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What Is the Best Face Wash for Acne?

Your face wash is the foundation of your skin care routine, particularly if you have oily or acne prone skin. With the huge range of product offerings out there, it can be difficult to pick the best acne face wash for your skin.

It took a LONG time before I found the best face wash for acne to suit my particular skin type. What type of face wash is better, creamy or gel? Which ingredients should you be looking for and which should you avoid? Do natural, holistic products work better or do commercial acne treatment face washes work best? There’s a lot to consider.

As it turns out, a lot of the answer to these questions can be found through experimentation, personal preferences and by listening to your own skin.

Just because 1,000 people loved a product, it doesn’t mean it will work the same way for you. Bearing those things in mind, we’re going to check out what to look for in the perfect face wash for your skin and take a look at some great products for all types of skin.

What is Acne?

Acne is a condition that affects the pores and oil glands (sebaceous glands) in the skin. The highest volume of oil glands can be found on the face, neck, chest, and back. So it follows that these are the most common locations for acne breakouts.

Beneath each hair on your skin is a tiny oil gland. Essentially, pimples form when the pores (hair follicles) become blocked with dirt, oil, or dead skin cells. When these pores become inflamed, the immune response that causes the inflammation may also cause zits (source).

There are several different types of pimples. Blackheads, whiteheads, papules, pustules, cysts, and nodules are the main varieties. The extent of the infection in the oil gland and how deep into the skin the infection lies often determines which kind of zit forms.

Why does Acne Form?

There are many potential causes of acne, most of them far beyond our control. Genetics can determine your likelihood for developing acne. Hormonal fluctuations also contribute.

When the pores get clogged, bacteria stuck inside of them begins to grow. At this point, your immune system causes an inflammatory response to try to kill off the infection. The inflammatory response causes redness, pain, swelling, and potentially actual zits.

Who gets Acne?

Whatever the cause of acne, it has got to be one of the most common skin conditions out there. Though acne breakouts are more common in teenagers and younger adults, people of all ages, races, and skin types suffer from acne. Up to 80% of people have suffered at some point in their lives (source)

It follows that there are very few people on the face of the planet who haven’t had to deal with acne. A good skin care routine is important for darn near everyone. Whether you suffer from chronic acne or the occasional localized breakout, you can likely benefit from a great skin care regimen.

Since both genders can experience acne breakouts, a good face wash is no less important for men. Women seem to be more apt at starting and sticking to a skin care system. However, guys can definitely benefit from the confidence that comes with a fresh face the same as all the ladies out there.

How Do You Stop Acne?

There is no foolproof, one size fits all, instantaneous plan to get rid of acne for good. The best way to take control of your acne is to put together a skin care routine that works for your particular needs.

Most commonly, skin care routines consist of, at the very least, a face wash, toner, and moisturizer. Face wash, being the first step and the one acne sufferers should never go without, is a great place to start planning your skin care regimen.

What Makes a Face Wash Good for Acne?

The best face wash for acne is one that is gentle, non-drying, and tough on dirt and oil. You’ll want to check to make sure that your potential new face wash contains no comedogenic (acne-causing) ingredients, or very little of them. You can check the ingredients list against this scale.

If you have dry, acne-prone skin, you might consider a creamy face wash. They contain more moisturizing ingredients to help prevent drying of the skin. It may seem counter-intuitive when oil is linked with acne, but when your skin is too dry, inflammation increases and dead skin flakes can block the pores. A cleanser that gently exfoliates may be of assistance to dry skin as well.

If you have super-oily skin, a gel cleanser may be right up your alley. Clear gel face washes tend to be better at breaking down oil. Those with combination (a mix of dry, normal, or oily skin) should seek out a cleanser that is balanced between moisturizing and oil-fighting.

How to Find the Right Product for You

First, you should determine your skin type if you don’t already know it. This will help you pick a face wash that gives the results you expect. You can take a quiz or ask your dermatologist if you’re not sure which category your skin falls into.

Next, seek out mild cleansers that are suitable for your skin type. Check out what the net has to say about a product and see if it’s in your price range. When you find a product that sounds great and has some bonafide endorsements, go ahead and make a purchase.

This part is so important. You’ll have to use the face wash consistently, typically twice a day or as instructed on the bottle, for a couple weeks before you can really tell how it’s going to work for you. It takes time for your skin to adjust to new products. Don’t toss a potentially great product too soon!

Never Give Up Hope, But Be Aware

There is a great skin care routine out there for you, waiting to be discovered. If you assess each product from a logical standpoint by checking the ingredients, checking out others’ opinions, and keeping your budget in mind, you’re sure to find the best acne face wash for you.

Speaking of budgets, don’t ever think that an effective product has to cost a fortune. That’s just not the case. There are plenty of great products out there that can be found at reasonable price points.

Also, don’t fall into the trap of assuming that an expensive product must be a high quality product. Marketing being what it is, brands know exactly how to reel in unsuspecting buyers. They know how to play on their potential customer’s emotions and weaknesses. Always try your best to keep a level head when shopping for new products to avoid letting your heart make purchasing decisions.

CeraVa Foaming Facial Cleanser

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Our rating

This product is thought by many to be the best face wash for acne on the market today. It contains oil fighting cleansers and moisturizing ingredients that work together to create well-balanced, acne free skin.

Pros


  • Contains moisturizing hyaluronic acid
  • Lathers to a nice, foamy texture
  • Gentle enough for twice daily use
  • Many dermatologists recommend it
  • Uses ceramides to form protective barrier

Cons


  • Not an all-natural product
  • Contains parabens
  • May cause issues with sensitive skin
  • Texture before lathering may be off-putting
  • May not remove some makeup well

Glycolic Acid Exfoliating Cleanser by Body Merry

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Our rating

Along with its acne-fighting powers, this face wash uses glycolic acid to reduce the signs of aging. While still gentle, the glycolic acid and salicylic acid in this formula are proven successful ingredients for clear, beautiful skin.

Pros


  • Jojoba beads gently exfoliate skin
  • Salicylic acid fights acne
  • A little bit goes a long ways
  • Glycolic acid tones and helps improve overall look of skin
  • Anti-aging properties
  • Cuts oil on skin gently
  • Natural ingredients

Cons


  • May cause sensitivity in some users
  • May cause skin drying
  • Potentially not good for those with dry skin
  • A bit harsh for twice daily use
  • Shoddy packaging

Art Naturals Clarifying Acne Face Wash

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Our rating

This face wash uses soothing botanical ingredients like cucumber and aloe along with deep-cleaning, exfoliating ingredients to give users a fresh feeling. This spa-like product is environmentally friendly. If all-natural products are your thing, Art Naturals is a good company to check out.

