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My journey-past, present, and future- with acne

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Okay everyone, I have discovered the product that everyone on the face of the earth could benefit from lol! It has done AMAZING things for my skin, just in the one week I've been using it.

It's the Olay ProX Professional face cleansing/exfoliating/pore-minimizing tool. It's essentially a cheaper version of the Clarisonic. For those of you who have no clue what I'm talking about, it's basically a toothbrush for your face. The Clarisonic version is made by the same people that make the Sonicare toothbrush. I've never actually used the Clarisonic brush, but I've always wanted one. They are pretty pricey for a college student- around $150-$230, so that's why I had been looking for a cheaper version of it. I would assume that the Clarisonic is somewhat better than the Olay tool because let's face it- you get what you pay for in most cases. For right now I feel like the Olay tool serves its purpose, but maybe down the road sometime I would splurge for the Clarisonic or ask for it as a birthday/Christmas gift.

The Olay ProX tool was only $30, which is much more affordable for most people. Even if you don't have the $30 right now, try to set a few dollars back each week then purchase it because it's sooooo worth it. I've been using the Regimen for 5 weeks now and I think this tool has really helped me. My skin started the flake stage a little later than most cases (from what I've read), and my skin never really did the itching or redness stage. The corners of my mouth started to crack, but that was just dryness. Anyway, all of that has almost completely stopped since I've been using the brush.

If you read my previous blog posts, I was having an EXTREME issue with the DKR moisturizer. I could not get it to absorb at all! My face was flaking, so I needed at least 2 pumps, but I could only use 1 because it took 45 minutes to absorb- I don't have that kind of time. By using this exfoliating brush, it helps remove that gross dead skin so the moisturizer can actually absorb and nourish your skin! My flakes aren't gone completely, and I don't know that they'll ever be from what I've read about the DKR system, but they're dramatically more manageable.

My New-and-Improved Regimen:

(Same for am&pm)

If it's pm I use a Neutrogena make-up remover wipe before anything else.

-Rinse my face gently with warm water

-Apply 2 pumps of DKR cleanser directly onto Olay ProX brush and wet with warm water

-Turn the brush on and begin moving it around your face in small circles.

*I start on my cheeks, then forehead, then chin, and then I spend a little more time on my nose because that's wear my pores are biggest. The whole thing takes about a minute for me.

-Use a gentle, even pressure for the entire face- don't press down on your face too hard, just let the brush glide over the skin.

-Once you're done cleansing, rinse the brush off and gently splash your face with warm water to remove the soap

-Gently pat your skin dry using a clean towel- you really just touch the towel to your face a few times and you're good to go

-Before your face has completely dried, apply full amount of BP

*I do this because I feel like the BP goes on a lot better and it's not as irritating. It also seems like it absorbs better.

-After that dries I wash my hands and apply 2 pumps of the DKR moisturizer

I guess I can incorporate my A&D ointment in this too. I apply a thin layer to my neck due to the flaky/itchy/red patch of skin in the middle of my neck. It's really helping it heal and not be so sore.

Sorry this is so long!! I really hope this is helpful to everyone. I truly believe that everyone could benefit from a product like this. I think its absolutely something that anyone who is considering going on the Regimen should automatically buy. This is going to be your hero when it comes to flake removal!


Regimen Week 5

Hey everyone! It's the end of week 5, so it's time to update everyone on the status of my acne-yippeee lol!

Alright let's get right into it, I'm still really happy with what's been happening with my skin! I'm so glad I can say that and I hope that I can continue to be happy with it. I think the area around my mouth/chin is trying to break out though, that's my only complaint this week. Here's the situation: I'm starting a new job at my local hospital and I've been sitting in the 8 hour new-hire orientation for the past 3 days. When I'm sitting in a boring class for 8 hours straight, there's not much else for me to do, so I've been touching my face a lot. I haven't been picking at it-there's nothing to pick at- but I've been resting my chin/cheeks in my hands and I think that must be the culprit. Hopefully things will go back to normal once the orientation is over!

My face is still dry, but it's not as bad as it has been because I'm using the Olay ProX face brush thing. I think that tool deserves its own blog post so I'll talk about that more later.

I really don't have a whole lot else to say about what's happened with my skin this week. I didn't put any pictures up from last week because I was sooooo sick and I just didn't have time. I think I had a touch of the flu and I still haven't gotten rid of my cough!

