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About hotglue01

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  1. Week 8, Day 1

    Wow, it's been 7 full weeks! I have to say, my face is actually looking... really good. The dryness on my chin waxes and wanes, but it seems to be balancing out now that I've reduced BP and have been applying oil (jojoba and safflower) to it both directly and combined with my Cerave. My complexion is a lot clearer, and my beautiful milky skin tone is starting to shine through. The breakout from the dry skin/having to pick off flakes/sloppily applying lotions with (probably) dirty fingers multiple times a day has actually mostly subsided, too! No-man's-land is actually looking good on both sides, with a tiny dying zit on one side and maybe one pre-zit on the other. But again, I'm at the phase in DKR when pimples 1) only come if there's a direct cause like irritation or an existing blackhead, and 2) clear up within a few days and don't leave big marks. My forehead is actually looking really good. I changed my attitude a few days ago and am riding this wave of confidence for as long as it'll take me. I just realized that worrying about acne or whatever the fuck it is that I worry about (relationships! skin! health! my fucking dissertation!) sucks, and suddenly the worry dissolved... and suddenly, my skin looks really good! There's probably 3 tiny dying zits on the left side of my forehead/temple, with one tiny dying zit/blackhead on the right side. The rest of my face is pretty much entirely smooth, with maybe a few clogged pores on either side of my cheekbones. My back got two zits from irritation, and feels like it has some blackheads, but they feel like the crusty kind that flake off rather than turn into inflamed boils. Again, my red marks are really fading there, and in another few weeks they'll probably not even be perceptible. Even now they don't really stand out, especially because there's not really any more active acne there (save for those dying zits, a few big-ish clogged pores on my right shoulder, and those crusty blackheads that aren't visible anyway). I'm really proud of the progress I've made! And my chest? You know what, I had a similar revelation yesterday or the day before about not worrying about the red marks there. That big zit I got has mainly flattened out with ice packs, ibuprofen, zinc, fish oil, and differin/bp. One of the redmarks between my boobs VANISHED COMPLETELY!! It was miraculous. I've also been trying something kind of experimental on these marks that seems to be working (although I'm reminded to be gentle): using a heavy-duty steroid cream (clobetasol) that I have in case I get eczema on my hands (which happens in times of crazy stress... i.e. three weeks ago! Ha). I read that white people don't often get true PIH but rather PIE (check the redmark forum for more details), which responds to topical steroids. 7 (omg) years ago, the derm I went to in Japan actually gave me a much weaker steroid cream to use on redmarks and I remember it working fairly well at shrinking the marks, and I have to say, I think this is doing great things for my current marks! The skin was red and irritated this morning when I examined my MIRACULOUS HEALING (lol), so I'm being sure to be gentle by applying a little less, but still twice a day. Alright! Feeling good about my skin, and hoping you all do to. DKR really works, and I'm thankful for having made so much progress in just seven full weeks. Seriously... when I first started my acne was by no means terrible -- mild for sure -- but my complexion just looked... dingy and unstable. I had well over a dozen big blackheads on my forehead and probably close to a dozen small zits on my forehead and temples, plus a lot of inflamed pores, blackheads, whiteheads, and a few zits on my chin. My chest actually didn't break out until later on, lol, and I'm not really doing DKR on it... but my back -- on which I AM doing DKR -- had probably a dozen cysts, all of which were red/maroon, angry, and PAINFUL. And it seemed like they weren't stopping! But now? They're all flattened out, and I only get zits there if there's direct irritation (although, to be fair, I'd say my back is still kind of unstable, but 85% where I want it to be... well, it's 100% where I want it to be because it's making such beautiful progress). To close, acne for me is an important metaphor for self-care, and ultimately self-love. I remember when I had totally clear skin, like a baby's bottom, back in 2011... I felt so confident and radiant, and every day I was filled with gratitude about my situation. I let that gratitude slip away when I entered graduate school soon after and got distracted with the usual bullshit (school, boys, ugh), and now I feel myself returning to a place of gratitude for my healing. How about you guys? : D Clear skin for us all! Thanks for reading.
