The best skincare products for acne, according to a dermatologist

Ellie Conley
·3-min read

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On In The Know’s “The Wellness Lab,” we bust common health myths and learn about the best products for keeping your health in tip top shape with our host, Dr. Alok Patel.

There are probably thousands of skincare products for fighting acne, and it makes sense. According to Dr. Caroline Robinson, dermatologist and founder of Tone Dermatology, 40–50 million Americans have acne.

However, what you put on your face is only part of the solution in getting rid of pesky and sometimes painful pimples. Your diet can play a bigger role than you think. For example, Dr. Robinson says that “skim milk has specifically been shown to increase your risk of acne” as well as high glycemic index foods like white rice and white bread.

If you need an extra punch to get rid of acne though, you can choose from many different acne products targeted to your main concerns, from blackheads to cystic acne. But as we know, it can be hard to find out which products work best for you.

On this episode of “Wellness Lab,” Dr. Robinson recommends three of the best acne products made with different active ingredients. The key is using products with active ingredients that target your specific type of acne.

1. La Roche-Posay Effaclar Adapalene Gel 0.1% Retinoid Acne Treatment, $29.99

Credit: Dermstore
Credit: Dermstore

First up is this acne treatment by La Roche-Posay. It has a dermatologist prescription retinoid in it called adapalene that is now available over-the-counter, but it also has a blend of hydrating ingredients. Sometimes, retinoids can be drying, so moisturizing is key.

“If you have clogged pores, whiteheads and blackheads, I say that this is the first step to go to, especially if you can’t get into your dermatologist right away. Adapalene is a proven topical retinoid that you should use,” Dr. Robinson says.

2. PanOxyl Acne Foaming Wash 10% Benzoyl Peroxide, $13.28 (Orig. $14.33)

Credit: Amazon
Credit: Amazon

Benzoyl peroxide is the active ingredient in this foaming face wash, and it’s going to help with severely inflamed red pimples.

“Oftentimes in those pimples, there’s bacteria that’s crawled in, bacteria that lives on our skin, bacteria that lives in our hair follicle, and this is going to destroy that acne causing bacteria,” Dr. Robinson says.

She also recommends using the benzoyl peroxide face wash in the morning and the retinoid at night. The reason being is that using them together can make them less effective.

3. Pai Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil, $44

Credit: Roven
Credit: Roven

Rose hip oil has been around for centuries. It’s super lightweight, anti-inflammatory and can help calm down your skin. People with dry acne should definitely look into using it, Dr. Robinson says.

Nonetheless, if you’ve tried these products and still can’t seem to get your acne under control, you should go see a dermatologist who can create a personalized treatment plan.

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