I'm glad to hear that aloe's working for others! About two month ago, I traded my AcneMiracle Regulating Spray for Aloe (1 to 2 times a day ) and it works better. The spray would sometimes chap my skin, but I find that pure aloe calms it, and controls the oil nicely.
I'm completely happy with my skin now, which is probably why I haven't posted lately. That really stinks, I know. I wish people that have had success would post a lot more. Anyway, I still do other things as well - here's my complete regimen:
First of all I am 39, male, and had pretty awful acne as a teenager and young adult. It never really went away - just reduced itself to four or five cystic lesions, at any given time, plus hundreds of plugged pores, bumps, etc., very oily and very easily irritated skin. I've never been on accutane, but I've tried:
* Benzoyl Peroxide (started out well, ended in very irritated and worse-looking skin)
* Salicylic Acid (didn't really change the outlook)
* Retinol + SA (same)
* AcneMiracle Spray (not bad but can chap skin)
* Olive Oil (helps irritation and acne, but is, well, oily)
* Vitamin E oil (no noticeable change)
* Glycolic Acid lotion (irritates skin, causes oil production)
I can't think of any more, but there are more.
Here's what worked:
* B5 - down to 1g/day which I feel much better about. I didn't like taking 10g.
* 30 mg Zinc (w/Copper) per day.
* 1 balanced Essential Fatty Acid supplement (Omega 3,6,9)
* Acnomel Vanishing Cream (Sulphur/Resorcinol) once or twice a week - I only leave it on for about four hours. It also mats nicely - no shine.
* 99.9% Aloe Vera Gel - morning and night (sometimes not at night) - always after I wash off Acnomel.
It's pretty quick. It's not expensive. I think I spend less than $10/month although I haven't really calculated it.
My big theory: Find things that calm your skin. If BP gives you no irritation trouble, it's a great product. Irritating your skin promotes oil production and increases inflammatory response (a big part of the acne vicious cycle) - I don't care what it's doing to the bacteria - if it's eating up your skin, it's no damn good in my book.
Sorry for the long-winded reply, I just wanted to brain dump. Good luck!