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Dog saliva, snail secretions and avoiding sex have been revealed as some of the extreme measures Australians have taken to relieve the embarrassment of a spotty face. Yuck!

Recent research from PuraSkin* has revealed that although acne is commonplace in Australia (84% of us currently suffer or have had it in the past), many teens and adults are going to hazardous lengths to eradicate it, risking their own health in the process.

According to the study, 20 per cent of Australians aged 15 to 44 years say their acne has brought on depression, with 52 per cent feeling like ‘everyone was looking at them’ in public. Some respondents even claimed that pimples were worse than losing a limb, or getting a sexually transmissible infection, giving an alarming insight into the psychological impact of this common skin condition.

You used what on your face?

Shockingly this level of anxiety and self-consciousness has led some acne sufferers to abuse their skin by using strange and potentially dangerous treatments. Based on the research findings, PuraSkin estimates that**:

· over 290,000 Australians have tried using urine to treat their skin;

· almost 440,000 sufferers have used household products like bleach or window cleaner in an attempt to treat their spots;

· many more (almost 2.5 million) have experimented with using everyday products like toothpaste.

Aussies and acne

Typically, Australian acne sufferers try an average of two to three different acne treatments, but some are desperate enough to experiment with 15 or more. For Nadine Ismiel, the creator of PuraSkin Total Acne Solution this experience is all too familiar.

“I had acne for 15 years from the age of 12, so I know first-hand how traumatic it can be, and how tempted you are to try anything once. However these statistics are a wake-up call. Pimples are painful but they need to be kept in perspective – particularly as some old wives tale treatments can end up doing more harm than good. Although you might have to try different treatments to find an effective solution for you, it’s important you use clinically tested products that are effective and gentle on your skin.”

Over the course of her battle with acne Nadine herself tried over 20 treatments, eventually visiting a dermatologist who prescribed her a commonly used drug seen as ‘the last resort’ for problem skin.

“Although I was fully aware of the side effects of this drug, I had no idea of the extreme changes my body would undergo. I had painful ingrown toenails to the point where my bed sheet was an unbearable weight. My skin was so dry it flaked and cracked and felt like sandpaper. My lips were also so dry that smiling would make them bleed. These physical challenges had a huge knock-on effect on my mood and self confidence.”

Despite the severity of the side effects, Nadine pressed on with her prescription in the hope that they’d clear up her acne. However, the recommended treatment failed, with her skin becoming worse than ever once she’d finished the second course.

“That was a low point for me, but I decided to use my background in science and my family business to try and find a solution myself.”

What’s the solution?

As the eldest child of Sue Ismiel, founder of the company behind products like Nad’s and NitWits, Nadine had grown up seeing the benefit of natural remedies. She used her own professional qualifications in science and herbal medicine to test concoctions she put together in her lab – with the final result being the business’s new product range, PuraSkin Total Acne Solution.

“I was thrilled when I found a way to treat my own skin in a way that didn’t traumatise my body. PuraSkin uses natural ingredients that don’t sacrifice your health for the sake of your skin; it is a three step internal and external solution that can be used long term to maintain a healthy complexion. However, it’s worth remembering that DIY only works when you know what you’re doing – better to try something that is clinically tested than risk your skin on an old wives’ tale!”

What’s the worst thing you have done to your skin? Share your stories now!

For more great skin advice click here!

Image from “Bride Wars”