About Me

by | 182 comments

acne before and after

I’m a huge believer in transparency, but for privacy reasons I won’t be disclosing my full name at this time. I’ve always been a bit of a shy person, and the idea of having my name plastered all over the internet isn’t very appealing (to say the least haha).

I hope you can understand and respect my concerns. Perhaps in the future when I feel more comfortable about sharing that information with you all, I will. But for now, we’ll use my initials — f.c.

So…. Who Am I?

Just another person passionate about skincare after years of being plagued with skin conditions myself. However, unlike many “beauty gurus” and “experts” out there who claim they once had “terrible skin,” I actually took photos along the way to document everything for proof.

My goal in showing these pictures is to help encourage others in similar positions, and show how much progress you can make when you understand the science behind skincare.

When Did Your Skin Problems Begin?

Oh boy. A long long time ago. It all started at the age of 10 in 5th grade when I was bullied for having cheilitis (inflamed rashy lips). Kids would call me “kool-aid” and tell me to wipe the “ketchup” off my lips. Dicks.

And that was just the beginning of my skin woes. I started breaking out at the age of 14 like most teenagers, only my acne lasted a whopping 11 years. -___- I can write a whole section about the different skin problems I’ve had but the most severe were:

1. Psoriasis

psoriasis

2. Malassezia Folliculitis / Seborrheic Dermatitis.

malassezia folliculitis

3. And of course: Acne / PIH + PIE.

Acne before and after Acne before and after Acne before and after acne scars before and afterAcne before and afterAcne before and afteracne before and afteracne before and after

pimples on chin

This is my skin in natural outdoor lighting. Do know however, that I was using a light tinted sunscreen in this photo (Coola Mineral SPF 30), so some residual redness is subdued.

meeeeee

Sometimes I look at all the skin problems I’ve had in my life and wonder how someone got so unlucky. It almost feels like the universe is testing me to see how many different skin issues I can solve. I try to think of it as a blessing though, because without them I wouldn’t have learned so much and been able to help as many people.

Disclaimer: I know my skin is NOT perfect. Have I made tremendous progress though? Absolutely. And if I was able to clear my skin after years of thinking it was permanently damaged, along with thousands of other readers of this blog — SO CAN YOU!

But just as importantly, I urge you to remember that part of our skin journey is about practicing self-love as much as it is treating disease. We are chasing vulnerability and being real, not perfection. I cannot stress this enough, and I think no other person better explained why than Margery Williams in her children’s book The Velveteen Rabbit:

“Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.”

   ‍

“Does it hurt?” asked the Rabbit.

   ‍

“Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. “When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.”

   ‍

“Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,” he asked, “or bit by bit?”

   ‍

“It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”

Why Did You Make This Website?

To help you out. It’s insane how much misinformation is spread around the web and even among experts you’re supposed to trust. This photo was taken at my FIFTH dermatologist’s office. He asked me to tie my hair back and smile. That half grin was all I could muster.

terrible day....

As lame as this sounds, I began crying the first time I tried writing this “about me” section because of this photo. My eyes say it all and reminded me of so much. I know you can’t see them here but they’re tired, hallow, red, and swollen from all the nights I spent crying alone. Here’s an excerpt from a journal entry I wrote back then:

“Crying alone is really really hard, and all I want is to feel normal again and not be afraid to look into the mirror, and move on from this disease that has caused me so much pain and plagued too many years of my life.”

To be honest, it’s often the heartbreak that keeps me going; what keeps me writing and researching even when I don’t want to. I know someone out there feels just like I did, and my only hope is that this website reaches them one day.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard someone say that they have tried everything. It’s kind of become a cliché phrase among skincare gurus and heartless assholes that exploit other’s insecurities for profit. But duuuuuuuude, I DID TRY EVERYTHING. Strict diets, fancy supplements, natural remedies, a whole lot of skincare — you name it! Here’s some proof:

7 years of products

Yeah…. I guess you can say I’ve been around the block. HA! Looking at that picture is almost like a “Where’s Waldo” game with products you recognize. There are definitely a few skincare-addict favorites in there. See how many you can count!

Anyway, it occurred to me early on (after multiple failed trial and errors) that if I ever cured myself of this god forsaken condition, showing my readers exactly how many stuff I’ve tried would be an invaluable way of building trust — so take a good look. That’s approximately 7-8 years worth of products.

Looking back at this hurts my wallet. I don’t even want to think about how much money was spent for all this. After years of navigating through the skincare scene I’ve obviously developed a solid grasp on what works and why.

What Skin Problems Do You Deal With Now?

None these days, which is such a lovely thing to be able to say. I’ll never take it for granted, and if you have clear skin neither should you! The only real thing I deal with now is the aftermath of bad skin.

I still have some minor atrophic scarring I’m trying to fade, but for all intents and purposes it isn’t there. I’ve asked a few family members and they say it isn’t noticeable. However, if I slack off on skincare or nutrition some problems do start creeping back in (particularly Malassezia Folliculitis and Acne).

A Final Word:

My promise to you is that i’ll never give you false information. That I write everything here from the heart, and with as much of my knowledge possible. I won’t endorse any products or companies unless I absolutely believe in them. If I think a product or claim is shit, I have no problem telling you it’s shit.

I’m here to help guide you through the limited bad skin days you have left. Together, we’ll kick their ass and help you achieve the radiant, bright, beautiful, plump skin hiding somewhere in there so you’ll have the courage to explore the world confidently.

If there are any other questions you’d like me to answer, let me know.

Warmly,

—f.c.

Share my story!

182 Comments

  1. Anon

    Hi, just wanted to say thank you for creating this site. It’s crazy how many similarities your story has to my own, and I suspect many other people’s. Looking back I realise I was duped by a lot of the misinformation present online – whether it was products with false claims or me mistakenly using those which were just not intended to treat my specific skin conditions. 2 courses of Accutane eventually solved my acne troubles, but the PIE was another story (I was shocked to hear the term wasn’t coined until like 2013, I hope now it makes things easier for people going through what we did). Several pulsed dye laser treatments were the only ‘cure’ for the PIE though, it was unusually stubborn, I suspect me damaging my skin barrier during my lowest point when dealing with acne may have had something to do with it…thinking back now it’s insane, I used to step out of the shower and within seconds of my face drying it would become dry and flake all over, little did I know at the time how much repair and healing my skin needed.

    Lord knows if some of the info available today would have been present when I was going through my troubles, maybe things would have turned out differently, could have saved a lot of time! Information, the right information presented in an understandable way for people is a great service, so thank you for that.

    Reply
    • f.c.

      Hi, stranger. Thank you for the comment. I feel it a million times over. I could have saved myself years of depression had I known what I know now. I’m going to paste a response I left elsewhere on this site because it is relevant.

      “There is no shittier feeling than being lost, not knowing where to turn, and being confused about the complexities of skin, then going to a professional that doesn’t take more than 2 seconds to look at you before sending you away. During the worst of my skin battles, those were the hardest days. I’d think to myself, ‘if no dermatologist, skincare company, or beauty guru can help me, then who can?’

      The answer was me.

      I think that happens to a lot of us in this unique position. We learn that people have ulterior motives, that the professionals can’t solve it for us, so we become more knowledgable than them in the process, driven to find a solution with more motivation than they could ever have.”

      The more people I talk to, the more I realize how common my story is. It’s absolutely astonishing. Hopefully people reading this in similar situations we were in the past find some comfort knowing they’re not alone, and will one day beat it too.

      Reply
      • Mary Suarez

        Working in research I’m accustomed to looking into things beyond the superficial but your website is absolutely WONDERFUL! I feel I can trust you and your advice and am very happy to have found it. Wishing you everything best in the world. Thank you for taking such a difficult situation and using it to help others, such a sweetheart you are.

        Reply
      • Remo Cosentino

        Thank you for answering questions about our skin problems. You have proven a point I have noted in my own health problems: doctors are not as helpful as we expect them to be, or as we hope them to be. A number of them have said: don’t do your own research into a medical problem. When I last saw a physical therapist, she and her assistant laughed when I told them I Googled to find an answer to a health problem. “Very bad,” they both said. Well, my research gave me the answer they were not able to give me. I agree with you: only you can help yourself. With intelligence and persistence search online, you can find answers and insight that will help one with a health problem.

        Reply
    • wendi

      I admire your approach to testing so many treatments on yourself. you are clearly an intelligent individual, probably with some sort of scientific background. I have a similar background–one thing I’ve thought about my skin is consistently negative thoughts, always wishing I had: clear/spotless/even-toned/more tanned/less burnt/less wrinkled/less scarred, etc…blah blah blah…skin. until recently my dermatologist told me that I had: papulopustular ROSACEA! it was as if I had cursed myself into something to rue for real.
      so bravo to you for doing the hard work. I Botox myself (I’m an MD), I do the research, I refuse to take antibotics (even if my derm swears they’re “sub-antimicrobial”). and you & your site just blew me away! thank you.

      Reply
      • f. c.

        Wow! I am flattered! Thank you for the kind words, especially coming from a medical doctor! 🙂

        “one thing I’ve thought about my skin is consistently negative thoughts”

        Have you read my article about sabotaging ourselves when it comes to our physical appearance? Particularly the section about emotions. I know that feeling all too well. You just have to remember it’s the people who really matter in our lives that will love us with scars and all. Looks aren’t everything. And those that disagree can f*ck off.

        “Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”—Margery Williams, The Velveteen Rabbit

        Reply
        • Carol

          OMG. Wish I found you 55 years ago. I am now a 72 yr old female. My skin problems have RUINED my life and self esteem. I was a model. That went south. But the absolute worse are the sebaceous hyperplasias. Have had laser. Electrocauterization. Accutane. So many many times. And for last 6 years i have under the skin white bumps that sometimes i can squeeze out white filmy sebum. Derm wants to do CO2 laser. Can not do that again. I cry every day and beg God to take me. My husband died. Men younger than I ask me out but i hate myself and my scarring and white bumps. Any suggestions for hyperplasias. God Bless your kindness

          Reply
          • f. c.

            Your words break my heart, Carol. I’m so sorry for everything you are going through. :/ If I knew you in person I would give you a hug and offer a listening heart. From one stranger to another, I wish you health and all the best in this world. Please take care of yourself.

    • Carly

      Ok, so I have to ask. I see a curology bottle in your pile, why did you stop using it? I started curology a little over a year ago and it worked beautifully until, like an asshole, I decided to save $20 a month cuz I was clear. Well of course, it all came back. I’m currently on differin 0.1% in my 11th week and went back on my curology prescription (8% azaelic acid, 1% clindamycin, 0.25% zinc pyrithione) Differin has mostly wreaked havoc for me but I see the light at the end and am trying to give it the full 3 months. But, I find being able to chat with the dermatologist on curology to be very helpful, what did you not like about it? (I too have multiple skin issues, hormonal inflammatory acne (occasionally cystic), malassezia (sp?), PIH/PIE and KP)

      Reply
    • Clara

      Wow congrats on all your hard work and perseverance. Not being confident in your own skin is a feeling so many people don’t understand and it is devastating. I am so happy for you.

