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test321

Regimen that worked for me, 10+ yrs 100% clear

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Longtime acne sufferer. Been 100% clear for 10yrs now. These forums have helped me find the right products to solve my acne condition and if it helps a single person then it was worth my time writing this. I am not affiliated with any of these products I used, nor have I received them for free. It was trial and error over several years of combination of face washers, moisturizers, treatments. I finally found what works for me and been on it religiously for 10years+

My skin type is male, Asian Indian: brown skin, oily, large pores. This regimen may work for your skin type but its good to note where this works.

Background: Started getting white heads when turning teenager. Wasn't too bad but when you come from super clear skin as a child to getting a few breakouts every few days, it takes a toll on your self esteem. So skin wasn't too bad, some white heads and blackheads but wanted to get clearer screen. Don't remember what exactly I was using during these early teen years but it was just various face washes, some with scrubbing beads, Neutrogena, etcs.

When I got to mid teenage like 17, I wanted something better to work since I'm noticing the face washes themselves are not working or leaving my face super dry and then I get more oily a few hours later. This is also a big problem, most face washes dry out your skin too much especially those that say for oily skin and then your face gets super oily a few hours later. So I saw many commercials for ProActiv and decided to try it. At that time it had 3 steps morning and night: Face washer, toner, lotion with Benzoyl Peroxide.

The Proactiv worked ok, my face was still oily a few hours later, but I wasn't getting any red whiteheads, just lots more blackheads. I thought maybe the toner was probable causing the oilyness so I decided to stop using that and only the wash and benzoyl peroxide lotion. Also, the regimen was getting expensive to pay monthly as I had no job. Also, I hated spending extra time in the morning to apply the toner, wait for it to dry, then apply benzoyl perox lotion. So I knew I needed a better, faster, and cheaper system.

When I stopped using the Toner, that’s when things took a turn for the worst. My skin started to become super dry during the day, I guess because of the benzoyl perox lotion is very drying and the toner wasn't there to balance it out. Due to the dryness, my face started breaking out more in cystic type acne, large breakouts under the skin, multiple every day for weeks. I then switched back to the toner method after 2 weeks but the breakouts persisted. I didn't understand what was happening. Somehow coming off the toner kicked my face into a breakout period that even reverting back to the only 3 step plan did not fix. I waited months and my face still didn't go back to normal.

I also started noticing I wasn't passing a bowel movement for days. This was primarily due to not having a set schedule and not taking in much fiber. As a college student, some classes start different times during the week and leaves no time for a routine bowel movement. I noticed my face would be worse I didn't use the bathroom for 3 or more days. I thought there was some coincidence but I read online there is no link found between body health and acne. I will tell you 100% that that is not true. Your internal health of your body is linked to your skin's condition. Western medicine loves to treat the effect condition, not the cause. Eastern medicine looks at deeper meanings when we have ailments and it is linked to the food we eat and exercise.

After about a year of the proactiv 3 step regiment not working anymore, I started massively buying all kinds of acne products and experimenting with various combinations to determine a combination that would work better than proactiv, be faster to apply in the morning because I am a late person and have zero time in the morning, and cheaper. Also, I made sure to try each combination for 2 weeks and record my results. I also notice that if I didn't record my results before and after the 2 weeks, I would forget. This is very important to determine if the regimen is working for you. Take notes or pics of what your skin looks like right before starting a regimen and then consistently only use products for those 2 weeks and record your skin after 2 weeks to determine if there is any improvement.

Some of the products I’ve tried: RetinaA, RetinAmicro, Murad, Beauty without Cruelty, tea tree oil (worked but gave me horrible red skin and black marks on acne I spot treated with), jojoba oil, coconut oil, vitamin e oil, all kinds of organic skin care, some lotions I found on ebay, all kinds of expensive products like Mama Lotion.

By the time I hit early 20's, I've found the solution. I tried acne.org 3 step with AHA regimen but my face was super red all the time but it did work to control breakouts. Also, I started taking some fiber supplements to have a bowel movement at least every other day. So I was getting close.

After a lot of research, I decided to eliminate acne.org benzoyl peroxide. Here's why: benzoyl peroxide is banned in Europe due to health concerns of cancer. If you look at Europe's quality of health, it is much higher than USA. so this scared me, but I was reading that we need benzoyl peroxide to kill bacteria on the face. This is where they are wrong, acne is cause by irritation of the skin, mixed with hormones, mixed with trapped oil, not bacteria.

