Skincare for Acne Prone Skin: The Best Ingredients for Acne
If you have skin that breaks out in spots, pimples and even pustules on a whim, then you'll know how frustrating it can be to have acne. We know first hand, as people with acne ourselves. We also know that on your quest to find the right spot treatment for you, you would've come across a multitude of products that promise to treat acne.
Finding the right treatment for acne can be as frustrating as having the skin condition itself. What works for one person, might not necessarily work for you, so it can very much be a case of trial and error. But with our help, you should find the process of finding the right skincare ingredients for fighting acne far less complicated.
What exactly are the best ingredients to look out for in products used to treat acne? What ingredients aimed at oily and acne prone skin should you avoid? If you have oily skin or acne, you already know that you have to be really careful about what you put on your skin in order to avoid breakouts.
So here's a few things to look out for - and to avoid in your quest for the best acne skin care!
Active Ingredients to Look Out For When You Have Acne-Prone Skin
Acne is one of the most common skin conditions and according to dermatologists, the key ingredients to help treat acne include salicylic acid, alpha hydroxy acids and retinol. Ingredients like benzoyl peroxide (that is an older, more traditional ingredient than the others mentioned here, but it's still an effective treatment for acne nonetheless) can also be useful.
Here's more on the ingredients that can help to reduce the size of pimples and the frequency of acne breakouts.
Benzoyl Peroxide for Acne Prone Skin
If you used Oxy 5 and 10 products on your skin as a teenager, you've used benzoyl peroxide. It has antibacterial properties that reduces the number of skin bacteria that cause acne breakouts.
It can be difficult to know what's causing your acne, and if it's an overgrowth of skin bacteria, benzoyl peroxide will help. But if you've tried Oxy products to no avail, it probably means that your acne isn't related to skin bacteria and is down to something else such as stress, hormones or genetics.
Alpha Hydroxy Acids to Control Excess Sebum
Alpha hydroxy acids, or AHAs, are a type of fruit acid that act as a gentle chemical exfoliant on the skin. They work by removing dead skin cells from the upper layer of skin and they also remove excess oil in the skin. Dead skin cells and excess natural skin oil (called sebum) can collect in the pores, trapping dirt, sweat and bacteria, leading to inflammation and acne spots.
AHAs remove this debris and unclog pores to reveal the new skin underneath, helping to keep the pores and skin clear.
Lactic acid and glycolic acid are among the most common AHAs found in many products to reduce the appearance of pimples and spots. However, look for products that contain citric acid, another AHA, if you have an oily skin type. Citric acid is an effective astringent product that helps to reduce excess oil from the upper layers of skin, without stripping your skin.
Using an AHA product can make your skin more sensitive to UV light from the sun, so it's important to protect your skin from the sun to avoid burning and damage.
Salicylic Acid for Hyperpigmentation
Salicylic acid is another type of fruit acid, but rather than being an AHA, it's a BHA, or beta hydroxy acid. Like AHAs, BHAs have an anti-inflammatory effect on the skin, which helps to reduce inflammation and redness, as well as having an exfoliating effect on the top layers of the skin.
However, unlike AHAs that are water soluble, BHAs are oil soluble and therefore penetrate deeper into the skin to remove dead skin cells and oil and reduce redness and swelling caused by clogged pores. Salicylic acid is the most common BHA and is ideal for mild to moderate acne to help keep breakouts at bay.
Use salicylic acid moderately at first, once or twice a week to allow your skin to get used to it. It may dry out your skin a little too much, so if you experience dryness, use products containing it every other week.
Retinol for Skin Cell Renewal
Most commonly sold as an anti-ageing product, retinol stimulates skin cell renewal and collagen production. A retinoid derivative, retinol can work deep in the pores to rid them of dead skin cells, helping to reduce even the deepest, most painful acne spots and light scarring.
Tea Tree Oil and Other Natural Ingredients for Sensitive Skin
You may also find that natural skincare products that contain essential oils that have natural antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties or tea tree oil that helps to soothe the skin may also help you keep your acne under control.
Avoid Products with These Ingredients for Acne
Acetylated lanolin, algae extract, butyl stearate, carrageenan: these are all really helpful ingredients if you have dry skin, but for those of us with oily or acne-prone skin, they will clog pores. Avoid at all costs!
What Actually Works for Acne?
There are many products available that claim to give the best results for those who experience acne. Unfortunately, you'll need to try a range of different products to see which ones work best for you. We hope our list of effective acne ingredients helps.
How Can I Clear Up Acne Fast: Deciding on an Effective Acne Treatment
Start by trying a product with either salicylic acid once or twice a week or an AHA on a daily basis to see if they have any benefit for you.
Develop an Acne Skincare Routine that Works for You
Even the best acne cream isn’t much use on its own - your whole skin care routine must be geared towards reducing oil production and dead skin buildup. That includes a good moisturiser, too! It might sound crazy - isn’t my skin moisturised enough already?
The short answer is no. The best acne skin care routine is aimed at reducing or getting rid of your skin’s natural oil and replacing it with moisture that won’t cause breakouts or irritate acne-prone skin. You need the best products for oily skin, otherwise, your skin will make even more oil to make up for what it’s lost - and that’s the exact opposite of what you want.
Try Sönd’s Calming Hydration Day Cream and Overnight Replenishment Night Cream. The natural oils soothe, nourish and strengthen the skin barrier, and the Pentavitin keeps it intensely moisturised. Don’t let the shea butter in the day cream scare you! Unlike cocoa butter, it is not comedogenic - which means it does not clog pores. In fact, shea butter is one of the best moisturising ingredients for oily and acne-prone skin, as it has been shown to soothe irritated skin and prevent peeling as it hydrates.
Our Rebalance & Reset Cream Cleanser is also brilliant for acne prone skin - we know, because we developed it with our own skin in mind!
Aim for Alkaline to Suit Different Types of Acne
Like all our products, the Sönd day and night creams are alkaline rather than acidic like most other skin care products. This means your skin cells will be more hydrated and have more energy allowing them to regenerate more quickly. This will help them regulate their own oil production more effectively.
So steer clear of ingredients that will clog pores, and that will dry out your skin. Instead look for alkaline products, and those that will moisturise without being greasy, and follow our skincare tips for summer and you will have clear skin in no time!
This article is not meant to treat or diagnose. Please visit your doctor for advice about any health concerns you may have.