Best Acne Treatments in 2018
Hi, Beth here! 🙂
Before I begin, I understand that some people mightn’t fancy reading our full acne solutions guide. That’s no problem!
If you’d prefer, you can instead click on the link below for a summary table of the top 5 acne treatment kits that our research has uncovered.
In saying this, we at the Health Base always recommend that you read our guides in full - it really is the best way to get fully informed!
Oily & Severe Acne
All Skin Types & Degrees of Acne
All Skin Types & Degrees of Acne
Dry, Sensitive & Combination
Only 100% Natural
Only 100% Natural
Salicylic Acid & Benzoyle Peroxide
Salicylic Acid & Benzoyle Peroxide
Click for Best Price:
Painful Acne - The Reality
This affliction is really horrible. There is no other way to describe it. Whether it's an everyday ailment or just a random breakout, it is never a welcome occurrence.
Why is it so bad? Because it has a detrimental effect on how we perceive ourselves. Also, it affects how we think others perceive us. It knocks our confidence and makes us self-conscious. This is the same for everyone, nobody is immune to the psychological impact that acne can have.
“I had just started ninth grade when I got my acne…I wouldn’t look people in the eye. It was not a good time for me – it just killed my self-esteem. I thought when I didn’t look at someone, they couldn’t see my face.”
- Kendall Jenner
Personally, when I think of these unwelcome pimples two things come to mind – spotty teenagers and unhealthy people. Why these two things? Probably because my own acne years occurred when I was an unhealthy teenager! Thus the association.
But it isn’t as simple as that. Acne can occur no matter how old or healthy you are. Unfortunately, there are far more reasons other than poor hygiene or the changing hormones of an adolescent.
Yes, the above factors do cause breakouts – something I learnt from painful experience. But so does such things as stress, allergies, poor diet, excessive consumption of certain foods, a rundown system, and a whole host of other reasons.
In recent years I have banished this skin affliction from my life, but, like everyone else, I still get the odd zit or breakout from time to time despite my best efforts. Such annoyances are usually caused by one of the above mentioned factors. However, despite this, it is most certainly not all doom and gloom!
This bacterial infection is a problem that can be controlled. This is the good news. The better news is that you have happened across our site where we provide the solution to this problem. The Health Base team have done the leg work for you and constructed a foolproof, comprehensive acne gone plan. Extensive testing and product comparison studies have given us knowledge that I would now like to share with you.
The following is a detailed guide to everything that you need to know about this dreaded skin ailment. This includes the five best over-the-counter acne kits on the market today. In addition, the Health Base’s comprehensive treatment plan will also help you discover which product is best suited for your complexion. I am confident that you will find this guide both informative and helpful.
What is Acne?
The technical term for acne is acne vulgaris. In a nutshell, it is a disorder that causes blockages in your skin’s pores. These pores connect to oil glands which lie under the surface of your skin.
An oily substance known as sebum is pushed up through these glands and out through your pores.
Why? In order to rid your body of dead skin and dirt that has accumulated over time.
Sometimes this mixture of dirt, oil, and skin can cause these pores to become blocked. This is when problems can occur.
This problem is normally located on the face, back, and upper portion of the chest. These areas are worst hit because they have the highest number of oily glands. What a lot of people don’t realize is that there are several different types of this issues. And to make matter even more complicated, each of these types has its own causes and effects as well as methods of prevention.
More commonly known as whiteheads and blackheads. A comedo occurs when a hair follicle/pore becomes blocked by emerging keratin (skin and dirt) and oil/sebum.
A blackhead is when the surface is breached by a comedo. A whitehead takes form beneath the skin. The factor that dictates whether the comedo will be a whitehead or blackhead is what depth the blockage in your pore occurs.
Also known as a zit or spot. Pimples are a type of comedo. They are also caused by blockages in the pores. In addition, pimples can take the form of pustules and papules.
Pimples are what comedo’s become when they reach the point of inflammation. This occurs when the blockage is it at its zenith.
This is a rare type of acne. Also known as seborrheic eczema or seborrheic dermatitis. Unfortunately, its rarity is equalled by its memorable appearance. Seborrhoea is a type of mild dermatitis. It usually effects the upper torso, scalp, and, of course, the face.
Seborrhoea only occurs on people who have existing severe acne. It takes the form of red, crusty, and flaky skin that looks very irritated. The best thing to do with Seborrhoea is to visit a dermatologist immediately. As indicated, this type is far more serious than a comedo.
Each of these types suck. There's no getting away from this fact. But what causes them? Read on to find out!
10 Major Causes
Overload of Sebum/Oil
Sebum is a natural oil that is secreted by the body. It consists of triglycerides, squalene, wax esters and metabolites.
