Category Archives for Acne Product Reviews

Acne Wash – What Is The Best Acne Face Wash?

Some acne experts will tell you that there really isn’t any point in using an acne face wash. After all, you rinse the product right down the drain almost as quickly as you put it on your skin.

And in terms of exfoliating your skin, stripping away the layers of dead skin that lock sebum in whiteheads and blackheads, they are probably mostly right. Acne face washes are not especially useful for zapping zits. What acne face washes do, however, is equally important. They make your skin just a little more permeable to the next ingredients you will put on your face.

Your moisturizer will keep your skin moister. Your foundation will adhere to your skin longer with less flaking and clumping. Any antibiotic cream or skin rejuvenating product like tretinoin topical will penetrate just a little deeper. And that makes acne face washes a good idea.

One of the most useful face washes contains a combination of two great skin care products, salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide. Salicylic acid is the one and only beta-hydroxy acid used in skin care. It is just acidic enough to loosen dead skin that locks oil inside pores (at least when it is used at the right concentration and the right pH). It’s also anti-inflammatory. That is important for people who have Mediterranean, Hispanic, Middle Eastern, Asian, and African skin types, because stopping inflammation stop pigmentation, which can be a bigger problem than acne!

Benzoyl peroxide is probably the oldest and best-known disinfectants for acne-prone skin. Benzoyl peroxide kills the germs that cause acne fast. That doesn’t cause immediate healing, because the redness and inflammation of acne are actually caused by the immune system’s reaction to acne bacteria rather than the bacteria themselves. But benzoyl peroxide “turns acne around” and starts the healing process.

Together, these products are even better. The side effect of benzoyl peroxide is that it makes dead skin peel. Salicylic acid lifts and separates dead skin cells so they don’t flap over new pores and cause new blemishes. Salicylic acid typically doesn’t have any side effects if it is used in the right concentration. Combining it with benzoic acid, however, lowers the pH of the product so the salicylic acid works better.

What you don’t want to do with a face wash is just to splash it on your face to get cleansing done as fast as possible. It’s better to dab the face wash on your face and let it stay on your skin at least 5 minutes. Then rinse the product off. It takes about 5 minutes for any benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid product to begin to do its work. The combo does not kill all bacteria but breaks down white heads and blackheads. Continual use is needed as once use of salicylic acid has stopped, the pore clogging will begin again. Dryness of the skin is common but use of a gentle moisturizer will alleviate this.

The prestigious Mayo Clinic advocates a twice daily cleansing of the acne area with products that contain these ingredients. Benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid acne washes are available over the counter at drugstores and grocery stores, and can help reduce oil on the skin and encourage the exfoliation of dead skin cells. The creamier and foamier the product, the longer it will stay on your skin and the more good it will do.

Moisturizer, Makeup, and Breakouts

After you use your cleanser, then it’s time for moisturizer and makeup. The most important thing to remember about moisturizer is that it shouldn’t make your skin tingle. Alcohol feels like it is doing something but can dry out your skin. The best moisturizers are “oil in water,” sealing moisture in your skin without sealing oil in your pores.

The helpful people at the cosmetics counter will help you choose the most expensive foundation makeup that works for you. But if you are choosing products on your own, keep in mind that:

  • Oil-free, matte finish foundation will keep oil in control but only for a few hours. They are best if you want a light feel on your skin.
  • Long-wearing, matte finish foundation will look “just put on” all day long, but if you have oily skin it may tend to streak.
  • Long-wearing, matte finish liquid foundation is best for oily skin, but you have to get any additional products “right” the first time you put them on. They are hard to mix with other cosmetics.
  • Moisturizing liquid foundations are good for dry to normal skin.
  • Pressed powder is OK for slightly dry to slightly oily skin.
  • Cream-to-powder foundations can make oily skin shinier.
  • Stick foundations can clog pores and accentuate wrinkles, making them more obvious.
  • Tinted moisturizers are fine when you don’t need a lot of coverage or for casual wear.
  • Mineral makeup is actually powder makeup. Use with caution on dry skin.

Of course, when you have a really bad breakout, it is advisable not to put any make up on at all. Make sure you are using a appropriate acne skin wash that is suitable for your skin type this will help to reduce the oil on the skin.

So, Where Do You Start?

Choosing the best acne wash is going to be the biggest step in helping to remedy your acne problem. The tough challenge is that there are several acne face washes, declaring to be the “best.”

If your primary concern is pimples, then look for a wash that contains 5 to 10% benzoyl peroxide. This is probably stronger than you would want to leave on your skin, but it’s OK in a skin wash. Just be sure to moisturize after you rinse off your face wash.

You probably aren’t going to be able to find a product that has any strength of salicylic acid other than 1%. (And you really should not use the 10% to 30% salicylic acid products you sometimes find online. If you don’t know how to neutralize them, or you don’t neutralize them in time, they can cause real damage to your skin.) The salicylic acid in face washes really doesn’t “peel” your skin. It just leaves it more responsive to the other products you wil use.

These two ingredients are potent so it’s not impossible to have some negative occurrences. Some people may experience some mild burning, peeling, or itching. You don’t want to use any product that makes your skin peel—but you can stop this by rinsing carefully and using a touch of moisturizer.

  • Nothing beats cleansing for stopping acne. A lot of people ask, what is the best face wash for acne? Here’s what is important in an acne wash.
  • A good acne wash does not contain any perfumes, fragrances, or preservatives that make your face break out with allergies.
  • Except for Neutrogena, it is unusual for a bar soap to make a good acne wash. The ingredients that keep the soap in bar form can cause skin to break out.
  • Microbeads in an acne wash help break up blackheads and whiteheads, but they really don’t work unless you rub them across blemished skin. Don’t try to scrub your acne away. A gentle rubbing, not a scrubbing, is enough.
  • Triclosan is OK in a product you wash off your skin in a minute or two. It’s too strong to leave on your skin, but it is good for starting the process of disinfection.
  • Tea tree oil both kills acne bacteria and relieves inflammation. It’s for teens and older, not children, however.
  • It takes 5% to 10% benzoyl peroxide to make a difference in a skin wash for acne. You don’t want to leave any product that contains this strength of benzoyl peroxide on your skin. Wash it off in 5 minutes or less.
  • There’s a really long list of acne washes that don’t work, so let’s focus on the few that do.
  • Ahava Skin Care products are usually pH balanced and contain all the right ingredients for acne on almost any skin type. They also tend to be expensive.
  • Black Opal Skin Perfecting Acne & Blemish Wash contains the tea tree oil that relieves inflammation and just a little salicylic acid for opening up pores. It’s very reasonably priced.

And while it may look like we stopped at the top of an alphabetical list, actually these are the two best acne skin washes you can find at cosmetics counters and department stores. But you can get the best results overall from Exposed Skin Care.

Zyporex Acne Treatment Review

Zyporex Acne Treatment is a one-step skin cleanser and acne solution.  “Basically a nutritional supplement” for your skin, Zyporex contains “30 vitamins, minerals, and herbal acne aids” as well as tiny exfoliators to lift dirt and dead skin cells from your pores.  The ingredients also work to slow bacterial growth to help prevent future acne breakouts.

Zyporex can be used an an all-over skin cleanser and works on body acne as well as facial acne.  Zyporex is not drying to the skin, nor will it induce your body to “rebound” and produce excess oil as some treatments do.  The Zyporex ingredients help acne prone skin to heal itself.  With Zyporex, you can “clear, revitalize, moisturize, supplement, and heal” skin in just one 30-second daily treatment.

