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Hello there...

Today is my very first day of being "officially" on Dan's Regimen. I've read a lot of other members' logs and it seems like a really good idea to document everything and have a permanent record of progress.

A little about me: I'm in my early 20s, female, currently have what I would consider to be mild-to-moderate acne and relatively oily skin, not just in the T-zone. I began getting acne when I was about 13, although I vividly remember getting my first isolated pimple at the age of 11. I began "treating" my acne as soon as it became a real and consistent problem (about age 13) and used mostly just Oxy pads - max strength - but to a rather excessive extent (four or five times a day; leaving them on overnight, burn baby burn). Helped very minimally - mainly seemed to make my skin more oily in the long run, and hardly diminished blackheads.

From about the age of 13 through 15 my acne was probably really only "mild", but it really bothered me because it would never, ever completely go away - I'd have a few breakouts going on all at once, all the time. So being young and naive, I thought I'd attack it hardcore with not only the Oxy pads, but scrubbing during washing, picking and squeezing and poking and prodding, and piling on the makeup (and didn't know better than to use oil-based concealers/foundation/powders) etc etc...until my acne progressively got worse.

I had one or two visits with a dermatologist who prescribed me medium-strength Retin-A, which helped in the sense that it caused flaking but worsened my condition in the sense that it made my skin very sensitive to *everything* and seemed to make me oilier. Also I experienced an immediate flare-up and even over the course of about 6 months of treatment, not enough of a noticeable change or improvement had occured, so I quit using it (and am still glad that I did). She told me that Accutane is something I should stay away from, and that my condition didn't warrant it anyway. Part of me disagreed with her - but I was too worried about the side effects to have taken it anyway, so that was alright.

From that time on, I still continued to wear a fair amount of makeup to cover up, but didn't pile it on as much, hoping that would help. It didn't. It just made me look less fake. smile.gif So, when I got my first job and was able to spend my own money on skin-care (around 16 or 17), I started trying all the OTC lines (as well as tanning at a salon - temporary fix, let me tell you) - Clean & Clear, Clearasil, Oxy, Stridex, ProActiv...you name it, I tried it. I'd buy the cleanser, toner, and whatever treatment lotion/cream/gel/serum they made. I'd stick with a brand until I would run out of product, then try another brand, always seeking a solution. I never, ever for even one day "gave up" the search. And that was tiring! But I never wanted to just "accept" that I had problem skin. I was willing to spend every dime I had on finding what worked. Usually what would happen is that such-and-such brand would work very well for a couple weeks, then would mysteriously stop working over time. So I'd switch to another brand. Same deal. And this describes the last four or five years of my life.

I recently decided (a couple weeks ago) that I was tired of spending so much money on so many things that worked so minimally, and just simplify my routine. So, I began only washing with Safeguard Anti-bacterial soap twice per day, and applying a tiny bit of 10% Benzoyl Peroxide (Johnson & Johnson's Clean & Clear) at night before bed, since daytime application was impossible under makeup. What this did was dramatically decrease my active blemishes for a few days, and dry my skin out. A lot. And after a few days, WAY TOO MUCH. I felt fried and every time I'd make a facial expression my skin would flake. Nice. This wasn't going to work. Tried changing it up a little - using my Clean & Clear deep clean cleanser - still too dry, and the cleanser was now sort of breaking me out.

Luckily, I found this website not long ago and have decided to try the regimen, for real instead of tweaking it. I now have a bottle of Eucerin Skin Renewal moisturizer, Eucerin Pore Purifying Foaming cleanser, and Dan's BP gel. Today was my first official day of doing the regimen exactly as outlined by Dan, with no tweaking.

I like the facial cleanser - it's soap-free but still lathers nicely and seems to cleanse well without drying. It's clear with almost no scent. I love Dan's BP gel - it has a very soothing, non-grainy consistency and is so much easier to apply than my old 10% Persa-Gel. Not too sure how I feel about the lotion yet, though. I seem to look pretty oily right now, it stung a bit going on (probably due to the lactic acid in it), and it feels *weird* to not be drying out my face. I do however really like my skin tone after appying. Seems to make my face a more uniform color, nice and peachy.

