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Thinking Of Stopping Regimen. Past Experiences Making Me Curious.


So I'm an 18 year old male and for the past ~4 years I've dealt with acne problems, of which I've resolved mainly during these very recent times. (Past year mainly). This whole post is about the realizations I've come to about how I treated my acne in the past, and how I believe I can apply it to the present day. It is a lot of information, but if you would like to read it I'd love ya forever. Thanks!


I've learned a lot through out primarily the past year and most significantly recently after finding this forum, and I've been really confused at how I should approach my acne now that I've been looking back. These are summaries of my 4 years of dealing with acne.

Freshman year(15) - Acne started to kick in and I didn't think much of it. Did not visit a dermatolagist as it was not that bad, and at most I would simply wash my face and that was it. I have issues with picking skin so naturally I would just wreak havoc on any pimples that were on my face. Looking back I was such an idiot, oh well.

Softmoore year - Acne was getting progressively worse, looking back it wasnt even bad at all, but at the time it still caused me frustration. Still did nothing for treating my acne really, maybe used a face wash or something in the shower and washed my face with water. My mom told me to wash face with bar soap, which I did, and god that was stupid. So freakin stupid. At this point I was still picking at my face and bleeding all the time. :/

Junior year- Acne was at its worst, school was pretty miserable and at this point I started using acne pads for my face. Mainly neutrogena rapid clear pads. Looking back though, I would really only break out where I put my hands on my face and I would wear the same damn hoodie for days and just rest my greasy face on my hoodie. Rarely washed it, lol. Looking back, obviously this was another extremely stupid thing that I did. I didn't even make the connection at the time though of course. After the school year was over, I went into summer with bad acne, but started to really try to battle my problem with it. I used salicylic acid pads ~2-3 times a day, and would never touch my face what so ever. Within a month I was damn near completely clear, at most just a small whitehead that would vanish very quickly within a day or two. The funniest thing about this that I see is that I would eat anything I wanted, was smoking, and drank whatever. I did not watch my diet AT ALL. This was the clearest my skin had ever been, wtf.

Senior year- Went into senior year with clear skin, girls were starting to notice me, say hi, flirt, etc. I was so caught up in the bliss of having the clear skin that I started to forget how I got there in the first place. (I was still using those pads up till this point btw to treat my acne). Anyways, some days I would wake up with very little time, take a quick shower and just head straight to school, completely forgetting to apply the pads. I also got back into the habit of touching my face during school because I was so utterly bored, and would constantly rest my face on my hand and what not. Anyways, halfway into the year it was getting pretty bad and I decided to go with a dermatologist. I was put on minocycline for basically the second semester, and I changed to Paula's choice BHA 2% gel instead of using the pads seldomly. I would apply it in the morning after a quick facewash with water only, and sometimes apply it when I got home from school. I had pretty strong success with this, and truly did not have many pimples at all. I then stopped minocycline after senior year, and bam I was hit with the acne bat. Broke out with ~15 pimples all over my t-zone and my god it was horrible. I was recovering and searching desperately for a way to treat this horrible breakout, and I finally came across Acne.org. I started the regimen around Jan. 10, and as of today I have 0 active pimples, and only 3 from recent ones that are essentially fresh marks now. The thing that bothers me though, is how damn red and flaky my skin has become, and having to look like a red-marked greaseball for like hours after applying the regimen, and not to mention all the time that it takes up during my day. (The greasy look from the moisturizer/jojoba oil fades within an hour or two , but red marks are basically present at all times during usage of regimen since recently, and the thing that bothers me is that I've never had red marks like this before.)

Anyways, if you've read through all that nonsense, the reason that I'm thinking about stopping the regimen is because after truly analyzing everything, I don't know if the regimen is truly what I need to treat my acne. It has definitely worked, but the side effects are truly frustrating, and I hate how much time I have to spend doing it, especially considering I'm going to college very soon. What I've been thinking about recently is my last summer. I was completely clear using only salicylic acne pads, wtf! I didn't even cleanse or moisturize at all. Obviously this was a time of insignificant stress, which could be part of the reason I cleared up, but who knows. :/

My proposal: Although the regimen has worked for me, I've been thinking about going back to salicylic acid as my primary form of treatment. With this new approach, I would be using everything I have learned from Acne.org which I am SO grateful for. I would cleanse and moisturize, which I never did in the past and still somehow had great results with salicylic acid. I would also take zinc and vitamin D daily, NEVER touch my face, and always drink 150~ fl. oz of water a day. (Which I have been doing recently, but also never did while I had clear skin the summer before). I truly think that this could work for me, but I'm extremely nervous about getting off the regimen and changing to this method, considering I have only done it for about 2 months at this point. I hate these redness/marks that the BP has given me, in exchange for the mostly clear skin in terms of active acne. Its like last summer but with red marks, ugh.