Company Information

The Zyporex website does not offer any information about the location or other operations of the company behind the product.  Other than an email address, they provide no contact information.  The Better Business Bureau file on Zyporex, however, shows that the company is based in California.  The BBB gives Zyporex a grade of F and states that they “strongly question the company’s reliability.”  Zyporex has received 16 consumer complaints in the last 36 months – nine of these have not been responded to by the company.

Product Specifications

Zyporex face scrub is “100% chemical free” and contains a mixture of herbals, vitamins, and minerals.  Ingredients include aloe vera, white willow extract, calendula, avocado oil, green tea extract, tea tree oil, and walnut shell for exfoliating.  A complete list of ingredients is included on the Zyporex website.

Zyporex is packaged in a 12.2 ounce bottle that “lasts at least 3 months.”  No warnings or side effects to using the Zyporex cleansing system are discussed on the website.

Where to Buy Zyporex

You may purchase Zyporex on its official website.  It is not sold in stores.

Price

The cost for one bottle of Zyporex is $29.99.  If you purchase two or more bottles at a time, you’ll receive a free bottle of Zyporex 12 Hour Acne Treatment, but details about this product are not given on the website.

Return Policy

Zyporex offers a “no time limit” guarantee.  Use Zyporex cleanser as long as you’d like, and if it doesn’t work you can return it for a full refund including shipping charges.

Summary

After looking at the Zyporex website, I wanted to find out the answers to some common questions:  Is Zyporex good?  Does it work?  Are these 100% natural ingredients good or bad for skin?  As always, I’ve sought out reviews from real users to find the answers to these questions.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t find more than a few real-user reviews on the major acne forums, and those I found called Zyporex a scam.  This made me decide to check out ComplaintsBoard.com to see what people there were saying.

I found quite a few Zyporex reviews at ComplaintsBoard, both from people who had problems with the product or company and from people for whom Zyporex really works.  I’ll share the simple pros and cons first.

Pros:  pleasant smell, reduces skin irritation, clears blackheads

Cons:  dries out skin, brings out more acne in some, poor customer service for many people

The ratings and reviews regarding Zyporex vary so dramatically that it’s hard to know what to believe.  On the one hand, there are people who say their shipments arrived quickly and the cleanser “worked great,” but on the other hand, there are people who say the company behind Zyporex is just ripping people off.  These people say that their orders never arrived, Zyporex would not respond to emails, and the only phone number Zyporex provided led to a “voice mail box that was full and not accepting new messages.”  These kinds of comments coupled with the numerous complaints against Zyporex that the BBB has received would make anyone suspicious.

Potential scam aside, taking a closer look at Zyporex ingredients raises a few warning flags.  Though the Zyporex website says that it is made entirely from natural ingredients, one lengthy review I read disputed that.  The writer says that Zyporex’s “vitamin content … is 100% synthetic,” and that it contains four other non-natural ingredients – a “preservative, peptides, glycerin” and “hyaluric acid,” which “has been shown to be involved in the progression of malignant tumors.”

Another review states that, among other problems with the ingredients, “calendula can cause eczema in anyone with a ragweed … allergy.”  According to this person, the essential oils in Zyporex “are very irritating to a lot of skin types.”

Though it appears that Zyporex was once included on a “top acne treatments” list, no one is currently calling it the best acne cure available.  With the reviews suggesting that Zyporex is not the most honest company and that the “natural ingredients” may not be completely safe, it may be best to look elsewhere for your acne treatment.

After completing this information page, I discovered that the Zyporex homepage is identical to the homepage of ProNexin Acne Treatment.  The product description, the list of ingredients, the “user testimonials,” the frequently asked questions, the price – all of it is 100% identical.  This scream fraud and scam to me.

This is why you’ll notice that my information pages for both Zyporex and ProNexin read almost identical as well.  Since the information the company presents is the same, I am simply reiterating to you what is on the website.

Zithromax(R) Review

Zithromax(R) is a prescription antibiotic that is used to treat acne.  Its generic name is azithromycin and it is related to erythromycin and used to treat various bacterial infections including ear infections, pneumonia, chlamydia, and sinusitis.  In recent years, Zithromax has been prescribed to treat adult acne, yet it is not as widely prescribed as other acne-treatment antibiotics like tetracycline and minocycline.

Since it is an antibiotic, Zithromax works as an acne treatment because it directly attacks and destroys the acne-causing bacteria P. acnes.  Without the bacteria present in the skin, all types of acne cannot form.  Taken orally, Zithromax acne treatment will work to heal and prevent acne all over the body, not just on the face.

Company Information

Zithromax was developed and is sold by the pharmaceutical company Pfizer, Inc., which was founded in 1849.  Pfizer is a Better Business Bureau Accredited Business and receives a BBB grade of A+.  In the last 36 months, the BBB has received five consumer complaints against Pfizer and all have been resolved satisfactorily.

Product Specifications

Zithromax medication can be administered in various forms – oral suspension or oral tablets or capsules.  Tablets come in either 250mg or 500mg pills.  Acne sufferers often receive a prescription for a “Z-Pak” which contains six 250 mg tablets.  According to one website, “When Zithromax is used for acne vulgaris, some physicians prescribe a pulsed dose of either 3 days on, 7 days off for three cycles, or treatment with 250 mg on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for 10 weeks.”  Your doctor will choose which form and dosage is right for your needs.

Inactive ingredients in Zithromax tablets include calcium phosphate, talc, and artificial colors.

Anyone who has experience allergy related reactions to any erythromycin drugs should not take Zithromax.  Potential side effects to Zithromax include abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting.  For most people, the side effects are not bad enough to stop taking the medication.  This medicine can “interfere with the effectiveness of birth control pills” which may result in pregnancy if another form of birth control is not used during treatment.

Where to Buy Zithromax(R)

You may buy Zithromax only from a pharmacy with a  doctor’s prescription.  It cannot be purchased in stores, and you should never order Zithromax over the internet.

Price

The cost of Zithromax(R) will depend largely on whether you have health insurance.  With insurance, the cost can be as low as $5 – without insurance, the cost may be $200 or more.

Return Policy

Because it is a prescription medicine, Zithromax(R) cannot be returned after purchase.

Summary

There are plenty of Zithromax reviews out there, but unfortunately most of them aren’t acne-related.  Since Zithromax is used to treat many infections and other conditions, I had to wade through quite a lot to find the pros and cons of Zithromax as a solution for acne.

Zithromax seems to be a great system for clearing up acne and preventing new breakouts.  I found more than one person who was prescribed this medication for an infection but watched their acne clear up during treatment.  After just one week’s use, one Zithromax user writes, “My face redness and also pigmentation are decreasing.”

Though Zithromax really works for many people and its safety has been proven, its side effects are not to be ignored.  One acne sufferer from the UK writes that while taking Zithromax, “My lips dried up and skin began to peel away.”  Despite this unpleasant effect, her acne healed completely, and as she says, her “lips returned back to normal once I stopped the medication.”

Another user writes that his “stomach seemed more sensitive than usual.”  As with any medication, not all users experiences the problem of adverse side effects.  One young lady says that “virtually all pimples … have cleared up” and she’s had not a single side effect.

Many users write that they saw skin improvements very quickly, but that’s not true for everyone.  A Michigan user writes that Zithromax “took about 2-3 months to fully kick in” to heal acne.  Unfortunately, she also developed blackheads while taking the medication and had the very unpleasant side effects of “diarrhea and really bad headaches.”

Unlike some prescription acne medications, I found no warnings of severe side effects – only mild effects that ended during or just after completing treatment.  Overall, Zithromax gets very good ratings from most users which means it is a good overall acne treatment.  Whether it will be the best treatment for you can only be discovered by trying it.

