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Oratane (accutane) updates

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Today is day 187, or 26 weeks and 5 days. That's over half a year I've been taking Accutane. I've been on 40mg/day for about 3 months now, and the derm tells me I'll stay on it for four more months.

The good:

No acne! Since about week two, and it took about another three weeks for the existing acne to calm down and heal. I have had the occasional boil elsewhere on my body, maybe 4 or 5, but no face acne at all now. Red marks are fading and skin tone is evening out.

No oil! I can now wear makeup and not have it slide off my face in an hour. No blotting. No sheen. I love it :( I only wash my hair twice a week now, not every day.

More self-esteem: I feel so much better now out in public, people have nothing to stare at, I have nothing to hide or be ashamed of. I look better and feel better.

The bad:

Dry skin and lips: I now get a dermatitis patch on the inside of my ankles if I don't moisturise religiously, at least twice a day. I've had other dry patches on my arms and hands, and have put extra moisturiser on them to soften them up. I've also had to get a mild steroid cream from the GP for the crazy itching on my ankles. I have to put balm on my lips about 5-10 times a day. Sometimes I forget or think I don't need it, and the next day my lips split and/or the skin peels off, and I end up pulling it right off with my teeth. YUK.

High cholesterol: Although I've always had blood tests in the normal range before, since starting Accutane my cholesterol has been too high and I've had to follow a fairly strict diet to bring it down to the normal range. I have reduced my LDLs, but triglycerides are still too high, and HDLs are still too low. I don't have another blood test scheduled between now and when I come off Accutane (in four months) so I'll just trust in my diet, exercise and weight loss until another blood test is due for other reasons.

The ugly:

Excessive sweating! I now have to have the air conditioning on all the time, and if I don't have it on, I can't move without getting a sheen of sweat all over me. My scalp sweats and drips run down through my hair. The hair on the back of my neck is often sodden. My top lip sweats first before anything, and I have to wipe it two or three times after my shower, and dab it through the day. Being outside in sunshine, or exercising at the gym or at home, turns into a sweatfest in about 5 minutes. I HOPE that this dies down when I come off the drug, as now it is the worst symptom for me, I can only treat it with the air con remote :(

TMI: I only write this in the interests of letting other accutane users know what to expect when they start. I have also dried up in another unspoken area, and will have to buy lubricant for the first time in my life. If you're not having sex, then this won't be a problem!

I'm so glad that I stuck with taking Accutane this time, I'm so excited about my new skin :doubt:


Day 99 - High cholesterol

I haven't had any real change with my skin since last month. No peeling, no oilyness, but I have to keep up the face and body moisturising day and night to keep the itching at bay.

I haven't had any new face acne since week 2 or 3, so that has been wonderful. I got a few large pimples/boils on my body though this week, don't know what that is about :redface:

My last blood test showed all my cholesterol levels were too high, above acceptable limits, so I've started a cholesterol-lowering diet and a tiny bit of exercise. I don't know if the Oratane caused it, but I'm working hard to lower it so I can keep going with the Oratane. I have a blood test and GP visit scheduled for mid-January, then the same for my derm mid-February.

On the 6th of January I increase my dosage to 40mg per day. I'm not expecting any noticeable changes.

My lips get quite dry in air conditioning, and I can apply lip balm twice an hour and still have dry and peeling lips.

Merry Christmas everyone, I'll update again after my next blood test.


Day 70 - Derm appointment

Derm appointment today. He was happy with my progress. I told him I was stoked with the results so far. My blood test showed high cholesterol, which can be a side effect of Roaccutane, so I have to see my GP and get it sorted. I stay on this dosage until I've done it for 8 weeks then go up to 40mg daily, and see the Derm in 3 months.

New side effect since increasing dosage to 20/40 mg...dry eyelids. WTF? so now I'm making sure I'm moisturizing them twice daily, along with some serious lip balm application through the day. No flaking or itching anywhere else.

I'm loving the results!!


At my 8 week mark, it was time to up the dosage for the first time. So now I'm on 40mg one day, 20 the next. I think it would have been easier to get a 10mg and 20mg prescription and just take 30mg per day, but whatever *shrug*

Lips are peeling a bit, a couple of days this week I've had skin hanging off my lips and had to pull/bite it off with my teeth so it didn't keep annoying me when I talked.

My skin is still great, haven't had a new pimple or any oil on my face for about 6 weeks now. I've had three elsewhere on my body, but minor, quick to dry up and go, and easily covered up so I didn't mind those ones. My face hasn't had any peeling for weeks either, so I've been excited with the results.

