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Week 4

The pictures posted below were taken Tuesday June 24 in the morning after cleansing my face. I have noticed a reduction in size of large pimples that were on my forehead, cheeks and chin. I have not noticed any difference in the blackheads on my nose or chin. The finacea gel and ziana gel have not made my skin dry--I apply the cerave moisturizing cream a few minutues after I apply either treatment to my face. My skin is still oily, but with the right makeup products I can help to control how shiny my face appears throughout the day. I am contiuting to break out, but I believe that it is because of the purging process.



Week 3

I took the following pictures Monday morning on June 16 after washing my face. I have noticed some improvements from last week. I have realized that the finacea gel makes my pimples form a white head and the ziana gel helps to get rid of the white head over night. So far I am noticing a gradual improvement from when I started using these products. I have not been in the sun as much at all the past week and a half--I do not know if this has had an impact on my skin. blogentry-400636-0-29853600-1403133769_tblogentry-400636-0-70546300-1403133773_tblogentry-400636-0-80945200-1403133779_t

Today my skin looks better than it does in these pictures from monday. I will post pictures of my skin tomorrow morning in natrual light after I wash my face and before I apply any products.


Week 2

I have been using my topical creams Finacea Gel and Ziana Gel for about a week now. I have been applying Finacea Gel after washing my face in the morning. I have been applying Ziana Gel after removing my makeup and washing my face at night. I apply moisturizer to my face after the the gel's have absorbed into my skin for a few minutes. My skin looks worse than before I started using these topical treatments...I hope that this is just my skin purging. I understand that retanoids take a few months to work and cause purging when you begin using them--hopefully this is what is happening. Below are pictures of my face after a shower and before applying anything to my skin.


I have broke out bascially all over my skin--especially my chin, jawline, forehead, and cheeks. My blackheads or hyperpigmentation has not changed since I started using these topical treatments.


I received full sizes of my new topical treatments today.

Ziana (clindamycin phosphate 1.2% and tretinoin 0.025%) Gel

Finacea (azelaic acid) Gel, 15%

I have been using samples from my dermatologist for the past few days. I have been applying finacea in the morning and ziana in the evening after cleansing my face. I have not noticed any side effects such as drying or irritation (I use CeraVe moisturizing cream and Cetaphil daily moisturizer with spf 15 when I know I will be in the sun). I have noticed that my pimples have be coming to a white head more quickly and starting to heal, but other than that I have not noticed any other changes in my skin. I usually wear makeup everyday, with the exception of some days (none of the makeup products I use have ever broken me out more than my skin normally would).

I will post pictures weekly to document the progress of my skin usingt these two topical treatments.


Skin History

I have been struggling with acne and breakouts for as long as I can rememeber. I have oily skin, large pores around my nose, blackheads on my nose and some on my chin, and hyperpigmentation from old pimples. I got my first pimple when I was about 7 years old, and began to consitenty break out starting around age 11 or 12. I have been seeing dermatologists for 5 years and throughout those 5 years I have been prescribed many antibiotics, topical treatments, and washes. I took a six month course of Accutane in 2010 because my skin was unresponsive to many treatments. Accutane worked somewhat for me, but left me depressed during the fianl months of my treatment. I am fine today but looking back, that was a painful emotional experience. Although Accutane did not clear my acne for good, it has enabled my skin to be more responsive to other treatments it once did not respond to. After my cycle of Accutane ended I have been prescribed multiple types of topical treatments such as the retanoid Tazorac gel in 0.05% and 0.1% strengths. I believe Tazorac gel has helped keep my acne under control, but did not clear my skin completely. In conjunciton with Tazorac gel I was using Duac topical gel on affected areas in the morning. I did not notice a huge improvement with this combination, but it kept my skin clearer than it has been prior to using these products. I take birth control (Lo Loestrin FE) which has improved my skin overall. I was also prescribed Solodyn (minocycline) for three months (October-Decemeber 2013). This antibiotic cleared my skin greatly, but my acne retured eventually, but not as severe. Three days ago I visited my dermatologist after stopping my Tazorac gel. He recommended I take antiobiotics, but I expressed my desire not to because I feel that it is unhealthy to take an antibiotic for an extended period of time. Because I have a few large pimples he administered cortisone injections into my large pimples to reduce the size of them and increase the healing process. He said it would take about two days to see results--I have noticed a reduction in size and some of them have beagn to heal. He also prescribed me to use Finacea (azelaic acid) Gel, 15% in the morning and Ziana (clindamycin phosphate 1.2% and tretinoin 0.025%) Gel to use at night. I remove my makeup with cold pressed unrefined coconut oil and wash my face with Cetaphil gentle cleanser. I used to use Dickinson's witch hazel as a toner but I am going to stop using it for a few weeks and see what happens. I moisturize my face with CeraVe moisturizing cream and when I go into sun I moisturize with Cetaphil daily moisturizer with SPF 15. Sometimes I will use a gentle scrub from Neutrogena that contains AHA & BHA when I feel as if my skin needs to be cleaned a little deeper. To exfoliate I use a papaya enzyme mask from Alba. I have been using a calcium bentonite mask at night for about a week to purge my skin so I can treat the acne that is forming under my skin. I read from an esthetician, Veronica Gorgeois, who makes youtube videos and has a facebook page that the best way to begin incorporating a clay mask into your routine is to use it consistently for two weeks, then decrease to 2-3 times a week, down to one time per week (as your skin permits). I will probably contiue to do the masks for another week while my skin purges and adjusts to the new combination of topical gels I am now using. I used to use a clairsonic with an acne brush head, but I haven't had the opportunity to buy new brush heads in the past few months. Hopefully my skin improves with the implementation of my new skin care routine. Below I will attach pictures of my bare skin in natural light from this morning. blogentry-400636-0-74225600-1401748769_tblogentry-400636-0-57444900-1401748782_tblogentry-400636-0-84790600-1401748787_t