Thursday, January 26, 2012

Insecure Me: Acne, Part 2

Trying to Solve the Acne Problem

In Part 1 of my Insecure Me Acne post, I discussed how acne has plagued me for most of my adult life, despite having clear skin as an adolescent.  To read the entire post (and see embarrassing pictures of me), click the link here.

Before my last post, you might have been thinking that you have never noticed in my photos that I have acne, but I have a secret about that too.  I airbrush those suckers out.  It is not hard; I just use the airbrush tool in Microsoft Paint and pretend they never happened.  So I have included some pictures  so that you can see my real skin, since this series is about facing my insecurities with honesty.  (For pictures of me with NO makeup on, click that link above.)
Left side: no touch up.  Right side: Retouched with MS Paint.
I had left off by telling you how last week I decided I was tired of this acne and was ready for a change.  Let me explain what triggered this and what I am doing about it.

At Christmas of this past year, my acne got worse.  Over Thanksgiving weekend, my ill father had finally gotten the liver transplant that he needed.  I spent the next two weeks on the phone with my mother every day, waiting to see if he would start to recover or if he would reject the liver and get even worse.  (He is doing great now!)  I stressed and worried and did not care much about something as trivial as skin, compared to the health of my dad.  Then we spent a hectic Christmas visiting with family in Pennsylvania.  When we finally got back to Florida, and I got back to focusing on me, my skin had broken out and it has not been clear for a single day since.  It has been about six weeks of constant acne.

For a person who spent nineteen years with lovely skin, this is very difficult.  I thought I had solved this problem twice before and here I was again, dealing with this now daily acne.  It took a toll on my self-esteem, along with several other issues I will address later in this series.  Again, I had enough.  I am tired of this acne.  I am tired of hiding my skin under concealer, foundation, and powder.  I went looking for a new solution and I am hoping that this time, I have found it.

I do not remember exactly where, but I heard about acne.org on YouTube and I thought it could not hurt to check it out.  I was expecting a more expensive version of Proactiv, promising more amazing results if you just shell out half your paycheck for their product.  I was pleasantly surprised to find that this was not the case.  What I found was thorough instructions (called The Regimen) on how to treat your skin, including how to wash and dry it and product recommendations for inexpensive drugstore skin care items.  I was blown away by the simplicity of this very different acne solution.

The founder, Dan Kern, simply explains that he cleared his skin by changing the way he took care of it.  I am not buying completely into everything on the website because I really do feel like the products I am using have helped my skin.  However, I have made some changes based on The Regimen.  I am now washing my face much more quickly and gently, as well as drying my face more gently.  No longer am I trying to scrub my acne away.  Additionally, I have increased the amount of 2.5% Benzoyl Peroxide that I use.  The Proactiv kit had said to use only a thin layer but in The Regimen, Kern says you will need to use more BP if you are continuing to have acne.  As of today (only about a week into my skin care changes), my skin is peeling like nobody's business but I swear, it seems like it is clearing up already.  After a few weeks, my skin will build up a tolerance to the new amount of BP and will stop peeling.  It is definitely too soon to tell, but I really feel like my skin is getting better and at least I have hope.  I have noticed that my T-zone is much less oily at the end of the day and although I had a pimple pop up yesterday, it never got very big and it is already healing.  I am hopeful that this will finally be the solution to my acne but I will be sure to keep posting about any progress or problems along the way.  Until my skin is clear, I will continue to trust my Maybelline Mineral Power Concealer for those pesky spots and I will continue to airbrush them out of my photos.

Click here to read Part 1 of this post.

8 comments:

  1. Oh my gosh! I was on the acne.org site last night after watching a Samantha Shuerman YouTube video about her skin care routine. Last night I started using more of the "Faux"Activ (hehe) treatment step and let that soak in completely. Then I topped it off with a layer of the Equate brand of oil-free moisturizer. This morning my severely broken out chin looked better! I was pumped! I'm not convinced that I need to shell out the $39 plus S&H for the acne.org system just yet. As long as my "Faux"Activ from Wal-Mart does the job, I'll stick to it! And keep airbrushing away, I certainly would with my photos!

    Lindsey

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    1. Lindsey: That is hilarious! We are two peas in a pod! I have really noticed that since I started using more of the step 3 my skin seems less oily seems like it's really clearing up. I'm curious to see what my skin will look like after it stops peeling in a few weeks but this is already the clearest skin I've had since before Christmas! Let me know how it goes for you too!

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    2. I have an enormous breakout resulting from finals (went back to school after a 10 year hiatus), and nothing was helping. I took your advice and tried the Equate acne system (lol, Lindsey, "Faux"Activ!!), and it did wonders. I'm still not in the clear, but it's way better. I have severely dry skin, and I was worried it would make me peel like a sunburn, but as long as I let the treatment step soak in really well and top it off with a dab or two of my normal heavy-duty night cream, it still seems to work. I'm proof even the desert-dry skinned type can benefit from it!

      Ally

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    3. Ally, Congrats to you for going back to school!! I'm so glad the "Faux"Activ is helping! You should definitely also check out acne.org for some great tips because I had the same results with the "Faux"Active. It helped, but didn't eliminate all of my breakouts. Taking the advice from acne.org, I started applying more of the step 3 and my skin is completely clear right now. I'm still using the same products, just in a different way and it has made all the difference for me! I hope it will help you too!

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  2. I'm going to check out the site. Thanks. This gives me at least some hope that I can clear up my skin.

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    1. After only 2 days of using a variation of this "regimen", my chin has cleared up DRAMATICALLY! I'm using the Wal-Mart "ProActiv" system and supplementing with the Target Up & Up brand "Cetiphil" cleanser and Equate brand Oil-free moisturizer. Good luck!


      Lindsey

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    2. Kay L: I hope this works for you too!

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