      Reply
    • Emily

      Are you an esthetician? Just curious..

      Reply
  2. Rachel

    Can you speak about how you addressed your atrophic scarring?

    Reply
    • f. c.

      If you’re referring to the red acne marks, I wrote an article about how to get rid of them which can be found here.

      As for the atrophic scars, I’ll definitely make a whole post about this in the future after I finish a lot of the other requested articles I have lined up. :p You can always subscribe to the newsletter to be the first to find out when it’s published.

      They aren’t entirely gone, but to very briefly answer your question in the meantime: dermarolling, a series of at home chemical peels (particularly glycolic), and hydration hydration hydration!

      However, I don’t recommend you try these things together (i.e. dermarolling and chemical peels) unless you absolutely know what you’re doing, which is something I will definitely be focusing on in that future article.

      Reply
  3. Tatiana

    I love you. You are my hero. This has been me for the past year.

    Reply
    • f. c.

      You’re too kind! Thanks for the lovely words. 🙂

      I hope things have been improving for you!

      Reply
  4. Penny

    I really enjoy your writing and all the information I get from readin your posts. The improvement in your skin are very impressive. Thank you very much for documenting your research and sharing with us.

    Reply
    • f. c.

      Thank you for the kind words. I’m very happy you enjoy it! 🙂

      Reply
      • Georgia

        Hello, I just want to start by saying you have actually changed my life with all this information , my skin is smooth and clear and I am so grateful that your guide has made this happen!
        So I’ve been trying to find a fungal acne safe FAKE TAN for face, I have done hours of looking and non fit the ingredient criteria, I’ve searched loads of products on seiza, all contain glycerin at the least, do you have any recommendations? Would be rediculously grateful xxxx

        Reply
  5. Patrick

    They all say the you are what you eat. Did you alter your nutrition habits to achieve good skin?

    By the way, thank you so much for this website. You’ve turn your ‘pain’ into a formidable strength to help others. This is very noble of you.

    God bless.

    Reply
    • f. c.

      Hey, Patrick! Thank a bunch for the very kind words.

      Great question. Funny you mention that, I’m in the middle of writing a big blog post on diet and acne. Hoping to have it out very soon. EDIT: Here it is!

      But yes, I did. I’ve tried all kinds of crazy diets. Veganism, primal, FODMAP-free, low-histamine, paleo, autoimmune paleo (AIP), mediterranean etc. The one that made the biggest difference for me was AIP. It was also the hardest to do because of how restrictive it is.

      My diet isn’t nearly as strict now. I pretty much eat what I want, but still keep things pretty healthy. I mainly avoid diary and wheat. But even with those I’ll indulge every couple weeks. Ice cream, pizza, and chocholate shakes are just too good to pass up sometimes. :p

      And last but not least: probiotics! Those have helped me a ton. Not just for skin, but mental wellbeing too.

      Reply
  6. Tetiana

    I am so glad I’ve found your blog! So much useful information! Thank you for all that amazing work that you are doing here! It’s really hard to find good skincare blogs with detailed reviews from a person who really understands what he/she is talking about! But now I found such blog! Best wishes! Tetiana

    Reply
    • f. c.

      Awwww thanks, Tetiana! I really appreciate your lovely words. 🙂 Hope you’re having a great holiday season!

      Reply
  7. Nadzirah Ruslan

    I found your blog today and i am so happy.

    I like the way u review on things/giving guides because they are comprehensive and solid. I feel like reading scientific review.

    Keep up the good job!

    Reply
    • f. c.

      Haha thank you for the kind words, Nadzirah! I’m very happy you enjoy it. 🙂

      Reply
  8. dip

    Hey there u r a wonderful human being helping others in their lonely battles!!! Just wanna say u a thank u???
    my only question to u is
    will vaseline really work for my pie
    cause i wanna give it a try

    Reply
    • f. c.

      Hey there! Thanks for the kind words. 🙂

      The only way to find out is by patch testing and trying it yourself! Vaseline will definitely help skin retain its moisture, which for me was enough to help fade my PIE. Let me know how it goes!

      Reply
    • Jacque

      I just want to add that I apply Vaseline to my face, at night before going to bed, when I have a bad case of acne and by the next morning my ache has improved by 80%. I started using Vaseline because it soothes the pain that comes with my acne.

      Reply
  9. Mia

    Finally someone made this blog.
    I want to thank you for writing information about your skin condition honestly, because I need someone’s advice for my problem. As a teenager I was just fine, never having real breakouts till I’ve been no longer undergraduate student. Maybe the real life I’ve been through; or just some unexplained events triggered SD aka seborrheic dermatitis. I suffered this for about 4 years.

    That’s why I become a Korean skin care junkie. But when I tried Centella Blemish Cream to cure my acne, it got worse. I’m having fungal acne right now *I searched for my condition and found this blog through COSRX Essence*. FYI, I use COSRX Essence too, but the Hyaluronic Acid since I read in journals that somehow it can control SD.

    I read on several blogs I can’t go outdoors without sunscreen and must apply something probiotic to my face for curing fungal acne. Is it true? And what kind of treatment do you use for fungal acne and SD?

    Reply
    • f. c.

      Hey, Mia! Thank you for the lovely words. 🙂

      I will be making a whole blog post on fungal acne soon. Just haven’t had the time recently after a death in my family. Rest assured I’m spending every minute of free time outside work responding to people here and via email. I’m hoping to have the blog post on fungal acne out within the week.

      As for your questions. No, sunscreen is not necessary for fungal acne. Often times it will make it worse because they contain some variation of a fatty acid that will feed malassezia. However, two sunscreens that I have found work well with SD/malassezia folliculitis are Elta MD UV Clear and CeraVe AM. In terms of probiotics, they can certainly help with an overgrowth of fungus, but more research is still required in this area for me to make recommendations.

      Reply
  10. Yina

    Hello, stumbled across your website while searching for reviews.

    Really love the layout, the concise and honest content.

    Thanks for the work!

    Reply
    • f. c.

      Thank you so much for the lovely words! I really appreciate it, and I’m glad you enjoy the site. 🙂

      I hope you have a great weekend!

      Reply
  11. Rita

    Hi!

    So I have Seborrheic Dermatitis and wanted to know if these fermented ingredients will aggravate my condition: Sodium Hyaluronate and
    Xanthan Gum. They are present in Charlotte Tilbury’s cosmetics. Thank you! Your website is amazing.

    Reply
    • f. c.

      Hi there, Rita!

      Sodium Hyaluronate is just a humectant and xanthan gum a preservative. Both should be completely fine for SD.

      Glad you like the site. 🙂

      Reply
      • Rita

        Thank you for responding back! I hope you do a post on SD/fungal acne soon because it affects so many people and they aren’t even aware of it and are using the wrong products. In your opinion, what are the ingredients that I should avoid when I purchase products for SD/fungal acne? I remember I tried SK II (when I didn’t know that I had SD) because I heard how amazing it is and it completely aggravated my skin due to the Pitera yeast in it. You are so knowledgable and have it all down to the science so I hope you don’t mind me asking so many questions. I seriously stopped using all the crap my dermatologist gave me and have been slowly incorporating the products that you mentioned and my skin is slowly clearing up. So THANK YOU for your hard work and dedication on this site!

        Reply
        • f. c.

          Ahh, so sorry it isn’t out yet. I’ve been swamped with comments across the blog. I’m actually thinking of deactivating them for a week or so I can have that post out ASAP. I’ll be honest, I’ve been putting it off because I know it’s gonna take a lot of reading, researching, and writing. But you’re totally right. I needa get it out sooner than later. Thanks for the reminder. I’ll finish up the two posts I’ve been working on the past couple days, and get started on fungal acne one.

          Ingredients to avoid (off the top of my head):
          -Yeast derivatives (e.g. galactomyces)
          -Fatty acids with carbon chain lengths 11-24 (this rules out A LOT).
          -All oils with the exception MCT.
          -Heavy occlusives (e.g. vaseline, aquaphor)

          And if you want to be extra safe esters and fatty alcohols, though this seem fine for many given that they don’t clog your skin.

          Reply
  12. Emily

    Thank you for this site, by the way. Many people don’t like to remember their struggles, but you’re kind enough to show us that it won’t last forever. You must feel so much relief after going through that for years. <3

    Reply
    • f. c.

      Awwww, thanks so much for the kind words! It’s no problem. 🙂

      It most definitely is a relief, but parts of me will always feel weighed down by its past. I don’t want to sound overly dramatic here, but it almost feels like PTSD sometimes hah. It was just a really bad time in my life, and I still have some minor atrophic scars I wish weren’t there but whatevs… What can you do?

      I think Skinacea said it best: “My skin is so much better now, but I still have these strange and irrational moments when I think my skin sucks.”

      Reply
  13. Julia

    I was wondering if you have tried anything from The Ordinary or NIOD?
    I really enjoyed reading everything ! You’re fantastic!

    Reply
    • f. c.

      Hey there, Julia! Glad you enjoy the site. 🙂

      I have not unfortunately. Sorry I can’t be of more help here, but Gothamista recently did a great overview in case you’re interested: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LSEsLLrgHsY

      Reply
  14. Brittany

    I love your blog! I am in a similar situation…only I have Rosacea, mild hormonal chin acne, and seb derm. I developed them after I began to suffer with PTSD quite severely. Skin problems can really lead to much more fear/depression and honestly they ARE traumatizing as well! Others will minimize the effects and say the emotional reaction to these issues are petty or that we are being vain but its not that simple!

    At this point I don’t fully believe my skin damage will ever heal up totally and I’m battling the depression quite hard. I have red scars everywhere and I keep getting more every time I have a flare up or react to something and it seems like i’m just watching my skin deteriorate before my eyes! (recently Vaseline or all bloody things!) It truly is a humbling experience, and just learning better coping tools has helped me to not lose the throttle and cause more flare ups from stress! Looks/ good skin really are not what is important in life…but i think not feeling like a “freak” who is stared at really makes a difference in quality of life! You wouldn’t believe how much happier I would be if I experienced the bonus of putting my skin issues in remission…or even just seeing a big improvement! I have become a bit of a shy and obsessive compulsive recluse….but your articles have given me some hope and I need that hope man! I never want to become suicidal ever again like in the past. I feel like we might be similar in personality and its been very empowering to sponge up your plethora of knowledge as I am still somewhat new to this.

    I want to be free again, and to be an adventurous person like i once was! I’m freaked out about trying new products but it might be the only way to find what works for me and i suppose mistakes/ breakouts are part of the experience as a whole???:S :)????…painful though they may be. I’m glad you have been able to reach the point you are at as well as help others! I hope to some day be where you are now.<3

    Reply
    • f. c.

      Woah. This comment really hit me emotionally. You do remind me a lot of myself. If you want you can send me a PM and I’ll try my best to help you out as best I can. I know what it feels like to be in your shoes, and it’s truly one of the most painful things I’ve ever experienced. Hang in there, sh*t will get better and your skin definitely isn’t permanently damaged. Trust me on that one.

