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About this blog

Hopefully this blog will describe my journey to clear skin. I'll update you on my regimen and progress.

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Stopping Retin A

It's been four months now on retin-a and my skin is just getting worse and worse. My doctor wants me to keep trying. it's like he thinks it's supposed to work on everyone but i don't think it works on me. I tried it before and it didn't. Although last time it didn't make my moderate acne into severe nodules and cysts which now my skin is irritated. So I just want to stop.

I think for a week or so I'll just wash my face and moisturise at night. Nothing else. And I NEED that moisturiser. it's the only thing that soothes. It feels like i'm badly sunburned. my skin hurts and it burns when I touch it.

I put my retin a on tonight and I washed it off a few minutes ago before I decided to write this post. the medication can't work for everyone. That's why there're so many, and it's really working against me. Its done nothing but make my skin progressively worse and it's been four months.

I think i'm just going to revisit what I did when my skin was not as bad. My skin was never clear but there were times when I just had mild acne and I just want to see if I can go back to that. I might just have to accept that I won't have clear skin until I move to a country where I can find an actual dermatologist which won't be for a few years but maybe I can go back to just having mild and not severe acne like I do now.

And I'm still depressed. Havent had a good night's sleep in weeks. Haven't felt like walking outside and seeing people in a while.


So Depressed

I'm so depressed about my skin. I feel like I'm fighting a losing battle. I spend all my money on things to get rid of my acne that just don't work. I have an upset stomach everyday from medication that doesn't work. My face hurts from a medication that just doesn't work. And people are still mean idiots who like to point out any imperfection and right now they're just so many.

I don't remember ever feeling this bad about y skin. I've been hose before and cried myself to sleep before but it never lasted this long. I can't remember the last time I was happy. Maybe around my birthday in December but that was because I actually got couple presents last year. I even bought myself a pair of shoes after about three years of not spending any money on myself unless it was somehow related to school. Last piece of clothing I bought was in 2011. Last year I tried to teach myself how to sew. But I shell out money to doctor visits and medications that don't work. Most of my money goes towards obligations and I'm trying to get a good amount saved in case of an emergency but its taking so long.

Maybe I'm getting older and weaker. Maybe that's why I break down al the time.


Retin-A Week 14

It seems like my skin is just getting progressively worse. I now have three cysts on my chin.

The doxy is still making me sick. I have an upset stomach all day and I'm gassy. It's embarrassing. My stomach growls like it's empty sometimes and it's not. I've actually been eating more to just quiet my stomach. I'm trying to always stay full. Maybe i'm breaking out more and more because i'm always eating... who knows.

I've had another week feeling like i couldnt leave my house because my skin looks aweful. I just want to give up.


Week 13 - Retin A

I feel like my skin was better without the retin a. I have 21 small pimples on my forehead, they're small but all together my forehead looks like shit. I also have some small bumps where my sideburns would be if I had them and a few on my cheeks.

I don't understand how I'm breaking out again. I'm not close to my period. I didn't sit and eat a bucket of sugar and milk. There's really nothing I can think of. I feel like just stopping everything.

I've completely lost hope in this medication. I just want to stop taking everything. It's just making things worse.


Retin-A - 3 Months

I honestly haven't seen a big improvement in my skin since starting retin-a. Right now I;m just hoping that all "purging" is finished and that I've finally found something that works for my skin.

My skin looks and feels less irritated. I still look shiny. Whether my skin is tight and dry, or at that point where when I touch it it feels like i stuck my hand into a deep fryer it looks shiny. Obviously it looks worse when I'm leaking oil too.

Some of the marks that I had before i started the retin-a have faded, but it seems like those that I got since I started using it are really horrible. I'm thinking of acutally trying a bleaching cream, which I never considered before, but the marks I get while using this are extra dark so I need to do something about it.

I'm really not satisfied with my results so far, and I think the doxycycline made an ulcer or something in my stomach. I have reflux now. I'm going to continue it though... see if it eventually works out. I still have a lot in the tube.


Every Morning

I was my face, back and chest with Zakuro black soap. I take 100mg doxycyclien after breakfast.