Without the benzoyl peroxide, my skin was no longer as red, was getting much healthier since it was being moisturized as well and acne.org’s facial wash was working but it was making my face red after using. But the truly remarkable product that worked for me was ACNE.ORG's AHA LOTION. i realized due to my skin's oiliness and thickness, I needed excellent exfoliation, BUT the face washes I used before had exfoliation. BUT here is the problem, those bead face washes are extremely harsh on the skin. They cause more irritation than anything which leads to more breakouts. The AHA cream (glycolic acid) slowly exfoliates throughout the night, and the next day I am slightly red but nowhere near as bad as the other regimens and then the following day my face is amazing.

Sorry for the long write, but I think its important to read how I got here and why I am using this regimen. So now for the regimen that works 100% for me for the last decade, quick in the morning, and lowest cost:

--Morning: face wash in shower with Philosophy purity made simple: large 32oz bottle for $55 or 3oz for $10. will last 8 months or more. Buy direct from philosophy.com, many coupons available online, sometimes I get buy 1 get 1 free coupon

--Night: face wash with Basis Cleaner Clear face wash, 6oz for $6, will last around 6 months or more

--apply Acne.org AHA+ lotion Every night for 3 days then every 3 nights (Monday, Thursday, Sunday, etc.), large 16oz for $33 or 3oz for $12, lasts 6months+

--Making sure there is bowel movement every other day, if not eating more high fiber foods like broccoli or drinking 8oz of prune juice at night

This is what worked for me. How i still know it works, I tried tested not using AHA for 5 days and started getting black and white heads again. AHA really is the winner here, but the face wash neutralizes the skin. Also, the bowel movements for cystic type acne. I tested each element with different products and got worse results. These products are the holy grail for me. From time to time I try a different face wash to save money and skin reacts badly so this is what I always go back to.

Ok so why 2 different face washes? The philosophy purity made simple face wash is so easy to gently apply in the shower and wash off. It makes my skin perfectly balanced throughout the day, not too dry, not too oily. I do get slightly oily 6 hours later so I use bathroom hand drying napkins to blot my skin and that soaks up any oil perfectly leaving my skin matte. I tried using philosophy at night but it made my skin dry and even drier when applying AHA. So it’s really a daytime face wash.

So why the basis cleaner face wash and why not use it in the morning? I noticed when I did try using the basis in the morning, my face looked great but after an hour I started getting really oily. Extremely oily during the day and my face looked darker, like my complexion color. But it moisturized my face great. So i use it at night when I am ready for bed so my skin is moisturized throughout the night without applying a separate moisturizer. This saves time and cost of buying a separate moisturizer. Also, its best to use this at night, because our face is against the pillow which causes irritation so a moisturizing face wash is fast to apply and softens the skin throughout the night.

Now why use the AHA every other day for a week and increase to 3 days after a week? When I first started using the AHA every night, my face was great. No more breakouts at all, or whiteheads or blackheads, my skin was super clear. The problem though was my face would be super red during the day and if I was in the sun, extremely red. I realized I didn’t need to use it everyday to get its effectiveness and just going every 3 days is enough, it’s that powerful. I sometimes go 5 days without using but I notice my face starting to get whiteheads when I go that long. So i really tried and tested this out. When you first try this regimen, it’s good to use the AHA every night to purge your skin. The AHA is an extremely strong exfoliator and when you first apply it may burn your skin but it will rapidly renew the skin so the first few days we are using it to rapidly purge the skin and then use every 3 nights to maintain forever. The day after using AHA your skin will look a little rough (it’s hard to describe, like not glowing if that makes sense) but the day after (so 2nd day after AHA night application) Your skin will be glowing and stay that way for a few days until the next application. So if I know I have an event coming up with lots of pictures taken, I will use AHA 2 nights before the event or wait till after event. I mean your skin doesn’t look bad the day after AHA, but as a guy who doesn’t wear makeup, my skins looks perfect at the second day mark after a night of AHA. girls can use makeup etc whereas guys only have their skin. It kinda isn’t fare lol However, AHA works amazing on hyperpigmentation marks.

