Skincare for acne-prone skin:
Acne is a complicated condition with countless products that can help or hurt your skin. Choosing the right medications can be a difficult task, so we have broken down the options to make skincare for acne a simpler task.
Products to avoid:
Many cosmetic products (makeup, concealers, etc.) contain small particles and oils that can clog your pores and cause acne outbreaks. The next time you buy a cosmetic product, make sure the label says “non-comedogenic.” This means that they do not cause comedones (whiteheads and blackheads). The ingredients that typically cause breakouts include various oils, fragrances, and dyes. Here are a few comedogenic (acne causing) substances to avoid: cocoa butter, musk, cinnemate, Vaseline, Bergamot, Ambrette, and Aquaphor.
Over-the-counter products for acne:
Over-the-counter acne products can be effective in treating some cases of mild acne. Of the OTC products on the market, benzoyl peroxide is the most common and the most effective. It is frequently combined with prescription topical retinoids for treating mild acne, and added to prescription antibiotics and topical retinoids for combating moderate to moderately severe acne. Aside from benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid is the next best choice. Salicylic acid works by shedding the top layer of the skin and opening the pores to release the sebum and bacteria within the acne lesion.
Prescription medications for acne:
Prescription medications have been scientifically proven as effective acne treatments. Virtually all acne can be successfully treated through a variety of prescription medications, and your dermatologist can help you find the most appropriate ones for your skin. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends a prescription topical retinoid for mild acne, and to add benzoyl peroxide and prescription antibiotics for more severe forms of acne. The most effective acne medication is isotretinoin, which is only used for very severe acne and can have severe side effects. To get a prescription medication, you need to consult a dermatologist, who will be able to choose the most appropriate medication with the least possible side effects for your specific case of acne.
There are countless home remedies that have minor acne reducing qualities, but none of these will be nearly as effective as prescription topical retinoids, antibiotics, and benzoyl peroxide. After researching a wide variety of home remedies, listening to testimonials from convincing bloggers, and reading medical studies about the efficacy of these treatments, we were unable to find a home remedy capable of penetrating the skin and effectively fighting the acne bacteria. We encourage you to read about the arguments for and against home remedies and how to apply them appropriately.
- “Skin Care for Acne-prone Skin.” AcneNet. American Academy of Dermatology, Web.
- Thiboutot, Diane et al. “New Insights into the Management of Acne: An Update from the Global Alliance to Improve Outcomes in Acne Group.” Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology 60.5 (2009): S1-S50.
- Gollnick, H et al., “Management of Acne.” Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology 49.1 (2003): S1-S2.
- Delrosso, J. “The Clinical Value of Benzoyl Peroxide Cleanser: Formulation Characteristics, Method of Use, Drug Deposition and Clinical Efficacy 1 , *1.”Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology 50.3 (2004): P171.