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asn6

My SUCCESS at Clearing with Niacin and Diet!

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PLEASE READ THIS BEFORE POSTING A QUESTION ABOUT WHAT BRAND I USE OR WHAT DOSAGE I USE. I, unfortunately, don't have time to answer a bunch of repetitive questions. It's not hard, it's like two sentences! Feel free to ask further questions after you've read what I'm taking. Thanks :)

My original first post is below. If you'd rather not read my life story and experiments with different remedies, then just read the concise version :)

Daily supplements:

1. With dinner: Spring Valley Flush Free Niacin, Inositol Hexanicontinate, 500 mg ; One-A-Day Women's multivitamin, andSpring Valley Super B-Complex.

Wash once or twice a day with Likas Papaya Soap.

10% BP, Clearasil Ultra, for spot treatment ONLY. I do not use this at all anymore, but I have it on hand just in case.

That's all it is. No tricks, no fancy, expensive products. The B-Complex and Niacin are like, $5 a bottle at wal-mart. The Likas soap is $3 on amazon.com, about $1.50 in oriental grocery stores. The Clearasil is the most expensive product I use, and it's only about $8. I use it rarely, so it lasts quite a long time.

I don't even really worry about diet anymore. I still follow my diet and exercise plan, but it's more for other health reasons than acne. I went on vacation, didn't follow any diet, reduced my exercise to walking in the mornings, and still didn't break out. It is seriously awesome to be able to go out in the sun without worrying about BP sensitivity or taking any nasty antibiotics or hormones. I can even eat junk food now without breaking out (this is probably a bad thing :) )!

First, I guess I should just say that I wanted to start this log because I started having success with tweaking my diet about 6 months ago, and I just started on Niacin and have had amazing results so far, so I'd like to keep somewhat of a record for myself as well as for anyone else who might be benefited by a regimen like mine.

Also, I've been stalking this board for quite some time, and everyone's advice and experiences through trial and error have helped so much! I am especially thankful for the guy who posted that Niacin cured his acne, and various others. I found AcneJean's log to be particularly helpful as well, because it introduced me to the Likas Papaya Soap and lots of good healthy skin eating advice.

A little about me -- I'm a 25 year old woman who's had cystic acne on and off since the age of 17. I went to a dermatologist right away back then and tried various antibiotics as well as Differin, Retin-A, Benzaclin, Bactrim (to which I had an allergic reaction) and a bunch of other over the counter treatments. None of these worked very well, so I was eventually prescribed BC pills, which helped a lot, but were by no means a miracle cure. I got sick of relying on the BC when I was 22, so I went off of them. My skin was not that bad for awhile and while I usually had some breakouts, they weren't bad or painful or hard to deal with. I thought I had grown out of it.

I was wrong. I started law school shortly thereafter and within a year I was breaking out again. It continued to get worse, and I had the most horrible breakout of my life occur about 6 months ago. I am studying for the bar exam (I take it in a week!), so the stress of thinking about graduating law school must have taken its toll, along with my bad habits that I picked up within those three years. I was sick of using topicals and spending a small fortune on OTC and prescription drugs that seemed to just manage my acne rather than go to the root of the problem. I haven't been able to go out in public without makeup in almost 8 years! I think that's ridiculous, and I sign that something needs to be done.

I completely gave up alcohol, smoking, coffee, dairy, all-night studying, all-night partying, and peanuts for 6 months. Yeah, it sucked, haha! I cut way back on other junk food like chips, candy, fried food, red meat, vegetable oils, processed foods, etc. I started exercising hard for an hour 6 days a week. I replaced coffee with green tea, and began taking a B-complex supplement and using honey instead of BP spot treatments. All of this cleared my forehead and chin very well, but I was still breaking out in horrible, painful acne all over my cheeks and the sides of my face. At least it wasn't my WHOLE face anymore, but I was still frustrated that I had acne after all that hard work. If nothing else, I lost a lot of weight and felt 100% better, so I guess my acne had somewhat of a positive effect on my overall health through trying to get clear.

I tried all the low GI, lower-carb, gluten free, insulin regulating diets, and they did NOTHING but seem to make my acne WORSE. Actually, when I think back, every time I have tried to cut back on carbs my acne seemed to flare up. I believe this has something to do with the way my body processes Niacin, because grains are a popular source of that particular vitamin. I seem to do remarkably better on a low fat vegetable and grain based diet. If I keep my diet down to just fish, fruit, whole grains, and vegetables my skin really seems to benefit, although it didn't clear my cheek acne.

