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Acne and Preteen

My 12 year old daughter has hit the age of acne. She has started to break out and I want to jump on it before it causes problems with her skin. She is good about her hygiene. Any advise on what has worked for you???

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thank you to all who responded. We will be looking into all the different options that were provided. Thanks again

Featured Answers

I struggled with acne from about 14 on. I am okay now at 32, but for the most part it was always there and BAD!!! The only thing that honestly worked for me was accutane. I would not recommend this unless her acne is really really bad and she is very self conscious about it. It is not a fun drug to deal with by any means, but trust me my mom and I tried everything before we resorted to that. After my 4th time on accutane I started using rubbing alcohol-I saw another woman suggest this also. It will dry it out and it worked for me. Now that I am older I can use any cleaning product. Remember when you first start using a product-sometimes it will get worse in the beginning.

1 mom found this helpful

PROACTIVE...the stuff is amazing. it kills the bacteria and exfoliates the dead cells off. it totally cleared mine.

My daughter used Phisoderm liquid cleanser. It helped. She also used stridex pads when it got bad. She is now 25 and has beautiful skin.

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Principal Secret used to carry a great product called Blemish Buster. It would clear up pimples very very quickly. I'm not sure how it would work with a severe case of acne, but I would definately give it a try. I just ordered some from the QVC website, and you can often find it on ebay. Good Luck!

2 moms found this helpful

Don't wait. Take her to a dermatologist.


1 mom found this helpful

We recently had to go the the pediatrician for this for my 15 year old. They said to change the pillow case at least once a week, don't have the hands touching the face, and to use antibacterial soap. They they also prescribed a topical called benzaclyn. So far it has helped a great deal, and she is much less tearful. It was bad enough that she was not even clearing up before the next round of breakouts would start again. I went thru heck with my skin, and finally ended up on acutane in my early 30's,
when it go so severe. I wish that on no one.
Ps. I forgot, they also said to never wash your face in the shower, the water is to hot, and allows the bacteria to get into the pores because it opens them up. She now has to wash her face in the sink with mid temp water, or cooler.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi S.,
I've heard great things about proactive. Is she using an oil free, fragrance free moisturizer? I know this sounds counterintuitive, but what happens is that dry skin tries to produce more oil. If you can find Complex 15 (drugstore brand though not widely distributed), it is wonderful (was recommended by a dermatologist for my friend back in college). While I'm sure that the main issue here is hormones, I would add to the advice about not touching her face to make sure that the phones she uses are kept very clean and that she try to keep the speaker off her face. My mom pointed this out to my when I was about your daughter's age, and, sure enough, I did have zits around where the phone touched my face near my mouth. Also, make sure she doesn't allow any hair products to touch her face and that she cleansed her face after using shampoo and conditioner, not before. I hope some of this helps!

1 mom found this helpful

I struggled with acne from about 14 on. I am okay now at 32, but for the most part it was always there and BAD!!! The only thing that honestly worked for me was accutane. I would not recommend this unless her acne is really really bad and she is very self conscious about it. It is not a fun drug to deal with by any means, but trust me my mom and I tried everything before we resorted to that. After my 4th time on accutane I started using rubbing alcohol-I saw another woman suggest this also. It will dry it out and it worked for me. Now that I am older I can use any cleaning product. Remember when you first start using a product-sometimes it will get worse in the beginning.

1 mom found this helpful

It's REALLY strong but do a round of accutane if your doc will let her. I had acne from 7th grade until my senior year and it wreaked havoc on my self esteem. I dind't do accutane until I was 17 and wish I would have done it ealrier.
You can try proactive or an antibiotic. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Hi S., Just wanted to update you that Glimpse Intuitive Skin Care is now available through XanGo distributors, and we are having great results with acne, spots, and skin discolorations - http://www.my-glimpse.com/ to see results.
I am holding Skin Nutrition Classes at my home in San Jose, or at the client's home, so that women and men (including teenagers)can see what Glimpse can do for them! Feel free to contact me and visit my website: www.findgreenhere.com (Safe Cosmetics Page, Cosmetic Database to check brands/products/ingredients in the products you are using to be sure they are in the safe/nonhazardous range). V. G. :o)