The function of sebum is to waterproof and lubricate both the skin and hair. It also serves to rid the body of excess dead cells and dirt.
Some people naturally exude more sebum than is needed. This leads to your pores/hair follicles becoming clogged. An oily complexion is quite a common and natural thing to happen.
In fact, I myself have quite oily skin and this was why I struggled with this affliction. This was before I wised up, of course!
For more on this issue, check out the following article: 4 Easy Methods to Manage Oily Skin
This one is a big issue with females….though men can suffer from it as well! Many people either have to (for work) or choose to wear make up on a daily basis. These products, if not removed properly, can cause pores to be blocked.
A significant cause of makeup related acne often occurs due to fatigue. If you’ve been out all day at work, or at night having fun, it can be an arduous task to remove the makeup from your face before you collapse onto your bed!
You might even forget, depending on how many drinks you’ve had!
Sleeping with makeup on is, of course, not good for the skin. Pimples or other breakouts can happen quite easily due to this.
A handy way to avoid such a problem is to place a pack of clean wipes and a small waste-bin beside your bed. That way you will be reminded to quickly cleanse your face before you close your eyes for the night.
Does this sound like you: 7 Key Reasons for Cosmetic Addiction
This is a big one as bacteria can proliferate in rapid fashion if given the chance. Under no circumstances should you pick or touch any facial affliction with your bare hands.
All this will accomplish will be to spread the acne vulgaris bacteria to other places on your body.
Everyone on the planet is allergic to something. Allergic reactions come in a variety of forms. It could be a rash; watery eyes; sinus issues; or headaches. What a lot of people don’t know, is that allergies can also cause acne.
Thorough studies have shown that some dietary factors can cause breakouts. Depending on your physical makeup, anything from dairy products to carbohydrate-high food could trigger spots rising. Even a healthy amount of chocolate can cause it! 🙁
The best way to shield yourself against this is the same way you should deal with allergies in general. First and foremost, make an appointment with your chosen doctor.
This way you can get a full allergy test done to see what irritates your body. From here you can then make changes to your diet.
This one is a bit of a puzzler. It has still yet to be scientifically proven that stress does indeed induce this bacterial infection. Conversely, it is widely acknowledged that stress can indeed be a factor.
There are reports that indicate that certain hormones are triggered by stress which cause an increase in the production of sebum. This increase can then lead to pore blockage.
Therefore, how to avoid stress related acne? Simply put…don’t get stressed!! Easy? Not quite. We all know that in the modern world stress is unavoidable.
However, you can control this stress to a manageable level - many factors behind stress are self-induced.
Take a look at our Essential Oils Comprehensive Guide - these powerful oils are an incredibly effective way of calming both the mind and body.
Dead Skin Build Up
There are three primary reasons dead skin can build up and lead to pores being clogged. These are the aging process; the lack of a proper cleansing routine; and dry climates.
As we age, our skin stops being as efficient as it once was. This leads to dry skin forming as well as dead skin. This build up can then lead to blockages in your pores. Thus, the older we get the more we have to look after our complexions.
Also, a lack of an effective facial cleansing routine can cause dead skin to accumulate. Going prolonged amounts of time without cleaning one’s face will result in large amounts of dead skin piling up. This will then lead to blockages. Remember, the human body is constantly shedding millions of cells.
Dry climate is another factor that can lead to dead skin piling up. Climates that are in the extremes are not particularly great for our complexion. This ranges from dry climates that are lacking in humidity, to freezing conditions that can be found in the depths of winter. Both extremes can expedite or worsen the problem. A key way to battle these environmental effects is to always moisturise.
This one is really quite self-explanatory. Very often our complexion is a fair gauge of our health. While this is not always the case, having a healthy diet and body usually results in healthy skin.
I still wince today when I look back at my diet as a teenager. Teenagers are an unaware, care-free bunch, and I was no different.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing; our care-free teenage years allow us to grow, mature, and evolve into a mature member of society.
However, our diets usually take a bit of a hit nonetheless! Thus the constant reminders from parents to eat our veg and fruit!
If you are going to eat sugary, salty, and greasy foods then you can expect your skin to pay a price. There is a reason why professional athletes always seem to have a glowing complexion – because they are at the peak of their physical powers!
All in all, this is just another great reason to improve your overall fitness and dietary habits.
When adolescents enter puberty, hormonal changes can have massive impacts on their bodies. Unfortunately, these changes can also cause acne to develop.
As the body grows and develops, hormones cause an increase in the production of sebum from the sebaceous glands. This in turn can then lead to a rise in pores being blocked.
