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I am 25 (26 in June). I had severe acne from the age of 15, which grew worse as I got older. To give doubters an idea, my acne was all over my cheeks and chin in the early years, then as I grew older, also spread to other areas - my jawline, neck, forehead, chest, and back. My acne was not 2 or 3 zits here and there. My acne was clusters of zits, about 20 - 30+ all over, all the time - some humongous, some chained together; plus tiny masses of bumps along with blackheads to those hard oil plugs. It sounds so gross, which was exactly how I felt for 10 years... Like some gross freak of nature! None of my friends had it!! Makeup was my salvation, and helped me to feel somewhat pretty even with the bumps (and flaking scabs) all over my face - but it was such a painstaking task and even then, I knew bumps were visible and I was always embarrassed, self conscious, sad, angry, and on and on, like everyone else... You could write a BOOK on how it feels and what it does to you emotionally.

I complained about it (and made excuses for it) 24-7. My mom said all I did was obsess about my acne and wanted to take me to get accutane, or BCP's. No way! I am not pro-medicines or vitamin-overdoses, because I do NOT want serious health risks down the road. I spent hours and $100's on Proactive and everything over-the-counter, including Benzoyl Peroxide topicals. I dried out my face with Hydrogen Peroxide, Alchohol, etc. I stopped short at eggs, vinegar, lemon water, and starving myself.

Then one day this year, while I was making excuses for my acne YET AGAIN, my brother's pure-skinned girlfriend asked me to try what she used, because it really kept her clear. I laughed at her, and thought "YEAH RIGHT! She has NO idea what it's like to REALLY have zits all over her face!!!" It sounded too simple and just too ridiculous that after all the things I'd tried, something so 'pit-pat' could ever possibly work. But eventually, I decided to give it a shot. What did I have to lose?

It was a long tube of Acne Treatment Gel from Mary Kay for only $8. It was easy. Just rub a little on in the am and pm after cleansing (I used Lever 2000 Antibacterial Moisture Response at first - now I whatever soap we have.). After applying, I used some oil-free face lotion. I continued to wear my makeup and powder (which have oil in them) as usual to cover up... But the acne started going away anyway! I was shocked, since I knew it was simply a Benzoyl Peroxide gel (but what formulation?). The weeks started passing as my acne was diminishing until I realized no new zits were cropping up in the place of healed ones, and it was just healing the old ones. After 2 months, my skin is totally clear - zits are rare when you're using the gel regularly. I have some scarring that is still fading and some pitting that is permanent (something you can't help after having acne that long), but it is nothing unbearable like the acne was!

My LIFE is SO different. I can come out and greet people who drop by for a visit without frantically rushing to put makeup on first. I don't have to make excuses for my face! I can pull my hair up because I don't need my hair hanging to help hide my bumps anymore! My getting-ready time has been cut down to about 5 minutes because I do not have to spend 30 minutes trying to hide all the zits with my makeup!!! My makeup doesn't have to be CAKED anymore. When I wash my face, I just revel in how smooth it feels. I really feel pretty when I go out, and when my husband and I go to eat dinner together, I know the lights in the restaurant are not catching massive bumps all over my face!!! I have actually had someone tell me I have PRETTY SKIN!! You know I went away laughing! I cannot even begin to describe what's it's done for me emotionally and psychologically. Just take it to the reverse of every bad feeling I had about my face (and chest and back!)!

I posted about this before, but I felt the main topic somehow got off track, so I'm going to post it again! I WANT people to listen, because it's cheap, it's easy, and obviously, for some acne-sufferers (like me!) it's going to be effective! I know how acne feels and I want to stop as much of that pain as I can.

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