Skincare Updates: Acne & the Pill (or lack thereof)

This is a long overdue update on my skin since I stopped taking birth control pills in January. My skin was pretty good for the first couple of months and then it all went downhill.

I'm now back to having hormonal acne around my chin, jaw and mouth area. Lovely, right? Fortunately, it is not as intense as it was when I was in my early 20's but it's something I'm not used to as I had pretty great skin for the last several years (which, looking back, I didn't appreciate as much as I should have).

Perhaps I'm just overreacting because I'm not used to having several blemishes at once, but the kind I get leave marks behind, which is incredibly frustrating because it feels like the old marks are just starting to fade when a new one pops up next to the mark that's fading. It's like a vicious cycle. Dear skin, please stop being crazy.


I'm finding that as I get older (I turn 29 at the end of this month!), my skin tends to scar/get marks on it more easily than it used to. Any little blemish leaves a mark---and the deep, under the skin ones are the worst because they can take weeks to go away, even with products that help fade the mark. Weeks of peeling, crusting, flaking and fading are now typical for me.

Another surprise side-effect of being off of the pill is that I am now also getting breakouts on my back (read: bacne). I also had a couple of blemishes on my chest area but I have gotten that under control and it is clear again. My back continues to be a struggle with spots popping up randomly so I've now established a routine for that too. Fortunately, only a few crop up at a time so it's manageable but still annoying.
I thought it would be helpful to outline the products I'm currently using to control my acne and to preventatively treat my skin.

Cleansers- I am still using both La Roche Posay Effaclar cleanser and Neutrogena Acne Stress Control Power Foam Wash. These are my tried and true cleansers and I've been pleased with them for many years.

Treatments--- I continue to believe in layering products and these are the ones I use on a daily basis depending on what I'm treating. The Mario Badescu buffering lotion is primarily used to treat and prevent cystic acne, the La Roche Posay targeted breakout corrector is used to treat and prevent, the Kiehl's to treat whiteheads. I'm also still using the Kate Sommerville Exfolikate about once a week (especially good for dealing with all of the peeling I have).

Another treatment I'm using every single night is the Proactiv refining mask--- I use this overnight to treat existing breakouts or ones I think will sprout up. This mask, in my opinion is essential for anyone struggling with acne. It really helps dry out breakouts and reduce the inflammation that comes along with them.

Moisturizers- 99% of the time, I use my Neutrogena Sensitive Skin moisturizer. It's truly the best one I've found and I have not had any issues with it whatsoever. It leaves my skin hydrated without clogging pores. I can also use this at night if my skin is dry and it gives just the right amount of moisture. Occasionally, when I have a post-work event, I will use the Origins Zero Oil moisturizer.

Scarring and red marks---this is one of my largest pet peeves about acne. It's not so much the acne itself, it's what it leaves behind that can be the most difficult to treat. My skin tends to get really really red and then there is weeks of peeling, crusting and flaking before the mark is completely gone. The products that help me most are Kiehl's Clearly Corrective and Dermatix scar cream which I use when needed (it helps smooth an area that's really peeling and red---I'll put it on top of the Kiehl's sometimes and sometimes I use it on its own. I tend to apply it when the mark is on its way to being healed)

Bacne and pores- to treat and prevent acne on the back and chest, I am using Neutrogena body wash on my chest and back only. Then, after my nightly shower, I apply medicated acne cream via Clearsil pads to my back only.

Pores- to reduce pore size and helps clean them out, I still use the Peter Thomas Roth Max Complexion Correction pads and Finacea prescription cream. I use the pads about twice a week and the finacea once a week or so, twice max.

Flaking and peeling--- although the Dermatix helps a bit with this, I am also using plain ol' Aquaphor to treat the flakiness overnight. I just apply a tiny dab and let it sink in before my head hits the pillow.

Makeup setting spray--- this doesn't count as skincare, but I thought I'd throw it in here anyway. I've been enjoying this spray. Definitely makes makeup stay fresh longer.