Vilantae(TM) by Evolution X Review – Trying to Mimic Accutane

Vilantae(TM) by Evolution X is an advanced acne treatment that is rated between “moderate and maximum prevention” right below prescription isotretinoin.  Because topical acne products can’t address oil production until after it’s reached the skin’s surface, Vilantae acne treatment works to prevent “excess oil from being released in the first place.”  Vilantae balances oil production so that it remains at a constant “optimum” level throughout the day instead of spiking into “too much.”

This “new category of skin care” uses all-natural, high quality ingredients to fight acne before it begins.  It can be used for both teenage and adult acne, by people of all ethnicities and skin types.  Unlike most topical acne treatment systems, Vilantae will treat body acne as well as facial acne.

According to Vilantae’s website, this acne solution is “second only to Accutane…in terms of effectiveness.”  After years of research, Dr. Lit-Hung Leung, M.D., published studies regarding the ability of d-Calcium pantothenate, otherwise known as vitamin B5, to prevent acne.  His findings of d-Calcium pantothenate (Vilantae)’s role in acne is this:

The reason for excess oil on the skin is because lipids and fatty acid deposits beneath the skin are not being broken down and recirculated into the blood stream but are being “released as sebum (oil).”  The body breaks down these lipids and fatty acids by using an enzyme called coenzyme A.  If coenzyme A is lacking or busy being used for other bodily functions, the excess lipids and fatty acids “are secreted as oil” through the skin.  Coenzyme A is produced by the body using three components, two of which are produced naturally within the body and one of which must be supplied by the diet.  The component that must be present in the diet is Vilantae (d-Calcium pantothenate).  By supplementing your intake with Vilantae, “the deficiency of coenzyme A is eliminated,” the “fatty acids get broken down and the skin does not over release oil.”  Without excessive oil, acne simply does not occur.

Along with d-Calcium pantothenate, Vilantae acne vitamins “are specially formulated with the necessary nutrients” to help the body absorb Vilantae, allocate coenzyme A, and break down carbohydrates.

The first sign that Vilantae is working is a noticeable reduction in skin oil, which usually occurs 3-4 weeks after beginning the system.  About one to two weeks after this, “a significant reduction in acne starts to occur.”  Vilantae states that it “typically takes three months to experience the full effects of Vilantae” and if you have not seen positive results after five months, your “body is not responding to the therapy.”  Vilantae estimates its effectiveness at 80 – 85% of those who take the supplements as directed.  According to the website, “The most common reason for failure is not taking enough, not giving it enough time, and not sticking to a consistent amount on a daily basis.”

Company Information

Vilantae is marketed by Evolution-X, Inc., a company based in Tennessee in the United States.  Evolution-X receives a grade of B- from the Better Business Bureau with the reason for the grade being that the BBB does not have sufficient background information about the company nor about how long they have been in business.  Only one complaint has been filed against Evolution-X in the last 36 months, but it was “Administratively Closed” because the BBB determined that it could not be satisfactorily resolved.

Product Specifications

All-natural Vilantae acne vitamins contain vitamin B5 (d-Calcium pantothenate) as their active ingredient.  The role this vitamin plays in preventing acne is explained above and in full detail on Vilantae’s website.  Vilantae is available in either capsule or powder form depending on your personal preferences.  There is no difference in the effectiveness of either form.

When first taking Vilantae supplements, you’ll need to take “megadoses” during the first three months.  For the capsules, you should take five capsules twice per day for the first five days of treatment.  Then begin taking five capsules four times per day for the next three months.  After this “megadosing” period, you can reduce your maintenance dose to 4-15 capsules per day.  Those with severe acne may benefit from taking six capsules four times per day, but no one should exceed 24 capsules per day without discussing it with a doctor first.

If taking Vilantae powder, it can be mixed with any liquid though water is recommended.  (Vilantae advises against mixing with carbonated or alcoholic beverages.)  The drink will need to be shaken to dissolve the powder and preserve the ingredients.  When using the powder, you can take just three doses per day instead of the four with the capsules.  One scoop of powder equals seven capsules.

The website states that Vilantae is “100% safe with minimal side effects.”  Side effects mentioned include loose stool, mild stomach irritation, and, rarely, possible headaches during the first couple weeks of treatment.  The body usually adjusts after a period of time and any digestive effects will stop, but if you experience headaches while taking Vilantae you should stop your dosage and talk to a doctor.    Any other adverse effects are a warning sign to stop taking the supplement.  Women who are pregnant or nursing should not take Vilantae.

Though Vilantae will not cause adverse reactions if taken with other medications, you should not use Vilantae and isotretinoin (Accutane) at the same time.

Where to Buy Vilantae

Vilantae capsules and powder may be ordered from the official Vilantae website.

Price

The cost of Vilantae is $38.50 for 400 capsules or $35.50 for an equivalent amount of powder.  The powder comes with a free ½ ounce shot glass for mixing.

Return Policy

Vilantae offers a 90 day money back guarantee.  If you are not completely satisfied, you may return return your empty bottles within 90 days of the day you receive your order to receive a full refund minus shipping.  A return address is provided on Vilantae’s website.

Summary

In searching user reviews to learn the pros and cons of Vilantae, I found that most people give these acne pills high ratings.  Let’s look at some of these good reviews, and then we’ll look at the problems some have had.

Many people who have used Vilantae are excited about the results they’ve seen.  A few comments I’ve found – “This product has definitely reduced both skin oil and acne.”  “I’m really happy this exists.”  “I’ve noticed a pretty decent change in my acne.”  “Works wonders for me!”

Of course, not everyone agrees with these glowing reviews.  Like all treatments, Vilantae really works for some but not for others.  Some say it’s the best acne treatment they’ve ever tried, but others call it a complete scam.

One problem noted by one young lady is that she must remember to “take [Vilantae] pills every three hours.”  In her review, she writes that if she waits even just four hours between doses her “skin pays for it the next few days.”  This need to be so strict in the dosing times is probably not true for everyone, but each person’s body will respond differently.  Another Vilantae user with “extremely oily skin” writes that the pills did not lower his oil production and his “acne was not affected at all.”  On the other hand, another young man with “extremely oily skin” says that Vilantae did “greatly reduce” his oil production.  He also writes that his “pores have slightly decreased in size.”

Regarding Vilantae’s acne fighting abilities, a user from Holland writes that after running out of pills, her skin became very oily.  She sums it up this way, “I don’t really know if it clears your acne, but it sure gets rid of the excess oil.”  Of course, some see no improvement whatsoever.  One writes that Vilantae is doing “absolutely nothing” for his acne, and others write that they experienced “acne in places I’ve never had it before” while taking the pills.

Though hair loss is not a mentioned side effect on the Vilantae website, I found one user who said that his eyebrow hair began to fall out while he was taking Vilantae.  Another writes that she “thinks hair does fall out quicker.”  A man from New Zealand writes that Vilantae “did help reduce oil” and that his acne was “almost completely clear by 3 weeks in,” but in his fourth week of taking the supplements, he noticed his “hair was easily falling out” and then became “brittle and dry.”

For some, the results of using Vilantae come quickly – “I have only been taking it for about 2 weeks now but I have seen a huge improvement!” – while for others, the results take much longer – “I have been taking Vilantae for 2 months…no results.”  As the Vilantae website says, it can take three months for some people to see full improvement, and even they admit the B5 supplements won’t help every acne sufferer.

Rodan & Fields Unblemish Review

Unblemish, part of the Rodan & Fields skin care line, is designed to tame breakouts, calm complexion, and “keep pimples, blackheads and red spots from making an unwelcome appearance on your face.”  Unblemish acne treatment “clears, heals, and balances skin” with a blend of pharmaceutical and herbal ingredients.

