How My Skin Cleared in Almost 2 Months?

Pleasant day to all!! As you all know, I’ve been posting different product reviews in relation to acne treatment and prevention. I mentioned from my previous blog/s that my acne started 3 years ago only. It heals but the most frustrating part is the marks it will leave once the pimple/s goes away. The other annoying part is the acne keeps coming back. Last February 2015 I had the worst marks in my face due to acne, partly it was my fault since I keep on pricking it. So i decided to go a dermatologist from a nearby hospital after getting off to work. I told everything when the doctor asked me questions about how it started. She diagnosed me with ACNE VULGARIS. As what she said it is just mild but if not treated it would be difficult to remove the scars.

Acne vulgaris (or simply acne) is a long term skin condition characterized by areas of blackheads, whiteheads,pimples, greasy skin, and possibly scarring.[1][2] The resulting appearance may lead to anxiety, reduced self-esteem, and in extreme cases, depression or thoughts of suicide.[3][4] Genetics is estimated to be the cause of 80% of cases.[2] The role of diet as a cause is unclear.[2] Neither cleanlinessnor sunlight appear to be involved.[2] However, cigarette smoking does increase the risk of developing acne and worsens its severity.[5] Acne mostly affects skin with a greater number of oil glands including the face, upper part of the chest, and back.[6] During puberty in both sexes, acne is often brought on by an increase in androgens such astestosterone.[7] Many treatment options are available to improve the appearance of acne including lifestyle changes, procedures, and medications. Eating fewer simple carbohydrates like sugar may help.[8]Topicalbenzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, andazelaic acid are commonly used treatments.[9]Antibiotics and retinoids are available topically and by mouth to treat acne.[9] However, resistance to antibiotics may develop.[10] A number of birth control pills may be useful in women.[9] Oral isotretinoin is usually reserved for severe acne due to greater potential side effects.[9] Early and aggressive treatment is advocated by some to lessen the overall long-term impact to individuals.[4] (source:Wikipedia)

The dermatologist prescribed me different medication from Facial Wash to Vitamins/Supplements.

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First page of my dermatologist’s prescription.

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2nd page of my dermatologist’s prescription.

What I bought were:

  • TRETINOIN CREAM 0.025% – 350Php
  • SUPER ACES- 18Php/gel cap. (Stands for Vitamins A, C, E and Selenium).

I only bought the ones I think I would really need. In this case, the tretinoin cream 0.025% for my annoying acne/pimple marks and the supplements/vitamins. The 3 products I didn’t bought from the prescription:

  • Teen Derm Facial Wash- 350 Pesos ( i’m not familiar with this brand though)
  • Clindamycin Toner- 300 Pesos
  •  Benzoyl Peroxide for the pimples – 350 pesos.

All those products can be bought in my dermatologist’s clinic at VRP Hospital in Mandaluyong. I work at Shaw so it is just one ride away. I was amazed how my dermatologist chronologically list down the things I need for my acne. She knows pretty well what she is doing. I had that feeling of regret not going to her before. The two previous dermatologists I went to at Makati Medical Center made me lose my confidence to doctors. Let’s go to my experience using those two products I bought. Another reason by the way  why I only bought those 2 products is I’m on a tight budget as we all know treatment for acne can be expensive. Photos below are what I bought from the clinic and a closer look on the tretinoin cream.

TRETINOIN CREAM 0.025%

On the left is the TRETINOIN CREAM 0.025% & on the right is the SUPER ACES(Vitamins A, C , E, & Selenium) VITAMINS/ SUPPLEMENTS.

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This is what the TRETINOIN CREAM 0.025% looks like.

Let me show you my face during 2-3 weeks of using both products. The BEFORE photo of my face.

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Left and right side of my face with marks. (ewww!! horrible!) **note this photo is not filtered. with flash)

Now let’s look at the AFTER photo.

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This is my face now. Again no filter,no MAKEUP and with flash. This is after 6-7 weeks of using tretinoin cream and the vitamins.

