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BrianneG

I'd Like To Help You If I Can

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I suffered with acne for 15 years. I tried all the typical approaches. The products, the prescriptions, accutane.

Like many of you, I scoured this forum for anything that seemed like it would help.

In the search for my own clear skin I spent countless hours researching, learning, applying what I learned. My life and my journey has taken me down many roads – I created a skin care line, became a licensed esthetician, fitness trainer, nutritionist. They have all tied back to understanding skin better, and how it all works together – mind, body, skin.

My skin is now 100% clear 90% of the time (and I always know WHY it isn’t clear the other 10%).

I came back to this forum because it's become my life's passion to help people feel amazing in their skin. I want to help people make connections about their health and well being and the condition of their skin. To educate them about products and what a topical approach can and cannot do.

I don't have all the answers for all the people. The solutions can be tricky and the triggers sneaky - but I know a lot of how it all works together, physical, mental and emotional health, skin and products.

I know what to try and what to not bother with. I know why some things work for some people and not for others. I understand many of the contributing factors. And I want to help.

So, how can I help you? What would that look like? What do YOU think would ultimately help you feel better about your skin? What does “progress” look and feel like to you?

What do you need? What are you struggling with? What are your frustrations? How do you feel about your skin? What’s not working?

Talk to me, I’ll see what I can do.

Much love,

Brianne

**Edit** Let me preface by saying that my philosophy is that you MUST begin with a healthy base. This is what I tell my clients and it would be the first thing I would tell anyone here.

Eating well (without obsessing over everything you eat), being physically active, learning how to deal with stress, these are the FIRST things I always suggest.

These things are not a cure all magic bullet – but I believe they absolutely have to be addressed first and foremost. It is the sturdy foundation you must have in place in order to build clear skin on.

Skin health functions in unison with overall health. Sometimes healthy adjustments are all people need, sometimes they need more – but it has been my experience both in my own life and in helping my clients, that if the basics of physical health and wellness are ignored, other approaches will often fall short of their potential.

So the first thing I would say to everyone is stop obsessing over the exact products you need, which supplements you should take, if you should do light therapy, etc. Start with the basics, build from there.

Focus on making healthier food choices. We all know the obvious stuff – avoid sugars and sweets, processed and fast food. Get the good stuff, fruits, veggies, healthy proteins and fats. It doesn’t have to be more complicated than that.

Then, make sure you’re getting out and moving every day - particularly if your life involves a lot of time sitting all day. Also 30 minutes a day at least 4 times per week (more is always better) of good cardiovascular activity can do great things. You don’t have to become a fitness freak. Just move, and get sweaty.

Treat yourself with kindness. Go to bed with enough time to get 7 – 8 hours. Keep electronics (TV, phone, computer) out of the bedroom. Also keep off them for at least an hour before you go to bed to help your brain wind down and prepare for sleep.

Change or avoid any stressful situations in your life that you can. For those that you cannot avoid or change, learn breathing exercises, meditation, or a good relaxing hobby.

Do not under estimate these things and their ability to help with your skin. Even if focusing on your health doesn’t directly address your acne problem (though I’m positive your skin have at least some degree of improvement), you will be in a much better place overall.

This will go a long way in finding additional methods that now have the opportunity to work better with your body and your skin directly.

Edited by BrianneG

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i eat well and i never eat from trashcan too, i swear! but y does my face is uglier than a bums arse?

sad-cat-baby_885814612.jpg

Awww, sad kitty

How are the other areas of your over all health? Are you getting plenty of physical activity? How do you handle stress? Are you getting plenty of restful sleep? I'm in no way saying those are causing your acne - but it's always beneficial to address those areas first. Other treatments are a bit like playing Whack A Mole if you don't start with a solid, healthy base.

Without knowing your overall health and habits, I'd start with zeroing in on stress first, as it seems you feel you eat healthily.

I break stress into two categories: general stress (the stuff that just comes up from living life) and acne stress (the anxiety caused by how you feel about your skin). Sometimes they blend together, but how would your rate yourself in those two categories in general, 1 to 10? 1 being "No problem, I can handle it", 10 being "It's too much to bear some times".

What do you think your numbers would be?