Finally, here are some of my tips for acne sufferers:

  • Change your pillowcase at least every 2-3 days
  • Sleep with your hair off of your face (I like to wear mine in a high ballerina bun, but not too tightly)
  • Try to reduce stress
  • Treat your skin preventatively, every night, not just when your skin is breaking out
  • Use makeup that doesn't clog pores (check the label)
  • Drink a lot of water

If you have any questions about my skincare routine that were not covered here, please ask me on my Formspring page. If you have any products that have worked for your acne, please share them below!


xoxo,


Veronika.

54 comments :

  1. Just a thought, but it could be something you're eating that's causing your hormones to be out of balance. Might want to see if you're sensitive to any foods. As for red marks, I went through a MAJOR detox last fall when I cut a lot of processed foods out of my diet and began exercising, which led to a bad case of acne that lasted for a few weeks (never dealt with it before that). The acne left red marks and I was mortified... but something about cutting out bread (or yeast in general) cleared those marks right up! And when I added it back in, the marks showed themselves again. Pretty crazy, but just goes to show how we are what we eat! :)

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  2. Acne is such a pain! It's hard when you're dealing with the skin of a teen AND an adult. Wrinkles and acne don't mix! Thanks for being so honest about it V. I've been on bc pills for years now, and I'm afraid of the changes I'll go through once I stop!

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  3. Similar to Meghan's suggestion, my derm suggested I cut back on dairy products for my hormonal acne when I said I didn't feel comfortable going on a medication (like Accutane, etc). He said especially milk triggers and causes inflammation. I've reduced my dairy and it's made a HUGE difference for the larger cystic type issues; virtually eliminated them! Thanks for all of the product recs. I'm going to try a few out.

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  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    1. laura---I am still using the eye cream and the serum on ocassion, just on my forhead. This most was more related to acne so I focused on acne products.

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  5. Acne is such a mo-fo. I had everything good for years with my routine, and now that I'm pregnant I can't take my anti-bac acne pills, use tazorac or a zone during the day. I'm breaking out horriblly. Miserable.

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  6. Ps have tried the Mario basescu buffering lotion which is okay, just not as hardcore as I needed!

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  7. Very helpful! Thanks so much Veronika! I also suffer from adult acne (I'm 30). Recently I purchased Dermatologica Adult Acne kit. And I absolutely love it. It cleared most if my acne (I had tons of tiny ones on my forehead, some bigger around chin and temples) within a week. Not all are gone but at least I don't feel so helpless about them now!

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  8. You described the EXACT same thing that I am going through. After many months I finally found a magic formula: My dermatologist presrcibed tetracycline antibiotic pills and Retisol cream that I put on my face and back after my nightly shower. I used Clean and Clean cleanser(strictly 2 times per day) and Clinique Toner (only in the morning). I am only taking the anitbiotics sporadically but both are safe to use if I get pregnant - although I would stop because there hasn't been enough studies done (obviously they don't test unnecessarily on pregnant women!) I still struggle with what to do about the horrible scarring on my back :(

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  9. I'm very similar to you! My skin was pretty darn good while on BC, but has gone downhill since going off. I get the chin breakouts the worst.
    One product that I think is amazing is Cera Ve. My dermatologist 'prescribed' it to me, but it is actually OTC. It is a moisturizer that helps heal scarring. It is light-weight and hydrating. I've used the Neutrogena Sensitive Skin moisturizer, but I love my Cera Ve. Definitely a personal choice, though. One thing doesn't work for everyone!
    Thanks for sharing all your products =]

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  10. Pretty much the same thing happened to me when I went off the BC pill. I had pretty good skin as a teen and then I went off the pill and it got worse when I got pregnant. While it was hard to treat when I first went off the pill its worse once your pregnant being that there are a lot of products you can't use and only a couple that you can. I hope you are able to find the right combination!

