Our favourite acne products to keep those breakouts at bay
Pimples, be gone
Whiteheads, blackheads, closed comedones, cysts – there seems to be no end to the list of things that want to call our faces home. Sadly, there’s no age limit when it comes to acne flares but the skincare industry has armed us with an array of acne products to do the dirty work and keep breakouts at bay.
Diet, stress, hormones and external irritants – causes of acne are aplenty and in severe cases, best left to the professionals to handle. It’s normal and manageable if that’s what you want to do, says cosmetic dermatologist Dr Niketa Sonavane of Ambrosia Aesthetics.
If you’re dealing with a minimal amount of acne for the first time in your life (lucky you), then start with simple daily skincare. Fragrance-free products including a gentle cleanser, light moisturiser and sunscreen will make sure your skin is clean of dirt and grime, hydrated and moisturised, and protected against sun damage throughout the day.
Talking about acne products, Sonavane suggests using clay masks to control excess oil and soothe the skin. “Try the Aztec Indian healing clay mask twice a week. Add a light, water-based moisturizer in your daily routine. You will be surprised at how much better your skin will feel.”
“Avoid all products that contain silicones, such as your makeup primer and ‘dry-touch sunscreen’. Silicones build up and cause congestion. Pick a sulfate-free face wash and body wash. Sulfates can get absorbed through your skin. Once absorbed, they work as exogenous hormones and add to your hormonal imbalance.”
If you want to incorporate active ingredients into your routine, salicylic acid is a BHA beauty acid and the go-to for many acne-prone skin types to combat breakouts. You can use it as a concentrated serum (if your skin can handle it) and wash-off mask. It’s even effective as a face wash (a better choice if you have drier, irritated skin).
It can control oil production, break up the dirt in our pores and gently exfoliate the skin. Some acne products contain Willow Bark extract instead, itself a form of salicylic acid. Sulphur is also an anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial ingredient that can help control oil production and curb acne. Be careful, though, because if used excessively, this stuff can be as irritating as a wailing toddler in a movie theatre.
Benzoyl Peroxide and Vitamin A (retinoid) are often the last resort for people with severe acne. However, these have serious side effects like severe dryness, peeling and burning. These should only be used under the guidance and prescription of a medical professional.
Our favourite acne products that get the job done
Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash Pink Grapefruit Facial Cleanser, Rs 599. Get it here.
COSRX Acne Pimple Master Patch, Rs 250. Get it here.
iS Clinical Active Serum, Rs 11,757. Get it here.
Forest Essentials SUN FLUID – Tender Coconut Water with Turmeric & Basil Leaf SPF 50|PA + +. Rs 975. Get it here.
Kiehl’s Breakout Control Targeted Blemish Spot Treatment, Rs 2,300. Get it here.
Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay Mask, Rs 499. Get it here.