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My skin is clear! (Useful variations to the Regemin)

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After nearly 10 years, my acne is pretty much cleared up, and my skin is in decent condition (not dry or oily) to boot. I thought I'd post my method, which is basically the regimen with a few variations/additions.

First, a little bit about myself and my acne so you can decide whether my method might be a good match for you as well. I am a 22 year old female. I've had moderate to severe acne since I was about 12, but have reduced it to moderate-mild by being on birth control pills. When I'm not following my method, I have several pimples all the time, with premenstrual flare-ups. My skin is somewhat sensitive, and is extremely prone to dryness as well. I pay about $25 per month for everything I do to keep my acne at bay, not including the costs of my birth control. If this sounds like a you, read on! (Most of the methods I describe here would probably also work for guys with moderate to mild acne.)

1. Wash With Gentle Exfoliation I have a tendency to overscrub, but I have solved the problem by switching to those exfoliating facial cloths. They exfoliate really well without scratching my skin like some scrubs do, but are gentle enough to use everyday (washcloths are too harsh for me).

2. Benzoyl Peroxide Plenty of it, morning and night. I've found the the quality of the acne medicine makes a difference in how it appears on your skin, which for me makes a difference in how much I apply. I've been using 5% Benzac AC, which is the best brand I've tried.

3. Toner! This has really made the difference in the effectiveness of my acne medicine. The brand of toner crucial, as some toners/astringents leave a nasty film on my skin that actually makes my acne worse. I use Clinique toner #3, which is pretty expensive by my standards ($12-18 per bottle), but it's well worth the investment. It does everything I want it to: it removes any traces of soap or cleanser, leaves my skin feeling fresh and not sticky, very gently exfoliates and smooths away flakes, and, most importantly, it makes my skin more succeptible and absorbant to the acne medicine I use. Another nice thing about a good toner is that it will make the brand of cleanser you use obsolete, as it will remove any traces of it from your skin after you wash. I've switched from using pricey washes to just plain liquid handsoap with the toner.

4. Use Sunscreen Instead of Moisturizer According to an article I read by a dermatologist, a moisturizer sabotoges your anti-acne efforts because it puts moisture in when your trying to dry pimples out. I have found this to be true, even with very expensive moisturizers. I much prefer a sunscreen specifically designed for faces. I use it sparingly like a moisturizer, not like a sunscreen, and apply it after my acne medicine. My theory is that because sunscreen is meant to form a barrier on top of the skin and not seep into it, it is a better choice for people using an acne medicine.

Optional:Birth Control Pills(Sorry guys, this section's not for you.) I've found that being on birth control pills has helped clear up my acne tremendously. I get them free from Planned Parenthood, because I'm considered to be in a low income bracket (FYI - I am a college student, and they count only your income, not your parents') If you decide that this might be a good option for you, be sure to tell your doctor that you intend for your birth control to clear your acne up (some pills, and the shot, will likely make your acne worse, not better).

If you've read this far, I appologize for the long post, and thanks for sticking with me. I hope you've found something useful.

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Kind of like you, i exfoliate, but i use an exfoliating face wash which helps to take the dry skin off. I like the idea of using the toner so im gonna give that a try, and also the sunscreen instead of the moisturizer. I find that when i use moisturizer it seems to make my face alittle worse, nothin serious just i'd end up with a few more spots then when i wouldnt use it.

Any certain kind of sunscreen i should use??

Thanks for the suggestions anyway!

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hollythedog - thanks for sharing that! just have a few questions:

1. do you use the toner after applying the BP? reason i'm asking is because i've tried that and my face stings.

2. which SPF do you recommend?

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I use Coppertone Oil-Free Faces sunscreen, which is SPF 30.

Apply the toner before the bz. The most important benefit to the toner is that it preps your skin for the bz, making it more absorbant. Hope that helps.

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