What Is the Best Choice for an Acne Problem?

Updated on April 23, 2008
C.M. asks from Castle Rock, CO
38 answers

I've suffered from acne for the last 4 years. I've tried antibiotics then had UTIs and other infections. Tried changing diet, herbs, soaps, moisturizers. I've decided it has nothing to do with my food or cleanliness, it is a hormonal issue. My doc prescribed Yaz but I realized it is expensive without insurance so my pharmacist consulted my doc and they gave me Tri-Nessa. I've been reading negative comments about it on different web sites and I'm nervous about taking it. I don't want to break out more or gain weight, depression or no sex drive. What should I do?

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C.E.

answers from Provo on

Proactive worked the best for me. since it's topical, you don't have to worry about the side effects of weight gain, depression, etc. the last time i used it i didn't have a family to support, so the cost wasn't such an issue. but if you're willing to pay a copay for a prescription, maybe it would be worth it to put that money toward the proactive system instead. i look forward to the day when i can afford to use it regularly again because my skin was so good then.

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A.V.

answers from Denver on

Hi C. M.

Can you please be a doll and forward some responses to me PLEASE I have also had some of the same issues.

A.

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M.P.

answers from Provo on

I have been suffering acne problems for the last 25 years. When I was pregnant with my first child, the problem became so severe that my niece was actually frightened of me. I had the same problems as you with antibiotics. What worked for me was using Proactive, but that was too expensive to maintain. I switched to Neutrogena's Salicylic Acid wash and lotion. It took about 3 months for the acne to clear up. If you go to Walmart, you can get the Equate brand that's even cheaper.

I hope this helps.

More Answers

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J.B.

answers from Denver on

Hi C.,

I'm a registered nurse and an Area Manager with Arbonne. I teach classes about how to balance your hormones without drugs. I'm holding another class in the next 2 weeks. They are free to attend and last about one hour with time at the end for questions and answers. Let me know if you'd like to learn more, my phone number is: ###-###-####. If you aren't able to come, but would like to learn from home, I've recorded a call. Here is that information.

Women's Health and Hormone Balance Presentation
Free Teleconference Playback Number: ###-###-####. Access code: 28954#
Press "1" to rewind 30 seconds. Press "2" to fast forward 30 seconds. Press "5" to pause/resume.
Recorded time of 54 minutes.

1 mom found this helpful
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G.S.

answers from Pueblo on

i have tried it all! arbonne, mary kay, proactive, over the counter stuff, even been on accutane and used retin-a topicals. i have been on erythromycin, the birth control pill (different ones) and tried modifying the diet, washing the face with cold vs hot water, only washing once a day, not using make-up, you name it!!

my solution? a product with tea tree oil and salicylic acid...it is the only thing that i have ever tried that works very well (the only time i have ANY breakouts is right before my period, and then i only get one or two pimples that disappear quickly with spot treatment). you can find tea tree oil combos at a naturals store, but i get mine through an online catalog. i would be happy to share the info with you if, after you sort all these replies out, you are interested. good luck with whatever you try! it is frustrating to have to deal with skin issues in our adult life...it is supposed to affect teens!!!

blessings,

G.

1 mom found this helpful
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C.W.

answers from Denver on

There is a product on the market that is called proactiv - it works but it is expensive. ( I used it but it was 50 a month- thought that was a little high) 3 years ago I found a health and wellness company that has an amazing skin care line - my skin is great now and their products are very cost effective. I also take their anti oxident too which cleared up my skin. If you would like to know more about this company you can request more information here: www.AHomeCareer.com

Have a Great day!

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S.W.

answers from Denver on

Since we are all different, there is no best choice for acne and it's just a matter of trying and trying until you find your answer. My answer (after trying and trying and trying for years) ended up being Proactive Solution. I would do a commercial free for them if they wanted...it has been a miracle in my life when I was feeling pretty hopeless with the whole thing.

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S.G.

answers from Salt Lake City on

My step-daughter has some pretty bad acne.. We tryed alot of diffrent things and the only thing that worked was Proactive. I personally can't affort Proactive but My sister in law sells arbonne and It has worked amazingly. Also it doesn't cost as much as Proactive. I am sure that if you call her she would be happy to let you use the product for a week or two to see if you get any results. It is called Arbonne's Clear Advantage. Her number is ###-###-#### her name is Kim.. I think it is worth a try... Good luck.

