Having acne regularly is something nobody ever gets used to. But people tend to think regular washing of the face alone can solve their acne woes. It goes beyond that. You need an acne face wash, not just soap and water.
Acne could be caused by hormonal changes. The teenage years, menstruation, pregnancy and even menopause could do this.
Such acne may not necessarily need the use of an acne face wash use. They usually tend to disappear naturally.
Nevertheless, using an acne face wash can reduce the acne breakout a great deal.
Some cases of acne are very severe. However, for milder cases, an acne face wash could be the first step to a better-looking face.
So how do you choose the right one? And how necessary is it, anyway? This buying guide aims to show you how an acne face wash works and how to make buying easy.
Is An Acne Face Wash Really Important?
The face usually shows the first signs of tired, aging or unhealthy skin because the skin is delicate. The combination of pollutants from the environment with excess oil and dead skin cells makes matters worse.
Therefore, it would take more than just soap and water to get rid of this mixture. This is where a good acne face wash comes in.
Using the right one would make all the difference in battling mild to moderate acne. If used properly and consistently, you will begin to see results in no distant time.
It is important to note here that it is not recommended to use an acne body wash on the face. This is because the formulation of an acne face wash and body differs. Ingredients used in an acne body wash are usually harsher so may harm the face, considering the delicate skin there.
Making Your Choice Based on Your Skin Type
Your skin type, to a large extent, will determine the kind of acne face wash you need. So what kind of acne face wash does your skin need?
If you are not sure of the type of skin you have, take a look at this brief description of different skin types here.
Dry skin does not require anything product that would cause more dryness. It would need an acne face wash that moisturizes while combating acne.
The natural state of an oily skin is, well, oily. So what kind of acne face wash does it need? It would need one which contains little or no oil and which soaks up excess oil.
To effectively deal with acne on a combination skin, extra attention is necessary. Your acne face wash must balance its ability of removing excess oil without leaving the skin overly dry.
With sensitive skin, it would be best to get an acne face wash made mostly with natural or organic ingredients.
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The Big Guns Found in an Acne Face Wash
When it comes to ingredients that are readily employed in treating acne, two ingredients stand tall above the rest. Let us take a brief look at them…
Salicylic acid unclogs pores and combats skin inflammation. It also shrinks them and this affects acne like blackheads.
Salicylic acid can get rid of acne in just a month. But this depends on the severity of the acne and how consistent you are with using the acne face wash.
Generally, salicylic acid doesn’t cause excess dryness to the skin. However, it is advised to check the percentage of the acid in any acne face wash you intend to buy.
For sensitive skin, 0.5% salicylic acid is enough to achieve expected results. For oily skin, 2% salicylic acid gets rid of excess oil by half, thereby reducing acne breakout.
This ingredient is capable of eliminating acne completely and preventing future breakouts. It does this by killing the propioni bacteria that are responsible for acne.
The peroxide also exfoliates the skin and frees it of dead cells that readily block the pores. Apart from these, benzoyl peroxide removes surplus oil from the skin. But it has bleaching properties; it is advisable you protect your clothing from it.
However, its powerful ability to treat acne is not without side effects. It can lead to dryness, burning, redness and scaling of the skin if used excessively.
To enjoy the awesome ability of benzoyl peroxide in combating acne, you need to pay close attention to its percentage content.
Most over-the-counter acne face washes contain benzoyl peroxide in percentages ranging from 2.5 percent to 10 percent.
Benzoyl peroxide of about 3% concentration is good enough to work. However, those with sensitive skin should stick with a 2.5% concentration to be on the safe side.
Which of Them Is Better?
They are both good. But sensitive skin would fare better with salicylic acid. Any other skin type can choose either one with the right concentration.
Nevertheless, a high concentration of salicylic acid could be more harmful to the skin than a low concentration of benzoyl peroxide.
Other Ingredients Your Acne Face Wash Can Contain
Let’s look at those other ingredients that make your acne face wash effective…
Sulfur has the ability to get rid of acne without the drying effect other ingredients have. It unblocks pores, gets rid of discoloration, brings out skin impurities and curtails surplus production of sebum by the skin.
Apart from these, it stops potential acne breakouts as well as severe breakouts. The downside of sulfur is its rotten-egg smell. This, however, can be countered with the addition of certain ingredients that mask this smell.
Obtained from the sugar found in certain fruits, these man-made acids serve as exfoliators and anti-inflammatory agents. They can readily shrink pores and enhance the look of your acne scars, giving your skin an overall healthy appearance.
Typical examples of alpha-hydroxy acids commonly used in acne face washes are lactic acid and glycolic acid.
Tea Tree Oil
One of the causes of acne is the Propioni bacterium. This makes tea tree oil, which is an anti-bacterial agent, well suited to battle it and by extension acne.
It is even recommended by most dermatologists as being on the same level with the great benzoyl peroxide based on effectiveness. The only difference is that its results are not as fast as those of benzoyl peroxide
This ingredient is a molecule extracted from licorice root. Laced with anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties, it controls the population of sebum production like a birth-control pill would. Its soothing qualities would endear it to the hearts of those who have sensitive skin. Also those who have combination skin can benefit greatly from it.
Resorcinol treats several skin-related conditions including seborrhea. It is capable of breaking dry hard skin to allow oil pass through freely. The concentration recommended is 2%, usually paired with sulfur.
Retinoids are usually employed for the most extreme of acne cases. Like every other ingredient that combats acne, retinoids can free pore clogging and prevent future acne breakout.
Ingredients to Avoid
They serve as preservatives to prevent the development of bacteria and mold. Yet they seriously cause skin irritations to nearly all skin types. Examples include sulfates, triclosan, parabens and phthalates.
Oil from tea tree is about the safest type of oil your acne face wash can contain. Adding extra oil is counter-productive.
This will dry your skin out as well as murder the cells there. Alcohol actually does more harm than good.
Tips on Using your Acne Face Wash
i. Use it morning and at night.
ii. If you experience skin tightness or dryness while using it, reduce usage to once a day.
iii. Ensure you wash your face after use with moderately warm water.
iv. Dry your face by patting with a clean towel. Don’t scrub or rub harshly to avoid irritation.
v. Use a moisturizer afterwards. If you hydrate your skin well, it reduces the chances of an acne breakout.