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Greetings everyone!

I've been an acne.org message board peruser on and off for a few years now, and I've finally been inspired to write a note myself. I just wanted to comment on the importance of following "The Regimen" precisely, as overly-specific as it might seem. I have always appreciated that this site is more about information and education as opposed to promoting specific products. I have never had truly serious cycstic acne, but have suffered mild/moderate constant breakouts with the occasional cyst for over 20 years now. I actually have been using a gentle cleanser, 2.5% and 5% benzoyl peroxide lotions, and a gentle moisturizer for several years now. This worked to keep the worst breakouts under control, but I still always had red, irritated skin, breakouts, and scarring on a constant basis. It hasn't been perfect, but it at least worked better than all the 8 million other "cures" or products I have tried throughout the years. A few weeks ago, after reading through The Regimen steps more closely, I decided to hunker down and see if being more precise with my method and applications would actually make a difference while not changing products at all.

Let me just tell you, it has made a WORLD of difference. I'll just repeat - I have not changed any of the products I am using, just the WAY that I am using them. I'm not going to even bother naming the cleanser, BP, and moisturizer I'm using because I think everyone's skin is so different that you just have to find one that works for you. However, just gently cleansing for no more than 10 seconds with my fingertips, using a lot of BP and working it in gently with fingertips only, and a lot of moisturizer with jojoba oil has had an amazing effect. I don't always have time to wait the recommended 10-15 minutes between steps, but I do it as often as I can. I was definitely flaky for the first couple of weeks, but kept at it and now my skin has adjusted. I'm still getting the occasional small zit here and there, but they go away quickly and even my previous red marks have started to fade. I had never tried using a 10% AHA before as a spot treatment and a zit I had the night before was almost completely gone the next day.

It's hard to describe to people who don't suffer with acne exactly how important this is for me. I feel like I've had a lifelong battle with my skin. I don't think I've been out in public for over 20 years without a full face of makeup on, and my anxiety dreams frequently involve not having enough time in the morning to put makeup on, or people bursting into my house when I'm not "ready." My family and friends have teased me for as long as I can remember about how long it takes me to get ready in the morning, but I've never been willing to compromise when it comes to coverup and makeup. Yesterday when I was post-shower and hadn't had time to put my "face" on yet, I had to go meet a guy outside to help me change to tire on my car. The timing wasn't my first choice, but I went outside and did it without any makeup on. My skin isn't 100% perfect yet, but at least I didn't feel completely gross. I'm sure that some of you on this board here can appreciate what a big deal that was for me.

I think the fact that I've been using "The Regimen" type products for years with only mild/moderate success, and that then when switching to more closely following "The Regimen" suggestions with the EXACT same products has yielded such drastically different results should prove how important it is to be precise and consistent. I've often worried about my future children having to go through the same skin issues as I have, and now I feel confident that I'll at least have a good suggestion for how to combat the problem. I've ordered in a couple of Daniel Kern's products to try out when I run out of my current supply of other stuff, mostly because I appreciate that his products come in larger amounts and have less packaging. I'll only introduce one at a time to make sure there is no change, but I really do suspect that effectiveness has less to do with what product and more to do with how you use them. So thank you, Dan, for providing a site with such good information and not trying to shove a product down people throats (or into their skin, as it were). I wish everyone luck.

:)

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