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My Acne Journey

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The Beginning of The End 

Okay, so I want to preface this by saying that I used to frequent this website a lot a couple of years ago. I had moderate cystic acne going into 2017 and sometime during that year it pushed into severe after trying the oil cleansing method. Coming to this website I learned a lot about how the skin works (one of the reasons I feel my acne got so out of hand is due to my ignorance on different skin types and how to properly take care of your skin) and tried many remedies, to no avail. I was hopeless, I was broke because I was spending so much many on various commercial and natural skin products, and I was honestly tired because my skin wasn't getting any better. Eventually, around April of 2018, I decided to try a homemade face mask I had seen on this sight that had a mix of bentonite clay, honey, and apple cider vinegar, all products I had on hand from previous experience that didn't work when I tried it separately. This was the beginning of the end of my acne problems. I went from using this a couple times a week to everyday. As my skin was extremely oily, one of the main culprits of my acne, the mixture did an amazing job soaking up the excess oil on my skin. Slowly, my skin started to clear up. The little bumps still remained, as did my hyperpigmentation (luckily my skin is practically incapable of developing ice-pick scars), but much of the cystic acne I had previously experienced went away. Then, in June of 2018, I was finally able to afford a trip to the dermatologist. When I went, she decided it was best to put me on Accutane (off brand version, but y'all get the idea).

My stint on Accutane 

Prior to taking Accutane, I had a two week school trip to Europe I was set to go to, and on it, as I spent a lot of time outside and on beaches, I was vigilant on putting on sunscreen on my face. When I went back home, though I hadn't noticed it at the time, my mom commented on how much my hyperpigmentation had faded since the trip. So, even though I still had little bumps all over my face, the lack of big, cystic acne and the fading of my hyperpigmentation almost made me decide to skip on the accutane and just continue on my regimen as it was. However, since the (many) small little bumps still persisted, along with a prominent bump or two every couple of weeks, I decided to go ahead and take it, and started the course in July 2018. On Accutane I had decided to cut back on my skin care and just use Cetaphil face wash and Neutrogena moisturizer (one for the day w/ sunscreen and on for the night). At first, my cystic acne came back in fierce, however, after around a month, my skin had started to clear up, both my acne and the rest of my hyperpigmentation. By the second month, my skin was completely smooth, my acne gone, maybe a bump every couple of weeks, but no more of the little bumps that had persisted throughout my skin care journey. That's when the dry-eye came on. Initially, I just bought eye drops and lived with it. But after a week, it had gotten so bad that I had decided to discontinue my course on Accutane, having not even completed two months. I was set to have a visit with my dermatologist to be prescribed something else to keep the acne gone, but life got in the way, and slowly, a bit of my acne had come back. I'll admit, after my acne had cleared up during the second month of Accutane, I had started to get lazy and stopped washing my face 2 times a day consistenly, and that persisted even after I had stopped taking the drug.  I decided that I needed to come up with a new regimen to keep my skin clear, and keep to it if I wanted to keep the skin that I had throughout my second month on Accutane. 

My New Routine

So, after doing some research, I had decided that, the skin regimen that I had on Accutane worked, but I needed something else to really keep my skin clear. Again, I had tried to many products that I was skeptical of using things with chemicals in it (my skin specifically had a bad reaction to Sacylic Acid). However, I was eventually able to find a Neutrogena face wash/mask with benzoyl peroxide in it. My new regimen was simple: in the morning I would wash my face with Cetaphil face cleanser, put on a toner, and then use the Neutrogena moisturizer with sunscreen in it. In the night, I would use the new face wash/mask (only using it as a mask every few days, mostly as a cleanser), use a toner, and then moisturize my face with a night moisturizer and some vitamin C. And once every week, I would do the face mask (bentonite clay, honey, apple cider vinegar) for maintenence. Slowly, my skin started to clear up again, and became even better than during the second month of my course on Accutane. My new regimen along with my habit to drink lots of water everyday really helped my skin glow, and it works so well, that I still use this routine today! At one point, I had tried to use the double cleansing method, to shake things up, and immediately broke out. Since then, I've figured, if it aint broke, don't fix it, and haven't really changed anything since (though for my night moisturizer, instead of Neutrogena, I now use Burt's Bees which I absolutely adore). 


I have a few other things that, though they are basic knowledge, I think are useful when trying to cure your acne.

1. Stop looking in the mirror. When you look in the mirror you obsess, and when you obsess you touch and pick and that isn't good for anyone

2. Be gentle to your face, especially if you have cystic acne. My skin was so sensitive, and I would was so rough with it. I would use wipes, exfoliants, Bentonite clay w/out honey, which is honestly a terrible idea as without something else in the mixture, it is extremely hard to get off. 

3. Keep it simple. Don't try to do too much with your face. Find a few key products that you think work best and stick with them. When you make change, make it slowly, this way you can pinpoint exactly whats causing your skin to get worse/better.

4. Make it routine. The first few weeks, it might seem tedious to wash your face two times a day everyday, especially when you're tired or running late. However, the more you do it, the easier it gets. Remember, it takes at least 21 days to form a habit. And don't get lazy! Just because your skin is improving doesn't mean you should let up on your regimen.  

5.. Chill on the makeup. One of the best ways to get rid of acne is to just leave your skin alone. And you can't do that if you're constantly putting on and taking off makeup (eye makeup is fine-ish, even some light concealer, but the heavier the makeup the harder it is to remove). Also, fuck makeup wipes, micellar water w/ a cotton square fucking rocks!

6. Keep your hair clean and/or out of your face. 

7.. Wash your hand before you wash your face (and wash your face with warm water). 

8.. MAKE SURE YOU'RE WASHING YOUR PILLOW (AND SHEETS PROBABLY TOO)!!! I recommend that a. you don't lay down on your pillowcase with a dirty face and b. you change your pillowcase (in particular )often, especially if you have the habit of keeping your hair out when you sleep or not washing your face before you lay down. 

I'm not sure if this will really help people, but I remember going through forum after forum, review after review on this site, and absolutely nothing worked. And then finally, one review, regarding one face mask, and thats all it took for my skin to (finally!) start to improve. And I remember thinking that, If I ever got clear skin, I'd come back and write what I did to achieve it. With that said, not everything works for everybody. However, this is what I did to finally clear up my skin, and I hope that at least one person is able to glean something useful from this post!


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