All posts in Acne & Scars

Use AHA & BHA OTC Products To Treat Acne Effectively

Acne is a skin condition that results in inflammatory or non-inflammatory lesions. Commonly associated with teenage and adolescent skin, it actually affects many age groups at different stages of life.

Starting with AHA & BHA OTC products

Alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) exfoliates skin cells by breaking down the substance in skin that holds skin cells together. The most effective and well-research AHAs are glycolic acid and lactic acid.

Beta hydroxy acid (BHA), also known as salicylic acid, is a multifunctional ingredient that addresses many of the systemic causes of blemishes. In concentrations of 1% to 2%, it is far more gentle, and, much like AHA, can exfoliate the surface of skin. In addition, unlike AHA, BHA has the ability to penetrate into the pore and therefore can exfoliate inside the pore as well as on the surface of the skin, which makes it effective for reducing blemishes, including blackheads and whiteheads.

Alpha hydroxy acid at 8% to 10% in a gel base is very effective at helping remove impactions. Alpha hydroxy acids help acne by removing dead cell buildup and loosening impactions in the skin. Coupled with salicylic acid and in more serious acne, benzoyl proxide or sulfur and resorcinol, this treatment can really help clogged skin and problem acne. After the acne has cleared, regular use can help keep follicles clearer of hyperkeratosis, helping to prevent comedones and other acne lesions.

Check you skin type

AHAs are best for those with normal to dry skin, and BHA is best for those with normal to oily or blemish-prone skin. This is because AHAs cannot penetrate oil and, therefore, cannot get into the pore lining. BHA can penetrate oil and, therefore, can get into the pore where it can improve and repair pore function while dissolving blockages of dead skin cells and oil that contribute to blackheads and acne. Whichever you choose, always monitor your skin’s response, especially if the skin starts to get irritation, stop the product immediately.

When using AHA & BHA OTC products

Because AHAs and BHA exfoliate dead skin cells from the surface of the skin, there is a risk of increased sun sensitivity when using products with these ingredients. However, wearing a sunscreen eliminates this risk.

It is advisable not to use the AHA or BHA product if you are currently using prescription tretinoin (Retin-A or Renova®), adapalene (Differin®), or azelaic acid (Azelex®), or other prescription peeling agents.

Do not use the AHA or BHA product if the skin is already irritated, sunburned or under dermatologist’s care for any skin disorders.

Skincare Ingredients To Avoid For Acne Prone Skin


Acne is a chronic inflammatory disease of the sebaceous hair follicles. Before you purchase any skincare product treatments, it is essential to keep a look out on the harmful ingredients that may aggravate the problems further.


Skincare ingredients to avoid

- Butyl stearate                                   - Isostearyl isostearate

- Cinnamon oil                                     - Isostearyl neopentanoate

- Cocoa butter                                     - Isopropyl myristate

- Cocos nucifera (coconut oil)                 - Jojoba oil

- Decyl oleate                                     - Myristyl myristate

- Isocetyl stearate                               - Myristyl propionate

- Isopropyl isostearate                          - Octyl palmitate

- Isopropyl myristate                            - Octyl stearate

- Isopropyl palmitate                            - Peppermint oil

- Sodium laurel sulfate                         – Petrolatum

- Mineral oil    


Treatments Of Scars and Acne Scars


Scars are the result of the skin’s repair process for wounds caused by accidents, surgery and acne breakout. The more the skin is damaged the longer it takes to heal and the greater the chance of a noticeable scar. Generally a scar will become more prominent at first and then gradually fade. For younger skin, many actively healing scars that seem unsightly at three months may go on to heal quite satisfactorily in time. Scarring can be noticeable and sometimes very unsightly; however it can often be improved with treatment.

The first step in the treatment of scars is the consultation with the dermatologist or plastic surgeon. Each scar is different and will require a different approach. Scars need to be examined for position, type and colour and a medical history will need to be taken. However, it is not possible to remove a scar completely although despite many claim in advertisements and press. But with the correct treatment you can reduce them, although over-treating scars or choosing the wrong treatment can actually cause further damage. 

Prescription creams- Some of the most frequently used methods of scar reduction are prescription creams that contain a variety of vitamin A-related ingredients. With this prescription, it is necessary to protect the scar from the sun with daily sunscreen. SPF 30 or higher will be recommended. Although some treatments such as Retin-A cream may cause skin irritation for some people, it is said to work well on minor scars.

Microdermabrasion and chemical peels - In these treatments superficial particles and acid solutions applied to the skin to remove the top layers, thereby stimulating new tissue growth. These treatments work well for small superficial and discoloured scars to improve the skin surface quality and even out the skin tone. Although light peels have very little effect, deeper peels may cause redness and irritation. Like wise, light microdermabrasion has also little effect, while deeper microdermabrasion can cause bruising and irritation. 

There are treatments like Cooltouch laser and resurfacing laser that can also help to reduce some scars and dermal fillers for sunken scars.

Teenage And Adult Acne


Teenage acne is caused by normal hormone changes, which increase the production of the oil sebum that is produced by the oil or sebaceous glands. The sebum flows from the sebaceous glands and the hormones also act to block the opening of the oil ducts, thus producing blackheads and whiteheads. In your teens, the acne bacteria grow more rapidly within the sebaceous glands and produce the inflammation and redness that characterize the condition. It can, however, continue into adult life or return after an absence of many years, often precipitated by triggers such as stress or irritated skin. 

Acne isn’t just a condition that happens to teenagers during puberty. Adult acne, like rosacea, is credibly common in the twenties and thirties. It is caused by the declining feminizing hormones and increased masculinizing hormones during menopause. It’s not usually caused by stress. Sometimes, too, certain medications or cosmetics can trigger acne, although it should clear right up once the trigger is eliminated. 

Though it may look the same, adult acne needs to be treated differently from the teenage acne. This is to prevent dryness and irritation on the skin. As most of the acne treatments available OTC are formulated for teens, who tend to have very oily skin along with acne.

To treat acne most effectively yet gently, start by using OTC anti-acne remedies, which ingredients should be gentle enough to use everyday without drying or irritating your skin. Gentle home exfoliation is also an excellent idea. You may also try switching to a milder cleanser and/or start using oil-free moisturizer. If after four to six weeks, you are still not pleased with the results, you should consult a dermatologist for prescription treatment.

Always remember never to pick on it, you’ll just make them worse. Scubbing skin doesn’t help too, it may cause further irritation.