Acne treatments

/ Monday, February 28, 2011 /
Hi guys and gals,

So first, I have a little story to tell ya'll. In some of my earlier posts, i have written about how I used to have a lot of acne. Well, let me tell you this: I have tried just about EVERYTHING to get rid of it. I'm somewhat successful right now (uh oh, better not jinx it by writing this) but trust me, it was a very, VERY painful process. I went through lots of phases of losing self-confidence, being self-conscious, shy, embarrassed, etc by my face as a result of acne vulgaris (scientific term, so italicized).

So I decided today that I would do a post on my journey in the struggle against acne vulgaris. I promise you I'll try my best not to bother ya'll with scientific terminology, etc - I know that people are easily bored by textbooks and don't want that for everyone. I'm going to go through all of the products, methods, etc that I've tried and give you my honest opinions and evaluations on them. This journey goes from the beginning of my acne journey in the 7th grade all the way to present day. So here we go!

When I first started getting a ton of acne, my mother picked up a little sample of Shiseido at a departmental store. It was:

1. Shiseido Pureness Deep Cleansing Foam (Sample, so free)

Shiseido - Pureness Deep Cleansing Foam

This product actually was pretty good. You rub a little bit of it on your face and wash it off. It cleared up my acne for awhile, but then I started breaking out again after I took a trip to Shanghai to visit my relatives. I felt embarrassed to show my cousins how scarred my face was. It was kind of sad.

Later, during my early years in HS, I went to Target and got some advice from a very nice, pretty pharmacist. She advised me to get:

2. St. Ives Apricot Scrub, $4

3. Neutrogena Oil-Free Face Moisturizer, Sensitive Skin, $10

The St. Ives product worked for the first few days, but then it felt really abrasive on my skin. I felt as if my skin was constantly being scratched raw, and I was getting breakouts again. The moisturizer made my skin feel really really good, but at the same time it wasn't exactly counteracting the effects of the St Ives scrub.

I went through some other products as well, through the help of my mom. (She loves using high-end products,  but I personally prefer low-end products, being a poor college student and all XD)

4. Burt's Bees Soap Bark and Chamomile Deep Cleansing Cream, $8
Soap Bark and Chamomile Deep Cleansing Creme - Facial Creme - Burt's Bees

I've got to say that this product stung my face. It was really, I guess, it felt like I was putting on camphor on my face, or toothpaste, for the matter, without the smell. I guess it did work, but I felt like I was really hurting my skin every time I used it. Not so helpful.

5. Peach and Willowbark Deep Pore Scrub, $8

Peach and Willowbark Deep Pore Facial Scrub - Burt's Bees

This kind of worked like the St. Ives, but not as well; in fact, it clogged my pores and made my skin feel raw at the same time. Double mad deal. Not so cool.

So I kept on suffering through an acne-prone face throughout all of HS. Then, I came to college, and started trying out random things on my own...

6. Clean & Clear Morning Burst, $11
Clean & Clear  Morning Burst  Facial Cleanser Cleansers 8 fl oz, 2pk

This product didn't do so well for me. It kinda made me break out even more, in fact. Sucks to waste $11.

7. Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser
Cetaphil For Normal to Oily Skin Daily Facial Cleanser 16 Fl Oz

My little brother actually uses this (she has even more acne than me! oh my goodness). It's ok, I guess, for her, especially since her acne is actually worse than mine (she has a ton of scarring on her face, poor thing for a young 13-year old!) It works ok on me, gets the oil off my face, but doesn't have any salicylic acid or anything.

8. Neutrogena Facial Cleanser, Deep Clean, $6
Neutrogena(R) Facial Cleanser Normal to Oily Skin Deep Clean(R) 6.7 Oz

This product worked all right; it actually cleared up my face pretty well. However, there was one side effect - it kept on making my face red, which sucked. You have a face that is acne-cleared, but red as a cherry! Doesn't that suck?

