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Topical ibuprofen gel is blooming good for acne!

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#1 temp123

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Posted 16 July 2008 - 07:45 PM

I noticed you can get 5% ibruprofen sports gels in all the supermarkets and chemists where I live, I assume it's the same elsewhere.

I wondered if it would help my acne, so I bought it and cautiously started using it on my face once a day. It seemed to improve and then I stopped and it got worse, then I started again, and it improved so I upped it to twice a day, and OMFG, yeah!

Results after a few months were spectacular, the number of spots went down by about 20 times (when used with 5% tea tree oil cream-both twice a day) and my skin tone was hugely better. You'd think it would make existing spots shrink, and it probably does, but what it seems to do best is prevent spots. Dunno why exactly.

I'm thinking it should work just as well with BP, but my skin loathes BP so I haven't been able to try it- if you try this, just don't put it on at the *same* time, leave an hour after BP or something or put the ibuprofen on half an hour before. They're just bound to quarrel, the BP will mess up the Ibuprofen, I just know it. Probably nothing bad would happen, but the ibuprofen wouldn't work.

I'm also thinking that other UK people need to try this. It's invisible, non irritating and a 35g tube lasts about a month for me, so not terribly expensive.

You should be able to use it with anything like BP, tea tree oil or antibacterial facial washes.

Honestly, nothing I've ever got over the counter has worked nearly this well for me. Others need to try this.
-Temp123

Using a combination of topical ibuprofen (5% sports gel) on face together with 10% tea tree cream. The combo works really well, excellent clearance, invisible, no bleaching, zero irritation, no dry skin, just smooth, (mostly) clear skin.

Topical ibuprofen is available in supermarkets in the UK (own brands are cheapest).

#2 howling bells

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Posted 17 July 2008 - 02:53 AM

i was just wondering the same thing, my boyf has back problems at the mo and is using this neurofen topical ibuprofen and of course as soon as i saw it my little acne alert bell started ringing and i started thinking! we all know anti inflammatories are good for stopping acne, thats why people take aleves and ibuprofen to help with monthly breakouts/cysts. so you would think that topically applying ibuprofen would be even more powerful than this

however i do have this gut feeling that there would be something harmful here. this gel is designed for thicker skin like back or leg, not your delicate face skin. also using any ibuprofen/pain killer for prolonged periods of time i dont think is good for you as i know it can cause stomach and kidney problems. but then surely topically applied ibuprofen wouldnt end up in the stomach? but then where would it end up?! hmm i think there could be something to this but id be very careful and maybe ask a doctor about it first...

maybe repost this in moderate acne forum so as to get more responses?

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#3 temp123

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Posted 17 July 2008 - 08:33 AM

QUOTE (howling bells @ Jul 17 2008, 09:53 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
i was just wondering the same thing, my boyf has back problems at the mo and is using this neurofen topical ibuprofen and of course as soon as i saw it my little acne alert bell started ringing and i started thinking! we all know anti inflammatories are good for stopping acne, thats why people take aleves and ibuprofen to help with monthly breakouts/cysts. so you would think that topically applying ibuprofen would be even more powerful than this

That seems to be right, you're using it only where you need it, and you end up using far less, to greater effect.
QUOTE
however i do have this gut feeling that there would be something harmful here. this gel is designed for thicker skin like back or leg, not your delicate face skin.

Well, my skin is fairly sensitive and it loved it. There is a bit of alcohol in there, but my skin doesn't mind alcohol. And there is the point that if anything in it irritates even a bit- it's a powerful anti-inflammatory anyway! wink.gif
QUOTE
also using any ibuprofen/pain killer for prolonged periods of time i dont think is good for you as i know it can cause stomach and kidney problems.

It doesn't go through the stomach, and I worked out that the dose is about 1/4 of a pill a day or something like that (depending on how much of the tube you use- a 35 g tube lasts about a month, and is 5% so there's 1.75g in the entire tube, so that's 58mg per day. One pill is usually about 200mg and you can take up to 6 per day. So it's 1/4 of a pill as I use it, and about 1/24 of the maximum dose. It looks like provided you use less than half the tube per day, (which would be a massive amount, far above the instructions) you won't reach the maximum level. At this low level, I think side effects are unlikely.
QUOTE
but then surely topically applied ibuprofen wouldnt end up in the stomach? but then where would it end up?!

