Dealing with acne can be an overwhelming endeavor, especially if it is more severe than just the occasional pimple. Thankfully there are many over-the-counter products that can help improve acne and help mitigate scarring. Today we are going to explain what acne is, what makes over-the-counter treatments effective, and finally we are going to recommend our best serums for acne.
What is Acne
To answer this question we first need to address some anatomy in order to really understand what acne is. As you know our skin consists of two main layers - the top layer is the epidermis, and the layer underneath is the dermis. Within the dermis is where we find our main culprits of acne - hair follicles and sebaceous glands. The sebaceous gland produces oil which lubricates our skin, however, sometimes this oil can trap dead skin cells and bacteria within our pores, leading to pimples and cysts.
In simplest terms you can consider acne as an inflammation of the follicles in our skin. For the purpose of this post we are only going to be discussing treatments and conditions of Acne Vulgaris, which is the most common form of acne that is present on the face, and other oily areas like our backs, scalp, and chest.
Now to recap, when our follicles become clogged with dead skin, bacteria, and excess oil, this is what leads to acne. Here are the most common type of pimples:
- Closed Comedones (white heads) - sealed over bumps filled with pus
- Open Comedones (black heads) - open to the surface of the skin, which causes the mix of oil, dead skin, and bacteria to turn black due to oxygen exposure.
- Papules - small, inflamed bumps
- Pustules - inflamed, red bumps with pus present
- Nodules - large, deep imbedded, and painful bumps that feel hard
- Cysts - large, deep imbedded, and painful pus-filled bumps. Often result in scarring
Causes of Acne
Common causes to acne can be hormonal changes (puberty, menstrual cycle, pregnancy), certain types of medicine, skin type (genetics), as well as exposure to oil, including grease from the scalp, cooking oil, and certain makeup or hair products.
Now that you have an understanding of what acne is and how it is caused, let’s learn about how treatments are effective.
What Makes Acne Treatments Effective
When looking for a treatment for acne there are a range of products to consider, as well as professional opinions from your dermatologist. Today we are going to focus on the effectiveness of ingredients found within over-the-counter products.
One way to treat acne and acne scars is by investing in skincare products specifically designed to fight symptoms. Here are some key ingredients to look for when considering your products:
Hyaluronic acid is produced naturally in the skin to help retain moisture. Moisturizers and serums containing hyaluronic acid are especially helpful for people with acne because of damage to their moisture barrier. While this doesn’t play a direct role in treating acne, it helps balance the skin and prevent excess drying and damage caused by acne.
Salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid, which is known for reducing acne through exfoliation and cleaning pores. It works by penetrating the skin and dissolving the dead skin cells clogging up the follicle.
Retinoids are a group of vitamin A derivatives, including retinol. Within various acne products you will see these terms come up often. All vitamin A derivative products achieve the same thing - activating retinoid receptors in the skin. This in turn reduces the skin's inflammatory response, and increases the skin turnover and regeneration rate. With a peeling effect, this also keeps pores clean and brightens dark spots.
Works to treat and prevent acne by killing bacteria underneath the skin, as well as helping the pores shed dead skin cells and excess oil
Now that you know more about the specialized ingredients that make acne treatments effective, you can be more confident in choosing products that work. See below for some of our best selling serums that incorporate these main ‘helper’ ingredients and more!
Best Recommended Acne Serums
Formulated with a high concentration of vitamin A to completely renew your complexion. This treatment hydrates your skin with hyaluronic acid and brightens with lactic acid. Peptides naturally plump your texture to smooth skin and reduce scars.
An intensive, reparative formula designed to hydrate, regenerate and repair the skin, while delivering essential vitamins and bio-nutrients to the cells. Great for damaged, acne prone skin.
This is a retinol, vitamin E and vitamin C serum that provides maximum levels of antioxidant protection. These ingredients provide excellent inflammation relief for compromised skin, leaving it calm and soothed.
NeoGenesis products offer a safe and effective approach to caring for acne prone skin. With advanced stem cell technology, NeoGenesis products help improve the body’s natural repair processes and stimulate collagen production.
This high performance Retinal serum contains microencapsulated Retinaldehyde, the least irritating form of Vitamin A. It is recommended for skin prone to non-inflamed acne. Clinically proven to reduce pigmentation and improve skin texture.
When it comes to treating acne there can be an overwhelming amount of information and treatments to weed through. Luckily you now know what ingredients to look for and have a list of our best selling acne serums to refer check out!
Check out more of our acne skin care products!
If you enjoyed this post, also check out our post on rosacea and the best rosacea serums.