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Fighting my latest breakout--My Progress With Pictures

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NotSoClearClare

merghhh

Note to self: don't say how pleased you are with your skin or you're jinxing yourself. I've been getting a lot of little pimples, some of which have been turning into big pimples. I'm pretty upset about it. I thought I was finally getting somewhere and would see improvement. I feel like I've been set back and I won't be clear by May. Sometimes I just want a complete face transplant.

NotSoClearClare

Red face

I've managed to go about a week of wearing MaMa or RAM every night without needing to take a break, but I think I better just use moisturizer tonight. My face is pretty red and it won't stop peeling.

I have a few clogged pores on my forehead which are worrying me. I really don't want them to turn into anything bigger. I'll just have to keep an eye on them.

NotSoClearClare

So happy

My skin has just been getting steadily better and I'm thrilled! If it wasn't for 2 old pimples (that will take a while, to go away I'm afraid) and the red marks from old ones, I would seriously have completely clear skin right now.

I'm terrified that this clear spree is going to end soon, before I get a chance to get rid of those marks, and that this is just the calm before the storm. It does seem weird that I started and stopped purging EXACTLY when the RAM website said I would, especially since I know some people who purged on RAM for about 7 or 8 weeks.

Anyway, I'm definitely going to enjoy it while it lasts. I feel so much more confident and I wake up in a good mood every day, even though I have to wake up really early for class and work, and I'm in the middle of finals. The only thing that could bring me down right now is to start breaking out again. So let's just hope that doesn't happen.

NotSoClearClare

Clearing Up

Skin is looking pretty good today. I haven't got any new pimples and some of the red marks are continuing to fade. Tomorrow marks my 6th week on RAM, and I'm hoping that I will steadily improve from here instead of breaking out more. I'm going on vacation to the beach in May and my goal is to have completely clear skin by then, so I don't have to wear concealer the whole time and try to keep my head out of water while I swim. I mastered the art of swimming in makeup long ago because I was so ashamed of my skin. I once made it through a day at the water park wearing a face full of foundation--which was stressful and not fun at all.

The day after I posted my last entry and pointed out the white head on my chin, it came to a head and I extracted it easily. It's now completely gone except for the usual post-zit red mark.

I think I'm getting used to the RAM and MaMa because I can go a lot more nights wearing them in a row without having to take a night off.

Anyway, here are some pictures.

Forehead

Chin

Left Cheek

Right Cheek

NotSoClearClare

New Pictures

Skin is about the same. Just recovering from two HUGE pimples on my forehead. I'm happy to say that, except for one white head on my chin, it is now smooth. While it sucked that those whiteheads turned into pimples, at least it got rid of them.

I'm hoping that I'm nearing the end of these breakouts from the RAM and I can just start focusing on erasing the red marks all over my face.

I used MaMa lotion last night and will use RAM tonight. I've found that I can use them more often because my Clarisonic helps to get rid of flakies.

Anyway, here are some new pictures. As you can see, I've got a couple of scabs and a bit of dry skin in some areas.

Chin --The red dot on the tip of my chin is my last white head which is threatening to turn into a big pimple. The red mark on the right is an old pimple that is just a slight bump now which refuses to go away. The red mark on the left is just a mark and should fade soon hopefully.

Forehead -- You can clearly see the two pimples I've been battling for the last couple of days.

Left Cheek --The red mark near the jawline is not a pimple, it's actually a really dry spot that I picked at.

Right Cheek

NotSoClearClare

Update

Skin is looking ok today. I have quite a few new red marks from pimples I've been battling these last couple of days, but it's insanely soft and smooth thanks to Clarisonic. My makeup went on so smoothly today.

On Monday, I'll have hit week 5 of using RAM, and according to the RAM website, purging should stop around week 6.

I was wrong about that giant pimple by my hairline--it's not going to stick around for very long. I managed to extract it, and it's disappearing quickly now.

I'm going home tomorrow, so I'll be able to get some more batteries for my camera and post some new pics then.

I'm pretty proud of myself gym-wise. I've been going quite a lot, and I'm going again today. I'm actually finding it quite enjoyable.

NotSoClearClare

Wow Clarisonic!

Well I have good news and bad news--though more good.