Pustules/pimples on teenagers can be quite widespread and serious. It is vital that teenagers follow a solid cleansing method in order to take care of their skin.
A key part of this is to allow the skin that's been affected to heal properly. This means to avoid interrupting the healing process. If not, then scarring can be the end result – something that nobody wants.
Poor Cleansing Routine
This one used to be a major factor for my own acne problems in my 20s. Since wising up after my teenage years, I’ve pretty much had a healthy diet and I like to think I’m in good physical condition.
Also, I'd always take care to wash my face regularly. Yet, every now and again, I’d still get the odd zit or sporadic outbreaks from time to time.
It used to drive me mad! It wasn’t until I did some research did I figure out where I was going wrong. My washing routine was incorrect. My failings included:
All of these things can worsen the effects of acne. Trust me, I know from personal experience! Later on I will be going through what I find is the best cleansing routine.
A Run Down System
It's well known that a weak immune system can lead to skin problems. When the immune system is struggling – whether from a poor diet or some sort of infection – then skin inflammation can occur. This then leads to acne.
Obviously, the trick is to have a healthy immune system. This means having a good daily diet and training regime. Possessing these two things will also decrease your chances of catching an infection. They will also improve your chances of quickly fighting off an infection should one occur.
However, we all get sick from time to time. This is a given in life. But we can most assuredly limit these times as well as restricting the impact that illness has on our bodies.
What is My Skin Type?
As alluded to already, knowing what skin type you have is key in fighting this particular problem. Or, indeed, preventing it. Only by knowing the category that you fall into can you then purchase the correct treatment kit. This will ultimately allow you to establish a quality plan of attack.
When it comes to the different types, there are two general categories. These being oily (like myself), or a combination of oily and dry. People can also have very dry skin which more often than not rules out any chance of problematic issues. Lucky them!
The Characteristics: This type is characterised by having a complexion that shines. This is very evident on the forehead.
This shine is caused by the sebum/oil that is being exuded from your pores. I know, that sounds a bit gross but it’s perfectly natural!
This overabundance of sebum/oil comes about because of an overactive gland – the sebaceous gland to be precise. Excessive oil, while not uncommon in adults, tends to appear amongst teenagers due to the hormonal changes occurring within them.
Check out the product that we believe is the best with dealing with this type: Exposed treatment kit.
The Risk: because of this overproduction of sebum, people with oily skin can experience pore blockage quite easily. To avoid this, a quality cleansing regime is needed – like the one we will soon be detailing.
A key point to keep in mind is to avoid buying an product that has alcohol in its formula. The reason for this is that alcohol cleans you face to an excessive extent, often removing all the oil/sebum. This may work in the short term but over a long period of time it will actually be damaging for your complexion.
Why damaging? Because alcohol based formulas can cause reactive seborrhoea – this is when your oil glands sense that there is a lack of oil so they work doubly hard to produce more. Therefore, a vicious cycle begins.
A much more productive choice is to use formulas of a milder nature. Such a product will remove excess dirt and sebum/oil while leaving your face refreshed and clean. Another option that can be very successful in dealing with excess oil production is to use a facial mask. Masks can have massive benefits for your skin.
The Characteristics: this is exactly what it sounds like – having two different categories. This results in certain parts of your face having standard or excessive oil production, while other areas having distinctly lesser oil production levels.
The Risk: Combination usually manifests itself with the upper portion of your face, nose, and chin being oily. In contrast, your cheeks would be quite dry in composition. This can leave this area becoming flaky and irritated.
Combination is quite common as a follow-on from oily. People in their twenties and thirties often have combination, perhaps after having oily as a teenager. This is just another example of how our bodies are always in a state of flux as we grow. This is why it is important to keep on top of your health as what worked five or ten years ago may not be as effective now.
The tricky (and annoying) part of having combination is that you may be forced to use two types of treatment. One for your oily part, and one for your dry. This may seem like a lot of hassle, but once you get into the routine it will become second nature.
Our advice for people with combination is that you use the same method as outlined for the oily sections of your face. This will be a mild cleanser/acne product without alcohol. You should probably not use this on the dry parts of your face as there is no need. Instead, apply a moisturiser to these areas so as to supply relief and freshness.
The five top brands that we have reviewed do not use alcohol in their formulas. However, each one is designed to target varying types. This can be seen in the following:
AcneZine & ClearPores: excels for all skin types and degrees of acne, something that is made even more attractive by the fact these products use only natural ingredients
Zenmed: best designed to be used for dry and sensitive skin
Proactiv+: our extensive research revealed that this product should only be used on oily skin. It really is not suitable for combination or areas that are sensitive
Exposed: can be used to cater for all skin types, though we found that it is really best suited for oily and severe acne cases
Essential Ingredients - the Right Stuff
A vital part of your search to cure your skin problems is to ensure that the right stuff has been put into the product. As with everything, if the ingredients are not proper then the outcome will mirror this. Just imagine trying to make chicken noodle soup without the chicken…or noodles! No good.