  2. Week 7, Day 6

    Whoops, looks like I mixed up my dates before... oh well. Yup, daily updating, but writing in this thing always helps me feel more grounded about the progress my skin is definitely making, but can be difficult to see when feeling anxious...Status: my face is looking good. Nothing new is popping up, save for a tiny pimple in no-man's-land from where things were super dry and irritated. Yesterday I bought some high quality jojoba oil (30 dollarsssss sigh) with the intent of doing a mask with it to get off all the dead skin on my face. I noticed that by the end of yesterday my skin was coated in this layer of sweat, moisturizer and sunscreen, and dead skin. I am grateful for DKR because it's been the only thing to keep my skin under control all these years, but the no exfoliation thing (unless your skin is totally clear and you're at the maintenance phase, as I experienced 6 years ago) is so difficult. I mean, I totally know that my skin is sensitive and that any irritation will break it out (touching my nose too much? Zit! Bra strap? Zit!), but the dead skin is so gross! Anyway... I washed with the cleanser a little longer than 10 seconds yesterday, still using (close to) a featherlight touch, and so much dead skin came off my face... it was really satisfying, haha. Then I did a jojoba mask and rinsed it off, and my skin looked and felt so much smoother and healthier. I also did AHA last night, which BURNED but is going to be good for 1) flakes, 2) clogged pores, 3) red marks. The only problem is, my moisturizer burns this morning too and my chin is back to being red. Sigh... I think I need to like, not even use BP in the morning there for the next couple of days or something. Honestly, the dryness is far more acne-inducing than not using BP.Other than that, my face looks pretty good.My back is doing well... gotta make sure I'm still vigilant about the BP and AHA, but for the most part my marks are continuing to fade and no new stuff is popping up. That boil under my bra strap area is already significantly smaller, I got a zit (that is already going away) on my sacrum that is from carrying around backpacks (I didn't learn my lesson yesterday and still carried one around, but not for the next while!!), and though I have a thatch of clogged pores between my right shoulder blade and spine, as well as on my shoulders, I intuit that they won't turn into inflamed zits and will just flake off with my current regimen. It feels nice to know that things there are up and up! My chest... the folliculitis thing got kind of red, although it's shrunk and consolidated itself into a yellow dot. What's discouraging about this is that these bumps last for a really long time... I have 4 red marks/almost-but-not-quite flattened-out bumps between my boobs, which, while small, are bothering me. Then I have that big thing from over a month ago which has shrunk but is still slightly there and very red, and now this thing. I'm going to get a bandaid and smother it in BP and AHA, and take a bunch of zinc and fish oil. Anyway, this all doesn't exactly make me feel attractive, but I suppose the solution here is to get out and not think so much about my skin. Maybe a lesson here is to feel beautiful for myself, and not to be "hot for men" or whatever the fuck. Really, it's not that bad at all -- particularly my face, which has one active zit (three if you count the two on my jawline that are basically invisible, if painful! Ouch!), two tiny dying zits, and a handful of clogged pores. My progress since I started this time around is pretty significant, particularly on my forehead and on the left side of my chin. My forehead is clearing up very nicely, although there are some redmarks and some slight unevenness that I know will go away with time and gentleness. My chin... looks like it's been through some shit, which it has, so I'm looking on the bright side of things. My cheeks look good too, particularly my right cheek, although my left cheek is fine too (although there are a handful of redmarks that will fade soon, I'm sure).Here's the course to follow:1) Continue being GENTLE with my skin, and continue to refrain from touching it 2) As I learned this morning, back off the BP in the morning on my chin area until things are stabilized... which will take a few days. 3) Be generous with the safflower oil, and jojoba oil it up at night with the mask to get all that dead skin off! 4) Take zinc and fish oil, and drink lots of water 4a) Avoid sweets and fried food (I know some people out there don't believe there's a connection, but I know for me that if I eat junk food, my skin just looks dingier) 5) Relax, and focus on the beautiful world around me, as well as the progress my skin has been making all summer (yes, that includes my chest... if this is where I am today, then I'd better accept it!) OK, wish me luck... Good luck to all of you, too, and I'll probably see you tomorrow because... writing in this thing always helps. And being in Japan makes me feel self-conscious about my skin because the women here look so beautiful and made-up, but luckily this time around I seem to be keeping my center. ANYWAY, clear skin ahoy!!
  3. Week 7, Day 4

    Hello again, It hasn't been that long since my last entry, but anyway... Status: the thing on my chest got bigger, and it's typical folliculitis in that it looks super irritated but there's just one clogged pore. The good news is that it's pink, not red... so hopefully when it deflates (which I suspect is soon) it won't leave a big ol' splotch of PIH. As for my face: my chin is looking a lot more healthy now that I've backed off a little on the BP. It doesn't look as irritated, and on the right side the little zits are coming to a head. Yay! Once I reach a balance there again I will be sure to be gentle with application, not overdo the BP, and use the SAFFLOWER OIL I've been reapplying there before BP and putting in my lotion. I did this for a while in the second and third weeks and it ended up having a very positive effect on my skin. The thing is, I'm grateful for the chance to get to know my skin more. It's been dry and oily, and rather than be upset about it I've been celebrating this as a good thing because it means my skin is trying to balance things out. I remember experiencing this last time too, but the addition of oil (I used jojoba then, this time safflower for no real reason other than I don't want to spend all the money to get Dan's jojoba shipped to Japan when there are beautiful essential oils I can buy here for cheaper... plus, I heard safflower is LESS comodogenic anyway, and I love how light and non-waxy it is) really turned things around for me. It made my skin glow from the inside out, so I'm looking forward to keeping this as a part of my routine. What else... I have 2 big cysts on my jawline now, one by my ear as mentioned and now one right underneath my jawline a bit closer to my chin. I'm not worried about this because 1) I'm getting my period in less than a week, and this happens, and 2) at least it's not on my face! Ha! I hit up the public baths again yesterday and I swear, it just does such good things for my skin. Everything comes to the surface (face and body), and I'm at a point now where I want it all UP AND OUT. I am willing to pay the price of acne, because at least with DKR, I can trust that my skin will stay clear so long as I stay the course. Saunas are also awesome for sensitive skin, as I'm realizing again!Oh, and I didn't touch my face a whole lot yesterday at all. OH OH, I've been sleeping much better (although still jet-lagged, but that is what it is), and am unwinding more each day. I'm feeling so much happier... can't help but think that that helps, too! Oh, and a positive attitude. And revisiting a mantra that helped me back in 2010 (omg)... be kind to your face and it'll be kind back. Ah, the power of routine and a positive attitude! Wish me luck that this thing goes down my on my chest... Onward! Wishing clear skin to all my legions of dedicated readers, too. Ha.