General stress:

Acne stress:

Edited by BrianneG

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http://www.livestrong.com/article/308126-does-exercise-cause-acne/

Less than an hour, not in the sun, and don't get sweaty, my TCM derm told me. Acne is a "damp heat" condition and it doesn't get damper and hotter than getting all sweaty for an :30 or more.

Then, make sure you’re getting out and moving every day - particularly if your life involves a lot of time sitting all day. Also 30 minutes a day at least 4 times per week (more is always better) of good cardiovascular activity can do great things. You don’t have to become a fitness freak. Just move, and get sweaty.

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http://www.livestrong.com/article/308126-does-exercise-cause-acne/

Less than an hour, not in the sun, and don't get sweaty, my TCM derm told me. Acne is a "damp heat" condition and it doesn't get damper and hotter than getting all sweaty for an :30 or more.

Then, make sure you’re getting out and moving every day - particularly if your life involves a lot of time sitting all day. Also 30 minutes a day at least 4 times per week (more is always better) of good cardiovascular activity can do great things. You don’t have to become a fitness freak. Just move, and get sweaty.

If you don't increase your heart rate, you're missing out on the best benefits of exercise. Increased heart rate almost always means sweating some. With proper skin care before and after, sweating won't be an issue for 99% of people. From the link you listed "Proper hygiene should be enough to counteract any negatives caused by working out."

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Hello :) i dont have serious acne i am using aspirin mask for 2 months have cleared 100% skin but some of pimples come back whenever i get rid of them like after 1 week they are back cause of clogged pores i guess is there any treatment that will clear deep pores and prevent acne???

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Hello i dont have serious acne i am using aspirin mask for 2 months have cleared 100% skin but some of pimples come back whenever i get rid of them like after 1 week they are back cause of clogged pores i guess is there any treatment that will clear deep pores and prevent acne???

If you've been using aspirin and it has been working, it's like due to the acetylsalicylic acid, a precursor to salicylic acid. Have you tried using products that contain SA? I would guess you would probably see good results if the aspirin is working. A toner and/or a moisturizer with salicylic acid would be a good choice.

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So what would you recommend for an 11 year old girl who has portal vein hypertension, has severe acne, cannot take any medication because of liver, cannot do a lot of exercise because of enlarged spleen? We have tried EVERYTHING, homemade, over the counter, clindamycin gel, Neutrogena, black soap, melalueca (which she is currently one), BP, SA, etc. We are about to try the Aztec Indian Clay Mask this afternoon. Her face is getting worse and worse. I was trying not to take her to the dermatologist because they would only recommend giving her medicine which her specialists do not want her on. We have changed diet, drinking water with lemon, watching sugar (she is ONLY 11, so that is hard at birthday parties, etc.), no processed food, lots of fruits and veggies. I won't even let her eat in the cafeteria at school to watch her diet. Nothing and I mean nothing is working and her face is getting worse. When I pick her up from school her face looks 3x worse then when I dropped her off, almost like a rash down her cheeks to her neck. Her acne is all over her forehead, her cheeks, hardly ever on her nose or chin, she has neck, chest and back acne as well. She is starting to get really embarrassed and I let her wear a mineral, acne prone skin face powder to school now because of this. People are always staring at her face too. Any advise would be great.

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So what would you recommend for an 11 year old girl who has portal vein hypertension, has severe acne, cannot take any medication because of liver, cannot do a lot of exercise because of enlarged spleen? We have tried EVERYTHING, homemade, over the counter, clindamycin gel, Neutrogena, black soap, melalueca (which she is currently one), BP, SA, etc. We are about to try the Aztec Indian Clay Mask this afternoon. Her face is getting worse and worse. I was trying not to take her to the dermatologist because they would only recommend giving her medicine which her specialists do not want her on. We have changed diet, drinking water with lemon, watching sugar (she is ONLY 11, so that is hard at birthday parties, etc.), no processed food, lots of fruits and veggies. I won't even let her eat in the cafeteria at school to watch her diet. Nothing and I mean nothing is working and her face is getting worse. When I pick her up from school her face looks 3x worse then when I dropped her off, almost like a rash down her cheeks to her neck. Her acne is all over her forehead, her cheeks, hardly ever on her nose or chin, she has neck, chest and back acne as well. She is starting to get really embarrassed and I let her wear a mineral, acne prone skin face powder to school now because of this. People are always staring at her face too. Any advise would be great.