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L.W.

answers from Colorado Springs on

I know you've tried a zillion things ... but here's one more. My oldest daughter has the "Irish Ivory" complexion so when she breaks out, it's really noticeable. I tried salon products, took her to a specialist, Pro Active, etc. Here's what worked (seriously) ... MyChelle products! You can find them at Vitamin Cottage, Whole Foods, etc. (also online). It worked so well that we saw a visible difference in two weeks. After only one month, a few moms asked me what she was using (the change was that dramatic). She's in high school so it was definately hormonal. Rather than spend another fortune, I tried her on the trial pack for around $20 before we bought the product. It's worth a try. Honestly, the stuff is fabulous. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me.

L.

BTW this is not a multi-marketing thing. MyChelle is retail.

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K.J.

answers from Boise on

Ugh! I have been down this road and its awful. I feel terrible for anyone who suffers through this. We're adults, it seems ridiculous to get acne!

I have tried just about everything out there and I thought my acne was from hormones too (never had it until after I had my son). I recently found a facial bar soap by a company called 'Kiss My Face'. It comes in several varieties, but I got the Olive Oil & Lavender and I LOVE it. It was $1.50 at Good Earth. My face feels so clean and it doesn't dry it out even when I use it morning and night. And I love that it doesn't have a ton of different chemicals in it, nor does it bleach my clothes and towels. I didn't even break out during my period. I've also been using Aveeno Clear Complexion Moisturizer (which I think was around $10 at the grocery store). It has a small amount of salicylic acid to stop breakouts, but is moisturizing enough that my skin isn't flaking off (and I usually have very dry skin). I've also noticed that the Aveeno is slowly starting to make my acne scars fade (I'm very fair-skinned).

Another product I ABSOLUTELY LOVED was by a company called MD Formulations and it was their Facial Cleanser with a glycolic compound. It was amazing, but I despise having to order products and wait for them to be shipped. It was a little spendy ($32+shipping for 8.3 oz), but it lasted for quite a while. The ordering was the only reason I stopped using it.

Good luck! Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions!

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H.M.

answers from Denver on

I've been down this road my entire life. I've even taken accutane...which has helped, but not the miracle I was hoping for. I may even consider taking it again after my year off is up. In the meantime, I am taking spironolactone. It's the same as drospirinone which is what they put in Yaz to help with the acne. It reduces the testosterone level in your body, which is often the cause of acne in adult women. It's generic, so it's very inexpensive and combined with some topical products (Tazorac for me) it has really helped. It did take a couple of months to really notice a change, but now I rarely get anything serious pop up...maybe around my period. It has also helped somewhat with cramping and menstrual flow. I would definitely recommend asking your doctor about it. If Yaz helped, but it was too expensive, then this may be your answer.

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H.G.

answers from Denver on

C.,
Your acne is an symptom of another problem. If you treat the true problem, your acne will clear and you will be healthier all around. I would recommend you seek the care of a naturopath- they can help you get to the root of the issue, and they won't put a bandaide on to cover the symptoms.

Have a wonderful rest of your day!

H.
www.naturalchoices4baby.com

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N.P.

answers from Salt Lake City on

I am also one that has been on accutane.. twice! And afterwards my acne always returned.

I ended up using proactiv. It worked for me, and like some other people, I would also do a free commercial for them. :) You can find a generic product of this at walmart or coscto called Acne Free. Costco is the best deal - you get double the supply for the same price ($20 or so) as Walmart. That includes the cleanser, toner, and moisturizer. Proactive cleanser by itself has been $40 in the past.

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O.F.

answers from Provo on

I have a friend who had severe acne and was on 7 medications for it and had 27 procedures done on her skin which just created scarring. She was able to clear that up and get over her depression, and even lost weight (went from a size 14 to size 6 in 3 months) and got off all her medications. She did this using the Herbalife products. Their skin care products are a reasonable price and probably less expensive than any medications plus you won't have to deal with all the side effects. It's all natural ingredients, no chemicals. Call me if interested 888-236-4453. My name is O..