      Reply
    • Vicki Rosato

      I too know only too well this terrible feeling of feeling completely downtrodden and shit about myself due to how bad my face is I suffer with bad hormonal acne. I have only just today received azaeliac cream from the ordinary and applied it 3 times today and the change already to my skin is nothing short of a bloody miracle. I don’t know if you have tried it yet but I would definitely give it a shot. I really hope and pray you find something that really helps you and makes you feel fantastic about yourself just try to hang on in there it is a long long road I know only too well I have been travelling myself for 26 years but hopefully the light is near xx

      Reply
  15. Laura

    Hi there! Wow I wish I found your site sooner! As many have already commented you did such an amazing job with everything. I love the fact you have so many ‘before/during/after ” phase photos, you have detailed in depth and well researched reviews and articles, and overall honesty about your struggles I can really relate to.

    It’s so nice to see someone recommend products that actually has had serious skin issues. It’s quite disenheartening to see many reviewers promote products for acne that literally have one little pimple! I have rosacea and acne that finally shifted from moderate to fairly mild when I made the switch to kbeauty products.

    Keep up the excellent work! I wish you continued success with your skin and all the best with everything!

    Reply
    • f. c.

      Awwww, thank you so much Laura! Really love comments like this. They make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. I hope you have a lovely weekend! And I wish you all the best with your skin and everything, too. 🙂

      Reply
  16. James

    Hey there! Currently towards the beginning of my skincare marathon. Of all the blogs I’ve been stumbling across lately, yours my favorite. Seeing the progress you’ve made is humbling and inspiring. I’m already looking to work in a couple of your holy grail products (Cosrx BHA and Benton Snail Bee essence, and I’m already using CeraVe PM ?)

    Do you have your routine documented somewhere? Specifically I’m wondering if you oil cleanse. I don’t wear any makeup but do use an oily physical sunscreen (really love the product and it’s not too greasy). When I’m doing my PM cleanse I notice water beads when wetting my face, so I’m concerned about residue. I hear great things but am a little overwhelmed on where to start…process, cleansing oil products, etc. If you have any advice or links to any resources I’d greatly appreciate it!

    Reply
    • f. c.

      Hey there, James! Thanks so much for the lovely words. I really appreciate them! 🙂 I’m glad I’ve been able to help in any way.

      I don’t have my routine documented, only because it’s always changing! My routine a month ago was completely different than it is now. For whatever it’s worth, I’m currently using Differin, EltaMD AM Therapy, Laneige Water Sleeping Mask, Shark Sauce, and Vaseline. I like them all!

      In terms of oil cleaning, I actually make my own with 90% MCT oil and 10% cromollient SCE. OCM just comes down to trail and error. My advice to you would be patch test your oil of choice by using it as a moisturizer for a week or so, if all looks good try cleansing with it.

      Hope that helps! 🙂

      Reply
  17. James

    Hey f.c., have you dealt with fungal acne in the past and do you have a guide written up about it?

    Reply
    • f. c.

      I have indeed! And I’m in the process of finishing a super long guide about how to treat it. Should be out by the end of the week!

      Reply
  18. Amelia

    You are such an effing beautiful person. Thats all.

    Reply
    • f. c.

      Aghhh, staph! :p you’re gonna make me all emotional and stuff haha. Thank you very much for the lovely compliment. I really appreciate it, and I’m sure you’re a very beautiful person yourself. I’m wishing you all my best.

      Reply
      • Amelia

        i dunno, but thank you!

        Reply
  19. Janessa Abreu

    Hi there in one of your posts you mentioned your acne stems from fungal malassezia yeast. I kind of suspect I may have that bc sometimes my skin itches and theres a red rash looking area. How did you know for sure it was due to a fungus? and what topicals did you use any different than regular acne products (antifungals)?

    Reply
    • f. c.

      Hi there, Janessa! I’m currently in the process of writing a HUGE guide on treating fungal acne. I will go over in detail there how to discern whether someone has it or not. Should be out by the end of the week! Apologies for the delay, it’s just taking waaaay more research than I would have imagined. Lots of new research in the past 2 years.

      Reply
  20. Crystal Blue

    Hello! Stumbling on your blog has been a happy occurrence. Because of your detailed accounts about your skin problems, some things clicked in my head as to why I have had a particular set of problems in my middle years after decades of no problems. I never knew that yeasts could inflame my skin as well as my scalp. I wondered why I even developed a bad case of dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis, because it didn’t run in my family, and I was quite attentive to having clean bed linens and a healthy lifestyle/diet.
    It all boiled down to a simple fact: A former lover had worked in a lab, doing experiments on….yeast! We had lived together for a few years, and being the kind of guy he is, he would drop on the bed and doze off…in his uniform, which, in retrospect, was encrusted with yeast culture spills. It was particularly aggressive strain they were working on to speed up fermentation processes for soy sauce. DUH!
    It wasn’t until I took a trip to Korea 3 years ago that my problems started to take a turn for the better. I tried several Korean skincare items, including a shampoo and conditioner with oriental Hanbang herbs. A TCM clinic I visited for the fun of it waved me to a neighboring hair salon, whom slapped an interesting mash of herbs and oils into my scalp for 30 minutes with scalp massage and delivered a stern lecture to use the shampoo and rinse they gave me until it cleared…which it did, in three weeks. I then thought the Asian way might help my reddened, crusted, micro-pustule skin, and started to try things , after a facial at a well known spa in Seoul. I have had a LOT of improvement with the double cleanse method and a consistent routine, without too much drama. A green tea seed cleaning oil, or a camellia seed cleaning based oil, ricewater bright foaming cleanser, then Sulwhasoo balancing H20, 1st care serum, and emulsion., with sheet masks enriched with vitamin C, propolis, or bamboo water. I also used a gommage peel gel 1x month, and Sulwhasoo’s ginseng cream in winter.
    So…you made it all fit together for me! My problems went back in time to the initial yeast exposure, and was exacerbated by the WRONG cleansers and skin care creams. Like you, I had almost given up hope that my visage could be simply clean and clear like it used to be.
    My skin has recovered and that self-critical dialogue in my head has abated. I actually feel a peaceful relief after all these years of mental angst-rage-depression of knowing people looked at me and made negative assumptions, because of my face. A date even assumed I had been drinking already and wrote me off as alcoholic! Sayonara, idiot.
    I will be changing out my foaming cleanser for a low Ph foam cleanser, try the Laneige water sleeping pack for a summer moisturizer and adding the Benton snail bee serum, along with the COSRX BHA/Clay mask/Oil cleanse routine to clear the rest of my now-minor issues away.
    By the way…damn, you’re beautiful. ; ) See ya.

    Reply
    • f. c.

      I don’t think I’ve ever had a comment make me blush this much before. Haha. Ah, geez…. thanks! ?

      I’m so happy that you were able to figure out what was causing your skin sensitivities. That’s so interesting to hear it started because of your ex who worked with yeast! How fascinating and scary at the same time haha. Now I’ll have to ask my future girlfriend if she handles microbes for a living. I’m kidding. :p

      Anyhow, thanks for the awesome comment. I love the way you write. 🙂 And the a**hole who wrote you off cause he thought you were drinking is definitely a moron. I can tell he missed out. Besides, a beer or wine every now and then is lovely thing. Cheers!

      P.S. make sure to introduce those products slowly, and one at a time. :p The enemy of good skin is even better skin.

      Reply
  21. Lindsay

    I just wanted to leave a comment to let you know how much I appreciate all of your posts – they are beyond helpful and the perfect amount of scientific explanation for my English-major brain to understand! Having dealt with acne for the last 16 years, a brief stint with pityrosporum follicultis last summer, and now a seriously compromised moisture barrier top it all off, your blog has renewed my motivation and hope that I can one day have skin decent enough to leave my house without spending an hour applying makeup. Also – I find myself laughing out loud throughout your posts, so thanks for lightening up a generally depressing topic!

    Reply
    • f. c.

      AHH, I missed this comment until now. I’m so sorry! Thank you for the lovely words, and hang in there. In case you haven’t seen it, the new post on fungal acne/pityrosporum follicultis is out! Feel free to check it out and ask any questions you may have. Cheers!

      Reply
  22. T

    Amazing journey! 🙂 just some small questions: what is your natural skin type? Have you ever tried accutane?

    Reply
    • f. c.

      Thank you! 🙂 No, I never used accutane. My skin type is combination. I get pretty oily in the t-zone area (nose and forehead), but my cheeks and chin are normal/dry and flake easily if I over do it with active ingredients like chemical exfoliants, retinoids, vitamin C (ascorbic acid) etc.

      Reply
  23. Thea

    Finally something that makes sense! I actually have some hope! Thank you for putting so much into this!
    So a few months ago, from my own research, I figured out that I have Pityrosporum Folliculitis and/or which I found out today is also called Malassezia Folliculitis. I have been dealing with it for the past year (ha probably since puberty when I think about it) But it has been getting progressively worse in the last 6 months. I’m 26 years old, I have combination type skin, I almost never wear makeup, I eat healthy (80% of the time), I’m pretty active, and the only pill I take is a probiotic.
    I started using Nizoral Shampoo on my body and face for the past couple weeks and it seems to be getting worse(which I realize isn’t enough time to see results). I read your article on Malassezia (which was great) But I am just wondering if you had a specific regimen for dealing with this? There was so many options for products I don’t know where to start.
    Also I know you had mentioned the Oral Ketoconazole was not recommended but the other options I would need a prescription for. Could I use a Natural supplement like Bee Propolis Extract or Grapeseed Extract etc. and get similar results?
    Than you 🙂

    Reply
    • f. c.

      No problem! Never lose hope. Trust me, things will get better!

      Hmmmmm, I don’t have a specific regimen other than what I do, but it’s probably something I should include in that post. If I were to treat pityrosporum folliculitis today, knowing all that I know now, I would probably use sulfur or stridex (BHA) as the main actives and follow it up with cerave cream or benton soothing gel (depending on how dry my skin type is). If things didn’t clear up with that after a month I would incorporate a 10 minute leave on nizoral mask every time I showered.

      Reply
      • Thea

        Thank you for the advice! ? I’m going to try this and I’ll be back in a month!!!

        Reply
        • Thea

          So it’s been 3 months. And I’ve been on this regime pretty consistently. It took about a month and a half and my skin was starting to look better. Not great but better. And everything was on the bright side.
          But now… it might actually be worse then it was to begin with. But I do not think it is the Malassezia acting up. I have bright red acne looking sores with barely any puss in them. But they hurt to the touch and are very profound. And they scab up if I pick at them. On my forehead, cheeks, chin, chest, shoulders, and lower back. After awhile they do stop hurting and go away. I cannot figure out what type of skin condition I have now. I think I’m just going to go to a derm, I just don’t want them to tell me something I already should know and try to perscribe something I really don’t need.