Active blemish count: 6 (all isolated on each cheek, zero on forehead, nose, chin. Left cheek pimple is bigger than I'd like but probably not a cyst, I estimate it will take a full week to be gone...other pimples are small and will take probably 3 days).

A few blackheads on my nose (as usual - nothing seems to banish those, ever really).

Some enlarged pores on apples of cheeks and on top of nose.

About three very small ice-pick scars (at least I *think* they fall into the "ice-pick category) on right cheek and one on left cheek. These will never disappear and I'm not worried about it right now - focused on getting clear.

A few redmarks on each cheek. Those have been fading for a while now though.

Plenty of oil! Oh boy! bb_eusa_dance.gif At least I won't wrinkle young. tongue.gif

*Making a very conscious effort (and it's not easy!!) to NOT touch my face at all, from now on (except to wash/apply lotion and BP).

Thanks for reading, if you did. We're all in this together...good luck to you and good luck to me, too. smile.gif

Updates will come whenever there's news.

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I hope so too Adam! Good luck with that. Let me know how it goes, or actually I suppose I could find out for myself if you're keeping a regimen log. tongue.gif

DAY 2

Active blemish count: 3 - all small pimples have disappeared. Leaving, of course, red marks, but that's life. bb_eusa_wall.gif

The rather large pimple on my cheek that I didn't want to believe was a cyst but now I think it was...is completely flat and drying out now. In a matter of one day and night. Now, that is amazing. I did try to speed that up however by dabbing a teensy tiny bit of my old C&C 10% BP over that spot after allowing Dan's BP and my moisturizer to dry. And I repeated the dabbing about six or seven times. Only on that spot though, so the rest of my face wouldn't shrivel up. And it didn't. And I'm fine and the possible cyst is all but gone, but still that spot is very red. After tomorrow I'm not going to put any more of the 10% on it. But I do think it needs one more day of vigilant BP applications to completely burn off. smile.gif

Blackheads are about the same, but perhaps a few less. No new blackheads. No new pimples. I'm very happily suprised that I had six pimples yesterday and three today. So I know for a fact the BP is doing just as well (Dan's BP) as my old 10% BP, and WITHOUT ALL THE HORRIBLE FLAKY DRYNESS. I wasn't sure if this would hold true, but it looks like it will. I do still have a fair amount of flakiness around my mouth and on my chin and jawline, after I wash (even with the super gentle Eucerin stuff) but as soon as I apply the Eucerin moisturizer, it all disappears. I'm not crazy about how oily my skin looks after applying it, but really it's no more oily looking than it was before I was using any lotion at all - my skin is naturally oily enough. But I think I do like the fact that now, instead of just having naturally oily skin *and* visible flakiness (not enough natural oil to get rid of that!) - I have naturally oily skin *without* flakiness, and the overall tone is nicer than when I wasn't using moisturizer at all.

I like the cleanser still, but it's not quite as lathery as I'd like it to be. I know it's much gentler on my skin, but at the same time I don't feel *squeaky* clean like I did when I was using Safeguard Antibacterial on my face. And I think I'm going to run out of the cleanser really soon - it takes a fair amount to get what I feel like is a decent amount of lather. I'm tempted to go back to using the Safeguard, but I would like to give Dan's regimen a chance without changing anything (although I am glad I tried the 10% on my large pimple/maybe-cyst, because I know it sped up the drying thing). For all I know, that soap could have been clogging my pores. I'm not sure.

I forgot to mention...It could all be psychological (and if it it, so be it) - but I'm a big fan of these vitamins I've been taking from GNC. They're called "Hair, Skin & Nails" vitamins and you take two a day. I've been taking them for a couple months, and my hair has been growing faster than it was and my nails have not been breaking like they used to. Could all be psychological, like I said...but I don't think so. They're working and that's all I care about. lol...

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Good luck with The Regimen Zep! I am starting my 3rd week and so far only minor results. Getting fewer of the small pimples, usually whiteheads, but still continuing to get cysts & papules! Hope all goes well for you, I will check your log often!