Why the bowel movement? I noticed when I didn’t use the bathroom for many days, I would get breakouts and not just that, breakouts in strange places such as my ears. I tested this many times. Trust me your internal health is more important than external. Also, stay away from benzoyl peroxide, its banned in many countries for a reason. We don’t know the long term effects of these products. I’ve also tried switching to organic products but they just don’t work. Products work depending on formulation and sometimes you need those synthetic ingredients to provide an effective product, but not too much synthetics. I tend to stay away from perfumes and colognes (very synthetic). Eat less meat (please research plant based diet, it really is the key to living a long disease free diet). Removing dairy products from your diet and eating less sugar. You know when something you eat cause a breakout, everybody’s body is different is react to things differently, so don’t believe when you read online that eating lots of chocolate doesn’t cause breakouts. It doesn’t for me but I specifically know people who it does cause breakouts, so eat healthy guys. I know its hard to eat vegan, I’m not a vegan, I love chicken and seafood too much but just try to reduce your intake of it and eat more veggies. Say if you eat bake chicken, eat the same amount of bake chicken you always eat in a serving but now include a handful of broccoli as well. You also know what foods cause you to not have bowel movements such as chicken, pizza, bread, etc. So just reduce your consumption, instead of every night chicken, maybe twice a week. I know veggies are expensive but you either spend now for a healthy life or spend later on medical bills. Trust me, it’s better to spend now, you can’t enjoy life or be happy even if you have tons of money with bad health.

Well that’s it guys, thanks for reading. I know it’s a lot but I always planned to write this for years but never got around to it, but I want to help anyone who was in my position. I know what it was like having bad skin, you just want to be left alone in your room, don't go anywhere, avoid people. Everything bad has an end, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Hang in there.

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Thank you, interesting post!

So you are saying acne is not linked with  P acnes bacteria? Based on what sources? Your own opinion?

The information on the Acne.org articles are backed up by scientific evidence, saying that P acnes bacteria is linked with acne and especially the severity (https://www.acne.org/the-role-of-bacteria-in-acne.html).

I am not saying you are wrong, and neither am I saying that I am right. Im just really curious by your strong statement saying: "it is unnecessary to use benzoyl peroxide since it kills bacteria and acne is not caused by bacteria". So how come that people using BP tend to clear up? Also there are tons of scientific evidence on BP reducing acne.

I like your post, I would just like a more detailed explanation why we should leave out the BP, convice me ;) 

 

Kind regards,

M

 

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Saying that bacteria isn't a cause of acne is a very bold thing to put out there! That was an interesting read though, much appreciated. I think you are on the right track on finding a good method for preventing acne, but it still goes hand and hand with bacteria. This is my explanation.

AHA basically helps break up dead skin cells, preventing them from things like sticking together and build up. So your body naturally produces sebum, which has the job of moisturizing your skin and hair follicles. Sebum will make it's way up your pores and to the surface of the skin. When it reaches the surface, it will then mix in with your dead skin cells. Also, dead skin cells flake off inside your pores as well, which the sebum will push to the surface. The combination of these things is a bad thing for us prone to acne! When sebum is mixed with dead skin cells, It basically turns into a soft plug that blocks your pores.

Now that you have blocked pores, your body will keep producing sebum and it'll cause a buildup in the pores of your skin. Resulting in skin blemishes. Then, bacteria that normally exists in small amounts on your skin, will flourish and thrive off this large buildup of sebum. As a result of the bacteria that is starting to flourish, your blemish will gradually become more and more inflamed and you will start to see that big red bump that we all hate.

So I agree with you, that AHA can help break up these dead skin cells from building up, which will help keep your pores from becoming clogged. Thus preventing bacteria and sebum from becoming trapped inside your pores. Right now I'm using a face wash that has Mandelic Acid in it, which is AHA, it's just not as harsh on the skin. Mandelic Acid is better for people with sensitive skin, that's why I use it.

Well I'd like to keep this discussion going on, because this is all really good knowledge for people with acne. I could ramble on and on because this stuff is super interesting, but I've run out of time and must go! Will keep checking in, thanks for the post test321. 