          I’ll be back again soon. 😳

          Reply
  24. Sylvia

    HI im so glad ive found your blog !!!!!!!!!!!! i have a question do you think Dermamed Acne Prone skn gel will be ok for Malassezia Folliculitis / Seborrheic Dermatitis. Here is ingredients list:

    Medicinal Ingredients:
    Salicylic Acid/2-Hydroxybenzoic Acid (Arachis Hypogaea Seed) 1.5%, Aloe Vera/Aloe Vera (Leaf Gel) 8.5%, Vitamin A/Vitamin A (Cod Liver Oil) 0.5%, Vitamin E/Vitamin E (Glycine Max Seed) 0.5%.

    Non-medicinal Ingredients:
    Water, Tea Tree Essential Oil, Rose Hip Oil, Grapefruit Seed Extract

    And what light moisturizer would you suggest:)

    Reply
  25. George

    Im pretty sure i have PIE. I mean i have reddish to pink marks on my face but they aren’t scars and they are on the cheeks and nowhere else. I have been using benzac 5% and even 10% and although it helps stop and clean upcoming pimples, it does not help the redness. I clean my face twice a day with warm water, a cleanser and then cold water before applying the benzac to the affected areas. I read your article about PIE and was wondering 2 questions: will it go away with time or is it permanent scarring? Do you have any advice how to reduce the redness and treat it without laser treatment before I see a dermatologist in 2 weeks?

    Reply
    • f. c.

      Hey there, George? Have you read my guide on treating PIE? I think you’ll find everything you need over there.

      Reply
  26. oftlos

    I cannot thank you enough for making this blog. That pic with the shitton of stuff is literally me (both the acne and the products tried and anxiety over the state of my face lol.) So really, thank you from the bottom of my heart. I don’t know yet if it’s Malassezia Folliculitis that I have but I often suspect it. Anyway thank you and please keep up the good work that you do here.

    -Someone from the Philippines, land of Malassezia Folliculitis

    Reply
    • f. c.

      Thank you for the lovely words! I really appreciate them, and I’m happy you enjoy the blog. If you suspect you have malassezia issues make sure to check out my guide on how to treat it. I think it will help you out a ton! Cheers.

      Reply
  27. tia

    Wow. Thank you so much for creating this site and posting all of this valuable information. I have been struggling with skin problems for more than half my life. After receiving various treatments from doctors and dermatologists, my skin problems have changed and are worse than ever. Most likely because of overuse of antibiotics. I feel like I’ve taken more antibiotics than anyone should ever consume in an entire lifetime. All the pores on my face appear to be clogged (including around the eyes and even spreading out onto my ears). When the rash goes into full blown crazy mode, it forms a very painful rash around all the little whiteheads. It hurts for me to even talk or eat at times when my skin starts scaling over and cracking. I work in health care, helping care for others, but feel quite helpless when it comes to my own skin problems. I’ve tried every product and prescription imaginable, diet modifications, etc etc. When my skin problems are at it’s worst, I won’t leave my house; makes me feel like a prisoner sometimes. I’m going to go out today and buy some of the products recommended on your page.

    Reply
    • f. c.

      Hi there, Tia. I’m really sorry to hear about your struggles. And hey, I totally get it! I work in the health field as well, and felt just like you did at one point in my life. Don’t worry, things definitely get better! If your skin problems arose from excess antibiotic use, I suggest you check out my guide on treating malassezia. I think it will help you a ton. Cheers and hang in there!

      Reply
  28. suzumi

    I accidentally stumbled upon this blog via the hada labo toner review and I am so glad to have discovered you! Sometimes I too feel like god is dishing out all these health issues at me to solve and it can get tiring feeling like the unluckiest person alive. Not only do I have rosacea and it’s associated sensitivity, redness, dryness, irritation and discomfort, I’m also pretty much allergic to everything under the sun. So my skin is in constant battle with the environment. I, too have spent many nights crying alone wishing to be normal, to not be so hideous so that I can finally have some confidence in myself and live a good life. Sometimes it can overwhelm me, to the point of losing all hope. But finding this website has reminded me once again that there are others out there. Who are struggling just as much, who have also been through just as much (if not more), who are or were in pain, alone, digging their way towards a better future. And that no matter how big the problem, things will eventually sort itself out. So thank you. For your courage, for your AMAZINGLY detailed research on the plethora of skin care products/reviews, for inspiring others by detailing the painful journey you were through, hoping to changer others’ lives. I honestly can’t wait to get super in depth about it all!! 🙂

    Reply
    • f. c.

      Hi there, Suzumi. I feel your pain from the bottom of my heart. If it gives you any comfort, please know that things do get better, so hang in there! I know we have a couple rosacea warriors who frequent this blog, and leave really helpful comments / have come a long way in their skin journey. You’re definitely not alone! I hope you have a lovely day.

      Reply
  29. Renee

    What country are you from?

    Reply
    • f. c.

      United States! :p

      Reply
  30. labor laws

    Appreciation to my father who told me about
    this blog, this web site is actually awesome.

    Reply
    • f. c.

      Shout out to your awesome dad! ? Welcome. :p

      Reply
  31. KBEGINNER

    I was to give up on my skin when I read this blog. I have no one to talk to. Even dermatologists see my skin as hopeless. I was once had a normal skin then teenage life happened. I’m also a beginner in K-beauty but I think everything I put in my face makes my skin worse. Please help me. I don’t have fungal acne like you do but I have now a combination-sensitive-acne prone skin. Can you please suggest products that I can try? Thank you very much! and more power.

    Reply
  32. Patrícia

    I just found your blog and, oh boy, I have so much to read.
    I have a considerable amount of skin problems and just a couple of days ago I decided to educate myself about, well, I guess I can say skin stuff, and stop wasting time, patience and money.
    Thank you for sharing your knowledge.

    Reply
  33. Ana

    Holy sh*t you are amazing. Keep going! You are the real freakin deal!! (and if you ever feel like sharing your identity you would be incredible on a platform like YouTube ~*thinks about the endless sass and insight introverts possess*~)

    Reply
    • f. c.

      Hahah thanks, Anna! That’s really nice of you. ? Maybe I’ll start making videos when we get to 1,000 subscribers… lol.

      ~*cyber high five because introversion.*~

      p.s. I’m an INFP. :-))

      Reply
  34. emily

    I had like a two paragraph comment of straight praise and then my computer crashed and deleted it, so I’m sad now. But long story short, you’re amazing and a godsend and I love you!!! Thank you for putting so much time into this blog, I cannot say how much I (and my face) appreciate it. Keep doing what you’re doing bc you’re really damn good at it!

    Reply
    • f. c.

      Hahah don’t you hate it when that happens? Especially when the wording was all beautiful the first time around and whatnot. :p I love you too haha! 🙂 And I’m glad your face is appreciating the skin advice around these parts. Cheers! Hope you have a great week.

      Reply
  35. D

    Hey f.c., thanks for your invaluable information. This is my last month on Accutane and I am almost completely acne-free. However, I am left with a lot of atrophic scars. I once commented on one of your articles and you told me you will post an article about how to deal with these indented scars, one day. How soon may I expect to read your article? I can’t wait to read your article bro! Anyways, I hope you have a great day !

    Reply
  36. Dai

    I can’t tell you how appreciative I am that you are sharing everything that has lead you to clearer skin… especially since the advice is coming from someone who has had to deal with so much skin trouble. Sooooo many times beauty gurus talk about their ‘struggles’ and how they fixed them, but it ends up being a product plug or that they never truly suffered more than a few zits here or there with little to no scaring. I know just how insecure skin problems can make a person, and it means a lot that you put that aside to help the many who struggled just like you did. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

    Reply
  37. DarkSim905

    Hello,

    I just wanted to say I’m shocked & impressed at the tenacity of your research & selfless sharing of knowledge. The actual scientific community could learn a thing or two from you. I’m going to be searching this site out. I’m middle eastern so that’s a little more of interest to me as far as origin of some of these diseases. Continue being awesome. In the future, I hope to be able to donate a sufficient amount to help you with hosting costs. I’m glad you’re up front that you are part of Amazon Associates program, I imagine that extra money funds the stuff you eat, slather everywhere and/or devour via other methods. You deserve all the hugs & cute fuzzy animals.

    Thank you so much.

    Reply
  38. K M

    Thank you for your thorough, well-researched & scientific, and personal articles on acne. They have really been the most useful articles I’ve read. You’re really an incredible person for sharing.

    Reply
    • f. c.

      No problem! Thanks for the kind words. It means a lot! 🙂

      Reply
  39. Fleur

    I rarely… pretty much never… comment online and I’m one of those arm chair docs reading up all I can but I have to say… I haven’t come across any website online, across any range of topics, that provides the depth and quality of information you provide. You truly are a Godsend! I do believe that God shows us our purpose through our struggles and this my friend is your contribution to making the world a better place… Many are called courageous for the things they are doing to change the world, and you too are one of them by the (HUGE) impact you are making on people’s lives. I’m so sorry for the pain you have endured but the joy that is coming will make it all worth it… and knowing how long it has taken me to read and re-read all the info as well as the journey I’ve been on since a year and a half ago with skin issues, (started with hormonal acne, which I managed to get under control naturally via lifestyle changes and products and once that came down I started battling with Fungal acne which instinctively thought was somehow tied to yeast/candidada), I cannot begin to imagine the work and dedication it takes to test out all these products and write up these detailed posts while maintaining your full-time job… How we look and are perceived has a huge impact on every area of our lives as that’s where people make their first impressions so your work truly is a blessing. May doors continue to open wide for you as do your part in healing the world. Sending you much love, light, and gratitude! 🙂
    -Fleur

    Reply
    • f. c.

      Ah! It’s so crazy how one person’s comment can completely change someone’s day. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for the very kind and encouraging words! They mean a lot, and I wish you all my best on your skin journey! Cheers! :-))

      Reply
  40. betty

    thank you so much for your review on Benton Snail bee Essence, I have been walking around like a zombie thinking of the best product that would treat my pimple, i mean growing up i was acne/pimple free and now suddenly in my late 20’s pimples are popping here and there, taking forever with blind tips and some sinking back without popping, taking forever and obviously leaving marks. (if you do have any suggestion for it please let me know).
    also just like your last comment up there Iv never in my life commented on a blog post, never mind talk about my skin issues, but your in depth knowledge/narrative and honesty is beyond surpass. Im so glad i came across your blog and i will be sure to make a reference on my side hussle. keep doing what you do. the pain that you’ve gone through is helping someone somewhere out there and for that I’m sure.xxx

    Reply
  41. NicePhpScripts

    You…are…my…hero!!! I cant believe something like this exists on the internet! Its so true, so honest, and more than that you dont sound like an idiot! Finally, someone who knows how to talk about a subject without sounding like a kid who didnt get that bike he wanted for Christmas.

