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SkinMedica was originally founded in the mid-1990s by Richard Fitzpatrick, MD, a dermatologist dedicated to finding innovative ways to improving skin.
Today, SkinMedica has grown into a multi-million dollar company and is among the most popular skincare lines in the industry.
“The company has remained on the front lines of medical grade skin care,” explains Dr. Craig Kraffert.
“SkinMedica is a remarkable company that has brought great innovation to skin care over the past ten years.” 
Although SkinMedica offers numerous products for reducing wrinkles, moisturizing skin, fading scars, and protecting against sun damage, the company is widely known for its safe and effective acne treatments.
Thousands of consumers turn to SkinMedica each day to unclog pores, kill acne-causing bacteria, and promote normal cell turnover.
But is it right for you?
The Acne Care System
SkinMedica’s acne treatments are available in a 3-part package, which includes a wash, a toner, and lotion.
Purifying Foaming Wash. This instant foaming wash kills acne-causing bacteria, promotes normal keratinization, and absorbs excess sebum (acne-causing oil) from the skin.
Purifying Toner. This treatment targets acne breakouts and soothes acne-irritated skin. It contains numerous antioxidants and botanicals chosen to improve skin health. It contains tea tree oil, which offers similar results to benzoyl peroxide but without the irritation.
Acne Treatment Lotion. Offering 2.5% benzoyl peroxide, SkinMedica’s acne treatment lotion is designed to control sebum and kill acne-causing bacteria. It utilizes a special “poly-pore” delivery system to enhance product penetration for faster, enhanced results. Furthermore, it contains botanical extracts to soothe and nourish skin.
Although ingredients vary between products, SkinMedica’s acne formulas rely heavily on two ingredients for targeting acne:
Benzoyl Peroxide. An anti-bacterial agent, benzoyl peroxide peels away old skin cells and releases oxygen into affected areas. It breaks down the skin and sebum plug, making it an effective acne treatment.
What if You Have Sensitive Skin?
Be careful with SkinMedica: its greatest strength is also its greatest weakness. SkinMedica contains powerful acne-fighters such as benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid which are known to irritate and potentially damage skin.
Although effective against acne, these ingredients are not recommended for those with sensitive skin – despite advertisements.
Furthermore, many SkinMedica products contain irritants such as camphor oil, sage, and menthol, which make matters worse for those struggling with acne.
According to one user at MakeUpAlley.com, “I could not use this system because I believe I have problems with salicylic acid which this system uses. It caused huge cyst acne when I used it.
However, I must say I use the other products in the SkinMedica skin line solely now and rarely break out.”
Although it takes a few minutes to go through each step in the cleansing process, SkinMedica’s acne system is fairly easy to use.
Step 1: Purifying Foam Wash. Moisten skin with warm water. Apply two full pumps to face and gently massage over entire face for one minute. Rinse thoroughly and pat dry.
Step 2: Purifying Toner. Moisten cotton ball and gently smooth over face. Apply twice daily.
Step 3: Acne Treatment Lotion. Apply a thin layer to the entire face morning and evening. If needed, apply a moisturizer.
Is SkinMedica Affordable?
No doubt about it: SkinMedica is pricey when compared to other acne treatments. If you purchase the acne system as a package, it costs $100. If you purchase the acne treatment lotion on its own, it costs $52.
Due to cost, many SkinMedica users recommend ordering the package from other distributors. But even then, the price only varies by a few dollars:
• Amazon.com: $100
• LovelySkin.com: $95
• BoundaryWaters.biz: $79.95
• SkinCareRx.com: $95
If you decide to order from SkinMedica.com, your purchase is backed with a 30 day guarantee. According to the return policy, “if you are dissatisfied with your purchase for any reason, please feel free to return the product for a full refund.”
To make a return, contact customer service at 866-577-3072 within 30 days of your invoice date. Customer support will issue a Return Merchandise Authorization (RMA) number as well as a return form. The return form must be filled out completely and included with your package within 7 days of obtaining the RMA number.
More About the Manufacturers
SkinMedica is dedicated to providing advanced skin care products that rejuvenate the skin. “Our entire aesthetic product line is based on the science of the skin’s own healing abilities.”
According to the Better Business Bureau, SkinMedica INC has been accredited since 2011. BBB accreditation standards include a commitment to make a “good faith effort” to resolve consumer complaints. In the last 3 years, only 1 complaint has been filed with the BBB – not bad for a multi-million dollar company.
Recently SkinMedica was purchased by Allergan Inc, the Irvine-based maker of Botox, for $350 million.
According to Orange County Register, “SkinMedica’s headquarters will remain in Carlsbad, where Allergan will operate the business.” 
Pick It or Pitch It?
If you can afford it, SkinMedica may be just the acne treatment you need to have the clear skin you’ve always wanted. The ingredients are clinically proven, the consumer reviews remain fairly positive, and I’m impressed with the reliable manufacturers and guarantee.
However, SkindMedica might not work for everyone, and the price may be more than most acne-sufferers are willing to spend. Although SkinMedica may be effective, there are equally effective products for a more affordable price.
 Craig Kraffert, MD. “Dr. Craig’s Review of SkinMedica.” Januaray 2, 2008. Available from: http://www.dermstore.com/reviews/details_SkinMedica_20150.htm
 Sablin, Kevin. “Allergan buys SkinMedica for $350 Million.” Orange County Register. Dec. 19, 2012. Available from: http://www.ocregister.com/articles/allergan-381216-skinmedica-aesthetics.html