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M.M.

answers from Denver on

Dear C. and everyone else with this hormonal acne problem. I am a Colorado Licensed Esthetitican (skin care specialist) and retired RN and specialize in Acne of all kinds for all ages. I read everyone's recommendations and agree that there are a lot of things out there to try. However, what I have found is that what works for one person may not work for another, so many people end up spending lots of money. Therefore, I always offer a free professional consultation since it is difficult to try and diagnose without actually seeing someone's face. Then if necessary, the cost for services or professional products are very, very reasonable (I am a mom on a budget too) and I also recommend over the counter if possible. My skin care practice is in the Denver Tech Center, called Custom Skin Solutions. I work with doctors and other medical professionals' patients requiring professional skin care services. My business is also listed here on Mamasource and would love for someone to visit and give a review! Anyone is free to email me privately for more information or questions: [email protected]____.com

M. M.

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S.E.

answers from Great Falls on

I have had problem skin since junior high (seems like eons ago...) and thought that once I had a child my face would start to "normalize". When that didn't happen, I got the trial size of the Proactive that is advertised on TV. At first I hated it because it dried my skin out terribly - I would rather have acne than look like my face was flaking away! Once I figured out what my skin could tolerate as far as freqency of uses, I have happily been acne free. I think the trial is only $20 plus shipping. Give it a try, hopefully it works for you!

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L.C.

answers from Denver on

Have you tried Pro-Active? I know it's not a prescription for hormonol problems but I have read great things about the product.

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A.Y.

answers from Boise on

I don't have an answer, as I have the same problem. But I enjoyed reading all the other comments and ideas from everyone else, gives me somewhere to start either.
I was always under the impression that acne goes away when you "grow up"...but it seems to get worse the older I get....especially when I'm not on any form of birth control....Thanks guys!

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A.M.

answers from Boise on

Tri-Nessa is a good choice. Don't worry about a decreased sex drive--birth control generally doesn't do that. Weight gain will be minimal if any (maybe 5 lbs). And you can always stop taking it if you have any problems. I've dealt with acne all my life. It finally decreased when I got out of college--it was totally caused by stress. When I have a stressful situation now, I know that about a week later I'll be piling on the cover-up!
Other options you may have, or can try: differin topical gel, benzoyl peroxide wash (otc or a lower strength prescription), antibiotic creams/gels (topical, so you will avoid yeast infections) or Retin-A cream/gel. ProActive is a benzoyl peroxide face wash with gentle exfoliation that might be helpful also.
Acne can be really frustrating, hope this info helps. And you are right--it isn't due to your cleanliness!

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J.N.

answers from Salt Lake City on

C. - You need a good skin care program. Several components: Must be high quality, no fillers (so probably not from the grocery store) - fillers clog your pores and make acne worse. Need to use all componants from the same brand - they are formulated to work together, but not necessarily across brands (think chemical warfare on your face). Must contain the 5 basic steps: cleanse, exfoliate, tone/freshen, moisture balance, and protect. I have seen this kind of skin care do a LOT to help clear up acne, although there may definitely be other factors requiring treatment.

C., I do sell a skin care line that meets all these requirements. I also know that many of the other skin care systems mentioned in other posts are great and fit these standards as well - you can choose what to go with. If you are interested in finding out more, I think you can click on my name to send me an e-mail.

Good Luck! :)

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K.L.

answers from Colorado Springs on

Acne is often caused by an imbalance of bacteria in your gut -basically the bad germs (who are fed by processed junk food) are winning the battle and the good germs (fed by eating vegetables, nuts, etc) are losing.

I found that when I put my teenagers on "green drinks" (powdered vegetables that we mix with lemonade and drink in the morning - our favorite is Earth's Promise, available at health food stores) their faces cleared up, their hair is healthier, their skin color looks better and they feel more energetic! I couldn't believe the changes.

Good luck!
K. Loidolt
Author of Shopper's Guide to Healthy Living

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L.C.

answers from Denver on

Hi,
Ny hormomes caused acne too. Nothing really cured but some things made it better. That is until I started using ProActiv. I swear by it. I've been using it for 6 years and won't stop. I turned my husband onto it back when he was a new boyfriend (he was taking oral antibiotics to deal with his acne and wasn't happy with the side effects either). Now he's my husband and we share Proactiv and won't live without it. It's not cheap---but very worth it. If you buy it I recommend finding a kiosk that sells it. If you have it sent to you and charged to your credit card every other month as the plan does, you'll end up spending more money because you'll get more before you've even finished a bottle, then the stuff starts to accumulate--meanwhile your credit card is steadily being charged.
Good luck, L.