Hi S., my first advice is to break the habit of touching her face. You'd never realize how dirty your hands are and when you touch your face you're shoving all that dirt and oil into your skin. Also, she needs to be consistent about washing and moistuirzing her face. She needs to wash & moisturize her face in the AM & PM - EVERYDAY. In the PM to wash all the dirt, oil, make-up and impurities from the environment off and in the AM to wash any sweat and settled dust off. It's very important that she moisturize each time she washes - there are specific acne formula moisturizer.
For most pre-teens the OTC products like Neutragena work fine. It's probably not necessary to spend the money on Proactive or other pricey treatments at this point. I sell Mary Kay and we have a wonderful acne treatment skin care set called Velocity... a two-step cleanser and moisturizer set that is not only formulated for pre-teen and teenage acne prone skin but also priced for a mom's budget.
Not sure where you are located, if you would like any further info please don't hesitate to ask.
I've done facial parties for all my nieces and my mom's foster care girls for this exact purpose. The one thing I really stress is the touching of the face. It is 2nd only to hormones for the #1 cause of acne in pre-teen & teenage girls.
Good luck!

S., my 16 year old was referred to a dermatologist by his pediatrician and the dermo explained that acne is caused in part by bacteria that often responds well to antibiotic, when taken internally. My 16 year old is on a twice a day dosage of a form a tetracycline, and altho the first month his acne got much worse (and he was warned by the dr that would happen, and it did) it has now been 3 months and his acne is pretty much non-existant. The drawback is that he is VERY sensitive to sun exposure and got a sunburn while using SPF45 sunblock, so he is now using SPF70 and that seems to be working OK. So maybe take your daughter to a dermo and then start her on the treatment in the summer once school gets out (becuase that first month -- wowsa it really does get much worse!!!) and by the time school starts in the fall she will be looking great.

DO NOT ignore the sun-sensitivity issue tho, my son got the tops of his hands sunburnt (who would think to put sunblock there??) and now we just by the Neutrogena SPF70 spray whenever it is on sale and use it all the time.

We tried the Pro-Active and a few other topical treatments, however that was really just dealing with the ance after-the-fact (after it was already ON his face and back). The antibiotic stops the acne from even forming. My son will have to keep taking it for at least a year, the dermo says if we notice any breakouts he will change the antibiotic to another kind so even if he builds up a resisitance to one kind there are a few more to use. I wanted to stay away from Accutane becuase of the stories I have heard about it leading to depression and suicide in teens.

Hi S., I bought my 18 year old son a great product called Avalon Organics. It started clearing his acne up right away, and he'd been using ProActive for months! It has Lavender, Chamomille, Licorice roots and other organics in it. I found this at Canned Food Outlets, of all places, but their website is avalonorganics.com if you can't find the product in a store. They are located in Petaluma. Good luck, CJ

You might speak with someone at a medical spa in your area where they have treatments to deal with teen acne. They can get her on a good (topical, not oral) acne care regimen. When she gets a little older she could be a candidate for acne laser treatment, which targets the acne cycle at the source: deep in the sebaceous glands of the pores.

I produce a product in my therapeutic essential oil line that you might consider: Rash Relief. Many of my clients have had good luck in preventing breakouts and speeding healing of any eruptions that do develop. Read more about the product at www.mccluckfarms.com.

If you'd like more info on any of this, please feel free to contact me through the link on my website.

Good luck!

V. T

Hi S.

I read an article that there could be a link between acne and drinking too much milk! If your daughter drinks a lot of milk it may be worth researching. I have also learned that cleansing, toning and moisturizing twice a day with an oil free system is helpful. My daughter uses Artistry Essentials oil free system. Moisturizing is important because if the skin is cleaned too dry, it will produce more oil! I have heard with Proactive that if you stop using it the breakouts occur, and after a while it stops working.

Hope this helps.


Hi S.,

If you would like to go the more "natural" route for your daughter, and avoid drugs or synthetic chemicals in topical beauty care, try Miessence certified organic skin care (it's certified organic to food standards!) The "Purifying" line includes specific botanical ingredients helpful to oily, acne-prone problem skin. In addition, I have found the "Blemish Gel" works very quickly (overnight for myself & my daughter) to heal blemishes. The mineral clay masks have also been very helpful, as the clay actually draws toxins from the skin. I use Miessence organic mineral makeup powder instead of other foundation, which helps as well. (Another plus is that the mineral make-up provides natural sun protection). Here are links to Miessence products:
Purifying Cleanser ~
Garnet Exfoliant ~
Purifying Mineral Mask ~
Purifying Skin Conditioner ~
Purifying Blemish Gel ~
Purifying Moisturizer ~
Organic Mineral Make-up Powder ~

Hope that helps! Good luck in your efforts to help your daughter.


