Monday, February 23, 2009

My first review is going to be a tragic tale of a skincare line which I loved dearly, then became horribly allergic to.  In general, my skin is pretty clear, but I break out in my T-zone occasionally and it gets dry on my cheeks and around my eyes.   I started using AcneFree shortly after I got to college, because between the stress of moving and the whole new eating and sleeping schedule, my skin was taking a beating, and I figured the last thing I needed was to have to worry about zits.  So, I went to my friendly neighborhood Duane Reade and picked up this nifty little set.  I immediately loved it-- the cleanser was milky, not foamy, so it didn't dry out my skin.  The toner felt refreshing, and the repairing lotion was light and didn't have any scent, so it didn't keep me awake at night.  I stopped getting new zits after about 3 days of use, and within 5, the ones I already had were clearing up at an astonishing rate.

I continued to use the AcneFree system for about two months before I had to go buy some more.  This is where the problems started.  When I first used my new Acnefree face wash, I noticed that it was much grainier than it had been previously.  It also had an unpleasant plastic-y scent.   The toner was basically  the same, and I still use that occasionally if I'm feeling especially oily.  The lotion was another story.  It now had the same synthetic smell as the cleanser, and a rough texture that actually hurt a little to apply.  The bottles were different, too-- the blue was darker (not that this really matters, but it's a way to differentiate the reformulated version, which I'm allergic to, from the old formula, which I adored), with an adhesive label that peeled off in the shower, and the bottles were a stiffer plastic that was much harder to squeeze.  That night, in bed, I noticed that my face was kind of itchy and uncomfortable, especially around my eyes, but I didn't think too much about it.

The morning after I used the reformulated Acnefree for the first time, I woke up with my right eyelid swollen so much I could hardly open my eye (Gross, right?!).  Two benedryl took care of that, but nearly knocked me out.  The same thing has happened every time I've tried to use either the cleanser or the lotion.

Now, it's entirely possible that the AcneFree line could work perfectly for someone else whose skin isn't so sensitive.  I would say that you probably shouldn't try it if your acne is very mild, like mine was, but if it's more severe  and you don't generally have sensitive skin, it might be just what you're looking for.  The spot treatment by AcneFree, their Acne and Blackhead Terminator, still works wonders on any problem spots that pop up (isn't that just a lovely visual?  Ick.) on my face.  Overall, I'll be staying away from the three-part system, but if they ever go back to the old formula, I'll be first in line.

Old formula:  5 of 5 stars           New formula: 2 of 5 stars for me, maybe more for someone else.

In other news!!

On Saturday night, I ordered some decals for the wall of my dorm room.  It's entirely eggshell at the moment, and it's starting to drive me crazy.  Soooo, onto etsy I went!  I ordered decals from three sellers-- one of three flowers I bought from this seller.

Check them out if you're in the market for affordable, removable wall decorations.  I'll post pictures of mine when they're here and up on my wall!

And with that, I am off to my next class!


  1. Hurm. Interesting review.

    I tried Proactiv, but that only made me break out more. Really freaky about the new formula.

    I didn't notice much, if any acne on yer face...

  2. Haha, I'm a girl, if I have a microscopic spot, it's a national disaster. Definitely wasn't worth the gigantic eyelid. Yuck. :P

  3. hi there! I just read your review and wanted make a comment :) I also use AcneFree and the first time I bought it, I bought the bundle starter kit that came with all three (wash, toner, lotion).

    I ran out of the face wash faster than I do the toner and lotion because the small bottle of lotion goes a long way and I only use the toner once a day instead of twice.

    So after using all of the face wash up, I went out to buy just the face wash. It came in a bigger bottle than the starter kit ones. I don't know if it's because if it's a new formula or a different formula, or what! but, the bigger bottle caused me to start breaking out. I thought maybe if I gave it a few days, it'll start clearing up again, but it didn't!

    I stopped using the AcneFree stuff after that... however, about a month ago, I decided to give AcneFree another try and bought the same starter pack again. It worked just fine!

    So what I'm wondering is that, perhaps, it's the non-starter bottles that doesn't work so great.

    Let me know what you think or if this was your situation, too. I'm not sure if you bought the starter pack again and had an allergic reaction, or if you bought the big bottles.

  4. Hi, and thank you for the comment! I bought the starter kit both times. Now, though, I seem to have no tolerance at all for the salicylic acid in AcneFree, because I came across some of the old formula moisturizer and it still made my face itch and get puffy (very attractive mental image). Since then, I've been using a Clean & Clear moisturizer and the St. Ives apricot scrub for sensitive skin, which is pretty nice. I do still use the AcneFree spot treatment, though, and that works well as long as I don't get it too close to my eyes. :)


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