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Article about new product, Help:Clear Skin

Facing the future without acne

Helen Tither

September 02, 2009

SMILING and laughing in the glare of the photographer's lights, Sarah Pinder is enjoying every minute of her VIP photo- shoot. Yet, just a few months ago the 22-year-old gym promoter was nervous of leaving the house, let alone stepping in front of a camera.

"I got acne when I was about 10 years old," she explains. "It made me really shy. I didn't go out a lot. If I did, I piled the make-up on, which I knew was just making my skin worse so that became another reason not to go out. It put a real strain on my relationships with friends and family."

Like thousands of teenage acne sufferers, Sarah was told the condition might disappear of its own accord. But by the time she reached her twenties there was no sign of it vanishing and she began to feel desperate, trying all kinds of treatments to shift it.

"I tried everything," she says. "Facial scrubs, pills, creams, even prescription drugs, but they didn't do anything."

Today, however, there's hardly a sign of the condition that so afflicted her life. She credits the turnaround to a new natural treatment - based on a milk protein - she has been trialling for less than three months.

Natural ingredients

A sachet of powder that can be mixed into food and drink twice a day, Help:Clear Skin is the brainchild of Clitheroe-based businesswoman Jules Birch, who set up the company Works With Water. The key ingredient, Praventin, is a bioactive protein, derived from milk, which is said to fight the skin bacteria which causes acne. What's more, it's free from artificial colours, flavours, preservatives and uses only natural ingredients.

Previously seen as a solely teenage affliction, acne affects around 40 per cent of 25 to 40 year-olds. It causes debilitating embarrassment for sufferers, many of whom also endure harsh side-effects from traditional treatments.

Is this new natural development too good to be true?

As it is about to be launched into 160 Waitrose stores, Sarah and fellow volunteer Sunddas Bhatti, a 20-year-old student, agreed to try it out and see after joining up to a Facebook group. A few months into the trial, both are reporting significant improvements.

"I only got acne when I was 17, it was so unexpected," explains Sunddas. "I couldn't understand it, I'd always had a good skincare regime of cleanse, tone and moisturise.

"When I heard about this I ordered five weeks' worth and noticed a real difference within two weeks. It's given me my old confidence back."

Meanwhile Sarah estimates her skin has improved by around 60 per cent.

Captured on camera

As a thank your for taking part in the trial, both girls were treated to a day of pampering at Manchester's Radisson Edwardian hotel, where their skin transformations were captured on camera. For the product's creator, Jules, it was an emotional day.

"I've always worked in the food and nutrition industry," she says. "I really wanted to produce something to help acne because it's such a debilitating condition. But also, a lot of the treatments are quite harsh - with this product there aren't any.

"However, it is targeted specifically at the most common form, acne vulgaris. It's not for everybody but people should know if it is working within three to four weeks."

With a seven-day trial pack costing £11.99, it's certainly not cheap. However, if it means she can face the world once more, Sarah reckons it's worth it.

"I was a bit sceptical, but my skin has definitely improved," she says. "I still get spots, especially when I get stressed, but they seem to disappear a lot quicker. I never used to go out without make-up but now I can go out of the house with nothing except mascara."

Article: http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/lif...re_without_acne (includes before and after photos)

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