What is the best acne treatment?
Well alll of them – if you want to get the best results.
It makes sense, right?
What’s the point of using an oil control cleanser to flush out the pore, if you’re still using a fatty cream that feeds acne bacteria?
Instead you need an integrated approach to your skincare routine.
But it’s confusing we know; because there is so much misinformation about treating your acne-prone skin.
This is why we feel it is important to simplify the best acne treatments available, addressing only a few basic principles for topical acne therapy.
What are the best acne treatments?
This family are the non-retinoid topical peeling drugs.
Benzoyl peroxide is a good example; it contains antimicrobial properties and is useful in suppressing P acnes bacteria; this is due to its effectiveness in penetrating the oil-rich follicle.
However, it is important to note, if you are suffering from sensitisation, it can cause inflammation and irritation in the skin in some instances.
Salicylic acid and sulfur with resorcinol are all FDA approved drug treatments, sodium sulfacetamide and sulfur when combined, work really well together.
They normalise the skin cells’ desquamation, preventing the build-up of oil and debris within the pores, making them one of the best acne treatments available.
Azelaic Acid is also an extremely effective natural topical treatment; it reduces the bacteria and has a mild anti comedogenic and anti-inflammatory effect.
It is also beneficial in suppressing post-hyper pigmentation that can occur in individuals who have a darker complexion.
Retin A, differin and tazorac, are all commonly prescribed topical drugs for acne.
These vitamins A derivatives are strong keratolytic or peeling agents; they help to flush debris from the follicular wall.
Tetracycline, minocycline, and erythromycin are often prescribed to accompany these peeling agents, especially in more severe or less responsive cases.
Accutane is an oral prescription retinoid used to treat cystic acne, a severe form of acne where the skin has deep pockets of infection.
This treatment has several beneficial effects, including helping to reduce the amount of oil produced in the skin, which reduces the amount of P. acnes bacteria.
It is important to note that it can have many severe side effects, so discuss these with your doctor before taking a prescription.
What skincare routine is best?
Excessive sebum can be controlled with a foaming cleanser, which will control oil in the skin.
A cleanser that contains glycolic or salicylic acid at around 2%, will help break the acne cycle, those who have a lot of pustules and papules should choose a medicated cleanser.
It is important to avoid fatty based products designed for dry, mature skin, as these ingredients can exacerbate acne, instead look for a gel-based cleanser.
A toner containing an antibacterial such as salicylic or glycolic acid will help flush out the follicular wall and prepare a clean skin for nourishing ingredients.
in this article, I discuss follicle congestion, so it makes sense that regular exfoliation is key.
- Break up existing impactions
- Prevent the re-occurrence of micro-comedones, which is the initial stages of all acne breakouts
- Removal breaks down the build-up of cells and oils, allowing oxygen to penetrate the follicle and kill the P.acnes bacteria.
The severity of the skin problem should determine the strength and concentration; good examples are alpha or beta hydroxy acids, salicylic acid and sulfur.
A clay-based mask will give the skin a deep cleanse, pulling impacted debris deep within the follicle.
Are regular facials important?
Regular facials are one of the best acne treatments.
They involve the use of vapour zone, which opens the pores and ozone, which kills bacteria.
Desincrustration products are also applied to the blocked pores. They are alkaline by nature, helping to loosen impactions in the follicle and making extraction easier, promoting natural extraction of blocked pores without possible re-infection.
Depending on the acne types and the inflammation, superficial peeling may help, a base of up to 30% performed in a series of treatments often shows good results.
You must avoid touching or picking the skin; this can lead to scarring and inflammation, permanently damaging the skin tissue.