Every Afternoon

In the shower I wash my back and chest with the black soap. I rince my face with plain water. I take my one-a-day women's multivitamin with my afternoon snack.

Night time

I wash my face with the black soap. Pat dry.

alternating days

Allow my face to dry for 15-30 mins. Then apply a pea sized amount of retin-a 0.05%


Allow my face to dry for about 5 mins. Then apply neutrogena oil free moituriser for sensitive skin

After which ever cream has dried on my face, I apply olay total effects eye cream around my eyes and whatever residue is left on my fingers i apply to the corners of my mouth since those areas dry out a whole lot from the retin a even though i avoid a really big area around my eyes and mouth.

I apply blistex to my lips.

Occasionally I use st. Ive's apricot scrub on my back and chest.

About two days a week I'll drink my vitamin c and d3 pills.

I avoid the sun like the plague


So no more breakout. My skin looks and feels a lot less irritated except right after washing. So that's good. I think i'll have to stick to using the retin-a every other day. Maybe I'll reach the point of no irritation. The doxycycline is still making me feel sick.

I had two painful pimples, one at the corner of my lip and a huge cyst under my chin. I also had a zit on my cheek which left a nasty mark. The one next to my lip left a weird dry patch and strangely there's no evidence of the cyst except a picture that was taken of me last week. I also had a few small zits but they all went away very quickly... like within 2 days, but it was still annoying.

Right now I have some tiny bumps along my chin and a few small bumps on my forehead.

Had on pimple on my back. My arms and chest are clear.


I think i;m breaking out again on this stupid retin-a. It's irritating my skin AND it seems to give me a breakout every few weeks now it seems.

Also the doxycycline is now making me feel really sick. I have an upset stomach most of the day and it's just not right.


Retina A - 2 Months In

Time really flies... i've been so busy with school, work and family. I hate holidays.

During week 5 or 6, i broke out a little more but nothing serious and it faded away quite quickly. But afterwards my skin started looking and feeling really tight, shiny thin and irritated. My face would hurt. it was aweful so I went to see my doctor who was convinced that I overused my cream because of the breakout. I didn't use it any differently and I got so pissed at him for accusing me of that because the irritation started building up since he made me start using the cream everyday. It just peaked right after this second breakout. So i stopped using it for like two days (because I was angry with him) and I broke out again (became angry with myself then). So I started again.

Anyway, the irritation just didn't go away. So I went online and looked up ways to get rid of it. I tried moisturising more but I felt a big zit come out. So I started using it every other day and just using a moisturiser in between and that seems to be reducing the irritation. I've been doing that now for the past 2 weeks... thereabouts. My face doesn't hurt anymore!

My doctor's assistant called me during the week of Christmas to find out if I was coming and I hung up on her because I stay angry with people. I was exceptionally moody last month. Had a ton of extra unnecessary stress, even had extra fatty foods and less chances to sleep and drink water BUT my skin didn't break out badly at any point so I guess I'm not doing too badly. So I'm happy about that.

My back had about three new pimples. but my skin doesn't feel too bad. Almost feels like a normal person's skin. The skin on my chest feels rough but no pimples and it doesn't look rough so who cares. My boyfriend is the only other person who might touch me there but only by mistake since he usually aims for my boobs.

I always see views on my blog posts but no comments. you guys are mean. Hope you all have an acne free new year though.


Weeks 3-4

So i've been breaking out since last week... started out as tiny little bumps that would go away easily... now they're bigger and not going away. hopefully they fade soon. I haven't had any new ones for like the past two days but i got quite a few between last week and this week which are still there. I'm thinking of adding benzoyl peroxide back, but there really isn't a time i could use it. I sweat all day and night time i use the tretinoin.

