Skincare Ingredients and Acne: The Good and the Bad

Fighting acne is never easy; you can try all types of products available in the drugstore and still see no improvement. It is downright frustrating when no solution seems to work, but acne shouldn’t be a permanent problem.

Your persistent acne can be professionally remedied by a top-rated esthetician in Salt Lake City or any other metropolitan area. Or you can simply try to treat it on your own using products with ingredients approved by dermatologists. Chances are your acne problem is caused by harsh ingredients in skincare products.

Here are the ingredients you should look for and those that you should avoid:

Effective Acne-Treating Ingredients

  1. Salicylic Acid

This ingredient is a beta-hydroxy acid that can dissolve excess oil and gently exfoliate dead skin cells. Salicylic acid works best in toners, moisturizers, and spot treatments. However, it is advised to use salicylic acid products sparingly because it can dry out the skin and can be too harsh for some people.

2. Glycolic Acid

Glycolic acid also exfoliates dead skin cells gently. You can also find this ingredient in toners, moisturizers, as well as in peels and serums.

3. Benzoyl Peroxide

Benzoyl peroxide can effectively combat acne-causing bacteria, but it should be used with caution. Dermatologists advise sticking to products with a benzoyl peroxide content of only 2% max.

4. Retinol

Over-the-counter or prescription retinol help heal and prevent acne, as well as treat hyperpigmentation and signs of aging. But it is not recommended for people with eczema or rosacea, unless it’s an over-the-counter product with low concentration.

5. Sulfur

Pustules and whiteheads’ greatest enemy is sulfur. This ingredient is commonly found in masks and spot treatments.

6. Cortisone

Cystic breakouts may need a little dose of cortisone, a steroid hormone that can effectively combat acne caused by hormonal changes. Only a licensed dermatologist can administer this treatment.

woman putting cream on her face

Ingredients To Avoid

Apart from bacteria, hormonal changes, and an unhealthy diet, acne can also be caused by a wrong skincare regimen. This means using products with harsh ingredients or those that aren’t made for your skin type. Salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, and retinol, as mentioned, aren’t suited for certain skin types and conditions, so if you have dry skin, eczema, or rosacea, it would be best to avoid those.

Other harmful ingredients are as follows:

  1. Exfoliating Beads

Exfoliating beads can inflame the skin and aggravate acne problems, so it is recommended to postpone the use of those until acne is already completely remedied by other treatments.

2. Fragrance

Dry and sensitive skin can suffer allergic reactions such as skin irritation or itching from products with fragrances. But regardless of your skin’s sensitivity, it is still advisable to choose unscented products over scented ones.

3. Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is known for a lot of health benefits, but not when it comes to skincare. Like other types of oil, coconut oil on the skin can also clog the pores and cause breakouts, worsening acne problem.

4. Silicone

Commonly found in face makeup, silicone’s purpose is to improve the appearance of textured skin. For people with acne-problems, however, the ingredient can trigger reactions and allergies, so it’s best to avoid it.

5. Talc

Talc is a common ingredient in powders, but it suffers a bad reputation due to its link to asbestos and cancer. Due to the risks involved, it is recommended to avoid talc, with or without acne problems.

6. Paraben

Paraben is used as a preservative to extend the shelf life of various cosmetics and bath products, but it’s in hot water because it’s found to cause hormonal imbalances, which is the leading cause of acne. Go for preservative-free products instead and store them in a refrigerator to prolong their shelf lives.

Don’t forget to check the ingredients list next time you go shopping for skincare products. Your dermatologist or esthetician will surely tell you the same thing, so heed these pieces of advice and beat acne now.

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