Jump to content
Acne.org
Search In
Find results that contain...
Find results in...

Recommended Posts

Hi Everyone,

I'm new here so I hope I'm doing this correctly. I want to share my history with acne and my current journey to (hopefully) clear skin. I'm 26/f.

I have had acne since I was about 12, but it wasn't very severe for most of my life. I've used most drugstore topical products (I used Clean & Clear for a long time, followed by Burt's Bees, AcneFree, Proactiv, etc.). Then I went to a dermatologist, who prescribed Epiduo with Cetaphyl gentile face wash. That worked for a while, until it didn't. I took a break from it and tried other things before realizing I needed Epiduo. My next (2nd) dermatologist prescribed Epiduo, at my request, along with PanOxyl 4% BP face wash. It was magic, honestly, but it only worked for about 2 years or so that time. During the majority of this time I was on hormonal birth control.

I have also experimented with natural topical remedies, like manuka honey, tea tree oil, coconut oil, the oil cleansing method, rose water toner, baking soda microdermabrasion, egg white masques, cinnamon + clove + honey masques, turmeric masques, fresh aloe, etc.

This past November I had super beautiful clear skin and then all of a sudden right before Thanksgiving, I got a huge, painful, purple cyst on my chin. Nothing would make it go away. Since then I have not had clear skin; I always have at least one cyst/nodule (usually more like 2-3), and as soon as one heals, another appears. I also usually have redness and when a cyst heals, the hyper-pigmentation/scarring stays for a long time.

I have recently become conscious of potential health dangers of BP, and realizing my skin was dependent on it in the past but it no longer worked, I saw this as a good time to cut it out of my regimen and dedicate myself to a more organic approach.

I currently use Eminence and love the way it makes my skin feel healthy and balanced, but it doesn't seem to prevent breakouts. I use:

  • Eminence Clear Skin Probiotic Cleanser every morning and night, and 3-4 times a week I mix it with Eminence Strawberry Rhubarb Dermafoliant to exfoliate
  • Eminence Clear Skin Willowbark Booster Serum
  • Eminence Grapefruit-C gel during the day, coconut oil or Eminence Probiotic Moisturizer at night depending on how much moisture I need (the probiotic moisturizer can be really super hydrating, which sometimes is too much for my skin. I also sometimes mix it with water to dilute it).
  • I also use diluted tea tree oil for spot treatment at night
  • and I use fresh aloe from my garden in the morning for scarring/healing and Mederma either at night or in the morning for scarring/hyper-pigmentation
  • Once a week (when I remember), I use the spicy Eminence Hungarian Herbal Mud Treatment and/or the Clear Skin Masque
As I said, I love everything in their line, it just doesn't prevent my breakouts so now I think it is an internal issue rather than external.

I currently have 4 cystic pimples. Three of them are healing and one of them is new. I also recently broke out in clusters of whiteheads on my cheeks, which are not very attractive at all and I can't get them to go away for anything. I've never had a problem with whiteheads like that before this past week. I have random whiteheads, just not in big clusters.

I went to a new (3rd) dermatologist last week and did not have the best experience. He pushed Acutane, which I don't feel I need. He didn't ask about my history/diet/what I'm using, or anything related. Instead he took one glance at my skin and without examining it, prescribed his own line of topical products (a cleanser, toner, spot treatment and moisturizer), a chemical peel that day, the steroid prednisone for 3 days, and the antibiotic Acticlate semi-permanently - he said for a minimum of 3 months. I refused the chemical peel since I had an event that night, and only took the spot treatment, antibiotics and steroid because I intend to continue using Eminence. They also gave me the toner, which I haven't used because it is inconvenient to carry around and I'm not convinced I need it, plus one of the first ingredients is alcohol.

After taking the round of prednisone it seemed like the swelling of the cysts and some redness had subsided, but now that I'm done with the round it seems to be going back to normal, and really nothing else has changed except I have slightly more dryness from the spot treatment. I'm scared to be on antibiotics for such a long time, and feel disappointed because I know BP hasn't been working for me lately, which is the main active ingredient in the spot treatment he gave me.

I have decided that it must be an internal problem since nothing external has worked permanently. I am thinking of trying the organic apples fast and diet program as detailed in I am also curious about supplements, and feel that his suggestions in that same post for garlic and oregano might really help. I'm planning on using my Eminence products still because, aside from the Hungarian Herbal Mud Treatment, everything seems to be very gentile, and I only want to change one or two things at a time (diet and supplementation). The idea that acne is caused because of the body trying to excrete toxins makes a lot of sense to me; I am chronically constipated and I'm thinking the toxins need somewhere to go, which is why I think the detox and clean diet would be a good fit for me.

I also think it may be important to mention that I am on a temporary break from hormonal birth control pills because I was having some issues to them, but that my acne did not change for better or worse when I stopped taking them last month.

This week will be my last one for a while as eating "normal," mainly because I have a birthday dinner on Friday night and want to be able to enjoy it without feeling guilty. Still, my normal diet is healthier than most people I know, but I know I could be a lot more strict.

If anyone is interested, I will post back over the weekend with the diet/detox/supplement plan that I plan to begin next week (or as soon as I can get good quality supplements, but I definitely want to work up the bravery to do the diet and detox next week.

Edited by nicoblossom
Link to comment
Share on other sites

While I'm waiting to start the cleanse, I'm trying to eat as clean as I can while not depriving myself since I know the time for deprivation will come all too soon. I've added plain greek yogurt into my diet for the past 2 days to hopefully avoid any bad side effects of the antibiotic I'm on.

Not much has changed with my skin, whiteheads are still there and a new cyst is coming in on my cheek right by my mouth, and one almost completely healed, so I still have 4.

Last night and tonight I am using Eminence Hungarian Herbal Mud treatment as a spot treatment for ~20 minutes on problem areas, and sleeping with it on my cysts and hoping it helps before my birthday dinner tomorrow night. In addition, tonight I used the egg shell skin to treat problem areas, although I didn't leave it on as long as I should have. Does anyone else have experience with this? It usually helps a lot for me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ok guys, Apple Detox Day 1: Complete. :Siava:

Here's how Day 1 went. I mostly grazed apples all day rather than eating "meals," just because it was hard for me to eat so many apples in 1 sitting. Also, I'm being detailed in hopes that this helps someone and also so that I can track what I'm doing to see if anything makes me break out or so that I'll know what causes improvements.

