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My 3 Step Miracle

BACKGROUND:

Female

19

Caucasian

Perfectly healthy!

Fair skinned

I started getting blemishes around age 13/14 ish. Just small normal whiteheads and the few blackheads. I hadn't been washing my face up to that point, but when I started noticing pimples I bought my first cleanser, St. Ives Naturally Clear Blemish Fighting Apricot Wash. I paired it up with a couple more Naturally Clear line items, and started my regimen of exfoliating, cleansing and moisturizing. I thought Salycilic Acid was my best friend.

It didn't seem to get worse at first, but gradually my little whiteheads started getting bigger, under the skin, and eventually transformed into cystic acne. I was horrified, and in my desperation to find a cure I did many big no no's. I exfoliated every day, sometimes twice a day. I washed my face with my hands, I constantly switched cleansers, moisturizers, face masks, etc. It was a nightmare, and I eventually had to go to the Dermatologist. This was also around the time I started wearing makeup to conceal my blemishes. I was so embarassed. Taking my makeup off in front of a Derm, having her all up in my face and so close to my skin. I was put on antibiotics, Benzaclin and Tazorac. I didn't get any side effects from the pills, but the Taz made my face so red and so dry.

Eventually the regimen did work, and my face was okay for awhile. But then my destructive cycle came back around. I got a bad breakout, and in my frantic need to clear it up I started trying this and that and overloading my skin. Back to the derm. I was put on more antibiotics and another cream. By this time I was 16ish.

After my face cleared for a second time and stayed clear for awhile I was 17ish and had started a new regimen. I found out my face did NOT like Salycilic Acid of any kind, and definitely didn't like BP. I had started using Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser, using some store bought toner and a store bought Aloe Vera for moisturizer. My skin wasn't perfect, but it wasn't horrible. I didn't have to wear as much makeup anymore.

For the 3rd and last time it happened again. I got a breakout, strayed from my regimen, overload. This time I refused to go back to the Derm. Not only did it take months for what they prescribe to work, it was so very expensive. I went on a warpath of trying this and that and more of this. I'd make routine trips to Wal Mart to try this supplement and that oil. My face was like a battlezone. Scars, bumps, redness. I'd dread every morning having to put on makeup and face school. Sometimes I'd even cry because of how upset I was.

PRODUCTS I'VE TRIED:

Almost EVERY St. Ives Product

ALL sorts of BP ( Yes, including Dan's )

Face Chemical Peel @ Derm ( NEVER again, ouch! )

Neutrogena Naturals

Neutrogena On the Spot

Clean & Clear Foaming Cleanser

Clean & Clear Dual Action Moisturizer

Clean & Clear Sensitive Skin Astringent

Every face mask ever

Alba Organics

AcneFree

Dove Soap

Shampoos

Black Soap

Zeno Hotspot

Lemon Juice

Alpha Hydrox ( the brand )

The Body Shop products

Sea Salt

Tea Tree Oil

Baking Soda

Naturally Made Soap from Health Food stores

Dial Body Wash

Enough supplements to open my own store

& MORE

( You get the point )

After loads of trial and error ( and I mean loads ) I fell into the right path. I told myself that this was MY fault for straying from what worked in the first place. My poor skin was just reacting to my bad treatment of it. I kept on with Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser. My grandmother bought me a Clarisonic ( which I use to this day, it's a life saver ). I started using Apple Cider Vinegar as a toner, and I had continued using my Wal Mart brand Aloe Vera as a moisturizer. It took a while, but my face thanked me for the soft and gentle regimen. My face has been clear since then ( roughly 2 years ago ). And now I only deal with the occasional whitehead or the one super small cyst when I get super stressed or the like ( and even then it isn't even noticeable ).

MY REGIMEN!

MORNING & NIGHT:

CLEANSE

with Cetaphil Daily ( "Oily" if you're in Canada ) Facial Cleanser w/ a Clarisonic Brush ( Use the Sensitive Skin brush )

TONE

with a mixture of 1/2 water and 1/2 Spectrum ( NOT Bragg's ) Organic Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar ( use a more diluted solution to begin with and work up to half and half )

MOISTURIZE

with either just plain Wal Mart bought Aloe Vera in a pump bottle ( for sun burns ), or a Cetaphil Moisture cream for dry winters.