I continued to do what I was doing until last week, when I discovered the Niacin post and started using the Likas Papaya soap at about the same time.

Now, my skin has been clearing more and more every day.

Here's what is working for me:

1. Washing with Likas Papaya soap, once a day if not wearing makeup, twice if I need to take my makeup off.

2. Supplementing with a B-complex and 500 mg no-flush Niacin daily

3. BP spot treatment, in case I get a few pimples here and there. I like 10% BP Clearasil Ultra. I haven't been using this, though, and my acne is healing quite fast.

4. Still abstaining from dairy and peanuts, but I've added a few cups of coffee in there, and I also have been able to add a little bit of butter. I'm try to eat a healthy, nutrient dense diet in general, so I try to keep junk food to a minimum.

5. Still working out 6 days a week for an hour.

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Hey asn6,

I have seen your results with niacin in another thread.. And I was amazed to see your improvement in just 5 days.. I was just little confused in that post about flush or no - flush.. Anyways I read you are using no flush niacin.. Does it help for red marks as well.. I have also started a log and trying to stay away from medicines.. But I was curious to know about this though.. Wish you luck with your new regimen.. :)

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Hi Romsia...thanks!

I take no-flush Niacin. I tried taking the flushing kind, and I didn't see the point in getting all hot and sick when I was getting fast results with no-flush.

It seriously does help red marks. I got on here today because it's been one week, so I wanted to post pictures.

I took pictures of my skin this morning in direct sunlight (scary, I know!) but I have no new acne and my marks are fading pretty fast for only a week.

I put before pictures for comparison. I can't believe that was only one week ago. My mom was amazed when she saw me this morning!

I think the Likas soap is lightening my skin tone as well. I don't think it's necessarily a bad thing. My skin is starting to look a lot milkier instead of a weird beige, so it's kind of nice, actually. :)

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post-108199-1248398117_thumb.jpg

post-108199-1248398130_thumb.jpg

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whathavewehere: I saw noticeable improvements on Day 3. I thought maybe I was just going through a "clear" cycle, and that I would be breaking out again in a few days, but I just continued to heal. I think the Likas soap also helped redness go away quite fast. I did spot treat (heavily) with 10% BP during the first three days, so that may have contributed to the fast results as well :)

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Alright, that means there's still hope. This is my second day taking it and I haven't seen much of a change yet... I was afraid it might not work for me.

Anyway, thanks for taking the time to put this up as a reference for those who are only just getting into niacin.

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No problem. I'd give it at least until day 5 or 6 --- day 5 is when I woke up like HOLY S**T! and realized it really was working! It may take longer for some people though. I did notice that when I'd take it right after dinner it seemed to work a little better!

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Hi Romsia...thanks!

I take no-flush Niacin. I tried taking the flushing kind, and I didn't see the point in getting all hot and sick when I was getting fast results with no-flush.

It seriously does help red marks. I got on here today because it's been one week, so I wanted to post pictures.

I took pictures of my skin this morning in direct sunlight (scary, I know!) but I have no new acne and my marks are fading pretty fast for only a week.

I put before pictures for comparison. I can't believe that was only one week ago. My mom was amazed when she saw me this morning!

I think the Likas soap is lightening my skin tone as well. I don't think it's necessarily a bad thing. My skin is starting to look a lot milkier instead of a weird beige, so it's kind of nice, actually. :)

Hi asn6,

Thanks for replying.. Wow.. I can see some more improvement.. I am glad its working for you... My acne is not all that bad.. I have just started another regimen.. So I will doing that for few days.. If I don't see any improvement I might give niacin a shot.. :)

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Romsia: Good luck to you too! I've been reading your log, I will post on it when I get a chance.

I'm getting a bit scared that maybe this won't last. Today it hit me that I finally have no acne on my face, for the first time in 8 years. Now, with everyone posting that Niacin is "just a fad" and doesn't work "long time" I'm getting really nervous that the cysts will come back. I've started to get crazy and obsessive with my diet again just in case. I also applied some BP to known problem areas this morning. Sigh. Living in fear sucks.

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Hey asn6, thanks for reading my log.. :)

I know how you are feeling.. Living in fear really sucks.. But all I can tell you is just ignore whatever everyone is saying and don't think much about it.. In fact just enjoy your acne free phase.. I also get these weird thoughts about acne coming back whenever I'm clear.. But trust me worrying is not going to take us anywhere.. But the stress might cause you some bad.. I'm happy for you.. Just maintain your regimen and you should be fine.. Good luck!! :)

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Congratulations! I've been on 500 mg. flush a day for a week now and the first few days on it made my skin look amazing compared to what it was before, but I just broke out again. I will definitely try th3 500 mg no flush, and maybe I will try another week with what I have been doing so far. Maybe it's the flush that only makes it temporary? Good luck staying clear!

