Determine What Type Of Acne You Have
Figuring out which type of acne youre dealing with will help you pick your fighter.
Also called mild noninflammatory acne, comedonal acne consists of:
- Whiteheads. These are minor blemishes with white heads that pop up on the skins surface. Sometimes these guys are called comedones, and they can happen when hair follicles become clogged with oil and dead skin cells. Whiteheads, Chimento says, also cause pores to stay closed at the surface of the skin, which is another reason it appears to have a white head.
- Blackheads. Theyre blemishes that look like tiny black dots. They can also be considered comedones but are open at the surface of the skin.
Mild inflammatory acne
A step above comedonal acne, mild inflammatory acne includes whiteheads, blackheads, plus a small amount of the following:
Moderate inflammatory acne
This kind of acne includes everything weve already covered except youll usually have a higher number of papules and pustules. Youll also see a few of these guys:
- Nodules. The large and inflamed bumps are firm to the touch, deep within the skin, and very painful, Chimento says. Moderate inflammatory acne usually only includes a few of these youll typically see more of these with severe acne.
Severe inflammatory acne
Cerave Salicylic Acid Cleanser
Dr. Vijay Mudgil says this is a great option for sensitive skin types or those prone to acne. The non-comedogenic formula is full of antioxidants, salicylic acid, and hyaluronic acid to combat acne and deeply hydrate skin while cleansing. While it might appear to be your average facial cleanser, Amazon reviewers rave about the benefits of using it as a body cleanser to address acne on other parts of the body.
Premium Facial Cleanser With Hyaluronic Acid
Based on essential oils and on Hyaluronic acid, the cleanser is recommended for healthy-looking skin. It manages to offer one of the best formulations for its anti-aging effect as well. The Hyaluronic acid is known for its firming effect on the neck, face and around the eyes. The essential oils are added to nourish the skin from the inside. From healthy fats to antioxidants, they actually normalize the skin limiting the effects hormonal imbalance has on acne.
At the same time, the face wash also has a strong anti-wrinkle effect. Limiting the effects of aging, it manages to offer a reliable formulation for rejuvenated skin. With a strong antioxidant profile, it actually prevents acne breakouts. This is why, if used in the long term, the formulation can actually prevent future acne breakouts or at least minimize acne to a lower degree.
The exfoliating cleanser is free from parabens. It means that women who want to use it on a constant basis can do so without the fear of having to deal with side effects. Promoting firmer skin, the facial cleanser manages to also offer a solution to limit the effects of aging without purchasing a separate anti-aging formula.
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What Ingredients Should You Look For To Treat Acne
Retinoids: Birnbaum calls retinoids the holy grail of acne treatment because theyre backed by years of scientific studies that show they really work. She says that retinoids increase skin cell turnover, help unclog pores and decrease inflammation, to improve inflammatory acne. Love also shares that retinoids help normalize pigment production, which is good for people who get dark spots after a breakout. Love recommends starting it in your routine two to three times a week and slowly building up because retinoids can cause dryness and flakiness. If youre looking for a gentle retinoid, she recommends you consider adapalene. Our experts share that retinoids make skin more sensitive to sun, so make sure to wear SPF, but they are best used at night anyway.
Benzoyl peroxide: Benzoyl peroxide is one of Loves favorite over-the-counter acne solutions because its anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and it helps decrease the oiliness of the skin, making it great to treat all types of acne. Our other experts certainly agree Birnbaum notes that you should use benzoyl peroxide at a different time of day as your retinoid, because it can make the retinoid less effective. Love explains that adapalene, however, is safe to use with benzoyl peroxide, unlike other retinoids.
Sulfur: Lastly, Love explains that sulfur is great for inflammatory acne. Better yet: This ingredient is also safe for those who are pregnant and nursing.
Cerave Hydrating Facial Cleanser
This is definitely one of the best face wash for hormonal acne. Cerave has several face wash products but this one stands out because of its potency against acne scars.
It is important to note that when dealing with acne scars, you need a mild and gentle product. Harsh products will only aggravate them which is not great for your skin. The Cerave Hydrating Facial Cleanser helps you get rid of acne scars without stripping your skin of its natural barrier.
It contains hyaluronic acid that ensures that your skin maintains its moisture. This way, your skin will heal faster and the scars can clear off. Also, your skin soon becomes supple and softer as you continue using this product.
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How Do Dermatologists Treat Acne
To start, a dermatologist will want to get an idea of your skins history and what youre looking for in terms of treating your skin, including any procedures or ingredients you might not be comfortable with. We want to find out whats best for you so well ask you about skin typeif its oily, if its combinationwe ask about the products that you use at home, says Dr. Adotama. I specifically like to talk with clients to see what they feel comfortable with. Some clients dont want to take pills, some clients want natural-only products. Im willing to work with my patients to make them feel comfortable with their treatment options.
