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So I finally decided to start one of these things.. Mainly for self-assurance and motivation. I think that I can keep up with my progress better when it's documented and not just in my head. :doh:

I'm 21, male, with an oily complexion and mild acne. My breakouts are very random and I hardly know when to expect them. It's like they come out of nowhere at the most inconvenient times.. Anyway, I've had success with benzoyl peroxide in the past but I've strayed away. Let's just say that the weekends upon weekends of coming home when the chickens wake and not washing my face before bed have finally caught up with me. Now, I'm back at it and I hope to clear up 100% again. Last year this same month I was in the same situation but I managed to clear up 100% by April. Hopefully I can do it again and stay that way!

I'm using:

-Neutrogena Pore Refining Cleanser

-Clean and Clear 10% Persa-Gel

-Neutrogena Moisture SPF15

I want to keep my regimen simple so I can be less dependent on facial products in the future. Before, I used a toner to get rid of flakey skin but I really want to eliminate any "extra" steps. I've found that the Pore Refining Cleanser doesn't flake my skin so I have no more use for a toner. I just don't feel well having so many products on my face all day, so the BP and moisturizer are enough, no toner!

--Current--

Left:

1 very pronounced pimple on middle of cheek, 2 very red pimples along jaw

Right:

smooth, but has moderately-red marks everywhere

Forehead:

smooth and clear

It has begun!

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Day 1

So far there isn't really much to report. It feels weird not using a toner after I wash my face but I'm sure that I'll get used to it. Luckily I didn't wake up to any visible breakouts and I didn't feel any forming under the skin when I was washing my face this morning. Good! I've been doing very well not touching or messing with any blemishes on my face. I used to HUNT for things on my face to squeeze, but I haven't been doing that for the past few days! :clap:

Left:

My 3 pimples have been reducing in size/pain but are still visible. I'm hoping that they'll disappear before next weekend.

Right:

Smooth, no live acne, but with red marks still.

Forehead:

Smooth and clear.

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Day 2

Major exam today! I'm so glad that it's over and that I did well! :dance:

Anyway back to my face... I've been enjoying this regimen so far but I have a few minor complaints. First of all, the Pore Refining Cleanser is very very drying and I sometimes have a wrinkly neck after I wash and apply BP. It's looks weird :shifty: but it goes away right after I moisturize. Next, my forehead has a funny texture by the end of the day that I'm assuming is caused by the cleanser. I only notice this "funny forehead" when I use an overly-drying cleanser. However, my oily skin has been dramatically tamed, and my facial oil slick is not that prominent during the day anymore.

Other than the 2 complaints above, I'm doing very well clearing up. My breakouts on my left cheek have "died" and are on their way to hell, and I've been keeping my hands off of my face. I can really tell a difference when I don't touch it or pick at it. I was going to switch cleansers, but I think that I'll stick with the Pore Refining Cleanser. Maybe this initial drying is just temporary. And I've heard many people say that after using this cleanser for awhile, the results look really good. I hope that I get the same results soon!

Left:

All 3 pimples have dried out but are still visible. They are less noticeable than before though.

Right:

Smooth and red marks are fading.

Forehead:

Clear but has a funny texture by the end of the day.

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Day 3

I looked in the mirror some time in the afternoon today and to my surprise, the left side of my neck had a wrinkly patch of skin. :sick: That's the first time I've seen that! I do not want the crypt keeper's neck, so I followed my intuition and changed my cleanser. I'm now using Neutrogena Deep Clean Facial Cleanser. I just washed my face with it awhile ago and I can really feel a difference. My face is not as tight/dry anymore and the wrinkly neck effect is gone! I think it had something to do with the high alcohol content of the Pore Refining Cleanser...

Anyway, no new breakouts have come so far and I'm very satisfied. However, the 3 pimples on my left cheek have yet to completely fade away.

Left:

3 dried pimples are still visibile. They are a different texture than my regular skin, which looks kinda weird.

Right:

Smooth and red marks are fading.

Forehead:

Smooth and clear.

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Day 4

I was washing my face this morning and I was scrubbing my old breakouts. I was pleasantly surprised when I felt alot of dead skin peel off of them. It was like rubbing a lottery ticket! The old breakouts are now less visible. Hopefully I can rub them away more tonight.

This new cleanser still keeps me less oily throughout the day! I guess I really don't need alcohol in a cleanser to keep me dry. Overall, still no new breakouts, but my face isn't 100% clear yet.

Left:

Dead skin peeled off of dried pimples in the shower, but they are still visible.