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Mr. Crab: Thanks! For some reason the non-flush Niacin from wal-mart feels different and seems to work better than the other flushing Niacin I have, but either way, if it makes it less severe I guess it's worth it. Good luck to you too!

Romisa: Thanks for the encouraging words! I really appreciate it. Good luck with your new regimen!

Update:

I think part of my success may be because at the same time that I started taking Niacin, I stopped using all cleansers/soaps/etc. on my face except the Likas Papaya soap. I have never had good results with any cleansers, including Cetaphil and the acne.org cleanser, which both made me breakout. My skin got better when I started using Dove soap around the same time I changed my diet, and now that I've switched to the Likas soap, my face has cleared dramatically. Maybe that's what really was wrong, and the Niacin helped it clear up faster, or at least it may have contributed to the fast results, and I know it's definitely helping to get rid of the red marks faster than usual.

Also, on a happy note, all I needed today was a little bit of mineral powder to hide my red marks! My makeup looks so much better without my face being greasy and bumpy.

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Do you know what the ingredients in the papaya soap are?? I've been looking online to no sucess but I figure it would probably be written on the box?? Thanks.

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Hate&Love: I have not been able to find the ingredients either. I'm guessing the company is keeping them a secret! I was scared to try it because I'm extremely allergic to oranges, grapefruit, and mangoes, and I was afraid of getting hives and allergic dermatitis because I didn't know what was in it.

All I know (from the box) is that it is papaya enzymes with natural herbs, and all organic with no chemicals.

I found a link that has common ingredients in skin-lightening products. If this is what's in the papaya soap, I can definitely see why it would help:

http://www.skin-whitening-product.com/skin...ngredients.html

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Thanks for trying asn, really appreciate that. I wouldn't doubt that they are keeping the ingredients a secret, still it's odd to me for a product not to list ingredients but then again it originates from a totally different country so I'm sure the expectations and regulations are different over there. Your skin looks really great though I see drastic improvement, I think your skin tone was already pretty good but now it does look just as you said, milky. I don't think I'll be buying the soap just because my skins highly sensitive and I don't want to end up using it and then finding my face has melted off, lol. ;) P.S you are extremely pretty acne or not.

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Thanks for trying asn, really appreciate that. I wouldn't doubt that they are keeping the ingredients a secret, still it's odd to me for a product not to list ingredients but then again it originates from a totally different country so I'm sure the expectations and regulations are different over there. Your skin looks really great though I see drastic improvement, I think your skin tone was already pretty good but now it does look just as you said, milky. I don't think I'll be buying the soap just because my skins highly sensitive and I don't want to end up using it and then finding my face has melted off, lol. ;) P.S you are extremely pretty acne or not.

No problem! If you ever have any other questions let me know. I think it's made in the Phillipines, so I don't know if they are required to put the ingredients on the label. It was scary the first night I tried it, but it really is quite mild.

And thanks so much for the kind words and compliments. I definitely appreciate it! Good luck!

Update: Under a ton of stress but still clear. I ate a bunch of chocolate and reeses cups (which have peanut butter, yikes) so, this will be a good Niacin-test to see if it's really working, because pb makes me break out usually. Other than that the diet has been healthy and normal.

I got a big cyst on my neck, though. I'm not really sure if it's acne -- it could be a mosquito bite at this point, because it's just itchy. If it is acne, at least it's not on my face :) I fell asleep after my workout without showering, so that's probably what caused it if it is. I rarely/never get body acne so it's a bit strange.

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Hi asn6, I'm just wondering if you started with 500mg non-flush Niacin or with a lower mg? Will there be any side effects for the non-flush Niaxin and if it is okay to take it during period? That's because my period just came (which explains my sudden acne outbreak) and I'm really excited to try Niacin asap since it seems to be so successful with so many people with similar acne as mine! :)

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fangzi: I just started with the 500 mg no flush. It shouldn't give you any side effects at all! Take it with food and be careful not to take other supplements that contain Niacin, other than that you're fine. You can take it during your period or whenever. I take it everyday after dinner. It's also seemed to help my insomnia a lot too! Good luck!

