One of the most common skin conditions in the United States is Acne (acne vulgaris). Acne can occur on any area of the skin but is most commonly found on the face, neck, chest, and back. Acne can range in severity from mild, occasional breakouts to severe, ongoing cases that can lead to permanent scarring.
There are many different acne treatments available, and the best treatment for each person depends on their individual skin type. Some people with mild cases do well with over-the-counter treatments, while others need prescription medication to get clear skin. These acne treatments mostly contain ingredients such as salicylic acid, glycolic acid, benzoyl peroxide, lactic acid, and more.
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What Causes Acne?
Acne is caused by a combination of factors, including overactive oil glands, bacteria, and dead skin cells. The sebaceous glands produce oil (sebum) to keep the skin moisturized. When these glands are overactive, too much oil is produced, and the hair follicles get all blocked up. This allows bacteria to grow, leading to inflammation and acne breakouts. The combination of excessive sebum, dead skin cells, and bacteria may show up as whiteheads, blackheads, pimples, or all of the above.
What Are the Best Acne Treatments for My Skin Type?
Treating acne varies depending on the skin type. Many over-the-counter (OTC) moisturizers, gels, toners, and creams can treat non-inflammatory acne blemishes. If you have oily skin, over-the-counter products that contain salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide are a good option. If you have dry skin, look for products that are moisturizing and non-comedogenic (meaning they won’t clog pores). But if you have sensitive skin, look for products that are gentle and fragrance-free.
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Best Acne Treatment Cleansers
Using the right cleanser can help with inflammation and clogged pores. If you have acne-prone skin, it is recommended to use a gentle, non-abrasive cleanser that doesn’t contain any harsh chemicals or sulfates.
For mild to moderate acne, dermatologists often suggest an acne face wash with salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide. Benzoyl peroxide is a common ingredient in over-the-counter acne treatments. It helps to kill bacteria and can reduce inflammation. Make sure to be careful when using benzoyl peroxide, as it can often cause dryness and skin irritation.
If you have more severe acne, your dermatologist may prescribe you a stronger face wash that contains sulfur or retinoids. Retinoids are a type of vitamin A that helps unclog pores and reduce inflammation.
Some good cleanser options are listed below:
Cerave Hydrating Facial Cleanser
You can buy this on Amazon for $12.91.
La Roche-Posay Toleriane Hydrating Gentle Cleanser
You can buy this on Amazon for $14.99.
Bioderma Sensibio H2O
You can buy this on Amazon for $14.99.
Paula’s Choice Clear Pore Normalizing Acne Cleanser
You can buy this on Amazon for $14.
Best Toners for Acne-Prone Skin
Toners are most helpful and necessary for people with oily or acne-prone skin. It can help remove excess oil, dead skin cells, and bacteria from the skin. It also shrinks pores and restores your skin’s pH balance.
If you’re looking to incorporate this beauty treatment into your skincare routine to help you with your acne problems, we rounded up a few top-rated options below:
Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant
You can buy this on Amazon for $30.40.
SkinCeuticals Equalizing Toner
You can buy this on SkinCeuticals for $34.
REN Ready Steady Glow Daily AHA Tonic
You can buy this on Amazon for $38.
Best Moisturizers & Serums
Even acne-prone skin needs hydration! Moisturizers do not add water to your skin; instead, they aid in the retention of water in the outer layer of your skin, keeping it hydrated. Moisturizers come in a variety of forms, including lotions, creams, and gels. Some are made of water, while others are made of oil. If you are just starting to know which one works best for you, look for a lightweight, oil-free moisturizer that won’t clog pores.
Some good options to treat acne with moisturizers and serums are:
EAU THERMALE AVÈNE Cleanance Concentrate Serum
You can buy this on Amazon for $25.20.
CETAPHIL Acne Moisturizer
You can buy this on Amazon for $10.11.
The Ordinary Lactic Acid 10% + HA 2% Exfoliating Serum
You can buy this on Amazon for $11.
CeraVe Resurfacing Retinol Serum
You can buy this on Amazon for $20.
La Roche-Posay Effaclar Mat Oil-Free Moisturizer
You can buy this on Amazon for $31.99.
Best Acne Treatment Gels
Treatment Gels are also good for mild to moderate acne. Benzoyl peroxide is the active ingredient in many acne treatment gels, and it helps to break down the blackheads and whiteheads that can cause acne. Gels are also good for people who have sensitive skin because they are less likely to cause a rash or dry skin.
If you’re looking for an acne treatment gel, consider this list below:
Differin Acne Treatment Gel
You can buy this on Amazon for $13.89.
LA ROCHE-POSAY Effaclar Adapalene Gel
You can buy this on Amazon for $29.99.
Cerave Salicylic Acid Acne Treatment Gel
You can buy this on Amazon for $11.39.