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i've suffered from pretty severe cystic acne from age 15 to 23 and I've been able to clear most of it up within a year of realising where the issue lay. in those years, I spent so much money on dermatologists and trying to fix me and have been left with a really terrible self perception but things are much better now and I wanna share that.
- •Cutting dairy from my dietIt took a lot of convincing, but I decided to give this a go and went cold turkey (no milk, yogurt, cream cheese, cheese of any sort or ice cream or other dairy products with lactose) and within two or three months I saw a huge different and I stuck with it and it's made a massive difference now. Only downside is that I went long enough without dairy that I'm now lactose intolerant and feel miserable AND break out when I consume any dairy.
- •Benzoyl peroxide, 10% (I live in Asia and the easiest thing to get my hands on is Oxy cover, costs about $6-7 a tube and lasts me a few months)I have tried all kinds of salicylic acid creams from both drugstores and dermatologists and have always made my way back to Oxy. You gotta admit that dermatologist's prescriptions are just not financially sustainable, but drugstore products are. And sometimes they're less harsh. oxy cover is great because it mostly does blend into your skin so I feel less awkward sitting around at home with cream on my cheeks
- •All the face masks (or Fuller's earth in particular)So while the oxy does tend to dry out the zits, it dries out your skin too so I find that complementing that with moisturising masks when my face feels too dry, or a good mud mask when it needs some.exfoliation really helps. In the last few months I've mostly been rotating between Himalayas Neem Facepack, Himalayas Kesar Facepack(that's saffron infused),Queen Helene's Mint Julep clay mask, and the Orange&Bergamot detox and Strawberry&Yarrow clarifying masks by Formula 10.0.6.