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Off Otc 2 Months - Need Encouragement

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Hey - thanks for reading. I'm really just looking for some encouragement, because I'm feeling pretty down right now, and I've almost gone back to chemicals so many times. I am going to Mexico in one week today and rather than being excited, I am stressed and dreading it because of the condition of my skin. If you have a similar experience, or any advice to start the holistic route and not give in to chemicals, I am all ears!

Background: Mild/moderate acne for 10-15 years. On DKR BP and a SA cleanser for 5 years with somewhat success. Even with products, still always had pimples, but generally mild, becoming somewhat moderate once a month. 2 months ago I stopped using all my OTC products cold-turkey (I now realize I likely should have gradually reduced usage).

Regime for last two months: Wash face with oatmeal day and night; yogurt mask once per day. With this I have not felt the need to use moisturizor, but if I did it would be pure aloe vera. For the last week I have been taking epsom salt baths and putting an epsom salt toner (1 TB salts disolved in cup of water) on my face before bed (I only added this because I'm getting antsy with lack of clearing and I'm messing around with things, I'm really unsure if I should continue this).

Diet/supplements/etc: I have eaten a non-processed vegetarian/vegan (wheat+soy+dairy+sugar free 90% of time) diet for the last year. For the last two months I have taken a whole-food multivitamin and added 2 TB of flaxseed and 2 TB of wheat germ once a day with meals. For the last month I have taken cod liver oil daily (just started fermented a week ago) and drink one cup of hot water with juice of a whole lemon each morning. I am on birth control and have been for 2 years (Otho Tri). I would like to stop taking it in the near future.

Results: First month = HELL. Skin extremely dry, flaky and tiny bumps over the entire perimeter of my face and my whole forehead. Plus pimples (3-4 white heads, 3-4 cysts) on rest of face. Face was extremely rough to the touch. Would get new pimples everyday. By far, the WORST breakout I have ever experienced (including during adolescence)!

Second month = Improvements, but still bad. The tiny bumps are mainly gone, except for along my temples and a bit on my forehead. I still have significant hyperpigmentation on the sides of my checks/jaw line from where they were). I am still breaking out, but weekly rather than daily. Problem is that the initial breakout hasn't healed so the new breakouts are in addition to the old one, plus all the hyperpigmentation.

I guess I thought that my month 2 my skin would get better. And in all honestly it IS better than what it was a month ago, but looks nowhere near like it did on chemicals. Hardest part is all the red marks, which makes it hard to see that my active acne isn't actually that bad. I'm considering seeing a naturopathic doctor.

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