  4. Week 7, Day 3

    Hello from Japan!Welp, I made it through one of the most stressful summers EVER. And my skin basically did too, but:Status: forehead is looking pretty good. There are a few clogged pores that are minuscule but still are a little bothersome (arg, perfectionism, but I suppose I have to be patient), and an unclean area near my left temple/above my eyebrow (it just looks irritated). Red marks are fading, but still slightly there. The left side of my face had some action last week, but it's mainly died down -- the mandible zit has all but flattened out, and that blackhead thing from my jawline has gone into remission. It still seems to be there, but I'm happy it's not an inflamed boil. With luck it'll go away on its own or flake off in the form of a sebum nugget, which seems to be happening in other parts of my face. Yes!My chin... OK. The right side/the no-man's-land broke out slightly, but it's luckily in smaller zits that will probably just go away in a few days. I currently have one zit, three clogged pores (one will definitely turn into a zit, I think), and a few blackheads. It's discouraging because it was looking pretty good for a while there, but the dryness irritates the crap out of my skin and with all the excess touching having to peel off the flakes/apply lotion with dirty hands throughout the day, it was inevitable. For now I'm reducing the BP, remaining extra gentle, upping the lotion, and trying my best not to touch my face in the day. The left side of my chin actually looks pretty good!I got a boil on my neck way back near my ear, which hurts but is luckily out of sight. And therefore out of mind! I don't really care so much about that acne now...My chest is continuing to clear up. I've got a few clogged pores near the side by my shoulders, but those don't really bother me. The stuff between my boobs is continuing to shrink, as is the spot from that boil I had OVER A MONTH AGO (sigh), but there's nothing I can do about it except be gentle. Not dissimilar to my chin, it got irritated from being overly dry from differin and the sun, so I took a night off with differin and just lathered up with lotion. Something new cropped up, but it'll shrink because it's tiny and I'm NOT GOING TO PICK IT.My back got a big honker under my bra strap on my right side, definitely due to lugging around SO MANY BAGS first to NYC and then to Tokyo. But my days of lugging all this stuff around is coming to an end soon, and definitely for the next 11 days. Other than that, my back is actually doing really well. Are there marks? Yes, but they're fading, and I actually feel happy when I look at it. It did so well and is SO MUCH BETTER than when I started DKR again OVER 6 WEEKS AGO! So, I basically met my goals of no active acne on face or body by the time I got to Japan, save for one or two tiny lesions on my face, the back zit, and the teeny tiny bit of chestne. Updated goals are as follows:- face clear of active acne and mostly no blackheads by August 16th (when I dance in the Buddhist festival under a mask!) + more fading of marks (particularly on chin and temples) - back clear of acne with more fading on red marks (thank you Dan's AHA!!!) - continued shrinking/fading of red marks on chest, with no new big lesions Yup, all in a little over a week. But if it takes a little more than that I'm OK with it, too! So, why did this recent breakout happen? The good news is that it's not some overwhelming mystery. The sources are clear: stress, not sleeping enough (sleeping much better these days, yayyyyy I got it figured outtt and I love myselffff), touching my face all the fucking time, dryness, and added irritation from that + taking care of flakes (seriously, flakes are unacceptable in public) + applying extra lotion + not washing my hands between steps. To remedy this I'm just going to stay focused on being gentle, keeping my hands clean and generally off my face, being sure to use the safflower oil on the no-man's-land (where most of my flakes were/new acne is) and in my lotion, and generally listening to my skin. That said, the "when in doubt, use more" logic of DKR is good, but if your face is flaking then the irritation from that, at least for me, creates MORE acne in the long run. Food for thought. Last: I hit up public mineral baths + the sauna yesterday and it felt SO GOOD. Also, it seems to have made my skin a bit cleaner today, too. I intend on going today not just for the skin benefits but because it seriously feels amazing, and I'm still on my mission to RELAX before settling back into a routine with the ol' dissertation... Wish me luck! And I'm wishing you all luck, too, on your journeys to clear skin!
  5. Week 6, Day 6

