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a 23 year old female trying to wrangle my skin under control once again

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sus

Dry skin is become less easy to manage - and unfortunately it seems my purchase of Jojoba oil from drugstore.com has been lost in the mail.

Either the dryness is increasing the more i'm on BP or Daniel's lotion is not as effective as Cetaphils. I think either is very possible. I'm going to go back to the Cetaphil stuff for now because it just feels heavier / more moisturizing.

One mistake I used to make when on Proactive was when moisturizing I would moisturize under my eyes, on my eye-lids, eyebrows etc since they were troubled dry spots. That was until I read something here that made sense - If we moisturize after using BP we shouldn't rub the moisturizer around our eyes because it can pick up the BP. I always kind of wondered why those areas were getting dry even though I wasn't using BP there. I thought somehow the BP seeps when on your skin to near-by areas? Transfer by moisturizer makes sense though, so I've tried to be cautious of that.

However, those areas have still started to get dry. I've tried putting on a small amount of moisturizer just around my eyes after cleaning and before BP - but it's still dry. Again, I really wish I had the Jojoba oil to use.

The biggest issue with the dryness comes when I try to put a little bit of foundation on - because that's really when things start getting flaky and messy.

I wonder how long it'll take my skin to get accustomed to the BP and stop getting as dry? I've read that it'll grow to get used to it, and then I've also read complaints of persistent dryness.

Break-outs while the majority of my face remains clear, I've got a small new cluster of zits on my forehead. They're kind of the itchy kind of zits - does anyone know what I mean? Feels almost more like a mixture of zits / irritation. No redness or burning though, and definitely the appearance of zits, so I'm assuming its not an alergic reaction. I think the dry skin in general is just making me itchy.

AHA Lotion

In the mail I also received the AHA lotion with the intention of using it as a spot treatment. I'm a little apprehensive about using it because I remember reading somewhere that you should wait until you're acclimated to the Regimen before introducing this lotion.

However, I have applied it a few times to the clusters I was describing on my forehead.

I'm a little confused about AHA though (as I am by most acne products and the wide range of opinions that go with them). I bought it for what Daniel suggested it for - spot treatment. Than I also read him saying that if you continue to have persistent dryness to include this in your routine. It's interesting to me that something would be both a spot treatment and a good moisturizer? I always think of spot treatments as drying out agents.

Either way, I'm holding off for now so as to not aggravate my skin with anything else new.

Redness

For the first week or so my face had a red tone to it - no doubt from the BP. I didn't mind so much, because I'm so pale anyway, it actually made me look less washed out. The redness seems to have resided now though.

sus

Daniel's Products

I received Daniels kit from the Post Office on Saturday morning. Sadly - the pump on the cleanser had broken resulting in an icky messy shipping box of cleanser. Fortunately, not too much was lost, but it took a while to clean everything up off all the bottles - and left me with a broken cleanser bottle.

However, I had already had plans to put Daniel's products into smaller, more manageable containers. So i had purchased 6 small little 4oz containers from Wal-Mart. I emptied Daniel's products into these...resulting in two different sets of the Regimen - one for home, one for travel. Much easier to manage, and store.

So - all that being said - what do I think about the Regimen products??

Cleanser

The cleanser was different from Cetaphil in that it foams up a little bit, whereas Cetaphil just feels like a gel. I kind of like this because I feel like its working more at removing the previous days makeup.

BP

The BP felt much tackier / sticky to the touch after the full rubbing in process than the Proactive version. Other than that, not much difference.

Moisturizer

I definitely like the feel of his moisturizer better than Cetaphils. Cetaphils always felt cakey to me. But that lack of cakiness also makes me wonder if its working as strong?

Status

So its been a full week - and so far so good. I have no big zits at all and the confetti around my nose and forehead seems to be less.

My face feels dry / stiff / uncomfortable after doing the Regimen and that dosen't reside until later on in the day - and then before I know it its time to do it all over again.

I skipped two nightly applications this weekend. Partly because I couldn't get around to doing it, and partly because I wanted to give my skin a break.

Make-up

I've been meaning to share my make-up regimen / products, so here it is :

1. Cover Girl TruBlend Foundation ("Oil free, won't log pores, dermatologically tested")

I dab on just a little bit of this on each cheek, and chin - then gently rub it in. This is much different than how I applied makeup before the regimen - I would really go at it as quickly as I could. I find if I go slowly and gently, I really flake less.

