My first education on how to buy acne skin care products came from Johnson & Johnson and Noxema. They had their models wash their clear complexions with the perfect acne cleanser and then, once the suds vanished, the models were dancing around so happy not having to worry about zits.
Alas, benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid and most other acne washes do not wash away zits.
One trap to fall into with cleansers is over cleansing, which can aggravate acne. The next trap, which is common, is to expect too much from one product.
For example, benzoyl peroxide works by destroying excess acne provoking bacteria. Salicylic acid exfoliates the skin and clears the pores, which reduces the chances for waste buildup in the pores and producing a zit.
If you have severe acne like I did, over the counter acne washes cannot provide the amount of bacteria control and exfoliation you need to keep acne at bay.
It's like trying to empty a bathtub with a teaspoon instead of just unplugging the water clog. Severe acne requires regulating the skin on an internal and external level. You can regulate the growth of excess bacteria on the face and body in a number of ways.
1. Decrease or control your stress response.
Stress sets off a series of hormonal reactions that can ultimately produce excess oil on the face and provide an ideal environment for excess acne-causing bacteria growth on the face.
2. Moderate sugar consumption.
Excess sugar, like stress, moves the hormones to excrete more oil on the face. It's not the chocolate the causes the acne, just the collective hormonal response of a sugar overload.
3. Take a multi-vitamin.
It may sound silly, or trivial, but taking a multivitamin can provide vital nutrients that boosts the immune system and help you manage stress better. Collectively, strong immunity and stress control help reduce acne breakouts.
I learned these three points the hard way. Trial and error and buying a lot of acne skin care products. If your at a loss about choosing an acne product, I can only say this, high price does not guarantee high quality. When I used Oxy 10 for instance, I found it worked just as well as products that costs 5 times as much. One drawback is that these drying products are not ideal for maturing skin. If you are battling acne and wrinkles, I suggest using essential oils to combat acne flair-ups such as tea tree or eucalyptus oil.
On a final note, if you've been using an acne cleanser for months with no noticeable improvement in your skin, I suggest trying to regulate you skin's condition from the inside, with sound nutrition and relaxation.