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Almost 8 weeks using both products. With flash. No filter. Not photo shopped. 🙂 **note some dots on my face are freckles and moles..hehe

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As of May 31st of 2015.. Lovin my skin!! Thanks to Tretinoin and Super ACES…. #NoMakeUpSelfie #NoPhotoshop

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Update on my skin as of Sunday, May31st of 2015. Couldn’t be more thankful!! #NoMakeUpSelfie #NoPhotoshop

See, I was amazed on how this product surprised me when after almost 7 weeks my marks are almost invisible. I checked online thru forums about tretinoin cream usage. Almost all of them say that at first you might find it too strong since your face would encounter or show redness and peeling . At some point extreme peeling. Even the dermatologist told me that too. Some also say that some white heads or pimples might occur during the process which is kinda true. Right now, I’m very happy with the results. I also noticed that I’m not getting any worst pimples before my period comes unlike before. The vitamins I think played a major role on this. Maybe I lacked those vitamins in my body.

    My skin care routine is just very simple. Since I work at night, I wash my face before I go to sleep after lunch.

  • Once I got home from work, I use Femme Fresh Facial Wipes/ Watsons Cleansing Facial Wipes to wipe off my light makeup. Then rest my face for a couple of hours
  • I use Himalaya Herbals Lemon Face Wash to remove impurities, oil and makeup residue on my face.
  • Apply Kojie San Dual Cleanser + Toner.
  • Last, putting Tretinoin Cream 0.025% on some affected areas if there is.. Take note I also put this on some bumps or white heads, it works!
  • I use Kojie San Kojic Soap at night or during bath time.

**Tretinoin Cream 0.025% can be bought over the counter, the brand name is Stieve A. I inquire at Mercury Drugstore it is priced at 540 Php. I hope this blog helps you when it comes to acne problem. I have been battling this for almost 3 years now. I’m not really 100% positive this treatment would work on others or on myself if it’ll work for a lifetime. My goal is to bring back my acne-free skin. I never had acne ever since until after months of giving birth in 2012. But I’m praying this treatment is the answer to my dilemma. I will update you just in case there are changes.

     Excerpt from 10 Things To Stop Doing When You Have Acne:

10. Thinking Treatments Can’t Work for You

It’s so hard to stay positive and motivated when you have tried dozens of treatments and you still have acne. It’s natural to want to give up. There are so many acne treatments available today. Maybe you haven’t hit on the right combination yet. Maybe you need to see a dermatologist. Maybe you need to switch dermatologists. There are treatments out there for everyone. It may take longer than you expected, it may mean using medications you hoped you’d never need (like oral antibiotics orisotretinoin). But with the right treatment, the right physician in your corner and the patience and perseverance to keep trying, you can control your acne. Don’t give up! Success may be right around the corner.

***I wrote this blog impromptu so please bear with the sentence construction or grammatical errors. Thanks!! 🙂

10 Things To Stop Doing When You Have Acne

I just accidentally saw this article. As I was reading it, it seems to hit me. I can really relate to it. Here it goes… Although acne is completely frustrating, there are things you can do to get it under control. There are also a few things you shouldn’t do if you really want to get results and feel good about your skin. Here are 10 things to stop doing when you have acne.

1. Blaming Yourself

Acne doesn’t happen because of something you did (or didn’t do). Acne just is. Some people are prone to it, some aren’t. In fact, acne appears mainly because of your genes. It tends to run in families, so if your parents had acne you’re more likely to break out, too. Acne isn’t your fault and you’re not causing your acne. So, stop blaming yourself and instead spend that time finding a treatment that works for you. ** Most of the time I can’t help but blame myself for having acne. Well  in my case, none of the member of my family had acne or suffers from acne.

2. Picking at Your Skin

Yeah, this is a tough one for me, too. When you see that zit, you really want to pop it to make it go away. While gently squeezing a pimple every once in a while probably won’t do much harm, constant picking and forceful squeezing definitely will. As hard as it may be, fight the urge to pick. You’ll actually notice that your skin starts to look better.

