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Old 05-09-2011, 03:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Anyone else out there struggle with this and have something that works?

 

I've had acne since I was 10 and now I'm almost 30.  I know now that it's linked to my hormone levels because BCP's help and when I'm off them, it get significantly worse during my luteal phase.  Now that summer is on the horizon, I'm feeling inclined to find out if there is anything at all out there, besides antibiotics and Acutane that might do some service to this.  I get it all over my face, neck, back, upper arms and chest.  I can ignore it more in the winter because I'm all covered up, but in the summer I feel like I can't wear anything without showing off my broken out skin.  I feel stupid for even caring about this..but honestly, sometimes my skin just hurts because it's so broken out!

 

Anyway, I'm thinking of trying to cut out coffee and sugar to see if that might help, but I was wondering if anyone else has any helpful advice?


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Old 05-09-2011, 04:45 PM
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Man, I am sorry you're dealing with this. It's not silly at all. I have some experience with this, not quite the same as you, but I will share in the hopes that it is at all helpful. 

 

I have always had nice skin but I went through a period of about a year in my 20's where suddenly, out of nowhere seemingly, I developed bad, cystic adult acne. I mean it was AWFUL. I acutely remember the pain and how it made me feel emotionally. 

 

I hated to do this, but what I did was go on Accutane for a short period of time (I think a couple months), and that eradicted it. I seemed to me like the cycstic acne was self sustaining in some ways, like, once I had it, it kept "growing", but once it was gone, it no longer had the means to do so. 

 

I spent a lot of time thinking about what may have triggered it, and I just have a couple things that stand out for me - 

 

1. Major emotional stress (broken heart)

2. I was using a new skin product (even though it was natural, perhaps there was something in it I was sensitive to)

3. I was living in a new (old, allergy-ish?) place

 

Has there been times in your life when the acne was better? I would ask myself this question. I am a big believer in the body manifesting emotional or other metaphysical issues in diseases or conditions, at least, I know this has been true for me. When I think about my experience with awful acne I know it had something to do with the state of my heart at the time. Just food for thought. :)

 


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Old 05-09-2011, 05:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the reply..sometimes I just like to know other people have struggled with this.  It's frustrating when you have been told your entire childhood that you will grow out of your acne..and you are 10 years into your adulthood with it still going on! 

 

Well, the one time it was really clear was actually when I was pregnant.  It does improve with BCP's but it doesn't really completely go away.  I just stopped taking BCP's two cycles ago, because we want to start TTC this fall or winter.  That is the main reason I think it's hormonal.  This cycle has been significantly worse than the last. 

 

It did improve for awhile when DH and I did a meditation retreat in BC in 2008, however I was also not drinking coffee and very little sugar then too..which is why I wonder about those two things.  I still meditate (however have not been consistent lately).  I did have a very emotional week last week..stressing about money and such but I am feeling much better this week and it's still pretty rampant.

 

I also have been on Acutane twice in Highschool.  It helped for while, but it didn't eradicate it like they said it would.  Since we are wanted to TTC in the near future and I'm not currently on BCP's that is not something I'm willing to do at this point.  I have also been on every antibiotic they have, and that never really even changed anything.  The one thing I wish I could try right now is Retin-A, however I don't have the budget for it right now, and my insurance wouldn't cover it. 

 

So my plan for now is to do a trial of no sugar and no coffee and get back to meditating regularly every day.  I was just wondering there is anything else I might try adding to this.

 

The crappy thing is that even when it clears up, my upper arms and chest are now covered in scars.  One day when I have a better income, I want to get laser treatments on my skin..but that is some years in the future!

 

I'm not really a bashful person either, and I'm not really embarrassed by it..I still wear tank-tops in the summer.  But I just feel cuter and better about myself when I'm not having all of these break-outs and having to explain to people that I'm not covered in mosquito bites or a rash! 


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Old 05-09-2011, 05:25 PM
 
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I struggle with it. It sucks. My acne actually got really really really awful while pregnant. It's not terrible right now, but it seems that I always have a breakout going on on some area of my face. For me I've noticed climate really seems to effect how clear my skin is. In really dry climates I tend to break out more as opposed to cooler, wetter climates. 

