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hi folks :D I thought I'd make a suggestion to those of you who are getting overly red and/or irritated - or those who haven't tried this because you feel the products may be too harsh.

Neutrogena makes some very similar products, with lower concentrations of BP and SA - I've had pretty decent success following this regimen with the Neutrogena products in the past. Here are the links:

SA wash [Edited link out]

BP wash [Edited link out]

I didn't use either as a mask - though I did leave the BP wash on for about 1-2 minutes when my skin was looking congested.

Hope this helps :)

Edited by Ishayat
Edited links out - link were broken
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i stumbled onto this topic on a whim. i wonder who came up with the "don't use bp and sa together" warning? because i don't think it's warranted. i don't find using bp and sa together to be "overly irritating".

i recently added paula's choice 1% BHA gel to dan's regimen and i anticipate seeing marked improvement.

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OMG, skin keeps getting better and better daily-- where was this when i was in high school!!! i'm 26 now and thought my acne would sort of phase out by now.. but noooooo.. been caking on the foundation for years but i haven't had to wear any in the past week-- the first week was rough because i didn't wear any foundation and i was starting out with the two washes- my face was red-- my zits were exposed--- and i looked oily because of the lack of powder... some people at work asked me if i was "ok?".. but now... the face looks great.... still a few red spots healing up... but so much better i could cry :dance: -- now if i could only lose those freshman 15 i never got off-- i'd be stylin!

thanks blotcha!! will post pictures soon!

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Just an update..

On Sunday I'll have been using this regimen for 2 months and its absolutly amazing how much my face and neck have cleared. I broke out horribly over the summer and at times and I had big ugly zits that would like appear in groups and I looked terrible. I'm now back at school and even after a month on the regimen I had people complimenting that my skin looked good, and thats when I still thought it looked bad. Either way, this works and its definitely worth it.

Just a note, i did have a couple minor breakouts, one in my 2nd week and another in the 5th or 6th week, but they went away way faster then usual. Now I will get a pimple every now and then but nothing major. I am clearer now then i've been in a really long time thanks to these 2 products.

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I want to thank Botchla for sharing this regimen. It's definitely working for me!

I knew that BP was good for me, but it started to irritate my eyes. And before any of you flame me, I am aware that users of BP should steer clear of the eye area - a safe radius would be like 2~2.5 inches. Kinda sucks if you got acne within that radius and you make the mistake out of ignorance (which I did the first time of using it).

Anyway, after using BP for about 6 months, I quit using it cold turkey. But the eye irritation continued! My theory is that my skin was in a period of imbalance in the months following - it was used to receiving BP, but I simply refused to do it again because I was disturbed by what it had done to my eye.

A friend of mine had told me to look into ProActiv, and being the acne-know-it-all-snob that I am, I honestly hadn't done my research on this very popular treatment. Step 1: a BP cleanser. OMG. Jack pot. Absolutely brilliant! If you gotta use BP, why not wash it all off before you leave the sink? Why put a ton of BP gel on your face only to discover later that the collar to your favorite shirt's been bleached? Or let's say you put a little BP on your forehead and maintain the 2.5 inch no-BP-zone around your eyes. After a long day of activity, I found that the BP gel managed to find its way into my eyes. It's as if it "melted" off the surface of my face, and tiny droplets of sweat carried it into my eyes. I could avoid this irritation if I washed within a certain time frame. I'd say it's about 10 hours. If I applied BP at 8 am, I'd have until 6 pm to either wash it off or risk getting a burning sting in my eyes. So anyway, BP cleanser! Yeah! Brilliant!

Another friend had said the she had success with combining both BP and salicylic acid in her regimen. I didn't ask her about the all details since I was all gung-ho about BP gel (Dan's method) at the time. I don't know if any of you reading this will confirm, but my friend said she thinks BP is good for taking out the acne you have now; SA is good for taking out acne you'll have later. It sounded good, but I honestly have no way to verify it.

Then I came across this thread. Use a salicylic acid cleanser and then follow up with a BP cleanser. GENIUS! I was a little hesitant at first. I mean, salicylic acid + BP?? Was this going to totally dry out my skin? Like Botchla, I had also used Neutrogena's Salicylic Acid cleanser before and felt it over dried my skin. But the price tag of ProActiv was so high and my friend had confirmed success with such a combination, I thought why not.

