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snowflake08

Treating a bad breakout 3 weeks into it...

I've been battling acne since I was about 13 (I'm 21 now), but I haven't had any severe breakouts in about two years. I generally kept it simple, washing with a mild triclosan or salicylic acid cleanser twice a day and using benzoyl peroxide at night (and sometimes again in the morning) as a spot treatment, followed by an oil-free SPF15 moisturizer during the day. I've used St. Ives medicated blackhead & blemish control apricot scrub to exfoliate about three times a week, and a sulfur mask occasionally, as well.

About three weeks ago, however, I was in the hospital with my mom every day for nearly a week. It was stressful, and I ended up spending a few nights there without being able to use my normal routine. I had run out of BP cream and was't able to get more until things calmed down and my mom was released from the hospital. By the time I returned to my normal routine again, however, I had already started to break out pretty severely-- to the point where I did not want to even go to my classes or be seen in public. My forehead was covered in whiteheads and pimples, and my cheeks and chin were breaking out as well. Despite the fact that I tried not to even touch the whiteheads, even gently washing my face, (or sneezing!), was causing them to pop. Nonetheless, they continued to reform, even though I took all the steps to ensure that they didn't spread or worsen.

I have pretty fair skin, so the breakouts are definitely noticeable, and there's always a concern about scarring. When my normal routine didn't seem to be making much of a dent after a week, I rushed out in search of a stronger treatment, realizing that I couldn't continue to live with the low self-esteem this was causing me. One of my friends even asked if someone had been abusing me after noticing my change in behavior due to my crushed confidence. I purchased AcneFree redness relief 3-step system. It had pretty good reviews so I decided to give it a try. One problem that I immediately noticed was the smell. The sulfur wash's odor was so pungent that it literally made me feel nauseas, and I could smell it on my skin throughout the entire day. It did seem to calm the redness from the acne a little though, so I decided to use the wash at night only. Three weeks later, I still have about 30 pimples and whiteheads on my forehead, several on my cheeks, and several on my chin. I have been using a combination of every acne treatment I can think of. My routine is as follows:

Monring: I wash with Aveeno 0.5% salicylic acid clear complexion foaming fash wash, then apply witch-hazel, AcneFree Redness Relief gel toner, Neutrogena 3-in-1 hydrating acne stress control treatment (2% salicylic acid), AcneFree 3% BP Neutralizing Perfecting lotion (I use this on my whole face), and then Clean & Clear SPF15 oil-free day lotion.

Night: I first wash with Clearasil daily face wash for sensitive skin (contains triclosan) to remove makeup, then follow up with AcneFree soothing sulfur wash, an application of witch hazel, AcneFree redness relief gel toner, Neutrogena 3-in-1 stress control treatment, AcneFree 2% BP lotion, and finally, Clean & Clear Night lotion to moisturize.

Am I overdoing it? Or doing something wrong? I should also note that the AcneFree wash contains Tea Tree Oil. I've been trying to alter my diet as well, drinking more water, and consuming more zinc and green tea. I'm also already a vegetarian as it is. I've been using only oil-free non-comodogenic makeup, and taking periodic breaks from wearing any makeup at all when I can. By this point, I had really hoped my face would be mostly clear. I have an event coming up in a few weeks, and I really, really want to have clear skin by then. I just need to have my confidence back so badly.

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