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Male, Age 22, Weekly Log

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Background: Acne has been a burden all of my teen and adult life. I started getting my first acne in the 7th grade. It did not become a huge problem until the 10th grade where I had what I would consider moderate to severe acne (about 5-8x worse than my week 0 state shown below). I saw the family dermatologist who put me on an arsenal of treatments. First proactive, then tazorac, then antibiotics, and finally accutane. Nothing but accutane in the 11th grade did anything to lessen my acne. Accutane itself did a great job of reducing my acne down to 1 or 2 pimples a week which was a godsend for me. However, my sophomore year of college, I started to break out more and more. Now, acne once again plagues my life. I'm in my 4th year of college.

I hate having acne. It kills my confidence (I feel I have the potential to be a rather handsome/attractive person). I find myself purposely avoiding social situations when I have break outs (my face is in constant break out mode at this point). I find myself turning my head during conversations so people see the side that is least broken out. White heads are gross, I worry about them popping without my knowledge, and it is hard for me to look in the mirror. I'm sick of dealing with acne, and I've had enough. I'm going to start a treatment with the hopes of curing my acne once and for all. It will start out rather mild compared to some of the regimes I have researched on this board.

Problem Areas: My acne largely presents itself around my chin and cheeks. I have never had a pimple on my forehead. This is in the form of white heads and deep, large, red, tight hard spots that hurt if touched too roughly. I do have some occasional acne on my back and neck, but it is very mild.


-Oxy Clinical: (This is the 3 pack with the face wash (2% salicylic acid), clearing treatment (5% BP), and hydrating cream (2% Salicylic Acid). I've been using this for about 2 weeks, and the results have not been great. I'm going to stick with it for at least another month)

-Paleo Diet: (Basically I'm only going to eat meats and veggies. This means a strict gluten free, no sugar, no pastas/breads diet. I've been on this diet on and off, but I want to give it a full month to see the full benefits).

-Exercise: (I already do cardio 3 days a week and lift 3 days a week, but I will stick to this)

-No touching my face: (This is a big problem for me. I constantly find myself picking at my acne and scratching itches. I have a feeling this is a huge contributor to my acne.)

-No masturbation: (I'm not sure how much this contributes to my acne, but I am mostly doing it for other reasons).

-Zinc Supplements: (I'm going to take 60mg. This is something I have not tried that gives me hope given the good reviews)

-b5 supplement?: (I'm considering 10g a day, but my understanding is this is to control oil. My face is typically dry as a result of the accutane I took, so I doubt this will help.)

-Daily moisturizer: (This is a necessity due to the oxy clinical treatment I've been using. If I don't use it, my face will peal and break out even worse. I use a cetaphile brand that is non-comedogenic twice a day)

-shaving: (I use a beard trimmer to give myself a 24/7, 5 o'clock shadow. This seems to not irritate my skin, and I have not seen any correlation between shaving and breaking out).

-Sleep: (Something that is very, very lacking in my life. Some nights I get as little as 4 hours of sleep. I'm going to make it a habit to get at least 8 hours of sleep a night. Also, I am going to start positioning my head such that my cheeks do not touch the pillow; IE I look at the ceiling when I sleep).

-Probiotic: (I've been taking one capsule a day for the past week. I don't have the bottle with me for more information)

-Fish Oil: (I take one tablespoon a day to supplement my strength training.)

-Water: (I'm going to up my intake from 1.5 liters a day to 3 liters a day)

With that out of the way, I present my week 0 photos which I will use to benchmark my progress (haven't shaved in a good 4 days... sorry about that):




Disclaimer: My camera is pretty terrible. I recognize my acne is not as bad as some people (not by a long shot), but it still kills my self-esteem. Also, as I mentioned previously, my acne was anywhere from 5-8x worse back in high school, so believe me, I know it could be worse.

Edited by farmergregor

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Here is a recount of my week 1 with updated pictures posted at the end.

-Oxy Clinical: I stopped using the clearing treatment and hydrating therapy part of the 3 part package due to my face becoming excessively dry even with moisturizer. I started only using the face wash in the morning and at night as of Friday. I believe I am going to start using the clearing treatment again at night, and skip out on the hydrating therapy all together from this point on.

-Paleo Diet: I've stuck to this pretty well. I did eat 2 slices of pizza and some ice cream on Friday.

-Exercise: I did my three days of strength training, but did not have time to do my three days of cardio. With Thanksgiving break this week, I should have plenty of time. I didn't pop any whiteheads (as gross as it is to walk around with white heads on my face).

-No touching my face: I managed to only touch my face around five times this week. There were a lot of times where I was instinctively going to scratch an itch on my face but stopped in time. The times I was touching my face was when I caught myself after the fact.

-No masturbation: Still going strong on this one.

-Zinc Supplements: My zinc supplements have not arrived yet. I'm probably only going to take a 30mg pill and another 15mg from a daily multivitamin I take (total of 45 mg).

-b5 supplement?: A bottle of b5 pills (Pantothenic Acid) arrived at my house Friday. I started taking 3g a day in the afternoon. I don't feel like my acne is harsh enough to take 10g a day. Even then I do not feel it is healthy to take 3g, so my goal is to work done to 1g or less.

-Daily moisturizer: This has still been necessary for me even after temporarily stopping my use of the oxy clinical treatment.

-shaving: I shaved this week as I do every week.

-Sleep: This has been a huge improvement for me. I managed to get at least 8 hours of sleep each night for this week.

-Probiotic: Still taking this daily.