Pros


  • Aloe and cucumber to reduce inflammation
  • Thick, creamy texture lathers into rich foam
  • Balances skin
  • Deep cleans without drying
  • No beads or scrub, exfoliates without irritating
  • Convenient pump
  • Reminiscent of spa products, very luxurious

Cons


  • Doesn’t get rid of enough oil for some users
  • Texture can make bottle hard to pump
  • Texture can make it difficult to use
  • May cause dryness or excessive oiliness in some users
  • Green color is off-putting to some users
  • May be too much for twice a day use

Facial Wash by Christine Moss Organics

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Our rating

This face wash is created from entirely organic ingredients. It uses essential oils and saponified oils to create an oil-cutting product that is still gentle on skin. It may work better for those with dry skin than people who deal with extremely oily skin.

Pros


  • Organic formula
  • Rich texture
  • Gentle enough to use morning and night
  • A tiny, dime-sized amount is enough for one wash
  • Doesn’t dry skin too much
  • Restores skin’s moisture
  • Rosemary essential oil regulates oil production

Cons


  • Essential oils may cause sensitivity
  • Coconut oil is a potentially comedogenic ingredient
  • May cause acne in some users
  • Drying and flaking skin may occur in some users
  • Unpleasant smell
  • Doesn’t always rinse clean

African Black Soap from Incredible by Nature

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Our rating

Many people swear by African black soap, and I’ve actually had great luck with it myself in the past. This product is different from the rest on my list as it comes in bar form instead of in a cream or gel. If you’re looking to switch to bar soap for your face, African black soap is probably the best for acne.

Pros


  • Ships well, no spillage issues
  • Raw, organic ingredientsIdeal for all skin types
  • Nourishing formula full of vitamins and minerals
  • Vegan formula
  • Fair trade certified
  • Moisturizes to leave skin soft and smooth
  • Gentle formula

Cons


  • Contains palm oil, an environmentally objectionable ingredient
  • Physical exfoliants can damage skin if you don’t wash carefully
  • Odd scent
  • May dry skin if washing with hot water
  • Bar is gigantic, tough to hold
  • Contains some comedogenic oils
  • Color is unappealing for some users
  • Can make sink or shower yucky

The Last Word on the Best Face Wash for Acne

Our pick for the best acne face wash is definitely the Art Naturals Clarifying Face Wash. The combination of soothing, moisturizing, and tough cleansing ingredients makes it ideal for most acne prone skin. I’d suggest only using it once a day to prevent skin from becoming too oily.

If you’re into trying a bar soap, the African Black soap is absolutely fantastic. You may even consider using the two in conjunction, the Black soap in the morning to keep your face shine free throughout the day, and the Clarifying Face Wash to leave skin moist and refreshed before you go to bed.

Keep in mind that almost any information on skin care products is subjective. No product will react the same way on everyone’s skin. By checking over the ingredients lists carefully and tracking potentially irritating product components, you can help narrow down which products are right for you and eliminate face washes that you are likely to have adverse reactions to.

Just remember, consistency in your skincare routine is the key to finding out if a product is really working for you. Give them time to get to work and you can find the product for your particular skin.

What is the Best Shampoo for Scalp Acne?

Scalp acne can be awful. It’s like a dirty little secret. I used to avoid going to the salon to get my hair done because I didn’t want my stylist to see the breakouts of acne on my scalp. At that point I knew it was time to figure out a solution.

It actually took me longer to figure out how to get rid of the acne on my scalp than to clear up my face. I searched far and wide for the best shampoo for scalp acne, found a lot of information, and eventually through trial and error, I finally settled into a routine that solved the problem. You can do the same - I’m going to show you how.

How Common an Occurrence is Scalp Acne?

Though acne on the scalp tends to be very uncomfortable, it’s often overlooked because it’s not as “in your face” as other types, so to speak. It usually can’t be seen under most circumstances as it’s covered by your hair.

It’s true that acne on the scalp is less common than acne on the face or or body. As a teen, I thought I was the only person on the planet with this problem. Cures for scalp acne aren’t splashed all over magazine covers and mega websites in the same way as facial acne.

Of course you’re not alone. Almost everyone gets a pimple on their scalp from time to time. In fact, it’s so common that quite a large range of treatments have been developed to get rid of it.

What Causes Scalp Acne?

Scalp acne is caused by the same factors that trigger facial and body acne. Hormones and genetics play a large role. Hot, humid weather and compression of the hair follicles by a hat or helmet may also contribute to the formation of scalp acne.

To put it simply, acne forms when your hair follicles (also known as pores) become plugged. Bacteria trapped in the clogged pores then causes inflammation. This inflammation and the immune response that follows leads to the swollen pustules that we call pimples.

Hair products are another factor which can cause acne to form on the scalp. They tend to build up on the scalp, causing pores to become blocked. Unlike products intended for your face, hair products don’t usually take into account that some ingredients cause acne. This means you have to be extra diligent and read the labels on your favourite shampoos and conditioners.

Who is Most Likely to Suffer from Scalp Acne?

It seems that if you already suffer from dandruff, you’re potentially a most likely candidate to develop scalp acne. Dandruff is a condition characterised by itching, dry, flaking skin on the scalp. This buildup of dead skin cells can clog your pores - acting as a precursor to more severe acne.

Teenagers, whose hormonal fluctuations are commonly linked with facial and body acne, are also more likely to have scalp acne. Acne is a notoriously teenaged problem, though that’s certainly not always the case. Hormonal fluctuations continue throughout adulthood, especially for females during the menstrual cycle and pregnancy.

Potentially due to the compression of the scalp caused by caps, middle aged men are frequently afflicted as well.

Does This Mean Controlling Dandruff Can Help Control Acne on the Scalp?

It just might. Some doctors recommend controlling dandruff with medicated shampoo. This may even help to prevent acne on the face and body too (source). Head & Shoulders for acne? Who would have thought? I certainly didn’t until I read up on it.

Logically, it makes sense. Acne can be caused by dry skin cells clogging up the pores, and anti-dandruff shampoo eliminates dry, flaky scalp skin. It follows that it should be a helpful treatment.

