You know that moment when you’re peacefully washing your face and as you edge closer to the mirror, you see your worst nightmare: a reddening painful boulder on your chin. It’s a zit. And whether you’re 17 or 37, you need to have the right products to zap those pesky, embarrassing blemishes. To help you better address your acne woes, we came up with a list of top acne-fighting ingredients so you can stock up on the formulas containing them and kiss those zits goodbye!
1. Alpha-Hydroxy Acids. Also known as AHAs, these acids slough off dead skin cells that clog the pores and cause pimples. They leave the skin smooth and soft and also have antiaging benefits. Serums like SkinCeuticals Blemish + Age Defense employ AHAs to target blemish-prone skin.
2. Benzoyl Peroxide. A popular ingredient in acne-fightingfacial cleansers, lotions, creams, gels and spot treatments, benzoyl peroxide helps kill bacteria, remove excess oil and exfoliate dead skin cells. It’s great for oily skin!
3. Clay. Earth-derived clays like bentonite and kaolin have been skincare favorites for centuries and are now often found in facial masks. These natural remedies reduce inflammation and also draws impurities and toxins out of the skin. Clarifying solutions like Clarisonic Deep Pore Detoxifying Clay Mask are great for keeping dirt and oil at bay.
4. Salicylic Acid. This acid helps keep pores clear by exfoliating within the hair follicle. It also has anti-inflammatory properties. Try it in cleansers like Kiehl’s Blue Herbal Gel Cleanser.
5. Sulfur. Another effective oil-buster, sulfur decreases inflammation and helps rid the skin of dead skin cells.
6. Tea tree oil. Known for its antibacterial and antiseptic properties, this natural blemish-fighter helps purify the skin and treat acne. Try a toner like The Body Shop Tea Tree Facial Toner to keep your skin squeaky clean! Friendly warning: Tea-tree oil is potent stuff and can be a bit harsh on sensitive skin. Those of you with eczema or irritable mugs, should avoid this solution or check with your doctor prior to use.
Before trying any of these acne-fighting ingredients, you should consult with a dermatologist or esthetician to see what solutions would be best for your skin type and skin issues. Also, it’s important to remember that just because a formula is working doesn’t mean more of it will work better or faster. Using too much can be just as damaging as the acne itself. And, above all, keep in mind that many acne treatments —can increase your sensitivity to sunlight, so be sure to apply sunscreen daily!
What’s your go-to blemish-blasting solution? Let us know in the comments below!