Right:

Smooth and red marks are still around.

Forehead:

Smooth and clear.

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Day 5

I can't deal with the dryness! I'm switching up my regimen once again; I'm adding back the toner and changing my cleanser. I know it's pathetic, but hopefully this will be the last time. I just washed my face with the Pore Refining Cleanser and used some Alcohol-Free Toner... and afterward the cotton pad was so dirty! So much dead skin and dirt has accumulated on my face and neck! It looked like I cleaned off a barbeque grill! I will never question the benefits of using a toner ever again!

Anyway, I'm hoping that my skin doesn't react to my regimen switches. I'm still just focused on fading away old breakouts. No new ones have come along!

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Day 7

Well there's really nothing to report. My face is feeling and looking pretty good now! I have no bumps or live pimples on my face and my skin just feels more natural and less dry/plasticky. Yesterday I felt a bump under the skin on my left cheek that I thought would turn into a pimple. But when I woke up this morning it was gone. My redmarks still need to fade though, and that's the main problem right now. Even so, they aren't as red as before.

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Day 9

Once again I had a rough weekend. I went out, came home very late, and didn't wash my face before bed. :naughty: I even pondered for a minute whether or not I should wash my face, but my pillow was calling. It really is a hard thing for me to do!

Well, the next morning I felt a bump on my right cheek but it was still underneath the skin and not visible. This morning I looked in the mirror and it turned into a medium-sized pimple that was red and tender. I knew that it was ready to pop! I've been hands-off for awhile now but it doesn't hurt to extract a pimple when it's ready to go. As long as I don't have to squeeze too hard, it's fine with me. So I squeezed it with Qtips and got all the junk out with little effort.

Overall, no big breakouts have come and my redmarks are fading. I'm hoping that by the end of this week the redmarks will be pretty much gone.

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Day 10

Today I noticed that this old breakout on my left cheek was red again. I was really upset! After further inspection, I found a very dark blackhead and squeezed at it. All the junk came out i dabbed it with BP. Now it's just a tiny red spot and the skin around it is back to normal too!

I now know that once a blemish develops past a certain point, it's more than likely gonna have to be extracted sooner or later. I've tried not touching a "ripe" pimple to see if it would go away naturally, but it takes so long! And when it did go away it was because the friction from washing my face caused it to drain. So to me, that's just time wasted having a zit on your face when you could've simply helped it along when it was ready to go.

Last night I switched back to the Deep Clean Facial Cleanser. I started feeling as though the Pore Refining Cleanser was a little much for my face. And my forehead was starting to have a weird texture again. :eh: It was noticeable since the rest of my face looks normal.

Overall, everything is still going well. Aside from these persistent redmarks, I haven't had a major breakout since I started this journal, which is always good. I found my lost tube of the Neutrogena Acne Peel so I will be using that tonight and every other night before I wash my face.

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Day 12

I feel like I'm playing the waiting game with my red marks. They're like the last frontier to conquer. Anyway, my face is looking and feeling good. No live pimples and my forehead is perfectly clear and smooth. One of these days I'll notice that the red marks on my cheeks are gone, but until then or something else happens, my updates will be short, like this.

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Day 17

Something strange happened last night! So let me say something about my left cheek. There is a small patch of skin that has been somewhat "bumpy" over the past few months, no acne, but small, under the skin bumps. Anyway, I looked at my freshly washed face last night and saw that these bumps had actually changed and were now enlarged pores. I squeezed at one with the ends of a q-tip and a large, hard plug came out. I was very shocked because I don't get plugs anywhere except my nose, which I extract with Biore strips. So I found maybe 6 of them in this small portion of my left cheek and they all came out! It took some work and my cheek was somewhat red from the squeezing, but what's nice is that the "bumpy" patch of skin on my left cheek is now smooth again! :dance: I was afraid that those bumps would be there forever, but I guess they just needed time to surface.

Hopefully this is a purging effect of my cleanser? Other than that, my face is doing well. My red marks are still here and annoying, but they are fading. They are nowhere as red as a few weeks ago, but it would be nice to not see them at all.

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Day 19

I was at Target last night and picked up a new cleanser. It's called Neutrogena Rapid Clear Cleanser and it's supposed to cut down on oil and shine. I heard about this product before and thought that it would be packed with alcohol, but I read the ingredients and it's alcohol-free. Here are the ingredients:

Water, Potassium Stearate, Glycerin, PEG-8, Propylene Glycol, Potassium Myristate, Potassium Laurate, Stearic Acid, Beeswax, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Fragrance

Doesn't sound too bad right? So I guess I'll try this cleanser out for awhile. Hopefully it won't break me out! I just used it for the first time and I can't yet tell a difference from my previous cleanser.