Hi boo1229,

First, I'm so sorry that your daughter has to go through all that. I'll be honest - that is a very tough one for me. She has a lot of medical issues that are far beyond the scope of my knowledge to help with. I would guess that the issues with her liver and spleen are contributing factors, and I'm assuming she is on medication for that? Which would likely also contribute. I truly do wish I could offer specific advice to help you, but I have to recognize my limitations with certain medical matters.

I will say this - do not let this consume you, and inadvertently push that on to your daughter. Allow her to be 11. Focus on good, healthy, nourishing foods, and overall physical health as best as you can - but do not be rigid. Do not analyze and scrutinize and obsess. Do not forget to nourish her emotionally, and teach her how to nourish herself emotionally as well.

You are her guide. Her example. Your concern obviously comes from love, but do not become engulfed by it. She will pick that up, and compound it to the pressures she will likely be feeling from others, at school and such. You need to give her a safe place. One that is full of love and free from pressure. In anything that you try to help with her skin, release the stress of it. Loosen the grip. Breathe. Approach it calmly. Show her how to do that as well. Her skin does not define her. As her parent you of course know that, but make sure you are showing her that. She'll need as much help with that, if not more, as she will with her skin. You may not know what to do about her skin in this moment, but in every moment you know how to love her. Make that your main focus. Loving her, and showing her how to love herself. That is not the solution for her skin, but in times when it feels it worst, it's important to be able to call upon that.

With that being said, have you asked her specialists if they know of a dermatologist who could work within their preferences? It cannot hurt to see what a dermatologist has to say. They may not be able to help, but I wouldn't dismiss the possibility entirely. If a derm doesn't know how to help given her condition, perhaps you can find a naturopath specialist in your area? Look for someone who has a traditional medical background as well.

Best of luck to you and your daughter.

-Brianne

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Some of us have acne that will never respond to any treatment.

If you have made up your mind about that, then there is nothing I can do for you. I've seen some of your other posts, and it seems like dealing with your acne has given you a very bleak outlook. I'm very sorry for that.

My philosophy is that we always (and only) have three choices when faced with undesirable things.

The first is to take actions to change the undesirable thing.

The second is to take actions to change how we let the thing affect us.

Those options are always there, but neither is necessarily easy. Pursuing either choice comes with its own challenges. But if you do not consciously choose one of those, you by default chose the third - to do nothing. That is the easiest choice, and often results in the most pain. It leaves us standing still, but worse yet, feeling powerless.

If you chose to no longer seek ways to help your skin, I truly hope you chose to find ways to loosen it's grip on you. Don't settle for option three.

Best of luck to you.

-Brianne

What's a good product to get rid of/prevent blackheads?

What have you tried so far?

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Some of us have acne that will never respond to any treatment.

If you have made up your mind about that, then there is nothing I can do for you. I've seen some of your other posts, and it seems like dealing with your acne has given you a very bleak outlook. I'm very sorry for that.

My philosophy is that we always (and only) have three choices when faced with undesirable things.

The first is to take actions to change the undesirable thing.

The second is to take actions to change how we let the thing affect us.

Those options are always there, but neither is necessarily easy. Pursuing either choice comes with its own challenges. But if you do not consciously choose one of those, you by default chose the third - to do nothing. That is the easiest choice, and often results in the most pain. It leaves us standing still, but worse yet, feeling powerless.

If you chose to no longer seek ways to help your skin, I truly hope you chose to find ways to loosen it's grip on you. Don't settle for option three.

Best of luck to you.

-Brianne

>What's a good product to get rid of/prevent blackheads?

What have you tried so far?

I've tried biore strips, st. ives fresh skin, cetaphil normal, aveeno calming cleanser, oxy 10% benzoyl.

I'm just listing what I've been using altogether.

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I've tried biore strips, st. ives fresh skin, cetaphil normal, aveeno calming cleanser, oxy 10% benzoyl.

I'm just listing what I've been using altogether.

none of those worked at all? or they worked at first and then stopped working?

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I've tried biore strips, st. ives fresh skin, cetaphil normal, aveeno calming cleanser, oxy 10% benzoyl.

