Ok so here's my story...
During middle school I had severe acne. Like really bad--I'm talking red bumps, cysts, white heads, blackheads all over the majority of my face. Kids made fun of me, called me mean names like pizza face and ugly. Not exactly what you want to hear when you're at such a vulnerable age and just coming to begin to understand yourself and all that jazz.
So anyway, after several years of suffering, my mother finally took me to see a dermatologist after trying every over the counter med available (proactiv, murad, clearasil, clinique products, you name it, i tried it). I was prescribed Triaz facial pads and Differin gel (I was also originally prescribed Minocycline but ended up having a terrible reaction to it involving nausea and brain swelling-so we quickly ended that). By the summer of that year my skin was much, much clearer...
I enjoyed near perfectly clear skin for about 3 years.
Then last year, out of nowhere I started breaking out again. It has slowly returned to the severe level it was at back in middle school with painful cysts, blackheads, painful pustules etc.
I saw the dermatologist again and he prescribed Tazorac. After being on that for a month there was no noticeable difference (just SEVERE drying and flaking...it looked like my face was slowly peeling away...I would have flaky residue show up on my clothes--it was pretty embarrassing).
Finally, the derm decided that maybe my acne was a hormonal problem and put me on a form of birth control. I also switched from using Tazorac to using Tretinoin Cream 0.025%
So that's where I'm at right now.
Every morning I gently wash my face with Cetaphil Daily Cleanser, then apply Eucerin's Everyday Protection SPF 30 face lotion.
I use Bare Minerals for makeup.
At night I again wash my face with the Cetaphil cleanser, then apply the Tretinoin cream.
After waiting about half an hour for the Tretinoin to soak in, I use Cetaphil Ultra Hydrating Moisturizer (since the Tretinoin can make my skin fairly dry).
I've been on the Tretinoin for about 13 weeks now with little visible improvement. At first I had horrible breakouts (purging) but that finally stopped after about the 7th week.
Lately it seems as though I go through short phases..My skin will look OK one week and then the next it breaks out again. It's just been that kind of vicious cycle for about a month now.
Also- birth control doesn't seem to be helping matters...so maybe this whole mess isn't hormonal?
I'm going to give the Tretinoin another 4 weeks and if there still isn't any kind of improvement I'm going for the Acne.org Regimen.
I will continue to post about my progress--or lack thereof.