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Worst Break Out of my Life

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Well first let me put out some facts about myself so maybe someone can identify with me and hopefully when my skin clears up, they can find something that might work for them.

My name is David, Male, 19 years old. I have a semi-dark complexion (I would say medium brown). I've tried it all - Clean & Clear, Murad, Clearasil, Proactiv, St. Ives scrubs, Skin ID (which I will discuss more later), Stridex, basically everything.

I switched from using Skin ID regimen 14, 32, 72 to a product called Prescriptives. I used their Sparkling Gel Cleanser for Oilier Skin, Acne Defense Serum, and Immediate Matte tonic for oilier skin. I think this was probably the worst switch I could have made. My skin broke out on my forehead (something that's never happened before) and I started breaking out terribly on my jawline - I break out on my jawline, but this was the worst of them all.

I decided to go onto Neutrogena's website to find some new products and they had a product recommendation tool to help me find what products I needed. So I went out and bought four different products all containing salicylic acid:


I liked using the cream cleanser from my Skin ID regimen. The 14 product for skin ID I found was basically the same as the Acne Stress Control Power-Cream Wash. The Acne Stress Control Power-Cream wash has either 2.5% or 2% salicylic acid. I am now using the Oil-Free Acne Wash Redness Soothing Cream Cleanser. It smells great and has a 2% salicylic acid content. I was hesitant to use the pump version of the Oil-Free Acne Wash Redness Soothing Cleanser because I think I would run out of it too soon. I'm also hesitant to use the scrub version because I fear it might be too rough even though it's "gentle."

Acne Medication:

In my Skin ID regimen, I used numbers 32 and 72, the Advanced Solutions Acne Therapy: Overnight Solution and the Acne Stress Control Hydrating Acne Treatment, respectively. I didn't really like the 32 solution because it made my skin tight but the 72 made it loose again because it was a moisturizer. I found out that the 72 solution is the same as the Oil-Free Acne Stress Control 3-in-1 Hydrating Acne Treatment. It has a 2% salicylic acid content also.

I am also using the Rapid Clear Acne Defense Lotion. Because the box states that the Hydrating Acne Treatment prevents breakouts and the Acne Defense lotion is supposed to help reduce redness and swelling within 8 hours, I decided to stretch my money and when I break out or when my acne is severe, I would use both the Acne Defense Lotion and the Hydrating Acne Treatment and when it is not so bad I would use just the Hydrating Acne Treatment. Both products have 2% salicylic acid.


Before when I was using the Prescriptives tonic, the solution would slightly dry out my skin but I solved that by using their Acne Defense Serum. I like the serum because it didn't sting and it seemed to reduce my acne, but over the course of time I saw that it was progressively getting worse. I know people say that it has to get bad before it gets good right? But this time it was getting very bad and making me break out in new places I haven't broken out before (like my forehead). I am now using Neutrogena's Clear Pore-Oil Eliminating Astringent which has a 2% salicylic acid content.


I'm using the Acne Defense Lotion as my hydrator because its a 3-in-1 hydrator. I also have Neutrogena's Oil-Free Moisturizer for Combination Skin. It's just a regular hydrator with no acne medications.


First thing I do is wash my hands, I always wash my hands with a mild antibacterial cleanser like Softsoap. I then proceed to was my face. I like to rinse my face a couple of times before actually using the cleanser, I try to remove any loose dirt and dead skin cells with the water first so its the cleanser cleaning my face, not a combination of dirt, oil, dead skin cells and the cleanser. I dispense a smaller amount of cleanser. I think that if you have too much cleanser, it's like you put a base layer on your face and then your hands are just running over that base layer because there's too much cleanser. With a little bit of cleanser, you're actually cleaning your face. I pay more attention to the parts I know my skin is prone to breaking out (jawline and temples). Even though it is a redness soothing cream cleanser, I try not to wash my face too vigorously or for too long because it might remove too much of my natural oils or make my skin red and irritated.

I make sure to thoroughly rinse my face and make sure that it gets refreshed and moisturized with the water. I then continue to use the astringent. This astringent stings! The very first astringent I used was "non-stinging" astringent so I had no idea that this one would sting as much as it did. I suppose that is a good sign though that it is entering the pores and cleaning and killing any bacteria there is. With astringents I feel like I'm dragging dirt from one place of my face to another, but one needn't worry about that because the "dirt" is trapped in the cotton ball and whatever isn't in the cotton ball is "clean" dirt.

I always let my products dry in between each product. After letting the astringent dry I proceed to apply either both the Acne Defense Lotion and Hydrating Acne Treatment, or just the Hydrating Acne Treatment itself. Again, it depends on the severity of my acne. All these product, except the cleanser, recommend using the product 1-3 times daily, with increasing amounts. For the first couple of days I will use it just once and then slowly increase the amount of product I use.

If need be, I might purchase the Rapid Clear Fight and Fade 2-in-1 Gel to clear up any scars I have. I'm really glad that there is a forum for acne sufferers where hopefully we can find a cure for our acne.

The main reason I stopped using the Skin ID product was because it was pricey. I sort of knew that Neutrogena was just advertising these products as a exclusive kit, but I found out that they were just relabeled products. This link shows the corresponding products for the number system that Skin ID uses. The Skin ID costs $39.99 for each shipment they send out. That just for three products, I was able to purchase all four of my items for under $30, so about $7.50 a product. Beats Skin ID's $13 a product, but is just a tad bit over Proactiv's $6.67 a product.

We'll see how this goes after a while.

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There is a definite flaw in your regimen.WHats killing the bacteria?You need to incorporate some bp or a topical antibiotic to help you out. Never use Sa or Bp at the exact same time. Perhaps you can use SA in the morning and BP at night. You will find that your skin improves quickly. I suggest dans bp. Also-Take zinc, fish oil, vitamin d.maybe even a b-complex also. Exersise-running helps bcuase it raises your bodys temp. and can be very thearaputic along with sweating out toxins. Drink large amounts of water also. You need to be doing everything you possibly can to help your situation. NO SLACKING!

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