My regimen at the moment:


Wash face with Cetaphil Gentle Cleanser

Wash body with QV cleanser

Moisturise face slightly with Cetaphil Moisturiser, or Sunsense daily face suncreen instead of moisturiser if I know I'm going outside for any length of time

Moisturise body average amount with QV Cream.

Avene or Genepharm lip balm as required.


Alternating 1 or 2 20mg Oratane pills with dinner

Wash face with Cetaphil Gentle cleanser if required (sweaty/makeup/etc)

Moisturise body with QV cleanser liberally, so it can soak in while I sleep

Heavy coating of lip balm before I go to sleep

Rash on my arms from the blood test tape has finally gone, I still get a little itch there. I've got a thumping scar though, nice and rectangular in the crook of my arm that shows exactly where the tape was. It's fading from bright red to dull light brown now.

I'm expecting the side effects to become stronger now my dosage is up a tiny bit, so I'm getting extra vigilant with the moisturising on my body. I can't stand the feeling of slimy moisturiser on my face, and hate the shine that the Cetaphil Lotion gives it, but I still put a tiny bit on just in case.

I plan to go for my blood test on Monday, but I really hate them, they give me panic attacks and fainting, so I'll probably keep putting it off until the last minute.


After my eventful attempt at a blood test last week, I took the tape and cotton ball off my arm on Sunday night. The area under the tape was itchy and red and I scratched like crazy. The next day it was far worse and I had a spotty rash above and below the tape mark, so I had a trip to the dr. who prescribed a new type of cortisone cream. It has been very slow to do anything but a week later the rash is receding and it's less itchy. I have had the odd allergy before but wonder if the Orotane made it far more sensitive? I'll be careful of band-aids and other things on my skin that I took for granted before now.

Weekend away with friends was great. No sunburn, and I was regular with sunscreen application. Had plenty of alcohol to drink, but nowhere near as much as I used to, it's been a few weeks since I have had a drink and therefore my resistance to it was way down :wub: Hope my blood test comes back ok...

Skin still the same really, not oily, not dry. Lips getting drier, especially when I wake up in the morning. I've finally used my first container up of 500g of QV cream, so have to get some more asap.

I wore makeup for two evenings on the weekend. FOR THE FIRST TIME it didn't slide off because of the oil on my face, it all stayed put and I didn't look shiny. I just used foundation, not powder. Yay!

In just over a week I increase my dose to 20mg one day, 40mg the next. I'm really happy where I'm at, with no new acne for about 5-6 weeks, but no peeling anywhere, so I'm a bit scared of the effects of the increased dosage. Still have red marks from old pimples :pray:


Day 41 @ 20mg

Still really happy with the results of 20mg accutane daily.

My skin is not dry or oily. My face is not peeling or flaking, just un-oily. I've been using a light moisturiser daily, and a heavier one on my body. Very occasional itching, but not much else.

I have dry lips, and have to use lip balm every hour or so, with a thick layer on at night before I go to sleep. Also some light moisturiser on a cotton bud and I apply it up my nostrils, as they have felt stiff and I don't want them to bleed.

I haven't had a new cyst or pimple or mark on my face or body since about week 2 or 3 of the accutane. I can't tell if my red marks are fading on my cheeks, it doesn't seem that way but I might not notice when I see them every day. Still heaps of dry sebum sticking out of my pores on my chin and along my cheekbones, I have absentmindedly picked some out while sitting at my desk, and some comes out on my hands when I'm washing my face. I've been a bit slack with washing my face at night, I usually just fall into bed and don't bother to touch my face until my morning shower.

I can't believe how my face and hair feels and looks with no oil - no sheeny shiny reflection off my face, and I don't have to wash my hair for days now instead of every day. I am now actually adding oil to my hair daily to keep it shiny and stop it from drying out.

I tried to go for my blood test last weekend - I took my sedatives, drank 750ml of diet cordial on the way, laid down on the bed in the pathology office - but they couldn't get any blood out!! Apparently my phobia is so bad that my body clamped shut and wouldn't let any blood flow. I went to a couple of other pathology offices and pleaded with them to try again, but the diet cordial and 4 jellybeans to get my BGL up meant that the lipid levels wouldn't be accurate. Soooo, I've located a really patient lovely lady who I'll go to see to take my blood next time. I'll have to take my sedatives, get a cab cos I can't drive on them, then see my patient lady and try for some more blood. What an ordeal :wub:

I've got a girls' weekend away this weekend with 3 friends, so I have to try the moderate and infrequent consumption of alcohol (as stated in the brochure), and also watch my sun exposure to make sure I don't get too sunburnt.


