Acne – My Story, Part 2: Skincare



Read: Acne – Part 1, Acne – Part 3

When I tell you that I have used just about every skin care brand on planet earth, I just about mean it! Obviously I am exaggerating slightly, but in truth, I have used so many brands that I think I would naturally inherit the status of connoisseur of skin care. Funnily enough, whilst I was working in Sephora (Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessey Group), I was positioned as a skin care specialist.

Guess what I’m using now on my skin?

That’s right…NOTHING! How does it look? Very healthy!

I never envisaged that a day would come where I would be able to just use water and nothing else on my skin, how thankful I am!

I occasionally use extra virgin olive oil on my skin (before bed) during the winter period, but that is about it. From one extreme to another! Who would’ve thought!

When I first started getting acne at the age of eighteen, my initial reaction was that it had something to do with the face wash I was using or maybe my moisturiser. So what did I do? I decided to try other skin care products. When one has acne, they are usually emotionally unstable and paranoid (especially teens) and are therefore at the mercy of the skin care specialists – who know less than nothing about acne and general skin ailments (not always, but in 99.9% of cases this holds true). That may sound harsh, but over the years, you realise many people are graduates of the blagging school and you sometimes wish they would just SHUT UP!
Was my initial assumption correct (i.e. trying other skin care products)? No! Was this move beneficial? Yes. With all things in life, there is always a positive aspect to things.

For example:

- If your parents divorced, you may have learnt how to NOT treat your spouse as well as many other things that led to your parents divorce.

- If you fail at something, hopefully you would have learnt how not to fail again.

- If you had a bad childhood, you may have learnt how to raise your kids to not experience those negative things you had to endure and experience.

Ok enough with the family examples, don’t worry I’m not implying anything here, just elaborating!

Get my point?

So anyway, at that tender age of eighteen, I was subdued into believing all the rubbish I was fed about the benefits of different products. In life, everything is related to pain or pleasure. If one outweighs the other, then we will follow that direction (e.g. eating chocolate, benefits: makes you feel good, negatives: makes you put on weight, depending on which factor dominates your thoughts, you are more than likely to follow the stronger desire – in this case, usually eating the chocolate). Just a side note, this pain and pleasure theory was taken from Anthony Robbins’ Personal Power Audio CD – I highly recommended it!

So I had a desire to get rid of my acne! Below are some of the products I used along with comments (not in chronological order):

- Clearasil

I had been using Clearasil for nearly four years without any problems (from the age of fourteen up to the age of eighteen). Generally, I found it very good and it kept my skin in good condition. When I started to develop acne, I thought maybe my skin became resistant to the benefits of this product and therefore decided to switch, if only I had looked at my lifestyle habits first!

- Pur:Phuel

After having stopped using Clearasil, the first product I used was Pur:Phuel. One of the specialists had just come from the training for this product and they swore by it, quite surprised they didn’t swear at it after the results I got! I was recommended the face wash, face scrub (DON’T use a face scrub on acne skin!!!) and a moisturiser. As you can guess, my skin got worse!

- Shiseido

I was recommended this product by a colleague who regurgitated just about everything she had learnt at the training event for this product! After trying the products for 2-3 weeks (approximately), I got tired of not reaping any positive results and decided to move on!

- Decleor

This product was right next to the Shiseido products (conveniently). Again I tried these products with little avail!

- Dermalogica

The products in this range that did work dried my skin out so much so, that when I was smiling it hurt. When I was advised other products within this brand, they weren’t as effective. Also, I didn’t see the point of washing my face twice in one go! (apparently the first wash got rid of the dirt and the second got to clean my skin!?)

- Murad

This product range was one of the best I used. The products consisted of: a facewash (i.e. cleanser), exfoliating lotion, a moisturiser and a daily supplement. I liked Murad’s approach to the problem, that is, he attacked it both internally and externally. As a result of using this system, the idea of internal cleansing took root in my brain and I realised that I had to look at other factors, primarily diet. I thought to myself: whatever I put inside me has to come out somehow (unless it has been used for other bodily functions), therefore my system must be performing sub-optimally for acne to occur. Again, being a student and doesn’t help when one has to spend so much on skincare, as a result I didn’t continue using Murad’s system.

- Perricone

The premise behind Perricone’s anti-inflammatory regime seemed quite logical. I have read a few of his books and his work from a nutritional perspective is quite good, though some things could be polished. His products are not cheap and that’s putting it mildly! This system felt to “soft” and artificial, similar to that smell you get when you enter a hospital ward or when having an operation, the smell of the cream they put on your hands just before you are given an anaesthetic. I wasn’t put off by this, but rather the fact that I couldn’t justify the cost of the products with the results! His anti-aging range however seemed to work wonders for the women I used to recommend the products to, however I was and still am relatively young to use these. I felt his range would do well with those who first can afford it and secondly have mild acne. If coupled with his diet, then one will definitely have clear skin. I shall talk more about his diet in the acne nutrition article – though just to let you know that it completely cleared my skin up, but I lost TOO much weight. Simply put, its the low glycaemic index (aka glycemic index, GI) diet with his anti-inflammatory twist.

