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Ridding yourself of acne: part two

Updated on September 7, 2013
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Products

The world of acne products is almost as big a labyrinth as weight loss products. You may find that you have to mix and match different products from different brands for the best result, and there’s nothing wrong with that. This hub focuses on just a few products that you can try for your acne.

A lot of websites online also offer pills as part of their product line. I highly recommend not putting a pill in your body unless you talk to your doctor first. You don’t know what is in the pill that may not mesh well with your body. While some of these pills are probably safe, it’s always best to talk to your doctor before taking any pill that doesn’t require a prescription.

A word of caution: everyone’s skin is different, and you’ll certainly have to find your own way to clear skin. None of the products mentioned are guaranteed to work or not work on your skin, but hopefully my own experiences with these things will help you on your own acne-free quest.

Soap and water

There’s a lot to be said for plain old soap and water. If you have nothing else available to you, it is a lot better than nothing. Use a sensitive skin, fragrance-free soap for the best results. Because soap (and even most acne washes) tends to dry out skin, make sure you apply an anti-acne moisturizer immediately after use. If you don’t, your skin will produce those nasty oils, and you’ll be worse off tomorrow.

The hardest part about washing your face with soap (or any acne wash, for that matter) is that no one agrees on what temperature of water to use. Some swear by cold water, others say warm is the way to go. In fact, if you Google “washing face with warm or cold water”, you’ll be instantly greeted by websites that contradict each other. One’s head will spin trying to figure out who is telling the truth. My recommendation is to find which one works best for you. Once you find your perfect product and regimen, experiment with both temperatures of water and see which one is better for your skin.

Proactiv

We’ve all seen the commercials. Every celebrity out there seems to swear by Proactiv. It is a 3- or 5-product system (depending on which one you choose) that is used daily. The bottles are conveniently numbered, for those who hate reading the label every time you want to know in what order to use your products.

The 3-product system includes:
Renewing Cleanser
Revitalizing Toner
Repairing Treatment

The 5-product system includes:
Renewing Cleanser
Revitalizing Toner
Repairing Treatment
Oil Free Moisture with SPF15
Daily Oil Control

Both systems come with one free gift (choose from the following):
Refining Mask
Blackhead Dissolving Gel
Dark Spot Corrector

Proactiv's website allows you to choose between the 3-product system for $19.95 for a 30-day supply and a 5-product system for $29.95 (the 5-product system comes with free shipping). My own personal experiences with Proactiv are with the 3-product system and the Refining Mask.

The number one pro about Proactiv is that it seems to produce results almost right away, definitely within the first week. Immediate results always brightens the day of any acne sufferer. Their wide-array of products help people up front, but the biggest complaint is that after a month or two, their skin gets used to the product and their acne becomes resistant. The second biggest complaint is the auto-delivery package. There are reports of it being extremely difficult to cancel the auto-delivery or having a hard time returning product under their guarantee if it doesn’t work.

The product that I found most useful is the Refining Mask. It can be used with products from another brand. While it is supposed to be used for an all over mask, most people use it as an overnight spot treatment. If you have an unsightly pimple, put this over the spot at bedtime. It greatly reduces the appearance by morning. This is by far the best spot treatment that I have found in my decades of wafting through products. Luckily, the product is available separately on Amazon for a very reasonable price, so you don’t have to buy the full system to get it. One tube can last months, so it is definitely worth the investment.

Basic 5-Piece Kit ($49.95)
Facial Cleanser
Clearing Tonic
Acne Treatment Serum
Clear Pore Serum
Derm-X Cloth

Expanded 6-Piece Kit ($59.95)
Comes with everything in the 5-piece kit plus the Moisture Complex

Ultimate 9-Piece Kit ($94.95)
Comes with everything in the 6-piece kit plus:
Microderm Scrub
Clarifying Mask
Probiotic Complex

Exposed Skin Care

Exposed Skin Care came to my attention when I was searching the web for the best acne products. There are three packages to choose from, all of which are a 60-day supply.

Exposed Skin Care has been the only product I have found that works beyond the initial 30-60 days of use. It has extremely high ratings on Amazon (4.5 stars) and is a very reasonable cost. I prefer using only the Facial Cleanser and Moisture Complex products. I recommend purchasing the initial Basic Kit from www.ExposedSkinCare.com and use that to clear you up and make sure the product works.

When you are ready to purchase your next products, unless you feel like you want to purchase the entire kit again, it may save you money to purchase the products that work best for you individually. The kits usually come with a coupon code to allow you to save $20 on three products. I have used Exposed Skin Care for approximately four years, and the coupon code still works for me. Purchasing three bottles of this cleanser and using the coupon code makes the product just as affordable as products on the shelves at your local retailer. Not a bad solution for a product that has helped out so many acne sufferers. While the kits and individual products, I highly recommend purchasing it from Exposed’s website, as they are cheaper there and you can use the coupon code to get it for an even lower cost.

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Prescription pills and creams

Prescription pills and creams come from a visit to the dermatologist. There are several different prescriptions available, but most of these pills and creams cause an immediate break out all over the face. The first five days after taking the prescription can make you much, much worse before it starts working. If you have a severe acne problem that other products will not help, the seeing a dermatologist can be very helpful as some types of acne can only be cured with the help of a dermatologist. But if you’re suffering from outbreaks here and there and nothing so severe that your face is already covered in acne, then you may want to try other products before seeing the dermatologist. If your acne gets to the point that a dermatologist is the only way to fix it, brace yourself for that initial outbreak. It will go away.