Day 27 @ 20mg

I'm really pleased with the results so far. My skin looks heaps clearer than it did 27 days ago. I don't have any active acne at the moment. I have a few red marks from previous pimples. About 4 are really red and don't seem to be fading.

My lips are very slowly but gradually getting drier. Until yesterday I would just have tingling dry lips, but yesterday and today I woke up with actual dry peeling skin, and I've had to really smother them with lip balm to try and get them back to normal throughout the day. I left my favourite Avene lip balm at work on Friday and won't be back until tomorrow, so I'm really missing it...the other ones that I have just aren't as creamy and gentle when I put them on.

I am occasionally getting dry skin in the crease between the sides of my nostrils and my cheeks. One normal application of face moisturiser in the morning seems to fix it for that day. The rest of my skin is feeling oil free and getting smoother and smoother, except for my chin and along my cheekbones. I can really feel the blackheads on my chin that have surfaced and stick out of my pores, and when I wash my face I can also feel some along my cheekbones.

The skin on my body hasn't been too dry or itchy. I'm now applying thick gluggy cream all over every morning and night to prevent any itching. A couple of years ago I had a severe allergic reaction to some burn cream applied by my doctor and I itched like crazy (I mean crying, yelling, swearing crazy) for about 3 months until we figured out what was causing it and how to get rid of it. I remember not being able to sleep because of the itching and having to wear socks on my hands so I didn't rip the skin off scratching, and I NEVER want to go through that again, so I'm very dedicated at putting the body lotion and cream on.

My nausea and tummy upsets have settled down, haven't felt sick for about a week now.

I have started using a Garnier Fructis shampoo and conditioner for very dry hair. My hair has never felt better and my scalp isn't itching any more. I only have to wash my hair every second or third day, and I'm wondering how far to push it. I still condition my hair every day so it's soft and smells nice.

I've been conscious of my eating since I started taking Oratane, as I don't want my cholesterol to go up too much and don't want a bad diet to affect my skin either. I feel like I've cut down on junk food but I don't know if that will help, maybe the accutane can increase the cholesterol no matter what.

I've got a few patches of dermatitis on my ankles. They've always been there but have been getting a bit itchy now that my skin is drier. I'm just lathering on the body cream there when I do the rest of my body, but next visit to the derm I'm going to ask him if I can put some cortisone cream on it. I have tubes here waiting to be used, but just want to get the ok from him before I go ahead and use it.

I'm glad that my derm decided to start me off with a low dose and gradually build up. My side effects have been very minor and manageable so far.

Can't wait for the results of the next month :rolleyes:


My skin is looking clearer every day. My red marks are slowly fading, and the new pimples go very quickly and quietly or don't leave a red mark.

Lips are dry but not peeling, hair is dry but head not peeling, face is only 1/10th or 1/20th as oily on my forehead as it used to be. The rest of my face is lovely, not dry, not peeling, and not oily. I'm still absentmindedly touching my face to feel my smooth and unoily skin.

Every few days I get nausea, and it even woke me up last night. I haven't vomited yet, just had a sick tummy...but I'll put up with it for 8 months so my skin clears up. Now I've seen the results of 3 weeks I'm not looking back :rolleyes:

A lady at work asked me about my lip balm on my desk. I explained about the accutane, and she said "But you've got lovely skin!" I have no idea how to take that...my face is scarred, pitted, pigmented, and has about 3 residual pimples.

3 weeks down, 5 more to go at 20mg per day...


Day 18 - Still going OK

My skin looks like it's improving. I see more clear areas with no dots than I have before. I still feel hard sore lumps under my skin that previously would have grown into massive cysts, but now they seem to sit there, get sore to get my attention, then fade into the background again. I'm sure they are still there but just waiting for the right time to make an appearance.

My flakiness went after one day. I put a tiny bit of moisturiser on it and it vanished for a few days, but yesterday I noticed a little bit of flaking around the bottom and sides of my outer nostrils and my chin definitely felt weird. Not exactly flaky, but there were all little bits of something? on it. It seemed like it was old hard sebum coming out, but again a bit of moisturiser has taken care of everything. Lips are fine, not dry or peeling. I put lip balm on about 5 times a day, and especially just when I get into bed. They get a bit sore maybe once a day, so that reminds me to take care of them.

