When deciding on your which acne system would be the most effective, be sure to do your homework. The information below will not only open your eyes, it will also save you lots of wasted money.
Please remember that everyone's skin reacts differently to various products. While you'll find that there are people that can use a wide range of products without any adverse reactions, the ingredients listed below have shown to have a higher occurrence of side effects with acne sufferers.
Benzoyl Peroxide Based Products
Benzoyl Peroxide (BP) products have been on the market for years. Truth is, BP does work to some degree, however, it will only work (consistently) for mild acne. BP can cause dryness and irritation to the skin even in lower strengths. Skin can also build a resistance to the actions of BP forcing acne sufferers to use products with higher percentages on a frequent basis.
BP was linked to increased risks of skin cancer by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration in 1992. Medical periodicals contain many scientific articles concerning BP’s possible dangers. We believe that if the FDA ever follows up its 1992 health warnings with an outright ban, the billion dollar plus share of the acne market, now held by BP products, will be up for grabs.
The FDA is preparing new labeling information for acne products containing BP, including Clearasil and Oxy-5, Dr. Murray Lumpkin told The Gazette. Lumpkin is chief of the anti-infective-drug division at the agency. The FDA plan comes seven years after a senior toxicologist at Health and Welfare Canada failed in his efforts to have prescription and non-prescription acne products with BP banned. Studies show that BP can help tumors develop in rodents, Lumpkin said.
Salicylic Acid Based Products (BHA)
Salicylic Acid (SA) products are similar in action to Benzoyl Peroxide based products, and are superior to AHA based products when it comes to combating acne. With that being said, there are a couple things to consider when debating the use of SA products.
First, the skin builds a fast tolerance to the actions SA so the concentrations must be increased on a frequent basis in order to attain consistent progress. Just as with Benzoyl Peroxide (BP) or Glycolic Acid (GA) products, the higher the concentration the more likely you'll be irritating and drying out your skin. That's why SA, BP, and GA products provide temporary results and stronger concentrations are always needed. The skin, in order to protect and repair itself, will fight off the chemical effects and also produce more oil.
Second, the skin can only take so much exfoliation (as explained further in the Glycolic Acid products section). Exfoliation is great for the skin, especially in regards to fighting acne but too much can damage the skin.
Glycolic Acid Based Products (AHA)
Glycolic Acid (GA) products work to speed up the rate of skin exfoliation in order to eliminate dead skin cell accumulation and encourage the growth of new skin. In order for GA products to be effective against tough acne, you'll usually require a higher GA concentration. Unfortunately, the higher the concentration, the more likely you'll run into dry, irritated, red, hurting, skin. Also, GA products have the ability to make your skin very sensitive to the sun which could lead to further skin damage due to UV exposure.
The more you exfoliate the more cell divisions will occur in the lower skin layers. There is one problem though. Normal human cells cannot divide indefinitely. Fibroblasts (a key type of cells in the skin) would divide about fifty times and then enter a so-called stage of senescence. This limit of about fifty cell divisions is called the Hayflick limit (after its discoverer, Dr. Leonard Hayflick).
This is a state in which the cell is sluggish, inefficient, unresponsive to various signals from the body and unable to divide. Skin with many senescent cells is usually fragile blotchy and easily wrinkled. Exfoliation remains a valuable cosmetic tool but if you overuse it, your skin may "hit the Hayflick limit" earlier than it should.
It should be noted that skincare products based on alpha hydroxy acids are often ridiculously overpriced. Alpha hydroxy acids are very simple, inexpensive chemicals. The cost of alpha hydroxy acids contained in a typical jar of alpha hydroxy acids-based cosmetics is a fraction of a dollar.
Alcohol Based Products
Actually, an alcohol "based" product is fairly rare, what we're referring to are products that contains HUGE amounts of alcohol in them. Alcohol is extremely drying to skin, which can cause redness, irritation, and flaking. One of the longest running cosmetic company trends is to include high amounts of alcohol in their products. Their reasoning is that it will help 'dry' up acne lesions. To some degree this is true, however, alcohol cannot target acne alone. This means that the skin around the lesions becomes extremely dry and irritated as well.
When skin becomes too dry it reacts by putting the oil glands on overtime, producing more sebum as a means to lubricate and protect itself. If your skin is producing excessive oil and the oil is not thin (or broken down) then acne breakouts will result. More often than not, the acne breakouts brought on by dry irritated skin will be much worse.
Prescription Drug: Accutane
Accutane (Isotretinoin) is a very powerful, yet equally dangerous, prescription drug used to combat acne. Accutane is mainly used to minimize (or shut down) the oil gland activity. Since excessive oil gland activity is linked to severe acne, Accutane has been touted as the closest thing to an acne cure. However, since excessive oiliness is only one facet to the acne disease, the results are always temporary.
At first, the drug seems to work wonders. Patients will notice a huge decrease (about 6 out of 10 will have up to 100% clarity) in their acne lesions. It may take months, or it may take a couple years, but the acne will usually return. Plus, the acne will usually become much more serious because of two things: (1) your skin needs a normal flow of oil to help lubricate and cleanse itself. By restricting this basic action, you're asking for more internal problems to manifest themselves; and (2) the liver becomes damaged from the use of this drug. The liver is the most important organ in regards to a clean system (especially for skin care).
Here are some of the common side effects: Severe dry skin, Itching Rashes, Chapped Lips, Nose bleeds, Headaches, Nausea, Blurred Vision, Mood Swings, Stomach Pains, Diarrhea, Rectal Bleeding, Joint Pains, Muscle Pains, Yellowing of Skin, Sensitivity to Sun, Decreased Night Vision, Hair Loss (even yrs later), Depression, Thoughts of Suicide, Increased Blood Fat Level, Birth Defects, Loss of Visions, Arthritis.
** Please be very careful when considering using this dangerous drug. Some of these side effects are PERMANENT! Use our Regulating Spray to control your oil flow and eliminate excessive oiliness safely and easily.
Prescription Drug: Oral Contraceptives
These are used to regulate hormone levels within the body and to help compensate for the excess androgens in the system. At best, this is a "hit and miss" type of therapy. Remember that your body can regulate the hormones (perfectly) on it's own as long you give it the fuel that it needs on a daily basis. By using an "outside" means of balancing the hormones will only throw your system off balance. This makes this treatment very tricky and why we say it is a "hit and miss" approach at best.
Since the hormones that are being introduced through this therapy are not natural, the bodies identifies them as a toxin and immediately goes to work to filter it through the blood. This will also cause additional damage to an already over-stressed liver.
Balancing, filtering, and the production of hormones is only one step in the fight against acne. The steps are only pieces to the puzzle. The system is the key!
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