    Reply
  42. Leah

    found your blog yesterday….. IM CRYING someone finally understands my condition and is willing to go so deep into detail. I’m suffering with pityrosporun folliculitus and was wondering if you think diet has anything to do with it? (makes it worse/helps it) I feel so restricted because I don’t know what’s good anymore !!!:((( thank you again for creating this beautiful lil blog, you’re doing amazing things :))))

    Reply
  43. Erika

    Any suggestions to restore ph level on my face? after 1 year acne treatments which got rid of it, it was not very strong and my hormones where balanced, the skin on my face went out of whack. I started having an allergy to everything from cleansers, moisturizers, kissing people when sweaty or with perfume, water. When I sweat they apprear to, imagine a live in tropical weather. The reactions are kind of rashes, or pimples that disappear during my sleep. I have visit several dermatologist and they all tell me is an allergic reaction but they just want me to use cortisone which just help while using it. so the last one told me stop using everything in order to find out what it is that you react to. I even get all red after taking my shower. I am getting vaccines from an allergologist since January it has helped a bit but that is not taking care of the ph level on my skin. I just wash my face with water and I am not able to use moisturizers because it gives an allergic reaction not even avene serum. PLEASE HELP ME

    Reply
    • f. c.

      The sensitivity you are describing sounds very akin to a malassezia condition. By any chance have you read that guide? There’s a lot of great information over there that I think could really help you out. As for lowering the pH of skin, there’s a hypothesis that this can be done via supplementing with probiotics (particularly lactic-acid producing bacteria). I have written a massive guide on this that can be found here.

      Reply
  44. Nicole

    Thank you so much for your time, energy, encouragement, honesty and heart. You are an angel 🙂

    Reply
    • f. c.

      Thank you for the wonderful words, Nicole! You are an angel as well. I appreciate you, and I hope you have a great week!

      Reply
      • JayPark

        Hi, I do not know you but I can really see, hear and feel your heart while reading your profile. I love how passionate you are as if you finally found out your true purpose in life. Keep inspiring people with your insights about skin care. I do have skin insecurities that has been plagued me for many years and like you, I’ve tried several products for the hopes of getting a cure. I am also applying tons of makeup products from different brand to hide my imperfections. I can definitely relate on how you felt all those years that you’ve suffered on your skin problems.

        I’m glad I’ve found your blog and I can definitely say that you’re an angel in this internet world to save us, people, from misinformation about skincare to help us to achieve the best skin we want and to gain our self-confidence and love from ourselves that has been taken from us because of those pesky skin problems.

        Thank you and take care always f.c ❤❤❤

        Reply
  45. Su Vien

    I’m so happy you exist I’m crying. Thank you thank you thank you.

    Reply
    • f. c.

      Shhhh, you’re gonna make me cry! I’m happy that you exist too. I hope you have a lovely week!

      Reply
  46. Riska

    I am also crying here. Thank you very much for all the articles, even though I had a headache after reading all those fungus names on the “How to Kick Fungal Acne’s Ass” post. =P
    Really, thank you for all the recommendations, information, everything.. You are the best! <3

    Reply
  47. Julia

    Your posts are well-written and obviously thoroughly researched. I noticed that you did not say much about your personal goals. Have you ever thought about attending medical school or becoming a nurse practitioner then specializing in dermatology? Your passion and dedication could really help thousands of patients. As a nurse practitioner student myself, I think this could be an amazing career journey for you one you’d find yourself very successful in.

    Reply
  48. Lana

    Hello

    I wanted to thank you for all your time, effort, and work with this blog, You did an incredible job researching and experimenting Thank you for sharing and helping others! You are an angel!

    God Bless

    Lana

    Reply
  49. April G.

    Dear f.c.,

    You are heaven-sent. I’m 38, Asian, and have had SD for a very long time (diagnosed by my derma when I was 17). I’ve been on derma meds since then. Creams (with acronyms I’m not too familiar with), and 2% clindamycin. Every single day of my life. I chanced upon your website while checking reviews for cosrx’s galactomyces essence and boy am I glad I read your article before I slathered it on! Anyway enough about me. Just wanted to say how much I appreciate what you’re sharing. I want to read more of your super informative (and witty too!) posts. I am going to try the squalane and the CeraVe and try to see if my skin can “rest” from all the chemicals I’ve been so dependent on for more than half my life. My skin is okay btw, I sometimes get SD flareups but overall manageable because of my derma meds. I wish I can tell you my own experiences so we can compare notes haha. Thank you you are awesome!

    Reply
  50. Emma Costello

    I just wanted to thank you. I have had skin issues for about ten years now ( 23, female). They have waxed and waned, but lately I just have been feeling really low about my skin. The problem is that I have all this knowledge, but my products just don’t seem to be working and it is so frustrating. I constantly feel like I have a knot in my stomach because I am so anxious about my skin. I just want to be free to be myself and not be concerned 24/7 about my skin. See, I know about chemical exfoliation, sunscreen, fatty alcohol free moisturizers, COSDNA, high linoleic acids, the moisture barrier, importance of a gentle, PH balanced cleanser… I just can’t seem to figure it out. I’ve read your blog on fungal acne, and I just don’t think it is that. I would love some personal input from you if you have time, if not, no worries, I just will continue on my quest. 🙂 Thanks for all you do. xo

    Reply
  51. Izzy

    Hi there. Just found your site and must say that I really enjoy reading everything. So glad I found your blog! I have a background in medicine and I appreciate what you have here: taking time to research properly and explaining everything. Your writing style is fun and feels truly genuine.

    I usually lurk around blogs, too lazy to comment… but I must say KUDOS to you!

    Reply
  52. Emma

    Hi there, I commented earlier but I was drawn back to your blog because it is so informative and helpful! I know everyone’s skin varies, but how did you treat your acne? It seems like you had some dramatic results, and i would love to hear your “success treatment story.”

    Reply
  53. Leah

    this is the blog I have been looking for my whole life! Thank you!!!!

    Reply
  54. Michelle V.

    Hey, I wanted to ask you some questions regarding the carbon chain of something like Neosporin or hydrocortisone cream since when the skin is broken I use those two products. Is glycerin feeding the Malassezia yeast?

    I’ve been using the stridex pads just because of you! My arms look great! 🙂 Thank you.

    Please email me.

    Reply
  55. Erika

    I’ve been reading and applying your product suggestions for a few months now, little by little, and every time I quit using the things I was using that didn’t help me at all, and use the products you suggest, that are cheaper(!) my skin keeps getting healthier and better looking. I’ve been at my job for two years and I’ve never gotten a phone number from a customer trying to hit on me until this month I got TWO numbers from different people. I know its because my skin looks so much better. I no longer look disgusting!! I honestly and truely owe it all to you and your blog. Those probiotics are something I would have never thought of even looking in the same direction as to help my skin, but now I take them religiously and never want to look back they’ve helped me so much, not only my skin but I feel invincible with them, everyone around me keeps getting sick and I’m over here partying!! I say that with a sore throat right now, but I’m confident I’d have shittier skin and be sick as hell right now if I weren’t taking them. So what I’m trying to share is you’ve helped not only my skin, but my overall well-being. Thank you for writing this blog. I don’t even know how I found it, I wish I found it a few years ago when I honestly think there wasn’t an full inch of my face without a cystic pimple on it. This blog is my new holy grail and I almost strictly refuse to buy anything not listed as “safe” anymore just to be sure! Hope your skin journey continues to evolve and I hope you still share it with all of us, it means the world to me.

    Reply
    • f. c.

      Wow, what a beauty comment! Thanks for sharing, Erika! I’m very happy you found some of the information here useful. And congratulations on the phone numbers, but I hope you know you were always beautiful — with or without clear skin. Cheers!

      Reply
  56. Cristina

    O M G !!! (Majorly extra and dramatic comment ahead!)
    Stumbling to your website has been a LIFESAVER!!! I am seriously almost in tears reading your stuff! (Because one, you’re funny, and two, because I feel hopeful and a huge relief!)
    I’ve read only two of your articles, but am looking forward to reading them ALL!
    I’ve always had oily/combination/acne-prone skin, but in the past 5-10 years, I’ve been going back and forth with seborrheic dermatitis, malassezia folliculitis and extreme sensitivity. I also developed an intolerance to dairy and other foods (SIGH), and whenever the drier + colder seasons come around, I have to change up my skin care routine. Anyway, I’ve made major changes to my diet, lifestyle and am very particular with what I put on my skin, but I still suffer through bad reactions, breakouts and flareups sometimes. I’m hoping I can continue to purchase products with the correct ingredients for my issues (thanks to you!) and hopefully get this managed/controlled, since there is no cure, per se. 🙁
    Anyway, thanks for this great website!

    Reply
    • f. c.

      Wow! Thank you so much for the encouraging words, Cristina! It means a lot to me. I wish you the best of luck and knowledge on your journey to beating seb derm and folliculitis! You got this!

      Reply
  57. Janette

    i was tearing up as I recognized so many of the products in that picture. As you know its impossible to truly describe the pain and hopelessness that skin issues bring. Its hard when you’re married to someone with perfect skin. There are so many days that I can’t even look my husband in the eyes because of the embarrassment. I had perfect skin for awhile and thought my skin woes were finally over until they started creeping back in about a year ago. I’ve just come to realize that my new skin issues are fungus-related, most likely due to exposure to an inhaled steroid (i had to give my daughter two doses daily for asthma) that was coating my jawline twice daily. I tried an anti-fungal cream and saw drastic improvement overnight which tells me it’s probably fungus related. Your blog has been so helpful. I’ve ordered several things and I’m hoping to nip this in the bud and be back to the clear skin I had finally achieved after 14 years of fighting. It’s just heartbreaking.

    Reply
    • f. c.

      I’m very sorry to hear about your struggles Janette, but I hope you know that your husband loves you regardless of the condition of your skin, and from somebody who was once in your shoes, I just wanna remind you that this is all reversible when armed with the right knowledge. I wish you the best of luck!

      Reply
      • Janette

        Thank you, I know he does and he always tells me he doesn’t care what my skin looks like on any given day, but its just such a blow to my confidence when I’m having a particularly bad day. But I’m very excited to give these things a try. I ordered the loprox, probiotic and squalane. I feel optimistic 🙂 i guess only time will tell.

        Reply
  58. Janette

    Hey! Janette here again. Just wanted to say I’m seeing drastic improvements in just the past few days since I started treating this as a yeast or fungal infection rather than acne! But I had one quick question. I noticed that you didn’t mention glycolic acid peels. Do you think they don’t work as well as salicylic acid peels, of have you not tried the glycolic acid? I’ve used both in the past and had great success with both but had been leaning towards glycolic acid peels while nursing just because of the whole asprin/reyes syndrome and not knowing how much gets into my bloodstream and to my baby from the salicylic acid. Any thoughts on glycolic acid and its effect on yeast?

    Reply
  59. Janette

    Nevermind, I just saw that you did do a review of glycolic acid, forgive my premature question 🙂

    Reply
  60. Chase

    Hey F.C.

    I wanted to see if you wanted to collaborate on a project. I have developed an application that will allow anyone to paste in a list of ingredients and it will let you know, if any, Malassezia metabolizing ingredients. I need help filling the database with the ingredients. Let me know!

    https://starveit.com

    Reply
    • f. c.