3. Scrubbing, Over-Cleansing and Otherwise Over-Working Your Skin

Harsh scrubs, abrasive exfoliating pads and lots and lots of cleansing. Does this sound like your typical skin-care routine? If it does, stop! Constantly using really abrasive scrubs can do more harm than good. Vigorous scrubbing can irritate the skin, aggravate inflammation and tear the tops off pimples. A good indicator that you’re scrubbing too hard: Your skin looks really red or burns and stings afterwards. Of course, some exfoliation is needed if you want clearer skin. Regular exfoliation helps keep your pores cleared of gunk and makes your skin softer, too. Gentle scrubs are usually okay, as are washcloths and soft facial brushes. Be aware that many acne treatments (like Retin-A Micro, Differin and other topical retinoids) already exfoliate the skin. Over-cleansing is another common problem. A clean face is important, but don’t wash so much that your skin becomes over-dry. Cleansing two to three times per day is usually plenty. Much more and you’re probably overdoing it. **i’m guilty on this. I cleanse or wash my face almost 3x a day. At work, at home before going to sleep and while taking a bath. I just realized this today when someone noticed my face to be peeling. It seemed to dry out due to over-cleansing.

4. Buying Into the Myths

It’s hard sometimes to separate fact from fiction. But knowing the truth about acne, its development and its treatment is key in getting acne under control. Acne isn’t caused by dirt. You don’t have acne because you touched your face with your hands. Having sex or masturbating doesn’t cause acne. And contrary to what your mom told you, acne isn’t caused by not washing your face. What about your diet? The jury is still out on that one. While conventional wisdom still holds that diet doesn’t play a role, some doctors are questioning that notion. Some studies have been done, but the reality is there still is no proven link between what you eat and acne. We do know things traditionally associated with acne (chocolate, French fries, pizza) don’t affect acne one way or another. Probably the biggest myth of all: You have to outgrow acne or wait for it to go away on its own. Acne can be treated.

5. Spending Money on “Miracle Cures”

There are plenty of them out there – those supplements, herbs and vitamins that claim they cure your acne. Or those “special formulation” creams that promise to heal your breakouts in just days. We so desperately want to believe they will! It would be fabulous if we could just pop a few vitamins or use a miraculous cream and have clear skin. No matter how professional the website or how convincing the claim, these products won’t clear up acne. With the exception of isotretinoin, a powerful drug that is very likely to cure acne in many people, most professional treatments or prescription medications just keep the acne in check. Don’t spend your hard-earned cash on products that will only give questionable results, at best. It’s better to spend money on proven over-the-counter (OTC) products (like benzoyl peroxide) or for a prescription medication.

6. Letting Acne Rule Your Life

You’re all set to go to a party, but then you change your mind because you get a bad breakout or you find yourself not wanting to go out with friends. You avoid mirrors. Any of these sound familiar? Acne can change the way you feel about yourself. It can make you feel self-conscious, embarrassed, ashamed and angry. Well, to a large extent, these feelings arecompletely normal. It’s okay if you feel this way. You don’t have to pretend acne doesn’t bother you. Acknowledge these feelings. Bring them out into the open. Talk to someone who is supportive. Often just opening up helps you feel better. Stop letting acne dictate your social schedule. It’s easier said than done, but it’s important that you not let acne rule your life. You’re much more than your skin. There are things you can do to help protect and build your self-esteem. The good news is, just starting treatment often gives you a boost because it helps you feel more in control of your acne. If acne is affecting you to the point where you feel like it’s taking over your life, let your doctor know. It may mean you need to treat your acne more aggressively to get the improvement you’re looking for. ** I can so much relate to this. I came to a point that I don’t want to look at mirrors anymore. It is really painful & depressing seeing your face in the mirror with those pimples and blemishes. Whenever I saw someone with clear skin and no pimples or blemishes i really envy them. Thinking what are they doing to their face. I really have clear skin before and was distraught as to why it happened.

7. Sabotaging Your Treatment

We all want clear skin and we’re ready to do anything to get it. But are you unwittingly sabotaging your treatment? First and foremost, you have to use your treatments consistently. It’s all too easy to get busy in the morning and rush off or be so tired at night you just fall into bed. Sometimes you just plain forget. But every missed dose means less effective treatment. Don’t jump from product to product. Weeks of waiting can seem like a lifetime, but by jumping around with your treatments you aren’t allowing enough time for improvement. If you want to see if a treatment really works, you have to wait it out. Make sure you understand how your treatments should be used. Should they be applied only at night? Can you take your oral medications with food? Is it okay to use an OTC acne product at the same time as your prescription? Ask your dermatologist and follow the directions to a “T.” You’ll be rewarded with better results. **

