Best Acne Treatments
Continued Pore-cleansers are even more effective if you find two or three products you like and rotate them every two to three months, Crutchfield says. “You can actually build a resistance to treatment. Essentially, the acne outsmarts the medicine and the breakout begins again, but rotating products can often solve that problem,” he says. What about the pre-packaged acne treatment products often sold on infomercials, the Internet and shopping channels? Day says these products usually contain benzyl peroxide or salicylic acid or both – the same ingredients in the acne medications sold in drugstores. Crutchfield says that what gives these products an edge is the fact that they come with a recommended regimen. This, he says, increases compliance, which is a essential to the effectiveness of any product. “If they have any ‘magic’, that’s it,” Crutchfield says. For occasional breakouts – or to keep skin clear after ending a regimen – you may want to skip the topicals altogether and go high-tech with Zeno, an FDA approved heated electronic “zit zapper.” It uses the body’s “heat shock response” to kill bacteria and clear pimples. While the company claims Zeno can clear each pimple with just a few 2 1/2-minute long treatments spread over 24 hours, Crutchfield says it does so for only about 60-70% of patients – and it works best only on mild breakouts. “This is not for severe acne – it’s good for maintenance once your acne is under control or if you have an occasional pimple, but that’s all,” says Crutchfield. Acne Treatments: How Your Doctor Can Help When over-the-counter acne treatments just don’t seem to do the job, don’t despair – your local dermatologist has another bag of tricks that can help. Often, the first line of prescription defense is antibiotics – both topical and oral, and sometimes both. “Antibiotics work fast, so they can bring about a quick result,” says Day. This, she says, is particularly true when used in conjunction with a benzyl peroxide product and a good cleansing regimen. One of the newest soldiers in the antibiotic army is Solodyn, an extended release drug which offers a continuous but very low dose of the antibiotic minocycline. Another is MinocinPac – the first prescription treatment package that combines minocycline withskin calming topical products designed to work together.
Best Acne Treatments
Continued But perhaps the most exciting new approach involves the off-label use of Oracea, an oral medication originally approved to treat rosacea, another inflammatory skin condition. It features an ultra low dose of the antibiotic doxycycline in a novel new configuration “They dropped the antibiotic component of this drug extremely low, but at the same time they dramatically increased the anti-inflammatory component,” says Crutchfield. The end result is a drug that targets the inflammation and, says Crutchfield, works extremely well for many acne patients, including middle aged women who also have rosacea symptoms. Day often takes another “off label” approach when acne strikes women in middle age. Her solution involves use of the anti-androgen drug Aldactone. “The results are incredible – the skin clears, there is no drying, and if you use the brand name and not the generic, there are almost no side effects and the women feel great – most say their skin never looked so good,” says Day. Crutchfield also prescribes Aldactone, and says it not only works for middle-aged women, but also for teenaged girls and young women, particularly when acne develops on the chin and jaw line. “Acne is all basically hormonally driven, so in some young women anti-androgens are the answer,” he says. Some women also find acne relief in birth control pills, which help regulate the cycle and control hormonal swings linked to many breakouts. Acne Treatments: The Really ‘ Big Guns’ In the event that your acne is stubborn – or you are developing scars – doctors say there are several “big guns” available to help. Unlike topicals and antibiotics, which work to suppress breakouts, these treatments go to the root of the problem by shutting down oil production. “When I see a patient whose skin is already scarring I don’t mess around – I go right for the most aggressive treatment – and for me that’s isotretinoin, otherwise known as Accutane,” says Crutchfield. As he explains, this oral prescription drug impacts oil production. Once the “oil faucet” is turned off, he says, you eliminate the traffic jam inside the pores, and the breakouts stop.
