Acne does more than ruin your looks. It can take a toll on your self-esteem, too. Patience is your best friend when it comes to treating acne, but there are plenty of good systems out there to help you clear up. Start with small doses of product to avoid irritating your face, but stick to your routines so that your best skin shines through as soon as possible.
Most people have seen the commercials, featuring celebrities who rave over how clear their skin is, despite wearing pounds of makeup under hot lights. This famous system relies on benzoyl peroxide, a compound that helps eliminate blackheads, whiteheads and pimples, while controlling oil. The system includes face wash, lotions and masks, so that you can keep skin glowing even after you've cleared the initial hurdles.
Neutrogena is a brand that's been around seemingly forever. Its current acne system, Neutrogena Complete Acne Therapy System, is a good bet for problem skin. It contains ingredients like salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide that help skin cells turn over, while controlling bacteria and oil. Better yet, you can't build a tolerance to this system, like you might with antibiotics or retinoids your doctor prescribes.
Clean & Clear
Clean & Clear's acne system is perfect for African-American women. Black skin suffers doubly from acne — not only is there the whole breakout thing to handle, but then skin shows dark marks, called hyperpigmentation, after zits disappear. Clean & Clear's Advantage 2-in-1 Acne and Mark Eraser Kit has a cleanser, sunscreen and two formulas to help banish the aftereffects of acne.
Olay blasts zits with its Olay Professional Pro-X Clear Acne Protocol system. This is a salicylic acid-based system that's good for sensitive skin that can't handle benzoyl peroxide. Developed specifically for mature skin, it prevents future breakouts and brightens your complexion.
Heat and Light
If you want to avoid slathering on chemicals, you can try one of the heat or light devices that help bust bacteria that causes acne. These little handheld gadgets really do work, but you have to hold the device against each blemish for a few minutes to get the effects. If you have the time for this approach, consider that heat kills bacteria and diminishes existing acne and light decreases oil production. Devices that have both heat and light are more expensive than ones with just heat, but they may be worth it if you have really bad skin.