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The Kitchen Sink -- Solving Acne At 34

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So I'm a 34 year old woman and my skin has gone crazy again. I'm pretty desperate to find a solution and this is a journal of all the things I am doing to try to fix it--I'm throwing the kitchen sink at this problem. The Regimen worked for me for years. I had a massive breakout when I was 26, which is when I discovered Dan's Regimen. It was a life saver (as was this forum).

Over the years, with the Regimen, my skin was rarely flawless, but it was pretty good and largely manageable. There was a slight hiccup a year or so ago when PanOxyl was discontinued (how could they do that to me?!) and I had to switch to Dan's BP, which never seemed to work quite as well for me. But then about three months ago my acne went off the charts. And the Reg isn't having any impact. Hmph. Cue frustration and an unhealthy obsession with my face.

The first thing I tried was The Clear Skin Diet. Read the book. It all sounds eminently sensible. No dairy, lots of veg, no high-sugar carbs, lots of omega-3. I have been drinking green tea and taking a silly number of vitamins (E, zinc, C, magnesium, selenium, B6, omega-3 supplements) and drinking Yakult (erm, not sure how this fits with the no dairy). After a month, maybe my skin was a little better for the diet, but still pretty awful. So although I'm sticking with the diet, I realised I need to try something else.

Next, I read about demodex and the link with rosacea (there's an interesting article in New Scientist). I'm very fair skinned and my face has always been prone to flushing, so I've long thought my acne could be of the acne rosacea variety. Now I am trying tea tree oil mixed with jojoba oil to rid myself of mites (mites that I may or may not have in excess). I reckon I'm mixing the oil up to 30% tea tree oil but I'm not being very precise, so not sure exactly how strong I'm using it. But it feels good--tingles but doesn't sting. And I've taken extra care to wash my eyelashes with it (seems like that's where demodex congregate) and that feels lovely afterwards. Adding a few drops of tea tree oil to my shampoo and conditioner and also to the sulfur soap I've started using to wash my face. Then I rub in the jojoba + TTO.

In addition, I've temporarily stopped using eye makeup (mascara and eyeliner). I've always been pretty slovenly and not washed off my eye makeup before going to bed, so it occurs to me that could be exacerbating any problem I might have with mites. As I imagine they can live quite happily in mascara, I won't use any for a week and when I go back to it, I'll throw out all my old stuff and start new ones. I'm not thrilled about this because I think I look lots better with it but nevermind.

Also I went to my GP in desperation. Not expecting any miracles here. She gave me a prescription for Duac Once Daily (which is BP + antibiotic) to use at night. So I'll give that a try. I'm putting it on after the jojoba + TTO combination.

Right. Those are all the things I'm trying at the moment. It does feel like I'm throwing the kitchen sink at the problem. But I'm hoping something will work. I'll try to update this to see if any of this stuff has any positive effect. I've put the Regimen on ice for the moment; I'm not applying BP in the mornings but the Duac has it so I'm getting my BP fix at night.

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