If you’ve suffered from acne, you’ve most likely tried many different products to get rid ugly acne. With so many skin care products that claim to prevent breakouts, clear blemishes, and unclog pores, knowing which ingredients to look for can be confusing and overwhelming. 

Over the Counter:

Salicylic acid is an ingredient commonly found in many anti-acne treatments, so how does it work?

Salicylic acid reduces acne by minimizing swelling and redness and clearing blocked skin pores. The anti-inflammatory properties of salicylic acid aren’t surprising, because salicylic acid comes from one of the most well-known anti-inflammatory drugs available—aspirin! Salicylic acid comes in several different forms and strengths and can be included in different acne-fighting products, including cleansers, toners, and lotions.             

If you use salicylic acid to control your acne, make sure you use it regularly to maintain acne-free skin and prevent your pores from clogging. Also, for maximum effect, pair your salicylic acid-containing product with another key acne-fighting treatment: benzoyl peroxide. While salicylic acid unclogs pores and decreases inflammation, benzoyl peroxide kills P. acnes, the bacteria that causes acne.

From the doctor’s point of view or Prescription Grade Acne treatment:

The first line treatment a doctor will give you for acne is tretinoin. Tretinoin works by decreasing pore size, decreasing sebum production, and making your skin cells less sticky, so they don’t block up your pores. Tretinoin is also the only comedolytic treatment. It lyses or causes acne lesions to break open.