This New & Controversial Acne Treatment May One Day Replace Skin Care

Contributing Wellness & Beauty Editor By Lindsay Kellner
Contributing Wellness & Beauty Editor
Lindsay is a freelance writer and certified yoga instructor based in Brooklyn, NY. She holds a journalism and psychology degree from New York University. Kellner is the co-author of “The Spirit Almanac: A Modern Guide to Ancient Self Care,” with mbg Sustainability Editor Emma Loewe.

Photo by Susana Ramírez

The acne vaccine isn't new news, but it just got a few steps closer to actually becoming a reality. Last year, mindbodygreen reported on scientists who were exploring the possibility of a vaccine, but more clinical trials were needed to see whether it would actually work. In the last year and a half, they've made some major progress.

To be clear, there is nothing inherently wrong with acne. Healing comes first—that's our beauty philosophy. Whether that means you're in the middle of a skin-acceptance journey and you're feeling liberated from constantly having to wear makeup, or you prefer to wear foundation because that's what makes you feel good in your skin, we're here for it all.

The new research, published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology, utilized antibodies of the P. acnes bacteria in human skin with acne and found that the vaccine did in fact reduce inflammation. This could be a promising development for people who suffer from acne, as they are often subject to medications like Accutane, antibiotics, and/or other harsh skin care remedies that don't work long term. For some, like influencer Kali Kushner, the journey to self-acceptance has been challenging, rewarding, and has led to a newfound community and a more holistic lifestyle.

Skin positivity is about representing more skin types in the media (acne-prone skin included!), as well as feeling good in your own. But acne isn't always a "vain" concern. It could be the body's way of flagging a deeper hormonal imbalance and often can be physically (and psychologically) painful. This vaccine, albeit controversial, could alleviate a great deal of suffering and save consumers thousands of dollars in skin care and treatments if it's successful.

That said, it's a long way from coming to the masses. The vaccine still needs additional testing and long-term study—researchers (and dermatologists) are rightfully concerned about how a vaccine like this would affect the skin's microbiome.

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