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K.D.

answers from Denver on

I have a friend who did great with some Mary Kay products. Even cleared it up while she was planning her wedding. I can pass up her info if you're interested.

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R.P.

answers from Fort Collins on

Hi C.,

I have actually helped a lot of women with acne and had excellent results. Most of the time it is related to your liver, although there isn't a "medical test" that will show it. I beleive it is nest to get to the root of the problem, so that your body can heal itself rather than trying to cover the symptoms. I have a great protocol for cleansing and balancing your liver if you would like to chat about it. I know how frustrating this can be, plus any time there is a medication there is a big chance that there is going to be some sort of side effect. Wiehgt gain, depression and no sex drive can cause even more stress in your life and who wants that? ;-)

I would love to help you out. Feel free to contact me, I'm in CO too! [email protected]____.com www.myherblady.com

Best of health,
R.

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C.B.

answers from Denver on

i had problems with acne for a while after my son was born my hormones changed with him. A friend turned me onto a face cleaner that changed my life. It is not too expensive, but it works wonders. It is from Arbonne, a swiss company, you will be surprised at the results. it is their clear advantage line i used the cleaner, toner and moisturizer and in about a month my face was a lot clearer, and is still clear to this day. I would try that before i would go on the pill, i think its less than $60 and you can order it online, plus a little will do ya making the bottles last a while. check it out, arbonne.com

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J.A.

answers from Denver on

I have been in a similar situation. Now that I am no longer on the pill- my hormones took action. I wanted to try a more natural route- before I tried accutane. I have been going to an accupuncturist since January. Every month about 2 weeks before my period. the past 2 months it has worked. I will continue to go monthly for the next 3 months, and after hope to only go once every 3 months. However, it does cost $75 per session. But like I said, if it clears me up - I am all for it. I had received a referral from a friend. (just read Robin's comments- I too am taking herbs, both to clear the liver + some others, this may also help.)

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J.F.

answers from Provo on

I had SO many problems with acne as a teenager, and unfortunately it did follow me into my adult life. I thought I had tried absolutely everything, from bc to antibiotics to Accutane. I even did Proactive for a while, but it's so expensive and never completely cleared it up. However, a couple of years ago I found something that REALLY helped, and now I rarely have even one outbreak every couple of months, and even then it's just one little zit. My doctor prescribed Benzac 2.5% wash and Benzaclin cream. The Benzac isn't terribly expensive but the Benzaclin can be a bit spendy depending on your insurance. The only drawback is that these products have benzoyl peroxide in them, which means they can bleach your washcloths and towels. I just use some old washcloths and hand towels when I wash my face at night and wash them separately so they don't fade on anything else. Also, be sure the Benzaclin is good and dry before going to bed or it will discolor your sheets and pajamas! I originally used both products twice a day, but now I only use the Benzaclin to treat an outbreak, and I have cut down my Benzac to just using it in the morning. I just rub is on my face and then jump in the shower. The shower completely washes it away, so I don't have to worry about it bleaching any of my bath towels by the time I get out. Sorry this is so long, but it's been such a wonderful experience for me that I felt I had to share!! Hope you find something that works as well for you! :)

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K.G.

answers from Salt Lake City on

well i have adult acne too..hormonal of course....ive tried sooo many different cleansers/lotions and even tried Pro Activ..but that burned my face..ugh..so I heard about this stuff called Sensiclear and i LOVE IT! the website is www.sensiclear.com. you can even try it for the first month free..well youpay s & h but its only like 7.00. but i thought what the heck...ill try it for the month if i dont like it...then no hurt done, but it works and its gentle on my skin...doesnt smell funny. Just thought it might help ya out.

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J.B.

answers from Pueblo on

C.

This may sound funny but it really works. powdered goats milk and quick cooking oatmeal. one cup of milk ( you can get it at a health food store) one cup of oatmeal. Then you put it in the food processer and gind it up into a powder. Wash your face twice a day. After you wash your face put 1-2 drops ofhoney to wet fingertips and massage onto wet face don't rinse pat dry. Then place 2-3 drops of extra vigin organic olive oil onto your palm rub palms together pat gently to face. This came out of book called Beauty Secrets of the Bible by Ginger Garrett. My 12 year old cuz us it on her face she says she can tell a difference.

