I’ve been pretty hard on conventional acne treatments in the past, but I’d like to make something clear.
I don’t think that conventional treatments are the epitome of evil … all the time. They have their place, and they do help many people. As I’ve mentioned many times around the site, I did use benzoyl peroxide on my face for about four years.
I can’t say that it worked that great. I always had acne anyway, despite using it twice a day, every day. And several times, my acne broke through the defenses and got a lot worse than I would like.
To be honest, I have NO Idea to what degree benzoyl peroxide was actually preventing me from getting acne. I was too scared to ever go off it in that four year period, so there was no way to know what kind of state my skin would be in otherwise. It’s benefits could have been completely in my mind. But maybe the acne prevention it provided was real….. I don’t know!
It’s fairly common that people use conventional acne treatments, have them work great for a while, and then later on, they mysteriously, and frustratingly, stop working.
Perhaps your body has just become immune to the treatments. But perhaps it’s because your health has deteriorated in the time that you’ve been covering up your symptoms, and it’s finally managed to stealthily cross the poor health line, army man past the topical border patrol, and bring you right back into acne-ville.
Covering up symptoms and silencing your body’s messages to you is a reason I dislike conventional treatments.
Another reason I dislike them is because in some cases, they make actually make acne worse. They irritate your skin, dry out it out, and actually produce more acne.
And yet another reason I forgo them, is because of the side effects. There are certain acne treatments that I would not recommend anyone EVER go on and those include things like antibiotics and Accutane – these are scary and unhealthy options, even for short term use.
However, I’m here to say – if you want to use conventional topical acne treatments, like benzoyl, or salycylic acid, or whatever else…. do it. THAT IS – if you actually think it’s legitimately helping your skin.
I mean.. honestly, if your conventional treatments were working all that great, you most likely wouldn’t be reading my website, would you? But if you do think that your treatment is helping, but not working miracles, you will probably see some great results from combining it with a healthy lifestyle. My skin did clear up really easily when I was on benzoyl and then made lifestyle changes to go along with it.
But here’s the thing – it’s okay to use them in conjunction with a healthy lifestyle, if you need a little boost… but only if you are planning to use them short term and then let the healthy lifestyle take over. This stuff isn’t safe to be swallowing or slathering on your skin day after day, year after year (including stuff like birth control pills).
So I’m going to be honest – maybe it would be easier for me to keep my skin really clear all the time if I went back to Benzoyl and combined it with my current lifestyle. I have no idea if it really would, but I’m not willing to find out. I know how easy it is to get psychologically attached to our treatments because of the FEAR.
Now that I’m off it, and hey…. the world kept turning….. I’m not going to go back to putting unsafe chemicals on my face day and night and get stuck in that trap.
It’s hard to get out once you’re in it!
In conclusion (didn’t your high school English teacher tell you to never close essays that way? :p ): Go ahead and use conventional treatments with your healthy lifestyle, but think long and hard about it first. Will you ever honestly be able to stop using them?