Once your doc knows a little bit about your skin type and your lifestyle, they will get to work identifying which of the types of acne youre dealing with in order to map out your course of treatment. According to Dr. Adotama, we treat differently depending on what we see, so, if the acne is mainly blackheads and whiteheads or non-inflammatory acne, we might go topical. But if the acne is really inflamed and cystic, then we often use oral medications so the type of acne we see will dictate how we approach that medication management.
Topical Acne Treatment vs. Oral Acne Treatment
Oral acne treatment: These medications, which work internally to combat acne, are best for cystic acne treatment . They can come in different forms such as antibiotics , birth control pills , and isotretinoin .
What Triggers Hormonal Acne
Hormonal fluctuations trigger hormonal acne, and these fluctuations can happen because of:
- Hormonal changes
- Lifestyle changes
But its important to note that hormonal acne is not your fault. Seriously. Fundamentally, everyones skin is the sameeveryone has hormonal fluctuations, oil productions, and acne-causing bacteria in their skin that could cause a huge breakout at any time, said Dr. Gohara. The sebaceous glands in some people are just naturally more sensitive to these triggers, causing a larger and more frequent inflammatory response.
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Rid Your Face Of Impurities In Just One Minute With Bior Self
Promising Review: I love the warming feeling as I massage this on my face! It thoroughly cleans my face, leaving it feeling clean and smooth. And it only takes a minute to use, unlike most masks, which take 10 to 20 minutes. Heather Ford
The Best Cleanser/mask Hybrid
You can use this multitasking clay cleanser from Dermalogica a few ways: If you have oily skin, you can use it as a balancing daily cleanser if you don’t, you can use it on an occasional basis as a mask to flatten existing breakouts. In this formula, kaolin clay, Binchotan charcoal, and tea tree oil help purify clogged pores, while bioflavonoids promote a smoother texture and brighter complexion. There are lots of nourishing ingredients in here too, including glycerin, murumuru seed butter, and botanically derived lipids, so your skin will still feel soft, moisturized, and basically coddled exactly what distressed skin needs. This cleanser features prebiotics, too, which work similarly to probiotics in balancing your skin’s microbiome .
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Drugstore Toners For Hyperpigmentation
You probably know Pixi for their iconic Glow Tonic toner, which I do believe is a great product and Ive used it for years in the past, but honestly their Clarity Tonic takes it up a notch when it comes to fighting hyperpigmentation. Its marketed more for breakouts than for evening the skin tone, but it does both wonderfully.
The Clarity Tonic contains the OG glycolic acid that the Glow Tonic does, but the Clarity formula also boasts salicylic acid, lactic acid, centella asiatica extract, and even licorice root extract. This is incredible for fading post-acne marks and scars as well as mitigating any irritation from the combination of acids.
I dont think this product gets as much attention as it deserves! Start slowly as you would with any chemical exfoliant, and of course, make sure youre using sunscreen everyday.
Going to say this before anything else, no matter how experienced you are with exfoliating acids in skin care, you need to start slowly with Naturiums Glycolic Acid Resurfacing Solution. No more than once a week to start. In my experience, this is one of the strongest glycolic acid products out there, not just at the drugstore.
This means that if used too frequently or too much product is used on the skin, you will most likely get irritation. However, the strength of this also means that if you incorporate it correctly and build up a tolerance, the glow and and evenness in your skin will be off the charts.
Dr Macrene Alexiades’ Secret To Treating Acne At Home
With beauty aisles overflowing with acne-fighting products that promise clear skin, it can be confusing to choose the one that really works. That’s why Dr. Macrene Alexiades is here to share her top skincare tips for women. Dr. Alexiades said that drugstore products can prevent and treat acne but only “if you choose the right ones.” She told The List, “A good retinol impacts cell turnover to the skin. It reduces sebum activity therefore works against acne. It also results in peeling of the skin, and this causes a resurfacing effect, reducing wrinkles.” She added that people with oily skin, acne, and large pores can trust retinol if they don’t have other major skin issues.
Office treatments are medical grade, but if you want to treat acne at home, Dr. Alexiades said, “In the morning, wash with warm water, pat dry, and put on your benzoyl peroxide preparation. When you get home from work or school, wash with your salicylic acid cleanser, and then right before bed, put on one pea-sized amount of adapalene.” She added that the three steps are similar to how she treats her patients in the office. “It’s essentially the recipe for success in my world. This three-step routine is something everyone can do. If it gets fancier than that, everything falls apart.”
We couldn’t agree more, and if it takes three little steps to mimic Dr. Alexiades’ professional-grade treatment at home for clearer skin, we’re all for it.
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If Your Hormonal Acne Means Oiliness These Balancing Serums Are Must
Now, on to a very different skin concern altogether: dreaded oiliness. If you know the feeling of leaving the house with a perfectly-pressed dusting of loose powder only to see a shiny T-zone in the mirror a few hours later, you need these oil-fighting hormonal acne serums in your life.