My girlfriend just started her daughter on Pro active and it has made a huge difference.

Make sure she has enough sleep and is not stressed out. She can learn how to do Quantum Touch really easily and heal it herself.
Love, L.

My wife has helped her niece quite a bit with her acne problem, her name is A., ###-###-####

If you have insurance or even if you don't, take her to a dermatologist right away!! Getting treatment early will prevent scarring on her lovely face. If you don't have insurance to cover dermatologist visits, let the Dr. office know and they will work with you. Also, if she has a mole that you could go in to have "checked", which the insurance will cover, the Dr. will usually address other skin issues, which will save you some money. However, your daughter's skin and self-esteem are well worth the money you may have to spend.

I spend $112 per month out of pocket on braces for my teenage son for this reason. Luckily my insurance covers the majority of the dermatologist costs.

My son tried Xiana, which very quickly, but dried his face up too much and Differen, which works slower, but was milder on his face. I have been using teh Xiana teamed up with an Olay moisturizer, which has been a good combination for me, but I just have the hormone related monthly breakouts, not acne and I do not need to use the Xiana daily like he would and I want to get rid of my breakout blemishes quickly. My son was not into doing a whole moisturizing regime. He wants to wash up, use the topical cream and go.

Good luck!

Hi S.-

My 15-year-old has fairly bad acne, which he inherited from his dad (though we both have oily skin).

The VERY BEST product we have found is by J. Marini (whe's a local chemist who has created her own line of very high end skin care). The product is called Bioglycolic Acne Gel II. You can only buy it from a licensed reseller, but if you look online, there are several sites where you can purchase it. It is very expensive, but it really, really works.

Good luck!


I highly recommend taking him to the Pediatrian. If you don't get a handle on the acne now he could be permanently damaged by scars. I come from a family with a history of bad acne both females and males. My son was born with infant acne which is a precursor to having horrible acne as a teen. He is now 10 1/2 and has had acne on his chin for a year. The Pediatrician has recommended he use my Retin-A and see if it works. If the medications don't work he will refer us to a Dermatologist. At least this way he won't have to deal with the teasing that many in my family had throughout childhood. On the bright side our family looks younger than our equals in age due to our elastic, oily skin.

I use a combination of 2 topical medications - in the morning I use Duac gel, and in the evening I use Differin gel. For teens these are both covered by most insurance plans (but when you're an adult, only the Duac is covered... bummer). They have worked fantastically well for me. And if you have medical insurance, these cost only whatever your Rx copay is - so it's cheaper than most OTC products and works better.

I applaud you for helping your daughter with this. I suffered through acne for years before I ever knew that such a doctor as a Dermatologist existed. For years, people would tell me that if I never touched my face, or didn't eat chocolate or french fries, or drank more water, that the acne would go away. It doesn't. You get acne because you have oily skin and hormones. To my mind, medication is the only way to go. When I was 22 I went on Accutane, which for me worked extremely well until years later when I had my kids... then I was back to having acne again. Good times. The topical meds are less of a hassle and work really well.

Best of luck; let us know how it goes!

Good morning S. ~

There are many options out there for you to try. I am a consultant with Market America and we have an awesome product called Global Care F.A.C.E. pads - it eliminates grease, body oils and other skin contaminants and is non-irritating. In addition, you will want to make sure your daughter uses a good face exfoliating cleanser, toner and moisturizer in addition (these are available through our Skintelligence line and taylored to those under 20). Feel free to check out these products at www.marketamerica.com/eshoppe. If you decide you'd like to try any of the products available, register as a customer, place your order and the products can be shipped directly to you. You may contact me at ____@____.com if you have any other questions or need advice.

Hi S.!

My step kids are still too young, but my brother had acne really bad. My mom took him to the dermatologist and he prescribed/suggested a special face wash routine. When he used it regularly, it worked great!

Also, I've heard taking her to a spa for a facial is great too. They can show her how to properly clean the pores on a daily basis without scarring the face. Not sure where you are located, but Spa Time Spa in Carmichael is an awesome company, very friendly and detail oriented... I've had several facials in my life, and one estetician (sp?) in particular is simply amazing and painless compared to the others!