The bad news is that I have a pretty large new pimple up by my hairline which may take a while to go away.

The good news is 2 fold:

1.) I managed to avoid a pimple above my lip by dousing it in the benzoyl peroxide that comes with Nature's Cure, covering it in DDF sulfur mask, covering all THAT with dissolved aspirin, and leaving it on overnight with a band aid over it. I can still feel it there, but it's much smaller and I've put some bp on it this morning to dry it out for good.

2) Clarisonic is freaking cool! I used it last night and this morning and it's so fun! It's like a vibrating brush thing made by the Sonicare people (so basically a toothbrush for the face). It's ridiculously expensive for what it is ($195), but tons of people swear by it, and I do love my electric toothbrush. Anyway, this morning, my face looks bright and seriously feels like a baby's ass. It's supposed to clean out all the gunk in your pores so your products and moisturizers penetrate better, so I was pretty excited to put on my MaMa lotion this morning.

Anyways, I'll keep you updated.

NotSoClearClare

More Purging

Hmm, this is new. Three small pimples that feel as if they'll come to a head very quickly have popped up overnight. This has got to be purging, right? I'm not used to zits coming and going so quickly. I'm just a bit worried that they might get bigger since I'll be at work all morning and won't be able to treat them with bp or anything. So cross fingers they stay the same size.

I'm trying my Clarisonic for the first time tonight! I'll let you know what I think.

NotSoClearClare

Meh

Aw, I knew the clear streak had to end soon. Looks like the 3 main whiteheads on my chin are going to choose to pop up at the same time. In a way, I guess it's good that I'll get rid of them, but it sucks waiting for them to go away.

I also have to keep an eye on a bump near my right eyebrow...I'll zap it with benzoyl peroxide tonight.

NotSoClearClare

...

I was going to post photos today, but my camera batteries died and I left my charger at home, so they won't be up for maybe a week.

Still pleased with my skin. Although I have one large pimple on my chin (from a white head) and 2 new red marks from pimples that recently went away. The rest of my face is clearing up nicely and looks a lot brighter and smoother than before I started the RAM and MaMa. I'm pretty sure the pimples I do get are due to purging from the Retin-A because they come up and go away pretty quickly.

I have a massive case of the peelies today. My skin doesn't feel all that dry, but I'm just peeling everywhere. I don't mind too much since I don't have anywhere important to go and it just shows that the RAM is working.

It's my birthday soon which means Clarisonic time! I'm hoping it'll take care of RAM peelies.

NotSoClearClare

Tired

Skin is looking pretty good today except a pimple that I thought was small and on its way out turned into a bigger one that may stick around for a while.

The party went really well and my skin wasn't dry. The only problem is one of the whiteheads on my chin turned into a much bigger pimple. Luckily, it came to a head today and I extracted it, so it's on its way out now.

NotSoClearClare

Happy

My skin is looking clearer today with the exception of one tiny pimple that popped up from one of the white heads on my chin. Thank goodness it's making it's exit as a small pimple instead of a huge cyst.

My skin isn't too dry this morning, so I think I'll wear the MaMa lotion under my makeup. Tonight I'll just sleep in moisturizer to make sure I'm not flakey for my party tomorrow.

NotSoClearClare

Back to square one

My skin is basically back to how it was before my mini breakouts--except for one scabbed over pimple on my chin (Bad to pick--I know!) and some new red marks. At least I'll be able to cover them up at my party. Though I shouldn't get too hopeful--I'm using the Retin-A Micro again tonight, and if it is causing the pimples, I may very well have some new ones tomorrow.

I'm definitely a fan of wearing MaMa lotion under my makeup--it keeps me oil free for much longer than usual. Perhaps I will switch to using RAM at night and MaMa in the morning, instead of using them on alternating nights. That is, as long as my skin can take it.

I went to the gym today and it wasn't too bad. Gonna try to go with my roomie again tomorrow.

Here are some new pictures post-breakout:

Forehead

Chin

Right Cheek

Left Cheek

I compared the first photos with these recent ones and I think some of my red marks have faded! I mean, I have some new ones, but the ones that were there look a lot lighter. Perhaps the MaMa lotion is really working! I hope it's not just wishful thinking.

