Guide to Finding the Right Acne Treatment

Guide to Finding the Right Acne Treatment

Acne is among one of the most common skin conditions.

Research has found that a staggering 95% of people experience acne at some point in their lives.

Yet finding a product that treats this condition is not easy.

The most frustrating part is that for most people, their acne experience presents itself differently and because there are so many clinical acne grades, this skin condition is tricky to treat.

Simple Alcohol

Acne treatments are riddled with alcohols like isopropyl alcohol.

SD alcohol and denatured alcohol instantly remove any oil that may be sitting on the surface of your skin, so it gives the impression that the ingredient is working effectively; but what you may not know, is that simple alcohols strip the acid mantle which keeps your skin’s pH in check.

When your acid mantle is damaged, this upsets the protective micro-flora on your skin’s surface, making it susceptible to bacteria so you’re also more likely to have a breakout!

The Best Approach to Acne Treatment

In most cases, a multidimensional approach to acne is necessary, because most people have a combination of symptoms and treatment kits offer what individual products cannot.

The most popular ingredients used to treat acne conditions, have very different roles on the skin.

Salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid that comes from willow bark, which is a naturally occurring exfoliator. It breaks down fatty acids like sebum, so pores don’t clog.

Glycolic acid clears debris from the follicular wall, which if left untreated, can lead to comedones — whiteheads, blackheads, and other non-red bumps.

Benzoyl peroxide attacks the P. acnes bacteria; it breaks down into oxygen and benzoic acid, which rip through the bacteria’s membranes.

The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, states that salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide are by far the most common acne ingredients, and they’re effective in double-blind studies of patients, with mild-to-moderately severe acne.

Less is More

Impatience in getting result in this treatment usually results in worsening your acne rather than helping it.

In attempting to dry out acne lesions, I find my clients often use too many products, or apply excessive amounts to problem areas, which results in further irritation and over-drying of the skin.

Vigorous scrubbing and use of harsh exfoliants can make acne worse, causing inflammation in the skin.


Rarely would you have the time to try out all the products on the market.

And it’s not often that I endorse products, or even reviews for that matter, but I was so impressed with the recent study on acne treatments carried out by, that I thought I would include it for my readers.

It’s a comprehensive guide that takes the leg work out of finding the best products to treat acneic conditions. Reviews spent months researching 42 acne treatment kits, to find the top products that effectively unclog pores, heal breakouts, and soothe redness.

With the help of leading dermatologists and skin care experts, and reviewing double-blind half-face studies, they analysed ingredients and dug into the science behind treatments, to find the leading products on the market that treat acne effectively.

You can find their original research and their top picks here.

Hopefully, the products in this review will help you implement a good treatment plan for your skin, starting you on your journey to skin health.


10 thoughts on “Guide to Finding the Right Acne Treatment

  1. Khaiy rha says:

    Thank you so much this article has thought me a lot…I’m currently suffering from a serious acne problem and I have used quite a number of products but I’m not earning any good results, this article will help with my research.

    • Verified Author Samantha Miller replied:

      Thank you for your message. There are so many grades to acne and reasons why we get them from hormonal through to genetics, it’s about trial and error and remember that topically you can only do so much. From a clinical perspective I recommend taking a completely holistic view because it is often systemic. Samantha

  2. Callum Palmer says:

    I do like that the article points out the likelihood that you will have to approach acne treatment from several different points. After all, because most people suffer from a combination of problems that cause their acne there is no one, catch-all solution. Instead, you should probably talk to a dermatologist about which combination of treatments is best for you.

  3. Eugen says:

    I had terrible acnee (severe) for long time, now I a 32 and still struggling. Off the counter products like salicilic acid didn’t seem to do much anymore. The dermatologist had put me on acutane but that’s very harsh on your body, then on doxycycline antibiotic which was also pretty bad for the health overall.
    To my surprise what seems to be working the best is using oil cleansing. I mix jojoba and castor oil, but also tried with castor avocado combination and will try coconut as well for its antibacterial properties. My skin looks so much healthier with the oil. Applying alcohol and salicilic acid over the years really made my skin age and not look as healthy.
    I supplement the oil method with prescribed benzoyl peroxide + clyndomicin topical cream (Duac brand name) when it gets worse, that usually happens when I forget to apply the oil daily, eat too many sweets or don’t sleep enough (can’t tell if that is accurate for sure about sweets, just noticed that’s how it goes for me).
    The oil cleansing though seems to be making a great difference, with Duac topical cream as a fallback. I would definitely recommend to speak to a dermatologist if the acnee is severe, I will tell my dermatologist about the oil cleansing next time when I see her too.

  4. AZLV says:

    Thank you for this article. The research was interesting to read, I wish this had been around sooner. I spent the better part of my late twenties and early thirties dealing with acne something awful. I never had it as a teen and I felt like it was nature’s revenge. I regret that I didn’t find an effective treatment plan back then. Now I’m 36, a skincare freak, and I spend countless hours researching and trying out products to clear up the consequences of not being proactive with treating it: scarring. I thought it might be working and that my makeup was at least covering it up until someone recently said to me, “So did you have to see a dermatologist for that acne you had?” I wanted to crawl under the table. So I guess so far nothing has really worked but I hope one day it will. It’s very sad, acne is such a nasty condition that really can do a doozy to someone’s self esteem. I hope others will find resolution to their acne with the Paula’s choice products that were recommended.

    • Verified Author Samantha Miller replied:

      Thankyou so much for appreciating this article, acne is a terrible condition on so many levels so I do really relate to you. I think because acne is multi faceted it is so hard to treat: Acne is hormonal, its also about treating it topically without stripping your protective barrier, which so many people do, so you need to treat the inflammation first.I also believe that the latest research is saying a lack of linoleic acid internally plays a big part, check out my article on this particular oil for more info, Samantha

      • Dorothy says:

        Good morning Samantha, thanks for the posts. I had acne after having my baby at the age of 30. It was such a nasty problem that I tested different products with no results instead the blackheads were shooting out like morning stars. I came across a product containing allantoin and like a magic for the first time the acne cleared and new ones never popped up. Then I used another product containing salicylic acid, acne was all over my face again. Since I couldn’t find the first product that worked like magic I found a different product containing allantoin it also worked for me. The challenge I have is getting the two products that worked for me consistently. Can I formulate my own herbal products using allantoin? I need your advice pls and if possible Guidelines on the formula. Thank you. Dorothy

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.