Clean & Clear has totally got it right in both of these washes. They are both medicated cleansers, but they have some kind of moisturizer in them that leaves your skin feeling remarkably soft. As Botchla mentions, the C&C BP cleanser leaves your skin feeling fresh, cool, and "minty." I think that's the menthol at work.

I saw results within 3 washes. I have got a serious problem with whiteheads. This regimen has me virtually whitehead free. There are a few red spots on my face that look like potential whiteheads, but they're fairly small, and it looks like the BP is doing its job by keep it at bay. My expectation is that as long as I can keep whiteheads from forming, I'll be content with looking at myself in the mirror. Oh, and now that my skin is in balance again, my eyes don't get irritated anymore!

Now, I have tweaked it a bit. I use both cleansers in the morning and in the evening. I started off like Botchla recommended - only use the BP cleanser in the evening. I found significant improvement, but there were still a few trouble spots, so I bumped it up - using the BP cleanser in the morning as well.

As a result, I always follow up my morning face wash with sunscreen. I'm currently using an Oil of Olay moisturizer with SPF 15. (see it on drugstore)[Edited link out] I apply it as if I would wash my face - put a dab the size of a quarter in one of my hands, rub both hands together, and apply over the face liberally. No redness or dryness from sunburn! Yessss!

If you've tried everything and want something new, I totally recommend this.

Three cheers for you, Botchla!

Edited by Ishayat
Edited link out - link was broken
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i think i might try this after i use all my products i have in my shelf!!! i have tons of skin products, just call me product whore. HAHA no i'm jk.

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How would you treat oily skin for this regimen? I have a lot of excess oil, but will this regimen work for oily skin as well? And is it safe to use Aveeno Daily moisturizer on the face after applying these C&C products?

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Ok I just used this product tonight and I have to say that my face feels fresh, tingly, and mint right after using it. Only problem is I can feel my face drying a little bit, but there isnt any irratation or redness for me. Also, I can see some wrinkles under my eyes, above my mouth area when I smiled in the mirror. Is this normal?

I'd use sunscreen, but I am sure my face is sensitive to them because its itches and burns, so I'm leaving that out (even though the bottle says you need to apply sunscreen).

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I notice that this topic has been alive for FIVE YEARS!! Wow. I just wanted to ask whether anyone here at acne.org has loved this regimen enough to have stuck to it for more than a year? If so, are you still seeing the same results? Has anyone who used to use this regimen using anything else now?

Thanks guys!

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I notice that this topic has been alive for FIVE YEARS!! Wow. I just wanted to ask whether anyone here at acne.org has loved this regimen enough to have stuck to it for more than a year? If so, are you still seeing the same results? Has anyone who used to use this regimen using anything else now?

Thanks guys!

I'd like to know that too. It seems that this regimen is worth trying. I have mild-moderate acne.

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I had bought a Salicylic Acid 2% which was Clean & Clear but hadn't used it because I was using proactiv (which doesn't work at all) I started using it a week ago when I stumbled upon this thread skins almost clear a few pimples once in a while. I bought the Clean & Clear Continuous Control Acne Cleanser 2 days ago 5% (didn't have 10%) when I used it it was amazing my skin was literally having an orgasm never felt my skin so happy before. Now its sooooo clear and so smooth. I will be using this from now on nothing else THANK YOU Botchla.

Now I have to buy Apple Cyder Vinegar for some of the red and brown spots. Will regular vinegar work as well? Also why add Aspirin? will Tylenol work?

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Botchla,

I've always used Neutrogena Blackhead Eliminating with SA for my acne and I never knew anything about using BP until recently this weekend when I googled "Proactiv"...It brought me to this site and I've been reading up on acne cures and what-not. I have really mild acne, ( a pimple every other week or so) so I never bothered to use anything else with my Neutrogena until last night. I went out of my way to go get the Neutrogena on-the-spot treatment with 2.5% BP so that I could use it right after the SA. Now remember, this was my first time combining the two together last night, so the following morning (today) when I woke up, I noticed that my face was a bit red right around my mouth area and right above my eyebrows. I also noticed that it was a bit itchy, but I did not itch. I've read that this is normal the first couple of weeks, so I am not worried. But I did notice that my skin felt smoother than usual and very soft too. I know I've only used this BP for one night and I am not guaranteed actual results yet, but I am hoping that these two will clear up my face more each time that I'm using them. I also follow the SA & BP use with Cetaphil moisturizer for sensitive skin, as I have always used. I'm going to be crossing my fingers on this regime to work for me the way it has for you!

