We live in an instant gratification society. When we want to lose the 10 pounds we’ve gained while in lockdown, we look for how to drop them in 7 days—even though it took 7 weeks to put them on. When we want to get rid of our breakouts, we expect an acne treatment product that will have us waking up to smooth, poreless skin the morning after we apply it. Going from “before” to “after” in a flash is amazing. But it’s also fake news.
When it comes to a new acne regimen, just like weight loss it’s commitment and compliance (aka habit) that will yield positive, long-lasting results.
What Is and Isn’t Possible with Acne and Skincare
While certain skincare ingredients, like hyaluronic acid, offer some immediate visible results, the process of correcting the acne cycle happens on the cellular level, where ingredients actually need to change how your cells behave. That’s going to take a lot longer than a week or so. This is why it’s rare to see a scientific study that measures results before the 8-week mark, and optimal results are only seen at the 12-week mark or even longer.
In a study using benzoyl peroxide, volunteers saw the most drastic improvement of inflamed acne (a 72-75% clearance) only at the 12 week mark. This is compared to only a 28% reduction at week 6. In another study where subjects were treated with adapalene gel, the reduction in acne lesions was typically between 30% and 50% by week 12, but over 75% at week 52. Although we may want an overnight fix, science shows us that it’s simply not realistic.
The Importance of Skincare Habits
The interesting thing about habits is that they’re usually a very little, seemingly insignificant thing. Flossing your teeth, washing your hands, going to bed at a reasonable hour—doing these just once won’t amount to much. But doing so over and over again is a different story. We don’t skip brushing our teeth and expect that it won’t make a difference in our breath or how our teeth look. So why do we not take the same long-term approach to our acne regimens?
Building a good habit takes time—66 days, to be exact. According to a recent study, a daily action like eating fruit at lunch, or exercising a few minutes each day, took an average of over two months to become a habit. Until then, it takes thought and self-reminders to make that new habit a no-brainer, so to speak.
The good news? According to the same study, missing any single day has no impact on your ability to stick to that habit for the long-term. The key though, is to not slip for more than one day. This is especially important when it comes to an acne skincare regimen, because it is essentially delivering medicine to your skin. And just like you wouldn’t skip a dose of prescribed medication (or even a vitamin or supplement if you wanted to reap its health benefits), the same logic applies to topically applied acne “medicine.”
Why Stick with Perricone MD Acne Relief
Unlike most other acne treatment systems on the market, Perricone MD Acne Relief selectively targets and gently treats all three causes of acne - excess oil, acne-causing bacteria and inflammation. Many other brands rely on harsh chemicals that just kill all bacteria, or aggressively strip your skin of necessary hydration, which can upset skin’s natural microbiome and lead to irritation and dryness. Rather than wash away all oil and bacteria, Acne Relief is designed to work symbiotically with skin’s microbiome to remove excess oil while simultaneously depositing hydrators that won’t dry skin out.
What is the skin’s microbiome? Essentially, our skin is covered with trillions of bacteria and other microorganisms. It is its own ecosystem, and it needs to stay in balance so that healthy bacteria can run off the bad bacteria. When the bad bacteria out numbers good bacteria, inflammatory skin conditions like acne strike.
Research shows that a common “bad” skin bacteria called P. acnes is associated with acne. This is an inflammation of the sebaceous gland and hair follicle. When puberty sets in, these glands and follicles mature, creating more of the P. acnes bacteria, and the complexion responds with an acne outbreak. But the mature follicles thrive throughout our adulthood, making this a lifelong problem for some.
While there isn’t much research about how long it takes to heal the skin microbiome, healing the gut microbiome has been shown to take approximately 12 weeks.
What we do know is that prebiotics, like those found in Perricone MD, are the key when used consistently. “Prebiotics are nutrients that help to influence the growth of ‘good’ bacteria. A classic example is that fiber is a prebiotic helping to support the growth of good bacteria in your gut,” explains Chief Innovation Officer Chris Caires. “Think of it like super food for your face. We want to feed beneficial bacteria so that they can grow and multiply and push out the unhealthy bacteria. In the case of acne, we use prebiotics shown by research to promote the growth of bacteria that can kill the dreaded p. acnes bacteria, which is responsible for clogging pores and causing acne.”
Salicylic acid, another top ingredient in Perricone MD Acne Relief, has also been shown to have significant results in clearing acne—at the 8-week mark for non-inflamed lesions (like blackheads) and at the 12-week mark for inflamed lesions (like whitehead and pustules). This simple regimen only takes two steps every morning and night, making it much easier to remember (and actually do!) than complicated multi-step systems.
How Not to Ruin Your Acne Regimen
Getting the most from your acne treatment products means not self-sabotaging either by skipping days, dropping it altogether, or by adding in heavy makeup and other products that will negatively impact your skin.
When it’s time to reach for makeup, make sure you’re choosing products that benefit your skin and complement your acne skincare regimen. Instead of a pore-clogging foundation, try No Makeup Foundation Serum . It creates a buildable, semi-matte finish with no mineral oil or talc to clog pores. Plus, it protects skin with Broad Spectrum SPF 20. For a radiant glow that looks fresh and natural, mix No Makeup Blush and No Makeup Bronzer. The No Makeup Collection is skincare infused and improves skin with consistent use.
Once your skin is acclimated to the Acne Relief 2-Step Regimen, try adding Perricone MD High Potency Growth Factor Firming & Lifting Serum into the mix.
Rich in polyamine growth factor, it helps skin to be more resilient and “improves skin elasticity and helps promote youthful, collagen-rich, and visibly firmer skin by replenishing moisture and distributing polyamines in the skin,” says Caires.
“Perricone MD High Potency Growth Factor Firming & Lifting Serum helps to capture the look of youthfulness that fades as we age.”
Bottom line: For something as important as healthy clear skin, you’ve got to put in the effort with a proper acne regimen. The best results aren’t overnight - they take a dedicated skincare routine, time and commitment in using the right products and making the necessary lifestyle adjustment.