I checked the research. Yeah, it gets absorbed and ends up in the blood and is carried to the liver and broken down. The maximum blood levels are 1/50 of that you get from a pill. I mean don't forget, it's been allowed over the counter. A *tiny* bit will get carried past the stomach, but I really doubt that would be an issue, but the sheet that comes with it mentions it as a potential problem (but I bet they mostly say that to cover themselves, but all bets are off if you react badly to ibuprofen pills).
QUOTE
hmm i think there could be something to this but id be very careful and maybe ask a doctor about it first...

I didn't check with a doctor, but I checked with the pharmacist, and he just basically said keep it out my eyes and nose and away from my mouth. In other words, external application.
QUOTE
maybe repost this in moderate acne forum so as to get more responses?

The problem is it's only widely and easily available in the UK, so nobody else has tried it really (although lots and lots of people have taken pills).
-Temp123

Using a combination of topical ibuprofen (5% sports gel) on face together with 10% tea tree cream. The combo works really well, excellent clearance, invisible, no bleaching, zero irritation, no dry skin, just smooth, (mostly) clear skin.

Topical ibuprofen is available in supermarkets in the UK (own brands are cheapest).

#4 PLONKER

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Posted 26 July 2008 - 08:00 AM

I use it for spot treating and is ace!

Reduces redness and swelling without the bleaching, drying effects of BP.


#5 temp123

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Posted 27 September 2008 - 04:19 PM

I just had a message from Bertie Bassett (I don't suppose he'll mind me quoting it) he wrote:

"you know what im really suprised that it has worked, its worked extremely well. I began with Sainsburys Ibuprofen gel alone and found a little bit of an improvement: but then I began using a tea tree and witch hazel exfoliator and a tea tree and witch hazel rub on and leave overnight sort of gel (both by boots for £5), and wow, the results have been fantastic. My regime is usually using the exfoliator once every 2 days or so, and then before going to bed everyday i apply the tea tree and witch hazel overnight gel with the ibuprofen gel on top. There are absolutely no side effects for me and its all very reasonably priced, i still sometimes wake up with perhaps one minor bump but overall im very satisfied with it; im currently telling anyone i know who suffers with acne to try it.! Anyways, thanks for your help and ideas, hope its working for you just as well. Bertie Bassett"

-Temp123

Using a combination of topical ibuprofen (5% sports gel) on face together with 10% tea tree cream. The combo works really well, excellent clearance, invisible, no bleaching, zero irritation, no dry skin, just smooth, (mostly) clear skin.

Topical ibuprofen is available in supermarkets in the UK (own brands are cheapest).

#6 Bertie Bassett

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Posted 28 September 2008 - 04:06 AM

Hello all, yes as temp has just quoted me, the combination of tea tree oil and ibuprofen gel has worked wonders for me personally. If anyone wants any questions answered regarding the products I have used or my routine, i'd be happy to help: here's a quick summary of what i usually use:-

A Tea Tree and Witch Hazel Exfoliator once about every 2 days
A Tea Tree and Witch Hazel 'leave on type gel' every morning and night
An Ibuprofen 5% Gel applied on top of the tea tree gel every night before bed

Both Tea Tree and Witch Hazel products can be purchased from Boots in the UK for £5 together and the Ibuprofen Gel 5% can be purchased from Sainsburys supermarket for around £3 each - both were the shops own brands.

I also like to drink green tea which i hear can be quite good; but i just like the taste anyway! Hope this helps someone suffering out there, all the best. Bertie Bassett

#7 Rubbish

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Posted 28 September 2008 - 10:01 AM

QUOTE (Bertie Bassett @ Sep 28 2008, 04:06 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Hello all, yes as temp has just quoted me, the combination of tea tree oil and ibuprofen gel has worked wonders for me personally. If anyone wants any questions answered regarding the products I have used or my routine, i'd be happy to help: here's a quick summary of what i usually use:-

A Tea Tree and Witch Hazel Exfoliator once about every 2 days
A Tea Tree and Witch Hazel 'leave on type gel' every morning and night
An Ibuprofen 5% Gel applied on top of the tea tree gel every night before bed

Both Tea Tree and Witch Hazel products can be purchased from Boots in the UK for £5 together and the Ibuprofen Gel 5% can be purchased from Sainsburys supermarket for around £3 each - both were the shops own brands.

