Problems with acne aren’t only reserved for our teenage years, but we often have to deal with them later in life as well. What we all hate about acne is the fact it’s not easy to get rid of them which affects our self-esteem. In order to repair your skin and win the war against acne, you have to make sure you’re using products with right ingredients. Keep reading and find out what ingredients are effective for treating acne.
What Causes Acne Outbreaks?
Acne breakouts are usually caused by:
- Dead skin cells
- Oil production
- Clogged pores
Acne breakouts usually occur on your face, neck, chest, and back because these are the areas of your body with the most sebaceous or skin oil glands. Acne pops up when hair follicles become plugged with dead skin cells and oil. How this happens? Oil glands and hair follicles are connected. Oil glands secrete sebum (an oily substance) in order to lubricate your skin and hair. Sebum travels through hair follicles in order to reach the surface of your skin. Due to excessive production of dead skin cells and sebum, the two build up in hair follicles and form a soft plug that creates environment suitable for bacteria growth. The growth of bacteria causes inflammation.
This inflammation can show up in form of pimples or blackheads. There is a popular belief that blackheads are results of dirt that got stuck in pores, due to their dark nature. However, that’s false. The pores are congested with bacteria and oil which turns brown when exposed to the air.
Other factors that can trigger acne breakouts are:
- Hormones – for example, majority of women experience acne breakouts before their menstrual cycles. Acne breakouts during puberty also occur due to hormonal changes. Androgens are hormones that increase in girls and boys during puberty and they cause sebaceous glands to enlarge and produce more sebum. Also, acne can occur due to hormonal changes in pregnancy etc.
- Medications – regular intake of medications that contain androgens, lithium, and corticosteroids can cause acne too or worse already existing acne outbreak
- Diet – eating unhealthy foods is associated with certain skin conditions. Moreover, if you have acne and wonder why you can’t get rid of this problem already, it might be due to chocolate consumption. A recent study that included 14 men revealed that eating chocolate is associated with increased acne breakouts.
- Stress – stress affects your overall health and the quality of your skin. It can, actually, make your acne worse.
What Ingredients are Effective for Treating Acne?
Products made for treatment acne can be found in all stores and even ordered online. With a wide range of different items it can be difficult to find the right choice, it’s like deciding what smartphone to buy, they all seem great, but which one is the best in terms of quality? That’s why you try to learn more about smartphones types you’re interested in and get to know their features. Acne treatment products are the same. In order to buy one that will be effective, you have to get to know their features, in this case, ingredients. Some best acne treatment products need prescription, and some of them can be purchased over-the-counter.
Over-The-Counter Acne Treatment Products
Alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs)
Alpha-hydroxy acids such as lactic acid and glycolic acid are used as ingredients in acne treatments products. AHAs are synthetic versions of acids that derived from sugar-containing fruits. Products containing AHAs work by drying out blackheads, whiteheads, and pimples and causing the outermost layer of the skin to peel. In turn, they remove dead skin cells and reduce inflammation. Moreover, alpha-hydroxy acids stimulate growth of new, smoother, and healthier skin. Products that contain AHAs are considered as safe to use, but in people with sensitive skin they might cause redness. Does it mean I have to stop using these products, then? The trick is; if you have sensitive skin and notice redness after applying product that contains AHAs, you should just use it less often.
NOTE: skin care products with AHAs are effective but will make your skin sensitive to UV rays. Therefore, when you’re about to go out make sure you protect your skin from the sun.
According to Neal Schultz, MD, clinical professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, benzoyl peroxide is the most effective over-the-counter ingredient for treating acne mostly because it treats acne breakouts while most other products just prevent them. This ingredient kills bacteria and eliminates excess oil while exfoliating dead skin cells at the same time. Products that contain this ingredient are available in strengths from 2.5 to 10%. Benzoyl peroxide can be found in lotions, facial cleansers, creams, gels, and spot treatments.
Technically, it is not some chemical ingredient like most others, but most effective acne treatment. Clay is usually present in facial masks and possesses anti-inflammatory properties. It soothes the skin and reduces oil production.
This ingredient belongs to a group of beta hydroxy acids. It is effective exfoliant and helps keep pores clear by reaching inside hair follicles and exfoliating them which prevents oil and bacteria to plug them and cause acne. Salicylic acid is related to aspirin which has anti-inflammatory properties and our skin tolerates it better than glycolic acid. The ingredient is available in strengths of 0.5 to 5%, and it is usually recommended to choose 2% for acne treatment. Good example of product that contains salicylic acid is Solvaderm Zeroblem which is a dermatologist-developed spot and acne treatment designed to eliminate breakouts rapidly by targeting and healing spots and blemishes.
Solvaderm Zeroblem contains effective acne treatment ingredients such as sulfur that promotes removal of dead skin cells and prevents pores from clogging, zinc oxide which reduces the amount of oil that usually accumulates on the surface of your skin, and salicylic acid. What makes Solvaderm Zeroblem stand out among other products is its ability to quickly soothe, treat your skin, and resolve various imperfections in affected areas. This product will:
- Dissolve excessive oils
- Remove impurities, dirt, dead skin cells and bacteria from pores
- Provide deep cleaning and disinfecting the target area.
It’s easy to use this product, apply it every night before bedtime on affected areas after you washed your face (or any other type of body) and dried it (pat, don’t rub). Solvaderm Zeroblem has positive customer reviews and is an amazing tool to treat acne, mostly because it contains ingredients that are proved to be effective in fight against acne breakouts.
This ingredient was briefly mentioned above and it’s time to discuss how it fights acne. Sulfur is a mineral which decreases excess oil and inflammation while removing dead skin cells at the same time. Products containing sulfur are equally effective in both acne and rosacea treatments. Due to unpleasant odor, this ingredient is often combined with some other ingredients in skin care products. However, if you purchase an acne treatment product with unappealing smell don’t be discouraged because it’s just an obstacle you have to conquer towards smooth and healthy skin.
Tea Tree Oil
It is consider as the natural blemish fighter with antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that calm acne. However, this ingredient can be harsh to some people and if you have sensitive skin consult your dermatologist before you use product with tea tree oil.
Some acne treatment products can be prescribed by your dermatologist. They are available in several forms, gels and other topical treatments, antibiotics etc. Here are some of them:
This ingredient comes in form of gel or cream and is recommended for mild to moderate acne. Azelaic acid kills bacteria and exfoliates the dead skin cells that plug up pores.
Acne-fighting retinoids are available in two forms:
- Oral retinoids – are pills that are used to treat severe acne breakouts and are only prescribed when other treatments don’t help. About 85% of patients report permanent clearing after one treatment. Oral retinoids work by halting production of oil. However, you should be aware this is only the last resort and patients have to undergo various tests before their doctor prescribes these medications.
- Topical retinoids – Vitamin-A derived topical retinoids smooth wrinkles and fine lines. Additionally, they exfoliate skin and remove dead skin cells that cause clogs.
Here are some tips how to prevent acne breakouts:
- Wash acne-prone areas twice a day, not more.
- After taking a shower or washing your face, pat dry your skin instead of rubbing it with the towel
- Use over-the-counter products to dry excess oil
- Use non-oily makeup products
- Never go to bed with makeup on
- Wear loose clothes as tight clothing can irritate the skin and cause chest and back acne
- Shower after workouts etc.
- Avoid touching acne-affected areas.
Acne breakouts can be unappealing and they also affect our self-esteem. Luckily, it is possible to eliminate them completely with various products that are easily available. Example of good acne treatment product is Solvaderm Zeroblem which eliminates acne without having negative effect on your skin.