 

I totally know what you mean about waiting to "grow out of it" - I've been waiting on that for awhile now. I actually didn't really have any acne in HS, mine all started in my 20s and continues now and I'm 30. It's hard emotionally b/c you always hear about it being a "teen" problem, and well I'm no teen. So I guess it makes me feel weird.Anyhow, just wanted to tell you that I empathize with you!

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Old 05-09-2011, 05:30 PM
 
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I have similar problems to what you are describing... except I'm now 35. But my skin has been breaking out since I was 11.

 

I've found that taking B-5 (pantothenic acid) has helped quite a bit, although I still get hormonal breakouts and also notice that if I eat a lot of fat or sugar it gets worse. I take a gram of B-5 every day - if you google, the recommendations are for taking way more than that but I find 1g works well enough for me.

 

My sister has similar skin, although her acne tends to look more like a heat rash whereas mine is less spots but they are bigger - hers goes away when she isn't eating wheat. I haven't had much luck eliminating mine with diet, although I do think it's a factor.

 

The other thing that has helped me (and I know this advice is everywhere but I ignored it for years thinking my skin was too oily for it) is using a moisturizer after I wash my face.

 

I think that everyone is different and there is no one-size-fits-all solution. For me, antibiotics do clear it up but only for a little while. 


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Old 05-09-2011, 06:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Laggie:  Do you take the B-5 as a complex or alone?  I take a B-50 complex that has 50 mg of each..though that is not as potent as what you are talking about.  Maybe I'll look into adding that into the equation..


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Old 05-09-2011, 07:03 PM
 
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I tried every natural cure out there to cure my acne.  The only thing that worked was clindamycin.  My face didn't start breaking out until I was 28 and it's pretty scarred up because of how bad it got before I sought out treatment.  It sucks!


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Old 05-10-2011, 05:27 PM
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I struggled with acne in my teens, took accutane, it went away for quite a few years, and then about 4 years ago it came back, also cystic and painful.  It's been quite a journey into what has helped me, but I encourage you to look at food triggers.  I, too, discovered that first coffee, and then dairy, were triggers.  When I first went off those things, I saw an immediate improvement.  But it wasn't a permanent improvement, so I looked at the foods I was eating even more closely.  After a lot of trial and error, and an amazing MD, I discovered I have an allergy to yeast, fungus and mold, and A LOT of foods trigger that.  I have had to go on the candida diet (no dairy, no grains, rarely fruit, no sugar, no coffee, no fermented foods, etc, etc) and that keeps it under control.  We are now working on my allergy, and seeing improvement, so hopefully someday I can eat, moderately, most foods.

 

I think everyone's story is different, but something for you to think about.  HTH.

 

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Old 05-10-2011, 05:52 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mistymorning View Post

I struggled with acne in my teens, took accutane, it went away for quite a few years, and then about 4 years ago it came back, also cystic and painful.  It's been quite a journey into what has helped me, but I encourage you to look at food triggers.  I, too, discovered that first coffee, and then dairy, were triggers.  When I first went off those things, I saw an immediate improvement.  But it wasn't a permanent improvement, so I looked at the foods I was eating even more closely.  After a lot of trial and error, and an amazing MD, I discovered I have an allergy to yeast, fungus and mold, and A LOT of foods trigger that.  I have had to go on the candida diet (no dairy, no grains, rarely fruit, no sugar, no coffee, no fermented foods, etc, etc) and that keeps it under control.  We are now working on my allergy, and seeing improvement, so hopefully someday I can eat, moderately, most foods.

 

I think everyone's story is different, but something for you to think about.  HTH.

 

Mistee


How long were you on the candida diet? I definitely know coffee is a trigger for me, but I hadn't thought about yeast. How much of a difference are you seeing with the dietary changes? Are you doing or taking anything else in addition to the change in diet?

