Entries Tagged as 'Skin Care'

My Journey to Clear Skin | Hydroquinone, Retin A and Cleocin Regimen

posted on: December 24, 2013

Hydroquinone, Retin A and Cleocin Regimen

I’ve finally decided that now is the time to do something about my chronic acne.

I always knew the time would come when I wouldn’t be able to endure it any longer, but I was waiting until I saved up enough money to undergo treatment. Acne medication is not cheap (especially in The Bahamas) and neither are the glycolic and other acid treatments.

Honestly, my YouTube channels are really the driving force behind me finally taking the steps to get the treatment I need. I filmed a “Get Ready with Me” video for my 22nd birthday and my face looked horrible, (even worse than it did in my “Get Ready with Me” video for my 21st birthday). Sure, I would get pimples around the time of my period, but I had not broken out that badly in a while. It was depressing.

Shortly after filming the video and putting it on YouTube, I filmed a video that showcased my favorite lip liner and lipstick combinations. I couldn’t even upload it to YouTube because of how bad my skin looked.

I’ve been suffering from acne for about 5 years now. I looked back at a photo of myself in 2009 and the right side of my face was virtually clear. I had teenage acne, but it was nothing as serious as it is now. When I went off to college in MN was when my skin really started to breakout.

The main culprits of my acne, in my opinion, are stress and hormones. (I don’t think food and makeup played as much of a role because I’ve gone weeks without wearing any makeup and eating “healthy” before and it did not help.)

If you went to or are currently enrolled in college, you know how stressful it can be. I was bombarded with deadline after deadline and I was taking a chemistry class that I found very difficult at the time. I was not making the grades I was accustomed to.

Additionally, I was in a new place away from my family in The Bahamas, it was cold all the got damn time, I hated the food, people weren’t as friendly as I thought they would be, and I was depressed. My stress showed on my face (and my body too because I ate my way to 180 pounds, 20 more than what I weighed upon arriving in MN).

My acne did clear up a bit after my freshman year, but I still got nasty break outs. As you can see in the pictures, my problem areas are my forehead, chin, cheeks, and lower jaw (especially around my period). That’s practically my entire face, but the “rash” on the right side of my face is most severe.

Hydroquinone, Retin A and Cleocin Acne Regimen

I’ve tried Proactiv, Clinique, Clearasil, Noxema, Cetaphil, Neutrogena, Apricot Scrub, and I got an acne facial a few months ago that I did not follow through on. I don’t know about the facial, but none of those products were enough to keep my acne away.

My dad (he’s a doctor) also gave me some Clindoxyl which contains clindamycin (1%) and benzoyl peroxide (5%). My face does not like benzoyl peroxide and every time I use it, it irritates my skin and forms a little later of  scaly “stuff” that I just want to scrape off. My skin is not here for benzoyl peroxide so I stick to salicylic acid, another treatments used for acne.

Proactiv and Clearasil both contain benzoyl peroxide so those products did not work that well on my skin.

Last week, I had what I believe to be one of the most disgusting bumps I ever had on my face. It was right above my lip and it was itchy and painful. That was the last straw. I called the dermatologist and scheduled a $125 consultation.

She prescribed:

  1. Retin A (tretinoin) 0.05% – a topical form of vitamin A used to treat acne that helps the skin renew itself. It decreases the number and severity of acne pimples and encourages quick healing of breakouts that do form.
  2. Hydroquinone – used to lighten the dark patches of skin (hyper pigmentation). It works by blocking the process in the skin that leads to discoloration.
  3. Cleocin T  (Clindamycin) –  an antibiotic which helps to decrease the number of acne lesions by stopping the growth of bacteria.
  4. Mynocycline (Minocin) (oral) – It stops the growth of bacteria and decreases inflammation of sebaceous glands, which allows the skin to heal.

In total, I spent $188 on this medicine and the glycolic acid peel I am scheduled to have in two weeks costs $100. I’m supposed to have four of them. This is why I prolonged this treatment. I did not want to shell out this kind of cash. But this needs to be done because at this point, it’s interfering with my life.

I’m using the Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash Facial Cleanser to wash my face, and the St. Ives Naturally Clear Apricot Scrub Blemish & Blackhead Control to exfoliate. Both contain 2% salicylic acid as the active ingredient for acne treatment.

For sunscreen (and you must use sunscreen with these products), I’m using Aveeno Active Naturals Protect + Hydrate SPF 30 Lotion.

I will write an update post after the first glycolic acid peel and I will also write more blog posts about all of these medications and their side effects.

I also have acne on my back (mainly on my shoulders) that’s worse than the acne on my face and I’ve had it for as long as I can remember. I’ll tackle that in another post.

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peace, love and happy shopping

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