I also like to drink green tea which i hear can be quite good; but i just like the taste anyway! Hope this helps someone suffering out there, all the best. Bertie Bassett

I know a Japanese company has an ibuprofen gel specifically for acne in Japan.
The alcohol is also important in the gel as it kills practically all bacteria and delivers Ibuprofen deep. Aspirin gel would work as well.
NSAIDS such as Ibuprofen and Aspirin exhibit antibacterial activity as well.
Spot treating is just as useless as with BP it needs to be regularly applied to be effective.
Id say the tea tree oil is just increasing the biocidal activity and antiinflammatory action.
Some people are allergic to tea tree oil so my far better with ibuprofen alcohol gel alone.
What is also interesting is that alcohol delivers the ibuprofen deep into the skin unlike water based BP. Alcohol gel BP is very irritating, but I guess Ibuprofen complements the alcohol well.
If I wasn't clear I would try it.


Three meals only a day, no snacking, no alcohol (since 3 years ago), no red meat, no refined sugars (I count honey and fruit juices are refined), no added oils or fats. 2000 Calories a day. Tend to eat all kinds of fish (oily as well) and birds like chicken or turkey, no lamb or pork or beef. Shave every day with single blade razor in morning shower (skin wet for 5 minutes) using shave gel from an aerosol can, wash face with cleanser once after then rinse. Rest of day, just use water only (when needed, at gym for instance). 99% clear. Skin condition very good, can wear clothes without ruining them, used to ruin them when I used to use BP.

#8 temp123

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Posted 28 September 2008 - 10:27 PM

I think there's a synergistic effect going on. It's like minocycline which is often used for acne it's known to have an antibacterial effect as well as an anti-inflammatory one. I was deliberately trying to emulate that, and it seems to be successful, but without the downsides of taking pills.

Bertie Basset tried just the ibuprofen and found that it worked better with the tea tree oil. I tried it the other way, I tried just the tea tree oil and then added the ibuprofen. The combination has consistently worked better for both of us.

Aspirin gel might be good too, but I'm not sure whether that's more acidic, a lot of people here seem to use it as an exfoliant- ibuprofen doesn't seem to do that. I'm not entirely sure that exfoliants are good (personally my skin doesn't get on all that well with exfoliants, but most people seem to do better than me.)
-Temp123

Using a combination of topical ibuprofen (5% sports gel) on face together with 10% tea tree cream. The combo works really well, excellent clearance, invisible, no bleaching, zero irritation, no dry skin, just smooth, (mostly) clear skin.

Topical ibuprofen is available in supermarkets in the UK (own brands are cheapest).

#9 ohsailor

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Posted 29 September 2008 - 10:10 AM

Just bought some gel because of this topic. Might as well try it....can't be any worse than the other so-called spot treating gels by Neutrogena, Clean & Clear et al...
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#10 temp123

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Posted 29 September 2008 - 11:47 AM

QUOTE (girl.is.grey @ Sep 29 2008, 05:10 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Just bought some gel because of this topic. Might as well try it....can't be any worse than the other so-called spot treating gels by Neutrogena, Clean & Clear et al...

Excellent.

The method we're using is to apply it in a thin layer over the entire area where you get spots together with tea tree oil creme and let it settle in. I do this twice a day. You don't need to wash it off, but you can after it's soaked in for a good bit. The tea tree oil makes me look like an oil slick for a few minutes, and then it's gone.

Spot treatment is never very good, if you do this, hopefully you'll get very few spots.

Read the sheet that comes with it, and don't do anything that it tells you not to, and don't apply it over large areas (like your entire back or shoulders), it's still absorbed through the skin, but the dose is very low unless you use stupid amounts (a tube lasts me a month). The instructions tell you about that kind of thing though.

Good luck! Let us know how you do!
-Temp123

Using a combination of topical ibuprofen (5% sports gel) on face together with 10% tea tree cream. The combo works really well, excellent clearance, invisible, no bleaching, zero irritation, no dry skin, just smooth, (mostly) clear skin.

Topical ibuprofen is available in supermarkets in the UK (own brands are cheapest).

#11 Brandy

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Posted 29 September 2008 - 12:28 PM

We have ibuprofen gelcaps here in the US. I wonder if they could be punctured and the liquid squeezed out and used to spot treat inflamed pimples. hmmm.





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#12 temp123

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Posted 29 September 2008 - 12:53 PM

QUOTE (Brandy @ Sep 29 2008, 07:28 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
We have ibuprofen gelcaps here in the US. I wonder if they could be punctured and the liquid squeezed out and used to spot treat inflamed pimples. hmmm.

Possibly. I think you need a bit of alcohol as well to make it pass through the skin, and I'm not 100% certain it's precisely the same chemical (it might be picolinate form maybe). If it did work, you only need about 50mg to treat your face, 1/4 of a pill or something like that.

