OTC Products for Acne

Best Acne Products

What makes acne products effective? They need to:

  • Penetrate the inside of the pore – stopping acne where it starts.
  • Help to keep the pore clear of dead skin cells.
  • Kill bacteria inside the pore.
  • Be noncomedogenic (non pore-clogging) so as to not make your acne worse.

The acne products that include mandelic acid, vitamin A or benzoyl peroxide are the best acne products. But, it’s not enough to find and use products with these ingredients. You must also be sure that products with these ingredients are formulated properly so they penetrate the pore.

And, it is essential to know what ingredient is good for what type of acne you have; and how to use the products correctly. Even the best skin care products won’t clear your skin if they are not used in the right way. This is where we are different from other acne systems – we believe in coaching you in the right way to use products. We want you to succeed in getting and keeping clear skin!

By the time our clients come to see us, most of them have tried myriads of products.  The acne products range from prescription products like retinoids, antibiotics and accutane to the over-the-counter acne remedies. While many of these products have some of what it takes to get your skin clear, why do they usually fail so miserably in getting it done?

  1. Many have pore-clogging ingredients in them. For example, the cream form of Retin-A is very pore-clogging and should never be given to an acne patient.  But sadly, this happens every day.
  2. It takes a combination of the right products to affect acne.  Just a retinoid by itself or a serum with salicylic in it is not enough.
  3. Different ingredients in acne products are used for different kinds of acne.
  4. Even companies that are attempting to customize regimens to account for different types of acne do not have strong enough products to get the job done.
  5. And almost all companies do not take skin adaptation to products (skin getting used to products) into account.  If you are not coached in how to adjust the frequency of product use, you will not get rid of your acne.

Allow an acne specialist to help you achieve clear skin quickly – they know what they are doing.

Is Benzoyl Peroxide Safe?

We have often received questions about the safety of Benzoyl Peroxide. Recently, the FDA concluded its studies about BPO, changed its classification and published their results. Below, is their finding with preceding and subsequent comments by acne.org.

“The safety of Benzoyl Peroxide is periodically brought up as an area of concern to us. Questions about whether it may increase skin cancer risk or cause DNA damage (and thus damage or accelerate the aging the skin) are the most common worries. Given those concerns, I thought this information from the FDA was important to share with you.

The FDA has updated its safety classification of Benzoyl Peroxide to a Category I (Safe and Effective). In 1991, the classification was listed as a type III, which meant that more data was needed before the FDA could determine the actual safety classification (it was never considered to be “unsafe” though). The body of the research conducted since that time has lead the FDA to change the classification to safe and effective. The abstract is below, along with a brief summary of the key findings by the FDA.”

SUMMARY: We, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), are issuing this final rule to include benzoyl peroxide as a generally recognized as safe and effective (GRASE) active ingredient in over-the-counter (OTC) topical acne drug products. In addition, this final rule includes new warnings and directions required for OTC acne drug products containing benzoyl peroxide. We are also revising labeling for OTC topical acne drug products containing resorcinol, resorcinol monoacetate, salicylic acid and/or sulfur to meet OTC drug labeling content and format requirements in a certain FDA regulation. This final rule is part of our ongoing review of OTC drug products and represents our conclusions on benzoyl peroxide in OTC acne drug products.

Additional points of interest:

  • The FDA did not find BPO to be a genotoxic substance, which basically means they do not believe that it damages DNA. They go on to add that even though BPO has been shown in research to create oxidative damage, that in humans, there are oxidative repair mechanisms that would likely prevent benzoyl peroxide from causing DNA damage.
  • The FDA did not find BPO to be carcinogenic. They state: “We have reviewed a number of animal studies examining the carcinogenic potential of benzoyl peroxide and conclude that benzoyl peroxide is not a carcinogen.” They also determined that there was no evidence to indicate that BPO is a photocarcinogen.”

Zeno and Other Heat Devices

41KB9QDNV0L._SX300_[1]The concept of skin care devices is an appealing one. It seems that surely, with today’s technology, there should be a way to get rid of acne pimples fast. Skin care appliances such as Zeno Hot Spot, Thermaclear, and Claro claim to blast acne bacteria with heat, reducing the size of your pimple overnight. Sadly, there is limited evidence to show that these devices do anything for acne sufferers. That’s because the devices operate on the basis of the assumption that P. acnes bacteria is the primary cause of pimples, when in fact, the propensity of acne sufferers to produce excess amounts of dead skin cells plays an equal, if not greater role. Even if the devices did work, there would be no need to purchase what is essentially heat on your face—you get that every day in the shower, and can easily heat your face to even higher temperatures through steaming or by applying warm compresses.

Use ice instead to get rid of inflamed acne breakouts 

Ice-Cubes[1]We find that the opposite approach, applying cold packs and ice to acne lesions, has much better results. Ice is well-known for its ability to reduce swelling and inflammation by restricting blood flow. By icing acne pimples, you can reduce swelling and redness on your face, as well. Ice has the added benefit of compacting the outer layer of the skin so that products can penetrate more readily. If you apply your acne treatment products after icing your skin for a few minutes, the products will be more effective. Just be careful not to give yourself an ice burn!