OH I almost forgot to mention this! My neck has developed this rash-like thing. I don't know what the deal is. It appears to be what your face is supposed to go through when starting the Regimen (dryness, peeling, redness, itching, etc). But I don't put any BP down there, so I have no clue why it's doing it. BUT IT HURTS!!! I've been putting a thin layer of A&D ointment on it at night before I go to bed and in the morning before I leave the house. I can't use a whole lot in the morning because I don't want people to think I'm weird lol, but it's really been helping. I've tried exfoliating the area but it's just not working. When I apply the A&D ointment it exfoliates a lot, so I think it's helping!

Anyway, that's enough for tonight! I'll talk to you all next week!


Week 4

Hey everyone! So I've finished week 4 on the Regimen and we're still making progress! Last week I talked about the dreaded flakes, and I think I've found a good remedy for it. I know that new Regimen users are supposed to follow it very strictly and not add in any extra steps/products. Well, I'm a rule-breaker! I cannot stand these flakes and I'm honestly more embarrassed to have them than acne (at least pimples are normal- when is it normal for your face to be shedding like a snake?!).

I was in Wal-Mart looking for a gentle exfoliator and I found the Olay Professionals Face Cleansing system (I guess that's what it's called). It's basically a cheapo Clarisonic. For those of you who don't know what a Clarisonic is, it's kinda like a big toothbrush for your face! It's a really soft brush that you use everyday to help deep clean your face. It helps get deep down into your pores for more effective cleansing and exfoliating. The name-brand Clarisonic system is around $200, which I don't have, and the Olay system was around $30, which I do have! I've never tried the actual Clarisonic cleanser, so I can't say if the Olay one is better or worse; all I know is that it's really helped with my flakey skin! I've been using it every night and it's extremely gentle. I apply the DKR cleanser to my wet face, then use the slow level on the brush for about a minute. My face isn't red or irritated when I'm done, so I think it's gentle enough not to cause a breakout.

This week we did have a minor set-back. I went out Saturday night and came home REALLY late. I was tired and a little bit drunk so naturally I didn't want to take the 30-45 minutes to do my Regimen. I did use a make-up wipe and partially remove my make-up. I woke up Sunday morning with 4 new pimples on my right cheek- FANTASTIC! I'm not surprised though, I was asking for it! I made sure I washed really well that morning and the pimples cleared up by Tuesday, so they didn't bother me too bad!

Over-all I'm really pleased with how the Regimen is coming along. I'm even more pleased with my results now that I've gotten that Olay cleansing brush. The whole texture of my skin has changed dramatically. I've still got a few flakes here and there, but it's nothing like they were last week. My skin is also adjusting to the moisturizer a little better. It's absorbing much easier/faster now, which I think is because I've gotten most of that dead/dry skin off of my face. It's hard to soak up and nourish your skin if there all of these gross flakes all over the place!

Enough rambling for tonight, it's time for bed! (I've had a bad head cold this week and I just took some Nyquil, so it's only a matter of time before I'm knocked out!) I'll try to post some pictures tomorrow morning after I do my Regimen. You probably won't be able to tell much of a difference on my crappy webcam photos, but in real life there's a huge difference! Goodnight!


Week 3: FLAKING!!!!

Well, I have finally experienced the dreaded FLAKES! And let me just tell you, they suck! Like I've said in previous blog posts, I'm a make-up wearer, and it's almost impossible to wear anything on your face during this flaking period. In my last post I said I hadn't had any flakes yet, and obviously I've jinxed it because the very next day they started!

Anyway, I'm extremely happy with the way my faces looks right now, other than the flakes. My bumps seem to have faded significantly and I've had no new breakouts. I don't even think I've had anymore little pimples pop up like I did last week. I've got a couple of bumps that are really red, but I'm pretty sure they're from last week when I popped one or two of them. But those are no big deal! I'd much rather have those little guys than a face full of red bumps like I used to have!

I've been gradually increasing the amount of BP and my skin appears to be tolerating it well. I focus the BP mainly on my cheeks and use it sparingly everywhere else. That being said, my cheeks aren't peeling at all- which is weird, right? My flaky and dry areas are around my mouth/chin and my nose and forehead.

The amount of moisturizer I've been using has been increased as well. I use about 2- 2 1/2 pumps at night time and then 1 1/2 pumps in the morning if I'm wearing make-up or 2 pumps if I don't wear make-up. I'm still having problems with how long it's taking the moisturizer to absorb into my skin. I really need to be using 2 pumps of it in the mornings as well, but I just don't have the time or patience to sit around for an hour or so to let it dry. I've been gradually weening myself away from my make-up though, and it hasn't been as hard as I thought it would be.