I've always had problems picking at my face though. :( It's such a HABIT and I hate it!

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Botchla said:
this is an updated version of the original post. most has been unchanged, but i have changed some parts to make them clearer, and i added the tips section at the bottom to answer many questions people have.

first off i want to say that i'm not a salesman or here to sling a product. i have had acne for approximately 10 years. from my early teens until recently (i'm in my early 20's). i have tried everything and nothing has worked. neutrogena products are crap. i have finally stumbled upon an absurdly simple regimen that has cleared me completely.

my hope is that i can help 1 other person get a clearer face, if not a completely clear one. i know what acne can do to a person mentally, i am that person. it has destroyed my self-esteem and confidence as it does so many others. sorry if this post is very long, just trying to be helpful.

so anyways, here's what i did. a friend of mine several years ago recommended a product to me that he said worked well for him. thinking not much of it, since i had tried everything else i figured i would give it a try. so i bought the tube. it is called "clean & clear continuous control", made by johnson & johnson. here is a picture of the stuff so you know exactly what it looks like.. ( [Edited link out] ) i began using the product and within about 2 weeks my face had cleared significantly. this product remained in my regimen for about 2 years and did a really good job. i only got a pimple every now and then. nothing big at all. of course after a while i got greedy and figured there was something out there that would clear me 100%. i stopped using the C&C continuous control for about a year, and had disastrous results with other products. nothing else worked.

then i started reading stuff about the acne cure. i was reading how it is important to use salicylic acid AND benzoyl peroxide both.

the reason of course is that salicylic acid (or BHA, beta-hydroxy acid) has a couple of functions. one, it promotes healthy exfoliation by making your dead skin cells shed off. it clears the surface of the skin of dead skin and oil. second, it is oil-soluable, so it has the added ability of being able to loosen and remove oil and dead skin cells from the inside of the pore itself.

benzoyl peroxide's purpose is to create an oxygen reaction which kills bacteria on the skin (and if you're lucky, in the pores too).

the problem is if you use only one, it won't work 100%. the salicylic acid does not kill the p. acnes bacteria. also, without the salicylic acid, the benzoyl peroxide usually stays at the surface, killing only surface bacteria. this is because the pores are still clogged with dead skin and oil, and the BP cannot penetrate the pore.

with this knowledge in hand, i realized i had to do both. the BP i chose was a product i knew worked about 90%. it was of course the C&C continuous control. now this is 10% BP, most people tell you to avoid something with that high of a concentration. ignore it. i can tell you from personal experience, 10% works better than 3.5% or 2.5% (or, at least this product does, which so happens to be 10%, coincidence, who knows, but 10% is the only choice for this product). sure it is more irritating and drying. but that's only at first. any irritation or dryness you experience will go away within 2-3 weeks, max.

so i knew i had to get a salicylic acid product. i first tried the neutrogena oil-free acne wash cream cleanser. crap. didn't work, plus it was way too drying to use in conjunction with the BP wash.

finally i figured i trusted the clean and clear line, so i decided to get a second product from them. this is the C&C blackhead clearing scrub. here is a picture of the stuff.. ( [Edited link out] ) this is for three reasons, one it's the C&C brand which i know is good, second it contained 2% salicyclic acid, and third, it has microbeads to scrub away dead skin. the microbeads are probably bunk, but they look cool at least, and the product still does its thing.

anyways, since this is so long, i'll get to the point. i started using these products together and i have been 100% clear since they began to work. i have been completely clear for months and months. (completely unheard of for me) my acne is cured with these two amazing products. that's it!

here's the simple regimen i follow:

wet my face with warm/slightly hot water. wash with the C&C blackhead clearing scrub (salicylic acid), massage around/into my face for about 45 seconds to a minute. wash it off. immediately apply the C&C continuous control (benzoyl peroxide) and GENTLY massage that into your face for about 30 seconds to 45 seconds, then wash it off. pat dry with a clean towel.

you will notice that when you apply the BP cleanser to your face, after the other wash, your skin will feel SUPER smooth. it feels so nice. then, after you wash off the C&C continous control, you will feel your pores tingling deep inside for a bit after you wash. kind of like noxema if you've ever used that. it's a good feeling. you can really tell it's working.

that is ALL. in the morning, use ONLY the SA wash. then, at night before bedtime, use BOTH.

this regimen is SIMPLE and there is only TWO PRODUCTS for a reason. i believe less is more when it comes to treating your skin. putting too much crap on your face can be bad and make you break out more.

i know i talk about these products like they're god, but i truely believe in them. they are the only two things that have worked for me in 10 years. the C&C product line is GOOD STUFF. plus, it's cheap (about $4.50 USD for each tube).

i hope this helps someone out. i really do.

