Since our teen years, we’ve been told to beat blemishes into submission with toothpaste, alcohol and other harsh agents. While it may seem sensible to attack oil with every drying chemical out there, overdoing it can actually kick oil production into overdrive, creating the opposite of your desired effect.
In honor of Acne Awareness month this June, try these MD-approved blemish beaters to stop acne in its raised, red tracks.
- Try Tretinoin – This retinoid helps to regulate the skin cells, decrease oil production, and even lightens the dark stains that acne can leave behind.
- OTC More Your Speed? Benzoyl Peroxide is an oldie but goody! This tried and tested anti-acne topical helps kill bacteria on the skin that is related to acne formation.
- Cure Adult Acne at the Speed of Light – “Not a week goes by when I don't hear several patients complaining of adult acne breakouts,” says Mark Schwartz, MD, FACS, NYC Plastic Surgeon and Clinical Assistant Professor of Plastic Surgery at Weill Cornell Medical College. “My patients have been getting great results withSciton's Forever Clear Broad Band Light (BBL). It is a really innovative alternative to topical treatments. In a 15 minute session the blue light wavelength (420 nm) is passed over the affected areas to attack the acne producing bacteria in the pores.”
- Nix the Alcohol – Steer clear of preservatives such as parabens, and alcohol-based acne medications. Parabens can trigger an allergic reaction in susceptible people, and cause an irritating, itchy rash. Alcohol is drying to skin and since the other active ingredients are already somewhat drying, the combination of those ingredients and alcohol can be doubly-tough for skin to tolerate.
- Go Low (with the Glycemic Index) – Research indicates that processed foods like white breads and sugary drinks are thought to trigger the production of androgens, a hormone responsible for oil production. A low glycemic index will help decrease breakouts.