• entries
  • comments
  • views

About this blog

This is my weekly progress while on a Tazorac and Monodox prescription for my acne which has been awful lately, as you can tell from the pictures. The diary begins from the end of Week 1.

Entries in this blog


It's Been A While

So I was on the Tazorac for about 6 months until a couple of weeks ago when I got a HORRIBLE sunburn. I was wearing SPF15 but it was the first day in a while that I was in direct sunlight for an extended period of time, and I finally realized how light sensitive retinoids make you. I stopped using it after i burned so my skin could heal without being dried out by the Tazorac, and I still haven't started using it again. I need to visit my derm ASAP and find a good SPF of 30 or higher. My dermatologist said i'm definitely going to have to stop the Tazorac during the summer because I spend a lot of time outdoors and at the beach. I'm still breaking out, too. Not as bad as I was 6 months ago but definitely a significant amount. And that awful sunburn darkened my already stubborn dark marks. It's a vicious cycle. I'm still using the clindemycin phosphate pads and I'm wondering if my skin would stay clear on just the clindemycin and a moisturizer. The stress of coming SATs, AP exams, finals and regents doesn't help much either. My stress levels are at an all time high these days and I think that definitely contributes to my acne. I've also been trying to eat better and eliminate dairy from my diet, but I'll talk about that on another post.



3 Month Mark

So I haven't made an entry in a long, long time because I've been so caught up with a lot. BUT...I'm finally just about at the 12 month mark and I'm so happy with my skin. It's soo much better than is was 3 months ago. I'm still breaking out a little, and it is frustrating, but there has been significant progress. Unfortunately, like most acne sufferers, I have to deal with what other than scarring. I don't have much pitting (only a few minor dents) but I have really stubborn hyper pigmentation I've been exfoliating in hopes of fading some of it. The thing is with my skin is that even the smallest pimple will leave a dark red mark on my face for months, I hate it. I wish I could just have a pimple and then forget about the damned thing when it goes down. Well at least I'm not breaking out like hell anymore. I'm looking forward to the next few months! Hopefully I'll stay clear and my scarring will fade by summer. It'll feel so great to be able to go out without makeup. Plus it'll make getting ready so much quicker. Good luck to anyone reading this that is waiting to see results from Tazorac. If you are, TRUST me when I say you have to stick it out through all the dryness and peeling and burning and just general hell. If you feel the same way about your acne as I do about mine, then it is 100% worth it.


Week 6 November 18 2012

Thank god, I'm starting to see great results. Most of the active acne on both sides of my jawline and cheeks have gone away. It's so smooth and soft! Unfortunately it doesn't look as good as it feels due to the red marks it left behind. I'm still breaking out a bit on my forehead but rather than having clusters of small pimples and a few big ones I just have like 2 big ones and the rest is smooth. I'm also just recovering from a horrible breakout on my chin (I started putting the Tazorac on that area only a few weeks ago so it was still going through an initial breakout) But it's such a relief to be able to feel my cheeks again without the bumpiness or pain. But, I'll still need makeup for those red marks. I've got a long way to go still, they say it takes 12 weeks to see full results. Maybe it's the clindamycin phosphate plegets that are speeding things up, not sure. I've also stopped taking the Monodox since I don't really have much inflammation. Well...I'm also just too lazy/busy to refill my prescription. Lol. Anyway I'm looking forward to the next 6 weeks. Aw man these pictures are really awful, you can't even tell it's gone down. My skin marks so easily, even the slightest pimple leaves a dark red mark that takes forever to go away.


As I said in my previous entry, I have not been recording my progress for the past couple weeks. Sandy is a bitch.....I'll talk about that in another entry. Anyway, week 3 brought some painful acne. I went for a 3 week follow up to my derm and she prescribed me clindammycin phosphate. Because my skin is so oily, she prescribed me the plegets rather than the lotion i had been using when i was on Epiduo. I realized that these 3 weeks are when the real initial breakout from the Taz occurs. I broke out on my jawline even more than before and they were so red and painful. I also started breaking out on my temples and chin, which were also red and painful. I haven't broken out on my temples in over a year, it's not even a trouble spot for me. I can safely say that this was THE worst my skin has ever been, I wish i was able to take pictures. I also changed my makeup regimen a bit, which I will update in my makeup entry.


Week 2, October 21, 2012

Unfortunately, due to hurricane Sandy, I've not been able to record my progress. This is my entry from week 2 that i never got to update. On the second week, i was still breaking out. My forehead went down a bit, but my jawline started to explode. Not much of a visual difference from week 1, but the acne was started to become cystic and extremely inflamed even with the Monodox.


Daily Regimen

Morning regimen:

In shower, I wash with CeraVe Face Wash

**On dry skin I apply Clindamycin Phosphate pledgets all over my face

Once the C. Phosphate dries, I apply Neutrogena Combination Skin Moisturizer all over

After moisturizer, I begin my makeup...pretty much dreadful since it takes so freakin long

Makeup Regimen:

First, I use Clinique Even Better foundation in Buff L'Oreal Infallible foundation in Natural Ivory all over my face with the Ecotools Bamboo Powder brush. (I like the Infallible WAY better than Even Better. I feel like Even Better is more for dry skin types, with my oily skin E.B. tended to slide right off. The infallible lasts way longer and gives far better coverage if I layer it twice). I know the brush is meant for powder, but I like using it for liquid foundation because it makes it look very smooth and even. Sometimes I use a buffing brush to buff out any cakey looking spots..

