Figuring out what’s causing your acne and how to treat it can be difficult, discouraging, and take a long time. When deciding which acne treatments to start for your skin, it’s important to go straight to the right sources—dermatologists! Here’s the best advice about acne treatments, straight from our doctors.
How to Treat Acne
Because there are so many different root causes of acne, there are many different treatments that can improve your complexion and keep breakouts at bay. From laser treatments to facials to even hormonal birth control pills, acne treatments aren’t limited to over-the-counter skincare products. However, these products are one of the most accessible and effective acne treatments for people dealing with acne, both minor and severe. Here are the main types of anti-acne skincare products and ingredients we recommend.
There is so much variety in chemical exfoliants that it’s no wonder most dermatologists across the US recommend chemical exfoliation over manual/physical exfoliation for the majority of their patients. This variety of chemical exfoliants shows there’s a fit for virtually every skin type.
If your skin is extremely sensitive, polyhydroxy acids (PHAs) might be best for you, as they’re some of the most gentle chemical exfoliants out there. If your skin needs a more robust exfoliant, then AHAs like glycolic acid or BHA might be best for you.
What exactly are chemical exfoliants? Essentially, chemists extract these exfoliants from natural substances, usually fruits, or they produce synthetic versions. These exfoliants are able to slough away dead skin cells, oil, dirt, and debris from your skin to reduce existing breakouts and prevent new ones from forming.
Physical exfoliants, like salt crystals, ground up walnut shells, and microbeads, tend to be more abrasive and cause microtears in the skin. The abrasive nature of these exfoliants can smooth out the skin, but they are often too harsh for many sensitive skin types, causing irritation and weakening the skin’s barrier. The microtears often allow more bacteria and debris to find its way into your pores, causing more breakouts.
While a good scrub can feel relaxing and make your skin feel ultra-clean, dermatologists find the best acne treatments to contain chemical exfoliants instead. Here’s some of our favorite skincare products that contain chemical exfoliants.
What We Believe
With a holistic clinical approach, which involves first listening to patients concerns, we thoroughly diagnose and explain their individual treatment options.
Our Porefect Cleanser pairs 2% salicylic acid (BHA), and glycolic acid to gently unclog pores, remove impurities and even skin texture and tone—without stripping your skin. This unique combination of medical-grade, acne-fighting ingredients work to help regulate oil production and effectively clear problematic skin that is more sensitive to irritation. This gel formula is a great cleanser for oily complexions, but it doesn’t strip the natural ceramide barrier and dry out your skin.
Exfoliating your skin doesn’t have to be in the form of a cleanser, it can be in a leave-on treatment like a toner or serum. Our Gly/Sal Pads are similar to our Porefect Cleanser in that they also contain salicylic and glycolic acid, but the formula comes in convenient, easy-to-use pads to promote exfoliation, control oil, reduce breakouts and unclog pores. These pads help enhance skin clarity and are pH-balanced. Our Gly/Sal Pads also contain witch hazel for oil control as well as hydrating ingredients to nourish the skin barrier and prevent dryness from the exfoliants.
If you’re looking for something stronger, the Papaya Enzyme Peel from Doctor’s Daughter is a once-a-week acne treatment that deeply exfoliates the skin. While it helps with breakouts like the other products we mentioned, it goes above and beyond that to help your skin.
- Replaces dead skin cells with new, younger cells
- Evens out skin discoloration and texture
- Prevents signs of aging
- Brightens dull skin
- Unclogs pores
Like we mentioned before, acne has several different causes, so chemical exfoliation may not help depending on the root source of your acne. Perhaps a better acne treatment for you would be to target bacteria.
Unlike chemical exfoliants, benzoyl peroxide is a topical antiseptic that kills acne-causing bacteria. This ingredient works particularly well for inflammatory acne, which is characterized by red bumps that contain pus (pustules, papules, cysts, and nodules) rather than whiteheads and blackheads.
Like chemically exfoliating products, benzoyl peroxide comes in different strengths. If you’ve never used this ingredient before, start with the lowest percentage and then work your way up as needed. We have two different cleansers with this ingredient, one in 5% strength and one in 10% strength. Our Benzoyl Peroxide Acne Wash 5% provides antibacterial activity against Propionibacterium acnes. This powerful acne-fighting treatment dries up pimples and blemishes while keeping the skin’s moisture and pH levels at the normal level. Benzoyl peroxide keeps future blemishes from forming, resulting in clearer skin over time.
Acne Treatments in Miami | Miami Center for Dermatology
Our dermatologists are here to help you achieve the skin of your dreams. Take a look at our other skincare acne treatments, and book an appointment with us today for a personalized consultation about your acne.