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Thank you for posting this! I have had a very similar experience with acne and can very closely relate to what you have been through. I have trouble leaving the house without concealer on and i have tried almost EVERYTHING imaginable to help cure my acne. BC worked slightly, but once I got off, my skin conditioned became worse than ever. I have just started niacin (flush) 250mg twice a day and am using an all-natural cleanser from trader joes. If I get a large pustule, I apply a prescribed topical ointment and I really try to limit the amount of sugars, carbs, and processed foods in my diet.

That being said, I would like to ask what time of the day you workout and what kind of activities are involved? I, personally, like to either run or take classes at the gym but I feel really insecure going to the gym without my makeup. Also, what kind of makeup do you use? I've tried many kinds and don't know which is helpful or harmful to the skin (I am currently trying neutrogenas acne-fighting concealer).

So far, niacin has not done much for me but, like i said, its only been a few days. I'm so glad things have been working out for you and I look forward to reading about your progress, as well as, hopefully making some myself!

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Sorry I haven't posted in a few days, but I've been extremely busy (bar exam!)

clearskinclear: It sounds like our acne acts pretty much the same! I work out in the afternoon mostly, like around 4 pm. I lift weights/do resistance like push-ups and pull ups three times a week, and three times a week I do cardio for an hour (running, plyometrics, kickboxing/boxing). I started with P90X because I HATED going to the gym with makeup on but I felt too self conscious not to wear it, so I got P90X on dvd so I could work out at home. It's kind of pricy -- I probably could have made a plan for myself by running outside and doing pushups myself. I also run outside because I don't feel like people are staring at me quite as much as when in the gym.

I use MaryKay mineral powder makeup for everyday wear. It's one of the only makeups that makes my skin feel better rather than worse. It's not really expensive, I think it costs $10 or something, but the only downfall is you have to get it from a Mary Kay agent. I can use Neutrogena Healthy Skin makeup without breaking out, so when I feel like wearing a liquid I sometimes use that. For really special occasions I use Mary Kay medium coverage foundation. Sometimes it makes me break out a little on my chin, but holy CRAP it covers everything, so for something really important it's worth it to me. I use the Mary Kay concealer as well, but I also like the Neutrogena clarifying concealer. Good luck getting and staying clear!

whathavewehere: glad to hear you are seeing improvements! that's great! keep us updated on your progress.

Update: I did indeed get a few pimples, I'm assuming a little from the extreme stress of taking the bar exam but a LOT because I ate a ton of chocolate and peanut butter, yesterday I had some cheese, and yesterday and today I had white bread. It seems that Niacin is not magic, but in combination with my good diet it seems to keep the really bad breakouts at bay. I'm sure if I hadn't been taking it those 3 small pimples would have been 13 huge cysts, as usual.

Good luck everyone. I can't wait til this test is over so I can really restrict my diet and try to get completely clear for good :)

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Hey mate. I started Niacin about 24 hours ago, and have already seen huge improvements. I am using an excellent, rather pricey brand, but it has a lot of free niacin (niacin that can be used by the body)

The no-flush niacins tend to have less, or even in some cases, no free niacin, so just beware of that.

I'll favorite this page =)

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Ok, so I've determined it definitely is the Niacin that is keeping me from breaking out. I went away for a few days and forgot to take it for a few days, and I broke out a bit in my usual spots (chin, cheeks). It's not as bad as usual, but it's still there. I took 750 mg to try to combat the breakout last night, and it seemed to help a lot this morning. I guess I need to never miss a dose again! The red marks from my last bad breakout before taking niacin were finally fading for good...so I'm kind of mad at myself for missing doses! :doh:

AcneBoi: It's amazing, isn't it! Glad to hear it is working for you. I've had good results with the particular kind I'm taking. I'm a bit sensitive to the flush, and it makes me nauseous. They both seem to work the same! What brand are you using? After I'm done with this bottle I'd like to see if one of those pricier niacin supplements gives me the same results. Good luck!

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Here are some progress pictures. The lighting wasn't the best, so I think my skin actually looks a little worse than in these photos, but not much. As you can see, I got a few pimples on my chin/lower cheek area, but they aren't that bad. No cysts, not even really inflamed. My red marks are fading so fast thanks to the Likas soap and Niacin. I also have been using neutrogena AHA lotion with sunscreen for when I am in the sun, which seemed to fade the red marks even more!

http://i945.photobucket.com/albums/ad298/asn6/Photo207.jpg

http://i945.photobucket.com/albums/ad298/asn6/Photo208.jpg

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See the original pictures you posted, about your red marks fading - how long have you had these marks? Are they recent ones?

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