Over The Counter Acne Treatment

over-the-counter acne treatment

Over the counter acne treatments are available without a prescription and can be found at most drug stores, pharmacies, and online skin care outlets. These products can be used successfully to get mild and moderate acne under control and are usually your first line of defense against acne because they're inexpensive and easy to find.

The main benefit of using an over the counter acne treatment is that virtually anyone can get affordable acne treatment without seeing a dermatologist or visiting an acne treatment clinic, there's little risk of major side effects, and for most people OTC treatments work great.

To make these treatments work for you, it's important to use the right products in the right way.

A little guidance can help a lot.

Is "Over The Counter" Right For You?

One downside of using over the counter acne treatments is that you don't get professional skin care advice based on your type of acne, so you may have to rely on trial and error to find the right treatment.

Another downside to this method of treating your skin is that over the counter acne treatments use relatively low levels of active ingredients. Skin care companies know you'll be buying their treatments without a professional recommendation. They want lots of people to be able to use their products without developing adverse side effects. The problem is that sometimes the formulas aren't strong enough to get stubborn acne under control.

Over the counter acne products contain exfoliating and antibacterial agents such as salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, lactic acid, and sulfur.

These ingredients can be effective at getting acne under control, but you must have the right formulas and use them in the right way.

Even with mild formulas, these ingredients can be very irritating -- causing dryness, redness, or peeling. If used too quickly or in the wrong combinations, OTC treatments will actually burn your skin and make your acne worse.

Another problem is that many over the counter acne medicines are loaded with comedogenic (pore clogging) ingredients to make them feel more comfortable and less irritating. Many of the ingredients used to make products glide onto your skin and absorb without a greasy feeling are very pore clogging. So, while you think you're treating your acne, you may actually be causing more break outs.

Using pore clogging products will sabotage your efforts to get clear skin.

Before you put anything on your skin (including acne treatment products), check the product labels to be sure they don't contain pore clogging ingredients that cause acne.

Best Over The Counter Acne Treatments

What's the best over the counter acne treatment? There isn't one miracle product that gets rid of acne for everyone.

You'll benefit most from a combination of anti-bacterial agents combined with exfoliation products, such as alpha-hydroxy acids, salicylic acid and/or vitamin A serums.

Let's explore them in more detail:

Benzoyl Peroxide: This popular treatment can be found in many different formulations. But, which one is right for you? Learn more about how benzoyl peroxide works, which formulas are best, and how to use it to get clear quickly and safely without drying and irritating your skin.

What Is Benzoyl Peroxide & How Does It Work
How To Use Benzoyl Peroxide & Avoid Common User Mistakes


Professional Skin Care Advice

If you've already tried over the counter medications and you're not getting clear, if your acne is leaving scars or dark spots (hyperpigmentation), if having acne is starting to wear on you emotionally, or if you'd rather not wait until your break outs are really out of control -- seek professional skin care advice at an acne treatment clinic.

A licensed acne expert can be your coach -- guiding you to clear skin. When you need professional skin care advice, your personal acne expert will be there to help you troubleshoot problems or give you support when you feel discouraged. We have a lot of tips & tricks to help you progress quickly & comfortably.

See pictures of acne clients before and after treatment.

Read my tips for finding a dermatologist