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Today I made a decision. I am going to stop picking at my face. I thought it would be therapeutic to post here regularly, so that's what I'm going to do.

Here's a little information about me: I started puberty early, and, thus, started getting acne around 12 or 13. It was very mild for a while, but nonetheless still bothered me. During my fourteenth year, my acne started to get more aggressive. Now I'm fifteen, and I can safely say I have "high-mild" to "moderate" acne; that is, blackheads, whiteheads, pimples, etc. but no cysts or nodules.

I have always been the self-conscious type, and the sudden eruption of acne when I was 13-14 made me literally OCD about my face. From early on until very recently, every morning and night I would go through a routine twice a day: popping EVERY single bump and pimple on my face. I thought, "well, this will help everything heal faster. Plus, it's better for people to see a red mark than a huge zit, right?" Well, sometimes it did help, but the majority of the time, it ended up making it worse and probably caused more breakouts.

Well, tonight I had a not-so-pretty wake-up call. I was going to the bathroom after I had completed my nighttime regimen, and I happened to look in the mirror. Now, the lighting in bathrooms is notorious, from what I hear, for making every spot and pimple on your face stand out. Anyway, I looked in the mirror and what I saw frankly scared me.

All across my cheeks and chin was this odd discoloration. It was the first time I had really "looked" (i.e. closely and subjectively) at my face in a while. I saw spots from pimples I had a couple weeks before, along with newer ones. Like I said, this scared me. I wondered if people could see this all the time, or if it was just the lighting, or what. In effect, I had a mini panic attack.

So, it was then, just a couple of hours ago, that I decided to stop abusing my face. I've come up with a strategy. For couple of days, I'm not going to look in the mirror at all; just my regular regimen, no popping at all. My hope is that, with time, the marks will go away. One thing I'm afraid of is that I'll be walking around with huge whiteheads all over my face, though.

My Regimen (twice a day):

Wash with Yes to Carrots! Exfoliating Cleanser or AcneFree Oil-Free 2.5% BP Cleanser

Apply AcneFree 3.7% BP Gel

Moisturize, if needed, with Aloe Vera

Exfoliate with Aspirin three times a week

Take Zinc and B-Complex Vitamins daily

As another member of the forum aptly stated: "Skin picking is self hatred. It's punishing me for my skin not doing what I want it to. But it isn't my fault. Time to forgive, and time to love, and time to heal." Hopefully this works for me. Any tips, comments, or advice are appreciated.

EDIT: It's been over three months since I posted this. If there's anything you should take away from my story, it's these two things:

DO NOT PICK AT YOUR ACNE.

MAKE SURE EVERY PRODUCT YOU USE HAS NON-COMEDOGENIC INGREDIENTS.

If I had followed this advice, things would be 100% better in the long run. In short, even though I'm only dealing with very mild active acne right now, I am struggling with red marks and possible scarring. Please, follow this advice. Thank you.

Edited by Aobaru
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Day 1

Well, today was my first day. Surprisingly, I did not look into a mirror close-up once. I did, however, look at myself from a few feet back once, on accident. This was when I was applying my BP.

The most annoying part of the day was, first, wondering if I was walking along with a million whiteheads on my face. As I've said before, every morning I would usually pop every whitehead. I have to keep reminding myself that, even if there are whiteheads, the BP should dry them up and it's better than a red mark. Secondly, I noticed that I was touching my face a lot. This was because, for some reason, my face was itchy. I think I may also have been subconsciously "feeling" for pimples. I'm going to try to resist every time I feel an urge to touch my face.

I didn't pop any pimples today, so again I'm worried about walking around with whiteheads all over my face. Even better, my grandma is coming over for a visit tomorrow, so I'm a little anxious. We'll see how it goes.

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Guest beccaboo00

I have the same thing almost everyday I sit in front of mirror for at least 5 minutes before I shower and sometimes at night before bed.

People have been saying don't look in the mirror but i can't do that so I'm going to try to completely stay away from the bathroom unless I really need it which isn't very often but I make my self need it more than I really do.

Try a salt mask on some bigger pimples it helps to shrink them but not make them go away dab some water or witch hazel on a single pimple with a q-tip then dip the q-tip in sea salt and dab it over the wet pimple let it sit for a while and every so often put a little more water on it to keep the salt from falling.

It does burn and makes your face feel sensitive but only for a minute or two after washing it off.

Give that a try and post how it worked for you.

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Day 2

Well, the visit went well today. On the down side, I did give in a little bit a popped a few pimples that were ready; hygienically, of course. I didn't pick on those that weren't ready. I still haven't looked at my whole face for two days. I'm anxious to see how it looks on Saturday. If there's a difference, I know it was probably my picking that is making me break out. I'm so nervous!