I also wanted to mention the gross smell the moisturizer leaves on my pillow at night. I hadn't noticed it until this week, but my pillows are getting a yellow film on them and it smells disgusting. I change my sheets every week, so it's not building up for very long. I also don't go to bed when my face is still "wet." I usually do my night Regimen around 8-9 and I don't go to bed until around 12-1, so I wouldn't think it'd be rubbing off that much. Has anyone else had this problem?

Ok enough rambling for today! Tonight after I do my Regimen I'll try to post some pictures of my face from week 3.


Coming Up On Week #2

Hey guys! I'm almost to week 2, so I thought I'd give you a little update on how the Regimen is going. So far, I'm pleased with what I'm seeing. There are already noticeable changes in my skin, some for the good and some for the not-so-good.

Let's start with the good first! My skin appears to be clearing up a little bit. Of course my bumps aren't disappearing, but there are significant changes. I haven't had any new breakouts since I've been on the Regimen. A couple days ago I woke up and had 3 extremely small little pimples around my chin. They were seriously no bigger than the tip of an ink pen, and there was hardly anything in them. They did have a white head so I popped them when I got out of the shower, barely anything came out. PS- I know you aren't supposed to pop pimples, but I can't help it. Sue me! Lol. Anyway, those 3 little boogers are the only signs of pimples so far.

It could be my imagination, but I'm noticing changes in the scarring from previous breakouts. It seems as though my marks are fading already and they're so much less noticeable now. I'm very pleased with all of that.

Now onto the not-so-good.... DRY SKIN!!!! I know it's to be expected, but I still want to fuss about it. I hate it! I've increased my amount of BP slightly, as the instructions said. I don't know, I guess I'm not excessively dry (the flakes haven't started yet), but since I'm so used to being oily, it's so strange to feel dry at all. My cheeks still aren't getting dry though, and that's where I put the majority of my BP (because that's where 90% of my acne is). My driest areas are still my chin/mouth, and now my forehead/eyebrow area is starting. I've been careful to avoid my eye area with the BP, but I do put it around my eyebrows because I tend to get monthly breakouts in that area.

Also, my skin seems to be adjusting to the DK moisturizer. It's still not ideal, but it's getting better. I'm still only using 1-1/2 pumps in the mornings because it takes to long to dry so I can apply make-up. At night I've been using a full 2 pumps. I bought some of the Pond's Hydrating Night Cream to try, but I'm not sure about it. It's got one of the ingredients from the list of things to avoid, but I can't remember which one it is. I put a little on the back of my hand to try, and it feels great! So maybe when my face starts the flaking process I'll try it out to see if it helps.

Anyway, I've bored you enough for today! I'm going to try to post a few pictures from this week later on today or tomorrow. I'll talk to you all soon!


Almost A Week

So I've been doing the Regimen for almost a week now and I'm alright with how it's turning out. I've been doing it for 6 days now, and I'm starting to get EXTREMELY dry! I've been cleansing extra gently, twice a day, around 8-12 hours apart, I'm using the recommended pea-sized amount of BP, and I've been doing 1 pump of moisturizer in the morning and the full 2 pumps at night.

It's been kind of a hard adjustment for my morning routine. Like I've said before, I'm someone who can get shower/get ready fairly quickly, so I really don't like having to wait FOREVER for my face to dry so I can apply make-up. I've seen several posts that recommend not using any make-up initially, and I just can't do that. Even before I had trouble with acne, I always wore make-up. Granted, it was as much as I wear now, but I still needed something to cover up my un-even skin tone. I have a condition called vitiligo, which causes certain areas of my face to lack pigment. It's really not noticeable in the winter because I'm very fair-skinned, but in the summer you can totally see it because I tan like no other. (I seriously look like a Native American lol). Anyway, with the lack of pigmentation in certain areas, my face looks very strange without make-up. I have EXTREMELY dark circles under my eyes, and that's been the case my entire life. I get adequate rest, it's just a trait my dad's side of the family has. "The permanently tired look." Wearing no make-up is just not an option right now. Maybe later on into the Regimen if my skin clears up and some of my marks/scarring fade, but not right now.