I agree with Andrea T. Take her to the dermatologist and for regular facials. Many spas have special teen facials that are less expenisve and they can really help educate her and make her feel good about her skin.

I have had severe acne most of my life. I have actually had to go to the ER because of acne that made my glands swell. Not to mention the emotional pain that I have gone through most of my life.

When I first went to a dermatologist, she was able to look at my skin and let me know that almost everything they sell over-the-counter and through consultant sales programs were the things that were causeing my severe breakouts. As soon as I learned about my own, special skin, I was able to make better choices that helped tremendously, even when I didn't have a lot of money to spend.

I think it is really a job for a professional to examine her skin and give product advice so that it is less likley to be a waste of money. Even if one product worked for 20 people who respond to this request, it does not mean it will work for your child, everyone's skin is different.

Good luck!


Use the daily facial cleanser. DO NOT DO THE PROACTIV.
It is gentle and not too harsh for your skin. I suffer from adult acne and my derm told me just to start using Cetaphil and I now use all the products.

Hi S.,

I am a mother of 3 daughters 18 , 14 and 3 . I am not a Mary Kay rep, but the Velocity Mary Kay face wash and moisturizer has been working for my girls . For little
breakouts they use Acne Gel . The 2 oldest are very active and play lots of sports and their faces are always sweaty and dirty . They both wear make up too . This face was line is easy once a day face wash that has worked for my girls and several of theirs friends .


I am a consultant with Mary Kay. We have a great skin care line for teens. Velocity cleanser and moisturizer. I have seen fabulous results with these products plus it will get your daughter into a good routine. Mary Kay also offers topical creams and toners specifically designed for blemishes. Visit my site or contact me with further questions www.marykay.com/amystatham
Good luck!

Very pleased with proactiv (you can now buy in the malls)...my son used it and it does work...as she gets older, she might need to see a dermatologist as did my son...but kudo's for being on top of it!!!

Buy Acne Free. Costco sells it but I found it at Walmart. Start with just the face wash. (the lotion might dry out the face) A bottle is like $5 or $6. Morning and nite. She should see results right away. I use it and my son.

Hi there!

I know you've received alot of responses...but the decision you make I believe should be based on what kind of skin your daughter has, and what kind of "acne"....I wouldn't get anything too strong for her skin if she just breaks out with a pimple here or there, I would just get her into the routine of skin care. I myself have pretty oily skin in my t-zone, and since I was about 12 or 13 been using Mary Kay. I don't have acne, or huge pimples all over, but I have the bumps on the forehead, and an occasional pinple on my cheek every now and then. I've used the #3 cleanser and #3 toner from Mary Kay, and if I stay consistent with it, it works. At first if she's not used to astringents or toners, it'll take time to get her skin used to it so it doesn't burn (it's not as bad as it sounds!)...but when you look at the dirt on a cotton pad it pulls up, you'll realize that a cleanser isn't enough! I don't use their #3 moisturizer though, just because it has a bit of a talcum powder feel to it, and it's too dry. I use clean & clear oil-free moisturizer. And I also use their acne treatment gel...which my fiance now uses too! It's not too expensive, about $25 or $30, which should last at least 2-3 months. They usually deliver, and now have websites so you can order when you need it. (Just make sure she stays consistent on it, morning & night, and you have enough to stay stocked!)

Hi S., I know that you got alot of responses but I wanted to shoot you a quick message.
Check out www.sensaria.com/angelaporras
We carry wonderful naturally-based skin care, that is gentle & effective, it's something that your daughter can use forever. Check it out and if you have questions let me know, I can do a personal consultation with you, so you can try before you buy :)

Everyone's skin is different, but I would definitely start out with mild. I know when I was a teen we used super harsh stuff on our skin, which actually makes the problem worse. When you strip your skin of all oil it works overtime to make more. So start with a gentle one and see if she needs more. Good luck! I'm almost to that point myself, my daughter is 10. I'll be asking you in a couple of years what worked! : ) C.

Many products that help clear up pimples will bleach your towels! My son used the typical over-the-counter products and I noticed all the turquise blue bath towels started to look tie-died. After a months all the towels were reuined.
Proactive was the only product that really worked. Stay away from the prescription medication that can cause liver damage and birth-defects.