And that's it. I eat healthy, but not overly healthy. I only take a Multivitamin and a Vitamin D ( when I remember ). I don't have an exercise routine I do religiously. I wear a dab of concealer here and there if I need it, and some mascara. C: ( sometimes I even fall asleep with the concealer on accidentally ). And most importantly I'm really happy with myself.

I feel that my biggest downfall was stressing every time I broke out horribly. Instead of waiting for it to go down with my current regimen I piled everything I could on my face. That and all the pretty packaging kind of drew me in >.< Maybe I should spice up my Cetaphil bottle.

Good luck if any wish to try the Regimen. And if you do, tell me how it works for you! If you have questions feel free to ask.

Edited by ForQuestions
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Love your post, thanks for sharing! I'm 23 year old female, I started getting pimples when I was in my early teens (12-13?). It was never very severe but I always made it look a lot worse than it actually was with lots of skin picking. I tried so many over the counter products and got pretty clean (but I still had zits every now and then, and I have very oily skin) when I was 18 or 19 and didn't worry about my skin too much ever since... And then sometime last year I started using Maybelline mineral powder and started getting all these whiteheads around my chin, but I didn't think it was from the makeup. I didn't worry about it too much and my skin still looked alright. A few months ago I started using Maybelline matt mousse foundation which completely screwed my skin up. I got so many whiteheads, especially on my chin and jawline and some on my cheeks (and I never used to get pimples on my cheeks). The whiteheads started to GROW and some developed into cysts like your experience!! So I stopped using foundation/powder and got Dan's Regimen Kit... But like you, I don't think my skin likes BP :/ I had 2 chemical burns from it and I just don't like how it makes my skin so red and dry. Also I don't like the moisturiser. The only thing I like out of the kit is the cleanser. I'm interested to try Cetaphil cause I've heard great things about the brand...

I'm using Witch Hazel and Olay moisturiser for sensitive skin and I'm afraid to put anything else on. I've used the moisturiser forever and it's the best moisturiser I've ever used, so gentle. I've only just started using Witch Hazel a few days ago and I love it, it's natural and smells good and feels so good on my skin. And I hear it's also good for acne?

All my whiteheads on my chin have been surfacing and I'd eventually pop them and they scab and go away but leave scars :( What do you do with your scars??

My acne is mostly just on the sides of my chin and it is driving me insane. I feel like a monster :/ I'm going to keep using Witch Hazel and see if my skin improves, but right now I still have whiteheads from when I was using the foundation. Every morning I wake up and run to the mirror to see if any of them grew red overnight. What happened to your whiteheads? Did they all come up eventually? Or did they go away under your skin??

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I honestly hate Dan's regimen. BP is very strong stuff, and you're told to put it ALL OVER your face ALL the time. To me it sounds like Accutane Lite, where you're forcing your face to comply with very harsh chemicals. Plus from reading other people's experiences, they have to do it every day, even when clear, otherwise they'll start breaking out again. It sounds like a horror story to me. I can go a night without washing my face and still be okay. Like I had mentioned, my face also has bad reaction to Salicylic acid. I've tested it and it is very true for me. You might want to look at your products and make sure that the acid isn't present, because the same could be true for you as well.

I'd definitely suggest you try Cetaphil! God I love the stuff. Both me and my little sister use it. There's Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser or the sensitive skin Facial Cleanser. I have "sensitive skin" but I use the regular one and it works just peachy. A lot of people don't like it because it feels like a lotion, or says it doesn't lather. Which I find weird, because when I put it on my Clarisonic and run my finger in a circle a little I always get a little bit of a lather to spread around my face. It doesn't dry you out, it's very gentle, and the smell isn't bad ( no perfumes, so it might take a little getting used to ). Which brings me to very strongly suggesting you invest in a Clarisonic brush http://www.clarisonic.com/ I hate washing my face with my hands, and a Clarisonic works much better. There's different brush heads to chose from, and it alone exfoliates your skin very gently. I use the MIA for travel C:

When it came to scars, I tried a lot of stuff. I had tried lemon juice, baking soda, strong AHA's, exfoliating more, etc. All I use for scars is my AVC in my regimen. AVC has trace amounts of AHA's in it, so it gently exfoliates your skin when applied. It fades scars very nicely! Sure it won't fade them completely gone in a day, like everything else it takes time, but it's one of the more gentler ways to get the job done.

Witch Hazel is something my grandma tried to get me to use forever, for blackheads though. I personally didn't like it much myself, and again, I use AVC instead. My skin was also very very oily, but what what I've been using it's pretty much completely gone away!

