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Friday, August 12, 2011

Anna's Skincare Routine and Review

Hi everyone! This week I wanted to share with you my thoughts on a product line that I have absolutely fallen in love with.
First, I want to tell you that I am not affiliated in any way with the makers of these products and all my opinions are completely honest based on my personal experience. Also, all products that I am reviewing were purchased with my own money.
I have only personally used the products listed under the REVIEW section but I included information about other products offered in case you were interested.

Having clear skin was always something that I tried to accomplish but for a long time I was losing the battle against my skin. But finally I found something that really works for my skin.
First, let me tell you a little bit about my skin type.
  • I have VERY oily, acne prone skin.
  • I'm pretty fair so I burn easily in the sun if I don't use a sunscreen.
  • My skin isn't necessarily sensitive, except every once in a while I will come across a foundation that will break me out. My main problem has been with MAC Studio Fix Fluid, but I've heard that from a lot of people.

I tried a lot of different skincare systems and never really found anything that worked. The only thing I haven't tried is Proactiv.
About a year ago I saw the AcneFree system at Target and I thought I would give it a try. I'd never heard anything about it but I was looking for a new face wash anyway.
After just a few days I saw a HUGE difference in my skin! And after just a couple of weeks my skin was completely clear.

I use the AcneFree 3-step system for mild/moderate acne. They also have systems for sensitive skin, severe acne, and an Active/Sport variety.
Mild/Moderate Acne System Includes:
4 fl oz Purifying Cleanser (2.5% Benzoyl peroxide)
4 fl oz Renewing Toner
2 fl oz Repair Lotion (3.7% Benzoyl peroxide)
The kit that I purchased was a special offer so it also included a 0.25 fl oz Pimple Patch Activator/Spot Treatment. This contains 5% Benzoyl peroxide) as well as two 1-Hour Pimple Patches.
Also, I purchased separately the Scar Fade and Erase cream. It works very well and helps to even out skin tone. However, you cannot use it along with products that contain Benzoyl Peroxide. This will cause some sort of chemical reaction and will temporarily stain your skin a dark brown color, and I'm not talking about a pretty bronze tan! Trust me, I learned the hard way. If you're going to use this scar cream, don't use the other products in the AcneFree system at the same time. Also, this product can make you very sensitive to the sun so it's best to use at night before bed.
I use all three products in the system every morning and every night, except for nights when I use the Scar Fade and Erase cream. After using the system in the morning, I apply an oil-free moisturizer with at least SPF 15. The brand of moisturizer depends on whether it's summer or winter and also what brand I have available. I don't really have a favorite moisturizer to recommend, I just make sure it's oil-free and SPF 15 minimum.
  • Purifying Cleanser - I absolutely love this cleanser. It leaves my face feeling fresh but it isn't as harsh as some other acne cleansers. It is supposed to be exfoliating but it barely has any exfoliating particles in it, but I like it anyway. It also helps to control oil without over-drying. You can also purchase this separately in a bigger size than what comes in the kit.

  • Renewing Toner - This is pretty much like any other toner. I don't think it smells as bad as some though. This toner works well with the system and I did use it all, but I prefer to use Witch Hazel as my toner. You can find Witch Hazel at any drugstore, Walmart or Target. It is in the same aisle as rubbing alcohol. Witch Hazel helps to control oil better than regular toner, which is why I prefer to use it. The AcneFree Renewing Toner might work better for someone with combination or normal skin.

  • Repair Lotion - This is pretty creamy and really clears my face. It also helps to make blemishes appear less red. Although it is creamy it doesn't leave my face feeling greasy which I love.

  • Spot Treatment - This stuff is AMAZING! It works wonders overnight.

  • 1-Hour Pimple Patch - These are really incredible also. They come individually wrapped and you open them, put a little dot of the spot treatment on the patch, and stick it to your face over a blemish. In one hour you will see a HUGE difference in the appearance of the blemish. It's not completely gone after an hour but it does look a lot better. These patches are also supposed to use vibrating waves or something to clear the blemish which I didn't really notice. If anything I think they just help to keep the spot treatment concentrated on that one area, but I still really like them.

The active ingredient in these products is Benzoyl Peroxide which is a powerful acne fighting ingredient. It really does work amazingly well and it's the same active ingredient as in Proactiv.
However, some people believe that Benzoyl Peroxide can cause fine lines, wrinkles, and other signs of premature aging on the skin. What they don't realize is that Benzoyl Peroxide is not what causes this, but it can happen if you aren't careful.
Benzoyl Peroxide makes the skin more sensitive to the sun, therefore if you don't use a sunscreen with a good SPF you are more likely to get skin damage from the sun, which can lead to fine lines, wrinkles, and premature aging of the skin. People believe that Benzoyl Peroxide is what causes this when really it is the sun.
Benzoyl Peroxide is great for fighting acne, but you MUST use a good sunscreen to avoid these problems from too much sun exposure. Use a sunscreen with AT LEAST SPF 15 and apply it after you use any products with Benzoyl Peroxide.
Another possible con is that Benzoyl Peroxide can bleach fabrics if it comes in contact with them. The problems I have had before were my shirts, pillowcase, and wash clothes. However, if you let the product dry long enough for it to really sink into your skin it won't bleach out the fabric. I would recommend wearing a white shirt while using the products until after they dry, using white wash clothes if you use them to wash your face, sleeping on a white pillowcase, and making sure you don't have the product on your hands before touching any fabrics.
However, like I said if you give the products enough time to dry it's really not an issue. The fact that the Benzoyl Peroxide can bleach fabrics wasn't a deal-breaker for me at all. You just have to be a little extra careful.
Mild/Moderate Acne 3-Step System (Cleanser, Toner, Lotion) - $19.95
Sensitive Skin 3-Step System (Cleanser, Moisturizer, Sensitive Skin Spot treatment gel) - $19.95
Sport 3-Step System (Cleanser, Hydrating Treatment, Acne Sport Wipes) - $19.95
Severe Acne 4-Step System (Cleanser, Toner, Lotion, Retinol Renewal Cream) - $29.95
Prices of products that are sold separately vary by location.
On they also offer packages with products that you might not find in stores such as their Sulfer Mask, Blackhead Terminator, and some other products that might not be sold in stores. The website doesn't show individual prices for these products because I don't think they sell them separately for some reason.
  • Same active ingredients
  • Same price, but with AcneFree you don't need to pay for shipping.
  • AcneFree Mild/Moderate Acne 3-Step System products are twice the size of Proactiv products but for the same price. And I believe that the rest of the products in the AcneFree systems are twice the size as well.
  • AcneFree products are readily available at Target, Walmart, and other drugstores. Proactiv must be ordered online or over the phone.
I have never personally tried Proactiv so I'm not sure how the performance of the products compares but based on the comparison above I think AcneFree is a much better buy.

I hope you found this review helpful! If you have any questions please leave them in the comments below or email me. I know that the fight against acne can be frustrating but I find that these products work very well and I would definitely recommend them!
Twitter: @sororitysisanna
(I'm going to start posting OOTD's and FOTD's on Dailybooth so if you're interested in those definitely check it out!)

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