By Wande



Photo Credit: Bigstock

Photo Credit: Bigstock


Acne is common, complex and NOT curable; however, with the right skincare and acne treatment regimen, it is TREATABLE, until one eventually (if they ever do) grows out of it. A person with acne prone skin can live with a smooth, clear, spotless and acne-free complexion, just like anyone else; once they learn and stick to the right combination of treatments for them, and create a regimen that prevents and controls future flare-ups. I know this, because I’m living proof! I suffer from moderately severe hormonal acne, and have been acne free for over a year now!

There are many treatments for acne; natural & medical, topical & ingested, effective and ineffective. The best way to tackle this problem is to know what type of acne you have, and arm yourself with information on the various treatments for acne available, how they work, how effective they’ve been found to be, and experiment till you find the right combination of treatments that work for you. When you find it, Stick to the treatment until and unless they stop working for you, or you grow out of acne all together.



TIP 1: Create And Follow An Acne Treatment Regimen.

Mild to Moderate Acne:

…or just a few to occasional breakouts, trying safer more natural treatments might be your first point of call. Try using a mixture of Tea tree Oil and Jojoba Oil, by mixing in a proportion of 3-5 drops of tea tree oil for every 10-15ml of jojoba oil as a night time moisturiser. Just use a dab of the mixture to moisturise your entire face. Tea tree essential oil has been found to have antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal and antiseptic qualities, which can help in killing and preventing bacteria that causes acne. Jojoba oil is a liquid wax that mimics the sebum produced by the skin. It mositurises the skin, countering the drying effect of the tea tree oil (it can also be used to moisturise the skin after using other acne treatments, or just by itself), leaving the skin smooth and non-greasy. It is also known to have acne fighting qualities. This combination can be used for any skin type.

Moderate to Severe Acne:

The most effective treatment for acne breakouts is benzoyl peroxide. It works by releasing oxygen into the skin, which kills the bacteria. If you have more oily skin, use the benzoyl peroxide gel such as  Panoxyl 5 gel, Duac gel, Zapzyt gel, amongst others; as it is more drying, and will help control oil secretion. Dryer skin types might benefit from benzoyl peroxide creams such as  o Panoxyl 5 cream, Neutrogena On-the-spot cream, and so on, or lower concentration gels. In general, it is best practice to start with a lower concentration of 2.5%, before working your way up. A lot of people might find 10% concentration very drying/harsh. Always do a patch test to see if your skin would react to it, and use sunscreen especially in the daytime. Apply generous amounts all over your face, once or twice a day, working it into the skin (the instructions usually call for a small amount applied on spots, but this treatment tends to be most effective when massaged all over face, avoiding the eye area). You MUST moisturise after using BP, to avoid dry, flaky, patchy and more irritated skin; even if you have oily skin. Keeping-It-Simple goes a long way with long term acne treatment.

Severe to Very Severe Acne:

Go visit a dermatologist if your acne is more severe, and unresponsive to all natural and over-the-counter treatments. You might be able to get anti-bacterial (antibiotics), hormonal, and vitamin A derivative medication and topical solutions prescribed (do not use these without prescription and monitoring from a qualified doctor/dermatologist). They might come with various side effects, depending on the drug.

Unless acne is very severe:

Accutane, which is the only known semi-permanent cure for acne, at best, may be considered. It does come with many side effects, and should not be used without carefully thinking about it, and discussing with your doctor/dermatologist and family. You must strictly follow your doctor’s instructions, and be monitored during the course of treatment. This drug is known to cure acne completely, but many patients do notice resurgence of acne after a couple of years.


TIP 2: Wash your face twice a day with a gentle cleanser.

Avoid soaps or cleansers that contain sodium lauryl sulphate or sodium laureth sulphate, as these harsh chemicals can strip the skin of its natural oils, which can lead to irritation and as a result, acne. Also avoid toners and treatments containing alcohol, which also strip and irritate acne prone skin. You MUST moisturise your skin after cleansing, even if you have oily skin type, to avoid drying out and further irritating your.  Not moisturising your skin will cause it to produce more oil to compensate its dryness, which can ultimately make acne worse.


TIP 3: Avoid Scrubs and Cleansers with Microbeads:

These tend to irritate acne prone skin, causing inflammation and acne breakouts. Instead, when acne breakouts have been cleared, try using a product containing a chemical exfoliant like alpha hydroxyl acid (glycolic acid, or lactic acid) as the active ingredient such as Olay Regenerist Night Elixar. This chemical helps the skin to renew its surface a lot more quickly, revealing a smoother, brighter, clearer, tighter complexion. You can use products containing up to 10% AHA safely at home. Use them after your nightly cleanse, before going to bed. They can be used every other night, or once or twice a week (depending on the strength and your skin’s sensitivity). It is a MUST to use sunscreen (broad spectrum) while using these products, as your skin will become more sensitive to sunlight.


TIP 4: Use Non-Comedeogenic Products:

They are less likely to clog the pores. If you have oily skin, look for products that are oil free as well as non-comedeogenic. It is possible to get products that are oil-free, non-comedeogenic, and hypoallergenic, for those with oily, sensitive, acne-prone skin. In such cases, look towards natural/organic and vegan products; check the ingredients on the package against the Irritable And Comedogenic Ingredients list on TheBoah, regardless of what type of product you choose.


TIP 5: TheBOAH’s Products Review section:

Contains some of such products and cosmetics, the ingredients they contain, and comments from people with varying skin types (look out for those similar to yours) on how they got on with such product. Please do share your own reviews and suggestions in this section and help build the community.
The journey to clear skin can be a slow tedious one, but aims to arm you with the best information and best practices to see you through and help you maintain this, from people who are going through and have succeeded in this battle.