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Acne (Acne vulgaris, common acne) is a skin condition that develops when collection of sebum (oil), bacteria and dead cells get trapped in the lining of the hair follicle (skin pore). Clogged skin pores can be infected and cause development of pimples and acne. Unlike many believe, acne is not just a teenage concern. The truth is that 20% to 40% of adults encounter problems with acne.

Best Over The Counter Acne Treatment

Adult acne treatment aims to reduce production of sebum, remove dead cells and kill bacteria with topical drugs and oral medications. Treatment choice usually depends on the severity of acne. It also depends on whether the skin is sensitive, dry or oily.

If you are searching for the best over the counter acne treatment, you have to be familiar with the ingredients of acne products and what type of acne are they designed for. The most important ingredients in over the counter acne treatment products are: benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, sulfur and resorcinol.

Benzoyl PeroxideBenzoyl peroxide is vital active ingredient in over the counter products for acne treatment. It can be found in various lotions, cleansers and gels. It is beneficial for fighting against moderate and severe acne. Benzoyl peroxide works by introducing oxygen into the pores, thereby killing acne. It is able to eliminate acne that are caused by bacteria and can get rid off the dead cells. Most over the counter acne treatment products contain benzoyl peroxide of 2.5% to 10% strength. On the other hand, benzoyl peroxide includes some possible side effects. It can cause dryness of the skin and make it more sensitive to ultraviolet radiation. Rarely, severe redness and peeling, extreme burning, itching and swelling can occur. Therefore it is not suitable for sensitive skin. Benzoyl peroxide is generally most effective for oily skin since it removes excess oil.

Salicylic AcidSalicylic acid is another popular ingredient in many over the counter acne treatment products. Salicylic acid is very helpful in treating acne because of its ability to penetrate the follicle. It is effective in treating mild form of acne. Salicylic acid is especially, beneficial to sensitive skin. Over the counter salicylic acid products are found in strengths ranging from 0.5% to 2%. Using several salicylic products may excessively dry the skin. Other side effects include stinging, burning, peeling and increased sensitivity to sunlight.

Sulfur and ResorcinolSulfur and resorcinol are commonly included together in over the counter acne treatment products. They are effective in reducing excess oil and removing dead skin cells. Sometimes they can cause peeling, redness and dryness of the skin.

Alcohol and AcetoneAlcohol and acetone are common ingredients in various cleaners, toners and astringents. They are used to remove dirt and excess oil. They are the most effective for oily skin.

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