I’ve struggled with serious acne problems since I was 13. I’ve been on Accutane three times, used prescription creams and gels like Retin-A and Brevoxyl, taken antibiotics like tetracycline and doxycycline, tried nearly every over-the-counter treatment available, and tested infomercial skin-care systems like Proactiv. I credit Accutane for saving me from a lot of nasty scarring and making high school relatively bearable. Unfortunately, it’s a fairly drastic treatment with a lot of potential side effects. Even though I made it through several rounds with little more than chapped lips, I’m reluctant to go back on it just to control what is now a relatively mild acne problem. Plus, now that I’m nearly 28 and fighting a receding hairline, I’d rather not take anything that lists hair loss as a potential side effect. (I know I’m not painting a very flattering mental picture of myself for those of you who have never met me. I assure you I’m quite sexy in person as long as I have my drugs and creams and a wind machine.)
As a guy with problem skin AND the cheapest gay man alive, I’m always on the hunt for cheap, effective skin-care products. That’s why I was thrilled to discover acne.org. In the “store” section of the site, you can purchase an 8 oz. bottle of 2.5% benzoyl peroxide cream for around $16. (No, I’m not getting a commission for this, although I really should be. If you know the guy who runs acne.org, hook a brotha up. I’d gladly accept cash compensation or free pimple cream.) Acne.org also offers cleanser and moisturizer, but I haven’t tried them. The moisturizer doesn’t make Frugal’s “Favorite Things” because it doesn’t have any SPF. Why does this matter? Because mamma is pasty, honey-child, and she hisses like a vampire at those deadly UVA/UVB rays. (I swore when I started this blog that I’d never queen out and refer to myself in the female third-person. I am deeply sorry. I know I have let many of you down.)
I should also note that I’m a bit of a moisturizer polygamist. My cabinet is full of half-empty bottles, and I have a hard time committing to any particular brand. Lately I’ve been using Cetaphil’s Daily Facial Moisturizer, which keeps my milky-white complexion looking supple and lovely. However, I reserve the right to rekindle my love affair with Aveeno at any time. As for the acne.org cleanser, it’s not a bad deal at seven bucks. However, I’ve been using the AcneFree cleanser for a while now. I think it’s pretty similar, the cost is comparable, and it’s available at my local Target.