So my question is: After reading all the information about my acne and how it occurs from my own experiences on looking back, what do you think I should do? Should I continue with the regimen, or go back to what worked for me in the past with a strong mind and the information that I have learned from Acne.org to completely make it work.

P.S: (My acne has not gotten any worse over the years, it has stayed as the same type for all my life, mild or moderate I would say, which I exacerbated by skin picking in my earlier years which I have been able to get under control at this point. Also, my parents had next to zero acne as teenagers, just a few pimples here and there.)

If you guys read all of this, I love you! Thanks for taking the time to listen. smile.png

Edited by Clichter17

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I was too on the regimen and I think some people adjust quickly and others (like us) remain flaky and red. My face constantly felt like it had a tough mask on it and I would go through stages of my skin being really dry and red and then that hard skin flaking off like crazy the next day.

It's a matter of deciding whether you want dry/flaky skin which is acne-free or soft smooth skin with some acne. I recently chose the latter. My skin is the best it has ever looked in terms of skin-tone and texture. I get the odd pustule now and then that goes away pretty quickly, but I don't have any redness whatsoever. I use a low salicylic acid moisturiser (.5%) and that keeps my skin at a happy medium.

It's really up to you. Like you said, I have also learnt a lot from the regimen such as being as gentle as possible and cleansing only twice a day. You cannot go into the regimen lightly, you have to acknowledge that there is going to be dryness, there is going to be faking and you just have to battle your way through it. It will eventually subside.

Whatever you decide, I hope you get clear again! :)

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Hey LewisS, thanks for the post. I'm finally at the point where I know that I can live with some acne. I used to think it was the end of the world and fight the spots so hard, and obviously I've learned a ton from Acne.org and I believe I can apply it to my skin type as well to hopefully obtain similar results to as what you have currently. (No redness/dryness, few odd spots here and there.)

Maybe I'll give your regimen a try as well.

Edit: How do you suggest getting off the regimen as well? Skin is currently extremely flaky. Should I simply exfoliate and then begin treating my skin with other less aggressive products such as low doses of SA?

Edited by Clichter17

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There is no point sticking with a regimen if you resent the amount of time it takes to complete and if you're not perfectly happy with the results. I agree with Lewis, if you are still red and flaky after following the regimen for months, then its pretty certain that you will remain red and flaky if you continue to use BP.

I personally got great results from following the regimen, but after 1 and a half years I too became a bit frustrated with the time it takes to apply so I changed to using Epiduo which has been great for me (after a bit of a backward step for a few months).

As for you, my one strong bit of advice is to not stop BP cold turkey but to start weaning yourself off it. Actually, thats another question. I managed to stay clear following the regimen once a day at night. Is that something you tried doing? If you haven't you may find that the redness will greatly reduce and of course the dryness should also reduce......

Good luck with what ever you decide.....and I fully agree....a bit of acne certainly isn't the end of the world! :)

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Update: It has been 3 days since stopping the Regimen. Currently using Cetaphil gentle skin cleanser, Paula's Choice 2% bha gel, and Dan's moisturizer. Haven't had a pimple in 4 days. Also about a week ago I began to take zinc/vitamin D/fish oil daily. Maybe those are kicking in, I'm not really sure haha.

Also, thanks for the response AyeAye, I tried limiting it to once a day as well but my cheeks were still extremely red and blotchy. It seems like any bit of BP application, no matter the amount of moisturizer used, will cause my cheeks to become like this. I'm still grateful for the regimen though, considering now I have zero pimples, and just a bit of hyperpigmentation to deal with. Luckily my skin heals quickly especially with a BHA, so I can expect the marks to fade in about 2 weeks.

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