2. Maybelline True Illusion Undetectable Concealer

I wash my hands with soap and water before using this under my eyes to cover circles (incase my hands picked up any of the BP from the previous step). Again, gently apply.

3. Neutrogina Skin Clearing Oil-free Concealer (.5% salicylic acid)

My nose has always been a trouble spot for big pores / blackheads. Even when Accutane was working its best on the rest of my skin, I've always hated the appearance of the skin on my nose. Since my last treatment of Accutane, too, i've noticed its been extra oily. Therefor I use this Neutrogina product to cover my nose. I know mixing salicylic acid and BP is a no-no but my nose seems to be more resilient than the rest of my face - and never gets dry.

4. Cover Girl TruBlend Powder Foundation

I gently apply this on the top of my eye-lids and below my eyes - again to cover darkness. I try to keep this away from the rest of my face.

5. Neutrogina Skin Clearing Oil-Free pressed Powder (.5% salicylic acid)

Finally, I finish up with the tiniest amount of this to smooth out my nose, cheeks, forehead a little bit. Sometimes I use so little that I even wonder if I'm actually putting anything on the pad.

There we have it. I've been meaning to check out some mineral based make-up because I hear its all the rage - but I've spent enough on my skin recently - so I'm going to wait a little bit.

sus

Day 4 - Bumpy to the touch

Status

Day four and no major zits. The few bigger ones that broke out right before I started the Regimen are healing.

As I think i've mentioned - its hard to say if the batches of tiny guys around my nose and forehead are the same and healing - or if there are new ones. They're so little its hard to keep track. The interesting thing about them though, is I mostly notice it more by touch than by sight (I mean, I can see them, but they're really not that obvious like a big ole zit). This isn't to say I'm regularly touching my skin - because I'm really trying not to! When I notice it is when I apply the BP and then moisturizer. Feels like bumpy terrain. But like I said, not as obvious to sight.

With make-up and from a not too big of a distance my skin now actually looks pretty darn clear. Closer up, however, and you'll notice the little bumps, and areas of rough texture where the makeup is fighting with the dry skin.

Dryness

Speaking of which - my skin is showing more dryness - as expected. Looking forward to my jojoba oil arriving in the mail to tame the flakes. It's not so bad when I go without make-up - but becomes more obvious when I apply foundation.

Make-up

One thing this regimen has taught me is to apply stuff slowly and gently. Before I vigorously rubbed everything on my face. If I'm really gentle with the foundation / concealer it goes on much smoother and flakes less - and it conceals more since I'm not just putting on then rubbing it off.

So yes, I am still wearing makeup in the beginning. All my products are derma-friendly though. When I was talking to my mom about the Regimen and mentioned that Dan suggested laying off make-up in the beginning - her reaction was "he can say that, he's a man." I pretty much agree :)

Lip balm

Winter / BP is making the edge of my lips dry. My lip balm of choice is Burt's Bees. I find it to be the most effective (and since I've been on Accutane before, believe me, I've tried a lot) and it's also natural.

sus

Day 3 - So far, so good.

No new bumps that I can tell. I've been following the regimen and then gently rubbing on some neosporin to the healing bumps - I've always found this to super speed up the healing process.

I just got back to a colder climate - and hopefully the weather doesn't add to the drying out. I'm expecting my jojoba oil to arrive in the mail soon though - so I look forward to testing that out.

I'm also going to start drinking green tea more often throughout the day. More about that in a future post.

Isn't it funny that I hesitate thinking / posting that things are going ok so far - because I'm afraid that's somehow going to jinx something? Maybe its just because I don't want to get my hopes up.

sus

Status so far

On day two and my face is feeling a little sensitive - started showing signs of peely / flaking on my cheeks near my nose. I've started off with a full, large dose of BP just because i've been using the BP with the Proactive since November. All the stinging, flakiness seems pretty textbook to the start of the Regimen though - so I'm just going to have to pedal through it.

I've had no new major bumps, and because of the frequency of the little ones around my nose its hard to tell if i've developed new ones or if its the same old same old.

I went ahead and ordered the suggested jojoba oil just because I know my skin has always been prone to flakiness and dryness when using topicals.

