Hello medical community. I work with a dedicated team of medical doctors, and biology/chemistry PhDs to create what we hope to be the most accurate, scientifically-sound content regarding acne anywhere online. We are a passionate group and we’re proud of what we’re doing.

However, pick us apart! If you read any of our articles and find anything wrong, we would not only love to hear about it, we will spring into action and further research what you have found.

You can use the Feedback Form link at the bottom of any article to be in touch.

P.S. I’m always looking for dedicated doctors and PhDs to join the team. If you are interested in helping out, you can contact us about that as well.

I’ve been working hand-in-hand with a dedicated team of doctors and PhDs lately to learn as much as I can and as deeply as I can about all things acne. All this new information deserved a whole new site design, along with the world’s best graphics. Can you even believe how good these new graphics are?! We have an amazing team of artists working with us as well.

We are also putting Acne.org products a little more front and center on the web site. I have gotten a lot of feedback that people didn’t know where to get our products, so they’re now on the bottom of every page, and sprinkled elsewhere as well. One of the best ways I can help people is to let them know about The Acne.org Regimen and allow them to easily order products and start clearing up. However, it’s still the same acne.org. We do not accept any advertisements and the web site is here to inform without any advertising clutter.

If you guys find any bugs on the new site, which you totally will (I’m considering this a beta launch), please contact us and let us know what you found and we’ll fix it up.

Also, if you want to stay abreast of all the new content that we’ll be releasing, following us on Facebook or Twitter is an easy way to do that.

clinical tiralA recent article published last week in the journal Trials sought to enumerate what percentage of randomized controlled clinical drug studies were performed for scientific purposes vs. marketing purposes. They found that 1 in 5 were performed for marketing purposes. The authors of the study state, “We reached consensus that a fifth of drug trials published in the highest impact general medical journals in 2011 had features that were suggestive of being designed for marketing purposes.”

These marketing-driven trials, called “seeding trials,” may help the manufacturer of a drug sell more of that drug by convincing doctors to prescribe them more often. This might seem unsettling, but regardless of whether a study is for scientific or marketing purposes, they tend to be carefully performed.

There appears to be no way of knowing exactly which studies are marketing related when digesting them. However, generally speaking they tend to use language which can encourage the use of the medication outside of the studied group, again allowing for increased sales.

In my personal opinion, we must realize we live in a capitalistic country and marketing-driven studies are bound to occur. If we put our energy into ensuring that studies must be performed strictly and correctly, and are then peer reviewed, the science should stay sound. However, we should keep in mind when reading medical studies that inherent marketing bias may be the impetus for the study.

20150822083838!VendiagramBlue Zones have been in the media a lot lately, thanks in large part to Dan Buettner, the author of the similarly titled book, “The Blue Zones: Nine Lessons For Living Longer From The People Who’ve Lived The Longest.” Blue Zones are places in the world where people tend to live a long time. Buettner points out the following places: Okinawa (Japan), Sardinia (Italy), Nicoya (Costa Rica), Icaria (Greece), and Loma Linda (California).

The people in these areas tend to do some things that had me thinking they might also experience less acne, mainly because many of the dietary and lifestyle choices they engage in are anti-inflammatory in nature. Since acne is an inflammatory disease, it makes sense that living in a Blue Zone type of way couldn’t hurt with acne symptoms.

Keep in mind that Buettner says himself that we can’t artificially adopt the lives of these people very successfully. The way they eat and their lifestyle is woven into the fabric of their lives and communities. However, it’s interesting to see what they do and incorporate what we can, where we can.

The things all Blue Zones tend to have in common are:

– Mostly vegetarian plant-based diet
– Lots of beans/legumes

– Family focused
– Socially engaged
– Non-smoking
– Constantly staying physically active as a part of daily life

All of these things could be argued are anti-inflammatory. Certainly a plant-based diet with lots of beans is a good low glycemic option full of antioxidants. And living in a family focused, engaged way can reduce stress, which in turn reduces inflammation. While the jury is still out on whether smoking is a big risk factor in acne, smoking causes vascular injury and we know this can lead to inflammation response in the body. And finally, staying physically active is associated with lower markers of inflammation.

We’re not likely to keep acne at bay by attempting to adopt a Blue Zone diet and lifestyle, but it might help reduce symptoms somewhat and it’s a tasty and fun way to live anyway. On that note, I’m walking to lunch today and I’m ordering tofu and veggies 🙂

nose blowing acnePhysical irritation of the skin makes acne worse. Every spring and summer when I get allergies and end up blowing my nose constantly, I have a harder time keeping that area clear. It might seem strange, but an allergy pill can help clear acne for this very reason…not that they work all that great, but they do help.

If you are like me and on an allergy pill and still have a constantly drippy nose during spring and summer, keep some 10% Glycolic Acid around. If you apply this to the area around the nose after a day of blowing and wiping, this can help prevent a breakout in that area.

Ok, now go out and have some fun!

