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I appreciate your info in this post, and my brain is not comprehending it all, but I appreciate ones that do!

However, Sweet Jade, after reading your posts and what you have to do, I feel I should tell you - aren't you making your acne skin care routine a bit too complicated? And expensive? I was overwhelmed with all the stuff you take, like birth control pills and other stuff.

I still have products that did not work. The internal is much more important, I believe after trying them all for years, than the external. I agree the Vitamin A is very important for acne - I take 25,000 i.u. total a day with only 2500 of it coming from cod liver oil pill, the rest beta carotene. So glad I did not try Accutane. Use only a mild gentle liquid cleanser on my skin by Avalon, cheaply bought at Trader Joe's grocery stores. Naturopath treatment last October brought about a slow but steady change, taking supplements to help still, but I know the Vitamin A has been the best for me.

You say your cystic acne comes on and stays more - I have cystic pimple that comes here and there on my face, and I have to tell you having the Niacinimide Cream compound handy, putting it on just as I see it raising it's ugly head, prevents those uglies from forming and they either come to a quick head and are gone or disappear! That has been a life saver for me, obtained through a compounding pharmacy.

Thanks for the posts,


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Thanks for the reccomendation. A fews years back, I tried the Naturally Clear spray and my face reacts to niacinamide in little tiny bumps =( However I've noticed that the Vinegar toner seems to be doing good with these along with exfoliating & lightening the marks. Now to answer your question, my regimen isn't complicated, trust me. ;-)

I have basically have one of each neccessary product and I rotate if there's more than one:


Toner (spot treat when needed) --probably won't be purchasing again

Gel moisturizer (use at night) -- helps to heal and soften skin too

Natural lotion moisturizer (daytime)

Sunscreen (mix with the lotion)

(natural) Skin lightener (acne can leave dark marks on my skin)--won't need this once the marks are gone

Sulfur Product (if I have really stubborn cyst, spot treat) - drys and exfoilates

Otherwise, there are far more skin care products that normal women use that I've left out...masks, peels, eye products, tighteners, LOL Oh but I LOVE to use as much natural & homemade skin care and body products as possible. ;-)

Also, the ONLY things I'm currently doing internally is to take Spironolactone, GF-low grain Diet, and Fiber supplement (to replace lost fiber). Otherwise that is all. No vitamins or anything else.

I know how some people start posts claiming that such and such "cured" them, and then leave out the other things that they did that could have also contributed. I would NEVER have even started such a post if Diet and other forms of DHT control, more effective for me was the Diet, hadn't solved 80% or more of my acne problems. For me Skincare was 10% - 15% of the problem. So once you've avoided the BAD ingredients, the skincare you use makes very little difference, but this line (IsoCare)makes my skin the happiest (gentle, soft, healthy, glowing) =)

Bye for now

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Well, if we all step back and think about it, we've all basically been suggesting some of the same vitamins and supplements, but for different reasons ;-) Of course, that's because some of these are just so down right amazing at all the different ways that they help our bodies out!

Without a doubt, if you can afford to take a supermulti -vitamin do so. Bascially what we ALL should get daily is Digestive Enzymes, Probiotics, Fatty Acids (Omegas), and vitamins & minerals,etc. If you can afford a super multi-vitamin ranging from $30 - $100 a month, then you should be covered, especially if you don't want to change your diet.

Now, if you do want to change your diet (it can be cheaper) or can't afford ALL that, if nothing else, you should try and get Fish Oil or Omega 3 Supplements. To me this seems like the must amazing supplement, since it increases Prostaglandins, Balances Insulin Levels, prevents DHT conversion, acts as an Anti-inflammatory, and provides EFAs for healthier skin, among other things! However, many great things can throw something else out of balance. On another board (absoulte acne info), some noticed that when taking too much, they started to think "strange' things, etc They discovered that too much Fish Oils will throw your niacin levels off, so you may want to add some extra niacin. OR just make sure you take 1000mg - 2000mg day and you should be fine.

Of course there are other supplements, but we don't NEED them all. If you correct your diet (if that works for you) than you'll need very little beyond a basic multi-vitamin and maybe some Fish Oils. Not to mention, that depending on your gene defect, Insulin Resistance or more specicfically Poor Lipid Metabolism, Poor 13-cis-retinoic acid Conversion, etc and you can understand why certain treatments were more effective for others.

