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The Secret to Getting Clear: Use the “Cross-train and Strengthen” Approach


We’re often asked why the skin adapts to acne products. Why do products that improve your acne in the beginning stop working after a while?

It’s the same reason your body gets accustomed to doing the same exercise every day, and why strengthening and cross-training is so important: If you did the same exact workout at the same intensity every single day, would your muscles, ligaments, and cardiovascular system improve?

No! And the same goes for your acne.

When we first start working with a client, whether long-distance or in our acne clinic, we put them on an initial home care system with products that have a synergistic or complementary effect. As the client continues to use his or her home care products, the acne will start to improve but soon adapt. So, before this has a chance to happen, we increase the frequency or strength of the product to keep pushing the client’s skin to clear.

For example, a new client will always begin using an exfoliating serum for his or her acne type as well as a 2.8% benzoyl peroxide, and both products are applied every other day for 2-4 weeks. Once the skin has adapted, we’ll increase the frequency of both products to everyday use.

If the client continues to get new breakouts in about 6 weeks, we’ll move to a stronger 5% benzoyl peroxide. Six weeks later if he or she is still breaking out, we’ll recommend a stronger serum.

The goal is to confuse the acne into submission.

There are many ways to bump up your home care routine to clear your acne if you are using an acne line that includes many “increments” in product strength.

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