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Hey thanks Shortee! Good luck to you too. Stick with it a while more, it could end up making a difference for you. If it makes you feel any better, I sort of half-thought I *was* doing the regimen before (but was using 10% BP and Safeguard Antibacterial bar soap, as previously mentioned) and at first it completely cleared me up - I was excited - but about a week later it was back to the breakouts. So, for all I know, this regimen may not end up working for me in the long run. I'm really hoping it does...but you just never know. Everyone's skin is so different, it's hard to tell. I'll follow your progress too, thanks for saying hello! biggrin.gif

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DAY 3

Active blemish count: one. One! Yay...and luckily it's a small one, but it's been a little stubborn. Hasn't even fully "developed" yet, but it will, I can tell. Also, sorry about the TMI but it's "that time of the month", and typically around this time I would have between 5 and 7 active pimples...and I just have the one, happy dance. bb_eusa_dance.gif

Except one thing I'm not happy about...I am now sure that it was indeed a cyst on my cheek, and it looks like it's going to leave a new, shallow ice-pick scar. I never used to scar this easily as I've started to in the last couple years. What's up with that?? Maybe it's because I smoke and it's thinned my skin or something. No idea. Not about to try to quit smoking right now, though. bb_eusa_hand.gif lol

Blackheads actually look a little tiny bit less noticeable today. I haven't done my morning routine yet today. But I was so happy about the death of the other 2 pimples that I just had to update.

You know, I would be *ecstatic* but for the persistent, seems-like-they'll-never-go-away red marks. Those are incredibly annoying, because I'm sure to other people they look like actual acne. But they aren't. But then, I shouldn't really care what other people think anyway. (Training myself not to, at least)

The other annoying thing are the ice-pick scars. I'm lucky to only have a few, but still. Makeup does not really cover them or fill them in. Makeup does cover the red marks, though. The only thing is, I'm trying to completely stop wearing makeup as I *know* that it worsens my condition at least a little bit. And it's a pain to have to always touch up my makeup at work (the only place I wear it is at work) because of my oily skin. And oily, makeup-free skin always looks better, IMO, than oily, makeup-y skin. Just looks cleaner. Also the minor flaking I have from the BP adds another annoying element to my makeup situation. I can lessen it to a great extent with my moisturizer, but once I put on makeup it again becomes noticeable. Takes about 45 minutes to get my makeup-ed face looking right. mad.gif

I'm so tempted to just wake up, take my shower in the mornings, do my regimen and go to work without a speck on makeup on my face. Emotionally it's hard though as I've been relying on makeup since the age of 11 or 12. And almost all my coworkers have perfect skin. And I work under relatively bright unforgiving lights, with the public. bb_icon_redface.gif Arg.

But I'm very happy so far with my progress. I just want to be clear for now. We'll worry about the scars and red marks later. bb_icon_rolleyes.gif

Thinking, lightly...about maybe doing an at-home TCA spot treatment on the ice-picks. Completely unsure of whether one would use TCA for that, though, and how one would do it. lol.

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DAY 4

Active blemish count: One. Actually, I'm not even sure this counts as a real pimple - it's a whitehead. Just all white. Gross. But it's small, really small. Everything else is almost completely healed!

The Big News: almost every single blackhead on my nose is gone. Gone...gone...completely gone. I'm shocked, can you tell? smile.gif These are blackheads that I have had since probably age 11 or 12. Previously the only way to truly get rid of them was to squeeze them. Which I stopped doing a while back because I was afraid of getting permanently enlarged pores there. And the next best way to get rid of them used to be using St. Ives Medicated Apricot Scrub. Which I've been trying not to use, because I don't want to irritate anything. This really is amazing. And I was sure I was going to be stuck with these blackheads for the rest of my life. Now it looks like I won't have to scrub or squeeze or use those pore strip things ever again.

Also....the pores on my nose where the bh's were are not visible. That's amazing too, because in the past whenever I'd scrub them out or squeeze the area, the pores would look really large afterwards. I couldn't be happier about this. This, to me, is a really good indication that YES, the regimen is DEFINITELY changing my skin for the better. I wish I had before pictures to share with you all, but I don't because in all of my old pictures I had lots of makeup on and you'd think I had no problem (I had big problems, I just got good at hiding them!). Maybe when I'm 100% clear I'll post a no-makeup picture.

I wonder if it's the BP that cleared my blackheads, or the Skin Renewal lotion. Or the combo of both. Anyone have any theories or similar experience with incredibly stubborn blackheads suddenly disappearing?