Someone else asked me something about sebum and since it's being asked so darn much I guess I will have to look more into it ;-) I think that it can just be "genes" and that's why I dont think sebum is a HUGE factor in the cause of acne. If you noticed, DHT, causes the other skin problems that create acne also (hyperkertinization, skin cell proliferation, etc), it's not just involved in sebum production.

I also think that if someone is allergic to something, the acne they get is probably much more so due to Inflammation from having an Over-Reactive Immune Response than it is to Androgens. So the one thing I haven't studied enough on is just what happens inside of a follicle. I've gotten the basics, but I don't know what all of that stuff is inside the sebum and pus (bacteria, hormones, blood cells?). OK, so this one article that I found on DHT:

"The Hair Loss Process

(The DHT Theory)

(The most widely accepted theory)

The speed at which hair loss occurs in androgenic alopecia is dependant on by three things:

1) Progression in age.

2) Heredity tendency to have hair loss

3) The prevalence of dihydrotestosterone (DHT) within the hair follicle

DHT is a highly active form of testosterone, which influences many aspects of manly behavior, from sex drive to aggression. DHT is a naturally occurring hormone which assists with sexual development in males during fetal development and puberty. DHT which is produced in the prostate, various adrenal glands, and the scalp is produced from testosterone by two 5-alpha reductase isoenzymes, called Type I and Type II. Type I 5AR is much more prominent in the scalp than Type II. However, immunostaining techniques reveal that Type I is abundant in sebaceous glands, while significant Type II is present in the dermal papilla itself. DHT is the androgen thought to be most responsible for male pattern baldness. DHT has a very high affinity for the androgen receptor and is estimated to be five to ten times more potent than testosterone. Other androgens that may be significant in pattern loss include androstenedione, androstanedione and DHEA (especially in women). All of these fall into hormonal pathways that can potentially result in elevation of DHT downstream via various enzymes.

It is possible that certain DHT metabolites may play a role in pattern loss as well. During hair loss, DHT begins to treat your follicles as foreign objects in your body. Similar to an auto-immune response, it slowly begins to reject the follicles. During this time there typically is increased Sebum production. During hair loss, DHT begins to treat your follicles as foreign objects in your body. Follicles at the front, top, and upper back of the head in most men are genetically programmed to become susceptible to DHT at some point in the man's life. Those hairs which cover the sides and bottom back of the head typically are not, which is why most men do not lose hair in these areas. This is lengthy progression, and the cycles for hair growth are typically about 3-9 months. Without a DHT inhibitor either systemically (in the bloodstream) or locally in the scalp, each time your hair cycles, the follicle will become thinner, shorter, and ultimately it will not grow back in. Over time, the action of DHT will cause each hair follicle to decay and shortens the anagen phase. Some follicles will gradually die, but most will simply shrink to the size they were when you were born which produce weaker hairs. With a progressively shorter anagen growing cycles, more hair is lost, and the remaining hair becomes finer and thinner until they are too fine to survive.

The sebaceous gland (gland producing sebum - natural oil) attached to the hair follicle remains the same size. As the hair shafts become smaller, the gland continues to pump out about the same amount of oil (sebum). So as your hair thins, you will notice that your hair becomes flatter and oilier. Some studies have shown that while men with hair loss don't have higher than average circulating testosterone levels, they do possess higher than average amounts.

Other physiological factors might cause hair loss. Recently, a group of Japanese researcher reported a correlation between excessive sebum in the scalp and hair loss. Excessive sebum often accompanying thinning hair is attributed to an enlargement of the sebaceous gland. They believed excessive sebum causes an high level of 5-alpha reductase and pore clogging, thus malnutrition of the hair root. Although this condition could be hereditary, they believe diet is a more prominent cause. The researchers note that Japanese hair was thick and healthy, with a small gland and little scalp oil, until the occidental habit of consuming animal fat crept into their diet after World War II.

This change has led to a significant height increase in the Japanese population, but it has also resulted in more Japanese men losing hair. To some extent, their observation makes sense since problems with greasy hair have often been noted as much as six months to a year prior to when thinning hair becomes noticeable, but this might be just one of the symptoms, not underlying cause, more research is needed. Most doctors agree that if you have a oily scalp with thinning hair, frequent shampooing is advised. shampooing can reduce surface sebum, which contains high levels of testosterone and DHT that may reenter the skin and affect the hair follicle."


