Acne affects 80 percent of Americans some time in their lives and we spend more than $11 billion a year on over-the-counter solutions. While nothing can replace a customized treatment plan with a board-certified dermatologist, there are many at-home solutions that help keep breakouts at bay. Bloomfield Hills, MI dermatologist Linda C. Honet, MD says mild cleansing and products with benzoyl peroxide, salicylic and glycolic acids are the typical go-to OTC at-home solutions.
New devices with blue light are also useful says Omaha, NE dermatologist Joel Schlessinger, MD. With controlled doses from professional devices, blue light therapy can be very helpful for those with acne-prone skin. “If you are unable to tolerate antibiotics or vitamin A products like Accutane to treat breakouts, LED therapy with blue light is a great alternative.”
“Acne is caused by an overproduction of sebum and whether that is triggered by hormones or other factors like stress, weather, medications or cosmetics, you’ll want to target that excess oil production in order to achieve clearer skin,” says New York dermatologist Dennis Gross, MD. Here, the latest at-home solutions for minimizing acne breakouts and preventing new ones from popping up.
With 0.5% salicylic acid, Shiseido Waso KOSHIRICE Acne Calming Spot Treatments ($25) is a non-irritating spot treatment—which can be used as a primer under makeup—that has a cooling sensation to calm compromised skin.
It does what it says: Glass Lizzard Deep Clean Gentle Scrub + Exfoliator ($10) contains super soft exfoliating particles and hydrating glycerin to nourish and clean skin without over stripping it.
To target both skin tone and texture deeper in the dermis, Murad Deep Relief Acne Treatment ($44) counts on salicylic acid to clear skin and plant-based phytosteroid to reduce redness.
Promote cell renewal and clear out dead skin cells with Dr. Zenovia 10% Glycolic Acne Control Peel Pads ($42). Strong enough to smooth acne scarring yet tolerable enough to use every day, you’ll see an improvement in pore size, skin tone and texture.
To balance excess oil, Dr. Gross says his Dr. Dennis Gross Acne Eliminating Gel ($40) uses salicylic acid, Monk’s pepper and niacinamide. Use daily followed by an LED light treatment for three minutes a day for a fast-acting, noticeable improvement.
Perricone MD Maximum Strength Clearing Treatment ($45) is step-2 after cleansing in an intensive daily routine. Maximum strength salicylic acid delivered via a special delivery system equals less dryness, tightness and irritation despite its powerful formula.
The blue and red lights in the Luminance RED Acne Treatment Device ($349) work in tandem to clear skin. The blue light wavelength kills the acne bacteria while the therapeutic red light helps accelerate skin healing.