Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Skin Care Basics: Acne Treatments

Good morning, afternoon or evening to you all. I'm not in a reviewing mood lately, probably because most of the items are still on their 2-week trial. I usually try them out for 2 weeks to see how it works on me. So, I'll just share some acne treatments and how they work in eliminating acne. 

Picture Credit

The first acne treatment is Retinoid or better known as Retinoic Acid. Retinoids work by:

  • Preventing the cells (exfoliated keratinocytes) from sticking together. If the cells keep on sticking together, it will block the pores and cause the deadly duo, blackhead and whitehead.
  • Eliminating exising comedones or blackheads, thus preventing them to block the pores and causing acne.
  • Making the unplugged follicles more accessible to antibiotic penetration.

Picture Credit 
Another already popular acne treatment is one by the name Benzoyl Peroxide. It has various concentrations, 10% being the highest and strongest. Note, BP should not be used together with tretinoin because BP can denature the tretinoin, thus reducing the effectiveness of tretinoin. BP works by:

  • Destroying the bacterial population, hence decreasing the level of inflammation on the skin produced by P.acnes. It works similarly to a topical antibiotic.

Picture Credit

One of the very popular, over the counter acne medication that has touched many people (drama, much?) is one Salicylic Acid or Beta Hydroxy Acid. Note that if you are allergic towards aspirin, then this isn't for you. It works by:

  • Penetrating the sebaceous material inside the pore, causing exfoliation inside the pore, hence cleaning the pores (unclogging the pores).
  • Reducing inflammation on the skin because it has anti-inflammatory properties.

I'm not going to discuss about other natural acne treatments such as tea tree oil and such. I think I'll separate it into a different blog post. So, in short, one of the recommendations for acne-prone skincare regimen would be like the one below. 

Morning routine
  1. Washing the face with a 2% salicylic acid face wash.
  2. Applying a topical antibiotic all over the face
  3. Using sunscreen of minimum SPF 30. Watch out for the texture of the sunscreen. Choose cream if you have dry skin and lotion or gel if you have very oily skin.

Night Routine

  1. Wash face with the same cleanser as the morning routine
  2. Apply a topical retinoid (Retin-A, Vitacid, Nu Face, etc)

Image Reference
  1. Baumann, L. (2009). Acne (Type 1 Sensitive Skin). In Baumann, L, Saghari, S & Weisberg, E (Eds.), Cosmetic Dermatology Principles and Practice (pp 121-127).  New York, NY: The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic


  1. Really helpful :D I should learn more from you x3

  2. excellent post! thanks for sharing these acne treatments with us! The laser skin resurfacing is also one of the most popular acne treatments. The procedure is very effective and safe when it is performed by a reputable and professional doctor.

  3. Thanks for sharing these treatments, lots of young people face issues like acne and they want some solutions by which they can get rid of it, before choosing a product it is better to find out if it will go well with your skin type.