Is Scalp Acne Really A Problem?

Scalp acne isn’t usually very serious. It doesn’t cause any real issues beyond an uncomfortable blemish that heals on its own most of the time. No big deal, right?

Not always, as it turns out. If left untreated, scalp acne can cause scarring and even bald patches. That’s a rather unpleasant possibility, at least in my opinion. As someone who has thin hair to start with - if changing shampoos may help to prevent bald patches, I’m definitely down for this simple change.

Scalp Acne Treatment Tips

If you’re having issues with scalp acne, you might consider changing hair care products. You may also evaluate if there are any other habits which may be contributing, such as frequently wearing a hat that smashes your hair follicles (poor things!)

If you decide to try to treat your scalp acne with a topical medication, make sure that you don’t use a formula that contains benzoyl peroxide. While one of the most popular and effective ingredients for treating acne, benzoyl peroxide can cause hair bleaching (source).

What to Look for in the Best Shampoo for Scalp Acne

As with any acne product, you should check out the list of ingredients when choosing a scalp acne treatment shampoo. Finding a product that removes excess oil without drying skin is paramount. Some shampoos even contain salicylic acid, an effective acne treatment.

Another popular anti scalp acne ingredient is tea tree oil. This essential oil is popular for all kind of anti-bacterial purposes.

Zinc is also currently being touted as a perfect shampoo ingredient to eliminate scalp acne. Head & Shoulders for acne is being thrown out there because the active ingredient in the anti-dandruff shampoo is pyrithione zinc. Let’s check out a few different shampoos for scalp acne.

Degrease by Maple Holistics

Quality

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Our rating

This shampoo treats scalp acne with a combination of essential oils and jojoba and argan oil. The essential oils are supposed to help regulate oil production and eliminate bacteria. The jojoba and argan oils are intended to moisturize the hair and scalp without being oily.

Pros


  • All natural ingredients
  • No sulfates or parabens
  • Conditions as well as cleanses
  • Great for very oily hair
  • Fresh, non-medicinal scent
  • May help soothe scalp irritation

Cons


  • Takes up to a few weeks to begin working
  • Some users experienced worsening symptoms
  • May leave hair without volume
  • Hair may not feel as clean as usual
  • Leaves hair tangly

Pharmaceutical Specialties Free & Clear Shampoo for Sensitive Skin

Quality

Price

Our rating

This product takes a balanced approach to scalp care. By keeping the pH of the hair and scalp level and utilizing a gentle cleanser to remove dirt and oil, this shampoo may help your scalp stay healthy and happy.

Pros


  • May help control dandruff
  • Minimizes scalp irritation
  • Fragrance free
  • Dermatologist recommended
  • Gentle formula is great for skin sensitivities

Cons


  • May leave residue in the hair
  • Hair may be tangled after use
  • Not ideal for all sensitive skin
  • Leaves hair dry
  • Can cause issues in color treated hair

Neutrogena T/Sal Shampoo

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Our rating

This shampoo made by the drug store product giant Neutrogena, has been a go-to product for scalp issues for years. It claims to reduce dead skin buildup on the scalp with a fragrance free, gentle formula.

Pros


  • Contains salicylic acid
  • Lathers well
  • Eliminates buildup on the scalp
  • Gets rid of dandruff
  • Stops itchy scalp
  • Fairly gentle for colored hair

Cons


  • Scent is unappealing to some users
  • Not for daily use
  • Tiny bottle for the price
  • Varied results

Tea Tree Peppermint Shampoo for Dandruff by Honeydew

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Our rating

This dandruff shampoo gets an antibacterial boost from tea tree oil to help fight scalp acne. The mint adds a crisp, invigorating touch. It uses intense hydrating oils to care for the hair and scalp as well. If you’re looking for a more natural, gentle product, this one might be worth a shot.

Pros


  • Tea tree oil kills bacteria and wards off head lice
  • Pleasant, natural scent
  • Safe for everyday use
  • Peppermint provides invigorating, cooling action
  • Jojoba and other oils nourish hair and scalp
  • Natural ingredients

Cons


  • Difficult packaging
  • May not eliminate all dandruff
  • Residue may remain in the hair
  • Can cause scalp irritation and dryness

Head & Shoulders Itchy Scalp Care

Quality

Price

Our rating

This is a twist on an everyday dandruff treatment shampoo. This Head & Shoulders for acne works by reducing scalp buildup and reducing inflammation and irritation with natural eucalyptus. Available at many major retailers and very inexpensive, this is a practical choice.

Pros


  • Uses “Hydra Zinc” formula to fight scalp buildup
  • Eucalyptus soothes skin and battles bacteria
  • pH balanced
  • Cost effective
  • Pleasant scent
  • Tingly and refreshing on the scalp

Cons


  • Some ingredients may cause sensitivity
  • Eucalyptus causes drying in some users
  • Tingling may reach the point of discomfort
  • Not “cruelty free”

The Last Word on the Best Shampoo For Scalp Acne

As far as treating scalp acne with shampoo goes, Head & Shoulders Itchy Scalp Care gets our vote. It has a proven track record, it is very reasonably priced, and it is easy to get your hands on. You don’t have to suffer these uncomfortable pimples if you find the best shampoo for scalp acne for you.

What Is the Best Moisturizer for Acne Prone Skin?

The combination of moisturizers and acne can be a touchy subject. It took me years to figure out what worked well for my skin, and choosing the wrong moisturizer can make acne even worse. If you are in search of the best moisturizer for acne prone skin, you’re in the right place.

We’re going to cover how to find the right cream for your face, plus when and how to use it. Since high quality moisturizers can cost big bucks, it’s crucial that you do a little research before spending your hard-earned cash on a product that doesn’t live up to the hype.

My Skin Is Oily, Do I Still Need a Moisturizer?

If you have oily skin (which most of us with acne do, at least in patches) you may think you don’t need a moisturizer. That’s not necessarily the case.

Leaving a top-notch moisturizer out of your skin care regimen is not a good idea. Even oily skin needs to be moisturized (source). In fact, if you’re using topical acne treatments, it may be even more important.

Common acne treatments like salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide can cause excessive dryness, redness, and flaky skin (source). Aside from making skin tight and uncomfortable, these skin afflictions can cause inflammation just like any other skin damage.

