How does it work? A website (www.skinaid.org.uk) provides all the information needed to follow the programme, plus a forum, where users can get support and blog their progress. Page recommends a four-step, twice-daily treatment (cleanser, benzoyl peroxide gel, masque, SPF moisturiser), plus a diet regime that includes six small meals instead of three large ones to avoid spikes in blood sugar which, she says, play havoc with your skin. While she does not actually supply menu plans or recipes, she does list what to avoid and what to scoff. Rather predictably, white bread, crisps, chips, sweets, alcohol and fizzy drinks are to be avoided; complex carbs such as oats, rice, wholemeal pasta, fresh fruit and veg, lean meat, seeds and fish should make up the bulk of your diet. You will also be expected to drink two litres of water a day and take moderate exercise to improve circulation.
Strip off or cover up? In eight weeks, there may be a bit of both.
Does it work? While I found the diet and exercise advice a little patronising, my skin definitely responded well to the eight-week programme. I think the products I used (made by a brand called B Kamins) played a major part in my improved complexion. My jawline, which was previously perpetually spotty, completely cleared up.
Who's it for? Anyone, of any age, whose skin is blemished or irritated by acne.
How much does it cost? Skin Aid is a non- profit-making organisation, so joining the website and following the plan is free. However, the preparations needed can cost as little or as much as you like depending on what you buy. Page has included a shopping list of products needed with the ingredients they should contain. If you don't have time to scrutinise labels at the chemist you can buy the products Page favours on the site. The starter pack costs 40.
This article was first published in Scotland on Sunday on 24 January, 2010