  • 8:30am wake up, wash face with Eminence Probiotic Face Cleanser, put fresh aloe on my face.
  • 9-10:20am gentle yin yoga
  • 10:20am 1 apple while driving home
  • 20 oz of water consumed by 11am
  • 11:00am 2.5 apples - breakfast
  • 1:00pm 1/2 apple - snack
  • 1:30pm cut 2 more apples to graze on
  • 2:00pm shower, tone face with diluted tea tree oil.
  • 2:30pm made flavored water: 1 glass (20 oz water) with 8 crushed mint leaves and juice of 1/4 lemon. Drank with a straw to protect my teeth. Note- I didn't eat the mint leaves, just drank the flavored water.
  • 2:30pm feeling hungry, probably because I have only had maybe 5.5 apples at this point. Still grazing. It is kind of hard to eat so many apples and nothing else.
  • 2:45pm moisturize with combination of a little coconut oil + 1 drop Eminence Recovery Oil + 1 drop lavender oil, wiped off excess oil.
  • Up to 45 oz water by 4pm (goal=140) (oops)
  • 4:15pm made another lemon mint water with the previous mint leaves (20 oz)
  • 5:00-6:15pm yoga nidra (very relaxing meditation practice)
  • 6:30-7:30pm 2 apples
  • 8:00pm spray toner on face (mix of 1.5 tbsp pure water, 1 tbsp rose water, .5 tbsp acv, 1/8 tsp tea tree oil - first day using toner
  • 8:20-40pm 1/2 apple, chugged 20 oz water with juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Up to 85 oz water by 8:30pm - I'm afraid to drink too much more because I'll be awake peeing all night! I know I didn't drink enough today.
  • 10:00pm got ready for bed - steam face for 2 minutes, wash with Eminence Probiotic Face Cleanser, spot treat with Eminence Clear Skin Willowbark Booster Serum, moisturize with tiny bit Eminence Grapefruit-C gel
  • 10:10pm drank Yogi Soothing Mint Get Regular tea (this tea is incredible- it works plus it tastes so good!) and a small mug of warm water with 1/2 tsp cream of tartar (I got nervous about the "laxative effects") ps. cream of tartar is gross.
  • 10:30pm Sleep

Apples: 8.5

Water: 105 oz

Energy levels: feeling a tiny bit tired but in a really good mood, very bright and focused. later in the day feeling bloated.

Poop: twice before 2pm, didn't poop again afterwards

Weight when I woke up: 129 lbs

I took some time today to plan out my meals for the end of the detox. I am planning to end the detox with a very healing and nutrient-dense soup Thursday night. Tonight I bought a glass VOS water bottle so that I can put lemon juice in it and carry it around at work (I've heard it isn't good to put acidic things in plastic bottles). I am feeling bloated and hoping to poop in the morning.

Update on the Acticlate: I stopped taking it after being really nauseous on Friday. Also, my breasts have been super tender since taking the Prednisone and Acticlate, has anyone else experienced that? I still haven't gotten a period since quitting birth control more than a month ago.

Update on the acne: Down to 3 cystic pimples at the beginning of the day, still have a lot of blackheads and the patches of whiteheads and some redness/lots of hyperpigmentation. Otherwise my skin seems to be glowing more towards the end of today. I noticed that a small cluster of red tiny pimples sprouted up on my collar bone today.

Goodnight, friends!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am considering cutting the cleanse short. I am concerned that I'm drinking too much water and not getting enough electrolytes.

I am going to go through day 2 with the apples, but here are the modifications I am making to the program:

Day 2 (today)

I ate 1/4 tsp of table salt at work because I am really craving sodium, and I think listening to my body is more important than sticking closely to the cleanse. After the sodium my light headache was greatly reduced.

1 cup miso soup for dinner

Drink 2-3 tbsp olive oil, maybe more depending on how much I can handle + squeeze of lemon for the liver detox

Drink Yogi Soothing Mint Get Regular tea, maybe drink cream of tartar again depending on how I feel

Day 3

Assess how I feel before deciding how to plan out my diet for the day. I am thinking mostly raw and very gentle foods, like a green smoothie for breakfast followed by more soup and a salad for lunch, with lots of apples in between.

If anyone has comments on this let me know. I'm just getting worried that either this cleanse isn't right for me, or that it doesn't provide enough electrolytes to allow the body to process all of the water, but I'm not entirely sure. So far I have consumed 114 oz of water in 8 hours, an average of 14.25 oz per hour. I just want to say it isn't because of the mental aspect of this cleanse, which hasn't been challenging at all (as much as I would love a bowl of pasta), but just my hesitation in regards to the healthfulness of the plan.

I will post an update tonight with the full day's report and how I'm feeling.

Update: I stuck with the cleanse for the rest of the day, with the addition of two cups of miso soup with one carrot. I felt a lot better afterwards so I didn't do the olive oil yet. I'll see how I feel in the morning and then decide how to proceed.

Edited by nicoblossom
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Apple Detox Day 2

7:30am: wake up, diarrhea which persists throughout the day until about 2pm.

8:00am: drink 1/2 tsp cream of tartar in a tiny bit hot water + 1 20oz glass of lemon water (1/4 lemon)

Cut 3 apples for breakfast

Feeling headachy and some muscle soreness in my shoulders, muscle soreness may also be because of a massage I got this past weekend.

8:30am: wash face, exfoliate, tone, spot treat and moisturize

9:45am: consumed 27oz lemon ginger mint flavored water

10:45am: cut 2 more apples to snack on

11:30am: tone with new homemade spray

11:40-11:50am: 10 minute walk outside

1:30pm: cut 2 more apples

feeling tired and flushed

1:45pm: really craving salt and protein, put salt under my tongue

114 oz water by 3:30. Lips are chapped, not feeling well. Slow way down on water intake.

