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The Acne Journal

Product Spotlight - Mandelic Acid

acne anti-aging skincare Sep 20, 2022


If you have acne, it's likely you've used salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, or retinol on your skin. But mandelic acid? You may have never even heard of this little-known, acne-fighting superstar. Mandelic acid works so well at fighting acne that it is easily one of the most important products in our acne practice. 

What exactly is mandelic acid? Derived from the bitter almond, it's an exfoliating alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) that increases cell turnover and smoothes skin...

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Birth Control-Induced Acne - Client Success Story


Before coming to our clinic, Hannah (photo below) had worked with a dermatologist for months to get her acne under control. She tried several things to help clear her skin: antibiotics, Retin-A, and various topical prescription products. When nothing worked, her Dr. recommended an IUD (a birth-control implant) in an effort to regulate her hormones and control her skin. 

The IUD didn't work. In fact, it made her skin much worse. Hannah's "before" pictures below show her skin...

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Does Virtual Acne Treatment Really Work?

acne Aug 27, 2020

Our clinic has been treating acne long-distance for over a decade.  

What exactly does "treating acne long-distance" mean? We teach clients step-by-step, through verbal and written instruction, how to clear their skin - without ever having to have a physical acne treatment.

Naturally, the biggest question we get asked about our long-distance acne program is "does it work?" The next question is "how do the results compare to your in-person treatments?" 

We have seen huge...

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The Surprising Truth About Hormonal Acne

acne birth control hormones Aug 11, 2020

I have hormonal acne - can you still help me? 

This is a question we get asked often. It's hard to understand how treating acne topically can help breakouts that are caused by something internal, like hormones. 

Hormones definitely do play a role in acne flare-ups: Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), high-androgen birth control, pregnancy, miscarriage, breastfeeding, fertility treatments, hormone replacement therapy, testosterone, and emergency contraception pills are some of the...

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Does Acne Ever Go Away?

acne Jul 29, 2020

If you have acne, you’ve probably wondered (a lot) about when it would stop popping up and finally leave you alone for good.

I mean, didn’t you always hear that acne was a teenage problem and it would go away after you turned 18? Except that you’re 27… 35…or 56 and you still have breakouts? How frustrating!

This is one of the biggest concerns and causes of embarrassment among new clients I meet. I reassure them that adult acne is extremely common: some...

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Why Antibiotics Don't Clear Your Acne

acne Dec 09, 2019

Reading over the questionnaires of our acne clients reveals some disturbing trends.

Most have seen dermatologists and most dermatologists prescribed antibiotics as the first course of action. I have clients, previous to being treated at my clinic, who took antibiotics for years! My question to them was, "if it was going to work to control your acne, don’t you think it would’ve worked by now?"

I understand the desperation of wanting clear skin and the dearth of information about...

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Acne Specialist or Doctor?

acne Nov 25, 2019

Dermatologists are the logical first choice for the acne sufferer.

There is a common pattern in the protocol used by most physicians for treating acne. Acne patients are given oral antibiotics, topical antibiotics, and/or a choice of prescription retinoids to try. Sometimes benzoyl peroxide will be recommended. If those treatments fail, physicians will often recommend a cycle of isotretinoin.

For many acne sufferers, these methods have been met with frustration; and quite often, abandoned.


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What is Acne and How to Get Rid of It

acne Nov 11, 2019

For most people, acne is an inherited condition of the pores.

For those who are prone to acne, their pores clog with dead skin cells much faster than normal. Healthy pores shed about one layer of dead skin cells per day inside the pore, but acne-prone pores shed up to five layers of dead skin cells per day. The body just can't keep up with keeping the pore clear.

This condition is called retention hyperkeratosis - dead skin cells shedding more quickly than the pore can expel them.

Illustration of a what a normal pore looks like. | Elements Skincare

Illustration of a what the first stage of acne looks like. | Elements Skincare


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The Dangers of Accutane

acne Oct 14, 2019

Many of our clients have been on Accutane (isotretinoin), but what’s surprising is that so many of them have been on it for two or three courses to get their acne under control.

One client admitted to having gone through the Accutane regimen seven times! Some of them didn’t get any benefit at all; however most of them experienced significant clearing, but to their dismay, they started breaking out again within months of stopping the medication. How disappointing!

The worst...

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Birth Control for Acne - Simplified

acne Sep 09, 2019

Birth control pills, IUDs, implants, and shots are widely used today and prescribed often as a means to control acne.

Most forms of birth control can have the potential to cause acne and weight gain in those susceptible. Typically birth control is divided up as estrogen or progestin dominant and has varying degrees of androgenic (testosterone-like) effects.

As a general rule of thumb, those with the potential for higher androgenic symptoms should be avoided for people prone to acne...

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