My acne is killing me

posted 2 years ago in Wellness
Post # 31
131 posts
Blushing bee

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wolfeyes :  Yeah, my doctor put me on a supplement with a lot of vitamin A and it seems to be helping (although I’ve only been on it for a couple of weeks). She also said to stop all acne products, wash my face twice a day with Cetaphil, and drink lots of water. 

I had a really bad breakout right after starting the supplement so I started tracking my diet, menstrual cycle, and skincare products I was using every day, along with giving my skin a rating of how broken out I was. I live in a sunny area so I’ve been using a ton of sunscreen lately and I think that was also contributing to my problem. This week I’ve just been using a mineral powder with sun protection and only when I go outside. For example, if I don’t leave my office until lunch, I won’t put it on until then, so it’s not sitting on my face all day. Then I wash it off as soon as I get home and leave my skin alone for the rest of the night. Seems to be working so far, but it’s too early to tell. 

Post # 33
1967 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2017

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ChasingZenith :  another thing, I found that Glam Glow Supermud did really help clear things up (as a mask or spot treatment). I get it at Sephora and it’s expensive, but you can buy the mini size to see if you like it. I love the stuff – no idea what’s in it, but it does clear my skin!

Post # 34
1383 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2019

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ChasingZenith :  Hey girl I am so sorry you’re going through this. This could have been my exact story a few months ago. I would get these horrible cysts on my chin – every few days, but especially bad the week before my period. It got worse when I stopped taking the pill (Diane) – so much worse.

The only think that worked for me? CUTTING OUT DAIRY. Omg I genuinely think it’s the Devil having a laugh. I read somewhere the hormones in dairy can negatively affect someone who suffers hormonal acne. It causes inflammation – it’s in its genetic makeup. Ergo, cut out the thing that causes inflammation, no more inflammation.

It took about 2 months, but my acne slowed and then disappeared. I get maybe one or two the week before my period still, but for the rest of the month it’s clear blue skies. 

And, the funny thing is right. Whenever I have dairy again, by the next day I have a cyst on my chin. Like, over the weekend I made cupcakes with chocolate ganache for a party. Next day: PIMPLE CITY. STILL TRYING TO GET OVER IT WHY WAS I SO DUMB!?

I can literally pinpoint exactly what is causing any pimples that pop up, like tracing its bloody genealogy or something, and that’s really liberating. 

So yeah, cut out dairy. Don’t expect it to work overnight, it will take a while to get everything out of your system. But I cannot recommend it highly enough. It’s done wonders for my self esteem. And I know, next year when I get married, I won’t have to worry about my skin.

Post # 35
337 posts
Helper bee

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ash101 :  I couldn’t believe the difference cutting out dairy made either. Especially when it came to acne around the jawline. I really didn’t want to switch to alternatives like almond milk, but happy I did as my skin is so much better now.

Post # 36
70 posts
Worker bee

I use Clinique acne serum. I have hormonal a new before my period. Not as severe as yours but quite stubborn. Using the serum twice a day keeps it in check. It also helps existing pimples and scabs heal faster. If I run out I actually start getting new zits in the day or two I miss whole waiting for my new bottle to arrive. Costs $40 or so at sephy, but can be gotten cheaper at costCo and on eBay.

Post # 37
1169 posts
Bumble bee

Have you talked to a dermatologist about accutane? My cousins and a friend used it as a last resort after trying many other things as they all had success with it! It is expensive though. My cousins were able to get it from overseas but my friend paid $300 a month for 6 months… but it was worth every penny for her so might be worth it. 

Post # 38
1352 posts
Bumble bee

Talk to your dermatologist about Accutane. Some acne just can’t be cleared up by anything else. The side effects are annoying, but it’s six months and you are done. I would 100% do it again based on my results. 

Post # 39
272 posts
Helper bee

I also deal with hormonal acne at age 27. Been battling it since i was 16 but had a nice break from ages 19-23 and then it started again. Not sure why. The past 3 months my skin has gotten the worst its been in a few years. I posted about it a few weeks ago asking about quitting dairy and how that might improve my skin. 

Knock on wood but my skin has improved a lot the past 3 weeks. Here’s what ive changed

cleanser: before i was using cetaphil, now im using spectro gel

moisturizer: before i was using nivia matti

fying day cream and now im using complex 15

toner: before i used nothing. Now im doing a pure tea tree oil (two drops) diluted with water on a cotton pad all over my face every second day

topicals: before i used renee rouleau anti cyst treatment and tactuo (i believe ita epiduo in the US). Now i use tactuo ONLY as a spot treatment on an active breakout

medications: before nothing. Now septra (believe this is bactrim in the US). Pretty serious medication and worth a shot if you are scared to go as far as accutane. My doctor said its one step below. 

Diet: before nothing now dairy free. Mind you i am not too crazy about the dairy free. I havent touched cheese but realistically some breads i eat are baked with butter ingrediants and im not eliminating those. Too much for me. 

