All in all I recommend Avene Cleanance K and I rarely review product but as someone who used to suffer from acnes when in my early twenties ('m 26 now), i feel the need to share with you all what works and what doesn't.
First - you need to understand what acne is and how Cleanance K works on them.
Based on the best book I read on the subject (Breaking Out: A Woman's Guide to Coping with Acne at Any Age: Lydia Preston, Tina Alster: Books), acne does not happen over night. It started with the building up of comedones (i.e. our oil secretion gets stuck in side the follicles and turned into a solid form), which blocks the follicles and stops oxygen from going in and out and anaerobic (oxygen hating) bacterias grow. When we're stressed, or at any given time, our body immune system will battle with some chosen follicles and the bacteria, secretion (that irritates our skin) in it, and that is what we see as acne. (you should get the book if you want a way more detailed overview and exceptions on the case).
So what we need to do is to *prevent* comedones from building up, and this is where Cleanance K kicks in by pushing the content from skin surface out and get rid of the comedones through the action of the BHA and AHA acid, BEFORE acne even happens.
Now onto the product itself.
*Before*: I have got back from a yoga retreat and my forehead was full of little pimples (probably due to my bang didn't get tied up during the practices and bacteria grew), and I always have a couple of little pimples/acne on my cheek. ALWAYS. Coverable by make-up, but it's very annoying.
*First week*: When I put on the product, it stings A LOT on the pimple/open wounds. But I was sordidly happy because I hate them, and secretly hope it'd work. The next day I woke up, I see a lot of little white heads coming out from the pimples and I was ecstatic (of course I planned to go no where when I started using the product as I know how acid works on skin). I resisted the temptation to squeeze them (to avoid scar) and religiously apply Cleanance K night and day. At the end of the week *ALL* the pimples on my forehead were gone, however I have about 3 more coming out from my jaw line, which rarely breaks out.
*second week* To make sure I completely stop having acne, I paired up Cleanance k with 2.5% benzoyl peroxide gel all over areas that are prone to acne, half an hour after I put Cleanance K on (since it can weaken K so I want to make sure it all got absorbed). As described, it'd be already too late to put benzoyl peroxide over acne when it happens, because the point is to kill the bacteria first before your body detects and attack them = acne. If you apply religiously both products on areas prone to acne, it should prevent that from happen at all whatsoever.
By the end of week two, even the stubborn pimples on my cheeks seem to all be going (I see no new one), although it still have some red-marks over.
*now* I'm now only in my week three, but I feel so much in control of my skin and I really hope you feel the same after read this comment (or the book). Re: balling-up make up: After I do my cleaning, I'd put a bit of moisturizer (Avene's obviously) and wait till it dries out then only apply very *little* amount of Cleanance K. Rub in your foundation/sunscreen very slowly and lightly, that should prevent ball-ups. But I do smear quite a lot of that at night. Note that your face might stick onto the pillow, so I do put a towel on my pillow and change it often.
I may come up to post and update, but so far I'm very happy with the results!
*disclaimer* I am not at all affiliated with any of the recommended products, the only thing that drives me to this long-winding comment is that acne can drive us crazy and people who don't have it, don't get it. But if we know about why it happens, life just gets so much more easier.
Good luck ladies.
Ive applied this twice today. When I first bought it, then about 4 hours later, when I washed my face for the night.
It does sting, more tingle for me, for about 1/2 hour and it seems the pimples get redder, but after about an hour or 2 you can already see the redness and overall appearance of acne is reduced.
I apply it to my chin where all my acne is then use Cetaphil Moisturising Lotion on the rest of my face.
It has definitely seemed less irritating than the Paulas Choice BHA gel did!
Back to add...I was wrong. This stuff never stopped stinging, I gave up eventually and threw it out.
It's really great. Apply it at night (make sure your hands are clean to have a fast recovery) and dab only a tiny dot to the blemishes and use your fingertips to smooth the gel. Wash your face thoroughly in the morning with a gentle cleanser, make sure the gel from last night is wash away. Apply the gel again in the morning if you want to. Make sure never to touch it with your hands! Repeat this for about 3-4days and you'll see a difference! My skin is cleared and i love this product, will continue to use it too!
I just used this for 2 nites & hey its better than Idealist i feel - hasher though but if you want cleaner pores & are impatient - this is the way to go.
about the balling up - i feel that maybe if you left your skin wet, you'll apply less product, less balling up will occur as well. Its slightly heavy I would say - not the pretty nice texture Idealist has - & it will sting if you have open pimple wounds. If you can bear with this, its quite a good bet. Kind on the wallet too.
Silicon texture on the skin that sits there. Not make up friendly as it can cause your make up to ball up.
After a while I decided to use it on my arms instead, where I had a smattering of goosebump-like clogged pores (keratosis pilaris) and after 2 weeks of application they were gone. Overall I think this would be best for people with clogged pores or kp, and if you want to use it I suggest you use it at night, unless you don't apply make up.
I'm on my second tube - I really like this. I apply this about 3x a week, either before going to bed, or before my regular moisturizer (I don't find it moisturizing enough on it's own). A little goes a long way, too. I find that if I use it every day, my skin gets a little oily - very strange - but every other day works perfectly for me.
I think it mostly prevents blemishes rather than treating them. Like other reviewers have said, it's not worth much as a spot treatment. I noticed a difference in the texture of my skin after using this for a week. My skin was a lot smoother, and definitely clearer.
I wanted to find a cheaper alternative to my $45 Dermaglow face lotion. This was recommended to me as ideal for acne prone, sensitive skin. At first I was jovial that there was a product out there designed for my skin type. I only used it for a week, but I was terribly disappointed.
PROS: (1) It did make my skin appear smoother….but that’s about it…
Cons: (1) Does not absorb, it just sits on your skin. (2) I have a bit of acne- this stuff agitated my acne and made it WORSE my acne became larger and very painful. (3) This stuff tastes terrible, definitely not ‘kiss’ friendly.
I was very upset with this product, it claims that it is for sensitive skin, I was told it would be fine for acne, however it is certainly not. I am still upset at how badly my skin reacted to this product, it is supposed to be the mildest on the market. At least I got my money back.
This gets one lippy for false advertisement.
Hmmm...its not really good for spot treatment (ex. if u have a big zit u wanna get rid of, this doesnt do much:() This product is more meant for overall use over your skin...i mixed it with some moisturizer and the next morning...BIG difference....cus i usually have big clogged with sebum pores><...one lippie off
but ya...this is good for ppl with *constantly* clogged pores:)
Despite of other reviews, I really like the smell, it's kinda fresh. It does what is says, so i will definitely repurchase.
LATER EDIT: this moisturizer is amazing! my skin looks fabulous only after 5 days of using it!
I've only been using this for about 2 wks but I'll give it a review anyway. I have some pigmentation and scars left from acne that I wanted to get rid of and decided to give this a go. I used a small amount on my cheeks (affected area) at night and for the first couple of days i really saw my skin improving. The scars faded and it brightened my skin.However, a week later I started developing tiny little bumps on my cheeks which I now think was the 'purging'. Anyway, with continued use the tiny bumps went away and my skin is improving, and I don't feel the burning sensation anymore..does that mean its not working as well? or just that my skin has gotten use to it?