Monday, April 12, 2010

Make it Work Monday: Get Rid of Your Acne

A few months before my wedding, the system I'd been using to treat my acne stopped working. I'll admit that it hadn't ever been perfect; I always had at least one zit, and the dark marks each one left behind were visible for months. But it was better than anything else I used, so I stuck with it, even though it bleached my clothes and towels and pillow cases, even though it irritated my skin. I suppose then, that it was a terrible blessing in disguise that it stopped working and I became willing to try anything, anything at all to get rid of what quickly became a case of cystic acne with a side of major inflammation. At one point, my skin was so inflamed that I couldn't use topical treatments at all. To calm it down, I embarked on a strict course of no sugar, ever, at all, NONE, plus a very pricey skin care line that I still use today. But the skin care products didn't end the acne; they only calmed my poor skin just enough that I could use the Acne.org Regimen with a few modifications.

I highly recommend that you view all the videos, but in particular the one about applying benzoyl peroxide. The system I used before had benzoyl peroxide in both the cleanser and the treatment lotion, but it proved to be both too much and not enough, which makes no sense until you realize that I needed a gentle cleanser for my sensitive skin (in fact, most people need a gentle cleanser, whether they have textbook sensitive skin or not), but more treatment post-cleansing to combat the bacteria that was causing the acne. I'm sure that if I followed Dan's regimen to a T, I'd still have clear skin, but there are some modifications I prefer to keep simply because they work for me.

1. I still use cleanser and moisturizer from Origins. I don't have to use much to get the job done, and it's incredibly gentle on my easily angered skin. At some point I might be willing to try something else natural and gentle and see if it works, but for now I'm just enjoying calm, clear skin.

2. I only apply the treatment at night and use even more than is recommended. It takes a long time to rub it in (enough time to catch up on episodes of The Office or Modern Family, so no time is wasted), but it has proved to be effective. I do this mainly because I don't like the way benzoyl peroxide bleaches out the necklines of my shirts if I use it during the day. This might not be an issue for most people, but I am often outside for work in the summer, and even if I'm careful not to touch my clothes to my face, sweat will transport the peroxide right to my shirt for me. No thank you. I'll leave the bleach rub-off to my white towels and pillowcase. (Which, yes, if you are using benzoyl peroxide, you need to use white towels and sleep on a white pillowcase.)

3. I use an exfoliant three times a week to eliminate dead skin cells that can clog up pores. This has eliminated the few zits I was still getting using just cleanser/treatment/moisturizer and also worked wonders on my acne scarring.

That's it. This system has worked for me for two and a half years now, with an average of one hormone-induced zit per month. Just one, and it's never enormous. This works. Period. I'll risk sounding like an infomercial here and say that if you have acne, you need to try this. You don't have anything to lose but the zits.

1 comment:

Susan said...

I highly recommend checking out sites like this to find additional ways to treating acne. It sure does help to get a list of ideas, when one doesn't work for you. And we all know how our skin can be different for each individual.
http://www.treatmentreport.com/conditions/skin-acne/126/