I have a mask on now... hoping to shrink these little bastards on my face. My chest shoulders and arms are still clear. I had two huge painful pimples on my back but otherwise the skin on my back is becoming kinda smooth for the first time in years so I'm all excited about that. Just wish my face could become smooth too... right now it's just shiny and weird looking. I don't like the way my skin looks with the retin-a... it feels nice though... you know, in between the pimples. Hope this breakout clears up quick! It's almost christmastime people take pictures


Day 17 - Doctor Visit

Today I went to see my doctor and he actually convinced me to start antibiotics which he's been trying for a while. I caved. I guess because I haven't seen any difference in my skin really. He said he can see a difference which is why I asked why he wants me on antibiotics. He said they should "protect" me from the initial breakout that's waiting for me and also so I can clear up faster. So...

I guess I'll try pretty much anything after he promised to put me on accutane.

So my skin has been... pretty much the same i'd say. it feels a little tighter I guess. I had like two tiny whiteheads and one painful bump that came and went away. I also had one pimple on my back... which is the first since I switched to the new soap but it's just one and i'm getting my period so I'm not that upset.

I've also been bumped up to using the tretinoin every night so i'll see if I get actual results now. I was also told to stop taking a picture of my skin every week like I started doing... but i'm not gonna listen to that.


My mom was wondering why I was trying the retin a after I tried and failed last time so just in case anyone read my review and is also wondering... here's why:

- My acne on it's own is much less severe now than the first time I tried retin a

(and from what ive seen it seems to work on mild acne)

- my doctor back then was a quack, the one now worked out a system for me. Im actually starting off just using it every other night until i go back to see him

- im on a higher dose : 0.05% now as apposed to 0.025% before (since the 0.025 didn't help)

- my diet is also different now, there's no diary or sugar, and im on vitamin c, d3, along with a multivitamin and mineral

- he promised to start me on accutane if this fails (this is mosty why i agreed to it to be honest)

I'm a very impatient patient, and only using this every other day is really getting to me. I feel like I must do something to my face.


Not much. The million tiny bumps on my forehead have shrunk and i have a small zit on my jawline but thats it. i know i shouldn't expect much considering how few times i actually used it so far

I don't see my doctor until the 22nd =/


Retin A - Day 1

I've given up on benzoyl peroxide. It just dries out my skin and leaves a bunch of marks all over my skin. I was hopeful that it would work this time round (for no particular reason other than being sick of breaking out) but it didn't help.

I still have a million little bumps on my forehead. It almost looks like two million right now. Don't know where they came from. But they're still there.

I went to my regular doctor since I still can't find a real dermatologist (and not some quack) and he decided that I should try treninoin...again. But what do I have to lose right? At least I know it will get rid of all the marks that the benzoyl peroxide left behind and I'm getting older so why not start preventing wrinkles.

About three weeks ago I started using this stinky soap with betel leaves and two carcinogens =/ BUT.... it's completely cleared my back and chest and I haven't broken out there since I started using it so my doc said I should continue to use it. It also doesn't completely dry out my skin which is strange for any kind of cleanser that helps my skin in any way. it's cleared most of my skin, and my back and chest aren't only pimple free but the skin feels smooth and soft so that's nice. My shoulders are dry and ashy but whatever... no zits. I think i'm too dark to worry about skin cancer from something that stays on my skin for less than a minute.

My problem right now is the little bumps on my forehead and the hyperpigmentation on my cheeks chin yeah everywhere on my face...eeek!

Speaking of colour... I started using the Jergen's natural glow moisturiser on my legs and thighs since they get no sun and don't match the rest of my body. They still don't match the rest of me after about 2 weeks but the colour is lovely. It's not that dark but it's nice. Don't think I ever mentioned but i'm half Black half Indian (actual Indian not Native American) and I'm mostly brown, I used to look light skinned during the 2 month break from school when I was locked in the house and I've never really been dark although I tan easily. I also burn easily and that's since I've been little before using anything in my skin that someone could attribute my burnability to. Anyway, I hate the sun. And my I wear pants or jeans everyday so they haven't been out in the sun since august 2012... so I was otherworldly pale. Yeah the jergens gives me a nice colour and it smells decent.

