We’re often told that beating acne is all about reducing bacteria. But in fact, its only bad skin bacteria that needs to be reduced. Good skin bacteria actually needs to be increased to help fight acne. Which is why so many OTC acne treatments leave the skin so damaged and often kick off a cycle of increasingly more severe acne outbreaks. Clarol natural acne treatment products work buy reducing bad skin bacteria but increasing good skin bacteria.
A 23-year old teacher from Southampton, Mim Padgham who’s married to Alex, 24, a marine biologist, tells how increasing good bacteria on her skin using Clarol natural acne treatment products dramatically improved her cystic acne.
“I’d never have thought in a million years that actually increasing the bacteria on my skin rather than reducing it would eventually be the answer to clearing my acne.
I’ve been battling with severe cystic acne since I was 16 and it’s got progressively worse each year. I’ve been on most medications and acne treatments available, but I’ve only really managed to get control over my acne recently by using a new method that throws out the rule book of normal acne advice you get from doctors.
I met Alex when I was 15 just before I started getting acne and so he’s been with me through the whole journey and it’s probably been almost as hellish for him as it has for me.
When my acne started a year or so into our relationship I felt very insecure. To go from clear skin to cystic acne is a massive change and I thought if my appearance changed it may affect our relationship. I thought my face looked dirty all the time so I didn’t feel confident meeting up with him when my acne was bad.
I was constantly re-applying my make up whenever he wasn’t looking. I used to wear make-up day and night so he didn’t notice the change in my skin. I was just so insecure and convinced myself he’d feel the same way about my skin as I did.
As the relationship progressed, he naturally wanted me to meet his family and I was invited to family events and we met each other’s friends. I was always trying to back out of any social events where I’d be expected to meet new people he knew. On a bad skin day I’d have crippling social anxiety and I’d convince myself his friends would only notice my skin and be gossiping about it afterwards .I remember we went to a BBQ at one of his friends and I put all my make up on to cover my skin and when we arrived I was the only girl with make-up on. I felt awful, like everyone would be saying ‘oh did you see that Alex’s new girlfriend can’t even come to a casual BBQ without being plastered in make-up’.
My mood, my confidence and my general well being is so affected by my acne. The medications I take for it make me feel unwell.
I try to be a positive as I can and as I’ve got older I’ve learnt not to let my acne overwhelm me as much as it used to but the relentless battle against it has taken its toll.
When it’s bad, acne affects most aspects of my life, my relationship and my work, and yet the doctors have told me that it’s still considered as only a cosmetic issue so it’s been a battle to get treatment for it or be transferred to a dermatologist. If you have psoriasis or some other skin conditions, you get transferred immediately. But with acne you are usually just left to cope with it.
Strangely doctors take depression and anxiety more seriously if it’s not linked to acne. I’m sure if I described how down I felt and how much anxiety I experienced to my GP and how much it effected my work and my social life and we were not discussing my acne, he’d treat me immediately. But because it’s about acne it’s not considered as ‘serious’ as other types of anxiety they just encourage you to kind of put up with it and give you advice about washing your skin regularly and that kind of thing.
The amount I’ve spent on private skin clinics just in order to just get prescriptions is ludicrous.
After I came off my second three-month course of antibiotics. I was told I shouldn’t take any more antibiotics, and I can see why. My stomach and digestion were in pieces and I lost quite a bit of weight while on the antibiotics and my skin became super dry, my lips were cracked and my eyes were dry. Clearly aside from my skin they were wreaking havoc with my general health.
However unlike with the first round of antibiotics my acne improved the second time, but as soon as the antibiotics stopped, my acne erupted. I could feel the cysts starting again within 24 hours of coming off the antibiotics.
As my skin started to erupt my heart sank. I’d got hopeful that maybe at last something had worked. It’s almost worse to experience clear skin and then have it whipped away from you than just deal with constant acne, at least you get used to it and don’t get your hopes up.
The need to share my experiences about my acne with other acne sufferers through all this prompted me to start an Instagram story @acneisntugly, where I’ve shared my ups and downs about my acne journey.
