These Cleansers Were Formulated With Acne in Mind


Editor Tip: Two types of alpha hydroxy acids (or AHAs), glycolic and mandelic acid, dissolve dead skin upon contact while willow bark extract gently resurfaces. Enzymes found in pineapple and yuzu fruit extracts also aid in chemical exfoliation and unclogging pores.

Key Ingredients: Glycolic acid, mandelic acid, fruit enzymes, gluconolactone, willow bark extract | Who It’s For: All skin types

Most Iconic: Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash


Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash

Why It’s Worth It: Chances are, you’ve tried Neutrogena’s Oil-Free Acne Wash at least once in your lifetime. This drugstore MVP contains salicylic acid, a chemical exfoliator known as one of the key ingredients for minimizing breakouts.

Editor Tip: This cleanser contains a maximum of 2% salicylic acid to pack a punch on breakouts, but soothing ingredients like aloe help counteract the active acne-fighter’s potentially irritating effects.

Key Ingredients: Salicylic acid, aloe vera | Who It’s For: Oily skin, clogged pores

Frequently Asked Questions

What ingredients should I look for in a face wash for acne?

Dr. Chang tells us to look out for two powerhouse ingredients: salicylic acid, a type of beta hydroxy acid (or BHA) that “goes deep into the pores to clear them from excess oil and dirt,” and benzoyl peroxide, which guards against inflammation and kills acne-causing bacteria. Milder ingredients include tea tree oil or green tea, which also provide skin-soothing benefits.

David Kim, MD, a board-certified dermatologist based in New York City, keeps it real when it comes to face washes marketed toward acne-prone skin. Facial cleansers are naturally washed-off so, while helpful, they’re not the most critical aspect of an acne-targeted routine as a more intensive spot treatment.

What if I’m on an acne prescription?

Dr. Kim himself went through two rounds of the acne treatment Accutane, which informed his advice to patients on prescription treatments. He strongly advocates that a good prescription topical or systemic regime patient can use any cleanser, including those not specifically designed for acne. But, he adds, “If a patient has very mild acne and is only using over-the-counter (OTC) topicals, adding an acne-specific cleanser can be helpful.”

So, I used a cleanser…now what?

As for follow-up tips, always apply any acne medications immediately after cleansing to allow the active ingredients to work their magic, which Dr. Chang says can take up to 6 to 12 weeks of continued daily use. And never forgo moisturizing. Rather than clogging your pores, a lightweight cream will ensure your skin stays hydrated and protected, especially if you’re using a drying topical medication. Kavita Mariwalla, MD, a board-certified dermatologist based in West Islip, New York, recommends avoiding layering retinoids, as well as products that contain fragrance and alcohol, on top of acid-laced cleansers — because these pairings can lead to dryness and irritation.

Meet the experts

  • Claire Chang, MD, a board-certified dermatologist at UnionDerm in New York City
  • David Kim, MD, a board-certified dermatologist at Idriss Dermatology in New York City
  • Brendan Camp, MD, a board-certified dermatologist at MDCS Dermatology in New York City
  • Kavita Mariwalla, MD, a board-certified dermatologist based in West Islip, New York

How we test and review products

When Allure tests a product, our editors look at it from every angle in an effort to best serve you. We review ingredients, scrutinize brand claims, and, when necessary, examine peer-reviewed scientific and medical studies. In addition to testing each and every product that’s included in each and every review, we rely on experts who shape their fields, including dermatology, cosmetic chemistry, and medicine, to help us vet the ingredients and formulas.


Source link

Leave a Comment