The following two ingredients are absolutely vital for an effective home kit – benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid. It is worth your time to read a little a bit about these two ingredients if you are determined to rid acne from your life.
Also known as peroxyde benzoyle. This ingredient supplies oxygen to your skin which works to kill the bacteria that brings about pimples and breakouts. The scientific name for this bacteria is Proprioni Bacterium acnes. This bacterium thrives in oxygen-less areas. Therefore, oxygen is needed to battle this bacteria and this is what benzoyl peroxide delivers.
This ingredient also succeeds in ridding your face of dead skin cells. Dead skin accumulates on the surface of your skin which can block pores. Furthermore, this accumulation can also expedite the growth of Proprioni Bacterium acnes.
Warning: it's worth noting that benzoyl peroxide is quite a strong ingredient. It can lead to excessive drying of your skin which can then result in irritation. This ingredient has also been known to cause allergic reactions as well as bleaching clothes or towels, so be careful where you apply it.
Unfortunately, this is just the price that has to be paid in order to avail of a proper home kit to combat this issue. Though saying this, any risk is still very minimal. Also, if you don’t like the sound of benzoyl peroxide, the next ingredient can be used as an alternative.
This is a beta hydroxyl acid that originates from willow bark. Sometimes it might actually be listed as willow bark instead of salicylic acid, so keep that in mind when you are scanning the ingredients.
In scientific terms, salicylic acid works as a bacteriostatic agent. It reduces the spread of bacteria by nullifying the bacterial protein from being produced. In addition, this ingredient also works to remove dead skin cell, excess sebum/oil, and dirt from your body’s pores.
Overall, this process will succeed in opening your clogged pores and cleaning them out. It will aid in inducing cell growth which will ensure that your skin grows at a faster rate. This will then help to remove any scarring that might have occurred. It will also cure lesions and discoloration.
The Big Decision...Benzoyl or Salicylic Acid?
In terms of their effectiveness in treating acne, both these ingredients are beneficial. Any related product worth its salt will have either one of these in their formula. In fact, some products incorporate both. However, in saying this, our research has provided conclusive proof that salicylic acid is the one to choose. Below are the main points as to why we think this is the case:
What are Other Vital Ingredients?
Salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide may be the two prominent ingredients, but there are other ingredients in products that prevent whiteheads that are also worth being familiar with. The following is a quick guide to each of them:
Alpha hydroxy acids
(glycolic acid or multifruits acids)
- significantly aids with exfoliation by clearing blocked oil glands
- not as effective as salicylic acid so therefore should never replace it
(Vitamin A, retin A, tretinoin, retinoic acid)
- supplies needed vitamins
- usually only found in prescription products
- natural mineral
- works to suck out excess oil, dirt, and dead skin from pores
- hugely beneficial for the exfoliation process
- antifungal properties
- regulates the production of oil/sebum
- similar benefits to that of peppermint
- found in all sorts of acne kits, including facial masks
- works to decrease oiliness
Ensuring the Formula is Correct
We cannot stress how key this is. A lot of inferior brands and products will make one of two mistakes – either they’ll refrain from using benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid, perhaps choosing a cheaper option instead.
Or they won’t do the necessary research and will add too much or too little of these vital ingredients into their formula. Either eventuality can prove detrimental for the quality of the product.
If these ingredients are overused in any given product then serious damage could occur. Abuse of such ingredients as benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid can cause your skin to become heavily irritated and even burnt. The only time these ingredients should be used in high doses is under the supervision of a qualified dermatologist. Even then, this should be a last course of action.
Correct amount of benzoyl peroxide: this ingredient usually falls into the 2.5% - 10% concentration range. The temptation is to automatically go for the 10% so as to get the strongest, most impactful treatment. Our advice would be to start with a smaller dosage, perhaps the 2.5%.
The reason for this lies in the strength of benzoyl peroxide. 10% could very well be too much for your skin type, even though it can be bought over-the-counter. So, to avoid irritation, the best course of action is to buy a product with a lesser percentage and see how that goes.
Correct amount of salicylic acid: the same can be said for this ingredient. It is far better to start with a smaller dosage than to go straight away for the highest percentage. In saying this, salicylic acid is naturally far easier on your face than benzoyl peroxide.