I grew up with Acne problems through adolescense. Very tough subject. My mom started me on Proactiv Solution for washing, toning, renewing. I have now been using the product for over 10 years. I swear by it. checkout the website if you like. www.proactive.com It is also sold in Arden Fair Mall in Sacramento. Good Luck

hi there
without sounding like a commercial,I have to say that proactive worked for me. As an adult, I still sometimes get a breakout or two.. but when I use proactive, it actually wks pretty well. they now sell it in the malls at one of those kiosks.. you dont have to order online.
I know the stonestown mall has one, you can look up other malls to see if they do. good luck

Hi S.,

I've had some form of acne for 20 years. By far, the best combination for me is birth control pills and Pro Activ. Admittedly, I wouldn't want my 12 year old daughter on birth control, but you may want to consider it when she is older. There are forms of the pill that are known for being good for acne. After enduring bad acne for so long, I can't emphasize what a relief (and what a self-esteem builder) it was to start the pill and have clear skin for once! Anything left over (mostly my face) was taken care of by the Pro Activ (also available at a Kiosk in Stoneridge mall).

Good luck!


For me personally, when I was kid, if I drank soda I broke out. IT was the strangest. Something about sugar content. Chocolate did the same thing. As I got older I realized this.
Its not just about HOW you are taking care of your skin, it could be what she is taking in. Tons of water. My skin always looks better when I drink water..

But you know sometimes its a matter of it just being a part of puberty. If it gets too bad, and it causes her some embarrassment at school, I would take her to a dermatologist. I knew a lot of people who did that. You don't want her face to get scarred. This will effect her future confidence as a teenager. Teenage years and high school are hard enough. At least let her be confident that is one problem that she doesn't really have to deal with.

We have found that Arbonne's Acne Care Line works great. It's not harsh like some of the other products out there. Plus, I have peace of mind knowing it's botanically based, has no mineral oil, no animal products or by-products, is PH balance and dermatologist TESTED. (Arbonne has been around 28 years; Swiss developed and American made.) Both my 15 and 14 year old use it and are having great results. Arbonne also offers to everyone the opportunity to purchase products at a 35% discount. If you would like to hear more, I would love to tell you about it.


I hate to name brands but my daughter and her friends use Pro Active and it really works. There are other brands, like Nutragena (sp?) and a couple others, that sell something like Pro Active at stores like Walmart or Target if you'd rather do that.

My daughter started getting little white heads on her nose and she started using Murad facial cleanser and lotion it is easy enough for her to use and it has helped a lot. It is also not real harsh for their sensitive skin. You can order online or Sephora sells it.

I suffered acne into my mid 20's. I would start with Pro Active. You can get it the Valley Fair. They have a stand near the food court or online. It's not harsh on your skin and really does work.

PROACTIVE...the stuff is amazing. it kills the bacteria and exfoliates the dead cells off. it totally cleared mine.

Proactive worked for me. But, before I used that, I just used oil free wash, toner and moisturizer and that seemed to help.

Hi S.!

My son is going through the same thing. I have spent a small fortune on all kinds of acne products over the last 3 months. I put it on his face myself to make sure it's done correctly, so I know if the products are/aren't working. They are NOT working, even with washing 3 times a day. So, believe it or not, I have been using Rubbing Alcohol...can you believe it? I use those round cotton face pads and alcohol about 5 times a day. I am a Mary Kay Beauty Consultant, so I also use a MK Moisturizer and MK Acne Treatment Gel which works GREAT during the night if I put a thick layer on. Anyway, his skin is just too oily for anything else right now. Poor kid, he's 11 and the only one in his class to go through this early. There are always about 20 pimples on each cheek, and his forehead. Last night there was only alot of redness, but I saw more trying to poke through. It's a hard battle!

I will be reading your answers, as well :o)


Please please get her Proactiv! I lived with mildly bad acne for nearly 15 years before I finally tried it. It takes about two months to start working well but my skin is completely clear and I can't even tell you how much it has improved my self-image. I wish my parents had helped me with this, it would have saved me from some really bad days.

Use fresh lemon juice on your face. Dab it on your face where you have the problem areas with a cotton swab every night. This has worked better than any stuff I have bought in the store and plus its natural and less expensive. My skin has never looked better!

