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Background information:

I'm a 22 year old male with persistant mild/moderate acne since early in my high school years. I've tried different cleansers, and many of the SA and BP products you can find at a place like walmart. None have been terribly effective. About two weeks ago I decided that I'm really going to try to get rid of this problem, I just don't want to deal with bad skin anymore. I tried Dan's Clear Skin Regimen for about a week. My skin started clearing almost immediately, but I'm just not comfortable using that much BP. People might say the redness/wrinkles/etc will fade after a few weeks, but I feel like I'm a doing a lot of harm to my skin with such large amounts of BP. Benzoyl Peroxide may be fine for spot treatment or other more limited use, but on this regimen you're required to use large quantities of it twice a day. And if it works, you're dependent on it for months or years. I don't want to do that to my body. Maybe I'm wrong and the chemical is harmless, even for thousands of heavy applications, but I'm not going to risk it.

My regimen:

I've only been using this regimen for three days, so I'm still working out the details.

Morning:

I wash my face with Purpose Gentle Cleanser (liquid)

I apply a mix of tea tree oil, jojoba oil, and water

Night:

I use the shaving method recommended on this site. (In the shower using the lather from the bar form of the Purpose cleanser as shaving cream)

I wash my face with Purpose Gentle Cleanser (liquid)

I apply a mix of tea tree oil, jojoba oil, and water

Other Regimen Info:

I cut down a very small plastic cup into a very tiny plastic cup and use this to mix 2 drops of TTO, 5 drops of jojoba oil, and 2 or 3 drops of water. I then use my fingers to rub this solution into my skin. I add the water to the mix so I have enough to comfortably cover my entire face. Not too long ago, squeezing and picking at my face was a part of my daily routine, but this has come to an end. I try to not touch my face at all. I've also been on a bit of a health kick lately, so I've cut most junk food out of my diet, and I've starting taking a multivitamin daily. I don't believe there is any connection between diet and my acne, but a healthier lifestyle certainly won't hurt.

When I was out buying these products I came accross Fruit of the Earth 100% aloe vera. I thought about buying it, but I've decided to keep it simple for now. If this regimen works (or doesn't work) for me after a few weeks, then I'll tinker with the variables. One of the varibles I would like to add is exfoliation. I'm intrigued by the tape method I read about on these forums.

The main reason I decided to post all of this is to get some feedback/advice. Or just to talk to people using a similiar routine. For those people, I'd like to ask:

What is your TTO/Jojoba oil regimen? Do you do anything extra you've had good results with? What do you think of my mixture? How much of each do you use? Also, any advice on getting just a drop or two of TTO out of the bottle? This damn thing should come with a dropper.

I've been using tea tree oil/Q-tip to spot treat active pimples, but I'm not really satisfied with this. Any suggestions for spot treatment?

I would really like to hear some people's thoughts on using aloe. If nothing else I'll use it later for red marks, but I want to know if it will help clear my skin as well. I also really want to exfoliate. Does anyone have any experience with the tape method I mentioned? Or have another gentle method to suggest?

Please don't be shy. Reply with any suggestions, comments, or answers. I'll do my best to answer any questions anyone has for me.

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A local store that sells vitamins and other health and beauty products. Check a health food store, or just buy it online.

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wow, wish I had the guts to ween myself off of my regimen. I feel bad about it because I know if I keep using it, reprecussions will show in a few years, but I'm afraid my face will explode if I don't.

you can always buy a dropper. if you buy tto from the body shop...I think it comes with a dropper but I'm not sure. it costs more than what you're using probably though. You can try using burts bees tto for spot treating, it comes in a roller ball form

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Log Update:

I woke up this morning and my face looked really bad. One active pimple I had on my forehead exploded and looked horrible. The worst part is that I spent the night at my girlfriend's house. It's pretty embarassing to wake up looking like that. But I only slept for a few hours there, my face always seems to look bad when I lack sleep. We fucked like animals last night, and I slept with my face smooshed in a sweat-soaked pillow. That certainly didn't help. Maybe I should rinse my face with water before I sleep in that situation. The real moral of this story for you young acne sufferers: You can still get laid with crappy skin.