Best Acne Treatments
Nobody thinks popping pimples is a good idea. But it’s just so satisfying — mostly because you can actually see something happening. Contrary to the marketing promises of “blemish banishers” and “zit zappers,” immediate results are not the trademark of acne treatments, a frustrating truth to anyone suffering through a breakout. And while pimples are personal (your stress-induced spots will look and act differently than your best friend’s breakout), the best acne treatments will include a regimen of products to hit all of acne’s root causes. Our top pick, Paula’s Choice Regular Strength Clear Acne Kit, is a three-part system designed to unclog pores, heal breakouts, and soothe redness. Acne vulgaris is the catch-all term for everything from angry red lesions to tiny white bumps, which are the results of hair follicles and their sebaceous glands becoming blocked and inflamed — how vulgar indeed. Genetics plays a big part in who gets acne and how severely, but each blemish can be blamed on some combination of sebum production, a bacteria called Propionibecterium acnes (P. acnes), plugged follicles, and inflammation. Finding a good treatment is really about finding the right combination of ingredients to troubleshoot each of those issues.
Best Acne Treatments
The best acne products are essential for adults suffering from bad skin. While some women are lucky enough to outgrow teen acne (or skip it entirely — jerks), the rest of us need help dealing with the recurring blemishes in our 20s, 30s, 40s and beyond. That’s when this list of the best acne products — along with the ones you should avoid — becomes especially handy. With it, we can navigate the endless acne treatment options out there and hone in on the best acne products that will help us treat everything from cystic acne and the occasional monster zit to chin acne or recurring breakouts.
This three-piece set may not be the most comprehensive acne solution available, but we liked the balanced approach to fighting acne while also protecting skin. The Anti-Redness Exfoliating Solution is mostly water, but its 2 percent salicylic acid is enough to eat through oil and slough off the dead skin cells clogging your pores — and it boasts a higher concentration than nearly every other kit we looked at. It sloshes out quickly (so have your cotton balls at the ready), but stroking it over your face and neck per the instructions is pure heaven. It’s cooling on the skin and leaves a lingering tingle that never turns into a burn. Sodium hyaluronate, the super-moisturizing humectant we fell in love with in our review on the best face moisturizer, also caught our eye sitting smack dab in the middle of the ingredients list. Rounding out the Clear Acne kit is the Daily Skin Clearing Treatment, an all-over 2.5 percent benzoyl peroxide cream that also touts calming bisabolol and allantoin to alleviate the dryness and irritation that can crop up mid-treatment. Anyone frustrated with oil-slick skin will also love this part of the regimen — it creates a satin mattifying effect, instantly transforming shininess into a glow. The three-piece set doesn’t come with an SPF, but Paula’s Choice has one in the line, the Clear Ultra-Light Daily Fluid SPF 30+. “Sun protection is really important, especially with acneic skin,” says Townsend. “In many cases, stronger acne products can make the skin photosensitive to the sun.” This isn’t your normal gloppy white sunscreen. Its fluid formula slips over tender skin, doesn’t need a ton of rubbing in, and also leaves a mattifying finish. If you give the Regular Strength kit a try and don’t see the results you want, Paula’s Choice also has an Extra Strength Clear Acne Kit that boosts the Daily Skin Clearing Treatment up to 5 percent benzoyl peroxide (and replaces the sodium hyaluronate in the exfoliant with green tea extract) to give your acne a real kick. But we recommend starting with the regular strength version. “When it comes to strong products, less is more,” Townsend says.
Nobody thinks popping pimples is a good idea. But it’s just so satisfying — mostly because you can actually see something happening. Contrary to the marketing promises of “blemish banishers” and “zit zappers,” immediate results are not the trademark of acne treatments, a frustrating truth to anyone suffering through a breakout. And while pimples are personal (your stress-induced spots will look and act differently than your best friend’s breakout), the best acne treatments will include a regimen of products to hit all of acne’s root causes. Our top pick, Paula’s Choice Regular Strength Clear Acne Kit, is a three-part system designed to unclog pores, heal breakouts, and soothe redness.