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The Best Over the Counter Acne Medications & Treatments

The Best Over the Counter Acne Medications & Treatments The Best Over the Counter Acne Medications & Treatments

Sifting through the surplus of acne products available over the counter can be confusing. In addition, what works for your friends or family may not be suitable for you. To find the best acne treatments for your skin, consider your individual skin type (whether oily, dry or combination), your personal preferences and your lifestyle.

Facial Cleansers

The first step to treating acne is cleansing. Keeping skin free of excess oil and debris is especially important in the teen years, when acne may be most aggressive due to overactive oil glands. The Family Doctor website reports dead skin cells mix with excess oil, plugging the hair follicle and causing acne. While harsh scrubs may seem appropriate for deep cleansing, they can actually do more harm than good. Hard scrubbing of the skin may cause further irritation and, according to The Family Doctor, can contribute to acne. If you are using spot treatments and other acne products with acne medicines, you may find the best option is a mild facial cleanser--without any medications. Look for a basic facial cleansing bar or liquid. Luxury washes are often unnecessary and expensive. Those without irritants, such as dyes, fragrances and preservatives are best for acne-prone skin. Emollient and humectant ingredients provide skin moisture without added oils.

Spot Treatments

Spot treatments are helpful for targeting acne blemishes and may be worn to prevent acne on problem areas of the skin. The best over-the-counter products contain powerful ingredients, such as benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid. Benzoyl peroxide is effective at destroying bacteria and, according to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), is a mainstay acne treatment used in both over-the-counter and prescription formulas. Salicylic acid is helpful for increasing skin shedding, inhibiting acne by clearing blocked pores. Individuals with sensitive skin may experience irritation, redness and peeling with these medications and may fare better with lower doses of the active ingredients. It may take up to eight weeks before your skin improves. The Family Doctor recommends talking to your doctor if these products do not help after two months.

Medicated Make-up

Many women and teen girls are in the habit of dressing their faces for school, work or special occasions. A bit of foundation can prime the face for a rosy blush or bronzing cream. However, the wrong formula can clog pores and cause acne. Oil based make-up can be problematic for acne prone skin. Medicated make-up may help women beautify their faces while diminishing acne blemishes. Products like concealer sticks, foundation and pressed powder have added salicylic acid for healing benefits and may be the best way for busy women and teens to treat acne all day.

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