The Regimen by Acne.org was the most effective treatment against acne that I have used, however the results came with unforeseen consequences which I will explain further…
I started the Regimen about five years ago after suffering from the most painful and persistent cystic and inflammatory acne. I was desperate for help, even contemplating on beginning Accutane and holding off on bone graphing surgery so that I could achieve clarity. Lucky for me I stumbled across Acne.org and the Regimen and at the time they offered a free sample with only $5 for shipping.
The Regimen kit comes with a gentle cleanser that foams once you apply it, a Benzoyl Peroxide treatment, and a moisturizer. The cleanser does not strip the skin at all or leave it feeling tight. The cleanser can be compared to the Neutrogena Makeup Removing Face Wash but a little milder. The cleanser foams up nicely and has no added fragrance so it won’t cause contact irritation. I personally did not feel like this facial cleanser was anything spectacular. In fact I knew that I could find a drugstore alternative, which I later did. I learned that the real magic happens with the treatment after swapping their cleanser with one of my own preference.
The treatment consists of 2.5% Benzoyl Peroxide in a creamy gel solution. To start you use only a small amount once a day and gradually build up to a full pump or full finger length depending on whether you got a pump or tube. I started with a small amount (two pea sizes) once a day so that my sensitive skin was not overwhelmed. After about a month I was using one full pump twice a day. My skin was sensitive to the sun, and when I applied the treatment my skin burned a bit- but not to the point where it was unbearable. Here is a breakdown of my month by month progress:
Month 1: Skin was very dry and a bit irritated. I could only see minimal clearing
Month 2-3: My skin adjusted to the benzoyl peroxide and I learned that mosturizing and SPF are essential to this routine. ADD IT. My skin showed significant improvement with only a few bumps.
Month 4-6: Almost completely cleared. A few bumps here and there but less than 5 at a time. The bumps heal much quicker. Irritation occurred minimally as long as I used a good moisturizer and an SPF.
Month 6+: Clear and Happy. Just don’t be lazy and miss a day. Persistence is key to this routine.
As you can see I stress moisturizing with the Regimen, but if you try it yourself you will see why. The Regimen does come with a moisturizer with Licochalcone which helps sooth irritated and inflamed skin and was obviously formulated to take care of the biggest issues with using the treatment. However, I was not too keen about the moisturizer. It is lightweight but it did not moisturize as well as others I have tried (such as the Clinique Moisture Surge). In order to get a more moisturizing effect (odd since I have oily skin, right?) I ordered their Jojoba Oil which seemed to help a little bit. After about four months of using their moisturizer I swapped it out for the Clinique Moisture Surge and added the Jojoba Oil with it. The result was amazing. The dry flakes and redness dissipated and my skin looked more supple. I should add that the swap for an alternative moisturizer did not break me out or hinder my results, if anything it improved it!
The Regimen (or should I say Acne.org’s Treatment) is Accutane in a bottle because it was just as effective in clearing my skin, and caused dryness and flaking which Accutane does as well. However, I will never use this treatment again and even deeply regret using it.
- It damaged my skin. The constant use of benzoyl peroxide dries out the skin, throws it off balance, and weakens it. The skin is not able to protect against environmental aggressors and is more susceptible to sun damage (which as a lifeguard was made worse regardless of SPF).
- It is a temporary treatment- and I wanted long term relief. If you stop it your skin goes back to a worse condition because your skin was stripped of healthy bacteria
- It aggravates the skin which causes discomfort and redness
- It takes years to repair the damage that bp can do to the skin, even after discontinuing the treatment I was still suffering from the imbalances and sensitivities
Overall, I would look at other alternatives to clearing your skin, such as Nerd Skincare or laser skin treatments. Sloughing on that much bp twice a day (which the regimen calls for) is totally unhealthy and leaves your skin without any of its natural moisture and suppleness. Be easy on your skin, otherwise you might end up worse much like I did.
My ranking: 2/5 – Do not recommend
If you HAD to use the regimen here are some ways to make the discomfort a little more bearable..
1. Use any gentle cleanser just make sure it does not strip the skin. Water based options are always preferred.
2. Moisturize with a gel or water based moisturizer. This provides superior hydration than their own moisturizer. I personally recommend Clinique Moisture Surge, Neutrogena Hydroboost, and Nature Republic Super Aqua Max moisturizer. Adding a Jojoba oil increases hydration, and helps level out the oil levels in your skin.
3. Add Aloe Vera Gel! Aloe Vera works to soothe the skin and on this treatment that is what you will be screaming for. I use the Nature Republic Aloe Vera Gel but the drug store brand will work just fine. Apply this every night after moisturizing and you should see your skin become less red and flaky and more vibrant.
4. Wear SPF! I cannot stress how important it is to protect your skin from harmful rays while using the treatment. The treatment makes your skin sensitive and if you do not use some sort of protection you will risk developing post inflammatory hyperpigmentation. LEARN FROM ME: I did not use enough SPF on my face while on this and my skin has red pigmentation.