Also... yesterday was Diwali and I ate almost no sweets although I spent most of the day making them. I feel so proud of myself and my willpower. Although I didn't quite trust myself and this (newfound) willpower (superpower :P) so most is at my boyfriend's house and the rest went to friends. I've elimated the temptation. Although there is ice cream in the fridge that my mom bought and I noticed the label says vegetarian so I was saying "That sounds interesting. I should try it simply because the concept of vege icecream blows my mind." But what I was really thinking was "OH GOD YESSS YESSS DIARYYYYYY!!! COME TO MAMA"


Since my last post I started breaking out on my forehead with these tiny little bumps. There're soooo many of them. There're like two million of them up there right now and I've got some on my cheeks too.

No clue where they're coming from. My skin is so damn frustrating. It feels just as bad as it looks which is different, my skin doesn't usually feel this aweful. I'm thinking of what I've been doing differently lately and I can't think of anything except the soap so I stopped using it and went back to my old cleanser (which makes me shine brighter than the sun) but it's the only change so that has to be it. Or maybe my skin is just fed up of the benzoyl peroxide. It never worked for me before. I don't know why I thought it would work this time. Maybe because I'm using it with something else but... I dunno.

I doubt whether it's the birth control since it never broke me out before... but even if it is it's not like I can stop using it. I can't stand to be that sick anymore. I pretty much stopped using it because I hated taking pills everyday and I hated how much they cost. I still hate how much it costs... But i'd rather be broke than bleeding and in pain all the time.

If you live in a city with a dermatologist then you're lucky. That's all I have to say. I don't know what to do. It's been 15 weeks and no improvement. My skin has actually gotten worse because now I have a bunch of marks from the benzoyl peroxide. I think for this week I might just not use anything at all and see how that works out.

I'll go visit my GP and see if he has any ideas that might help me out a bit.


Weeks 13 - 14

My skin went through a dry patch lately since I switched from my regular cleanser to a sulphur soap. But it's the regular dryness I get where I still break out. Anyway, as always I'm back to an oilier state. I'm a living oil factory. smh

I also started taking my contraceptive pills again - it's ethinyl estradiol and cyproterone acetate (Krimson or Ginette where I live, Dianette in other places). I started taking them in 2010 for my menstrual problems, stopped because I was sick of taking an extra pill everyday and I started again because my problem came back. Ugh!

The insert says it helps clear acne but it never helped me. It never aggravated my acne though so I was grateful because so many things do like microgynon (ethinyl estradiol and levonorgestrel). Microgynon made my skin hideous in a very short time.

I AM hoping, though, that this time, the birth control pills will clear my skin. Wishful thinking, but who knows.

Right now as I type I don't have anything huge on my skin. I have some small bumps between my brow, and at the corner of my brow, a tiny but oddly painful little whitehead on m cheek and some stuff healing from my recently stressful couple of weeks.

Maybe if I find a millionnaire to marry so I don't have to spend 16 hours or more everyday at work and school then I'd have clear skin. I might be just the stress and constant lack of sleep that's not allowing me to have clear skin. The lack of sleep is not something that I can change most times though, not when I have to be out of the house by 6:30 am, 6 days a week and sometimes I'm not home until 11pm... it's just not possible some days.


Week 11

I feel like I'm fighting a losing battle with the BP. My skin doesn't seem to be improving anymore. It's oily again. I guess it was just a matter of time before I adjusted and started making more oil. I like not having skin that hurts when I smile but at the same time I hate being shiny.

I hate that when my friends want to make plans with me a week in advance all I can think about is what my skin will look like in a week because I never really know. I had couple horrible pimples that left two horrible marks on my face recently and it seems like I just can't help but stare at them in the mirror. I broke down one day last week and cried because of some asshole I met. I'm sick of people speaking to me like they see me drinking buckets of sugar and oil. I'm sick of people's "advice." I live in the kind of place where people feel like they have a right to point out your flaws... and it really gets to me. It's depressing.

I collected some antibiotics last week. I know I said in my review that you shouldn't try them, and you really shouldn't but I just wanted to have a few good months. I didn't start drinking them yet though. I know that I'll have to stop and that I'll break out when I stop, and since I don't have a plan for what to do after that... i haven't taken them. I just felt so frustrated and when I used them the last time they worked so fast.

