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#3406069 Things Only People With Acne Will Understand!

Posted by AlishaRenee on 06 January 2014 - 08:46 PM

Okay, so this is something that I actually talked about on my personal blog, but when I came across this site I knew I had to share it with all of you.  I struggled with acne for eight years and during that time I got advice from EVERYONE....even people who had never had a pimple in their life! I mean, what would they know about acne?  NOTHING! That's what. Out of my frustration I came up with a list of things that only people with acne can understand and relate to...feel free to add to this list, we're all in this together after all! Oh, and if you're interested in checking out my blog feel free to do so, it's www.thenaturalacnecure.blogspot.com


  • Waking up every morning scared to look in the mirror because you know that new pimples have appeared overnight
  • Spending an hour (or more) in front of the mirror popping pimples just so you can face the world
  • Being paranoid about everything that touches your face
  • Avoiding having your picture taken like it's the plague...I swear the camera adds 20 zits!
  • Avoiding social interaction when you're having a bad breakout
  • Wanting to punch people in the face when they give you advice on how to get rid of your pimples...especially people who have never had a pimple in their life!
  • Spending your entire paycheck on acne products (that NEVER actually work!)
  • Going to the dermatologist and STILL having acne after months of treatment
  • Being on antibiotics for an unnatural amount of time (that can't be good for your body...seriously!)
  • Being told that you'll grow out of it someday (because in the meantime you are just going to have to be completely miserable!)
  • Trying to change your diet to get clear skin (vegetarian, fruitarian, gluten free, dairy free...I've tried them all!)
  • Getting angry when your family members act like your acne is YOUR fault and that you're doing something wrong to cause it
  • Trying what worked for other people only to find that it doesn't work for you
  • Acne commercials.  LIARS!
  • Scrubbing your face in the hopes that you'll scrub off all the pimples
  • ALWAYS being paranoid that people are looking at your zits when you're talking to them
  • Avoiding eye contact
  • Spending hours researching acne, treatments, remedies, and products
  • Feeling like you're the only person in the world with acne...I swear I was constantly surrounded by people with clear skin and I always found myself wondering....WHY ME?
  • Extremely low self-esteem
  • Constant embarrassment
  • Spending hours applying cover up and makeup...which doesn't do much help at all!

So there you have it.  My list of things that only someone with acne can relate to.  I know that all of you have more to add, so by all means share your thoughts! It's nice to feel like you're not in it alone, despite feeling that way all the time.



#1376858 The right state of mind to have Dan Kern's Regimen work for you

Posted by cool as kim deal on 24 September 2006 - 06:11 AM

When I encountered acne.org back in December 2005, I was depressed and desperate.  I had recently turned 20 and I had worse acne than I did back in high school.  Birth control didn't help get rid of the painful red bumps scattered all over my face, six months of Proactiv didn't help, medicated washes didn't help, spot-treating didn't help, masks didn't help, salicyclic acid lotions didn't help, and I was terrified of the prospect of going to a dermatologist to be prescribed antibiotics that would cause me painful yeast infections.  I was dubious about the regimen because I had used benzoyl peroxide in the past as part of Proactiv, but I also didn't have any other accessible acne treatment options, and I was completely sick of my skin.  I read all about Dan's gel, browsed dozens of reviews and testimonials, and decided to open up my wallet and take a risk.  I ordered two tubes of Dan's gel, figuring that I didn't have much to lose besides a little money.

The regimen sure enough ended up working for me, and so I keep coming back here to help out other people who feel angry/depressed/confused/frustrated about their skin.  I can't say enough about getting yourself into the right state of mind to try the regimen, so I want to use this thread to prepare people for it in an honest, realistic way.  The DKR works wonders, but if your expectations are too high, you are impatient, or you experiment with other things at the same time, you will run into problems.

Start off on the right foot with recommended products, and get rid of your old acne topicals.  Just because you have the Proactiv acne scrub or your mom's face cream lying around doesn't mean that you should try them with the regimen!  I know it's frustrating to spend money on things that don't work, but it's better to get rid of your old ineffective products than to try to start the regimen with them.  Wait until you can get all the proper supplies and then begin the regimen, rather than using some 10% BP you have lying around or other old products that might interfere with your results.  If you can't bear to throw them away, put them somewhere where you won't be tempted to use them while you try the regimen.  I strongly recommend ordering Dan's gel to begin with so that you start with the best (and most cost-effective) product available.  If you live outside of the US or aren't comfortable ordering off the internet, then pick up another 2.5% benzoyl peroxide (like Neutrogena On-the-Spot) from a drugstore, but Dan's gel is so much gentler, better-textured, and cheaper that you should try to start with it if possible.  I believe I saw good results relatively quickly because I started off with Dan's gel.

Your acne will not clear up instantly on the DKR. If you actually do see miraculous clearing within days of starting (as some people on the boards claim), please realize that you have likely not seen the last of your acne.  BP dries out your acne at first, but then you aren't using enough during your first week or two to actually prevent future breakouts, so they will probably come back until you have upped your dosage enough and held it at that level for a while.  I still had breakouts for the first 6 or 7 weeks on the regimen, and many people take even longer before they clear.  My pimples started disappearing more quickly and weren't as severe at that point, but acne is still acne.  Be prepared to give the DKR a three month trial, and be prepared to still have acne for most of that time.

It is more important to get your skin used to the benzoyl peroxide for the first month or so than to actually achieve clear skin.  It is better to go slowly and take more time to work your way up to a full-finger application than to use too much gel too soon and backpedal because of irritation and dryness.  Even if you've used benzoyl peroxide before in other systems, you probably were not using nearly as much BP as you will be on the regimen.  I had used both the Proactiv face wash and lotion twice a day for six months and plenty of 10% BP creams in the past, and still, my skin took time to adjust to the small amount of BP I started with.  Follow Dan's recommendations for BP dosage--or use even less if you feel that your skin is overly irritated.  You might not clear up as quickly as you want, but you can avoid many of the problems that new regimen users complain about by going easy with the BP.

Try not to think about your skin. When you start clearing up a little but not completely, you might hold your skin to a higher standard than you did before and become more frustrated with it.  If you are constantly obsessing over a new breakout or thinking about how you're not clear yet, you might even do things that interfere with the regimen.  Resist the temptation to check your skin out in mirrors all the time or to pick at active acne!  Aside from reapplying moisturizer as necessary, you don't want to be touching your face; the best way to do this is to not think about you skin at all.  Don't dwell on why you're not clear yet and don't worry about some visible flakes or redness.  Think about what your skin will be like in a few months, not how it is now, and know that breakouts or dryness right now won't matter at all in a short time.

Peeling, redness, and flaking will eventually go away, but it may take a couple of months and some product changes. Let's be honest:  your skin just probably won't look that great while you are beginning the regimen.  You'll still have active acne, your skin will be drier, you might have flakes or areas of redness, your skin might look parched, it's just not a pretty picture at the start.  Many people think that it gets worse before it gets better, and I agree.  You just have to power on through it and look to the future.  You can try switching cleansers and moisturizers to help with flaking or redness problems, but please realize that you can only do so much while you are still adjusting to BP.  Even with the best recommended products, for the first few months you will still deal with some degree of redness, dryness, and flaking.  Those problems do go away eventually!  Again, try not to dwell on the state of your skin or do things that are counterproductive in the meantime.

Don't be tempted by other treatments while on the regimen. Other acne treatments like salicyclic acid (beta hydroxy acid) or sulfur can compoud your irritation with the regimen, so don't touch those at all, especially while you are still adjusting to the regimen,  In fact, BP deactivates topical retinoid products aside from Differin, so you definitely can't have those on your face at the same time!  When you see an acne face wash at a store, just skip right over it and purchase something unmedicated.  Even though you think you might get clear faster by using multiple treatments, you'll just end up with lots more irritation and perhaps even more acne than if you had just stuck with BP.  Other kinds of skin treatments tend to do more harm than good.  Scrubs can tear up your skin, masks are overdrying, and homemade facial concoctions are ineffective at best.  Some people really like the idea of natural skincare and want to incorporate in things like aloe vera and tea tree oil, but the results from adding in extra steps like these to the regimen seem to be by and large unsuccessful.  Just keep in mind that if you insist on using more products and aren't getting the results you hope for, the first thing Dan, Brandy, and other regimen veterans will tell you is to get back to basics and ditch the extras.  Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) such as lactic acid or glycolic acid moisturizers really do help with flaking and dryness, but you should wait until your skin is used to the full dose of BP before trying these.  The more complicated the regimen, the harder it is to figure out where it goes wrong!

If you can't make time to do the regimen morning and night, then the DKR is not for you. Twice a day, every day.  If you do the regimen only once a day, leave out steps, go through the process hastily, or miss applications, then you should expect less than ideal results.  I skipped a couple non-consecutive applications due to late-night partying and timing of washes recently, and what do you know--even after nine months of straight DKR use, I still got some small pimples by my mouth.  Slacking off is fine so long as you are willing to pay the price, but again, it is an actual price.  If you balk at setting aside a good half-hour each morning and evening to wash your face, apply BP, allow it to absorb, and moisturize, then you should look into other acne treatment options.  Patience and diligence is absolutely key.

Don't expect a flawless complexion when all your acne is gone. Many people complain about redmarks and scars and how the regimen doesn't address these acne artifacts.  It's simply not that easy!  An AHA used once or twice a day over several months can help fade hyperpigmentation, but it might not be enough to get your skin completely mark-free, especially if you had moderate-severe acne before the regimen.  I didn't even know I had acne scarring until I had cleared up, and then I had a whole new skin problem that I had never thought about before!  Now I have accepted that I can't do much about my mild scarring without spending lots of money on treatments, and that even so, my skin still looks so much better now than it did a year ago.  So when you do clear up, please don't expect to have baby butt smooth, unblemished skin.  Have realistic expectations about what your acne-free skin will look like.  I much prefer easily concealable light marks and minor dents over big red inflamed pimples, but if you feel otherwise, then don't bother treating your acne.

Breakouts can still happen. I still get small pimples nine months later when I slack off, as I have not grown out of acne.  The regimen can keep virtually all acne at bay when you follow it diligently, but even so, you might still get little pimples in problem areas once in a while.  The more persistent your acne, the bigger the consequences of missing an application and the more likely minor breakouts might continue. In order to maintain clear skin, you will need to keep buying cleanser, BP, and moisturizer, keep making time to do the regimen morning and night, and keep being gentle with your skin.  The regimen effectively prevents acne, but if you stop, your pimples will come back (unless you have grown out of acne).  It is up to you to decide if you can stick with the regimen for the long haul.

#3333994 (How Acne Affected My Life) & I Want To Believe That I Can Live With My A...

Posted by EmbarassedGirl on 17 March 2013 - 12:49 AM

(For the explanation of the topic itself, skip to the button.)



Honestly if no one reads this, it's ok. Too long, didn't read for you? It's ok. I don't blame you. I know, it's really long. I just need to get these emotions out. I wanted to do this many times before, but I didn't, and now here I type.


History of me and my acne (if uninterested, feel free to skip)

I need to pour all of these emotions out somewhere. I'm tired of locking myself up in my room and screaming silently and crying and hating myself. And I wanna see if anyone else feels the same or is going through the same thing.


I never thought that I'd be posting here. A couple months ago, I never even knew that websites like these existed. Why? Let me begin.


I used to have a flawless, clear, acne-free face (except for blackheads, but they were barely noticable). I had acne during the 5th grade, but I was young and didn't care that much, and once in 6th grade I don't recall ever having acne (except for once in a while, and the acne would always disappear in a matter of days, and the worst scarring I got went away completely in a month). All the way until 11th grade, I had a clear skin and people would wonder what I was using on my face. Girls were jealous.


I used Clean n Clear all those years, and it worked wonders.


But then I made the mistake of trying a different acne wash for my face, to try to get rid of my blackheads. Then acne appeared, and I made the mistake of popping one, and it scarred for months. I continued using that different acne wash because it promised to get rid of acne scars, but it just gave me more acne, and the acne scar was still there.


So I went to the dermatologist.


I was an idiot and freaked out when the medication made me break out, even though the dermatologist already told me that it'd get worse before getting better. I stopped the medication after three weeks and went back to Clean n Clear for a week. Didn't work.


Then I switched to another dermatologist, the one that cured my brother of his acne in a matter of one month.


And here I am, with the medication causing tiny red bumps ALL OVER MY CHEEKS, even on the places where it'd been clear. I also have rather big brown-ish acne scars, and some more acne appearing. My right cheek is a lot worse than my left. Left cheek used to be almost clear (only a couple acne) before dermatologist came in. Now my left cheek is all covered. My chin is beginning to get affected, already two places scarred (though they're small but noticable).


It's been five months now of acne destroying my life. On the fifth month, my skin is at its most terrible condition.



How acne affected my life

I'm not over-stating it when I say that it completely changed my life and flipped everything upside down. Before, when I used to have clear skin, I used to whine about the smallest of things, get ticked off easily, let the smallest of problems get to me, but now...when I'm dealing with THIS problem of acne, I feel like those problems are NOTHING. I swear to God, if my acne and scars are gone and my face is clear like before, I will never complain about a single thing ever again. I'd live life to the fullest. All I want is this clear skin. If a genie were to pop out of a lamp and ask me what I wanted for myself, I'd say, without any hesitation and no need to think, "CLEAR SKIN."


Selfish? Probably. But when my face used to be clear, I loved to help people. So much. When someone needed my  help, I'd jump in and help them. But now, I'm afraid. I'm embarassed. With this face, I'm afraid of approaching people. I'm trying my best to screw the acne and help people anyway, but I feel that I'd be more helpful if I just got rid of this stupid acne. I hate myself because of this.


If I added up the days that I pretended to be sick from school because I was embarassed of my acne, the days would sum up to at least two weeks.


I skipped two meetings with friends that I was sure would of been the time of my life--if only my acne was gone.


I can't watch tv shows or movies the same way again. I keep comparing my skin to the actor's flawless ones.  And to think that I used to feel uncomfortable whenever seeing an actor with one tiny pimple on their face! Now I just feel thankful and tell myself that they're also human.


I can't listen to a love song or story and watch romance stories the same way again, because I feel that I can never experience the same thing if I have this terrible acne.


I look at strangers on the streets and compare their skin to mine, feeling good whenever I see skin that's worse than mine. Hating those with clear skin, even though I know that it was not right for me to feel that way. I feel terrible when I do this but I can't help it. I hate myself for it.  I look at classmates more intently now, stare at their skin when they're not looking....




I feel that my dreams are beginning to become pointless. I want to be a film director. I want to be a voice actress. I want to be a novelist. I want to be a comic artist. I actually thought of being an actress one day but no way---not anymore. Not with this face. I want to work for my favorite film directors.

But I feel that I can't. I can't even go anywhere without hating myself. Without hating my face. Without feeling like I'm nothing and feeling ugly compared to other people. And I feel sorry for the people who has to look at my disgusting face. How can I fulfill my dreams with no confidence? I don't want cameras to capture my acne. I used to like getting my picture taken (I wasn't the type of person to take thousands of pictures of themselves tho). Now, for five months, I avoid all cameras unless the picture is taken from a distance or with a low quality camera, where my acne won't be noticed.


Am I depressed? Yes. Am I suicidal because of my acne? Perhaps. Maybe.

I have been suicidal before when my skin was clear, because I had no friends and felt that nobody understood me, but I got over it. I was happy. Now I feel that I will never EVER feel suicidal again if my acne is gone.


Now I feel that if I were to drop dead, to have a building crash onto me and only me, I'd be ok with it.


School days feel so long now. I always can't wait to go home and hide and not have people look at me.


Just as I'm typing this, I'm listening loudly to music with the topic "hating myself". It makes me feel better. I know, I'm so messed up right now.



Now the question

 I want to believe that I can live with my acne, but another part tells me the opposite and sends me to tears. HOW DO I BATTLE THIS?


During the 5 months when acne hit me bad, I had good days. I had days when I just forgot about my acne, said to myself "Screw acne, I wanna live my life" and then live my life. Go to school, laugh with friends, do my homework and tests, and have fun, and just enjoy life. When I can't forget about my acne, I keep telling myself "it's ok. It's not actually that bad. I keep blowing it up to proportions. People don't actually mind that much, and maybe they don't even notice it" and I can enjoy life and the blissfullness of it, although that feeling of depression will nag at me once in a while.


Besides from these moments, other things have kept me happy. Music. Art. Movies and TV shows (though it hurts when I see those clear faces). Reading, writing. And comedy videos. But the moments when I can reassure myself that my acne is no prob is what really keeps me strong.


Now. These momenst are ruined when three things happen. The third is the question of this topic.


One: When someone mentions to me how terrible my acne is.

OUCH. It just HURTS. A slap to the face. Geez. My ex-boyfriend went up to me one day and said "Whoa, you have acne now! You look ugly now!"



A friend told me "Oh look, that burger has bumps on it. Pimples. Just like you."



A baby sitter at the school, a dear friend of mine, said, "Ooooh look you've got acne now! What happened?" with a teasing smile on her face.