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Ordinary acne is related to the acne bacterium, BUT a lot of acne  especially in people older than 25 or so) is caused by fungus, NOT by bacteria. The fungal acne is caused by taking antibiotics (and some other meds) which diminish the ability of one's immune system to control the fungus.

Taking antibiotics when one has fungal acne makes the problem worse and worse.

People can start by having ordinary (ie, bacterial) acne, and then progress to fungal acne if they take antibiotics to control the bacterial acne.

The signs that one has fungal acne, not bacterial acne (other than the obvious sign of non-response to antibiotics) are - one or more of - a white coating on one's tongue, itchiness, a red rash, dandruff, seborhheic dermatitis, sometimes splitting or cracked or flaking skin, headaches and tiredness (plus pustules, cysts etc). Dandruff and seborhheic dermatitis indicate that the problem is caused by malasezzia fungus. A white coating on ones tongue (and sometimes tiredness and headaches) indicate that the problem is caused by candida.

The simplest treatment for fungal acne is to apply a topical antifungal cream. I can provide more information on request.

Fungal acne is very undiagnosed. It is hardly ever recognised by doctors.

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@Aussie Scientist Yeah next time I go see my dermatologist (tomorrow!), I'm going to bring up fungal acne. I live in an area that's extremely, I mean EXTREMELY humid, and it seams like they thrive even more in those conditions. Not only that, but fungal acne looks like tons of very small pimples on your face, which is the biggest problem of mine. I just randomly had some Tea Tree Oil sitting around and I masked my face with it for about 20 minutes the other day, just thinking that maybe it would kill off the fungus if I actually do have it. Was just a little experiment I guess... Really been waiting for tomorrow to come, glad you brought that up! 

I vaguely remember like 3 months ago when I first saw my dermatologist for the first time, I showed her the little bumps all over my forehead. I swear I thought I remember her bringing up the possibility of fungal acne. I don't remember, but I guess she brushed it off because she's got me on a totally different regime that wouldn't cure fungal acne. So yeah I'm ready to see what happens tomorrow, will probably give an update on this thread after I have a talk to her about it.

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Good, but be aware that most doctors, including dermatologists do not diagnose fungal acne correctly, or at all. 

I would buy some clotrimazole anti-fungal cream and apply it to the affected areas. Clotrimazole topical cream is perfectly safe and is available without prescription. I can provide information on more targeted topical antifungal  creams, if you wish.

If you have dandruff (which indicates that the malasezzia fungus is causing the skin problem, because malasezzia causes dandruff) or a white tongue (indicates candida fungus) and acne/pimple like skin conditions, then  the "acne" is most likely fungal acne. The worst thing is to take more antibiotics.

Please don't mention this thread to the dermatologist. As you probably know, doctors do not like people taking responsibility for addressing their own medical conditions.

Do not use moisturiser on your skin, because the organic oils in moisturiser feeds malasezzia.

Essential oils like tea tree oil are antifungal because they contain lots of terpenoids, which kill fungus, but ordinary organic oils (such as olive oil etc.) feed malasezzia.

And you probably know this, but keep the affected areas of your skin very dry. Dusting with corn (maize) flour is good or you can dust the affected areas with anti-fungal powder (sold to treat tinea and smelly feet - which is caused by (a different) fungus) - plus apply the clotrimazole antifungal cream. 

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13 hours ago, JasonCo4 said:

Saying that bacteria isn't a cause of acne is a very bold thing to put out there! That was an interesting read though, much appreciated. I think you are on the right track on finding a good method for preventing acne, but it still goes hand and hand with bacteria. This is my explanation.

AHA basically helps break up dead skin cells, preventing them from things like sticking together and build up. So your body naturally produces sebum, which has the job of moisturizing your skin and hair follicles. Sebum will make it's way up your pores and to the surface of the skin. When it reaches the surface, it will then mix in with your dead skin cells. Also, dead skin cells flake off inside your pores as well, which the sebum will push to the surface. The combination of these things is a bad thing for us prone to acne! When sebum is mixed with dead skin cells, It basically turns into a soft plug that blocks your pores.

Now that you have blocked pores, your body will keep producing sebum and it'll cause a buildup in the pores of your skin. Resulting in skin blemishes. Then, bacteria that normally exists in small amounts on your skin, will flourish and thrive off this large buildup of sebum. As a result of the bacteria that is starting to flourish, your blemish will gradually become more and more inflamed and you will start to see that big red bump that we all hate.

