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Hi Everyone,

I have been reading the board for a while and finally decided to sign up to get some of your opinions and feedback.

I will give you a little on my history. I have never really had any major battles with acne until this past March when I started to get closed comedones.

When I was about 18 I had some whiteheads and the doctor put me on diane and the problem was gone within a month or two. Since then I had used ProActive to maintain my skin which was always glowing and healthy with the occasional pimple. However it was very oily.

I had been using proactive for many years and thought that now that I am older I should stop and try some more mature products... I started the Clinque 3-step system this past February and within a few days I had whiteheads starting to pop up. The people that worked at Clinque told me it was normal and I should keep using it and it was just my skin purging. I tried it for about a month and it made my skin even more oily and whiteheads were all over my forehead and started on my jawline too. Since then the problem got increasingly worse even though I went back onto proactiv for a little while.

At this point I decided to see the doctor. She prescribed me antibiotics - which i now realize was pointless since i did not have any inflamed acne at that point. It didn't help at all. I went back to her and she prescribed diane 35 (cyestra 35) and referred me to an acne clinic. This was about 3 months ago.

Here's my routine now:


Wash with cetaphil for oily skin

Wait 10 min

Apply Benzaclin to affected areas and let dry

Apply Neutrogena sensitive skin moisturizer

Apply Neutrogena Dry Touch Sun Block SPF 30

I am now using L'oreal concealer for marks and Bare Minerals make-up to complete the look


Wash with cetaphil for oily skin

Sweep with Proactive toner when very flaky to exfoliate dead skin

Wait 10 min

Apply Benzaclin all over face (every other night)

Apply Tretinion 0.01% to forehead and upper cheeks and benzaclin to jawline (every other night)

Apply Cetaphil moisturizer all over face

Diane 35

So far I have been using benzaclin for 9 weeks and tretinion for 7 weeks. I feel like my skin has gone through a lot and I've been reading about how it takes up to 12 weeks to see an improvement. So far what I have noticed is that my skin absolutely became dry and flaky with the benzaclin however I think that it is getting adjusted now. I don't really feel like the tretinion is working yet, but what it did do is inflame the whiteheads on my jawline and since then the doctor told me not to use it there until the flaring decreases. Then she said to try it again. She also noted that I need to go to a higher strength of tretinion to get faster results.

I see improvement with reduction in whiteheads on my forehead however I had a period where the whiteheads would become really inflamed and then I would be able to prick it and it would pop right out, then scab and heal. I've now noticed this happening on my jawline as well. My upper cheeks have a ton of whiteheads and I think they are getting bigger, but the doctor told me this is good and that they will come out of the skin on their own. I must say I'm really tempted to squeeze it but lately have been able to control it more by only squeezing once the are inflamed but with a white bump at the top. The skin has a lot of red marks on it now and scarring :(..... This part looks worse then the 100's of whitehead IMO but if it means that eventually the whiteheads will go away I'm willing to tough it out.

Anyway ladies and gents I'm sorry for the long post but I just want to know what you all think about this regimen for whiteheads. How long do you think I'm going to have to wait to see more improvements? I'm really running out of patience :(.... Going through the entire summer with these white bumps all over my skin is hard and its really done a huge # on my level of confidence. My bf and my mom say that its not that bad and I'm making it sound worse then it is, but when you have almost perfect skin and then randomly have this problem start in your late 20's its hard not to be effected.

Thanks for reading and I will try to post an update again in a few weeks!

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moved to mild and moderate acne section. no biggie, it's just the section you posted in is for the acne.org regimen only.

it's only been 7 weeks, and with any regimen, it takes real time to see improvement. just stick with it because there does seem to be some positive in this, and if this works you'll definitely be glad you stuck it out. good luck.

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The only thing I could say is, if the proactive was working for you, maybe you should have stuck with it, and just *added in* elements for anti-aging. Niacinamide is good for anti-aging and acne.

For what it's worth, Clinique has ALWAYS broken me out. I think it's crapola, but I'm sure it's fine for some people.

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