It was because of this acne sharing community that I got to hear about Clarol products. There seemed to be lot of people in the same position as me where medications were no longer an option and the ‘come back’ acne after the medication finished is as bad or in many cases worse than it was before.
A lot of people who contacted me through Instagram were coming off Roaccutane and having similar or worse problems than I was having after antibiotics. I’ve resisted the temptation to go on Roaccutane because the side effects everyone talks about are just too risky, it worries me what it might do to my mental well being. What became apparent from my Instagram chats was that the vicious cycle of medications and then break outs is very common in almost all acne sufferers and the acne never really improves long term.
Via my Instagram someone suggested I try Clarol products, which help to break this cycle. I took notice because they worked in a completely different way. Instead of attacking the acne itself by basically heavily disinfecting your skin, they helped re-build the skin’s natural acne defences that are typically completely destroyed after years of acne medications and treatments.
This struck a chord with me because my skin was not only erupting in acne but was also so dry, red and extremely sensitive. It felt worse than when I was a teen with acne because back then at least my skin was in better condition, even if the acne was really bad.
The Clarol products claim to aid the skin’s natural acne defences by increasing skin bacteria and letting the skin produce as much sebum as it likes. All other products I’ve used for my acne focus on killing bacteria and blocking sebum. These products do the complete opposite.
I was encouraged to let my sebum production go into over drive by not using any sebum limiting products. My skin quickly became very greasy but the Sebopure, a product that purifies sebum, promised to keep the sebum clean to stop pores getting blocked and infected by oxidised sebum. Sebum is actually very good for repairing dry and damaged skin so the theory was that the sebum would address the damage and dryness while the preserving ingredient in Sebopure kept the sebum clean.
All I can say is that it worked. My skin got really greasy at first and it freaked me out. I had to resist using my normal anti-grease panic products. But after a few weeks my cystic acne started to calm down. I had more superficial whiteheads but the huge cysts that were forming under the skin began to reduce.
Meanwhile the whiteheads were dealt with by the Skin Flora Re-Balancing Serum, designed to increase good skin bacteria. The idea being that if the skin increases levels of good skin bacteria it becomes more resilient against bad skin bacteria, which is what causes surface whiteheads.
Once again, it worked. What I noticed most about the effects of the serum was the texture of my skin. It felt smoother and less red and furious, the dryness started to reduce and my overall skin texture felt much healthier, which I assumed was due to my skin finally having some healthier levels of good bacteria on it.
Don’t get me wrong I still get spots and these are no one-stop miracle products.
However since I’ve been using the Clarol products I’ve had a series of mini break outs, but they are exactly that, mini. They don’t erupt, the spots are not painful, my skin feels much calmer and the spots I do get are gone within a day or two. And the spaces of healthy skin between the spots are getting wider. I no longer have what doctors describe as cystic acne.
Now when I wear make up, I don’t look like I am covering up braille on my skin, in fact you can’t really even see I have acne. This is a miracle as I used to feel that even with a few layers of really thick foundation, everyone could still see I had acne, which is true because you can’t really cover cystic acne, it’s too lumpy.
Alex looked at me the other day and said, ‘do you even have spots now?’. And he never really mentions my skin as it’s not a subject he likes to bring up as I’m so sensitive about it. My parents also noticed how different my skin looked, they said I looked healthier than I had in years.
I would describe myself now as having ‘moderate’ normal acne, whereas before it was severe cystic acne. The acne I have now is something that I can completely cope with and I don’t feel everyone is staring with horror at my skin.
After seeing my skin return to such a healthy condition after using the Clarol method I have sworn to myself and Alex that I’m not going to take any more acne medications. My digestion is almost back to normal and I feel much better in myself generally.
My skin is really clear now, so much so I can barely believe it. But even if I have another break out before we go, I’m not going to panic as I have confidence that my new method will let my skin defend itself instead of me trying to nuke it with disinfectants.
The Clarol method has proven itself to work so far so I feel assured it will continue to do so. The change in the condition of my skin has made such a huge difference to my confidence. I finally feel like I am helping my skin instead of attacking it.”