A senior at school, "Pimples on your face. You didn't wash your face, huh?"



An old friend who I didn't meet in some time. "Why do you have so many pimples now?!" Right on front of so many people.




And then I'm reminded, oh. So my pimples ARE noticable. And it bothers people. Ugh. I'm trash. I'm crap. Now what?


Note: I don't know the difference with pimples and acne D:



Two:  When I'm in a bright room, where no darkness can hide my acne.


It also hurts when I see myself in the mirror while the lighting of the room is good. My acne looks noticable but doesn't look bad in a dark room. Some of the acne looks like it's not even there. But in the light...IT IS TERRIBLE. IT IS DISGUSTING. I HATE IT. Just yesterday, I went to a restaurant where it was very bright and had MIRRORS ON EVERY WALL. I saw myself in the reflection and wanted to hide. My mom was looking at my acne-infested cheeks as she talked to me, and not looking at my eyes. I wanted to cry.


But well. It's not like I spend all of my time in the sun. I should be ok at some dark places. I wanna be happy. I wanna enjoy life.



THREE: When it's myself that tells me that I CAN'T live my life with acne.


I want to hang out with my friends and family. I want to follow my dreams. I want to love living. I don't want to be depressed. I don't want to be suicidal.


I know two girls at my school who has about the worst case of acne in the school (for the girls, that is), yet they are one of the most popular too. And they look happy, no matter the condition of their skin. (Although one of them would show signs of sadness of her acne, but it's for only a brief moment.) I want to be like them.


Then thoughts would appear in my mind.


"You're ugly with those acne."

"Don't you feel sorry for people who had to look at your disgusting face? They'll have the image in their heads, scarred for life."

"People are embarassed to be seen with you."

"Everyone's skin is clear. Yours is not. You're ugly."




But how can I when I'm hurting myself mentally? (and physically, sometimes). This medication from the dermatologist, I'm praying will work. It's gotten worse, but I have hopes that it'll be better. I'm giving it four months. If nothing gets better, then I dunno what I'd do.


But in the meantime, while I wait for the medication to help, how do I tell myself that it's not that bad? How do I live with myself? How do I defeat that part of me that tells myself that I'm ugly and disgusting? I know that even if my acne is gone, there'll still be scars.


But I'm ok with the scars as long as I don't have the terrible face that I have now.




Sigh. Well, I feel better now that I typed up this long shizz of my heart's contents.



and now....

How I would actually be thankful to have acne


I...I would actually be thankful to have acne. Because I learned so many things from it. I would complain less about things. I'd smile all the time, because I went through a lot. Things won't bother me like they did before. My health will be better, cuz I drink more and eat more fruits and vegetables. I exercise more now. I'm more thankful of things now. I won't ever be suicidal and won't be depressed as often as before.




I'd actually be thankful to have acne.


But only if I've already gotten rid of the acne and restored my clear face, that is. :')


I know, people have it worse than me. At least I'm not blind. At least I have both arms and legs. But still...Come on. I'm sorry. I really know how terrible I sound but I just can't help it. I can't help feel the way I feel sad.png I hate myself for it. So much. 




Acne, go away please.




And now...for you all


I pray that everyone with skin not to their liking can find happiness, and  have clear skin one day, or whatever they wish for that's positive smile.png

#3320484 Vitamin D Has Cured Me Of Oily Skin And Acne

Posted by SebumSucks on 21 January 2013 - 05:10 PM

I registered today just to tell my story that I feel compelled to share with others.
After 22 years of suffering from extremely oily skin and acne I have finally found what I believe is my own personal cure. It's been a very long road to get here and I still can't quite believe it, but Vitamin D supplements have COMPLETELY eliminated my super oily skin and acne.  I'm not talking a little bit here, not a 50% or even 90% reduction.  I'm talking 100%.  I still can't get over it having suffered for so long.

I know some of you aren't going to believe what I just said or what I am about to explain. I would have my doubts too if I were reading this just a few months ago, but I am 100% telling the truth of my own personal experience.  So here I go...

I am a male, now in my late 30's and have suffered with excessively oily skin (way way way too much sebum) and severe acne since puberty around 14yo. I have taken EVERYTHING over the years. This gets said a lot around here by 16-18 year old acne sufferers, and I can certainly sympathize, but trust me when I say I have had over 20 years of experience trying EVERYTHING from prescription meds to over the counter topicals to various supplements.  I have tried every systemic and topical antibiotic prescription known for acne.  I have tried every topical retinoid.  I have been on 3 courses of Accutane. I have been on doctor prescribed very high doses of Vitamin A (a safe aqueous form) after my 1st course of accutane when my acne flared back up after treatment. I have tried and used many of the over the counter washes, scrubs, masks with BP, salicylic acid, tee tree, etc. over the years.  Fed up with prescription meds that never fully worked (or in the case of Accutane worked only while on them), over the last few years I have also tried various supplements, including fish oil, cod liver oil, B5, vitamin B multivitamins, antioxidant multivitamins, borage oil, and others.  

About 4 weeks ago I began supplementing with Vitamin D3 1000IU.  Why?  Well a year ago I got a blood test done showing my Vitamin D level was low.  It was a 19 which is considered quite deficient (normal I think is 50-70; reference values have been upped recently).  At the time my doctor prescribed Vitamin D over a 3 month period but at the time I saw no results so stopped after 2 months (this was to try resolving fatigue not acne anyway).  But this winter I started reading up on Vitamin D again as my fatigue was increasing again and came to find out that the Vitamin D that is prescribed via a pharmacy is of the D2 form which some studies have now shown is ineffective in vivo. So I decided to start taking over the counter Vitamin D (in the D3 form), like I said about 4 weeks ago.  Again, the intent was to possibly help with fatigue and perhaps immune support, not necessarily help with my oily skin or acne.  But to my amazement, about one week in I began to see significant reduction in sebum on my skin.  By week two my skin had become COMPLETELY normalized.  I can't even believe I am saying that after so many years of super oily skin.  The only medication capable of doing that for me is Accutane (isotretinoin).  Nothing else could reduce or control sebum production for me.  Not prescriptions or supplements of any kind, even B5.  Remember I'm a male, so there is no other option other than Accutane for us males like BC or Spiro to try and normalize hormones/oily skin.

After taking Vitamin D for 4 weeks now my skin is tighter, smoother, looks normal, and I haven't had a new pimple of any kind surface in 2 weeks which for me is nothing short of a miracle.  Most amazingly is my oily skin is completely gone and hence why I'm confident this is going to work long term for me. In fact the results, both sebum and acne elimination, are just as good if not better than Accutane (Accutane can be super drying in normal doses and can affect wound healing).  

I was going to wait 3-6 months to tell my story because I know there will be naysayers that say 4 weeks isn't long enough to judge long term efficiency, or maybe this is just an anomaly, or something like that. But after 22 years I have more than enough experience with my oily skin and acne to know that this is a fundamental change in my skin that I have never seen before (other than again with Accutane usage).  So I just couldn't wait that long to post.  I felt compelled to do so today in the hopes that my experience might help some others right now, not months from now.

So anyway, completely amazed by this result I have experienced with Vit D I have been doing quite a bit of research online about it and the more I research the more things make sense of how this is affecting my skin.  Vitamin D is actually a hormone and was mislabeled a long time ago as a vitamin because at the time researches didn't realize the body (skin) can actually produce vitamin D.  In a strict sense, vitamins must be supplied by diet, while hormones are produced in the body.  Now, we all know acne is a result of what is most likely an imbalance of hormones in the body.  This is why it is very rare for pre-pubescents to have acne, their pubertal hormones haven't kicked in yet which is when most acne first appears.  

"Vitamin" D, being a HORMONE needed in vital bodily functions, can be one of those hormones that is deficient.  Vitamin D is produced via UV light action on the skin.  In fact, it is produced in the oily cells (sebocytes) in the skin.  Interesting but slight gross side note - I read somewhere that dogs and cats actually get their Vitamin D intake from licking the sebum on their face and hair follicles where the vitamin D is created  Posted Image (their skin cannot directly absorb the vitamin D through the skin).  Apparently (and luckily for most humans) human skin can directly absorb vitamin D on the skin Posted Image.

So I've been pondering, perhaps very oily skin (and associated acne) is a negative feedback of low vitamin D levels in the body.  With lower and lower Vitamin D in the body, the skin produces more and more sebum in efforts to create more Vitamin D to bring the body in balance.  Perhaps those like myself who have consistently super oily skin have an impairment in the ability to create or absorb Vitamin D in the skin.  (I don't really see a reduction in oil during the summer when I get a fair amount of sun).  For me, perhaps the only way to increase my vitamin D levels is not through sun exposure but through supplementation.  There are very few sources of foods with sufficient levels of vitamin D so the only way to get it in sufficient amounts is through vitamin supplements.

In my research I also found out that Vitamin D will bind to some of the same skin cell receptors as certain forms of Retinoic Acid (one of the metabolites of Accutane).  I believe this is likely why Accutane works in a similar fashion (normalizes sebum production) by binding to the same Vitamin D and related receptors in the skin.  Now this is my own hypothesis here, but perhaps when those receptors have vitamin D or retinoic acid bound to them, they in essence tell the skin they have enough Vitamin D and not to produce any more sebum.  Perhaps Accutane works by substituting for and mimicking Vitamin D in the skin . This could possibly explain some of the side affects of Accutane like bone and joint pain which can be a symptom of Vitamin D deficiency (accutane thereby exacerbating the Vit D deficiency).  I could go on about this but this is getting a bit tangential to the subject.

Anyways, I am completely beside myself that Vitamin D has worked better than anything else out there, and that I have suffered with acne for so long due to what appears to be a simple Vit D deficiency. I really implore others to try this too. It is cheap and easy to do with no side effects.  The amount I am taking is 1000IU and is considered a relatively low and completely safe dose.  I am not going to state this is the cure for everyone as I am a case study of one right now (although I have read here and on other websites others having great results with Vit D as well).  But if you have very oily skin, especially into adulthood, I would give vitamin D3 a try.

Not that I think it matters, but in light of full disclosure, I am taking "Natures Made" Vitamin D(3) 1000IU tablets once a day.  I don't think the brand will matter so much, just make sure it is Vitamin D3 and not D2.  I am also taking Safeway brand Vitamin C 500mg tablets at the same time (this is your generic ascorbic acid Vit C).  Note these are run of the mill vitamin brands, not anything special.  It's possible the Vitamin C is adding a synergistic affect to the Vit D; I really don't know. But I do know Vitamin C alone hasn't done squat for me over the years that I have taken it so Vitamin C alone isn't causing the amazing results I'm seeing.  (I am taking Vitamin C for immune support).  These are the only two supplements I am currently taking.  I have dropped all topicals other than washing my face in the morning and night and have just begun moisturizing at night with Aloe Vera Gel.

I'm hoping others will try this as perhaps this might be the solution for them as well.  I'd be more than happy to answer anyone's questions.

#3029641 How I Cleared My Acne After 26 Years. Try It.

Posted by wingedserpent on 04 February 2011 - 08:06 AM

Updated 14th April 2013: supplements changed to B5 only.


Disclaimer: The following post is intended merely as a contribution to the global pool of knowledge and experience of acne, I'm not a healthcare professional. Nothing in this post constitutes medical advice, or inducement or encouragement for sufferers to take any course of action, I am simply putting my own experience into the public domain. How you use this information is entirely up to you. Any consequences of your use of this information is entirely your own responsibility.

Please scroll down and read the FAQ before posting questions -the chances are it's already been answered. I get a lot of emails asking me for information already posted -please be a good egg and check first. Thanks!


Hello and welcome to my regime!

Hopefully by reading and adopting this treatment plan you will take a major step towards dramatically improving your skin and your life. I don't make that statement lightly -people from all over the world have done just that:

"My mild acne is completely gone (it took about 10 days), my blackheads are 90 % gone (I had a LOT of them) and my skin looks better than ever. I am 39 years old and I have never had so clear skin!"

"'I've been using this regimen for about 2 weeks and honestly, my acne never looked better than it does now!"

"I've been doing this regime about 16 days so far...pretty much all my body acne has gone."

"My skin looks better than it has in a long time."

"My skin and eyes are glowing."

"My skin feels much smoother."

"My skin is healing very quickly and swiftly in comparison to before."

"When I look in the mirror every morning all I can say is WOW...PLEASE, PLEASE give this a go because it has worked a treat for me"

"My oily skin has reduced by 85% and acne is 70% gone"

"My oil production has stopped completely!"

"Awesome results..."

"I'm now addicted to the fantastic energy boost that juicing each morning gives me.."

"Skin started smoothing out almost immediately....I've received compliments from family about how nice my skin looks."

"Vast improvements...my acne has gone from cystic and relatively severe to much more mild and not at all cystic in just over 3 weeks."

"The combination is a winner...It's been 9 weeks so far and I'm very pleased with the outcome."

"I have been on the regimen for 4+ months. my stubborn moderate acne is 100% under control, my skin is 95% clear at all times...my skin is softer, and so smooth, literally not a bump on it."

"I'm almost at 30 days and continue to see great improvements!!"


I know first hand the devastation that acne can wreak in people's lives -I had cystic acne from age 14 to 40.

I have been clear for over 4 years now and this is how I did it. If I managed it, I am convinced that you can too. These steps transformed my quality of life and I hope they can help other people.

There are 4 simple steps:

1. Vegetable juice.
2. Removal of sugar from diet
3. Low B5 supplementation 
4. Increased water consumption

My view

After 26 years, I became convinced that intractable adult acne is the result of a systemic failure in the body.

If topical treatments could work for you, they would have worked by now. You wouldn't be reading this page. Accepting that fact is not easy for some people, but it is the crucial step in adopting an effective holistic program. It's what I did when I turned 40 and how I managed to clear my skin.

I am not a doctor or a dermatologist or a nutritionist. I am regular guy who created this regime from reading and researching what other people had found out and combining it.

I simply asked myself two questions:

What has come up again and again as producing the best results?
Is it possible to combine it into one program?

The hypothesis behind this program is that there is a synergistic effect between all four elements, in that the power of the regime as a whole is greater then the sum of the parts. If you omit any one element then you are undermining the logic behind the treatment and hampering your chances of success.

My regime

1. Vegetable juice.


I bought a jucier for £100 (about $160). Every day I make up 1 pint of vegetable juice. I generally drink it on an empty stomach. Among my favourites are

  • sweet potatoes or carrots
  • cucumber
  • beetroot
  • vine tomatoes
  • bell pepper
  • celery
  • butternut squash
  • anything else that juices -although dark green vegetetables are often bitter so use sparingly!

But I've come to believe you can pretty much use any vegetables, and in fact, it's much better to vary your juice as widely as possible.

Carrots tend to be the first thing people juice, but I advise restraint. They are high in sugar. I would restrict their use to every other day at maximum. Similarly with beets. If you after beta carotene, it is far better to use sweet potatoes or butternut squash.

Among the very best vegetables for the skin are kale and spinach. Being leaves, a budget juicer won't juice them, you will need to add the juice and the leaves mixture into a blender.

I tend to buy organic because I can afford it, but I don't think it realy makes much difference to the effectiveness of the treatment.

It takes 5 minutes to chop and juice the vegetables, 5 minutes to drink, 5 minutes to clean the jucier. For 15 minutes effort you are taking therapeutic levels of nutrients.

This is a list of the nutrients in a typical glass of juice I make:

Vitamin A
Vitamin B1
Vitamin B2
Vitamin B3
Vitamin B5
Vitamin B9
Vitamin B12
Vitamin C
Vitamin D
Vitamin E
Vitamin K
Omega 3

and of course, water


10 essential amino acids
Anti-oxidants such as Quercetin, Kaempferol and Lypocene all linked with anti-cancer and anti-heart-disease properties.

Imagine this powerhouse of nutrients hitting your system first thing every day, in a liquid form quickly absorbed by the body. Now compare that to the breakfast you currently eat.

2. Removal of sugar from the diet

I'm not going to discuss the whole sugar-acne thing. All I will say is that I noticed huge reductions in the oiliness of my skin when I cut out sugar.

I stopped all discretionary sugar items: cakes, confectionary, chocolate, soda, sweets, etc.

I didn't go so far as to stop eating processed foods with added sugar, since you have to be practical. Almost everything has sugar added to it. It doesn't matter eating a little -it's the huge spikes in blood sugar that come from eating things like donuts and cola that you want to avoid.

See the FAQ below for why I juice 'high-sugar' vegetables and how this fits in with removing sugar from the diet.

3. Supplements

I don't believe in megadosing. I think it's dangerous. I strongly advise anyone considering megadosing vitamins to think again. See the FAQ below for more on this.

I take time release 500mg of B5.

Incidentally, way before the recent B5 studies, it was known that B5 had a beneficial effect on acne even at low doses. Adele Davies in her book "Let's Get Well" (I think published back in the 60s) noted cases that cleared up by taking just this amount -500mg.

