A bad acne problem always makes you end up thinking which is the best acne treatment that one can go for that will tackle the acne right from the source and erase the problem from your skin in the shortest time period possible. Also when you spend enormous amount of money in finding the acne treatment suited for your skin kind, it is advisable that find out everything about the acne product ingredients and what it will do for your skin.
List of the Best Acne Treatment Ingredients
The best acne treatment can only begin with the best acne treatment products; therefore it is better if you look for the some of the following ingredients while searching the market for the right acne solutions for yourself.
- Salicylic Acid
One of the most common ingredients found in acne products these days is Salicylic Acid. The particular ingredient works in such a way that it helps in getting rid of acne was reducing the buildup or accumulation of dead skin cells on the face and also by exfoliating the walls of pores gently. Salicylic acid has been found to be effective in getting into the deepest level of the skin pores and thus helping in removing the dirt present within. It also slows the shedding of cells in a rapid manner inside the hair follicles which if occurs can clog the pores greatly. It should be noted that salicylic acid do not have any effect on the acne bacteria however the fact that it clears the skin and opens up the pores makes it quite prominent in creams, lotions and gels available for treating and preventing acne. Due to its nature, Salicylic acid can cause slight skin irritation and mild stinging when applied. Look for over the counter (OTC) products having 0.5 to 2 per cent of Salicylic acid in them.
- Benzoyl Peroxide
Used both in prescription acne products as well as OTC products for acne, Benzoyl Peroxide for acne works in such a way that it starts by inhibiting the growth of the bacteria causing the skin problem or even by killing it off. In addition to this, it removes the excess oils that the skin is producing plus it also clears the skin of the dead skin cells clogging the pores. It promotes skin cell turnover by inducing minor skin peeling which means that it gets rid of pimples by shedding the old cells and boosting the growth of the new ones. Depending on the severity of your acne problem, it is usually advised to look for creams and gels having 2.5 per cent to 10 per cent strength in the acne treatment product. Before adopting it for usage, you should consult your physician about the products containing Benzoyl Peroxide especially if you are pregnant or nursing. The ingredient also tends to bleach clothes so avoid rubbing any dark colored clothes over the applied area. Lastly, if you have a sensitive skin type, Benzoyl Peroxide can cause scaling, burning, redness, excessive drying and stinging after application.
- Glycolic Acid
Though mostly commonly used in acne scar treatment, this ingredient when combined with Benzoyl peroxide also works effectively against acne as well. Said to be useful for peeling the skin, it helps in removing the brown or dark spots that are leftovers on the skin after the acne has healed up. You should however understand that Glycolic acid in acne treatment needs to be used in the right concentration and the right pH in order to give effective results, therefore the best to get that is via visiting a dermatologist who can tell you the exact measure you can look for in your acne treatment solution. The glycolic acne treatment works in such a way that it speeds up the skin natural rate of exfoliation. This means that it boosts the shedding of skin cells plus also prevents acne from occurring too often by keeping the hydration level of your skin optimal and balanced. Available in creams and lotions, one can go for a product having a pH 4 as that is deemed to be the optimal PH for glycolic acid. Usually the ingredient is gentle on the skin however if you have a sensitive skin type, application of this ingredient might cause slight irritation and redness which will go away after a short time period.
Another best acne treatment ingredient is sulfur. Combined mostly with salicylic acid or benzoly peroxide, Sulfur can actually clear out your skin effectively. Mostly available in cleansers, creams or masks form, sulfur works in such a way that it dries out the skin surface and then goes to unclog the blocked skin pores. Post that it kills off the bacteria causing acne plus removes any excessive oil buildup from the skin. Similar to the work done by benzoyl peroxide, Sulfur also works in spot treatments for acne scars too. While using sulfur products, it is always advised that one follows the usage direction on the product package because too much of sulfur on skin can actually end up burning the skin cells instead of treating it. Some products containing sulfur can have an unpleasant odor and may cause dry skin for sensitive acne prone skin type. Also, in case your skin is sunburned, chapped or already irritated, wait till it has healed up before going for this option. Avoid abrasive scrubs or drying soaps containing sulfur since using them can over dry the skin. Also if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, consult your physician first before using sulfur in your over the counter acne treatment.
