Join Date: Jan 2003
| | A long post about what's sorta working for me
Some background- I used to post here way back in the day, when the format was entirely different. Since then, I've checked the boards periodically.
I'm a 26 year old female with what's probably considered moderate acne, although ask me on a bad day and I'll tell you it's severe. It started in my teens, and was probably similar to most teen acne at the time. Now, I tend to have monthly flare ups, and just a general smattering of small clogged pores on my cheeks (and i can have the SAME clogged pores for months at a time). The flare ups are usually around my chin and mouth and can be cystic and inflamed, the works.
I did the derm route some years ago, but there's much about common practices that I don't agree with, so I generally take the more natural approach to things. Lately, my skin's been doing pretty well, so I thought I'd post and share in case any of it can help some others.
For cleansing, I use Pond's age-defying towelette thingies...for the longest time, I used one gentle cleansing bar after another, mainly Purpose, and discovered that my skin got less oily and inflamed when I didn't wash it *at all*. So I do the Pond's thing at night to get rid of make-up, and i do 20 splashes of water morning and night.
In the evening I use a thin layer of Neutrogena Clear Pore treatment (salicylic acid), and in the morning, a thin layer of Neutrogena on the spot acne treatment (2.5% benzoyl peroxide). My moisturizer is Aveeno something or other with spf 15.
But most importantly, what's helping is: 1. always, always, cleaning my face morning and night. I know, seems logical, but there's just a lot of times I wouldn't get to it in the past. The 20 splashes of cool water twice a day (and after a workout) really makes a difference. 2. Not picking. Yeah...it took me only 26 years to figure this out...but when i stopped picking and popping, my skin felt better and looked better... i lost that overall red tone. 3. Regular exercise. 4. Diet... i generally follow macrobiotic principles. (If you want to look into it, Christina Pirello is one of my favorite authors/chefs) Even when I don't, I find that the best thing I can do is avoid "extreme foods"...things that are too salty, or things with white sugar... too much concentrated protein...basically, I go for moderation, lots of veggies and whole grains, and try not to eat packaged stuff. 5. I quit smoking a year ago, after a pack a day more or less for 12 years. Even though I still have acne, my skin is 300 times better looking than when i smoked. Zits heal more quickly, scars are less purpley-red, and zits just aren't as apparent. It definitely was not easy to quit, but if you smoke, consider quitting...not just for your skin; the results are amazing.
Mostly, I try and listen to my skin, and body in general. For years I was so caught up trying to tamp down whatever symptom i saw, or trying to rigidly adhere to whatever regimen i thought might work, that i forgot to just do what my body was asking. So if i'm oily, i don't moisturize. If a zit is inflamed, and open, and aggravated, i don't rub benzoyl peroxide into it; i just let my immune system do its job. I don't drink 12 glasses of water if i'm not thirsty. If my skin's dry or irritated from the weather, I don't put any medications on it, etc. Also, I'm very allergic to milk, although i'm not lactose intolerant. If i consume cow's milk in any way shape or form, it tends to show up on my face. And i think the same is true of many allergies, as your body tries to work out the toxins. And lastly, I just try not to overdo anything... so I do my best not to drink too much, not to lose too much sleep, etc.