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Laura Cooksey Discussion started by Laura Cooksey 9 years ago

They need to:

  1. Penetrate the inside of the pore - stopping acne where it starts.
  2. Help to keep the pore clear of dead skin cells.
  3. Kill bacteria inside the pore.
  4. Be noncomedogenic (non pore-clogging) so as to not make your acne worse.

I have found that acne products that include mandelic acid, vitamin a propionate or benzoyl peroxide are the best acne products.    But, it’s not enough to find and use products with these ingredients.  You must also be sure that products with these ingredients are formulated properly so they penetrate the pore.

And, it is essential to know what ingredient is good for what type of acne you have; and how to use the products correctly. Even the best skin care products won’t clear your skin if they are not used in the right way. By the time our clients come to see me, most of them have tried myriads of products.  The acne products range from prescription products like retinoids, antibiotics and accutane to the over-the-counter acne remedies.  While many of these products have some of what it takes to get your skin clear, why do usually fail so miserably in getting it done?  Even some of the top acne products can let you down.  Let’s look at why this happens.

For one, some of them actually have pore-clogging ingredients in them like the cream form of Retin-A, a product that should never be given to an acne patient. Isopropyl myristate is one of the worst offenders as a comedogenic (pore-clogging ingredient) and should never be given as a prescribed acne medication.  It is used in Liquid Wrench - it’s what gives product such great penetration.  That’s fine if you are looking for aging skin care products for skin rejuvenation, non; distasterous if you are fighting acne!  Actually, some of the best acne medications are over-the-counter products - no need for a doctor’s prescription.

Name (Active Moiety) Type Strength
Tretinoin (Tretinoin) Active 0.25 MILLIGRAM  In 1 GRAM
stearic acid Inactive
isopropyl myristate Inactive
polyoxyl 40 stearate Inactive
stearyl alcohol Inactive
xanthan gum Inactive
sorbic acid Inactive
butylated hydroxytoluene Inactive


Many organic and “natural” skin care lines have pore-clogging ingredients in them like cocoa butter and coconut oil.  Yes, they may be organic, but they will still clog your pores and give you acne.  Maybe you could call that organic acne?  Something tells me you still don’t want it…    Many professional skin care products can have comedogenic ingredients; and even if it says “won’t clog pores” or “noncomedogenic” on the label, DO NOT BELIEVE IT! Check for yourself - there’s no government agency that oversees this.  Skin care companies can say whatever they want without retribution.

Secondly, it usually takes a combination of the right products to affect acne. Just a retinoid by itself or a serum with salicylic in it is never quite enough for most people.  And, different ingredients in acne products are used for different kinds of acne.  While some companies are attempting to customize regimens to account for this, most of the time the products are just not strong enough to get the job done. Nor do the companies take adaptation of the skin into account.

Have you ever had the experience of products that work for awhile and then seem to stop working? That’s adaptation of the skin - quite simply, the skin gets used to the product and stops responding.  I believe it is important to change the frequency of use of products to affect a change in the skin.  Sometimes it takes adding another ingredient into the  regimen to keep pushing it to clear. 

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