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  11. I have had a similar issue; I was on Yaz (which kept my skin looking great) but started getting menstrual migraines. As soon as I switched off Yaz, the hormonal acne came back in full force. I have just started getting facials (~every 2 weeks) via a Living Social deal I had. The facials are a traditional facial for acne-prone skin with LED treatments that are supposed to reduce scarring and redness. (I have really fair skin, so the redness/scarring is worse than the actual acne.) I've only had two so far, but I'm excited to see what the results are like (disclaimer: I did have the initial "purge" which sucked). I also love the PTR pads (I use them about 2-3 times per week) and I use the Effaclar K for a spot treatment.

    Good luck! My husband and I will probably start TTC in the next year or so and I'm scared to see what my skin looks like with no BCP whatsoever...

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  12. Hi sweetie,

    I love your youtube and blog and have been following you. I also know the pain of adult hormonal acne and I've been having bad skin days for quite a number of years now. However I've come to realise that perhaps I've been overthinking it (in terms of skin care).
    I actually started accepting the acne as part of me last year and perhaps it took the feeling of needing to have perfect skin to be pretty. Of course everyone wants beautiful skin but sometimes, there might be more than meets the eye. So I decided to start cutting out some of my products.
    I used to use makeup remover, acne wash, acne toner, moisturising toner, moisturising serum, anti wrinkle serum, acne oil free moisturiser, eye cream and sun screen. Then put on make up.
    I really started thinking perhaps, I don't need to layer so much after all.
    Trust me, I've used probably more than half of the brands in drug store and designer over the past years to cure my problem and have always thought layering gives so many advantages.
    I started to cut out to the point i just use:

    Bioderma makeup remover
    Lavera organic sensitive skin face wash
    Dermalogica multi active toner
    SK II facial treatment essence
    Naruko fundamental defense serum
    Cetaphil Ultra hydrating moisturiser
    Shiseido Anessa town use sunscreen spf 32
    Exuviance brightening bionic eye cream

    This might seem like a lot however its actually using only what I need. My skin is a lot more happier and the skintone and pigmentation marks are fading. I think that perhaps we don't need so many serums and so many different types of toners to get to the root of the problem.

    Just letting you know what worked for me!

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  13. Hi Veronika, I usually don't leave comments on your blog but I felt compelled to leave one on this post. I have the exact same issues as you- I had pretty great skin on birth control, but I went off it in December 2010 and by April/May 2011 I had disgusting acne all over my chin- lots of deep acne that made my chin all bumpy and very very painful. I am still suffering a FULL YEAR later (I am 25). It is so embarrassing because it seems like all my friends have great skin (most are on the pill though) and I feel like a freak. It makes me very self-conscious. I did take anti-biotics like some other commenters noted, but they're terrible for you, they're expensive, and they DID work but as soon as I stopped taking them it came back full-force.
    I am now using retin-A (topical prescription) and it makes acne heal 5x faster than it would on its own. On top of this, I've started taking cod liver oil to prevent acne from the inside. If you want to look at my personal struggle, and the products I'm using to fight adult acne, stop by my blog! http://canadianbeautyreviews.blogspot.ca/

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  14. woah, that's a lot of product! My issue is that I scar easily from acne, small or big ones, I still get ugly scars, I have to cover them with makeup, I wish I could go makeup free and not look like a spotted dalmatian! Do you recommend I try the Kiehl's dark spot treatment?

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  15. I am a bit younger than you (21), but I got off the pill in late Nov./early Dec. and my skin has been super crazy every since the end of January. I finally went to the Dr. for prescription medication, antibiotics and two topical solutions. Its only been a week since I've been on the antibiotics, but I've already noticed a difference. At first I was thinking mine was hormonal, since when I was on the pill I had very few breakouts... I think mine was an unfortunate combination.