Anyway, I had a few pimples that came up along my right jaw but they have already popped. And lately my face has been feeling very dry after washing. That is partly why I started looking for a new cleanser. I've also been reading up on product ingredients and found that "Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfate," one of the main ingredients of my previous cleanser, is an irritant. :wacko:

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Day 20

I really want my red marks to go away! I was reading about some products to use and I found that alot of people have been using ALOE VERA GEL to fade red marks. So I went to the store and picked up a huge 24 oz. bottle of the gel for $3.99!

Now that I have it, I don't know how I'm going to use it. Should I use it as a substitute for BP? Or as a night-time moisturizer? I don't have pimples right now but these red marks are very annoying. I really don't wanna risk anything by stopping BP altogether, so I think that tonight I'll apply aloe vera gel as a moisturizer over a coat of BP. I'll update this tomorrow and I hope I won't have a nasty surprise in the morning. :pray:

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Day 21

No more BP??

I slathered some aloe vera gel all over my face last night and I didn't wake up to a face full of breakouts! Which is always good! I know it's only been a day, but I really hope that aloe vera can replace BP for me. Starting this morning I won't be using BP, but if I start to break out even just a little, I will be running back to it. It took me awhile to get as clear as I am today and I don't want to risk anything!

I was reading about aloe vera on various websites and so far it's all been positive info. It even cleared up someone's eczema, so I hope it can help me out too. I'll update this again in a few days when I can really tell if it's working or not. Right now, I have no live pimples but several red marks on both cheeks. My forehead is in perfect condition. :dance:

Morning and night I'm:

-Washing my face

-Using toner

-Applying Aloe Vera Gel all over

-Moisturizing

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Day 22

This is harder than I expected. I haven't broken out from the aloe vera, but I'm scared that I will since I stopped using my trusted BP cream. I'm used to acne medications drying out my skin to work so maybe that's why the aloe vera is making me anxious.

But I'll give the aloe vera at least 1 week before I make a final decision. As far as red marks, nothing has faded yet but the overall quality of my skin is much more hydrated and healthy.

EDIT:

Well by the end of the day a few new breakouts appeared on my left cheek... One of them is particularly big and tender! I guess I need to start my regimen from scratch to better incorporate the aloe vera gel. I will be trying out Neutrogena Deep Clean Scrub since I've read that it's good at preventing breakouts, and I'm going to toss my SPF moisturizer and just use a sunblock in the morning. I figure that the aloe vera is moisturizing enough anyway. I'm trying my best not to go back to BP but it will be hard!

Here's the condition of my face upon starting this new regimen.

Neutrogena Deep Clean Gentle Scrub

Neutrogena Alcohol-Free Toner

FOTE Aloe Vera 100% Gel

Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunblock, SPF 30 (morning)

Left:

2 new pimples, one is very red and tender on my cheek, one is under my jawline

Right:

Smooth with red marks

Forehead:

Smooth and clear

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Day 24

Wow, this is really different! My face hasn't been feeling "dry" or "wrinkly" on this new regimen, but I'm also not yet clear from the initial breakouts. Luckily though, I haven't broken out anywhere else. :dance: This morning my roommate asked me why I was putting "hair gel" on my face! :D The thing I love about aloe vera gel versus acne medications is that you can be sure there won't be consequences down the road. The more you use it, the better. I just really hope I don't have a huge breakout sometime soon because that would be very discouraging. It sure takes alot of faith to drop BP but it's easier for me since I have this log. Anyway, that's all for now.

Left: 1 pimple on cheek, 1 below jawline

Right: Smooth with red marks (fading)

Forehead: Smooth and clear

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Good luck. I ditched BP for about 2 months. The first month I had no problems, but month 2 wasn't so great. Unfortunately, I just added BP back into my regimen, but only at night. I don't like BP because it is SOOO drying, but right now, I need it. I wish you the best. Maybe you will be lucky enough not to need to go back to it!

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Day 25

My face is still in the same condition and these new pimples are very persistent and large. Maybe I was a bit extreme in dropping BP altogether :doh:, so I'm going to start using it again. I'm going to a wedding next weekend and I sure don't want to have any pimples on my face!