      Woah! This could be super helpful! Please do me a favor and shoot me an email!

      Reply
  61. JT

    I so relate to the feelings you share! I had severe acne when I was younger, and 10 years after things got better, I still get panicky and think people are looking at my face when the topic of skin problems come up.

    I don’t have ‘perfect’ skin, but I’m grateful for the improvement. Also, the silver lining is I’ve been using retin a for years and have fewer wrinkles than many of my peers! I’m turning 39 this year, and my concerns are shifting to aging skin. Do you have any posts about this skin issue?

    Thank you again for creating a place where people who know the anxiety and sorrow of problem skin can connect. This is such a sensitive topic and often we don’t have people we can talk with about how our skin makes us feel.

    Reply
    • f. c.

      I know that exact feeling haha! Thank you for coming here and sharing your experiences with everyone, and for the kind words. I currently do not, but will be making some in the future. But considerng you are using tretinoin you are doing your anti-aging routine well!

      Reply
  62. HT

    FC…you’re absolutely brilliant! You used the extraordinarily difficult experiences of your past to create a beautiful ecperience today, not only for yourself, but for so many others. Your skin is beautiful, but your heart shines!

    Reply
    • f. c.

      Thank you so much, HT! Those are very nice words to hear. I appreciate you a lot. 💙

      Reply
  63. M. R.

    F.C –

    I came across your website today while I was doing some research on derma-rolling, I read a few of your articles (and do plan to continue reading) and I absolutely LOVE your content. I admire that you use your real-life experiences to provide real advice to others who are going through the same struggle.
    So far, I have agreed with and found everything I have read to be very helpful. Most of the time, I read through articles I’ve found on the internet and can’t relate to them at all, but I feel like I have known you for years! I have struggled with acne for my entire young-adult life. It started at about 18 and just this passed year at age 26, I have finally started getting it under control with some minor issues I am still working on… While reading your articles, I’ve found you and I have some skin issues/treatments in common and with that being said, I wish I had found your website sooner!!! As I stated previously, your content has been VERY helpful and also informative. I think I have already learned at least 5 things in just the few articles I’ve read so far.

    Anyway, I have subscribed to your website and do plan to keep up with you, so thank you so much for your awesome advice/information!

    May I ask for some advice for myself ?
    As I said previously, I have just now began to get my acne (mostly) under control after trying hundreds of products over the years. My current regimen is as follows:
    Step 1 – Cleanse with Derma E Very Clear Acne Cleanser
    Step 2 – Acne.org Benzoyl Peroxide Treatment
    Step 3 – Moisturize with Derma E Very Clear Moisturizer

    This process has my skin more clear than it has been since my acne started however, I still do get very tiny pimples and black heads that usually disappear in a day or 2 and if I don’t use the BP one night, I notice breakouts the next day – it seems as though my skin is addicted to the BP. Do you have any advice that would maybe keep the tiny pimples I continue to have at bay? Or something that would prevent my skin from relying completely on the BP?

    Also, I am interested in trying derma rolling / micro needling – although I’m very skeptical.
    I read in your article that it is very important not to do this over acne.Do you think it will be an issue to do this with the teeny tiny pimples I still get? Or does that pertain more to large pimples, like the cystic acne (that I THANKFULLY no longer have)?

    Your advice is much, much appreciated!!

    PS – I love how you incorporate a little humor in your content, makes it that much more interesting! : )

    Cheers,
    M. R.

    Reply
  64. Jessica

    You kick ass. You kick ass. You kick ass.
    Thank you so much for opening yourself up to the world in this vulnerable way – I can honestly say I’ve been in your shoes at many points, and I know all about the tears and desperation and feelings of unworthiness.
    I ALSO know that your site has given me a new outlook, after finding you and realizing that my newfound, dermatologist-induced malassezia was the real problem. A month and a half after following your advice and buying the products you recommend (and tossing my piles of useless shit!), I am in a far, far better place.
    I can’t thank you enough for the intelligence, thoughtfulness, and humility that you provide to this community. Thank you, f.c.

    Reply
    • f. c.

      Thank you for the kind words, Jessica! I am so grateful for people like you. Keep on being courageous, keep on being vulnerable. It’s the only way to get by in this life.

      Reply
  65. Lita

    Thank you so much for great great super great information , I have learned so much and can’t believe these day have admirable person like you. After I read some articles , I do really want to share to people the right way to treat skin. In my country try we called “you do good things to people without any return , you make a big merit to your life” you are giving light to people in a dark place, your life will be bright and shine . Thank u so much for your delicated informations

    Reply
    • f. c.

      Thank you so much, Lita! I really appreciate you and the kind words you shared with me. I hope you have a lovely week!

      Reply
  66. sam

    Hi, its really nice of you to be posting so much information for people to follow and cure themselves, very much appreciated. Just one question, what oral medications did you take to get rid of fungal acne?

    Reply
  67. A.S.

    Thank you
    You are so smart and so much research work put in every post!!!I have spent almost whole day reading(still haven’t understood lot of it).More brain power to you.

    I will be starting with the routine,feeling hopeful

    100 x gratitude coming soon 😁

    Reply
  68. LL 😄

    * Sorry had to repost and add more to my original post. I fixed spelling errors too. It is difficult typing up all of this on a phone lol. I just felt so inspired after reading through your squalane oil post because there’s not many reviews or news about it or proper in-depth posts on it.

    Squalane Oil has done wonders on my skin! I like “simple,” so I don’t need any extra skin healers or benefits just something that hydrates and smooths the skin and squalane oil does just that. It’s smooth, silky, light weight, hydrating, nonirritating, doesn’t clog my pores, soothing, and unscented. It just feels right, feels natural like it is meant to be…”one with the skin.” Frig and after all these years of trying product after product I have finally found the one. I no longer get hives, small itchy bumps, cystic acne or sweaty skin from clogged pores. I wonder how it would feel if I applied it to my fine, frizzy curly hair?…Oooo I’ll have to try that tomorrow morning now!

    Not to hate but argan oil, coconut oil, rosehip oil and many other oils made my skin break out. I have tried almost every oil like; expensive oils, organic oils, non-organic oils, and cheaper affordable oils lol. But not only that… over the paat 5 years I’ve noticed a lot of these popular oils make people look older and/or dried out with exhausting looking skin. I’m not sure how to explain it, I don’t know if I’m the only one who’s observed this but these oils they’ve used for years just doesn’t look like they’re doing what they’re suppose to do. Even for myself many of these other oils felt great the first week or two but then after they just didn’t feel right, felt drying, slightly irritating, and something seemed off, even my hair felt dryer too with all these oils I’ve tried. I even tried using them in different ways but still they felt off.

    Now after Googling up on these oils and squalane oil, plus reading your research on saturated/unsaturated oils, and oxidization etc…it has totally confirmed my own strange observations and thoughts. Anyways it’s just my own thing and not scientifically backed up at all haha.

    Btw I tried squalane oil from “The Ordinary Brand.” It was hydrating BUT I got an itchy red bumps reaction and it had this gritty feel to it like there was something else in it. Their 100% squalane oil is sourced from sugar cane. I read some reviews and others experienced the exact same thing… the gritty texture… like glass or sugar micro particles in it, as well as people breaking out into red itchy bumps. I ended up returning it.

    Then the next brand I tried was “Indie Lee” squalane oil derived from olives. It has a smooth, silky, light weight texture also very hydrating. It has not caused any irritations or cycstic acne since I’ve used it. There is a difference between in ‘Squalane Oil derived from Olive Oil and Squalane Oil derived from Sugar Cane.’ I try to avoid any dairy, wheat or sugars on my face. I know sugar feeds bacteria so my guess was squalane oil from sugar cane just wasn’t for me.

    Hope that helps other people that are dealing with cystic acne prone skin, sensitive skin, or highly reactive skin. Maybe you can elaborate more on the two different Squalane Oil sources it would be so cool to read your thoughts and research on the two. I feel like not many companies and people know about squalane oil. No one really talks about it, uses it or sells it. I wonder if it’s because it is so basic and simpl. It’s just an emollient and hydrating lightweight oil. Everyone wants an oil that has 10 things ine one but maybe that is the problem. Simplicity is best and usually more stable… I think we could be on to something here with this whole Squalane Oil thing! 😄🤔

    Thank you so much for sharing such valuable information and to your research on Sqalane Oil. I have subscribed for updates!

    Chi-Miigwetch!

    LL🙋🏾‍♀️

    Reply
    • f. c.

      Hi there, LL! Thanks for the comment. You should have left this over at the squalane article, so everyone could read about your awesome experiences with squalane oil! Cheers.

      Reply
  69. Christina

    Wow, f.c. I don’t even know where to begin my gratitude. You put so much effort in all your posts. Like you, I’ve been battling acne and friends my whole life and yet this is my first time hearing about Malassezia Folliculitis, thanks to you.

    Judging from your Malassezia Folliculitis photos above, I think it is my forehead! What confuses me is that my face seems to have both Malassezia Folliculitis and cystic acnes, at the same time. Does this sound “normal” to you? And would Malassezia Folliculitis products aggravate acnes?
    I’m confused if I should go with anti-fungal products or anti acne. Any suggestions will be so much appreciated.
    Again, thank you thank you thank you!

    Reply
  70. June

    You have gone through so much from what I’ve read. I am suffering from seborrhoeic dermatitis for about 4 years, (this is my fifth year, yeah!!!!).I usually had my upper eyelids, neck region, ears as the active sites for flare ups. Although it’s been under good control lately, but I remember once the skin around my neck was so dry that if I lifted my head up the skin would crack and blood would ooze out. It got better with time but then acne came along, multiple tiny bumps on cheekbones and forehead, sooooo many. I’m currently struggling with that. I used to have flawless skin but it’s so bad now, and there are so many acne marks left from the ones that have faded, it almost crumbles my self worth, although I do tend to not care but sometimes it does get to me. Reading about you (and your articles) gives me hope that change is possible, and that I am capable to work for it. Thank you. You have such bomb skin right now bdw. XO

    Reply
  71. Ellie Hang Trinh

    So glad to have found you and your site.
    You are so brave to share pictures and research with readers. I started making therapeutic body products for my children that had mild to moderate eczema. I have a Biology Degree (and a Law degree) and have great appreciation for your researched and science base articles. One day 4 1/2 years ago I did help a young man with the worst case of acne (according to his father, the 2 dermatologists in Houston has ever seen!). I knew very little about acne then and decided to treat internal (gut) health, reducing internal inflammation with raw milk probiotics = traditionally made Kefir with real live Kefir “grains”. His skin got a bit better and eventually we applied the raw milk Kefir on his skin…but it was messy, sticky and smelled strong… but the skin healed fast and with no scarring. Over time about 2 years later I perfected soil-base, live, skin probiotics for acne and eczema. Please visit my blog, would like to share my work with you: https://www.skin-probiotics.com/blog/
    Thank you.