@beccaboo: I actually have tried both salt and witch hazel before. For the salt, I really didn't see any huge improvement. And I think I might be allergic to witch hazel: I used it once and broke out really badly. Plus, it dried out my skin, though that may have been the alcohol in it. Right now I'm experimenting with Baking Soda masks. I'll post how that goes on Saturday, when I actually see my progress.

Edited by Aobaru
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Day 3

Well. I finally looked at my face. It was a bittersweet moment.

On the plus side, the "background" of my face looks better. There's less discoloration and red marks. This, I assume, is from the lack of picking and baking soda scrubs.

On the down side, my acne is a little worse than it was before. Or rather, it looked like an accumulation of three days' worth of unpopped pimples. So... I did pop a few that were ready. I noticed that the ones that were ready ITCHED like HELL during the day. I don't know what's up with that.

Additionally, I think the baking soda dried out my skin a lot, so I just used a lot of Aloe Vera. I do have a question though: has anyone here used Baking Soda and Aloe Vera to control their acne? Or are they more for exfoliation/moisturizing purposes?

So, what's next? Well, I WILL be looking at my face, although extremely less often. I'll also be trying not to touch my face so much during the day. I will try to refrain from popping any pimple unless it is literally BEGGING to be popped. I'll continue with my AcneFree 3.7% BP treatment and see how that goes. By the way, has anyone here used the AcneFree BP treatment, and if so what was your experience? Wish me luck!

Edited by Aobaru
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Well, things have pretty much blown up lately. I'm actually staying with my grandparents now, so I feel really self-conscious as opposed to just breaking out at home. I don't know what's going on, but my acne is 3x as bad. I'm waking up with 5-10 new pimples every day. And of course I feel like I have to pop them. I'm still using Yes to Carrots face wash and 2.5% BP. My grandma suggested I also use Hydrogen Peroxide, but that had minimal effect. I've also been trying Baking Soda masks and Apple Cider Vinegar, all with little results. I just don't know what to do. And to top it off, my grandma wants to go on a trip with me in a week. I feel depressed about this and I can't imagine having much fun on the trip if I'm constantly worrying about my face.

I'm presently ordering a cleanser that had worked very well for me in the past. It's the Yes to Tomatoes cleanser. I need it to arrive before Sunday. We leave on Monday. When I had used it last, it got me at least 90% clear (with 2.5% BP). Hopefully it wasn't just a fluke. It's pretty expensive but works well. It's gentle and all-natural.

Well, I'll try posting again soon, if anyone's even reading this. I'm probably just ranting.

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I don't know anything about those cleansers you're using/have been using. The following two links are to websites that list comedogenic ingredients. You can research the ingredients in your product(s) and determine if any might be problematic. The second link is to a PDF so if your computer is old or cranky, your computer might freeze. Remember that the further down on the list of ingredients, the less percentage of that ingredient is in the product. So a comedogenic ingredient that is in the last half of an ingredient list may or may not cause you problems. http://www.zerozits.com/Articles/acnedetect.htm#inglist

http://facerealityskincare.com/img/Pore%20...Skin%20Care.pdf

If you really think you have OCD, go to a doctor for a real diagnosis. Prozac is indicated for OCD and works quite well in many many people with OCD.

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Crap... I think I know what's wrong. Even though Yes to Carrots is a very reputable company, their YTC cleanser isn't made for acne-prone skin. Fourth down on the list of ingredients is Isopropyl Myristate, which has a comedogenic score of 5. It also contains Algae extracts, which aren't good for acne-prone skin.

However, their Yes to Tomatoes line is made for acne-prone skin and worked well for me before. Until it gets here, I'm going to take a break from everything except Aloe gel from the plant and try to reduce any inflammation. I'm also going to stop using the YTC cleanser. I should have been tipped off when it didn't say it was for acne-prone skin.

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Well, just got back from my trip.

Since I've stopped using the YTC cleanser and switched to the Yes to Tomatoes one, my acne has stopped getting worse, although it's not completely gone yet. I think it will take a couple of weeks to get the gunk (i.e. Isopropyl Myristate) out of my skin.

As to the picking... I'm still at my grandma's house, so I have been picking. But I cut it back to only in the morning, when possible. I guess my supreme fear is of walking around with whiteheads...

My Current Regimen:

Yes To Tomatoes Acne Cleanser

Neutrogena On-The-Spot 2.5% BP

Jojoba Oil Moisturizer / Aloe Vera

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Just thought I'd stop by with an update... if anyone's reading. It's actually a rant.