8. Putting Off Seeing a Dermatologist

Most of us head to the drugstore when we start breaking out. There’s nothing wrong with trying an OTC acne product first; if you’re really lucky, that’s all you’ll need. But if you’ve used OTC products without much success for more than 12 weeks, it’s time to make an appointment to see a doctor. It’s easy to put off seeing a dermatologist. You get busy, you think acne isn’t that serious or you just keep holding out hope that something on the store shelf is going to work. But the longer you wait, the longer it will take to get your acne under control. The acne may get worse, and you run the risk of scarring if you wait. If cost is an issue, consider the amount of money you can spend on OTC products that aren’t working for you. Also, acne treatment is covered by most insurance. Most people with acne wish they had seen a dermatologist sooner. So, stop putting it off and make that call!

9. Letting Others Make You Feel Badly About Yourself

Sometimes people say or do things that hurt your feelings or make you really angry. Whether it’s a careless comment, well-meaning but insensitive “advice” or a not-so-subtle glance at the skin, it can be a blow to already shaky self-esteem. Keep it in perspective. Is grandma really trying to help you or just doing it in a clumsy way? Thank her and forget it. Is the person in your class just being a jerk? Ignore them. Try to let these situations roll off your back. You may want to vent to your best friend or go for a run to blow off steam, or write a nasty letter to the offender (and then tear it into a million little pieces). Don’t allow others to have power over how you feel about yourself. Remember, you define who you are, not anyone else and certainly not acne.

10. Thinking Treatments Can’t Work for You

It’s so hard to stay positive and motivated when you have tried dozens of treatments and you still have acne. It’s natural to want to give up. There are so many acne treatments available today. Maybe you haven’t hit on the right combination yet. Maybe you need to see a dermatologist. Maybe you need to switch dermatologists. There are treatments out there for everyone. It may take longer than you expected, it may mean using medications you hoped you’d never need (like oral antibiotics orisotretinoin). But with the right treatment, the right physician in your corner and the patience and perseverance to keep trying, you can control your acne. Don’t give up! Success may be right around the corner.

Break Out and the Aftermath

I had been breaking out badly for almost 2 years now. As I mentioned from my prior blogs/posts this hasn’t happened to me since birth. It really is quite depressing and quite frustrating too. I had use several products just to try to combat this stupid thing. It’ll be gone for a moment then comes back on that same place which my side chin and jaw area.

According to a Chinese medicine doctor, Dr. Wang Zheng Hu, the location of acne spots on your face can give you an indication of their underlying cause.

Your skin often reflects your internal health, so by analyzing where you get pimples and “mapping” where acne pops up on your face, you can understand what’s causing your acne and prevent the zits from forming

Chin and Jaw
Acne

  • Reduce the habit of eating before bed
  • Eat more fresh fruit and vegetables
  • Get more rest
  • Get your hormones checked for imbalances
  • Get 20 minutes of exercise each day
  • Sleep early and wake up early, getting at least 7-8 hours of sleep each night
  • Reduce stress as much as possible (yoga, meditating, listening to music, writing in a journal, etc.)
  • Massage your body for relaxation, particularly the abdomen
  • Practice proper hygiene
  • Check toothpaste, mouthwash, and chapsticks
  • Drink spearmint tea
  • Take omega-3s to help regulate hormones

(you can check the entire acne map details via this link: http://www.skinacea.com/acne/acne-face-map.html#.U805j-NdUYw)

I haven’t visited an OB-Gyne to check my hormones. I don’t want to take the risk in taking birth control pills it kinda scares me that there might be side effects in the long run. It is impossible for me to sleep early since my work requires a graveyard shift. I only have time sleeping early during weekends or my rest days. Actually, I’m already used to sleeping late. I eat veggies and fruits but not on a daily basis. My diet hasn’t change that much ever since. I don’t usually eat fast food since I know that it is not good for the body.  So it might be hormonal especially if my monthly thing  is about to come.

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Above is the photo of my nasty breakout that I took more than 2 months ago. Sorry I wasn’t able to took another photo for the month/s after that.