I missed a capsule last week, I completely forgot about it until the next morning. I didn't catch up, and just took the next night's one as usual.

Scalp is quite itchy, when I'm next at the shops I'll buy a conditioner or something to leave on it to ease it a bit. I've also been only washing my hair every second day. That's huge for me, I have never been able to do that before, and especially on a work day as it would be far too greasy by lunch time. That's gotta be good for my hair to not get shampooed so much.

Last week I had an upset stomach a couple of times, and one day at work had a bucket beside me on the floor although I didn't have to use it. I don't know what caused it but now I'm going to take better care of myself and eat more healthily, to help my liver and skin out while they're being assaulted by the accutane.

So...at the moment no active acne, 4 that have gone but left a red mark, one sore soon-to-be-cyst on my jawline, and no major dryness. I'll be quite happy to stay at this dosage if my face stays in this condition, but I know a dosage increase is a few weeks away.


Day 12 - I have liftoff!

I have peeling!

My chin had very tiny peely bits this morning, so I put a little bit of moisturiser on today and it went away. I have peeling lips too, just a tiny bit but enough to show that the 'tane is kicking in, so I'm keeping the lip balm beside me at all times and smothering it on.


Still have a moderately oily forehead and nose, but now I have hope that it will all dry out soon...

I have two lumps under my skin between my top lip and nose. You can't see them yet, but they are sore and deep and hard. I don't know if they will erupt or whether I can get rid of them with BP 10% before they surface. Fingers crossed I can kill 'em before they grow any bigger.


I think my face is looking a tiny bit clearer. My last breakout has all but gone, and for the first time ever it didn't leave any red marks.

Still no real dryness, itching or flaky skin. A few times a day I get an itch somewhere on my body, and my scalp is getting a bit itchy, but only about 1 on a scale of 1 - 10. This week I'm going to get a leave in conditioner for my hair that hopefully will spread onto my scalp a bit and ease the itching. If it doesn't, I'll have to look for a gentler accutane-friendly shampoo.

I'm keeping up with my lip balm and moisturising my body twice a day, getting ready for the time that my dosage goes up and I might actually need it :(

I had a facial yesterday. I didn't mean to...I had a voucher to a beauty salon and I thought it was only for a massage so I booked in and rocked up. They got me to fill out a questionnaire and so found out about the accutane, and used gentle products on me. The therapist kept asking me if my face felt ok, and I did have to tell her once that whatever she was using was stinging, so she cleaned it off and used something else. Anyway, it felt great and maybe that contributed to my slightly clearer face today.

My regimen hasn't really changed from the last time I posted it, but I've stopped using BP 10% on my face as I don't have any active acne atm. I only use moisturiser on my face when it feels tight or dry after cleansing, otherwise it felt really greasy and heavy. I used a tiny bit this morning, and will just adjust the amount as I need to.

I guess things will kinda stay the same until my next hormonal breakout, due in about 2 weeks.

I'm on 20mg daily for the next 6.5 weeks, then the dosage goes up to 20mg one day, 40 mg the next. While I'm really impatient and want the scarred skin stripping off my face in sheets already, I guess this slow and steady approach by the derm is for a reason. I keep reminding myself that it would be awkward at work to have a red peeling face. I guess I'm used to having a red pimply face :rolleyes:


Skin hasn't really changed much since my last post.

I've faithfully taken my 20mg pill every night with food / dinner. I can't believe that I haven't forgotten one yet :rolleyes:

I've also been good with drinking. I've told a few people that I won't really be drinking cos I'm on medication so it should be easy to avoid. If anything I can be the designated driver.

Lips are very slightly itchy sometimes, I am keeping up with the lip balm as practice and preparation for when they get really dry and peely. I'm also using the soap free cleanser in the shower and on my face, and moisturising my body twice a day. Except I forgot this morning and I feel a tiny bit itchy all over so methinks it's nearly time to do the nightly moisturiser.

My 7 or so pimples and cysts on my face have mostly calmed down or gone, I really only have one beside my nose that seems active and even that looks like it is fading. The huge cyst on my nose and forehead have almost completely gone like they were never there, so it's really nice not to have a red mark or scab or scar where they were. I still get a sheen of oil on my forehead every afternoon, but the rest of my face seems to be nearly oil-free. I've been touching and stroking my chin for the last two days because it's the first time in years that there hasn't been anything painful there.