We were playing around with licochalcone the other day in the lab. I just thought you guys might want to see what it looks like. Here it is in raw form:


And here it is once you solubilize it. You need to solubilize it before you put it into the formulas so it dissolves into the formula nicely:

solubilized licochalcone

Licochalcone is in acne.org products because it is known to be powerfully calming to acne-prone skin. It’s what gives our Moisturizer and AHA+ products their yellow color. Here it is once it’s in the moisturizer:


Mmmmmm. Tasty.

pathogenesis and treatment of acne and rosaceaA new book hit the market recently called Pathogenesis and Treatment of Acne and Rosacea. The biology dork in me is excited to chomp it up. This is a perfect time of year too. At my latitude here in San Francisco, from April through October you can get tons of vitamin D from sitting in the sun, and I absolutely love sitting in the sun. So, I’m going out back to start reading this thing. Anybody want to join me in reading this thing!? I’d love to hear your input if you want to be in the world’s nerdiest book club with me 😉

I continued trying the blade buddy for the past month in the same way that I did the first month, every other day, using a regular blade as a control. It’s looking pretty obvious now that the Blade Buddy works to some degree. Here is the final verdict:

Razor blade using Blade Buddy after 30 days of use. Some pitting, but not too bad:


Razor blade without using Blade Buddy after 30 days of use. Lots of pitting, getting pretty old and unusable at this point:


It’s nice to see a product that works as advertised. To be honest though, I’ve come to realize through this experiment that I can get away with using Gillette Trac II blades for a month without needing to replace them, so I’m not planning on continuing to use the Blade Buddy. One blade a month is good by me and that eliminates the need to use the Blade Buddy each time I shave.

blade buddy

I’ve been looking for a way to keep razor blades sharp longer for quite a while now. I tried a bunch of stuff that I read online such as:

– Blow drying the blades to keep them dry after use
– Wiping them on a piece of denim (a few people do this on YouTube)
– Wiping them on a towel after use
– Storing the blades in jojoba oil

Of the above methods, only storing them in jojoba oil seemed to keep them sharper longer. However, the oil would sometimes get a little gross so I decided to see if there were any other good options.

I recently purchased the Blade Buddy and decided to give it a shot. The instructions on the Blade Buddy tell you to apply some shaving cream to the Blade Buddy and gently glide the blade up the surface of the Blade Buddy 15-20 times before each shave. This sounds like it would be a pain, but it really wasn’t bad at all. I use Acne.org Gentle Cleanser for my shave cream so I just put some of the lather from that on there and did as instructed.

I started using the Blade Buddy on January 12. It’s been 1 month. I started with 2 separate blades which I exchanged daily. I alternated each day for the past month, one day using the first blade without the Blade Buddy, and the next day switching the blade to the second blade and using the Blade Buddy as instructed, then switching back to the first blade without using the Blade Buddy and so on…

I put a new blade under my microscope here at the office and took a picture of a new blade on January 12 before I started. Here it is:

new blade Jan 12

After 15 days of using the first blade without the Blade Buddy, this is how it looks:

no blade buddy blade

After 15 days of using the second blade with the Blade Buddy:

with blade buddy

You can see that the blade I used without the Blade Buddy has many more pits and imperfections. The blade that I used with the Blade Buddy appears smoother and newer.

This leads me to believe this product actually does do something. However, I really can’t notice a difference when shaving yet. If I were to try a blind shave test as it were, I don’t think I’d be able to tell the difference. I’ll keep testing for another month and we’ll see how it progresses. This is kinda fun…

[Note: I am not in contact or related to Blade Buddy in any way.]

vitamin DI feel like it’s a good idea for me to mention this at least once per winter. Tons of people are deficient in vitamin D, especially now that a lot of us are using SPF more regularly. Our bodies are perfectly designed to get vitamin D through sun exposure on the skin, so well designed in fact that if you get enough sun exposure during the summer, your body will hold on to its vitamin D and use it all winter. However, if you are light skinned and didn’t end up getting 10-20 minutes of unprotected sun exposure per day during the summer or if you are darker skinned and didn’t get a bare minimum of 20-60 minutes of unprotected sun exposure per day, you may need to supplement with a vitamin D pill this winter. To know for sure you need your doc to check your levels.

Vitamin D helps in wound healing, cell differentiation, and in moderating inflammation, 3 things that are important to acne sufferers. While there is little published research attempting to link vitamin D levels to acne, it can’t hurt to make sure your levels are in the acceptable range. I would love to see more research on this in the future.

I am light skinned and I try to get unprotected sun exposure during the summer whenever I can, but I work during the day and very often don’t get the time in the sun that I like. The last time I had my vitamin D levels checked they were right on the line between acceptable and deficient, so I take a 10,000iu vitamin D pill a few times a week during the winter. 10,000iu is the upper limit recommended by the Vitamin D Council per day. Your body can produce 10,000iu – 25,000iu in a day of moderate sun exposure. When taking vitamin D, look for D3, which almost all leading authorities recommend over D2, and as always, if you have specific medical issues, be sure to talk to your doctor before supplementing.