Acne, that “faithful friend” you have known since your youth that just refuses to part with you. No matter what you do, acne always shows up to remind you of itself. If you are long past puberty, but you have pesky pimples on your face and body, don’t despair. Millions of people are in your situation and trying to fight this problem. And because of this, the cosmetic industry has developed countless products to help us combat acne. However, it is a little difficult to weed out truly effective products amongst all this sea of colorful packaging and thunderous promises of eliminating pimples in just a week or even a day. If we want to eliminate the problem as quickly as possible, it is good to do a little research and pay attention not only to the product, but also to its active ingredients and their concentration. Don’t choose a cream or a gel wash just because you like the packaging or the smell of it – that is not what will help with your acne. In this article, we will show you which are the best active ingredients for acne, according to a dermatologist!
Let’s see which are the most powerful active ingredients for acne
What you need to know beforehand
Before you take any steps in treating acne, it is good to know a few important things first. So, here is what you should and should NOT do when treating your acne.
There are some important things to consider when working with potent active ingredients
Do NOT expect results in a few days
Have a realistic idea of the effects and don’t expect magical results in a few days. The skin makes a complete renewal cycle over a period of 28 to 42 days, which means you can’t enjoy completely clear skin before this period has passed. However, this does not mean that your skin condition cannot improve dramatically with adequate and proper care.
Don’t expect magical results in just a few days from the products that you use
Do NOT overdo it with active ingredients
In your quest to part with acne faster, don’t overdo it with active ingredients. Instead, carefully read package directions, research how products interact with each other, and be sure to properly hydrate your skin. Since acne treatment ingredients have the quality of drying out the epidermis and with insufficient hydration, your skin condition will only worsen further.
Always carefully read package directions, research how products interact with each other
DO consult with a dermatologist
If you have more stubborn acne that covers larger parts of your skin – see a dermatologist. Often acne is not just a cosmetic problem, but can be an indication of serious hormonal disorders. That is why it is a good idea to consult a specialist before starting any treatment. This will ensure that your skin can handle the products you have selected, and you will have good results faster.
It is always a good idea to consult a specialist before starting any treatment
Best Active Ingredients For Acne, According to Dermatologists
This ingredient kills the bacteria that cause acne and helps remove excess sebum from the skin, as well as dead skin cells that can clog pores. Products with benzoyl peroxide, which you can purchase over the counter, come in concentrations from 2.5% to 10%. Studies have shown that products with a lower concentration are as effective as those with a higher concentration. Nevertheless, consider starting with a product with a lower concentration to reduce the risk of side effects. Possible side effects include dry skin, flaking, irritation, burning, and stinging, especially if you have sensitive skin. Also, be careful when applying benzoyl peroxide as it can bleach hair and clothes. Take a look at the video below to see how a dermatologist properly uses benzoyl peroxide to treat acne.
Benzoyl peroxide kills the bacteria that cause acne and helps remove excess sebum from the skin
However, be careful when applying benzoyl peroxide as it can bleach hair and clothes
See how to properly use benzoyl peroxide, according to a dermatologist
This ingredient is a retinoid (a form of vitamin A) that helps unclog pores and prevent new breakouts. Adapalene gel, also known as Dipherin, is available over the counter at a concentration of 0.1%. Do not apply this product to skin that has cuts, sunburn, or eczema. You may feel a slight burning sensation when you apply the gel, but it soon disappears. Use a non-comedogenic moisturizer to avoid dry and flaky skin. See how a dermatologist uses it in the video below.
Adapalene is a retinoid (a form of vitamin A) that helps unclog pores and prevent new breakouts
This active ingredient works miracles when treating acne and blocked pores
Use a non-comedogenic moisturizer to avoid dry and flaky skin
How to use adapalene, according to a dermatologist
This ingredient can help unclog pores and prevent new breakouts. Over-the-counter salicylic acid products are available in concentrations from 0.5% to 2% as serums and wash-off products. Possible side effects include mild burning, skin discoloration, and mild skin irritation, but they are rare. Take a look at whether salicylic acid is worth the hype, according to a dermatologist.
Salicylic acid can help unclog pores and prevent new breakouts
Salicylic acid should be the second step of your routine
How to treat acne with salicylic acid, according to a dermatologist
This ingredient helps to prevent pore clogging and has a mild antibacterial action. Over-the-counter azelaic acid products are available in a 10% concentration. In addition, azelaic acid also helps to correct scars that may remain after acne has cleared (post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation). See how you can use azelaic acid in the video below.
Azelaic acid helps to prevent pore clogging and has a mild antibacterial action
In addition, azelaic acid targets a lot of common skin concerns
Azelaic acid also helps to correct scars (post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation)
How to use azelaic acid, according to a dermatologist
#Alpha-Hydroxy Acids (AHAs)
Alpha hydroxy acids are synthetic versions of acids derived from sugar-containing fruits, sugar cane, or milk. Two types of alpha hydroxy acids that are used in over-the-counter acne products are glycolic acid and lactic acid. They treat acne by removing dead skin cells and soothing inflamed skin. In addition, alpha hydroxy acids also stimulate the growth of new, smoother skin. In return, this helps improve the appearance of acne scars. Below, you can take a look at a live demo of how to use AHAs in your skincare routine.
Alpha hydroxy acids are synthetic versions of acids derived from sugar-containing fruits, sugar cane, or milk
The two main types of AHAs are glycolic acid and lactic acid
Also, see the difference between AHAs and BHAs, which are often used together
Here is a live demo of how to use AHAs, as shown by a dermatologist
This was the end of our list of the best active ingredients for acne. Always make sure to do your own research, consult with a dermatologist, and find the routine that works best for you and your skin!
Now you know which are the best active ingredients for acne, according to dermatologists
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