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Happy Spring everyone!

Currently my face is about 95% clear and I attribute this to the DIM(estrobalance) and the alpha hydroxy lotion I've been using(I believe it's called pan-hydrin--a generic). I'm happy to say that the Estrobalance fulfilled its claims of "hormonal balance" while PMSing and during my period I had no crazy breakouts, no extra oilyness, and no mood swings(but this also could be the placebo/positive mindset who knows). I am bit worried as that I've read from other individuals' reviews that the DIM becomes less effective over time--I'm hoping this is not the case for me!

I still have a lot of red marks from previous breakouts that I need to deal with and I am still breaking out(although not as frequently/widespread) on my upper arms, shoulders, chest, and back. I'm not sure what I'll do next to deal with this..I'm thinking I may start putting in some tea tree oil into my moisturizer to see if that helps. For the past month I have been using the derma klear sulfur soap on both my face and body--I may try to find another soap with a higher amount of sulfur in it.

I've also started to run in addition to walking daily for 30+ minutes to help clear my mind and strengthen my body.

Any suggestions?

Thanks for reading! I hope you all continue to have excellent progress!


Hi Everyone,

So it's been about 16 days since I began taking Estrobalance(DIM) and I've finally started to see my skin clear up a bit. I have only two active pimples on my neck/jawline and fading post acne spots. Not perfect by any means but I hope my skin continues to clear...I decided if this does not work I'm either going to go back on Yasmin BC or try Yaz BC(which I've heard has helped clear acne). My acne as of now is pretty mild/moderate but persistant(aka frustrating). Using a good about of Tea Tree Oil has definitely helped reduce/prevent acne.

I also recently got alpha hydroxy lotion to apply to my back/arms/ face to see if that helps the acne fade...I'll keep you updated...I can't remember the name of it now but I will post a link once I find out.

My challenges to overcome: clear body by summer so I can wear swimsuits/tanks/etc, fading facial red spots, and self-conciousness!

Thanks for reading!


Quick update

Hi everybody!

I just wanted to give a quick update on my results taking Estrobalance and using Derma Klear sulfur soap....

The great news is that it's looking like I will be able to wear tank tops/v-necks relatively soon--either the Estrobalance or the sulfur soap or both have been clearing the acne on my back and upper arms, and chest area! So I hope this improvement continues! :)

Again the true test will be when I'm PMSing--hopefully Estrobalance will live up to its claims of "hormonal balance"...I'll let you all know...

I also hope you guys found my recommendation list helpful....I know everyone reacts different to products but I'm hoping I can spare and/or help you all with finding the best regimen possible for fighting acne!

Have a great week!


Hi Everyone!

So it's been a strange and off week but I am staying busy post break-up and luckily I've had a lot of support from friends, family, and here.

With that being said I've read a lot of other people's lists and recommendations and always found it helpful so I've decided to make one of my own. I've decided to break the list down into three categories: products that have helped me control/get rid of my acne, products that neither helped nor exacerbated my acne, and products that were counter-productive and broke me out.

Products that have been Counter-Productive to me :redface: :

1. Benzoyl Peroxide--I used this when I was younger and it dried out my skin but as I've gotten older I've become much more sensitive to it--now it dries out my skin, makes my skin red, makes my skin look older, AND causes me to break out even more. (Includes Proactiv set, Panoyxl wash, Neutrogena spot treatment, etc...)

2. Got2B Face peel mask: fun to use but caused me to break out badly!

3. Ortho Tricyclen and Ortho Tricyclen Lo: Both caused me to break out more and effected my moods, but prevented me from havin babies....

4. Biore Strips: Again fun to use but totally ineffective and irritating.

5. Minocyclen(as well as other antibiotics) : Initially effective but had to stay on it to maintain clear skin! Once I had been on it for awhile it became less effective, my immunity to antibiotics grew, and when I stopped taking them my skin broke out badly--in the end not worth it for a several months of clear skin--did I mention it is expensive too?.

6. Paul Mitchell Instant Moisture Daily Treatment Conditioner: made me break out horribly wherever my hair touched my face.