Since acne is linked with inflammation in the first place, it makes sense that eliminating additional inflammation caused by OTC and prescription topical medications may help your skin feel better. I wish I would have realized this when topical acne gel dried my face out but I was scared of extra moisture!

Could Moisturizer Make Acne Worse?

If you don’t use a moisturizer made especially for acne prone skin, it just might. Many moisturizers contain ingredients that may clog pores, which is one of the causes of acne. Some moisturizers may also contain harsh ingredients that can do more harm than good if you have acne prone skin.If you choose wisely, though, a moisturizer will improve the look and feel of your skin, even if you suffer from acne.

How Do Moisturizers Work?

Moisturizers use a combination of different ingredients that are separated into classes by their function. We will discuss humectants and emollients here, as they are present in almost all moisturizers. Another other common components are occlusives, which create a protective barrier.

Humectants draw and help retain moisture in the stratum corneum (the outer layer of skin that contains moisture and protects the body from outside influences). Some examples of humectants include glycerin, alpha hydroxy acids, and sugars.

Emollients help to smooth skin by filling in the tiny crevasses in skin and helping removed flakes of skin, creating a softer, smoother surface. A moisturizer that balances these types of ingredients is ideal. (source)

Picking the Best Moisturizer for Acne Prone Skin

This is where things get tricky. Just because a moisturizer says that it’s oil-free or great for acne sufferers doesn’t mean that it is. Even the label non-comedogenic (which means does not cause acne) means very little.

This is because over the counter skincare products like moisturizers are not highly regulated. Any claims made by a health and beauty company are subject to suspicion. They can say almost anything they want about their product in order to market it, with little repercussion.

They are, however, required to list their ingredients. Knowing what moisturizer ingredients can help acne and which may hurt your skin is the best way to make sure you’re getting a quality product. I’ll cover some ingredients to avoid and some to look for when selecting a product next.

What Moisturizer Ingredients are Bad for Acne Prone Skin?

Here’s a link to a list of common moisturizer ingredients and their rating on the comedogenic scale. The comedogenic scale is a good guide to determine if an ingredient can cause or worsen acne. You might consider checking each ingredient against this scale when shopping for the perfect moisturizer.

One thing that should be mentioned is that the first ingredients on the label are contained in the highest quantities, while the last ingredients are likely contained in negligible amounts. The first several ingredients are the ones you should be paying closest attention to in this case.

Common ingredients to avoid include mineral oil, cocoa butter, lanolin, many pigments, and fragrances.

Moisturizing Ingredients Which are Good for Acne Sufferers

Glycerin and hyaluronic acid are both lightweight, non-comedogenic bases that are common in moisturizers made for people with acne. If you’re looking for a more natural alternative, lotions or creams containing jojoba oil and argan oil rate zero on the comedogenic scale.

A moisturizer with anti-inflammatory ingredients like aloe or green tea is ideal as well. Knocking down inflammation will not only help acne heal, but it can also help eliminate some of the unpleasant skin side effects common of acne medications.

Choosing a moisturizer with SPF (sun protection factor) is also a good idea. Many over the counter and prescription acne medications, both oral and topical, can cause photosensitivity. This sensitivity to light can cause you to sunburn easier, so always wear a moisturizer with SPF.

Foxbrim’s Vitamin C Lotion

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Our rating

This facial moisturizer is kind of like the craft beer of popular face moisturizers. While this product is not necessarily marketed towards acne sufferers, it has all the good characteristics we’re looking for and few of the comedogenic ingredients we want to avoid.

Pros


  • Cruelty free; Foxbrim doesn’t test on animals
  • Warranty that says ‘Love it or your money back’
  • Silky texture
  • Leaves skin dewy, not oily
  • Contains antioxidants to help fight inflammation
  • May help fade acne scars
  • Crafted in small batches

Cons


  • High vitamin c content can irritate skin
  • May cause burning sensation on sensitive skin
  • Pump is flimsy
  • Lotion is thick, may not absorb well

Neutrogena Oil-Free Moisture Sensitive Skin

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Price

Our rating

This face lotion is an ideal option for an everyday moisturizer if you suffer from acne. It is available at most drug stores and big box stores. If you’re looking for an exceptional value, this product might be the one for you.

Pros


  • Inexpensive
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Fragrance free
  • Calls for use only once a day
  • Lightweight moisture
  • Contains SPF

Cons


  • Contains parabens (but most big name products do)
  • Contains some comedogenic ingredients
  • Inconsistent effects
  • Many users experienced an insufficient moisturizing effect
  • Contains many chemical ingredients

Cetaphil Dermacontrol Moisture

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Our rating

Cetaphil has long been a player in the acne skin care game, and their Dermacontrol moisturizer is one of the best moisturizers for acne prone skin on the market - at least for my skin care needs. This one even has ingredients to provide skin with a matte finish on the parts of my face prone to oiliness.

Pros


  • Broad spectrum SPF 30 protects from sun damage
  • Absorbs excess oil
  • Soaks into the skin quickly
  • Leaves skin feeling matte and not sticky
  • Works great under makeup
  • More natural than other mass produced products

Cons


  • May cause eye irritation
  • Causes a burning sensation in some users
  • May not eliminate all oil or shine
  • Oil absorbing barrier may be uncomfortable

Aveeno Clear Complexion Daily Moisturizer

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Our rating

This lightweight moisturizer from Aveeno is the first on the list that contains a common topical acne fighting ingredient. It uses salicylic acid to treat acne while moisturizing and evening skin tone. Aveeno’s ‘Active Soy Complex’ acts as a firming and toning agent to improve the overall look of skin.

Pros


  • Oil-free
  • Lightweight
  • Absorbs completely
  • Contains actual acne fighting ingredients

Cons


  • Smell is unpleasant to some users
  • Can cause eye irritation
  • May cause skin irritation or redness
  • Might not improve acne

Serumtologie’s PURE Whipped Chiffon Moisturizing Skin Care Cream

Quality

Price

Our rating

While this product is quite a bit pricier than the others on my list, it also has a lot of great features that just might make it worth the investment. It is a cream rather than a lotion. Serumtologie takes a more natural approach to skin care, which is something I always watch for when shopping for products.

