Acne is a skin disease that may need a multi faceted treatment approach, optimizing your lifestyle, diet, supplementation and use of topical products.
It should be noted that there are oral supplements that may help acne, like niacinamide taken at 500 - 1000 mg / day (with a multivitamin and a methyl donor like glycine), or Omega-3 at around 1000 mg / day with roughly 1:1 DHA/EPA. There are also several lifestyle and dietary factors that can positively or negatively affect acne that you can try to improve, see our analysis here: https://theskincarecompany.com/pages/acne-advice
What follows is my current idea of the best topical acne regimen, focused on using nurturing products.
1. Gentle low pH cleanser
Used every evening before applying other products. Low pH cleansing can reduce p.acnes growth. Gentle cleansers have less or gentler detergents that don't dry your skin causing more sebum production. Use gentle motions to not irritate the skin and cause inflammation.
- The Skincare Company CLNS green tea cleanser 2% lactic acid
- Create Cosmetics 5 elements 2% glycolic acid
- L'Oreal Revitalift Derm Intesifies 3.5% Glycolic Acid Cleanser
- COSRX Low pH cleanser (not gentle enough, must be followed by moisturizer)
2. Moisturizer with 3-6% Niacinamide
Use every morning and evening after cleansing. If you have oily skin, try a water based moisturizer, if dry, try something oil based.
- Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin E serum (water based moisturizer 3% niacinamide)
- La Roche Posay Toleriane Sensitive cream (oil based moisturizer 3% niacinamide)
3. Benzoyl Peroxide acne treatment
The best treatment for active breakouts we have, great as a spot treatment but can also be used preventatively if necessary. Doesn't nurture the skin and can bleach colored fabrics, so it's best to use as little as needed. If you pop pimples, disinfect them with 70% rubbing/isopropyl alcohol.
- The Skincare Company Benzoil 3% benzoyl peroxide
- Acne.org 3% benzoyl peroxide
- Pharmacy 3-5% benzoyl peroxide (any type can work)
4. Glycolic acid moisturizer (optional)
Use 2-3 evenings pr week replacing the niacinamide moisturizer. Gentle peels can reduce acne scarring and hyperpigmentation over time, and at the same time help prevent new outbreaks.
- Paul's choice 10% AHA
- Acne.org 10% AHA
- COSRX 7% AHA
5. Retinol serum (optional)
Used 2-3 times a week at night before moisturizing. Can be worth trying if the above regimen isn't adequate. Retinoids can help reduce acne by regulating sebum production, but can also cause outbreaks.
- The Skincare Company Night 2.5% retinol moisturizer
- The Ordinary 1% retinol in squalene
Molecular Biology Bsc
Former cystic acne sufferer
Founder & Formulator of The Skincare Company, Inc