Benzagel Partners with the Acne and Rosacea Society of Canada

Benzagel Partners with the Acne and Rosacea Society of Canada

 We are so excited that the Acne and Rosacea Society of Canada (ARSC) has awarded its Recommended Seal to Benzagel’s Acne Gel 5%. Sue Sherlock, ARSC’s executive director and Dr. Catherine Zip, Calgary dermatologist and member of ARSC’s Medical Committee, talk about why the society was set up and what it means to have ARSC’s Recommended Seal on an acne over-the-counter treatment product.

Q: How did the ARSC come to be?

A: (Sue Sherlock) “Back in 2014, a group of dermatologists, communicators and educators shared a concern that it was challenging for Canadians to get unbiased information about acne. There are lots of acne myths out there! Our group was very mindful of the emotional impact of acne in addition to having the condition itself. We banded together and set up the society to offer hope and help to Canadians by providing independent information. Our dermatologists shared their knowledge and expertise and from there, our educational hub, was created.”


Q: What are the biggest causes of acne?

A: (Dr. Catherine Zip) “Acne is mainly caused by two factors – hormones and genes. During the teen years, rising levels of male hormones, such as testosterone (found in both males and females) stimulate the oil-producing glands in skin to enlarge and secrete more oil. The excess oil combines with dead skin cells to plug skin pores and acne spots begin to form.

There is also a genetic component to acne. Those with a family history of severe acne are more likely to experience it at an earlier age and develop severe acne. Lastly, some medications and hormonal abnormalities can cause acne, although this is less common.”


Q: What are the biggest triggers of acne?

A: (Dr. Catherine Zip) “Emotional stress can trigger acne flares. Studies show that smoking cigarettes increases acne risk and severity. Although still controversial, dietary factors may also influence acne severity. High glycemic index foods (foods that are high is simple sugars and carbohydrates) as well as dairy products (especially milk) may impact acne severity. In addition, certain medications and supplements such as anabolic steroids and whey protein supplements used for body building can worsen acne. Aggressive scrubbing of acne prone areas and picking acne lesions can also aggravate acne. Finally, greasy cosmetics and hair products, tight clothing and sweating can also trigger acne.


Q: What are some of the campaigns your organization is planning in the coming months?

A: (Sue Sherlock) “Acne Awareness Month is coming up this September. Our dermatologists will be featured in a fun news article called “Can Beer Cause Acne? and 4 other questions you were too shy to ask about acne.”

Body acne, which is much more common than people think, will be another focus with our “We’ve Got Your Back” campaign and social posts.


Q: What is the significance behind a brand using your Recommended Seal of Approval?

A: (Sue Sherlock) “A major concern when people are self-treating acne is – does the product work? Our goal with the Recommended Seal for acne treatment products is to guide Canadians to products that have been scientifically shown to be helpful for mild acne. Every product with our society’s Recommended Seal has undergone independent review by dermatologists and the ingredients have been found to be safe and effective.”



Q: What are some of the goals ARSC hopes to accomplish with your partners in 2021 and beyond?

A: (Sue Sherlock) “With a mission to raise awareness about acne and help Canadians better deal with this condition, our goals are around expanding our efforts to reach more people through our website, social channels and media campaigns. We also have an acne education program, Skin Confident, for high schools that we’d like to bring in over the next few years.”

For more information, please visit

Benzagel is proud to have the Acne and Rosacea’s seal of approval on our Acne Gel and work with an organization dedicated to providing accurate information on these types of conditions.


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