Acne treatment Acne treatment

Acne Cleanser Ingredients

Acne Cleanser Ingredients Acne Cleanser Ingredients

There are many cleanser ingredients that claim to treat acne. But before you make a purchase, it's important to know what these ingredients actually do and how they work. By understanding acne cleanser ingredients, including their function and effectiveness, you can assess the kinds of over-the-counter or prescription products they can be found in and which will be the most effective for you.

Benzoyl Peroxide

Benzoyl peroxide can be found in many over-the-counter cleansers and in prescription strength, and is recommended by Dr. Andrew Weil, the Mayo Clinic and the American Academy of Dermatology. According to the Acne website, it is an antibacterial agent that kills the bacteria causing the acne infections and it has a mild drying and peeling effect. It can be found in Neutrogena On-the-Spot, Clearasil, Oxy-10, Fostex and Clear by Design.

Salicylic Acid

Salicylic acid is another common ingredient found in many over-the-counter cleansers. Salicylic acid slows down the shedding of skin cells inside hair follicles, which block pores and form acne. It also helps to treat mild acne by breaking down blackheads and whiteheads. It can be found in Stridex, Clearasil Clearstick, Oxy Night Watch and many Neutrogena face soaps and cleansers. If using products containing salicylic acid, the Acne website recommends not mixing it with other active ingredients as it may promote skin irritation.

Tretinoin (Retin-A)

Tretinoin is the same ingredient used in many wrinkle and anti-aging creams. It is a combination of retinoic and vitamin A acids, and is typically only available via prescription for the treatment of acne. Tretinoin unclogs and helps to keep pores clear to prevent further acne breakouts. As it clears your skin of existing clogged pores, it may appear to be making your acne worse before it gets better. It can also cause photosensitivity, meaning your skin will be more susceptible to sunburn.

Azelaic Acid (Azelex)

Azelaic acid, commonly known as Azelex, comes in cream form available by prescription only. It is a natural acid found in whole grain cereals and animal products. It is believed that azelaic acid enables the skin to regenerate at a faster rate, preventing skin cells from building up and clogging pores. It also kills the bacteria responsible for causing the acne infection. Application can cause itching, burning, stinging or tingling in some people.

Isotretinoin (Accutane)

Isotretinoin, commonly known as Accutane, is a prescription available in pill form. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, it is the only FDA-approved medication to treat the most severe cases of acne involving nodular cysts. It is made from vitamin A, and patients must be closely monitored while on the medication by their dermatologist due to possible severe side effects.

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