let me start by saying this information is going to be totally useless to anyone who actually has a problem with acne. if you have tried literally any acne product before and it hasn't worked, i cannot help you. my skin, my legs, and my hands are pretty much the only parts of my body that have been kind to me. unfortunately for the first i often have a hard time returning the favor, and recently this has finally come back to bite me in the ass.
for most of my life i only ever suffered from the ocassional single tiny pimple, and what /r/skincareaddiction refers to as "closed comedones", which until i started searching for tips on how to get rid of acne i thought was just the texture of my forehead. as a teenager friends and family were in awe of the fact i somehow managed to be making it through puberty with skin clearer than a sky blue day. they'd ask me for advice, to which i would proudly respond "i use clean&clear face wash every day, and if i get a bump i use this mary kay thing my mom got me." my mom, who was in the midst of multiple mlm scams at the time, loved that last part.
over time, however, my luck began to turn. it started when clean&clear changed stopped selling that creamy white face wash that had beads in it and made your face tingle.i didn't relize this at first because i'd never used beauty products before this one. i had no idea it was common for companies to suddenly change a formula without making it clear it was an entirely different product. i just thought my stupid ass forgot what the old one looked like and kept buying some substitute version for people with weaker skin. i learned the truth after i finally decided to google it and found out that a lot of people actually thought the beads were really bad, either for environmental reasons or bad for your body, but those people have no idea what they're talking about because it worked for me and i liked it.
i used the new formula for some time after i learned about the change, but i felt like it wasn't really doing anything so eventually i stopped. i continued using the mary kay thing for pimples that popped up, but after my mom stopped hawking their producs when she realized she wasn't making any money, it became harder and harder to get. it was during this time that i started having full-on breakouts, which the mary kay couldn't seem to stop. it'd get rid of what was there, but they'd quickly just be replaced by newer, more painful pimples. i started using the clean&clear face wash again, but after a while i felt like it was just making it worse so i stopped. all this time i refused to look into acne treatment because, as far as i knew, i didn't have acne problems. in my mind, acne problems were the result of inherently bad skin. obviously you could get acne through ways other than an act of god, but those weren't acne problems so much as like, Not Washing Your Face problems or Greasy Diet problems.
it's so obviously dumb looking back, but at the time i really didn't want to lose claim to the one thing my body seemed to do right. my face was a mess, my teeth were weird, i wasn't nearly as tall as i wanted to be, my fat distribution was confusing and i had too much fat to distrbute, my hair hated me, my respiratory system was eternally noncommittal, my laugh sounded like a cough, my eyes were beady...i could go on. my clear skin was basically the only physical trait people would compliment me on, and it felt like if i had to start doing upkeep on it then that praise would no longer be as real. they wouldn't be complimenting me on my skin, but my ability to apply creams that give the illusion of clear skin. because, truthfully, back when i first used it i didn't think the clean&clear face wash actually helped me. the mary kay, yes, but one little pimple on an otherwise baby-smooth face didn't seem disqualifying for the title of "naturally clear skin". everybody gets pimples.
i tried some things like not sleeping with my nebulizer mask on and washing my pillow cases weekly, which helped, but it wasn't until i started attending college that i seriously began to work on fixing it. for some reason, the week i moved into my dorm was the week my face decided to explode. it was ugly, but more importantly, it fucking hurt. i spent months using clean&clear daily, but it didn't do anything besides bleach my towels. still, i couldn't come up with any alternatives so i tried to order the tube of mary kay i used to use. somehow i ended up getting mary kay face wash, which i then replaced the clean&clear with, but i still felt like it wasn't doing much. there was a point during the end of my last semester where i was bedridden with the flu and my skin started clearing up, but trying to repeat everything i did during that time didn't help either. so, finally, i decided to go online and figure out what the fuck was happening with my face. this is the actually informative part of this post on another note, i now understand why recipe blogs are like That - my defense is that this is basically a journal at this point and if i ever want to make it a real helpful site, i'll make everything on here a lot tighter).
my main takeaway was that i needed to use benzoyl peroxide to get rid of the acne that was already there and sacylic acid to prevent new acne from forming. it turns out the mary kay ointment i'd used in high school had been benzoyl peroxide, which is why it was so good at removing pimples, but did nothing to stop them. i immediately went to walgreens and bought some neutrogena skin care kit that i began to use religiously, and........it worked! my skin started getting clearer! woohoo!
my main problem now is keeping up with what i have to do. i know what it takes to keep my skin from being physically painful to touch, but i have a hard time actually doing what needs to be done. because of the depression. and there's a lot that needs to be done! i have to:
ok so that's like four things, but remember: the depression! it's hard to remember to wash your face every day when you forget to shower sometimes. it's hard to remember to put on after leaving the bathroom, but before i put on my moisturizer. it's even harder to remember to do it at night when most of the time i just pass out unexpectedly. it's hard to remember to take off my pillow cases when i have a hard enough time remembering to take the laundry from the bathroom. and the nebulizer.........well, the nebulizer is just a white noise machine for me. i know i need to find a better alternative, but again, i have so many things i need to do it's hard to know where to start. but i'm trying to come up with some solutions.
so that's my plan. hopefully it works and one day i will be functional enough to actually make projects like this one into what i actually want them to look like. also, since i've decided this is a journal now, i'm not going to be editing old passages. i like the idea of a blind-leading-the-blind type of thing, but if i'm not even well enough to know where i'm going i can't expect to create something that's clear enough for others to follow. this is just for me now. i need to learn how do things for me.