- Lactic Acid
A well known alpha hydroxyl acid (AHA), lactic acid is usually paired up with glycolic acid in most OTC acne solutions. However, it has been observed that lactic acid is more gentle on the skin than glycolic acid. Lactic acid works by exfoliating the outer layer of the skin and also removing the dead skin cells present in them. In addition to this, it increases the natural barriers lipids in the outer layer of the skin which in turn helps in keeping a check on the sebum production. Used also in spot treatment and acne scars solutions, it boosts shedding of skin cells, thereby urging the formation of new ones. It also enhances the production of collagen in the applied area which thus leaves you with a more brighter and lighter skin tone. Found mostly in scrubs, serums or creams, before opting for lactic acid it is advisable that you have a talk with your doctor first in case you are expecting or nursing. Lastly too much of usage of lactic acid can increase the risk of sunburn which can in turn leads to increased aging.
Mostly combined with sulfur and other acne ingredients listed above, resorcinol works by breaking down skin that has hardened or has become rough or scaly. Sometimes when acne persists for a longer period of time, it hardens the area where it has occurred. This happens because the outer skin loses hydration. Resorcinol usually works along with other acne ingredients and not as a standalone ingredient. In case you are allergic to any product, consult your doctor before including resorcinol in your acne treatment.
Since most of the OTC acne ingredients also contain natural ingredients, the following listed is what you should also look for in your best acne treatment for acne:
- Passion Flower
In OTC acne products, you will usually find passion flower extracts. This is because the Passiflora extracts contain healing properties thatcan help with the acne problem. Effective in unclogging the pores of the skin by removing dead skin cells, the chemicals present in the passion flower also calms down the inflammation caused by the acne bacteria too. Post reducing the inflammation, it also helps in preventing redness and irritation from occurring which are a result of inflammation of skin.
- Green Tea
A natural acne ingredient, green tea with its anti-bacterial properties is effective in fighting off the acne bacteria. Since it also contains high amounts of anti-oxidants it protects the skin from any free radicals plus it also boosts the healing powers of the skin cells. Always look for OTC acne products containing green tea extracts since such an acne treatment will counter balance any other harsh chemical that it present in the acne solution thus ultimately will be gentle and effective on the skin and acne respectively.
- Aloe Vera
Mostly found in lotions, creams or gels for acne, Aloe Vera is highly considered to be a soothing and moisturizing ingredient for the skin. Having effective skin healing properties it increases the power of the skin cells to fight back the bacteria causing acne. Saponin in aloe contains anti-fungal and anti bacterial properties which inhibits or kills off the bacteria from the source. Aloe vera is not effective as a standalone ingredient against acne however if combined with other acne ingredients it can help in reducing acne lesions and can also boost the skin cell turnover rate too.
- Tea Tree Oil
Being too potent, tea tree oil is never applied directly on skin as it can burn off the skin cells. Usually tea tree oil extracts are found in acne treatments which are beneficial as tea tree oil contains terpinen-4-ol which helps in anti-microbial activity. Effective in killing off acne bacteria it also soothes the inflammation and redness caused as a result of acne. Usually a 5 per cent of tea tree oil in gels or creams is considered good. Tea tree oil along with benzoyl peroxide can give effective results on acne within days of application. For people with sensitive skin, tea tree oil can have the side effects of itching, burning, stinging or dryness which usually goes away with time. If however the problems persist, discontinue using the product and consult a physician.
Now that most of the popular ingredients in acne treatments have been listed out, before buying an over the counter acne product, read the product packaging and choose which ingredient it contains and how it will help with your acne problem. Also it is advisable to consult your doctor/dermatologist once before going for any particular acne treatment in case you have a sensitive skin type or are prone to allergies.