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Breakout After Stopping Bp? Or Tea Tree Oil?

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Hi everyone. Feel free to not read the huge block of text, it's just some background info on my acne that might help.

I've suffered from what I would call "persistent acne" since I was 13, so 5 years. It was never severe, mostly just mild-moderate, but it was persistent through every treatment I've used. No face wash or lotion could cure it, and 2 rounds of accutane (I know, accutane for mild acne sounds nuts, but I was a young teenager with low self esteem and the dermatoligest really made it sound so fool proof......) only worked temporarily.

About a year and a half ago I started using proactiv and that seemed to touch the edges a bit, and my breakouts could be covered with makeup. However about 4 months ago I decided I wasn't gettng the results I wanted from such an expensive and time consuming treatment plan, so I started using benzoyl peroxide. Because my acne at this point was pretty minor due to proactiv, it only took about a month before I was completely clear. It was absolutely amazing. However BP came with side effects, I found it unbelievably drying despite copious amounts of moisturiser, and it never worked especially well on my hormonal breakouts and I found myself with deep hormonal pimples that took ages to go away and left an awful mark. I was willing to stick it out for the clear skin.

A little while ago I began a change to more natural products, I decided that if I was going to treat my skin with harsh BP I should at least make sure everything else I put on it is pure and gentle. I was able to switch my cleanser to a natural brand, and substitute my moisturiser for shea butter and/or argan oil. But still, the BP seemed to be drying out my skin to the point where it was flaking off, and my skin tone looked absolutely ruined. Sure I was clear, but my skin looked dry, dull and blotchy. I decided that I'd rather deal with a couple of pimples (I guess I forgot how bad my skin was in its untreated state - certainly more than a couple of pimples) that have this awful skin.

So I quit basically. Stupidly I did so cold turkey. I missed a day accidentally I decided "hey I've already started why not continue." I wanted this chemical out of my skincare regimen as quickly as possible because I didnt want to go any longer with dry skin. For the first few days it was perfect. My skin was glowing and still clear and seemed to be recovering from BP so quickly, I was so so happy. But super quickly, in the space of no more than 2 days, my skin went from almost completely clear to horrendous. At this point I had subsituted BP for tea tree oil (100% percent pure), diluted to 13-15% in argan oil. Suddenly my cheeks were covered in bumps, not the usual pimples I would get. I have never had acne like this before, usually I

would have the zits dispersed out over my face and they would be inflamed, but these seem to be mostly non inflamed bumps that eventually come to a tiny white head. They aren't all exactly visible as the usual red dots i used to get, when you see them in the light, then my face looks so s awful. It's like going on BP, or coming off for that matter, has changed my skin.

However I did some reading and found people had similar 'change in acne' from tea tree oil of all things! I don;t know how reliable these claims are but I'm not writing it off.

I have decided to stop using tea tree oil and just cleanse and moisturise while I wait for my bentonite clay to arrive (I pray to god this stuff works). I am also working to treat my acne hollistically (I know I know, often this approach is frowned upon, and for years I had no belief that acne could be cured internally, but hey if I get healthier in the process why not?)

Sooooooooo pretty much....

My question is, do you think this breakout has come as a result of stopping BP? Is my skin just shocked from me stopping it cold turkey and will either stop breaking out out so severly or go back to the original type of pimples I had? They were so much simpler to deal with and spot treat.

Do you think it could potentially be the tea tree oil? I find it hard to believe that tea tree oil may have a 'purging period' as I understand this is reserved only for certain topicals, but is it maybe worth continuing with tea tree oil too see if the breakout subsides? Maybe my skin is too sensitive to it and even diluted it irritates me.

I have social occasions coming up and I'm so embarassed to turn up with a face full of acne after being so clear for a few months :( This breakout is making me want to go back to the BP, but I know if I just keep going back to BP every time things get bad, I'll never find an alternative treatment that is better for my skin.

If I were to go back to BP, would I clear faster that usual because I've only stopped using it for a little over a week? I'm tempted to go back to BP until summer and the social occasions that come with it are over, and then maybe phase out gradually at a more convenient time.

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I stopped BP cold turkey like you and was ok for a few weeks then BAM. You're current breakout is probably from quitting BP so suddenly. Recognize that you have to give any new treatment 3-5 months to begin to work and that you will purge and go through highs and lows. I quit BP in may and still breaking out badly at times so I am giving my new regimen till summer at least

Stay positive as much as you can

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I have used Tea Tree Oil as a spot treatment and it just dried my zits out, it never made them worse. I wouldn't put it all over my face, only ever as a spot treatment as it really does dry out the skin.

I have stopped the TTO now as Oratane (as it is called here in Aus) is drying me out anyway.

I started using Argan Oil yesterday. I'm hoping my skin won't react badly to it - I use Rosehil Oil and that works fine so fingers crossed.

