Unfortunately, acne is a very stubborn mystery to us all. I have had adult acne since I was 25. Although it is very mild now, I am sure I am contribute to it by getting on and off and on the pill again over and over. Not to mention the various products I try (and either like or hate). The best my skin has ever been was when I was on consistently for over a year and a half. When it comes down to it, I usually have a few per month that I must deal with if I am off the pill.
Your acne treatment options depend upon how bad your acne happens to be, and how far you’re willing to go to rid yourself of it. There are tons of acne products out there claiming they are your best defense in how to get rid of your acne. From prescription to natural home remedies, acne “removal” systems are commonly a let down no matter what they are.
Acne Treatment Systems & Acne Product Reviews
I am not going to list every, or even close to every acne care regimen. I would be here for weeks and give you useless information because it doesn’t really mean it will work for you, and I haven’t used every system. Obviously I still suffer from it so obviously I haven’t figured it all out yet. I can tell you what the top remedies are, however. I have marked the products I have used with an asterisk and commented on what I thought.
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- Adapalene (Differin)
- *Azelaic acid (Azelex): I thought this product was very effective but did not cure my acne completely so I stopped using it to try other products.
- Benzoyl Peroxide (Benzac AC)
- Clindamycin (Cleocin T)
- Benzoyl Peroxide and clindamycin combinations
- Erythromycin (Erymax)
- Oral Antibiotics
- *Oral Birth Control: I have used these products and found that Yaz was most effective
- Isotretinoin (Accutane)
- *Retrinal (Avene Retrinal Cream 0.1, 0.05 , and 0.025 cream): I actually love this cream and prefer the 0.1% It truly improves the appearance of my skin overall.
- Tazorotene (Tazorac):
- *Tretinoin (Retin A) I have used various forms/products containing tretinoin for years. Unfortunately the inflammation and peeling which comes with it is enough to turn me off. I do however use it occasionally to peel a layer or stop a breakout in it’s tracks. Although lately it has been TriLuma because the irritation is less.
- *Alpha Hydroxy Acid/Glycolic Acid: I have used various OTC products with minimal luck
- Avene Diacneal Acne Treatment
- Benzoyl Peroxide
- Resorcinol: I have had Resorcinol peels with only slight, temporary effectiveness
- *Retinol: I have used tons of these with slight success
- *Salicylic Acid: These products (particularly Aveeno Salicylic and various Clinique products make my acne worse, increase my post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation and causes havoc. I get a dry, flaky layer on top which traps the oil below and causes more breakouts.
- eat a non-inflammatory diet high in antioxidants
- drink plenty of water
- avoid tanning
- avoid products you know cause YOU to break out
If you are completely frustrated, I suggest visiting a dermatologist to help determine what may work for you. I personally believe ridding yourself of acne is a trial and error process. I believe in starting off with the least damaging treatments before you jump into a harsh regimen. I know you were hoping for a miracle but it just happens that what works for me will not work for you, you may simply need a different OTC product or you may need to go on isotretinoin or antibiotics. If you are sick of wasting money on OTC, go to derm to determine your options. Just don’t jump into Accutane as a first method if it’s the only thing a doctor recommends. Be careful and good luck!