Acner.org: Acne treatment

Acner.org: Acne treatment

Best Over-the-Counter Acne Treatments

Best Over-the-Counter Acne Treatments Best Over-the-Counter Acne Treatments

It can be difficult to pick the best when it comes to acne treatments, considering the sheer volume of products available. Much of the time, finding the right product requires knowing about the types of treatments out there and how they approach conquering acne. It also requires knowing your skin, what works for you and what doesn't. Conveniently, many of the best treatments are available right over the counter, so with a bit of patience, you can experiment to find what works for you.

Benzoyl Peroxide

Benzoyl peroxide is one of the most common acne treatments. It's available over the counter in a variety of forms, including cleansers, creams, lotions, gels and cleansing pads. Benzoyl peroxide works by killing the bacteria P. acnes that are responsible for many acne breakouts. Additionally, it reduces surface oil on the skin, decreasing the likelihood of it trapping dead skin cells and clogging pores. Even though benzoyl peroxide is effective, it's important to choose a solution that has a low concentration of the main ingredient, about 2.5%. Regular use of a higher concentration will likely dry out your skin and cause peeling or even an increased number of blemishes. In order to maintain clear skin, it's important to keep using benzoyl peroxide even after your last blemish heals. Otherwise, your acne very well may return.

Salicylic Acid

Salicylic acid is another common ingredient in over-the-counter acne treatments, and it's effective at reducing blemishes and preventing new ones from forming. You can obtain it as a cleanser, cleansing pad, cream or lotion. It works best on non-inflammatory types of acne -- blackheads and whiteheads, mostly -- and works to unclog pores by speeding up the rate at which you shed dead skin cells. To see clear skin that lasts, you have to keep using a salicylic acid treatment; otherwise, dead skin will likely accumulate once again and lead to clogged pores.

Sulfur

While not necessarily the best-smelling acne treatment, sulfur is also effective at getting rid of blemishes, and you don't need a prescription to try it out. Sulfur improves the tone and texture of skin. Dermatologists have not yet figured out how and why sulfur works on acne. That said, it's hardly ever used on its own; its unpleasant aroma means that sulfur is often included in acne products with other main ingredients such as salicylic acid or even alcohol, both of which increase effectiveness and mask the odor. Sulfur acne treatments are usually available in creams, lotions or face masks.

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