Acne treatment Acne treatment

Noxema and Acne

Noxema and Acne


Originally developed in the early 1900s to treat sunburn, Noxzema was invented by Baltimore pharmacist George A. Bunting. After it was found that the ointment in the cobalt blue jar could treat eczema, Bunting named his invention "Noxzema." In the 1950s, the Noxell Company began branching out and formulating products to treat more diverse skin conditions, like acne.

Noxzema Products

Noxzema is the name of the original treatment cream that was developed to ease the symptoms of sunburn. The ingredients, menthol, eucalyptus and camphor help heal wounds, have anesthetic capabilities that dull pain and help relieve itching and discomfort. Now, Noxzema is a brand that includes everything from moisturizers, cleansers, astringents and more.

Noxzema Acne Products

The products developed to treat acne under the Triple Clean label include Anti-Blemish Pads, Antibacterial Lathering Cleanser, Anti-Blemish Astringent and Blackhead Cleanser. The original Noxzema product line now contains skin cleansers, in addition to the original product formulated to treat sunburn and eczema. The products in Noxema's original line are not formulated specifically for the treatment of breakouts. Due to their ability to fight bacteria, however, they are just as capable of preventing acne as Noxzema's other products.

Triple Clean Ingredients

The ingredients used to treat acne in Noxzema's Triple Clean line include salicylic acid, which prevents pores from clogging, slows the shedding of cells inside pores and washes away dead cells that can lead to breakouts. Triclosan, another ingredient, is an antibacterial that helps prevent the development of Propionibacterium acne, a form of the condition caused by bacteria. A 1992 study from the journal "Clinical Therapeutics" reports that cleansing pads containing salicylic acid reduced lesions and severity of lesions in patients with mild or moderate acne. Additionally, only a minority of those treated with salicylic acid had mild irritation.


Although the ingredients used in Noxzema's acne-fighting line of products are proven to be effective treatments, some in the medical establishment, according to the Health Central website, believe that triclosan could lead to bacterial resistance. The Health Central website suggests that consistent use of anti-bacterial ingredients, including triclosan, can eventually multiply bacteria. A study by the National Institutes of Health in 2002 reports that those who use regular soap do not have more bacteria than those who use products with triclosan.

Treatment for Acne

Noxzema's Blackhead Cleanser and Triple Clean Anti-Blemish Pads both contain 2 percent salicylic acid, the recommended amount of medication needed to treat breakouts. Salicylic acid is recognized as one of the most effective medications for treating acne, and unlike triclosan, it does not increase the risk of bacterial resistance.

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