Hi S. -

The ups and downs of hormones can cause havoc with the skin - the best defense is to help your daughter's liver do it's job. It is the liver's job to balance and process many hormones. If your liver is functioning optimally (not just OK, but optimally) then your skin shouldn't show the effects of it so much.

Start with getting her off of sugar. Hard to do, yes - but her skin is worth it. Do an online search for 'mild liver cleanse' and do some research - implement a liver cleanse. Give her extra B-complex vitamins and eliminate white flour and all junk food. She should also have no oils other than olive oil, a little butter or organic unrefined coconut oil. Even these healthy oils should be cut way down. Give her plenty of omega 3 fatty acids (fish oil, flax oil). Also eliminate caffeine and dairy. Eat plenty of veggies.

It is easy to want a 'quick fix' - or something that doesn't require any work, but this is the root of the problem - it is much better to fix the root instead of band-aid a symptom of a much bigger issue. Plus, she will lay a foundation of health for herself for the rest of her life if she can eat very well now-!

Hope this helps and good luck-! I have 3 daughters ages 15, 13, and 5 - we try to eat very well, and my 15 and 13 year old have been able to keep acne at bay through a good diet.

Topically, Proacive is the only thing that works for me. The other thing that made a huge difference in my skin was adding a daily dietary supplement to my routine. I had my blood-work done about a year ago and found I was deficient in zinc. I started taking serious (not the grocery store brands) vitamins and invested in a good zinc supplement. It's been a wonderful change.

I am a consultant for Arbonne International. We have a wonderful line for the care and relief of acne. I have a friend whose 5th grade daughter was breaking out with pimples and they tried everything to no avail. I suggested she use the acne system which includes a dietary suppliment to help the digestive tract break down the problem foods. Her daughter was so excited to see results in just days and it continues to get better and better. If you want more information or to order please email me!!!!! Arbonne stands behind their products as Pure Safe and Beneficial. This system has been tested and approved by an independent dermotologist.
J. H. ____@____.com

I see you have many responses, but I have one more suggestions for you. Jafra makes a fabulous product called Malibu Miracle Mask. I have seen it clear up severley blemished skin in 2 weeks time. The mask contains peppermint oil and almond meal. All of my clients with oily skin or acne problems use this product with great results. Jafra also has a line of skin care products specifically for teens which is also quite effective, and affordable. Many of my clients have tried ProActive with great results in the beginning. There seems to come a point when the ProActive doesn't work anymore, so you should be aware of that.
Unlike every other cosmetic company that has been recommended to you, Jafra is the only company that has specialized in SKIN CARE since 1956. Jafra is the oldest direct market skin care company in the world. We are also the only cosmetic company to spend millions of dollars and many years of research developing the skin care line we offer our clients. I can guarantee you, that our products will work quickly and effectively to clear up your daughter's skin and leave her with healthy skin. Contact me if you're interested. I'll be happy to provide a sample of Malibu for you.

Hi S.-
I have tried everything from Proactiv and beyond...Here are some suggestions- one is Murad. It is a little pricey, but the ladies here in my office swear by it. And it feels WONDERFUL on your skin. Another suggestion is nuetrogena. I use the gentle wash and then an exfoliating scrub every day. And then I use a really silky moisturizer, non comdegenic. A third option is Arbonne or Mary Kay. They both demand regular attention and the need to follow every step. But they work. The last option is to go to a beauty counter in the mall. I have tried things like clean and clear, biore, etc., and while my skin feels wonderful, it doesn't stop all the acne. My most favorite regime was Mary Kay. Make sure there is a day time sunscreen in there to protect there skin.
One more thing- keep them away from foundation makeup as long as possible. My acne was mild, and I only used powder and mascara until I was a senior in high school. Once I started using foundation, it all went downhill. Proactive dried my skin and made the acne "clear up" by hardening it under the skin. It never came to the surface, but then I had all these bumps...Keep it as mild as possible, and give it at least a good month before switching. The skin is very sensitive and needs time to adjust to whatever regime you decide on.
And yes, sometimes those commercial order things are awesome...and cheaper than you can buy them in the store...like Murad. Stay away from pills like accutane if you can. My husband, when he was a teen, had to go on it, and his depression spiraled into the pooper. It was so severe, and his chemistry has never been the same.
Also, try to watch her diet intake... alot of veggies, very few greasy foods or fast food, and a ton of water can make a difference.
Good luck!

