If your skin is blighted by acne, you're not alone. It's estimated that there are 17 million acne sufferers in the US alone, (source: brown.edu) and despite what people think, it's not just teens that experience this. Many adults continue to suffer from acne. But what can you do to treat it? Start with over-the-counter products; there are plenty of options available. When you're buying an acne cream, look for one containing these ingredients ……
1. Benzoyl Peroxide
Here's an ingredient that works on treating your acne. It's available in different strengths from 2.5% to 10%. Benzoyl peroxide works to kill off bacteria and get rid of the excess oil. You may see very quick results with creams containing this ingredient. Be careful that it doesn't get on your darker clothes, as it may remove the color. As it may make you sun sensitive, use sunscreen.
2. Tea Tree Oil
If you like natural ingredients, you could try a cream containing tea tree oil. It can be just as effective as creams with benzoyl peroxide. However, natural isn't always best; if you have sensitive skin or suffer from eczema it may react to tea tree oil. Test on a small area first.
AHAs or Alpha-hydroxy acids may already be familiar to you from other skin products such as exfoliators and also in chemical peels; they're used to help get rid of dead skin cells. So it's no surprise to find them in acne creams. If you use a cream containing AHAs, it can make your skin more sensitive to the sun, so be sure to use sunscreen while using these creams.
4. Salicylic Acid
Like AHAs, salicylic acid acts as an exfoliator and is good for getting right to the heart of the matter (so to speak). It works by cleaning out pores and stopping them blocking up again, which should help avoid more spots breaking out. The recommended dose is a cream containing 2% salicylic acid.
These are also exfoliants that remove any dead skin cells. They're available on prescription and can be a good option if over-the-counter products haven't been effective. Again, don't forget to use sunscreen while using products containing these ingredients because of the increased sensitivity to sun that they cause.
6. Azalaic Acid
Here's another ingredient that your doctor or dermatologist can prescribe. Azalaic acid is a bacteria-killer as well as an exfoliant. Its job is to stop skin cells building up and blocking pores. Another advantage of this ingredient is that it helps get rid of the dark patches acne gives you.
Clay is a popular ingredient in face mask for drawing out impurities from the skin, so you'll also find it in some acne creams. What's more, it also has anti-inflammatory uses (helpful for calming down your inflamed, itchy skin). Clay will help to slow down the oil production of the skin.
Finding the right acne treatment is going to be a matter of trial and error. If you can't find an over-the-counter cream that works for you, do consult your doctor or dermatologist. They can prescribe stronger treatments than ones you can buy over the counter. You may even need an acne medication or antibiotics. But don't despair, as there are many different options to try when it comes to acne treatment.