Unblemish’s acne skin care system contains three steps – an acne cleanser, toner, and a benzoyl peroxide treatment.  These acne care products work together to “penetrate and unplug pores, kill bacteria, absorb excess oil, and calm inflammation.”  The formulation of ingredients in each product work “synergistically together to addresses the complex issue of acne” by providing specific acne healing medicine.  Unblemish warns that “skipping any one of these steps can minimize results.”

Depending on the severity of your acne problems, the Unblemish system will heal acne and fade marks to leave healthy, unblemished skin “within days to just a few weeks.”  For those with “very significant” acne, results may take “as long as eight weeks.”  Unblemish’s website advises that if your acne is not improving after eight weeks of using the Unblemish acne treatment regimen or if “your acne is cystic and scarring,” you should seek the care of a dermatologist.

Since there is no cure for acne, Unblemish must be used for an indefinite period of time.  If these acne care products are successfully clearing your skin, you should keep using them.  According to the Unblemish website, “There is no time limit to the length of time you can use Unblemish Regimen.”  They give a warning that if you stop using Unblemish, “your blemishes are likely to return.”

Company Information

Unblemish Regimen is developed and marketed by Rodan & Fields Dermatologists, a company that makes many over the counter acne products including Soothe for sensitive skin, Essentials for general skin care and cleansing, and Enhancements – a line that includes an anti-aging face cream and micro-dermabrasion products.  The company’s founders, Dr. Katie Rodan and Dr. Kathy Fields, are the original developers of the popular Proactiv acne solution as well.

Rodan & Fields Dermatologists receives a grade of B- from the Better Business Bureau.  In the last 36 months, seven complaints have been filed against Rodan & Fields, and all have been resolved.

Product Specifications

Step one in the Unblemish regimen is Unblemish Acne Treatment Sulfur Wash, which contains 3% sulfur as its active ingredient along with a blend of pharmaceuticals and a few herbals.  Some of the herbals are aloe leaf juice, acacia gum, and yeast extract.

Unblemish Clarifying Toner follows the cleanser and should not be rinsed off after application.  Along with numerous pharmaceuticals, Clarifying Toner contains “witch hazel water,” lecithin, aloe leaf juice, rosemary extract, and fish collagen.

The final step is Unblemish Acne Benzoyl Peroxide Treatment, which should be applied all over the face and allowed to dry for applying any other substance (e.g. sunscreen or makeup).  The active ingredient is 2.5% benzoyl peroxide, and the treatment also contains alcohol, arnica, zinc, and numerous pharmaceutical chemicals.

All three products contain fragrance and artificial colors.

Each of these acne skin care treatment products should be used once per day, increasing to twice per day if your skin tolerates it.  No specific side effects to the products or ingredients are mentioned, but Rodan & Fields does mention the possibility of allergic reaction.  Those who are allergic to benzoyl peroxide “should not use Unblemish Acne Benzoyl Peroxide Treatment.”  Though the website states that an allergy to oral sulfa drugs “does not predispose one to an allergy to topical sulfur medications,” they suggest trying a “patch test” on a small area of skin before using the treatment all over your face.

This system is not recommended to treat body acne.  For this, Rodan & Fields recommends their Unblemish Body Regimen, which includes an exfoliator with salicylic acid.  The Unblemish Salicylic Acid Exfoliating Body Wash may be used in place of Unblemish Acne Treatment Sulfur Wash a few times per week.

Where to Buy Unblemish

Rodan & Fields Unblemish may be purchased at the official Unblemish website.  It is no longer sold in stores, but Rodan & Fields has introduced a direct selling campaign.

Price

The cost for one three-piece Unblemish kit is $101, but the website does not specify how long one kit will last.

Return Policy

Rodan & Fields offers a satisfaction guarantee with all of their skin care products.  If you are not completely satisfied with the results of Unblemish, you can return used or unused products within 60 days of the date of shipment for an exchange or a full refund minus shipping.  The Rodan & Fields Customer Service phone number is provided on the website and should be contacted before returning any products.

Summary

Unblemish facial cleanser has a creamy texture that does not lather, which some people find bothersome.  A few have reported that the cleanser isn’t a great cleanser to begin with and “doesn’t leave my skin feeling clean.”  One lady says that she washes off her makeup with a separate cleanser before using the Unblemish cleanser because “it’s not very effective at removing makeup.”

The toner is said by some to have “a strong smell.”  Another writes that the facial cleanser has “an over-the-top sulfur smell that might bother some.”  Yet a third Unblemish user says that “no matter how much you rinse,” the sulfur smell remains on your skin.

One reviewer writes that all three Unblemish treatments used together “can be a bit too drying.”  But another writes that her skin “doesn’t feel as dry” when using Unblemish as it did when she used other products.  She does caution that none of the Unblemish products make a good moisturizer for acne prone skin.  She recommends using the Essentials moisturizer instead.  Some users experience the opposite effect.  One Unblemish user writes that the system really worked to make her acne cysts better, but she says that “after several weeks” of use her face always feels “very greasy and oily.”

Unblemish can work for people of all ages, successfully treating both teen acne and adult acne.  As a user in her mid-40s writes, “I’ve had excellent results with the Unblemish line … I have my acne under control.”

The time it takes for people to see good results in their acne can be lengthy.  As one says, “It did take 2 months for my skin to really equalize.”  Another, who has used Unblemish for two years and still enjoys its effects on her skin, says in her review that she “broke out for a month” after first starting to use the regimen.

As with all acne treatment systems, Unblemish has its pros and cons.  One good sign is that I didn’t find anyone calling it a scam.  As far as whether it’s the best acne fighting product out there, Unblemish appears as #3 on the top acne products list at Acne-Reviews and twice, the Unblemish regimen received the Best Acne Treatment award in Allure magazine’s Best of Beauty campaign.

Based on user reviews, Unblemish does seem to be good skin care for acne prone skin, but it may not be the best acne skin care for you.  How your own unique skin will respond can’t be foretold by hearing about the experiences of others.  Since Rodan & Fields offers the money back guarantee, it may very well be worth a try.

TriClear Treat & Prevent System Review

TriClear Treat & Prevent System is a three-step acne solution system that is designed to “treat the major causes of acne, control oil production and greasiness, and prevent future breakouts.”  TriClear’s unique formula is an “exclusive breakthrough combination” of acne-fighting ingredients, “soothing buffers and moisturizing nutrients” that are both gentle and powerful enough to effectively treat acne.

All TriClear products contain QuSomes(R) which offer “sustained-release delivery technology” to target acne at its source.  QuSomes(R) “encapsulate ingredients” in tiny spheres that penetrate deep into skin and “continually release a higher concentration” of acne-fighting ingredients at the exact location where acne begins.

TriClear treats both teen and adult acne and has been used successfully be people with all skin types, from dark to fair, including sensitive skin.

An independent research team conducted an in-home trial of TriClear Treat & Prevent System among hundreds of first time customers.  The results showed that 98% of users saw acne clear up and experienced less irritation, 97% experienced fewer breakouts, and 96% had smoother skin.  About three-quarters of those who use TriClear are said to see improvement in their acne in just seven days.  According to TriClear’s website, “optimal results are usually seen after 6-8 weeks of continued use.”  Complete clearing, for some people, may take 3-6 months.

Company Information

TriClear receives a grade of C- from the Better Business Bureau.  In the last 36 months, 152 consumer complaints have been filed against TriClear across a wide range of issues.  Of these, 125 were satisfactorily resolved while 27 were “Administratively Closed,” which means that the BBB believes TriClear made reasonable efforts to resolve the issue but the consumer remained dissatisfied.

Product Specifications

Step one in the TriClear acne treatment system is Purifying Cleanser, a mineral-based cleanser that cleans without irritating skin.  It lifts dirt, oil, and dead skin cells out of pores to leave “skin feeling fresh, clean, and clear.”  This oil- and alcohol-free facial cleanser contains sodium hyaluronate to moisturize skin and give a “smoother, toned look” as well as chamomile to calm and prepare skin for the rest of the regimen.