    Reply
  72. Katie

    Wow. I am so unbelievably grateful for stumbling across this blog/site. You are amazing. I’m going through a rough time. Ever since sixth grade I’ve had horrible acne. When I was 15 I went on birth control. And was on it up until the age of 18 and my skin was beautiful and clear. Up until I switched to the generic version and my skin slowly got worse. Like more and more acne started popping up and now at 19 I’m on the fourth month of my birth control hoping and praying my skin will clear up again. However, now I suffer with hyperpigmenation with acne dark and red marks all over my cheeks. I am so embarrassed that I don’t even want to be around my boyfriend without make up. I cry almost every other night. I feel hopeless and like I’m so alone. Nobody understands. I spend so much money on skincare in hopes of not having to wear make up again. Thank you for being vulnerable and sharing your story and knowledge and research. I will be keeping your site as a bookmark to help me out. Any ideas how to help heal the discoloration from previous acne? As well as help speed up the heating of acne?
    I have combo skin, but seems to Ben more on the dry side.
    I use cerave hydrating cleansing bar along with Argan oil as a moisturizer and tea tree on the spot treatment. I do this rountine once to twice daily.
    I also just bought the Cerave AM moisturizing lotion with the spf in it. I decided to try it because it also has since in it. Any advice, recommendations or opinions would be grately appreciated.

    Thank you!

    Reply
  73. Bea

    Your blog is truly a treasure. A gem. And you are a humble, intelligent, funny and beautiful person.
    I’m sure this blog is going to be very big, and you deserve every good thing that comes out of it.

    I have some pimples here and there but overall my skin is ok. However, I can very much relate with your suffering when you don’t like what you see in the mirror. It is still a struggle for me, but I hope I will get there sometime… 🙂

    Again, congratulations for your blog.

    Reply
  74. hamsammich

    I can’t even remember how I stumbled upon your website, but this is the best skincare blog I’ve ever come across. You’re interesting, funny, and sincere. I just figured I’d let you know that I’m really glad you published your story because it gives hope to those who may feel lost. Most importantly, it also sheds light on the severity of the mental damage that having bad skin can have on a person. My skin problems have mostly dissipated with the help of reddit and good ol’ trial and error, but I nearly forgotten the awful sickening feeling of having to look at a bare, acne-ravaged face. I remember wanting to wear make up all the time just so that I wouldn’t have to see it, or using my hair to cover as much of my face as possible, and even not being able to make eye contact with people because I was constantly plagued by the fear that they were looking at my bad skin. I think I even wished at some point it was socially acceptable to wear a bag over my head (I wouldn’t have to buy make up or do my hair, oh my god, wouldn’t it be wonderful).

    Anyhoo, you are doing an amazing job. Cheers to you and your beautiful transformation!

    Reply
  75. Anna Clive

    Hi F.C,

    I found your blog ladt night and I am determined to read a of your posts as soon as possible!
    I really appreciate the time, effort, commitment to quality and selflessness you have shown in your blog.
    I battles compulsive skin picking for about 15 years. For many years I have been ignoring and hiding my skin with makeup because to look would be to pick. I am finally over my addiction and now looking at my skin to see what i can do to improve it, especially now the wrinkled are starting.
    To see an official name for my condition, written in your blog, feels like a cloud has been lifted in my life. I used the website http://www.stoppickingonme.com to help me through my addiction.
    I have acne scarring and discoloration and looking forward so much to reading through your blog
    It is a delight to find someone I can trust.
    Thank you

    Reply
  76. Katta

    I am in my fifty’s and a cosmetologist who has specialized in skincare for the last 30 years. I have struggled with cystic acne this whole time( STILL)!!! and I am so happy to see your progress. Most derms are money chasing fools and they resent any knowledge “civilians” possess. I am very impressed with the depths you have gone to in the search of healing yourself, both inside and out. I think everyone of us, no matter the skincare concern, has the product graveyard under our sinks. I have a daughter in her teens who is struggling with the whole spectrum; cystic, comedones, milia, face and back, etc. and guess what? Even though I have helped countless clients, she will not listen to me, SHOCKER!! I’m so grateful to have stumbled onto your site. I am well versed in ingredients etc. and I have no qualms about showing her your site. I despise the false and fake world of youtube, intsa and snap. These sites are doing harm to these kids and no one can stop it! That you are evidently male i.e.; non-threatening, will hopefully get her attention. I have tears in my eyes as I write this as I know the shame, embarrassment and heartbreak you, myself and many others have had and are still feeling. Thank you so much for your sharing yourself with us, you are loved and valued more than you can possibly know.

    Reply
  77. Crystal K

    I know I’m a bit late(only 2y years,whatever🙃)…your story touched my heart and I subscribed to your blog almost immediately.
    I had minor skin issues in middle school that were basically eradicated with Retina-A. This was back in the late ‘90’s,mind you. Skincare has come a very long way.
    I am currently on Doxycycline and Metrogel for a rash that(I’ve yet to see a proper dermatologist-my insurance company is fighting me over it and I’m waiting on a referral) I have been suffering with for about 9 months now.
    It looks a lot like eczema,which I’ve suffered from since I was a toddler and was actually been in medical books for the severity of-but I grew out of that years ago,except for the odd pop-up on my hands or legs.
    This rash is like eczema..but different. I have tried EVERYTHING. I’ve been told it’s perioral dermatitis,slight rosacea,etc. I can’t get rid of it. I’ve bought tiny,teeny bars of soap promising to cure PD that cost 50$ and did nothing but dry me out. I’ve tried athletes foot cream and zinc supplements,my beloved CosRx Snail 96 Essence,Ive tried leaving it alone and I’ve tried natural cures-oatmeal,coconut oil,etc.
    It won’t let up.
    It’s more bothersome because I’m a kind of skincare addict-I always though I was knowledgeable enough to figure out my skin issues and treat them. Especially since discovering k-beauty,which I love and have found several of my HG products from.
    My product shelf/drawers/boxes look like yours but I have a pretty steady routine down as of right now.
    It’s not acne(knock on wood), I do get the occasional pimple but that’s ok..it’s this rash.
    It’s not even that prominent-but I know it’s there. It ruins my otherwise decent skin that I work so hard to maintain.
    The medicine I’m taking doesn’t seem to be doing anything,and I’m on my last weeks worth(week 4 of 4 weeks). Same for the Metrogel…nothing.
    It’s frustrating. I look at pictures of me from a year ago and I wonder what the hell caused this.
    I can’t pretend to understand your pain-my past and even my current problems aren’t anything like yours and I am so,so happy you’re in a place today where you’re secure and comfortable in your own skin(literally!). Thank you so,so very much for sharing your journey and your thoughts. Sending you hugs and good vibes.

    Reply
  78. randomgoogler

    I recently cleared up my acne about 98% after years of trying this that and the other. I stumbled upon this page while searching about derma rolling for acne scars. Your page makes me feel hopeful about my scars. You are an amazing human being for curating all of this info (and of course, for winning your battle). Just want to thank you for creating this site, I have bookmarked this site for future reading. I am touched by you sharing your story, and I just want to say that I feel you. You may think you were unlucky, but to me you are blessing to the world.

    Reply
  79. S.

    Honestly and very literally, you’ve changed my life. I never usually write on blogs or even comment on anything but I just wanted to let you know.

    Thank you.

    Reply
  80. Veronica

    I’m so glad you’re doing this! Growing up my skin was actually pretty flawless, and I DID take it for granted. My acne developed in my early twenties, and I’ve been struggling ever since. About 5 years ago it got REALLY bad: deep, cystic acne ALL over my face that would turn into horrendous whiteheads, scarring me with pits and dark spots. The worst part wasn’t even looking in the mirror and feeling ugly and “ruined”, but all the comments other people would make. Even if they said nothing, the looks they gave me said it all. It really affected my confidence and my overall mental state. I’m still super sensitive about any comments directed at my skin, even if they’re well meant. It’s gotten better since then, but I still struggle and have bad breakouts, hence my online search that led me here. I feel better finding someone who was like me, but never gave up and was able to get through it. You’ve encouraged me so much, and I just wanted to say: THANK YOU!!!

    Reply
  81. Megan

    So happy I stumbled upon this blog!!!! Thank you for what you do.

    Reply
  82. Gabrielle

    BLESS YOU <3
    I'm so sick of all the wrong information out there people are unknowingly spreading and doctors just glancing at my face and throwing products my way that have nothing to do with what's actually going on with my skin. I'm almost 25 and have the worst skin of my life and literally avoid seeing friends because of this. I spend all my free time currently reading up on this blog and you just seem so genuine and honest and and you're someone who has truly been there & you try not to make super scientific posts too boring or complicated, you definitely let your personality shine through and it feels almost as if i'm engaged in conversation with you. Thank you

    Reply
  83. Claudia

    Wonderful story, wonderful content, wonderful person. So glad to find you!

    Thank you for sharing your experiences and for educating us. Thank you a lot! 🙂

    Lots of luck and all the best to you Mr. f.c.

    Reply
  84. June Bossley

    Your site is so fantastic. I’m going to come back here again.

    Reply
  85. jason

    Hi! I love your blog! Do you have a high SPF sunscreen that you like? Thanks for all your help!!!

    Reply
  86. Gil Stotz

    I can’t believe how great this site is. You keep up the good work. That’s my advice pal.

    Reply
  87. Abhimanyu

    Hi,
    I’m a 19 year old guy, suffering from acne for 3 years now. I’ve been on doxycycline, BP, adapalene but the problem still persists.

    Currently I’m on BP and while the acne has improved, I have a shit-ton of PIH and PIE left over. Moreover, my entire chin area has tiny bumps which turn into inflamed bumps.

    I went to my derm today, and he prescribed me –
    AM: BP 2.5%
    PM: Azelaic Acid 20%
    Other than that, I use Cetaphil Daily Cleanser and Sebamed Clear Face Care Gel.
    I plan to give my skin a rest for a day or two and then start this new regimen.

    Honestly, my skin has made me VERY insecure. I wish I could be carefree as other guys my age. There have been many instances that I cancelled all plans and cried to myself alone because my skin felt horrible.

    I’m so glad to have discovered your blog. I’m tired of battling acne, yet hopeful that one day I’ll have clear skin again.

    Do you have any suggestions? Any inputs would be EXTREMELY helpful, and sorry for the long-ass post!

    Reply
  88. psoriasisache

    you are a true inspiration. we need more people like you everywhere. best of luck!

    Reply
    • f. c.

      Thank you for your lovely words! I wish you all the best. 💙

      Reply
  89. A

    hey, so how did you reduce your atrophic scaring so much! your skin looks amazing. I’ve had dermal needling which improved it a tiny bit but what skincare products do you recommend?

    Reply
  90. Haifa

    Hi my friend. I just found your blog about Differein and I liked how well explained about the product. I have used this before, and I followed my dermotologist instruction. However, your blog gave me something new for me, and I thought you are doctor. when I read about you here surprised! you are veeeeery brave to share your experince I really loved that. Every person in this life have been thru difficult issues not only you. I really love your blog it show how much you are educated and expert. Thank you hundreds times for sharing the real benefits of your skin care routine.
    Haifa from Saudi

    Reply
  91. Lisa Gonzalez

    Thank you for for taking the time and effort to put all this information out here. I am so thankful for this site!