    Hey there, to anyone who reads this… It’s the end of Week 6, and things are looking up. My chin is still faintly purging, but again, it’s all old stuff and needed to come up at one point or another. Luckily the no-man’s-land is more or less clear on both sides now… I wouldn’t be surprised if the left side purged with one more zit, but honestly, they come, turn yellow, and go away in a few days so it’s not a big deal. On the left side of my face there’s some action going on… one is a biggish zit in my mandible area close to my cheek, but it seems to be coming to a head (even though it’s quite red). Oh well. There might have been a blackhead there anyway? And then there’s some action on the lower half of my face near my cheek, where a blackhead that’s been festering for a while is kind of having some sort of activity, along with a zit closer to my jawline feels kinda sore. It’s not that big, though, so that’s a plus. My temples are still a little blackhead-y, but… at least it’s not very noticeable. This sort of cropped up due to the stress I’ve been under, and I also haven’t been as diligent as I could be. I will spend more time rubbing in products GENTLY I will wait between steps more to just be precise I will be sure to withhold touching my face during the day, and smashing my face into a pillow at night… It should be noted that I’ve been under tons of stress, but that most of it is gone now (done teaching! done working! done movinggggg!!!!), except for the final haul to JAPAN, where I’ll be living (again!) until December. Yay! My body and soul are starting to unwind, though, and I anticipate that as I catch up on sleep and relax that my skin will also catch up. I’m thankful for DKR, though, because it works even against this level of craziness… <3 As for my chest and back: my chest is actually… clearing up! Two of the three things in between my boobs have flattened out, and the bigger one is there is starting to shrink. Yay! The bigger bigger thing above these has also continued to shrink, so there’s that. And my back continues to be more or less totally smooth! I’ve noticed that carrying a heavy backpack has been kind of the big thing in terms of creating irritation and acne both near my shoulders and at the bottom of my back, which is where it hits. This is good incentive to RELAX! So, wish me luck as I continue to unwind, relax, and LOVE MYSELF on this journey to clear skin. GOALS: active acne down
  6. Week 5, Day 5

    Wow, it’s been a while… both since I’ve written, and since I’ve started! Status: Things are continuing to improve, although it is sort of a two (or three!) steps forward, one step backward kind of a deal. My forehead is almost completely clear of blackheads now, which is so exciting. Other than some mild PIH and some teency tiny dying zits, it’s pretty much totally clear. This includes my temples, which is super great. My chin… is getting there. The “no man’s land” area under the corners of my mouth are mainly clear, particularly on the right side, but there is still some mild purging going on. The good news remains that it isn’t anything new—everything coming to the surface was a blackhead or clogged pore, and it’s all on its way out. Along with something closer to my cheek, which I hope doesn’t turn into a big cyst but has been laying dormant for a while… it is what it is. My chest is also doing OK. The big welt right smack-dab in the middle is still red, but it is getting smaller. I wouldn’t be surprised if it purged one more time, since it was a giant cyst that had 3 HEADS at one point… but since it’s follicular rather than “pure” acne, it’s a different process. I’ve also got three tiny folliculitis zit things in between my boobs, and while they’re not exactly going away (arg) they are getting smaller? I’m just not touching them because I know from experience that popping even the really ripe looking ones that SHOULD, in theory, be popped on my chest just leads to massive PIH and the lesions sticking around for an even longer time. My back… is also making good progress! It’s discouraging sometimes, because the area right behind my shoulders/where my backpack straps hit has still be experiencing breakouts of these kind of strange zits… they look like they’re coming to a head, but the area around them is totally pink. They almost look like bug bites. Anyway, one on each side has popped up in the past week, and they die down in about a week or two. It’s a bit frustrating, but it’s really not so bad… other than those, I basically have no ACTIVE acne on back—although I do have some dying lesions on the right side between my shoulder blade and my spine. Whatever, that place had tons of black heads, and the zits seem to be going away kind of fast? Noteworthy is that the zits from the BIG breakout two months ago are still faintly there… they’ve mainly shrunk down, but they’re still on their way. I have faith they’ll go away completely. My PIH remains on my back, but it is getting lighter and I’ve firmly decided to not stress about it. Because it doesn’t help, and it makes me feel bad, and while my back isn’t FLAWLESS, it’s also not the worst. It could be a LOT worse. So, did I meet my goal of no active face or body acne by this weekend (my friend’s wedding)? Not quite – although who knows, the wedding isn’t for a few days! Maybe I’ll have a miraculous clearing by then! But… even if I don’t, it’s OK. Things are still moving forward. NEW GOALS: no ACTIVE (dying is acceptable) acne by the time I go to Japan on August 6th, significantly faded PIH (face and body) and smooth skin on face and body by the 15th (when I dance in the Buddhist festival). Significant progress by the 19th (when I see my special guy in Japan!). Wish me luck… ALSO, I’M SO STRESSED RIGHT NOW THAT EVERY TIME I’M AWAKE – WHICH IS A LOT BECAUSE I AM HAVING TROUBLE SLEEPING DUE TO STRESS – FEELS LIKE A PANIC ATTACK. I’m sure this isn’t helping things, but at least it’s not HURTING… I can trust that DKR is taking care of shit the best that it can, and at least I don’t feel the need to stress about acne. Why the stress, you ask? MOVING OUT OF MY APARTMENT, PACKING FOR A SEMESTER IN JAPAN, TEACHING A GRADUATE CLASS AT AN IVY LEAGUE INSTITUTION, AND ATTEMPTING TO WRITE MY DISSERTATION. You do to the math… WISH ME LUCK!
