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Hello Everyone, I'm New Here And Looking For Advice!

Okay, where to start? I currently live in Miami, though I am from Oslo, Norway originally. Living in a city where image and appearance is such a big deal has started to make me self-conscious about my acne more than I already am. I first got my acne at the age of eleven, when I first started my sixth year of school. It was only on my forehead and I would only get about one or two at a time. It was no big deal. However when I moved to the United States at the age of fifteen, my acne started to get worse. I would have a lot more than two pimples appear at once and they started to migrate to my shoulders. I am in university now and it hasn't really shown any signs of getting better. It is (thankfully) contained to my forehead and temples only, but it is still discouraging.

It is the worst on my right temple, where it has appeared to have become cystic and left some nasty scars. What's worse is that I still get pimples on my right temple, so it's a disgusting combination of scars and zits mixed together. My forehead is still pretty bad and I am currently breaking out with lots of little pimples focused around the middle of my forehead. My left temple rarely gets zits, but when it does, they can scar. :( I also get blackheads on my nose, but those don't really bother me that much because they are hardly noticeable. But I would still like to get rid of them! Some other skin issues I have include keratosis pilaris on my upper arms and legs, and eczema on my inner elbows, behind my kness, and on my wrists, and rosacea on my cheeks. I know this is acne.org, but if anyone knows anything about these three irritating conditions, I would be happy to hear from you!

I have done my research and know that acne is a genetic condition. When I asked my mother, she told me that she got some moderate acne on her cheeks starting her sixth year of school and she still has the scars to prove it! She also had the rosacea and keratosis pilaris, but she told me that they just kind of went away on their own without her having to do much. My father told me that he never had a zit in his life. My siblings and I all show a combination of my parents' skin types. I have an oily forehead and nose (where I get my acne), but my cheeks, chin, and upper lip are normal and i never get acne there. My sister breaks out on her cheeks, but she has clear skin everywhere else. My brother is the lucky one and I have yet to see him with a single pimple, even though he is at the ripe age of fifteen where he should be getting it everywhere!

Now a little bit of information about my lifestyle. I am eighteen years old and a university student. I sleep about eight to ten hours a night, and on my back so as to make sure that my face does not touch my pillow, but recently I have been sleeping less because of midterms. haha Maybe that's why I am breaking out so bad right now? I also drink about five to six liters of water I day and my urine is almost always clear except for in the morning. My diet is very clean. I am training for a fitness competition and can only eat certain products such a grilled chicken, tuna fish, peanut butter (with no hydrogenated oils), protein powder, Greek yogurt, rice cakes, and lots of fruits and vegetables. I eat no fried foods and sweets are a distant memory. I have noticed that milk and dairy can sometimes give me stomach issues, but I have limited my dairy intake to about half a cup of milk, one slice of cheese, a cup of cottage cheese, and one individual cup of Greek yogurt per day. Is that still too much dairy? In my research, I noticed that forehead and temple acne are caused by digestive problems, but I feel that my digestive system is fine, because I defecate about twice a day on average and the toilet paper usually comes back clean. I never touch my face and always make sure that my hair is off of my forehead or tied up. I'm thinking that the culprit may be that since I exercise six to seven times a week, and therefore sweat six to seven times a week, that that may be irritating my skin.

I also work in a restaurant. I mainly man the cash register, but I am sometimes put behind the fryer, which I know is horrendous for the skin. I also work VERY long work weeks. It's not unusual for me to work seven days a week for six to eight hours a day. This combined with my heavy course load, fitness competition, and stress of being on my own in a somewhat new country may also be contributing to my acne.

The regimen that I have for my acne is quite detailed and I will try to list out as much as I can for your convenience. My current products are from an Orlando-based company called Garden Gate Skin Care. I was referred to there by the woman that cuts my hair and she swears by their products. I received facials from the woman who runs the company, and while they were painful (extractions hurt!), I noticed that they really did help my skin and the products helped quite a bit... at first. It may be because I haven't received a facial in quite a while, but I find the products aren't nearly as effective if I don't get facials regularly. But anyway, here are the ingrediants. Please let me know if you see any red flags!