Well, there was some good stuff in there. LOL, to make this post short, I'll post another article, hopefully more to do with sebum, in a new post ;-)

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About the Optizinc, I knew it had Zinc Gluconate (?), but I was just wondering if it had anything else to help optimize it ;-) As for the other supplements, that help with Glucose or Insulin Control, see below.

Now this was something I posted....maybe a year ago, so it may not be up to date. Either way, I'm sure it will thoroughly OVERLOAD more of you ;-) Take note however, just how many of these seem to be multifaced when it comes to handling our hormones (insulin, androgen, inflammtion). Plus, some of these are very specific types that our bodies should make naturally but for some reason don't acknowledge or can't convert. Darn those malfunctioning enzymes. Anyway, here's the supplements that I've heard (good things) about:

D-Chiro Inositol (found in Lecithin, Highest amount in Carob)

Vitamin D (can't remember the specific form though)

NAC (N-acetyl cysteine)

CLA (conjugated Linoleic acid with Chromium GTF/Polynictonate/nicotinate)

Alpha Lipoic Acid


Biotin (lowers Blood Sugar, increases insulin)


CoEnzyme Q10

Glucosol/Regulin/Benaba (Lagerstroemia Speciosa L. Extract)


Chromium GTF


Green Tea

Bitter Melon

Gymnema Sylvestre (reg. blood sugar levels, may increases insulin)

Aloe Vera

Vitamin B6

Vitamin C

Vitamin E

Asian Ginseng

Brewers Yeast (B Complex & Chromium)

These help with additional problems caused by the above disorders:

Saw Palmetto


Stingging Nettle



GLA (gamma linoleic acid found in Evening Primrose Oil, Black Current Oil, & Borage Oil)



Folic Acid

Flaxseed oil (Alpha linoleic Acid)

There are a variety of companies selling Multivitamins with a combination of the above. At one point I decided to purchase NSI GlucoPower from Vitacost.com , but changed my mind after I saw the results of my diet


Please visit these websites for additional info:


http://www.diabetic-solutions.com/ (contains supplements that are supposed to help)



Diabetes supplements


If you don't have the books, you can search VitaminShoppe.com for info on the Herbs, Supplements, Food, and Ailments that I've mentioned as well as others, here's a few (these list some of the popular supplements on this board):


Insulin Resistance-http://www.vitaminshoppe.com/learning/healthguide/healthguide_content.jhtml?Category=Concern&title=Insulin+Resistance+Syndrome&relativePath=/content/healthnotes/Concern/Insulin_Resistance_Syndrome.htm





Enjoy =)

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LOL, the sad part is that was in english. I'm not big on technical words either, but I tried tone it down ;-) OK, well you asked some good questions and I posted a list above of supplements, but um....it's really tricky with those. The good part is that if you are allergic to one of the above, you can try another. The bad part is that certain ones work better for certain people depending on what their particular enzyme defect may be. That's where some may get annoyed and depressed because they keep trying things that just aren't working well enough or at all. I don't want that to happen, but unless you've got a direct diagnosis, sometimes it will be "hit or miss."

My suggestion for you is to think about how often you breakout. Think about whether your acne is worse during a certain season. Think about the kinds of foods you eat. Compared to protein, fruits, and vegetable intake, do you eat more refined, artificial, high carb foods? Do you drink sodas, alcohols, and less than 100% fruit juices? How often are you consuming bread based products (cereal, sandwiches, waffles, cakes, batttered food, crackers, etc) a day?

I'm not too sure how well this would work since you currently aren't on a "strict" diet, but some people have noticed that they breakout after having drank the night before. Although, usual reaction times that I've noticed occur within a week's (3-5 days ) time. So is this something that you've noticed? If so, then it could be a possiblity that you are insulin sensitive. Say, how old are you anyway?

As for the B5, this among many of the above supplements, I haven't done enough research on to explain how they fully work. Yet, since there's others on here that seem to also enjoy this, perhaps one of them may be able to give you a better answer than I. So far, what I've been able to figure out is that according to...Leungs study, ATP, NAC, and B5 all do the same thing. They help our bodies utilize the free fats in our blood stream.

