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New at Face Reality Clinic

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I began my treatment regimen with Face Reality a little over a month and a half ago. I have really horrible acne on my jawline and the underside of my face (yeah its hormonal, I know). My face broke out when I was 13, and despite not taking any pills, going to a dermatologist or an esthetician, my skin cleared up completely in a year or so. So, throughout most of high school, I was clear. However, when I turned 19, academic stress plus living in 100+ degree weather made all hell break loose on my jawline. So, I've had this acne since I was 19 (I'm now 25) and it's gotten worse over the years. I finally had enough! I've been somewhat of a lurker on this forum and seeing quite a few postings from fellow (former and current) patients at Face Reality, I decided to finally post something.

The staff at Face Realty is AWESOME! They are really caring, sympathetic, and truly understand each and every patient's physical and mental struggle with acne. This is my first time seeking professional help with my acne. During my first visit, Laura diagnosed me with mostly non-inflamed acne (yes, the hardest to get rid of) with some inflamed. Looking at my jawline and underside of my face, it appears I have mostly inflamed acne, since the red marks are large and obvious. Over this past summer, I ate sushi and seaweed salad almost on a daily basis (after cutting out dairy and all meats except for fish earlier on in the year), thinking it was healthy. But little did I know, the seaweed/kelp (iodide content) was actually making my acne worse! So now I no longer eat seaweed.

I began my regimen with a 5% benzoyl peroxide treatment, and I used it for a couple of weeks, but it was making my skin really red and itchy and the redness migrated down to my neck, where I hadn't even applied bp. So Laura switched me to the 2.5%, and so far my skin's been handling that well, since there is virtually no redness nor itchiness resulting from that. Just some dryness here and there that I've been able to manage with moisturizers. And so far, I've only been applying the bp for a couple of hours each night only. Despite my skin's inability to tolerate higher concentrations of benzoyl peroxide (and two different toners I was given by the clinic), my skin has been very tolerant of the mandelic acid (even the higher concentration of 15% doesn't make my skin burn, itch, or turn red whatsoever), and I take that as a good sign.

So far, I haven't seen any visibly noticeable improvement with my skin. I've been to a total of four treatments (chemical peels and extractions) which I love, despite the painful extractions, because these treatments are an essential step to getting clear. My bumps have become redder and more inflamed since beginning my regimen, but I was told that there was about 9 months' worth of deep acne that needed to come to the surface. The bumps are definitely coming up to the surface because my face is going crazy now. In the past week however, I did notice that there wasn't much new acne forming. It was just my current bumps that were getting worse (redder and more inflamed). My jawline/underside of face is a huge mess right now. A lot of my former blackheads have been extracted and haven't come back so that I am grateful for that! I'm still following the regimen very closely because I know my type of (bad) acne takes time to get under control and then clear.

Has anyone had success w/ my type of adult hormonal acne (acne on jawline, chin, underside of face)? I've struggled with this for six years and despite modifying my diet (I'm now an ovo-pescatarian) and trying almost every type of herbal tea and over the counter topical treatment available (prior to Face Reality), my acne has remained. I refuse to go on Accutane. If anyone has had my type of acne and has followed the Face Reality regimen (or something similar), how long did it take you to get clear? I know I've only been on the regimen for less than two months and I will definitely be patient, but I am just curious. I wish I had found out about Face Reality years ago because then I'd be clear by now!!!

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Have you tried Daniel's regimen?

I don't really believe in toner, and if you want me to explain why, I'd be glad to :)


Hi Ben,

Thanks for responding. I don't use toner in my Face Reality regimen because my face couldn't handle the two that I was prescribed (one was salicylic acid and I forget what the other one was). I do however, sometimes use witch hazel b/c it makes my skin cool and fresh-feeling.

I haven't tried Daniel's regimen since I haven't really looked into it, despite being a lurker on this forum for so long. It's seems somewhat similar to what I'm using now, minus the mandelic acid. I am using 2.5% benzoyl peroxide as well. I don't however, wear the bp overnight, since my skin is still adapting to it. I tried the 5% but it really irritated my skin. So back to 2.5% now.

I've had my jawline acne for about 6 years. Absolutely nothing at all has worked for me in the past. I don't want to give up, but I just wanted to know if I could get clear at all with a topical treatment, since my acne is all hormonal. It seems like the only surefire thing that might work for me is Accutane or some other sort of medication (or birth control) that can have some effect on my hormones. This was what I was afraid of, as I absolutely did not want to take any oral medication that could potentially harm my system. But if that's the only thing that would work, then I have no other chioce.

I will still stick to my regimen at Face Reality for now to see if there is any improvement in the next month or so. Right now, my skin looks horrible! When I'm home, I turn the lights off in the bathroom so I don't have to look at myself in the mirror.

Thanks again for responding, Ben! Btw, why don't you believe in using toner?

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Glad to hear that you are being treated at Face Reality. I've had such great results from them! I think its a good sign that you aren't seeing a lot of new acne lesions forming. It really does take time for the old stuff to clear out though - I know how hard it is to be patient with that! Just make sure that you are sticking to your regimen completely - don't make any changes on your own or anything like that.

It may take time to see improvements (especially given the form of acne you have and the fact that you can't use stronger BPO products), but Face Reality has an amazing track record for getting their clients clear. So hang in there!!!

Good luck -

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Thanks for responding! I've actually been reading some of your posts/success stories w/ Face Reality and that was part of the reason I had decided to give them a try.

Actually, the past couple of weeks have gone better for me. I don't really wanna jinx anything, but I can now officially tolerate benzoyl peroxide overnight. I was moved up to the 5% bp again, and I can now tolerate the 5% overnight with zero side effects (absolutely no redness, irritation, itchiness at all, unlike when I first began the regimen w/ the 5% and my entire neck would turn super-red). I am so excited! And the result of all that? My bumps are very clearly reducing in size. The red marks are still very visible however, but I am so glad I took the bp step slowly (yes, incredibly slowly) and my skin has now built up a tolerance to it. =)

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Sounds like things are improving. That's great! Glad you were able to tolerate the 5% BP overnight. The method they use to get your skin used to the products works really well. I never would have thought my skin could tolerate BPO every night (they even had me on 10% for awhile!)

Keep us posted on your progress. :)

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