I'm just listing what I've been using altogether.

none of those worked at all? or they worked at first and then stopped working?

the oxy 10 made my face really dry and caused it to break out, the biore strips helped with my blackheads but it made the pores big, st.ives is ok, cetaphil seems like it doesnt get all the oil off my face, the aveeno is too drying.

Edited by ohhhhhhnooooooo

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so wait does st.ives works or no? if its k y dnt u just keep using it? whats the prob with it then?

also y do u say oxy made u break out. since u were using it i suppose u were already breaking out otherwise y u would use it right so mayb ur skin just got resistant to treatment n just started to break out as usually??

the thing is skin gets freaking resistant to all treatments! can someone also explain y is it so??

(check out my thread too ^^^^)

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so wait does st.ives works or no? if its k y dnt u just keep using it? whats the prob with it then?

also y do u say oxy made u break out. since u were using it i suppose u were already breaking out otherwise y u would use it right so mayb ur skin just got resistant to treatment n just started to break out as usually??

the thing is skin gets freaking resistant to all treatments! can someone also explain y is it so??

(check out my thread too ^^^^)

The St. Ives is a great exfoliator but I feel like it's a bit rough for my skin which makes my skin really weird and it doesn't really help for blackheads. yeah, youre right, I used the oxy cuz I was breaking out but I felt like it made it worse.

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The St. Ives is a great exfoliator but I feel like it's a bit rough for my skin which makes my skin really weird and it doesn't really help for blackheads. yeah, youre right, I used the oxy cuz I was breaking out but I felt like it made it worse.

do u know abt tht purging everyone says here? mayb it was tht? its like it brings all shit from inside to the surface n basically worsens ur skin before clearing it up

personaly im nt sure wht to think abt whole thing tho, its a bit seems weird n dodgy to me bt idk...

Edited by AcneWonderland

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I've tried biore strips, st. ives fresh skin, cetaphil normal, aveeno calming cleanser, oxy 10% benzoyl.

I'm just listing what I've been using altogether.

Benzoyl peroxide's main mechanism is to kill bacteria. If you only have black heads (not the red, inflamed pustules with acne), then bacteria isn't involved. I'd use something different. Try products that are made to help skin cell turn over, to prevent the pore from becoming blocked. Look for products with salicylic acid or retinols. Roc is a decent drug store brand that focuses on retinols.

The St. Ives is a great exfoliator but I feel like it's a bit rough for my skin which makes my skin really weird and it doesn't really help for blackheads. yeah, youre right, I used the oxy cuz I was breaking out but I felt like it made it worse.

do u know abt tht purging everyone says here? mayb it was tht? its like it brings all shit from inside to the surface n basically worsens ur skin before clearing it up

personaly im nt sure wht to think abt whole thing tho, its a bit seems weird n dodgy to me bt idk...

There is no such thing as a "purge". HUGE misconception. Acne does not work that way, and neither do products. If your face breaks out after using a product, it is because of the way your skin is reacting to the product itself. It's not bringing anything to the surface. Your skin can adjust to the product, which will make the initial break out subside.

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the thing is skin gets freaking resistant to all treatments! can someone also explain y is it so??

(check out my thread too ^^^^)

Bacteria can adjust to antibiotics, so if that is what you are using - yes, those can stop working over time.

Occasionally skin can become sensitive to a product that is used repeatedly over long periods of time, and the sensitivity can lead to increased breakouts (ie the thing that was helping the breakouts, may now actually be causing them).

Most often though, it's not so much that your skin becomes resistant to treatments, it's that the root of your acne problem is a moving target. There are a lot of things in play when it comes to your skin and treatments.

For example, your skin tends to be oilier in the summer than in the winter, making it more prone to breakouts, so the product that was working fine before may have more to deal with and become overwhelmed.

Or, if you start using a new product at the same time (or perhaps a new makeup or sunscreen) the combine ingredients may either clash, or reduce the treatments efficacy.

Or, if your stress greatly increases, causing cortisol and other hormones to become imbalanced, this puts greater stress on your skin (and immune system), causing more breakouts than normal, again leading to your once fine product not being able to keep up.

Also, the shelf life of products isn't as long as most manufactures put on the label. Usually the active ingredients either start to degrade after a few months, or sometimes the ingredients become stronger (which isn't a good thing). Either can lead to the product not working as well as it did when it was first purchased.

