Welcome to the world of my skin. I won't list my eight hundred issues, complain about zits, or how my skin trashes my self confidence 27 - 30 days/month. I'm begging for help and suggestions from anyone who has had success with issues similar to the two that most bother and affect me.
I have tried a variety of products (most listed below) and all avenues of diagnosis and treatment from weekly dermatology visits, monthly Ulta appointments, and clearing the shelves at CVS. I understand it could be worse, and that this is a totally first world problem, but it's my skin and my confidence and my first world problem.
- Tiny bumps all over my cheeks and T-zone (not pimples, but little bumps, often red)
- Large under skin cysts that are painful and often take a week to develop into a giant zit and then a week to go away.
- I wash my face every morning, post-work (to clean off the make-up). post work-out (4x/week), and before bed. So, most days that is face washing 4x/day.
- Based on whatever regime I am following, I typically add in some sort of toner or astringent morning and night, plus sunscreen in the morning, and spot treat large zits at night.
- Dermatologist Number 1 - I visited her for 2 years, and she used a variety of peels, microdermabrasion, blu-u light treatments, and MD Forte topical products. This was thousands of dollars and the only improvement I saw was in the quality of my skin. The skin not covered with tiny bumps and giant cysts looked great, but that was not the goal.
- Dermatologist Number 2 - This doctor used more straight forward oral antibiotics that negated the effectiveness of my birth control, and so I only took them for about 3 weeks. Maybe a bad move on my part, but at the time a baby would have been way more inconvenient than some pimples. We moved on to prescription acne treatments such as face wash with sulfur, clyndamycin, and Differin gel. In the end I spent about $180/month for 4 months and saw no results.
Ulta Solutions & Products:
- If they sell it at Ulta, I used it. I saw minimal improvement with Murad, but this also made my skin very dry. When I cut back on the usage to minimize the drying, the effectiveness dropped off considerably.
- Also used the Philosophy products for some time. These smelled great, were easy to use, but not effective.
- Clean & Clear, Vichy, Proative, Neutrogena, Loreal, Clearasil - according to my receipts, I spent more than $500 at CVS last year. Ouch.
FAVOR: If you have a routine that has been effective in clearing up obnoxious 27 year old acne, feel free to send it my way. I typically try a new routine for at least 4 weeks before giving up, and am willing to try anything from holistic to Ulta to slapping lemon slices on my face.