9. Clean & Clear Finishes Pore Perfecting Cleanser, $7
Clean & Clear Finishes Pore Perfecting Cleanser, 8 fl oz

My brother actually used this product as well. I feel like it did not work well at all. It was a creamy cleanser, and made my skin feel really oily afterwards. No salicylic acid, benzyl peroxide, or anything sweet like that. It kinda sucked since you only needed a little product each time, and so the bottle took an entire year to finish! And that was with the two of us using it together. Lolz. (I used it during the holidays when I came home; my sis used it during the school year when I wasn't home).

10. Neutrogena Oil-Eliminating Astringent, Clear Pore, $6
Neutrogena  Oil-Eliminating Astringent Clear Pore 8 fl oz, 2pk

Although I know that this wasn't supposed to be used on its own, I still used it by itself because I so wanted to attack my acne at the time. Bad idea. This thing really, really, really stings my skin. It hurt it even more than the scrubs scrubbed my face raw. Do not use this product by itself - always combine it with some kind of moisturizer immediately afterwards. Oh my goodness, I hope never to have to buy this product again...

11. Purpose Gentle Cleansing Wash, $6
Purpose  Gentle Cleansing Wash Pump Cleansers 6 fl oz, 2pk

This product actually worked, like the Cetaphil, only it was cheaper. No salicylic acid or anything fancy like that though.

12. Neutrogena Foaming Pink Grapefruit Scrub, $8
Neutrogena Foaming Scrub, Pink Grapefruit Oil-Free Acne Wash, 4.2 fl oz

This product does work pretty well, especially for a scrub. It was the first scrub that actually didn't scrape my face raw! I didn't use it very often though; I realized that you are only supposed to exfoliate your face 1-2X/week rather than every day. This definitely works, and has 2% salicylic acid as well!

13. Neutrogena Alcohol-Free Toner Cleansing, $7
Neutrogena Alcohol-Free Toner Cleansing 8.5 oz

This product is a very, very mild toner. It refreshes my face pretty well, and it lasted me a long time. I ended up mixing it with baby oil to create a full makeup remover - it works well as makeup remover as well!

14. Neutrogena Vanishing Cream Formula, On-The-Spot, $7

Neutrogena  Vanishing Cream Formula On-The-Spot  .75 oz, 2pk

This, in my opinion, doesn't actually work very well. It doesn't really get rid of any spots of acne for me. Oh well, waste of money.

15. Neutrogena acne Treatment Oil-Free Acne Wash, 2% Salicylic Acid, $7
Neutrogena Acne Treatment Oil-Free Acne Wash 9.5 fl oz, 2pk

I Absolutely LOVE this product! This has got to be my favorite wash of all time. It doesn't make my face very red, gets rid of my acne, and is very relieving and soothing, and is a gel wash (I love gels). Totally worth the buy.

16. Biore Steam Activated Cleanser, $8
steam activated cleanser

Very good - acts like the Purpose and Cetaphil washes, but works better. Thank goodness! No salicylic acid or benzyl peroxide though...

17. Neutrogena Sore Pimple Gel, $11

This thing burns your skin, and peels and flakes off. It seriously sucks. Waste of your money. Doesn't work so well - even worse than the vanishing cream, despipte having 2% salicylic acid. Do not like...

18. Neutrogena Triple-Action Toner, $7

This product has alcohol in it, and is very severe, but it gets the job done, and is not as harsh as the Clear Pore Astringent. Good investment, and lasts a long long time. Pretty cool!

19. Dermalogica Clearing Skin Wash, $33


This thing was INCREDIBLY expensive! It is a gel cleanser, and my mom got it for me, so I guess I can't complain there. It is a 0.5% salicylic acid concoction, no doubts there, and you only need a pea-size each time, so it lasts forever. I think the strength of the salicylic acid is too weak for my face - if it were stronger, I think it might work well for my face, but it doesn't work as well as the Biore Steam Cleanser. So much $$ invested in this!

