I want to preface this post by noting that I am solely writing about my experiences.  I am not (in any way) saying that my decisions are the best or that everyone should follow what I am saying.  If you suffer from chronic acne and are not seeing any improvement, please see a dermatologist to discuss options that may work for you.  Again, this is all about my experience and my journey.  Thanks!

Those of you that have been reading this blog for a couple of years now know that I have been on quite a journey as far as my acne is concerned.  I’ve been anything but quiet with my frustrations.

I’ve gone from converting to almond milk, to drinking ACV, to using Proactiv.  All of these changes provided some temporary relief (except for the ACV – that made things WAY worse).  But that’s all it was…temporary.

So now I’m sharing what I did to take control of my acne.  The next chapter so to speak.

And that chapter began this past February.  As I was putting on my makeup one morning, I started crying.  My acne was acting up again in a big way.  And this time it literally hurt my face.  Vishnu looked at me and said, “Please make a dermatologist appointment.”

You see, Vishnu hated when I would try more natural remedies to cure my acne.  Simply because none of it really helped me.  I would convince myself for weeks that it was working and just needed a little more time, but Vishnu wasn’t fooled.  So I finally gave in and made an appointment with a dermatologist in our area.

There was an opening that very week, so I headed to the doctor knowing full well the regimen she was going to prescribe.  After the initial appointment, she started me on antibiotics and a gel called Tazorac.

I have to say that taking antibiotics for what ended up being four months was not an easy decision for me.  I was honestly torn.  The doctor explained that for people like me, topical, natural cures weren’t going to do anything.  My acne was caused by bacteria, and we needed to kill it to see any real change.At the end of the day, I decided to go for it because I truly felt like nothing was helping me (the things I listed in paragraph #2 are just a few of the things I tried).  I even talked to Vishnu, his dad, and a few of my pharmacist friends about side effects, drug safety, etc.

The first two months or so were rough because my acne was getting worse.  My doctor ensured me that it would get better and that I needed to be patient with the medication.  Things did get better.  Around month three, I started noticing my face was much clearer.  I was beyond ecstatic.

After taking the pills for four entire months, my doctor recommended that I continue taking them the week before my period to help keep my face clear.  After thinking this through, I made the decision not to do that.  I wasn’t comfortable taking the pills in the first place, and I really didn’t want to continue with them more than I had to.  I am, however, still using the Tazorac gel on my face once a day (because there is no permanent cure for acne and some measures need to be continued).

That brings me to today.  My face, minus a few smallish bumps here and there, is doing ok (knock on wood!).  I do breakout occasionally, but I find that my acne now is not painful and it disappears a lot quicker than before.

I’m not sure what the future holds because when we start trying for a baby, I will have to stop using the Tazorac.  My acne may come back full force at that time, but I’m not going to think about that right now!

In all honesty, this wasn’t the route I wanted to take.  And it wasn’t an easy decision.  But thinking back, I did what was best for me.  I have been dealing with acne my entire life (or so it seems) and seeking professional help was apparently the only way to help calm things down for now.  And that’s ok.  You have to make the best decision for you and move forward.

I’m sure in a year’s time I will be blogging about this again.  And hopefully there won’t be too many tears!

Do you use natural treatments to cure things like acne?  Any success stories?

By Parita

15 thoughts on “My Journey to a (Mostly) Clear Face”
  1. im so happy that you have found a solution to acne..you know how much it frustrates me too, last couple weeks have been bad + this heat is not helping at all. i just made a switch to philosophy’s product, lets see how it goes. Also, for the powder foundation I have been using LORAC and it seems to be helping a little bit. Another thing that I have started doing religiously is making sure to take off my makeup EVERY SINGLE DAY with SImple Wet Wipes rather than using a face wash because it tends to dry my skin.
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    1. It’s always good to know I’m not the only one! I honestly feel like I tried everything but nothing worked for me! I’m glad you’re seeing some improvements with what you’re doing. And you’re so right, the weather is not helping!