  7. Week 4, Day 2

    Welp, it’s been three full weeks on the Regimen. Status: I have to say, things have really started to clear up since my last post. I’m not sure if it was a change in mindset (focusing on the positive and on progress, not “perfection”) or if things just naturally started kicking into gear, but a lot of those blackheads on my forehead have started to flake off. Also, those small-but-irritating pimples that weren’t really going away… have mostly gone away. It’s kind of weird! My chin is still purging, although things are starting to really smooth out there. There are still some big blackheads that remain mostly on the underside, but I continue to have faith that things will continue to clear up.One thing that’s helped has been to revisit the timelines offered by posters and my own blog, and remembering that a) it doesn’t take 3 weeks, and 3 ) that my skin, even though I’ve been using BP for years now, needs time to adjust to the AMOUNT of BP that I’m now using twice a day (a fat glob of it). That said, the redness has started to really go down too, perhaps thanks to the safflower oil I’ve been using, but also perhaps thanks to time and just getting used to all this product on my face. My back has also started to clear up pretty miraculously. There are still a few active lesions – I’d say three is a generous estimate – with a few more (maybe 4 or 5) dying down. So, while I didn’t quite reach my goal of no active back acne by July 16th, I came close and that’s encouragement enough.All this in 3 weeks, too! I’m legit looking forward to seeing what happens in the next three weeks… I seem to have hit an asymptote! Oh, and my chest is OK… that big giant thing that erupted two weeks ago is mainly gone, although it’s going out with one more final fight. Whatever, that means it’s going away for good, and I don’t even really care about it. There are maybe two other bumps in between my boobs (ha) that are on their way out, and other than that my chest is pretty clear. Differin takes care of it. Although it is red (less so, but still) because of how sensitive it is to the sun…Anyway, I guess I’ll update my goals before signing off:-Back clear of all acne (active and dying) by my friend’s wedding on the 29th (2 weeks!) -Face clear of all active acne by the 29th! -Some fading of red marks on both face and back by August 4th (when I leave for Japan) -Most red marks faded by the 16th of August (when I dance in a super cool Buddhist festival!) OK, that is all. Time to go to work and serve people kung pao chicken…
  8. Week 3, Day 3

    Well, it hasn’t been that long since my last update, but the ups and downs in the acne world never cease! Lol. Anyway, current status: the yellowhead on my chin flattened out, and the blackheads seem more tame. It seems like some may have flaked off since yesterday – and again, I am here to admit that I do pick at the ones that are basically falling out of my face anyway, which I should think about stopping, perhaps? – but, in any case, things are looking more stable. The same goes for my forehead, including the picking of a blackhead that was literally half out of my face, but still left a little red spot after I scraped it off. Ew, but you know what I mean. The dryness has also subsided, probably thanks in part to the safflower oil I’ve been dabbing on the really dry/red areas and adding in my Cerave since Tuesday or Wednesday. Plus, after being real with myself about how much I touch my face – a lot!! -- I’ve been avoiding doing it as much as possible. I’m starting to have faith that things are going to clear up. So, while my face is looking better –as is my chest, where that giant boil from earlier has mainly flattened out into a pink crater thing that I am just not paying attention to in hopes that it’ll just go away on its own with Differin, BP spot treatment, and antibiotic scar prevention gel (again, this isn’t typical acne… yay folliculitis?) – my back is a different story. I swear, some days I’m OK with it, and in the morning it generally looks pretty good, but by the evening everything looks all red and purple again. I’m OK with having red marks at this juncture, since I know they don’t last very long on my back anyway, but the active acne is killing me. The zits are taking for-EVER to die down, and I keep getting new ones in what feels like an under-the-surface infection of clogged pores and blackheads around my shoulders, where the bra strap hits. I suspect that, given my sensitive skin, carrying around a heavy backpack or shoulder bags exacerbates this issue; in fact, on days when I HAVEN’T lugged around heavy books and a laptop, it seems to get better. So maybe I should try avoiding hauling heavy books and/or bras whenever I can, and just keep slathering on the BP AND the AHA (wow, so much caps lock, haha). I’m tempted to introduce Differin there, but I don’t actually think it’s a good idea… When I am faced with an ailment or something that makes me say, “OH WHY MEEEEEEE” (eczema and insomnia, which I’ve beaten, and acne, with which I still struggle), my solution tends to be to find a way to be grateful for it, as hippie dippie as it sounds, lol. But in my experience, this means accepting the condition as a part of the way I’m made up, and to ask myself: “What is this trying to communicate to me? What lesson can I learn from this that will ultimately be for my benefit?” Even if I have to get super creative about it, like I did with eczema on my hands that comes up in the form of tiny blisters that fucking SUCKS. It started happening more regularly, so I took at as a cue that my body was like, “COOL IT DOWN, HOSS, AND RELAX.” So that’s what I’ve been doing since, and it hasn’t come back! So with acne, after I broke out terribly 7 years ago and found I learned to be humble, in addition to getting a glimpse of the confidence, happiness, and radiance that surrounded me not only because of my clear skin, but because of the general circumstances of my life at that time. My clear skin ultimately didn’t last because I became too occupied with other stuff, like grad school, my fraught relationship with men (ugh/lol), and other things that take me out of the present moment. Gratitude (a trigger word for those of us who think it’s bullshitty that the term got co-opted by fucking Instagram or whatever) is perhaps the BEST WAY to be back in the present, by the way… so when my skin was crystal clear all over my face and body and I could go swimming without any second thoughts, got compliments on my skin almost daily, I remember feeling so endlessly grateful. Like, I felt so happy all the time, and didn’t take my beautiful complexion and the freedom granted by it for granted. But then slowly I did, and here I am 6 years after the fact, feeling shitty and obsessing over my skin the mirror and feeling miserable about my skin and comparing myself to others and feeling like an unsexy, unlovable, disgusting monster. Since becoming a PhD student, and since coming face-to-face with childhood issues that I’d long buried but have decided to finally face in the past two years, I’ve realized that I have become so used to deriving my self-worth externally while I relentlessly put myself down internally. And this is linked to skin, because I suspect that my clear skin couldn’t have lasted even if I kept up the regimen: I thought that once I had (a dangerous phrase) clear skin, I’d finally be happy. Welp, happiness doesn’t work that way, and I’m grateful that I’ve learned that, I guess… But anyway, yeah, I derive my sense of self-worth from the reactions or input of external stuff, like professors, men (ugh!), and so forth… and so I’m back to feeling like shit about my skin (and academia!), surprise surprise. So, in a leap of radical acceptance, maybe my acne-prone skin is actually asking me to do the following… -To accept myself just as I am, today, July 10th -To trust that I will have clear skin all over my face and body someday soon, and to stay focused on the progress (there’s been a lot, even and perhaps especially on my back, where a lot of the bigger stuff has stopped and has mostly flattened out!) -To envision myself with clear skin, and to feel in EVERY LAST PORE (lol) that I DESERVE it… -To feel grateful that things aren’t worse than they could be (seriously, although this back breakout in particular is the worst I’ve had since February 2010, AT LEAST IT ISN’T LIKE IT WAS IN FEBRUARY 2010) -To enjoy spending the time with myself, IN THE HERE AND NOW, and feel warm and nurturing toward myself instead of, “you are a disgusting acne swamp and no one will ever love you and how stupid and terrible is this that I have to rub shit all over my fucking body, which for whatever fucking reason like producing red fucking craters because I’m terrible and my skin is doomed to be ugly and hideous just like I am”? Maybe the problem is that negative self-talk… just seeing a typical script all out like this makes me feel so sad. I want to be nicer to myself… I want to actually love myself. Maybe this is the lesson that acne can teach me. That, and to be more gentle when I rub in the BP!
