There is a mind boggling variety of products out there that claim to ‘cure’ acne; some that are effective, and some that are less so. It is important to keep away those that contain harmful chemicals. Let’s look at the common ingredients that most of the top acne products use, and then see what each may be useful for treating.
1. Benzoly Peroxide
This is among the most common acne product ingredients. Among the over the counter products available, you may have 2.5% or 5% concentrations. Higher concentrations may be available by prescription. It is not useful for certain kinds of acne, but may be suitable for mild acne, and acne prevention. It should be used in conjunction with moisturizers since it can have a drying effect on skin.
2. Salicylic Acid
This is another one of the commonly used acne product ingredients that works by unclogging pores and preventing white heads and black heads. So if you have the kind of skin that is prone to blackheads which proceed to develop into pimples, this ingredient could be suitable for you.
Alcohol is present in a lot of cleaning products and astringents. These help to clean the skin and keep it dry and the sebum under control. Acne products that contain alcohol are not recommended for severe acne however and in some cases may actually worsen a case of acne.
4. Alpha Hydroxy Acids
This ingredient is used not only in acne products but also in anti wrinkle products. Products containing this ingredient help reduce acne by controlling inflammation and improving cell turnover (removing deal cells and stimulating growth of new skin cells). These formulations also are used to reduce the appearance of acne scars since they help smoothing the skin.
5. Sulfur Containing Products
In acne products, sulfur is sometimes used in addition to other ingredients such as salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide etc. Sulfur also helps to dry the skin and causes fewer breakouts, but it may cause irritation in some skin types and may not be suitable.
Since it is bacteria that cause acne, it makes sense to tackle them by using antibiotic containing products. They can help by killing the bacteria and causing the pimples to subside and can also stop the acne spreading. Sometimes oral antibiotics may also be prescribed. These however should only be taken under medical supervision and a proper understanding of the type of acne a person has.