Jun 29, 2010

Summer Skin: Best Acne Treatment-Benzoyl Peroxide vs. Salicylic Acid

With summer officially here, the number one beauty concern seems to be clean, blemish free skin. Summer equals hot, sticky, sweaty weather-which is in no way conducive to wearing or keeping makeup on let alone hiding a big honking zit. It's key to get your skin cleared up for the summer so you can frolic along with minimal makeup and flaunt your healthy glowing skin on its own.

According to BellaSugar, there are some key differences in the two main acne fighting ingredients on the market: benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid. Knowing these differences will help you to get the right products for your skin and prevent potential breakouts caused by using the wrong one. Who knew your acne wash could be exacerbating your breakouts!

-Both are great acne fighters and the most affordable treatments on the market.
-Almost any drugstore will have products that have one or the other in them.
-One type might clear up one type of acne, while another might not and might even make it worse.

Benzoyl Peroxide:
-Benzoly Peroxide is made up of benzoic acid and oxygen because that's how the product breaks down on contact with your skin.
-The oxygen helps kill P. acnes , the bacteria that helps cause acne.
-Benzoic acid dries and exfoliates the plugs of dead skin and sebum that inflame hair follicles, causing breakouts.
-Benzoyl is sold in concentrations up to 10 percent, but studies show that concentrations of 2.5 percent are just as effective and much less irritating than stronger ones. [*I disagree with is-see below]
-Benzoly is a powerful product that can penetrate pores but is also very drying.
-If your blemishes are deep under the skin, red and or pus-filled (eww), go with benzoyl because you'll need something that kills bacteria and also exfoliates deep down (BellaSugar recommends Neutrogena On-the-Spot Treatment and Proactiv –both benzoyl based).
-If you have sensitive skin and light acne, benzoyl could be too harsh on your skin and could make your skin issues worse.
Salicylic Acid
-People with sensitive skin and blackheads should use salicylic acid.
-Salicylic acid, like benzoic acid, is a good peeling agent, but is gentler on the skin and lacks the oxygen to help kill bacteria.
-If you have lots of blackheads but no breakouts or closed "comedones"-(medical term for icky whitehead), salicylic acid is the best choice.
-BellaSugar recommends Clean & Clear's treatment line and Oxy Cleansing Pads. -Salicylic won't be as sensitizing and is less likely to dry out your skin.
-Don't over use any of these products.
My product picks: I love B.Kamins Hydrating Acne Wash which has salicylic acid and lactic acid and is great for oily, combination and normal skin types. If you've got acne but need a cleanser for sensitive skin try Clarifying Cleanser by Skinceuticals. The salicylic acid and glycolic acid help make it effective but it's extremely gently on your skin.

*I personally disagree that benzoly is just as effective in concentrations of 2.5 percent as it is in concentrations of 10 percent. . I swear by B.Kamins Medicated Acne Gel which contains 10 percent benzoyl peroxide. I have used their version  with 5 percent benzoyl peroxide and it's definitely not as effective.  

Thanks to BellaSugar for the great article and useful info!

So, what acne products do you use? What has been effective for you and what has not helped at all? Share, my fellow beauty buffs!

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