****Sidenote: I don't use primer anymore because I've had some bad breakout experiences with them. I don't trust any primer, even if it says non comedogenic

Next, I apply Make Up For Ever Full Cover Concealer in shade 5 to any very noticeable pimples and under my eyes. I use the Ecotools concealer brush (I always use brushes and I wash them every day - much cleaner than using your hands) On more noticeable pimples, I apply 2 layers to give full coverage.

Next, I set with a powder. My powder if the one thing I'm always changing. Right now I'm using Physicians Formula Mineral Face Powder. I use my buffing brush to buff it on. I like using a buffing brush for powder because it just gets rid of any cakey-ness and blends everything together. I'm really not too happy with this product though. I find that it oxidizes so badly, and also feels heavy on my skin and doesn't absorb oil well. I plan on changing powders once I have the time to go out and try some Now I'm using Maybelline Fit Me powder in Ivory. It's okay, not my HG by any means. I'm still searching for my HG products. Trying to save up for Make Up For Ever HD Powder...$30 is kind of ridiculous for a small tub of silica powder though. I ordered the E.L.F HD powder dupe, I'm pretty excited to try it out.

After doing my face makeup, I do my blush and eye makeup but that's not really relevant here. I usually have to touch up my makeup about 1-2 times a day. I blot with Clean & Clear oil-absorbing sheets in school and reapply makeup as needed.

Nighttime Regimen:

I start by washing my face with the CeraVe face wash again.

**After washing, I apply the C.P. pleget all over my face

Next, I moisturize. Somtimes if my skin is extremely dry, I use Cetaphil Moisturizer but if it's not too dry i just use the Neutrogena moisturizer .After moisturizing I use the Tazorac. On the Tazorac website, they tell you to moisturize beforehand. I find that it really makes a difference. It makes it easier to spread the Taz and also helps with the dryness.

I always take the Monodox with meals, as it is an oral medication. If not taken with meals it can cause nausea. I take one with breakfast and one with dinner As of 11/15/12 I haven't been taking Monodox

Attached pictures are after makeup.


Here's a little description of me and my skin before I really get into everything: I'm 16 years old and a junior in high school, in the prime of my stressful teenage years. I have EXTREMELY oily skin. Not even just in the T-zone (though it is more prevalent there), but it has progressed to my cheeks and jawline. Basically my whole face gets oily that's how bad it is. And I wash 2 times a day every day (I'm like a nazi with washing lol!) AND blot about 2 times a day. This makes it near impossible for makeup to stay on my face. My skin is also very acne prone due to it being so oily. In addition, my skin get inflamed very easily so my acne is very red and painful. I suffer from whiteheads, papules and pustules and the occasional cyst, but never blackheads.


So to start my acne diary, I'm going to rewind to February 2011 when I was 14 in Freshman year. I started breaking out like crazy on my forehead at this time. Then again, I wasn't taking SUCH great care of my skin besides washing 2 times a day. It was only on my forehead though, and I never experienced acne on my cheeks or jawline, only occasionally around my nose. I went to the dermatologist for the first time and she prescribed me clindamycin phosphate lotion and Epiduo. Holy crap did this stuff work miracles! I had a short-lived initial breakout and then my skin started clearing up so much from about April 2011 to about August. Well, this was when my skin started breaking out again. For the months before that I hadn't broken out AT ALL. It had given me so much confidence and I was so afraid of losing that again. My sophomore year started in September and I was breaking out, but not as much as when i began the meds. No sweat right? Up until about January 2012 when i started to get huge pustules on the right side of my face. This was just the beginning of my cheek and jawline acne. I took another visit to the derm and she didn't really do much to help me. I continued to break out not only on my forehead still, but also on my cheeks, jawline and chin. It progressively got worse. I was afraid to put the Epiduo on my cheeks because I wasn't sure if it was a transitory breakout. June 2012 came around and I was so afraid to face the summer, but my skin always clears up in the summer (less stress & more sun & more sleep!!) During this past summer, I tried to ignore the acne and I stopped wearing cover-up. I was stress-free and always with my closest friends - I felt happy and confident for the first time even with acne on my cheeks and forehead. At this time I was still using the clindamycin and Epiduo combo and it was clearly not helping too much, but I felt I could deal. However.....Junior year unfortunately came September 2012. The sudden transiton from 10 hours of sleep a night to 5 as well as a huge workload (stress!!!) completely exacerbated my acne. The clindamycin and Epiduo was pretty much obsolete. I started experiencing the worst breakout of my LIFE in just a month! Since then, my confidence has been completely shattered. I wear makeup and I'm extremely careful about what I put on my face. Even with makeup, all I can see is my acne. It's awful, almost all over my face. So finally in the beginning of October, i went to my dermatologist. She saw how inflamed and numerous my acne was and FINALLY put me on a stronger medication!!!!! (I had visited her about 4 times prior due to the clind. and Epiduo not working and I guess she had been waiting to put me on a stronger med) So, I'm currently on Monodox and Tazorac.

So this is the left side of my face after one week on Tazorac and Monodox. The Monodox is a doxycycline which is an antibiotic to reduce inflammation and kill bacteria in my pores. Tazorac is a strong retinoid that clears pores. So for starters, at this point I was experiencing the worst of the dryness. HOLY CRAPOLA....my skin got SO dry on this stuff. And I also have incredibly oily skin, so that says a lot about how strong this stuff is. It is so itchy, flaky and irritated. Week 1 is when the initial breakout began. I hadn't seen much progress at all, in fact it's worse. I know that Tazorac takes upwards of 3-4 months to really show results, but I'm not letting myself get discouraged. I just want it all gone and I will dedicate the patience to do so. My next blog entry is going to be my regimen and all the makeup products I use.