"As a coenzyme active in both fatty acid metabolism and sex hormone synthesis, Coenzyme-A is shared between two different metabolic processes. This is not uncommon in biochemical reactions in metabolism, where a coenzyme is often shared among a number of reactions"

"Coenzyme-A is formed from adenosine triphosphate, cysteine, and pantothenic acid. Of these pantothenic acid is the only component that is a vitamin, and must be provided from our dietary intake."


Once again, another defect, only this time it's lipid metabolism. Now, since you didn't even get through the first sentence, you missed out on reading the....4th or so paragraph about what Insulin Resistance is. Well, two of the symptoms were high cholesterol and Dyslipidemia, both having to do with fats & lipids in our blood stream. Now somewhere on Pubmed I bumped into a study that talked about fats in the blood stream competing with Glucose as our body's energy source, thus increasing Insulin Resistance. So that's how its' connected to IR, but as for anything else, I don't know. Perhaps there is something about fatty foods that if they remain in our blood stream somehow making our skin oilier, I don't know. Yet, that's another reason (there's many) to take Omega-3s or Fish Oils, because they are supposed to dissolve these fats, thus reducing high cholesterol, etc and of course there's another way that it reduces Insulin Resistance.

Take care

P.S. NAC has been used effectively by women with PCOS, Diabetics, and Acne sufferers (on other boards). It's a great Liver detoxifier and also lowers IR, thus helping our hormones.

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Hmm, that does sound like a good possibility. Afterall, since accutane is inhibiting a growth factor, its possible that it does result in shrinking the pores and sebaceous glands.

HELLO, did any of you on Accutane notice this???

He he, anyway yeah topicals are a good bet agains DHT, but if your problems are more hormonal than just "skin diabetes", then it won't be enough. I tell ya, I used to LOVE my retinA. Plus, I felt like I was going to never have to worry about wrinkles ;-) Unfortunately once I acheived near clearness, I brokeout ALL over again! So topicals are for people who don't have too deep of a hormonal problem. All the internal solutions are great for those of us who do, and if one is really lucky they may not need anymore prescriptions (stopped using presc. topicals years ago) cuz BHA and AHA will be just as, if not more effective.

As for the topical Spironolactone, I've never used it. What I've been using is Oral Spironlactone for the past 5 years. However, since I've got the tablets, I may have to try making a solution and testing it out (for negative reactions, harsness, etc). Don't know when I'll get around to doing this, but I'll let you know if I do.

Bye for now ;-)

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Continuation for KKP

"Secondary Factors

Excessive Sebum

The accumulation of sebum in the scalp is believed to block hair follicles and contribute to hair loss. Recently, a group of Japanese researchers reported a correlation between excessive sebum in the scalp and hair loss. Excessive sebum often accompanying thinning hair is attributed to an enlargement of the sebaceous gland. They believe excessive sebum causes a high level of 5-alpha reductase which is then converted to DHT and also to pore clogging which would lead to malnutrition of the hair root.

Cholesterol Accumulation

Cholesterol which has been known to produce the enzyme 5 alpha reductase can also accumulate in the skin and scalp. When this cholesterol accumulation comes in contact with sunlight it produces the enzyme 5 alpha reductase directly in the scalp. Since the hair follicles contain testosterone, DHT is then produced in the skin and on the scalp. Since the ultimate goal is to block DHT from reaching the hair follicles, it is very important to keep cholesterol from accumulating in the scalp.

Poor Circulation

The lack of good blood circulation to the scalp may contribute to hair loss. When the hair root is well supplied with blood it is stronger and less susceptible to the shrinking effects caused by DHT. Good blood flow strengthens and rejuvenates the small blood vessels in the scalp. Stronger blood vessels Increases the longevity of the hair follicles specially in thinning areas and encourages hair growth. "


According to the links below, ALL androgens contribute to sebum production. DHT need not be neccessary, but is involved in INCREASED production of Sebum and enlargement of glands (due to increased stimulation).

http://www.dermnetnz.org/dna.acne/sebum.html and


Oh and like I said, unless you remove your reproductive organs you'll never eliminate DHT. Don't hate me for this link, but it mentions in detail some of the above supplements, like Green Tea: http://www.redbendad.com/28/28hairloss.htm

Oh and I can't belief I forgot to mention this, but some of us produce TOO much male hormones and are lucky enough to get DX as such. Others, obviously don't produce too much, but have the normal amounts and unfortunatly find it much harder to get treated. As such, they are considered Overlysensitive to these levels and can respond just like someone who makes too much.