I'm now thinking harder about definitely trying some TCA spot-treatments. I have super-fair skin, somewhat sensitive (but not truly sensitive, I don't think)...so I'm wondering if that makes me an okay candidate. I'm a little nervous, but I'm just going to try doing a tiny icepick scar at first with a real low strength, and we'll go from there. Next paycheck...I'm going to order the supplies.

Other news: Red marks, for the first time, look just a smidgen less red today. Maybe I'm just imagining it, but they really do look just a tiny bit better.

DAN - I really feel like giving you an enormous hug right now. lol. Thank you, a million times. bb_eusa_dance.gifbb_eusa_clap.giftongue.gif

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DAY 5

Active blemish count: One. Still the same one, too, on my cheek (not a cyst, just a really stubborn pimple). No head, just red.

I have noticed that rather than getting any new pimples, I'll get these tiny whiteheads, usually on my chin or right next to my nose. It's strange. They're rather unaffected by BP, but luckily when I wash they tend to magically go away. Maybe it's the friction, although I'm being gentle. Not sure.

Blackheads still pretty much gone. I can see little remnants of them, or ones that want to be black but aren't. Hard to explain.

Red marks are still fading.

Skin is still pretty oily; I don't think anything's going to help that. The lotion makes it more oily. I have decided to only moisturize in the morning, instead of both morning and night.

The Big News for today: last night, I was bugged with my cleanser and how it doesn't really make my face feel super-clean, and it doesn't truly dissolve oil the way I'd like it to. So I broke down and used my trusty Safeguard Antibacterial bar soap instead. A minute later my mom sees me and goes, "your skin looks a lot better right now". Told her I used my soap instead of the new cleanser and she said, "I can tell, it looks a lot better". And it does. Yes, the bar soap is a lot more drying, but it really does minimize my pores, dissolve all the oil and truly cleans my face. I know you're not supposed to use anything other than a "gentle" cleanser on the regimen, but I'm seeing much better skin when I use the Safeguard, so I am sticking with that. I will keep the cleanser for when the soap over-dries me, and it will eventually. But I'll only use it on those occasions.

Perhaps this does mean that I'm not "truly" on the regimen, but I'm going to do what works for me. Dan's BP is still working great, so I'm not changing anything about that. If I suddenly start breaking out, I will know it's because of the soap and go back to the Eucerin cleanser. We shall see...

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DAY 7

Yesterday I got three new pimples. mad.gif It really, really bummed me out because I was excited that I was clearing up so well. They're not big, and they're not cystic, so that's good but still. I think it can classify as a "breakout" because all three of them are very near each other on one cheek. Today, they are about half the size and redness that they were yesterday, so I'm going to look on the positive side and tell myself that it would have been much worse if I wasn't on the regimen. One of the zits is right next to an old icepick scar I have, which just made the scar look worse. Fun times! bb_neutral.gif

A few of my blackheads have come back, or maybe these are new ones, I'm not sure. That bums me out too, but not as much as the breakout. I'm going to keep using the Safeguard soap for another week and if I get any new breakouts, I'll know it's that, and I'll go back to the Eucerin (even though I *really* don't think it was cleansing thoroughly enough).

I had been planning to wear zero makeup to work (I had a few days off when I started the regimen) - but because I had three nicely red pimples, I couldn't do it. So I used a tiny bit of concealer & powder. I've really got to get better powder, I'm using Maybelline Shine Free and it doesn't stop the shine, after about 30 minutes. I used a concealing stick by Eucerin that has 1.8% Salycylic Acid in it, and I actually like it quite well, although in the spots where I applied it, they started to peel a little bit. Maybe that's a good thing? Maybe it'll help red marks fade faster.

And in order to even put makeup on without it emphasizing all my peeling dry flakiness, I had to put on my Eucerin moisturizer. Which, I half hate and half love. It makes my already oily skin look twice as shiny. It's so weird to have oily skin, but areas of Sahara Desert dryness and peeling.

