Acne.org's Moisturizer is a good mix of non-fragrant plant oil with emollient squalane, some water-binding and repairing ingredients, anti-irritant licorice, vitamin E, and several thickeners. The fragrance-free formula has a lightweight texture that's not as thin as most lotions but not as thick as most facial creams, making it best for normal to dry or combination skin.
This would definitely be a good option for those struggling with dryness from topical anti-acne treatments, especially prescription retinoids, as it moisturizes without feeling too slick or greasy. Those with oily skin or combination skin with markedly oily areas will likely find this formula too rich, though it can be used around the eyes or from the neck down, too.
The claim that this is non-comedogenic (won't clog pores) isn't accurate, at least not from a regulatory standpoint because the term "non-comedogenic" isn't regulated. Any moisturizer, regardless of what it contains, can make this claim, no proof needed—and most of us struggling with acne have broken out from products that claimed to be non-comedogenic.
We understand that many consumers look for the non-comedogenic claim for reassurance, but the truth is no skin care line can legitimately guarantee their moisturizers won't clog pores. Some may be less likely to clog pores than others, but so many variables are at play (everything from your skin type to what else you use and when) that it's easy to see why the claim isn't regulated!
Moisturizer is best used at night; during the day, you will need to protect your skin from sun damage by applying a product rated SPF 15 or greater. Yes, even acne-prone skin needs sun protection—especially if you don't want to be dealing with breakouts plus wrinkles, dark spots, and enlarged pores down the road!
Note: Moisturizer also comes in a 16-ounce size for around $24 and a 2-ounce travel size that costs $5.50.
- Contains a fairly good mix of moisturizing and replenishing ingredients.
- A good option to help offset the dryness some topical anti-acne treatments can cause.
- Inexpensive and generously sized.
- May feel too heavy for those with oily skin or markedly oily areas.
- The non-comedogenic claim sounds reassuring but can be misleading.
Overly dry skin perpetuates the acne cycle. Since benzoyl peroxide is a drying and peeling agent, it is important to properly rehydrate the skin. This generously sized, intensely hydrating, non-comedogenic lotion eliminates dry skin and flakiness completely, while soothing acne-prone skin. It goes on clear and absorbs quickly, leaving no residue. It has a super-light feel and is fragrance-free and dye-free. Use it liberally without fear.
Strengths: Inexpensive, effective formulas, most of which are fragrance-free; some of the products come in a variety of sizes, including travel sizes; good water-soluble cleanser; good AHA exfoliant; simple but effective benzoyl peroxide treatment; an intriguing anti-acne line for those with sensitive skin.
Weaknesses: No BHA exfoliants (while AHA can help improve breakouts, BHA, also known as salicylic acid, is preferred).
The Acne.org product line and website is a labor of love from Daniel Kern, a resourceful guy who struggled for years with acne before finally, through much trial and error (sound familiar?), finding what worked for him. He decided to share his story online so others struggling with acne would have a place to ask him questions, talk about their failures and successes with battling breakouts, post reviews of products they've tried, and boost each others self-esteem, which often takes a nosedive when persistent acne shows up.
After years of personal experimentation to get his own acne under control, Kern developed what he refers to as The Regimen. This is a 3-step system for treating acne that involves gentle cleansing, disinfecting with a benzoyl peroxide product, and applying a moisturizer.
The entire 3-step routine is super-detailed, so be prepared to read, re-read, and study the routines charts and images carefully before doing this, assuming you choose to follow it. One thing is certain: This is a routine that wont get you out the door in a few minutes-- however, many who've adapted to it feel strongly that its worth it, and were not going to debate that when clear skin is the result.
Do you need to follow The Regimen to get great results with these products? No, and if you choose to follow The Regimen you do not need to use Kerns Acne.org products, something he makes clear on his site. Although Kern shares some good tips and helpful guidelines, much of his info is rooted in personal experience rather than scientific research. Also, when it comes to acne, there's more than one way to treat it, as most people with acne have likely come to discover. Kern's Regimen is merely one more method to try.
Were surprised that the Acne.org line doesn't offer a BHA exfoliant, because BHA (salicylic acid) has mounds of research proving its an important, if not crucial, ingredient for battling blemishes (not to mention redness, blackheads, white bumps and red marks from acne). Instead, Acne.org sells an AHA exfoliant, which can be an option but many will have even greater results using a BHA exfoliant or at least alternating between the two if you like how Kern's AHA product makes your skin feel.
Overall, although the Acne.org regimen isn't as complete or as simple it may seem, most of the products are worth considering, and they're affordable, too. Kern wisely avoids the use of fragrance or common irritants found in so many anti-acne products. Like us, we imagine Kern has wondered more than once why so many products claiming to improve acne only contain ingredients destined to make the redness, pain, and inflammation of acne worse, not better.
Were thrilled to say that Kern's products, while not perfect (but then again, no anti-acne routine will work the same for everyone), are considerably better than almost every other anti-acne line out there. Its sad that there are so few truly effective (or at least strong potential to be effective) anti-acne products available, but you can add those from Acne.org to the short list of winners!
For more information on acne.org, visit www.acne.org or call (800) 773-7803.
Note: Acne.org also offers their products in various kits that feature different sizes and mixes of products depending on your needs and preferences. These, along with the individual Acne.org products are sold on the company's site. You can also arrange to have Acne.org products or kits automatically shipped to you on a schedule you determine.
About the Experts
The Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.
Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.