Pros


  • Natural ingredients
  • Vegan, just in case that’s what floats your boat
  • No animal testing
  • Non-greasy
  • No unpleasant residue

Cons


  • Manufacturer admits it may not be ideal for dry skin
  • Strong fragrance for users with sensitive noses
  • Doesn’t absorb easily
  • May hinder makeup application

The Last Word on Moisturizers for Acne

For me, the Serumtologie Whipped Chiffon moisturizer is the overall winner. As far as effectiveness and quality of ingredients go, it wins hands down. The product is effective for all skin types (great for those of us with combination skin) and doesn’t promote breakouts.

However, if you’re looking for something a little more reasonably priced as opposed to a more natural product, Cetaphil is a great pick. If you find it bothers your eyes, you might opt for a similar Cetaphil without sunscreen.

What are the Best Soaps and Facial Cleansers for Acne?

We all know that cleansing is a very important part of any skin care regimen. This is especially true for people with acne. There are so many cleansers available on the market that it can be an overwhelming and confusing task to find one that actually works - without spending a veritable fortune!

We’ll take a look at some products and determine the best facial cleanser for acne available on the market, right after we talk about what cleansing should look like if you suffer from acne. Let’s wash away your doubts (pun intended!).

How Do Facial Cleansers Help Treat Acne?

With the right cleanser, you can help eliminate bacteria and debris that becomes stuck in the hair follicles (pores) and causes blackheads and whiteheads. A good acne soap will also help to remove the buildup of dead skin cells so that the pores are clear and treatments can get inside.

Many soaps and cleansers geared towards the treatment of acne contain common acne medicines like benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, or sodium sulfacetamide. These ingredients have all been proven to help treat acne, so a gentle cleanser that contains one of these is a good bet.

A combination of the above acne-fighting ingredients, bacteria slaying soap, and exfoliants work together with other skin care products to rid you of unwanted bumps. Using moisturizer and toner, alongside soap, can go a long way towards keeping your skin clear.

Are There Cases Where A Skincare Routine Won’t Cut It?

There are absolutely cases where a great skin care routine may not eliminate acne. While acne is physically caused by blocked or infected hair follicles, there are factors inside the body that go on beyond the surface that washing can’t fix.

Hormones, or more accurately hormone imbalances, contribute to acne. Particularly during adolescence and pregnancy when hormones are naturally fluctuating, changes in the level of androgens (a particular type of hormone) can increase appearance of acne.

Some other factors that can affect acne are stress, diet, and some medications. In these cases, simply washing may not be as effective as you might hope. It’s important to keep a level head when dealing with acne. There are no miracle cures, and a combination of treatments is best.

What to Look For in the Best Facial Cleanser for Acne Prone Skin

When you’re shopping for face soap, there are some things you want to keep in mind to guide you to a product that is ideal for your skin (source). Certain properties of soap can actually make acne worse, so make sure to check reviews and take your skin type into account.

Most importantly, you want a product that is relatively gentle. A product with harsh chemicals or an abrasive scrub can make your face red and irritated (inflammation). Since acne is caused in part by skin inflammation, it makes sense that you would want to avoid intentionally roughing up your skin.

Choose a product with some moisturizing agents such as hyaluronic acid or glycerin to make sure your facial cleanser doesn’t dry out your face too much. This is particularly important if the cleanser also contains acne-fighting ingredients that are known to cause dryness.

Determine Your Personal Preferences

Would you prefer a liquid or a foam cleanser? Does creamy or gel cleanser suit you? There are so many different types of facial cleansers.

Foamy cleansers are quick to use and to rinse, but creamy cleansers tend to feel more luxurious. Before you determine which facial cleanser to invest in, you need to decide what you want out of it. So long as a cleanser is gentle and doesn’t dry acne prone skin too much, a lot of the decision-making is down to your own personal opinion.

Seriously, there is no one right product for every face. Make sure that you give new products a chance before hopping onto the next unless you have a reaction, though. It can take time for your skin to adjust and switching immediately to a new product won’t necessarily help.

How to Cleanse Your Skin Properly

Once you’ve found the best cleanser for acne, you might brush up on your face washing technique. While this seems relatively simple, I’ve got a few pointers to make sure you aren’t physically damaging the skin. - that could cause inflammation. We’ve already covered how inflammation is bad for acne.

Above all, make sure that you follow the directions on your cleanser of choice. Now, make sure you have the water set to lukewarm. Water that is too cold can close up your pores, thereby treatments out. Water that is too hot can cause skin damage.

Place some cleanser on your fingertips. Gently bring it to a lather using small, soft circles. Once you’ve washed, rinse gently with lukewarm water. Pat your face dry with a soft, clean towel. Now you can carry on with the rest of your skincare routine. You’ll ideally wash your face twice a day, morning and night.

ArtNaturals Clarifying Face Wash for Oily/Acne-Prone Skin

Quality

Price

Our rating

This thick, creamy facial cleanser uses natural botanical ingredients to soothe and moisturize skin while washing away debris and oil. ArtNatural’s formula leaves out a lot of yucky ingredients like parabens and harsh chemicals to create a luxurious, spa-like cleansing experience.

Pros


  • Light cucumber scent is nice but not overpowering
  • Gentle formula
  • Natural ingredients
  • Thick texture perfect for use in the shower
  • Eliminates oiliness without overly drying skin
  • A little bit of this cleanser goes a long ways
  • Cruelty free

Cons


  • Pump on bottle is not ideal for travel
  • Hard to get thick cleanser out of pump
  • May be difficult for some users to rinse
  • Unattractive color
  • Some users experienced dry skin

InstaNatural’s Vitamin C Facial Cleanser

Quality

Price

Our rating

This creamy cleanser is marketed towards people with all skin types. It uses free radical fighting vitamin C to eliminate toxins. This product also uses plant ingredients and non-comedogenic oils to soothe and hydrate skin. Most of the ingredients are naturally derived, if you’re into that sort of thing.

Pros


  • Formulated for all skin types
  • Reputable brand
  • Pleasant citrus scent
  • Does an exceptional job evening skin tone
  • Lathers well
  • Reverses dark spots from acne scars and sun exposure

Cons


  • May cause dry skin in some users
  • Can irritate eyes more than the average cleanser
  • May cause rash or irritation in some subjects
  • Vitamin C products can adversely affect some sensitive skin

CeraVa Foaming Facial Cleanser

Quality

Price

Our rating

This common drugstore cleanser has something of a cult following. What starts out as a clear gel foams up when you begin to create a lather, hence the name. While this product is not a natural product, per se, it does use a gentle formulation.