Repairing Gel, the second step in the TriClear regimen, encourages skin to repair itself, helps to prevent future breakouts, gives skin “a non-greasy look and feel,” and contains an ingredient called silicol dioxide to absorb and control oil production.  Oil-free and non-irritating, Repairing Gel will leave skin “renewed and visibly fresher.”  After applying, Repairing Gel needs to be allowed to absorb into skin for ten minutes and then rinsed off with warm water.

The final step is called Revitalizing Cream and is “clinically proven to treat major causes of acne.”  Its two active ingredients are salicylic acid for clearing acne and stimulating skin renewal and inflacin to calm irritation and sooth redness.  Oil-free, moisturizing Revitalizing Cream keeps pores clear by exfoliating the top layer of skin.

No warnings or side effects of using TriClear are given on the website, but those with “particularly sensitive skin” are advised that they may experience mild irritation.

Where to Buy TriClear

TriClear may be purchased from the official TriClear website.

Price

The cost of TriClear is not listed on the official website.  Reviews from users listed various prices ranging from $49.95 to $70 per kit.

Return Policy

Within 30 days of receiving your TriClear kit, you may return it for a full refund minus shipping charges.  You’ll need to contact a TriClear Customer Care Representative before returning any products.

Summary

The ratings TriClear receives from real users on various acne review sites are overwhelmingly negative.  When I was trying to find out if TriClear really works, I found surprisingly few people talking about whether it is good at treating acne.  What they were talking about is the scam behind TriClear’s advertised “free trial.”  Both RipoffReport.com and ComplaintsBoard.com have numerous user-submitted stories about the “TriClear scam.”

I found dozens of reviews from people who have ordered TriClear believing they were trying it for free, and then found themselves charged full price because they “did not return the free trial.”  The way it appears to work is this:  The TriClear website boasts a free trial of their acne treatment system – “All you pay is shipping.”  The price of a kit purchased after the trial is not disclosed openly on the site.  After the trial kit arrives, TriClear then charges the person’s credit card for the full cost of a full-size kit.  This charge is made anywhere from 12 days to 2 ½ weeks after ordering the free trial.  The prices people have been charged vary from $49.95 to $69.95.

Those who contact TriClear’s customer service to complain about this charge are told that, because they did return the kit within the “two week trial period,” they must pay for it.  If someone does return their TriClear trial, the company charges a “$20 restocking fee.”

Many have reported that contacting customer service to cancel the “automatic shipment” plan is nearly impossible.  “Their office is always closed,” writes one person.  One lady who could not get the company to answer the phone so she could cancel says, “I changed my bank account to avoid further charges.”  The box TriClear acne system is shipped in does not contain a return address, which makes returning it without talking to customer service impossible.

Besides the issue of the free trial that isn’t free, does TriClear work?  Will it clear acne?  Since so many people are discussing their dissatisfaction with the credit card charges, there was very little being said about the pros and cons of how TriClear actually performs.  I found one person who says, “The product has not helped my skin at all and in fact made it red and bumpy.”

One young lady says that “TriClear is by far the best acne product I have ever used.”  She reports that it “eliminated the oil and shine” from her face and was not at all drying.  Another writes that Repairing Gel “really made the redness on my face go away.”  While not everyone reported this problem, a lady on Acne.org writes that Repairing Gel is “very drying” and left her face feeling “tight and super dry.”  She uses another brand’s facial lotion to counteract this effect.

Most people would probably shy away from purchasing TriClear after learning about the excessive charges the company makes, but some have found that TriClear works well to clear their acne.

ThermaClear Review – The Power of Heat to The Rescue!

ThermaClear heat enabled acne treatment is “the next generation of skin care technology” that will replace “messy, irritating acne creams.  To treat many types of acne, this device “is similar to professional acne-clearing treatments” and provides “a gentle pulse of heat” that penetrates “beneath skin’s surface to neutralize…bacteria from above and below the blemish.”  This burst of heat triggers the body’s acne-fighting response to heal blemishes more quickly “often in as little as 24 hours.”

ThermaClear is recommended by 8 out of 10 dermatologists and can be used by people of all ethnicities with all skin types.  ThermaClear’s website says that the system will not “discolor darker skin tones” and that it is not drying to skin.  This acne treatment system can be used by both men and women of all ages – it will successfully treat teenage acne, adult acne, and hormonal acne.  It is also safe for use by pregnant mothers.

The device should be used only for mild to moderate inflammatory acne – meaning that it should not be used on whiteheads or blackheads.  When deciding which blemishes can be effectively treated, ThermaClear does say that “what many people mistakenly call a ‘whitehead’ is, in reality, a pustule” which can be treated by the ThermaClear device.  ThermaClear is not recommended for treating severe forms of acne like cystic acne.

The ThermaClear acne treatment solution has been evaluated by a Food & Drug Administration-reviewed clinical trial, which proved that it “clears pimples two to four times faster” than using no treatment at all.  In a survey of ThermaClear customers, the company found that 93% “believe ThermaClear is effective when used on blemishes before they surface.”

Company Information

ThermaClear was invented by Dr. Luiz de Silva.  Therative, Inc., the maker of ThermaClear acne clearing device, is based in California and has been a Better Business Bureau Accredited Business since 2004.  They receive a BBB grade of A and have received zero consumer complaints in the last 36 months.

Product Specifications

ThermaClear should be used at the first sign of a new pimple.  After cleansing the area, the ThermaClear is placed on the blemish area where it provides a quick two-second “pulse of thermal energy, which causes a mild tingling sensation.”  It should be used again within 1-4 hours.  Though treating most blemishes can be done in just two treatments per day, a pimple can be treated by ThermaClear up to three times in a 24 hour period.  Exceeding three treatments “may delay healing or burn your skin.”

The ThermaClear device measures approximately 5” by 2” by 1” and weighs about four and a half ounces.  It requires two AA batteries to run, and ThermaClear warns against using rechargeable or non-alkaline batteries.  The treatment tip needs to be replaced “twice a year, depending on use, and should be replaced immediately if it becomes scratched or damaged.”  Replacement tips can be purchased directly from ThermaClear.  (Some pages on the ThermaClear website say the tip can be replaced just one per year.)

ThermaClear’s website states that it has “no harmful side effects.”  You may experience “brief discomfort” when applying the heated pulse, and fair-skinned users “may see redness where the tip was applied.”  This is considered normal and is said to fade quickly.

Where to Buy ThermaClear

ThermaClear may be purchased from the official ThermaClear website and from authorized online retailers.

Price

The cost of a ThermaClear device is $149.85.

Return Policy

ThermaClear offers a risk-free “Free & Clear” guarantee.  If you’re not satisfied with the results of using ThermaClear, you may return it within 30 days of purchase “and your account will be credited for any payments you’ve made.”  Each ThermaClear device also comes with a one-year warranty “against workmanship or factory defects.”

Rating: (5/5)

User Feedback

“…literally dried out and killed the pimple in 1-2 days…”

“…completely and absolutely works…”

–Actual user comments from Acne.org

“…I couldn’t be happier with the results…”

–Actual user comment from Buzzillions

Summary

Many people write ThermaClear reviews in a ThermaClear versus Zeno format.  A few differences between these devices are that the ThermaClear is larger in size, that it requires less time per application, and that you can treat more blemishes at once with ThermaClear than with Zeno.  (Zeno allows only three treatment applications per “session,” whereas ThermaClear allows unlimited applications.)  ThermaClear’s applicator tip is larger than Zeno’s which makes “it easier to get in the right spot” for many people.  Another benefit of ThermaClear vs. Zeno is that ThermaClear’s treatment tip needs replaced only twice per year or if damage occurs, while Zeno’s tip must be replaced after every 90 applications.

