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 then progresses with a few clicks on the link.

Then, before you know it, three hours have passed.

This is too easy to do, especially when finding an acne treatment.

But stop, don’t panic; we have compiled this handy guide and free ebook.

To expedite healing so you can achieve clear, radiant skin.

Acne Treatment

Where it is on your skin

When it comes to acne treatment, the location of acne on your skin is important.

Acne on your chest and face is usually associated with inflammation and should be treated gently.

However, when acne is on your back or buttocks, the skin in this area is thicker and more resilient. Usually, this area requires stronger products, such as medicated scrubs, masks, and dependable BHA toners.

Product strength

Determining the optimal strength for your acne products is a delicate balance.

Overly strong products can lead to skin irritation and dryness; however, if your products lack sufficient potency, your acne may not respond effectively.

Start using mild products for the first 2 to 4 and gradually transition to more potent products if you don’t see noticeable improvements.


Your skin is a quick learner and can adapt to the effects of your acne treatment products, which can reduce their effectiveness over time.

This phenomenon is often called “adaptation” or hitting a “plateau” in acne treatment, so it’s important to keep your skincare routine dynamic.

Begin your routine using your acne product every other day for the first 2-4 weeks, followed by daily use over the subsequent 2-4 weeks.

Then, gradually increase the strength of your acne products; we recommend interchanging your lower-dose product on some nights to promote skin acclimatisation and prevent product wastage.

By consistently adjusting your skincare routine, you should begin to see your breakouts clearing up.

Acne Treatment Options

Topical medications

  • Benzoyl Peroxide: Helps decrease sebum production and kill acne-causing bacteria.
  • Salicylic Acid: Exfoliates dead skin cells and unclogs pores.
  • Sulfur: Has drying properties and antibacterial effects.

Prescription medications

  • Azelaic Acid: This is considered an all-round treatment for the management of acne breakouts
  • Retinoids (Vitamin A Derivatives): These help to regulate cellular turnover, unclog pores, and reduce inflammation. They are often considered a first-line treatment.


  • Doxycycline and Minocycline: These are prescribed to kill inflammation-associated bacteria. Due to concerns about antibiotic resistance, they are not recommended for long-term use.

Hormonal treatments

  • Birth Control Pills: For women experiencing hormonal acne, this is an excellent acne treatment.
  • Spironolactone Can also be prescribed to address hormonal changes.

Combination therapies

  • Sometimes, a combination of topical and systemic treatments may be more effective.

Other procedures

  • Facials, Microdermabrasion, and Chemical Peels: These procedures can complement acne treatment.
  • Acne Laser Treatment: Laser is often used for moderate acne.

Over-the-counter (OTC) medications

  • Suitable for mild to moderate acne (grades 1 and 2). Include OTC creams and treatments.

Assessment and consultation

If there are no visible improvements after six weeks of treatment, consider consulting a dermatologist, such as a company like Clarus Dermatology..

It’s important to note here that individual responses to these treatments will vary, and a dermatologist or doctor can help you determine the most appropriate treatment plan based on the type and severity of your acne.

Additionally, lifestyle factors, skincare routines, and diet will also play a role in managing your acne.

Always consult a healthcare professional with personalised advice and discuss potential side effects and treatment options.

To conclude, the naked truth

In conclusion, the journey to clear skin involves a thoughtful and dynamic approach to acne treatment.

Understanding your skin’s unique needs, striking the right balance in product strength, and addressing the challenge of adaptation are all crucial steps on this path.

With the right strategy, clear and radiant skin can be achieved through topical treatments, prescription medications, or a combination of therapies.

Always remember that individual responses can vary, so seeking guidance from a dermatologist is crucial in finding the most effective treatment plan tailored to your specific needs.

10 replies on “Guide to Finding the Right Acne Treatment”

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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

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.