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Schizophrenic Skin: Time To Try The Regimen?

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First, I would like to say a huge thank you to the people who are behind this website and to the people of its community who bravely share their stories and provide much help, information and inspiration to keep fighting acne. Thank you.

There is a question/thought at the end of this, so please bear with me.

I am a 32 year old male. I grew up in Europe. The winters were cold and the summers hot. Air conditioners was something you saw in American movies and TV shows, so while the humidity went down in the winter time, you were at its mercy in the summertime. I never thought about the climate I lived in until I was 25, but I'll get to that later.

In 1995, at 15 years of age, my skin started to change. It was getting oilier and along with it came sporadic outbreaks of acne on my forehead. By the time I was 16 the acne was in full effect, covering my forehead. I tried every acne product under the sun with literally no success. Fortunately, I could style my hair in such a way that my forehead never saw the light of day (think Beatles ca. 1963). It was bothersome, but since my acne was limited to my forehead only, I was able to live with it. Then, at the age of 17, my hair started falling out. Male pattern baldness. "Oh, great", I thought. Now it was only a matter of time before my acne would be exposed. And so I started with the hats and the beanies...wore them whenever I could. For the next few years, my skin would become increasingly worse and my hair was going fast. The acne spread to my cheeks, my chin, my nose...all of a sudden it was everywhere. The dark spots covered my forehead and my face while new zits kept on coming. I became socially awkward and after a while I wasn't socially anything.

Fast forward to early spring, 2004, after a few very difficult years, I see a new product on the shelf at a local pharmacy; 5% Benzoyl Peroxide. I bought a tube, just to try it. After a week or two of using it, I could see the light at the end of tunnel. My skin was responding to a topical acne medication! I ran back to the pharmacy to buy more, and then I noticed that they also carried a 10% version of the same BP cream. I bought it, too. Pretty soon, I had my own routine; A thick layer of 10% BP covering my face at night and a thin layer of 5% BP during the day. I worked! After a couple of months my face was almost perfect. My skin's own oil production made for a perfect balance witht he BP, even in the winter when the humidity dropped. About two months later and my skin actually WAS perfect! People who had never met me before would admire my skin and tell me how beautiful it was (mainly women...guys, not so much). It was milky white with not a blemish or a pore visible to the naked eye, it had even faded and bleached the dark spots. I was elated. I couldn't believe it. I had gotten a new lease on life and I was loving it. It got to the point where I could skip the 10% BP for a few nights and just put on a tiny little bit of 5% during the day and my skin would still be perfect, as long as I went back to my routine fairly quick.

In the fall of 2005, a year and a half after my BP discovery, confident and loving life, I moved to a southern state in the US and not long after, a few weeks at the most, my skin started breaking out. No amount of BP helped. In fact, now, the 10% night-mask made it worse. I was distraught. My confidence was gone and I was desperately trying to figure out what the hell had happened. I had kept my routine the exact same with the exact same products, so what was different? I went back to trying product after product and every possible combination of mixing and application of BP and moisturizers...nothing worked for a long time until I started to use a crazy amount of moisturizer, reapplying a good amount every 5 minutes for thirty minutes at night and then applying a large amount of 10% BP right before bed. My skin was slowly stabilizing again. A couple of weeks later, my skin was yet again clear. But my happiness didn't last very long. About eight months later, I traveled out west to California to do some work and stayed there for about a month and a half, and when I returned to the south, my skin was out of whack again. I figured it was just a reaction to the climate out west and as long as I kept the routine going my skin would eventually adapt and stabilize itself again...but no such luck. Back to drawing table, I went. It took me a while, but I eventually figured out that what was happening was that my skin seemed to react very strongly to any change in humidity. Air conditioners! Eureka! Everywhere I went now, air conditioning was present. My skin was being dried out and probably felt like it had to produce more oil, and the BP just made it worse. Yeah, that has to be it! So I ditched my 10% BP nightly mask and replaced it with a thick layer of Cetaphil moisturizer and then after showering in the morning applied 5% BP only. That, along with taking inc and fish oil, well, it didn't make my skin perfect as when I lived in Europe, but it worked wonders compared to everything else. But unfortunately, that wasn't the end of my skin issue.

Ok, so it's now 2012 and I have been back in Europe for a few months. Five months, to be exact, and my skin has yet again gone haywire, even though the only major change in my life since being back has been the climate. I have tried several routines, and lately I have been doing to my original 2004-05 10% BP at night 5%BP during the day routine, and while my skin is not as bad as it once was, I'm still dealing with a hugely erratic pattern of outbreaks. I'm going crazy trying to figure out my skin's behavior and what it is that triggers it to break out. How come something that used to work perfectly doesn't seem to work anymore? Has anyone else on here dealt with climate changes and had these challenges in regaining control of their skin? Has the acne.org regimen worked for you? I'm soon traveling back to the US and am seriously considering buying the acne.org products and start Dan's regimen. I'm almost 33 years old and am sick of living like this, so I have to figure this thing out. Any help or input is greatly appreciated.

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