- Clarins

This range, when I was using it, had too much alcohol in a lot of their products. Most of the people working for Clarins put me off, it was like a porcelain doll trying to sell as much as she could! The skin care specialists at Sephora were not very keen on this brand and advised me not to use it, obviously that is not what they would tell the public, but being a member of staff I was given….erm…the truth so to say!

- Dan’s method on acne.org

In terms of acquiring knowledge in relation to acne & diet and acne & supplements, I learnt a lot from Dan’s forum. I really liked and appreciated his genuine approach to wanting to help others and decided to give his method a try. It involved washing ones face with a perfume free soap or cleanser that he recommended from a list of a few available to try, then to apply lots of benzoyl peroxide (BP) and finally apply moisturiser. It seemed to work, yet I didn’t feel very comfortable using so much benzoyl peroxide cream on my face. I had also read how oxide creams can quicken the aging of skin, though I can’t find the source anymore and am yet to find factual evidence to support this claim. If any of you have any information on this, please feel free to contribute.

- Clinique

One of my friends attested that the Clinique range was amazing. I tried it and it worked wonders!!! But, I had just started taking antibiotics (doxycycline, a derivative on tetracycline) for my skin and therefore could not judge fairly how well the product worked. Also, the CLEVER person working for Clinique (sarcasm intended) recommended that I use a facial scrub every day! All these bad experiences have taught one valuable lesson, don’t take information, especially information about your health at face value, always question and ask! Clinique is also renowned for its overuse of alcohol. After a while of using their products, I decided not to use them because: they had too much alcohol in some of the products I was using and the Clinique lady’s skin was far from clear and that’s with all the makeup she had on her face!

I’ve probably used other products too which I have not mentioned here – though I can’t remember. As much or as little as these products helped, they didn’t hit the source of the problem and therefore didn’t rid me of acne!

Diet and exercise are key factors in combating acne, may sound cliché but trust me it works! If I was to write my whole experience, I’d probably end up writing a large book – no joke – though at this moment I don’t have the time to do so.

Don’t get me wrong, the correct skin care + regime can make your skin look exceptionally great, but, if you don’t have a strong foundation (i.e. healthy lifestyle habits), then you won’t be very successful in the long-term. I don’t like relying on artificial methods if I can help it. Using a cleanser, toner, moisturiser and scrub seems like an added hassle that I personally don’t need and want.

The fourth article shall discuss diet, which is where the main solution lies to combating skin problems (and coincidentally other ailments too).

N.B. This article does contain affiliate links, only because I recommend the products and because I need to make money in order to run the site :)


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4 Responses to Acne – My Story, Part 2: Skincare
  1. freelance website
    March 12, 2008 | 8:28 am

    I use to have loads of pimples in my teens. I had approached medical help after a lot of suffering and it did help in reducing the pimples. With some natural stuff (orange, neem n all) and after marriage (dunno if that’s a myth or not) i did loose all my pimples.

    But i don’t understand one thing, i don’t have pimples any more i try my best to eat salad, fruits, not much water though but overall i avoid junk eat good home food…. then y isnt my skin all radiant n bright, there is no glow n all i look tired but no pimples. (you probably remember me from Dubai?).

    I would like to request you to write some articles on pregnancy healthy habits (diet, exercise to avoid the body aches++).

  2. the health blogger
    March 29, 2008 | 9:16 am

    hey, of course I remember you.

    How are you?

    Do you exercise? If so, how often and what type of exercise do you do?

    In regards to your request, will do so soon.

  3. kulsum
    April 3, 2008 | 2:52 pm

    the best skin care i ever used (for my face) is PURE HONEY! Honey mask once a week, on your face for as long as you can handle it! minimum 20 minutes! fantastic! i’ve tried lots of products, most don’t work, some do. the ones that do work, are very costly and no longer as effective (if effective at all) after about 6 months, so you have to start all over!

  4. Getting Rid of Acne
    September 25, 2009 | 4:49 am

    A lot of people will say not to use alcohol on your face but I find it works EXTREMELY well for me. I use it daily and have been for years. I agree that proper diet is a top way to get rid of acne but I’m from the south and we like to eat what we like to eat LOL! So I turned to acne treatments and have found several I really like. But again wiping my face down with alcohol has worked wonders for me (may not be best for people with dry skin though and that’s not a problem I have).

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