Clearogen 1-2-3 to Acne: Bring it On!

Clearogen takes on Proactive Solutions

I know I cannot be the only one who goes through periods of monstrous breakouts. While my personal experience seemed to start somewhere at or around the time my kids arrived in my life, it’s been a roller coaster ride from mild to moderate depending on stress and hormone levels and after talking with some of my best BFF’s, we all came to a conclusion that there is a thing called Adult Acne. It can be really distressing, especially if you have never experienced it before, like back when it would have been more appropriate, say at 14 or 15 years old.  And like my Mum told me upon hearing I had given her a Grandson: “But I don’t know ANYTHING about boys!! “…having only produced girls, mind you. What are we meant to do then, having had no experience dealing with Mt. Saint Helen-style eruptions on our faces?
Call it the Proactive movement. Whatever. Ever since Rodan + Fields launched their system targeting not only adolescent but adult acne, (and employing the use of several A to C-lister celebrities to flog their wares) the success of the brand has grown so big that its captured the attention of all other wannabes trying to grab a piece of the adult-acne pie. Personally, I am not a big fan of Proactive Solutions. I used it for about five months, and while I would say that it was mildly successful in the very beginning, it did not in any way live up to my expectations of blemish-free skin. During my first week of use while on an assignment in D.C, I had to RUN, not walk, to the local Bath and Bodyworks –it’s all I could find at closing time in a D.C suburban mall, peeps, to get a pumpkin enzyme mask in the attempt to remove the overly dried out, rawhide-like surface skin on my face. Which, by the way was something my dermatologist took as the first signal to STOP USE NOW!!! but I ignored as I still had high hopes for Proactive. Like many first of its kind product launches, it really did seemed to be working for loads of other people on the P.A.S. , (that’s Proactive Solutions to you and me, folks) bandwagon full of “success” stories!

Anyway, my skin would have the last word as it always does and a full-on revolt was in action. My skin became extremely sensitive and continued to break out, I had a constant rash around my nose and part of my chin (which looked similar to a cosmetic dermatitis, but wasn’t) and I seemed destined to be on a downward spiral : Breakouts to overly dry skin to surface peeling then back to breakouts. I was getting really depressed about it and decided to totally detox my skin and stop using Proactive once and for all. It took about three weeks and believe me when I say that during this time, my skin got even worse during the purge but once I got through it, my skin finally started to feel normal again. I saw the texture improve and I realized in hindsight that while I had been on Proactive it had gotten exceedingly rough and course looking.

So why then you ask, would I even DARE to try out another acne skin system? It took some doing for sure and one persistent press relations liason. But you see, I was still hopeful that somewhere out there, there really was Nirvana for acne prone skin like mine. I just couldn’t let it go. Which brings me to introducing you to a new acne treatment system called Clearogen. The biggest difference between Clearogen and Proactive Solutions is that it goes to work to deep treat the skin to prevent future spots before they even think of busting out to the surface. Think of it similar to taking vitamin C to ward off a cold. If you can treat the skin on a deeper level and deliver ingredients right to the source, it can combat the potential break out and you might not have pimples come up in the first place. What a thought! I could see that I wouldn’t be able to resist a test drive, so I dug deep and went for it.

What it is: Clearogen incorporates a serious botanical brew along with DHT inhibitor (short for Dihydrotestosterone, a form of Testosterone) to control the production of DHT and also contains other ingredients that slow down dermal oil production, and other elements to open up the pores enabling further deep cleaning. Proactive’s key ingredient for tackling acne is Benzyl Hydroxy, and contains exfoliating grit that is meant to take off dead skin cells. However, when your skin is broken out, the last thing you want to do is scrap off a layer of it! Proactive in particular has strong chemical smell that wasn’t very pleasant. The first thing I noticed when I tested the cleanser from Clearogen, was the light and foamy texture —think the consistency of those foaming hand washes. No harsh smell either and no grit! Just a sweet, floral and vanilla-like scent that was quite refreshing. But never mind that, what really moved me were the results. There was not a dry or parched bit to be found and more importantly, there was a definite lessening of pimple activity. So far, so good. I followed with the toner, which definitely had a strong clinical smell due to the alcohol and witch hazel content and the 1% Salycylic acid.  But to be fair, they balanced this out by adding Comfrey, Indian Plantin, Rosemary leaf extract and Chamomile flower extract. To directly compare with the Proactive Solutions toner, there was no burning sensation from the Clearogen toner and once dry, my skin did not become like the Sahara!

The last item to this treatment trilogy is the acne lotion. It does contain Benzoyl Peroxide at 2.5%, and had a similar scent to the cleanser (again due to the battery of botanicals infused in the solution) yet unlike the other test lotions, it didn’t feel much different than a nice moisturizer except that my skin looked better after it dried. It took a full month to really see some significant results but I did see some and that was great news to me! I did my usual weekly facial and continued to use this system for two months total. In the end, my assessment is that Clearogen does what it sets out to do. Acne or blemish prone skin just looks better when treated with it and there isn’t a sense that you have to go on and on indefinitely. Once my skin was picture perfect, I stopped using Clearogen. But don’t worry, it was never shelved for good. Life has a way of creeping up on me and from time to time, I would have another dermal freak-out. When this happened, instead of panicking, I pulled out what is now my Go-to products and got down to a little epidermal house cleaning.


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