I'm staying with my grandparents this summer. About three weeks ago, I rode over to my parent's house to pick up something, and the first thing my dad says is, "What's going on with your face?" In the damn middle of the street, he shouted it. I was sort of in shock. He calls my mom over and insists I "go see a doctor." He insisted I have severe acne and started asking if I had been drinking a lot of soda (?). My liquid diet consists of 90% water, btw. I told him I don't have severe acne, because I have NO CYSTS or PUSTULES. My mom said that she would go to Walmart and get the SEVERE AcneFree kit, and if it didn't work, I was going go to the doctor. This all took place in my front yard. Seriously.

Anyway, the Severe AcneFree has reduced my acne from moderate to mild. However, the down side is I have two clusters of odd red marks: one on each upper cheek. I'm starting to think they might be scarring because I've been treating them with AHA, lemon juice, baking soda, yogurt, etc. for two weeks now, with minimal improvement. Sigh.

For those who care, here's my regimen:

AM

Wash with AcneFree 2.5% BP Cleanser

Apply AcneFree Toner + AHA Creme

Apply AcneFree 10% BP

PM

Wash with AcneFree 2.5% BP Cleanser

Apply Acne Free Toner OR Lemon Juice (leave on 10-20 mins) OR Lemon Juice-Yogurt mask (leave on 20-30 mins)

Apply AcneFree Retinol Creme

I really like the AcneFree Retinol Creme. It's very moisturising and effective.

So, anyway, I needed to rant. I go back home in about a week, so let's hope I'm not welcomed home by my Dad screaming at me again... :\

P.S.: I have NOT been picking at all. At all. So I don't know where these red marks came from. Oh well.

Edited by Aobaru
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I personally think it sounds like you are doing amazingly. You have all the love and support of everyone on these forums. We all know what you are going through.

As for parents, yours, like mine, seem to be rather insensitive. I've talked to mine about that and it really helped. Try saying, "Listen, my skin embarrasses me, and you shouting about it doesn't help that."

I'm very glad you have found a regimen that is working for you! Best of luck, feel free to send me a comment or post whenever you need support. :D

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I personally think it sounds like you are doing amazingly. You have all the love and support of everyone on these forums. We all know what you are going through.

As for parents, yours, like mine, seem to be rather insensitive. I've talked to mine about that and it really helped. Try saying, "Listen, my skin embarrasses me, and you shouting about it doesn't help that."

It's so weird though... I don't like saying anything about my face to anyone, because I feel that if I say it, or if someone points it out, it's there. It's almost like I'm in denial about my face... like if I wish it away enough, pretend it's not there, maybe it will go away. My best friend brings it up sporadically, things like, "Oh, well your face is looking better," or, "You're really breaking out today," or a couple of months ago when it was really bad, "Have you thought about getting a doctor's advice on it?" It's nothing mean or menacing, just very friendly advice, but somehow... it gets to me. Like I get EXTREMELY self-conscious, very awkward... I even had a minor anxiety attack a couple of weeks ago when she mentioned my face.

So, I'm convinced I have a complex. like I will not admit I have a problem out loud. It's so weird. Sigh :\

Edited by Aobaru
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I apologize in advance because this is totally off-topic; however, I just wanted to point out that you have great writing skills (especially for being 15!)

OK, please carry on.

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I apologize in advance because this is totally off-topic; however, I just wanted to point out that you have great writing skills (especially for being 15!)

Thanks! :3 I get that a lot. I'm obsessed with correct spelling, grammar, punctuation, form, etc. (even when I rant)

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I thought I'd post a quick update.

I'm not really getting any new acne. Maybe a little one every couple of days. Nothing major. However, what I'm really dealing with now is red marks. It's been about a month since I've had them and they do look a little better with AHA, Retinol (AcneFree), Yogurt Masks, Lemon Juice, etc. I may be able to post some pictures some time in the future.

Overall, I'm feeling a lot better about myself. I'm going out more often. I'm also starting to exercise more.

I think the thing that's really cleared me up is the AcneFree Retinol. However, I'm quickly running out of this. Has anyone here tried Retin-A? Is it similar to the AcneFree Retinol?

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It's great that you're trying different things to help your acne. But have you just tried following Dan's regimen to the T, using the products from the store that he recommends? Sometimes it can take weeks to know if one set of products is going to do the trick for you. You might try it. I know one thing doesn't work for everyone, but my face looked pretty awful and after a week of being on that regimen and trying really hard not to pick, it's improved a ton. Don't lose faith in not picking just yet. It really is for the best.

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I'm really not having that much trouble with acne anymore. It's mainly red marks/scars. I don't pick anymore either.

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So... a major dent in my self-esteem today. Senior pictures were a couple of weeks ago, and today I found the receipt. It turns out my Mom secretly ordered "blemish reduction" on my pictures for two dollars.

So I feel great today.