B5 hasn't caused me any problems. However, the possible side effects of B5 (mentioned with much larger doses than 500mg I recommend) are related to the fact that it can in theory crowd out other B vitamins. So it is possible in the longer term to suffer deficiency symptoms of other B vitamins. It is therefore very important that you eat a good diet, one rich in B vitamins, and to monitor yourself for any conditions like itching scalp or dry lips. For this reason I now sprinkle powdered wheatgerm into my food once a day. The bottom line is that we all have different metabolisms and what may be okay for me, may be too much for you. I only mention this for the sake of completeness -it's always wise to have as much information about the subject as possible.

4. Water consumption

I increased water consumption by 1-2 pints a day. Hydration of the skin is always beneficial.

Note, however, that I am not advocating forcing down pints of water for the sake of it. I noticed that I would often wake up in the night, thirsty, so I started drinking a pint of water before going to bed. That's all. This meant my body was always adequately supplied with fluids.

The results I experienced

There is no such thing as an overnight cure. We've all read posts along the lines of "WOW! I started taking xxxx on Monday and three days later my acne has ALL GONE!!" These posts are often well-intentioned but they suffer from obvious problems:

1. You need to be able to sustain a 'cure' for months and years, to have confidence that it really works.

2. No problem in the human body heals overnight. Think about it. When did you last go to the doctor with some ailment and he said to you, "Just take one of these pills tonight, and tomorrow you'll be cured." Even antibiotics, among the most powerful and targetted drugs available, take about a week to ten days to work. And that's on temporary infections. Any problem you've had for years is going to disappear gradually, not overnight.

If you've reached your 30s or 40s with acne, then it's clear that no short term approach will work for you. If there was a short term treatment, you would have found it by now. Only the long term treatments remain. I know that's an unpalatable truth for many people reading this, but it is the truth nonetheless.

It is essential, therefore, that you recalibrate your expectations from seeing results in days, to seeing results in weeks, or months. So many acne treatments promise 'visible results in just five days' but this is not a realistic scenario for adult acne. Accepting that requires a fundamental shift in your mindset.

With that in mind, here is the timeline I experienced:

1. Five Days

Energy levels much higher. Elevated mood levels. No visible skin benefit.

2. Two Weeks

Skin felt unusually soft, smooth and younger-looking. Noticeable oil reduction. No improvement to acne.

3. Six weeks

Oil overproduction no longer a problem. Number of existing lesions diminished. New acne still appearing but heals faster.

Unsolicited comments from people about how well I was looking.

4. Three months

Acne had completely disappeared, and has never returned.

Note that this is my experience. Some people have reported faster results than this, others slower.

FAQ (periodically updated as new questions arise)

I strongly advise you to read this FAQ. It covers a lot more ground than the basics above.


I've been through all these so-called 'cures'. Why is this one any different?

I'm not saying I can cure your acne. What I can say is that it worked for me and I had cystic acne for 26 years. If it can help me it is almost certainly able to help others. You may be one of them.

Who are you and how did you develop this program?

At the age of 40 I decided that I was going to try my best to kill my acne once and for all, and rather than hopping about from one quack remedy to another as I had done for the past two decades, I would develop a logical treatment based upon the best available clinical and anecdotal evidence. I concluded that if I could combine the elements most likely to help into one program then I would stand the best chance of a 'cure'. From searching the internet and reading widely a consensus of opinion emerged: sugar-elimination, vegetable juice, B5 supplementation.

I'm not a healthcare professional. Nothing in this post constitutes medical advice. I am simply putting my own experience into the public domain. How you use this information is entirely up to you.

So how does it work?

I'm not a scientist. But my hypothesis is that the elements of treatment work together to create a more powerful effect than the sum of their parts.

But it's basically healthy eating, right?

No. Just eating 'healthily' won't work because there are not enough nutrients in whole food (and they are absorbed too slowly) to fix the problem. Juice is like a mainline of nutrients over and above regular meals. Juicing is not a substitute for poor meals. You still need to consider the amount of fibre, omega 3, calcium, etc that you are getting from whole food.

Also, when people talk about eating 'healthily' in connection with acne, they nearly always focus on food elimination, and not food inclusion. Cutting out suspected trigger foods is not healthy eating. The key is the nutrients you supply to the body, not what you remove.

In what ways does your regime differ from all the other threads here about diet?

It doesn't. My regime concurs with the basic principles of most dietary-based approaches. That's because I took the elements that crop up again and again and put them into one regime. There is an increasing body of evidence to support these principles, rather than them just being someone's opinion. For a recent article, go here:


However, where I diverge from other views on diet is that I don't think it's possible to cure acne by removal of foods from the diet. Although there is the occasional person on these forums who achieved clear skin through stopping eating bread, for example, I think these cases are very rare. For most of us, the key is what you DO eat, not what you DON'T. Vegetable juice will have more effect in your skin than stopping bread, chocolate, dairy, processed foods, meat combined.

Will it work on teenage acne?

In principle, I don't see why not.

But common sense would suggest that there is something fundamentally different going on between the 90% of teenagers who get acne and the 5% of 35 year olds.

Furthermore, all the doses (and that includes the juice) are meant for adults. Not matter how grown-up you may feel, teenage physiology is not the same as that of a thirty or forty-year old. You are still growing. Your internal organs are not the same size. Your hormonal situation is different. You don't have the same tolerances. Most prescription drugs usually stipulate a reduced dosage for children under 16 or under 12, or sometimes it's not allowed at all.

So, I'm not recommending it for people under 18. It's listed under 'Adult Acne' for a reason.

Please do not disregard this advice. If you choose to, then whatever you do, make sure that you cut the doses by at least 50%. And that includes the juice.


The more juice I drink, the better, right?

No! Doing anything to excess is not a good idea. Don't exceed my recommended dose.

Can I drink commercial vegetable juice like V8 instead of making my own?

No. Commercial juices have been centrifuged and pasteurised to destroy bacteria. This also destroys many of the nutrients. They have also been bottled many weeks, if not months, in advance. This also degrades the nutrient content. Furthermore, juices like V8 usually have high levels of added salt which is bad for you. Freshly-juiced vegetables from commercial juice bars are fine, but relatively expensive.

Can you recommend any juice recipes?

I'm not bothered what the juice tastes like; I just want the nutritional benefit. But if you want the juice to taste delicious, there are plenty of juicing websites with recipe blends.

Your juice seems very high in sugar. How does fit in with removing sugar from your diet?

The average American eats just one vegetable per day (and the average Brit, let's be fair). But they also eat candy bars, soda, and all manner of other very-high sugar foods. By removing these and juicing more vegetables you are still taking far less sugar and getting the intense nutritional benefits of vegetables. The only high-sugar items on my list are carrots and beets. Most vegetables are not high in sugar.

Can you recommend a juicer?

I use the L'equip 110.5, which has been highly recommended by many juicing websites. It's well built, easy to use and clean, has a decent warranty, and is reasonably priced. It does the job.

I would not advise buying a juicer from a department store on the recommendation of a sales person. They'll sell you any old tat, often models that are difficult to clean or not even specialised juicers, but food processors which don't do a great job.

The main things to consider are:

1. How easy it is to clean?

If it's difficult to clean you wont want to use it. You should be able to do the whole thing in 5 minutes. This is the main thing to check out.

2. How noisy is it?

If you've got close neighbours you're not going to be able use it at the crack of dawn.

You don't have to spend a fortune to get a workmanlike juicer that will last a number of years. I recommend spending about £160 (US $100) on your first model. If that sounds like a lot to you, think of it this way. If it lasts 3 years, that's just $1 a week for probably the single greatest thing you can do for your skin (and your health). Now think of other things that you normally spend $1 a week on. Which is more important?

If you are on a budget, then it is possible to juice using a normal food blender and then straining the mixture afterwards to separate out the juice from the fibre.

How should I clean the vegetables?

I use a vegetable brush. It is important to clean them well.

Should I buy organic?

I'm in two minds. Part of me suspects that the 'organic' foods you buy from supermarkets are little different to the regular kind. However, I think it's a big benefit if you can source your organic veggies locally from a farm, which I now do.

But I hate the taste of vegetable juice.

Carrots and beetroot are sweet, not bitter. I think my blend of vegetable juice is delicious. The 'difficult' vegetables are the dark green leafy ones, which certainly you want to use sparingly. Just experiment until you find a blend you like.

I can't be bothered with juicing -it sounds like a lot of work.

As I said, it takes just 15 minutes. I would also hazard that you probably already spend at least 15 minutes a day on the topical treatments for your skin. This will being bring better results.

Should I drink it on an empty stomach?


Should I drink it in one dose or a half dose twice a day?

Logic would indicate that splitting it into two separate doses would more effective. But then you've got to clean the juicer twice. Your call!

Should I water the juice down?

No. Most of it is water!

I'm worried about not being to tolerate vegetable juice. Might it cause an upset stomach?

The main vegetables I recommend should cause you no problems. But be careful with others. Dark green veggies should be introduced carefully. Others, such as onions, which are irritants, and leeks, can make a glass of juice completely undrinkable even by adding just a small amount. You will discover these things as you go along. It is possible to make yourself feel quite sick by drinking too much of the wrong vegetable (i have done this a couple of times!) so go carefully with those experiments.

Should I add anything to the juice?

Some vitamins are better-absorbed alongside fats. For that reason you may wish to add a spoonful of olive oil. Recently I have taken to adding flax seed, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds for the fats. But it is rather unpalatable. Olive oil is probably a better idea. You may also wish to add other things like protein powder, etc. Sometimes I add pea-protein.

Some leafy vegetables won't juice. What should I do?

Make your juice, transfer it to a blender, add the difficult vegetable and give it a whizz. You'll have a vegetable smoothie.

Can I make fruit smoothies instead of juicing?

Smoothies use the whole of the fruit, blended into a drink. So it's just as physically difficult to drink a smoothie made with ten apples as it is to eat ten apples! The point of juicing is to ingest more vegetable nutrients than possible through eating. To do that you need to remove the fibre. People are often drawn to fruit smoothies because they find the taste more palatable than vegetable juice, but aside from the aforementioned reason, there is no evidence to support fruit juice benefiting acne. That's not to say that fruit isn't healthy to eat; it's just not part of this program.


What about pizza/alcohol/gluten/pasta/bread etc?

All the salient points are listed in the regime above. Whether you want to drink beer or eat pizza is up to you. Generally I think living a monastic existence when it comes to food and drink is neither desirable nor practical.

So you're not some health nut, then?

You only have to look around you to see couch potatoes with clear skin and athletes with acne. Living a healthy lifestyle is certainly desirable, and one we should all strive for, but I don't actually think it's of specific value when trying to clear your skin. So don't think you have to get up at 5am and go jogging to help your acne.

And this isn't a low GI diet?

No. I have never consciously tried to adopt a low GI diet since it seems too restrictive and difficult to follow to me. That's not to say that I don't endorse the principles of it. You may wish to tweak my approach if you wish to follow a low GI approach.

You've mentioned sweet potatoes a lot in your posts. What exactly are the benefits?

They are amongst the most nutrient dense foods on the planet. They always appear near the top of the lists of skin-care vegetables. They are higher in beta-carotene than carrots. They are rich in anti-cancer chemicals. They have proven immune system boosting properties. They are highly anti-inflammatory. And they taste delicious.

Do you drink coffee?

I don't drink coffee. It's not a conscious decision; I just can't stand the taste without sugar. Starbucks will just have to eke out a profit without me.

What about tea?

I'm British! The county would collapse without tea! I'm the same. Although recently I have switched almost exclusively to green tea.

And what about milk? There's some evidence that milk may be a trigger.

I don't drink milk. Again, this isn't a conscious decision, it's just that since stopping sugar, I don't drink coffee. Also, I don't really like breakfast cereal. So I just never drink it. But it was never consciously part of my regime. Perhaps it should be.

But diet doesn't cause acne! My friend eats all the junk food he/she wants and he/she has perfect skin.

Some people (me included) can eat all the junk food they want and they never put on any weight. I'm the same waist size at 44 that I was at 21. Does that mean junk food can't make people fat?

What foods do you emphasis in your diet?

Green leafy vegetables.
Berries -blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries. I probably spend £5 (US $8) on berries daily.

And what about 'bad' food that you shouldn't eat?

I love curry. If I could I would eat curry every day. As it is, I have it two or three times a month.
I also love pizza. But in my opinion, it's probably the most unhealthy food on the planet. So I never order a commercial one. Occasionally I buy one in a supermarket.


Mmm, sugary things! There's no way I could get through the day without M&Ms, a can of Coke, and my aunt Alice's delicious lemon cake. It's going to be impossible to quit those.

You only think it's impossible because you are attaching a positive utility to eating them. If you reprogram your mind to associate sugary food and drinks with negative utility (oily, spotty skin, excess fat, diabeties) then you will naturally want to avoid them. It takes time to reprogram your mind but it can be done. I did the same with cigarettes. Once I changed how I thought about them I never wanted to go near them again. And 14 years later, I haven't. We each have our own 'weakness'. But the human brain is extremely powerful if you know how to leverage it correctly.

Can you elaborate on that?

Most of the time our brains work in our favour. If you put your hand into a flame, your brain sends a message to instantly retract your hand to avoid serious damage to the organism. If you walk into a smoke filled room, your lungs crave fresh air and you try to get out of there as soon as possible. You don't have to think about these things -it's instinctive. The body will always try to get us out of pain and into pleasure as quickly as possible. It is a survival mechanism.

Unfortunately, with cravings also, you are in pain, and your mind will try to get you out of pain (the craving) and into pleasure (the craving has gone) also. It is instinctive too, and works on a very powerful subconscious level. That is the simple reason why WILLPOWER ALONE WILL ALWAYS FAIL. It's why people who try to stop smoking fail again and again because the pain (nicotine withdrawal) is too strong for willpower alone to overcome.

The way to change behaviour is to reverse the pain/pleasure process and get it to work in your favour. If you mentally associate sugar with pain (blackheads, lesions, cysts, oily skin), then your mind will start to work in your favour by trying to get you away from the pain of horrible skin and into the pleasure of not eating sugar and having clear skin. It is then easy to stop. Really. Willpower is not required, since it doesn't take any willpower to get away from something bad. It happens automatically.

Now. To get to this stage is simple, but not easy. You have to reinforce your new way of thinking about sugar until it becomes subconscious and automatic. This means repeating the bad effects of sugar to yourself several times a day. Sounds silly? It works. I advise writing out all the bad things about sugar consumption and keeping it with you and reading through it several times a day. Don't just write down 'spots' -write down the emotions connected to them. Embarrassment, isolation, self-loathing. Really FEEL the pain of those negative emotions. This is the most powerful way to start mental reprogramming since you are experiencing the pain on an emotional level. Tempted to eat sugar? Then run through the list again. You wont want sugar after reading it. It's a chore at first but it yields massive benefits if you manage to see it through. After a while, your mind automatically associates sugar with pain and eventually it never crosses your mind to eat it again. This saves you the futility of fighting cravings all your life.

These are well-known principles of changing addictive behaviour and they really work. I have applied them to several areas of my life and they have yielded incredible results -results that I could never have got through willpower alone- and I advise everyone struggling to change their behaviour to try them. Sounds like too much effort? I understand. But you're trying to change your life here. It's not an easy thing to do. Massive effort = massive results.


That low level of B5 supplementation can't possibly work -you have to take at least 5g/10g etc.

It does work. There is a wealth of anecdotal evidence to support the benefits of low supplementation.

I'm concerned about the possible side effects of B5

It's sensible to be concerned. See the section on B5 above.

I can't find B5, can I take Pantothenic Acid instead?

They are the same thing.

I already take other supplements. Can I continue to take them whilst using your regime?

In recent years I've come to believe that supplements are generally not beneficial and may well be harmful. I would advise anyone to take only the barest minimum level of supplements necessary. You may be able to take even less than the B5 and Carnitine doses I describe.

Can't I just take lots of vitamin pills to save me the hassle of juicing?

I have to say that it concerns me greatly to read (albeit well-intentioned) posts from young people treating their acne by megadosing vitamins.

If you research the clinically documented cases of vitamin toxicity caused by megadosing you will be shocked.

Don't be fooled by the fact that vitamin pills are legal products, available without prescription. Cigarettes and alcohol are legal products. Does that mean they're safe? Cigarettes aren't safe at all, and with alcohol it's left up to the user to moderate his or her consumption. Society does not employ legality of a product to ensure safety; it's left up to the user to do that.

The problem is that desperate people do not moderate their usage; they take very high doses. The manufacturers know this -that is why these pills are packaged in high doses. It is a response to demand, not a statement of safe dosage.

Furthermore, don't be fooled by the fact that because these substances occur in nature they are therefore 'natural' and must therefore be good for you. Many things in the world are 'natural' -it doesn't make them desirable. There are all sorts of poisonous plants, insects, fish, etc on the planet. No-one would eat Deadly Nightshade. Or the seeds of the Laburnum tree. So forget the myth of 'natural' = good.

And remember that these pills are drugs. They are mass-produced in factories using artificial processes to synthesize chemicals into pill form, often at concentrations hundreds of times stronger than the richest food source. Just because it doesn't require a man in a white coat to prescribe them does not mean that they don't share the essential qualities of a drug. If you're not convinced of this, remember that the origin of drugs is in the natural world. No-one would deny that opium is drug, and yet it comes from poppies. Heroine is derived from opium. Cocaine is derived from the coca plant. And I'm not just referring to illegal drugs. Many prescription-only drugs are part-synthesized from the natural world.