I desperately need to find a spot-treatment I like. I saw these zits coming yesterday and maybe I could have avoided this. Queen Helene's Mint Julep Masque did a wonderful job with the blackheads/giant pores on my nose. Maybe I'll try it for drying out individual pimples. I need to find something that works.

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Log Update:

No new pimples since my last post. I think I might have been too quick to dismiss tea tree oil as a spot treatment. Its not great for treating developing zits, but once they "mature" I think the TTO helps get rid of them faster. I guess I'll stick with it for now. I went to CVS earlier today for some scotch tape, and while I was there I saw some 100% aloe vera. Its actually the generic CVS brand, but it says "compare to Fruit of the Earth", so its obviously a copy of the brand I was thinking about buying. So at less than $3 I have nothing to lose, so I bought some. After buying this stuff I used the tape to exfoliate, then I applied the aloe (prior to my regular regimen). I've only done it once, so its obviously too early to comment, but so far I've suffered no ill effects from the new additions to my routine. I think I'll stick to using the tape/aloe to once a day for now.

I'm disappointed I haven't received more comments in this thread, but I guess I'll keep posting in it as a log for myself and a reference for other people looking for information.

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Updated Regimen:

Morning:

"Taping"

Apply 100% Aloe Vera gel

Wash my face with Purpose Gentle Cleanser (liquid)

Apply a mix of tea tree oil and jojoba oil.

Night:

I shave in the shower without any form of shaving cream

Wash my face with Purpose Gentle Cleanser (liquid)

Apply a mix of tea tree oil and jojoba oil

If you contrast this with my original post you will notice a few changes. First of all, I no longer bother with the Purpose bar in the shower. With warm water my facial hair is soft enough to shave with no irritation. I have also decided to make the tape exfolliation and aloe a permanant part of my regimen. I've improved at using the tea tree and jojoba oils, so I no longer add water to the mix. And I put both in the palm of my hand instead of using the cup now.

Since I've started with this regimen (god, I use that word too much) I've only had one breakout, and that was only a few days in. Exluding that I've been totally free of active acne for a couple weeks, ever since I started the BP regimen. However, I'm still not happy with my skin. I'm still plagued by red marks, blackheads on my nose (I just don't have time to use my QH's masque enough), and bumps on my skin. Hopefully the taping/aloe will help with the redmarks. I'll try to use that masque a few times a week. But I don't know what to make of the bumps. I'll try to figure all that out later. I'm running late for work.

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Your routine sounds pretty good. I wish I could use all natural stuff completely, but I am kinda dependent on my Proactiv Solutions system. One thing I have added though, that I have had good results with so far, is the aloe vera gel. I bought it at my health food store. It is Skin Gel Ultimate Skin Treatment from Aloe Life. It is 99% Certified Organic Aloe with Vitamins A,C,E and Herbs. It has very view preservatives compared to what you would find in the drug store. Besides the vitamins, there are only 4 other ingredients. What I have noticed is that the Aloe vera makes your skin renew itself faster. When I wake up in the morning my skin looks like it is peeling, but not like a sun burn peel or even dry skin peel, it is just little bits of skin that come off when I wash my face. That is it. I have been using it for about a week now and my skin feel GREAT! It feels so smooth and soft. I have absolutely no acne right now and my skin is actually even toned. In fact, I think this stuff is helping my dark cirlces as well.

Well, I just wanted to let you know how my Aloe Vera experience has gone. I will keep you updated.

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I have some free time, so I'm going to post some random thoughts. For some very strange reason I enjoy posting in this thread.

First of all, I want to thank everyone on these forums for teaching me so much. I know almost no one will read this, but I feel grateful and want to express that. Theres a lot of crap posted here, and also a whole bunch of stupid people posting that crap, but the message boards on this site can be a wonderful source of information. I have learned a lot.