NotSoClearClare

More dry skin

Skin looks better than yesterday, but it's still dry. I went to get more Botanics mask yesterday, but they had sold out, so I bought Botanics Hydrating Serum Capsules instead which don't work nearly as well.

I've decided to start going to the gym regularly, that way by the time my skin starts to look better, I'll start to look better all over. This plan will probably only last for 4 gym visits since I really hate exercise.

NotSoClearClare

RAM breakouts?

Still covered in red marks (and now pimples on their way out). Still looking crappy. And now I have a new symptom--paranoia. I keep thinking I can feel zits popping up where they're not. I should probably just stop looking in a mirror after I wash my face.

I'm kind of dry again today, so I'm going to go pick up another tube of Botanics Hydrating Mask and just wear that all day (yay for long weekends), then I'll put the MaMa lotion on at night.

I was trying to figure out why I'm breaking out again all of a sudden, and so I checked out the RAM website. Sure enough, it said you may break out weeks 3-6 and I've just hit week 3 of RAM. This didn't happen to me the last time I was using Retin-A though, maybe it's because the percentage went up? I'm in 2 minds about this. On one hand, knowing that these breakouts could go on for another 3 weeks is pretty bad news. On the other hand, knowing that they'll eventually end for good if I can just wait that long is pretty good news. I'm not sure if I want it to be the RAM or not. Has anyone else broken out in their third/fourth week of RAM?

I'm having a birthday party this weekend and I really want to have clearer skin for it (just so I can cover it up with makeup easily). The good thing about my birthday coming up is that my parents have bought me a Clarisonic, which I've heard is great. So I'll be adding that to my regimen soon.

NotSoClearClare

I've managed to evade a skin crisis. I woke up with 2 new pimples and one that was threatening to come up. I almost started crying. I was spending the day outside, so I slathered on my Shiseido SPF 55 lotion, put on my bare minerals makeup, and headed out. I spent the next 3 hours in the sun sweating, thinking it was going to make my skin even worse. When I took my makeup off, I found that 2 of my pimples (1 new one and 1 from yesterday) had dried out and weren't a threat anymore. 2 more had come to a head and I managed to extract them (with my wonderful blackhead extractor from Sephora), and one that was threatening to erupt had shrunk slightly. I think if I leave aspirin on it with a bandaid overnight, it should disappear altogether.

I love Shiseido SPF 55...not only has it saved my skin today, but it's also the only sunscreen that controls my oily skin. It's very drying though, so I don't recommend it for those with dryer skin.

I'm also quite pleased with the MaMa lotion. While I didn't receive the miracle results many people talked about, I do think my skin looks brighter and smoother.

So I'm currently sitting in my DDF sulfur mask enjoying a glass of wine in celebration. Let's just hope I don't get any more pimples tomorrow.

NotSoClearClare

It got worse

I'm so upset, I got 3 new zits--all popping out of nowhere (I was expected one of the white heads to turn into one, but these are just random). I have one over my right eyebrow, and 2 more on my chin. My chin looks like such a mess and it's going to take months to get rid of all the red marks on it. And if I keep getting new pimples, It's seems pointless fading the marks--I look awful anyway.

This is my fault--I had a group of friends visiting me and they stayed over at my house for a couple of days. I neglected my skincare routine because I didn't have time.

Here are some photos:

Forehead

Chin :)

Right Cheek

Left Cheek

NotSoClearClare

My dry skin is mostly gone thanks to Botanics, but I didn't want to wear the MaMa lotion under my makeup today because that would definitely be pushing it. I'll do the RAM tonight and the MaMa lotion tomorrow morning if I'm not dry anymore.

Skin looks pretty good today, but I think that's just the calming cream taking all the red out of everything. It'll soon go back to normal. At least I have no active zits. Hopefully, my skin will stay pimple-free and I can just slowly heal all these red marks. It's very frustrating when I get new zits though, because I feel like I've been set back so much in my goal.

Anyway off to a movie. Happy Valentines Day!

NotSoClearClare

Dryyy

So last night I caved and picked at one of the white heads so there's a much redder mark there now. Wish I could restrain myself :)

Also, after all my talk about being able to tolerate the RAM and MaMa lotion, I had a massive case of the peelies today. Do you ever get that? You think all is going well and then you catch sight of yourself in the mirror and your face is falling off and you think "oh crap, how many people have seen me like this?"

