Exposed Acne Treatment Actives
Green Tea may be one of the most effective natural ingredients to treat acne. While most natural ingredients in acne products may be good for your skin, green tea actually has been shown to effectively kill acne bacteria* Green tea also contains very high amounts of antioxidants shown to have healing and protective properties. For these reasons Green Tea is a highly recommended ingredient for all skin care products and an essential one for acne treatments.
*A research study done by the University of Miami in April 2009 and published in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology reported that a topical 2% green tea lotion applied twice a day on affected areas significantly reduced mild to moderate acne lesions after a period of six weeks. The researchers concluded that topical green tea was an effective, well tolerated and cost efficient treatment for acne.
Passion Flower Extract
Passion Flower Extract (Passiflora Incarnata) has been used for centuries as a supplement to treat many different ailments, but in skin care it is used to soothe the skin. Much evidence has shown that it has strong anti-inflammatory effects. These properties can be very effective in offsetting and preventing the redness and irritation often resulting from the use of acne treatments and acne medication.
You will find Aloe Vera in many skin care products from lotions, sun care creams, and even face and body washes. So what benefits does it have in an acne treatment? Aloe is highly regarded for its soothing and moisturizing qualities as well as commonly used for speeding the healing wounds and for burns*. Aloe itself isn’t will not effectively treat acne but it does deserve its place in quality skin care formulations.
Sage Extract, along with Gotu Kola, are probably two of the most essential natural extracts that one should look for in a natural acne solution. Studies have shown Sage to have natural anti-inflammatory effects.* This can be highly beneficial when treating acne by reducing the redness and irritation caused by the acne itself or by topical acne medication. Sage Extract is known to promote health skin and prevent dryness and is also a powerful antioxidant that protects skin cells from free-radical damage.
Licorice Root Extract
Licorice Root Extract is an age old treatment for many ailments. The benefits if its topical application: reduced inflammation, scar lightening, and reduced redness.
Benzoyl Peroxide is an organic peroxide that has been shown to be one of the most effective acne treatment ingredients. It not only kills acne bacteria on the skin’s surface but deep in pores as well. Benzoyl Peroxide also is one of the only anti-acne actives that reduces excess oil (sebum) production - one of the four main causes of acne.
NOTE: Studies have shown that concentrations of BP higher than 2.5% do not significantly improve a acne treatment’s effectiveness. However, method’s of encapsulating Benzoyl Peroxide to help it penetrate deeper into the skin have been shown to improve the effectiveness of Benzoyl Peroxide and allow it to work for a greater period of time.
Salicylic Acid (BHA)
Salicylic Acid is a popular ingredient in many acne treatment products. Salicylic Acid is a mild acid that works on this skin’s surface to helps unclog pores from dead skin cells. It also helps shrink the pores diameter and thus helps prevent them from being blocked again. While on it’s own it may not prove effective enough for most acne sufferers, it is an excellent compliment to other active ingredients.
Glycolic Acid (AHA)
Is a cousin to Salicylic Acid and is often found in many anti-aging products as well. This is because Glycolic Acid works on both the epidermis (upper layer) of the skin as well as the dermis (lower layer). Like Salicylic Acid, the AHA works on the upper layer and helps breakdown dead skin cells, not only unclogging pores but exposing younger more youthful skin. However, more remarkable is that at the deeper levels of the skin Glycolic Acid helps to rebuild collagen and increase the healthy layers of your skin.*
*Ditre CM, Griffin TD, Murphy GF, Vasn Scott EJ: Improvement of photodamaged skin with alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA): A clinical, histological, and ultra-structural study. Dermatology 2000 Congress. Vienna, Austria. May 18-21
Sulfur is one of the oldest treatments for acne. When you apply a sulfur based product to the skin it helps absorb excess oils and unclog pores. One of the downsides is that it can make very dry skin worse and there for should be used by those who’s skin is fairly oily. Sulfur masks can be effective especially when used for those especially bad acne flair-ups or as a compliment to other topical acne treatments.
One primary cause of acne inflammation is the excess buildup of skin cells around the follicle. This is where Azelaic Acid is essential in fighting acne. Azelaic Acid normalizes the shedding of these cells and opens the follicle resulting in less comedones (pimples). Azelaic Acid also has been shown to prevent the growth of acne bacteria. This dual purpose makes Azelaic Acid one of the more effective ingredients in a topical acne medication.*