Clarifying lotion only!
***I do not use the whole system, only step 2 which is the Acne Solutions Clarifying lotion*** My experience with this system has been quite interesting. About two years ago, I worked for Clinique and had been a sufferer of persistent, mild acne and even if I didn't break out much I had crappy skin overall, bad texture etc. so naturally, I began to use the Clinique Acne Solutions line. At first, I tried using all three steps but that didn't work because my skin curses benzoyl peroxide like the devil. The step 3 moisturizer has benzoyl in it. I decided to use just the foaming cleanser and clarifying lotion and I used the dramatically different moisturizing gel. My skin improved and the system worked for me and I had spurts of great skin. Last summer, I started to work at Sephora and strayed from the system, being lured by all the other brands. I don't know if that was the mistake, or what happened, but my skin went downhill from there. It was never bad and the changes were very subtle, or it could be because of my job I stayed indoors a lot and did not get vitamin d (which i think plays a role in acne, honestly, research!!!) it could be that I started to where makeup a lot, mostly had a diet of fast food/junk food/mall food, or a combination of it all. I tried coming back to this clinique line and it just wasnt working for me. My skin would look fine on its own but as soon as I tried to put some make up on, my skin would be a flaky mess, especially around the mouth/lower half of my face . My skin started to get bad and I went to a derm and got put on antibiotics, used aczone gel and I asked for an old facewash I used to love called sodium sulfacetamide/sulfur and use neutrogena combination skin moisturizer (100% noncomedogenic)I cleaned up my diet, reduced dairy, gluten, sugar, tried to eat more home cooked food, drank fresh juices etc. thankfully my skin cleared up, but it still did not look how i wanted it to. the texture was just meh. it's like i needed some serious exfoliation. I slowly introduced the clarifying lotion ONLY to my skin a couple months ago and the rest is history. the combination of soidum sulfacetamide/sulfur/clarifying lotion/neutrogena combination skin moisturizer is my perfect skincare routine and my skin's been looking great! a little powder foundation and anyone would laugh if I said I'm a long term acne sufferer. So, don't be afraid to tweak things up and good luck! YAY for clarifying lotion!
This stuff works!
I've been using a 9% Sodium Sulfaceramide/ 4% Sulfur face wash for almost 7-8 months now and it has yet to fail me. I don't know how but this stuff works. Supposedly it creates a bad environment for bacteria to grow on your skin. I hate spot treating as I think it is such a hassle getting it off and always leaves weird, dry, random spots wherever I try to spot treat so I like to use face washes for treatment. Right now I have one pimple on my forehead and it is going down! I used to first take off my make up with a Cerave face wash THEN use this face wash in the night but recently I stopped doing that and no problem! I do, however use a Clinique clarifying lotion after this and it does pick up some left over makeup/dirt etc. I think this is great for mild-moderate/persistent acne. It really helps keep your skin clear. It is very gentle and does not irritate my skin at all like benzoyl peroxide. It does have a strong, sulfury smell but the end results are worth it. It is creamy, does not foam or lather up so if you like those it does take a bit adjusting. Overall, I like this stuff a lot and I think it's a huge contribution to my clearer skin. But like everything else, it's not a miracle product and you do need to take care of your skin overall to get the best results!
My Holy grail.
I was shocked that a neutrogena moisturizer was the one that I would buy again and again and keep using. The thing I love about this moisturizer is that it is 100% noncomedogenic, according to acne.org. I do not think that this should be overlooked! It glides on easily and your skin drinks this stuff up. It does not leave an oily residue whatsoever. It's a thin, liquidy, creamy, moisturizer. It looks great under make-up too. However, it may not be enough moisture if you are on harsh acne treatments and may need something more emollient but for the average combo/oily skin person, this moisturizer is perfect!
Serious side effects!
I'd be lying if I said that this did not contribute to clearer skin. However, I'd be lying if I said that this could potentially be a dangerous drug. Ladies, LISTEN TO YOUR BODIES. I was shocked to see some girls on here be taking doses of over 100 mg for months and months! I only took 25 mg for the first month or so, then bumped it up to 50 mg for the second and third months, and now, as of today, it seems that my body is not tolerating it even at 25 mg every other day. When I first started taking it end of december 2013, I experienced common side effects such as thirst, more trips to the bathroom. Then, occasional stomach cramping began. I ignored it, bad idea! The stomach cramping as of the past few weeks has turned into gastric bleeding. Side effects are not meant to be ignored, it is your body's way of telling you that something is wrong. As of today, I have decided to stop taking this drug altogether. We don't know exactly WHAT these pills are going in and doing, so don't ignore your body and don't risk your overall health for acne . Acne comes and goes, health comes first. I actually looked it up and found that gastric bleeding is a potential, serious side effect of this drug! It has never happened before in my life! I'll be looking into more natural, less damaging ways to lower my testosterone levels.