But does it work?  ThermaClear’s information says not to use the device on whiteheads or blackheads, which leaves treating cystic acne, red blemishes with no white tip, and perhaps other forms of acne that don’t fall into the “whitehead or blackhead” category.  One user says, “it’s pretty situational,” and says that he found it difficult to figure out which were the “right kind of pimples” to use it on.

Many ThermaClear reviews say that, for it to really work, it’s important “to use when the pimple is forming” and that once a pimple is “already inflamed, the ThermaClear becomes unusable” and “doesn’t work.”

I found just a few reviews from people who said ThermaClear didn’t work for them at all.  One man writes that he used it exactly as directed, but he says, “It did not affect my acne at all.”  Since he doesn’t go into detail about the type of acne he has, it’s hard to say why it wouldn’t work for him.  Another reviewer says that she has “extremely sensitive skin” and that the heat hurt her skin.  She also writes that her treated blemish “began to scar” and that she “had a huge red mark for weeks.”

Regarding the potential for pain during application that some mention, one ThermaClear user writes in her review, “It hurts a bit, though, but it is worth it.”  At least one person said that, for her, it only hurts on cystic acne.  Most reviews I read mentioned that any stinging was minimal because of the short two-second application.

Overall, ThermaClear gets very high ratings from the vast majority of people who try it.  No one gives a warning that it’s a scam, and it has been named Best Acne Treatment Device by Bestcovery.com and was included in the Best of Beauty prize package on the Tyra Banks’ Show.  When comparing the pros and cons, the good and the bad of both ThermaClear and Zeno, every review I read put ThermaClear solidly at the top.

Stridex Cleansing Pads Review

Medicated, alcohol-free Stridex Pads are “specially textured” with a smooth side for gentle treatment and a textured side for deep cleaning.  Intended as a quick and convenient “all-in-one approach to treating acne,” Stridex acne treatment pads deep clean skin, “treat existing breakouts, and prevent new occurrences” of acne.  Unlike some facial cleansing pads, Stridex will not burn, sting, or dry out your skin.

Because Stridex cleansing treatment is not rinsed off after use, the anti-acne medication remains on the skin and in your pores to continue fighting acne even after your daily cleansing routine is finished.

Stridex daily cleansing pads come in three versions:  Sensitive Skin Pads, Essential Pads for those with mild acne, and Maximum Strength Pads for those with moderate acne.  Each version of Stridex acne cleansers will effectively treat both teen and adult acne.

Company Information

Stridex Cleansing Pads are owned and marketed by Blistex, Inc., a company founded in 1947 that develops a range of personal health care products.  The Stridex family of products was introduced in 1959 and became the “first market leader in acne pads for the treatment and prevention of pimples.”  The Better Business Bureau does not have a file on Blistex, Inc.

Product Specifications

Stridex’s “regular strength” pads are called Essential Pads and contain 1% salicylic acid along with vitamins A, C, and E, citric acid, menthol, and a blend of pharmaceutical ingredients.  The vitamins in Essential Pads will nourish and soothe to support clear, healthy skin, while the salicylic acid “penetrates pores to help eliminate and prevent breakouts.”

Designed for dry or easily irritated skin, Stridex Sensitive Skin Pads contain “skin soothers” for gently cleaning skin and exfoliating clogged pores.  With .5% salicylic acid as its active ingredient, Sensitive Skin Pads include aloe vera gel, citric acid, and witch hazel along with a number of pharmaceutical ingredients.

With 2% salicylic acid, the highest level allowed without a prescription, Stridex Maximum Strength Pads are an effective acne treatment and pore cleanser in one.  They work to “remove dirt, oil, sweat, and other impurities” as well as penetrating “to unclog pores, and dissolve deep down oil.”  They also contain citric acid, menthol, and a blend of pharmaceuticals.

No matter which version of Stridex Cleansing Pads are right for you, they should be used in the morning after washing with your normal facial cleanser.  You can then use Stridex Pads again later in the day for “a quick clean-up.”

Stridex Cleansing Pads are safe to use by people as young as ten years old.  No warnings or side effects of using these products are discussed on the website.

Where to Buy Stridex Cleansing Pads

Stridex products may be purchased easily in stores.  They are available at most local retailers including drug stores, groceries, and mass merchandisers.  You can also purchase Stridex products at online retailers.

Price

The cost of Stridex Cleansing Pads will be approximately $4.29 for 55 pads, depending on your place of purchase.

Return Policy

Information about a return policy is not given on the Stridex website, but most retail stores will accept returns of unopened products.

Summary

I’ve been searching the internet to answer some questions – Are Stridex pads any good?  Do they really work?  With all the multi-step systems on the market, can a single-step wipe be an effective acne solution?  Does it work as well as other, more complicated acne treatments?  Not surprisingly, Stridex Cleansing Pads get mixed reviews from users.

The first dozen or so reviews I read were full of complaints from people who said Stridex pads didn’t work at all.  On the second review site I checked, though, I started finding more positive ratings.  Since I found the negative reviews first, let’s look at the problems people have had first.

The Stridex website doesn’t specify what type of acne blemishes Stridex Cleansing Pads will treat, though they are pretty clear that people with severe acne won’t be helped by this product.  One of the first things I noticed when reading user reviews is that these acne treatment pads won’t help blackheads or whiteheads at all.  Some have written that they don’t work on any type of acne.  According to one man, “It was only good for cleaning the dirt and oil that was on my face.  I still kept on getting acne.”  Another writes, “It does a real good job of getting the dirt off the pores, however it isn’t much of a medication” for acne.

One person went so far as to call Stridex Cleansing Pads “the worst product I have ever used.  It does nothing but dry your skin.”  I found one young lady who said her skin actually turned “brown like I have a tan” while using Stridex Essential Pads.  A man writes that the pads “irritated my skin” and put a “scummy residue on my face that makes me dry and constricted.”

An anonymous reviewer reminds Stridex users that the Cleansing Pads are not a replacement for your normal face wash.  “You’re supposed to wash your face before you put this product on…then you will see the results,” she writes.  Several of those who say Stridex Cleansing Pads really work for them use the pads in conjunction with other acne treatment products.  As one lady writes, “I wouldn’t use them as your main medication, but in conjunction with other things they work very well.”  Though Stridex advises severe acne sufferers against using the products, this same reviewer advises that those with light acne shouldn’t use Maximum Strength Pads either.  “They can be pretty harsh,” she says.

One reviewer says that Essential Pads are “the perfect balance – not too little salicylic acid and not too much.”  She calls them a “staple in my bathroom” and uses them every night before bed.  It’s possible that those experiencing excessive dryness could have been using a Cleansing Pad that is too strong for their particular skin type.    Using a separate moisturizer could help with this problem.

Those who enjoy Stridex Cleansing Pads say things like “Great as a toner” and “With regular use, it cleared up my face within a few weeks.”  One user says that they work better for her than pads from other brands.  Just like all acne treatments, Stridex Cleansing Pads have their pros and cons.  While it’s far from being a scam like some products, it doesn’t seem to be the best acne treatment either and is best used along with other acne fighters.


Stridex Cleansing Pads – www.stridex.com/stridex_pads.htm

 

Medicated, alcohol-free Stridex Pads are “specially textured” with a smooth side for gentle treatment and a textured side for deep cleaning. Intended as a quick and convenient “all-in-one approach to treating acne,” Stridex acne treatment pads deep clean skin, “treat existing breakouts, and prevent new occurrences” of acne. Unlike some facial cleansing pads, Stridex will not burn, sting, or dry out your skin.