One of my goals in devising this routine was to keep it simple. I keep reading all of this stuff and I'm constantly thinking of new things that I want to try. I need to keep reminding myself that I need to be patient and give this regimen time to work. I've decided that for the next month (at least), this current routine is set in stone. I'm not going to give up on it unless it proves itself ineffective after I give it an extended opportunity.

Actually, there might be one small exception to the "set in stone" thing. I definately want to exfolliate, but I'm not completely sold on the tape thing. So if I discover something else I like, there might be a slight change.

Overall I think I'm pretty satisfied with this routine so far. It hasn't worked any miracles, but I've only had one small breakout since....wow, I can't even remember the previous breakout.

I really think the combination of gentle cleansing + bacteria-controlling medication + adequate moisturizing is an effective way to fight acne. That pattern seems to be at the heart of many success stories.

I mentioned some mysterious bumps in my last post. I think the people in this thread are discussing the same problem. Maybe they aren't the same thing, I have no idea. Hopefully what I'm doing now will take care of them in time. If anyone reading this has any insight, I would love to hear it.

Thanks for the reply, Roxy. I like the aloe too. The drug store brand aloe hasn't caused any problems, but maybe after I finish with this tube I'll try the brand you recommended. It sounds like good stuff. I have one question for you though. How often do you use it? I'm wondering if maybe I should use it twice daily. I'm definately trying to keep all of this simple, and use the least amount of products possible, but its hard to see how adding a little more aloe could be a bad thing.

I guess thats it for now. I'll update the next time there is anything to report.

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My routine is this:

Morning and Night

Wash face with Proactiv cleansing wash

Tone with proactiv

Proactiv repairing lotion

Wait for 5 minutes

Put a generous amount of Aloe all over face and neck

Wait until dry and then moisturize with Neutrogena Oil free Moisture for Sensitive skin

And for those of you who are wondering, I am a female, and I do like to wear make-up. The brand I use is BareMinerals. It gives me great coverage without feeling cakie all day long. Many people even believe that I do not wear make-up; and that is a great feeling!

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I got pimple on my temple the other day. Its only one single zit, but its a nasty one. The good news is that it is fading fast. So that makes two instances of new acne since the start of this regimen (this is day 12, I believe). That might seems great, but my acne was pretty mild to begin with. Of course its not that mild, so its still an improvement. I think I may blame the first breakout on the brief downtime between the BP regimen I used, and this new routine. I can't be sure if that window was the start of said breakout, but its a possibility. If so, then I can only blame this regimen for not preventing this one pimple. And it occured only about 10 days in, so maybe it started forming before I started with this stuff. But of course, if I excuse it from blame for this zit, I can't give it credit for my skin's clarity outside of that pimple.

In my first post in this log, I described my acne as "mild/moderate". After seeing a lot of pictures on these forums, and thinking about it for a bit, I've realized my acne is more mild than moderate. My skin may annoy the piss out of me, but even at its worst it probably looks better than the vast majority of posters (and lurkers) here. Its unheard of for me to ever have more than 3 or 4 active acne lesions at a time (even that many is rare). And even without treatment, I still have periods without any active acne. I guess I should consider myself fortunate (or at least not as unfortunate as I could be).

Enough rambling.

I said in my last post I might switch the taping with something else. I think I've discovered the something else.

Last night I found a full bottle of generic, uncoated aspirin. I've read references to aspirin masks countless times here, but I never really considered trying it. Probably because all of the salicylic acid products I have used in the past sucked. But a lot of people rave about it, and since a bottle of the stuff pretty much fell from the heavens onto my lap, I gave it a try this morning. Anyway, I really like it. I can't explain what exactly changed, but my face just looked better after using the mask. Nothing earth-shattering. Just an overall improvement in the appearance of my skin. So I think I'll keep using it.

Tentative New Regimen:

Morning:

Wash with Purpose Gentle Cleanser (liquid)

Apply 100% Aloe Vera gel

Apply a mix of tea tree oil and jojoba oil

Night:

Wash with Purpose Gentle Cleanser (liquid)

Apply a mix of tea tree oil and jojoba oil

Use an aspirin mask before bed

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