"Hyperresponsiveness of follicle/sebaceous gland (concentrated in face, upper neck, chest) to androgens (most affected individuals have normal androgen levels)

Hypersensitivity to P. acnes & its metabolic products"


So that could explain how someone with Dry skin can get acne. Their bodies react just as if they were making too much androgens & sebum. Perhaps they have hyperkeritinzation and skin cell proliferation too...yeah I guess they would need that in order to get a blocked follicle.

Ok, well that's all I've got for now. Can't wait to see what the rest of you come up with.


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Alright, yes I do notice that I do break out when I drink milk. But cheese is ok for some reason. And I do avoid all refined foods. I am 19 years old and I just started to take 2000mg of Flaxseed Oil a day. Is this Spironolactone only in the Birth control pill or is this a vitamin/mineral? I am not sure if I break out after eating sugar, but I do avoid it a lot so I don't know. I break out from chocolate. With that info can you give me any info on possibly what supplements I should take? Thanks.

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I just skimmed a lot of your initial post but what i read makes sense. I am on Accutane now for the 3rd time...each time the acne returned in just one month after i finished my course. Now I am looking at taking vitamin supplements such as Vitamin A. But how does Accutane, a different form of Vit A, work so well but not the regular Vit A? I know it has to do with the form of it but then how would regular Vit A do anything for your skin?

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Also, I keep reading about this product called Ketsugo. It contains Isolutrol which is supposed to control oil production and give long term relief. I've been trying to do research on it but haven't found too much. Just wondering if maybe it works the same way as isotretonin.

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Yes, you can purchase these supplements on line for less money than you would at a local store. However if you have a Health food store, a vitamin store or even a Walmart you should be able to find these supplements.

As for the Spiro, it is something that you take seperately or along with a BC pill. Where as, Cyproterone is the one that is actually combined with a BC pill (Diane35). Why, are you a male or female?

Also, yes, I follow the Gluten Free Diet. This means the avoidance of Wheat, Barely, and Rye Grains mainly. There's others, but unless you go to a heatlfood store, you shouldn't bump into them. heres more about my diet:


However I consider this a low grain diet because the only grains I eat 90% of the time are Corn, Rice, and sometimes oats.

bye for now

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Natural Vitamin A is supposed to get converted into 13-cis retinoic acid in our bodies. Unfortunately, I've heard that acne sufferers are deficient in Zinc and Vitamin A (or a form of it), so that could explain why these two have done wonders for some people.

Now here's the thing, if you notice people have to take HIGH doses of Vitamin A in order to treat acne effectively. These doses are, if taken long enough, toxic. The problem it seems with people with imbalances is that there is defect somewhere inside that is involved in the processes of one or more pathways. Therefore, you'll need MORE of specific vitamin or additional enzymes, vitamins, etc to make that vitamin capable of doing it's job. Such is the case of Vitamin A, you can use other vitamins to encourage this conversion if your body can't do it. that post is on another board: http://www.clearskin4me.com/viewtopic.php?...p?t=994&start=0

Also, that's why you see so many people spending lots of money on HIGH doses of supplements or on a variety of supplements. Man, before I decided to go with a diet change, I was looking at 30 - 40 pills a day! Some were from my Spiro (6 tablets = 150mg) and the others were from another medicine (avandia) that I no longer take and some supplements like those listed in a prior post. I wasn't looking forward to doing that nor could I have afforded it, so I'm glad things worked out for me.

As for the Ketsugo, obviously we know it controls oil. Now weither it absorbs oil or just reduces oil produced I don't know. Either way, I suppose it would mean less hormones, bacteria, etc. that are floating on your skin and pores, so it's less likely for your skin to get irritated and inflammed. Perhaps that is how less sebum can be a good thing for one who's acne prone.

Hope that helped and if not, does anyone know how ketsugo actually works?