Changes in diet can also lead to digestive stress, increased cell growth, or increased insulin levels, affecting hormones, or causing systemic inflammation - all of which lead to more breakouts.

Finally, acne can be cyclical. Sometimes it is just coincidence that you started a new treatment at the same time your skin was going through a "good phase". This gives you the biased opinion that it was the product that caused the change. Then when your skin cycles back to a bad phase, you think it's that the product stopped working - but it may not have been working all that well to begin with.

Edited by BrianneG

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the thing is skin gets freaking resistant to all treatments! can someone also explain y is it so??

(check out my thread too ^^^^)

Bacteria can adjust to antibiotics, so if that is what you are using - yes, those can stop working over time.

Occasionally skin can become sensitive to a product that is used repeatedly over long periods of time, and the sensitivity can lead to increased breakouts (ie the thing that was helping the breakouts, may now actually be causing them).

Most often though, it's not so much that your skin becomes resistant to treatments, it's that the root of your acne problem is a moving target. There are a lot of things in play when it comes to your skin and treatments.

For example, your skin tends to be oilier in the summer than in the winter, making it more prone to breakouts, so the product that was working fine before may have more to deal with and become overwhelmed.

Or, if you start using a new product at the same time (or perhaps a new makeup or sunscreen) the combine ingredients may either clash, or reduce the treatments efficacy.

Or, if your stress greatly increases, causing cortisol and other hormones to become imbalanced, this puts greater stress on your skin (and immune system), causing more breakouts than normal, again leading to your once fine product not being able to keep up.

Also, the shelf life of products isn't as long as most manufactures put on the label. Usually the active ingredients either start to degrade after a few months, or sometimes the ingredients become stronger (which isn't a good thing). Either can lead to the product not working as well as it did when it was first purchased.

Changes in diet can also lead to digestive stress, increased cell growth, or increased insulin levels, affecting hormones, or causing systemic inflammation - all of which lead to more breakouts.

Finally, acne can be cyclical. Sometimes it is just coincidence that you started a new treatment at the same time your skin was going through a "good phase". This gives you the biased opinion that it was the product that caused the change. Then when your skin cycles back to a bad phase, you think it's that the product stopped working - but it may not have been working all that well to begin with.

I was thinking of using salicylic acid as well but I wasn't so sure. thanks! i will really give it a try!

I've tried biore strips, st. ives fresh skin, cetaphil normal, aveeno calming cleanser, oxy 10% benzoyl.

I'm just listing what I've been using altogether.

Benzoyl peroxide's main mechanism is to kill bacteria. If you only have black heads (not the red, inflamed pustules with acne), then bacteria isn't involved. I'd use something different. Try products that are made to help skin cell turn over, to prevent the pore from becoming blocked. Look for products with salicylic acid or retinols. Roc is a decent drug store brand that focuses on retinols.

>

The St. Ives is a great exfoliator but I feel like it's a bit rough for my skin which makes my skin really weird and it doesn't really help for blackheads. yeah, youre right, I used the oxy cuz I was breaking out but I felt like it made it worse.

do u know abt tht purging everyone says here? mayb it was tht? its like it brings all shit from inside to the surface n basically worsens ur skin before clearing it up

personaly im nt sure wht to think abt whole thing tho, its a bit seems weird n dodgy to me bt idk...

There is no such thing as a "purge". HUGE misconception. Acne does not work that way, and neither do products. If your face breaks out after using a product, it is because of the way your skin is reacting to the product itself. It's not bringing anything to the surface. Your skin can adjust to the product, which will make the initial break out subside.

Can you recommend me a good salicylic acid product/face wash?

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the thing is skin gets freaking resistant to all treatments! can someone also explain y is it so??

(check out my thread too ^^^^)

Bacteria can adjust to antibiotics, so if that is what you are using - yes, those can stop working over time.

Occasionally skin can become sensitive to a product that is used repeatedly over long periods of time, and the sensitivity can lead to increased breakouts (ie the thing that was helping the breakouts, may now actually be causing them).

Most often though, it's not so much that your skin becomes resistant to treatments, it's that the root of your acne problem is a moving target. There are a lot of things in play when it comes to your skin and treatments.