Salicylic acid usually comes in just the 0.5% - 3% concentration range. While the 3% concentration probably won’t cause any issues, it is still advisable to start with a lower does – our recommendation being the 0.5% - 1.5% range.
Also, the higher the concentration of these two ingredients then the higher the price of the product will be. So, to spare yourself possible side effects as well as needless spending, it really is best to start with lower dosages.
Next I'll discuss some warning signs that you need to be on the lookout for regarding the formula.
Formula Alarm Bells
As with every niche and product line, there’s going to be so dodgy ones. Unfortunately, for every one-hundred honest merchants, you’re going to have a few that are lacking in ethics. These people are more concerned with lining their pockets than your health concerns.
As a result, this leads to shoddy and potentially dangerous products. The same can be seen in the niche of acne treatment. So, what are the main things to look out for?
The first one is an overuse of ingredients. Companies who do not know, or care, what they’re doing will sometimes pack in as many ingredients as possible into their creations. They do this to try and impress consumers. We are programmed to think that more is better. However, this most definitely is not always the case.
An overload of ingredients in an product can actually work to further clog pores – exactly the opposite effect of what it’s meant to be doing! Over using such ingredients such as paraffin oil or some silicones can cause this to happen. So, keep an eye out for an overload of ingredients.
It is important to note that the above mentioned ingredients aren’t necessarily bad for your skin. They work to sooth and refresh, thus the reason they are added to formulas. Once the dosage of these ingredients is low then there should be no problem.
The second thing to look out for is the use of alcohol. AVOID THIS LIKE THE PLAGUE. We really cannot stress this enough. The sad fact is that alcohol is used in quite a large amount of brand's products, something that in this day and age shouldn’t be the case.
Companies and brands use alcohol in their products for two reasons. Firstly, the alcohol gives the naturally thick cream a lighter composition. This may seem trivial, but then again this is the beauty industry we are discussing.
The second reason is that alcohol is super at removing oil from the skin. The problem lies in the fact that alcohol removes too much of this oil. This can cause your complexion to become raw and irritated. Also, your glands will react to the sudden lack of oil/sebum by trying to generate more and more. As noted before, this will result in a viscous cycle that will be disastrous for the well-being of your skin.
The Must Have Moisturizing Agents
As we have stressed, benzoyl peroxide and/or salicylic acid are vital ingredients. But they can also have a certain drying out effect on the skin. In order to compensate for this, many cosmetic brands make sure to include ingredients that are used to ease dryness and increase freshness. These top moisturising ingredients include:
The ideal formula will include a variety of the above moisturisers in conjunction with benzoyl peroxide and/or salicylic acid as well as other elements.
Choosing & Sticking with the Correct Brand
This is common sense yet something that a lot of people don’t adhere to. People often swap and mix different brands. This is a mistake. The logic for staying with the same brand is quite simple and straightforward. The products from the top brands are all designed to work together – this is how they have been formulated. Messing with that formula by introducing a product from a competing brand can very easily unbalance the whole enterprise.
This is clearly evident in the niche of acne-treatment. Each brand uses different dosages and measurements in terms of their ingredients. All the products from any given brand are designed to be compatible, something that is definitely worth keeping in mind.
Now, in different areas of your life it is perfectly OK to mix and match the different brands. For example, it really doesn’t matter if your hair gel and body spray are both produced by Lynx. It’s far better to find ones you like rather than worrying about brand loyalty.
However, when this health issue is considered, it is absolutely the correct decision to stick with the same brand.
Another key thing to keep in mind is that you must give your chosen product/kit enough time be effective. A common mistake many people make is that they abandon a treatment after a week or so because there are no immediate results.
These things take time so don’t be hasty in dumping a product. In fact, you should only ever move onto a new method or product if the one you’re trying is having an adverse reaction on your skin. Or if you’ve been using it for months without any visible improvement.
Is the Guarantee Guaranteed?
If you don’t read the small text, it’s time to start! We have reiterated continually throughout this guide that we all have different types of complexions. This means that it might take some time to find the right product for your particular type. It’s highly preferable that this search doesn’t also cost a small fortune!
That’s where the Money Back Guarantee comes into the equation. Now, some brands try to be sneaky. Like only giving a 15-day money back guarantee. This is laughable. These brands know full well that an treatment plan cannot be accurately judged after just two weeks.
Therefore, it is key that you choose a brand that offers a substantial period in which you can return the product. And, of course, get a full refund.
Avoid the Marketing Traps
Brands and companies make products for a sole reason – to make money. There is nothing wrong with this, that’s how business works. To achieve this all-consuming goal, manufactures sometime employ marketing tactics that give them the edge over their competitors. Again, there is nothing wrong with this. What’s wrong is that we as consumers sometimes fall for these traps!!