So I'm seeing slight improvement and few side effects, but I still wish I had peely skin so my scars and marks would peel away. I'm too impatient to wait months or years to get rid of them.


Day 6 - Same old same old

Not much change. Taking 20mg Oratane a night. The only side effect I can recognise is the odd itch somewhere on my body through the day, even though I'm putting heaps of QV cream on all over twice a day. Lips are fine.

Breakout still active, about 7 active spots on my face. I wore makeup to work again on Monday they were so bad, that's only the second time this year that I've worn makeup anywhere. It wasn't worth it though, I was mopping oil off my face all day. They aren't terribly big or bad, but I've got a cluster of about 4-5 between my nose and my top lip, one next to my nose and a cyst on the side of my nose. Ouch!

On the subject of oil, I still get a slight layer of oil on my face every day, I would say half to one quarter the amount that I used to get pre-Oratane. I am so impatient and want my pimples to dry up straight away. I even want the dry lips! I've resorted to putting Benzoyl Peroxide 10% on my spots and cysts twice a day to try and dry them out, and I'm not moisturising my face either.

I didn't stay at work on Friday for the usual couple of drinks at knock-off time. Yesterday I told one of my workmates that I could only have 1 drink a week for the next 8 months due to medication, but didn't tell him what it was or why I was taking it.

I've decided I don't like the QV cream. It is thick and not easy to rub in, and it doesn't go very far on the skin. Where a pump of lotion might have done half an arm and smooth on evenly and quickly, this cream seems to be gone after rubbing it into a quarter of my arm, and its not very smooth to rub in, you have to work at it as it doesn't glide on. I'll use it up then change to something thinner and smoother.

Bring on dry skin and lips, and a pimple-free face :rolleyes:


Day 3 - Reset

As I've now stopped using Dan's regimen and I'm now on Oratane, I thought it's a bit confusing with the day counter. I've reset it to when I started Oratane.

Day 1 went smoothly, although I had a horror breakout that I've already decided was hormonal. On day 2 they were worse, and a couple more pustules appeared, so for the first time this year I wore foundation to work to cover them up. Well I was shiny and oily by 9am, at lunch I bought some blotter sheets to help soak it all up, and by 3pm all my make up had been soaked up by the blotter paper. Damn...so I finished the day with my face au naturel but still with sore, red, angry zits, about 7 of them that only appeared this week.

Took my 2nd Orotane pill last night, felt that my back and legs were a bit itchy so moisturised all over my body to try and ease it. It did, and I slept well.

Today I've spent most of the day at a shopping centre. As well as buying other things, I stocked up on heaps of the recommended products for Oratane users - Cetaphil wash, Lucas pawpaw ointment for lips, Sunsense sunscreen for my face, Hamilton sensitive sunscreen for my body...and a few other things. I just don't want to be caught without the right product and find myself itching like crazy, or sunburnt beet-red, or still breaking out because I'm not cleansing properly.

I used lip balm about 5 times yesterday, and put a heap on before going to sleep last night. I don't have any sign of dry lips yet but I'm trying to be preventative, and get in the habit of doing it before I need it. Oops, haven't put any on today, I'll just go and do it now!

By now (mid-afternoon) my pimples are no longer red or sore, some have gone down, and one has disappeared. I don't know if the Oratane had anything to do with that, but I hope before the next hormonal breakout it has kicked in and there's no oil available to pump up those ugly suckers on my face lol.

I cancelled my waxing appointment for next week. I was looking for a way to leave that crazy woman, and so I texted her and told her I can't get waxed now because my skin is too fragile, and I'll contact her when I've finished the course of drugs (but there's no way I ever want to see her again so I won't be doing that!). I also contacted my hairdresser and told her that I'll have to avoid peroxide on my hair. She was great, and is looking for another colour to use on my hair that doesn't contain peroxide. I see her in 5 weeks so I'm sure she will find a substitute.

I didn't wash my hair this morning, only conditioned it and styled as normal. This would be the first time in about 5 years or more that it hasn't been oily and needed to be washed. So I've brought a hair treatment to put in the ends of my hair. If it's already dry enough to not need washing every day, then blowdrying and straightening is going to kill it. May have to ease off using the straightener (iron) on it every day.

Regimen at the moment:


Cetaphil gentle skin cleanser

Cetaphil Moisturising Lotion on face

Sunsense 30+ if I'm going outside or to work

Palmer's cocoa butter lotion on body - this is just what I had in the house. Once it's gone I'll crack open the tub of QV cream I got today.