    Reply
  92. Ayesha

    Oh my god?!?!?! Where I’ve been this entire year on the internet not knowing this website exist until tonight!!! You write an excellent review of the products I wanted to try.. you are amazing!! I appreciate the way you make table of contents.. ^0^ and ohhh, all the information about ingredients… just reallllyyyy helpful!!!!

    Reply
  93. Julie

    Hello first I’d like to say you’re a genius and with all this info and hard work you should be a millionaire! I will donate to your site.

    Reply
  94. Patricia Marie Westervelt, CMA LE CA

    Oh my, you have been put through the ringer. But now your skin is lookin’ good! Maybe you were to experience this so that you could find answers to help others. Your skin condition is one of the main reasons I became an esthetician and aromatherapist. Now I custom blend for problematic skins so they can heal. Everyone looks at the face first… and that can be a burden if the skin is not healthy. Thank you so much for sharing your story and doing all this great research. Hugs to you!

    Skincerely,
    Patricia Maire

    Reply
  95. Bar

    I just found you and want to say a HUGE thank you from the bottom of my heart. There is so much misinformation out there and its hard to know who to trust. There is no reason not to trust you, and you have the skin to prove it. I am an older woman (HA! I don’t look it or feel it) and still have occasional breakouts and am always looking to improve my skin care routine and product selections. You rock, young man!

    Reply
  96. Leanne

    I have just started taking Isotretinoin, I’m just over a week in.
    I feel bad as my acne is nowhere near as bad as a lot of peoples but still bad enough to make me depressed, anxious and self conscious. I tried antibiotics and topical creams/gels but nothing helped.
    I’m currently experiencing the ‘worse before it gets better’ stage.
    My lips are so dry and even inside my nose is dry and sometimes bloody.
    I really hope this works and I don’t need another round of treatment.
    I’ve heard so many good and bad things about Isotretinoin but felt like it was my last option.
    I found your site yesterday and almost cried!
    I’ts made me feel so much better, you’re posts are so informative and easy to understand so I just wanted to say a big thank you 🙂 keep up the good work! x

    Reply
  97. Maggie Lee

    Hi, F.C. I am just writing to say many thanks to your blog!

    A month ago I have been put to a tiny surgery, after that I had to take antibiotics plus dexamethasone. Then there is, all over my face, Malassezia Folliculitis. I have never ever experienced that so I got panic. I’ve seen the doctor, tried every piece of information in Chinese and literally did everything they said. I took the pills doctor prescribed, but I cannot take it forever. Last week I stop taking the anti-fungal pills, and fungal acne comes back. So dreadful!

    Luckily I found your blog. I spent whole day on reading your blog and it really amazed me. I just want to say thank you very much for introducing so much information, which is helpful and thorough, and I feel so luckily I’ve found you before I make so many mistakes on treating my skin.

    I used to take Vitamin B-complex supplement “as a must-have otherwise my skin won’t heal”, use skincare products which “are oil free and extremely fine and helpful to oily and sensitive skin”, held the urge to use BHA treatment because “it is not helpful, and even as a backfire to malassezia folliculitis”. Until now I realize that a lot of information in Chinese on treating malassezia follicultis is wrong and misleading. Some of the so caledl “skincare gulu” even encourage patients in using Ketoconazole shampoo to wash their face every day!

    Now I am working on my skin once again, in the right way. Wish me luck! And I am so going to introduce your blog to all of my friends no matter they read English or not, LOL

    Reply
  98. ruth

    I just can’t stop reading your story, it is truly inspiring and these ” We are chasing vulnerability and being real, not perfection” hits me. Just found myself clicking every link cause it’s very informative.
    hope to read more from you. 🙂

    Reply
  99. m

    how did you get rid of psoriasis? i have it and i think it was caused by tetracycline induced fungal overload in my teens. i hate it. i recently discovered i have some sort of malassezia on my back and chest too.. thanks for the info on that.

    Reply
  100. Ana

    Well, I like you even more now…
    Absolutely. Lots and lots of misinformation… I can testify that some dermatologists don’t know how to differentiate between some skin conditions (eg bacterial acne vs fungal “acne”), misdiagnose you, give you drugs that won’t have long term effects because the source of the problem was never aimed at. And don’t get me started on the “skincare advisors” that proliferate on the internet.
    It’s a complicated world. Many things, many solutions, many more of the same, many ways to sell useless and even harmful stuff.
    Thank you so much for helping in restablishing some order in all the chaos…
    You are a great person.
    (Oh; plus, you’re cute.)

    Reply
    • f. c.

      Thank you, Ana! I really appreciate the kind words and I hope you have a lovely weekend. 🙂

      p.s. you’re cute too :p

      Reply
  101. Josipa

    You are amazing and thank you for amazing work that you have done and shared with others! ❤

    Sending you love from Croatia!

    Reply
  102. Julia

    Love your blog! I am working on my own product line at the moment and it stemmed from all the issues you describe here. Not only skincare itself is confusing as a “science”, but manufacturers do not help at all with misleading claims (marketing ingredients at barely traceable levels), missing manufacturing dates (go figure if you are sensitive to a product or has the product just degraded after 3 years in a warehouse) and sometimes an outright lie about the contents (small private label sellers on Amazon).
    Are you interested in getting the samples when I am done? I’d love to hear if you like my product!

    Reply
  103. livia limbri

    thank you for doing this! you are amazing and i absolutely adore you

    Reply
  104. Ray

    I love your blog and it’s very inspiring. I am curious if you could list your current regimen that’s been your holy grail. I see a ton of product reviews and products you like but where are you currently at in your routine? You may have said in comments, but there are so many to go through. Thank you.

    Reply
    • f. c.

      Sure thing, Ray! Current skincare routine:

      AM
      -Rinse with water
      -CeraVe baby cream
      -Cotz SPF 40 Natural Skin Tint

      PM
      -Oil cleanse with MCT oil (I wipe the oil off with a microfiber cloth)

      Every 5 to 7 days I’ll do a 8% salicylic acid peel. And that’s it! Pretty simple 🙂

      Reply
  105. Hasna

    f.c. thanks again for doing your research and putting all of those in this blog. i haven’t had a clear face since i was teenager. every person in my big family always encourage me to go to dermatologist. i hate going to dermatologist, cause once you stop their “skin care”, my acnes keep coming back. i even try acupuncture. it work for a while, but hey that’s just the cycle. the nightmare keep coming back.
    i keep telling myself, i just have acne, not fungal acne. i started reading your blog about a year ago. and i’m following your advice to reduce my acne (still denying about fungal acne). cause one of my dermatologist said that i just have acne, not fungal acne. but finally yesterday (yes, YESTERDAY) i think i’m beginning to accept that i have fungal acne (cause all of those breakout from almost everything. even if i didn’t get breakout, i often get small acnes every time i apply a product to my face). it frustrated me every time i get a new product.

    now, i will try the new approach based on your post about fungal acne and dehydrated skin. hopefully i can listen to what my skin want and need. but most important, i need to be patience.

    how do you keep yourself to be patience, f.c.? i mean, waiting for a month to just hydrate the skin? it drives me nuts just to wait patiently applying just hadalabo hydrating lotion and vaseline for a month

    Reply
  106. Julie G

    Came across your website today. Felt compelled to reach out and say that you are lovely, inside and out. I wish I knew you. Hugs and love sent your way, friend.

    Reply
    • f. c.

      Thank you, Julie! I really appreciate you taking the time out of your day to share some kind words with me. You sound like a lovely person yourself, and I wish I knew you too! I hope you have a wonderful weekend 🙂

      Reply
  107. HR

    I stumbled across your site while doing some product research and feel compelled to tell you how much I appreciate you sharing your journey with us. The courage it takes to share your story that helps others is remarkable and we are so fortunate to benefit from your experiences. I hope you realize that beauty starts within and while it may feels as though it has taken a bit of time for the outside to catch up with the inside you are beautiful through and through. Navigating through the misinformation out there is exhausting so I thank you for helping in this never-ending search.

    Reply
  108. Jennifer

    I don’t know how to fully express the amount of gratitude I have for not only stumbling upon your website, but also learning from all the tremendous, detailed research you have done. Within the first couple paragraphs of your blog, Kick fungal acne’s ass…, especially the comment about sunscreen, I thought, “Okay… someone out there actually knows what I’m experiencing, I have to read more”. My sincere THANK YOU so much for sharing! I am going to recommend your blog to many people I know who also ceaselessly fight the beast. Decades later, and thousands of dollars spent on products, you have giving me more insight than the doctors/dermatologists I have seen in the past.
    Your experiences and sharing your knowledge on this website is sincerely appreciated.
    Thank you again, from Ontario, Canada.

    Reply
  109. Vanessa

    I love your website. I jumped here because of the acne org regimen and I have see some other post and the About me. THANKS for sharing your story with us. I am from Brazil and have never had acne until my 21 when I moved to the States. My face changed! It’s been almost 5 years and I don’t know what is to have a baby face again. Sad but true. Ugh -.- anyway, what finally helped you to get this clean face? I see you talked about a few product that worked for you, but what was The One, that gave you this nice glowing skin? Btw, i used the acne org regimen and it completely cleaned my skin, however when I returned back from my trip from Brazil after 8 months, the acne came all again, not as worse as before, but ugh I hate pimples! I started using the products again a few weeks ago and the day after a cyst showed up under my eye right on my cheekbone. I though would go away, but it just got a little smaller, it’s still here. I never had a cyst before. I’m so worried. I’m trying to get to contact acne org regimen for an explanation smh

    Xo

    Reply
  110. Grayson Ortiz

    Like many others have said, I just came across your website today. Having had perfectly clear, even-toned skin for the last 5 years, I have been devastated lately by a recent, persistent acne invasion that refuses to go away & seems to be becoming worse. I feel constantly depressed & I cry often. Reading your story & seeing your progress gives me hope that one day this nightmare will end. I don’t know you, but I feel like you are a truly sweet soul & a lovely individual. Thank you so much for sharing your story & knowledge! It gives us acne-sufferers a glimpse of hope in this pit of despair.

    Reply
    • f. c.

      It gets better, Grayson! Hang in there and keep your head up, it will all be over someday soon. I’m sending you my warmest thoughts.

      Reply
  111. ilyas

    To rephrase what you wrote, as lame as this sounds, I began crying the first time I read your “disclaimer”. you wont believe how incidentally i got here my friend but i feel like i was meant to read and see what you had to go through all these years. i really really wish i could meet you in person and have a good old talk with you. i know that your perseverance was a major factor but i also do believe its that someone who really loves you, told you, at a point in your life, that you are loved, that you are beautiful and that you are enough. this coming from someone who always had an almost perfect skin, yet felt always ugly. so i honestly, honestly wonder who is the lucky one here…

    Reply

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