When I close my eyes I imagine myself as someone else, someone who isn't covered with ugly pimples and marks. Someone who's happy, who can wear anything. It just isn't fair to me that I spend so much time on my skin, I work so hard on keeping acne triggers out of my diet, I spend so much damn money on products and I just can't have skin that people don't feel the need to comment about.


Week 8

The past two weeks haven't been all that bad. Last week I started alternating the days with benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid and my skin was much softer and not as dry but I did get more pimples. Then this weeks I went back on the benzoyl peroxide everyday and its dry again but the pimples stopped. It's not that I hate the dry skin that much but I feel like I can see how dry it is and it just looks bad. It looks like it's being dried out too much. I hate how it looks not to mention how it feels but I guess it's better than having pimples on my face. I just have to find a moisturizer than can make me not look so dry and doesn't make me break out like crazy.

I'm thinking of trying the new proactive. I might just be asking for trouble but the new one is supposed to be gentler than the old formula that I tried. That was a disaster. There was something in their step 3 that just made me feel blistered. But I think it was the thickest acne cream I've tried. It felt moisturizing when I was putting it on. I really don't know what to use anymore. All the moisturizers I try either break me out or just make me so shiny you can see me reflect from a mile away. I think I'll probably stick to what I'm doing just a little bit longer and see if my skin adjusts to it.


Week 6

So, I ate pizza this week, which wasn't such a good idea, two new pimples. They'e not excessively huge, but I just hate having them there.

My face is really dry. It hurts, not only when I smile but once I rinse it during the day it gets super dry and I can't take any wind or anything. So I think I'll have to cut back on something, I guess I can cut back on the toner. I don't need to use it every night. I know originally I had planned to cut back on the benzoyl peroxide but I don't think that's gonna work because I might just break out more and I don't want to risk it so I'll cut the toner to every other day instead of every day.

I took the mask out of my facial. So now it's just steaming and scrubbing. I think once I steam I feel better. I feel like my pores are happy and willing to greet whatever is coming next with open arms. weird... i know

I also have another problem now. I have a million little white heads on my nose and chin (at least I think that's what they are). They look like every pore on my skin has a little filament growing out and screaming to the world... look at me!!!

I tried some of the biore pore strips I had left but it made no visible difference.

Strangely, my skin feels rough. It never feels rough once I use this particular toner (2% salicylic acid and some amount of glycolic acid). But it's rough which is strange.

I wish I could just wave a magic wand and get the skin I want.

Just to let you know what I've been doing for the past couple weeks.


rinse face and neck with plain water

Will rinse face if i'm exceptionally sweaty during the day

Wash back and chest with mild cleanser


Wash face, neck, back and chest with mild cleanser

Neck: thick lotion for dry skin

Chest: toner

Back: toner, BP

Face: toner, bp, moisturiser

Supplements: daily multivitamin + mineral, Vitamin C (500mg), Vitamin D3 (1000iu) --- started taking the vitamin C and D3 early last week.

I also take iron tablets when I'm getting my period.


Week 4

One whole week with no pimples on face. Been using the 10%bp everyday and its working.

No cysts since I got rid of the zinc. Never ever trying that again. Not worth the risk. I now have some horrible black marks on my chin because of it. It might be that bad because the bp tends to make my marks worse but I wish it wasn't there in the first place.

My face is so dry it hurts when I smile. My regular moisturizer isn't helping. I think I'll cut back on the bp. I might be able to use it every other day. I'll still keep the salicylic acid lotion and toner. My face really really hurts. But at the same time it feels great that I spent a whole week without even a single tiny whitehead on my face.

My arms, shoulders and neck are dry too but not as bad. My arms are a little peely but they're covered all day so the peeling will stop before anyone sees them. My neck doesn't break out (strange to have a patch of skin in the middle there that just doesn't and is always dry) I moisturise my neck twice a day but it's still dry. I use this aloe Vera cream.

My back and chest are healing thank god. But they seem to be responding a lot slower than my face... However the skin on my back and chest isn't dry and rough so that's something to be thankful for.


Week 3

I know this is late, been busy.

