Best Acne Medications 101 – Research Before Buying

Best Acne Medications - Do They Exist?

What is the best acne medication?


Everyone is looking for the best acne medications. Are there really any out there?

Well yes…and no.

Generally, there are effective and ineffective treatments. However, what works for one person may not work for another. And you need to test whether specific ingredients will agree with your skin type.

If you decide to go with conventional medicine, there are two main treatment categories:

Depending on your acne type, you might use either or both. If your acne is mild to moderately severe, a good place to start with will be OTC products. If you have severe acne, or acne that has been resistant to OTC products, you may wish to consult with a dermatologist first.

Before You Buy, Research and Plan

Don’t go running out the door and randomly testing products just yet!

Doing a little bit of research now is going to save you time and money later. Find out what ingredients typically work for the masses, for what skin type, and in what dosages.

Acne medication

In my personal experience, if I had done my research beforehand, I could have saved myself a lot of grief. Years ago, I fell into the “branding” trap. Whatever was heavily advertised, I would try, and with no success.

When I look back, I realize many of those products contained the same active ingredients that didn’t work for my skin type. Or, they typically had ingredient concentrations too low to work for me.

If I had paid more attention to the ingredients, I would not have wasted my time with similar products that were doomed to fail.

Therefore, if you learn more about how your skin may react to an active ingredient, you can already eliminate several products. This will get you closer to the best acne medications that will work for you.

Do your research and have an Acne Plan! My website provides you with the free 7 Step Acne Plan to rid acne to help you systematically fight acne and find effective treatments more quickly.

The Best Acne Medications Have Adequate Concentrations of Active Ingredients

Don’t buy so-so products with little-to-none dosages of medicinal ingredients.

Although everyone is different, there are some key, proven ingredients in acne products that, in general, separate the best acne medications from the average ones. You can easily avoid falling into the trap of buying product after product with disappointing results by doing your homework.

Make sure you read about the best over-the-counter acne treatment with the active ingredients that have been proven to work, and look for these ingredients in product labels.

Start with Over-the-Counter Products

Why start with OTC products? For 3 reasons:

  1. They are relatively inexpensive,
  2. They are more convenient than prescription treatments, and
  3. They typically have fewer and less drastic side effects than prescription treatments.

Over-the-counter acne treatments can be found in any local drugstore or supermarket. They exist within a never-ending range of products that include acne or spot treatments, cleansers and washes, moisturizers, lotions, pads and wipes, masks and strips, shaving creams, and toners and astringents.

Don’t be Intimidated by the Number of OTC Products Available.

If you know what ingredients to look for, you’ll save yourself time and put dollars back into your wallet. Many of the best acne medications boil down to containing or lacking one or more of these 5 active ingredients:

  • Benzoyl Peroxide
  • Salicylic Acid
  • Glycolic Acid (part of the Alpha Hydroxy Acids or AHAs)
  • Retinol
  • Sulfur and Resorcinol

This site tells you which of the above is most effective and how to use it the right way according to your skin type.

Drugs vs Cosmetics – Make Sure You Know the Difference.

Look for drug labeled treatments. Why? Products labeled as “drugs” have been through tough research and testing to earn their labels.

But cosmetics have not been tested to show they work. They merely imply that they do and are not actually drugs. Cosmetics can also come in the same form as drugs (creams, lotions, gels, etc.).

In the US, drugs approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have a “Drugs Facts” label. Those in Canada that are approved as drugs by the Food and Drug Act (FDA) have a “DIN XXX” number or drug identification number.

Prescription Acne Treatments

Prescription acne treatments can be divided into two categories:

  • topical creams and
  • oral antibiotics.

Prescription Topical Creams

Topical creams include various retinoid creams which are derived from vitamin A. Other topicals include various forms of benzoyl peroxide by itself or in combination with other ingredients.

Oral Antibiotics – Avoid them Unless Absolutely Necessary

Oral antibiotics come with many side effects and, in my opinion, should only be used after you’ve tried other treatments that were unsuccessful.

Furthermore, be aware that acne bacteria builds resistance to oral drugs over time. This means that if the prescription doesn’t work the first time, your acne could return, or you might have to increase your dosage or switch to another prescription.

So unless you have already tried other topical products, I wouldn’t advise reaching for oral medications too quickly. And of course, you will surely need to visit your doctor or dermatologist first.

Take Shortcuts at Your Own Risk

Even the best acne medications won’t work unless you use them the right way. This means reading product label instructions and following directions carefully. Using OTC products irregularly may reduce their effectiveness or render them useless.

In the case of prescription treatments, consistency is even more important. Not finishing your antibiotics or taking them regularly could have serious repercussions.

This is where extra research will help you. Understanding when products should be used, how much should be used, and how they should be applied, can mean the difference between problem skin and clear skin. On this site, you will find additional information on how to correctly use the most effective acne treatments.

Some people don’t want to waste time checking out every label and ingredient. You don’t have to. You only need to be familiar with the few key ingredients and dosages that work.

Acne products are a big business, and companies will market what sells best even if it isn’t effective. They will toute their product as the best acne medication on the market. A product labeled as a “spot treatment” may not have been tested or proven effective to live up to its name. Yet the words “spot treatment” makes people think it is an overnight remedy. So it’s good to know your stuff.

Be Patient

Too many people are expecting an overnight miracle. You need to find out the amount of time it will take for any treatment, even the best acne medications out there, to start showing any effect, and give them that amount of time to work.

If you start and stop various products all the time, you’ll never find your best acne medication. And this will only prolong your agony.

So be patient!




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