  2. I feel your pain. I know how stressful it is dealing with acne. I never had acne problems in my teenage years and then I hit about 19, 20 years old and my face was covered in acne. I recently found a routine that works for me and my face has finally started to clear up. I’m so glad you found something that works for you!
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    1. You’re absolutely right, living a healthy lifestyle definitely helps. I find that when I drink lots of water and eat lots of fruits and vegetables, my face looks much better!

  3. Congrats! Acne is tough. Its not easy at all. I have my own battles at times. And don’t worry about going off the gel when you are trying, pregnancy will bring a whole bunch of different hormones and you may not even need it! 🙂

    1. Thanks, Kavita! And it’s good to know about the whole pregnancy thing. Sometimes I freak out just thinking about it. Haha.

  4. Hey Parita,

    I had pretty bumpy skin about two years ago, here’s what has worked for me in clearing it up.

    Cutting out all face washes/cleansers which contain Sodium Laureth Sulfate/ Lauryl Sulfate. I use Ponds’ Cold Cleasing cream in the mornings, dab it onto dry skin and clean it off a hot flannel (the flannel helps exfoliate gently and opens up pores due to the heat). Follow with a toner (takes off any remaining goop on your skin), apply a non-sticky moisturiser and keep your make-up non-oily and mineral-based. I found that silicone based make-up (primers tend to contain silicone) irritated my skin, so I avoid those too.

    Use silk/satin pillowcases. Cotton tends to be abrasive on the delicate skin on your face.

    Washing your face religiously before bed-time. I use Burts’ Bees Soapbark and Chamomile cleansing cream (or Garnier’s 2-in-1 make-up remover, doesn’t contain SLS) and use the Phillips VisaPure brush, followed by toner and moisturirser.

    Drinking lots of water, getting enough sleep and upping anti-oxidants in your diet. Cranberry juice, pomegranate juice and prune juice seemed to help a lot.

    My acen still dlares up when my period is due but with the routine I’ve described above, I can simply dab clearasil on the zit and it’ll be gone in no time, compared to before when it would stick around and make itself home … and bring its friends to party!

    Hope this helps you.

    1. Hi there! This is so helpful – thank you x 10! I especially like the tip about increasing my intake of cranberry juice because I have yet to try that. And I’ll definitely check out some of those products you mentioned. Thank you again for sharing! And I’m glad to hear that I’m not alone in my quest to a clear face. 🙂

  5. Hi par!!! It’s yonks
    Recently I’ve gotten super interested in skin care (a lot of it has to do with problems with my own skin, but also things I’m learning in school have piqued my interest). And I’ve been doing a lot of research…and here’s a little bit of what I found.
    About a year ago I started taking claritin allergy pills daily. My roommate (who is interested in derm..how convenient!) suggested it because she said my acne looked more like an allergic rash than actual acne (I had these uniform tiny bumps all over my cheeks/jawline). My skin saw such a significant improvement. I know there hasn’t been any data suggesting a specific correlation between allergies and acne, but I also don’t think it was a coincidence that my skin suddenly improved. I guess the next step would be to figure out exactly what that allergen is (by doing elimination diets/changing my detergents or face washes, etc).
    Also, you should check out this post from this health blog I found! http://chriskresser.com/nutrition-for-healthy-skin-part-1
    He has 3 parts. He basically talks about vitamin remedies. I know people our hesitant to consider ‘homeopathic’ remedies for acne, but a lot of the vitamins/minerals that he discusses have been proven by research to be involved in skin turnover or wound healing, etc. It’s worth a read!

    1. Thanks, Yonks! I love learning about this stuff too. After taking antibiotics and using Tazorac, I really think I have hormonal acne. BUT with that that being said, I believe there has to be a more natural treatment. I’m going to look into the link you sent me! I’ll let you know if I find anything interesting!

      And come visit us in Miami!! 🙂

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