7. Stress and PMS :dance: !

8. Breaking up with someone or being dumped :dance:

I know there are more things but I can't think of them now but I will keep the list updated.

Products that have neither helped nor exacerbated my acne :) :

1. Dr. Bronner's Tea Tree Oil and Peppermint Soaps: I have a serious soft spot for Br. B's soaps they are great for cleaning everything--your body, fruits and veggies, your house, even your pets! All organic, natural, and free trade ingredients used too which is awesome in of itself. However I used Dr. B's tea tree oil soap on my face and body for two months--it cleaned my face thoroughly and removed make-up well, reduced facial oilyness, BUT did not prevent acne from forming or heal acne....so now I just use it as a general body cleanser....

2. Murad Acne Wash and Skin perfecting lotion--nice cleanser and lotion but did not prevent acne from forming.

3. Neutrogena Facial bar, face mask/cleanser, acne body scrub, on the spot treatment--a bit drying, same comments apply.

4. MK Timewise facial clothes, MK blemish control toner/mask--both good products neither worked or hurt.

5. Dr. Hauschka Blemish/Oily Control Toner: Smells and feels great on your skin but did nothing for my acne and is quite overpriced.

6. Nature's Cure Supplements and Acne Body Spray: Used both consistently and it had no effect on my acne.

7. Being vegan for 6+ months--Lost too much weight, still had acne, but on the plus side I felt "healthier".

8. Not drinking coffee: still had acne and I was grumpy/less alert and not much fun to be around.

9. Having a beer or glass of wine: sometimes had a headache but that's it...

Again I am probably missing some things but I will add on if I remember.

Products and Practices that have reduced, healed, or gotten rid of my acne :( :

1. Taking a Multi-mineral supplement--the key ingredient being ZINC. It has helped any inflammation I have heal A LOT faster and my skin is a lot less oily.

2. Eating more protein, veggies, and fruits, less carbs(and being vegetarian)--has kept my skin from being inflamed and I've lost the extra weight I had gained!

3. Taking Alpha Lipoic Acid, fish oil pills, vitamin A, and DIM! My skin is improving more and more everyday.

4. Taking Yasmin BC: Really cleared my skin but gave me mild depression and mood swings...tempted to go back on it but I want to see if I can clear my acne with diet and vitamins first.

5. Murad Sulfur Acne Spot treatment, Exfoliating Acne gel, Post Acne Spot Lightening gel and Pomegranate SPF 15 sunscreen--all great products that have helped control my acne (but it's expensive!).

6. Tea Tree Oil: cheap, great spot treatment, heals spots fast and brings underlying acne to a head.

7. Derma Klear Sulfur Soap: great results with this so far, using on both my face and back, and arms to eliminate acne.

8. Being Happy, positive, and grateful--has put having acne into perspective and given me a lot more empathy to others who are suffering and have self-esteem issues.

Well I hope that helps some of you and I hope you all are progressing well on your regimens!


Hi everyone!

So after the BP fiasco I went out and got some Tea Tree Oil(J/A/S/O/N--really inexpensive) and I 've been applying that to active pimples and it's worked well in reducing inflammation and redness. My complexion is looking alright but a bit on the dull side with red marks...I've done mircrodermabrasion before and thinking of trying that to "brighten" my complexion but I'm hesitant for fear that it will irritate my skin more than benefit it...I'll let you know the outcome!

Also I'm happy because I'm in close proximity to a Whole Foods now so I can actually buy DIM in person and not online....As always I am extremely hopeful that this will be the "cure" for my acne...it's naive but it keeps me from being too negative about the whole process...

I'm thinking my last resort may be going back on birth control but I really don't want to have the mood swings/mild depression that I had while taking them....I don't know what's worse---moderate acne or that---for now I'd rather deal with the acne with supplements and diet.

I'm also still continuing to do gratitude lists, prayer, and "wish" lists to help maintain a good perspective about life in general...I've been feeling more confident and relaxed because I've been actively trying not judge myself or others in a negative manner...some days are still hard and I lose sight of the bigger picture but for the most part life is going well.