I'm a little surprised at how quickly my skin has become so dry. I knew it would, but I thought it'd take a little longer than 6 days! Especially with what little amount of BP I'm using, and the fact that my face generally looks like an oil slick! Like I said, I use the pea-sixed amount and put the bulk of it on my cheeks, then I use whatever is left over for the rest of my face. After that I've been getting a TINY, TINY bit more BP (maybe 1/4 of the pea-sized amount) and apply it to my nose and forehead. I've noticed that the main area of dryness is around my chin and mouth, which is surprising because I put very little BP there.

Then I moisturize, again putting the bulk of the moisturizer on my cheeks (and now my chin due to dryness) and then spreading it out all over my face. I've gotten a little more used to the length of time it takes to absorb, but I'm still not 100%. I've started doing the dishes, putting laundry in, and letting my dogs outside while I wait for my face to dry. I can't help but feel like I'm wasting so much time by taking an extra 30-45 minutes out of my day just to let my face dry! Maybe it'll just take more adjusting, who knows! I'm a very impatient person. I don't mind waiting the 5-15 minutes in between the washing, BP, and applying moisturizer because those are necessary for the Regimen. Trying to find things to occupy my time during the 45 minutes it takes for my face to dry absolutely should not be necessary.

Once my skin has absorbed the moisturizer, I apply my make-up. It doesn't go on nearly as smoothly as it did when using my Clinique Moisturizing Gel for Oily Skin. (I couldn't even tell I was wearing it, it was so light) My make-up looks very cake-y right now, which is not a good look. It also seems to be adding a yellow-ish tint to my skin, and I normally have pink undertones, so it looks a little funny with my make-up on. I guess it's a trial and error process. I'll figure out how to adjust to the changes, it just takes time.

Back to my dryness (after this I'll shut up-I promise!), I'm surprised to find that I'm sooooo dry around my mouth/chin because I don't put a lot of BP around it. The corners of my mouth are so dry that I can barely open my mouth without wincing. (Btw, I have a very high tolerance for pain, so this is unusual) I think I've gone through 2 tubes of Carmex chapstick so far! When I'm at home just sitting around, I've been applying vaseline/A&D ointment to the corners of my mouth, and it seems to really be helping. But if I'm going anywhere I can't do this because it creates the "I-just-ate-an-entire-bucket-of-KFC" look around my mouth it's so greasy, lol.

Anyway, that's been my weekly experience so far! I'm on-the-fence with how I feel about it at this point. There are a lot of elements to take into consideration right now. I don't plan on quitting, that's not my style. I try to give everything a fair shot before ruling it out. I'm a little nervous to start increasing my BP, so we'll see how that goes.

Sorry for boring you and writing such a long post! What can I say? I'm bored and I've got nothing better to do! I'll post again towards the 2 week mark and see how things are coming along!


Starting The Regimen

Okay, I'm posting my intro and everything today, but I actually started The Regimen on Saturday, January 22nd. I received it early Saturday morning with my mail and I was very excited to give it a try! So I dug into my box, got all my products out, and got online to go over the steps a few more times before trying it myself.

I ordered the cleanser, BP, and the moisturizer. I'm thinking I might order the jojoba oil and the AHA eventually, but I'd like to give this stuff a try before I spend any more money at the moment.

My initial reaction was that I really liked the cleanser, it's very gentle! I was a bit concerned with only washing my face for 10 seconds or less. It's not like I normally sit and scrub my face till it's raw, but 10 seconds just didn't seem like I'd be able to get my face very clean. So the first time I cleansed with DK's cleanser, I lathered up really well like the instructions said, but I washed my face like I normally would and it ended up only being about 15-30 seconds. I'm already very gentle with my skin; before I started The Regimen I was using the "feather-light" touch, so I think I may stick with my 15-30 second washing that I was already doing and see how that goes. (If you think this is a bad idea let me know!). The BP was really weird for me. I used the small amount, like the instructions suggested, and it was barely enough to cover any of my face. So I applied that amount to my main problem areas (cheeks/chin) and then took a VERY tiny bit more and applied it on my nose and forehead. I was afraid that I'd use too much and immediately start drying out like a lot of the complaints that I've read, so I've been really careful not to over-use the BP. The moisturizer is a whole different ball game. I was not a fan upon my first use. The instructions said to use 2-3 pumps, but after seeing how much the first pump gave me, I decided I'd try that and then see if I needed more. I know that everything says to do the Regimen EXACTLY by the instructions, so maybe I'm off to a bad start, but we'll see! I'm not going to throw a fit if I don't see immediate results, so I'm willing to take the risk and try to modify it to my needs initially. And if I find that it's not working, I'll gladly switch and do things to the T of DK's instructions!

