If you have mild or moderate acne, or are on maintenance therapy after an initial successful acne therapy, you can turn to over-the-counter acne treatments to control your acne. Here are some of the best over-the-counter acne treatments that you can use.
1) Proactiv Acne Solution
The Proactiv Acne Solution standard kit comes with three products to help you fight acne in three easy steps. Twice a day, you start cleansing your skin with an oil-free deep cleanser which also contains tiny beads to exfoliate dead skin cells and other impurities away.
An alcohol-free soothing toner then removes plug and excess oil which could be clogging your pores. Finally you apply a light, oil-free prescription-grade peroxide lotion which heals blemishes and prevents new acne outbreaks.
2) Benzoyl Peroxide
Benzoyl peroxide is primarily an antibacterial agent. When applied to the skin, it penetrates the follicles and reduces the population of P. acnes bacteria which causes acne. Benzoyl peroxide has a mild comedolytic action as well, and helps clear whiteheads and blackheads.
Benzoyl peroxide is available in concentrations of 2.5% to 10% in gel, cream and lotion form. To avoid excessively drying your skin, start with the lowest concentration once daily, avoiding the eyelid and lip areas. If no irritation occurs after about two weeks’ use, apply twice daily. You should see improvement in a few weeks.
3) Salicylic Acid
Salicylic acid is a beta-hydroxy acid, with antibacterial and anti-inflammatory qualities. You can easily find gels, sprays, shampoos and creams containing this compound at your local drugstore or major stores such as Walmart or Target. Unlike, benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid does not stain clothing, towels skin or sheets.
The best over-the-counter acne treatments and popular brands containing salicylic acid include Clearasil, Neutrogena Rapid Clear and Clean and Clear.
The best over-the-counter acne medications and treatments are effective, but they may dry out your skin at times. To counter this, you can look for products which also contain natural acne treatment ingredients such as jojoba oil, aloe vera and rosehip oil to keep your skin soft and moist.
It is important to note that while you may have purchased the best drug store acne treatments, they only target acne externally by controlling oily skin and removing plug and dead skin cells. Pimples and acne are really the result of what goes on beneath your skin.
To be able to effectively control your acne in the long haul, you need to stay on a low GI diet with lots of fresh fruit and vegetables and drink adequate water instead of sugary drinks. Make sure you get enough sleep, exercise and manage your stress levels.
You will need to watch your hygiene too, by washing the affected areas at least twice a day, keeping your hands clean and not picking at the acne spots. Wear clothing made from natural fiber, change your sheets at least once a week, and be sure to shower as soon as you can after working out or sweating after a strenuous activity.