 

Because Stridex cleansing treatment is not rinsed off after use, the anti-acne medication remains on the skin and in your pores to continue fighting acne even after your daily cleansing routine is finished.

 

Stridex daily cleansing pads come in three versions: Sensitive Skin Pads, Essential Pads for those with mild acne, and Maximum Strength Pads for those with moderate acne. Each version of Stridex acne cleansers will effectively treat both teen and adult acne.

 

Company Information

 

Stridex Cleansing Pads are owned and marketed by Blistex, Inc., a company founded in 1947 that develops a range of personal health care products. The Stridex family of products was introduced in 1959 and became the “first market leader in acne pads for the treatment and prevention of pimples.” The Better Business Bureau does not have a file on Blistex, Inc.

 

Product Specifications

 

Stridex’s “regular strength” pads are called Essential Pads and contain 1% salicylic acid along with vitamins A, C, and E, citric acid, menthol, and a blend of pharmaceutical ingredients. The vitamins in Essential Pads will nourish and soothe to support clear, healthy skin, while the salicylic acid “penetrates pores to help eliminate and prevent breakouts.”

 

Designed for dry or easily irritated skin, Stridex Sensitive Skin Pads contain “skin soothers” for gently cleaning skin and exfoliating clogged pores. With .5% salicylic acid as its active ingredient, Sensitive Skin Pads include aloe vera gel, citric acid, and witch hazel along with a number of pharmaceutical ingredients.

 

With 2% salicylic acid, the highest level allowed without a prescription, Stridex Maximum Strength Pads are an effective acne treatment and pore cleanser in one. They work to “remove dirt, oil, sweat, and other impurities” as well as penetrating “to unclog pores, and dissolve deep down oil.” They also contain citric acid, menthol, and a blend of pharmaceuticals.

 

No matter which version of Stridex Cleansing Pads are right for you, they should be used in the morning after washing with your normal facial cleanser. You can then use Stridex Pads again later in the day for “a quick clean-up.”

 

Stridex Cleansing Pads are safe to use by people as young as ten years old. No warnings or side effects of using these products are discussed on the website.

 

Where to Buy Stridex Cleansing Pads

 

Stridex products may be purchased easily in stores. They are available at most local retailers including drug stores, groceries, and mass merchandisers. You can also purchase Stridex products at online retailers.

 

Price

 

The cost of Stridex Cleansing Pads will be approximately $4.29 for 55 pads, depending on your place of purchase.

 

Return Policy

 

Information about a return policy is not given on the Stridex website, but most retail stores will accept returns of unopened products.

 

Rating

 

User Feedback

 

…face feel refreshed, tingly, and tight…”

 

…cleared up my face with a few weeks…”

 

…very effective and easy to use…”

 

–Actual user comments from Acne.org

 

…cannot believe how well these work…”

 

…amazing at preventing acne…”

 

…worked wonders for me…”

 

–Actual user comments from Buzzillions

 

Summary

 

I’ve been searching the internet to answer some questions – Are Stridex pads any good? Do they really work? With all the multi-step systems on the market, can a single-step wipe be an effective acne solution? Does it work as well as other, more complicated acne treatments? Not surprisingly, Stridex Cleansing Pads get mixed reviews from users.

 

The first dozen or so reviews I read were full of complaints from people who said Stridex pads didn’t work at all. On the second review site I checked, though, I started finding more positive ratings. Since I found the negative reviews first, let’s look at the problems people have had first.

 

The Stridex website doesn’t specify what type of acne blemishes Stridex Cleansing Pads will treat, though they are pretty clear that people with severe acne won’t be helped by this product. One of the first things I noticed when reading user reviews is that these acne treatment pads won’t help blackheads or whiteheads at all. Some have written that they don’t work on any type of acne. According to one man, “It was only good for cleaning the dirt and oil that was on my face. I still kept on getting acne.” Another writes, “It does a real good job of getting the dirt off the pores, however it isn’t much of a medication” for acne.

 

One person went so far as to call Stridex Cleansing Pads “the worst product I have ever used. It does nothing but dry your skin.” I found one young lady who said her skin actually turned “brown like I have a tan” while using Stridex Essential Pads. A man writes that the pads “irritated my skin” and put a “scummy residue on my face that makes me dry and constricted.”

 

An anonymous reviewer reminds Stridex users that the Cleansing Pads are not a replacement for your normal face wash. “You’re supposed to wash your face before you put this product on…then you will see the results,” she writes. Several of those who say Stridex Cleansing Pads really work for them use the pads in conjunction with other acne treatment products. As one lady writes, “I wouldn’t use them as your main medication, but in conjunction with other things they work very well.” Though Stridex advises severe acne sufferers against using the products, this same reviewer advises that those with light acne shouldn’t use Maximum Strength Pads either. “They can be pretty harsh,” she says.

 

One reviewer says that Essential Pads are “the perfect balance – not too little salicylic acid and not too much.” She calls them a “staple in my bathroom” and uses them every night before bed. It’s possible that those experiencing excessive dryness could have been using a Cleansing Pad that is too strong for their particular skin type. Using a separate moisturizer could help with this problem.

 

Those who enjoy Stridex Cleansing Pads say things like “Great as a toner” and “With regular use, it cleared up my face within a few weeks.” One user says that they work better for her than pads from other brands. Just like all acne treatments, Stridex Cleansing Pads have their pros and cons. While it’s far from being a scam like some products, it doesn’t seem to be the best acne treatment either and is best used along with other acne fighters.

Neutrogena skinID(TM) Review

Neutrogena skinID(TM) is a unique acne treatment system that is specifically geared toward your individual skin type and acne needs.  Those interested in using skinID take a special quiz that takes “into account everyone’s unique acne skin care needs in order to help one person at a time” find the perfect skin care solution to achieve clear, beautiful skin.  The Neutrogena skinID Evaluation is designed to be the next best thing to a visit with a dermatologist.

Questions on the Evaluation test cover all aspects of each individual’s circumstances – severity and type of acne, normal skin care routine, skin type, age and lifestyle habits, and the environment you live in.  According to the Neutrogena experts, all of these factors play a role in why your acne forms and which treatments will best treat it.

Neutrogena has conducted numerous clinical trials to prove each skinID “regimen’s effectiveness for achieving clear skin results like never before.”  These trials have also shown skinID to be twice “as effective as Proactiv(TM) in clearing acne with results in half the time.”  By week eight of using their personalized skinID acne system, 100% of patients in the clinical trial “showed clearer and healthier looking skin.”

Company Information

Neutrogena(R) Corporation was founded in 1930 and acquired by Johnson & Johnson in 1994.  They are well-known worldwide as makers of premium hair and skin care products.  The Neutrogena skinID division has its own file with the Better Business Bureau and has been a BBB Accredited Business since February 2009.  The company receives a grade of B from the BBB, likely because of the newness of the file.  Of the 39 complaints filed against skinID in the last 36 months, all have been resolved satisfactorily.

Product Specifications

After completing the skinID Evaluation, you will be shown the three skinID acne treatment products chosen specifically for you.  There is not a way to see a complete list of the products that make up the entire skinID line.  To give you an idea of what type of products are included in the line, I will tell you about the three recommended for my skin.

Neutrogena skinID Foam Cleanser combines 0.5% salicylic acid with botanical extracts “to fight breakouts and reduce redness and irritation at the same time.”  This oil-free foaming cleanser will “instantly clear oil” without overly drying the skin.  Though the product description says it contains botanical extracts, I could not recognize the name of any botanical on the ingredients list.  No matter which skin cleanser is recommended for you, it should be used daily as part of your total skin care regimen.

Fragrance-free Anti-Acne Treatment uses 2.5% prescription-grade benzoyl peroxide to target “acne-causing bacteria and actively treat acne for hours after application.”  It should be applied daily in a thin layer to the entire face after cleansing.

