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OK everyone,

I know that discussing the negative effects of Benzoyl Peroxide on this site can be considered blasphemous, since so many people have had good results with it. For some, it's been the ONLY thing that has controlled their acne. And yeah, it did help clear me up during some particularly nasty breakouts. But...I just got freaked out by the potential long term side effects of BP. You know...of the pre-mature aging and damage to the skin sort (due to the free-radicals)??

Before I further explain this decision...first things first. Let's go back in time to the beginning on my acne saga. I am a 31 year old, caucasian female, born in the USA.

AGE: 0-23: Nearly perfect skin with hardly a pimple, ever. Nice, nice, nice. biggrin.gif

AGE 23-25: Started getting red spots on my cheeks and some comedones. Went to a derm and got Retin-A and Cleocin-T lotion (clindamycin) prescriptions. Worked OK, but made my skin kinda dry/flaky. Skin overall, in good shape. biggrin.gif

AGE 25-31: Derm switched me from Retin-A to Differin, since it's less damaging. Worked fine - skin looked great. Breakouts rare...just occasional garden variety pimples here and there (usually around "that time" of the month) and some comedones here and there. Started getting monthly spa facials and that basically eliminated the comedones entirely and gave me nice smooth, even skin tone. NO SKIN COMPLAINTS at all. Very fortunate, indeed...could handle the monthly hormonal breakouts just fine...no biggie. biggrin.gif

AGE 31: Started taking a birth control called "Loestrin FE 1/20" and after two weeks on the pill, broke out in 3-4 horrible cysts on my left cheek and chin. UGH! Never had a single cyst so this was like acne baptism by fire! RAN, not walked, to the derm, who promptly prescribed the oral antibiotic Adoxa (doxycycline) to be used in conjuction with my Differin. Also took me off Cleocin-T and added Duac (which is Clindamycin and BP gel combined). He told me that he felt the Cleocin-T had "lost its effectiveness" and that adding BP to it would make it effective again. eusa_think.gifmad.gif

The BP seemed to help control the breakouts, but also made my skin look kinda pasty and dull - and made my pores look HUGE. In other words, the zits were minimal and cysts were kept at bay, but my usually glowing, smooth, even skin started looking kinda ucky. And I am not even talking about just when I had the BP on my skin...oh no...I am talking ALL THE TIME. Wasn't happy to look in the mirror anymore, even though I was technically pretty "clear". Hmm.. eusa_wall.gif

So I switched birth control pills after two months (switched to Yasmin due to the good things I heard about it, since I was having problems on the other pill) and things seem ok. Still...wasn't happy about the overall look of my skin. Then, when I started hearing about the long term side effects that are possible with BP, I panicked. Call me vain, picky, whatever you want. But I just felt there had to be a better way.

So after doing some web research (including on this site) I decided to give Tea Tree Oil a try. I stopped the BP full-stop and started using Tea Tree Oil instead. It has only been a week but OH MY GOODNESS what a difference. eusa_clap.gif My skin is healthy and glowing again! And those nasty residual cyst spots on my cheek? Healing up better every day. And I LOVE the smell and actually feel that I am doing something GOOD for my skin when I use the Tea Tree (as opposed to the BP, which I always viewed as a "necessary evil".) Well, not anymore kids. I really think the Tea Tree Oil is strong enough for my skin problems. So here is my current regimen:

MORNING:

Wash with Tea Tree Oil Foaming Cleanser (from the Body Shop)

Apply pure Tea Tree Oil (also from The Body Shop) to the spots ONLY

Apply Tea Tree Oil Aloe Vera Mattifying Lotion all over my face (from the Body Shop)

AFTERNOON:

Apply Tea Tree Oil Blemish Stick (from the Body Shop) to any active spots ONLY

NIGHT:

Wash with Tea Tree Oil Foaming Cleanser (from the Body Shop)

Apply Differin - let absorb for at least 20 minutes

Apply pure Tea Tree Oil (also from The Body Shop) to the spots ONLY

Apply a homemade Tea Tree Oil/Cetaphil Lotion combo all over my face (1 part pure Tea Tree Oil, 2 parts Cetaphil Lotion)

That's all folks. I seem to be getting less new pimples (and this is the time of the month when they should be the worst!) than I got on the BP. And my skin looks pretty again! Not all dull, pasty, and icky with huge pores, like it did before.

I am not sure of long term results since I just started this a week ago. But I will be OH SO HAPPY if I can permanetly nix the BP and use Tea Tree instead. It feels so good to be using something more natural and only have one prescription drug to have to apply.

DON'T MISUNDERSTAND ME HERE - I am NOT at all saying that everyone should throw out their BP and use Tea Tree. As I said before, my acne was very mild so even though this may be working for me, it may not work for you. But I am sure glad I had the courage to try...just some food for thought.

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thats great that has worked for you i may give it ago,i wonder if it would work with just tea tree products only?mmmm im using tea tree wash at mo with retin a cream,thats it

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