How to choose the right acne treatment
Find out how to select the right acne treatment for you..
After you have completed the cleansing portion of your acne treatment, you are ready to go deeper. If simple cleansing doesn't take care of your acne problem, then it may be time to look at some medication.
Give careful consideration to which acne treatment is best for you, and if in doubt please consult a dermatologist. You may need something as soft as rose water, or as serious as Benzoyl Peroxide, you know how sensitive your skin is, so start soft and work up- keep up your skincare routine and you can beat acne.
Toners and medications aimed at acne treatment exist for a gamut of skin types. Toners are usually for maintaining good skin after your acne regimen has cleared any blemishes you may have. Medication works to get rid of 'pimples' and prevent more from forming.
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If acne is a chronic problem for you, it might be wise to stay on acne treatment medications and not move over to maintenance toners.
Apply toners to your skin with a soft cotton ball after you wash your face. They work to as an acne treatment by balancing and restoring your skin's natural pH. The toning process also removes any residual oil, dirt or soap residue left on the skin. Finally toners work to close the top of the pore and return it to normal size, so accidental contact (if you touch your face) doesn't result in more breakouts and deter your efforts at acne treatment.
Rose water, witch hazel and alcohol are main ingredients in all types of toners used as acne remedies. For the most sensitive skin rose water is the best acne treatment toner. You might consider adding melaluca oil (aka tea tree oil) to it, this will gently lift off any grime and not over dry. Witch Hazel costs less than a dollar, and is probably one of the best acne treatment products to use, as it has few other ingredients or chemicals. Nutrogena, Avon, and Mary Kay all offer excellent acne treatment toners that will take proper care of your skin.
There are many kinds of medications, some over the counter, and some prescribed by your dermatologist. For the sake of brevity I'm just going to talk about over the counter topical medications, if you feel you need prescription strength medication, your doctor will be able to give you the right one for your needs.
Four main ingredients make up most medications available today. Some products will combine them, others will base their medication on one ingredient alone. Benzoyl Peroxide is common; the best concentration at 2.5%, anything over will burn your face. Even at this dilution it will cause irritation for up to the first two weeks of usage, but many report it as the best acne treatment. Peroxide acts when it gets into the open pores and creates oxygen; this bubbling (that you probably cannot see) kills the bacteria that cause acne. It also (like many medications) slows the shedding of cells in the follicle, and therefore prevents clogging. Salicylic Acid penetrates the skin and helps dissolve pimples. It too will slow cell shedding- this is why it is an effective anti-dandruff as well as acne treatment. Sulfur has been a medication for acne for hundreds of years. It dries skin and breaks down blackheads, but can discolor skin, cause irritation, smells and can even cause more acne to form in the future because it increases cell shedding. Resorcinol works by penetrating the skin to soften the hardened areas that frequently pimple, it also can cause irritation. It's effectiveness as an acne treatment is not consistent.
Many people that suffer from acne just need a regular acne treatment regimen using a basic gentile soap, toner, and moisturizer. Or, for sensitive skin, start by using rose water for the toning step, before trying a toner or medication. As always, consult your dermatologist if you have any questions!