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Guide to Finding the Right Acne Treatment

Guide to Finding the Right Acne Treatment

Have you ever fallen down the internet rabbit hole?

It starts with an innocent search in the gods of Google, which progresses with a few link clicks, and before you know it, three hours have gone by.

It could well be the reason you found yourself here.

This is all too easy to do, especially when you’re trying to find a cure for your acne breakouts, with an overwhelming amount of information to wade through.

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 there are so many clinical acne grades, it is tricky to treat.

Before you go any deeper in your search, here’s a hand. A comprehensive list, so you don’t have to go looking for it – keep on scrolling to learn more.

What is the best approach to my acne treatment?

In most cases, a multidimensional approach to acne is necessary because most people have a combination of symptoms.

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

Salicylic acid comes from willow bark. Found in resq anti-blemish complex, it is a naturally occurring exfoliator that breaks down fatty acids like sebum, so pores don’t get clogged, which can cause a vicious cycle on your skin.

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 bacteria; breaking 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 really is more

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

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

We appreciate it is natural to want to try to scrub those breakouts into oblivion. Still, vigorous scrubbing and the use of harsh exfoliants can make them worse, causing acne 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 we endorse other products on our site – simply because if we haven’t tested them out in a clinical setting and monitored the results over a period of months, then we don’t feel qualified to endorse the product.

But on this occasion, we have to admit, to being really impressed with two studies, that have evaluated the choices in topical treatment for acne vulgaris and patient adherence to the prescribed treatment.

So much so, that we thought that we would include them here and also here for you, our dear readers. The latter is a super-comprehensive study – one that is backed by science and takes the leg work out of finding the best products to treat acne conditions, 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 analyzed ingredients dug into the science behind treatments, to find the leading products on the market that treat acne effectively.

Hopefully, the products in these studies will also help you on your acne journey, and implement a comprehensive acne treatment plan for your skin, starting you on your journey back 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.

    • Samantha Miller says:

      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.

    • Samantha Miller says:

      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

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