So I agree with you, that AHA can help break up these dead skin cells from building up, which will help keep your pores from becoming clogged. Thus preventing bacteria and sebum from becoming trapped inside your pores. Right now I'm using a face wash that has Mandelic Acid in it, which is AHA, it's just not as harsh on the skin. Mandelic Acid is better for people with sensitive skin, that's why I use it.

Well I'd like to keep this discussion going on, because this is all really good knowledge for people with acne. I could ramble on and on because this stuff is super interesting, but I've run out of time and must go! Will keep checking in, thanks for the post test321. 

Thank you for a detailed description of how it all works!

Im curious, does this mandelic acid face wash keep your skin clear? And what it the severity of your acne and also if you dont mind me asking, your age?

I myself am 22 years old and suffer from moderate acne. I've been on the acne.org regimen for about 1,5 years. I follow the regimen very strictly applying BP twice a day and AHA every third night. This has kept my skin 95% clear, although even after 1,5 years, I still suffer from redness after applying BP and moisturizer... This is a huge side-effect since it looks like I have gotten a sunburnt the whole year...

I don't know why my skin gets so red after applying BP and moisturizer, maybe I apply too much or my skin is very sensitive to the ingredients...

 

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Your skin may be going red after applying moisturiser because moisturiser FEEDS malassezia fungus. Do you have dandruff ? If so, you have malasezzia, and your "acne" may be fungal acne.

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Posted (edited)

@MindfulTiler Sorry for the late response! I've had incredible success with the Mandelic face and body wash. Though the face wash alone isn't the key, it's the combination of multiple products I use in a morning and afternoon routine. Even though the routine only takes like 10 minutes of my time at most, I worked my way up after 2 or 3 months to get to the point I am at now. For example, the routine changes slightly every month. You have to build yourself up to the point that I am at now with the routine I am using currently. I could type you out the products I use and the morning/afternoon routines but it would be a small novel to do so lol. So if you are truly interested, I'll take the time and pm you it. But if you are going to use any sort of face wash, this is a really good one. There are a lot of things you need to consider when buying acne products. One of the biggest things is buying products that won't clog your pores afterwords. This face wash is what you want. 

I'm 28 years old, and I also have moderate acne. The routine I am doing is from a dermatologist that I go to, she is a true expert in acne. My acne is more mild now, probably like you, 95% clean. Face isn't red though. 

What BP % are you using? You might need to drop the % down. Do you put sun screen on every day? If not, you must do this. Use TIZO2, Age defying fusion. It's a good sun screen. Again, you have to make sure every product you use has the correct ingredients. You don't want anything that will clog your pores. This sun screen is what you need for acne prone skin, it won't clog your pores. Also, if you have BP on your face and you start working out and sweating a lot, this will agitate your face and turn it red. Before workouts, wash your face with the mandelic wash and use the toner. Then apply moisturizer and sun screen, then go run or workout. Try not to do hardcore sweating with BP on your face.

Hmm, something that a lot of people overlook, but is so important! DON'T EAT DAIRY PRODUCTS! Stay away from things like milk, cheese, Whey protein, yogurt, etc... Bad idea for people with acne. A lot of dairy products come from pregnant cows with hormones up the roof. Horrible idea, do not eat dairy. 

Sounds like you are on the right track if you are 95% clean. You just might need to change your routine, stay away from dairy, try and eat veggies and eat healthier. Also the products you are using might be products that are contributing to clogging your pores. This is something so many people overlook, but it's beyond important. Crazy how complicating acne is lol.

Lastly, Aussie brought up the possibility of fungal acne. It is a possibility but IMO if you had bad acne before and these products you've been using have put you at 95% clean skin, then you probably don't have fungal acne. There is a very specific way to get rid of fungal acne, but fungal acne won't go away with acne products like you and I use, matter of fact it'll feed off some of the products and get even worse. My guess is you don't have it. Do you have dandruff, is your tongue whitish? Does your acne look like little micro bumps on your face? These are just signs of fungal acne. 

Anyways, this is turning into an essay so I should stop lol. Hope all is good, have a good one.

Edited by JasonCo4

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