You can buy topical ibuprofen in America. Ibucream for example (although that also has lidocaine in it). I think there's other sources without.
-Temp123

Using a combination of topical ibuprofen (5% sports gel) on face together with 10% tea tree cream. The combo works really well, excellent clearance, invisible, no bleaching, zero irritation, no dry skin, just smooth, (mostly) clear skin.

Topical ibuprofen is available in supermarkets in the UK (own brands are cheapest).

#13 TheChangingman

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Posted 30 September 2008 - 05:38 AM

Hidden gem of a topic this!

I think I will pick some up next time I go to the supermarket, I use BP already but the Ibuprofen should help with spot reducing.

It's definitely safe for the face though? I did read the thread but 'sports cream' suggests use on swollen limbs etc. Also I'm sure I read on here once that overuse of ibuprofen thins the bones? (que horrible image of my jaw falling off.)
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#14 temp123

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Posted 30 September 2008 - 09:13 AM

QUOTE (TheChangingman @ Sep 30 2008, 12:38 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Hidden gem of a topic this!

I think I will pick some up next time I go to the supermarket, I use BP already but the Ibuprofen should help with spot reducing.

It's definitely safe for the face though? I did read the thread but 'sports cream' suggests use on swollen limbs etc. Also I'm sure I read on here once that overuse of ibuprofen thins the bones? (que horrible image of my jaw falling off.)

The amount of ibuprofen you would be absorbing here is very low (~1/4 of a tablet a day or so), so I doubt that it would cause any problems, or that this would constitute 'overuse'.

There doesn't seem to be any generally agreed strong evidence that NSAIDs affect bones, except if you're a rat. It does seem to mess up rats bones, but the evidence is that this doesn't happen nearly as much for humans, (if at all- many studies showed no effect, I don't think any studies showed a really big effect), and as I say, the dose here is low.

-Temp123

Using a combination of topical ibuprofen (5% sports gel) on face together with 10% tea tree cream. The combo works really well, excellent clearance, invisible, no bleaching, zero irritation, no dry skin, just smooth, (mostly) clear skin.

Topical ibuprofen is available in supermarkets in the UK (own brands are cheapest).

#15 Face Off

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Posted 13 October 2008 - 07:27 PM

Should I moisturize after using ibuprofen gel?



#16 temp123

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Posted 13 October 2008 - 07:45 PM

QUOTE (Face Off @ Oct 14 2008, 02:27 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Should I moisturize after using ibuprofen gel?

If you think your skin will benefit by all means do so.

I don't think it matters which order you apply it in. I'm applying it with my tea tree oil dissolved/diluted in moisturizer.

-Temp123

Using a combination of topical ibuprofen (5% sports gel) on face together with 10% tea tree cream. The combo works really well, excellent clearance, invisible, no bleaching, zero irritation, no dry skin, just smooth, (mostly) clear skin.

Topical ibuprofen is available in supermarkets in the UK (own brands are cheapest).

#17 Face Off

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Posted 13 October 2008 - 07:58 PM

I just had to wash off the ibuprofen gel. I'm mildly asthmatic and had a bronchospasm -was coughing a little bit and wheezing slightly. I feel better now.

I googled asthma and ibuprofen and read that this is common with aspirin-based medications.

I'm going to try the ibuprofen gel again tomorrow to make sure the asthma symptoms weren't a coincidence. And as the symptoms were so mild it shouldn't be a risk.





#18 temp123

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Posted 13 October 2008 - 09:08 PM

Forget it. Try something else instead.

The cheat sheet that I have that came with the product here specifically says NOT to use it if you have asthma. People die of asthma; it's just not worth the risk. Just because you had a mild reaction today, doesn't mean you'll have one tomorrow.

You must read the sheet that would have come with the gel, follow the contraindications to the letter.


-Temp123

Using a combination of topical ibuprofen (5% sports gel) on face together with 10% tea tree cream. The combo works really well, excellent clearance, invisible, no bleaching, zero irritation, no dry skin, just smooth, (mostly) clear skin.

Topical ibuprofen is available in supermarkets in the UK (own brands are cheapest).

#19 Face Off

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Posted 15 October 2008 - 06:50 PM

Yeah, you're right. I'm a bit gutted because I had a lot of hope for ibuprofen gel.

I'm on to Sudocrem now...

#20 Bertie Bassett

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Posted 19 October 2008 - 11:26 AM

How is everyone getting on with the Ibuprofen gel??????