Join Date: Jan 2003
| | What's Worked for Me
I have been clear about 3 months now. Even the red marks are finally, finally fading. That in itself is just short of miraculous. Still though, the past two years I have had far less acne, just some pesky flare ups and a few cysts. I don't have time to list every product ever tried, or give detailed advice, or answer tons of questions, but I wanted to post this to encourage everyone to keep trying, and not to give up.
Following the Acne Cure (book by Dr. Dubrow) was good for my skin. It's an all around good read. It wasn't a 100% cure. I truly doubt anything is. Even if it's not for you, the first chapter is a great read for anyone, to understand the mechanics of skin and to appreciate all the things your skin does for you.
Salicylic acid, 1-2% cleansers are good for my skin.
Don't listen to people that say diet has no effect whatsoever on acne. Diet has every effect on everything. You are what you eat. If food can give you gas, diarrhea, cavities in your teeth (enamel is pretty hard stuff, after all!), better energy, a good time with family, a great evening out at a restaurant, a lousy evening out at a restaurant, allergies, etc, it can of course do things for your skin. Most people acknowledge that well a fed dog has a shiny coat, why can't we acknowlege that eating poorly will have an effect? It might not cause acne for everyone, but it will cause acne for some.
Healthy food is better for acne.
Partying too much is bad for acne.
Drinking too much alcohol is bad for acne.
Taking good care of your skin is good for your skin.
Using a million products at once is bad for skin. If every day you used 4-5 products and a blowdryer on your hair, twice a day, would you be shocked if it got listless and full of split ends?
Dry skin is bad for acne. Just as bad as oily skin.
Moisturizing with the right moisturizer for your skin is not bad for acne.
Dermatologists that are insensitive, inconsiderate, or can't understand how bad side effects can be just as bad as acne, are bad for acne.
Stress is really, really bad for acne.
Neglecting your skin is bad for acne. Cleaning your skin twice a day, no matter how tired you are, even if it's only with water, is better for acne.
Sunscreen is always good for your skin. That's for all you teens out there. You'll thank me when you're 30 and you don't look nearly as decrepit as your friends, no matter who had the acne problem way back when.
Simplicity is usually best for your skin.
Working too many hours or spreading yourself too thin is bad for acne.
Smoking is awful for acne. If you smoke, you might not notice that it has any effect on acne. If you quit, you may even break out at first as your body detoxifies itself of noxious poisons. If you keep at the quit, in a few months, you will notice a major difference in your skin and its ability to heal. And it will look skin colored, not gray.
Learning to focus on things in your life besides your skin, in short, leading a life that isn't "acnecentric" is better for your acne.
You are the only one that examines your pores in telescopic detail. Nobody else is, unless they too have suffered a lot of acne and are as obsessed with you, and they're probably empathetic. Give your pores a break. If someone stared at you like that all the time, and was constantly picking on you, you wouldn't be on your best behavior either.
Picking, squeezing, rubbing, scratching, excavating, and DIY surgeries are bad for acne.
Exercising is good for acne. Different exercise routines are good for different people. If you hate yoga, but love running, it's a no brainer which one is better to help keep you and your skin healthy.
Trying to keep your hands off your face is good for acne. Think of all the things your hands have touched, and all the people that have touched those things. Think of what all they've touched. If your hands can transmit a cold or flu to you, they probably shouldn't be on your skin, unless you've just washed them.
Head & Shoulders can be great for backne!
PMS has never, ever been good for acne. Thank god it doesn't last all month.
Taking a little time out for yourself to relax is good for acne.
Finding something that sounds right and feels right to you is better for your acne than some alternatives. If the thought of accutane, or swabbing your face with fresh urine, or eating organ meats daily repulses you, then it's probably not the right choice to treat your acne. Don't do it if you hate it; it's not worth it.
Diet can and does affect acne, but that doesn't mean that topical systems are useless. In my experience, it's a combination of taking care of the insides and the outside.
Your skin is an organ system. Be nice to it. You wouldn't want people mucking about with your endocrine system, or your digestive system, so be kind to this organ system holds all these things in. Don't hate it. You need it.
Friction is bad for acne.
Ice is great for cysts. So is ibuprofen. Reduces the swelling and pain, and lets you think about something besides that beast deep under the surface thumping and throbbing.
Packaged food and junk are bad for acne. Things that grow in the ground, are recognizable, and have ingredients you know are better for acne.
Too much sun is bad, but a little sun every day is good for most skin. In general, it's good to get outside now and again and smell the roses.
Gentle exfoliation is good for acne.
Oddly enough, the most expensive things I've tried haven't been what helped my acne. Don't despair if you can't swing the crazy derm bills, or the millions of dollars in supplements.
I hope this helps. It's truly helped me to look at my skin as a part of my body and to think a bit more holistically about everything. In fact, I wouldn't trade some of those bad breakouts for the things I learned about whole foods, eating healthy and taking care of myself. And it may sound really cheesy, but learning to just accept and like my skin, no matter what's going on with its pores has really helped my acne. It's just like anything else in life- hate and misery just aren't that productive.