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Hello everyone!

I specifically joined this forum to lend help to those who have tried a million different acne treatments and have failed. After many several attempts I finally found something that works for me that uses both over the counter topical cream and supplements to help clear cystic acne. Here's my story:

When I turned 24 last year after a long night out I woke up the next day with the beginning of an acne breakout. I thought the reason it was happening was because I slept with my makeup on, the many tequila shots and mixed drinks I ingested, along with the crippling sense of dehydration I had when I woke up the next morning (Clearly are not good for you skin). Well, was I SO wrong. I would come to find out I would be out here on the battlefield with cystic acne for the remainder of the year.

I never once had cystic acne so bad in my life. I use to have minor breakouts in high school all the way up until I turned 24. Over the months my acne continued to get worse and worse to the point where I didn't even want to leave my house. I went to my dermatologist and she told me I had the onset of ADULT ACNE. I sat there and I cried because I thought acne was something of the past that teenagers had to deal with. I finally pulled myself together and began researching various ways to get rid of acne. I'll be damned if I'm 24 and super single with cystic acne attacking my face.

Here's what I did:

1. PanOxyl
- This stuff really saved my life. My dermatologist new I tried EVERYTHING and this was my last shot at hope. PanOxyl is an over the counter acne face wash with the highest available amount of Benzol Peroxide. You can get this anywhere - Amazon, CVS, etc. etc. I started washing my face with this at least once a day massaging over my cystic acne for at least a minute. Then I started moving over to twice a day until I started to notice improvements.

Warning: THIS will really dry out your face to be extra careful. I have sensitive skin and it really dried me out.

2. Argan Oil
- After I wash my face I always moisturize with oil. I read the using oil is a lot better for cystic acne than using regular face creams which contain perfume and other irritating factors. Oil has a thin consistency and really holds in the moisture longer.

3. Clairsonic - Mia

- I’m not saying you have to purchase because I know it’s a little pricey but it really did help me on my acne removing endeavor. The Clairsonic I used twice a week to help circulation on my face it also removed my dried skin from using heavy duty acne treatments. I still use it now twice a week for a light exfoliation and to get my circulation going.

4. Supplements

- I stumbled upon an all natural acne forum. As most of you know, acne actually starts from within your body – if your inner body isn’t regulating properly or if there is a hormone imbalance your face will in fact breakout. I was kicking up the battle on my external body but I also needed to fix it internally as well. Here are the supplements I recommend to treat acne and they’re all over the counter:

- Pro-biotics: sometimes your stomach produces bad bacteria and you need to bring in good bacteria to balance it out – if you have more bad than good you develop acne and inflammation.

-  Vitamin A: help prevent dead skin cells from sloughing off and clogging pores, reduce the amount of oil your skin produces, which also reduces pore-clogging, suppress androgen formation (androgens in the skin are a major cause of acne), protect fats from oxidation (which keeps cell damage and inflammation at bay)

- Zinc: helps accelerate the growth and development of skin cells necessary for clear skin and also reduced inflammation

Vitamin B complex: help convert carbohydrates and fats into energy. It also promotes function of immunity, digestion and the nervous system which (if you look at the bigger picture) improves our overall body function of skin, hair, nails, etc etc. It also reduces inflammation.

Lastly!! I started to eat a yogurt once a day to really keep on top of ingesting a pro-biotic. I put it in a smoothie or take one on the go. After also speaking with my dad he told me he had acne as well (curse my family for this bad acne gene) and he told me an old method of acne removal that really worked for me: using a hot compress to open your pores and then use a cold one to close them. This helps unclog your pores at the end of each day and I started doing it at least 3 times a week!

Easier said than done but, don’t ever be discouraged because of acne. It happens to the best of us and we are all more than just a pretty face. One thing that helped me get by during my healing process was googling celebrities who had bad acne and you will really be surprised with what you find.

 

Good luck!! Love + light xx.

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The supplements you recommended are all good choices! I'd also recommend a high-potency EPA omega 3 fish oil which is also great for inflammation.

Thanks for sharing your clear-skin solution with our community!! Best wishes for continued success!! |::)

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9 hours ago, RealSolutions said:

one of the challenges with managing acne with this kind of regimen is the day to day consistency.  Howe do you do it?
 

I think what motivates me the most to keep a regimen is that I know that it's been working and clearing my face up. I would spend any amount of time for that outcome. To help, I try to do most things before I go to bed at night. I also keep a list for the whole week to track when I should exfoliate and when I should use the acne wash. I stopped doing these things everyday since my acne started to clear - I'm in a healing process. I downloaded an app called Google Keep and you can actually keep a day to day checklist on your phone.

For the supplements, I take them every morning with my breakfast. I even ordered a pill case on amazon that I refill with vitamins every night and then I'm able to just throw it in my work bag for the next morning. It seems like a lot to remember at first, trust me, but once you begin to establish a regimen you'll be able to do it everyday.

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I'm so glad this helped you. I agree, sudden adult onset acne is hell. Were you ever on oral contraceptive/the patch/shot/IUD? That can trigger acne in an otherwise normal person, even after stopping BC. Happened to me, too. Hormonal imbalances are usually the culprit if dietary/allergen triggers are not. 