I also ordered the AHA for spot treatment, but in the meantime I have a tiny little bottle of spot treatment stuff from Origins that is basically just salicylic acid. Its always been ok at at least making me feel like i'm doing something when it comes to those really under the skin, painful zits. I have one on my chin right now that shows no sign of coming to a head, so i've been using the Origins stuff on that.

How much this has cost so far

Speaking of products - here's a run down of what i've invested in for this.

$50.00 dkr products + shipping

$20.98 - jojoba oil + shipping from drugstore.com

$16.98 AHA lotion for spot treatment

$20.00 for fish oil and zinc (approx)

= $107.96

Kind of pricey but totally worth it if it helps. And I don't feel bad about the jojoba or AHA investment because they look like farely large bottles which will be used just a little at a time (i.e. not an investment i'll be having to make every two months).

As I mentioned in my first post, I already had all the products necessary to start the Regimen, but I knew I'd eventually need more BP - and I figured I'd go all the way and support acne.org and purchase daniel's stuff.

Vitamins

I took my zinc and fish oil this morning after a good breakfast, and i'm feeling quite nauseas right now. Wonder if there's a connection?

Birth control

A comment on my first post reminded me of one thing I forgot to mention about my history - Birth control. When I started my first round of Accutane I was put on birth control - orthotrycyclen (you know how those doctors get nervous about Accutane + teenage girls). I continued on BC for some years after stopping my first round of Accutane, then eventually stopped since there was no reason for me to be on it. When I started breaking out again last year, I went back on it hoping it'd help (it didn't) and then I stopped again before stopping my next round of Accutane.

Psychologically

I'm finishing traveling today - and will be seeing my special-friend again after about a month of being a way. It's tough because while my skin was a little rocky before I left (almost ignorable and coverable) - its just gotten much worse since I've been away. It's hard to let someone get close to you when your confidence is so low and all you can think about is the wounds on your face. So bad that part of me just wishes I could retreat for a month or two or three and get cleared up before seeing this person again. That's not such a good feeling.

Any comments are welcome and appreciated -

and in my next post I hope to talk about make-up.

sus

Brief introduction -

My acne came as usual - when I was a teen. Tried the over-the-counter Clearasil/Stridex stuff with no luck, until I eventually went to a dermatologist. She put me on some antibiotics, and topicals (Retin-A, Differen, Etc.) but nothing worked and the creams were extremely aggravating to my very fair and sensitive skin.

Eventually - I started a round of Accutane. I believe it was for 6 months at 80mg. It did the trick - cleared my skin up - and it remained that way for the next 7/8 or so years.

Last year, however, it started coming back - small break outs around my jaw line - then the side of my face - it just started spreading. Went back to the dermatologist and at my pressing - they bypassed dealing with topicals and put me on another round of Accutane - this time for 40mg for 5 months. Again, it cleared me up.

However, not long after stopping I started getting small breakouts on the side of my nose near the bridge. It was minor and easily covered up with make-up .. nothing major, but as I feared, a sign of what was to come.

Started using Proactive and I had mixed results - but mainly it wasn't keeping up. Continued to have small breakouts around my nose, then on my forehead - and within the last couple of weeks a few larger and painful zits. Since visiting this site, I've also come to learn that I was doing all the probably wrong things - I scrubbed the heck out of my face with their abrasive cleansar - thinking the harder I worked it the better it'd work. As I've mentioned, my skin has always been very fair and sensitive - and I've most likely been doing more harm than good.

In perspective to some other sufferers, its still minor, but I've been here before and I know where it'll go. I want to try to nip it this time before it gets bad. I wouldn't mind another bout of Accutane (the side-effects didn't bother me too much) but it's complicated for me to get on that medication (my derm is not located in the same city of where I currently live, its extremely hard to get monthly blood tests and checks coordinated). Plus, I'm not exactly sure my derm would put me on another round? And if it didn't work last time, why would it work now?

So then I began researching and came across this site.

I've ordered daniel's products (as well as AHA for spot treatment)...But until they've arrived I'm following the regimen with

-Cetaphil cleanser

-Proactive 2.5% BP

-Cetaphil moisturizer.

- Fish oil and Zinc

This goes without saying for anyone who may be reading this because you understand : but living with acne is so much more than a physical ailment, its psychological. It brings me down, kills my self-confidence and is such a terrible cloud over life.

So - here we go.

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