UPDATE: I can't believe I am saying this, but one month later my face is smooth and almost completely healed of blemishes. I am still using the moisturizer (time to buy another one) and cleanser, but I have not needed the spot cream for about a week. I am seriously amazed at this product's effectiveness. Now, you can read my original review ~ but I am even more impressed with this trio of products now than I was when I wrote my review!
Recommend this product?
Don't you just hate when people brag about their conquests? Well, awhile back I bragged that I was finally winning the battle against acne. And I really was... for the most part. The war, however, is something I think I'll be fighting until I'm a grandma ~ have you ever seen a grandmother with acne?
It is true that my skin has been considerably better over the last two years, but not completely clear. In fact, my complexion is still prone to sebum (oil) production and clogged pores. I had blackheads, whiteheads and redness, especially on my nose. I still had pimples crop up occasionally, which just wreaks havoc on my self esteem! For someone who thought the battle was over, I retreated into my self-pity cave.
A few weeks ago, I decided to take serious action, once again. Now that I'm on a tighter budget, I can't afford my favorite anti-aging, skin-clearing cream which worked miracles on my face when I tried it last fall. At $90 per vial, AloeGlyC will have to clear the skin of rich celebs. Me ~ I bought a box of AcneFree Sensitive Skin Acne Treatment at the grocery store for about $18 and prayed for clearer complexion, minus the redness. Why Sensitive? Because I've found that harsh cleansers and moisturizers make my skin even redder, and sometimes even provoke more breakouts.
What you get: Inside the blue and white box are three attractive products: Corrective Cleanser (4 oz), Oil-Free Moisturizer (1.5 oz) and Terminator Acne Control Gel (1 oz). The attractive, slender tubes remind me of Shiseido brand, in shape, turquoise and orange colors, and design. AcneFree is a product of University Medical, and is advertised to compete with Proactive Solution, which is also marketed as an acne cleaning system. According to the package, both AcneFree and Proactive are: Prescription Quality, Dermatologist Tested and contain active Benzoyl Peroxide.
Claims: However, what is touted as "better" than Proactive Solution is that AcneFree contains time-released Benzoyl Peroxide (which is supposed to be less irritating and longer acting); it's also available at mass market retailers (instead of by mail order club only) and is more affordable and pay no shipping charges (costing up to 50 percent less). Another claim by University Medical is that the active ingredients reduce sebum production by more than 65% more than regular benzoyl peroxide.
My Experience: I've tested the products and almost immediately (the next day) the redness on my nose and cheeks was significantly reduced. After about three days, I noticed existing pimples healing and my skin started to feel smoother. After about a week, I had very few new pimples and I was even able to stop wearing liquid makeup and stick with my powder foundation (Bare Minerals). After several weeks, I'm back to a 90% clear complexion, with a few minor spots but with no visible redness or rosacea. Best of all, I have not experienced any drying or irritation from the three products, which I have applied religiously every morning and night.
Quick Overview of the Products:
Antibacterial Corrective Cleanser is a gel with the active ingredient Salicylic Acid, including Tea Tree Oil, Vitamins E, A,and C, Witch Hazel and many others. The gel foams nicely in the shower, and leaves my face feeling clean but not red or stripped of natural moisture. There is a slight medicinal smell, but not overpowering or annoying. The four ounce tube included in the box is adequate for about 1-2 months of twice daily use, which is less than most cleansers you might buy separately.
Oil-Free pH Balancing Moisturizer also comes in a tube. It's a creamy-white gel which smells vaguely chemical, but not in a bothersome way. It smoothes over my face and spreads out evenly. My skin absorbs the moisturizer after about 5 minutes, and it's primed and ready for liquid or powder foundation. I have noticed smoother skin overall, and I don't mind substituting this moisturizer for my regular brand. The active ingredients are salicylic acid and many of the same ones in the cleanser.
Terminator Spot Control Gel brings time-released benzoyl peroxide into the battle zone. I have used it twice daily on pimples and not experienced even a hint of dryness or irritation. In fact, I apply it on my face right after putting on the moisturizer, and wait a few minutes before applying makeup. Unlike other spot products I've used (like Clearasil) it doesn't harden or turn into a white knob on my pimple. It is perfectly clear and my skin absorbs it quickly, like the moisturizer. It smells slightly like benzoyl peroxide. I really feel confident knowing I can prevent new pimples and clear up current ones during the day, without having to wait until the nighttime to treat my acne.
Final Thoughts: Acne is not glamorous, and treating acne when you're in your forties is pretty depressing, especially when menopause is around the corner. I really like using AcneFree Sensitive, because it feels like a system designed for treating acne on a 24-hour schedule, without irritating your skin in the process. The products themselves come in attractive tubes, which makes it a little more glamorous and less utilitarian feeling. The products don't have beads or other rough inclusions that abrade the skin. Overall, I think AcneFree Sensitve is a keeper, and I plan to use it Proactively for the next few months to keep my skin feeling smooth, with fewer pimples, blackheads, whiteheads and rosacea.
=================== Other Acne And Skin Care Product Reviews ================================
Can you Really Airbrush your Face with BareMinerals?
Rare Minerals Rarely Banished my Blemishes! - Bare Escentuals
Estee Lauder Night Repair: After two weeks, I'm seeing reduced pores
Zero Zitz ~ More Negatives than Positives in Fighting Acne
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