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Should I Try Using Just Water?

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I've been researching this all night. And it seems promising. But I'm pretty scared to try it.

I've had mild to mild-moderate acne since I was 13/14. I'm 18 now. And my acne right now is probably the worst it's ever been. And I'm starting to notice a pattern... Lately I've tried so many different products on my face. Proactiv (cringe) being one of them. I'm thinking I stripped my skin, and made it dependent on chemicals. At least, from these threads on using no acne medications, this is what I'm thinking.

I rarely get acne in places I don't use acne treatments. Such as my neck. I do occasionally, but usually when I'm stressed, and it's so minor you can't even see it. My skin is pretty oily, though it gets so dry from these products and I think it's maybe overcompensating. Because after I wash it it's super dry, and then it gets very oily as the hours pass. Another thing I've noticed, is that if I go one night without using anything on my face, the next day my skin looks better. Then I go back to using my products and it gets a lot worse. So... Maybe this is an indication that this method would work for me?

Neither of my parents have acne or even scars from acne. My mother had it as a teenager, and eventually resorted to tetracycline (sp?). After that it never came back after that. So this makes me think that maybe I just need to stop using the acne products all together.

One last thing I've noticed. Before, for the brief periods in time I've had clear skin in the past, I used minimal products. It's only recently after using Proactiv, really, that my skin has gotten so bad.

I hate Proactiv. Ugh. Anyways.

Has anyone tried this? I hear it takes six or so months to clear up. I'm scared of my skin purging as well.... Agh. Any suggestions? Tips? Advice? Past experiences? I'm pretty desperate.

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My skin was similar to yours i think. I now just splash twice with room temp water in the shower, no cleanser... but still follow the other parts of the regimen (BP & Moisturizer). My skin is much more 'normal' now. The cleanser was definitely over drying my skin (and i tried loads of different ones) and messing with oil production.I didnt get any purging (as I'm stil using BP i guess), and it was a simple transition to make. I'm now 100% clear.

Edited by tricky
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Though I still get outbreaks that freak me out (that's why I still come here from time to time) I figured out a way to handle my acne. The most pimples I ever have at once is one or two as opposed to a year ago where my face was covered.

I used proactiv for a while and it did work for me somewhat, but not 100%. I wanted to stop using it because its so drying and harsh and, as you said, I stripped my skin.

Instead of going JUST WATER immediately i've worked up to a lighter regimen so that my skin can heal. Its looking pretty good now, so i'll share this with you.

I used to scrub my face raw with the proactiv cleanser and then cake it in BP. This is how I decreased from that:

- Use proactiv cleanser, cake on BP, take clean face pad (I was anal about not touching my face ever or touching the pads) and whipe all the BP off, put moisturizer, whipe off excess moisturizer (I had excess because I didnt want to rub it around too much so I caked that on too).

- Use proactiv cleanser mixed with Cetaphil gentle skin cleanser, same BP steps as before

- Use only cetaphil cleanser, same BP steps as before

- Use only cetaphil cleanser, only do BP steps as before AT NIGHT.

Reduce slowly is my suggestion.

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If you do this, make sure to use cold water. I did water-only for a couple of weeks recently, but now I'm using cetaphil gentle cleanser to get rid of dead skin. I never have a 'purging' stage (I never do when I start new products), but my skin started to get really dry recently.

I think using this to repair your skin is great and then slowly implementing a gentle cleanser, toner and moisturiser once your skins natural oils have returned. There's no problem with using OTC products (some are pretty beneficial to your skin), it's just choosing the correct ones.

Let your skin heal from the damage ProActiv has caused, then find some gentle products that work for you.

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I used to do the regimen. It worked, but it made my skin terrible. Not much acne, but rough texture, dry skin, lots of oil. I stopped abruptly, and my skin peeled like mad. I also broke out a lot, especially in places I normally didn't. After a couple weeks, all was better. My oily skin has never returned, even though I am doing a mild topical regimen now.

But that may or may not have led to the problems I have now, which is some sort of deep folliculitis/comedones thing that's insanely stubborn. I'm still trying to figure it out; it appeared after I did no-wash for a second time.

No-wash is great for reducing inflammatory acne. I have no doubt of that. But in my experience, it is of little use when it comes to comedonal acne. It might even cause comedonal acne, but I can't say that for sure.

If you want to do something like no-wash, or just water, I would wean off slowly. You might be able to stop leave-on topicals immediately. But washing with a cleanser might take time to reduce in order to avoid problems later on.

You could consider an internal problem being the cause of your acne. One of the better measures of internal health is the state of your tongue. Anything other than pink could suggest an internal problem.

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