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  1. Hello all who is out there reading this, I’m James, a 23 year old male & I have been suffering from acne since age 11. I’m not quite sure on the exact cause so I’ve come here to hopefully seek some wisdom from maybe those who’ve been in my shoes. Get ready for a bumpy (face of a) ride. Here’s my journey. A brief background on my acne. I’ve tried pretty much all over the counter products. Cleansers Moisturizers Topicals: BP, Salicylic Acid, Clindamycin, Essential Oils Minocycline, Doxycycline, & eventually 6 months of Acutane. All have done there fair share of either helping slightly or damaging my skin. I would say my acne has always been pretty moderate. Anyth region above my eyes has always been crystal clear but my cheeks, chin, & forehead never have been clear. My current regimen includes: VITAMINS & MINERALS & ANTIOXIDANTS: Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, B-Complex, Fish Oil, Evening Primrose Oil, Zinc, Alpha Lipoic Acid, Magnesium, Beta Sitosterol (active compound in Saw Palmetto), Probiotics, & Fiber capsules. AM: Wash with a gentle gentle cleanser in the morning, use Thayers Witch Hazel (rose water) as a toner with a few drops of Salicylic Acid Moisturize is Aloe Vera gel. Before I head out the door I spray my face with Green Tea water mixed with Thayers. PM: Recently switched to a 3% Sulfur cleanser to help my dead skin cell slow turnover rate. Thayers again as a toner. Also recently switched to Azelaic Acid (20%) as my topical. Lastly I use a Retin-A . I found that Azelaic Acid & Tretinion compliment eachother. MY DIET: This last month I did a full month long colon, liver, & full body detox cleanse to insure my acne wasn’t purely internally based. I am a very health conscience person and happen to be allergic to dairy & gluten so those two factors are already out the window. I stay far from excess sugary foods & hydrogenated oils. Other than that I eat a high fiber/omega-3/omega-6/ diet. Lots of beans, lentils, veggies, avocados, fruit, rolled oats, pumpkin, flax & chia seeds, almonds & cashews. No alcohol. I drink about 3-4 cups of Green Tea a day as well as 1-2 Spearmint or Chamomile teas at night before bed. I also drink plenty of water (at least 100 fluid ounces per day). I believe I may have Hyperkeratinoisis which is a buildup of protein on the skin that clogs pores with dead skill cells. Add my excess sebum (oil) and it’s a mixture from hell. I do get stressed out but not any more than the average person. I’m a fairly calm & level headed human. Depression has taken its toll on me over the last few years after I’ve seen a dermatologist for about 2.5 years which did nothing. I actually obtain more clear skin by researching for myself and trying more holistic approaches. The best thing a dermatologist offered me was Tretinion which I still use to this day. SIDE NOTE: My acne or at least sebum production goes into overdrive after masturbation. I’ve tested the theory and I have broken out bad masturbating consistent days. Also I’ve held off work about two weeks and yes my skin got better but never fully cleared me up. The most frustrating part of this whole journey to clear skin is the teasing of new practices I implement. I try something new & it works, starts to clear me up then out of no where either backfires or stops working. Some examples of these are... Green Tea. Lost its effectiveness so I bumped up to Matcha green tea which was strong and worked again but slowly diminished strength. Pure Tea Tree Oil (huge clogger of pores). My skin was beautifully clear after dabbing pure Tea Tree Oil on my face daily unless it clogged my pores horrifically. Took 3-4 months to unclog them. Alpha Lipoic Acid. Lost its effectiveness. High Fish Oil intake. Stopped its high effectiveness & to thin out my sebum BP. Always overdried me & made my breakouts worse. It’s like my body becomes immune to all of these wonderful options and just wants to make my facial inflammation worse. There’s a few questions that I am eager to have answered. Such as products I’ve been curious to try but have not yet. So without further ado I’ll fire away. Borage Oil over EPO (evening primrose oil)? Does the higher GLA content really make a huge difference Can eating eggs & almonds truly cause more acne? Topical Spironolactone? Anyone have positive experiences with Azelaic Acid? Anyone have positive experiences switching to Sulfur cleansers? If I’ve tried Beta Sitosterol & it didn’t work should I still bother with Saw Palmetto? Sodium Sulfacetamide & Sulfur Topicals/Lotion effectiveness ? Should I try these Best products for Hyperkeratinosis acne? Best acne bacteria fighting/non-drying/non-comedogenic day time moisturizers? Does it does as if I have hormonal acne? Any advice Alpha Hydroxy Acid products? Very curious to try them out if Azelaic doesn’t pan out well. Thank you so much if you got this far. I hope that some of this info can shed new light to those out there struggling because I know some of these products work well for many acne sufferers. I haven’t found my answer yet but I’m still striving to do so. Keep fighting everyone :)!
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