In all the years I’ve been researching acne, I’ve consistently read in most dermatology texts, “there is no cure for acne.” Until a few years ago, I echoed this prevailing wisdom in my writing for Acne.org. However, during my rewrite of Acne.org for our mobile-friendly web site–which is coming soon–I decided to start referring to Accutane (isotreinoin) as a “cure” more plainly in certain circumstances. This is not to say that I feel any differently than I ever have about Accutane. My personal opinion is that it is best left for more severe cases of acne, especially if one tends to scar.

Merriam-Webster defines cure as “a complete or permanent solution or remedy.” This is what Accutane provides for the majority of people who take it. Clinical research shows long-term remission of acne symptoms in approximately 2/3 of people who take an adequate dosage (1mg/kg). Therefore, I feel it is time for me to plainly use the word “cure” in certain circumstances when referring to Accutane, while at the same time noting that it cures most people, but not all people.

A still unanswered question?: I do not recall reading any studies on Accutane (isotretinoin) which follow up with participants past the five year mark, checking in on remission. If any of you have read a study like this, please contact me to let me know. If we do not have good data on this, then we cannot comment with complete certainty on long-term remission. However, anecdotally, based on years of input from Acne.org members, the effects of Accutane tend to be permanent.

A note on the permanency of Accutane: The permanency of Accutane is a reflection of the drug’s power, but also brings urgency to the need to consciously enter into a careful decision-making process alongside a trusted physician if you decide to pursue Accutane treatment.

The L’Oreal go 360 Clean is a product that came out recently which has a scrubber that pops out which you can then use to scrub the cleanser into your skin. I tried it, and much like the Clarsonic, Wavesonic, and Olay ProX, it is fun to use, but creates unnecessary irritation. No matter how soft a scrubber is, it is no match for your bare hands.

To make matters worse, the second ingredient in this particular cleanser is Sodium Laureth Sulfate. While Sodium Laureth Sulfate is not as drying as Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, and can be a welcome addition to a cleanser if it is lower in the ingredient deck, the addition of Sodium Laureth Sulfate as the second ingredient is a concern. Dry skin is irritated skin, and especially if you are trying to clear up acne, you want to use only very gentle, non-overdrying cleansers.

But hey, props to L’Oreal for making such a fun product. If someone is not acne-prone, it could be a fun diversion to a daily cleansing routine.

I’ve been saying for years never to use a washcloth because it can be irritating. The same holds true for hand held cleansing devices. I tried a few of them recently and while I do have to admit that they are quite fun to use, the irritation they present is unwelcome when it comes to acne-prone skin types. If you want exfoliation and like how a hand held device physically exfoliates, a better option is chemical exfoliation. 10% alpha hydroxy acid will exfoliate without the irritation and will improve the texture of acne-prone skin. My strong advice: leave cleansing to bare hands, and never use a device, washcloth or otherwise, to wash.

Acne.org is now listed in one of the main textbooks given to pharmacy students, The Handbook of Nonprescription Drugs, amongst “selected sites that appear to provide accurate information.” I’m partly excited and partly wondering why it took them so long.

For the past month or so I have been moisturizing every night with 1/2 Acne.org Moisturizer and 1/2 AHA+. I mix them up in my palm before applying. It’s been great. My skin is staying even toned and perfect and because the AHA+ is diluted by the Moisturizer, it is not too strong for nightly use. If you decide to try it, let me know how it goes for you. I’d like to get some feedback.

Note: I usually add 5-6 drops of jojoba oil in there too, but this is not necessary.

AHA+You guys asked me to make a bigger size AHA+ and it’s finally here. As always, we did everything we possibly could to keep the cost down, and with this bigger size we are able to sell it for only $1.78 per ounce. That means people with back or body acne in particular can use as much as they need, and I’m very happy about that. Enjoy!

Acne.org has always relied on word of mouth to get the word out. Lately we’ve been receiving lots of emails from people telling us they found Acne.org through watching YouTube videos that mention Acne.org. I took a look and there are lots of people posting videos on YouTube sharing their experience with The Regimen or giving their opinions on Acne.org products. If you have a few minutes sometime, please feel free to add your voice by uploading a YouTube video yourself. Feel free to be as creative as you want. Here are a few of the types of videos people have been posting:

  • Sharing their opinion and experience on The Regimen
  • Product “hauls”
  • Showing before & after pictures to share their success
  • Doing weekly updates as they proceed with The Regimen so people can watch their progress in real time
  • Thanks to everyone who has been posting on YouTube. It is a great way of letting people know The Regimen is the real deal.

    Note: All of the YouTube videos which mention Acne.org are unsponsored.