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i am in the same predicament you were, i cant seem to stop picking my face, it just happens without me even realizing it. I think your journal idea is a great idea and i will keep coming back and probably be doing the same thing. my acne isnt HORRIBLE but enough to make me feel self conscious, tiny zits here and there, a couple cyst now and again, but mostly red marks from my ocd picking frenzy morning afternoon and night. I have the same problem when people say 'looking better, or breaking out'. its never rude it just makes me feel awkward as hell. I would like to see a doctor/dermatologist but i dont think i have medical insurance :think:, oh well.... i am using dans regimen right now, it kind of works but i think the fact that i pick here and there doesnt help much. im 20 and have the face of an 8th grader, i have suffered from this acne BS for about 5 to 6 years now and i have simply had enough. I need something to change, i have tried literally everything, you name it. I just signed up for this acne.org blog message thing today looking for the support i cant find from anyone else, hopefully this is the end of the train and i finally get rid of it. I could care less if i have the ocassional pimple, it is what it is nobody's perfect, but i really would like to stop picking and clear up my face to the point where i can get my freakin confidence back!!! let me know if any of you have ANY ideas to help me stop picking, at this point im up for anything!!!

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i am in the same predicament you were, i cant seem to stop picking my face, it just happens without me even realizing it. I think your journal idea is a great idea and i will keep coming back and probably be doing the same thing. my acne isnt HORRIBLE but enough to make me feel self conscious, tiny zits here and there, a couple cyst now and again, but mostly red marks from my ocd picking frenzy morning afternoon and night. I have the same problem when people say 'looking better, or breaking out'. its never rude it just makes me feel awkward as hell. I would like to see a doctor/dermatologist but i dont think i have medical insurance :think:, oh well.... i am using dans regimen right now, it kind of works but i think the fact that i pick here and there doesnt help much. im 20 and have the face of an 8th grader, i have suffered from this acne BS for about 5 to 6 years now and i have simply had enough. I need something to change, i have tried literally everything, you name it. I just signed up for this acne.org blog message thing today looking for the support i cant find from anyone else, hopefully this is the end of the train and i finally get rid of it. I could care less if i have the ocassional pimple, it is what it is nobody's perfect, but i really would like to stop picking and clear up my face to the point where i can get my freakin confidence back!!! let me know if any of you have ANY ideas to help me stop picking, at this point im up for anything!!!

Definitely stop looking in the mirror if you pick. If you think you can do it without picking, get a tissue or piece of toilet paper to gently rub off the head of the pimple. That's what I'm most self-conscious about: walking around with whiteheads. That's what got me into this red marks business in the first place.

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So, everyone has been saying lately how my face is clearing up, which is sort of bittersweet. It's great that I'm "clearing up", but on the other hand, I hate for people to bring up my face. I smile awkwardly and whisper, "Thank you."

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I know exactly what you mean. The fact that people focus so much on your skin makes it that much harder to change. It's almost like they know you a certain way (with bad skin) and you feel like you can't be anything else. Just try to take it as the compliment that it is - you are doing a great job!

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I know exactly what you mean. The fact that people focus so much on your skin makes it that much harder to change. It's almost like they know you a certain way (with bad skin) and you feel like you can't be anything else. Just try to take it as the compliment that it is - you are doing a great job!

Thanks :3

Lately I've been making a lot of progress. I ran out of 10% AHA the other day so I decided to start using my Aloe plant again. I've really seen a difference: reduced redness, more even skin tone, etc. It doesn't seem to do much for flakes, however. When my new AHA arrives, I think I may use the aloe and AHA together. The AHA eradicates any dryness I have.

Just in case anyone's wondering, this is my current regimen:

Wash with 2.5% BP Cleanser (Shave with Yes to Tomatoes cleanser)

Apply Aloe Vera from plant/Apply 10% AHA

Apply 3.7% BP (AcneFree)

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post-80426-1284659003_thumb.jpg

Okay, guys. I'm freaking out. I'm starting to think these red marks... might be more. Like... scarring. Can I get someone's honest opinion? I'm am having an anxiety attack. If I don't see some improvement in the marks with the AHA I ordered, I'm going to consider seeking professional help. I didn't realize it was that bad until I took a picture.

I wish I could go back in time and stop my picking...

post-80426-1284659003_thumb.jpg

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Quick update:

I've ordered two AHA products. I ordered the first, Alpha Hydrox AHA Enhanced Creme (10% AHA) about two weeks ago, off of eBay. It still has not arrived; something about them being out of stock. So, yesterday, I ordered Alpha Hydrox AHA Souffle 12% off drugstore.com. It should be here next week. Like I said above, if I don't see some improvement in the marks with the AHA I ordered, I'm going to consider seeking professional help. I'm not having any anxiety problems lately, but I'll feel a hell of a lot better once my AHA's get here.

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