Does The Dr Perricone Clear Skin Prescription Actually Work?

Dr Perricone's clear skin dietIt was about a year and a half ago now when I first laid eyes on The Clear Skin Prescription. I was moseying around a bookstore in the city feeling depressed about the condition of my skin when Dr Perricone’s book caught my eye like a little diamond sitting on the shelves in the well-being section.

I was so excited to discover a book that promised to give me a flawless complexion in just four short weeks! Finally a cure, finally a medical professional that not only promised a cure, but a number one New York Times Bestselling Author at that (so there must have been some proof to it).

What the Clear Skin Prescription is all about

Dr Perricone’s plan combines three tiers – a strict diet, a huge list of supplements and his own line of skin care. And no, his skin care is not natural. The products use both salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide which are both the standard topical acne medications that both Proactiv and acne.org use, so I don’t think his skin care is really anything new.

Lets look at each tier more closely.

1. The diet

BananasThe diet is very strict, but you get to eat a lot of food so it’s nothing like Acne Free in 3 Days.

I do feel there is some value to it as long as you’re not vegetarian and you love eating fish because you’re required to eat a bit of meat and a lot of seafood. There are no alternatives provided for vegetarians or raw foodists either so it’s really an all or nothing thing. I was a strict vegetarian at the time of buying Dr Perricone’s book so I could not do the diet, simply because there was no substitute to the amount of meat that you’re required to eat.

However, I love how Dr Perricone dedicates an entire section in the book to explaining why the skin, acne and food are related (yes, he quotes scientific data).

In his diet you need to avoid all inflammatory foods which does include some fruit and vegetables like mangoes and bananas, and the “usual” foods like refined sugar, junk foods and bakery items.

At the back of the book there is an eating plan that is suggested you follow for a period of 28 days. The recipes do include a lot of salmon though and I have read in forums from people who have tried the diet that they get very sick of eating salmon after a while. Apart from that the recipes seem relatively easy to prepare and the ingredients not hard to find. You even get to eat pancakes and there are a couple of very lovely sounding desserts (you can tell I have a sweet tooth).

2. The supplements

vitaminsWhen I first read the book I thought at least I could take the supplements. However, the list of supplements suggested are massive and I honestly did not know where to start. You can buy the entire nutritional supplement system from the Dr Perricone website, but that’s going to set you back US$80 which is a bit steep considering it’s only one third of the solution although the shipping. I checked out the international shipping costs and they’re not too bad.

What you could do is take a note of the supplements and buy them cheaper at your local health store or somewhere online like iherb.com.

3. The skin care regime

Empty jarsWhat I don’t like about the Dr Perricone skin care regime is how he never tells you exactly what products to use. He gives a few case studies and lists what he’s recommended others to use, but I think he should have included a list of products as a recommendation to the reader.

He also hasn’t provided any brand names of products so I had to get online and do a search for Dr Perricone to see if he actually had his own. He does and there are about seven different products for acne-prone skin so you can decide which ones you need.

For clearing acne he suggests using –

  • a cleanser containing DMAE
  • toner pads saturated in DMAE, alpha lipoic acid and alpha hydroxy acid
  • a gel containing benzoyl peroxide
  • a topical alpha lipoic acid
  • followed by a spot treatment containing glutathione, alpha lipoic acid and DMA to apply directly to spots as necessary.

Wow, that’s a lot of stuff to put on your face. Way more than the simple cleanser, moisturizer and spot treatment that I recommend. I think I’d be stressed with putting all of that stuff on my face!

And for those of us with dry skin there is an oil-free Skin Clear Hydrator that you can use too which I hope is better than Proactiv’s (which I’ve tried without much success).

The verdict

To be honest, I can’t really give one because I haven’t personally tried this system. However, from my knowledge in acne and skin care I can recommend that the diet and supplements would work at helping reduce the inflammation and the amount of new acne you get. The “cure” seems to lie in the topical application of the cosmetics, but I strongly feel that these cosmetics are too harsh for certain skin types. I’m almost certain my skin would become aggravated by the amount of harsh chemicals, especially considering I’ve tried benzoyl peroxide in the past with absolutely no success.

I’m guessing this system would work best for teenagers and young adults with very oily skin. Mature skin seems to be a lot dryer and requires more hydration, or products that are a little gentler on the skin.

All up it’s also a very expensive system to use considering the cost of the supplements and the range of skin care required in the plan.

If you’ve tried Dr Perricone’s Clear Skin Prescription I’d love to hear about your experiences. And if you’re considering buying the book but need more info about it, ask away.

11 comments… add one

  • I have done his diet program with great results. It was actually way more food than I could eat. I love seafood, so that wasn’t a problem. I took simple supplements such as fish oil, probiotics and a multi and used my own choice of skin care. I did get sick of salmon. It is hard to stick to when dining out, etc.

  • bbc

    i tried the anti-aging book and i havent had acne in years, it is really a diet that will repair your skin over long term use. as for the salmon ….yes its alot but the outcome is great everyone is always asking me what i did as if i didnt look good before lol.

    the vitamins i couldnt keep up with but found that vitamins like one a day has most of the ones he suggest to take and whatever wasnt included i bought elsewhere. his products are very expensive so i just stuck to my my regular glycerin soap and a soft moisturizer since i dont need any antiaging right now.

  • Mia

    Try using herbal soaps such as “Kiss My Face” Olive and Aloe Vera . Use Witch Hazel as a toner. The final step is JOJOBA OIL. This oil fights acne. If you don’t believe it, just test a small area on your face. You will be amazed!!!
    Easy and Inexpensive!

  • Gary

    I was a patient of Perricone when he practiced in CT. Honestly, his market is the extremely wealthy. I’ve tried his product line, supplements, etc… did nothing for my acne. His products are ridiculously over priced as well.

  • Kyle

    I read this book. I don’t think taking so many supplements is right. I also think that with seafood comes mercury, so staying away from it and looking for alternatives is best.

    I do think it would work though. It’s so strict thought I’d hate it!

  • Queenie

    thank you

  • Hi Queenie, there are heaps of discussion about that in the forums. Do a quick search in the acne treatment thread – http://www.highonhealth.org/forums/

  • Queenie

    hi, Fran
    Happy New Year
    I am considering whether try using Murad or not
    I’ve try some sample, and it works most of the time
    Can you give me some advice?

  • jamie

    i read this book and it helped me with my diet. i base most of it off it too. it helped greatly with vitamin choices. even though his stuff is expensive i don’t think he should be discredited.
    i found my book for free at my library

  • Andy

    I know that you didn’t mention Bach Flower Remedies in this article, but I just have to tell you about them. They work!
    Of the 38, you need to figure out which ones you need. I would recommend that you start with Larch because everyone could use a better sense of self-esteem. If you suffer from fears, as I used to and still do to a limited degree, try Aspen.
    I remember that you mentioned the Bach Flower Creams, but I’ve only used the Rescue Remedy Cream.
    Bach Flower Remedies will give you a peace of mind which you cannot find anywhere else. Try Crab Apple to learn to accept your physical self, and Pine for shame and guilt.
    Fran, I hope you can get your hands on these remedies in Australia… I’m sure you can since they come from England. I have been experimenting with them for 5 years and if you need guidance let me know.

    andy.

  • kevin

    Nope. Don’t think I would try this.One page of a book by Gillian McKeith about acne could be about 90% as effective of this entire system.The amount of stuff this “prescription” has is all over the place,too much things to do.

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