Rotating scrubbing brushes

People that suffer from acne often focus on what products to put on their skin and not additional tools of the trade. Regularly exfoliating your skin can help out with acne breakouts before they occur. When your face sheds skin cells, those dead cells can stick to your skin and cause your face to produce more oils. If you suffer from acne, then extra oil is just more fuel for your skin to break out. Your anti-acne products will also go deeper into your skin and be more helpful in your fight against acne if you don’t have pores blocked by dead skin cells.

While using a daily exfoliating wash alongside your normal routine is very beneficial to your skin care, and every sufferer from acne needs to have a rotating scrubbing brush in their arsenal. These brushes run on batteries, and come with scrubbing pads. Using the brush once a week is a great maintenance tool that goes much deeper than exfoliating washes. On your first use, you will notice a huge difference in your skin. Did I mention there are also anti-aging benefits? You can’t go wrong using a rotating scrubbing brush.

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Blackhead strips

Blackhead strips are another way to help combat acne. Blackheads usually appear in the T-zone (imagine drawing a T using your forehead and a line down to your nose). These clogged pores are very unsightly and something you’ll want to tackle along with any other acne you have. There are blackhead cleansers available, and some work relatively well, but blackhead strips are designed to remove the clogging straight out of your pores.

To use a blackhead strip, wash your face, peel the strip off the plastic, and put the smooth side down on your nose or forehead area. Be sure to lay it down so that it is flush against the skin with no bubbles. Wait until the strip dries against your skin. Even if it starts to itch, don’t take it off early. When it’s ready to come off, the strip will pull out the dirt and oil from your pores. Immediately follow up with either a blackhead cleanser or your normal acne wash.

Using these whenever you notice a little buildup can give you immediate results to remove the clogging, but if you suffer from blackheads, use blackhead cleanser every day along with your normal anti-acne cleanser for best results.

Summary

Having acne is not a fun way to go through life, but there are solutions out there. It may take some experimenting, but you will find your own personal regimen. Once you do, you will never be happier! Please feel free to share your own tips, tricks and product experiences in the comment section. Even though it can adult acne can be embarrassing, by sharing our own stories, we can only help each other stay on the path to clear skin.

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    • Angie Martin profile image
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      Angie Martin 3 years ago from Frazier Park, California

      No worries at all! I enjoy new tips and I'm sure those reading the hub will enjoy trying it out as well!

    • blueheron profile image

      Sharon Vile 3 years ago from Odessa, MO

      Sorry to be all crazy! I guess the commercial and medical approaches to acne have been a gripe of mine for so long that I have turned cranky about it.

    • Angie Martin profile image
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      Angie Martin 3 years ago from Frazier Park, California

      This is awesome information! I'll give it a try! :)

    • blueheron profile image

      Sharon Vile 3 years ago from Odessa, MO

      Once upon a time, if you happened to be in the right place, professional facials could be quite inexpensive. I also went to a dermatologist a couple of times, back in the day. The dermatogology approach at that time was antibiotics--which were sure to send you back to the doctor for a yeast infection--and Retin-A, which made your face red and didn't do much good. Professional facials were far less expensive and actually worked.

      Some of the product lines for facial cleansing can be very expensive, too. It appears to me that you can only buy them at the cosmetics counters, because there is nothing really suitable at Wal-Mart.

      To make your own cleansing cream, mix 1/2 cup coconut oil or almond oil with 2 tablespoons lecithin. This should be at room temperature before adding water. Then add 1/2 cup water while beating with an electric mixer. Voila! Face cream! You can then add fragrance (or not). Keep refrigerated. For the toner to remove the face cream, it's nice if you can mix equal parts ACV with rose water, elderflower water, orange flower water, lavender flower water, or some such thing. But ACV diluted with water will work just fine. The flower waters are just a strong tea of the fresh or dried flowers, and you can buy lavender buds and chamomile flowers at the health food store. Or I guess you could go all out and buy rose water or another flower water for this. I think plain rose water--even the rather weak homemade kind--is a very nice "finish" for a facial cleanse. All this stuff is really good for your skin, and I'm not sure about the chemicals in commercial products.

    • Angie Martin profile image
      Author

      Angie Martin 3 years ago from Frazier Park, California

      You're absolutely right that it's important to get those pores opened up and cleansed. That's great that professional facials worked for you. I never had the money for that, so I had to go about it by trial and error, and finally found that taking products from different lines and using tools like a rotating scrubbing brush helped me. Thanks for the advice! :)

    • blueheron profile image

      Sharon Vile 3 years ago from Odessa, MO

      The real key to getting rid of acne is to remove the stuff that's clogging the pores. The stuff that's clogging the pores is oil soluble, so it can be removed/dissolved with oil-based creams. Regular soap just hardens this stuff instead of removing it.

      This is why a good skin-care regimen (like several product lines you mentioned) involves using cleansing cream and toner. This is also why this method is used for professional facials.

      I am a little suspicious of the long list of chemical ingredients in commercial creams and toners, however, and I think you're better off making these yourself. A lot of toners are alcohol based, and there is simply no need to dry your skin with alcohol.

      I got rid of acne many years ago by getting professional facials. People who are able to spend money on professional services to cure acne are far better off spending it at a good facial salon, rather than at the dermatologist. Then you can learn to do professional facials at home.