1. Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser
2. Eucerin Everday Protection Face Lotion SPF 30
3. Laura Mercier Oil Free Foundation and Physicians Formula Talc Free Mineral Wear Face Powder
(no more Rimmel)
1. Shills Cleansing Oil
2. St. Ives Apricot Face Scrub (only if I need it)
3. Benprox 5.25% benzoyl peroxide wash
4. CeraVe Moisturizing Cream
(no more Retin A)
Yup yup. I'm not gonna be using acne treatments until my skin heals from peeling skin, scabs, and broken skin. This healing comes first; I'll deal with the acne later. AND GOOD NEWS! My prescription for doxycyline is coming in this week so I'll be able to get back to the regimen again... after my skin heals.
Texture: Generally smooth skin, but very small little bumps that look like milia but a bit bigger in size; my under-the-skin acne is back.
Acne: My entire face is riddled with small bumpy blackheads. I'm still breaking out on my chin, where I have the most acne scabs as well.
Appearance: Lots of red post acne pigmentation, but since I have very small acne all over my face, my face just generally looks red. The redness has been going down these few days though. There's a few places with broken skin from acne and very small scabbing. The peeling skin is 80% gone.
Feelings: I'm a bit more optimistic; my acne is still there but its now coverable with makeup because the peeling skin, scabs, and broken skin are disappearing. In general my skin is clearing up.
I switched back to my LM Foundation. Rimmel's two foundations weren't full coverage, made me an oily mess, and were actually clogging my pores. I realized after this weekend, (when I fell asleep with my LM foundation on) my skin has cleared up (weird).
I switched back to Laura Mercier's foundation because it hasn't caused an oily mess these few days. I think switching my sunscreen from La Roche Posay to Eucerin made the difference, the former sunscreen being more oily than the latter.
I'm also applying my foundation and powder differently. I'm applying my Laura Mercier Foundation with a MAC 187 Stippling brush (I stipple and swirl the foundation on my face) and I'm applying my Physicians Formula Powder with an Ecotools Bronzing Brush (which is a thicker kabuki brush really) instead of a standard powder brush. That way my face gets better coverage and the powder is more evenly distributed.
Absolutely no acne meds?
I'm not using Retin A Micro right now (actually for the past couple of days I stopped). I need my skin to heal first before I screw it up with acne medications again. Right now I still have peeling skin and scabs from acne that I need to heal. I think Retin A is the culprit for the peeling skin. Retin A worked ten times better and actually got rid of the dead skin when I was still taking doxycyline.
I've realized after almost a decade of experimenting with acne products, the bottom line is that I feel that you have to listen to what your skin is telling you. After weaning out the acne meds these past few days to let my skin heal, it's looked a lot better, and I've realized that dropping acne meds in the past to let my skin heal has also worked. Anyway, here's my two cents on listening to your skin:
1. Use gentle products on your skin. I think that most people tend to think that harsh products - ones that dry out your skin, burn, make your skin red, irritate, or just make your skin look and feel bad in general - will get rid of acne. This is a MYTH. You should stop using products that irritate your skin because then your skin will end up having to heal and deal with the irritation AND the acne, and so acne sometimes becomes worse. Some gentle dermatologist recommended brands include Cetaphil, Eucerin, and CeraVe. I would recommend asking your derm or researching for specific brands and products for your skin type. My skin texture has improved from using gentle stuff (and I'm still surprised by this).
2. Less is more. Generally speaking using less products on your face is a lot better for your skin; that way it can heal better and improve faster. Using additional masks/scrubs/pills/oils/other remedies may interfere with the current regimen that a derm has given you, or with the acne medications that you are given, or just irritate and stress out your skin. Going makeupless also helps too (not that I follow this though, I'm still too vain to give up makeup and therefore require cleansing oil). (On hindsight my mother has given me so much shit about wearing makeup - she tells me if I want my acne to heal I can't wear any. But it's a dilemma because you don't want other people to look at your face weirdly.)
3. Be regular. Having a set time and a set regimen is key. Once your skin starts using products it gets accustomed to it, so breaking that cycle of regularity may cause your skin to not be ready to deal with whatever products you're using at the wrong time of the day. For me, since I've been regularly going through my regimen everyday, if I do my PM routine about four hours earlier than I usually do, the acne medications aren't as effective. (Weird but true). Taking your pills at the same time everyday helps too, 'cause your body gets used to it.
4. Eat actual food that's good for your skin. Veggies, especially leafy greens, and fruits are really good for your skin. My mom, who's an expert on chinese medicine, asserts that you have to make sure that your digestive system is healthy if you want good skin, because if not the result shows up on your face. Her belief is that if your digestive system is clean and clear, then your skin will be too. As much as Dan and a lot of people say good diets have no effect on your skin, I am a firm believer of dieting for skin. I basically just eat a lot of fruits and veggies all the time, and drink a lot of water. And when I eat badly... it shows up on my face via redness or acne. And skimp on the processed foods and go more natural since those don't have chemicals.
That's pretty much all I can think up of now. I'm not really a firm follower of these steps really - they're sort of general guidelines to follow anyway. Being a college student doesn't allow me to have time nor the money to get fresh food (it's not cheap!) but it is something that I do keep in mind when taking care of my skin.
Anyway, that was a really long post. I hope whoever reads this finds this interesting or helpful or positive. To whoever's reading, good luck on your journey as well!
Cheers 'til next time.