Pros


  • Unique foaming action
  • Rinses easily
  • Uses ceramides to create a protective barrier
  • Commonly recommended by dermatologists
  • Does not create skin tightness
  • Fragrance free

Cons


  • Contains chemical ingredients
  • Ceramide coating may feel unpleasant to some users
  • Slippery texture
  • Contains parabens
  • Very inexpensive

Christine Moss Naturals Organic Facial Wash

Quality

Price

Our rating

This organic product is perfect if you’re really against using chemicals on your body or in your home. While the price point on this product is enough to make you think twice, the highly concentrated formula has the manufacturer claiming that it only requires half the amount as other cleansers.

Pros


  • Light, natural scent
  • Organic ingredients, no harsh chemicals
  • Only requires a small amount
  • Non-drying
  • Cruelty free

Cons


  • Packaging has some issues, not sturdy
  • Doesn’t create a clean feeling for some users
  • Can cause redness and skin flaking in some users
  • Contains soap, which can adversely affect some people’s skin

Glycolic Acid Exfoliating Cleanser by Body Merry

Quality

Price

Our rating

This cleanser takes a bit of a different path than the others highlighted on this list. If you’re looking for a cleanser that exfoliates through both chemical and physical means, this might be the perfect cleanser for you. It claims to be both gentle and a tough exfoliator.

Pros


  • Not too abrasive despite serious exfoliation
  • Leaves skin feeling fresh
  • Jojoba beads provide gentle physical exfoliation
  • Has salicylic acid for treating acne
  • Contains popular anti-aging ingredients

Cons


  • Not ideal for use twice a day
  • Directions recommend use every few days
  • May not be ideal for extra sensitive skin
  • May cause excessive skin drying
  • Shoddy pump

The Last Word on Soaps and Cleansers for Acne

The real winner of the best cleanser for acne award, in my opinion at least, is the ArtNatural’s Clarifying Facial Cleanser. This product, though a little more expensive than many others on the market, is of great quality and it seemingly produces great results for most users. Always remember that no product is right for everyone and to pick one that works well with your skin.

What Are the Best Night Creams for Acne Prone Skin?

Putting together a whole skin care system can be a daunting task, particularly if you suffer from acne like me. I know that all that stands between me and the acne that used to plague me is letting down my guard a little and not being consistent with my skin care regimen.

We’re most likely to let this slide at night, but we must not! Night cream gives my skin a chance to start the day off right before I even go to bed. Despite the fact that I’m relatively young and I have acne prone skin, my night cream is an important part of keeping my skin soft, supple, and radiant.

We’ll explore the best night cream for acne prone skin and why it’s important. Keep in mind as you read this that no two faces are likely to react the same way to a product. What’s great for one person may cause a horrible rash in the next. Consult with your dermatologist if you have any questions about which products to use.

How does Night Cream Different From Normal Moisturizers?

You might be under the impression that night cream is the same thing as a regular moisturizer. Is it just a ploy for cosmetics companies to sell yet another product? While that is sometimes the case, night cream does have many differences which set it apart from every day moisturizers.

First, night cream tends to be heavier than daily moisturizers, which are formulated to be lightweight for application under make up. Most night creams wouldn’t likely feel very pleasant under a full face of makeup.

Night creams usually contain skin toning, firming, and anti-aging ingredients that reduce fine lines and wrinkles. As is almost always the case, the product that is right for you will be dependent on your desired outcome. We’ll be taking a close look at night creams that are particularly good for acne prone skin.

Who Needs Night Cream?

There really is a night cream out there for everyone and for every skin type. If you’re perfectly happy with your skin and your current skincare regimen, night cream may not be for you. However, I’ve met very few people who are entirely happy with their skin.

Night cream is great for aging skin for a couple of reasons. First, skin tends to lose its ability to retain moisture as we get older due to a decrease in oil gland activity (source). Night cream can help hydrate and form a protective barrier while you sleep.

Many night creams offer formulas designed to reduce the appearance of wrinkles, as well. Another side effect of aging is a reduction in the elasticity of skin, which creates wrinkles and sagging skin. Dark spots may also form with age, and there are night creams aimed at reducing those as well.

Are Night Creams Only For Aging Skin?

Are night creams only for aging skin? No way! Even young skin can benefit from toning and firming. If you’re still young and not seeing the outward signs of aging yet, a night cream isn’t strictly necessary. However, it may help your skin stay in great shape. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, as they say.

No night cream is a miracle worker, no matter what manufacturers may claim. You could do without and likely be just fine. However, I find it highly unlikely that I will ever look back at my life and regret taking great care of my skin.

We acne sufferers may be terrified of the idea of using night cream. Heavy moisturizers are perceived to clog pores and help create or worsen acne, and night creams tend to be thought of as strictly heavy moisturizers. Neither perception is entirely accurate.

What You Should Look for in a Night Cream for Acne Prone Skin

First, you’ll want to check the ingredients in your potential purchase for ingredients that rank high on the comedogenic scale. Essentially, this scale measures an ingredient’s likelihood of causing or worsening acne.

While you’re checking out that list of ingredients, make sure that the product doesn’t contain any ingredients to which you have known sensitivities or allergies. You’d be amazed at how often I’ve seen people confused at why a product caused irritation, only to check and find an allergen in the mix.

Next, you’re going to want to look for a cream that is lightweight and gentle, something that absorbs well and doesn’t cause oily build up. You can find an abundance of accounts of personal experiences with products on the internet if you go looking.

Do You Really Need Night Cream?

You don’t necessarily need it, particularly if you have oily skin. Nobody ever wound up looking like a shriveled fig simply because they opted out of using a night cream.

For me personally, using night cream helps me to know I’m doing the best I can for my skin. I worked for a long time to find a way to have healthy, acne free skin, and I like knowing that it looks the best it can look.

Now, on to the reviews!

InstaNatural Night Cream

Quality

Price

Our rating

This night cream is a relatively natural product with all skin types in mind. It’s produced by a reputable brand. Ingredients in this night cream address pretty much all of the skin issues you might expect from such a product.

Pros


  • Cruelty free, no animal testing
  • Luxurious thick texture
  • Goes on lightweight
  • Non-greasy
  • Uses vitamin B3 to help treat acne
  • Pleasant scent
  • Mostly natural ingredients

Cons


  • May cause breakouts in some users
  • May be too heavy for some people
  • Takes time to absorb into the skin
  • Can cause eye irritation

Breakthrough Night Cream by Body Merry

Quality

Price

Our rating

This is another night cream that uses vitamin B3 to help treat acne while moisturizing skin and fighting wrinkles and other signs of skin aging. It uses many botanical ingredients to moisturize and reduce skin inflammation, which is perfect for acne prone skin.