-Fish Oil: Still taking this daily

-Water: Kind of a week spot for me. Some days I had 4 Liters, others less than 2 Liters. I probably need to set up a schedule to ensure I get enough water especially with the supplements I take.

Finally, here are the pictures (Week 1 on left. Week 0 on right):




I tried to focus my camera better, but the third shot still looks like poop. Anyways, this week saw great improvement. I only got three new pimples (two tiny white heads below the left part of the bottom lip, and one "red pimple" below the two white heads). Typically I break out over the weekend (I've never been able to correlate why to anything), but amazingly my acne only got better this weekend. I'm not sure what to tie it too. For the past three months, I've been constantly breaking out.

The three most significant changes I've made over the past week are:

1) Not touching my face. I think this may be the key factor in my improvement. Prior to this week, I would scratch any itch and pick at my pimples (including popping white heads).

2) Sleep. I managed to get 8 or more hours of sleep every night this week. This is in contrast to my usual 4-6 hours of sleep a night.

3) Oxy clinical finally starting to work? This is tough for me to say, because I have been using it for 2 weeks now (minus this weekend where I only used the face wash). My plan is to start using the clearing treatment again too, and forgetting about the hydrating therapy part of the package.

I really want to see how my acne fairs in the coming week. If it continues to improve like it did this week, my face will be clear in a month or so. A lot of what is on my face now is the red remains of week+ old acne that needs to heal.

Edited by farmergregor

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-Oxy Clinical: Really only been using the facewash at night at this point. My skin peels too much from the clearing treatment.

-Paleo Diet: Really broke my diet this week with a lot of grains and carbs. However, I'm unconvinced my diet plays a major role in my outbreaks.

-Exercise: Got in my three days of strength training and three days of cardio.

-No touching my face: Was bad about this this week. Mostly around my lower jaw/neck area where it itched from shaving.

-Zinc Supplements: Started taking 60mg a day. Going to go down to 30mg a day soon.

-b5 supplement?: A bottle of b5 pills (Pantothenic Acid) arrived at my house Friday. I started taking 3g a day in the afternoon. I don't feel like my acne is harsh enough to take 10g a day. Even then I do not feel it is healthy to take 3g, so my goal is to work done to 1g or less.

-Daily moisturizer: This has still been necessary for me even after temporarily stopping my use of the oxy clinical treatment.

-shaving: I shaved this week as I do every week.

-Sleep: Still getting 8 or more hours of sleep a night

-Probiotic: Still taking this daily.

-Fish Oil: Still taking this daily

-Water: Still a weak spot. Need to up my intake.

Here are the week 2 photos (Left) compared to week 1 photos (Right):




Once again, I could not get my camera to focus for the life of me. Still I have good improvement despite not being as vigilant with my regime. This may come back to haunt me in the coming week, but I only got 1 pimple this week, and it went away rather quickly.

Edited by farmergregor

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No real update this week. I have been very busy with finals, and an upcoming trip.

The past two weeks were not great, and I have started breaking out again. I'm attributing this largely to three things.

1) Terrible diet. I've been eating whatever I want for the past 2 weeks; sugar, oils, carbs, glutton, etc.

2) Picking at my face. I've been constantly scratching my face, and picking at acne. I'm going out on a limb and saying this is definitely the leading cause of why my acne has gotten worse over the past 2 weeks.

3) Haven't been religiously using BP and Salicylic Acid products. I continued to use a Salicylic acid face wash at night, but I'm going back onto the full regime. Also, I stopped taking my daily dose of b5 vitamins.

This should be a harsh lesson for me. When I was religiously following the regime for week 1 and week 2 of this thread, my face was improving (slowly, but improving). Stopping the regime has caused my face to break out.

I'm going out of the country for 2 weeks this week, and will not have a chance to use any of my products or have any control of my diet. I'm interested to see how my face fairs.

Edit: I decided to order Dan's products after someone I know in real life recommended it. He swears on his life it cleared up his moderate acne, so it's work a shot. I'm going follow the instructions on this website, and see how it goes. The kit should be waiting for me when I get back in 2 weeks.

Edited by farmergregor

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It's been about 8 months, but I figure I should give an update given I'm basically acne free now. I'll be brief.

I've been using Dan's products and the regime (http://www.acne.org/regimen.html) since the middle of January. It took about 1 month for all my acne to clear up with only red spots remaining. I added AHA+ to the regime at the start of March. It helped a lot with the redness, and I'll even go as far to say that it reduced the frequency of pimple formation. I've continued to use the regime to this day.

I haven't broken out once since starting the regime. I'll have at most 2 pimples form a month. They usually form around the mouth/nose where I do not properly clean/cover with Dan's products. I do not know why Dan's products work, but they do. I've tried many MANY other benzoyl peroxide products with no where near this kind of success. If I skip the regime for a day, it is guaranteed I will have at least one pimple form.

In addition to the regime, I take 60mg of zinc and 10,000 ICU of D3 a day. Also, I use jojoba oil on my face after the lotion I apply drys. jojoba oil is amazing! It prevents my face from flaking (something the lotion alone won't do), and it has VASTLY improved my complexion.

I'm happy to go into more detail if wanted.

Edited by farmergregor

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Thanks for coming back and letting us know what worked- that is great!

10,000 ICU sounds like a lot of vitamin D3 daily, do you know your levels are low?

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Yes, my levels were/are low, and supplementation is needed due to my life style. I do not take D3 supplementation for my acne, but figured I should include everything.

Anyone thinking about taking such high levels of D3 (or any supplement) needs to get blood work done. For reference, 10000 ICU of d3 is 2500% the daily value. Eventually, I will be taking lower doses.

Edited by farmergregor

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