Hmm. I'm not giving up yet. Perhaps I'll be one of those people who takes like 2 months to completely clear up. It's just so weird though that I started clearing up *so fast* at first, and then this. Isn't it too early for my week 2 breakout? tongue.gif

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DAY 8

Well, I used my St. Ives Medicated scrub yesterday when I took my shower and my face immediately looked better and I wasn't as oily throughout the day (it has SA in it). I know this means I've deviated from the regimen, but it really helped me. My red marks look less prominent today and the three pimples are already almost gone (is this due to the SA? I have a feeling it is). Also the new blackheads look like they're going away.

Active pimples: 1. (The other two are more than 50% gone)

Hmm. I'm considering using the scrub again today.

In all other ways I am following the regimen *except* for using a gentle soap. So, I suppose I'm following my own regimen now. I have to say that I am still really happy with Dan's BP, much better texture and far more easy to apply than anything else I've used.

I didn't moisturize at all yesterday because my skin didn't feel or look like it needed it.

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DAY 10

Active blemish count: One. Whew...looks like that breakout I had is going away. I still have one stubborn pimple from it though, which I've been treating with my modified regimen as well as spot-treating with 10% BP.

No blackheads whatsoever now that I've been using my St. Ives medicated acne scrub. I do use it very very gently, though, because I know being too rough will ruin your skin. I feel like this stuff is also significantly fading my redmarks - much faster than the BP was (if it was at all). And it's cheap, so that rocks too.

Safeguard soap hasn't dried me excessively yet, and I don't think it was the cause of my breakout, either, so I'm keeping going with that.

I only moisturize at night now, if at all, because I don't like how oily my face looks during the day when I use it in the morning routine.

I suppose I should outline the modified regimen I've been doing...

a.m. - Take shower, shampoo hair, wash face & body with safeguard antibacterial bar soap, condition hair, rinse out conditioner, use about a quarter-size amount of St. Ives scrub and gently exfoliate face and neck (takes about 30 seconds), rinse very thoroughly. Wait 20 minutes. Wash hands. Apply generous amount of BP, gently rubbing it in. Wash hands. Wait 20 minutes. Apply a tiny bit of makeup, if I'm going to work. If not, nothing. If super dry, moisturize.

Afternoon: nothing, although I have to fight the urge to wash my face (don't want to overwash, though.)

p.m. - Wash face with same type of soap. Rinse very thoroughly with cool water. Wait 20 minutes. Wash hands. Apply BP in same manner as a.m. Moisturize only if dry.

And there you have it. Not much else to report now, although it's the weirdest thing...a couple of my icepick scars look better. I can't explain how, except that the middle of them aren't as red as before, and they look a tiny bit smaller. I don't know how or if that's even possible, but it seems like they are. I wonder if they're improving.

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DAY 9

Active blemish count: One. A slightly new one...I could tell that it was forming a couple days ago, but thought it would be intercepted by the BP. It wasn't. It's not huge, but it's not small, and it's red and noticeable. It will all be okay. tongue.gif (Especially since I'm off of work for a couple days...it'll be gone by the time I go back.)

I made the mistake of popping a different one yesterday (I know, for shame!!) - I couldn't stand it, it was so ready for popping. But I think I popped it a little over-zealously, and it made it kind of like a small wound. But it's drying up. Yuck, sorry about the details...lol.

Safeguard is still doing well for me. No over-dryness (goodness, that must mean I have very oily skin.)

Still exfoliating with the St. Ives scrub, still experiencing diminished red marks because of that. Yay. However you have to be careful with that stuff around active acne, because it will irritate it and make it more red. But it seems to be helping to deep clean my pores and lessen the intense redness of old marks.

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DAY 10

Active blemish count: One.

I'm really getting annoyed with all the red marks, though. It makes it look like I really have about ten pimples, when I don't. It's the only reason I keep wearing makeup when I go out anywhere. If it only looked like I have the one pimple, I wouldn't even bother trying to cover that up.

I'm going to look into getting some bleaching cream, but I'm not sure if there's one on the market that is non-comedogenic, oil free, etc.

Today I am skipping the exfoliating since I've been doing that several days in a row now. Can't be good to constantly be scrubbing at my face. It does keep the blackheads away, though.

I'm wondering why it is that the only time my skin looks truly "good" is first thing in the morning, before I've done my morning routine, before the shower, etc. It's not over-oily, but it's somewhat oily, and by then the BP must have worn off. I'm almost tempted to skip the morning BP today and just use soap on my face - nothing else. But I think I'm too paranoid I'll get a breakout.

