Best Acne Treatments: Comparing 6 Common Acne Solutions

Acne Solutions

If you are looking for acne solutions, it can sometimes be a confusing search.  With so many acne treatment options around, including natural acne treatments, professional salon and home treatments, I compare some of the most popular ones to save you the hard work! Your skin is unique, and so is your acne journey; the best acne treatments may not be one solution, but several. 

1. Benzoyl Peroxide Acne Solutions

What is it?: Some of the best acne treatments include the ingredient Benzoyl Peroxide an active chemical in the ‘bleach’ family. It can be found in many acne preparations including cleansers, moisturisers and spot-treatments.

How does it work?:  It works by killing the bacteria and causing the skin to shed, with the aim of the new skin being bacteria-free.

Cause For Concern

Skin can become very dry and flaky. Benzoyl Peroxide damages the skin’s natural protective barrier disrupts skin’s natural healing processes and can lead to burning and skin irritations. Benzoyl Peroxide may be linked to long-term damage such as premature ageing and even cancer.

Verdict: A strong chemical with many side effects and unknown long-term effects. Choose another natural acne cream to treat pimples or use only under proper practitioner guidance short-term.

2. Natural Acne Creams

What is it?: Products that use herbs and plant extracts to treat pimples, acne and blemishes. The best acne treatments should always include a good natural acne kit as part of a home maintenance regime.

How does it work?: Most will target killing the acne-causing bacteria with proven, effective herbs. They will also target inflammation by using naturally anti-inflammatory botanicals. With so many natural acne treatments available, you should look for something that has:

I can tell you one product that ticks all those boxes is the Rescue Acne Cream. This one-of-a-kind formula contains Goldenseal as the active ingredient, Green French Clay to draw impurities and Lemon Scented Tea Tree as a natural antibacterial agent. It has a long, impressive list of reviews here and is so gentle it even calms Rosacea!  The Best Acne Treatments Should Always Involve Good At-Home Natural Skincare.

Cause For Concern

Products may be improperly formulated.  If they don’t contain the right ingredients, it won’t have any effect on the skin; this may be useless in healing those spots. Just because products are natural, it doesn’t mean they are going to work. For example, Tea Tree Oil applied directly to the skin can cause sensitivity and irritation.

Verdict: An excellent way to start is with the best natural acne kit I’ve come across – Skin Rescue Kit.  An excellent choice for mild to moderate acne, and a great simple way to start a secure 3 step system to treat acne naturally and gently! It doesn’t burn or irritate the skin or strip vital natural oils as so many other acne kits do!   If you already have a great cleanser and moisturiser at home, an excellent and clinically proven natural acne cream is the Rescue Acne Cream. Beauty Blogger Courtney calls it “a little pot of heaven”!

3. AHA & BHA Solutions/Chemical Peels

What is it?:  AHA & BHA stands for Alpha Hydroxy and Beta Hydroxy Acids. They are naturally found in some fruits including berries and apples, but can also be made synthetically. These ingredients can be found in cleansers, toners, serums and moisturisers. They are also likely the active ingredient in most salon chemical peels. 

How does it work?: They exfoliate the epidermis by ‘ungluing’ the glue-like structure that holds dead skin cells together. It increases skin cell turnover- so it stimulates new, healthy cells and banishes dead skin cells. It has lots of benefits like improving your skin’s texture – aka baby skin. The difference between AHAs and BHA is that AHAs are water-soluble, while BHAs are lipid-(oil) soluble. BHAs can penetrate the pores, exfoliating INSIDE clogged pores, so they’re excellent for diminishing blackheads and pore blockages. AHAs are best for sun-damaged, dull and dry skin where breakouts are not necessarily a concern. Both can also be used interchangeably.

Cause For Concern

AHAs & BHAs can be highly effective but are tricky to formulate correctly. To be effective, they need to be formulated at the right pH level and at the correct ‘strength’ to have an ‘active’ effect on the skin. If a formula is too strong or improperly formulated, it can:

  • Be ineffective at treating pimples.
  • Cause burning or irritation.
  • Make your skin more sun-sensitive.  Above all protect your skin with sunscreen daily.

Opt for plant-based formulas where possible to reduce toxin absorption, and do not over-use as this can cause irritation and sensitivity.  