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J.H.

answers from Denver on

Hi C.. The company I represent sells a product called Plus that is food for your hormones, and may help clear up your face. It has been my experience that if you help clean up the liver too, then the face has a chance to clear up. We have an amazing product called ImmunoStart that actually helps remove the buildup of daily toxins and heavy metals in our system. I am happy to tell you more about these products. You can contact me and we can talk by phone. Our products are natural food based products and not drugs. I am looking forward to helping.

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L.L.

answers from Great Falls on

To put another log on the fire for you - I've tried many things also - ProActiv didn't work all that great for me. What has helped lately I think is Bare Escentuals foundation and some of their other products. For skin care, a web site I would recommend is Paula's Choice. She sells a line of products, but she also evaluates OTC products and gives her recommendations. She also gives recommendations for different skin types. Another thought is that if you take the BC pill for dermatalogical reasons, sometimes the insurance co will pay if you get a letter from your dr. Good luck.

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A.D.

answers from Great Falls on

C.,
I am not sure what will work best for you, there are so many differant types of acne and causes, but I can tell you that accutane was a miracle drug for me. It is horribly expensive, plus you still have to pay for birth control while on it... but in my case, my skin was affecting my job, my relationships pretty much every aspect of my life. I have been off accutane for 3 years and only get an occassional zit around my period. I don't wear foundation anymore, and even go without makeup on the weekends! It is so amazing to be free. I was single when I started accuatane, and did not have insurance, so I made some major sacrifices, but I felt they were worth it. It may be more difficult for you since you have children to provide for. I would at the very least make an appointment w/ a dermatologist to have him anaylze your type of acne and recommend the best option for your case.

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S.S.

answers from Provo on

There is a soap you can get over the counter. You have to go up to the Pharmacist to ask for it. I used it long ago and it comes in two strength 5 % and 10 %. I am sooooo sorry I cannot for the life of me remember the name of it, but it really works!! Go and ask if they have prescription soap with the two different strengths. I will continue to try and remember and email you back if I can think of the name!

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T.C.

answers from Provo on

I dealt with acne all growing up, and tried tons of different topical and oral medicines. When all was said and done the only thing that ever actually worked was simply washing my face with RX Benzoyl Peroxide face wash 5% or 10% (just ask your doctor for it). Since using it I haven't had a bad acne problem for the last 5 years. It's funny how sometimes the simplest solution works best. Good luck.

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M.C.

answers from Denver on

I also have been down the Accutane route. I personally, am not going back there. That much vitamin A is just plain not good for the rest of your body. Try a product that uses Beta-Caritin instead, like Arbonne's Clear Advantage. This system works because you treat the acne from the inside with vitamins and from the outside with cleanser, toner and lotion. Check out the website: www.arbonne.com

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J.P.

answers from Salt Lake City on

C.,
I also suffered from acne for several years. I didn't ahve a problem too bad when I was a teen, but when I turned 42, it got bad. I just became a Mary Kay beauty consultant and tried the acne treatment. I worked so well. within 4 or 5 days all my acne was gone, and its cheap. Its only $7.00. I didn't know if I could be a beauty consultant because I had zits, but now I feel better about my face. If you have a consultant talk to her, if you don't email me and I'll get you some.

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S.P.

answers from Denver on

My 15 year old son takes after his father in the acne department; his father had acne that resulted in severe scarring and my son was headed down that road too. We had tried everything and nothing seemed to work (OTC products with salacylic acid often times make acne worse). I was watching a program on a product called Murad so I ordered it. It runs about $30 a month, but it is well worth it. In addition, it doesn't dry out the skin. www.murad.com

I would recommend the product to you, but it is like many have said, not everyone is the same and it varies depending upon our body chemistry. It has taken about 2 months for it to work, but that is a lot faster results than we have seen with anything else, including Proactive. The second shipment was a bonus size and the stuff lasts forever (it was still only $30 for the shipment). Good luck!!

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T.N.

answers from Pocatello on

I've been seeing a dermatologist for a little over a year. He switched my birth control to Apri. I also take tetracycline, it is not very expensive. I don't know if you have a problem with oiliness, but that was my main problem. I wash my face with Purpose soap, by Johnson and Johnson, it is in a blue box found usually with other facial soaps. It does make you feel very dry, until you get used to it. These three things together have really cut down on my oil production and my face looks better than it has in years. Hope this helps.

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