We do not recommend heat treatment devices for acne not only because they don’t work, but also because acne is best treated through prevention and not spot treatment. You can prevent acne from forming through an exfoliating and antibacterial morning and evening regimen customized for your skin.

All About Vitamin A

We’re sure you’ve heard about vitamin A. Its popularity has extended beyond the treatment rooms of dermatology offices and found its way into acne and anti-aging skin care brands everywhere. You or someone you know may have experienced, first hand, its amazing benefits! Or perhaps you’ve even heard some of its bad rap. So, what’s the deal?

Just as you would take a multivitamin to help your body function more effectively, vitamin A aids your skin by recalling its proper function. Known as a “cell-communicating ingredient,” vitamin A blocks incorrect messages that your cells receive and reminds the cells of what they are supposed to be doing. When one cell receives this communication, it passes it along to the next, and then the next—creating a chain of efficient cells. These functions include the formation of collagen and elastin as well as accelerated cell turnover. Your skin will go from dull and sluggish to invigorated and ageless.

Retin-A is perhaps the most well-known form of topical vitamin A, widely prescribed for treating acne. The active ingredient in Retin-A is called retinoic acid. While it offers all the benefits of vitamin A, the side effects can be a deal breaker. Many users experience severe dryness and/or irritation and will have to discontinue use. This, of course, hinders the clearing process.

Fortunately, there is a gentler alternative and it doesn’t require a prescription. It’s called retinaldehyde. When used topically, your skin converts retinaldehyde into retinoic acid.  How does this differ from putting retinoic acid directly on the skin (as in Retin-A) and why is it better? Your skin facilitates a controlled dose as opposed to an aggravating overflow. Think of it as overeating at a buffet versus a perfectly portioned meal. In this case, less is definitely more.

And luckily for you, Face Reality has got your back! They newly developed Vitamin A Corrective Serum uses retinaldehyde as its user friendly resurfacer. They also added anti-inflammatory agents as well as ingredients that absorb excess sebum, alleviate skin discomfort, and visibly fade redness. This ensures a well-balanced formula that delivers the active power of vitamin A without the irritation.

As you can see, vitamin A can be a great ally when battling your acne, but be sure to get the right formula for your skin. Talk to your Acne Specialist to learn more and to see if vitamin A is right for you!

The Power of Benzoyl Peroxide

Here at Body and Face Solutions, we utilize potent products in our system of acne management. Of these, benzoyl peroxide is a particularly powerful fighter in the battle against blemishes. Benzoyl peroxide, or BPO as it’s also known, is an ingredient that’s been around since the seventies as a topical acne treatment, and for good reason: it works. Wondering how it helps your acne? Read on!

Take a closer look at its name for a clue. Peroxide sounds familiar, right? Yes, the very same stuff from your childhood that would fizz away when your Mom poured it over your scraped knee is a component of BPO. Those bubbles are the reason hydrogen peroxide works as an antibacterial agent for wounds. What makes benzoyl peroxide particularly effective for acne is that it’s formulated in such a way that it doesn’t just sit on the surface of the skin; it delivers the active ingredient of oxygen deep inside the pore where it’s needed most.

Acne Med 5%

So, why does an acne-prone pore need oxygen? Well, there are two types of acne: inflamed and non-inflamed. Inflamed breakouts occur when the P. acnes bacteria (which are present on all of our skin) feed on the debris inside of a clogged pore and begin to replicate. Your immune system then enters the picture to fend off the invasion, resulting in red, painful, swollen, and sometimes pus-filled pimples. Fortunately though, the P. acnes bacteria do have a weakness: they cannot live in the presence of oxygen. This gives benzoyl peroxide kryptonite-like powers in the face of inflamed acne. When you regularly apply a BPO product to the skin, such as our Acne Med, oxygen dives down into the pore and both eradicates the bacteria as well as prevents them from invading in the first place.

Another just as important function of benzoyl peroxide is its ability to exfoliate the inside of the pore. Why is this necessary? Remember that acne is a genetic disorder of the pore in which the skin sheds too many layers of dead cells per day. Your poor pores, unable to keep up with this onslaught, form an impaction made up of these skin cells along with sticky oils. This is what is known as clogged pores or non-inflamed acne. Benzoyl peroxide comes to the rescue, causing the debris in the pore to loosen by thinning out those oils and peeling the pore. BPO addresses the clogged pores you currently have and also keeps them from forming.

Here’s how you can make the most of your Benzoyl Peroxide:

  • Use it every single day.
  • Don’t just spot-treat! Acne affects all pores.
  • Apply a dime to a nickel size amount. The skin needs to be saturated with it in order for it to be effective.
  • Choose your product wisely. Pick a non pore-clogging, water-based formula (as in our Acne Med).

Now that you know how benzoyl peroxide works, you can see why it’s such a superstar! Let it be your faithful friend in the fight for clear skin.