 

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Old 05-10-2011, 06:02 PM
 
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so far, the only thing that has helped minimize (but not eradicate) my acne is using straight castor oil (I buy from the beauty aisle at a co-op) to wash my face with, letting it soak in for a few minutes before washing it away with hot water which takes a few minutes followed by apple cider vinegar (I get the kind with 'the mother' in it) on a cotton ball and then two drops each of tto and lavender eo which I mix in the palm of my hand and then rub into my skin for a couple minutes.  so far, I still get acne doing this, but it is the first time where I don't get anything so big and painful.  I've also just started using derma E's scar gel and already see minor improvements after only a few days (and it seems to help with acne as well, not just the scarring) so I have their cleanser and spot treatment coming too to try out.

 

I do think gluten is a small part of the problem for me too but I have hidradenitis supperiva so that is the main problem.  We'll see if I EVER have clear skin *sigh*

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Old 05-10-2011, 06:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by mistymorning View Post

I struggled with acne in my teens, took accutane, it went away for quite a few years, and then about 4 years ago it came back, also cystic and painful.  It's been quite a journey into what has helped me, but I encourage you to look at food triggers.  I, too, discovered that first coffee, and then dairy, were triggers.  When I first went off those things, I saw an immediate improvement.  But it wasn't a permanent improvement, so I looked at the foods I was eating even more closely.  After a lot of trial and error, and an amazing MD, I discovered I have an allergy to yeast, fungus and mold, and A LOT of foods trigger that.  I have had to go on the candida diet (no dairy, no grains, rarely fruit, no sugar, no coffee, no fermented foods, etc, etc) and that keeps it under control.  We are now working on my allergy, and seeing improvement, so hopefully someday I can eat, moderately, most foods.

 

I think everyone's story is different, but something for you to think about.  HTH.

 

Mistee


I have been thinking a lot about food and I'm planning to try the candida diet this summer once my csa starts and I can afford to have enough fresh food in the house.

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Old 05-10-2011, 09:30 PM
 
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i got the worst cystic looking acne on the left side of my neck (go figure) when I tried going gluten free and was eating those gluten free blue diamond crackers. It was horrendous looking, and all over that side of my neck. As soon as I ditched the crackers, it went away. I still get zits but NOTHING like that. So gross and annoying!

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Old 05-10-2011, 10:15 PM
 
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I get terrible acne with deep painful cysts that take forever to heal. My face hurt. I am going to sound like a commercial, but the only thing that helped other than birth control (which I will never take again) is proactiv. I only use it once a day and its all I need to prevent those nasty cysts. I still get the odd tiny pimple here and there but my face is pretty much clear since I started last August. One kit lasts me about 3-4 months.


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Old 05-11-2011, 06:33 PM
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Gator Mom and MamaofLiam, I have been on the candida diet for a little over a year.  It took about 3 months of being pretty strict with it before my symptoms went away, completely.  Now I can eat some restricted things here and there, but if I do too much, too close together, I break out.  I think my problem goes deeper than a simple candida infection, as I have an actually allergy to yeast, fungus and mold.  I did a strict candida diet-mostly following the whole approach (www.wholeapproach.com) and it was gradual but I saw improvements right away.  Still it did take a few months.  I read somewhere it takes about one month per year of having the candida infection.  I figure I've had it since a teenager.  I've tried multiple supplements, but nothing seems to work except the diet.  I do recommend flooding your system with a good probiotic though, at least 50 billion a day...And I do take a digestive enzyme with my meals because I believe food was also fermenting in my tummy and not digesting properly.  But I could be making that up, I don't know if I am overanalyzing myself or not!

 

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Old 05-12-2011, 11:18 AM
 
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Quote:
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Laggie:  Do you take the B-5 as a complex or alone?  I take a B-50 complex that has 50 mg of each..though that is not as potent as what you are talking about.  Maybe I'll look into adding that into the equation..


I take it alone. 1 gram is two big pills. the big 500 mg pills are hard to find but I ordered them from Frontier. It seems to make my skin less oily, although I still get some breakouts they are not that bad. I'm not sure what would happen if I took more, although when I first started I took 2 to 3 grams a day and then went down to 1 gram.