*UPDATE*: I just bought EstroBalance(DIM) at Whole Foods and took two tablets with a meal. Hopefully this will mark the beginning of getting totally clear...I'll definitely try to update if it has good/bad/no effects. Here's a link to what I bought if you any of you are interested:


Hope everyone is doing well...it's great to read your blog updates, etc...

Thanks for reading



So after years of using BP on and off I thought I'd give it a try again for my facial spots...I should've known better though, given that I had a really bad experience with Panoxyl body wash a few weeks previous. I thought, "What the heck! It's cheap and supposedly the most effective topical acne treatment..." Well my skin got red, dry, and I broke out(mildly)...needless to say I've gone back to the murad sulfur spot treatment for now(I'd like to find a cheaper version of this--anyone know of any?)...

I have no idea why my skin has become so sensitive to BP..I don't remember it having this much of a negative effect before...

Also although the Dr. Bronner's has been keeping my skin "clean" it hasn't stopped acne from forming...especially frustrating because I've been searching something to get rid of the acne on my arms back, and occasionally my chest... I would like to wear tank tops, v-cut shirts, swimsuits etc...soon! I don't feel very feminine covered up all the time like a school marm...

the search continues... :)


Greetings Everyone,

I finally got a hold of jojoba oil and started using it last night and this morning(just a couple of drops applied gently to my face)...so far so good! My skin feels great, moisturized, and my acne/spots seems less red...only time will tell though if it is really effective.

I also started reading "Don't go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me" by Paula Begoun--it's been really eye-opening to read, great information about skin care ingredients(most importantly what is an irritant/non-irritant), reviews of products, etc...I recommend it to anyone who's gone through the endless buying game of products to find the one to get rid of acne/redness/whatever(at least that's what I have done). My goal is to simplify, simplify, simplify....I don't want to be using 20 different things on a daily basis--my ideal? three products, daily. weekly? five.

Here's the link to her book:


I wasn't able to find DIM at the local health food store so I am going to order it online...For me so for, taking supplements as been much more effective controlling/reducing my acne than topicals alone, so I am going to continue in that direction.

Hope everyone is continuing to improve!


Hi everyone,

So I was having good progress, my face was healing and I had only 1-2 small pimples...then breakout! I know it's hormonal but it is very disappointing to see that the supplements only do so much...The zinc(50mg 1x) has been very effective--my face is no longer oily and any acne I develop heals much faster than it did before, and I am very happy about that fact...

HOWEVER--I recently broke out on my jawline and neck and my body acne has not decreased(although it is no longer itchy/red/irritated since I switched from using Panoxyl to Dr. B's soap). I still remain hopeful although I was pretty discouraged that the supplements were not the cure all I had been hoping for.

My next step(experiment)? Trying DIM and MaMa lotion...cross your fingers...

I hope everyone had a joyful easter and their fill of chocolate bunnies...



Hi everyone,

I was wondering how much caffiene intake effects your skin--I love coffee and I drink 2-3 cups a day; both the zinc and omega supplements have cut down the oil and acne on my face but I am still having occassional breakouts. Has anyone else seen a direct correlation between their caffiene intake and breakouts? I am just wondering how much is too much? I primarily eat low GI foods and avoid breads, sodas, sugary foods so I don't believe there is any food culprits right now.

Thanks for reading..any feedback would be great.


Hey all,

I noticed quite a few people have been frustrated, depressed, or just "blah" in their blogs or comments so I thought this might help...I received this in an email from belief.net, I think they are great suggestions:

These simple tips will help you to cultivate gratitude in your daily life.

By Catherine Price

Reprinted from Greater Good Magazine, Vol. IV, Issue 1. Used with permission.

Research in positive psychology has identified several ways that practicing gratitude can boost people's health and happiness. Here are four of these research-tested "gratitude interventions."

1. Write a gratitude letter.

Research by Martin Seligman, Christopher Peterson, and others has shown this one to be particularly effective. Write a letter to a mentor, family member, or some other important person in your life whom you've never properly thanked. Deliver it in person. Read it out loud. Bring tissues.

2. Keep a gratitude journal.

Studies by psychologists Michael McCullough, Robert Emmons, Sonja Lyubomirsky, and others have backed up this exercise, which involves keeping a list of things for which you're grateful—anything from your children or spouse to the beauty of the tree outside your window. Doing so helps you focus on the positive things in your life—a practice that's been shown to increase happiness.

