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Trying To Figure Out The Cause Of My Sudden Acne Breakouts. Help!

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Hello everyone! I am hoping someone might be able to give me some advice. About a month ago I started breaking out badly on my cheeks and can't figure out why.

Here is some info about me: I am a 32 year old female. I have never had perfect skin but I would never say i've had acne. I have always been very diligent with my skin care routine and have been using Clinique's 3 step program for the last 15 years or more. I have occasionally tried other things if i'm running low on cash but always go back to it. I am not on the pill, I have been in the past and it was the best my skin has ever looked but I went off it about 8 years ago. Immediately following getting off the pill, I broke out badly and tried Proactiv. It worked but it almost seemed to start making my breakouts last a really long time, so I went back to clinique and started using just the treatment from acne.org. It helped greatly and once I ran out of it I started using regular Nutrogena on the spot BP cream. I have been doing this for YEARS. I usually break out a little bit right before my period and that's it.

So, about 3 months ago, I started taking Maca Root pills in the hopes that it would have a similar effect for my skin as the pill did and help to regulate my periods (I am a little irregular). It did seem to help regulate my periods slightly but I saw no other effects. A week or two before my breakouts began I used the new Nutrogena naturals makeup removing cleanser because I ran out of clinique and didn't have the money to get more. Immediately after the breakouts started, I stopped using the cleanser thinking it had something to do with it. I also stopped taking the maca, thinking that maybe it took a while to "kick in" and was now messing with my hormones in a bad way.

I didn't want to change too much too fast with my skincare so I started using the treatment from the regimine again along with some facial oils. (forgot to mention, the years of BP had made my skin a little dry so I would use facial oils for extra moisture- this never caused breakouts for me). I was using Tarte Maracuja oil but switched to Grapeseed oil because I read it was good for acneic skin. My skin seemed to improve slightly..it looks like it's starting to clear up and I get happy, then i notice a few bumps and it starts all over again. I am now trying jojoba and lavender oil with no noticeable change.

Since I always break out right around my period, at first I thought it was that...but my period is 3 weeks late. This isn't that unusual for me, I am usually around a week late every month and things like this have happened before...but I have never had this bad and consistent of a breakout. I actually thought maybe i'm pregnant and the chage in hormones caused this crazy change..but I am not pregnant. I am super careful and have taken a few tests that all came back negative.

I honestly don't know what could be causing this. I have been trying to wait until my period finally comes to see if it gets better after but I'm starting to get impatient. I don't sleep on my face, I don't put my phone against my face, I am a nazi when it comes to touching my face, I eat a healthy diet, I exercise, I haven't been eating anything different or wearing anything different. I take a multi, greens+ pills and biotin every day. (but have been for a long time). I don't smoke. I am super healthy!!

Could the maca have caused this? Would it still be affecting me almost 2 months after I stopped taking it? I was only taking 1 pill a day. If the Nutrogena cleanser caused it, wouldn't it have stopped by now? The only thing I can think of is that it's the same hormones that are causing my period to be so late. But I have been late before, and never had this happen. I don't know if I should visit a derm? Try proactiv again? I have been looking into Cod Liver oil pills or retinol, but everything I try doesn't seem to matter. It doesn't seem that anything I do topicaly is making a difference.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I'm losing my mind.

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Hi there!!!

Sorry to hear about your breakouts- I was suffering from the same thing just last week!!

But!!! All help is not lost!

I'm in my mid twenties and have always had fairly clear skin- until recently, when breakouts have been a regular occurrence.

A friend of mine recommended giving up dairy and seeing if this made a difference- I was at the end of my tether and thought why not?

Today is my 6th day of being completely dairy free, and my skin has improved massively!!!

I never had acne, but recently I've been suffering terribly. Every day I would wake up with another painful, deep spot on my face and it was so disheartening!

So, I gave up all dairy and started a low GI diet, along with drinking anti-oxidant teas (nettle and fennel) and my skin looks amazing!

I can't believe this worked, as I've always used anti-biotic topical creams/gels from the doctors.

But honestly, giving up dairy and changing my eating habits slightly (brown bread, whole wheat cereal- with almond milk, lots of fruit) it's made a huge difference in such a short amount of time!

Hope this helps! :)

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Thank you for your reply! I actually follow a paleo diet during the week and allow one cheat day where I eat whatever I want, which most certainly includes dairy. I have been eating like this for the past year, so I don't know if dairy is the cause. I've never really noticed a correlation between what I ate and my skin. The only thing that seemed to affect it was the hormones around my period. So, I am thinking my acne is hormonal, but I have read that hormonal acne usually appears most often on your chin and jaw. My acne is only on my cheeks! I never break out on my chin, nose or forehead. I suppose I should just see a derm...but I am worried about the cost and I don't want to be put on some crazy chemicals without trying more holistic approaches first. But that get's pricey too! I've read good things about Cod Liver Oil, but the one most recommended is $50! I'm spending a lot of money trying to avoid the expensive derm visit, haha.

I don't really want to go back on the pill, but it might be a last resort. Thanks for the advice! I'm going to try eliminating dairy completely for a few weeks and see if there is any improvement!

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