 

I also take a B-complex but that doesn't do anything for my skin.

 

My favorite right now for the breakouts I do get is just dabbing them with a little bit of pure lavender oil. That seems to dry them up really fast. I do tend to get the bigger cystic spots under my chin, which I hate (gross) but the B-5 has made my chest and back clear up.

 


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Old 05-12-2011, 05:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Gator Mom and MamaofLiam, I have been on the candida diet for a little over a year.  It took about 3 months of being pretty strict with it before my symptoms went away, completely.  Now I can eat some restricted things here and there, but if I do too much, too close together, I break out.  I think my problem goes deeper than a simple candida infection, as I have an actually allergy to yeast, fungus and mold.  I did a strict candida diet-mostly following the whole approach (www.wholeapproach.com) and it was gradual but I saw improvements right away.  Still it did take a few months.  I read somewhere it takes about one month per year of having the candida infection.  I figure I've had it since a teenager.  I've tried multiple supplements, but nothing seems to work except the diet.  I do recommend flooding your system with a good probiotic though, at least 50 billion a day...And I do take a digestive enzyme with my meals because I believe food was also fermenting in my tummy and not digesting properly.  But I could be making that up, I don't know if I am overanalyzing myself or not!

 

 

I just took that questionaire on that website, and my score was really high!  I figured it would be.  Do you find it expensive to be on this diet?  I have a hard time keeping fresh produce in my house all the time, and when I looked into it earlier, it sounded like that was a lot of it.  Plus, the good yogurts good probiotics add up too.  We are pretty low income right now..so that is another of my challenges.  I will probably be able to stick to this over the summer, with my CSA starting next month, but I can't imagine doing this all year!
 

 


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Old 05-12-2011, 06:20 PM
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Expensive, yes....I eat meat with every meal, and veggies.  I have one piece of fruit a day (though you're not supposed to), no dairy at all, no grains, no sugars (there's more restrictions, you'll see on their website).  I do eat beans, also a questionable thing for the candida diet.  You'll find what works for you.  Try to buy meat in bulk or on sale.  I do feed the rest of my family a high protein and produce diet too though so that raises our costs.  I look at spending money on quality food for myself and my family as preventative maintenance, and considering I still don't pay as much for food relative to our income as others in developing countries, who spend a large part of their income on food, I count myself lucky.  And if it works for you, it will be worth it.  So try it over the summer, and if by fall you see no improvements, look into other causes.  If it does work, you might be able to slowly add in other foods and eat less meat, or you might also find you feel and look so good the cost will be worth it!

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Old 05-12-2011, 09:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Expensive, yes....I eat meat with every meal, and veggies.  I have one piece of fruit a day (though you're not supposed to), no dairy at all, no grains, no sugars (there's more restrictions, you'll see on their website).  I do eat beans, also a questionable thing for the candida diet.  You'll find what works for you.  Try to buy meat in bulk or on sale.  I do feed the rest of my family a high protein and produce diet too though so that raises our costs.  I look at spending money on quality food for myself and my family as preventative maintenance, and considering I still don't pay as much for food relative to our income as others in developing countries, who spend a large part of their income on food, I count myself lucky.  And if it works for you, it will be worth it.  So try it over the summer, and if by fall you see no improvements, look into other causes.  If it does work, you might be able to slowly add in other foods and eat less meat, or you might also find you feel and look so good the cost will be worth it!

 

Well I have an added complication, which is that I am also vegetarian.so no meat here.  That means a LOT of produce for me!  I had hoped beans were more OK than I've been reading.  One site I was looking at said that non-gluten grains were OK, like quinoa, buck-wheat and brown rice..that would also make it a lot more doable for me as well.  My main worries are the cost and also feeling full on this diet.  With no grains or real proteins..I'm worried that I'll be starving all the time!  And that just means I'll cheat!
 

