Acne treatment Acne treatment

Acne Kits That Work

Acne Kits That Work

Unless you've just returned from 10 years in outer space, you have probably seen advertisements for acne kits such as Proactiv and Neutrogena Oil-Free Face Wash. But what these ads don't elaborate on is what you really need to know: their ingredients. Take the guesswork out of clearing up acne by understanding which ingredients are used and how they work.

Benzoyl Peroxide

David E. Bank, author of "Beautiful Skin: Every Woman's Guide to Looking Her Best at Any Age," lists benzoyl peroxide as his first choice in acne cleansing. "It's the only one that is antibacterial and also exfoliates skin, unblocks pores and dries up excess oil," he says. Additionally, benzoyl peroxide can be purchased without a prescription and is the active agent in many well known acne kits, including Proactiv.

The benefits of benzoyl peroxide are good news to most, but not to all. Using benzoyl peroxide may lead to dryness and skin irritation. But it could also lead to worse things. According to Bank's book, 5 percent of the world's population is allergic to the ingredient. If you use benzoyl peroxide and you are allergic, expect "a rash resembling the one you get from poison ivy."

Salicylic and Alpha Hydroxy Acid

Obtaining smooth skin is still possible if you find benzoyl peroxide to be irritating. Salicylic acid, according to Bank, is still capable of exfoliating skin and unclogging pores. You can find the acid in Neutrogena's Oil-Free Acne Wash. The absence of benzoyl peroxide allows your face to be free of acne and without the feeling of dryness. Bank also recommends complementing salicylic acid with an ingredient called alpha hydroxy. It is designed to eliminate dead skin cells and to rejuvenate your facial tissue. Look for an oil-free moisturizer with a high SPF as it will probably have alpha hydroxy acid.


Having acne means that your cells are banding together near the pores and clogging them. The aim of retinol is to restore your body's natural skin processes. According to Drug Information Onilne, it adds a fair amount of Vitamin A that can get beneath the skin and into the problem area. The pores are then flushed out and cells are able to exit through your skin, relieving the buildup that caused the acne. Getting retinol is easy as it is available at pharmacies and does not require a prescription.

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