responsive-2We’ve been working on a new acne.org design for a few months now. It uses what they call Bootstrap 3, which basically means it should work pretty flawlessly on all devices, desktop, tablet, and mobile.

It’s also super clean looking and should appear more crisp on retina screens like the iPhone, iPad, or MacBook.

A big thanks to Paul for being in charge of the design and taking acne.org solidly into 2014 and beyond.

If you guys find any bugs or even just things you think could be done better, please comment here and let me know.

cr_logo_homeConsumer reports recently tested some popular acne treatments. They pitted Proactiv against AcneFree and found no difference in efficacy. “After eight weeks, acne was never wiped out completely, but in half to two thirds of volunteers, the number of blemishes was reduced by an average of about 40 percent.”

My 2 cents: 40% efficacy is nowhere near good enough. Over the many years that I have been researching both over-the-counter and prescription treatments, this 40% mark is often where treatments land. Keep in mind that when you give people a placebo, their acne clears up on average about 30%. I think any acne treatment should aim to completely clear acne. Having 40% less acne still means you are broken out, and who wants that? People who closely follow The Regimen almost always get completely clear. I would like to see these large brands give people much larger sizes of 2.5% benzoyl peroxide and instruct their users exactly how to gently cleanse and apply the benzoyl peroxide in order to get completely clear.



Consumer reports also tested zappers which use heat to supposedly shrink acne lesions. They tested Zeno as well as No! No! Skin. The authors of the test concluded, “Both devices shrank most acne lesions but eliminated only about 13 percent of them.”

My 2 cents: I am surprised at Consumer Reports conclusion on heat devices. Our team here at acne.org did our own test on Zeno and ThermaClear heat therapy devices on volunteers in our office. In our small, anecdotal study, neither device visibly shrunk or eliminated any lesions. More on heat devices here.

References:

  • “Acne treatments come out a wash.” Consumer Reports. 2012; 77(1): 9.

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I have been saying for years that if benzoyl peroxide is so good at killing bacteria on its own, then why do we need topical antibiotics like clindamycin, which do not work nearly as well as benzoyl peroxide in clearing acne, and have contributed to creating massive amounts of resistant bacteria across the world? It is a simple question and I have yet to meet anyone who can give me a compelling reason why a doctor would prescribe topical antibiotics for acne.

Perhaps the medical community is finally seeing what I am seeing. In a recent article in The Journal of Drugs in Dermatolgy, Dr. Kircik from Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York shows that ears and eyes are perking up to the massive over-prescription of topical antibiotics, especially when a better and safer alternative exists: “…we have recently noticed BP’s benefits as monotherapy in the treatment of acne. Benzoyl peroxide works rapidly on P. acnes (bacteria) without causing antibiotic resistance. Hence, we may have to reconsider the role of topical antibiotics such as clindamycin in the treatment paradigm of acne vulgaris.”

Halleluiah.

References:

  • Kircik LH. “The role of benzoyl peroxide in the new treatment paradigm for acne.” The Journal of Drugs in Dermatology. 2013; 12(6): s73-4.

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The Regimen calls for waiting 5-15 minutes after cleansing before you applying benzoyl peroxide. For the past few weeks, I’ve been eliminating this wait. I have been cleansing my skin, patting dry, and then immediately treating with benzoyl peroxide. I’m questioning the waiting time after cleansing for a couple of reasons:

• People often simply do not have the time
• It may not be necessary

I want The Regimen to be as easy as possible to follow. Eliminating the waiting between cleansing and applying benzoyl peroxide could be a good step in that direction.

So far, my skin is still perfectly clear even though I am not waiting the prescribed 5-15 minutes after cleansing.

My question for you guys: Have you experimented with not waiting after cleansing like I’m currently doing? How did it go?

We took a trip to the lab recently to double check a new machine we’re using to manufacture our benzoyl peroxide. Here’s Kent (my business partner) and I in front of one of the tanks where Acne.org Treatment is made. Why Kent is posing like an automaton I really don’t know :)

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One of the worst things anyone can do for acne is to harshly wash the skin. Unfortunately, people with acne tend to default to scrubbing their skin. A recent study published in the International Journal of Dermatology found 42.7% of people washing their face “excessively,” 28.7% washing “vigorously,” and 14% washing “until I cannot detect sebum (skin oil) at all.” The researchers concluded, “This study showed that our patients may be making a great deal of errors…To effectively treat and prevent further breakouts, appropriate skin care is imperative in patients with acne.”

It is hard for me to read results like this because I just know that these people are doing themselves much more harm than good by washing in a harsh manner. Acne-prone skin is sensitive to irritation, and over-washing the skin, or scrubbing the skin when washing, produces high amounts of irritation which can keep people firmly stuck in a vicious cycle of acne.

Do yourself a huge favor and wash extremely gently with your bare hands for 10 seconds or less.

Green Tea in Skincare

We use licochalcone, a Chinese licorice root extract, in Acne.org Moisturizer and Acne.org AHA+ (10% glycolic acid). This is what gives both products their characteristic yellow color. I chose licochalcone because it is powerfully calming to the skin and works especially well on irritated, acne-prone skin. It targets inflammation and has antioxidant properties and has proven its efficacy over the years that it has worked so well within the Acne.org line of products. However, it is extremely expensive ($6000 per kilogram), and some people don’t love the yellow color it imparts. Because it is such a specialized ingredient, we are also at the mercy of cyclical weather changes and potentially unreliable harvests in the few places where this particular species of licorice is grown.

For these reasons, I have kept my eye out for another comparable calming ingredient with research to back up its use on acne-prone skin. Green tea, or more particularly, the major polyphenol within green tea called EGCG, is one of the strong top contenders. I have been intrigued with green tea for several years now, but the more I look into it the more I’m liking what I’m seeing. Researchers performed two more studies within the last two years on EGCG and its effect on acne, both with promising results. The data is showing that EGCG not only produces anti-inflammatory effects, but may also help reduce skin oil (sebum) production.

Any change to Acne.org products takes lots of time to study, mock up, and ultimately implement, and I am still not 100% convinced that I can’t find anything even better than EGCG, but I’m intrigued to say the least.

References:

  • Im M, et al. “Epigallocatechin-3-gallate suppresses IGF-I-induced lipogenesis and cytokine expression in SZ95 sebocytes.” Journal of Investigative Dermatology. 2012; 132(12): 2700-8.
  • Yoon JY, et al. “Epigallocatechin-3-gallate improves acne in humans by modulating intracellular molecular targets and inhibiting P. acnes.” Journal of Investigative Dermatology. 2013; 133(2): 429-40.

unnamedThere are two things that dull razor blades: (1) water, and to a lesser extent (2) simply using the blade. What causes the most damage is oxidation from water, but blades also get microscopic nicks in them from the act of shaving itself.

I’ve been experimenting with methods of keeping my razor blades dry for about a year now. I’ve tried keeping them dry by rubbing them on a towel after I’m finished shaving, rubbing them several times against denim like a few YouTube videos suggested, and always keeping the razor in a sunny window so it stays dry.

Nothing works. My razor blades still get dull after about two weeks.

Last week, my friend’s cousin’s husband came over to the office to say hi. Good ideas can come from the most interesting of places ;) He pulled me aside and said he’s been putting his razor in jojoba oil after each shave and his razor blade is staying sharp for months at a time.

I started doing this a few days ago. I don’t know if it’s going to work yet, but the shave itself is extra nice with jojoba oil coating the entire blade. Have any of you guys tried putting your razor into oil (jojoba oil or any other oil)? If so, how has it worked for you?