Photo Credit: clinique.com
Dermatologists will tell you that acne is not caused by dirt or by not cleansing thoroughly, but getting rid of pore-clogging sebum and debris is key to ending the acne cycle. The next vital step is to reduce the bacteria that cause breakouts.
If your acne is severe—meaning a steady collection of inflamed pimples popping up all over your face, chest, or back—go straight to a dermatologist and do not pass go or collect $200… Hard, painful, deep cysts respond best to drugs so over-the-counter skincare products won’t work. Find a board certified dermatologist at AAD.org or ASDS.net.
When following a dermatologist’s directions or seeking over-the-counter acne treatments, keep the following in mind for best results:
6 Acne Tips You Should Write Down
- Blackheads usually do best with a topical vitamin A-containing ingredient—like retinol;
- Consistency of products and usage will yield better results;
- Don’t pick or squeeze pimples—it can lead to a bigger infection and scars;
- Allow at least 6 weeks for any new regimen to start to work;
- Keep bangs off your forehead and avoid using heavy or creamy hair products that can cause blemishes;
- More is not more. Don’t apply your acne fighting products more often than directed to avoid irritation.
These NEW acne solutions are paving the way to having clear skin for the long haul, before heading to the doctor’s office for prescription medications and light based treatments.
Juice Beauty Blemish Clearing Collection ($55)
This acne fighting kit includes a one-month supply of four products that cleanse, treat, and moisturize, and everything is naturally derived. The cleanser features natural organic lemon, cherry, and aloe juices. The Blemish Clearing Serum reduces breakouts and unclogs pores with organic fruit acids and salicylic acid that is derived from willow bark. Big bonus: the kit includes Juice Beauty’s signature Green Apple Peel that gently clears pores and evens skin tone and texture via exfoliation.
La Roche Posay Effaclar Dermatological Acne System ($29.99)
La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo is the star of this system from dermatologists’ favorite French line La Roche Posay, formulated to reduce the number and severity of blemishes in mild to moderate acne. Called a dual action acne treatment lotion, Effaclar Duo contains micronized benzoyl peroxide to clear clogged pores and micro-exfoliating LHA for exfoliation. The system also includes a medicated gel cleanser that is powered by salicylic acid and lipo hydroxy acid for cell-by-cell removal of dirt and debris, and a clarifying solution to unclog pores and smooth skin texture. Clinical studies show that acne is reduced by 60% within 10 days use of the Effaclar system.
First Aid Beauty Skin Rescue Deep Cleanser with Red Clay ($24)
This foaming gel cleanser is formulated to remove makeup, dirt, and grime on problem-prone and oily skin. It also reduces sebum production and makes pores appear smaller instantly. It includes red clay to absorb impurities, detox, and purify, rosemary leaf oil to unclog pores and tone the skin, glycerin for moisture and protection, and the brand’s signature antioxidant booster to fight free radicals. The theory here is that drawing out toxins will reduce outbreaks. The Skin Rescue lineup also includes a red clay mask and user-friendly blemish control pads.
ClarityMD is a simple two-step system that is formulated with solubilized bakuchil, an antimicrobial ingredient that is more potent than benzoyl peroxide, and bisabolol, a natural-anti-inflammatory ingredient. The system comprises Deep Pore Cleanser and Clairfying Gel, which features a magic bullet delivery system that sends bakuchiol, bisabolol, and salicylic acid into the pores to promote rapid results. According to a clinical study, just one week’s use can lead to 50% reduction in inflammatory acne lesions. ClarityMD is extremely gentle and does not dry out skin or cause irritation, redness, or peeling like benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid-based acne treatments.
Clinique Acne Solutions Clinical Clearing Gel ($17)
This new super gel from Clinique features a 4-in-1 Clearing Complex to treat current blemishes and prevent new ones from forming. Salicylic acid clears away dead surface cells that clog pores and helps prevent future breakouts. Laminaria saccharina controls oil production, and sea whip extract calms and soothes irritated and red skin. Use the gel after cleansing, and be sure to apply an oil-free moisturizer over the gel. The gel is fast drying and can even be used as a spot treatment, and works for all skin types.
This collection pulls out all the stops for fighting acne. Carefully curated by Beverly Hills dermatologist Dr. Zein Obagi, the kit comprises: ZO Skin Health Offects Exfoliating Cleanser, Offects Exfoliating Polish, Offects TE-Pads, and Bio-Sulfur Masque. The regimen works to unclog oil trapped in pores, thereby reducing blackheads and whiteheads. The cleanser and polish target excess oil and exfoliate dead skin cells. The acne pads are loaded with 2% salicylic acid to unclog pores, reduce oiliness, and prevent future breakouts. According to Beverly Hills Dermatologist Monika Kiripolsky, “The mask, only available in the ZO acne kit, is a natural multitasker. It works to slow sebum activity, fight acne-causing bacteria and inflammation, and speed up healing.”
AcneFree Body Clearing Acne Spray ($10.99)
This spray is great for getting rid of bacne. It combines alpha and beta hydroxy acids with vitamin B3 (niacinamide) as an anti-inflammatory, and aloe for calming skin. “Choosing the right product is really important,” says New York Dermatologist Dr. Joshua Zeichner. “Not only do you need the right active ingredients to treat skin, but you also need the right vehicle. Sprays are a great option when you’re treating large surface areas or hair bearing areas. The back is especially hard to treat, because it’s hard to see and reach. A spray formulation is ideal, because it allows you to get the medicine to those hard to reach areas.” This is a bargain if breakouts on your body keep cropping up. Perfect for summertime when sweats adds to the problem.