3:30pm: cut 2 more apples

5:30pm: 1.5 tsp miso + 1 cup hot water + 1 julienned carrot

feeling headachy and light headed, rested in bed for an hour

6:40pm: shower, wash face, tone with diluted tea tree, moisturize with coconut oil

7:20pm: super hungry, made 1.5 tsp miso + 1 cup hot water, ate the 2 apples I cut up earlier

9:30pm: wash face, spot treat, moisturize with coconut oil.

drink 1/2 tsp cream of tartar in a small amount of hot water

10:00pm: drink 1 mug of Yogi Soothing Mint Get Regular tea, sleep

Apples: 9

Water: 125 oz

Energy levels: low energy and low mood most of the day

Physical symptoms: AM: feeling achy and a very small headache, these are normal symptoms of a detox. Upping water today. Light headache on and off throughout the day, stomach ache in mid afternoon. Really tired.

Poop: Diarrhea when I woke up which persisted until mid afternoon.

Weight when I woke up: 125 lbs

Skin: seems to glow more, no new pimples or cysts forming. Don't want to jinx myself. 3 cysts still healing, white heads haven't gone away.

I'm going to see how I feel in the morning before I decide whether to continue for the rest of the cleanse or to slowly come off of it tomorrow. I feel a lot better now (at 10pm) than I did earlier, so maybe I just needed to rest.

Goodnight!

Edited by nicoblossom
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Apple Detox Day 3

7:30am: Wake up, diarrhea

7:40am: Spin brush wash face, tone with diluted tea tree oil, moisturize with Grapefruit C-Gel, use fresh aloe, coconut oil

8:30am:1/2 tsp cream of tartar in water

8:30-9:30am: ate 2 apples in car

9:30am: made 27 oz water with 1/4 lemon, 10 mint leaves, and a pinch of pink himalayan sea salt

Cut 2 apples to munch on

Feeling good, much lighter mood, not as tired

12:12pm: made 2nd 27 oz with 1/4 lemon and a pinch of himalayan sea salt

1:00pm: cut 2 more apples to eat

Tone with homemade spray

3:00pm: Finished eating 6 apples by 3pm. Decided to not continue the cleanse for another day.

6:00pm: drink 1 tsp epsom salts in 1 cup water

Continue drinking plain water

8:30pm: drink 1 tsp epsom salts in 1 cup water

Haven't pooped from the epsom salts, or at all since 1pm

10:00pm: I'm about to drink the olive oil mixture. I am only drinking 1/4 cup olive oil with 1/4 juiced lemon, this is 1/4 of the amount suggested.

Apples: 6

Water: 110 oz

Energy levels: Better mood and energy than yesterday

Physical symptoms: I don't feel like I'm pooping enough, lower back pain that no stretching will relieve, under eyes darker than usual

Poop: Diarrhea when I woke up and only 1 more poop afterwards.

Weight when I woke up: 125 lbs

Skin: No new pimples or cysts forming. Otherwise still congested. Whiteheads seem to have cleared up by maybe 25-50%

Overall (as of 10pm) I am disappointed in a few things. First, I feel bloated, which makes me think this isn't working as it should be. The epsom salts did nothing, I haven't pooped since 1pm. I am having lower back pain, which may or may not be from the cleanse. My under eyes seem to be darker than usual.

I'll start tomorrow with some vegetable and fruit juices, homemade with a juicer. I'll post the recipes tomorrow. Then I'm planning to have fruit salad (strawberries, kiwi, blueberries, mango and pineapple) and a salad with greens and vegetables (kale, spinach, chard, bell pepper, cucumber, strawberries) for lunch. Not sure what my snack will be but I will bring options so I can listen to my body and eat what I need. For dinner I'm making peruvian sea scallops for me and my Mom, not sure what else. I'll post at the end of the day tomorrow.

Goodnight!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Alright guys, today was the last day! Here's how the day went:

6:30am: wake up, can't sleep - lower back pain still

7:30am: shower, wash face, tone with diluted tea tree oil, moisturize with Grapefuit-C gel

Drink Yogi Soothing Mint Get Regular tea

8:30am: make juices for the day (see recipes below), start to drink green juice

9:30am: finish green juice, start to drink red juice

11:45am: feeling really moody, irritated, tired, shoulder pain (persists all day)

I didn't take detailed notes after that one, but here's basically the rest of my day:

12:00pm: eat fruit salad (1 kiwi, 1/3 mango, handful blueberries, 4 strawberries)

1:00pm: eat lunch (1.5 cups mixed greens - kale, chard and spinach, 1/3 cucumber, 4 strawberries, 1 orange pepper, 1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, juice of 1/4 lemon, black pepper, pink Himalayan sea salt)

8:00pm: eat dinner (1 egg over medium cooked in light olive oil, a few scallops cooked in a small amount of light olive oil and butter, brown rice, broccoli cooked with onions, garlic and olive oil, small sliced tomato)

9:15pm: Washed face, using the Eminence Hungarian Herbal Mud Treatment tonight in hopes of drawing out extra impurities

10:00pm: Spot treat with diluted tea tree oil and moisturize with coconut oil.

Water: 74 oz +/- (not enough!!) but my pee is clear

Energy levels: Super moody super tired. PMS?

Physical symptoms: I started my period, so I have pretty bad cramps. I am also very tired.

Poop: 2 diarrheas

Weight when I woke up: 126 lbs

Skin: One new deep pimple formed. I don't know if I should call it a cyst because it is smaller than most of my other cysts but it is not a topical pimple, it is definitely deep. It is around my mouth, where I don't normally get pimples but have been in the last 2 weeks. Also, a rash-like situation of tiny pimples has formed across part of my chest and left shoulder. I used diluted tea tree oil on that. I'm out of my spot treatment. My white heads have not changed.

Green Juice

1.5 cucumbers

1 apple

2 cups greens

10 mint leaves

1 lemon

2" ginger

1 kiwi

Red Juice

3/4 very large red beet

3 carrots

4" ginger

1 lemon

1 apple

Note: your pee and poop may be slightly pink after drinking red beet juice.