cleanser (I was my face twice daily with this.): aloe vera gel, decyl polyglucose, glycolic acid - 7% (partially neutralized for balanced pH), salicylic acid, cocomidopropyl betaine, dimethicone, yeast extract (vitamin B), sodium PCA, glycerin, SD Alcohol 40, lactic acid, watercress extract, papain, bromelain, lavender extract, soap wort extract, sodium hydroxide, guar gum, phenoxyethanol, sodium benzoate

blemish control gel (I apply this to currently active zits.): aloe vera gel, witch hazel extract, refined sea water, glycolic acid and lactic acid and malic acid and salicylic acid, stearic acid, carbomer, tea tree oil, dimethicone, lecithin, silica, tocopheryl acetate, yeast extract, lavender extract, sodium PCA, triethanolamine, sodium hyaluronate, phenoxyethanol, sodium benzoate, potassium sorbate

exfoliator (I exfoliate my nose, forehead, and temples with this about thrice a week.): aloe vera gel, hydrogenated polyisobutane, stearic acid, cetyl alcohol, sodium alginate, glycerin, refined aluminum oxide, chamomile extract, thyme leaves extract, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, safflower oil, dimethicone, micronized sodium chloride (salt), bromalain enzymes, papain enzymes, lecithin, calendula extract, rosemary extract, toopheryl acetate (vitamin E), retinyl palmitate (vitamin A), allantoin, sodium PCA, phenoxyethanol, potassium sorbate, sodium benzoate

moistureizer (I apply this to every part of my face after I'm done with everything else.): aloe vera gel, stearic acid, dimethicone, glycerin, decyl oleate, cetyl alcohol, sodium alginate, aquas extract of chamomile, ginseng and cucumber, blackcurrant extract, tamarind extract, apple extract, yeast extract (vitamin B), carbomer, d-Panthenol, ginseng extract, allantoin, d-Penthanol, retinyl palmitate, glucose, fructose, sucrose, dextrin, glutamic acid, guar gum, sodium PCA, tocopheryl acetate (vitamin E), retinyl palmitate (vitamin A), ascorbyl palmitate, triethanolamine, sodium hyaluronate, phenoxyethanol, potassium sorbate, sodium benzoate, citric acid

Okay, I know that was a long read, but please look over every ingredient and let me know if any of them are known to be skin irritants. I just feel that me having acne is unfair becuase I live such a healhy lifestyle, never touch my face, get enough sleep, and don't do anything harmful to my body. But my roommates stay up way late, touch their faces, eat crap and drink soda and alcohol, smoke, and never wash their faces and they all have perfect skin. argh!!! I just feel that I would be so much more confident and attractive without acne and I am willing to do a lot of things to make it go away once and for all! Thank you for reading my very long post. I will be sure to include pictures of my forehead, both temples, and my whole face. I am very glad to be part of this community!

left temple: post-186794-0-74593400-1350534354_thumb.

right temple (my worst area): post-186794-0-39504800-1350534361_thumb.

forehead (I'm breaking out in this pic, but it doesn't usually look this bad.): post-186794-0-19812500-1350534368_thumb.

my whole face (So you guys can get an idea of what the contrast is between my trouble spots and my clear spots. also, my rosacea!): post-186794-0-26512100-1350534373_thumb.

I would also like to add that I have been prescribed Finacea for my rosacea, but all that did was dry my skin out really bad and I ditched it after I ran through the whole bottle and didn't see any results. I have also used benzoyl peroxide in the past, but I had a very bad reaction to it and am hesitant to use it again. It is for that reason that I am reluctant to use Dan's regimen because he advocates heavy use of BP.





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Maybe you should simplfy your routine.

Use a gentle cleanser: Free and Clear, CeraVe Foaming (oilier skin) or CeraVe Hydrating (for drier or sensitive skin).

Use only one exfoliator: BHA (Stridex in the red box) or AHA (paulaschoice.com 8% glycolic acid) and start out slow, once a day.

Moisturize only the dry areas of your face with CeraVe lotion or VaniCream Light Lotion.

And be careful using make-up. Stick to mineral foundation.

Also I have found to really calm skin down the Aveeno Baby eczema cleanser and eczema lotion are fantastic they contain collidial oatmeal and the diaper rash cream although drying because it contains zinc can help with really irritated areas as a spot treatment.

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I think you may be exfoliating too much. Rosacea is worsened by irritation, and exfoliation is definitely an irritant. I would cut back to once a week or even less often. Salicylic acid works by increasing cell turnover (making the top cells die faster and new cells generate quicker), which can be a problem if the underlying cells become clogged before they fully mature. I would try benzoyl peroxide -- while it also increases cell turnover, it works by oxidating the skin, which creates an environment bacteria cannot live in.

Edited to add: I see that you're sensitive to BP. With the rosacea, I would try putting the BP on your trouble areas only at first, and a teeny tiny amount once a day to start off with. Moisturize well afterward.

You are definitely on the right track with your clean diet and exercising. Forehead/temple acne can also be caused/worsened by hair conditioners not being fully rinsed from the area, and/or sweat not being washed away soon enough. If you aren't already, make sure your face wash is the last thing you do in the shower, so you will make sure to wash away any shampoo/conditioner remaining smile.png Hope this helps!

Edited by fragilesong

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