1 x 20mg Oratane pill with dinner

Cetaphil gentle skin cleanser

Cetaphil Moisturising Lotion on face

Palmer's cocoa butter lotion on body


I have the answer to my breakout of a few days ago. I have a few other indications (ahem) that it is hormonal. I've still got all the zits that arrived, plus a huge egg on my forehead that hasn't got any colour but boy is it sore.

I've still been doing the regimen faithfully, with mixed results. Of course I have the recent breakout, and seem to have a slick of oil sitting over the top of the BP and moisturiser every day. With hot humid weather coming up, it's only gonna get worse.


I went to the dermatologist today. I've come home with a prescription for oratane (accutane) and a sample bag of low-irritant goodies like QV wash, lip balm, Avene cleanser and moisturiser, and a large sunscreen. I've been searching for a non-oily sunscreen and can't wait to try this one out on my face tomorrow. It felt lovely and dry on my arm and hands. it's Ego Sunsense 30+ tinted sunscreen with no oil, and good protection for UVA and UVB. I notice it has an ingredient in it that Dan doesn't like or recommend, but I'll take a chance.

I've already taken my first tablet, and I'm optimistic about the results that I'll get from this treatment. I took a short course of Roaccutane in my 20s, and it worked well until my dr. asked for repeated blood tests. I have a phobia about them, so stopped taking the drug so I could stop the blood tests. This derm prescribed me a sedative to have before I have the blood test, and has given me control over when I have the test done. Why hasn't any other of my doctors given me a sedative for it? It makes me feel so much better knowing that he takes my phobia seriously (he has an aversion to blood tests himself, hence the empathy) and has already addressed one problem.

Wish me luck!


Week 3 Day 1 - Oh no!

Was it the weekend sunburn? The chocolate feast on the weekend? The late nights?

I've broken out!!! :rolleyes::( :(

1 above my eyebrow, 1 beside my nose, one on my temple, and a possible one on the other side of my nose. So this isn't going to be a dream recovery. I'll just smother them with BP at night, normal regimen in the morning, and ease off a bit on the Cetaphil moisturiser. I've felt a bit shiny and oily the last few days and think I'm putting too much moisturiser on. The Cetaphil cleanser already makes my skin feel soft and moist, so I can probably stand to lose a bit of the moisturiser.

I haven't had any flaking since I started the regimen. For the first week or so my face stung when I applied the BP and moisturiser (pain level about 2/10) and I was pink a couple of days but nothing too embarrassing. Maybe I'm not putting enough BP on, or it's time to increase the amount? Gee this is a guessing game.

On the bright side, today I made an appointment with Davster (dermatologist) and see him in a few days. I was quite impressed with his posts on the forum here, and his website. I'm expecting him to suggest Retin-A, but I'm open to anything that he recommends.

I've looked a little bit for an acne-friendly sunscreen. Can anyone suggest one that feels good on the skin, not too oily or heavy? I'm in Australia so US-available ones may not be available here.


Week 2 Day 6 - Meh..

I tried the Cetaphil cleanser and moisturiser on Friday night. I was surprised that the cleanser felt so greasy, but left no residue on my face and my skin felt clean after I rinsed the cleanser off. Then the Benzac, then the Cetaphil moisturiser. FANTASTIC! I was really pleased with it, for the first time in nearly 2 weeks my face felt soft and moist, not dry and like a mask that would crack if I smiled.

Yesterday morning I had to rush out of the house, Did the regimen, did a full pump of the Cetaphil moisturiser, smoothed it on, and then thought SH*T, I've got far too much on. My face felt slimy and looked shiny in the mirror, but I didn't have time to do anything about it, so left it. Then later that morning ducked home for 5 minutes. I was heading out to the school fete (fair) so needed sunscreen. I put my usual one on my arms and neck, but didn't want to put it on my face and ruin my improving complexion, so I just put my Neutrogena moisturiser over the top of what I already had on my face, as it is SPF15. ***MISTAKE*** my face stung all afternoon, and my face was beet red later that day so I thought I'd been badly burnt on my face.

Then had to dash to the hairdressers for the afternoon, with my slimy, shiny and now glowing red face. It felt really uncomfortable and I was imagining terrible consequences. When I got home 4 hours later I washed my face with cleanser and just left it at that for the night.

