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 Popular Acne Solutions

 Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid)

Taken in large doses (3,000 to 10,000mg per day), B5 is effective in reducing the amount of oil that is absorbed by the gastrointestinal system. This solution can help somewhat in the reduction of sebum production by the sebaceous glands, but the solution isnít complete and carries unknown long-term side effects. Pimples are a result of excess sebum, a buildup of dead skin cells, and widespread acne bacteria on the surface of the skin. Slightly reducing sebum production will not solve the problem. And while the long-term side effects of chronic B5 ingestion are unknown, the short term side effects include diarrhea and, subsequently, malnutrition.


While zinc will not prevent acne, it is a critical component of the skinís repair and regeneration process. Itís important to insure you consume 50mg of zinc every day. But be careful to not exceed that dosage. Many foods are rich in zinc, and often a vitamin supplement is not necessary. Daily consumption of zinc above 150mg/day will lead to metal poisoning.

 Vitamin C

Vitamin C is another key component of the skinís repair and regeneration process. Be sure to meet the daily minimum requirements.

 Vitamin A / Isotretinoin (Accutane)

Accutane is only available by prescription and is a last-resort drug. It has many side effects (including depression, liver failure, and birth defects in pregnant women) but a 5-month regimen is effective in permanently eliminating seborrhea (excess sebum production). As with B5, Accutane offers only a partial solution. The less potent topical form of isotretinoin, Retin-A, is largely ineffective against acne.

 Prescription Antibiotics

Of the prescription drugs, antibiotics like Tetracycline, Vibramycin, and Minocin can initially reduce the amount of acne bacteria on the skin, but long-term use of these antibiotics will not only lead to greater resistance to their effects by acne, but to many other bacterial infections as well. The end result of prolonged antibiotic use is a weakened immune system and a stronger strain of acne bacteria living on your skin.

 Peroxides (Benzoyl and Hydrogen)

Peroxides have an antiseptic quality which is good for sterilizing the skin and eliminating bacteria, including acne, but regular use creates excessive dryness and irritation, not to mention temporary bleaching of the skin. As there is no cure for acne, it is important to choose a product you can comfortably use for the long-term. Beware of advertisements that claim a 60 or 90-day resolution to your skin problems.


Sulfur is found abundantly in keratin and also plays a role in the production of collagen. Known as the healing mineral, sulfur is probably the single most effective substance known for controlling acne. When applied daily, it curbs acne bacterial populations and reduces the chances for infection (i.e., a pimple) dramatically. Most importantly, daily long-term use does not create dryness or irritation of the skin. It has been so effective in clinical tests, that a colloidal form of it has been added to KAVIģ Cleansing Bars. Colloidal sulfur absorbs into the skin more efficiently than precipitated sulfur, and therefore less of it is needed for the same effect. A 2% colloidal sulfur solution provides the same potency as a 10% precipitated solution. Less sulfur in the overall formula provides for a better olfactory experience.

 Glycolic Acid

Glycolic Acid is a popular component of many acne solutions on the market today. It is an alpha hydroxy acid derived from sugar cane. Glycolic Acid works by stimulating new growth of skin and collagen and by weakening the bond that holds together dead skin cells on the surface. Dead cells slough off gradually, leaving behind a layer of smoother and softer skin. It is important to regard glycolic acid as a final-stage product. Because it reduces the scar tissue left behind by acne infections, it is recommended that regular use not begin until your acne is in regression. To reverse the more severe effects of surface scarring (<1mm deep), regular use of glycolic acid may be required for up to a year. If you are continuing to experience large numbers of new acne infections, your goal should be to first stop the new infections before healing the old.

 Salicylic Acid

Derived from the bark of willow trees, Salicylic Acid's comedolytic and keratolytic properties make it an excellent solution for treating conditions like acne, rosacea, psoriasis, seborrhea, and keratosis pilaris. Salicylic Acid is also anti-bacterial and anti-fungal, and it is often prescribed for warts and fungal infections. As an anti-acne agent, Salicylic Acid exfoliates dead skin cells that could become trapped inside pores and form comedones with sebum. Because it is oil-soluble, Salicylic Acid can penetrate into an infected pore, dissolve any blockage, and neutralize the acne bacteria within. It also reduces pore diameter, which gives skin a more consistent texture and reduces the severity of any future infections. Because Salicylic Acid temporarily compresses the space inside a pore, it can also be used to treat ingrown hairs.

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