OVERALL

You guys, this cleanse was equal parts good and bad. I think the takeaway will really be in the coming days and how my skin reacts to moving forward with an anti-inflammatory diet. Although I kept it light, I think I got too excited with dinner tonight and am really hoping it doesn't make me break out. I know I need to order vitamins but haven't yet because I really don't know which ones to order in regards to vitamin A, C, E, Zinc and Selenium. Any input on that would be appreciated.

I think one benefit of this cleanse is the fact that I got my period: I have been worried for more than a month, maybe almost two because I wasn't getting a period after quitting birth control. I don't know if it is good or bad that the cleanse forced me to have a period, or if my period is even because of the cleanse, but I'm just glad that it made its (painful) appearance.

My diet moving forward will be some combination of the diet mentioned in

and Dr. Weil's Anti-Inflammatory Diet. Basically, a lot of vegetables with whole unprocessed grains, fish, fresh local grass-fed cage free eggs, and minimal dairy (only high quality yogurt and hard cheese). I will try to eat prunes every day to hopefully help my chronic constipation.

I may be starting a new face wash tomorrow, the mineral cleanser from Eminence. I'm not sure yet.

I will keep you all updated.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In case anyone is wondering, this is the cost breakdown of my cleanse:

Organic apples (aprox. 12 lbs): $19.76

VOS glass water bottle (to carry around lemon water): $3.50

Grocery trip for juices and salads for the first few days off the cleanse: $33.04 (carrots, blueberries, cucumbers, pineapple, ginger, bell peppers, kiwi, strawberries, beets, watermelon, mangos, greens). This will last me a while as far as produce goes but I will need to buy protein soon.

I already had other misc. things for the cleanse at home (cream of tartar, epsom salts, yogi tea, lemons, mint, miso paste)

Total: $56.30

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I started experimenting with oregano oil applied topically. So far, nothing seems to have changed. Plus the oil is very stinky and stings if I apply too much. I mix 1 drop of oregano oil with about 1/3 tsp coconut oil and apply over my face, avoiding the eyes. I'll continue until I run out - I put about 10 drops of oil in a small container mixed with coconut oil.

I just ordered oregano oil, garlic, olive leaf extract and beta carotene supplements, they should arrive next week.

Last night I thought it would be a great idea to do some extractions and now today my face is really sad about it.. most of the spots are still inflamed and red.

I have had itchy acne lately... has anyone else experienced that? How annoying - as if acne isn't enough, why is mine itchy!?

Also, I started breaking out a little on my shoulders too. I have one or two cysts on each shoulder.

I have been following a relatively clean diet since I came off of the apple cleanse. I have had minimal dairy (once in a mushroom cream sauce, once some cheese with a little red wine, once 1 slice of white cheddar - my fave - and maybe 3 times a very small amount of ice cream). I have been gluten free the whole time since the cleanse.

I'm so annoyed because I don't know what I'm doing wrong. I know I need to meditate and do yoga to help with my stress, but it has been hard to find the time.

Hopefully my next update will be more positive.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Some days are harder than others when dealing with acne.

For the last two days I just want to hide under my covers or wear a paper bag over my head to work. Unfortunately neither of these are options, but even more unfortunate is the fact that I'm letting my acne consume me. I look in the mirror and it is all that I see. It seems like all I've been doing is reading acne articles online, trying new products and different things and waiting, waiting, waiting for a new result. I mean honestly wtf - why isn't anything working?!

The whiteheads on my cheeks are still there, now with the lovely addition of some small cysts.

Last night I washed my face and put my normal sequence of topicals on it and then I was like... no. No more. I washed it all off and massaged pure coconut oil into my face for 20 minutes. It was luxurious. Even though my acne prevails today, some of the dark marks seem to be a little better. This morning I did the same thing in the shower. I am wondering if the products I'm using are causing the acne - I don't think it can be my diet because I really have been eating super clean with the exception of a small amount of dairy and a few glasses of red wine.

I'm lucky to have a lot of support. I have friends who have gone through similar troubles and my boyfriend doesn't care about the acne at all. On the other hand, my dad is always on my case, saying I should go back on antibiotics even though they made me sick, and that I need to use chemical cleansers. I disagree.

I started wondering if my acne was fungal rather than bacterial, because it has been itchy (mainly my cheeks) ever since I got these whiteheads. Last night I took a Fluconazole that I had left over from a yeast infection a while ago (it was not expired yet, I checked). It is supposed to take 25 hours to start to work, which would be sometime this evening. So... if my cheeks clear up, that must be what it was?

This weekend, these are my goals:

  • Care for my skin in the most gentile way possible.
  • Don't look in the mirror too much.
  • Don't touch my face.
  • Laugh. A lot.
  • Do yoga and find time to relax.
  • Generally enjoy life, smile, and don't worry about the acne.
  • Spend some time in the sun.
My boyfriend and I are going up to the mountains for the weekend, to a town where I lived while I was in university. I can't wait to feel the mountain air, relax, and enjoy life.

I'll report back Monday. Happy FriYAY, friends.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Happy Monday, everyone.

This weekend I was feeling desperate and went back to my chemical products: Pan Oxyl 4% with Epiduo and Aczone. I don't think my cysts are different at all, but my blackheads seem to have cleared up some. I used it for 48 hours and then stopped. I decided to use it because I began to worry that Eminence is what is breaking me out - I never had such severe acne until I started using it. So... I am stopping everything. I am not putting anything except coconut oil on my skin for minimum 3 days. Today is day 1.

Last night I applied coconut oil and used my spin brush to exfoliate (the chem products made my skin a little dry) and then steamed my face with a warm damp wash cloth. It felt good and my skin looked glowy this morning.

This morning I applied coconut oil and rinsed with warm water, and then wiped off the excess oil on a towel.

My supplements (oregano oil, garlic, olive leaf extract and beta carotene) came in the mail yesterday, so I started the first round last night.