I know the harmful effects of megadosing first hand, having given myself vitamin D toxicity in my 30s. This was taking 'just' 5000 IU a day. Over a period five months it built up in my system and made me very sick. (Note: there is a difference between the way Vitamin D is synthesized through UV exposure and that gained through dietary sources, this is why UV synthesized Vitamin D will not lead to problems).

My doctor had no idea what was wrong with me. I was in hospital for five days. Did it cause any long term damage? Who knows. I don't want anyone else to put themselves through that.

People have said to me, "Look, here's a website showing Vitamin X is absolutely non-toxic" or "Dr Z states categorically that Vitamin X has never caused any adverse symptoms." Well, fine. But for each one of those, I can show you someone else with a contrary opinion, with different research. The very fact that it's a matter of debate proves that the health risks are unknown. And megadosing is relatively new. It's not until a generation has passed, that we will know the full story. And let me tell you that being able to point to a specific website saying that Vitamin D is perfectly safe is of no benefit if it's you that's sick.

I would strongly advise anyone considering taking megadose vitamins to do some research and think again.

Juicing the amounts I recommend doesn't begin to approach megadose level.

Wow. You sound quite opinionated on that.

I have no particular axe to grind with the vitamin industry. Vitamins are helpful for many people. I'm simply keen to dissuade others from making the mistakes I made.


Do you think a good skincare regime is still important?


Unfortunately most people make this the focus of their treatment, when it really should be a secondary treatment.

So what topicals do you you use, then?

If you ask a hundred people to recommend a skincare product to you, you will get a list of a hundred products! It is futile to ask for recommendations because everyone differs in product tolerance, pH skin values, and oiliness.

For that reason, what you should be looking for is the overall reputation of the manufacturer, not any individual product. Companies that make effective acne skin care products tend to also make a range of acclaimed skin-care products for all skin types.This is no coincidence.

I use a cleanser of clinical grade and a non-oil based rehydrating gel. They are relatively expensive but they are superior to anything you can buy on the high street. That's not to say that these particular products will work for you; but rather that the manufactuer's product range will almost certainly contain a product that will. I'm not going to mention the brand here because this thread is about holistic treatment, not topicals, and I don't want to be misinterpreted as promoting anyone's products. But if you'd like to message me, I will gladly tell you which ones I use.

What about Benzoyl Peroxide?

I stopped using BP prior to starting this treatment. If my program works for you, then you won't need BP either.


I've started your treatment and I'm still getting zits. What's going wrong?

Nothing is going wrong. Review the timeline that I mention above. Remember, you are attempting to heal a systemic problem in the body. It takes time. Don't get obsessed over the day-to-day fluctuations in your skin. Much as people like to look for cause-and-effect situations in acne ("I ate a fresh cream cake on Monday, and on Wednesday I've got a big cyst on my chin") I believe that this is merely pattern-fitting out of random data. The only meaningful measure is the bigger picture over the longer timescale.

What's the key to success with your program?

Setting up a routine and seeing it through.

I'm going away for a while. How can I follow this regime whilst on vacation?

If you're going away, then enjoy the break! Don't spend time worrying about your face. Short breaks from the regime won't make any lasting difference. But that doesn't mean it's acceptable to gorge on chocolate. Stick with the main points as best you can. If you want to continue to take vegetable juice whilst away, then I suggest tracking down a local juice bar, if possible. Here in London, there are several specialist juice outlets dotted around, and the better cafes will also do you a nice fresh blend. I daresay it's the same in all major cities. Failing that, emphasise vegetables, where possible, in your diet. Personally, I would rather take no vegetable juice at all than drink V8. As I've said above, I think V8 is of very limited, if any, benefit.

I'm some weeks into your program and I haven't seen any benefit, I feel like quitting.

I know how tempting it is to quit after a couple of weeks and move on to another treatment. It is inherently challenging to continue with programs that appear to be producing poor results. But often the one thing we haven't tried with skin programs is time. I guarantee that there are people who will have read my regime, tried it for a few days, seen a couple of new lesions pop up, then quit, concluding it doesn't work, off to another thread to try that for a few days, and so on. How do I know that? Because I used to be that person!

If you can manage it, try to formally assess the condition of your skin just once a week, say every Sunday night, for twelve weeks. Use objective measures such as how many active lesions, how many are healing, how oily your skin is, etc. Perhaps put this down on a spreadsheet. This will help you see the broader trend over time and keep you on track to the 12 week goal. Only at that point, can you make an informed decision about whether to continue.

I've reached the three month period, I've followed your regime to the letter, and I can't see any benefit whatsoever -now what? (so far, this question has been asked just twice)

Please don't despair. My regime may require tweaking or reworking to find what works for you. That may be just around the corner. What is important is not to respond emotionally and throw in the towel but to take a step back and consider logically and carefully what additional elements you might add, and to give those time to work. Juicing provides a firm foundation on which to base further treatment plans. Remember Thomas Edison, who took 5000 experiments to perfect the light bulb. Or James Dyson, who needed 1000 prototypes to invent his bagless vacuum cleaner. You need to adopt a similar, calm, scientific approach. I know that's easy to say, but it's ultimately the key to clearing your skin.

A couple of areas you may wish to investigate are L Cysteine and probiotics. I've been reading around about Cysteine and some users have reported success with that combined with B5 instead of carnitine. The area of probiotics also looks interesting. My advice is to get a list of your top-4 programs to try, and start at the top and work downwards giving each one program three months. Over the course of a year you will have investigated all of high-probability holistic remedies. A structured and targeted approach has a much greater chance of success. And keep up the juice.


I'm age XX and I feel really depressed and angry that I'm still suffering with this awful skin all these years later, especially when I think about the effect it's had on my life. Why me?

Everyone reading this knows how you feel. Someone once said to me, "You're so ugly I can hardly bear to look at you". There is no denying that moments like that shape you. You wouldn't be human if they didn't.

I can't change anyone's past. But I can hopefully point you in the direction of a better future.

What about stress/masturbation/depression/psychological factors?

Don't get sidetracked from the fact that acne is a physical ailment like a broken leg. Stress doesn't help anyone but it's not causing your acne and thinking about it won't help any.


So what do you look like these days?

Apparently I'm the spitting image of Keifer Sutherland. With a few scars. Although he hasn't aged as well. smile.png

Hey, your regime has worked for me. Thanks!

You're welcome! Please put up a post or email me. Reading about other people's success is very inspiring for others new to the program and you can help other people just by letting them know that it helped you. I can then quote your post in the FAQ. I can't get back the years I suffered with acne but I can give those years to other people. That's why I put this up.

So you're not promoting any product or service or website through this post?

No. Unless I figure out a way to corner the world's production of sweet potatoes and cucumber!

Is it advisable to read all of the subsequent posts below this one?

No. I've summarised everything important that's come up from other people in this FAQ (and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future). However, you may find it encouraging/motivating to read posts from other people who have started to juice.

Can I tweak your regime with my own ideas?

Of course. My treatment plan may require tweaking for you to get results. Some people have found that combining my regime with probiotics or cysteine, was the way forward for them. It's not set in stone. The idea is that this thread evolves for people to develop their own individual treatment plans, and share their knowledge with others. It's about empowerment, and not being a passive sufferer in the dermatologist's waiting room!

Any final message to anyone considering your program?

Beating acne is not straightforward. If it was, sites like this wouldn't exist. Succeeding means making it your mission in life, for a short while, to clear your skin. Make no mistake, you will need to summon more resilience and perseverance than the average person. But it can be done. And the benefits of succeeding are so significant that it's worth putting everything you can into it. For that reason it is important to prepare psychologically. Don't choose to start the regime just before Christmas, for example, when you will be surrounded with sugary foods. Make sure you are able to get to the supermarket sufficiently often to buy enough vegetables. Think about what time of day you will be juicing. Maybe buy a new knife or chopping board specifically for the task. Consider keeping the regime a secret from family and friends, to see whether you get any unsolicited comments on your skin further down the line. Preparing well like this will give you the biggest chance of success. Woody Allen once said "90% of success in life is just showing up". Be that person who shows up!

Can I contact you with questions?

Sure. But be a good sport and check it hasn't been answered already.

Good luck!

Winged Serpent

#2819482 you know its bad when..

Posted by RealTalk on 25 February 2010 - 07:04 PM

You Join Acne.org

#1187068 Biggest Mistakes People Make to Treat Acne:

Posted by The_Snow_Queen on 22 June 2006 - 07:20 PM

Part I:  Avoiding Harmful Products

When Buying Products

Don't Buy Cleansers That:

1.  Contain harsh surfectants like sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate.

2.  Are in bar form.  These contain harsh cleansing agents like sodium cocoate, and the ingredients that keep them in bar form can be absorbed into the skin to clog pores.  Also, many bar soaps have alkaline pH levels, which actually encourages bacterial growth.

3.  Are daily scrubs containing uneven particles like walnut .  These can tear at the skin and cause irritation.  
     Look for scrubs with smooth, round, bead-like particles.

4.  Contain waxy, pore-clogging thickeners.  Products in cream form tend to have these.

5.  Contain animal oils*.  Animal oils resemble human sebum and can clog pores similarly.

4.   Give a "tingly" or "cooling" feeling.  That feeling is caused by skin irritants like menthol and camphor.

5.  Are medicated.  If the medication contains a chemical exfoliant like salicylic acid, the cleanser is almost certain to have too high of a pH (over 4) to allow it to act as an exfoliant.  Chances are that the majority of any medictation used in a cleanser will be washed away before having any real effect.  If you let a medicated cleanser (either one containing a chemical exfoliant or one containing benzoyl peroxide) sit on the skin in hopes of giving the medications time to penetrate, than chances are you'll also be allowing the cleansing agents time to irritate the skin.

*  Emu oil for some reason seems to be an exception according to users of this site.

Don't Buy Toners or Astringents That:

1.  Contain drying alcohols, witch hazel, peppermint, or other skin irritants.

2.  Contain animal oils.  (See "Don't Buy Cleansers That:")

3.  Contain rice or corn ingredients, as these can encourage bacterial growth.

Don't Buy Salicylic Acid Products* That:

1.  Contain skin irritants like drying alcohols, witch hazel, peppermint, or other skin irritants.

2.  Have a pH higher than 4 or else the salicylic acid will not be an effective exfoliant.  A good idea of a product's pH can be obtained with pH indicator strips.

3.  Contain rice or corn ingredients (See "Don't Buy Toners or Astringents That:")

* Most salicylic acid products are not pH correct, contain irritants, or both.

Don't Buy Benzoyl Peroxide Products:

1.  That contain skin irritants.

2.  To use in conjunction with prescription retinoids (with the exception of adapalene which is used in Differin).  Benzoyl peroxide renders most retinoids unstable and should be applied only in the morning if a prescription retinoid is being used at night.

3.  Contain animal oils.  (See Don't Buy Cleansers That:")

Don't Buy Tea Tree Oil Products That:

1.  Contain skin irritants.

2.  Have less than a 5% concentration of tea tree oil, or more than a 15% concentration.  Too little tea tree oil is likely to be ineffective, and too much may be irritating.  You can, however, buy pure tea tree oil and dilute it, so long as you aim for the right concentration.

3.  Contain animal oils.  (See Don't Buy Cleansers That:")

Don't Buy Moisturizers That:

1.  Are in cream form.  (See "Don't Buy Cleansers That:")

2.  Contain animal oils.  (See "Don't Buy Cleansers That:")

3.  Contain rice or corn ingredients.  (See "Don't Buy Toners or Astringents That:")

4.  Contain skin irritants.

Don't Buy Sunscreens That:

1.  Are in cream form.  (See "Don't Buy Cleansers That:")

2.  Contain animal oils.  (See "Don't Buy Cleansers That:")

3.  Contain rice or corn ingredients.  (See "Don't Buy Toners or Astringents That:")

4.  Do not contain avobenzone, zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, mexoryl sx, or tinosorb; the ingredients recognized by the FDA to provide adequate UVA protection.

5.  Do not have an SPF of 15 or higher.

6.  Contain skin irritants.

In General

1.  Don't use products that contain skin irritants.  Skin irritants prematurely kill skin cells, littering the skin with more dead skin cells than it can naturally slough off, thus creating a greater risk of clogged pores.  Skin irritants also interfere with the skin's healing process, which can result in an increase in bacteria.

Some common skin irritants are:

Alcohols. Ethanol (grain alcohol), denatured alcohol, ethyl alcohol, methanol, benzyl alcohol, isopropyl, and SD alcohol should be avoided.  (Exceptions: Ingredients like cetyl alcohol or stearyl alcohol are fatty alcohols.  Some alcohols like SD alcohols can be used in small amounts.  An ingredient is in a small amount if it appears at the end of an ingredients list).
Balm mint
Bentonite (can be used in the occasional clay mask, but avoid frequent use or formulations which contain other "actives")
Benzalkonium chloride (if it is one of the main ingredients)
Benzyl Alcohol (if it is one of the main ingredients)
Citrus juices and oils
Clover blossom
Essential Oils
Fennel oil
Fir needle
Fragrance (may be listed as "Parfum")
Melissa (lemon balm)
Menthol, Menthyl Acetate, and Menthyl PCA
Oak bark
Sandalwood oil
Sodium C14-16 olefin sulfate
Sodium lauryl sulfate
TEA-lauryl sulfate
Witch hazel

2.  Don't base your use of a product on whether or not it says "non-comedogenic," "oil-free," "hypo-allergenic," "dermatologically tested," and similar terms.  These are flashy marketing terms that have no regulations, therefore, they can mean anything.  As mentioned earlier, products with waxy thickeners and animal oils (not plant oils) are most likely to clog pores.  Mineral sunscreen ingredients like titanium dioxide and zinc oxide can clog pores, though synthetic sunscreens like avobenzone can irritate the skin of certain people and also trigger breakouts.  Everyone is different and will be sensitive to different ingredients, so there is no real way of knowing what will or will not clog pores, just what may clog pores.  One other thing-  acne can take two weeks to form, so if you break out right after starting a product, don't assume that product was the culprit.

3.  Don't use specialty products (chemical exfoliants, moisturizers, etc...) that are in jar packaging to minimize air exposure.  Oxygen can render certain ingredients unstable.  Also, with jar packaging, there is a concern for product contamination.  Sunlight can also render certain ingredients unstable, so if you buy a product in clear packaging, be sure to store it in a dark space (such as a medicine cabinet or drawer).

4.  Don't assume that the stronger a product (i.e. the higher the concentration of an active ingredient), the more effective it will be.  Using a product that is too strong for you may cause irritation that can worsen acne.  What is a good strength varies by person.

5.  Don't assume that naturally-occurring ingredients are better for your skin.  As can be seen by the list of common skin irritants above, there are plenty of ingredients both man-made and naturally-occurring that can be irritating to the skin.

6.  Don't touch your face if you can avoid it so as to prevent the spread of contaminants.

7.  If you have trouble with inflammatory acne, change your bedding often (once a week), and keep anything that touches your face frequently (like a phone or washcloth) clean and disinfected to prevent the spread of contaminants.

8.  Don't use makeup testers on your face to prevent the risk of contamination.

9.  Don't apply your moisturizer over areas of your face that are not dry.  Applying moisturizer where it is not needed can increase the risk of clogged pores by mixing with excess sebum and "gluing" dead skin cells to the skin's surface.

10. Don't tan.  Tanning only temporarily masks acne, damaging the skin in the process, which can actually lead to a worsening of acne.  Even if tanning did help, it's not worth the risk of skin cancer, premature aging, cataracts, cellulite, and rosacea associated with unprotected sun exposure.

11. Don't steam the skin or rinse with hot water as this can cause irritation and capillaries to surface.  It is best to wash with luke-warm water.

12.  Don't give up on a new regimen.  You need at the very minimum one month and preferrably two to see results.  When using prescription retinoids, you need at least three months.

13.  Don't over-scrub the skin as this can cause irritations.  It is best to use gentle, circular motions.  When drying the face, pat the skin dry as opposed to rubbing it dry.

14.  Avoid doing anything to aggravate a pimple.  It may be beneficial to pop one provided the pimple is ready to pop, but only apply light pressure.  Never squeeze, scratch, or pick at it.  If light pressure does not release the contents of a pimple, you will likely worsen it should you increase that pressure.

15. Don't use more than one method of exfoliation at once.  For example, don't use a scrub followed by a salicylic acid product, or a salicylic acid product followed by an alpha hydroxy acid product.  You risk over-irritating the skin.

16. Don't generously apply products (with the exception of sunscreen, which should be generously applied).  Usually only a dime-sized amount / thinly applied layer is all that's needed for the entire face.  Over-applying products can be harmful to the skin.

17.  Be happy!  Who knows, your skin might even get clearer as a result.  If not, it's better to have acne and be happy than it is to have acne and wallow in gloom.