Verdict: A great choice if used in the right product preparation. Try Botani 2-in-1 Exfoliating Scrub & Mask with natural AHAs (naturally occurring in Aussie native Quandong fruit), and Mad Hippie Exfoliating Serum 

Natural Herbal Supplements

What is it?: Usually, a tablet, capsule or powder is taken orally. They typically contain a blend of anti-inflammatory and skin-healing herbs and sometimes probiotics/prebiotics.

How does it work?: It depends on exactly what the supplement is, but basically, they are designed to heal the skin from the inside out by reducing inflammation and promoting good gut health.

Cause For Concern 

May have little effect if your diet and lifestyle choices are poor and if you don’t have an excellent at-home natural acne skin care regime.

Verdict: Even if you’re using the best acne treatment out there, remember that good skin starts from within. Try a new product called Zilch Acne Formula – an all natural Chinese Medicine herbal tablet Formulated with 17 herbal ingredients that are also TGA listed. It works by: reducing inflammation, removing heat and toxicity and promoting blood circulation.  Note: we have not trialled this product. However, it is made by an experienced Chinese doctor and looks promising. Also, try The Beauty Chef’s Glow Inner Beauty Powder and Love Beauty Foods Beauty Elixir Skin Glow for a brighter complexion!

5. Prescription Oral Medication

What is it?: Roaccutane is an oral prescription medication, medically known as ‘isotretinoin’, Roaccutane is an oral prescription drug is that’s usually taken for up to one year. It is commonly a ‘last resort’ solution when perhaps even the best acne treatments have failed.

How does it work?:  It is a potent form of Vitamin A that targets oil production in the skin. It is highly controversial because of side effects.

Cause For Concern 

Parched lips and skin, dry eyes, mental and emotional ups and downs, and other less common side effects include headaches, blurred vision, muscle aches and even ingrown nails.

Verdict: Exhaust all other options before talking to your health professional about oral drugs. If the best acne treatments haven’t worked, it may be necessary to treat severe, cystic acne prone to deep scarring with oral medication such as Roaccutane under the supervision of a GP or dermatologist.

6. Laser / IPL / LED Light Therapy Treatments

What is it?: Professional treatments involving practitioner-only equipment using light technology to emit therapeutic wavelengths of light energy to target inflammation and bacteria.  Performed by licenced dermal therapists or dermatologists only. 

How do they work?: Usually, they work by killing the bacteria that causes acne and encouraging the epidermis to shed and promote skin cell turnover (new, healthy cells). They work best when used in conjunction with good natural acne treatment products at home.

Cause For Concern

Improperly trained therapists or incorrect advice as to which treatment is best for your skin/concerns with photosensitivity and skin reactions, such as burning and irritation. 

Verdict: Consult a recommended professional, do your homework, always get a second opinion and ask about side effects and long-term maintenance.

Internal Health Supplementation

The best acne treatments should include internal health supplementation.   Even if you’re using the best acne treatments in the world – it wouldn’t matter if you’re living off doughnuts and soft-drinks. Skin health starts on the inside. As more studies are proving, poor gut health may be linked to inflammation which can often lead to diseases, and this always affects your skin health. You can get your gut health assessed via a natural health practitioner such as a naturopath or nutritionist, and consider probiotic supplementation such as  The Beauty Chef’s Glow Inner Beauty Powder or Love Beauty Foods Beauty Elixir Skin Glow.

Acne Solutions Conclusion

There are lots of options when it comes to comparing the best acne treatments for your skin. Do your research, consult your naturopath, doctor or dermatologist for a consultation.  Be aware of all side effects, stick to a good, balanced diet.  Try avoiding refined sugars and other inflammatory foods, exercise regularly and remember that treating acne takes time and patience. Whatever acne treatment you decide to undertake, remember using a good at-home natural acne kit or natural acne cream is vital to keep your acne at bay. What has or hasn’t worked for you when it comes to treating acne?   Tell me in the comments below, and you’ll also enter our monthly competition. Author:  Sandra La Scala, Botani Natural Beauty Writer.

Disclaimer: The information contained on this site is general and for informational purposes. It is not meant to substitute the advice provided by your physician or another medical professional.  Please contact your health care professional immediately for any health-related conditions or concerns.

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