Ever since I was 16, I remember being at war with my skin. Basically, I can't remember a time when I didn't have at least one or two cysts on my chin. It was never dramatic enough to seek "real" treatment, but it was annoying enough that I was constantly thinking about it, thus touching my face, about 10,000 times a day, making the situation worse. I went on this way until I was in my early 30's. Surprisingly, the time it was the clearest, was when I was pregnant with the little man, but given the 30 or so pounds I traded for it, I wasn't really all that excited. Things got bad when I started the clomid, and then then really bad with the first round of IVF in 2009, followed by the second in 2010. Honestly, the acne, for me, will always be the worst part of that whole experience. The needles and pain I could take. Looking like a teenager I could not. Obviously, the hormones were to blame, but considering this was something I had been struggling with forever, it made the problem worse, but was not the cause of it.
To say I tried everything to "cure" would be an understatement. I can say with absolute certainty that I had tried every available treatment out there, except Accutane. Now, I was open to try the so called wonder drug, but given my desire to get pregnant, that was the one thing that wasn't really an option. Now, when I say everything, I mean everything. Proactiv, herbal pills, every treatment in the drug store, every skin care regimen from every high end makeup line, facials, retinols, levelan, blue light treatments, chemical peels, microdermabrasion... and on and on. Everything. Some of these things would work for a while, yet there was never, ever a time when I didn't have at least one cyst on my chin. Then, I got pregnant with Gray. Things got worse, then they got a little better, and then, last Summer when we were in Costa Rica, things got as bad as they had ever been. I have no doubt that the combination of the heat and sunscreen was the culprit, but those are two things that are unavoidable down there. Feeling desperate, from the middle of the jungle, I booked an appointment for the week after we got back to try to get my hands on some Accutane. Feeling really, really, really desperate, I even thought of trying to get some from Canada, since I was sure the dermatologist was just going to make me try 100 less invasive treatments first, and at this point I was fed up. While I was reading about the side effects, of which there were many, I was so disappointed to read that even that isn't a cure all. People often have to take it a number of times, and for that level of crazy, I was looking for guaranteed results.
Feeling defeated, I spent a few hours scouring the Internet, trying to find testimonials for people who had problems similar to mine. I realized my problem was an over production of oil, but nothing seemed to help that, without completely drying out my face, causing me to need more moisture, which made more oil... the cycle went on and on. Anyway, during my search I stumbled upon this product on Amazon, and was pretty impressed with the amount of people who practically wrote books, raving of its success in the review section. Given how inexpensive it was, I had serious doubts that it would work, but since it qualified for prime shipping (my Achilles heal,) I figured I would try it out, and after hearing from people that they saw results in 2 days, I hoped beyond hope that it would do that for me.
One we arrived home, I ran through the door, and the first thing I did after setting our bags down was try it out. Shockingly two days later, I could already see a huge difference. My husband said it was just because we were out of the sun, but I swear things were really changing. I canceled my derm appointment and figured I would give it a month or two, to see if it worked. After about two weeks, no joke, my skin was clearer than it had been in my entire life. It took a little bit of messing with the product (I cut out step 4, and used step 3 twice a day, also adding in this on breakouts) but I really was amazed that something so inexpensive, and so readily available could work so well. Now 9 months later, my skin is still acne free (no pun intended) and I have never once had any drying or irritation from the product.
Now, I know every one's skin is different, but if you, like me have had problems with cystic/ no cystic acne due to oily skin you have got to give it a try. If that is your issue, I've since read, benzoyl peroxide is pretty much the only thing that is going to work. That is all that is in this product (steps 1-3) and that's why it works like a charm. I wouldn't believe it, if I hadn't seen the results myself, and after almost 17 years, I can't believe I have finally found something that works on my skin. The other day, at the gym, someone told me I had great skin, and honestly I wanted to hug her and cry. That is the last thing that I would have thought I would ever have anyone say about my face!
I still have issues with oil in the sun, and in the winter, so I've still had to try other products (sunscreens, and moisturizers) that won't effect the amazing effects of this stuff. I feel like I've found the perfect cocktail for my skin, and I figured I'd share with you all, in case someone is dealing with the same thing. Obviously, it might not work for you, but it's cheap enough that it's worth a try. Recently, I've started using baking soda for an at home microdermabrasion(3 tbs mixed with 1 tbs warm water, put on in a circular motion, leave on for 5-10 minutes, and follow with a toner) and that has done wonders for any scaring that I had, but other than that, here is what has worked for me. No prescription needed.
2x a day I use my "miracle" omitting step 4 (the retinol)
At night I use this on my T zone.
When needed, I use this moisturizer, which is the only one I've found that really, really, really is oil free.
For sunscreen, I've found this amazing product that actually is a powder, so it doesn't put oil on your face, and actually absorbs it, instead. I like the one for oil problem skin. (The only bummer is that you have to re-apply when you get out of the water)
2x a week, I use my beloved clarisonic with step one of the Acnefree kit.
and 1x a week I do the at home microdermabrasion.
I've found that this is the best foundation, and I use it rarely and sparingly.
Those few things have changed my skin, and really a lot of my life. I used to get so down with one breakout after another, and not having to worry about that has really given me a boost of self confidence. I read somewhere that you should treat Acne treatments like medicine, if it's working, don't ever stop using it. That being said, I will probably use this stuff until the day I die. I find that it's sometimes hard to get, so I buy 4 boxes at a time. It is one of my greatest fears that they will stop making it!
I hope this helps someone out there, who has been dealing with the same issue. Otherwise I probably just bored a ton of you for no reason ;) If you have found your miracle product, please share in the comments, everyone can use a great testimonial for a new product!