Take care =)

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Hey, I can definitely attest to the hair loss/DHT thing. I am still a teenager, and still have a thick, full head of hair. However, I noticed while sitting at school, that each time I ran my hand threw my hair and 2 or 3 hairs would fall out, 5 or 6 in all. (Don't ask about running my hand through my hair... it's an ego thing. I happen to think it looks a lot better that way, and I'm vain. (too bad I have acne) :D ) There are about 60000 hairs on the head, so it never really worried me.

But your post made me realize that, after I started taking Zinc (last March I believe), hairs barely ever fall out anymore. I'm surprised I never noticed this before but I'm pretty sure about this. I also started taking Flaxseed oil like 2 months ago... so it could be that, or a combination of both.

Sweetjade, I know I PMed you before, but I am still a teenager, and haven't stopped growing. So I guess I'm still wondering if you think that DHT inhibitors would effect me. Or is it that any DHT I'm inhibiting by taking Zinc, Retin-A micro would be excess DHT, and therefore not needed? I'm 6'1 so I dont really need to be taller... but you know what I'm talking about :D.

The researchers note that Japanese hair was thick and healthy, with a small gland and little scalp oil, until the occidental habit of consuming animal fat crept into their diet after World War II. 

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Thanks for the info/links! everything you've posted so far has helped so much. it's frustrating to read about the next "cure" without knowing why...and as for the time to research the biological mechanisms for which they work...thank god you did it.

you posted earlier that you used "natural lotion" and "gel lotion". are there any particular brands you use or are they homemade?

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Hey SweetJade, this is fascinating stuff. Maybe you can look into the B5 connection more? I found that 5g/day was like a miracle for over a year, but now it's not working so well. If it had been correcting for a hormonal balance, shouldn't it still work? It sounds like several people have had it stop working after a long period of time.

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My God, sweetjade, you are AMAZING!!!

Thanks so much for this great write-up. I've done much research, which was very complicated to me without much biochemical background. Your article connected the dots for me. I have a better understanding now.

What's your take on using birth control pill as the antiandrogen?

Are you aware of any practitioners who use topical spironolactone or topical cpa?

Thanks a lot


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I read more into your posts, and would like to rephrase my question. I agree with most of your theories, though I'm a total lay person. So my opinion wouldn't count that much. :D( But it seems to be so in sync with all the research I have read. The one I thing couldn't agree with more is the perplexion why topical Spironolactone never got popular. I remember reading an article on topical use of cpa. I tried to track down the author, but in vain. Have you ever tried either, topical Spironolactone or cpa? We can just buy it on the internet and mix the lotion on our own? Do you know any doctors in New York area who are involved in this kind of practice?

Thanks again for your time and kindness to share knowledge.

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another thought. I also ran into link btw acne and hypothyroidism. For me, it has personal meaning. I'm ALWAYS cold. Did you run into explanation why the link btw acne and hypothyroidim? Is it because they are all auto immune diseases? All gene related?

If I would like to try enzyme or detux on my own to see if it clears up my acne, how should I go about and do it?

I've been on Diane 35 and it works pretty well for me. You mentioned you are 99% clear now. Otherwise it could be a good option. Curious if long-term birth pills use is safe.

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Well, I try not to use that word to freely, but the supplements that he reccommended have shown up in various other acne cure regimens. Unfortunately I don't know how many people were helped, but I guess if you visit the other boards you might find out. I know some people were definately doing it and some did experience dryness.


The lotion I use is by Dream Products and it is the ONLY lotion I put on my face, everything else is either a liquid or a gel. This is a homemade product made by Denise Merryfield and she will customize it to your liking. My Face Dream lotion is considered the Normal/Light formula and has 8% AHA, other good ingredients and I usually get it scented (banana, watermelon, vanilla, etc) Yup, you can get most of her products Scented, unscented, sunscreen, BHA, AHA, extra aloe, etc. She will add in, take out, or substitue ingrediets for you at NO EXTRA CHARGE! Here's a link to her ingredients http://www.clearskin4me.com/viewtopic.php?...=dream+products and here's her email address: [email protected] Just email her and ask about product info and she will send you all the details and pricing. Of course, if you have additional questions she usually gets back to you that same day. =)

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WOW, you certainly have a very curious mind ;-) Can I borrow your brain's engine on my next test day? He he, anyway, I may not be able to answer all these questions right now, either because I don't know or because I'll run out of time, but I shall try.

wow, I just answered all of that for you, and I somehow lost it. I'll try again tomorrow.


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