It's been a bad week. I got a bunch of cysts on my chin (3 more) and I started breaking out even more on my back. I even got some tiny bumps on my chest, which freaked me out. Really really freaked me out.

So I stopped taking the zinc. It seems like my acne got worse when I started it, and even worse when I upped my dose. The last day I took zinc was Wednesday and started using 10% BP lotion Wednesday night. It's pretty drying but it's helping to heal the little bumps all over. Depressing week.


Week 2

So it's now just over two weeks since i've started taking zinc (17 days) and it really doesn't seem to be helping, so i decided today that i'd increase my dose to 50 mg. Hopefully this works because i've been breaking out more this week.

i've been using my multivitamins everyday, washing only twice and using my toner at night. Still haven't gotten my BP lotion yet, i've been leaving my house before the pharmacies open and leaving work after they close. Hard week sad.png

To be honest I'm a little reluctant to try BP again since all my experiences before have been bad and I think it makes my marks worse which is bad because i get a lot of marks, even if I never touch the pimple at all.

This week my skin is:

- not doing so well

- very oily shiny all over

- i have a cyst on my chin ( I hardly get cysts)

- a few white heads on my the sides of my mouth and nose and my back sad.png

very bad week

- got my period yesterday so that could explain the breakout although it's a little more than I usually get with my period so maybe it's the fact that this week was especially stressful.. i dunno

Anyway, it's saturday so it's 'facial' day. Time for me stream, scrub and paint myself with a sulfur mask.


My Story

I started getting acne when I was about 10 or 11. My extremely vain mother started me on treatment at about that time. . I'm now 22, I've tried a lot of things along the years but nothing seems to work. My acne started out mild to moderate, then when I was about 14 it became severe. I cut out all sugar from my diet and saw no improvement in my skin, but I felt better so I stayed off it. When I was about 18 I removed dairy from my diet and saw a little improvement. Over the years I've tried topicals, including prescription topicals, antibiotics, birth control pills and nothing has ever helped get rid of it.

My Acne:

I've always had it on my face and back. It started off worse on my back but it's now worse on my face. Ever so often i'll get a pimple on my arms or shoulders. I barely have any scarring even though it's been so many years but I do have a ton of spots. It's like someone took a permanent marker and dotted me all over. My skin is oily, looks rough but is actually soft to the touch. Right now I'm not sure how to describe my skin. It will clear up completely then break out like crazy.

My Regimen:


wash with a gentle cleanser.

I would like to use something to treat my skin during the day but I sweat off anything by the time I get to work, where I'm on my feet all day and will sweat off anything I apply after my walk there.

Night time:

wash with a gentle cleanser

apply a toner with 2% salicylic acid and glycolic acid

apply 10% BP cream (the only concentration I can find... i live in a rainforest ok) this is also new... only started it thursday

apply moisturiser

Once a week I'll do a 'facial'. I steam my face. I scrub my face and back, apply a mask (with sulphur) to my face and back, wash it off then go through my regular night time treatment.

Other things I do for my skin:

I drink a multivitam and mineral tablet, fish oil, and now zinc tablets. If I could find b5 i'd probably take that too.

I don't eat sugar or dairy and I eat very little oil

I try to always prepare low GI meals

I don't touch junk food

I drink more than 2L of water a day (but mostly because of global warming)

Trying to figure out a way to manage my stress and depression. Work is stressful but it's not something I can change at the moment. I blame the depression on the acne and the way people have always treated me because of it.


Week 1

I've decided to document my struggle with my skin. I'm hoping it will help me keep on tack in some way. I can update once a week or so and let you guys know what's working for me.

New Stuff:

- Started zinc supplements - 25mg/d

- Continued taking my multivitamin + mineral

- Went to 9 pharmacies looked for b5. Had some dummy tell me "b5 doesn't exist" tried to figure out a way to order it to my nice wonderful 3rd world haven without it coming up to the equivalent of $50USD or more a bottle.

Currently using:

Neutrogena Rapid clear toner at night (2% salicylic acid and some amount of glycolic acid), going to start using Clear Zit (10% BP) also since the toner alone definitely does not work... however it does help with marks which I am thankful for.

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