The Best Ingredients for Acne – What should be in your products
Searching for products to treat your Acne can be a mine field. You’ve probably already tried loads and are at your wits end as to where to go next to find something that actually works. Right? Well you most importantly need to be looking at what’s in them and I’m going to help you by giving a run down of the best ingredients for Acne right here!
What is Acne and Who gets it!
So firstly what is Acne? Well our pores are actually hair follicles and next to each one is a tiny gland that produces oil called sebum, some of us produce it in excess and when it mixes with dead cells it can build up in the follicles and block them leading to black and white heads. But when naturally present bacteria is added to the mix we start to develop an inflammatory response leading to pustules, papules and cyst.
Although we often think of Acne only affecting us in our teens it can affect anyone at any time. According to the National Institute of Health 80% of people between the ages 11-30 suffer some form of Acne at some point so it’s vital we know the best ingredients for acne to be able to get clearer skin, reduce redness and irritation, improve your confidence and get the skin you deserve.
We are going to be looking at ingredients that kill the bacteria that cause the inflammation, ingredients to increase cellular turnover and exfoliate dead skin cells, remove excess oil, hydrate, calm and soothe acne skin all of which important but so often forgot.
This is top of my list for a reason, overall Salicylic Acid has to be the hero ingredient when it comes to treating acne. It’s known as a Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA) and derives from aspirin so has brilliant anti inflammatory properties but not only that it has an ability to penetrate pores as it’s oil soluble. But wait there’s more Salicylic Acid effectively exfoliates dead skin cells controlling those pimples!
Now you may not have heard of this one but it’s a super ingredient and it goes right here on my list as Oligopeptide-10 works synergistically with Salicylic Acid to reduce the appearance of Acne.
I’ve added Benzoyl peroxide as this ingredient kills the acne bacteria. It’s available in strengths from 2.5% to 10% but it can irritate your skin and bleach your clothes so use with this in mind especially if you have sensitive skin.
Now it doesn’t always drum up the most sophisticated of images when you think of clay but believe me, this can be a beautiful ingredient to treat your acne and usually in the form of a wash off mask. The clay absorbs dirt, oil and toxins whilst being incredibly soothing.
These are Alpha Hydroxy Acids usually Lactic and Glycolic and they’re incredible exfoliating ingredients by breaking down dead skin cells.
Now you may be familiar with this one but associate it with anti aging rather than Acne, Retinol is a hero ingredient in anti aging but its benefits as one of the best ingredients for acne cannot and should not be under estimated!
Retinol derives from Vitamin A and increases skins cellular turnover pushing new skin cells to the
surface forcing older cells to exfoliate more rapidly resulting in fewer pimples, reduced pore size and healthier skin.
Retinol is a potent ingredient and must be built up gradually, it will also increase your sensitivity to the sun so only apply at night and wear high protection physical SPF during the day.
I recommend Skinceuticals 0.3% Retinol
Niacinamide (Vitamin B3)
This one goes hand in hand with Retinol as it increases skins tolerance to topical Retinoids but in addition Niacinamide is extremely hydrating which is very important for Acne skin. It’s a common misconception that acne prone skin doesn’t need hydration as it will make it more oily! WRONG!, In fact it’s the opposite, if dehydration occurs the skin will over compensate by producing even more sebum making your Acne worse so an ingredient such as Niacinamide is perfect! It hydrates calms and soothes due to its anti inflammatory action.
Tea Tree Oil
This little beauty naturally fights blemishes with comparative results to some much harsher products like Benzoyl Peroxide which can leave the skin dry and sore, therefore a great alternative for more sensitive skin types.
Coconut Oil Powder
Saw Palmetto Berry Extract, Capsule Shell (Vegetable Cellulose), Sunflower Oil Powder, Acerola Cherry Powder, Natural Beta-Carotene/ Mixed Carotenoids.
- Evidence-based botanicals selected for their unique skin-clearing properties and enhanced effectiveness when combined.
- Natural ingredients shown in research and testimonials to support clear, blemish-free skin at the root.
- Naturally rich in vitamins A and C, omegas, anti-oxidants and skin-brightening nutrients.
Adding new ingredients and Products
When adding something new into your skincare routine it’s best to do it gradually and not to throw tons of new products at your skin in one go! Leave about 3 weeks in between each one so your skin gets chance to get to know each one before you introduce the next.
I hope you have found this useful. Just to recap definitely look for products containing Salicylic Acid, it can be used in cleansing face wash, serums or moisturisers and even suitable for sensitive skin types that’s why it has to be my hero ingredient not to mention all the benefits it provides. If it has Oligopeptide-10 aswell even better! This works synergistically with Salicylic remember!
When choosing a Retinol go low and slow you don’t want to get a reaction and always wear a physical sunscreen to protect from harmful UVA. Physical sunscreen also contains zinc which calms acne by the way!
It’s so important to keep your Acne skin hydrated so your sebaceous glands don’t start over compensating and produce more of that pesky oil! So stick with hydrating Niacinamide which will also calm and soothe whist reduces redness and inflammation. Perfect!
If you want to try Benzoyl Peroxide go for it! It can be really effective and it’s excellent at killing acne bacteria and unclogging pores just be careful if you have sensitive skin and go for something like Tea Tree which has been shown to have comparable results!
Make sure to use a daily exfoliate like an AHA to keep those dead skin cells at bay and your skin radiant and glowing.
Go Get that Beautiful skin you deserve!
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