3. Savor.

Take the time to notice beauty and pleasures in your daily life. Loyola University psychologist Fred Bryant has shown that savoring positive experiences can heighten your positive responses to them. A key to savoring is what Bryant calls "thanksgiving," or expressing gratitude for the blessings that come your way, large and small.

4. Think outside the box.

It's fairly obvious why we might feel grateful for grandmothers, lovely sunsets, and anything else that has provided comfort or beauty in our lives. But what about thanking the homeless people who come to the shelter where you volunteer? "Individuals who do volunteer work sometimes speak of the benefits they receive from service," writes Robert Emmons in his forthcoming book, Thanks! "Since service to others helped them to find their own inner spirituality, they were grateful for the opportunity to serve." If we look hard enough, he argues, we can find a reason to feel grateful for any relationship—even when someone does us harm, as that person helps us appreciate our own vulnerability. Emmons claims that such highly advanced forms of gratitude may actually increase the level of goodness in the world by inspiring positive acts in ourselves and others.

Hope you all see improvement and progress this week.



A Place to Start

Start by doing what is necessary, then do what is possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible.

-Saint Francis of Assisi

Hello Again,

I thought this was a great quote for everyone struggling with any challenge, not just acne. We all have to start somewhere--and often times it seems like we have numerous false starts or we end up at a dead end. We all do what is necessary to maintain our how we live our life, then we develop new insights and habits, and pretty soon we are doing what we never imagined could happen: we have clear skin, we lose that extra weight, we try something that would normally would have initimidated us before. If someone had told we a few months ago, a few years ago, that to clear up my acne all I had to do is take some extra vitamins and adjust my diet I would have been extremely skepitcal of them. "I don't believe that! Don't I need to buy expensive products? Don't I need to do all these elaborate steps?" are all comments I would have said.

Now I see that sometimes you have to go through the steps of learning and starting all over again before you can be open to new possibilities (in my case the most obvious). I have to say I enjoy having having a "beginner's mind" : open to possibilities and "impossibilities".

with gratitude


Hi everyone!

Spring seems to finally be meandering around finally to the midwest much to my my relief...

My skin on my face has been steadily clearing I which I believe is from taking more zinc(10 mg 3-5x day), omega 3/6 supplements(3-4x day)....I am lucky it has really gotten rid of my facial acne!

What I am baffled about is that I still continue to have acne on my back and arms! I am wondering if I should up the dosage on the supplements or find a different topical? I haven't had success with BP, it just seems to irritate my skin more, does anyone have any suggestions?

Also I recently posted pictures of my skin on my album and I was really embarassed to see how much scarring and blackheads I have(yikes)! I've read that a lot of folks use MaMa lotion so I may end up ordering that to see if it helps my scarring. It's funny how you look at your face in the mirror everyday but it takes a photograph to call attention to the detail...

If anyone has recommendations let me know...thanks for reading.

Here's to progress... :confused:


Greetings Everyone!

Good news is that my skin has been slowly but steadily improving!! I've had a few pimples come up but nothing severe and all went away within a day. I am so grateful to finally be experiencing geniune progress without the use of antibiotics, expensive doctors, and treatment gimmicks. Of course the true test will be the dreaded PMS time and see if the regimen I have been following can withstand the hormonal torment my body experiences....not to be overly dramatic but I know the ladies reading will understand/empathize. :confused:

I've also been trying to develop a daily practice of making a gratitude list. I think all too often people slip into a negative mindset about their situation, only exacerbating the problem and the frustration that accompanies challenges. I strongly believe having a positive attitude can greatly improve one's chances of not only overcoming challenges but overcoming them with ease. I know from experience it can be tough to deal day in and day out with acne, especially after years of trying to get rid of it, but it truly helps to focus on any improvement, any postive aspect of your journey.

I've noticed a lot of questions and concerns about diet on the site and I wanted to share information that has really helped me. I have been following the GI diet which is based on consuming foods that have a low or moderate glycemic index(meaning that it won't spike your insulin levels which leads to inflammation, weight gain, and one could deduce skin disorders)

Here is a link to the book, I highly encourage everyone to check it out at the library or buy it:


I hope that everyone is progressing well! Thanks for reading/listening!