I have used almost the same products that I featured on this blog. It healed. The biggest lesson I learned is do not touch your face often or do not prick pimples as much as possible. I only squeeze my pimples if there is a ‘pus’ that is coming out. It is better to take those off for faster healing I guess. I had also religiously wash my face to an extent of 3 times a  day. But the biggest dilemma for me is getting rid of the blemishes or marks left behind. It the most annoying thing ever!!

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The above photo(left and ride side of my chin area) was taken yesterday.

My pimple marks is starting to lighten somehow. I’m using Cyleina BP soap, eskinol spotless C and Bio Oil for this. I think Bio oil is doing its job (i’ll do a separate review on this). I bought Bio Oil for my maternity stretchmarks but I found out its other benefits and uses.I don’t want to overwhelm it yet. Let’s see how it goes. I’m only on my 2nd week of using Bio oil but I think it is promising( just being positive plus it is quite expensive 495Php 60ml.)

I almost give up actually on this battle. I know its kinda exaggerating since there are others whose situation is worst than mine. But who doesn’t want to have clear skin and not spent time concealing those ugly marks and pimples. I myself doesn’t have time for that. I actually tried it but failed. I bought concealers and it didn’t conceal those perfectly. Maybe i’m using a wrong shade of concealer or maybe it is not a good concealer at all? I’m not an expert too when it comes to doing makeup. I’m just afraid too that putting makeup will just worsen the sensitivity of my skin.

This is all for now. I’m crossing my fingers not to have a bad breakout again.

🙂

Avon Naturals Tea Tree Oil and Green Tea Purifying Face Wash

Feel fab and fresh with Avon Naturals Tea Tree Oil and Green Tea Skin Care line which will help you be oil-free and worry-free. Tea Tree Oil and Green Tea extract rich in Vitamin C & E, work deeply into the pores to provide oil control and leave your skin shine free all day long. Plus, the products come in a refreshing scent. Prep your skin with the Avon Naturals Tea Tree Oil & Green Tea Cleanser that deeply cleans and removes excess oil, dirt and impurities clogged in the pores.

(source: http://www.clickthecity.com/hot-off-the-press/a/13883/celebrate-your-skins-natural-beauty-with-avon-naturals)

Avon Naturals Tea Tree Oil and Green Tea Purifying Face Wash

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 Since I started my never ending quest for anti-acne products my research via Internet shows Tea Tree as one of them. Since I have a colleague that sells Avon too, this cleanser caught my attention so I immediately order it to test it.

Likes:

  • It is very affordable. I’m always after the price but making sure the product is worth it. This is normally priced at 129Php for 100 ml. But sometimes they do have it on sale for 99Php.
  • It is very economical to use. I just squeeze out a small amount on my palm and will cover my face and neck.
  • Well, when it comes to smell it doesn’t matter me though. Smells like green tea perhaps.
  • It lives to its claim for cleansing the skin. Suitable for normal to oily skin.
  • After using this, my face feels clean and refreshed.
  • Can be use as a make up remover too.
  • It also aids in the prevention of pimples or acne. When I use this I tend to have this stay on my face for a good 2-3 minutes.

Dislikes:

  • Maybe having a pocket size or small tube size.

I may repurchase this since my tube is about to ran out. Actually this tube might lasts for me for 8 months. I was thinking of trying St.Ives Blemish Control Green Tree Scrub too.

DR. S. WONG’S BIODERM OINTMENT

I know most of you would underestimate the power of this product like SafeGuard. But this is one of the staple anti-pimple or acne that I’m using. And it works wonders in healing pimples or acne.

Just think of it why use or buy expensive over the counter topical products for pimples or acne if you can try this one.

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Content: Zinc Oxide, Benzoic Acid, Sulfur, Salicylic Acid
PPD Classification: Antifungals, Topical
Needs a prescription : No
What is this product for(Indication): Ringworm, eczema, blackheads, PIMPLES, furunculosis, ACNE, skin itch, athlete’s foot, boils, insect bites, prickly heat, mange, Hong Kong foot.
How to use it (Dosing): Apply liberally morning and night.
Available forms: Ointment: Plastic Flip-top container 5 g. Plastic jar 50 g. Collapsible tubes 5 g, 15 g, 30 g

(credit: http://www.thefilipinodoctor.com/search-drug-details.php?keyword=Mouth%20blisters&keybrand=&id=20010584)

Just looking at the content of this product like Benzoic Acid, Salicylic and Zinc, this convinces me to buy this. I don’t have the worst acne or pimples but it gets to a bad state whenever I can’t stop to prick it or touch it. I’ve done enormous research about fighting pimples or acne and this 3 ingredients always came up to that list.

