Everyone single one of us has had to deal with those pesky zits and pimples at least once in our lifetimes-whether for a short period or even for months.
The American Academy of Dermatology states that 85% of the populations aged between 12-24 years have experienced acne.
No matter the cause of the breakouts- whether stress acne, acne-causing foods you eat or your environment, much to our despair there is no miracle cure-all treatment for acne.
The fight to keep breakouts at bay is no joke and, in some cases, can cause psychological and physical scarring. Although, there are several skincare ingredients you could consider adding to your regime as well as lifestyle- and diet changes.
Causes of acne
Acne normally occurs when your skin becomes clogged up with excess oil and dead skin cells. The condition is usually characterized by whiteheads, blackheads, painful lumps under the skin-nodules, cystic lesions, papules, and pustules.
Normally, these breakouts occur due to excess oil production, clogged hair follicles, bacteria and increased activity of the androgen hormone.
However, there are numerous factors which exacerbate the condition, which includes;
- Medications: prescriptions drugs which contain testosterone, corticosteroids, and lithium.
- Diet: several studies indicate that dairy products and carbohydrate-rich foods may make the condition worse. Foods such as chips, bread, and bagels are known to make breakouts worse.
- Does stress cause acne? Emotional stress triggers the body to go into some sort of defense mode-causing the body to produce an inflammatory response- which manifests in the form of red, puss-filled pimple breakouts.
- Hormone and acne: hormonal changes during puberty and pregnancy as well as during the use of oral contraceptives affect the production of sebum which results in acne breakouts.
The best ingredients to look for in acne face wash
When it comes to effectively dealing with this skin condition, proper skincare is where it all it begins. Basically, when you want to achieve a clear skin, a good care routine is vital.
The general rule is always to make sure your face is clean. When you are out and about during your daily routine, your face is more likely than not to encounter all sorts of pollution, germs- which make it a perfect breeding ground for bacteria.
So, when it comes to cleaning it off the makeup and pollutants, an acne-prone skin will definitely benefit more from a regular care regime that won’t cause any form of irritation whatsoever.
What you need to know is that products used to treat acne work differently based on the active ingredients: Some function by killing bacteria which cause it while some eliminate excess oil on the face or speed up the regeneration of new skin cells and some remove dead ones.
Cynthia Bailey, M.D. and CEO of advanced skin care and dermatology physicians, Inc states that the best facial wash/cleansers for acne prone skin should contain at least one of three ingredients which include;
This ingredient exfoliates inside hair follicles to unclog pores, reduce redness and inflammation. In simpler terms, it prevents pores from becoming clogged. The possible side effects of this product include skin irritation and mild stinging.
Products that contain this ingredient assist to remove excess oil and dead skin cells which are responsible for clogging pores.
However, for people with sensitive skin, the product may have some side effects such as dry skin, stinging or burning sensation, scaling and redness.
Additionally, when applying it’s vital to be cautious since benzoyl peroxide has some bleaching properties.
Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs)
These are simply artificial types of acids made from fruits-containing sugar. The most common ones used in non-prescription acne products include glycolic- and lactic acid.
Products containing this ingredient helps to remove the dead cells, reduce inflammation, stimulate the skin regeneration and typically, improve the appearance of acne scars.
These ingredients penetrate through the pores and remove any pore-clogging impurities such as make-up, excess sebum, bacteria and dead cells-which typically irritate the skin and exacerbate the condition.
This acid is derived from sugar cane and is usually combined with benzoyl peroxide to treat acne. The acid penetrates deep into the skin due to its small molecules thus making a very effective product to treat inflammatory acne.
Normally, sulfur products contain a mixture of other ingredients e.g. salicylic acid, resorcinol or benzoyl peroxide.
These products work by removing dead skin cells as well as excess oil.
The downside of using products containing sulfur is some have a very unpleasant odor or may cause dry skin “generally, facial wash with the above ingredients gradually unclog pores, minimize the size of existing blackheads and prevent the formation of new ones,” notes Dr. Bailey.
Best face wash for acne prone skin
- Murad Acne Clarifying Cleanser– powerful facial wash which contains encapsulated salicylic acid which clears this problem and soothes red and inflamed skin.
- Super facialist salicylic acid purifying cleansing wash formulated to remove excess oil and other impurities without causing any irritation.
- La Roche-Posay Effaclar Medicated Gel Cleanser for Acne Prone Skin with Salicylic Acid- formulated with “salicylic acid medication to fight acne breakouts.”
- Bioderma Sensibio h20 – the micellar water acts as a rinse-free alternative which removes dirt, excess oil and makeup as well as balance the skin’s Ph.
- Paula’s choice clear acne cleanser for blemish-prone skin– gets rid of excess oils and soothes irritated and inflamed skin with ingredients such as salicylic acid, glycerin panthenol.
- Vichy Norma derm daily deep cleansing gel– offers effective cleansing for acne prone and oily skin while unclogging pores without side effects of dryness or irritation. The product is formulated with glycolic acid,lipo-hydroxy acid (LHA) and salicylic acid to gently exfoliate it.
How to wash it
Having the perfect facial wash is not enough when it comes to washing acne prone skin-the another part is properly washing your face. Here are steps to effectively wash off germs and dirt from your face;
- Wet your face with some warm water.
- Lather your face with facial wash while using your fingers, an exfoliating cloth or a sonic skin-cleansing brush.
- Rinse again with warm water to completely remove the lather.
- And for the best results, wash your face at least twice every day for a thorough cleanse-every morning and evening.