Sunday, May 26, 2013
The Acne Post
I've been battling acne since I was 15. And while it comes and goes in hormonal waves and is not half as bad as it was in high school, it's still the bane of my existence. I have tried literally hundreds of acne products. In high school I mainly used Clean & Clear and then Proactiv, followed by a more aggressive approach recommended by a dermatologist that involved some kind of oral medication I can't remember combined with 2 creams I can't remember. More than one dermatologist has prescribed Ziana gel for me. I've switched birth control pills more than once. And then I've tried the natural approach with tea tree oil and also dabbing on a spot of toothpaste. And nothing, NOTHING has been effective over the long run.
It's a minor health problem, but it has majorly effected my self esteem over the years. In high school it was mainly why I didn't talk to boys. Post-high school I can think of several occasions on which I've rearranged my schedule because I was having a bad skin day. I even had a pimple on my wedding day, and acne is something I never thought I would have to be dealing with at this time of my life, at 26. The bottom line is that it sucks. There is no "cure." And for many people, it doesn't stop when you leave your teens.
There are products that can help, and the point of this post is to tell you about two of them: Boscia Willow Bark Breakout Treatment and Kate Somerville EradiKate Acne Treatment. I've been using the Boscia treatment for about a year now and it's gentle, unscented, and goes on clear (pretty much the opposite of the Kate Somerville product). It's effectiveness varies, but with smaller pimples it has made a noticeable difference overnight. For bigger pimples I reach for the EradiKate. This stuff is potent. It's Pepto Bismol pink, with a sticker on the top telling you "DO NOT SHAKE," and it smells very strongly of sulfur, its primary blemish-fighting ingredient. Be forewarned that this stuff is a man-repellant, so be choosy with which nights you apply it. The pink sediment will separate from the clear oil in the bottle, and you're supposed to stick a cotton swab directly into it all the way to the sediment at the bottom. I usually do this but add in a swirl with the q-tip, to make sure you get the sediment and not just the clear stuff, which does nada. You want to make sure the pimple is completely covered in pink after you apply it. It usually stings a tiny bit when you first put it on, but that quickly fades.
I would estimate that my success rate with EradiKate is 90%. It almost always reduces pimple size. It's more effective on the over-the-skin pimples like whiteheads than the more frustrating under-the-skin pimples. But, I'll take it.