i truly feel it can mess up your skin and the natural balance. i think too much freakout treatment caused my skin to get worse.

i'm still down and out about my red marks. to think a few months of bad skin can scar you like that.. sad. i'm just trying to care for them the best i can, take my vitamins, and hope for the best.

i'm a bit paranoid now about ever going off the pill again.

so long story short: some improvement, not 100%, maybe 70%..

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i just popped the one on my cheek.. it was ready to blow. so now's it oozing a bunch of oil and crap (?) and i can't wait for it to become another pretty red mark to add to the collection!!

to think of all the time i have to spend on my face. i would do anything to be one of those wash-and-go perfect skin types.

i recently read a post on here, some person saying that 'all you people need to do is wash with normal soap and you will have great skin.' i both hated that post and sort of enjoyed it. it had a certain innocence about it i suppose, but i really want to flick that person on the forehead. do you REALLY think we would be spending hours and hours on this forum.. a forum about ACNE.. because we have easy and managable 'soap skin'?? really?? we are just bored? and the answer is staring us right in the face?

oh man. some people. :rolleyes:

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Yes, aren't hormones a wonderful thing. I had the same thing happen after I had my daughter and as soon as I stopped breast feeding her my skin was hideous. I went back on the pill just over 3 months ago (Yazmine) and my skin is just starting to get better now. But the first couple of months on BCP wasn't pretty at all.

Have you tried an aspirin mask? I've added it to my routine (every other day or so) and I love it. I mix 5-6 uncoated aspirin with equal parts ACV and Witch hazel as well as honey and tea tree gel - it should be a pasty consistency, not too watered down. Make sure you use the ACV and Witch hazel to soften the aspirins before you add the rest. i leave it on for about 1/2 hour and rinse off with cleanser (it acts as a bit of an exfoliant at this point too).

Good luck with your quest for clear skin!

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Yes, aren't hormones a wonderful thing. I had the same thing happen after I had my daughter and as soon as I stopped breast feeding her my skin was hideous. I went back on the pill just over 3 months ago (Yazmine) and my skin is just starting to get better now. But the first couple of months on BCP wasn't pretty at all.

Have you tried an aspirin mask? I've added it to my routine (every other day or so) and I love it. I mix 5-6 uncoated aspirin with equal parts ACV and Witch hazel as well as honey and tea tree gel - it should be a pasty consistency, not too watered down. Make sure you use the ACV and Witch hazel to soften the aspirins before you add the rest. i leave it on for about 1/2 hour and rinse off with cleanser (it acts as a bit of an exfoliant at this point too).

Good luck with your quest for clear skin!

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Hi there!

I came across your postings and we sound a lot alike. I turn 29 this year and I truly understand what you're going through. I thought I was past this, but alas, acne knows no bounds.

I was on BCP at 17 b/c of my skin and then found ProActiv. I used it religiously for 3 years and slowly tapered off to "regular" skin care products. I was fine until earlier this year when I went of BCP. I picked up ProActiv again but this time it's not working. I truly believe it's my cessation of BCP. My hormones were the culprit 12 years ago and now they're coming back to haunt me. :)

I see my doc tomorrow about going back on the pill. I know what you mean about your shattered self-esteem. There are days I don't want to leave the house and I just feel dirty. You didn't mention what kind of makeup you wear but I absolutely swear by Bare Minerals. A friend of mine gave me a sample and after a week I threw away all the waxy, cakey stuff I had. If you're looking to conceal the red marks, this makeup is a God-send.

Also, I learned a trick years ago for a "fast" way to get rid of the red. Try eye drops...any brand will work. This only works for taking out some of the red on new pimples. Doesn't really do much for existing scabs and healing pimples. I also use Neosporin, which I see you do as well. Some of the things we think of, huh? :)

Good luck to you. I hope we can share our "adventure" together. My name's Andrea by the way.

P.S. I particulary liked your post about the person who said to use normal soap. Gee, how stupid do people think we are just cuz we have more zits than the average person? LOL

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Hi there!

I came across your postings and we sound a lot alike. I turn 29 this year and I truly understand what you're going through. I thought I was past this, but alas, acne knows no bounds.

I was on BCP at 17 b/c of my skin and then found ProActiv. I used it religiously for 3 years and slowly tapered off to "regular" skin care products. I was fine until earlier this year when I went of BCP. I picked up ProActiv again but this time it's not working. I truly believe it's my cessation of BCP. My hormones were the culprit 12 years ago and now they're coming back to haunt me. :)

I see my doc tomorrow about going back on the pill. I know what you mean about your shattered self-esteem. There are days I don't want to leave the house and I just feel dirty. You didn't mention what kind of makeup you wear but I absolutely swear by Bare Minerals. A friend of mine gave me a sample and after a week I threw away all the waxy, cakey stuff I had. If you're looking to conceal the red marks, this makeup is a God-send.

Also, I learned a trick years ago for a "fast" way to get rid of the red. Try eye drops...any brand will work. This only works for taking out some of the red on new pimples. Doesn't really do much for existing scabs and healing pimples. I also use Neosporin, which I see you do as well. Some of the things we think of, huh? :)

Good luck to you. I hope we can share our "adventure" together. My name's Andrea by the way.

P.S. I particulary liked your post about the person who said to use normal soap. Gee, how stupid do people think we are just cuz we have more zits than the average person? LOL

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my daily pain in the behind:

oxy soap

oxy chill factor

5-7 psyllium fiber caps

YASMIN birth control pill

apple cider vinegar (applied topically) -OR- proactiv's REVITALIZING TONER

daily diet-

a variety of vitamins (c, e, garlic, flax seed oil, acidophilus, ZINC, and a MULTI).

increased water intake

increased fruit, veggie intake when poss

no chips, chocolate, soda or energy drinks (slowly reintroducing some of these, in moderation)

limited cheese and dairy (not completely cutting this however)

limited alcohol consumption

avoid fried or greasy foods at all costs

no meat (only because i'm veggie anyway)

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so i have been using the proactiv toner WAY more than the ACV lately. i never really cared for proactiv, but this toner is suddenly great for me..... EXTREMELY GENTLE... and helps decrease the look/inflamation of my red marks. BP is the culprit on irritating the red marks, i have no doubt.

my skin has been looking okay. no major breakouts. a little spot on my nose came out of nowhere tonight (right next to the last one.. great)..... but nothing serious. no cysts or anything.

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