Anyway, I've moisturized and I'll take a break tonight and just sleep in Botanics Calming Cream and Botanics Soothing Face Mask (you leave the face mask on overnight and it works wonders--a better version for dry skin is actually Botanics Hydrating Mask, but I've run out of that one).

I did find out that if I use MaMa lotion in the morning, underneath my usual oil control lotions, it really helps cut the oil down. I went 7 hours without having to blot today, and when I did there wasn't much oil on the sheet.

Anyway, here are some pictures to give you an idea of my skin:

Forehead (Used to be totally clear--I'm in the process of trying to fade those red marks from my cystic acne breakout)

Chin (This is where the worst of it is right now--the reddest mark is where I picked at the whitehead--the rest of the marks are just old acne marks--no active zits)

Left Cheek

Right Cheek (my clearest side)

Luckily, when my skin isn't so dry, all these marks go away with the magic of makeup. I feel sort of like I'm lying to people though. I don't think anyone has any idea what my skin is like underneath my makeup except my roommate.

I don't know why I'm not breaking out more since I've been so stressed lately. I graduate university in June and have no idea what I'm going to do with my life :D

NotSoClearClare

Red Marks and Oil

Hey I'm Clare. I've been battling acne since I was 14 and I'm 21 now. I have incredibly oily skin which has always bothered me but no derm will give me anything for it. They say that the only thing that would make a difference is Accutane and my acne isn't severe enough for that.

I've been on Yasmin birth control for about a year and a half now and that helped clear up my skin at first. In addition to that I was using Retin-A, but I ran out of that about 4 months ago and didn't get a chance to go back to the derm to refill my prescription. I started breaking out pretty soon afterwards which I attributed to stopping Retin-A.

My breakout went on for about 3 months straight and nothing stopped it. I would get a new zit every day--sometimes 2. About 2 months ago I started getting huge cystic pimples on my forehead and chin. I usually never get the cystic kind of pimples and I definitely never get zits on my forehead so I chalked it up to hormones.

I decided to give Nature's Cure a try. I had tried it in the past with not great results, but that was before my acne was hormonal, and I heard Nature's Cure is good for balancing the body. 2Well I think it worked. Almost as soon as I started taking the pills (I take both at night instead of one in the morning and one at night--I heard it works better this way) I stopped getting the cysts on my forehead. The chin ones are mostly gone but there are a lot of white heads that I know are just waiting to pop up.

I also went back to the derm finally and got .1% Retin-A Micro. I thought I would have to start all over again with the red face and the peeling, but my skin is tolerating it very well and I only peel a little bit. On days that I get really dry, I just take a night off.

Basically now that my breakouts have stopped, my main issue is the white heads on my chin that I'm terrified of and red marks from my 3 month breakout.

Here is my regimen:

Morning:

1) Wash with Mary Kay Deep Cleanser Formula 3

2) Lather up Grandpa's Brands Grandpa Soap, Thylox Acne Treatment Soap. Put on affected areas and leave on for one minute, then wash off (these are their directions--the soap has sulfur in it which I've found works well with my skin)

3) Use Mary Kay Blemish Control Toner Formula 3

4) Use Dr. Nick Lowe's Oil Control Lotion

5) On top of Dr. Nick Lowe's, put Mary Kay Oil Control Lotion (this mattifies my skin--Dr. Nick Lowe's tends to leave my face a bit shiny)

6) Put on Bare Minerals makeup

Evening

1) Wash with Mary Kay Deep Cleanser Formula 3

2) Put on either an aspirin mask mixed with Mary Kay's Formula 3 face mask, or DDF's sulfur mask. I alternate with these. If my skin feels a bit dry, I will skip this part.

3)Use Grandpa's Brands Grandpa Soap, Thylox Acne Treatment Soap--again, if my skin is feeling dry, I'll skip this.

4) Use either Retin-A Micro or MaMa lotion--I alternate these each night. The MaMa lotion was recommended to me as the best method for getting rid of post-acne red marks. It's supposed to be very strong and very fast working. I've only used it about 3 times now, and I'm not sure if it's done much yet. I'll keep you updated.

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