I have been using Panoxyl body wash for the last couple of weeks with disappointing results--it only seemed to make the acne on my back and arms more irritated, itchy, and alll around uncomfortable(not to mention unattractive). The bright side of this is 1)I know Panoxyl does NOT work for me and 2) I found an awesome, all natural lotion for dry skin(to combat the results of panoxyl), that smells delicious and I highly recommend it to anyone. It is made by alba botanica and it's called Very emollient body lotion. I found it at Meier's but I am pretty sure Whole Foods carries it and of course you can find it online. But here is the link directly to the the lotion:


I have been using Dr. Bronner's Tea Tree soap on my face and I am going to use it on my body acne to see if that helps as well. Dr. Bronner's is another great company that only uses all natural, organic, free trade ingredients to make their soap...Even if you don't use this as a facial cleanser I would recommend it for bath/shower/hand cleanser--it's comes in concentrated form so it lasts a long time due to diluting it....here is the link to the Dr. B website:


I keep you guys posted if I find any more interesting stuff.

--With gratitude--


Your body is not yours alone. It also belongs to your ancestors, your parents, future generations, and all other living beings. Everything, even the trees and the clouds, has come together to bring about the presence of your body. Keeping your body healthy is the best way to express your gratitude to the whole cosmos, to all ancestors, and also not to betray future generations. You practice this precept for everyone. If you are healthy, everyone can benefit from it. When you are able to get out of the shell of your small self, you will see that you are interrelated to everyone and everything, that your every act is linked with the whole of humankind and the whole cosmos. To keep yourself healthy in body and mind is to be kind to all beings. . . . Wholesome, spiritual nourishment can be found by looking at the blue sky, the spring blossoms, or the eyes of a child. The most basic meditation practice of becoming aware of our bodies, our minds, and our world can lead us into a far more rich and fulfilling state than drugs ever could. We can celebrate the joys that are available in these simple pleasures. . . . To take good care of yourself and to take good care of living beings and of the environment is the best way to love God. This love is possible when there is the understanding that you are not separate from other beings or the environment. This understanding cannot be merely intellectual. It must be experiential, the insight gained by deep touching and deep looking in a daily life of prayer, contemplation, and meditation."

-- by Thich Nhat Hanh (from Living Buddha, Living Christ)


I've been roaming around the site and I've been really encouraged by people's honesty and openess to showing pictures of their progress and what routines/products they've used to eliminate their acne.

I have been dealing with moderate/severe acne on my face, back, and arms since I was a pre-teen and now I am twenty-five. I have tried the dermatologist route with antibiotics and topicals but found once I stopped taking them my acne returned. Plus I was also concerned with building up too much immunity against the antibiotics and the visits and suggested remedies were costly and time consuming. I've also been on different birth controls--OrthoTricyclen Lo, some names I can't remember, and Yasmin...The Yasmin helped control the acne but affected my moods and caused depression so I stopped taking it and the acne returned. Currently I am trying a more holistic/dietary approach: I have been consuming a lot less sugar/starch and more proteins/veggies/fruits(I was already vegetarian so it wasn't a difficult adjustment). I am also taking more supplements/vitamins in the hopes along with diet, that my acne will be eliminated once and for all(a high hope I know).

Some things I've tried recently or have been using the past year are:

1. The Murad acne treatment--although I don't think I'll get more after I finish what I have due to the cost of the set. However I do think I will continue to use their post-acne spot lightening gel because it has helped fade acne scars and given me a smoother skin tone....you can check it out at http://www.murad.com/ibeCCtpItmDspRte.jsp?...;minisite=10020

2. I've started taking omega 3/6 2x a day, Zinc 10mg 2x a day, Alpha Lipoic Acid, and a multi-vitamin/mineral.

3. I also just started using Panoxyl 10% wash for my back and arms to see if it was more effective than the Neutrogena Body Scrub(which although smelling nice didn't help get rid of the acne).

I would love any suggestions, comments, advice....

Thanks for reading this--


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