A big reason I started this site is because I wanted to let people know how I cured my adult acne. It wasn’t easy and it took two years of research and trial and error before I was clear of acne! Around 27 or 28, I had moved from San Francisco and was living in Los Angeles. In San Francisco, I had perfect skin and didn’t do anything to it, except wash with whatever cheap face cleanser I could find, and then I’d pat my face with some powder and I was done. No wrinkle creams, no moisturizers, no sunscreen – nothing. All hell broke loose in LA. I don’t know if it was the climate change, the pollution, the water, coincidental hormone changes, or what, but my skin (and my ex-boyfriend’s) started breaking out like crazy. At its worst, I had about 50 pimples at any given time – most were either red non-poppable pimples, or puffy bumpy ones, all over my cheeks and jawline. Picking at them (which is terrible, I know) would cause giant inflamed lumps on my face, I quickly learned. In high school I’d always have some breakouts on my forehead, but I never had more than three pimples at a time. I had been taking the birth control pill Ortho Tri-Cyclen for a few years to keep my skin clear, and it did a wondrous job in the past, but it was no match for LA.
My hair was also falling out when I got the acne, so I thought I had some sort of hormonal imbalance. I stopped the Ortho Tri-Cyclen (stopping of course made the acne even worse) and went to a Dermatologist. Then I saw two more Dermatologists because the hair loss thing was really getting to me, even more so than the acne and the doctors didn’t seem to know anything. I did a TON of hair loss research, and was diagnosed with Chronic Telogen Effluvium but that’s a whole other post (or book) because I have yet to “cure” the hair loss/thinning. So for the acne, these three Dermatologists gave me antibiotics (which initially worked, but once I stopped them, the acne came back), and Benzaclin, a prescription topical Benzoyl Peroxide/Clindamycin cream that didn’t do anything, except stain my towels. They also gave me some Sulpha wash, and Cetaphil cleanser and moisturizer, neither of which I like at all. I can’t even remember now what else these Dermatologists gave me, but none of it worked AT ALL. I didn’t want to go on Accutane because one of the side effects is possible hair loss, and being bald was worse to me than bad acne.
I then started my own acne research. Of course I tried Proactiv because those stupid infomercials are so persuasive. Proactiv didn’t work AT ALL. Then I got the book The Acne Cure. Finally a cure for acne! Ha! I followed the book’s advice and got a drugstore 2% Salicylic Acid and a 10% Glycolic Acid from Sephora and the Benzoyl Peroxide, and I iced my face, and I applied an oil-free moisturizer with SPF. 4 weeks later, I still had acne and it wasn’t any better! My face was always so dry from the different products, and maybe from the hard water in LA, so I was always slathering on moisturizer on my dry, flaky, acne skin. Next, I tried probably 8 different acne creams and washes from the drugstore, all of which promised to banish acne forever. Ha.
I started eating better, and ate tons of fruits and vegetables and protein. I took vitamins – Evening Primrose Oil and a multi-vitamin, and a bunch of other vitamins good for skin and hair. I read more books: The Acne Prescription and The Murad Method and a few other hair loss and anti-aging books. I spent probably 50 hours researching acne cures on the internet. I tried Dr. Murad products and Dr. Perricone products. I still had acne. At least I was becoming extremely knowledgeable, though, on every way you were “supposed” to get rid of acne. I took my time with treatments and didn’t try too many things at once, and steared clear of anything that was known to make acne worse. I moved to Las Vegas, and still had acne and my skin was even more dry than ever due the 5% humidity. I visited another Dermatologist. And I will leave the How I Cured My Acne Finally to the next post…