So...this morning when I got up and looked in the mirror to see what disastrous actions had taken place after the sunburn and too much moisturiser....YAY! Nothing extra, no breakouts, no redness even :( So then I started to admire my slowly clearing skin, thanked my lucky stars, and swore never to do those stupid things again.

Status of my skin: One new absolutely minute whitehead in the crease of my nose. Red zit that was threatening to come up on my chin is still thinking about whether to appear or not. It's not sore, only a tiny bit red and a tiny bit raised. I'll dab extra BP on it tonight after my regimen and try to keep it at bay. No other active acne. I've noticed when washing my face I can't feel any blocked pores or blackheads along my jawline. I used to sit and absentmindedly pick out heaps of little worms (sorry for the gross-out) from my jawline, but I honestly don't know where they've gone :rolleyes:

I ?think? my skin tone is evening out. I can now see patches of skin on my cheeks that don't have any pimples or scars, and love it! I hope it lasts. Maybe that means that my scars and red marks are also fading a bit, but it's hard to be objective when I see them every day.

Thanks Pearls for the vaseline lip balm suggestion. I thought it would cause breakouts so googled it and read some threads in the forum, and it seems that it is non-comedogenic. Can't believe I spent so much on such a little chapstick when I have a few tubs of Vaseline in the house. Duh!!

Off topic: I have a caramel Dusk Melt in my oil burner at the moment as I type this, and the house smells gorgeous, like warm biscuits (cookies). Y U M


Yesterday I said no major disaster happened when I didn't do my face before going to bed. Well...the disaster happened today. One large, slightly raised pink pimple on my chin. I'm gonna hit it hard with the BP and see if I can get rid of it before it is too big or sore.

Went to the pharmacy near work today and got:

Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser for all skin types

Cetaphil Moisturing Lotion for all skin types

Another tube of Benzac 2.5% (so my daughter can take the half-used one to her bathroom)

A non-comedogenic lip balm.

I stood for ages in front of the Cetaphil shelves wondering if I should get the one for all skin types or the one for dry skin. I had to go back out to the car and get my phone, look at this site and compare the pictures in the finding supplies section to what was on the shelves.

I found a non-comedogenic lip balm so I hopefully won't get any more blackheads and pimples along my lip line. Its Avene Cold Cream Lip Balm. It has a very faint sweet smell, kind of like vanilla but very slight. No real taste, and feels moisturising on my lips without being slimy or runny. It's pricey at AUD$15.95, but I'm happy to pay an extra $12-$13 to not have lip pimples.

I'm keen to try the Cetaphil tonight, then whack heaps of BP on the new pimple. Still doing only one blob of BP at the moment on the rest of my face.


I got home quite late last night after going out with a friend, and I was too tired and lazy to do my face. I was dreading what might happen, but no major breakout or disaster happened.

My lips have been dry since I started the regimen. I don't know why, the BP isn't going on my lips. Maybe the face oil that I used to have ran onto my lips and protected them. Anyway, I've had to use a lip balm/chap stick for the last week and a half, and have had one out permanently on my desk at work, which has never happened before.

So that explains my tiny little sore inflammation right on the edge of my lower lip. I haven't and can't put BP there because it is too close to my mouth, and the oil/wax in the lip balm is probably comedogenic. I need to come up with a solution for my dry lips. I'll try all my moisturisers and use the one that tastes the best on my lips while I try and find something to use. I'll also try to dab a tiny bit of BP on my lip zit with a cotton bud at night too to try and reduce it quickly.

Lesson learnt - check everything that goes on my face to make sure it is regimen friendly.


...don't fix it. I went back to 1 dollop of BP last night and this morning, and my skin softened up and lost its sunburnt appearance.

I had slightly less oil today too. Soooooo...I'm going to go back to 1 dollop of BP morning and night for as long as I can.

Dry skin on hands good today, skin on face good, no active acne. Receding one is now flat and fading. Other red marks still prominent. No new pimples since I started the regimen.


Not so impressed now

Well, I put 2 blobs of BP on last night, instead of 1. This morning my face was bright pink and looked sunburnt. My skin also felt tough and leathery, so I went back to 1 blob of BP this morning. I know the idea of all of this is no pimples, and so far it’s working, but boy my skin feels yuk. I’m wondering if my future acne-free face will be hard and stiff like it feels now. It feels like the top layer of skin needs to be sanded off. I still have no peeling.