Likes:

  • Very affordable. I always bought the small tube for 28Php only.
  • It heals or dries out pimple within 24 hours.
  • Has that cooling effect when you apply it to the affected area ( since it has a menthol content too)

Dislikes:

  •  It can be messy when applied.
  • You can only use this if you are at home since this is a cream type.
  • The tube itself when squeezed out tends to pour out a lot.  I always asks for the other size which is in small circular container (like this size of a big one peso coin we had before) but it is always not available.

This is a staple product for me especially if my pimple/s tend to show up every month ( you know what I mean)

Till my next blog!! 🙂

Garnier Pure Active Fruit Energy Energizing Facial Foam

Hi Guys!! I’m back!! The next product that I will showcase in this blog is the Garnier Pure Active Fruit Energy Energizing Facial Foam. IMG_20140215_084721[1]


Description Enriched with Grapefruit, Pomegranate & Vitamin C and salicylic acid. It cleanses deeply to help fight acne, unclog pores and brighten skin complexion. * Fights Acne & Brightens skin. * Suitable for acne prone skin * Grapefruit, Pomegranate & Vitamin C There are two tube sizes for this product. What I bought is the small one just the heck of trying it. I know Garnier has a good reputation when it comes to facial skin care. The reason for trying this is because I have use their Lightening Complete Facial cream it works good on my pimple marks. I read blogs and reviews first before buying this product. Almost all reviews are positive. So I grab one in Mercury Drugstore for 89php.

What i love about this is: It smells good since it claims to have pomegranate and grapefruit plus Vit.C ( How’s that?!) It has salicylic acid which known to cure pimples and acne. It is very economical to use since you just need to squeeze a small amount on your palm and massage it to your face. My face feels squeaky clean after using this product.

What I don’t like:

I would suggest having a sachet version of this. For the pimples/acne part, this doesn’t eliminate acne totally but will somehow dry out pimples. Will i repurchase? I don’t know. The tube might lasts me for months since this goes a long a way. Ciao!!! 😉

SafeGuard Derma Sense For Acne Prone

    Well, I never had acne or pimples in my whole life. Even in my High School to College Days or what they called the adolescent or puberty stage. Maybe because none in our family is acne prone or another thing is unlike other girls during that time I don’t wear makeup as in nothing. As far as I can remember I only use baby powder on my face (lol!). Actually, even when I started working on night shifts since I work in a call center industry I don’t get any pimples. Until, I give birth to my son 2 years ago. I think the culprit of this is my hormones(arggh!!) . I don’t have a severe case of acne.  At first, it started with my forehead and the area around my nose. It is quite big, red and has pus.  And now it has been residing most of the time in my jaw line.
 This is not the very first product I use to eliminate my freaking acne or pimples.
 Just saw the advertisement recently maybe few weeks ago. I’ve been reading blogs and other reviews on how to eliminate acne before this. Since Safeguard is known for its anti-bacterial and germ fighting properties why not try it.
So I bought this when I was doing my weekly “grocery” thing in Puregold.
It has 2 sizes, so I grab the regular sized one. Actually, they have another variant, which is for sensitive skin.
SafeGuard Derma Sense For Acne Prone
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I use the soap to wash my face after an overnight work.
Here is my verdict.
 
Pros:
  • It is cheap and affordable for 54.75 ( not sure of the price but the 54 thing is correct,,hehe)
  • Based on my observation, for using it for about 2 weeks now (approx.) it somehow minimize my acne or pimples.
  • After using the soap, my face felt clean.
  • Plus, since SafeGuard is known for its germ-fighting  properties this is perfect in fighting germs and bacteria in our face.
 
Con’s:
For me, it a bit drying though.
Aside from that, the product is good.
Will I repurchase? Maybe. I still haven’t used up the entire bar yet.
**Update: No longer using this for a long time. Currently, aside from bar soaps they now had SafeGuard Derma Sense Face Wash of the same variant which are Acne Prone & Sensitive Skin.