The Volume Trap: A pretty common one. Brands will make their products slightly smaller or lighter than their rivals. This will save them money on the production costs. This might mean that your facial cleanser is 25ml or 50ml lesser than another product…though it still costs the same! If this happens, you really only have yourself to blame.
The trick is to your due diligence. Don’t just buy the first product that you see. Compare and contrast them.
The Autoshipment Trap: The next tactic or trap that brands use is to try and get customers to select Autoship. For those unaware, Autoship is a service that allows you to receive your favourite products in an automated fashion – usually every month or so.
This saves you the effort of having to physically go through the buying process every time you need a top up. It also saves you money on shipping.
For the merchant, Autoshipment is also beneficial as people are more likely to stay with their product. Let’s face it, people can be quite lazy! Most people won’t bother cancelling their Autoship selection unless they have a major problem with a product.
Don’t get us wrong, this little marketing trap isn’t necessarily a bad thing as Autoshipment does bring down your overall bill.
However, it's important to understand what Autoship entails – otherwise you’ll end getting hit with a second charge in a month’s time even if you have no wish to get a repeat batch of the product.
The Correct Cleansing Routine
There are two vital aspects to treating acne. These two aspects are essentially what make up the Health Base comprehensive treatment plan.
The first aspect is that you choose the correct kit for your skin. The second, and arguably the more important, is that you implement a solid cleansing routine.
Below is the routine that I think is most effective.
- Select the correct cleanser; as with every product, there is an abundance of options to choose from
- We’ll soon get into the specifics of how exactly you choose the correct product for your skin type
- For now, it is important to understand that thought does need to be put into which facial cleanser you intend to buy
- Use lukewarm water: it is important to use lukewarm water when preparing your face for a cleanse
- This will allow your pores to open up. Using water that’s too hot will burn and irritate your skin.
- Conversely, using water that is cold will not sufficiently open your pores.
- Use a clean towel: this may seem obvious but it is often overlooked. Using a dirty towel is extremely counter-productive!
- The easiest way to do this is to simply have 3-5 hand towels or face cloths at your disposal. You can then cycle through them, using one per wash.
- 30-45 seconds of heat: once you’ve thoroughly soaked your cloth in lukewarm water, place it over your face.
- Leave it in this position for 30-45 seconds. This will allow your pores to open sufficiently.
- Apply acne treatment/facial cleanser; this can be done with the same towel/cloth or a fresh one. Firstly, ensure that the cloth is soaked with cold water.
- Next, squeeze a small amount of the facial cleanser onto the cloth. Then, in circular motions, gently rub the cleanser into all areas of your face.
- Remember, the skin on your face is delicate so there is no need to be over-vigorous. Also, your pores are already open so the cleanser will do its job without extra effort needed on your part.
- Rinse your face: the best way to do this is to simply cup your hands, fill them with cold water, and splash your face. It’s never a good idea to touch your face with your hands. This splash method will negate that risk and also remove the cleanser.
- Dab dry with a clean towel: As before, it’s important to use a clean towel for this step. There is no point in cleansing your face and then using your body towel to dry it!
- As always, avoid rubbing your face. This will only lead to irritation. Instead, dab it with the fresh towel until dry.
- Apply moisturizer: after a good cleanse, your face will feel fresh and clean. It also might feel a bit dry. This is why applying a moisturizer is a good habit to get into.
- As with the acne kits, moisturisers come in all different sizes and prices. Also, in similar fashion, different moisturisers work best with certain skin types. I know this personally as it took me quite a while to find the moisturizer that suited my type.
Extra Step – How often to cleanse: this is quite an important factor in the cleansing routine. Cleanse too often and irritation may occur. Cleanse not frequently enough, and acne may form. Everyone’s skin is different – what might work for one person, may not be as beneficial for the next.
I personally cleanse every three to four days. I find this to be enough. Any less and I can feel my skin (especially my forehead) becoming oily. Any more and my complexion will start to get irritated. The best advice I think is to experiment yourself and see what works for you.
IMPORTANT NOTE: the above routine and advice is something that I use and stand by. However, it is important to acknowledge that every person’s skin is unique. We may be able to divide types into categories but these categories are quite broad. Just like no two faces are exactly identical, skin has the same variations and differences.
Click here for our in depth Exfoliation Article and some Top Cleansing Tips.
Key General Tips
Never Touch Your Face with Your Hands
- This may seem a bit odd but it makes perfect sense. On a day to day basis we come in contact with numerous things, both organic and inanimate. This is part of life. As a result of this, we cannot help but get residues onto our hands. This, of course, is harmless, and we usually don’t even notice.
