I called Olay again today to bug them about when the Classic Gentle Formula SPF15 with zinc was going to reach store shelves, if ever. The representative with whom I spoke let me know the product is now officially available for all retailers to purchase across the United States and it is shipping to those who have ordered it. She also said she herself just saw it last night at her North Florida Walmart while shopping for her family.

Any of you guys spot it yet?

She also said if you do not see it at your local pharmacy or retailer to request it from the manager. The more people who ask for it to be stocked, the more likely the manager will order it for that particular location.

I’m thinkin’ we should get this available on drugstore.com again too. I think we can make it happen if we all join in. I called and spoke to the Drugstore.com marketing department and they are taking it under consideration, but they communicated that the more of us they hear from the better. You can use this link to request that they start selling this product. Tips on how to fill out the form:

Name of product: Olay Complete All Day UV Moisturizer – Sensitive Skin
Category: Personal Care
What makes this product so great: [Mention that you preferred the original Olay Complete formula here]


Here are some answers to some recent questions. I am not able to get to all open questions on the blog, but here’s a start:

Would you please be so kind as to list the five (Avobenzone) products you’ve tried in the past? Thank you.

I don’t remember most of them. Sorry. The only one I remember is Neutrogena Ultra Sheer.

What about the bare minerals new SPF powders. May be kind of girly but have you tried it?

I have tried it, in the name of science! I even went out on the town one day with it on, hoping no one would notice. The first thing my friend said when I saw him was, “Are you wearing makeup?” LOL. Anyway, I hated it. It felt cakey and my skin got dry and flaky. Do people really like that stuff? I can’t imagine. As a side note, makeup is an area that I want to study more. I know it is important. If anyone wants to help with research in this area, please contact me.

…isn’t mineral oil one of those things to avoid?

No. Mineral oil is non-comedogenic. In the old days they had multiple grades of mineral oil on the market and the lower grades were comedogenic, but these days only the highest grade is used in products, and it is non-comedogenic.

Is SPF 15 really enough for good protection than SPF30 during summer heat?

As you go up in SPF you get diminishing returns. SPF15 is over 90% as effective as SPF30. And anything over SPF30 is likely to not give any better protection than SPF30. I personally feel more than comfortable with SPF15. The higher SPF formulas I have tried seem too greasy and heavy.

I think too much BP (for me) causes too much irritation. Is this possible?

Yes, this is absolutely possible in two circumstances. (1) At the onset of a benzoyl peroxide regimen, and (2) if you are not using adequate moisturizer. At the start of the Regimen, you want to use a small amount of BP to reduce overly irritating side effects. And once you are on the Regimen it is vital to moisturize twice a day, every day, to maintain a balance in your skin. Benzoyl peroxide, when used correctly, is incredible for clearing acne, but it must be used within a regimen that includes adequate moisture to reduce overdrying the skin.

How close are you to releasing the new moisturizer?

We are hoping for 3 months from now or so.

Are you going to use (in the spot treatment) a betta-isomer of Salicylic Acid?

Yes, we use beta hydroxy acid, the active form of salicylic acid.

(Will the spot treatment have) BP in it??

No. Benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid cannot be in the same formula. Plus, benzoyl peroxide doesn’t do well in strongly acidic formulations. I am keeping the spot treatment at the legal limit for acidity, 3.5pH, so we can get as much activity from the glycolic acid as we can.

Is it okay to use (the spot treatment) on the whole face instead of the AHA treatment?

I wouldn’t recommend it. First of all, I am leaning toward bottling it in very small tubes. Secondly, it is extremely strong. The spot treatment is made to be used in a tiny pin size amount.

How do I know if I’m being gentle enough (on the Regimen)?

Check out the videos and when in doubt, be more gentle. Also, remember that staying gentle not only applies to during application of the Regimen, but also throughout your day. Try to keep your skin relatively untouched.

Hey you guys. You’ve asked and I’m listening. We’ve designed new labels and taken ACNE.ORG off the front of the label. It only whispers about the web site on the back of the label. We have also added longer, more specific directions to the labels so that “The Regimen is on the labels.” This is the “duh” idea that you guys told me you supported not too long ago. The new labels are much more medical looking, and that’s on purpose. Acne.org products are the very highest quality out there. I want the labels to reflect this.

The products themselves won’t change, just the labels. The one exception is our moisturizer, which if you’ve been reading the blog you know is changing to a new, improved version. Here is our moisturizer label, which will most likely roll out first.

I’ve been soaking in some rays in my back yard for the last couple of weeks. I wear a hat so I don’t expose my face and neck too much, but my body is exposed.

At any rate, bear with me, this might get a little yucky, but I’ve been lazy and not covering the outdoor wood chair I sit in with a towel. It’s been pretty warm too so I tend to sweat. The combo of the hard surface directly against the moist skin on my back caused some irritation and I found myself beginning to break out a bit on my back. The breakout may have been partially due to the sun exposure as well.

