6 Ingredients to Keep Your Acne-Prone Skin Clear
Hormonal, adult acne sucks. I experienced my first breakout when I was about 12-years-old. Now I'm in my mid-twenties and still struggle with hormonal acne. One week, my skin will be bright, clear, and glowing. Another week (most likely when my menstrual cycle begins), my face will be entirely broken out and irritated by the inflammation. Needless to say, it can take a temporary toll on your self-esteem. But that's what this week's post is for -- a list of ingredients to help keep your skin clear and glowing. Keep reading if you want to step up your skincare routine and no longer worry about breakouts.
Benzoyl peroxide is an alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) that is used as a topical treatment for mild to moderate acne. It fights the acne-causing bacteria in your pores and on your skin. Benzoyl peroxide also works to prevent acne before it occurs so the best results come with consistent use. It can be found in gels, creams, and cleansers. You can find 5% or 10% benzoyl peroxide topical creams in drug stores. My favorite is Clean & Clear's Persa-Gel, which contains maximum strength 10% benzoyl peroxide.
Whereas benzoyl peroxide is an AHA, salicylic acid is a beta-hydroxy acid (BHA). Salicylic acid is also used as a topical treatment for acne and helps exfoliate your skin. According to Allure Magazine, salicylic acid works better on whiteheads and blackheads than cystic acne. Just like benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid can be found in gels, creams, and cleansers. The only difference is that salicylic acid comes in smaller doses; you'll usually find 0.5%, 1%, or 2% salicylic acid in acne treatments. I use Philosophy's Clear Days Ahead Acne Treatment Cleanser, which contains 1% salicylic acid and works wonders on my skin.
Another ingredient that works wonders on my skin is retinol, which is essentially vitamin A. Retinol can be found in both acne and anti-aging treatments. It can be used to treat and prevent acne. Other benefits of retinol are firmer skin, refined pores, and less visible wrinkles. While retinol provides many great benefits, it can be drying and make your skin more sensitive to sun exposure. So make sure you apply a moisturizer with SPF! Retinol is usually found in serums, moisturizers, and creams. I am currently using Valentia's Night Revive Retinol Serum every other night and it has improved my skin's appearance!
Glycolic acid, another AHA, also helps to improve my skin's appearance. In fact, glycolic acid is the smallest type of AHA, so it can really get into your pores and treat the toughest acne. Glycolic acid is primarily used as an exfoliant and should only be used once or twice a week. According to Bona Fide Skin Care, other benefits of glycolic acid are refined pores and wrinkles, faded scars and hyperpigmentation, and brighter skin. The most effective dosage of glycolic acid is 10% or less. Once a week, I use Peter Thomas Roth's Glycolic Acid 10% Toning Complex.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is an all-natural ingredient that can be used as a topical treatment for acne. This essential oil kills bacteria, which makes it a great ingredient for treating acne. It helps to heal acne and fade scars. My favorite tea tree oil product is the Body Shop's Tea Tree Night Lotion, which absorbs excess oil and improves blemishes overnight.
Argan oil is another all-natural and essential oil that treats acne and helps control sebum production. Of all the ingredients listed, argan oil is most definitely the miracle worker because it can be applied to both your skin and hair. Not to mention, this essential oil can also be used in foods and can be eaten. But for acne treating purposes, argan oil helps control sebum production, making your skin less oily. It helps prevent future breakouts and keeps your skin soft, supple, and moisturized. My favorite product to use is Josie Maran's 100% Pure Argan Oil.
Like I said, I've been dealing with acne for over a decade now. I've done my research and learned which products work best for me. Some of these products listed might not work out as well for you. You might even be allergic to some ingredients. It's all about trial and error but the key factor is to be patient and persistent!
What ingredients do you use to keep your skin clear?
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