Every month, around what I will refer to as my Super Magic Girl Time, I start breaking out like crazy. I know I’ve expressed major skin concerns recently, but this week I woke up to discover a horrific constellation of zits stretching from my cheek to my chin to the dead-center of my neck improbably, down to my cleavage. WTF?

Immediately I turned to the Reviva Labs glycolic face wash and cream I had recently purchased, hoping that the combination of antioxidant vitamins, botanical extracts, and botanical oils would blast my zits away. Alas, no. My skin became noticeably softer, and the reassuring sting of the glycolic made me want to believe it was working. But days later I still had a atrocious assemblage of acne.

A visit to my old stomping grounds, the venerable Books & Books provided the remedy I needed. No, they don’t sell skin care products at this landmark independent bookstore – the store manager, the glamorous and apparently ageless Zoe Ann, told me that glycolic was too harsh for my young skin. According to her, all I needed was the old stand-bys, salicylic acid and/or benzoyl peroxide cream.

The very same Clean & Clear Acne Spot Treatment and Persa Gel 10 that had been staring at me from my bathroom cabinet were all I needed?

I didn’t quite believe her until I actually tried it. I wore the Persa Gel for the past three nights, and dabbed on a little Acne Spot treatment under my makeup during the day. Ladies, today I am happy to say that those hugely noticeable spots have almost entirely dried up, and my skin looks well … almost clean and clear! This proves that sometimes, the best product is already right under your nose.

It never hurts to keep these old stand-bys around. What’s your favorite stand-by product?

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diamond says:
October 18, 2006, 11:42 am
tea tree oil i buy it from the health food store (in a bottle) i first dab a Q-tip in water (to dilute the tea tree oil, because its strong), then dab it into the bottle of the tee tree oil and put it on all of my pimples and bumps on my face. it eventually dries it to me, the best natural solution
Coffy says:
October 18, 2006, 12:07 pm
Rogaine for men (5%), when i get a little tweezer happy i apply my Rogaine to regrow my brows.
natashamck says:
October 18, 2006, 4:23 pm
ITA with the Benzoyl Peroxide... according to Acne.org, its one of the few chemical compounds out there that actually kills the p.acnes bacteria (the bacteria that causes outbreaks) I've been struggling with Acne for more than half of my life, and BP is just about the topical application product that makes any difference whatsoever with my face. BTW - I love, love, LOVE your website. Its such a valuable resource for us kinky divas!
70ssoulchild says:
October 18, 2006, 6:35 pm
Good ol' Baking Soda. It has a 1001 uses but cosmetically I use to brush my teeth and at $.50 a box, you can't beat it. A dental hygenist that rides in my vanpool told me that this is the best teeth whitener hands down. Thanks Afrobella..you're the best!
Liz says:
October 18, 2006, 8:21 pm
Hmm, 70ssoulchild, I am going to try your baking soda trick. Doesn't it taste nasty, though? Fortunately, I have been blessed, and I have never suffered from acne. I don't want to jinx it now! lol But whenever I break out which is about a pimple like once a month, I just dab a little toothpaste on it, and it dries it up over night. This usually works well.
jerseybred says:
October 18, 2006, 10:23 pm
I use hydrogen peroxide on my face and also brush my teeth with it. Baking soda is good for teeth too, they will feel super clean when your done brushing. Bella, can I borrow Super Magic Girl Time?
jerseybred says:
October 18, 2006, 10:25 pm
What a minute! I just caught the Tina Turner reference in the title, "Simply The Best, Better Than All The Rest"
bella says:
October 18, 2006, 10:38 pm
Yay! Someone caught the reference! Yup Jerseybred, my tribute to beautifully aging bellas isn't over. I still have three more to go, and a grand finale that will be very special. you ladies are awesome, by the way. It's so incredibly gratifying to come home and read all of your comments. It makes my roughest days worthwhile. =)
Coffy says:
October 18, 2006, 11:46 pm
a new treatment out that is getting really good reviews from dermatologist is Loreal Paris AcneResponse Daily Adult Acne Regimen. it treats acne and wrinkles at the same time. and you know that Loreal and Lancome are owned by the same company so it probably is really good
Dani says:
October 19, 2006, 12:15 am
I'll have to try the Persa Gel. I have horrible acne as well and most of the products I use just don't do it.
Dahls says:
October 19, 2006, 2:50 am
For some reason benzoyl peroxide does not work for me. Acene products that use salicylic acid as the active ingredient tend to work better for me.
writer126 says:
October 19, 2006, 12:29 pm
After going to a dermatologist, being presciribed icky smelling washes and ointments, and oh did I mention I was treated like dog-do by the dermatologist? I decided to self medicate. Found out that zinc is a good supplement for fighting bacteria. I pop a few zinc pills around "that time" and use good cleansers and astringents. Sometimes if the acne is stubborn, I leave my pore refining face mask on overnight.
Morenae says:
October 19, 2006, 7:38 pm
Queen Helene's Mint Julep clay mask. I've been using it to spot treat blemishes overnight since I was a teenager. Works every time!
Natural Sista says:
October 20, 2006, 11:17 pm
Greetings Bella from NYC! I have been reading your website for the past 2 months and I heart it[great tips]! You have helped me clear up my acne with your aloe vera gel recommendation [*tear*]! I totally agree with writer126 about the non-caring treatment from dermatologists. I have had moderate acne since high school, clear skin in college and when I relocated to NYC 2 years ago, it got bad [I think it was the pollution and stress]. Hundreds of dollars spent and nothing was working. I had bad hyperpigmentation around my cheeks. I eat really good, exercise and all that other good stuff but nothing was working until I was introduce to the aloe vera gel. Lilly of the Desert has clear up by 98% of my acne [hyperpigmentation on my right cheek is 95% gone and the left 85%]. I wash with Aveeno Foam Fash wash, then I apply a very thin layer of Persa-Gel 10 3 times a week and finally, I apply the aloe vera gel all over my face and neck. Thanks sooo much bella:)! Ciao bella...
loca says:
November 10, 2006, 3:09 pm
Pers Gel is by far the best product I have ever used and I have struggled with acne all my life. Use Every morning and night, it has been amazing for me. I also use 30% glycolic acid treatment (from ebay wizzoz) once a week to exfoliate. Everyday I use cetaphil for cleanser. Good luck.


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