I wrote to Dr. Huang, the University of California San Diego doctor coordinating research on a potential acne vaccine. He is a great guy and spent a long time with me, answering all of my questions. Here’s what I found out:

- First of all, before we get excited, a vaccine, should it happen, is still ten years away he says. This is because scientists stopped work on the first P. acnes vaccine. They had too much concern that P. acnes may be beneficial to our bodies in some way to justify killing it off. Instead they have turned to working on a vaccine that targets a toxin that the P. acnes bacteria secretes. This toxin is called the CAMP factor. The new hope is that they can turn off this CAMP factor toxin using a novel new approach to making vaccines called proteomics which deals with protein markers on cell surfaces.

- The team produced and successfully treated mice with an initial CAMP factor vaccine. When I asked, “so if the same results you’ve seen in mice occurred in humans, would this be a cure for acne?” Dr. Huang responded with a quick and confident, “Oh yes.” That got me excited of course, but this is a big if. Dr. Huang went on to say that there is no good animal model for an acne vaccine because animals do not produce the sebum (skin oil) that humans produce, which is so integral in the formation of acne. So it remains to be seen whether humans experience similar results.

- The next step is for the doctors to detoxify the vaccine before starting a human clinical trial. They also need to fund such a trial. Clinical trials are long, expensive processes. This vaccine’s clinical trial process will likely go on for a decade and cost in the millions of dollars. If you know anyone who might be interested in funding the research, let me know and I’ll put you in touch with Dr. Huang.

Please respond with any questions you have and I’ll try to pass along as many of them as I can to Dr. Huang.

The BETA program of the Salicylic Acid+ product has reached a close. I have decided not to continue selling the product.

I have never been a big fan of salicylic acid. Over the years I’ve tried numerous salicylic acid products, always with little success. What I always came back to was benzoyl peroxide. But while a properly applied benzoyl peroxide regimen works to clear up just about anyone who follows it precisely, some people are allergic to benzoyl peroxide. Plus, many of us, myself included, get frustrated with how benzoyl peroxide can sometimes bleach fabric. It was my hope that I could introduce the latest cutting edge performance ingredients into a salicylic acid formulation in order to bump up the efficacy of salicylic acid enough to compete with benzoyl peroxide. Along with an industry leading formulator, I put together the very best salicylic acid formulation I could. However, no matter how great I could make a salicylic acid formulation, I could not get it to match up with benzoyl peroxide.

In the end, the Salicylic Acid+ product did not meet my standards of an Acne.org product. Hundreds of you were nice enough to send your feedback through the BETA feedback form and I read each and every one of your comments. While some of you really liked the product, there were as many or more of you who found it to be only partially effective. Moreover, some of you experienced extra redness after application.

I only want extraordinary products which work to completely eliminate acne as part of the Acne.org line. I believe wholeheartedly in the Acne.org benzoyl peroxide, AHA+, cleanser, and moisturizer. This Salicylic Acid+ product just doesn’t quite fit.

For those of you who liked the product, I do not know of a comparable salicylic acid product. As I said earlier, salicylic acid just isn’t benzoyl peroxide. However, feel free to read through the salicylic acid containing product reviews pages of acne.org for alternatives. Also, if you’d like to stock up, I’ll be selling the Salicylic Acid+ for one more week, until November 30, at which point it will be pulled. The product has approximately 11.5 months of shelf life left before it is expired. I also reduced the price to $10.

Recently I made the decision that acne just needs to be cured. So I started research in that vein, and I found that in 2001, scientists started work on an acne vaccine. More specifically, it is an anti-P.acnes bacteria vaccine. Since P. acnes is the bacteria implicated in acne formation and is a major culprit in acne development, if we can somehow turn off its genetic expression, the hope is that we can prevent or cure acne.

A brief history of the vaccine: A company called Corixa worked with a French company to decode the 2.8 milion base pairs that make up the P. acnes genome back in 2001. They then started working on identifying antigens in order to create a vaccine. Glaxo Smith Kline acquired Corixa in 2005. From there, mention of the vaccine seemed to fall off the map, until an article published in 2008 in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology surfaced. The article outlined research at the University of California San Diego in which scientists developed vaccines against P. acnes and successfully used the vaccine in both mice and in the lab using human sebum (skin oil) cells.

