Acner.org: Acne treatment

Acner.org: Acne treatment

Product Ingredients to Combat Acne

Product Ingredients to Combat Acne Product Ingredients to Combat Acne

For mild to moderate cases of acne or the occasional breakout of pimples, drugstore cleansers, toners and topical treatments can be effective as long as you know which ingredients to look for on the product's label. These combat acne by fighting the bacteria and build-up of oil and dead skin cells that cause pimples to form. After choosing your products use them according to their directions and make sure to give them time to take effect. According to the American Academy of Dermatology if you use a nonprescription program to treat acne, it may be four to eight weeks before you start to notice any improvement in your skin.

Benzoyl Peroxide

Products containing benzoyl peroxide are your best bet if you want a comprehensive product that kills bacteria and removes oil and dead skin cells, states the Mayo Clinic. Benzoyl peroxide is available in gels and lotions in strengths that range between 2.5 and 10 percent. The AAD warns that this product can dry out your skin, so make sure to follow directions carefully. Also, this ingredient can bleach towels, clothes, sheets and even hair. Make sure you wear a shirt that you don't mind getting ruined if you're putting benzoyl peroxide on a part of your body that's covered by clothing.

Salicylic Acid

Products containing salicylic acid slow down the shedding of dead skin cells and help resolve whiteheads and blackheads, the two types of comedones. Lotions, creams and topical pads generally contain between 0.5 percent to 2 percent salicylic acid. The AAD notes that salicylic acid doesn't slow down sebum production or reduce bacteria. It may also sting upon application and result in skin irritation.

Sulfur and Resorcinol

According to the Mayo Clinic, these two acne-fighting ingredients generally go hand-in-hand. These get rid of dead skin cells and excess sebum, as well as dissolve whiteheads and blackheads. This combination of ingredients can result in inflamed skin and possible peeling after the product is used for several days. Sulfur has been used to treat acne for numerous decades--in January 2010, the AAD indicated that it had been in use for more than 50 years.

Alcohol and Acetone

Most often found in toners and washes, these two ingredients act as a very gentle "degreaser" notes the AAD. Alcohol is a mild antimicrobial, although acetone is typically ineffective on its own. Side effects may include burning or stinging when the product is applied to the skin.

Natural Ingredients

Products containing tea tree oil and glycolic acid as well as zinc supplements may have some effect on acne although the Mayo Clinic cautions that the efficacy of these products has not been studied extensively. Tea tree oil should not be used by those with acne rosacea. Additionally, there's concern that topical application of tea tree oil may result in contact dermatitis and cause breast development in young men.

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