The only thing I'll note is that Zinc is definitely not for everyone. Take with caution and in low doses. Being deficient in Zinc [even a little] can cause your Testosterone levels to go up, which makes acne worse. Same with eating foods like cauliflower and broccoli, especially. (Both of those are used in DIM which apparently helps lower 'bad' estrogen, but unless one is truly estrogen dominant it just makes acne worse.) I'll check out Panoxyl since a derm I went to before said it's a good idea to alternate face washes to avoid your skin adapting to them. I'm looking for an ultra-gentle one that doesn't contain Sulfates for the AM and it's so beyond frustrating. I've tried Cerave, Cetaphil, Simple and Vanicream and all they do is leave a nasty film. Ugh.

Do you use Panoxyl every day? I feel using medicated cleansers 2x makes me dry out and more oily as a result. 

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1 hour ago, cloudydreamer said:

I'm so glad this helped you. I agree, sudden adult onset acne is hell. Were you ever on oral contraceptive/the patch/shot/IUD? That can trigger acne in an otherwise normal person, even after stopping BC. Happened to me, too. Hormonal imbalances are usually the culprit if dietary/allergen triggers are not. 

The only thing I'll note is that Zinc is definitely not for everyone. Take with caution and in low doses. Being deficient in Zinc [even a little] can cause your Testosterone levels to go up, which makes acne worse. Same with eating foods like cauliflower and broccoli, especially. (Both of those are used in DIM which apparently helps lower 'bad' estrogen, but unless one is truly estrogen dominant it just makes acne worse.) I'll check out Panoxyl since a derm I went to before said it's a good idea to alternate face washes to avoid your skin adapting to them. I'm looking for an ultra-gentle one that doesn't contain Sulfates for the AM and it's so beyond frustrating. I've tried Cerave, Cetaphil, Simple and Vanicream and all they do is leave a nasty film. Ugh.

Do you use Panoxyl every day? I feel using medicated cleansers 2x makes me dry out and more oily as a result. 

I couldn't even believe that Adult Acne could even happen especially when I've never had breakouts like this before. It's hell and even harder to battle.

So, I’m actually on BC (Lo-Loestrin) and I’ve been on it for the past 3 years. It’s never made me breakout before. I’m wondering if this has anything to do with it? I’m not sure.

 I also agree Zinc isn't for everyone and I should have stated that. Not all these supplements are for everyone especially if you're getting a healthy dose of it. I’m recently a new vegetarian so I’m still figuring out what supplements I’m lacking and these are some of the few. Once I get my diet back in check I hope to stop taking these.

I've tried every cleanser under the sun as well. I always used to use Cetaphil but it does absolutely nothing for me anymore. I was using the PanOxyl once a day in the beginning and then started moving closer to twice a day, as per the directions my dermatologist gave me. I think it was a little too aggressive for me because my face was starting to get so dry but my cystic acne was really going down, I then moved over to every other day to give my face a break. So I head a warning because it's really strong.

Now, I use PanOxyl once a week because I still have some light acne. Once I get rid of it I’m hoping I can be off of it all together. I’ve been using an Aveeno cleanser now and that seems to be keeping my acne at bay without drying my skin. I haven’t noticed my skin becoming extra oily (and I do have oily skin) I want to say it’s because I’m using Argan oil as a moisturizer vs. a heavy facial cream?

Also another thing to note is that the hot and cold compress technique has REALLY helped the most in conjunction to all of this.

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5 hours ago, chelslynn22 said:

I couldn't even believe that Adult Acne could even happen especially when I've never had breakouts like this before. It's hell and even harder to battle.

So, I’m actually on BC (Lo-Loestrin) and I’ve been on it for the past 3 years. It’s never made me breakout before. I’m wondering if this has anything to do with it? I’m not sure.

 I also agree Zinc isn't for everyone and I should have stated that. Not all these supplements are for everyone especially if you're getting a healthy dose of it. I’m recently a new vegetarian so I’m still figuring out what supplements I’m lacking and these are some of the few. Once I get my diet back in check I hope to stop taking these.

I've tried every cleanser under the sun as well. I always used to use Cetaphil but it does absolutely nothing for me anymore. I was using the PanOxyl once a day in the beginning and then started moving closer to twice a day, as per the directions my dermatologist gave me. I think it was a little too aggressive for me because my face was starting to get so dry but my cystic acne was really going down, I then moved over to every other day to give my face a break. So I head a warning because it's really strong.

Now, I use PanOxyl once a week because I still have some light acne. Once I get rid of it I’m hoping I can be off of it all together. I’ve been using an Aveeno cleanser now and that seems to be keeping my acne at bay without drying my skin. I haven’t noticed my skin becoming extra oily (and I do have oily skin) I want to say it’s because I’m using Argan oil as a moisturizer vs. a heavy facial cream?

Also another thing to note is that the hot and cold compress technique has REALLY helped the most in conjunction to all of this.

Yeah, it's so weird how some BCPs are a godsend for others while others suffer from them. Microgestin/Lo Loestrin really caused severe acne for me and it got worse when I went off it. Those low estrogen pills are a disaster for me...they contain a more androgenic Progestin that can irritate acne so if you think that could be a cause, maybe switch to another pill. You're lucky you can use the OCM as it's too irritating for me. :( I'll look into Aveeno. My skin is so dry and irritated.  Edited by cloudydreamer

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