I am feeling hopeful, but also really desperate. I also ordered a sample of a new skincare line: Purify

and a new product that is supposed to help clear blackheads: Mario Badescu Silver Powder

I was going to start using these one at a time (vitamins, purify, silver powder) to see which one, if any, help my skin, but I'm to a point where it just needs to go away. I'm emotionally done. So I'm going to use them all as soon as they arrive and hope for the best.

So far only the vitamins have arrived, but I'll update on the other products once they come and I start to use them. For now, unless some crazy breakout happens, I'm continuing to eat clean, drink lots of water, take the above mentioned vitamins, and avoid topical products.

Edited by nicoblossom
Link to comment
Share on other sites

So... I've had to give up on the natural pursuit for now. Nothing is helping and my acne is the worst it has ever been. I switched back to washing with Pan Oxyl 4% BP face wash and using Epiduo, I need to get my Rx refilled ASAP. I'm planning on using this with the supplements I ordered until everything calms down and heals and then I'll try again with the natural products.

I have so many cysts right now, luckily they are in the healing phase. I do have it has gone away and left a dull scar, but I can still feel it underneath my skin and my skin on top seems to be dented in a little bit. (click link to go to my other forum post with pictures)

I have three cysts forming. Mario Badescu Drying Lotion made one of them go away, working on the other two. I'm keeping the drying lotion on it at all times when I can (even at work, it looks weird like baby pink chalk, but I can't deal with more cysts right now).

Edited by nicoblossom
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good news and bad news:

Good news: The Mario Badescu Drying Lotion (linked above) has done a lot to dry up my cysts, and has helped prevent at least one cyst from completely forming (I felt it coming, put the drying lotion on the area liberally and religiously for 3 days, and it did not form a big painful cyst - now it feels like it is healing and pain-free, just a little red mark and tiny tiny bump under my skin). I have two other cysts that are comin' in hot that I'm trying to stop in the same way.

Bad news: My skin is sooooo dry from using the Pan Oxyl + Drying Lotion. I haven't been using moisturizer because I'm scared to and now I'm paying the price. This morning I couldn't take it, I washed my face with coconut oil and put manuka honey on for the rest of the morning while I was getting ready, then used aloe on my whole face after I removed the honey. I'm trying to think of a soothing natural masque that I can use tonight to moisturize without making me break out + reduce redness. I'm thinking something with oatmeal, but I need to do some research.

I'm hoping these bright red cysts heal soon so I can have clear skin again!!

I am still taking the supplements that I ordered + probiotic daily:

Edited by nicoblossom
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi everyone,

I still haven't been able to go back to the natural way yet. My skin looks worse than it ever has in my whole life. At this point I would advise against using Eminence. I think it really made my problem so much worse, it's hard to believe it has gotten so bad.

This is my regimen right now:

Morning

  • Wash face with Pan Oxyl 4%, mix in 1 tsp baking soda and exfoliate with spin brush
  • Use benzyl peroxide spot treatment, sometimes use aczone rx spot treatment but I'm running out
  • Use this moisturizer - have only been using this for two days. I switched from pure coconut oil to this to see if I see a difference. Who even cares at this point, it's so bad and it will be impossible to know what is helping, if anything. Anyway..
Night

  • Wash face with Pan Oxyl 4%, mix in 1 tsp baking soda and exfoliate with spin brush
  • Run a wash cloth under hot water, ring out and use as steam/hot compress over affected areas. Repeat about 4 times.
  • Use aczone sparingly on spots (running out)
  • Use this moisturizer - same comments as above.
  • Use Mario Badescu Drying Lotion
You can see the attached pictures of my skin, with side-by-side comparisons as it was 2 weeks ago and as it is today. I have never had acne on my cheeks before. It has gotten to the point where it has almost kept me from leaving the house to go to social events.

I think the combination of the Mario Badescu Drying Lotion + the hot compress have really helped to bring the stuff to the surface. The nodules/cysts were so painful but once those products brought the infection to the surface, it eventually exfoliated the top layer off, allowing the pimples to pop themselves. Once the pressure was relieved they felt so much better. I was AMAZED at the amount of puss and gunk that came out of the infected cysts. It was so disgusting. I have been trying my best to avoid squeezing anything, I have just been letting them pop on their own.

I am trying to find a new, better dermatologist. If anyone has additional advice, especially for the redness (!!!!!) please let me know.

EDIT 7/27: removed pictures and combined all images in my updated post on 7/27

Edited by nicoblossom
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Natural does not always mean better and this is the case with coconut oil. Very comodogenic. I definitely recommend looking at the comodogenic ratings and use that when choosing products natural or otherwise. It's a good choice to not use antibiotics as the acne you get once you're off is worse than what you had previously. How's your diet and lifestyle? Acne is usually a combination of many factors so if you're only addressing one, you may not be seeing the results you want. Why are you adamant about not using chemicals or at the very least a combination of natural and chemicals?

Hugs from NY

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Natural does not always mean better and this is the case with coconut oil. Very comodogenic. I definitely recommend looking at the comodogenic ratings and use that when choosing products natural or otherwise. It's a good choice to not use antibiotics as the acne you get once you're off is worse than what you had previously. How's your diet and lifestyle? Acne is usually a combination of many factors so if you're only addressing one, you may not be seeing the results you want. Why are you adamant about not using chemicals or at the very least a combination of natural and chemicals?

Hugs from NY

Hi Leelowe1! Thanks for replying to my thread :)

I have since quit coconut oil and am using this moisturizer instead. It has spf 15 in it too which I was told will help avoid further pigmentation. I definitely don't want to be on antibiotics - I don't want to deal with that!

I lead a pretty healthy lifestyle - I am gluten free and rarely eat dairy (like sometimes I'll cook my eggs with butter, or have a slice of cheese, but I don't eat it on a regular basis anymore. I'm trying to completely cut it out but it is hard). I try to eat as many vegetables as I can. I know I can cut down on sugar but most of my sugar comes from fruit, homemade smoothies and dark chocolate. I don't eat too much meat, I get most of my protein from fish, eggs and vegetable sources but I eat meat or chicken 1-3 times/week.

I do yoga a few times a week and once it cools down (I am in Arizona where it is way too hot for outdoor activities), I want to start working out more.