When it comes to my whiteheads, the ones that actually are at the surface, I'd usually go ahead and pop them with 2 pieces of toilet paper under my fingers, and then clean the area with some AVC. For the under the surface ones ( cysts ) I'd leave them be until they either came to a head, in which I'd extract and clean, or they'd go back down and clear themselves.

The makeup I started using while I had blemishes ( and even now I still use it when I need it~ ) is Dermablend by Vichy. I've never had a single problem with it, and it covers like a dream. It's a liquid foundation/concealer, but I just used it like a concealer with my finger. Doesn't cake or flake, and it's very natural looking.

I don't know if this would help you, but according to face mapping, blemishes around the jawline or chin area can sometimes suggest hormone imbalance. I don't know if that's your case ( it wasn't mine ), but it doesn't hurt to look into.

The funny thing is, the more I tried to use products "FOR" blemishes, the worse it got. And when I started to use products not specifically for blemishes, the better my face reacted. Probably because just using products to have a clean face is much gentler than using all the chemicals and acids used to try and treat acne.

Lastly, don't stress! I can't BELIEVE how many pictures I've looked at of myself back when I had blemishes and noticed that..I didn't look nearly as bad as I thought I did XD It really is all in our minds, and we stress ourselves far too much. Just be happy and healthy and don't worry yourself too much. If you feel like using my regimen don't be afraid to ask more questions about it! Sorry for the super long post : P

Edited by ForQuestions
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Yeah my boyfriend was on Dan's regimen a few years back apparently and said it only worked for awhile :/ I REALLY don't like the moisturiser either. BP is just too harsh! I don't know, I feel like maybe I should have stuck with it for a few months instead of weeks and see how it goes but I just could not stand the uncomfortable feeling from dryness and redness. I already have 2 bottles of Dan's cleanser on the way so I will try Cetaphil after :/

Clarisonic brush looks really interesting, doesn't it irritate your skin though? Does it feel soft?

I recently invested in a personal microdermabrasion machine which I love so Clarisonic brush will have to wait a bit haha

I drink ACV 2 tablespoons a day, haven't been doing it for very long so I don't know if it's doing any good but I should definitely put it on my face as well. I'm just so hasty I can't stick with one regimen for long unless I see the results really quick! :/

I'll look into the foundation you mentioned, thank you! I bought covergirl aquasmooth and it's pretty good but right now with my acne I'm just so scared to put on any foundation anymore, especially after the nightmare Maybelline mousse gave me.

Yes I also looked at the face map thingy, I've been on the same birth control pill for like 3 years now and never had a problem with it, but in the last few months I'd delay my periods a lot and now I'm going to stop doing that and have my period when I'm supposed to.

I'm also trying to cure my acne from the inside, I'm basically on raw vegan diet and it's a bit hard cause I love bread and dairy but I'm gonna stick with it. I also hear coconut oil is very good?

Anyway thank you so much for the reply and don't worry about the length of your post :P

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Clarisonic doesn't irritate my skin at all. I use the Sensitive Skin brush head like I mentioned, which is the white brush head. It doesn't feel "soft" so to speak, but it's in no way rough.

I used to try drinking AVC, but the taste just was way too much for me XD Even if it doesn't help your face, I've read AVC is really good for stomach aches and losing weight.

I don't have any advice on BC pills unfortunately. I tried taking them a year or 2 ago because I'd get really bad cramps, but all it did was throw my hormones out of whack so I was crying and grumpy every day for absolutely no reason XD So I quit them after like a week.

I've never tried changing my diet when I had bad blemishes o-o The only thing I can think of close to that is I don't really drink milk anymore ( stopped really enjoying it when I was 17 ) except in cereal or if it's chocolate. I do eat yogurt though and other dairy products, just not really milk. Also I've heard a few things about coconut oil, I'm sure you can find reviews of it on Acne.org or just google in general.

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Thanks alot for sharing your success story. I have been breaking out pretty badly since this past May around my cheeks and the area around my mouth.

I tried the Dan's Regimen. It worked with killing the pimples but it left a lot of red and brown marks on my cheeks.

I stopped using it about 3 weeks ago and started using the Cetaphil cleanser, pure lemon juice for toner and aloe vera as a moisturizer.

I believe my marks are slowly fading away because I don't have those brown marks and now I only have red and pink marks. I just add turmeric/honey mask and adding in ACV as a toner.

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