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  16. I had horrible hormonal acne (about 20-25 bumps,cysts and whiteheads at any given time only around my mouth and chin area, so painful it hurt to open my mouth to eat!) for about 8 months last year when I was 26/27 that just came on all of a sudden. I tried EVERYTHING short of going to a dermitologist or doctor ( I refuse to use birth control or any of the other chemicals they would have offered so I knew there wouldn't be much they could do for me)I already eat a pure whole food diet which I cut back even further trying to eliminate anything I could that might have triggered it and tried every kind of face product I could get my hands on. I finally went to a healthfood store and asked for a recommendation on something to regulate hormones and a guy that worked there said his wife had had some hormonal issues with coming of of birth control pills ( which I have never used but many other things can cause hormonal imbalance)and had used a product called femminessence (it is made with maca root which is well known and long used for regulating hormones) with great results. I figured I had nothing to lose- he said if it didn't work I could bring back the empty box for a full refund.(and a 2 month supply of capsules was only $35) I did some reading on it when I got home and some people said maca had cleared their skin up great for about a month and then it came back worse, but I was so desperate for even a month of relief that I was willing to try it(and they had only used straight powdered maca and not femmenessence). My skin was completely clear within 2 weeks! I was nervous the next month that it would come back but my skin has been clear for 5 months now and I have been off of femmenessence for over a month with no problems!(the product box recommends taking for 4 months and then stopping for a week to let your body rest and balance and I just didn't take any more after that to see what happened and it has not come back) Sorry this is so long! I just felt compelled to comment because just a few months ago I was so desperate to try anything and I'm so grateful that someone recommended it to me. Maybe it could be the answer for someone else too.

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  17. Just as a "in case of emergency" tip: If you dilute salt in hot water and apply it to a white head (I use q-tips) it will dissolve the whitehead in about five minutes. It saves you from feeling like you need to pop it and it doesn't usually cause me to flake or scar!!

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  18. I had a similar problem, i never broke out as a teenager but now I am 26 and its happening more often than I would like. I do take BC but it doesn't appear to help much, I am thinking of switching to a different kind. One thing i feel makes a huge difference for me is the Kate Sommerville Exfolikate. I honestly was afraid to try for so long because I have sensitive skin prone to redness and more often than not products break me out or turn me red but this does not, its amazing, it actually brightens my skin, I use it more days than not because I also notice a huge reduction in pore size and longevity of makeup when I use vs days when I don't, it works better than a primer for making my foundation look perfect and last longer, I just love everything about it.

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  19. I'e always had really great skin and literally no acne, but ever since I went off birth control I get the biggest, nastiest bacne known to man. I've been using a Neutrogena scrub but it hasn't done much, so I'll have to try your suggestion.

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  20. I could have wrote this nearly word for word. I turned 29 last month & stopped bc around a year & a half ago. I get the deep cystic zits & I never knew I had pores before stopping it. I've been getting monthly glycolic peels at the derm but I'm not even sure they help that much. I use a sulfur based rx face wash (at night with my pretika) & cerave (in the am) followed by epiduo for spot treatment. So frustrating!

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  21. I completely feel your pain. I had perfect skin for my entire life and it acted up as soon as I went off the pill and it is now even worse that I am pregnant. We use a lot of the same products, but I am curious about the Kiehls blue herbal spot treatment. Does it work really well? For the scarring, the Clarisonic (with the acne brush head) has done wonders for me, and so has the Sibu sea buckthorn oil. I highly recommend it!

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  22. I had the same problem after going off of the pill. While I haven't found a solution for my chest (other than buying a lot of shirts and dresses with high necklines), I have found that once monthly microdermabrasion really helps with my jawline. I tried Finacea, but it burned my skin. Oh, and the Clarissonic and Obaji's Clenziderm system help a lot, too.

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  23. I had the same thing happen to me when I got off the pill but it's gotten a little better over the years. I've been off the pill for almost 3 years now and I usually just breakout just before my time of the month rolls around now. I have the same issue with dark spot scarring so I'll try out that spot corrector- thanks! I remember having withdrawal like symptoms when I stopped taking the pill, I had a headache for almost 2 weeks straight, needless to say I'll never take it again.