 


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Old 05-12-2011, 09:34 PM
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Ahh, yes, that does add a complication!  Some candida diets do say you can eat grains, and maybe you can.  I think every body reacts differently.  But I cannot go above 80 grams of carbs a day-if I do that a few days in a row, I break out.  Hard to stay below if I eat grains.  The reason I brought my solution up was that you so often hear people saying that diet does not effect acne, but I know it does.  I just wanted to bring to light that it can, so experiment and see if making dietary changes helps you.

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Old 05-13-2011, 09:52 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Ahh, yes, that does add a complication!  Some candida diets do say you can eat grains, and maybe you can.  I think every body reacts differently.  But I cannot go above 80 grams of carbs a day-if I do that a few days in a row, I break out.  Hard to stay below if I eat grains.  The reason I brought my solution up was that you so often hear people saying that diet does not effect acne, but I know it does.  I just wanted to bring to light that it can, so experiment and see if making dietary changes helps you.



Oh yea.  My acne has been one of the main reasons I've been thinking I have a candida over-growth.  That, and extreme emotional swings.  I think I will have no choice but to try just sticking to the non-gluten grains and add yogurt and eggs.  My Ds is also lactose intolerant, so we have not had much dairy in the house lately.  I know there are some lactose-free yogurts out there..but then again..the whole cost of that.  However, once our CSA starts, my philosophy is that since we pre-paid for that, it will free up more money to buy higher quality of the other foods we want to eat.  So paying $7 for a tub of yogurt will be more of an option than it is right now.  Ds REALLY misses dairy, so just having it in the house for me, seems to be cruel to him!  I've also been thinking about making my own keifer or yogurt with goats milk..as he seems to tolerate that a little better.  I'm sure there is a way to do this..I just need to do some deep thinking and problem solving about it!

 


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Old 05-13-2011, 10:35 PM
 
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Ok, I just got back from the dermatologist and my dermatologist thinks that my acne is being caused by my breastfeeding. Has anyone else heard this before? He says its pretty common, but this is the first I've ever heard of it. He says that the hormones that cause you to lactate also cause all your other glands to be more active. shrug.gif According to him once I stop breastfeeding my acne will clear up more. 

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Old 05-13-2011, 11:11 PM
 
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I don't know, but I have always had adult acne, and my DD weaned two months ago, and my acne has not changed.  But I also had it before I had a child, so I don't know if that is different.

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Old 05-14-2011, 07:50 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Ok, I just got back from the dermatologist and my dermatologist thinks that my acne is being caused by my breastfeeding. Has anyone else heard this before? He says its pretty common, but this is the first I've ever heard of it. He says that the hormones that cause you to lactate also cause all your other glands to be more active. shrug.gif According to him once I stop breastfeeding my acne will clear up more. 



I have never heard of this.  When I started breastfeeding Ds my acne did come back, but I assumed it was because I wasn't pregnant anymore..and being pregnant basically annihilated my acne for those months.  When I stopped breastfeeding, nothing changed with my skin.  But then again..I've had acne since I was 10.


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Old 05-15-2011, 07:38 PM
 
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I get it too and yes, it's all about hormones! Some helpful resources: 

 

Acne is not just a teenage problem

Holistic skin care — healthy skin from the inside out!

 

Good luck, mama! 

 

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Old 05-15-2011, 07:38 PM
 
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I get it too and yes, it's all about hormones! Some helpful resources: 

 

Acne is not just a teenage problem

Holistic skin care — healthy skin from the inside out!

 

Good luck, mama! 

 

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Old 05-15-2011, 08:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks, I will look at these a little more closely and see if it helps! 

 

Looks like I for sure need to at least cut down if not eliminate sugar from my diet for now..that will be one of the biggest challenges.  I did stop drinking coffee last Wednesday and switched to Yerba Mate for now.  No change yet, but I haven't been very strict with the sugar this week.  Next week I will work harder at it!


Student nurse Mamma to Kaylum (3/01/2007) and wife to computer nerd DH .

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Old 04-25-2012, 10:49 PM
 
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Hey I would like to suggest you all to use Dr. Elisha's natural products for acne, which gives effective result.

Natural skin care

 

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Old 04-26-2012, 12:57 AM
 
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hey this is very good information to be noticed !

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