I have struggled with acne ever since junior high. Now, living with acne in my forties, I was wondering if I’d ever outgrow it. You name the treatment, I’ve tried it, from Retin-A, to Accutane (yes, the bad drug that lawsuits are now happening over, which didn’t work for me).
After a lifetime of trial and error, I have found one simple trick that basically cured me of acne. Of course everyone is different, so what works for me might not work for you, but I hope my experience (and experiments!) will at least help you in some way.
So here’s the simple trick that cured my acne:
I Stopped Drinking Milk!
Yeah, it’s that simple. My brother tried excluding milk from his diet and he hasn’t had an acne breakout in years, after struggling with acne like I did.
I used to have a bowl of cereal with milk every morning. After talking to him, I switched to almond milk, and my acne virtually disappeared!!! Studies have shown a link between milk and acne, most likely due to the hormones.
The great thing is that other dairy products don’t seem to cause as much acne for me as skim milk does, so I still eat cheese occasionally.
I wish I had known this years ago!!! I could have saved myself so much pain and embarrassment. Simply cutting out my morning bowl of cereal with milk eliminated 95% of my acne!!!!
These are other acne treatments I’ve tried with some success (but not as much as cutting out milk):
1. Benzoyl Peroxide
Before I discovered the milk trick, I used a lot of Benzoyl Peroxide. After all of the expensive prescription creams I’ve tried, this old stand-by does a good job of drying out my skin, and I believe, cutting down on acne breakouts.
Now an important word on this treatment. When I was a kid in junior high, I tried Benzoyl Peroxide and it didn’t work because was using it incorrectly. I would dab it on to the trouble spots when I had an outbreak. This is completely wrong!!! You have to slather it liberally all over the areas of your face where acne occurs, BEFORE pimples show up!! I mean, spread it around like lotion. I use it before I go to bed, and in the morning, mainly on and around my nose, forehead, and chin. The cream will dry out your face massively at first, so beware. You might want to just try one application, see what happens, and increase the treatments gradually. I usually buy the cheap drugstore-generic version, not the brand-names. Anything with 10% Benzoyl Peroxide should be fine.
2. Zeno to Treat Outbreaks
OK, now on to a device that gives immediate results on new outbreaks. Zeno is a small pocket-sized device that has a tip that heats up to 118 degrees Fahrenheit. You place it on your pimple for two and half minutes and it noticeably shrinks them or at least stops them from getting any bigger by killing the acne-causing bacteria. If you use it on pimples early, you can really stop them in their tracks! It is a great device that works for me. If you read the reviews on Amazon, I’m not the only one.
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Now, before you say that my blog is just an advertisement for Zeno, let me talk about a few things I hate about it. First is the cost. Basically, you have to keep buying a new tip after it “runs out”, which is a totally artificial means to gain revenue.
Second, the quality of the new version of this has been very bad. There are many reviews of units that are dead on arrival. In fact, the one I ordered didn’t work so I had to return it!
But, it noticeably shrinks larger pimples within minutes and can completely eliminate the smaller ones if you catch them early, which is what I recommend doing. No, it’s not a cure, but the heat does help shrink pimples almost immediately.
3. Murad Acne Treatments
I’m currently using the Murad line of skin care products and I like them:
I would especially recommend the Murad Acne Clarifying Cleanser for washing your face, and the Murad Acne Spot Fast Fix for treating breakouts. The Spot Fast Fix really works to reduce the size of outbreaks unlike any other topical treatment I’ve tried. Yes, these are expensive, but they worked for me. But, you need to do the other things on this list too – these products won’t get rid of acne by themselves.
4. Drink Lots of Water
I’ve also heard that drinking plenty of water is good for your skin. I don’t have proof, but it makes sense.
5. Have Clean Pillowcases and Sheets
Living alone and being single, I was often lazy about changing my pillowcases regularly. But, now I make it more of a priority since hearing that acne-causing bacteria can live in your pillowcase and cause breakouts.
6. Drain Pimples (by a professional)
You have to go to a professional dermatologist to do this, or you can do it at places that offer facials like Massage Envy, which is where I go once a month. Cost is about $60/month with membership.
7. Reduce Stress
I’ve definitely see a correlation between stress and my acne breakouts. Stress may not be completely avoidable, but keep in mind that stress is known to cause all kinds of ailments if exposed to it for long periods. If you are continually stressed out, you might want to look into ways to change your lifestyle to decrease it (yes, easier said than done, but maybe it’s worth thinking creatively about it for a while).
Antibiotics (Tetracycline) will clear up my skin like magic, but it’s really bad to take antibiotics unless you really need them, so I don’t recommend this treatment.
I took Accutane as a teenager. It was supposed to be a permanent cure, but I’m still struggling with acne now. Now they are finding out it has some potentially bad side-effects. Great.
What Have You Tried?
Well, that’s my regimen. With so many prescription and non-prescription acne treatments/soaps/creams out there, these are the treatments that have worked for me. I hope these techniques help you look your best. Please let me know about any solutions that have worked for you!! I would love to try them. – Brian