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  24. I'm around the same as you and I noticed a spike in acne once I went off the pill, too - VERY frustrating! I found your blog once I went off the pill and have used some products you recommended - thank you for all your suggestions! I LOVE the ProActive mask. I found out that my skin once again got crazy as soon as I got pregnant, and then I found out that you can't use salisylic acid treatments. But I then found out that you CAN use Benzoyl peroxide treatments, which was not easy to find at the drug stores (in Canada, anyways). I found Spectro Jel makes a B.P. spot treatment that is pretty effective (especially when layered with the ProActive mask!). And I also found that using my clairsonic at night (or every other night) works wonders for keeping my skin soft. I'm in my 8th month of pregnancy and my skin has really improved - whether it's from the products or whether it's from hormonal balancing I'll never know I guess. But I just wanted to share that bit of info with you because I was so upset in the first few months of pregnancy when my skin got so bad.

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  25. Phisoderm anti-blemish body wash works great and smells great. I like it more than neutrogena.

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  26. I've struggled with adult acne for almost 6 years now. Mine is also hormonal and cystic. I've been on Yaz for 6 months now and it hasn't made one bit of difference. I recently started using the new Neutrogena Rapid Clear line and it's really helped. I use the MicroClear cleanser and toner and the Mario Badescu Buffering Lotion. I'm also on a juice cleanse, which cuts out all processed food. It's supposed to really help with acne because, like a previous commenter said, it could be a dairy intolerance.

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  27. Thank you for sharing these products! My face loves to break out almost all the time, so I'm going to try a few.


    - Shannon
    www.shannonsometimes.com

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  28. I was off birth control for 2 years while TTC and had all the same problems - I could have literally written this post (same problems, just a few years younger than you, and used many of the same products as well with similar results). Now, since (finally!) getting pregnant my skin has actually gotten better for the most part. Even during the 1st trimester, my skin was never bad at all - if anything it got better. Now, I am in my 2nd tri and my skin is still decent and I'm using less products than I would normally with better results. I only seem to get small breakouts around and under my chin area, and if I'm really diligent I can keep it under decent control. Just wanted to offer some hope at the end of the TTC tunnel - just because your skin is freaking out off BC doesn't mean pregnancy will make it worse, you could luck out and get better! ;)

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  29. I'm also turning 29, in about a month, and suffering from hormonal acne. The best thing I ever found is La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo (I got it at CVS). It treated every kind of acne, including red bumps, whiteheads, and blackheads, and also definitely helped my dark spots fade more quickly. I only had to use it once a day, too (under my makeup, it helped to mattify). I'm pregnant now so I can't use it and the hormonal acne is back, but I dream about using it again, LOL! My routine was literally Philosophy Purity cleanser, Effaclar Duo, and a non-comedogenic tinted moisturizer during the day and nothing on my face at night. So simple but worked a charm!

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  30. same thing happened to my skin a month after getting off the pill. it has gotten a little better. i hear it gets controlled over a few months. i hope! good luck

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  31. Same exact thing happened to me :( Just in time for my wedding too, yay ::sarcasm:: It has gotten a little bit better in time as my hormones have rebalanced, and the bacne is fading a little bit too. I got a Clarisonic and that has really helped with my cleansing routine, my face definitely cleared up a lot once I started using it every night. I feel your pain girl!

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  32. The exact same thing happened to me when I went off my birth control pill (after nearly 15 years on it, my body was in complete shock to be without it). Proactiv and keeping up a good workout schedule (and quickly cleaning my face after) have been a life saver. Thank you for talking about this life transition!

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  33. love this product: Kate Sommerville Exfolikate

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  34. I've had issues in just the past 5 years or so with the same kind of breakouts, but I went to my doctor to get bloodwork done and as it turns out, I have a thyroid problem. Once I was on the correct dosage of meds it changed things dramatically! My face is so much better than it had been in the past. I recommend anyone go get their levels checked esp if they're having these skin issues!

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  35. I also usually don't comment but I want to thank you for this post! I am 28 and a sufferer of acne just like you. We seem to be in the same boat! THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR POSTING!

    I went to the dermatologist and the two Rx's I got are great: (1) Retin-A (an ointment that's a derivative of vitamin-A, which chemically exfoliates the pores to get rid of the dirt/sebum inside) that I use every week, and (2) clindamycin cream (an anti-biotic) that's runny and acts for me like a lotion. These two are my tools.