Hopefully my skin continues to improve. If nothing worked for me i would consider accutane. Its harsh but the self esteem killer that is acne is too much to bear. 

Post # 41
207 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2008

I’ve had acne since I was 13…im 31 now. I use clean amd clear cream face wash with 10% benzoyl peroxide, generic 10% benzoyl peroxide pimple cream and a natural oil free face lotion. I also use a face scrub 2 times a week. Ive noticed a dramatic change on my skin. I’m mostly clear, unless I’m around my period. I’ll post pics of what I use.

Post # 42
300 posts
Helper bee

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ChasingZenith :  Acne is the WORST. I’ve had it my whole life, cystic and pustular, tried everything (antibiotics, prescription benzoyl perodixes and retinols, every OTC or online kit you can think of, caveman approach, etc) but Accutane because I’m not taking something that was designed to treat cancer.

The thing I have found with prescription medicines is that they might clear my acne but I’m in search of a balanced complexion and I wasn’t getting that.

What works for me now:
–Wash with Dove soap AM and PM and use a Buff Puff nightly to remove all of my makeup and exfoliate. The spin brushes were way too intense for me.  I need to exfoliate daily because my skin just doesn’t turn over like it should — (thanks genes?)
–AM: Apply Toner (I get mine from a local shop called Savarna’s), but you might have to play with what works for you.  My skin HATES witch hazel and salicylic acid so I avoid those like the plague
–AM: I use IT Cosmetic’s Bye Bye foundation as my moisturizer, SPF (50) and makeup.  It does NOT break me out and I am queen of sensitive skin.  I will say though, I remove it early in the day and will get some minor spots if I leave it on like 8 am to 10 PM but I think that would happen with any product.
–PM: SPOT treat with 2.5% Benzoyl peroxide. Can use OTC, I switch between drugstore and’s brand.  Wait 10 mins and then moisturize with 1 pump of Cerave’s night time moisturizer.
—Weekly: I use Reviva Labs 20% glycolic acid cream to clear up hyperpigmentation and any stubborn areas that the benzoyl peroxide isn’t taking care of.

–I supplement with Maca Root, and this is the only supplement I have personally seen a difference in my skin with.  I’ve tried Zinc, all of the different liver detoxes, Estro-Block, etc. 
–I do not take hormonal birth control.  It did help my acne in the past but it makes me depressed and it’s honestly not worth it to me. 
–I only eat high quality cheese, and probably have it once a week.  I use Trader Joe’s almond milk, which is the best tasting I’ve found.  I use Silk’s almond milk creamer which is my favorite.

I’ll post some before and afters too.






These are the only 2 on my camera roll that I don’t have makeup on lol.
I hope you find what works for you.

Post # 43
1013 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2017

I had horrible and painful acne from teenage years all the way to my early 30s. The super deep/scarring cystic kind. I tried literally everything – Red/blue light, microdermabrasion, chemical peels, microneedling, every cream/lotion/potion etc. Unfortunately with hormonal cystic acne, no topical treatment will really be that effective as the inflammation is just too deep under the skin. I used ZO medical products which are prescription only – 10% glycolic acid in the morning and tretinoin cream at night. My small, normal papules cleared up but my skin was soooo sensitive and red/peeling all the time. Finally I switched BC to Yasmin and did 6 months of roaccutane (the smallest dose possible of 20mg/day). That was 4 years ago and I’ve not had one single bit of acne since and my skin is also far less oily. Those were the only 2 things that worked for me. My only regret is not trying them sooner.

It sounds really vain to want to risk the side effects of hormonal BC and accutane all in the name of clear skin. But my acne left me really depressed and it made me super self conscious and I was miserable. For me it was absolutely worth it for my confidence and overall mental health. 

Post # 44
77 posts
Worker bee

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ChasingZenith :  


I have been dealing with hormonal acne for a long time too and nothing worked…but there is hope! 

I cut off dairy as many other suggested and also eggs, and started taking a sumplement with DIM and in as little as 4 weeks my skin was Basically clear. The supplement is called Estroblock I highly recommend it read the reviews online.

also i made some other drastic changes like basically stopped eating meat and sugars completely only eat 3 pieces of fruit a day, it’s difficult but so worth it because i have clear beautiful skin and my confidence is back.

on top of that I also cut off alcohol and started taking other supplements like B complex, zinc, vitamin D, evening primeose oil, liver detox and DTH block ( i don’t take them all together space them thru the day) 

I really think diet changes can help immensely, this doesn’t mean that I won’t ever enjoy a burger again I’m just giving my body the time it needs to heal.

Post # 45
656 posts
Busy bee

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ariesscientist :  Same. The day I stopped using “anti acne” products, and instead more gentle cleansers and moistuizers for sensitive skin my face cleared up 100%. Weird but what worked for me.

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