Which Anti-Acne Ingredients Really Work?

The Anti-Acne Ingredients You Can Trust

Go to your local drug store and you'll see shelves lined with acne products, many containing different anti-acne ingredients. How do you know which ones work and which don't? I've got the answers. Here's a list of the anti-acne ingredients you can trust, and why.

Salicylic Acid

Salicylic acid is one of the most effective anti-acne ingredients you can find. It works by slowing down the shedding of cells inside your hair follicle and breaks down whiteheads and blackheads. This prevents the pore from getting clogged and acne from developing.

The downside to salicylic acid is the fact that it can dry out your skin. If you use multiple acne products, the likelihood of dryness and peeling increases, which might actually make blemishes appear rather than disappear. Bottom line? Salicylic acid is great, when used in moderation.

Benzoyl Peroxide

Benzoyl peroxide is another effective anti-acne ingredient. This particular ingredient kills the bacteria that cause acne and it helps remove oils from the skin along with dead skin cells. However, like salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide can cause drying and peeling.

Because of the drying/peeling issue, you might want to try a product with a lower concentration of benzoyl peroxide when you start out. A 3 percent product is a good place to start. If that doesn't have enough effect, go up from there. Just remember that this particular anti-acne ingredient can also make your skin more sensitive to sunlight, so put on that sunscreen and stay in the shade.


Many of the anti-acne astringents on the market nowadays contain acetone. This anti-acne ingredient cleanses your skin and removes the dirt and oils. If your skin is sensitive, it might feel like your skin is burning when you use it.

While acetone products can definitely help improve your skin condition, they are not the be-all, end-all of acne skin care. You'll want to incorporate an entire skin-care routine including toner and moisturizer.

While there are other anti-acne ingredients on the market, these are the ones found in most of today's acne skin care products. If one product isn't working for you, find another one with a different anti-acne ingredient and see if that one suits you better.

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