I HAD THE WORST DREAM LAST NIGHT. lol - I can't believe I dreamed this...I dreamt that I had a HUGE cystic pimple on my cheek, enormous, super red, and that I was trying to lance it but it would not pop, and finally when it did it was this GIGANTIC wound that couldn't be hidden at all, and I had to be out in public. Maybe I'm spending too much time thinking about my skin. lol.

Damn these red marks and half-healed pimples. mad.gif

But, I guess my acne is somewhat improving.

I still continue to take my Hair, Skin & Nails vitamins every day and also started taking Acidophilus, which is actually for digestion (improves it) but also I read somewhere that it can help acne! We'll see.

The large pimple on my cheek that I had when I first started the regimen (which I think was cystic) is completely gone now BUT, like I said, I have a new ice-pick scar from it. sad.gif And the area where it was is still red and irritated looking.

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DAY 11

Active blemish count: zero. Yay! I'm feeling a little better now about this whole thing. I was starting to think it was all futile and I should just stop all BP and simply wash my face twice a day.

Blackheads have come back to a certain extent, but they are smaller and not so many close together like I used to have. It seems like the moment I stop using a scrub, they come back.

Oilyness is really bugging me now. My face looks so much less red-marked when it's freshly washed. The oil seems to emphasize all the imperfections. I'm thinking about buying this stuff from Makeup Artist's Choice that is supposed to stop shine. (Nothing like that has ever worked for me in the past though, so we'll see.)

I'm not going to scrub for the next couple of days, with the exception of my nose. That is where I seem to get the majority of blackheads, and I think the scrub inhibits those very effectively. Plus it's hard to dry my nose out, so I'm not worried about over-treating that area.

Red marks are fading, but now I've got a few brand new ones to take the old one's places. mad.gif This is life I guess. I can't wait to do a 12.5% TCA peel, and soon. I've had it with the carnage left over from previous breakouts.

Things I'm going to purchase soon: 4% Hydroquinone cream, 12.5% TCA, Dermablend makeup. Should be interesting. I'm going to try the free samples of Dermablend first, though. Also I'm going to buy some pure aloe vera gel and some emu oil. I'd never even heard of emu oil til I came to these boards...lol.

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DAY 12

Possibly a landmark day - I have absolutely no active blemishes. bb_eusa_dance.gif (Knock on wood?) That is awesome. I had none yesterday, either...and I wore a little bit of makeup even yesterday.

I have changed something, a bit...I haven't scrubbed my face at all in the last 2 days, and miracle of miracles, I'm not breaking out. So I've decided no more scrubbing, ever. I will only exfoliate in the most dire of circumstances, like if my blackheads are really unbearable. Other than that, I think I was fooling myself into thinking that the scrubbing was making overall complexion better, when actually my overall complexion looks better *now* that I haven't been scrubbing at all.

Also I have been taking greater care to only *pat* my face dry, whereas before I was enjoying taking off huge amounts of dead skin with my washcloth after washing my face or getting out of the shower. I'm almost considering doing what Teplo does and just letting my face air-dry. It's got to be the most gentle method. tongue.gif

I still like the St. Ives scrub for using on my shoulders, upper arms, back, neck and chest. I don't get actual body acne, but every month or so I'll get a clogged pore in one of the aforementioned areas. And since I don't use BP on any of those areas, I could at least use something. But even so, I'm only going to use the scrub on those areas about once a week.

I moisturized yesterday, because I wanted to wear some makeup, and I noticed that the Eucerin skin renewal stuff made my face sting and get pink a little bit. Probably because I hadn't moisturized in a few days with it. My face really, truly does not need moisturizer now that I am only using the 2.5% BP and have gotten used to it. I don't really get flakes anymore like I did at the beginning. But definitely I *have* to moisturize if I want to wear makeup, otherwise, it's a scary sight...a lot of flakes happen and the makeup doesn't blend evenly. Oh, how I am waiting for the day when I will have the confidence about my skin, redmarks and all, to go to work sans makeup.

It's not like I have anyone there I want to impress...