  9. DKR for Mild Acne?

    Hello, Long time DKR user, and one time veteran of It's... good to be back? Meaning: I have acne problems again, lol, but I'm grateful for Anyway, I once had moderate/severe acne that I cleared up with diligent use of DKR back in 2010 (I kept a blog cataloguing the experiences, for anyone interested in reading). It took about 4-5 months to get consistently clear, beautiful skin. And it was airbrush, beautiful, totally clear, glowing, soft... amazing. It stayed pretty clear over the years, but 7 years later I've found that I broke out again, and reached a tipping point. I had always used BP, but became frustrated with various aspects of the Regimen with time and tried to find something else that worked. After returning to Differin to see if it would clear a mild breakout of clogged pores and general dinginess due to a failed experimentation with an oil cleanser, things looked worse after a month and I decided to start fresh with the Regimen, doing the steps properly and keeping a new blog (again, feel free to take a look!)/taking pictures of my progress. My acne is by no means where it was when I first started DKR, and is indeed quite mild. It's mainly blackheads/clogged pores on my forehead that sometimes turn into tiny pimples, but they are lasting FOREVER. Some of these lesions dry up and fall out without turning into anything inflamed (which I appreciate :)), but for the most part they're still there. My chin is also broken out, although not in cysts... blackheads and pimples that are clearing them thanks to two full weeks of pretty precise DKR treatment. Although the dryness sucks, I'm confident that this area of my face will respond well to the BP. Although I'm trying not to compare experiences, and to remember that it's only been two full weeks, I'm wondering if there is a different trajectory for DKR's magic to work on mild acne of the clogged pore variety. My skin is also very sensitive -- now, it seems like if I touch it at ALL that I'll break out in that exact area -- and I'm feeling a little frustrated. Any advice? Does the featherlight touch really make this much of a difference (I suspect yes)? How much BP should I be using for this kind of acne? Thanks for feedback!
  10. Week 3, Day 1

    Welp, two full weeks now. Current status: some more of the blackheads on my chin are coming to the surface in the form of tiny red and/or yellow pimples, while the other ones have flattened out into red marks that will probably not linger for very long (yay!). My temples remain more or less clear, of active acne save for the left side where a long-incubating whitehead has turned into a full-blown zit. My forehead has a few tiny red pimples and most of the blackheads from before (leaving tiny reddish pink marks in their wake), although some of them fell (/were scraped…) out. My chest is generally fine, and the one giant cyst I had right in the middle (which has prevented me from wearing v-neck shirts) has almost flattened out. It was big, MAROON, and developed TWO yellow heads before sort of bursting on its own when I poked it, and since then the yellow stuff has been drained and the scab that formed on it more or less fell off this morning (again, minor prodding on my part…). I hope it heals up soon... My back is generally clearing up, with most of the bigger zits continuing to flatten out – it’s a long road for them! – and a few more bigger things coming to the surface. The good news is that the newer zits/cysts that are coming to the surface go away in about a week, not really leaving any significant marks in their wake. The other red marks remain, as do some stubborn blackheads that don’t seem to be responding quickly to BP. I wish they’d either turn into a zit and go away forever, or just dry up and fall out (much preferred!). Sigh. I’m frustrated that things aren’t moving along faster… my chin is actually seeing pretty big changes, with the parts that have broken out and cleared up actually looking smooth and soft. This past week I went through a big dry spell with my face first looking red and irritated and then flaking off in sheets, so I’ve toned down the BP a bit which helps with that terrible cycle. I’m afraid to use jojoba on my face, but I have been dabbing a very mild safflower oil onto my chin/area under my mouth before BP, which also seems to be helping the redness. The thing is, once my skin gets super irritated I’m just afraid that it’ll break out more once the dryness lets up – plus there’s the added irritation from slathering lotion on it several times a day so that my face isn’t flaking in public or at my job -- but then I’m also afraid that if I don’t use enough BP, the Regimen isn’t going to work as well. Arg! This is why I wanted to go off DKR in the first place… but it’s the only thing that has ever worked for me. My forehead, as well as these blackhead thatches on my back, doesn’t necessarily look BAD, but I’m just confused why they’re not clearing up with all the BP I’ve been slathering on. On the other hand, although I’m wont to see any progress given the attitude I have about my skin right now, I looked at some pictures of myself from two weeks ago and things definitely look a lot better. Like, noticeably. My chin doesn’t look on the verge of sprouting up new zits, and my forehead doesn’t look as unstable, either. Most of the little mysterious zits I have there have shrunk significantly, although again… this is some stubborn acne we’re talking about. Generally, I’m feeling alternating waves of frustration and hope. While I’m upset with myself for letting my skin get this bad, for trying Differin (which made a mess of things), and for not healing faster, what good is that going to do? Things ARE starting to look better, slowly but surely, and it’s not like I got clear after two weeks the first time I started the Regimen (even though my skin was much more inflamed in those days). My skin is what it is, and I just have to remember to stay focused. In the places where I’m breaking out on my face and back – that said, I have a few tiny zits near my smile lines, and in the area between my eyebrows – it’s mostly stuff clearing up and coming to the surface on its own, and if it IS new, it’s places where my skin is irritated either by me touching it or from a heavy backpack that I lug around because I decided to get a fucking PhD. Ugh. Plus, I already have noticed that I’m spending less time on the Regimen at night, and could stand to be lighter with my touch. So… hoping for some more clearing this week. Maybe I’ll post some pics!