For example, your skin tends to be oilier in the summer than in the winter, making it more prone to breakouts, so the product that was working fine before may have more to deal with and become overwhelmed.

Or, if you start using a new product at the same time (or perhaps a new makeup or sunscreen) the combine ingredients may either clash, or reduce the treatments efficacy.

Or, if your stress greatly increases, causing cortisol and other hormones to become imbalanced, this puts greater stress on your skin (and immune system), causing more breakouts than normal, again leading to your once fine product not being able to keep up.

Also, the shelf life of products isn't as long as most manufactures put on the label. Usually the active ingredients either start to degrade after a few months, or sometimes the ingredients become stronger (which isn't a good thing). Either can lead to the product not working as well as it did when it was first purchased.

Changes in diet can also lead to digestive stress, increased cell growth, or increased insulin levels, affecting hormones, or causing systemic inflammation - all of which lead to more breakouts.

Finally, acne can be cyclical. Sometimes it is just coincidence that you started a new treatment at the same time your skin was going through a "good phase". This gives you the biased opinion that it was the product that caused the change. Then when your skin cycles back to a bad phase, you think it's that the product stopped working - but it may not have been working all that well to begin with.

I was thinking of using salicylic acid as well but I wasn't so sure. thanks! i will really give it a try!

>

I've tried biore strips, st. ives fresh skin, cetaphil normal, aveeno calming cleanser, oxy 10% benzoyl.

I'm just listing what I've been using altogether.

Benzoyl peroxide's main mechanism is to kill bacteria. If you only have black heads (not the red, inflamed pustules with acne), then bacteria isn't involved. I'd use something different. Try products that are made to help skin cell turn over, to prevent the pore from becoming blocked. Look for products with salicylic acid or retinols. Roc is a decent drug store brand that focuses on retinols.

>>

The St. Ives is a great exfoliator but I feel like it's a bit rough for my skin which makes my skin really weird and it doesn't really help for blackheads. yeah, youre right, I used the oxy cuz I was breaking out but I felt like it made it worse.

do u know abt tht purging everyone says here? mayb it was tht? its like it brings all shit from inside to the surface n basically worsens ur skin before clearing it up

personaly im nt sure wht to think abt whole thing tho, its a bit seems weird n dodgy to me bt idk...

There is no such thing as a "purge". HUGE misconception. Acne does not work that way, and neither do products. If your face breaks out after using a product, it is because of the way your skin is reacting to the product itself. It's not bringing anything to the surface. Your skin can adjust to the product, which will make the initial break out subside.

Can you recommend me a good salicylic acid product/face wash?

I've seen good results with the Exposed skin care line. The often use green tea extract in their formulas, which have been showing good results in recent studies. They have a toner and serum that use salicylic acid. But everyone reacts to products differently. What works great for one, may make another breakout unfortunately. I do appreciate that Exposed has a money back guarantee - but I believe that's only on their full "kit" which you wouldn't need, as it has the BP products as well.

You don't need to bother with a face wash with active ingredients. It isn't on your face long enough to much other than cleanse. Just focus on a basic cleanser that does not over strip your skin. Your face should never feel tight or dry after cleansing.

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idk abt antibiotics bt i know for damn sure tht skin n acne n whatever gets resistant to topical treatments, sometimes even before it started to make significant difference at all..
i also read somewhere tht u hv to switch treatments or wtv u apply on face like every 2 weeks or so, i think this is true. bcs everything just stops working or mayb it wasnt tht effective to begin with, im nt sure either...
wtf is digestive stress?
n y cant increased cell growth just go to the places where scars r then...
n what do u recomend internally? if diets fine already

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Hi there. New member here.

I've suffered from acne for years now, I'm 21. I started rather late but it definitely seems to be getting worse. I'll be the first to admit that it isn't the worst acne in the world. Definitely not severe, but the breakouts really bring me down as they infest my chin/around the mouth area quite badly.

I've tried most cleansers and moisturizers. I've received antibiotics from the GP and some gel to lather up on my face. Nothing seems to work.

If I put a cleanser on in the shower, or a moisturizer if my skin becomes dry - I wake up the next morning with a whole lot of whiteheads dotted around my face. It's horrible. It seems as if it just makes everything more inflamed and worse.

Any ideas guys?

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