I spent a lot of time working with the best formulators in the U.S.A. and together we made the best salicylic acid I’ve ever tried, but I’m coming to realize that there is only so much you can do with salicylic acid. I just don’t think it’s that great of an acne fighting ingredient, no matter how much you bump it up with auxiliary ingredients. In the end, I prefer AHA.

I was feeling a little spaztic the day I filmed these videos–too much coffee I think–but they should suffice to show you how I use AHA. I feel like my elevated energy level may have made the spot treatment video seem a little sales-y, so please forgive me for that. But I really am just so in love with the AHA that our formulators made for us. For me, it works better than any AHA I’ve tried. However, the Acne.org AHA+ or the Alpha Hydrox Enhanced Lotion work for me in the ways I show in the video. If I couldn’t get my hands on the AHA+, the Alpha Hydrox would be my back up.

Since I’ve been using the 10% AHA every morning, my skin is much more sensitive to the sun, necessitating a good SPF during the day. I was using a zinc oxide based SPF for the first few weeks with great results. My skin was 100% clear. Then, against my better judgement, I decided to try an avobenzone based sunscreen. Avobenzone based sunscreens have always caused breakouts for me in the past, but I like how they go on less white than zinc oxide based sunscreens. Thanks to the AHA I managed to use the avobenzone for a few days with no problems, but finally did end up with a few small comedones. Me no like. I immediately went off avobenzone and back on a zinc oxide SPF and the breakout is fading. This is probably the fourth time an avobenzone based sunscreen has caused me problems. I guess I’m ready to declare that avobenzone is comedogenic at least on my skin.

New and Improved Moisturizer: After many iterations of our moisturizer with increased moisturizing ingredients (humectants) and with little improvement, I’ve decided the best way for us to move forward is to keep our current moisturizer just as it is minus the stearic acid. The stearic acid is only in the formulation at .4% however, so it will stay remarkably similar. So what do people do who want more moisturization? Add a few drops of jojoba oil. I do this myself from time to time if I want more moisturization on a particular day. I found us a fantastic local, organic jojoba supplier so I’ll be able to offer that in the coming months once I order bottles and get them filled. In the meantime, because I seem to be unable to stop myself :) , I’m working on another few moisturizer formulas with our chemists which will include alpha hydroxy acid. I’ll keep you posted on that.

SPF Moisturizer: I sampled a micronized titanium dioxide moisturizer because it is supposed to be “translucent”, but these words are really just thrown around. It is not translucent. It goes on white. The bottom line is we’re going to have to deal with some whitening if we want full spectrum protection. I’ve got several more samples coming my way.

Salicylic Acid: I am a little obsessive and decided to do further research on the best options for each of our ingredients, and changed a few things here and there. I should get sampled on the final batch Wednesday. I’m hoping it still has the great feel everyone loved when we tested it.

10% Glycolic: People are loving the glycolic so it is good to go. I gave the final OK and got pricing. It is eye-poppingly expensive to produce, but the product is pretty darn great. I’ll try to keep the price as low as I can. Buy a lot of it so we can keep prices low. :)

Organic Jojoba Oil: I just need to order bottles and caps and we’ll start filling. Bottles and caps take a couple of months to produce.

I got another 10% glycolic acid sample about two weeks ago and have been using it since then. It’s perfect in my opinion. It goes on like a dream, absorbs quickly and well, leaves no residue, stings just the right amount, and does not leave a prolonged feel behind, which is very hard to achieve. They are sending me a couple dozen samples which I will send to moderators and our usual testers and with their go ahead I will start bottling it, perhaps in a few months. As with all of our other products, the price to produce it is high because I’m using the best stuff available. So I will probably need to charge about the same amount that I do for the moisturizer. For instance, I’m adding in lichochalcone, a very powerful anti-inflammatory which is $3000 per kilogram. I know that’s crazy expensive, but I have a very good feeling about this stuff, and we only need to use it at a very low percentage to achieve the desired anti-inflammatory action. It may be incredible for acne prone skin. I have a sneaking suspicion that this glycolic may be a great solo body acne product. More to come…