  11. Week 2, Day 5

    Hello, It hasn't been that long since my last post, but I actually had written the "Starting Point" entry the day before posting... anyway... Current status: two of the three major blackheads on right side of chin/the area below the lip have turned into small yellowheads, while the third is deciding whether or not to become a full-fledged red pimple. I'm happy that these blackheads are finally coming to the surface. The left side of my chin/area below the lip has already MAINLY finished purging. The bottom of my chin, though, still has quite a few big blackheads -- maybe 5 or 6? It seems that the blackheads on my face this time around linger, either being pushed up to the surface slowly but without turning into inflamed lesions, or festering until going out with a final bang in the form of a yellow zit. My forehead and temples are... ok. It'd be a lie to say that the blackheads there are going away quickly; some of these have been stuck in there for two months! Arg. But the exciting thing is that many of them are or have already fallen out in the form of sebum nuggets, which, while fucking disgusting, is nice. I have a few inflamed pimples -- five or six -- but they're tiny and pink, if persistent. It seems that my skin isn't sure what to do... on the one hand, it's a bit clogged and, while it's healing, is doing so at a frustrating rate. Sigh! On the other hand, I've only been doing the Regimen proper for twelve days... and I don't think the Differin really helped all that much. In fact, since (as is my understanding) it slows the rate of cell turnover in the skin, it may have contributed to this problem... The big thing right now is that my face is back to being super red. It sucks... people have commented on it and I feel a bit embarrassed (good news: it kind of just looks like a sunburn, so yay?). Product stings, and I'm carrying around an emergency, travel-sized bottle of Cerave with me in case I start flaking. My skin feels almost powdery it's so dry, particularly on my chin. But... I do remember that this was par for the course back int he day, and that the clearing/break-out cycle persisted for a few weeks. My skin is nowhere near where it was back in those days, but I should also remember to not compare my experiences too much. Different acne, different struggles... My body is clearing up, however. My chest folliculitis is responding very quickly to the Differin I stopped using on my face, minus one inflamed boil that at least is coming to a head. Other than that, my chest looks and feels pretty good, with minimal clogged pores that fall out and resolve without becoming pimples. Yay! My back has a way to go before I can call it "clear," but with the aggressive 10% BP action it's getting, things seem to be speeding right along: the cysts are shrinking, nothing new is popping up, and the red marks seem less... angry now that the acne itself is going away. To assuage my fragile skin ego yesterday, I sunbathed with my back to the sun to make the red marks slightly less noticeable, haha... In any case, I think the sun was good for the acne, and it felt nice to get some Vitamin D. There is definitely progress, and my skin is just adjusting. I may reduce the BP I use during the daytime, but only slightly because I am committed to doing the Regimen exactly before tinkering with it. I have taken some pictures of my skin to mark my progress ( I'll post them soon!), and since I first started formally a week and a half ago there has definitely been a decrease in inflammation and overall "instability" (i.e. skin texture where it is obvious that things are lurking under the surface). I just have to remember to be patient, and to not be so hard on myself. When I get upset about my skin, I literally just scan it for flaws, which I then use to jump to totally unfounded conclusions about how ugly I am, fundamentally broken, and generally doomed. I don’t want to do that anymore… Another goal: to believe that I can have the clear skin of my dreams, that things are getting better every day I stick to this routine, and that I deserve beautiful skin. And… Goal Recap: -Clear back (no active acne) by July 16th (friend’s birthday party!) -PIH on back significantly faded by August 1st -Face clear of acne and blackheads by August 1st That is all. Moving forward…
  12. The Starting Point

    Hello all, Wow! As I embark on a second blog, it’s sort of nostalgic to be back on! This to say, I’m definitely a grizzled veteran of all things DKR. A one time regular poster on the forums, I’ve been using the Regimen on and off for over seven years (!!) and, after a brief (and fleeting) attempt last fall to revive active writing about my skin in an attempt to clear up two years of mild, but persistent acne, I’ve decided to come back and write through my experience, since it helped so much last time. I kept a separate, very detailed blog chronicling my initial journey on DKR from moderate/severe acne to utterly clear, which I *think* can be accessed in my signature. To recap, I had a breakout of severe acne seven and a half years ago that I initially tried to clear up with birth control, ill-advised home methods (slathering milk of magnesia on my face…), antibiotics, and Differin gel, but in the end decided to try DKR as a last-ditch effort. Although my path to crystal clear skin wasn’t linear, it was consistent; after a few months I achieved consistently clear skin, and at around 6 months in the texture and tone of my skin had evened out beautifully. Currently, my situation is not dire but also not ideal. My skin doesn’t look terrible, and I’m remembering to be grateful that it’s not where it was when I first started a blog here, but it also doesn’t look particularly good. I have mild acne on my forehead, temples, and chin. The chin gets the most inflamed zits, and I suspect this is due to hormones/stress (I’m finishing up a PhD, which is… stressful!), and also touching my face a lot in general. As for my forehead and temples, it’s mainly blackheads and uninflamed zits that reside up there, and for the most part