I know that many people are recommending Proactiv, but it's really hard on your skin, and it didn't work for me. I had bad acne for years.

What truly works is what one of the early responders said: you have to be willing to change your diet to really get to the root of the problem. The typical American diet is what causes our acne problems. Other countries, countries that don't eat our unhealthy American diet, don't have problems with acne.

I would read the Rosemary Gladstone book. Definitely take fish oil (omega 3's). Make sure your daughter is taking a good multivitamin, with plenty of zinc and B6. Consult a naturopath or an herbalist. The herb Vitex *might* help, too. Do regular Liver Cleanses. These things won't deal with flare-ups, but they will help calm it down for the long term.

I believe it's better to deal with the cause of the problem rather than the effects, so that's where my advice comes from. I also really had a bad time with dermatologists and doctors regarding my acne. My doctor put me on low doses of erythromycin (an antibiotic) for YEARS. I can't imagine any doctor worth his salt giving out such bad advice these days. I still feel like my body has been affected by that drug; my teeth certainly show the effects.

Good luck! It's no fun to have to deal with acne.

~ E.

PS. Here's the website for my naturopath: http://www.drsijbrant.com/

My daughter used Phisoderm liquid cleanser. It helped. She also used stridex pads when it got bad. She is now 25 and has beautiful skin.

Hi S.,
I see you've gotten many responses. I won't repeat what anyone else has said. There is a book I'll recommend, which I use myself quite a bit. It's Rosemary Gladstar's "Herbal Healing for Women." There'a a whole chapter on teenage girls and their health, including what to do about acne. Personally, I've found the suggestions in this book very helpful to my own health.
Good luck!

Hi. I have a 11 year old and she has started to get acne too. She tried over the counter products but it did her no good. Lately, she has been using Mary Kay products made especially for young girls. The acne treatment gel is making such a big difference. (I saw improvement overnight.) Her and I were invited to a Mary Kay makeover and my daughter used Velocity facial cleanser and moisturizer, plus the acen treatment. The next morning, I could see the difference. I got her the products and noticed that she just uses the acne treatment and not the facial cleanser, but it works as long as she uses it. I notice the acne coming back when she doesn't use it. I hope this helps your daughter.

I am a massage therapist, and consultant with The Body Shop. We have a whole line of products for acne. They contain tea tree which is an anti-bacterial. You can check out my website (www.thebodyshopathome.com/web/cflesher), or call me to set up a one-on-one so that she can get some samples to try. My daughter has had good results with the cleanser, and also the blemish stick.

Hey S.,

this is a very common problem among teens, my son had it for so long that now his skin is damaged, I just found out that you can take them to a dermatologist and they will prescribe them meds to take the acne away, along with face cream to help with the scars....
hope this helps.

I would be very careful what products you use for her. There are so many toxic chemicals in acne soaps- I would look it up on the Skin Deep website, they list whatever product you're looking for by how toxic it is and if you have a specific product in mind that isn't there you can list all the ingredients and it will tell you if it's safe. Personally I love the Greatful Body soaps, although I will admit they are expensive. Oh, and a word of warning, be very gently with how you approach the subject with your daughter, I remember being quite horrified when my mother tried to "help" me by offering suggestions and taking me to the makeup counters at the mall to ask for help.

Mary Kay has a GREAT skincare line that's just right for teens called Velocity. There's a facial cleanser and moisturizer that should be used both in the morning and at night. We also have blemish control toner and acne treatment gel, which works WONDERS for breakouts!! My sister had REALLY bad acne, and within 2 weeks on the TimeWise products, she thanked me for giving her face back :) There are a couple different options, so feel free to give me a call. I would love to get together, so she can try it before you buy it! My website is http://www.marykay.com/gkindberg.

Even if you don't choose Mary Kay, keep in mind that any new skincare regime takes at least a few days to start seeing results. Stick with something for a couple weeks before deciding it's not working :)

Try Paula's Choice online. They have good information and I like the products(when were good about using them.

I developed hormonal acne after my children were born. I tried so many things. I even used a very strong prescription from my doctor. Nothing worked very well. I found a great skin care from Japan. I have used it for over a year now. I love it. My skin is great now and I have even had people tell my I have nice skin. That was amazing since I had such poor skin before. Anyway I order it from www.mannapages.com/lila2e
It is the optimal skin care, well worth the price. It also seems to last a very long time.

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