Pros


  • No added fragrances
  • Contains vitamin B3
  • Easy to use pump bottle
  • Brightens and hydrates skin
  • Absorbs quickly
  • Light enough even for daytime use

Cons


  • May not moisturize as well as expected
  • Doesn’t firm as well as many night creams
  • May cause irritation in some users

Skincare Miracle by Radha Beauty’s Retinol Moisturizer

Quality

Price

Our rating

This product is wildly popular on the internet, and likely with good reason. Though not specifically marketed as a night cream, this moisturizer fits the bill with rich ingredients and plenty of skin improving components like retinol and vitamin E.

Pros


  • No dyes, fragrances, or parabens are used
  • Uses ‘active retinol’ to reduce the signs of aging
  • Gentle ingredients
  • Visibly evens skin tone in many users
  • Minimizes pores in some users
  • Long lasting effects

Cons


  • May cause eye or skin irritation
  • May cause skin peeling
  • Crummy packaging is difficult to operate
  • May not live up to the hype

Retinol Cream Moisturizer by Body Merry

Quality

Price

Our rating

You may recognize this brand from a few list spots up. Body Merry is a highly respected, well-loved brand in the skin are game, and many people swear by their entire product line. This night cream is made with lots of soothing natural ingredients, plant based moisturizers, and retinol.

Pros


  • Pleasant mild scent
  • Incredible customer service
  • Light, even moisture
  • Doesn’t leave skin greasy
  • Gives many users a fresh, toned look
  • Light enough to wear under makeup

Cons


  • Doesn’t meet some users expectations
  • Packaging is easily broken
  • Retinol can irritate some users’ skin

Era Organics Complete Moisturizing Cream

Quality

Price

Our rating

This organic moisturizer claims to provide all-day moisture for all skin types. There are plenty of hearty, healthy ingredients for acne prone skin and few comedogenic ingredients, plus some anti-aging ingredients to be found in the list of ingredients.

Pros


  • Organic ingredients
  • Thick cream goes a long ways
  • Multi-purpose product, many applications
  • Super-moisturizing
  • Great for sensitive skin
  • Most users report an improvement in acne

Cons


  • Natural smell may be too earthy for some
  • Some ingredients may cause skin irritation
  • Doesn’t moisturize all skin types well

The Last Word on Night Creams for Acne

Based on my research, the Breakthrough Night Cream by Body Merry takes the cake when it comes to the best night cream for acne prone skin. Not only does it treat even sensitive skin well, it contains acne-fighting ingredients alongside components that improve the overall look of skin.

Choosing a great product for your skin doesn’t have to be rocket science. Simply explore the label of your night cream to be and check out how the products worked for other users. You’re likely to find an unbiased opinion if you look hard enough.

What Is the Best Face Mask for Acne?

Do you suffer from acne like I did? Finding a skincare routine to help alleviate acne can seem tricky at best, nigh on impossible at worst. However, it can be done.

Face masks are one of the hottest products out there right now to help improve your skin. There are literally hundreds of different products on the market, so you may be a little confused about how to find the perfect face mask for acne prone skin. I’ll tackle some of your questions and concerns below.

Who Should Use Face Masks for Acne?

I don’t think there’s anyone out there who wouldn’t benefit from a face mask. Even though I rarely break out with acne these days, I still use them as a relaxing treat. If you’ve had a rough week, a pampering facial for acne treatment might be just the ticket!

If you haven’t gotten your acne under control yet, you have even more reason to give face masks a shot Moisturizers and cleansers are great tools for improving your skin, but using a mask once or twice a week on top of that can speed up your results.

You can find masks on the market for every skin type. The real key is to make sure you purchase a product that is designed for your particular skin type. This will help to ensure you get the results you desire.

If you’re unsure about this whole face mask thing, check with a local aesthetician for an evaluation or see your dermatologist. They are professionals in the skin care game and will likely be able to help you determine the best course of action for your individual skin type.

Picking a Face Mask for Acne

You’ll want a mask formulated specifically for acne prone skin. This will ensure that the mask helps improve your skin and doesn’t make the situation worse.

As with any acne treatment, the general goals are to absorb oil, remove dead skin and bacteria from the pores and soothe inflammation. Face masks offer a few options to achieve these goals. Here are a few of the points I consider most important when choosing a face mask for acne.

1. Non-Comedogenica

Look closely at the label of the products you’re considering. You should find a mask that is non-comedogenic. Essentially, this means the product doesn’t contain ingredients that are known to cause or worsen acne. However, there are no guidelines for companies to make this product claim, so your mileage may vary

2. Clay

Clay masks are often a perfect solution for acne sufferers. These masks use a soothing, oil-absorbing clay to improve your skin tone. Used properly, these popular beauty treatments can help eliminate excess oil, exfoliate the skin, and clear out impurities. This combination is great if you suffer from acne.

If used incorrectly, clay masks can dry the skin too much. It’s important that you don’t let a clay mask sit on your face for too long. You don’t want the mask completely dry. Instead, rinse of the mask when it is just starting to dry. The mask will likely be lightening in color by that point and sticky to the touch.

3. Charcoal

Charcoal has long been used in the medical world to absorb toxic substances and eliminate them from the body. For example, many hangover prevention tonics contain charcoal - it works by absorbing alcohol.

This may be useful in acne. Livestrong says “When [charcoal] is exposed to contaminants, they literally become trapped in the carbon's pores. Charcoal also has antibacterial properties”.

4. Peel-Off Masks

Peel-off masks claim to literally “suck” dirt and dead cells from your pores. You can see the results for yourself (it’s pretty satisfying!). When you peel the mask away, the contents of your pores is lifted out and remains on the mask - just like a pore strip.

5. Sensitive Skin and Allergies

If you have allergies or sensitive skin, picking the right face mask is even more important. Check the ingredient list over for any potential allergens. Next, check for components that have caused you skin irritation in the past. The last thing you want from your new face mask is hives or irritated red patches.

6. DIY Recipes

If you’re feeling adventurous, or want to save money, there are thousands of recipes online for making your own face mask. I didn’t try this technique for very long personally, but it’s definitely worth a try.