The final step in my recommended skinID treatment is to use “ultra-soft pads” which contain 2% salicylic acid and alcohol.  The pads are designed to dissolve oil and clean “deep into pores to exfoliate dirt and dead skin cells” to help keep skin acne free.

Other than the reference to botanical extracts in Foam Cleanser, all three ingredient list show a mixture of pharmaceutical compounds.  No warnings or potential side effects to the skinID treatments are discussed on the website.

Where to Buy Neutrogena skinID(TM)

Neutrogena skin(TM) kits may be purchased from the official skinID website.  The products are not available in stores.

Price

The cost for a complete skinID acne treatment system is approximately $40 for a one-month supply.

Return Policy

Neutrogena skinID(TM) comes with a “60 day money back guarantee.”  If you’re not completely satisfied with the results of using your skinID regimen, you may return used or unused products to Neutrogena for a full refund.  See the skinID website for complete details.

Summary

Neutrogena skinID doesn’t get as many reviews as some acne treatment systems.  Of those that I found, many were negative and posted by people who claimed the entire system is a scam.  Several comments I read suggested that the skinID products are identical to less expensive products available in local stores.  Some have accused Neutrogena of “repackaging their drug store products with new labels and smaller sizes.”  Some people are skeptical that the skinID Evaluation is worth taking.  They feel that answering a series of questions can’t possibly enable a computer software program to figure out the perfect acne treatment system for you.  As one reviewer writes, “I don’t think it’s as innovative or custom-made as they’d like you to think.”

I noticed, however, that nearly all of these comments slamming the skinID line appeared to be from people who had not actually used the products.  Though these posters had plenty to say about their opinions that skinID is “nothing special,” nearly all of them had nothing to say about their personal experiences with the products.

In the few posts I could find from people who had used Neutrogena skinID, I found some pros and cons.  One reviewer writes, “It dries even oily skin too much.”  Another agrees and says, “within two minutes my skin felt SO tight and dry that I had to SLATHER moisturizer all over.”

On the other hand, a skinID user who tried the Cream Cleanser says she “had no issues with redness or after wash tightness.”  The same reviewer says that she had trouble applying makeup over Anti-Acne Treatment and decided to use it only at night because of that.  Overall, she says that she loved the system and that it cleared her cystic lesions.

In addition to the problem of applying makeup over Anti-Acne Treatment, a different user writes that Cream Cleanser did not do a good job removing makeup, which required her to add the additional step of a separate cleanser to her daily skin care regimen.

Like most products, Neutrogena skinID gets good ratings because it really works for some people.  Does it work for everyone?  No – whether it will work for you depends on your personal skin type and, according to at least one reviewer, “whether or not the Evaluation gives you the right products.”

Retin-A Micro(R) Review

Retin-A Micro(R) is a prescription acne medication “proven to start clearing skin in as little as two weeks, with full results seen after seven” weeks.

Using Retin-A Micro acne treatment regularly will unclog pores, keep them clear, and control future acne flare-ups.  Topical retinoids like Retin-A Micro work to keep skin acne free and to “reduce the look of red, inflamed skin.”

This acne treatment solution uses a “breakthrough slow-release technology” to reduce the chance of irritation that commonly occurs when using some acne systems.  In addition to the acne fighting ingredient, Retin-A Micro contains “microscopic sponge-like beads” to absorb excess facial oil to give skin a less shiny, more healthy look.

The information on Retin-A Micro’s website says that acne sufferers should continue using the medication even if they still get a few pimples and even if their skin clears up completely “because it’s working to prevent future breakouts.”

Company Information

Retin-A Micro(R) is manufactured by Ortho Dermatologics(TM), a company “committed to superior science and clinically based solutions.”  Along with Retin-A Micro tretinoin gel, this company makes Renova(R) tretinoin cream.  Neither Ortho Dermatologics nor their parent company, Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., has a record with the Better Business Bureau.

Product Specifications

Retin-A Micro gel contains a natural form of vitamin A called tretinoin that is suspended in an oil-free, “glycerin-enriched, water-based formula.”  The gel should be applied as directed by your dermatologist after washing with a gentle cleanser.  Retin-A Micro is pumped onto clean fingers and applied directly to the face.

Retin-A Micro is available in two strengths – .04% and .1%.  Your dermatologist will decide which strength is right for your acne needs and will also instruct you on how many pumps you should use each day.  Applying more than your physician recommends may result in unnecessary irritation.

The product information gives a warning that skin irritation may occur but suggests minimizing this side effect by not applying Retin-A Micro to “sensitive areas like the corners of your nose or mouth.”  They also advise that you should use an SPF 15 or higher skin lotion during any sun exposure while using Retin-A Micro.

Side effects of Retin-A Micro can include skin irritation, mild burning, stinging, peeling, or blushing.  According to the website, about half of the people using Retin-A Micro experience mild irritation.  They say it is “just your skin getting used to the medication.”  The irritation should improve as you continue using the gel.

Where to Buy Retin-A Micro(R)

As a prescription medication, you cannot buy Retin-A Micro in stores but will need to obtain a prescription from your physician.

Price

The cost of Retin-A Micro(R) will depend on three factors – which pharmacy you use to fill your prescription, the size of bottle your physician prescribes, and whether or not you have medical insurance.  The full cost without insurance will be around $100 or more.  Retin-A Micro does offer a $50 rebate.  See the website for details.

Return Policy

Like all prescription drugs, Retin-A Micro may not be returned.

Summary

As a prescription acne medication, Retin-A Micro(R) is used by people with moderate to severe acne, people who “have tried everything else.”  It’s often one of those last resort products for when nothing else seems to really work.  As I’ve looked for Retin-A Micro reviews, I’ve noticed that virtually everyone using this medicine is also using other prescription and over-the-counter treatments along with it.  Some are using it in conjunction with prescription antibiotics while others are combining nightly Retin-A Micro with an over-the-counter treatment, like benzoyl peroxide, used in the morning.  Because of this “combination treating,” it’s hard to know if the pros and cons they’re seeing are due to Retin-A Micro or due to the other treatment.

As with all acne skin care products, the results people see while using Retin-A Micro vary dramatically.  Many users of Retin-A Micro experience “initial breakouts” that can become very severe.  This is discouraging and frustrating for most people.  One Retin-A Micro user words it well in his review:  “RAM [Retin-A Micro] can seem hopeless for the first two months, and that’s why many people quit and move on to another topical.”  Another states that she has been told, “You get a breakout on [Retin-A Micro] in weeks 3, 6, and 9.”

Once the initial breakouts clear, many people are very happy with their results as you can see from the quotes above.  After almost ten weeks using Retin-A Micro, one user reports, “My red marks are fading pretty quickly, and I’m pretty sure the RAM [Retin-A Micro] has helped with [my] mild scarring.”  For some, though, the initial breakout doesn’t end even after 4, 5, or 6 months, and they give up Retin-A Micro in favor of another treatment.

Other than the problems with extra breakouts, people have reported Retin-A Micro causing dry skin.  One reviewer, who has used the medication for a year, writes, Retin-A Micro “has been the best working product I’ve used so far.  It can be really drying to your skin…that’s the only reason why I’ve wanted to get off it before.”  One lady suggests applying a moisturizer before applying Retin-A Micro gel “to eliminate the problem of drying.”  Surprisingly, I found no complaints about the skin irritation that Retin-A Micro’s website mentions as a common side effect.

Does it work?  For every review I read, a person either experiences fantastic skin repair after a lengthy breakout period or the breakout period simply doesn’t end after several months.  Far from being a scam, Retin-A Micro appears to be a very good, effective product for most people – but, like everything else, it can’t be guaranteed to work for everyone.

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