La Roche Posay’s Effaclar DUO+ will seamlessly mattify your skin, working overtime to make sure shiny T-zones are a thing of the past. Your complexion will have an airbrushed quality to it while using this serum, which combines soothing niacinamide, exfoliating lipohydroxy and salicylic acids, piroctone olamine as a fantastic antibacterial, and linoleic acid which stops pimples from forming deep in the follicle. As recommended by Vogue and Rank & Style for the sensitive, cystic acne-prone, this is great for skin cell turnover, healing pimples, and even works to get rid of discoloration and scarring. You can apply it as a base for your makeup or under SPF, letting it work throughout the day to make sure oiliness is a thing of the past.
Or, try Kypris’ Clearing Balance & Calm Serum , which WWD suggests for balancing oil production, and even fight acne inflammation and redness. This is chock-full of nutritious skin saviors, including quinoa seed oil, lilac green tea, willow bark, apple extract, orange and lemon extract, soothing aloe vera, and nighttime-ready lavender oil. Sunflower oil and shea butter make it distinctly moisturizing and skin-calming, too.
Can You Actually Get Rid Of Hormonal Acne
With consistent therapy and other therapies, like injections and laser, hormonal acne can be controlled, MacGregor said.
I think acne, like anything, can wax and wane, Jaber added, noting that oftentimes people will choose to stick to a treatment plan if it seems to be working. However, if people do choose to stop taking certain medications, Jaber noted, their acne may return.
Sometimes it does come back sometimes its doesnt. Its really variable, he said, adding that even if a patient had gone off an oral treatment, he would recommend the continued use of topical treatments.
If youre dealing with what you think is hormonal acne, make sure to speak to a dermatologist who can help you develop an effective treatment plan.
This is a frustrating problem that requires expert guidance, persistence and consistency, MacGregor said.
CORRECTION: This article has been corrected to state that hormonal IUDs, like Mirena and Skyla, as well as the birth control implant Nexplanon contain progestin, not progesterone.
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If You Need Tons Of Moisture These Seaweed
Another crucial component when thinking about serums for hormonal acne is hyaluronic acid, a sugar created by our own bodies that keeps skin hydrated and 1,000 times its weight in water . While hormonal acne might be your primary concern, even those with excess oil should worry about hydration, especially so your skin doesn’t overreact and create more sebum. Ahead, find the best acne-fighting hyaluronic serums available.
As recommended by Goop to treat hormonal acne naturally, True Botanicals’ Clear Repair Serum is an overnight treatment that’s light yet deeply hydrating. Hyaluronic acid is mixed with ingredients like green and white tea extracts, pumpkin seed oil, olive-derived squalane, seaweed, olive extract, vitamin C, and rosemary. Plant-based, this is a hydrating serum that helps heal scarring and prevent new pimples from forming. As per Goop, this is a fantastic addition to any hormonal acne preventative routine, especially when feeling extra dry or irritated. Just apply at night and wake up with glowy skin easy.
Osea’s Hyaluronic Sea Serum is another incredible option, and works with similar plant-based ingredients to refine and moisturize skin. As recommended by Camille Styles, it also features seaweed extracts for all the possible hydration even if you pulled an all-nighter or had too many tequila shots the night before. The red and brown algae in the formula are seriously anti-aging to boot.
Unblock Your Oil Glands And Disinfect Your Skin With A Bottle Of Tea Tree Oil
Promising Review: This tea tree oil is high quality, and I love that it comes in a larger size with a bottle dropper. It works great as a spot treatment for acne-prone skin and to sanitize things you don’t want to use harsh cleaners on. Magick Mutton
Get it from Amazon for $27.52.
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What The Experts Say
Every dermatologist I contacted stressed that not every treatment will work for everyone. Skin is the largest organ in the body, and its very temperamental and individual to the person. You may have to try a few remedies before something helps, and it may never happen with just over-the-counter products. If your teens acne is stubborn, treatment-resistant, or painful, its time to see a professional.
However, if your child has mild acne, starting with OTC teen acne products is the way to go, according to dermatologist Dr. Courtney Rubin, M.D. of Figure 1 Beauty. She tells Best Products, The best over-the-counter acne products typically contain benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, or retinoids. These ingredients help to fight acne-causing bacteria, clear out clogged pores, and reduce excess oil. Generally, topical acne treatments need to be used consistently for 4 to 6 weeks before you can determine whether theyre working or not.
Ingredients to Look For
Benzoyl Peroxide: Well-known for fighting blemishes, this is a topical antiseptic that can be harsh on the skin, so our experts suggest that you only use it as you need it. They also note that you should always be moisturizing, but it’s even more important when staving off the drying effects of benzoyl peroxide.
Retinoids: This is a class of ingredients derived from Vitamin A. They are known not only for their powerful acne-fighting abilities, but also their anti-aging properties.
Getting Skin Clean