- The problem occurs when we then touch our face with our hands. This can result in a portion of these residues being transferred to our faces. This can then cause our pores to be blocked and acne to form.
- Therefore, it is a both a wise and hygienic move to get into the habit of resisting the urge to touch your face. This doesn’t have to be taken to the extreme. But using it as a general rule can definitely lessen the chance of facial blockages occurring.
Be Wary of Ordinary Soap & Shower Gel
- Many people, when in the shower, wash their faces with an assortment of products. Whether it be a generic bar of soap. Or a top of the range body wash. Keep in mind though that your face is far more delicate than your body. It takes far less to damage your face or block your facial pores than any other area of your body.
- A lot of soaps and body washes are only really designed to be used on the body – not the face. It is important to keep this in mind. The reason for this is that these products often contain ingredients and mixtures that are not suitable for contact with your face. This can often lead to allergic reactions or blockages in your pores.
Never Scrub Your Face
- This ties back into what I was saying about your face being delicate. The way you clean your underarms, or chest, should most definitely not be the way you clean your face. The former body parts are washed by scrubbing, usually in a vigorous manner. Your face is far too delicate for this. Rough scrubbing on your face will only irritate it and cause problems.
- Instead, use a wet cloth to dab your face when you are showering. This will soak up and remove any excess oil, dirt, or dead skin cells. It will also stop your face from being damaged.
Do Not Over-Wash Your Face
- Many sufferers of acne get into the bad habit of over washing. They become obsessed with cleaning their face on a daily basis, even multiple times a day. Why? Because they link having this problem with not being clean. Logically they then feel the need to clean their faces periodically.
- The danger with this is that you can overdo it. Continually washing your face can make it become very dry and irritated. This will increase the damage that acne can cause.
Only Use Clean Implements
- We use a variety of implements on our bodies on a daily basis. This ranges from razors, electric shavers, tweezers, combs, or even perhaps a straight edge blade if you’re that way inclined. 🙂 However, these implements are not impervious to dirt and germs.
- It is important, and a good habit, to ensure that your implements are clean. Regularly sterilizing all your implements will ensure that your skin does not get infected. It will also help your implements to function at their maximum level.
Get Your Vitamins & Minerals In
- Vitamins and minerals are rightfully considered as essential nutritional additions to everyone’s diet. Their functions and benefits are numerous:
- In terms of acne, vits and minerals are essential as they help to regulate and strength the skin. This is vital in ensuring that you have healthy skin. So, as the header says, get them in!!!
Four Key "Do Nots" When a Breakout Occurs
Life has a tendency to not be fair. The same can be said for acne. You could do all the correct things and yet still get the odd pimple or breakout now and again. Unfortunately, much like a flu or sick stomach, these things sometimes just happen despite our best efforts.
This Health Base guide will help you limit any problems to an absolute minimum. However, just in case the worst comes to pass, here are a few essential tips to dealing with a rogue pimple or breakout.
...squeeze a pimple – this is absolutely the last thing that you should do if a pimple rises on your skin. The temptation is to automatically squeeze the life out of the offending pimple.
Thus clearing it and beginning the recovery process. This is a bad idea! If a pimple is not ready to be popped, then squeezing it will only irritate it.
Also, popping a pimple can result in more bacteria being transferred from your hand to the open sore. This can very easily lead to the infection getting worse or even spreading. Neither of these outcomes is what we want!
Overall, this will result in the area becoming irritated and inflamed. The key thing to remember when dealing with a pimple is to let it come to the surface on its own accord before popping it.
Doing anything to try and hasten this process will only cause more harm than good.
...over-wash your face – this is something that I personally did for years. Whenever I had a pimple or breakout I would wash my face vigorously with hot water. And every time it would appear to work in the short term.
However, it was just an illusion and soon the blemish would look worse than before.
The false hope lies in the hotness of the water.
When you wash your face with warm water your skin naturally gets hotter and redder in complexion. This results in acne blending in better with the surrounding skin. This only lasts for a short time though.
Eventually your complexion will return to its normal temperature and the blemish will remain its red, irritated self.
...pick when popped – after a pimple has come fully to the surface then feel free to pop, squeeze, and clear all the gunk out. After this, it is vital that you let it heal. Your body will do its part by creating a protective scab over the blemish. Your part is to leave this scab alone!
There are several dangers that come with picking an acne scabs. Firstly, you are interrupting the healing process. Your body is trying to heal so allow it do so. Any picking will irritate and inflame the area, usually resulting in the blemish looking far worse than before.