Part II:  Building a Regimen

Here are some products you could use to help build your own customized regimen, which are also listed in the responses below.
I recommend building a basic regimen that includes at the minimum these steps:

1) Cleansing with Lukewarm Water
2) Exfoliating
3) Disinfecting (If You Have Inflammatory Acne)
4) Moisturizing Dry Areas Only (Nighttime)
5) Applying Sunscreen to All Exposed Areas of Skin (Daytime)

You can also include other steps in your regimen, like the application of toners which don't contain chemical exfoliants (not that toners containing chemical exfoliants shouldn't be used if that's your method of exfoliation) or of retinoids.  Also, you don't have to apply all these products at the same time; for example, you can exfoliate as often as twice a day or as little as once every other day.  You should, however, cleanse twice daily.

Something I want to make very clear is that I am not advertising a cure for acne.  The above mentioned steps follow skin care basics and are beneficial to most people.  Subsequently, using a regimen following these steps may result in clear skin, but it may make absolutely no change whatsoever.  If you use the wrong products or can't tolerate certain steps like exfoliation or certain types of ingredients like benzoyl peroxide, it might even make your skin worse.  If you're looking for a starting point to treating acne or have been following a damaging skin care routine and want to stop, I definately recommend giving such a regimen a chance, but I don't want to give anyone false hope that their acne will disappear from following it.  You may have a stubborn case of acne that is beyond the help of over-the-counter treatments, in which case I advise you seek a dermatologist's help.  I also want to stress that the treatments I recommend below are not the only decently formulated products out there (though the salicylic acid products I listed are the only ones I know of that are both pH correct and gentle).

Some cleansers you may want to consider are:

Clinique Liquid Facial Soap Mild Formula
Eucerin Baby Aquaphor Gentle Wash
Eucerin Redness Relief Cleansing Gel
Paula's Choice (any cleanser)
Purpose Gentle Cleansing Wash

Some manual scrubs you may want to consider as exfoliants are:

Essential Nutrients Daily Exfoliating Cleanser with Soft Massage Beads
Nivea for Men Energizing Face Scrub (women can use this too)

Some toners (not containing chemical exfoliants) you may want to consider are:

Biotherm Biosensitive Soothing Refreshing Spring Mist
Clinique Mild Clarifying Lotion*
Derma E Pycnogenol Facial Toner, Fragrance Free
Nivea Visage Moisturizing Toner
Paula's Choice Toners

*This contains about a 0.5% concentration of salicylic acid at a pH of around 4, making it minimally effective for exfoliation, though you probably won't notice a significant difference in your skin due

Some salicylic acid products you may want to consider as exfoliants are:

Bare Vitamins Skin Rever-Upper (if it really has a pH of 3.8, as the company claimed in an e-mail)
Neutrogena Rapid Clear Acne Defense Face Lotion
Olay Total Effects Anti-Aging Anti-Blemish Daily Moisturizer
Paula's Choice 1% or 2% Beta Hydroxy Acid products*
Serious Skin Care Clarifying Treatment

*Paula's Choice makes by far the best salicylic acid products

Some benzoyl peroxide products you may want to consider as disinfectants are:

Dan's Clear Skin Regimen Gel (2.5%)
Jan Marini Skin Research Benzoyl Peroxide (2.5%)
Mary Kay Acne Treatment Gel (5%)
Oxy Balance, Sensitive Skin Acne Treatment, Vanishing Formula (5%)
Paula's Choice Blemish Fighting Solutions (2.5% or 5%)
Persa-Gel 10, Maximum Strength (10%)
Zapzyt 10% Benzoyl Peroxide

Some tea tree oil products you may want to consider as disinfectants are:

Derma E Tea Tree and Antiseptic Cream* (5%)
Desert Essence 100% Pure Australian Tea Tree Oil (diluted; aim for between a 5 and 15% concentration in your mixture)

*This product is in jar packaging, so the vitamin E and other antioxidants won't be stable, but the tea tree oil should work.  It is also in cream form, which users may want to be wary of.

Some over-the-counter retinol* products you may want to consider are:

Diacneal with 6.4% Glycolic Acid
Green Cream
Jan Marini Factor-A Lotion
Makeup Artist's Choice Retinol Serum (which comes in clear packaging, so store it in a dark place)

*Products containing retinol do not necessarily produce similar results to prescription retinoid products

Some moisturizers you may want to consider are:

Dove Sensitive Essentials Daytime Lotion (no SPF)
Green Canyon Spa Skin Barrier Serum
Malibu Hemp Moisturizer Body Lotion for Dry Skin
Paula's Choice Skin Balancing Moisture Gel
Zia Natural Skincare Herbal Moisture Gel

Some sunscreens you may want to consider are:

Clinique Super City Block SPF 25 Oil-Free Daily Face Protector
Jan Marini Antioxidant Daily Face Protector
M.A.C. Daily SPF 15 Light Moisture
Neutrogena Active Breathable Sunblocks
Neutrogena Ultra-Sheer Dry-Touch Sunsblocks
Proactiv Solution Oil-Free Moisturizer with SPF 15

#3432139 Blunt Dating Advice For People With Acne

Posted by RadioHeart on 17 May 2014 - 02:18 PM

Let's all face it- for most of us with acne, dating doesn't come easily. Love doesn't come easily.

And no, it's not because we're all 'ugly' or any of that superficial nonsense. It's because we tend to have self-esteem low enough to win a limbo contest. That's the core of the problem. We degrade ourselves, tell ourselves how 'nobody will ever love us', how 'acne is ruining our lives', how 'a social/love life just isn't possible with acne'. And with enough reinforcement from ourselves, it becomes the truth.

If you have ever thought any of these things, stop. Just stop. Please. To put it bluntly: that self-loathing attitude will not get you anywhere in life. I mean, come on, you are the person you will spend every conscious moment with; at least learn to love yourself!

 Let me tell you the problem that arises when dating with acne: you sell yourself short. You think you're not good enough. And that means you're not confident. And that's one of the biggest turn-offs a person can have.

 In today's world, confidence is everything. Confidence -not to be confused with cockiness- is sexy. It shows that you are a happy individual with self-worth, and who doesn't want to date someone who is happy and secure in themselves? I know I do. Confidence shows you are emotionally and mentally stable in yourself, which is something everyone wants in a partner.

 I don't care whether you have glistening, clear skin or a face full of cystic acne, if you don't love yourself, you can not expect somebody else to love you. What I'm trying to say is that before you start looking for somebody to love, start loving yourself. Stop selling yourself short. Stop saying acne is the reason you can't get a boyfriend, can't get friends, can't get a job, etc.

 I have acne. I am not conventionally attractive. I am overweight.

 Yet I have a boyfriend. I am first in my school's academic rankings. I have friends. I placed first in the violin section of our orchestra. I am in a band. 

 None of this could have been achieved if I have just given up on myself because I had acne. There was no way I would even have a boyfriend right now if I hadn't been confident in myself. There was no way I would have taken up music if I was afraid of everyone watching me while I performed onstage. I wouldn't have met all the wonderful friends I know now had I spent my days sulking shyly alone rather than being friendly. And it's not easy, I didn't say it was: but it is definitely worth it. 

 My point: Acne is not the end of your social, romantic, or academic life.Don't give up on yourself or hate yourself, because then you'll find yourself missing all the wonderful opportunities life throws at you and it will be so much harder to enjoy your life.

 Be confident. Love yourself. With or without acne, you're still a living, breathing human being deserving of love and self-worth. 




#3359505 The Big Hormone Post For Both Men And Women

Posted by Green Gables on 19 June 2013 - 04:32 PM

If you have questions, please PM me, do not respond to this post.




You thought you would "grow out" of your acne and didn't? You're not alone. Many men and women suffer adult acne in their 20s, 30s, 40s, and beyond. Adults with acne often have hormonal imbalances that linger after puberty, and these imbalances create disfiguring acne. 


Quick Review on Hormones


The main sex hormones are testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone. Men and women have all three hormones in the body at different proportions. A more general term for testosterones is androgens. When you see "androgens" just remember that it means testosterone hormones in general.


The Culprit: DHT


DHT, or Dihydrotestosterone, is a type of testosterone that is one of most potent androgens in the body. DHT is 2-3x more powerful than "regular" testosterone and 15-30x more powerful than other adrenal androgens. This means that small fluctuations in DHT can have enormous effects on the body. 


DHT synthesizes in the skin, hair follicles, testes, prostate, ovaries, and adrenal glands. Excess DHT and/or DHT sensitivity has been linked to:

  • acne (men and women)
  • balding, hair loss, hair thinning (men and women)
  • excessive sex drive (men and women)
  • facial hair or excess body hair (women)
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome PCOS and endometriosis (women)
  • prostate problems (men)
  • low sperm count (men)

Why am I sensitive to DHT?


There is a lot of evidence to suggest that sensitivity to DHT is largely caused by genetics and the hormonal conditions of the womb while you were still a fetus. Genetics and prenatal hormone conditions work together to mold your adult hormonal state. Both are very powerful influences that a little ProActive is not going to fix.


But the real answer is: I don't know. Neither does your doctor. The fact is that treating a DHT sensitivity often clears acne. So I focus more on what can be done rather than why it happens.


Can I get a test that will tell me if DHT is causing my acne?


No. Medical testing for a sensitivity to DHT does not exist. You can get a test on your testosterone levels. Some people with acne actually have higher levels of androgens. But some have "normal" levels of androgens, yet still manifest symptoms. 


Well then why should I treat my acne as if it's hormonal?


- You can completely prevent acne from occurring through hormonal treatment.

- Antibiotics are only a short-term fix.

- Accutane users find their acne coming back a few years later because the sebaceous glands grow back.

- Benzoyl peroxide and retinoids can't prevent deeper cystic acne, and the redness and peeling caused by these products are almost as bad as the acne itself. 


How to reduce DHT


Reducing DHT involves avoiding DHT triggers in the food you consume, providing your body with the pre-hormone D3 so it can metabolize hormones efficiently, and using a DHT inhibitor to fight your built-in DHT sensitivity. 


1. Eliminate dairy (milk, cheese, yogurt).


Dairy is naturally loaded with hormones (even organic dairy). Remember that cow's milk is made for baby calves to help them grow to maturity. It contains all sorts of growth hormones that only "grow acne" in adult humans. Most commercial dairy manufacturers also add synthetic hormones to keep the cows lactating constantly.


2. Eliminate sugar, refined carbs, and high loads of simple carbohydrates.


Both increase insulin levels which directly stimulate bad hormonal activity that leads to acne. What is a refined carb? Fruit juice. Soda. Candy. Chocolate bars. Crackers. Pretzels. Potato chips. Maple syrup. Sweet tea. Anything made with white flour (most breads and pastas). Anything with sugar added (many frozen or pre-packaged foods). You may be thinking, well what do I eat? Vegetables. Meats. Eggs. Whole grains in moderation. Whole fruits in moderation. Google the "paleo diet" for more ideas. 


3. Eliminate coffee, energy drinks, soda, teas, and caffeine in general. 


Study upon study has shown that caffeine, even in small amounts, stimulate bad insulin and hormonal activity that exacerbate acne, just like dairy and sugar. Kick the caffeine habit!!!


And what about tea? Many blends have a significant amount of caffeine. Many people on these forums tout green tea but I would stay away from it. Its negative hormonal activities outweigh its good features in my opinion. One recent study shows green tea increasing DHT by 194% and testosterone by 74%.


4. Reduce or eliminate alcohol.


Just google alcohol and acne. Not only can the chemicals in alcohol create acne, but alcohol is a huge stress on your liver, and when your liver suffers, it purges itself through your skin. 


4. Get adequate sun exposure.


Vitamin D3 is not really a vitamin, it is a pre-hormone. Your body cannot regulate hormones without D3.


Many acne sufferers are in a habit of avoiding the sun, slathering on sunscreen, or simply live indoor lifestyles. Important facts about vitamin D3:

  • Dairy is fortified with vitamin D2, which is not the vitamin D3 you need for hormone regulation.
  • You cannot get D3 when you are blocking UVB light with sunscreen or makeup.
  • Glass blocks the UVB rays required to produce D3 (so sitting in the car or by a sunny window don't count)
  • The prescription shots are vitamin D2.

I either recommend a lot of outdoor sun exposure, or if you must take a pill:

  • 5,000 to 15,000 IU of vitamin D3 a day
  • Take it with an omega-3 supplement (fish oil), because D3 is not absorbed from a pill without good fats taken at the same time

5. Stop using "workout" supplements. 


Many workout supplements and protein powders (especially whey protein, which is dairy!) are designed to stimulate androgenic activity, which supposedly helps you build muscle faster. Unfortunately too much androgenic activity = acne. If you don't want acne, you may have to accept that professional bodybuilding is not in your future. 


6. Women: Pay attention to the type of birth control you are using. 


With birth control you are putting hormones directly into your body. This has HUGE effects on acne. All pills/implants contain some type of progestin (a synthetic form of progesterone). If that progestin is highly androgenic, you may as well be throwing gasoline on the acne fire. I have made a separate post on this topic: Good & Bad Birth Control Pills and Implants for Acne.


7. Take anti-androgen drugs or herbal supplements.


This is ESSENTIAL to clearing hormonal acne. Even if you fix everything else, you need to attack the DHT directly.


An anti-androgen mutes some of the DHT activity in your body so that it stops creating acne. If you have a DHT sensitivity problem, your body is freaking out every time your DHT spikes a little bit. SO many things spike DHT on a daily basis. Eating. Exercise. Sex. Stress. Basically LIFE spikes your DHT! This means...you guessed it...you have acne all the time. You have to mute some of this activity so your body stops having "acne freak outs".


The key to this step is PATIENCE and remembering that it is PREVENTION. Anti-androgens prevent new acne. They don't make existing zits disappear any faster.






The most effective anti-androgen is prescription oral spironolactone. Most women succeed on a daily dose of 50mg - 100mg. It is hard to find a doctor that will prescribe spiro for acne. I recommend printing this website out and bringing it into your appointment. It describes how spiro is used for acne and cites medical journals. If your dermatologist still will not prescribe it, I recommend switching to an endocrinologist or ob-gyn, who tend to be more educated in hormonal issues. 


Men. Your prescription options are:

  • Topical spironolactone. You cannot get oral spiro for acne because it is too strong for males. However, you can get spiro cream for acne with a prescription. (You can also order the over-the-counter hairloss version of the cream, which is perfectly safe to use on your face.)
  • Finasteride (also known as Propecia or Proscar) is commonly prescribed to treat balding (which is also caused by DHT). If you already have a balding problem, a nice side effect of this medication is it can clear up acne.




There are several plants that have anti-androgenic effects. You will get better results and less side effects when you combine two or more different plant types. I cannot stress this enough. Taking large doses of saw palmetto will not help nearly as much as taking moderate doses of multiple plants.


You must use standardized extract supplements ("whole herb" supplements are not potent enough). 

  • Saw palmetto
  • Stinging nettle
  • Pygeum
  • Pumpkin seed oil
  • Beta sitosterol

Men: Total dosage of all anti-DHT herbs combined should range between 320mg - 1000mg daily. 


Women: You should only be taking herbs if you are NOT taking spironolactone. Total dosage of all anti-DHT herbs combined should range between 640mg - 1500mg daily.


I will say this again. You need to combine different plant types and customize your dosages to work with your body. Many people give up on herbal anti-androgens because they do not combine plant types, take too small of a total dose, or take too large of a dose of one plant. 


Okay, I'm doing everything. How long do I have to wait?


It depends on how severe your acne is, how messed up your hormones are, and how strictly you follow all of the recommendations. I had severe nodular/cystic acne that took 8 months on 100mg of spironolactone to resolve. For the first 4-5 months, my skin looked EXACTLY THE SAME as when I started. If that's not discouraging, I don't know what is. 


Hormones are SLOW. Do not expect that you can be "tweaking" your regimen every week. Basically start from a good place, and slog through. If you don't see any improvements at about 4 months, then consider making changes. 


Can I speed this along?


There really is not a quick fix for hormonal issues. For various reasons that I will not go into here because it would take far too much time, I DO NOT recommend combining hormonal treatment with antibiotics, retinoids, or benzoyl peroxide products. 


How should I wash my face?


Less is more. The short version is that your skin needs an ideal pH level of 5.5 to fight off infection and heal itself. Get above or below that and your skin suffers.


Most of you wash your face with alkaline city or well water, then you use an alkaline cleanser, then you slather on some acne product that is too alkaline or too acidic. Some of you do this 2-3 times a day. What you are really doing is leaving your skin in a disrupted state...all the time. 


(By the way, the marketing term "pH balanced" is crap. It's not regulated. It doesn't mean anything. Companies can slap this on whatever they want.)


When I was going through hormonal treatment, this is the exact regimen I followed:


  • Cleanse skin once a day with distilled water (this has a neutral pH) and CeraVe cleanser
  • Moisturize once a day with CeraVe Hydrating Lotion
  • Wear makeup/sunscreen as little as possible
  • 30 minutes of sun exposure daily
  • No caffeine, alcohol, dairy, or sugar. Diet low in refined carbs.