    I would suggest for you to go to a dermatologist as well. They don't have to prescribe hormonal drugs, like some of the readers above were concerned about. The 2 Rx's I named are topical, not oral.

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  36. Hi Veronika,
    I had the same problem,hormonal acne and I am not saying for you to become vegan but years ago when I became a vegetarian my skin still broke out some but when I stopped all dairy and cheese my skin has been perfectly clear and I hardly ever have a breakout, I have been acne prone since I went through puberty so I know that changing my eating has dramatically changed my skin and other things as well.
    Good Luck!
    Amber
    http://livealittlesunshine.blogspot.com/

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  37. For bacne, I've been showering pretty much as soon as I'm done working out. Getting out of those sweaty sports bras is probably the best way to start trying to prevent MORE bacne :)

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  38. Clinique clinical dark spot corrector really worked for my acne spots. I wouldn't call them scars, but I would get red spots after every zit, even if I didn't touch them a bit. It takes a bit for the spots to fade but they do after a few weeks. In the meantime it makes your skin so soft and silky. The only thing I would warn is to always always always wear sunscreen because I've had friends who's red spots turned white when they didn't. Thanks for the post!

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  39. I second the Clairsonic comment. I got one in January, and I have noticed fewer breakouts timed around hormone swings. Using that every day and exfoliating a few times a week has virtually eliminated my need to get a facial!

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  40. I had hormonal, cystic acne for years (I was off the pill for a long time) combined with super dry (sometimes combination), super sensitive skin. I tried every product under the sun, including a few you've named above, and nothing REALLY worked. Finally, before I got married, I went to a wonderful, wonderful woman who finally solved it all for me. You shouldn't have to be stuck in the cycle of breakouts, and you don't need a million products to solve it. It's been three years and I still swear by these:

    1. At night, wipe your face with a facial pad soaked in regular old hydrogen peroxide. Then rinse it off.
    2. Use Jan Mirini 2.5% Benzoyl Peroxide wash.
    3. Use Jan Mirini 5% Benzoyl Peroxide treatment.
    4. Moisturize

    In the morning, just use the 2.5% Benzoyl Peroxide treatment and moisturizer. Or you can choose to use a mild cleanser like Burts Bees Orange Cleanser (I did this in the winter when my skin was super dry). For moisturizer, I use H2O+ marine toner and Dior moisturizer, since they're made from naturally-derived ingredients and don't irritate my sensitive skin.

    Seriously, this routine changed my life, and doesn't require a million years getting ready. I also use a facial scrub occasionally, maybe once or twice a week (St. Yves Almond). It's been over 3 years since I started this routine, and I'm hooked. Now that I'm pregnant, I only use the face wash at night, and a mild cleanser in the morning, and I don't use the leave-on product - and I still haven't had any acne issues. I do remember that I had a brief period of dryness when I started the routine, but my consultant told me to wait it out for two weeks - I did, and it hasn't caused any dryness since.

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  41. I agree with the food sensitivities. Eliminating wheat,gluten,corn,soy and dairy from my diet cleared my acne up ( especially the wheat and gluten). Also have you thought about trying the oil cleansing method?

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  42. witch hazel.

    hands down the best skin care product you can get your hands on.

    i have had not great skin since i was 14. tried everything over the counter possible. then went on antibiotics along with cream/face wash regimens.

    then the pill.

    closer to 30 i wanted off the pill and then started seeing the awful teenage skin reappear.

    a friend suggested i try witch hazel as a toner {which the ONLY toner i have ever been able to tolerate is murad}.. so i did {after all at .97 cents a bottle what do i have to lose}

    amazing.

    amazing.

    got that.

    i still use a couple derm perscribed products {mainly for anti-aging purposes more so than acne anymore} Finacea, Retin-A here and there.

    But mostly my face care now is a sulfer-based wash, witch hazel and a mild lotion.

    good luck.

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  43. OK, funny story...

