Understanding anti-acne ingredients

Even though we sometimes believe that acne generally only affects teenagers, it can be discouraging to find out that many adults also suffer from this skin problem. Thankfully, there are a few ingredients that have been proven in the fight against imperfections and zits. Here’s a quick overview.

WHAT IS ACNE, EXACTLY?

Acne occurs primarily when the skin produces too much sebum, a natural body oil that helps prevent drying and fight aggressions. When the excess sebum accumulates on the surface of the skin, it traps debris, dead skin cells and bacteria. As a result, the pores get blocked and inflammation occurs: conditions that are perfect for the appearance of pimples and comedones.

WHAT IS ACNE, EXACTLY?

HOW ANTI-ACNE FORMULAS WORK

To help with prevention and treatment, anti-acne products have not one but three main jobs:

  • reduce the production of sebum;
  • slow the multiplication of bacteria and prevent the pores from becoming blocked;
  • unify the skin tone and reduce the appearance of imperfections.

These ingredients also have to do that gently so they don’t dry out the skin, which will provoke more sebum production and feed the vicious cycle!

Caution! Because they’re often abrasive, anti-acne ingredients can make your skin more sensitive, especially when exposed to the sun. Some of them can even discolour your skin. So be careful with your clothes, sheets and towels.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR ON LABELS

  • Benzoyl peroxide is an antibacterial and anti-inflammatory ingredient often found in creams and gels used to treat mild to moderate acne. It kills the bacteria that cause the problem and dries out pimples. Its concentrate vary according to the product and it’s typically recommended for oily skins.
Le peroxyde de benzoyle
Benzagel Spot On Gel, 15 ml
Columbia

Benzagel Spot On Gel, 15 ml

"e;Spot On"e; Acne gel Medicated acne treatment with low irritation, non-drying action. Paraben free.

Continuous Control Acne Cleanser, 141 g
Clean & Clear

Continuous Control Acne Cleanser, 141 g

Clean & Clear Continuous Control Acne Cleanser cleanses skin and fights acne breakouts.

  • Charcoal, which is great for absorbing excess sebum on the face and gently exfoliating the skin, has been featured in Asian beauty products for several years and it’s now becoming more popular in North America. One of its strengths is its adsorption (that’s right, adsorption): its porous nature attracts sebum and debris like a magnet and whisks them away during rinsing. It’s a must for cleaning pores and fighting bacteria!
Pore Detox Black Charcoal Clay Face Mask Stick, 48 g
Olay

Pore Detox Black Charcoal Clay Face Mask Stick, 48 g
Charcoal Acne Scrub, 130 g
Bioré

Charcoal Acne Scrub, 130 g

Absorbs excess oil to help eliminate breakouts.

  • Purifying, exfoliating and astringent, salicylic acid is your anti-acne ally! This substance, synthesized in part from willow leaves, gives your skin a natural peeling and, by removing that ultra-thin layer of surface skin, it removes excess sebum, unblocks pores and eliminates microbes. It also helps treat lesions, so it minimizes the risks of scarring.
Acnex Purifying Solution, 200 ml
Reversa

Acnex Purifying Solution, 200 ml

For the treatment and/or management of acne. Unclogs pores, dries and helps clear up acne pimples. Reduces their number and/or severity and allows skin to heal. Helps prevent new acne pimples from forming. Reversa Acnex purifying solution combines 2% salicylic acid with 10% glycolic acid for the most effective anti-acne exfoliating action, as much on the surface of the skin as deep within the pores. This alcohol-free solution won’t strip skin of its natural moisture and is suitable for people of all ages struggling with acne.

  • Extracted from fruit, alpha and lipo-hydroxy acids (AHA and LHA) also provide gentle peeling and their abrasive action smooths and purifies the skin while removing excess oils. They’re particularly well suited for cases of light acne.
Normaderm Corrective Anti-Acne Treatment, 50 ml
Vichy

Normaderm Corrective Anti-Acne Treatment, 50 ml

For men and women, from teens to adults, who have oily, acne prone skin.

Effaclar Serum, 30 ml
La Roche-Posay Effaclar

Effaclar Serum, 30 ml

Pore-refining anti-aging serum. Fights imperfections and the signs of aging for clearer, younger-looking skin. Enlarged pores. Aging, dull skin. Tested on oily skin.

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Understanding anti-acne ingredients

Even though we sometimes believe that acne generally only affects teenagers, it can be discouraging to find out that many adults also suffer from this skin problem. Thankfully, there are a few ingredients that have been proven in the fight against imperfections and zits. Here’s an overview.
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