I also am trying to focus a lot on managing my stress. I have a somewhat stressful work environment and still live with my parents, so I'm doing my best to manage that with yoga, meditation and journaling.

I don't like the idea of using chemicals because I read that chemicals on your skin get into your blood stream within 30 minutes of application, and I try to live as simple and natural of a life as I can - I don't like to eat a lot of processed foods if I can avoid it, etc. I don't like the idea of topically applying chemicals that will just end up in my body. That being said, I started using chemicals again and almost nothing in my regimen at this point is natural except for the occasional face mask. Here are the products I use:

Occasional Face mask: Indian Healing Clay (bentonite clay) Mask

Plus I steam my face with a warm/hot wash cloth every night. I also add baking soda to my face wash one or two times per week for a little extra exfoliation.

I am also on the following supplement regimen:

I don't really know what else to do at this point. I feel like I'm doing everything I can :( The old cysts have caused some pretty significant pigmentation, as you can see in the images above.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Natural does not always mean better and this is the case with coconut oil. Very comodogenic. I definitely recommend looking at the comodogenic ratings and use that when choosing products natural or otherwise. It's a good choice to not use antibiotics as the acne you get once you're off is worse than what you had previously. How's your diet and lifestyle? Acne is usually a combination of many factors so if you're only addressing one, you may not be seeing the results you want. Why are you adamant about not using chemicals or at the very least a combination of natural and chemicals?

Hugs from NY

Hi Leelowe1! Thanks for replying to my thread :)

I have since quit coconut oil and am using this moisturizer instead. It has spf 15 in it too which I was told will help avoid further pigmentation. I definitely don't want to be on antibiotics - I don't want to deal with that!

I lead a pretty healthy lifestyle - I am gluten free and rarely eat dairy (like sometimes I'll cook my eggs with butter, or have a slice of cheese, but I don't eat it on a regular basis anymore. I'm trying to completely cut it out but it is hard). I try to eat as many vegetables as I can. I know I can cut down on sugar but most of my sugar comes from fruit, homemade smoothies and dark chocolate. I don't eat too much meat, I get most of my protein from fish, eggs and vegetable sources but I eat meat or chicken 1-3 times/week.

I do yoga a few times a week and once it cools down (I am in Arizona where it is way too hot for outdoor activities), I want to start working out more.

I also am trying to focus a lot on managing my stress. I have a somewhat stressful work environment and still live with my parents, so I'm doing my best to manage that with yoga, meditation and journaling.

I don't like the idea of using chemicals because I read that chemicals on your skin get into your blood stream within 30 minutes of application, and I try to live as simple and natural of a life as I can - I don't like to eat a lot of processed foods if I can avoid it, etc. I don't like the idea of topically applying chemicals that will just end up in my body. That being said, I started using chemicals again and almost nothing in my regimen at this point is natural except for the occasional face mask. Here are the products I use:

Occasional Face mask: Indian Healing Clay (bentonite clay) Mask

Plus I steam my face with a warm/hot wash cloth every night. I also add baking soda to my face wash one or two times per week for a little extra exfoliation.

I am also on the following supplement regimen:

I don't really know what else to do at this point. I feel like I'm doing everything I can :( The old cysts have caused some pretty significant pigmentation, as you can see in the images above.

Hey nicoblossom,

What kind of probiotic are you taking? I'd definitely stick with those and even up the dosage. I usually take 2x the dose on my probiotic bottle. The gut is everything! Clean eating will eventually lead to clearer skin, but it could take months for you to really see a difference.

Just from reading your log, it seems like you're using quite a few products and are changing your routine way too frequently. Stick with something for a while! When i started using Manuka honey it literally took 2 months before I starting seeing results.

I've found that limiting my mirror time to once in the morning, once at night a great strategy too. I was obsessing so much about my skin it really took a toll on me emotionally and just stressed me out....which led to breakouts. Even now with my skin being the clearest it's been, I never look in the mirror at work.

Just some food for thought, stay strong and relax! haha.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Natural does not always mean better and this is the case with coconut oil. Very comodogenic. I definitely recommend looking at the comodogenic ratings and use that when choosing products natural or otherwise. It's a good choice to not use antibiotics as the acne you get once you're off is worse than what you had previously. How's your diet and lifestyle? Acne is usually a combination of many factors so if you're only addressing one, you may not be seeing the results you want. Why are you adamant about not using chemicals or at the very least a combination of natural and chemicals?

Hugs from NY

Hi Leelowe1! Thanks for replying to my thread :)

I have since quit coconut oil and am using this moisturizer instead. It has spf 15 in it too which I was told will help avoid further pigmentation. I definitely don't want to be on antibiotics - I don't want to deal with that!

I lead a pretty healthy lifestyle - I am gluten free and rarely eat dairy (like sometimes I'll cook my eggs with butter, or have a slice of cheese, but I don't eat it on a regular basis anymore. I'm trying to completely cut it out but it is hard). I try to eat as many vegetables as I can. I know I can cut down on sugar but most of my sugar comes from fruit, homemade smoothies and dark chocolate. I don't eat too much meat, I get most of my protein from fish, eggs and vegetable sources but I eat meat or chicken 1-3 times/week.

I do yoga a few times a week and once it cools down (I am in Arizona where it is way too hot for outdoor activities), I want to start working out more.

I also am trying to focus a lot on managing my stress. I have a somewhat stressful work environment and still live with my parents, so I'm doing my best to manage that with yoga, meditation and journaling.

I don't like the idea of using chemicals because I read that chemicals on your skin get into your blood stream within 30 minutes of application, and I try to live as simple and natural of a life as I can - I don't like to eat a lot of processed foods if I can avoid it, etc. I don't like the idea of topically applying chemicals that will just end up in my body. That being said, I started using chemicals again and almost nothing in my regimen at this point is natural except for the occasional face mask. Here are the products I use:

Occasional Face mask: Indian Healing Clay (bentonite clay) Mask

Plus I steam my face with a warm/hot wash cloth every night. I also add baking soda to my face wash one or two times per week for a little extra exfoliation.

