Just about any and everything can cause a pimple (or two). Humidity, stress, illness, new medication—you name it! Don’t feel bad for your skin though. Look on the bright side: you can fight zits with a wide range of anti-acne creams. How do you pick the best cream for beating pimples? Hop on for a quick tour of the beauty aisles.
Anti-acne cream: Read the labels
Confused by the sheer variety of anti-acne creams that promise to clear up your complexion? Remember, not everything will work its magic on stubborn pimples. So, do yourself a favour: get to know each product before adding it to your shopping cart. Here are a few common active ingredients of anti-acne creams that you should know about:
- Salicylic acid: Salicylic acid helps the skin to shed dead cells, thereby clearing pores and preventing pimples. However, since it neither reduces oil levels nor fights acne bacteria, salicylic acid is mainly used to tackle mild acne (blackheads and whiteheads). Occasionally, slight stinging and irritation may occur on applying creams that contain salicylic acid.
Benzoyl peroxide: Although benzoyl peroxide attacks acne-causing bacteria, it also dries out the skin. If your skin is already dry or sensitive, you could experience redness, scaliness, or a burning sensation. There’s one other reason to be careful: benzoyl peroxide tends to bleach not only the skin but also fabrics that come in contact with it.
- Sulphur: Some anti-acne creams feature sulphur in combination with other ingredients. Sulphur is handy for clearing pores and restricting the growth of acne bacteria. However, it may dry out the skin and even cause temporary skin discolouration. Creams containing sulphur usually have an unpleasant odour as well.
- Retinoids: Retinoids like tretinoin and adapalene are very effective against acne. Retinoids clear out the pores and increase cell turnover. However, most retinoid-powered anti-pimple creams require two or three months of sustained use to reveal serious improvement in skin texture.
Choose the right anti-acne cream
Different anti-acne creams tackle pimples in different ways. For example, they may:
- decrease the skin’s oil levels
- kill off acne-causing bacteria
- speed up the shedding of dead skin cells
- promote cell growth
- ease redness and inflammation
You will find that many anti-acne creams target just one or two such functions. In that case, you may end up using multiple products to beat your acne symptoms. But you don’t need to take this route, for there are products that deal with pimples on multiple levels.
For instance, consider a holistic product like Clearica Anti-Acne Cream that fights all the major symptoms of acne. It brings down inflammation, redness, and itching, while supporting skin barrier recovery and reducing oil production. The cream also shows effectiveness against P. acnes bacteria, which is the leading cause of pimples. Besides, the formula is plant-based and gentle on all skin types—which, as anybody with acne-prone and easily irritated skin knows, is a big deal!
How to use anti-pimple creams
Once you buy a cream for your pimple problem, don’t just apply it blindly. Read the instructions on the package first and run a patch test as a precaution. You can never be too cautious when trying a new product.
If you are ready to incorporate the cream into your daily routine, here’s what you need to do:
- Cleanse gently: Use a mild cleanser twice a day to wash off oil and dirt. Pat dry with a soft towel and swipe on some toner. This clears the pores and prepares your skin to absorb the anti-acne treatment.
Apply anti-acne cream: Take a pea-sized amount of cream and apply it all over your face and neck. A little bit goes a long way! Spread the product evenly and in a thin layer.
- Moisturise with care: Finally, massage in a lightweight, non-comedogenic moisturiser to keep the skin hydrated. Oily or acne-prone skin usually responds well to oil-free moisturisers.
Some more anti-pimple tips
- Could oily cosmetics or hair products be triggering pimples and irritating your skin? Sometimes, eliminating a single acne-causing product could solve your skin troubles.
- Keep your hair and your hands off the face. This prevents the transfer of oil and bacteria from the hair and hands to the face. And yes, that means popping pimples is a no-no!
- On the phone a lot? Your smartphone attracts dust, grime, and bacteria, all of which could transfer to your face. Prevent this by wiping down the phone daily.
When you start an anti-acne routine, keep a watch on your complexion. If the pimples do not clear within a month or if your skin gets worse, consult your dermatologist. The dermatologist may prescribe medication along with a customised skincare routine to cure your pimple problem.
Disclaimer: This page is for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended as a recommendation or for diagnostic purposes. Please consult your dermatologist or doctor before acting on any of the information provided here.