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I've had my fair share of acne all throughout middle school and most of high school. I'm 17, currently a senior. I used to think my acne was horrible, disgusting, everything. I've always had blackheads on my nose and the occasional small cluster of pimples, sometimes cystic (those more than likely hormonal), minor back and chest acne, but up until this past summer I don't believe I knew exactly what having acne was really like.



It wasn't until around July when I had started breaking out on my lower cheeks right beside my chin. It would just all of a sudden appear, and they were different than pimples I normally dealt with, they were whiteheads and they would come in 5s and 10s, and the number would only keep growing. At first I though my period was the cause of it, because usually afterwards my acne would start to go away. I will say, I am guilty for picking and touching, and I know it's a bad habit that I need to break. But then eventually another cluster would show up around the same spot. This continued for the rest of the summer, and at that time my back and chest acne was all cleared up (I believe it's because it was summer time and I was exposing my body to salty ocean water, who knows). When school started up in the fall the acne on my jawline, upper neck, and around my mouth (upper lip, lower lip, chin, corners of the mouth, and inner lower cheeks) all started to break out like crazy. There were white heads everywhere, combined with my usual monthly cystic pimple and some pimples that never came to a head. I resisted picking, but despite resisting the pimples still left awful red marks. I've never (honestly..) experienced post acne marks, even when I used to pick my pimples. There was never a single remnant of a pimple after I picked or gotten rid of it, so this was something completely new to me and it was and is currently something that makes me feel disgusting. Looking back, my three years of high school I believed my acne was gross, but I never once wore makeup to cover it. Now it's so bad, and the post acne marks are so visible that I cake on makeup (non-comedogenic). To make matters worse, my back and chest acne is starting to return again (I still swear by the ocean water and the sun's Vitamin D) and it only has me feeling even worse. It's not just around my time of the month, it's constant and I'm always waking up to at least 5 new pimples in those particular areas of my face. They're painful, embarrassing, and incredibly noticeable (it doesn't help that people seem to love pointing out acne and the fact that I use makeup to hide it).



I felt as though I should resort to posting on here, because for the past couple of months I've been looking on this site to see if I can find someone in the same position as me, and I'm sure there are but I can never seem to fish through enough posts to find anyone.

I know you're all going to have questions about my diet and what not, so I thought I'd include that just in case you were curious.

- For as long as I can remember I've drank approx. three 8 oz. glasses of chocolate milk (whole milk) per day. Excessive, but it's been for as long as I can remember. I don't see how dairy could be the culprit for me considering I haven't begun drinking any more than 3 glasses. Since starting to break out I've been cutting back to 1 to 2 glasses (because I know that dairy is important for your health, but I don't want to over-do myself).

- I used to never drink any water, but around the time I started breaking out and cut back on dairy I've since been drinking 3-6 16 oz bottles of water per day.

- *In the morning I wash my face with Clean and Clear Continuous Control, tone with Neutrogena Alcohol-Free Toner, and moisturize with Reviva Brown Spot Lightning Day Cream (all skin types).

- To remove my makeup, I've recently been using coconut oil. I used to use drug-store makeup wipes (can't remember whether it was Neutrogena Pink Grapefruit or a Clean and Clear brand). I haven't been able to go out lately to buy some more so I resorted to what I had lying around my kitchen that I knew was natural and useful.

- *Since February 2015, I've been exfoliating every 2-3 days with baking soda (read it was natural and was good at eliminating blackheads and red marks - this was before I began breaking out). I used to use it on my back, and I'm probably going to start back up soon considering I'm breaking out again. I let it sit for about 10 minutes and rinse it off with warm water before getting into my shower.

- *In the shower I cleanse my face with Clean and Clear Blackhead Eraser (leave it sit for 5-10 minutes), rinse and then add a small amount of Clean and Clear Continuous Control. I've had fears about this being over-cleansing and honestly, it probably is, but I've gotten to the point where I have hope that it's doing something good for my skin.

- *I also clean my back and chest with Neutrogena Body Clear Body Wash.

- *After I get out of my shower I tone my face with Neutrogena Alcohol-Free Toner and then moisturize with Reviva Brown Spot Lightning Night Cream (for all skin types).

- I don't exercise regularly

- I shower at night and always sleep with a clean shirt on

- As disgusting as it sounds, I barely changed my sheets and pillow cases every 1-3 weeks like you're supposed to for as long as I can remember, but when I started breaking out I changed that and now clean my sheets and pillow cases every 1-2 weeks.

- I'm not stressed, and even if I am in the past I've never been the type to stress to the point where I break out like crazy.

- I take Methimazole to treat hyper-active thyroid, there are no known side effects that cause acne, in fact, it's supposed to lessen acne apparently. I take the proper dosage.



* I've been keeping up with this same exact routine before I even experienced my first big breakout this summer.





As you can see, there's nothing different I've really done that could possibly be throwing my body off. I feel like my gross habits of never changing my sheets would've resulted in a ton of acne, but for the first three years of high school I surprisingly experienced a smaller amount than I, of course, am now. I'm planning on visiting a dermatologist in January if this continues, but as of right now I'm just looking for someone who may think they know a thing or two about skin care that can perhaps give me some more tips that may help reduce my acne and maybe get rid of it all together. I plan on going on birth control in January too, so I'm hoping that won't make my acne even worse (I'm talking to the GYN, derma, and endocrinologist to be on the safe side, obviously). But it would be great if I could get rid of this and reduce my post acne marks without the use of medicine! Thank you to anyone who contributes and helps me out, anything is appreciated :)





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