How did it work for you?


How long did it take you to have clear skin?

I went from severe acne to zero zits after 8 months of following all of the steps above. It can be a very discouraging process. At month 4, my skin looked about the same as at month 1. But between month 4 and month 8, I saw zits slowly disappear. Expect this. The changes are slow. It is worth it in the end.


How bad was your acne?

My acne was graded by several dermatologists as severe. On the Leeds scale I was an 8 (out of 10), on the Cooks scale a 7 (out of 8), and on the Pillsbury scale a 4 (out or 4). After 8 months following the steps above, my skin was completely clear of active lesions. My exact regimen is as follows:

  • 100mg of spironolactone daily
  • Washing face once a day with distilled water and CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser
  • Moisturizing with CeraVe Moisturizing Lotion
  • NO caffeine, dairy, and sugar. Diet generally low in refined carbs.
  • 30 minutes sun exposure daily (no sunscreen)

What treatments failed you?

  • Oral and topical antibiotics: Cephalexin, Amoxicillin, Tetracycline, Doxycycline, Clindamyacin, Minocycyline, Azithromycin
  • Topical retinoids: Differin, Retin-A Micro, Retin-A
  • Benzoyl peroxide
  • Acids: salicylic acid (BHA), glycolic acid (AHA), mandelic acid, lactic acid
  • Light therapy: blue light, red light, infrared light
  • Exfoliation regimens: Clarisonic, dry brushing, scrubs
  • Washing regimens: Oil Cleansing Method, water-only method
  • Vitamin regimens: zinc, vitamin A, vitamin B5, MSM, probiotics, digestive enzymes, fish oils, omega fats, iodine


Will I have to take an anti-androgen long-term?

I have to. I experimented with not taking mine on vacations and have broken out again.


How is everything going now?

My skin remains clear. I currently follow the same simple cleansing regimen, take my anti-androgen daily, and get adequate sun exposure. I never drink caffeine, however I now allow myself some dairy products and occasional desserts. I only wish I had known about the hormonal causes of acne sooner.


Outside reading:

Do Milk and Sugar Cause Acne? By Dr. Mark Hyman in the Huffington Post

Female Acne and Hormones By Dr. Geoffrey Redmond and the Hormone Help Center of New York

Progesterone: The Almost Forgotten Hormone By Energetic Nutrition and citing Dr. John Lee

Saw palmetto reduced DHT levels by 32% in this study


If you have questions, please PM me, do not respond to this post.

#3447931 To All The Ladies Out There

Posted by JSM1894 on 19 August 2014 - 08:59 AM

I just wanted to share a little story with all of you. I am currently a 20 yr old college student and my senior year of high school I was pretty seriously involved with a girl at my high school. She suffered from pretty severe acne even though it was non-cystic. I was considered a jock (one of the captains of the baseball team) and often heard guys make comments about her acne. Let me tell you, i was the first one to stop this. When i saw this girl i saw her for the amazing, smart, caring girl she was. This was at a time where I couldn't have known what she was going through because this was far before my acne came about. I witnessed how self-conscious she was, and realized how the opinions of many others affected her. Long story short, we ended up breaking up when college started, but I will never forget this girl. Don't think its out of the question for someone to love you due to acne, because it's simply not true. Yes, I am young but I would consider her my first love. Today I am 1 month post accutane and am left with some pretty serious red marks and scarring. i often don't leave my room unless its for class, or the gym. I know how it feels, and dwelling on it only makes it worse. I would have never and will now never turn down a girl because of her acne, because I recognize the feelings that correlate with this disease. I will say a prayer for all of you, that not only you can see yourself as the beautiful, amazing people you are, but that you find happiness in life, school, or whatever other thing you become involved in.

#3481079 If You're Reading This...you Are An Amazing Person

Posted by snowflake01 on 14 May 2015 - 08:50 PM

I just wanted to reach out to anyone who is suffering emotionally /physically right now because of acne and scars. If you're reading this and are mentally drained and need a big hug... (I know i do) this is a virtual **hug**. I've met some truly amazing people on here...i would say definitely some of the strongest, inspiring people I have ever met.. patient, determined and hopeful. I just got home myself from a consult with a doctor today to discuss lasers... and cried on the drive back..not so much because  it was bad but just because I am so exhausted. I haven't shared this side of my life (constitutes a pretty big portion of my time for the last few years) with anyone except people on here because I feel you are the ones who understand.

Maybe some people  do suffer from body dysmorphic disorder (bdd) but some don't...i think it's  good to pause and consider your situation but personally I want to tell you that if you aren't seeking perfection and just want improvements, I believe in you and I think it's possible. You know your face, your body. Especially if your face went from smooth to getting scarred over time, it's reasonable to be upset and want to make aesthetic improvements.

Sometimes i tell myself to keep things in perspective, that there are worse things in the world. But i wouldn't downplay anybody else's skin troubles, why my own? I can admit now that scars and acne feel very traumatizing. Maybe it's not the end of the world, but its hard to enjoy life when you're feeling wounded and literally look wounded. So if improvements are what you're after, then please don't give up. I truly believe you can achieve what you want in life. It may not happen overnight but maybe in steps...especially things like scars. If you're happy with scars, then even better, but if you're not, just don't let any doctor or person make you feel silly for wanting to seek improvements just because they don't  see it necessary. Your face...your choice. Having said all that, I hope that what propels you forward each day is the reminder that you still are the same amazing person you've always been. Nothing has changed. Some day you'll be at a place where you feel more comfortable and at peace with your skin, if that's what you want. For now,  please remember you are an amazing person just like everybody else, and everything is going to be ok. You'll see.

#3392267 How I Got Rid Of My Acne Scars

Posted by Liquid_Ocelot on 03 November 2013 - 01:16 PM

Hi guys, I haven’t been here in a while but some of the veterans might remember me.  I joined this site back in 2009 and I promised myself if I ever managed to fix my acne scars I would come back and document my journey in case it will help anyone else. So this is me fulfilling my moral obligation. I don’t know what will help and what won’t so I’m just going to detail everything i've learned over the years.


In case you don’t want to read through this entire thread these are the treatments I did in a nutshell –


Chemical peels (Vi Peel)






And now details. This will be a pretty long thread so i'll try and structure it so it's easy to read.


Type of scarring


My scars were pretty unsightly. I had a bunch of giant boxcar scars on the left side of my face with jagged edges that just looked awful.  They were about medium depth and very wide.  I also had seborrheic dermatitis on the same area which made them look twice as bad. Also hyperpigmentation. Basically everything that can make your skin look ugly, I had a combination of all of them. I didn’t however have ice pick scars so if that’s your ailment then this thread may not be relevant to you.


Having said all that, it’s very important to identify your skin type and make a conscious judgment about how your skin will react to a particular treatment before doing it. Don’t go with what a doctor tells you if your instinct tells you otherwise. You know your own skin better than anyone else. Just because someone else has had success with a certain protocol doesn’t mean it’s going to work for you.


Skin type


I’m Middle Eastern/Bengali so I would say I have Fitzpatrick Skin Type IV. So if you’re any darker than me you will have to take extra precautions. I would also classify my skin as extremely sensitive, I can’t really use any moisturizer without my skin clogging up and getting red and irritated.


Chemical peels


My journey started with chemical peels. At first I was very reluctant to try anything since I have Asian skin which is more prone to hyperpigmentation, but then I heard about a new supposedly revolutionary peel called the ‘Vi Peel’ specifically tailored for darker skin. I had mixed results with this, looking back I think I was almost fooling myself that the results were positive. There were some slight improvements in texture but it also seemed to uncover some very old scarring making my boxcar scars significantly more visible. It also gave my skin a shiny plastic look a few months down the line. Overall I would not recommend chemical peels. Though it didn’t do any lasting damage as it was quite a mild peel, if I could do it all over again…I wouldn’t. I would’ve used microneedling from the very beginning.


I’m strictly against any treatment that causes surface damage unless absolutely necessary. As I’ll explain later on, the beauty of treatments such as microneedling is that the damage is vertical which maintains the structure of the skin. The chances of scarring are significantly increased when there is wide surface damage.




Microneedling was a revelation to me from the very beginning. I had read about it here and there but didn’t consider it seriously until I read testimonies from Lamar and a few others. I started with a 0.5mm dermaroller and saw positive results from the beginning. I quickly shifted to dermastamp after the first treatment. I find the dermaroller awkward to use, it’s hard to apply the correct amount of pressure and the needles are going in at an angle which can cause unwanted damage. It’s also horrible for targeting specific scars.


Needle size


1.5mm seems to be the most popular choice here for scarring which I agree with, but only for the fleshy parts of your cheek. Anywhere else and it’s too long and can cause complications. One thing you must do when choosing your needle length is use your common sense. Touch your face and feel where the skin is thicker/thinner. For example, forehead skin tends to be very thin, I wouldn’t use anything above 1.0mm max. I used a 1.5mm dermaroller on a small section of my forehead during the trial and error phase and had hyperpigmentation there for months. Don’t needlessly use long needles if it’s not required.


To give you a clearer understanding of what I’m talking about here are the needle lengths I used when dermastamping –


Forehead – 0.5mm

Temple/bony areas/chin – 1.0mm

Fleshy part of cheeks – 1.5mm


Even more important than needle length is needle diameter. If the needles are too thick you are risking additional damage. Make sure they are 0.3mm thick at the absolute maximum. 0.15mm to 0.25mm is what I go for. This goes back to what I was talking about with the chemical peels. We want controlled vertical damage, horizontal damage is what generally causes scarring.




Hygiene was something that I thought a lot about as I was paranoid about getting a skin infection. I ended up delaying my first treatment for a while so I could come up with the right protocol to wash the needles after the treatment. Looking back now that was pretty stupid. Dermastamps cost around $15 if I remember correctly, so I decided to just buy a new stamp for each treatment. If you’re that cheap that you want to save $15 at the risk of infection and bent needles, I don’t know what to tell you.


For cleansing your skin prior to the treatment I recommend buying 70% Isopropyl Alcohol wipes and also Saline wipes. So wipe the skin with the alcohol wipes first to kill off any bacteria, then use the saline wipes. You probably don’t want to needle with the alcohol still on your skin.


Topicals and LED’s


First of all let’s get LED’s out of the way. I’ve never done a treatment without LED’s so can’t really say whether they genuinely help. But I like to leave no stone unturned. And the science behind it also makes sense. I started out using the red/infrared LED (660nm/880nm) for 5 minutes followed by the yellow LED (590nm) also for 5 minutes. I’ve since phased out the yellow led and not noticed any difference. I keep the red/infrared just in case.


Now let’s move on to topicals. I’ve used a lot of topicals and I mean a LOT. Everything from Korean growth factor serums to mesotherapy vitamin cocktails. My favourites were –


Dermaheal Stem C’rum (very expensive)


Amino-plex wound healing spray


I would use these (one or the other) during the actual treatment to take advantage of the holes created in the skin. Both of these encourage the growth of new tissue and speed up wound healing. However I wouldn’t say these are mandatory, more like icing on the cake. What is mandatory is using a moisturizer. You need to keep the skin moisturized for at least a few days following the treatment, as this will facilitate healing. My favourites are -


Mesoestetic Post-Laser Cream


Terproline Professional


Terproline Professional is probably more potent but Post-Laser Cream just feels so smooth on the skin. It’s one of the few topicals I’ve used that doesn’t irritate my skin whatsoever. Terproline feels a little clogging.


Having said all that i've been using home made Platelet Rich Plasma for the past year (applied during treatments). I hire a phlebotomist and make it myself using a centrifuge. This is my favourite topical to use but I understand its unrealistic to recommend it unless you're having it done in a clinic. For the moisturizer I’m still using the Post-Laser Cream.


If your head is spinning from all the things I’ve named then don’t worry. I got the bulk of my results in the beginning using just Terproline Professional and LED’s. So if you’re just starting out keep it simple. Buy a dermastamp, a moisturizer and a red/infrared led and get started. Over time you will naturally evolve to using other things if you feel they are needed.




This is something that a lot of people neglect. They become so preoccupied with fixing their indents that they forget about their general skin tone which is just as important when it comes to aesthetically pleasing skin. I remember looking at celebrities with acne scars like Brad Pitt and thinking how does he get away with it? Well it’s usually because their skin tone is still quite even, it makes the indents far less noticeable. So keep that in mind when treating your scars. Use safe but potent topicals to improve or get rid of any hyperpigmentation. A few that I like –


Dermaheal SB


Fusion Mesotherapy Radiance


The second I’ve bought but haven’t tried yet, but the ingredients list looks good. Take advantage of the fact that absorption of topicals is increased ten fold after needling by using the right products. Even skin tone makes a world of difference.




I’d say your overall diet is the most important thing, but here are some supplements that I’ve taken and liked over the years.


Vitamin C – absolutely mandatory. I take 500mg once in the morning and once at night post treatment, either in the form of a pill or a Berocca tablet.


Zinc – important for wound healing, even more important if you’re a guy. I try and take 15mg a day.


MSM – I take one teaspoon of Doctor’s Best MSM Powder a day. I noticed my hair growing thicker and faster when I take this regularly, so it must be good for the skin. I haven’t been taking it lately however I’m planning on starting again.


Wellman’s Skin Technology – specifically made for maintaining healthy skin. All in one, definitely recommended.

To keep things simple, start off with just Vitamin C and Skin Technology/multi vitamin. Those are the main ones.


Protein – this one isn’t really mentioned by people but it’s extremely important. I once did a treatment after an extreme diet with very little protein and experienced delayed wound healing as a result. Since then I’ve always made sure I’m getting a good amount of protein in me.


As I said, general diet is the most important thing for building a healthy immune system which will enhance your results. You want a balanced diet consisting mainly of whole foods.




If using a 1.5mm I would recommend every 6 weeks at most, 8 weeks is optimal. Also take into consideration your age. I started needling around 22 years old, so consider your healing ability.


Also of importance is how thorough you are, don’t be so gung ho for your first treatment, my first few treatments were all about watching and observing. I started out practicing on my leg, then only on my forehead. By the time I did a full face treatment I was fully prepared. You want to get nice even coverage, don’t keep going until your skin is raw and bleeding excessively. Start off slowly, the last thing you want is additional damage.




After using the dermastamp for about 5 treatments I then purchased a Dermapen. This is basically the same thing, it’s just quicker and easier to use. I would only buy it if money is no object, otherwise you can pretty much get the same results with a dermastamp.




For me this is the future of scar treatments. I done a great deal of research before I decided to try Intracel as the radio frequency aspect of the treatment made me a little nervous. If you don’t know what Intracel is, it’s basically the same as dermastamping but the tip of the needles are heated i.e. they emit radio frequency energy. Depending on the power level, this can vaporize scar tissue without damaging the surface. So you get the results of laser therapy without any of the risks.


I’ve only had one treatment so far but I can see some subtle differences already. I used it primarily to treat a few seborrheic patches which are still lingering on my skin. Seb derm is caused mainly by overactive sebaceous glands, the Intracel needles can target these and destroy them.


However don’t worry about this if you’re just starting out, try dermastamping first and if it works for you, you can move onto radio frequency microneedling in the future.





Unfortunately I don’t have any before pictures, but this is what my skin looks like today for what its worth. This was the most unflattering light I could find in my house, I’m standing directly under a light bulb with my head tilted to show any textural deficiencies.




The camera quality isn’t great but at this point my scars are indistinguishable on camera.




I plan to buy an Intracel type machine in the next few months and combine it with PRP. This is the ultimate treatment in my eyes. I’ll use it about 2 or 3 times within the span of a year and then I’ll probably give this whole thing a rest for a while.


So that’s my story folks, hope it can help someone out there. I know what it’s like to be at rock bottom so if that’s you right now keep your head up. Things can change if you really want it.


P.S. Forgive the sensationalist title, I used it because that was one of the first things I typed into Google when researching acne scarring. A thread like this would've helped! 

#3278839 The Bad List: Comedogenic Ingredients And Products

Posted by Green Gables on 21 August 2012 - 12:22 AM

Comedogenic: Tending to produce or aggravate acne.


This post lists comedogenic ingredients and products containing those ingredients above a certain threshold. This is the BAD LIST of what to avoid in your skin care products. If you want the good list of non-comedogenic products, see this alternate post.

This is purely informational. I am not making any blanket statements concerning any particular product. Use this post to inform yourself. What you choose to slather on your face is your own business.

Just because something claims to be "non-comedogenic" "non-acnegenic" "oil-free" "dermatologist tested" or "dermatologist approved" does NOT mean the product is free of comedogenic ingredients. These terms are not regulated, and a company can use them however they want. You will find many "non-comedogenic" products that contain the worst offenders on this list!

A major offender is Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and Sodium Laureth Sulfate...contained in many mainstream cleansers.

