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whathavewehere

BP/Cleanser/Diet/Other, combined regimen

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So I've been on several regimens before this... I've been on doctor-prescribed antibiotics + topical BP, which might have worked, however the side effects of the antibiotics were too much of an annoyance for me so I stopped taking them.

I then tried a no meat, no dairy, no sugar diet, but after a couple days it got too much for me to handle. Having gotten so used to eating all of those products, I just couldn't live without 'em.

I also tried a purely Salicylic Acid regimen, as well as a super-strong pure BP regimen (10% all over the face, every night). None of those had the effects that I wanted.

So here is my current regimen:

Morning:

> A quick rinse with warm water.

> Neutrogena Clear Pore Cleanser (BP based), a thin layer all over the face

> Another rinse with warm water.

> Dry face, and then apply oil-free moisturizer.

Mid-day:

> A quick rinse with warm water.

> Neutrogena Clear Pore Cleanser (BP based), a thin layer all over the face

> Another rinse with warm water.

> Dry face, and then apply oil-free moisturizer.

Right before bed:

> A quick rinse with warm water.

> St. Ives Apricot Scrub all over face.

> Rinse with warm water, dry.

> A fairly thick layer of Neutrogena Clear Pore Mask, leave on for 5-7 mins then rinse.

> Dry face.

> Oil-free moisturizer.

Additional things I'm doing:

> Trying to stay hydrated as much as possible. I always have a mug filled with purified water fairly close to me, so that I can take a sip or two whenever I feel that I need them.

> Stopped consuming processed sugar.

> Stopped consuming dairy products.

> Stopped eating red meat. Now it's only white meat, primarily chicken.

> Started exercising more, and spending much more time outside.

> Started going to bed at 10 and waking up around 6, meaning 8 hours of sleep a night.

I'll report back in a week and write down how it's been so far.

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Well in the first four days (I started this regimen on Sunday) there seems to have been little to no change, aside from some decrease in redness, but that can also be expected without any topicals, right? In fact, a couple new minor blemishes have even been forming. I figure these can be potentially attributed to the sudden change in my regimen as well as my diet, and are just part of the natural process of the skin getting used to the drastic change in treatment.

However, I also hypothesized that they may be a result of the St. Ives stuff I've been using. After reading some reviews of their products on this site, I became a little more cautious of it. I've decided to drop it for now, and simply use hot water on my face before the evening mask, since my face had already been cleansed at least twice earlier in the day, and a third cleanse might not even be necessary.

Since very little of my acne seemed to be going anywhere, I decided to get out my old friend - 10% Benzoyl Peroxide. I applied some directly over my acne spots and then moisturized generously. I plan on using it every other day, since the stuff might be too strong to use daily.

I was also noticing the effects that my diet was having. I had been on the diet for ~2 weeks now, if I remember correctly, and had already lost 3-4 pounds. Considering that in addition to my diet, I run a 5K every day, I decided that I needed to get some of the foods I was missing back into my diet. So from now on, dairy is back in, as is some red meat. However, processed sugar is still out and will STAY out.

Let's see how things go from here.

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Well, I definitely seem to be doing something right, because I've been on the regimen for a week and I have had close to zero new acne blemishes. There have been a couple tiny ones, barely visible, that went away within a day or two. The acne I had on my face has still remained, but has gradually been reducing in redness and getting smaller. I have noticed that my face looks significantly better after I use 10%BP overnight, but I make sure to use it sparingly and with a lot of moisturizer since it is so uncompromising with the skin.

I'm not sure if the key to the fact that no new acne has appeared is in the diet, or in the Neutrogena Clear Pore Cleanser/Mask. I suspect it's a mixture of both.

Maybe it's too early to tell, but I think I may have found the primary source of my acne. Processed sugar. Although I had an orientation at my new college these past two days where I ate a ton of junk food like fries and pizza, I made sure not to consume any processed sugar (aside from one or two pieces of gum). Now, two days later - no new acne.

In contrast to that, I remember last summer when I had my worst breakout ever (it was literally covering my entire face), I had been eating tons of donuts every single day. Is there a link? Perhaps, but I think it's too early to tell.

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Well these last couple days I decided to 'test' something... I had a good deal of milk and a significant amount of sugar. Sure enough, new acne is back in force. Well, now at least I'm sure of what I have to avoid.

Also changed my regimen up a bit... decided to chill out with the Neutrogena Clear Pore mask, since I was putting it on every night despite the warning on the container saying to only use it twice a week... I was sure that in my case, more would be better. But now I'm having second thoughts. Additionally, people who have reviewed the product say that generally the Cleanser works better than the mask, so I've decided to use the Cleanser only from now on, once in the morning and once before bed.

I've also changed moisturizers, now I'm using this really cheap cocoa butter moisturizer from CVS. Probably not the best thing out there, but I love the way it smells.

Finally, I've stopped using the 10%BP. Even on an every-other-day schedule, I could tell it was killing my skin. I was flaking and getting swollen areas all over. I've changed to 2.5%BP (Neutrogena On-The-Spot) in the hopes of maybe getting the redness under control.

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Hmmm... well things aren't going so great. It's not that my topicals aren't working. However, I've gotten quite lazy in my dieting and have snuck in a couple bowls of sugary Cheerios here and there, as well as a frozen pizza or two... you know how bad stuff out of a box/package can be.

Thankfully, my forehead has remained more or less clear, aside from a couple blemishes near the hairline every so on. In fact the whole upper half of my face has been more or less clear from day one, aside from one annoying blemish below my left eye that just won't go away. Around the 15th or so it had noticeably started to fade, but ever since I began using the On-The-Spot, it has been gradually getting redder and more pronounced. I'm hoping that's a good thing. Maybe it will come to a head and then I can get rid of it once and for all.

Most of the acne is raging on the lower half of my face. The amount of acne on the front of my face has remained more or less the same, however, the amount of acne on the sides of my face (on my cheeks) has gained ground.

I guess what I need to do now is to find a regimen and stick with it. I'm more or less convinced that the diet thing will work, as long as I don't cheat on it. But I also have to find a set of topicals and stick with it instead of constantly changing, since the constant cycling of products probably aggravates the skin and does more harm than good.

Therefore, I've decided on a pretty simple regimen:

Morning - rinse, apply Cleanser, rinse, apply On-The-Spot to newly forming acne, wait a little for the On-The-Spot to sink in, then moisturize.

Evening - rinse, apply Cleanser, rinse, apply On-The-Spot to ALL pronounced acne, wait a little for the On-The-Spot to sink in, then moisturize.

I won't deviate from it at least until August 1st and see how things are at that point.

EDIT: Okay, new regimen haha. Forget all these topicals.

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