Comparison of Acne Products
Over the counter acne medications rely upon just a few ingredients to fight breakouts and blemishes. Salicyclic acid and benzoyl peroxide are common choices in acne fighting products, ranging from inexpensive drugstore options to pricier mail-order skin care. Finding the right products for your skin doesn't have to be expensive, and can be easier than you might expect.
Acne products include cleansers, toners, treatment creams, lotions and gels, as well as moisturizers designed for acne prone skin. All products you use on your skin should be oil free and non-comedogenic, or designed not to clog your pores. Hypoallergenic products are best for more sensitive skin, and are typically free of fragrances and other irritants. Depending upon the acne treatment regimen you choose, one or more products may be medicated to fight acne.
A simplified acne treatment regimen should include a cleanser to remove dirt and oils, an acne treatment lotion and a light, oil-free moisturizer with sunscreen, recommends Acne.org. Your treatment lotion can be benzoyl peroxide based or rely upon salicyclic acid. Benzoyl peroxide works by reducing the P. acnes bacteria on the skin and clearing away dead skin cells, and is found in the popular Proactiv product line. Salicyclic acid can help to unclog pores, reports SkinCarePhysicians.net. Salicyclic acid is a key ingredient in L'oreal's Acne Response System and also used along with benzoyl peroxide in Neutrogena's Complete Acne Therapy System.
Mild to moderate acne, including whiteheads and cystic acne, typically responds best to treatment with benzoyl peroxide. Use a lower concentration of benzoyl peroxide, but apply generously, recommends Acne.org. If you have problems with blackheads or clogged pores, you may find that the exfoliating benefits of salicyclic acid are adequate to treat your troubled skin.
Regardless of which acne treatment method you choose, it is essential that you continue using the product even after your skin has cleared. If you stop using benzoyl peroxide or salicyclic acid, you can expect breakouts to recur, regardless of which acne product you choose, reports SkinCarePhysicians.com. Over time, you may find that you can reduce the frequency or amount of the treatment lotion or product you use.
Both benzoyl peroxide and salicyclic acid can cause redness, dryness and irritation. Use a gentle moisturizer to counteract this effect and keep your skin healthy. If typical over the counter methods fail to improve your skin or you have severe acne, see your physician to develop a treatment regimen. You should keep in mind that many prescription treatments cause sun sensitivity, so a sunscreen is especially important.
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