I am also on the following supplement regimen:

I don't really know what else to do at this point. I feel like I'm doing everything I can :( The old cysts have caused some pretty significant pigmentation, as you can see in the images above.

Hey nicoblossom,

What kind of probiotic are you taking? I'd definitely stick with those and even up the dosage. I usually take 2x the dose on my probiotic bottle. The gut is everything! Clean eating will eventually lead to clearer skin, but it could take months for you to really see a difference.

Just from reading your log, it seems like you're using quite a few products and are changing your routine way too frequently. Stick with something for a while! When i started using Manuka honey it literally took 2 months before I starting seeing results.

I've found that limiting my mirror time to once in the morning, once at night a great strategy too. I was obsessing so much about my skin it really took a toll on me emotionally and just stressed me out....which led to breakouts. Even now with my skin being the clearest it's been, I never look in the mirror at work.

Just some food for thought, stay strong and relax! haha.

Hey Canucklehead12, thanks for your thoughts! It's always nice to know I'm not alone.

I'm using Garden of Life Raw Probiotics for women (there's one for men, women, general, "wiser" women, etc.). I really like it and notice a difference if I accidentally forget to take it. It says on the bottle that you can take 3 per day, but the person vitamin expert who I talked to about it said you really only need to take 3 if you have digestive issues like Crohn's, so I take it once in the morning first thing and occasionally again at night.

I know I have been changing my routine probably too often, but that's because I have had such a weird and drastic change in events on my face in only a span of two months. I had acne that was "normal" to me (one or two cysts at a time) until about mid-May, then broke out with horrible cysts all over my cheeks (you can see the hyperpigmentation left over in the pictures above). Those have all luckily healed so once they healed, I changed my routine to allow for scar creams and extra sunscreen. But then I just tried to extract a huge blackhead this week, and accidentally rubbed off the top layer of my skin (I wrote a post about it and posted a picture ), and now the left side of my face around that wound is swollen. It is close to my eye so it is really noticeable that it's swollen and just looks awful. I know that was self-inflicted and I shouldn't have been touching my skin in the first place, but it feels like I can't catch a break!

Anyway, I'm just sticking to my routine listed above for now. I only stared using fresh aloe from my garden on a regular basis a few days ago, but I already see a difference so I'm going to keep that in my routine!

How often are you using Manuka honey? I have and really like Manuka honey, but I don't use it on a regular basis.

I'm seeing a new dermatologist that has amazing reviews on Thursday so hopefully he can help me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey Canucklehead12, thanks for your thoughts! It's always nice to know I'm not alone.

I'm using Garden of Life Raw Probiotics for women (there's one for men, women, general, "wiser" women, etc.). I really like it and notice a difference if I accidentally forget to take it. It says on the bottle that you can take 3 per day, but the person vitamin expert who I talked to about it said you really only need to take 3 if you have digestive issues like Crohn's, so I take it once in the morning first thing and occasionally again at night.

I know I have been changing my routine probably too often, but that's because I have had such a weird and drastic change in events on my face in only a span of two months. I had acne that was "normal" to me (one or two cysts at a time) until about mid-May, then broke out with horrible cysts all over my cheeks (you can see the hyperpigmentation left over in the pictures above). Those have all luckily healed so once they healed, I changed my routine to allow for scar creams and extra sunscreen. But then I just tried to extract a huge blackhead this week, and accidentally rubbed off the top layer of my skin (I wrote a post about it and posted a picture ), and now the left side of my face around that wound is swollen. It is close to my eye so it is really noticeable that it's swollen and just looks awful. I know that was self-inflicted and I shouldn't have been touching my skin in the first place, but it feels like I can't catch a break!

Anyway, I'm just sticking to my routine listed above for now. I only stared using fresh aloe from my garden on a regular basis a few days ago, but I already see a difference so I'm going to keep that in my routine!

How often are you using Manuka honey? I have and really like Manuka honey, but I don't use it on a regular basis.

I'm seeing a new dermatologist that has amazing reviews on Thursday so hopefully he can help me.

Ah ok Garden of Life is a pretty solid brand, so hopefully it continues to work for ya! If you feel like changing it up, i'd definitely check out Dr.Ohhiras probiotic. I really noticed a difference and has amazing reviews on iherb.

I use manuka honey morning and night as a normal cleanser. I try to leave it on my face for as long as possible while I'm brushing my teeth or flossing, then I jump in the shower to rinse off real quick. Every other day I use a mask for 1-3 hours, but this is mostly to deal with my seb derm issues. So far so good. It really is a slow process with honey, but it's steady! My face feels....normal....for once. Not oily or dry. Everyone's skin is different though and it might not be "cleansing" enough for some people.

Truly I found stress, sunlight and diet to be the main factors of my breakouts, so keep a balanced lifestyle and you'll be good to go!!

Cheers,

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Let us know how your visit goes. Just to share a little bit of my struggles. I've been investing so much time and money into the belief that natural is the cure to all my ails. I have experimented with diet, skincare and thousands of dollars on supplements. Needless to say, my skin is worse today than it had been in a long time....sigh. My point is, not everything works for everybody. If a derm can offer some relief with natural things and the pros outweigh the cons, go for it. I also applaud you for posting pictures. Many people don't (myself included) so I commend you.

Keep us posted.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey Canucklehead12, thanks for your thoughts! It's always nice to know I'm not alone.

I'm using Garden of Life Raw Probiotics for women (there's one for men, women, general, "wiser" women, etc.). I really like it and notice a difference if I accidentally forget to take it. It says on the bottle that you can take 3 per day, but the person vitamin expert who I talked to about it said you really only need to take 3 if you have digestive issues like Crohn's, so I take it once in the morning first thing and occasionally again at night.

I know I have been changing my routine probably too often, but that's because I have had such a weird and drastic change in events on my face in only a span of two months. I had acne that was "normal" to me (one or two cysts at a time) until about mid-May, then broke out with horrible cysts all over my cheeks (you can see the hyperpigmentation left over in the pictures above). Those have all luckily healed so once they healed, I changed my routine to allow for scar creams and extra sunscreen. But then I just tried to extract a huge blackhead this week, and accidentally rubbed off the top layer of my skin (I wrote a post about it and posted a picture ), and now the left side of my face around that wound is swollen. It is close to my eye so it is really noticeable that it's swollen and just looks awful. I know that was self-inflicted and I shouldn't have been touching my skin in the first place, but it feels like I can't catch a break!

