Millions of people have acne of varying degrees of severity. In fact, 80% of people between the ages of 11 and 30 have some acne. No matter how severe the outbreak, acne is frustrating. It’s costly, time consuming and hurts the self-esteem.
There are countless products lining the shelves of grocery, pharmaceutical, and beauty supply stores all claiming to be the answer. Magazine ads and newspaper ads, commercials and infomercials with celebrity endorsements touting the newest miracle solution for acne are everywhere. There are pills and creams and gels and even lasers used to treat acne. Consumers place high hopes on these products, and pay big bucks for them, all too often to be disappointed in the end. And some of these products do work for some people, but other people try product after product with no results.
This is the story of how I found the cure to my daughter's acne when it seemed there was no answer to be found. I hope that through reading this other people can be helped just as my daughter was.
Aside from a very minor breakout here and there, my oldest daughter had always had beautiful skin, so when her face started to break out shortly after her fourteenth birthday, I didn’t think much of it. I assumed it was the result of hormones and bought her some gentle cleanser thinking it would clear up in a day or so. Over the next three months things only continued to worsen leaving us both frustrated and seeking answers.
Here is what those three months looked like for us…
After the mild cleanser didn’t work and seemed to make matters worse, I did what most people do, I bought another cleanser and another and another and another. My daughter masked, steamed, exfoliated, replaced makeup, and changed bed sheets.
After about a month of carrying on in this manner, I took my daughter to see her pediatrician. Her doctor suggested a couple of over-the-counter products and prescribed an antibiotic. If this didn’t work, her suggestion was to visit a dermatologist. She also said she wasn’t opposed to prescribing my daughter birth control pills because perhaps she was breaking out due to her hormone levels.
After the products recommended by the pediatrician failed to help, I made an appointment with the dermatologist as was suggested. He prescribed another antibiotic and gave us samples of a gel treatment, handing me a prescription to fill when the samples were gone. One use of the antibiotic caused such severe acid reflux that my daughter was throwing up everything she ate. She discontinued use of the antibiotic, but kept using the gel samples. After the samples were gone, I called the pharmacy to inquire about the cost to fill the prescription. It was going to be $400! It didn’t even seem to be working. The acne was worse, her skin was dry, and now there appeared to be some scarring.
I decided that it made no sense to pay for medication that seemed to be making the problem worse. I wasn’t thrilled with the idea of prescribing birth control to my young daughter and messing with her hormones, but I felt out of options. I told myself I would do a little more research and call the pediatrician in a couple of days.
At this point, I sat down and started searching for some sort of answer that didn’t involve birth control pills or pills of any kind. I recalled an occasion from the prior year in which my daughter had tried facial cleansing cloths only to discover that they broke her out in a rash. The only ingredient in those cloths is alcohol, so we knew she was sensitive to alcohol at that time, but surely that sensitivity couldn’t be causing all these problems. We had mentioned her being alcohol sensitive to both the pediatrician and the dermatologist and neither seemed to think it was an issue, as both of them recommended treatments that contained alcohol.
I decided that since their recommendations to this point hadn’t helped, that maybe they didn’t know everything. I went to the bathroom and took out every product with alcohol in it. When all was said and done, we had thrown out every facial product my daughter had: every cleanser, moisturizer, spot treatment, mask, make up, you name it. It didn’t matter where I had bought the product or how much it had cost, it wasn’t working and it went into the trashcan.
I spent the next few days searching for alcohol free products and this was no simple task. Unfortunately I could not find an alcohol-free product line. Even the cosmetics that claimed to be alcohol-free had cetyl alcohol listed in the ingredients. Cetyl alcohol breaks my daughter's face out just as bad as any other type of alcohol and probably has the same effect on anyone who is hypersensitive. After searching on the Internet for hours and spending mounds of time reading the back labels of facial products, I finally found a handful of things to try.
I had no idea if this would work, but I had to give it a go. In the end my daughter had two facial cleansers, a spot treatment, a moisturizer and powder makeup. I felt she still needed some sort of disinfectant, because the spots were so bad. I remembered a product that we used on my scraped knees and elbows when I was a child, called Betadine. I looked it up on the Internet and found that people do use it for acne.
With a little hope and a lot of prayer, my daughter began her new regimen.
Her face improved the first day!! Two to three days of our new regimen and her face was clear, and within a week all signs of scarring had disappeared.
Discovering my daughter’s hypersensitivity to alcohol made me realize that she can’t be the only one. My theory is that there are thousands of people with the same issue who can’t find relief. Since almost every product designed for the face contains alcohol, it’s a difficult problem to pinpoint. It’s almost an unknown problem as no doctor mentioned that alcohol could be a major contributor to the problem, even when I mentioned my daughter being hypersensitive.
I can’t guarantee that what works for my daughter will work for you, but with the hundreds of dollars people spend on skin care products, this simple and inexpensive solution is worth a try.
I am not a doctor and accept no liability for the statements written here. If you try the products recommended here, you do so at your own risk. It’s also always a good idea to consult a physician before trying any medical remedy. If you are sensitive to iodine do not use liquid iodine or Betadine. I also can’t guarantee any results.
Evening: Olay ProX Exfoliating Cleanser (with one drop of Betadine, as needed)
Neutragena Oil Free SPF 15 Moisturizer (with one drop of Betadine, as needed)
Acnevir spot treatment (as needed)
Morning: Beta Topix Benzaderm Cleanser with Aloe Vera (with one drop of Betadine, as needed)
Neutragena Oil Free SPF 15 Moisturizer
Acnevir spot treatment, as needed
Clinique Almost Powder (use as cover up as well with a small facial brush)
Dove cleaning bar for body (with one drop of Betadine, as needed)
Dove cleaning bar for body (with one drop of Betadine, as needed)
Olay Pro X Exfoliating Cleanser
Beta Topix Benzaderm Cleanser with Aloe Vera
Neutragena Oil Free SFA 15 Moisturizer
Clinique Almost Powder
Betadine (or any povidone iodine)
Dove Cleansing Bar