These are shots of my face in September 2011.
I was curious to see what changes I had made this month, so I took another picture. This is March, 2014.
I was really amazed and encouraged by the change! I felt like I should do a blog post about it for anybody else that is trying to banish their acne. I still get pimples, but they are very tiny and I get them one at a time. They are easy to get rid of, and it is normally the same time every month (before my period).
This is the other side of my face.
I still have acne scars that I want to get rid of. My dermatologist said that I could go to specialists and have them do lasers! They would basically burn my skin off. That scares me, and my insurance would probably not cover it. I asked her what I could do instead, and she said to use a lotion with vitamin E in it. I actually already had been doing that in the morning. I found a cream to use at night as well.
I want to start from the beginning. I started out going to a dermatologist who wasn't nice and basically told me there was no hope for me. He gave me harsh medicines to use, and I ended up not consistently using them and never going back to him. I believed him that there was nothing I could do. I think I felt this way for a year! I was very upset over my skin, and I even prayed that God would heal my skin. I got to the point where I was so tired of it, I decided to find a new dermatologist.
The second doctor was closer to my house. He said the only way for me to get rid of my acne was to use Accutane. Accutane is a very serious medicine, with serious side effects. It can cause depression. I have problems with depression, so I didn't want to take the medicine. Also, it scared me all the cautions the doctor gave in a huge book to read about it. I was supposed to read the book, and sign all these papers. It gave me a funny feeling. I knew in my heart this wasn't the right thing for me. But this doctor said it was the only way to get rid of my acne! Again, I left never to see him again and feeling hopeless.
I think another year went by with me feeling helpless against my acne. I prayed about it. I add this in because I feel like God deserves credit in this acne banishment. It's only fair to let you know I included him in my efforts. I feel like he was guiding me to where I needed to go. Finally, I decided to try a third doctor. This only goes to show you don't have to see just one doctor. You can get lots of opinions when you have a problem. This third doctor was a dream! She looks like she is younger than me! She has beautiful skin. I'm in my 30's, and I struggled with adult cystic acne. She said the cause of my acne was because of internal bacteria. I needed to take an antibiotic pill every morning. She said to use a Benzoyl Peroxide face wash in the morning, and a Salicylic Acid wash at night. These ingredients have both been shown to remove acne, so she wanted to use both on my skin. She took a sample of my blood because I think with the medication they have to make sure my blood is healthy and that the medicine isn't harming me in any way. She also gave me ointments to put on in the morning and evening. She also gave me lots of samples to put on pimples, whenever they show up.
Now my acne is cleared up, but I still have scars. They are red marks on my face that I can cover with makeup, but I would prefer they were gone. She told me to use vitamin E either straight from a capsule or in a lotion. My morning lotion already had that. I had a lotion that was from the same line as my morning lotion that I wasn't using, but I had stored away. It has vitamins A, C, & E. I have read these are all good for the skin.
These are the products I use. I'm not getting paid by these companies. These are products I found on my dermatologist's recommendation.
1. Clean & Clear Continuous Control Acne Cleanser: This has 10% benzoyl peroxide in it. My dermatologist just told me to find any wash that had benzoyl peroxide in it. This was the only cleanser I found in the drugstore. I love it.
2. Clindamycin Phosphate Lotion: This is the morning ointment I put all over my face. The dermatologist prescribed this for me. It is a clear, gel like formula. It doesn't sting or anything.
3. Aveeno Smart Essentials Daily Nourishing Moisturizer: My dermatologist didn't say what moisturizer I should use. I wanted something with an SPF. This has an SPF of 30. It also has vitamins A, C & E, which are all good for your skin.
4. Spironolact: I also take a pill every morning. There are no side effects. I do have to get my blood checked once a year. I also think you aren't supposed to get pregnant while on this pill.
1. Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash: This has salicylic acid in it, which the dermatologist wanted me to use at night. This really cleans my face. It strips it of all oils. My face feels really dry after using it. There are lots of salicylic acid washes at the drugstore. I got this one because the dermatologist specifically mentioned it to me.
2. Differin: This is the night time ointment the dermatologist prescribed for me. It is a clear gel and you put a thin layer over your entire face. This really dries the skin so it is important to use a good moisturizer after putting this on.
3. Aveeno Smart Essentials Nighttime Moisture Infusion: She didn't say what to use for a moisturizer. I decided to use this one because I already had it, and it has vitamins A, C & E in it. I want to get rid of my acne scars, and my dermatologist recommended getting a moisturizer that had vitamin E in it. I also really like the smell of this and the other Aveeno Smart Essentials moisturizer. This is a thicker cream than the daytime one.
4. L'Oreal Revitalift Eye Cream Moisturizer: I have been reading that in your 30's you should start wearing an eye cream to help with getting less wrinkles. This has Pro-Retinol in it. It is supposed to help with lines, wrinkles and dark circles. I just started using this, so I'll have to see what happens.
I hope this was helpful for someone! I thought since my skin has improved so much, I should do a blog post about it.