Anyway, I'm just sticking to my routine listed above for now. I only stared using fresh aloe from my garden on a regular basis a few days ago, but I already see a difference so I'm going to keep that in my routine!

How often are you using Manuka honey? I have and really like Manuka honey, but I don't use it on a regular basis.

I'm seeing a new dermatologist that has amazing reviews on Thursday so hopefully he can help me.

Ah ok Garden of Life is a pretty solid brand, so hopefully it continues to work for ya! If you feel like changing it up, i'd definitely check out Dr.Ohhiras probiotic. I really noticed a difference and has amazing reviews on iherb.

I use manuka honey morning and night as a normal cleanser. I try to leave it on my face for as long as possible while I'm brushing my teeth or flossing, then I jump in the shower to rinse off real quick. Every other day I use a mask for 1-3 hours, but this is mostly to deal with my seb derm issues. So far so good. It really is a slow process with honey, but it's steady! My face feels....normal....for once. Not oily or dry. Everyone's skin is different though and it might not be "cleansing" enough for some people.

Truly I found stress, sunlight and diet to be the main factors of my breakouts, so keep a balanced lifestyle and you'll be good to go!!

Cheers,

Thanks for sharing, that's so interesting! So you just put honey on for ..30? minutes, then rinse it off, and you don't do anything else?

Right now I have a mud mask on. What mask do you use for 1-3 hours?

Let us know how your visit goes. Just to share a little bit of my struggles. I've been investing so much time and money into the belief that natural is the cure to all my ails. I have experimented with diet, skincare and thousands of dollars on supplements. Needless to say, my skin is worse today than it had been in a long time....sigh. My point is, not everything works for everybody. If a derm can offer some relief with natural things and the pros outweigh the cons, go for it. I also applaud you for posting pictures. Many people don't (myself included) so I commend you.

Keep us posted.

I know, the natural route can be expensive. I feel like my breakouts are *almost* under control, but I still have a lot of congestion/clogged pores, and now I'm starting to get cysts around my jaw line, which I've never had before.

I'm going to post an update tonight pre-derm, and I'll post tomorrow about what he says.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have a dermatologist appointment tomorrow, but wanted to share an update beforehand:

My topical regimen hasn't changed:

I don't steam as often and I don't add baking soda to my face wash as often, but probably should keep those up.

I am also still on the following supplement regimen:

  • probiotic, 1 in the morning and sometimes 1 at night if my belly feels weird
  • Oregano Oil, 3 pills per day - I ran out a few days ago and need to order.
  • Olive Leaf Extract, 3 pills per day
  • Garlic, 4 pills per day
  • BetaCareAll (Mixed carotenoid complex), 1 pill per day
  • Allergy pill, 1 pill per day
  • I add fresh aloe gel scooped from the plant (1 tbsp), chia seeds (1/2 tbsp) and maca root (1/2 tsp) to my smoothie every morning.
  • I added MSM to my supplements to hopefully help the scarring/hyperpigmentation. 1000 mg 3x per day. Using Sprouts brand (local grocery chain).
I have been doing a green smoothie challenge with Simple Green Smoothies (link here) for the past month. Every day I drink a green smoothie for breakfast, and I have been doing this for 30 days. I only added the aloe in a week ago. My smoothie usually looks like:
  • 8 oz coconut milk (unsweetened vanilla So Delicious)
  • 4 oz filtered water
  • 1.5 cups Earthbound Farms Organic Power Greens (mix of kale, spinach, chard?)
  • 1.5 cups mixed fruit (some combination of berries, cherries, pineapple, kiwi, oranges, limes, nectarines)
  • 1 tbsp aloe gel
  • 1/2 tsp maca root
  • 1/2 tbsp chia seeds
The spot that I squeezed and essentially formed a big fat scab is still healing, you'll see it in my updated pictures. The scab fell off but now there's a huge lump under my skin, like a cyst, but not as painful. Never touching my face again.

Updated pictures below:

post-470678-0-06735600-1438235317.png

Edited by nicoblossom
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Update:

I went to the dermatologist (PA) today and he prescribed:

  • Tazorac .1%
  • Aczone 5%
  • Sulfacleanse Wash for face & back
He said I can keep up what I'm already doing and add these in, so instead of using Pan Oxyl morning and night, I would use it once per day and use the Sulfacleanse the other time. Tazorac has to be alternated with my other topicals, and used only every 3rd night to start. Aczone has to be used twice per day.

They are all mail order, so I have to wait a few days to get them, but he did give me samples of the Tazorac so I used it tonight. He also gave me samples of a cetaphil 30 SPF moisturizer which I'm going to try out.

I am going back in about two weeks for a consultation with an aesthetician and to probably get a chemical peel. My next check up with the dermatologist is in 6 weeks (Sept. 3).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for sharing, that's so interesting! So you just put honey on for ..30? minutes, then rinse it off, and you don't do anything else?

Right now I have a mud mask on. What mask do you use for 1-3 hours?

So i'll cleanse with manuka honey as I would a normal cleanser morning and night. I usually wash it off in the shower, as it can be very sticky! Sometime I'll leave the honey on my face for 5-10 minutes while I brush my teeth or eat breakfast before I wash it off.

Every other night, I'll leave the honey on my face for up to 3 hours before washing off. I do this only because I've had seb derm flare ups since ditching all topicals, and this has been a proven method (Auburn's method from rosacea forums). Honey masks in general are very beneficial though.

And yeah that's all I do! I might start introducing a bit of jojoba oil into my routine once or twice a week....but I don't want to mess with my face too much.

The natural route definitely does not work for everyone, and I've had to really push myself through the ups and downs. But my face finally feels normal after the years and years of harsh chemicals!

Edited by Canucklehead12
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.



  • Personalized Advice Quiz - All of Acne.org in just a few minutes

×