 

NOTES & TIPS:

-the SA wash is not drying or irritating. almost the opposite, it makes your skin smooth and nice feeling. the BP is the drying/irritating one. that is why you use it only once a day.

-it is not neccessary to scrub these products in. in fact, scrubbing hard will irritate your skin more and it won't work as well. being GENTLE and massinging it around softly works just as well, if not better.

-some people may need to modify this regimen. this is what works best for me and most people. some wash with both products 2x a day, because their skin can handle it. it is up to the individual to judge. for me, using the BP wash only once a day works just as well as using it twice a day.

-when you use the BP wash, i squirt about the amount of toothpaste i would put on my toothbrush (for estimate). then, i DO NOT apply this paste directly to my skin. i rub it around my palms until it's spread around and i can put my hands on my face and massage it around the skin, evenly. applying it directly to the skin will cause much more irritation.

-this regimen works MORE the LONGER you use it. it takes a little while to reach the full effect. you will begin to see very noticable results (almost clearing of complexion) around 1 month, for some it is less time.. 1 month is a good average. at this point, you may get 1 or 2 pimples every now and then. much less that you normally get. keep using it. at the 2 month mark, it will be fully working and you should never get any new marks, and any bumps under the skin or blackheads should be gone. by three months, your old marks should have completely faded and you skin tone evened out. you will be extremely surprised how much your skin looks like that of (insert your favorite celebrity here). now, months later after i started this regimen, i still look in the mirror and it puts a smile on my face. it is still amazing to me, even after time.

-this one is a HUGE one. here it goes: DO NOT PICK OR SQUEEZE. if you continue to do this, your face will never get better, and you won't see nearly as much improvement. TRAIN YOURSELF OFF OF THIS. so many times i would go to the mirror every morning or night and get up close and pick at every single thing (even things that weren't noticable unless you get right up to your face). of course i'd end up with red marks all over my face and look 10x worse than i did before i started. this is just something you have to force yourself to stop. as much as you want to, do NOT let yourself pick or squeeze. (unless it is completely obviously ready to be popped, for example, an obvious white head that you can open with a pin). if you must pop it, be as gentle as possible, and STOP as soon as you see any clear liquid come out. if you can get over the initial month without picking or squeezing, you will naturally stop within time. when your face becomes clear, you will have nothing to pick or squeeze at. it kinda works for itself. i know it's hard to stop, but this is one of the most important points.

-some people seem to have sensitive skin, and SOME people experience an initial breakout. most, it seems, do not. this shouldn't last past a week or two. most people get scared and bail at this point. unfortunate, because quickly thereafter everything will quickly clear up. those who stick with it past an original breakout end up very surprised of how it clears things up and begins working right after that. don't be scared of this, i would say judging by responses that only about 25% of people experience an initial breakout.

-for guys, i shave immediately before the evening or morning regimen. after i finish shaving, i got straight into washing my face.

-add things to this regimen at your own risk. some people want to add in other things like AHA lotions, this and that. i do not think that other products besides this are necessary. these two work enough. using AHA or other acids on your face often times just irritates it more than anything. i know when i use AHA lotion, it makes me break out. so if you're using my regimen but also using 5 other things on your face, don't blame me if it doesn't work.

Wow!! What a great story. I have tried nearly everything except accutane, and have had little luck with what the dermatologist gives. I am trying to learn all I can to see if I can come up with something myself to avoid the accutane. It makes sense that the SA and BP need to work together. I will try this and let you know. I am currently taking minocycline, and using the regimen. It seems like it has kept new acne at bay, but is doing nothing for the acne I already have - maybe the SA is what I need. I keep posting!!

Edited by Ishayat
Edited links out - links were broken.
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I started this regime today! It felt good, clean etc. I have mild breakouts and oil but it still is a HUGE HINDRANCE IN LIFE! hoping for the best!

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Can this regimen also help fade hyperpigmentation? I need to treat my exisiting acne as well as prevent new ones, so I don't get more red marks, but with this help with red marks that are already on the skin?

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