The new scrub I'm using is working really well! I have no use for a toner because the scrub exfoliates dry skin, and recently the toner hasn't been picking up any extra dirt/oil anyway; the cotton pad always comes out clean.

So once again, I'll be modifying my regimen to include BP, at least until the pimples on the left side of my face go away. I'll try to phase it out of my regimen later at a more convenient time. I just want to play it safe since a wedding is coming up!

Modified regimen:

Neutrogena Deep Clean Gentle Scrub

Clean & Clear Persa-Gel 10

FOTE Aloe Vera 100% Gel

Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunblock, SPF 30 (morning)

My forehead and the right side of my face are still doing well, but the left side of my face has 2 tender pimples in the middle of my cheek, and they are very red.

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Day 28

I'm clearing up nicely with this new regimen! The pimples on the left side of my face are getting better day by day. And also, my face is not nearly as oily as it used to be, thanks to the Ultra Sheer Sunblock. It works much much much better than the SPF moisturizer I was using before. I'm hoping that I get 100% clear in April! I think I've finally found the proper regimen for me, so all I can do now is let time do its thing. :dance:

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Well that run with aloe vera gel was very interesting! I had some intense breakouts on my left cheek so I left it alone for now. In particular, this one huge pimple came back over and over again! I think I popped it like three different times.. :confused: So yeah, no more aloe vera gel for me. It took awhile for me to clear up those pimples, but now they're pretty much gone, thank goodness!

I've been using some old favorites recently and started using a new moisturizer as well. I am a little disappointed that I couldn't ditch BP, but I'd rather stick to it and have a clear face than have breakouts right now... I'm graduating from college next month and would like a clear face that day!

Anyway, my face is back to normal from that ugly breakout from aloe vera gel that took a few weeks to clear up. I only have one live pimple on my forehead and red marks on my left cheek. Here's what I've been using...

Neutrogena Deep Clean Gentle Scrub

Clean & Clear Persa-Gel 10

Neutrogena Healthy Skin Face Lotion

The lotion says it takes 4 weeks to see results. I started using it April 6th, and so far so good! This is Day 6.

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This is Day 16 on my current regimen and I'm about 85% clear. I haven't had a huge breakout in awhile but I still have some mild red marks on my cheeks. Nothing too major though. I'm very happy with the condition of my skin right now and I'm pretty confident that I don't have to switch around products anymore. The moisturizer I'm using works very well!

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My face is 90% clear and looks really good now! I don't have any bumps or major red marks anymore, and my face is smooth! I guess that my perseverance paid off since I haven't been product-hopping. I know that it sounds cliche but my face has been getting clearer and clearer over the recent weeks. A major improvement from when I attempted to use aloe vera gel intead of benzoyl peroxide! Maybe it's the new moisturizer I'm using too? Anyway, that's my update! Enjoy the sun!

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My face is about 95% clear! I still get the odd pimple here and there but it usually goes away in 1-2 days. The overall condition of my skin is smooth and luckily I have no scarring from when I went off benzoyl peroxide and had a bad breakout. I have no complaints!

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Hey everyone! I haven't been here in awhile but I just wanted to update again and say that I'm still clear and going strong. Here's what I've been using, twice a day everyday for the last year or so:

Neutrogena Deep Clean Gentle Scrub

Clean & Clear Persa-Gel 10

Neutrogena Healthy Skin Face Lotion

When using the scrub, I wash for at most 30 seconds, and I don't scrub hard. This is important!! The trick is to be as delicate as you can, and let the beads gently glide over your skin. When using a scrub, you can't be rough because you'll end up irritating your skin, so be gentle and go slooow. I know this from personal experience. You don't need to sand down your face! After rinsing thoroughly, I pat with a towel and wait for my face to dry. Then I apply a generous amount of Benzoyl Peroxide. After my face dries again, I apply some moisturizer. That's it!

I've experimented with many different products and these have been the best for me so far. It's really simple, easy, and affordable. I buy these products from Target or Wal-Mart.

So anyway, the most important thing I've learned on my way to clear skin is to make sure that I wash my face. Before, it used to be so hard for me to wash my face after coming home late, but I've learned to just do it. The breakouts that would come if I didn't wash my face just aren't worth it.

So that's it for me! This regimen has kept me pretty much clear and my skin is in great condition. It looks smooth, hydrated, and much more even toned. Sure I still get a pimple from time to time, but it's nothing more than a little annoyance that goes away in a couple days. It's annoying because a single pimple stands out on my otherwise clear face, but I think that's a good thing. Good luck everyone! :D

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