How To Manage Your Acne

In the last post we looked at some of the ways to prevent acne from developing.  Now, we will look at acne treatment products to handle outbreaks.  I have used and benefited from the two products that I will describe in this article, and will include my schedule for applying them at the end.

The first recommended product is benzyl peroxide, which comes in a tube and is applied as a cream onto the face.   It works by depriving bacteria of oxygen, which in practical terms means that it directly reduces the acne-causing bacteria on your face.

The substance is readily available over the counter, in 2.5% and 10% solutions.   Some people get dry skin and irritation to their face from applying it, and if this affects you then you should use the weaker concentration.   Studies have shown that 2.5% is close in effectiveness to the higher doses.

Over time, most people adapt to benzyl peroxide and will have progressively fewer problems with dry/irritated skin.  Long term studies have shown no adverse affects for continual use, so if this benefits you then continue to use it on a daily basis.

The other useful solution is salicylc acid.  Despite its ominous name, this is a fairly benign acid that has the benefit of de-clogging your pores.  Recall that clogged pores are the breeding ground for the bacteria that cause acne, and you can see why this is beneficial.

It has another cosmetic benefit as wellclearing the pores gives the face a healthier complexion even outside of acne benefits.

Anyway, salicylic acid is typically used through either an applicator sponge or as a cream.  It is most effective when allowed to set overnight.

I spent quite a few years bringing my acne under control, and I have settled on a pattern that has worked consistently for the last couple years.   It does not 100% stop my acne, but on top of both the preventive measures described in my last post, and some of the natural remedies that I will describe later, my acne is barely detectable.

Here is how I use these two products:

1.  Every morning, I apply benzyl peroxide to my face along the T-zone (the nose, forehead, and for me parts of the lip and chin areas that sometimes get acne).  I follow it with a moisterizer to avoid dry skin.  I have had good results using Clearasils 10% solution cream.
2.  Every night I apply salicylic acid through an exfoliation pad. I again put moisterizer on top of it for general skin quality.  Not to sound like a company spokesperson here, but again I have had the best results with Clearasils productlook for their Daily Pore Cleansing Pads.  They have the added benefit of exfoliating your skin, which is good for removing impurities and debris that encourage bacteria.
3.  If I start to get any kind of acne breakout despite this, I will add a second dose of benzyl peroxide after washing my face either at lunchtime or early evening until the breakout has passed.

For anyone dealing with acne, I suggest checking out both of these.   Remember that your skin can get irritated, so try applying just one at a time at first and see how well you can tolerate it before adding more.  Depending on how sensitive you are, you may have to start at half the frequency described here and add more doses over time.