Our fight against acne begins around our teenage years and for some unfortunate ones it continues even after we cross our 40s, yeah, a long fight!
This is one common subject or topic of discussion you might tend to have with most people you come across (at least 70 percent) and if we come across people who have flawless skin then we definitely tend to be curious about their skin regime or routine. Well, one could call it a great conversation starter, although not all that appealing.
We are ready to try anything to get rid of those pesky, irritable bumps on our skin. The moment we think or talk about effective anti-acne ingredients, you are bound to hear about the big leaguers like Salicylic acid (which I am allergic to as I have a super sensitive skin) and Benzoyl Peroxide, which have maintained their dominance over acne. In some cases, you might also hear about the Tea tree oil.
The common goal of all anti-acne ingredients is to reduce the sebum production, killing the acne causing bacteria and removal of dead cells which helps in unclogging of pores and oil glands. The thing is that the above-mentioned big guns have achieved a global approval as these are the only effective anti-acne ingredients that deliver the desired results.
However, there are few lesser-known effective anti-acne ingredients that match the prerequisites and also deserve a spot in your skin care munitions.
Yes, I get it. The things that come in our minds when we hear sulphur are onions and garlic and the unbearable odour. Well, if you are all in, onion juice or a bit of garlic juice directly applied to the skin proves to be highly beneficial. Sulphur plays an important role in unclogging the pores and also helps in exfoliation by removing the top layer of the skin. It also reduces the frequent occurrence of blackheads and whiteheads. To add to these, it reduces the redness and the size of the pimples.
Obviously, not everyone wants to smell like onion and garlic. So, you could opt for any product available in the market which has a sulphur concentration of around 3-5 per cent. There are cleansers available as well, but these have lower concentrations and would take a longer time to show results.
Spot treatments are the best and most effective. And the best thing about sulphur is that it is absolutely safe for sensitive skin. (You now know why I chose to mention this as the first effective anti-acne ingredient).
Propolis is a common ingredient in Korean skincare. This is a natural ingredient which is resin-like and is known to have anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral and anti-fungal properties. These properties put Propolis in the list of the effective anti-acne ingredients. Apart from the mentioned properties, Propolis is also known to reduce inflammation that can cause acne. It is also an effective antiseptic and aids in healing of wounds thus promoting skin rejuvenation.
Few people use Propolis in combination with honey, which is also a famous ingredient in skincare.
Probiotics has gained a lot of traction in skincare these days. It is commonly used to treat or regularise the gut flora. However, since recent times Probiotics has proven to be a good contender when it comes to treating or dealing with acne.
Probiotics can be either consumed orally or can be applied topically thereby helping in maintaining the skin microbiome. Probiotics are known to produce healthy ceramides which not only help in treating acne but also the after-effects of acne treatments, thus making it one of the cherished and effective anti-acne ingredients.
Now, this one took the wellness and skincare industry by storm. There are claims that this cannabis derivative is a must have in your skincare routine as it helps in controlling the sebum production and is extremely soothing for the skin. There are a few studies which show that CBD has the potential to treat acne, improve acne scars, boost collagen levels and helps stimulate various healing processes.
Having said that, there is not enough data available on the same. The research of using CBD is still in the early stages and such claims are considered illegal in the US and human trials are still lacking.
5. LIPOHYDROXY ACID
This is a derivative of Salicylic acid, which contains a chain of fatty acids, making it more lipophilic– which means that they are attracted to lipids or sebum and is able to dissolve easily in a lipid. When it comes to the skin, Lipohydroxy acid is attracted by the sebum in the pores of the skin and between the cells of the top layer of the skin. It is known to have exfoliating and astringent properties amongst various other skin benefits and is here to stay. Do not miss out on this one. Check for cleansers that contain Lipohydroxy acid and give it a try. You won’t be disappointed.
6. MONK’S PEPPER
Yes, this ingredient did take me by surprise. Monk’s Pepper is commonly used for treating pre-menstrual symptom, infertility issues and such. But recently, it has garnered a lot of attention for its ability to prevent acne breakouts. It is an anti-microbial agent with certain amount of antioxidant effects. It controls excessive oil production thus preventing breakouts. So, do check out anti-acne gels and other solutions that deal with blemishes which contain this star ingredient.
This is an excellent and effective anti-acne ingredient which specifically deals with hormonal acne. It is an FDA approved ingredient and has found a special place in treating acne; especially acne vulgaris. It is also used in combination with other topical agents which gives excellent results. This is a best option for those who do not want to take any oral medications for treating acne.
8. ESSENTIAL OILS: THYME AND OREGANO
Well, we all know that when it comes to acne and essential oils, Tea Tree oil steals the limelight!
But now, here are two contenders which prove to be effective anti-acne ingredients just like the Tea tree: only lesser known. Thyme and Oregano oils are known to have antimicrobial properties which help kill certain kind of bacteria that cause acne. They have great potential to not only treat current acne but also helps prevent future breakouts.
So, all those who swear by our star-the Tea tree oil, do give these two newbies a chance. You might just love them!