Ingredients with a comedogenic rating of 3 or higher are highlighted in red.

ingredient : comedogenic factor : irritant factor

1. Lanolins
Acetylated lanolin : 4 : 0
Acetylated lanolin acohol : 4 : 2
Anhydrous lanolin : 0-1 : ?
Lanolin alchol : 0-2 : 2
PEG 16 lanolin (Solulan 16) : 4 : 3
PEG 75 lanolin : 0 : 0

2. Fatty acids
Laurie acid : 4 : 1
Lauric acid : 4 : ?
Myristic acid : 3 : 0
Dioctyl succinate : 3 : 2
Syearyl Heptanoate : 4 : 0
Palmitic acid : 2 : 0
Stearic acid : 2 : 0
Behenic acid : 0 : 0
Ascorbytl palmitate : 2 : 0
Butyl stearate : 3 : 0
Decyl oleate : 3 : 0
Dilsopropyl adipate : 0 : 0
Isopropyl isosterate : 5 : 0
Isopropyl myristate : 5 : 3
Isopropyl palmitate : 4 : 1
Isopropyl linolate : 5 : ?
Isostearyl neopentanoate : 3 : 3
Isostearyl isostearate : 4 : 1
Myristyl lactate : 4 : 2
Octydodecyl stearate : 0 : 0
Stearyl heptanoate : 4 : 0
Tridectyl neopentanoate : 0 : 3
PPG 2 Myristyl Propionate : 3 : 2
Ethylhexyl palmitate : 4 : ?
Isodecyl oleate : 4 : ?
PPG 30 : 0 : 0

3. Alcohols and sugars
SD Alcohol 40 : 0 : 0
Isopropyl alcohol : 0 : 0
Cetyl alcohol : 2 : 2
Cetearyl alcohol : 2 : 1
Stearyl alcohol : 2 : 2
Ceteareth 20 : 4 : 1
Propylene glycol : 0 : 0
PG dicaprylate/caprate : 1 : 0
PG dipelargonate : 2 : 2
Sorbitol : 0 : 0
Sorbitan laurate : 1 : 1
Sorbitan sesquinoleate : 0 : 0
Sorbitan stearate : 0 : 1
Polysorbate 20 : 0 : 0
Polysorbate 80 : 0 : 0
Glycerin : 0 : 0
Glyceryl stearate NSE : 1 : 0
Glyceryl stearate SE : 3 : 2
Pentaerythrital tetra caprai caprylate : 0 : 0
Wheat germ glyceride : 3 : 2
Polyethylene glycol : 1 : 0
PEG 20 stearate : 1 : 0
Laureth-4 : 5 : 4
Laureth-23 : 3 : 0
Oleth-3 : 5 : 2
Oleth-10 : 2 : 1
PPG 30 cetyl ester : 0 : 0
PEG 40 castor oil : 0 : 0
Steareth-2 : 2 : 2
Steareth-10 : 4 : 3
Steareth-20 : 2 : 1
Steareth-100 : 0 : 0
PG Monostearate / Propylene glycol monostearate : 3 : 0
PEG 8 stearate : 3 : 1
Disodium monooleamido PEG 2 Sulfosuccinate : 4 : ?
Glyceryl-3-Diisostearate : 4 : ?
Polyglyceryl-3-diisostearate : 4 : ?
Oleyl alcohol : 4 : ?
Isocetyl alcohol : 4 : 0
Isocetyl stearate : 5 : ?
PEG 200 Dilaurate : 3 : ?
PEG 100 Distearate : 2 : 0
Hexadecyl alcohol : 5 : ?
Octyl stearate : 5 ; ?
Myreth 3 Myrisrate : 4 : ?

4. Waxes
Candelilla wax : 1 : 0
Camuba wax : 1 : 0
Ceresin wax : 0 : ?
Beeswax : 0-2 : 0
Lanolin wax : 1 : 0
Jojoba oil : 0-2 : 0
Sulfated jojoba oil : 3 : 0
Emulsifying wax NF : 0-2 : 0-2

5. Thickeners
Carboxymethylcellulose : 0 : 0
Hydroxypropylcellulose : 1 : 0
Magnesium aluminum silicate : 0 : 0
Carbomer 940 : 1 : 0
Bentonite : 0 : 0
Kaolin : 0 : 0
Talc : 1 : 0
Sorbitan oleate : 3 : 0

6. Oils
Olive oil : 2-4 : ?
Cocoa butter : 4 : 0
Coconut butter : 4 : 0
Cocos Nucifera / Coconut oil : 4 : ?
Grape seed oil : 4 : ?
Crisco : 3 : ?
Hydrogenated vegetable oil : 3 : ?
Peach kernel oil : 4 : ?
Linum usitatissiumum seed oil / Linseed oil : 4 : ?
Sesame oil : 2 : 0
Corn oil : 2-3 : 0
Avocado oil : 2 : 0
Almond oil : 2 : ?
Emu oil : 1 : 0
Camphor oil : 2 : 2
Hazelnut oil : 2 : 0
Hemp seed oil : 0 : ?
Evening primrose oil : 2 : 2
Peanut oil : 2 : 1
Pomegranate oil : 1 : 0
Rosehip oil : 1 : 1
Tamanu oil : 2 : 0
Shea butter : 0 : 0
Argan oil : 0 : 0
Mink oil : 3 : 1
Glycine soja oil / Soybean oil : 3 : 0
Shark liver oil : 3 : 2
Triticum Vulgare / Wheat germ oil : 5 : 2
Cotton seed oil : 3 : ?
Cotton awws : 3 : ?
Apricot kernel oil : 2 : 0
Camphor : 2 : ?
Castor oil : 1 : 0
Hydrogenated castor oil : 1 : 0
Sulfated castor oil : 3 : ?
Sandalwood Seed Oil : 2 : 0
Squalane : 1 : 0
Squalene : 3 : ?
Safflower oil (cold pressed only, high lineolic content) : 0 : 0
Safflower oil (cooking variety, high oleic content) : 4 : ?
Mineral oil : 0 : 0
Petrolatum : 0 : ?
Sesame oil : 2 : ?
Sunflower oil : 0-2 : ?

7. Pigments
D&C red #6 : 1 : 0
D&C red #9 : 1 : 0
D&C red #19 : 2 : 0
D&C red #27 : 2 : 0
D&C red #30 : 3 : 0
D&C red #36 : 3 : 0
D&C red 40 : 2 : 2
Ultramarine violet : 0 : 0
Iron oxides : 0 : 0
Cafmine : 0 : 0
Titanium dioxide : 0 : 0

8. Silicones
Sirnethicone : 1 : 0
Dimethicone : 1 : 0
Cyclomethicone : 0 : 0

9. Sterols
Cholesterol : 0 : 0
Soya sterol : 0 : 0
Peg 5 soya sterol : 0 : 0
Peg 10 soya sterol : 0 : 1
Choleth 24 : 0 : 0
Sterol esters : 0 : 0

10. Vitamins and herbs
Algae extract : 5 : 4
Red Algae : 5 : 2
Tocopherol (vitamin E) : 2 : 2
Tocopheryl acetate : 0 : 0
Black walnut extract : 0 : 0
Chammomile extract : 0 : 0
Vitamin Apalmitate : 2 : 2
Panthenol : 0 : 0
Calendula : 1 : ?
Cold Pressed Aloe : 0 : ?
Carrageenans : 5 : ?
Sodium chloride (salt) : 5 : 0-3
Colloidal sulfur : 3 : ?
Flowers of sulfur : 0 : ?
Beta Carotene : 1 : ?
BHA : 2 : ?
Algin : 4 : ?
Potassium Chloride : 5 : ?

11. Preservatives
Methyl paraben : 0 : 0
Propyl paraben : 0 : 0
Allantoin : 0 : 0
Hydantoin : 0 : 0
Sodium hyaluronate : 0 : 0

12. Detergents
Sodium Laureth Sulfate : 3 : 2
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate : 5 : 2
Sodium Myreth Sulfate 3 : ?
Carbomer 940 : 1 : ?
Hydroxypropyl cellulose : 1 : ?
Kaolin : 0 : ?

13. Misc
Octyl drinethyl PABA : 0 : 0
Oxybenzone : 0 : 0
Octyl methoxycinnamate : 0 : 9
Octyl salicylate : 0 : 0
Lithium stearate : 1 : 0
Magnesium stearate : 1 : 0
Zinc oxide : 1 : 0
Zinc stearate : 0 : 0
Triethanolamine : 2 : 0
Stearic acid TEA : 3 : 2
Sodium PCA : 0 : 0
Hydryolyzed animal protein : 0 : 0
Adamosis stearate : 2 : 2
Xylene : 4 : 3
Zea Mays (Corn Starch) : 2-4 : 2-5
Octyl palmitate : 4 : 1

Sources: Face Reality Pore Clogging Ingredients LIst, Zero Zits Comedogenic List, Let's Talk Acne and Cosmetics, Beneficial Botanicals

#2817236 you know its bad when..

Posted by Alex_09 on 22 February 2010 - 07:58 PM

You see your reflection in the mirror and decide to skip class.

#2759244 How ya feelin' about your acne today?

Posted by Kairasa on 01 December 2009 - 12:43 AM

I feel completely fine about my acne. I almost always do. I've accepted it as a part of me, whether I have clear skin or some pimples. I am me regardless and that is simply the best feeling in the world. =)

#2574113 Good Things For The Many Factors That Lead To Acne

Posted by alternativista on 27 March 2009 - 10:11 AM

Links to some recently unpinned threads
Food and Recipe thread index
Posts by Members who've cleared their skin via diet and lifestyle habits. Add your story!
First: Don't Panic
It's not as difficult as it looks. Everything is inter-related and the same basic diet and lifestyle habits are repeated over and over. Because they are good for everything and how humans should eat and live. So, take a deep breath... and read:

Good things for Acne
(For when you only have time for the answers, but with links to more info. And see also this thread for more details on the Ultimate Question on Acne, Diet, Health and Everything!, a collection of links to numerous of the most valuable discussion threads ever. Including the best of SweetJade, the fairy Godmother of this forum.  Click on it!)

Covering all these interrelated things:
-Stable Blood Sugar/Insulin/good Glucose Metabolism (no link because it's below in this post)
-Anti-Inflammatory diet and lifestyle
-Hormone Balance
-Healthy Liver Function
-Healthy Adrenal Function
-Good, Complete Digestion/Healthy Digestive Tract
-Allergies and food intolerances
-Reducing Hyperkeratinization/Hyperproliferation - Stage 1 in the formation of acne.
-Good Sleep/Light exposure/Circadian cycle.
-Hyper/Hypothyroid - lowers SHBG levels, increases inflammation
-Immune system
-Topical treatment - care from the outside.
-Exercise - The right kind. Affects nearly everything, like blood sugar, sleep, stress, mood...
-Body Fat - affects inflammation and hormone levels
-Brain health, Stress, Mood, Willpower, Depression, etc Because your diet can't clear if you stress out over everything.
-Oily skin, fat metabolism and Sebum quality
-Your Health - Numbers to know and monitor, home tests
-Anti-Aging - because someone asked and the same diet and lifestyle habits help that too.

All this may seem overwhelming, but it's really not. Notice how inter-related most of these things are and how the same nutrients and habits appear over and over because they help so many issues. Also, most things listed here are just plain good for you period. Things everyone should do regardless of acne. Good for whatever ails you. For anti-aging, disease prevention, wellness, happiness...

What you want is a healthy lifestyle with natural circadian cycle, stress management, physical activity and a nutrient dense, anti-inflammatory blood sugar stabilizing diet habits that don't include anything you have an intolerance for.

More on WHAT TO DO.If you just want to be told what to do, skip to here.

Other great threads:

-Food and Recipe thread index http://www.acne.org/...e/?fromsearch=1
-Doctors and other experts admitting to the diet and acne connection thread
-Members who've cleared their skin via diet and lifestyle habits
-How to Help your Skin Function like Normal, Healthy Skin
-Why you should avoid/limit dairy, especially cow, especially unfermented, etc.
-Improving fructose metabolism for those that break out from fruit
-Intermittent Fasting
-Diet and health tips and tidbits
-Autogenic and Biofeedback for stress, anxiety, emotions
-The Necessity And Benefits Of Sulfur
-Epigenetics - what you do to yourself affects your genes
-Farm subsidy and other bad things they do to our food
-'Recent' Advances in Acne Pathogenesis Information
-Patent request for an enzyme that works on a gene involved in acne
-SHBG - Sex hormone binding globulin
-ZAG enzyme which impacts normal formation and exfoliation, possibly inhibited by lectins in grains/seeds

Special Posts:
Clinical studies on the connection between diet and acne
Why you Need these Nutrients, Habits, etc. And Things you should avoid, too.
The truth about Calcium and healthy bones- for those afraid to avoid or limit dairy
Vitamin D
Coconut Oil
Omega 3s and our supposed lack of ability to convert ALA from plants to EPA and DHA

Will always be in progress. I'm working on it all the time adding good things and links to sources and more info. Refer back when you need reminders of all the factors. I know I need reminders. I'm sure there's plenty I've forgotten in these lists.

Good things for Blood Sugar/Insulin/Carb Metabolism
Insulin is a master hormone that influences almost all other hormones. Elevated Insulin stimulates Androgen and IGF1 production, while simultaneously inhibiting production of the proteins that bind them--SHBG and IGFBP-3. Androgens stimulate oil production, IGF1 causes hyperkeratinization and hyperproliferation of skin cells.  We become somewhat insulin resistant during puberty. It stimulates & helps utilize resources for growth. 

Elevated Insulin also causes inflammation which worsens acne and scarring. Inflammation is also aging and the root cause of degenerative diseases. Causes loss of elasticity in tissues. In addition, when cells become insulin resistant leaving sugar floating around in the bloodstream, it causes glycation which also reduces elasticity in tissues.


Post filled with links to research about insulin resistance, puberty, role in acne, IGF-1, etc: http://www.acne.org/...acne/?p=3314859

Note: This is not about avoiding carbs or eating low carb!! It's not even about never consuming sugar or having a dessert.  It's about habitually avoiding High Glycemic Load meals, drinks. And about the nutrients and habits that improve the body's ability to manage blood sugar and insulin response.  Just know that every time you consume more sugar than your cells can take in at that time, damage will occur. Your body can counter damage. Just not at the rate that's become normal in this soda drinking, nutritionally void refined food consuming, chronically stressful, unsleeping, sedentary society we've become.

Also, many hormones are involved in blood sugar regulation. Insulin sends blood sugar down and cortisol sends blood sugar up. And cortisol is a major culprit in metabolic syndrome. Part of the reason sleep, stress and physical activity are as big a players in the formation of diabetes and acne and related conditions.

Glycemic Index - is a measure of the effects of a food on blood sugar levels.
Glycemic Load - as above but takes into account the amount of food eaten. For example, a small piece of candy can have a lower GL than a bigger amount of a lower GI food.
Simple chart of the GI and GL of some common processed and unprocessed foods. http://archderm.ama-...TABLEDOB10212T1
Nutrition Data article on GI and GL and their own Fullness Factor index

Insulin Index- A measurement of blood insulin levels in response to various foods. Turns out that certain amino acids also stimulate excess insulin and so even low GI foods can be insulinemic. http://www.marksdailyapple.com/dairy-insulin Dairy is insulinemic, being high in the most insulinemic amino acids: leucine, valine, lysine, and isoleucine. Discussion: http://www.acne.org/...ex-t259695.html and website http://www.mendosa.c...sulin_index.htm

So, The Good Things for Blood Sugar/Insulin:

Diet habits
-Avoiding foods and drinks that spike blood sugar like sugars, refined grains, high GI foods not eaten in combination with low GI foods, - making a high GL meal.
-Eating Fats, protein and fiber to lower the GI of a meal, doesn't mean diet needs to be high fat or high protein. And very high fiber might not be good for you either.
-Avoiding over eating. High calorie meals can also be high GL meals even when composed of fat and protein. And because cell mitochondria are capable of processing only so much glucose so consuming more than your body can handle will result in excess glucose in the blood stream causing serious health problems.
-Resistant Starches
-Consuming vinegar before carb meals - acetic acid in vinegar blocks a digestive enzyme as well as improving stomach acid PH. Have a couple spoons of ACV in glass of water or have salad with vinaigrette prior to meal.
-Intermittent fasting or calorie restriction - Skip a meal now and then. Or spend a day having minimal calories, now and then.
-Eating foods high in the nutrients listed below.

Anything that improves circulation, Blood pressure, cholesterol, so:

-Exercise!!! - also increases insulin activity in order to provide energy for exercise, especially beneficial is short bursts of very intensive activity like interval training such as walking combined with sprinting, stairs, or hills. Or weight/resistance training. Any short bursts of intense exercise will help blood sugar, so take the stairs!!
-Omega 3 EFAs - from fish, krill oil, flax seed, chia
-The Omega 6 EFAs: G.L.A and linolenic acid
-Anthocyanins - phytonutrients primarily in red and purple fruits and veg, strengthens capillaries.
-Capsaicin - from chili peppers
-GINKGO BILOBA - for circulation
-Ginger - for Blood Pressure
-Limiting salt - also for blood pressure
-Potassium - blood pressure - balances sodium intake
-B3/Niacin/Inositol/Niacinimide - helps improve just about all the bad things in your lipid profile as well as circulation & BP. But high doses can reduce insulin sensitivity and harm the liver.
-Chamomile tea - studies show it both improves blood sugar and complications of diabetes as well as being calming to help with stress and sleep.
-Curcumin - in the spice Tumeric, so have some curry with plenty of veggies! Or yellow mustard.

