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Finally! A smart regimen that actually works.

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I wanted to share this regimen because I, like many of you, have tried nearly every acne product out there (Retin-A, Differen, sulfer cleansers, Neutrogena, ProActiv, antibiotics, etc.) , and they all failed at some point. Recently I went back on Retin-A, and it was not working; in fact, it was causing MORE redness and irritation (even after doing it for over a month) and somehow... more breakouts! I put my foot down and started doing research both here on the message boards and of various products which have seemed to help me in the past. I was determined to come up with a regimen that consisted of only products which were condusive to healing and calming my skin, and not full of artificial/filler or irritating ingredients. I came up with a combination of products that have actually transformed the texture and behavior of my skin after just one week. I am not here to sell anything, I just want to help those who have gone through what I have gone through. My skin type is oily (especially T-zone), and sensitive. And here it is:

Morning: Burt's Bees Soap Bark and Chamomile Deep Cleansing Cream

followed by..... Mario Badescu Enzyme Cleansing Gel

then............... Mario Badescu Seaweed Cleansing Lotion (toner)

then............... Burt's Bees Radiance Day Cream

Evening: Burt's Bees Citrus Facial Scrub (very gentle, and the natural oils help to remove makeup)

followed by..... Mario Badescu Enzyme Cleansing Gel

then............... Mario Badescu Seaweed Cleansing Lotion (toner)

then............... Neutorogena On-The-Spot Acne Treatment (as a spot treatment)

Weekly: Queen Helene Mint Julep Masque (This has sulfer in it, and natural clays which help to dry out acne, ged rid of blackheads, and shrink pores. This should be a staple for anyone suffering from acne.)

The idea behind using these particular products is, first and foremost, "oil-free" is just a selling tactic to reel in those of us who (like most who suffer from acne) are oily and think that we should avoid any kind of oil. This is backwards thinking. There are good oils out there which are extremely beneficial and aid in cleansing of bad oils and dirt from the skin.

So I begin with a cleanser which contains these beneficial oils. Then I use another cleanser (you should ALWAYS cleanse twice, particularly with oily skin and/or makeup), MB Enzyme Cleansing Gel, which contains about 5 or 6 ingredients (based on natural fruit acids) which help wash away any excess oils, residue, or scrub particles. Then a VERY gentle natural toner, again by MB with a handful of non-irritating and natural ingredients (Deionized Water, Aloe Vera Gel, Bladderwrack Extract, Witch Hazel, Seamollient (Algae Extract). Then I moisturize with the Burt's Bees Radiance Day Cream, which has an incredible list of natural and highly beneficial healing and nutritient rich ingredients. I use this as a moisturizer, and since my makeup has SPF, I go without sunblock. And believe me, even though your skin is oily, it NEEDS a good moisturizer, especially if you're going to be using makeup or any harsh topical cleansers/medications.

I urge you to check out these products and study the ingredients. Honestly, so far they have radically transformed the texture and clarity of my skin. Burt's Bees and Mario Badescu are great affordable brands. Their products are composed of mostly natural ingredients, no filler, and no harsh chemicals. The only product I use which isn't natural is the Neutrogena OTS. I am searching for a more suitable replacement product. Possibly the Mario Badescu Drying Lotion which has had raving reviews and contains calming and healing ingredients along with salicylic acid.

Phew.. that was longer than I expected! But hopefully this helps someone. If anything, perhaps someone can offer some feedback on the various products, or share their experiences with them.


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I'll also add that if you have oily skin, it's not a good idea to use products heavy with oils sitting on the skin all day. That said, the Burt's Bees Day Cream is quite heavy, only use a tiny amount, just enough to get a very thin layer on the skin. Also, avoid makeup (if you can help it) like the plague - particularly liquid foundations and liquid/cream concealer. I've noticed that even products that claim "oil-free" and "clear complexion" STILL break me out and clog pores. I haven't found a good makeup that doesn't clog pores yet. I've heard good things about mineral makeup, in particular Jane Iredale (recommended by my dermatologist) - which was created with problem skin in mind. It is expensive though, so I've yet to try it (I plan to ebay some soon). I have tried the Bare Minerals, but could never get natural looking results from it.

Also, girls, birth control makes a WORLD of difference in helping to settle your skin. I notice whenever I'm off the pill, I start to break out like mad. When I'm on it, breakouts are fewer and far between, and much easier to control and quicker to get rid of.

If anyone has any feedback/suggestions, let me know! :)

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So I've changed a few things in my routine. My skin started to break out regularly in small red bumps all over and I knew something was amiss. The first suspect item in my routine was the Burt's Bees Day Cream. I experimented by leaving this out of the routine and replacing with a Mario Badescu product called Control Moisturizer for Oily Skin. This contains balsalm peru and seamollient, which are supposed to calm irritated skin, and lock in moisture. Again, I use a very thin layer to cover the face, and it doesn't take much. I noticed that my face seemed to calm down the very next day.

Another item replacement is the Mario Badescu Enzyme Cleaning Gel. Which is a nice cleanser, but I felt it wasn't doing a good enough job at deep cleaning the pores. I decided I needed salicylic acid back in my routine, so I am now using Neutrogena Fresh Foaming Cleanser. This really does seem to be doing the trick. So when I wash my face, I use an oil-based cleanser first to clear off the surface (BB's Deep Cleansing Cream or BB's Citrus Scrub), and then the Neutrogena for a deep clean.

Day by day my face is clearing up. It's been about a week now, and I will continue this regimen and give updates on progress.

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