Today went ok, had some slight itching around my jawline, skin was very oily. I couldn’t wait to wash my face, but waited as long as I could so I wouldn’t have to wash again for the regimen. I’ll back off a bit on the BP, maybe 1 ½ blobs in the evening, 1 blob in the morning for the next week and see how that goes.

Still no active pimples, the one receding pimple I had has almost gone right down, but is still pinker than the rest of my face. Existing marks and scars still look the same and as prominent as before.

In the past I’ve had oral antibiotics, Phisohex and other face washes, Retin-A, Ro-accutane, and birth control. Ro-accutane worked well while I continued to take it, but I have a phobia of blood tests and chose to have acne over severe panic/fainting attacks.

So the verdict for today is – pimples good, skin tough and hard.


Day 6

So far, so good.

No active pimples, one receding, one dry and aching to be picked, 3 bright red marks, and 2 dull red marks. I don't have the peeling that I expected, I thought it would be like a bad sunburn that comes off in flakes and sheets, but all I have is some ?possible? microscopic flakes on my chin...but they could be the tops of blocked pores that are lifting off. It's really hard to tell, it could even be BP residue. My face is slightly pink, but not embarrassingly so, it just looks like I'm a little bit warm. Which I was today, so this could all be gone tomorrow.

I did feel the very beginning of a pimple right in the middle of my forehead on day 1, but although it felt slightly sore for the next couple of days nothing surfaced, and the soreness has gone now so that's one that never made the light of day :rolleyes:

Today I did notice that I had quite a lot of oil on my face. It's the first time that my face has been oily since starting the regimen. It was warm today, and I might have perspired a bit, but I'm taking it to be a sign that my face has adapted to the daily regimen, and it's now time to ramp up the amount of BP to apply.

This is my current regime:


Palmer's Gentle Face Cleanser in the shower

Wait 10-15 minutes after shower and drying myself, then

Pea-sized dollop of Benzac AC 2.5% BP

Wait 10-15 mins then

1 pump Neutrogena Oil-Free Moisturiser SPF 15


Splash water on my face then

1 pump Clean and Clear Self Foaming Cleanser

Wait 10-15 mins then

Pea-sized dollop of Benzac AC 2.5% BP

Wait 10-15 mins then

1 pump Neutrogena Oil-Free Moisturiser SPF 15

Starting tomorrow I'll upgrade to 2 x pea-sized dollops of Benzac for a week.

Benzac isn't ideal, at my current usage it doesn't leave any white on my skin, but once I add the moisturiser I look pale with a thin layer of white sheen. I'm hoping that Dan's BP gel will get rid of that when I am ready to get some.

My 15 year old is now joining me in the regimen. She has moderate acne, quite similar to me at that age. 10-15 small/medium spots, some with pus and some without. It will be interesting to compare her results to mine.

I have noticed that my hands are drying out! With the extra washing after each stage of the regimen, and the BP on my hands for a while, the skin there feels like very fine grade sandpaper. I have taken to moisturising them every night. And...naughty me...I can't stop touching my face. It feels so smooth with no giant zits to interrupt the landscape, I've been trying to at least use the back of my hand to limit the pressure and transfer of germs. Other than that I am good at not picking, pushing, stretching or scratching, because I am conscious of having BP on my hands and bleaching clothes and towels.

Week 2, bring it on :(


I don't know what I was searching for when the acne.org site appeared on my screen. I've booked an appointment with a dermatologist a month and a half away, and think I was looking for possible new treatments. Anyway, EUREKA!!!

As a long time sufferer of acne (nearly 30 years) I had some BP laying around, but the 10% strength. I tried a distant version of the regimen that night, using my normal cleanser, the 10% BP just on the problem areas, and an oil-free moisturiser with SPF 15. The following morning the redness of my spots had subsided by about 50%, the current zits started to dry out and my skin was not oily. This was a huge change to my normal results, and I liked what I saw :rolleyes:

So I ordered a recommended cleanser and a 2.5% BP gel online, and 2 days later I was in business. I've been using these products day and night for 5 days now, and the improvement has continued.

I started getting spots when I was 12, but they were smaller, frequent and I would have had 20-30 spots at one time. I squeezed a lot, and 28 years later have the scars to show for it. Now my spots are few and far between, maybe 1-4 per month, but they have been huge cystic disfiguring embarrassing sores.

I'm going to keep using the products I've got, and watch the results. If I keep improving, I'll order Dan's products (the shipping cost to Australia is preventing me doing it until I'm sure that this works), and hopefully all I will be talking to the dermatologist about is getting the scars lasered away.

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