they seem to be falling out as hardened sebum nuggets (ew, but you know what I mean) rather than turning into inflamed lesions. Again, I’m grateful for this, and while it’s not exactly overtly noticeable my skin there just looks… dingy. My goal is beautiful, soft, clear skin that I feel not only is “good enough,” but just… good. Beautiful. Airbrushed Looks better without make up (which I don’t really wear, anyway, but still). And I know I can do it, because I achieved it 6 years ago and it felt SO NICE to have totally clear skin… I’m also battling acne and folliculitis on my body. After clearing up a more moderate case of acne that crept up on my back with antibiotics and aggressive BP treatment (including 10%), I have a few rogue cysts and two thatches of blackheads on the back of my shoulders that… are annoying. My chest is mostly clear, although in the summer months I have noticed that I struggle with folliculitis there—clogged pores that feel like sand paper that do not constitute true acne, and as such are not really treatable with BP, but luckily respond very well to Differin (which is now available over the counter. Yay!). So, the burning question… why did my acne come back after I had cleared it up so beautifully on DKR? Why did I stop using it faithfully? After I got clear, I became sloppier with the Regimen: missing applications, not waiting between steps, hastily applying products without being gentle to my skin, touching my face throughout the day. That’s where it started. Over the years, I had grown frustrated with slathering on BP on my face, having to be exact in a skin routine, wearing only white or bleach-stained t-shirts to bed, and putting handfuls of chemicals on my face. Plus, DKR began to feel heavy and gross in the summertime, when I sweat like a 400-pound man. Having become interested in holistic health over the years as well, I began to wonder if there was perhaps some other root cause for acne: diet, some sort of psychosomatic connection, etc. Additionally, attending graduate school over the past six (!!/sigh) years has also increased my stress levels pretty significantly, and as Dan ANDcommon sense has revealed, stress and acne are VERY LINKED. So, after deviations and searching to find a non-DKR solution to clear skin, I suspect that my skin currently requires diligent adherence to the tried-and-true steps of Regimen. And that’s where I am today. My weak spots remain after all these years: I have a tendency to rub in products too hard, I touch my face a lot, and I’m not very patient. I’m going to try to work on that as I re-embark on the Regimen, and keeping a blog last time helped me tremendously on the journey. So, as of last week I’ve decided to ditch Differin on my face (which just wasn’t working – I gave it 5 weeks and didn’t notice much of a change) and do the Regimen more strictly again! I present to you below progress so far: Week 1: There has been a marked in my forehead, with many of the blackheads flaking off and the semi-inflamed smaller zits shrinking. They haven’t entirely disappeared, but they’re smaller and my forehead in general seems more stable than it did even a week ago. As for my chin, the blackheads there are coming to the surface mainly in the form of inflamed zits, but they’re small-ish, yellow but luckily not cystic (hey, take what we can get, right?), and aren’t popping up in any place that doesn’t have blackheads. My back had inflamed cysts and the area right of my spine and left of my right shoulder blade had lots of blackheads lurking beneath the surface. Week 2 (where I currently am) status: My chin is red, and my overall skin tone is blotchy (except my cheeks, which don’t get acne and are poreless and soft). The skin in that area also feels quite dry, although it isn’t flaking (thank the good lord). It does seem to be clearing, although there are still quite a few blackheads; my estimate would be around 10-15 in the whole area, including inflamed pimples. Blackheads are coming to the surface... My real problem area right now is my forehead. Although the acne there is a) not red and not really inflamed, it’s still there and has been for about two months. I think it cropped up after I used an oil cleanser for few days and noticed that my skin was reacting badly to it in the form of these clogged pores. It’s also… itchy!! The whole thing is frustrating and mysterious… the reason I started Differin in the first place was because I thought a retinoid would help, but after not seeing any real progress and having to debate with myself if it was an “initial breakout” or just… not working just wasn’t worth it in the end. DKR worked for me in the past, and I trust that it will work for me again now—I just have to be diligent… THAT SAID, it is frustrating the extent to which one has to be EXACT in the routine. Then again, acne is far more frustrating. Anyway… my back is currently clearing up, it seems, although I still have 6-7 large cysts and a bespecklement of PIH. Sigh. That will go away, though, and my back currently looks worse than it actually is because of it. Arg, but there’s nothing I can do. I do have to remember to put a TON of BP – we’re talking about a palm’s worth – on my back; when I do, I can pretty much count on the lesions shrinking significantly by morning, and on my skin generally feeling softer. I'm also using 10% in this area. THAT SAID 2.0, it’s frustrating to not be able to do the Regimen on my body during the day unless I’m wearing a white t-shirt. I wish BP didn’t bleach clothes, but c’est la vie, I suppose… at least I can slather this shit on at night until the pigs come home. And so to close the initiating, and long, first post, I’ll list some goals that I have for my skin to keep in mind, and help me on my journey from mild but FUCKING PERSISTENT acne to totally clear: 1) No active acne or blackheads on face by August 3rd, 2017 2) No active acne on back by July 16th, 2017 3) No PIH anywhere by my (30th!) birthday, October 1st So, thanks to anyone reading, and wish me luck! Clear skin ahoy!! We can do it, so long as we stay diligent…