People will sometimes ask me what they can do aside from the Regimen for their skin. I have nothing to tell them really, and that’s frustrating. Some people are allergic to benzoyl peroxide or just don’t like it for whatever reason and I’d rather give them another option. Selfishly, I’d like an acne treatment that I could use myself that can be performed more quickly and does not bleach fabric. So, I’ve been formulating a salicylic acid product since I went to New York in December and met some genius formulating people. I tried to pool all of their best inventions and information and came up with a salicylic acid product that might, I repeat might, be pretty awesome. I only got it this morning, so who knows. But here’s why at least on paper this stuff is very cool.

1. It has 2% salicylic acid in it. 1 1/2% is run of the mill, pore unclogging stuff. Then there’s 1/2% encapsulated salicylic acid in there that releases slowly over a period of several hours. So we’ve got a burst of salicylic acid followed by a longer acting form.

2. We added antimicrobials (bacteria killers) in there. Since there is no benzoyl peroxide in this formulation, I wanted to add in other antimicrobials that will do the trick. Nothing will kill bacteria as well as benzoyl peroxide, but we added in three other antimicrobials along with a penetration enhancer. Penetration is a lot of the reason why benzoyl peroxide is so great. It gets into the skin and kills bacteria. A lot of other antimicrobials can’t get down there. With the addition of three separate antimicrobials and a penetration enhancer, I’m hoping we can replicate some of the efficacy of benzoyl peroxide insofar as killing P. Acnes bacteria goes.

3. Next, I asked them to put in anti-inflammatories. A lot of times you will see “extracts” in products, but this is sometimes just for show. Companies often put so little of these anti-inflammatory extracts that they’re not doing anything. For the extracts to work, you have to put in a good amount of them so they are efficacious. Inflammation is usually the final stage in an acne lesion’s formation. It occurs when a pore’s wall breaks and white blood cells rush in. In this formulation, we’re putting efficacious amounts of anti-inflammatory extracts in there so in the event that a lesion develops to this point, we can still fight the inflammation and redness.

4. Finally, we’ve got sebum (oil) reducers in here. Once you unclog pores (salicylic acid), kill the bacteria (antimicrobials), and address inflammation (efficacious anti-inflammatories), you want to make sure the cycle of acne itself is diminished. Sebum reducers in the formula can reduce the amount of sebum produced in the first place. It is theorized that overproduction of sebum may be a causal factor in acne in the first place.

So I’m excited about this, but still cautious. I’m also not crazy about the idea of going off the Regimen again to try something else out, but I did not do the Regimen this morning and instead just used this new product I designed. It’s a little too thick for my taste, so I’m going to ask them to work on that, but overall my skin feels pretty squeaky clean. I’ll let you know how it goes.


Leave a Reply

  • Bryan

    Best of luck, Dan! Thanks for being a guinea pig for the rest of us. I hope nothing terrible happens with your skin.

  • Jon

    Hi Dan

    Good to hear that there is potential for an alternative to using benzoyl peroxide in the regimen, for the people that haven’t had much success with benzoyl peroxide. Am i right in thinking that acne bacteria can develop a resistance to the antimicrobials? Also, do you know if any pharmaceutical companies have looked into perhaps using other chemicals that, like benzoyl peroxide, remove oxygen and prevent acne bacteria from growing?

  • Joe

    Interesting idea, I hope it goes well!

  • Alexis

    hey Dan

    my skin swells and gets cherry red when i use benzoyl peroxide so i guess that classifies me as ‘allergic’. anyways a salicylic acid product sounds great & it would be perfect for me! especially when you are formulating it to work in all the stages and parts of acne. the antimicrobial idea is really great so it works to prevent and disinfect instead of just exfoliating like normal SA products. Along with the time release and & EFFECTIVE anti-inflammitories (keyword EFFECTIVE).
    Im so glad your trying to design a product that actually works instead of just appealing to consumers to make lots of money. Thanks so much for all your hard work. I will deffinitly be using this product as my post-tane treatment when you are finished formulating it. Also cant wait for your moisturizer.

    Keep up the good work!!

  • Cruz

    Awesome Dan!

    Yeah, I’d also like to know if the acne bacteria can develop a resistance to the antimicrobials.

  • cool as kim deal

    This is really exciting, Dan! I think the combination of BP in the morning and a good SA product like the one you plan on formulating would be a total acne killer, banishing both inflammatory acne that BP does well against and the comedones that SA can take care of. I’ve never had luck with SA but I’d really like to try a good formulation and see if the kind of results I’ve had with AHAs can be improved upon by switching to a good BHA product.

  • InsanelyOily

    “Finally, we’ve got sebum (oil) reducers in here.”

    That’s sounds good! But what do you mean by that? Do you mean oil “absorbers,” like those microsponge thingies?

  • Emily

    This sounds great. The regimen works really great for me, but I often find myself without the time to do it. Luckily, I am one of the few who can skip a few applications and still have clear skin. However, having a faster alternative would also be a great option for me and many others. 🙂

    SA has never been particularly effective for me, but I would love to try a formula that is actually meant to get rid of acne!

  • scoobydoobydoo

    sounds like a great product
    by the way ive been on your BP regimen for about 10 months and its really helped me out. thank you so much for everything!

  • Geovanny

    I hate BP i know it works for most people, but my skin is very sensitive. BP makes my skin red, it kills the acne but scars are left due to the Peroxide, is drying so skin result is an dry-very oily skin with blemishes : (, On the other hand i have tried SA and is great, it prevents the pimple from growing and it exfoliates the skin which makes it glow. I really hope you can formulate a good SA dan best of luck and hopefully u can make it available for us in New York asap : )