How true all of this is, obsessing and focusing on acne only makes it SO much worse. Up until the age of 27, I never owned a special facial soap. I never even really washed my face, except when it would get wet in the shower. I would go out drinking, come home and go right to sleep. I would work a 24 hour shift in emergencies at work, and never worried about not being able to wash my face. And through all that, my skin was basically HEALTHY.
Then one time 2 summers ago I got 2 zits...probably just a freak thing. I borrowed a special 'face wash' off my wife-to-be to help blast away the pesky pimples, and it was all down hill from there. I started washing my face 2 or 3 times a day. I worried about everything I ate. I FOCUSED on it, and stopped enjoying other things in life. And through all of this, my acne got worse, much worse. My face was dried out, red, irritated. I went from 2 pimples to CONSTANT breakouts.
I started to sink into frustration and depression. For the life of me I couldn't figure out WHAT I was doing wrong! I drank nothing but water, ate healthy, excercised...all the RIGHT things according to most. My parents, who are in their 50s, still get a zit or two, so I knew heredity was not on my side. But I honestly believed I could get rid of EVERY zit on my face and body. The more focused I became on my own acne the less I realized that almost EVERYONE has SOME acne. Go out anywhere and you will see this...almost everyone has SOME type of skin problems...acne, excema, rosacea, etc Don't use TV and magazines as the comparison, all that crap is airbrushed and makeup'd to death :P Go out and see REAL people.
Starting about 2 months ago I dropped all the stupidity and went back to basics. I wash my body with Aveeno Dry Relief bodywash, use Head&Shoulders on my hair, and now use Cetaphil on my face (and add a little baking soda to it twice a week or so to exfoliate). Since then, my skin is SO much better! I have almost zero body acne (except the occasional tiny ingrown hair on my upper legs), and the pimples I do get on my face are minimal. But, my face is starting to look HEALTHY again, even with the acne!
Using soaps with BP or salicylic acid just BUTCHERED my face. And the Benzamycin and doxycycline my doctor gave me last September made things SO much worse (Benzamycin was HARSH on my sensitive skin).
I am using the 'simpler is gooder' method right now, and my skin is thanking me for it.
I have accepted that I will always suffer from acne for the rest of my life. I just saw my father the other day and he had a big pimple on his temple. So I am doomed to deal with this forever...but I am OK with that. It could be worse.
[This message has been edited by Forcefed4 (edited 03-13-2003).]