Nutrients specifically involved with insulin signaling and glucose/fructose metabolism
-Chromium - essential for insulin activity
-Biotin - works with chromium?
-Fiber - slows metabolism of carbs. If you must cheat, such as to have a slice of birthday cake, you can take a supplement like psylium or Glucomannan
-Alpha lipoic acid - Insulin signaler, helps insulin transport glucose into cells
-Vanadian - same as above
-Magnesium - part of carb metabolism, helps body use carbs for energy, may stimulate release of insulin. Study finding magnesium supplementation reducing insulin resistance.
-Vitamin D - It's actually a hormone, not a vitamin. Helps maintain insulin levels. Also helps Blood Pressure, immune system...
-Zinc - involved in insulin storage and release
-CoEnzyme Q10 - carb metabolism
-B3/Niacin/Inositol/Niacinimide - also involved in the activity of in enzymes that transport and break down fats, proteins, carbohydrates. Has been shown to improve blood sugar, androgen levels, hirsutism and acne in women with PCOS . But high doses can reduce insulin sensitivity and harm the liver. -See also d-chiro-inositol from buckwheat and d-pinitol from Carob
-Taurine -Thread also has a lot of info on fructose malabsorption.
-Sulforaphane- sulfur compound in Brassica veggies like broccoli, cabbage, watercress....
-Resveraterol - especially beneficial for insulin signaling in the brain. (yes the brain makes it's own insulin.)

Other nutrients that have been shown via studies to play a role in lowering blood sugar/things people with insulin resistance/diabetes tend to be deficient (although we all tend to be deficient)/Things that supplementation has tended to lead to improve insulin resistance for whatever reason:
-Vitamin E
-NAC - shown to increase insulin sensitivity and lower androgen levels in women with PCOS.
- Inositol part of the B vitamin group, comes in many forms d-chiro-inositol -abundant in buckwheat and Myo-inositol also high in seeds have both been studied and found beneficial to insulin sensitivity/carb metabolism and sufferers of hormone disorders such as PCOS. They have have insulin-sensitizing capabilities. Myo-inositol is integral to properly functioning insulin-receptors and has also been linked to the activation of serotonin.  Myo-inositol is a component of the phytic acid found in seeds.
-polysaccharides in Tea- and there's more in black tea than in green, white or oolong

And lots of things that help deal with damage from and/or degree of poor glucose metabolism like C, B vitamins, E, zinc, CoEnzyme Q10. All kinds of antioxidants.

Other habits/issues:

-Sleep/Circadian Rhythm- You need bright light exposure in the daytime and darkness at night and regular sleep. Affects melatonin/seratonin, insulin sensitivity, carb metabolism/insulin sensitivity, hormone production and release, stress, digestion. Researchers have begun to believe sleep plays just as big a role in the development of diabetes as obesity and exercise.
-A healthy liver - part of sugar metabolism, especially regarding fructose.
-Healthy Adrenal function - for proper cortisol levels, which is involved in glucose metabolism. Adrenals also involved in hormone production.
-Low body fat - visceral fat(around your middle) secretes hormones that impair insulin sensitivity.
-Muscle mass improves insulin sensitivity.
-No smoking - Smoking reduces insulin sensitivity.

Also, some people may suffer from Fructose Malabsorption or even be fructose intolerant and may need to take steps to improve fructose malabsorption or avoid fructose. See also Good Things for Liver, Sleep/Circadian Rhythm - adequate bright light exposure in daytime affects carb metabolism. Fructose is best absorbed when in equal amounts of glucose. See this Chart of fruits and the amounts of each type of sugar to help you avoid those fruits with excess fructose.

And There's evidence that Saturated fat lowers insulin sensitivity and low fat diets have been found to improve diabetes.

And this was posted by a member here, but I don't yet have any additional source:

Decreased SHBG is associated with the liver's conversion of excess blood glucose to triglycerides, which I think is why a low carb diet seems to work so well. (less carbs = less blood glucose)

Also, see this list for reasons besides acne that you should try to keep blood sugar stable:
146 reasons why sugar is destroying your health. Except that it's not just actual sugar, but refined carbs easily turned into sugar by your body, and any high glycemic or insulinemic meal.

#3387767 Something That Helped Me

Posted by emily2013 on 11 October 2013 - 07:56 AM

Hey all! So like a lot of people here, I've suffered with depression because of my acne - pretty sure I could have been diagnosed with BDD if I ever told my therapist how I was feeling about it. I've just recovered from a 12 year eating disorder, so I've had plenty of experience of how serious and debilitating it can be to be unhappy with your appearance.


Anyway, one thing that has got me through some of the tougher times, when I didn't want to leave the house or even my bedroom for because of acne, was just this: remembering that I'm more than just a face. I know that sounds a little trite, and trust me I understand how difficult it is to "just forget" about acne when you're suffering from it. But it's one of many coping strategies that help me to get out of that obsessive, self-hating mood and actually make it to my job, or to see my friends, or to the shop to get some food!


When I say "you're more than just a face", I don't really mean "your appearance doesn't matter", or "but you have a great personality" - I know that advice is not at all helpful when you think you look like a monster. I literally just mean that you, as a physical person, have more than a face. You probably have some kind of hair, some eyes, a smile, whatever clothes you like to wear, your own unique mannerisms, way of talking, walking and so on. Basically, when people look at you, even though the face is a big focus, it isn't the only thing they notice. And even if they do look at you and think "ooh, acne", they probably also think "ooh, earrings", or "ooh, a blue shirt", or whatever.


So I found it really helpful to try and focus on the things about my appearance that I actually could control, and that looked how I wanted them to - when I had a crap skin day, I did my hair in my favourite style, wore my coolest outfit and got some new piercings smile.png When I went clubbing with no makeup and a face full of acne, I tried to focus on how I *clearly* had the fiercest dance moves in the room. And even though I never forgot about my acne, or felt better about my skin, I did feel human enough to get to work, do my job, and enjoy time with my friends, when my first instinct had been to hide in my bed and never, ever leave.


I guess what I'm trying to say is that sometimes it can help to pull yourself out of that miserable acne-checking spiral and force yourself to try out a more forgiving perspective. For a while it might feel like you're faking it, but eventually focusing on the positive things about your appearance could start to feel genuine, and provide that extra tiny bit of confidence (or dgaf-ness) you need to actually make it out the door. It worked for me anyway. 


So try to remember, you may see this when you look close up in the mirror:




But other people are getting the full picture!


photo (1).JPG


Hang in there everyone smile.png

#2867413 "Hot or Not" threads will be closed.

Posted by Wynne on 11 May 2010 - 09:06 PM

It has come to the attention of the moderators that some members profess to not understand why certain threads are closed.

Acne.org policy regarding what we like to call "Hot or Not" threads: "Hot or Not" threads will be closed. Not only are the threads counterproductive to the original poster, but over the years we have seen those types of threads devolve into: 1. Bragging and fishing for compliments, 2. Bickering, name-calling and even calling out, 3. Very little useful advice, 4. No relation to acne whatsoever. There's a Lounge for off-topic posts. We understand that you may feel down about your acne but please try to understand how your thread could affect other people's perceptions of themselves.

Threads where members post pictures of themselves and ask to be rated by their peers only reaffirm that we are only as good as what other people think of us. And besides that, "Hot or Not" threads have a tendency to attract trolls and instigate bickering.

Obtain your self esteem from accomplishments and abilities, not just appearances.

This policy pertains to the whole board, not just the Emotional and Psychological Effects of Acne board.

There are plenty of sites for you to post images of yourself for others to rate. Acne.org is not one of those sites.

#2817361 you know its bad when..

Posted by Jay326 on 22 February 2010 - 10:18 PM

You feel like you're a prisoner in your own body.
Your mind rejects any thoughts of social contact.

#1704532 The OIL CLEANSING METHOD (Highly Recommended!)

Posted by Barnabas on 26 February 2007 - 10:44 AM

I have stopped buying commercial cleansers and toners for my face and basically switched to an all natural way to clean my face called the Oil Cleansing Method. My skin has NEVER LOOKED BETTER and since I've started I haven't had any breakouts. People of all skin types with all sorts of different issues (including acne) use the OCM and love it.

The Oil Cleansing Method/OCM
OK, this might sound scary to some of you but this cleansing method uses OIL directly applied to your face. Are you cringing yet? lol It breaks down like this: A common misconception concerning oil and acne is that oil causes acne. This is not true. Oil alone does not cause acne--other factors like age, hormones and prolonged clogging of the pores of trapped bacteria, dead skin cells and dirt are the actual contributors to acne. The sebum your skin naturally creates is there to protect and heal it. Ideally, oil is GOOD for your skin.

Water cannot dissolve oil,
so the vast majority of today's cleansers and toners use chemicals to strip your skin of its oil which irritates it and causes it to produce MORE oil as a result. So why do SO many acne-related products say "oil-free"? Because the oil-acne myth is universally celebrated and sworn by and selling their products using the "oil-free" gimmick makes companies more money.

Fact:  Oil dissolves oil.
One of the most basic principals of chemistry is that "like dissolves like."  The best way to desolve a non-polar solvent like sebum/oil, is by using another non-polar solvent similar in composition: Other oils.  By using the right oils, you can cleanse your pores of dirt and bacteria naturally, gently and effectively, while replacing the dirty oil with beneficial ones extracted from natural botanicals, vegetables and fruit that heal, protect and nourish your skin.  When done properly and consistently, the OCM can clear the skin from issues like oily skin, dry skin, sensitive skin, blackheads, whiteheads and other problems caused by mild to moderate acne--while leaving your skin healthy, balanced and properly moisturized.

If you have severe or cystic acne, I recommend going to a dermatologist before you try anything else, including OCM, and working with one to find the best medical solutions for you.

Getting Started
The basic OCM blend is of castor oil and extra virgin olive oil.  Castor oil is fantastic at drawing dirt, bacetria and other nasty stuff trapped in your pores, while healing your skin.  Extra virgin olive oil works as a moisturizer and is fortified with antioxidants.

The ratio of castor oil to EVOO will vary depending on the person.  The typical starting ratio is 50/50 castor oil to EVOO.  For oily or acne-prone skin, a ratio of 75% castor oil to 25% EVOO will work better.  For dry or flaky skin, a ratio 25% castor oil to 75% EVOO is good.

However, you should find the right blend for you.  A lot of OCM users cut out the EVOO all together--especially those with oily or acne-prone skin, since it is a heavier oil and in rare cases has even caused people to break out.  Many people replace it with other oils like Grapeseed oil, which is light, quick to absorb and is known for its astringent properties.  Jojoba oil is another popular choice because it is a great natural moisturizer, is non-comedogetic and mimics the skin's own natural sebum.  Other popular oils are Avocado oil, Apricot Kernal oil and  Evening Primrose oil--all have extremely low pore-clogging probabilities.

I use 60% castor oil, 20% grapeseed oil and 20% jojoba oil.  I also add Tea Tree oil, which is a great antiseptic and is popularly used as treatment for acne.  Another great oil to use for acne-prone/oily skin is Hazelnut oil, which I, personally, will be trying out next (swapping out the grapeseed for it).

How to do OCM
  • You take some of your oil blend and massage it into your face (have you fainted, yet?). Do it gently and avoid scrubbing because that can be irritating to your skin.
  • Then, you take a washcloth dampened in warm to hot water (depending on your tolerance--but don't burn yourself!) and drape it over/hold it up to your face and leave it there until it's around room temperature. What you're doing is steaming your face and opening your pores so the castor oil can draw out the dirt and dead skin cells and the other oil(s) can condition your skin. Take this time to relax or unwind.
  • After you're done, gently massage the oil on your face again to free all of the trapped dirt and dead skin cells. Rinse off your washcloth, wring it out and steam your face again. This can be repeated as many times as you like, depending on how much time you have on your hands. It may take you a few OCM sessions to get your routine down and maximize your time efficiency.
  • When you've finished steaming, rinse off your washcloth, wring it out and gently start wiping the oil away. This gets rid of the dirt and dead skin cells you have freed that can lead to acne.  Depending on how freaked out you are by now, you can rinse the washcloth off and keep wipe again to make sure the excess oil is off of your face. Then, splash your face with cold water to close your pores and then pat your face dry.


There are two different types of oil for OCM:  Carrier oils and Essential oils.  Carrier oils (or "fixed oils") are good base oils to penetrate your skin and maximize the delivery of essential oils.  Essential oils are strong, concentrated oils, commonly extracted from botanicals and fruit, that are used in small amounts and heavily diluted in other (carrier/base) oils.  Different oils of both carrier and essential have their own preferred uses and benefits for different types of skin issues.  Essential oils are not a necessity for OCM to work, as carrier oils already do a great job at it, but if you like experimenting or want to tailor your blend further for your own skin, using the right essential oils may be beneficial.

Castor oil, Extra Virgin Olive oil, Jojoba oil, Grapeseed oil and Hazelnut oil are classified amongst carrier/fixed oils.  Other oils like Tea Tree oil are essential oils.

OCM is also, apparently, great for removing makeup (apply the oil directly over the makeup).

The best part of OCM?  Your face is not greasy afterward and it is properly moisturized--no more need for irritating chemical toners and astringents or those crappy moisturizers that just add chemicals to your skin which clogs your pores.  If you do find that your skin starts to become a little on the dry side (which does happen with some people), try using a very small dab of EVOO or Jojoba over your face after cleansing and/or cut down on the castor oil and increase the other oils.

Some people prefer to steam their face using other methods.  I know many people will massage the oil onto their face when they jump in the shower, do the rest of their routine and let the steam from the shower do the work and then wipe off their face as their last step.  My boyfriend does his OCM this way and he usually has pretty behaved skin except for blackheads all over his nose.  After just a couple of weeks since starting OCM himself, his face is looking fantastic now and his blackheads are almost gone completely.

Note:  If you have acne and your existing pimples look red and irritated after you're done, don't freak out. This just means that the pores on which they reside have been opened and drained of their gunk. Be patient.  With just a little persistence, your skin will clear and will have the proper conditions for healing itself.

Some people OCM morning and evening and some do it only in the morning or only in the evening and others do it a couple to several times a week--while just using water to rinse their face off when they're not OCMing.  You can decide what works best for you.

If you've got nothing left to lose or you're brave enough to try something new, I seriously recommend the OCM.

I've been using OCM for weeks now and my zits have pretty much vanished. What I love is that my skin is all tame and glowy and all of that other good stuff now--all the time.  I do it every night and in the morning I usually put on my Concha Nacar cream and/or just rinse my face off good with warm water and a washcloth.  OCM as my major life-saver, In conjunction with the small number of other treatments and products I use, my skin is now virtually clear, healing more every day, improving in tone and texture and making me happier with it than I ever have been.  

Other things I use/do for my skin:

Concha Nacar
For extra deep cleaning of my pores, treating the occasional blemish, aiding in reducing the severity of post-acne marks and improving my skin tone, quality and texture in general, I use this all-natural cream called Concha Nacar, by a small Latin American company, which is a treatment that utilizes Mother of Pearl/Oyster Shell Powder, among a short list of only six, simple, great, natural ingredients that are beneficial to the skin.  Mother of Pearl has been used by native Latin Americans and the Chinese for centuries for the treatment of an array of skin issues and general beautifying of the skin.  I usually use this in the morning, but it's not rare that I use it at night before cleansing, either.  My post about it is here:

ACV Toner
After cleansing, I use a homemade, all-natural toner consisting primarily of Apple Cider Vinegar and Green Tea.  It also utilizes a little bit of aspirin.  It is fantastic at balancing my skin, reducing redness, controlling shine, drying up any blemishes and evening out my skin tone. My post about it (as well as the recipe) is here:

Aspirin Tea Mask
Aspirin breaks down into a wonderful beta-hydroxy acid which is oil-soluble and excellent at penetrating pores beneath the sebum and dissolving/exfoliating dead skin cells.  I combine it with the leaves from a bag of Green Tea, which is high in essential anti-oxidants that protect against harmful agents and stimulate circulation which is good for healing and skin tone.  After I rinse this mask off, my skin is soft, bright, even-toned and fresh looking.  My post about it is here:


Additional Resources:

Some basic oils that may be beneficial for acne-prone skin:
Carrier/Fixed oils:

Flax Seed oil
Hazelnut oil
Neem oil
Perilla Seed oil
Seabuckthorn Berry oil
Watermelon Seed oil

Essential oils:
Bergamot oil *
Cedarwood oil
Lemongrass oil *
Litsea oil *~
Niaouli oil
Patchouli oil
Rosemary oil (avoid if you have high blood pressure)
Tea Tree (may be irritant to some, do a skin-patch test first)

* = Strong photosensitizer; avoid contact with direct sunlight for at least 4 hours after application
~ = Not recommended for sensitive skin

Links to other pages discussions about OCM:


Good luck to you if you decide to try OCM!
Be sure to come back and keep us updated on your progress.