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i was using tretinoin cream, a retin-a. it helped clear up the rest of my acne (though my face peeled so bad it looked even worse than the acne did), but i continued to get cystic acne. i brought this up to my dermatologist and she said it won't help with cystic and gave me clindamycin to help with that.

however, on another note... i recently got breakouts on my chest and was prescribed doxycycline for that. i almost started taking it and when i went to throw the bag away, i saw a huge drug interaction warning hiding under the receipt stapled to the bag. i love how the derm and the pharmacy both neglected to mention it. the following warnings scared me, so i'm not using it until i go back to talk to my derm next month:

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in regard to the bc, go with yaz!!! i don't know if the timing was just a coincidence, but my mom works for a law firm and they're going after yaz for side effects so she made me change to something else. immediately after switching (i don't remember what it was and i started working at a fast food restaurant at the same time, so that might have been it) i broke out like CRAZY. not entirely sure if it was that, but i can safely say that the majority of the time i was on yaz, my skin was clear. ridiculously clear. i was on yasmin before that, and while i remember by face being clear, i don't remember being as excited about it... so perhaps looking back, it wasn't as clear as i thought compared to yaz.

i'm now on yet another bc and the following in this order:
clinique face wash (morning and night)
clinique toner (takes away all the dead skin cells) (morning and night)
clinique acne solutions post blemish formula (helps fade marks from previous acne) (morning and night)
clinique dramatically different moisturizing gel (morning and night)
clindamycin phosphate lotion 1% (morning and night) on blemishes
Neutrogena Rapid Clear 2-in-1 Fight & Fade Gel on cystic acne and old acne spots (it doesn't work in 8 hours like the tube says, but i got one to mostly disappear in about 3 days-- it usually takes mine much longer to go away) (morning, dinner time, and night)
then i DO NOT wear foundation anymore and just use clinique acne solutions clearing concealer (morning)
lo-ovral birth control once a day, at night
doxycycline 100 mg/once a day, at night

i have been doing this for 2 and a half weeks and went from having several flares of cystic acne along with whiteheads on my cheeks to having ONE cystic acne blob on the left side of my chin... kind of annoyed as it is the only blemish i have, but it has gotten MUCH better.

i hope this helps! going to the clinique lady at macy's, although it added four or five steps to my regimen, has saved me tons of time i would be spending putting on foundation and trying to cover up blemishes and tweezing off my dead skin flakes from the retin-a (though i miss some of its up sides). the good thing about clinique (at the one in my macy's anyway) is that the people at the counter will scutinize your skin and pick out the stuff you need. my friend and i both did it and have completely different products, but both have had major improvement. plus if it doesn't work, you can take the stuff back no matter how much you've used and they'll try something else on you.

ALSO!! the clinique lady said not to apply a retin-a to wet skin. make sure your skin is completely dry if you're going to use it. i can say that it definitely helped fade marks and made the acne-free parts of my skin kind of glow. it was pretty sweet, but i am terrified of the side effects. and i must admit it's pretty nice not to have to worry if my face is peeling off in front cute boys.

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