The trail seems to end there again. I’m in the process of contacting the researchers at UCSD to get more information. I find this area of work fascinating. I’ll keep you posted on anything I uncover. For now, let’s not get our hopes up too much however. Acne development is multi-faceted. While P. acnes plays a part, it is unknown how much it directly causes the other factors in acne development such as pores becoming clogged, oil overproduction, or inflammation.

I’ve heard about ResellerRatings.com a few times before and a coworker of mine mentioned it again yesterday. I just checked it out and there are no reviews for Acne.org/DanielKern.com.

Do you guys go to ResellerRatings.com to see which web sites are reputable and which are not? I don’t, but maybe I should start. I tend to just trust most web sites and have had good luck so far. At any rate, please feel free to honestly rate Acne.org/DanielKern.com.

As a side note, if you have any customer service questions, Travis, our customer service guy, is always here to help you out, or you can call our 1-800-773-7803 number too.


I’ve been reading acne related articles and studies from around the world, with topics ranging from genetics to Accutane flare risk factors. After reading them all I took a moment to see if there is a common thread linking them together. One thread I seem to keep finding is stress. Keep in mind that I am simply starting a discussion and not trying to draw any sort of scientific conclusion. Please present your own evidence as well.


1. A Canadian study I read found that living in urban areas was related to Accutane relapse. I know from personal experience that living in an urban area comes with added stressors. While I personally prefer the urban lifestyle, driving is more difficult, sirens wail, and crowds are common. You must stay more on guard to stay safe, even if that means staying more aware while crossing busy streets.

2. A Norwegian study showed a possible link between poor diet and acne in adolescents. While the conclusion was “too early to give evidence-based diet advice” it nonetheless once again shed light on the diet/acne connection. Researchers do not have a consensus about which type of diet is best or worst for acne sufferers, but if poor diet is related to acne, stress would be a factor here as well. A poor diet physically stresses the body. High glycemic (sugary) diets also cause mood swings and can affect mental stress levels.

3. An International Journal of Dermatology article focused on the impact of DHEA-S, an androgen (male sex hormone), on female adult-onset acne. Leutenizing hormone (LH), follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), total testosterone, sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG), and DHEA-S were all evaluated. DHEA-S was the only androgen that was significantly higher in women with acne. DHEA-S is produced in the adrenal gland, the same gland that is activated during times of stress.

So what if stress was more intricately related to acne than we previously theorized? Anything that helps mitigate stress would then help with acne symptoms. Eating a low glycemic diet, getting plenty of rest, exercising, and breathing or meditating, would be potentially beneficial options.

Hey you guys. Guess what!? We’ve got 100 pages of Regimen success stories now! They’re pretty inspiring and uplifting if you haven’t checked them out. Thanks to all of you who continue to send in your stories. The more success stories we have, the more it helps people realize the Regimen is for real.

Also, we recently added an automatic way to upload pictures and videos to the success stories page, so feel free to upload your before and after or a video of yourself. Thanks everybody!

Recently, the Human Microbiome Project was given $42 million in stimulus money to conduct in depth research into how microscopic organisms affect our health. Since the microscopic organisms which live in or on our bodies outnumber human cells by about 10 to 1, and are largely unstudied, this could be very interesting.

The Human Microbiome is defined as “all the microorganisms that reside in or on the human body, as well as their DNA, or genomes.” In short, scientists from around the country are going to sequence at least 400 microbial genomes in a first step at looking at how they may affect health and disease.

$990,000 is going to UCLA to look at possible connections between skin organisms and acne. Let’s hope they find something!

So the clocks turned back and we all got another hour of sleep. Guess what? That’s good for acne.

Lack of sleep is a huge physical stressor. It’s not just mental stress that can aggravate acne. Physical stress like overworking, overexercising, and undersleeping can also increase the symptoms of acne. Getting your eight hours, or however much sleep your body requires, is a great way to help keep your skin in check.

Working the night shift: Dr. Fulton, one of my big heroes in acne research has said in his classes, “I can get pretty much anyone cleared up, unless they work the night shift.” His comment has always stuck with me. While I have not had lots of experience with people who work the night shift, if his experience is correct, it is not just the amount of sleep that is important, but also when we sleep. Science has named our internal biological clock the “human circadian rhythm”. Melatonin levels rise sharply at night and fall during the day. Our hypothalmus and much of the rest of our bodies are hardwired to produce a natural rhythm of sleep and wakefulness.

So if you or someone you know works the night shift and can’t seem to clear up, this may be something to think about.