Back to the moisturizer issue! I used my one pump and gently applied it to my face just like the instructions say. The instructions also say that it should only take about 2 minutes, but that's not the case with my skin! I did the 2 minutes, and the lotion was still so thick and was barely absorbed into my skin. I pushed it around gently a little while longer, maybe 30-45 seconds, and called it quits. I sat down to read while I waited for my moisturizer to dry/absorb into my skin, and thank God I didn't have anywhere to be in a hurry because I waited around 45 minutes for it to dry! And it still wasn't completely dry at that point, but I couldn't wait any longer, so I went ahead and finished my getting ready routine (putting on make-up, doing the hair, etc).

I was willing to lengthen my morning routine a little bit, but not by a whole hour! It generally takes me about 20-45 minutes to get ready every day, which honestly isn't bad for a prissy 21 year old girl lol! It helps that I have longer hair and I just blow dry it a bit and put it up most days. I spend the majority of my time with the make-up part trying to hide my bumps. I don't know if I'll be able to make myself get up a full 2 hours before I need to be somewhere, just to make sure I moisturize properly. This moisturizer is very, very thick under my make-up! But like I said in my previous post, I'm normally extremely oily everywhere from my hair, my T-zone, my cheeks, etc.

In my personal experience so far, that amount of moisturizer seems like way too much. As I start increasing my amount of BP and the drying/peeling process starts, I'll DEFINITELY be using the full amount of moisturizer! So far I actually like The Regimen. I've just found that I need to modify it a little to fit my immediate needs. I'm still waiting the 5-15 minutes in between steps, washing my hands, being extra gentle, etc. All I've really done that's "against the rules" is wash gently for 15-30 seconds instead of 10, and use less moisturizer than suggested.

Alright this post is long enough! I ramble and give TMI! I'll update more in the next couple days or so. It'll be my first full week on the Regimen on Saturday! Hopefully I haven't screwed it all up lol!


My History with Acne

Hey! My name is Alyssa and I'm 21 years old. Throughout my middle school/high school/teenage years, I never had acne. I might have had one or two pimples on my chin/forehead every few months or so. It was nothing that a little concealer couldn't handle. But about 1 1/2-2 years ago, my face exploded! It feels like I just woke up one morning and had 10-12 bumps all over my forehead/nose/chin; which was definitely a surprise! I've always been someone who tries to take care of my skin. I always washed/toned/moisturized twice a day, especially at night time to remove any make-up. Neither of my parents had problems with acne when they were my age. My mother had it after she got pregnant with me, but it went away soon after I was born. So I'm sure you can imagine my surprise to suddenly have a pimple-y face!

I really don't like taking any medications unless it's absolutely necessary, so I never took any oral medications. I preferred to stick with cleansers, toners, and other different "fast" acne treatments. Nothing ever worked! I've used Clinique, ProActiv, Cetaphil, Neutragena, Clean&Clear, and several off-brand products from various drug stores; still no luck! I've been on some form of birth control since I was about 16-17, and that's supposed to help (especially Yaz-so they say), but nothing ever did.

I've had a lot of problems recently with picking at my skin. Yes, I'm well aware that you aren't supposed to do it, but when I started getting more and more bumps, I wanted them gone. Yes, I know that it only makes it worse; but it was more of a self-conscious mind thing. I was embarrassed for people to see the bumps so I'd pop them, cover them with loads of make-up, and pick at the scabs. It's kind of a nervous habit. When it comes to make-up, I feel like I've tried everything! BareMinerals, Clinique, Physician's Formula, Covergirl, Revlon, Maybelline, MAC, NARS, etc, but I feel like I've done nothing but waste my effort and a completely unnecessary amount of money. The only make-up that I've been able to stick with is the Clinique Superfit liquid foundation. It's the only thing that helped balance out the oil on my face and not increase my break outs.

A few weeks ago I was about to run out of my Clinique 3 Step Cleansing System and I decided to look for other cleansing systems. So I just googled randomly, and this site comes up. I spent several hours over the following days looking at success stories, the process of The Regimen, the products, prices, etc. I wanted to give it a lot of thought before I decided to spend more money on another solution that just doesn't work, and in the end, I decided to take the risk. What have I got to lose? (except more time and money, lol).

This blog will be a detailed description of my results from using The Regimen, and let's hope they're good results! I'll try to post on a weekly basis and update how my skin looks/feels. Let's get started!!!

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