I decided to go on 100% attack! Last night I loaded on BP (2 pumps on each side of my back), waited 15 minutes for it to dry, and generously applied AHA.

Literally overnight my emerging breakout subsided to almost nothing. It just reminded me how powerful the severe back acne regimen really is. It also reminded me how important it is to be generous with product application.

Just thought I’d share. I had only a small emerging breakout – perhaps 3 or 4 small zits and some very small comedones. People who have more severe acne should not expect complete overnight clearing. However, even severe back acne should respond quickly and dramatically.

Because the skin on the back is so thick and tough, feel free to go full strength from day one should you decide to try it out.

I love instant gratification :)

It’s raining today, so I guess no sun today…

A member emailed me asking me to try this product as a possible drugstore brand low-percentage benzoyl peroxide. My review:

The good: It is a gel that goes on clear. I much prefer gel based BP to cream based because gel based does not turn white when you perspire, and is easier to apply. It also has a nice fragrance–not an added fragrance, but just a nice scent from the ingredients in the product. Next, it is a 2% benzoyl peroxide, which is close to the 2.5% that I recommend. Studies have only been performed on 2.5% in comparison to higher percentages. 2.5% works just as well as higher percentages, but does 2%? I’m not certain, but my guess is that it probably does the trick. It comes in a 1oz. tube which, while still small, is still slightly larger than Neutrogena On-The-Spot.

The bad: The biggest drawback of this BP is that it gets gloopy when moisturizer is applied on top of it. I found the combination of this BP and moisturizer to be pretty yucky. Unfortunately, it was so bad that it really was a dealbreaker. The 1oz. size ($5.99 retail) is very small considering the amount of BP that is required to keep the skin clear. Using this BP with the Regimen could get very costly. Next, it is quite a thick consistency which makes it a little tough to apply. I would love to see it made in a thinner consistency.

The bottom line: I do not recommend this product for use with the Regimen because it does not seem to work well with moisturizer, is overly thick, and comes in a small size. However, if you can find a moisturizer that works well with it, take extra care to apply it very gently, and can afford the cost, it may be OK in a pinch.

I’ve always said I think everyone should have some jojoba oil around. It’s brilliant in moisturizer, and is also nice for a ton of other things. I use it as lip balm before bed and if I ever get a massage I bring it along as a non-comedogenic massage oil. My female friends tell me it’s a great make-up remover too.

We decided that to encourage people to try it we’d offer free shipping if you include one in your order for the month of February.

If you can’t order online, you can get organic jojoba oil at most health food stores too. It’s definitely worth trying.

Spot treatment: I’m thinking about calling this product, “This stuff works about 70% of the time.” How’s that for an honest name of a product? :) Seriously though, it is not a miracle. Nothing is when it comes to spot treatments. But from the feedback I’m receiving I’d estimate success hovers around 70%. And for me, I’ll take that when it comes to a spot treatment. I find it’s really nice to have something around that I can use as a weapon should I need it. I’m still awaiting some more input from the people I sent some to, but it’s looking good for this sample.

New & Improved Non-SPF moisturizer: After lots of formulating and testing, I decided on a potential winner for the New & Improved Non-SPF moisturizer. It should have little or no sting, little or no tackiness, and still take care of flakiness if all goes well. Plus it has licochalcone so it should be particularly soothing to acne-prone skin. I sent out 30 moisturizer samples to moderators and a few product testers. I didn’t have enough to send it to all product testers this time. Feedback is coming in, mostly positive. I personally adore it. I do notice I have to use a little more of it than the current Non-SPF moisturizer, but my skin looks and feels great. If the moderators and testers give it a green light I’m ready to switch it over. This is a lengthy process which includes stability testing, reprinting labels, etc., but I’m eager to get that ball rolling.

I know that some of you guys, especially those of you from Canada, like to use Spectro products, so I ordered the entire line of Spectro products to test them. I want to make sure I feel comfortable with people using them on the Regimen. I have done 3-day trials on to two of Spectro’s cleansers so far. Both cleansers are extremely similar and the ingredient decks have many of the same ingredients. I could not notice much of a difference between them, so I will review them together:

Spectro Derm Moisturizing Skin Cleanser for Dry, Sensitive Skin and Spectro Jel for Blemish-Prone Skin: Both are gentle, nice cleansers. Neither product lathers, so they won’t be good for shaving, but for just a simple wash, they did the job fine. I found that the thick consistency made it slightly harder to remain gentle during washing, and I had to use quite a bit of cleanser to simply cover my face. Having said that, I would feel comfortable with people using these cleansers, as long as they take extra care to remain gentle. They are non-overdrying and I like the ingredients just fine. I’ll add them to the list of approved cleansers.

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.