I hope everything settles down for you

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Leelowe1 thanks for you advice! It's quite awful isn't it? Those few weeks (or in my case just a week :( ) where your skin looks fine? It gave me so much hope in the beginning but I had a feeling it was too good to be true. I realise I can't really expect my skin to be stripped of a product I'd been lathering on it for months and not be in shock. Theres a lot out there about how BP makes your skin dependent so acne is worse when you stop, and I think this may be true to a degree, if only just for the fact that it's quite harsh on the skin and takes the job away from the body of fighting bacteria.

Ohhhhh how i want to give it time. I have so little tolerance for long working acne methods after using BP. The whole quick fix, completely nuke the whole skin and pray it works approach was so fast and so simple aside from the side effects. I'll have to learn to be patient again if I want real, long term results other than BP. But I think I quit at an awful time without thinking this through. I quit 2 weeks before christmas and all my end of year social events and parties and I'm kicking myself. I think I also didn't have a good solution in place for when I quit, in hindsight I should have phased off BP slowly, and while I was phasing off maybe incorporating diet and health changes and another skincare regimen. It was an impulse decison I am regretting.

NoMorePlease13 good luck with oratane! I've heard people having amazing results from it and it seems to be the only real 'cure' out there. I wish it had worked for me because from what I've read it does put strain on the body and it comes with risks, if only they'd paid off a bit for me ;(

Argan oil is super nice! Its non comedogenic so shouldn't break you out at all. I find it the perfect balance between a light and fast drying oil and a greasy oil because its quite balanced in oleic and linoleic acid I believe. I think rosehip oil is rated more comedogenic so if you used that with no issues I'm sure you'll do fine!

Tea tree oil as a spot treatment worked quite well, I may keep it for that purpose. However I had to dilute it even as a spot treatment because it burned me. This lead me to believe tea tree oil may not be directly breaking me out, but maybe my skin is super sensitive and tea tree oil is causing irritation, and that irritation is causing my acne.

Maybe I'm just desperately blaming something else so I don't have to admit that BP was my acne saviour and I'm not quite ready to quit it, and that quitting it is gonna cause breakouts. I so wanna be ready to quit it god damn! All these natural acne solutions sounds so good, I read up today about the 'caveman regimine' where you literally do not wash your face at all, even with water if you can help it. And some people were claiming they were clear from it! Maybe it's time to accept that I'm not quite ready to quit the BP, at least until I've got another dietary and natural skincare plan in check.

Oh yeah, I failed to mention that I gave in today. I'm a little disappointed in myself, but I couldn't justify looking like this when I have a bottle of incredible acne clearer in the cupboard that i know works. I've promised myself it will only be until the end of the summer or until I can get my diet and a natural regimen in check, then I will phase out slowly. I will not quit cold turkey ever again!

If you are reading this and want to quit BP, even if you want it out of your life immediately I would strongly advise phasing it out gently. Don't do cold turkey unless you're sure you have another regimen that is going to work okay immediately afterwards.

I've been off BP for 9 days now and would like to know if you think that I will suffer any of the 'starting out' side effects or whether I may be able to pick up where I left off with only slight dryness.

Also, do you think because I have only been off it a short amount of time it may take a shorter amount of time to clear me up? I'm grasping at straws to get clearer by this time next week.

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Restart the BP slowly or you may irritate your skin beyond belief. I would suggest that if the BP was not irritating your skin, then continue using it for a few weeks/months until you are clear and then slowly wean yourself off. Definitely check out your diet and lifestyle.

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When you stop one thing and start two others, it can be difficult to tell what may be the problem or if it's all of them.

If bp was controlling your acne and you stopped using it, the acne flare may be from that. However, you also introduced two oils at the same time. If I use anything with oil (I can only use jojoba oil at 1-2 drops) I get breakouts fairly quickly.

Bottom line, don't make so many new changes at once. If you decide to discontinue one thing, keep everything else in your skincare routine the same for a month or two. Only make one change at a time.

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leelowe1, i have restarted the bp and decided to go back to pretty much the same strength i was using beforehand. my skin is definitely irritated but at least my acne is beginning to subside, as much as i would love to start slowly i am in a bit of a desperate rush to get clear quickly so i've decided to tolerate the irritation. i think the irritation is just from putting bp on active pimples really, the rest of my skin doesn't feel agitated except the breakout spots where I've put the bp.

brandy, i was using argan oil for a few months before the breakout with no ill effects and it seemed to work perfectly well for my skin. because tea tree oil is an essential oil rather than a carrier i assumed it would be less capable of breaking me out, also considering the fact it is regarded so well as an acne treatment by almost site I've read and people I've talked to. however it didn't seem to work for me for whatever reason that may be, maybe i will try it again as a spot treatment in the future and give it more than a few days to 'work'. i would have stopped using bp and changed nothing else in my routine so i could attribute any breakout to the stopping of bp, however i thought that substituting bp for tea tree oil would slightly lessen the chance of me having a breakout as i would still be using some form of acne treatment on my face.

I've decided the breakout was likely due to stopping bp so damn quickly, and next time i will definitely phase out slowly. thankfully my breakout is slowly clearing up, thanks to bp and aztec healing clay bentonite mask.

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