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Hi everyone-

Haven't been around in quite a while, due to workload, etc, etc. Some time ago, I guess in the early summer, I started following the Acne Cure program. Bought the book and all on the recommendation of my sister. At first I was sort of on again, off again with following the program to a tee, because of work related travel mostly. When I settled down and did it just like I was supposed to, my skin had some major differences. For one, I have not had a cyst in weeks and weeks and weeks. If this was all the Acne Cure ever did for me, I'd probably stick to it. Cysts are the WORST. Now, NONE. NONE! NONE! NONE! Sometimes, i massage my face a bit, feeling around for things brewing below the surface, and nothing. YAY!!!!

The program also cleared up everything else pretty well too. There was a 3 month period where i was on a birth control pill that really messed my skin up, but even then, the Acne Cure kept it from getting really out of control. When I stopped that pill, and before I started another, the program really healed up what the pill had done.

The only downer was that my face cleared beautifully, and I erupted with the Neck Nasties. They are now starting to clear nicely also, which is great, because I can't wait to wear my hair up again.

I still have a smattering of little flesh colored comedones, which I pretty much ignore. I realized once the bad acne was gone, that I was obsessive...that unless somebody was up extremely close to my face, with a bright light (like I am in the bathroom when i'm examining my skin), those little bumps aren't noticeable. And since the cysts, whiteheads, and painful red stuff are gone, I'm hardly going to complain about some tiny bumps. Besides which, those bumps tend to subside when I'm really good about what I'm eating... no white flour, no sugar.

These days I pretty much still follow the Acne Cure... except I don't do the ice. And some mornings I just wash my face with lots and lots of splashes of warm water. In fact, some evenings, if I haven't worn makeup during the day, i just wash with water, apply a thin layer of BHA, and another thin layer of BP. This all kind of depends on what my skin is doing... if i'm feeling tight and dry, i don't always follow through with the whole routine, and just give my skin a rest.

I still get a somewhat painful few zits around that time of the month, mostly around my jaw and lip. I think the lip ones are from birth control, since I never had that pre-bcp.

Anyway, I love what the Acne Cure has done for me. I still have some red marks, but they are slowly fading. Very slowly, but fading nonetheless. Besides the BHA, and AHA, I don't use any cleanser. I figure that the exfoliation from these 2 products, in combination with all the splashes of water is cleansing enough, and I must say for once, my skin isn't super-irritated from acne treatments.

I think in the beginning, the ice was really important in conjunction with the bp, to stop the cycle of inflammation and re-infection. Now, I just use it sort of pro-actively if i get a bit of a flare up in one place. And the thing is, since my acne was gradually diminishing over time, I became less inclined to pick and squeeze, and less inclined to worry about it. You'd be surprised that once you stop obsessing, and stop picking, how much better your skin can look. Like I said, it's not perfect, but it's good enough that I don't feel like I have to look at the floor all the time, and I don't feel silly anymore putting on a business suit when i have a weltering cyst on my chin. Also, despite the lingering red marks and such, my skin's texture and all looks a lot better. I first noticed when i glanced in a drugstore mirror...one of those mirrors where i used to look AWFUL no matter how much acne i had. Now, despite a pimple here and there, my skin looks ok even in the bad mirrors.

I do hope my Neck Nasties continue to subside...they don't look awful now, and they cover up pretty well with some makeup, but I wish they'd get to the point where the rest of my face is. As for some acne I had on my back, I just use Head and Shoulders about once a week, and that seems to do it for me. I just buy the 99cent trial bottles, and they last a while since I use it so infrequently. I really like that it's ok nowadays to miss a night of the complete routine every now and again... I just make sure to wash with plenty of water, and use a little BHA.

My basic program is:
PM
-rinse face well with lots of cool or lukewarm water
-Apply BHA (I use Neutrogena clear pore treatment) and leave on a few minutes
-Rinse BHA and apply AHA (I use Alpha Hydrox oil free formula with 10% glycolic acid)
-Rinse AHA off, pat dry, and add a thin layer of BP (neutrogena on the spot acne treatment with 2.5% bp)
OR... i just rinse with plenty of water, dry, add a thin layer of BHA, leave on, and add a thin layer of BP

AM:
-same routine with BHA and AHA. Skip the BP. Some mornings, I just use water. It all depends on how my skin feels.

As for moisturizer, I've recently found Purpose brand "Intensive Daily Moisture" with spf 15. The name is a bit misleading, since I've found it to be a nice light moisturizer that's not greasy, and i like that it has the SPF in it. I just use a little dab and rub it in after the AM routine. Sometimes I also do it at night, before applying the BP if my skin is feeling a bit sensitive and dry.

I'll reiterate, my skin isn't perfect, but it's pretty darn clear, and it seems to keep slowly improving. I've had acne since about age 13 or 14, and i'm 27 now. The Acne Cure has definitely been the most useful thing i've ever tried, with no bad side effects. I'd definitely recommend giving the 6 week program a go, if you haven't tried it yet and can't seem to get acne under control. One of these days I hope to find a simple cleanser with BHA to use AM & PM, and then just use a smear of AHA like every other day, without rinsing off, since this would be quicker and a little more convenient, but for now, I'm not messing with what works!





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