The Best Acne Treatment Kit for Your Skin Type
Acne treatment is not one-size-fits-all. We talked to top dermatologists to get the scoop on the acne-fighting kit that’s right for your skin.
For teenage skin
Featuring a salicylic acid cleanser, acne control lotion, and moisturizer with SPF 15, Neutrogena Complete Acne Therapy System is a great starter kit for teenage acne, according to Deanne Robinson MD, a board-certified dermatologist at Connecticut Dermatology Group. Just make sure to slather on a higher SPF—at least 30, because salicylic acid can increase photosensitivity. Try one of these pro-approved UV protectors. And be sure to read this before applying sunscreen to acne-prone skin.
For adult skin
peter thomas roth via-sephora.com
According to Sejal Shah MD, board-certified dermatologist and RealSelf contributor, adults who are still battling acne have typically already exhausted the usefulness of benzoyl peroxide (a staple of teen acne products), so trying some alternative acne-fighting ingredients is often helpful. For adult acne, she recommends Peter Thomas Roth Acne System, which relies on salicylic acid and sulfur to eradicate breakouts. It also contains glycolic acid to boost exfoliation and cell turnover, as well as antioxidant-rich green tea extract, which has been shown to soothe inflammation. Don’t fall for these myths about adult acne.
For oily skin
Oily skin? The Murad Advanced Breakout Control Regimen—which includes a clarifying cleanser, acne-clearing lotion, oil-free skin-perfecting lotion, clarifying mask, and spot treatment—marries blemish-busting salicylic acid, sulfur, retinol, and tea tree oil with sebum-balancing kaolin and bentonite clay to treat breakouts and reduce shine. These are the beauty secrets women with oily skin should memorize.
For sensitive skin
For sensitive skin, Elizabeth Tanzi MD, founder of Capital Laser & Skin Care and Associate Clinical Professor of Dermatology at the George Washington University Medical Center, recommends a sulfur-based treatment, which will help exfoliate and unclog pores without the harsh irritating effects of other acne-fighters. The EradiKate 2-Piece Kit features a daily foaming cleanser and acne spot treatment. These are the 11 rules for people with sensitive skin.
For hormonal acne
While hormonal acne—which typically refers to breakouts that occur in women before menstruation and sometimes around ovulation—is difficult to treat with topicals alone, so a skin-care regimen is an important piece of the clear skin puzzle. Dr. Shah recommends the Clearogen Three Step Acne Treatment Set, which contains a foaming cleanser, a clarifying toner, and a treatment lotion. “It combines acne-fighting ingredients—salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide—with compounds that are natural anti-androgens (meaning they fight testosterone), including linoleic acid, oleic acid, and saw palmetto.” This is what you need to know about hormonal acne—and how to clear it for good.
For spot treatments
clean & clear via target.com
For those times when a pimple pops up right before a big event, the Clean & Clear Advantage Acne Treatment Control Kit promises clearer skin in as little as one day. (By the way, these are the sneaky reasons you could be breaking out.) “I like this kit because it delivers benzoyl peroxide in two ways,” says Dr. Shah. The topical treatment works to treat active breakouts, while the cleanser helps reduce future outbreaks. “It’s also formulated to be as effective as higher percentages of benzoyl peroxide, but without the over-drying effect, and it includes a moisturizer to hydrate the skin.” And the next time a zit rears its (white) head, consider one of these home acne remedies.
For body acne
Struggling with breakouts on back, chest, and private parts (it happens)? Body acne can handle—and often requires—a stronger course of treatment, according to Dr. Tanzi. Proactiv+ 3-Step System, an amped up version of the brand’s best-selling trio, is formulated with multiple acne-fighting ingredients, including benzoyl peroxide to kill acne-causing bacteria, glycolic acid to exfoliate skin, and salicylic acid to decongest pores. Check out these 10 simple tricks to banish bacne.