Secondly, the risk of scarring increases if a blemish is picked. A scab is a protective Band-Aid that the body grows over an injury. Its goal is to allow the underlying skin to heal unperturbed. Picking and removing this scab disturbs this process. This often leads to permanent scarring.
Thirdly, picking elevates the chances of the the problem spreading. This is a big one. There is nothing worse than having a sole pimple turn into an outbreak! Think about it logically – a pimple occurs when a pore becomes blocked with dirt amongst other things. If you then pick at this area, it’s quite possible you will spread the dirt to other parts of you face.
…become impatient – this point reaffirms the first three. It is key that you are patient and let your body heal. Human bodies are amazing things, capable of doing remarkable things. Therefore, you can be certain that your body knows how to solve the issue of a pimple! But, you have to let it do its work without intervention.
This can be hard, I know. The minute a pimple or breakout occurs the aim is to get rid of it as soon as possible. This leads to urges like squeezing the living daylights out of the offending skin. Or scraping of the blackened scab. Or washing and scrubbing your face repeatedly. As explained, all of these are terrible ideas.
Acne is annoying. Absolutely. It is unseemly. Afraid so. But is also not life threatening and not permanent. Therefore, relax, take the necessary steps, and above all else let your body do its magic!
Light Therapy Treatment
As well as the solutions described in this guide, there is another treatment that is a noteworthy mention – that treatment is Light Therapy. What exactly is Light Therapy though?
Well, in a nutshell, Light Therapy is a method of treating skin maladies such as acne by exposing the affected areas to artificial light is emitted in specific wavelengths. This light can be created in several ways – through light-emitting diodes; fluorescent lamps; dichroic lamps; bright full-spectrum light sources; lasers; or polychromatic light sources.
In terms of treatment, Light Therapy has been clinically proven to be able to positively combat this facial ailment. In particular, a combination of using both blue and red light therapy has been judged to be the best approach. Why is this combo so effective? Because, to drop a famous boxing phrase it supplies the perfect one-two combination.
To give this a combo a more detailed explanation, the blue light works to eradicate the bacterial infection, while the red light helps to ease inflammation as well as boosting the recovery of the skin. What’s more, this treatment has been proven to work on all types which makes it super adaptable and thus makes it a very viable way method.
Which Treatment Best Suits You?
As stated, we at the Health Base have done extensive research and testing in this area. Our results have led us to believe that the following five products are the premier over-the-counter acne kits. Below is a comparative table that will help you decide which product is right for your complexion.
Oily & Severe Acne
All Skin Types & Degrees of Acne
All Skin Types & Degrees of Acne
Dry, Sensitive & Combination
Only 100% Natural
Only 100% Natural
Salicylic Acid & Benzoyle Peroxide
Salicylic Acid & Benzoyle Peroxide
Click for Best Price:
The Health Base Verdict
The most cost effective: this is obviously the most important factor to consider. Which of these products is the best value?
At a cursory glance, Proactiv+ appears to be the answer to this question. It is the cheapest of the five options so surely it's the best choice? Nope. I actually rate it as last out of the five options!!
So, what’s the catch? The catch is simple - Proactiv+ use celebrities to market their products. These celebrities need to be paid. To compensate, Proactiv+ supplies no toner and a dramatically smaller amount of the other items, thus cutting the cost. This is why this product is by far the worst in the terms of cost effectiveness.
Who wins then? The remaining four acne treatment kits are very effective at what they’ve been designed to do. The way I'd call it if I was decide on these products myself would be as follows:
For excessively oily skin and severe cases of acne: Exposed Treatment Kit
Exposed is a terrific product range that I've used myself, though I do favor ClearPores and AcneZine in recent times due to the fact that they use 100% natural ingredients - this is something that is always welcome in my book.
Join the Health Base Community! 🙂
That brings an end to the Health Base’s comprehensive acne treatment plan. Hopefully now you feel better prepared to deal with your acne problem. I have covered everything from the best products to the best way to apply said products.
However, I and the Health Base team know that medicine and techniques are always improving. That is we are committed to updating our treatment plan and general advice sections on a regular basis. Also, if there is anything that you think we have missed then please drop us a comment in the section below.
Even just get in touch with us to let us know your story. We’d love to know what worked for you! Perhaps your experiences and knowledge is exactly what another member of the Health Base community is looking for! After all…
I sincerely hope that this guide has helped you in some way. Always remember, acne may not be a life threatening ailment, but this is no reason to just accept its presence and live with it. Get rid of it once and for all!!! 🙂
Wishing you the best health,
P.S. Please feel to browse our other posts on this topic.