A few years ago I began to suffer from a condition I never had to deal with before, in fact I spent most of my teenage years avoiding it and now heading into, okay, well past 30, acne struck.
I have always had those spots that feel like they are pulling all of your skin to one location on your body. You may know the ones I mean, the ones that only an ice pack will help because of the intense throbbing. Now if you have never experienced these before, you may think I’m exaggerating, but don’t be fooled! The fortunate thing was they only came at certain times of the month. Now however, these spots were here to stay, and once one was gone, a new one popped up in its place. And so began my adult acne.
The fixes I had been offered in the past hadn’t worked. I had been on various antibiotics which made no difference, I had been offered a contraceptive pill (Dianette) which ultimately turned me into a hormonal mess, and then changed to another pill (Yasmin) which, although it worked, seemed to become my final option.
I followed the usual tips of watching my eating, cleansing my skin, ensuring my conditioner was thoroughly washed off my skin and so on, but nothing changed. Taking advice from a dermatologist, it seemed to become clear that the acne was as a result of changing hormones as the pill had been so effective, although I feel that it may have either been set off by, or continued to the degree I experienced because of, stress factors. Regardless of the cause (which I feel will never actually be identified), I didn’t want to be on the contraceptive pill to tackle a skin problem, so I decided I needed another option.
After visiting Martina Collins in her clinic on the Lisburn Road, she introduced her solution. Martina’s underlying thought process was ‘Why treat your skin, one of the largest organs in your body, by first diverting through your whole system, before finally accessing your skin?’. And the option offered? Obagi CLENZIderm M.D. – An Acne Therapeutic System.
Coming as a box of three lotions, I was to use them each in different ways for optimum results. Martina, having experience of this product, was convinced it would work, and Lyndsay, who was on hand for any extra help I needed, had actually also used this product on herself (and with a different type of acne to mine) with pleasing results.
At this point I had a decision to make. Every time I had come off the pill before now, the acne was back in a matter of weeks. And not slow and steady, but all there, all over my back, with the same amount of physical and psychological pain. I wasn’t prepared to deal with that again, but I didn’t want to be on the pill forever. So, I decided to trust Martina’s advice.
I went off the pill and began the Obagi treatment. And the process went as follows. Each morning I used the Daily Care Foaming Cleanser. Once dry, I used the Pore Therapy. The pack also included Therapeutic Lotion to use every 3 days to spots or areas where you knew a spot was on it’s way!
All you needed was a 20p sized spot of the Foaming Cleanser over the affected areas – for me it was the face, chest and top of my back. Once out of the shower and dry, I used a water spray container to apply Pore Therapy across the troublesome area and wiped excess with a cotton wool pad. Most days that was it. Any time I felt a slight pulling of the skin I applied a tiny squirt of the Therapeutic Lotion directly to the area.
May has just begun. I have left this post for as long as possible to write as I wanted to be sure the treatment was actually effective. I began to use CLENZIderm at the end of January. As I had been on the pill, my skin had been clear with the occasional spot here and there. After about six weeks I began to reduce the treatment, first using every other day, then using once a week, now using intermittently. This week in fact I had a random spot pop up on my arm and two on my neck so I used the Cleanser and the Pore Therapy again. I left the one on my arm too long before applying the Therapeutic Lotion so it has taken a bit longer to calm, however the ones on my neck never came to anything.
Three months and three spots, that’s a pretty good record! So how does it work? Using benzoyl peroxide (Theraputic Lotion) in combination with salicylic acid (Daily Care Foaming Cleanser and Pore Therapy), the products fight excess oil, clogged pores and acne causing bacteria. Priced at £167 for the 3 products (can be bought separately), I would actually pay double!
I was advised if my acne was due to hormones the treatment may take a little longer to work. Personally, I didn’t want to take any risks so I continued using the product for this length of time, but the information says you should be seeing results within two weeks. The instructions that come with the pack also gave slightly different guidelines to follow – that is where Martina and Lyndsay came in with their specific advice.
I honestly could not recommend this product enough for anyone dealing with adult acne. Obviously a consultation with Martina to determine if this is the right product for you is essential but for a small price, my acne seems like a distant memory!
Thanks to Martina for the product and Lyndsay for all your help in getting me started. Thanks also to CMPR!