Today's topic is Acne. Or 'Acme' as I was adamant it was called, as I whiled away my days watching countless episodes of Looney Tunes, blissfully ignorant of my skin's imminent fate. Sadly the correct pronunciation became all too familiar as puberty dawned and my face rebelled against my hormones in a blaze of anti-glory. Having tried everything under the sun to curb my pre-menstrual/menstrual/post-menstrual/mid-cycle break-outs, (from tea tree to toothpaste(!?!)) I am super excited about the latest research from a team of Glaswegian scientists. Prebiotics, the "food" for probiotics (those friendly bacteria that help to keep our insides harmonious) can be applied topically, promoting "good" bacteria to counteract the bad guys that cause spots. Leader of the pack is konjac glucomannan hydrolysates (GMH) which has been found to suppress the growth of propionibacterium acnes (found on the skin of acne sufferers) and restore equilibrium. Professor Richard Tester who is heading up the research team, has come up with a completely new way to tackle acne. Instead of attempting to rid the skin of excess oil and sebum with chemicals such as hydrogen peroxide (ammonia) that kill off everything and can leave skin feeling tight and sensitive, his new approach is far more gentle. By creating a feeding ground for probiotics, these good bacteria are given the chance to thrive and wage a war against those less well intentioned...which means healthy, happy, blemish free skin. The results of the in vitro trials have already been published, and the in vivo (real people) trials have come to a conclusion, to be published shortly. Although the results are strictly confidential, Prof Rich has let slip that the findings are of "exceptional interest" and that the group are currently trying to commercialise the technology. And, because GMH is totally body-friendly (rather than drug based) this could soon be coming to a counter near you, without the need for prescription! I'll race you to the drugstore...