Well actually...there are a few good-looking guys who work *near* me...lol. Oh well. They should be able to accept me with no makeup on, don't you think? Or they can screw off. smile.gif

I think that yesterday and today have marked the beginning of my true "clearing" phase, because before that I would be almost clear one day, then breakout the next, back and forth. Now I have been clear for 2 days. That almost never happens. So, maybe it won't take me months and months to see results, after all!

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DAY 14

Well, I'm two weeks into my modified regimen and it seems to be working wonderfully. (Finally, after many moments of doubt and worry!)

Active blemish count: zero.

Still haven't been using the St. Ives scrub. And I've been letting my face air-dry after washing. And when I rinse the soap off, I use cold water. Although yesterday there was a lot of flakiness and it was bothering me, seeing it all sitting on top of my skin so I took a soaking wet (cold) washcloth and gently swiped it over my face. I couldn't believe how much dead skin came off. lol...I probably irritated my face a little bit, but I am glad I took all that skin off.

VERY EXCITED...I ordered 1/2 oz. of unbuffered 12.5% TCA from makeupartistschoice.com a little while ago. I can't wait to try it. I'm a little nervous, but I'm going to do a spot-test in an unnoticeable area of my face to make sure it'll be alright to use on other areas. My hyperpigmentation is fading on its own, slowly, but hopefully this will accelerate things a little. I've never done a chem peel before, so I hope the instructions it comes with are very detailed. I'm hoping for improvement of very shallow scars and a more even overall skin tone. I was going to try a lower concentration, but I know my skin is somewhat tough so I think I can handle this. It's all about the spot-test. smile.gif I hope it gets here soon...

Blackheads are still there, sort of, but a lot better than a few weeks ago.

Overall, I think I've finally hit my groove here with the regimen. No new pimples in a few days - I don't think I've experienced that since I was 11 years old. Yay! biggrin.gif

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DAY 17

I am pretty much consistently free of acne these days. I really would like it to stay this way, of course, but I'm trying to reign in my excitement about it, just in case I suddenly start breaking out. tongue.gif

I do sometimes wake up with anywhere from one to three tiny whiteheads, but it literally takes only one day and then they'll be gone.

I still have a fair amount of red marks, and some permanent scars, which I will be attempting to lessen the appearance of in a matter of a few days (when my TCA arrives).

My regimen is very simple: I wash twice a day with Safeguard Antibacterial bar soap, wait anywhere from 15-30 minutes (depending on how dry/flaky my skin might be), apply Dan's BP gel (a large amount, to where it almost seems like too much), let it thoroughly dry, then only moisturize if I want to wear makeup that day, or if I am extremely flaky (Eucerin Skin Renewal moisturizer w/SPF). Usually I do not moisturize. My skin just doesn't seem to need it most of the time.

I try to keep my hands away from my face all day and night. I try to wear my (very long & thick) hair up whenever possible. I try to apply makeup with a very light hand, and try to go without it whenever I can.

Blackheads are almost entirely gone now. It took a couple weeks, but they seem to finally be responding to either the BP or the soap...not sure which.

I no longer "exfoliate" - skin actually seems to heal by itself much better without being scrubbed at all. I try to air-dry my face at night, but every now and then I do use a washcloth after my morning shower to lightly slough off any grossly flaky patches of skin.

Every day, once a day I take two Hair Skin & Nails (by GNC) vitamins, and once a day I take one Acidophilus pill. I'm not sure how big of a difference these things make, but it can't hurt that I'm taking them.

My plan is to stay on the regimen until I completely outgrow my skin problems, which could take until I'm in my 40s. tongue.gif Anything to stay clear...

In the meantime I am going to do a series of medium-depth TCA peels and after a year's time (or so), if my scars are still more noticeable than I'd like them to be I will look into having punch floats or something done.

Oh, and I've been drinking tons of water lately. I almost wonder if the BP dries me out so much that my body craves it. lol! I doubt it, but that's certainly what it feels like. I don't think water has too much of an effect on acne. Perhaps it's good for slowing the aging process, but I've drank gallons of water before I was on the regimen, too, and it had no effect on breakouts, that I'm aware of.

Good luck everyone, stick with it! I'll keep updating as necessary.

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Forgot to mention that I decided against trying DermaBlend makeup. I just think it would be too thick for my liking, and I'm trying to wean myself off of relying so much on cosmetics.

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