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clinical tiralA recent article published last week in the journal Trials sought to enumerate what percentage of randomized controlled clinical drug studies were performed for scientific purposes vs. marketing purposes. They found that 1 in 5 were performed for marketing purposes. The authors of the study state, “We reached consensus that a fifth of drug trials published in the highest impact general medical journals in 2011 had features that were suggestive of being designed for marketing purposes.”

These marketing-driven trials, called “seeding trials,” may help the manufacturer of a drug sell more of that drug by convincing doctors to prescribe them more often. This might seem unsettling, but regardless of whether a study is for scientific or marketing purposes, they tend to be carefully performed.

There appears to be no way of knowing exactly which studies are marketing related when digesting them. However, generally speaking they tend to use language which can encourage the use of the medication outside of the studied group, again allowing for increased sales.

In my personal opinion, we must realize we live in a capitalistic country and marketing-driven studies are bound to occur. If we put our energy into ensuring that studies must be performed strictly and correctly, and are then peer reviewed, the science should stay sound. However, we should keep in mind when reading medical studies that inherent marketing bias may be the impetus for the study.

nose blowing acnePhysical irritation of the skin makes acne worse. Every spring and summer when I get allergies and end up blowing my nose constantly, I have a harder time keeping that area clear. It might seem strange, but an allergy pill can help clear acne for this very reason…not that they work all that great, but they do help.

If you are like me and on an allergy pill and still have a constantly drippy nose during spring and summer, keep some 10% Glycolic Acid around. If you apply this to the area around the nose after a day of blowing and wiping, this can help prevent a breakout in that area.

Ok, now go out and have some fun!

We were playing around with licochalcone the other day in the lab. I just thought you guys might want to see what it looks like. Here it is in raw form:


And here it is once you solubilize it. You need to solubilize it before you put it into the formulas so it dissolves into the formula nicely:

solubilized licochalcone

Licochalcone is in acne.org products because it is known to be powerfully calming to acne-prone skin. It’s what gives our Moisturizer and AHA+ products their yellow color. Here it is once it’s in the moisturizer:


Mmmmmm. Tasty.

I continued trying the blade buddy for the past month in the same way that I did the first month, every other day, using a regular blade as a control. It’s looking pretty obvious now that the Blade Buddy works to some degree. Here is the final verdict:

Razor blade using Blade Buddy after 30 days of use. Some pitting, but not too bad:


Razor blade without using Blade Buddy after 30 days of use. Lots of pitting, getting pretty old and unusable at this point:


It’s nice to see a product that works as advertised. To be honest though, I’ve come to realize through this experiment that I can get away with using Gillette Trac II blades for a month without needing to replace them, so I’m not planning on continuing to use the Blade Buddy. One blade a month is good by me and that eliminates the need to use the Blade Buddy each time I shave.