20. Noxzema Clean Blemish Control Daily Scrub, $8

1% Salicylic acid. It does a good job, much gentler than the St. Ives and the Burt's Bees scrubs, and almost as good as the Neutrogena Grapefruit Scrub, but I only use it once a week, so that my face doesn't get scraped raw constantly by it again and again.

21. Clearasil StayClear Daily Face Wash, $7
Clearasil Stayclear Daily Face Wash

This product works like the Purpose and Cetaphil cleansers, works, but doesn't have salicylic acid or benzyl peroxide. Period. Nuff' said.

22. PanOxyl 10% Benzyl Peroxide, Acne Foaming Wash, $11

This wash actually does work, and currently my brother uses it. It is the strongest concentration of benzyl peroxide wash currently out on the OTC market (usually benzyl peroxide concentrations run at 2.5%, 5%, and 10%), and so far, it does seem to work, but I'm kind of afraid that it's too strong for my skin. But my brother loves it, and if she loves it, I have no problem with that - the even better for her =D

23. Jergens Sensitive Skin Relief, $6

This lotion does work for the face, and is hypo-allergenic, but I don't think it's the best product out there. There is a lot that you get with this, though - a bottle lasts me almost an entire year, compared to the Neutrogena Oil-free Moisturizer, which each cost $11 and lasted me only ~2 months. So, thus, is cost-effective, but is definitely not the best one out there. Currently, though, I don't think this is being sold out on the market anymore, at least in any stores I've been to recently (Wal-Mart, Target, Kroger's, etc). Perhaps it was not doing so hot on sales?

24. Estee Lauder DayWear Plus SPF 15, $60
Estee Lauder - Daywear Plus Lotion SPF15  50ml/1.7oz

This product was INCREDIBLY expensive, but my mother bought it for me as a gift (she is really helpful to me and my brother on our journey to good skin! really kind of her), so I cannot say that I shelled out the dough for it. This product is REALLY, REALLY good. It gives my face a bit of a shine, as if I had worn a bronzer or something, protects my skin, and is non-comedogenic at the same time. And it leaves my skin feeling really, really refreshed at the same time. Really like it. Too bad it costs so much money...

25. Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief, $50
Clinique - Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief

This product is REALLY REALLY good. It allows your skin to suck up all of the moisture, leaving it feeling incredibly refreshed and refined. Of course, the downside to it is the cost. What I could do with $50 - all of the meals, coffee, and other necessities that a poor college student (or anyone, for the matter) needs. Gift from mom, thank you mommy dearest. It lasts you quite awhile, considering the size of the product (2.5 oz) - lasted me ~3 months, compared to the Neutrogena Oil-Free Moisturizer, ~2 months.

Here are some products I recently purchased, and will try out soon (more reviews later):
A. Clean & Clear Pore Perfecting Moisturizer, SPF 15, $7
Clean & Clear Pore Perfecting Moisturizer SPF 15, 1.7 oz

B. Clean & Clear Foaming Cleanser, $5

Can you guyys believe it? I went through over 25 products from the 8th grade to now. In fact, there's a lot more, but I couldn't find the links to them or forgot their names or something. I just listed the ones that stuck out the most prominently in my head. I hope this review/journey/history was useful in at least some way to ya'll. Believe me, I know, totally empathize with, the pains that acne gives a person. It really sucks when you get acne. It can change your life in so many ways, and often times for the worse.

Currently, my facial regiment is (I put this in an earlier post, but will revisit right now just in case for ya'll):
1. Biore Facial Steaming Cleanser
2. Estee Lauder Daywear SPF 15
3. Clinique All About Eyes eye cream
4. Neutrogena Vanishing Cream spot treatment

1. Biore Facial Steaming Cleanser or Dermalogica Clearing Facial Wash
OR Noxema or St Ives scrub (1-2X/week)
2. Jergens Sensitive Skin Lotion
3. Neutrogena Sore Pimple Spot Treatment or Neutrogena Vanishing Cream spot treatment

So here ya'll go! Hope you guys will have success on your fight against acne!


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