    Before I got pregnant, I used the Neutrogena face-wash, exfoliatnt, toner, whitch hazel, all of that... my skin sucked. Then when I had my daughter, I ran out of facewash and didn't have a ton of time to run to the store, so for a few days I just used Dove soap. That was 5 months ago, and I am not kidding, I haven't had one pimple since then. Not one! I don't think it's the Dove soap per se, I just think my skin was reacting to all of the products I was using by breaking out even more, so that's what worked for me. I think it also helps that we stopped using BC and I'm not back on it yet (and may never go back since I feel so much better without it!)

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  44. i've never really had acne at all before. but recently my back and chest have been breaking out a lot too! i'm going ot try the clearasil pads. i never thought about using that in those areas!

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  45. I also just stopped my birth control in Jan and the same thing is happening to me I've gotten so depressed about it. I might take a visit to my dermatologist again if things don't get better on my own. Thank you so much for your post and I will definitely try some of the items you have recommended.!

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  46. I totally feel your pain. My Obgyn switched me to a new birth control in February that doesn't have the good skin benefits of the old one and it's so sad to backslide after years of good skin. And I'm 28 and experiencing the same issues with the dark spots, worst! Lately I've been eating a lot of fresh fruits and veggies and very little processed food and in addition to my skin care regimen, it's really made a huge difference!

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  47. I feel your pain! Do you think it could be possible you are using too many different products? That's a lot of stuff you're telling your skin to do there- it may just be overwhelmed. Just a thought! Good luck!

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  48. Hi Veronika! This is my first time commenting on your posts which I have been following for just over a month. I feel your pain. I'm a (young)40 year old who stopped taking the pill just over a year ago. I had been on it for well over 17 years except for when starting our family. When I stopped taking it I developed deep cystic acne on and around my chin leaving those purple-pink scars that are just horrible. The large lump would last for up to three weeks - yuck! After trying everything I finally took my MIL's advice and picked up an anti-fungal cream (ratio-Nystatin DIN#02194236). I have no idea why, or how, but it has kept every breakout at bay. I apply as soon as I feel that tell-tale tingle, morning and night, and it has stopped them in their tracks.

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  49. I have similar skin issues and I found a dermatologist/plastic surgeon to help me get my skin on tract. You might like it: Obagi Clenziderm- three steps. Face wash, toner, treatment serum. at night, add in a retin a in the highest potentcy your skin can handle. It is anti-aging, exfoliating, clears up spots left from past breakouts and doesn't really make your skin peel if you work your way up to the higher retin a areas. Clenziderm is a little pricey, but I use it like "gold." And the trick my doctor taught me is once you "fill your pores" with the good stuff, aka get all the gunk out with the cleanser and toner and fill them in with the treatment serum, then you can use inexpensive products as long as they are non-comegenic. Eucerin face mosturizer with spf 30 doesn't break me out and isn't greasy, and then use foundation that is NC (you can use it like a concelear too, especially since most concelears are not NC, except you can use a real concelear under your eyes in areas that arent likely to breakout). I use whatever is on sale at the drugstore that is marked NC.

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  50. I had horrible cystic acne before getting on the pill- I actually took Acutane in college. My skin has been a problem since I was a teen.

    I was using all sorts of acne products when I got off the pill last year, but once I got pregnant I read that alot of the ingredients I was using weren't pregnancy friendly so I have been using a Dove bar to clense, witch hazel to tone, and Burt's Bees sensitive skin mositurizer and (despite all of my raging hormones) my skin looks like it did when I was on the pill. I have come to the conclusion that less is more for my skin- just wanted to share :).

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  52. Thanks for sharing your skincare regimen. I have very similar skin care issues as you and I've had lots of luck with the neutrogena clear pore cleanser and mask (that I use 1-2x a week). I love the effaclar duo from LRP. Kate Somerville also have a new exfolikate for problem skin that I like using!

    Thanks for this blog!
    ps I'm also obsessed with Lululemon and just purchased their Run: Bound Bra and also the Centered Bra (for different activities of course). My husband and I travel a lot and I used to love the wunder under for that, but now loving the studio pant. You have try them on! On the site, they don't look like anything that would be flattering!!!

    Anyway - thanks for this blog post.

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