Everyone’s skin is different, especially when hormones come into the picture - a vital contributor to acne. While you should listen to recommendations from friends and online reviewers, don’t be surprised if you have a different experience with a product. We’ll check out some specific products I’ve found helpful below.

Can Face Masks Cause Acne?

Many users find that when they begin a face mask regimen, they experience more acne. Don’t be alarmed if this happens! This could occur because the mask is bringing the impurities up to the surface of your skin. This can cause more acne to form, but stick with it for a while before giving up.

When Should You Use A Face Mask?

The answer is anytime! If you’re looking to start using a face mask to improve your skin, find an ideal mask for your skin type and put it to work. Beyond that first application, make sure that you follow the directions on the packaging. Using a mask too often can cause new skin problems.

How to Use a Face Mask for Acne

Get into something you don’t mind getting wet or dirty and make sure your hair is off of your face. Now you need to wash your face with a gentle cleanser and exfoliate gently. Then, test the mask on a small area on the back of your hand or arm by applying and rinsing per directions.

My favourite trick when applying a face mask, regardless of the type of mask, is to steam your face. This helps to open up your pores and help your skin let go of the buildup of dirt and oil that can cause acne. You can alternatively take a hot shower or place a hot, wet washcloth over your face.

Now it’s time to apply the mask. You can use a wide brush, a device especially meant for mask application, or even just your fingertips. Once the mask is on, wait the package-prescribed amount of time. Then rinse the mask off. Don’t forget to moisturize after using your face mask!

Now it’s time to check out some of my favorite face masks for acne.

Dead Sea Mineral Mask by Pure Body Naturals

Quality

Price

Our rating

This face mask is touted as an all-around winner in the skin care arena. The highly mineralized formula is thought to be an ideal solution to many skin problems, including acne. The makers of this mask also claim it has anti-aging benefits.

Pros


  • No artificial scent
  • Contains natural moisturizing oils
  • All-natural ingredients
  • Easy to apply
  • Rinses off well

Cons


  • Natural ingredients can mean an inconsistent product
  • Earthy smell can be unpleasant
  • Can take several weeks for results
  • May cause skin irritation
  • May contain allergens

Indian Healing Clay Deep Pore Cleansing Mask by Aztec Secret

Quality

Price

Our rating

This mask is made from 100% bentonite clay, which is supposed to be fantastic for fighting acne. If you’re looking for a natural product that has a high success rate, this might be the product for you.

Pros


  • 100% bentonite clay
  • Great value
  • Ideal for all skin types
  • Multi-purpose: has several applications
  • Adjustable to suit your needs

Cons


  • Must mix with water or vinegar to make mask
  • Can cause redness immediately after use
  • May cause uncomfortable skin tightening

InstaNatural Charcoal Mask

Quality

Price

Our rating

This mask is the first on our list that isn’t a mud or clay mask. It uses charcoal to draw out dirt and toxins that can cause acne (source).

Pros


  • Contains natural charcoal, great for toxin removal
  • Washes off easily
  • Comes in an easy-to-use tube instead of a pot
  • Dries comfortably
  • Cruelty-free, no animal testing

Cons


  • Contains chemical ingredients
  • Small amount for the money
  • Can cause excessive drying
  • Not great for combo skin
  • Charcoal can settle in pores making them look dark

Pilaten Peel-Off Mask

Quality

Price

Our rating

This peel-off style mask takes a totally different approach than the others on my list. You apply this mask strictly to acne-prone areas, wait until it dries, and then peel it off from the bottom up. It uses cleansing ingredients and physical action to remove blackheads, impurities, and dead skin.

Pros


  • Unique application and removal
  • Also removes fine, unwanted facial hair
  • Great for blackhead removal

Cons


  • Tricky to apply at proper thickness
  • Can be painful to peel off (think waxing)
  • Can be very messy
  • Takes a long time to dry
  • Can get similar, less messy effect from pore strips

Dead Sea Mud Mask by ArtNaturals

Quality

Price

Our rating

Like the Pure Naturals mask above, ArtNaturals’ Dead Sea Mud Mask is said to contain mud from the Dead Sea, harvested in Israel. This mud is thought to be an all-around skin care staple that is great for the whole body. You can even use it in your hair!

Pros


  • Totally organic
  • Rich, creamy texture
  • Pleasant scent
  • Small jar goes a long ways
  • May provide balances, glowing skin

Cons


  • May cause itching or burning in sensitive skin
  • Scent may be too strong for some users
  • Mask may flake when it begins to dry
  • Can be messy
  • Inconsistent ingredients
  • Shoddy packaging

The Last Word on Face Masks For Acne

Overall, my pick for best face mask for acne is the Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay. I’ve found it to be a nice, consistent product available at a fantastic price. The inconvenience of mixing the clay powder with apple cider vinegar or water is far outweighed in my opinion by the results.

There are so many options out there for acne facials, and even tons of DIY recipes on the net that it is important that you choose a mask for your skin type. Make sure you don’t get too hung up on any face mask being a miracle cure for your acne. It is only one potential step on your way to healthy, glowing skin.

Acne Pills: Pantothen Review

I'm not a big fan of acne pills, but Pantothen claims to be completely herbal and treat acne naturally from the inside out. I'll let you guys decide. The following will be a Pantothen review based on research about the drug. I have not used Pantothen myself. Read More
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Right now I'm in that horrible post-acne period where my face is full of battle wounds and it seems as if the problem is still going strong. I finally found the solution to curing my active acne (See The Regimen: The Best Acne Treatment), but my acne scars make that success seem small as I start to realize that the real battle begins now. I've heard and read a lot about a certain fading cream called Revitol and there seems to be some substance there. Revitol will not flatten any raised scars or in any way transform the texture of your skin. It will however lighten hyperpigmentation caused by healed acne and improve the overall tone of your facial skin. Read More

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The Exposed Skin Care review will be yet another one of my reviews for acne-fighting systems on the market today. I myself have not used all of these products and I specify that fact in each of my reviews. However, for treatments I myself haven't tried out, I generally look at the ingredients list and base my review mainly on that and the function of the treatment. Read More

Acnezine Review: Acne Pills and Cream

I am trying to provide you all with as many treatment reviews as possible, covering all the main acne products on the market today. The following will be an Acnezine review, which is an acne pill/acne cream system that claims to cure all types of acne naturally. Read More