Acne is the result of excess skin oil that collects in pores and clogs them, causing inflammation and leading to pimples. Luckily, dermatologists have come up with a wide variety of treatments to keep breakouts at bay. They range from blemish treatment gels to drying lotions and cleansers, all designed to reduce excess oil and unclog pores. Others, like mud masks, are more targeted at treating existing blemishes and can even help prevent future breakouts. Lastly, there are prescription-strength treatments for acne that can only be purchased with a doctor’s prescription.

The first step in finding the best acne treatment for you is knowing what type of acne you have, explains dermatologist and Founder of DermStore. “That way you can be pointed in the right direction of formulas, active ingredients, and a game plan for addressing your breakouts,” she says. “You also want to be sure you aren’t wasting your money on overpriced products that don’t actually work.”

If most of your breakouts look like small, white or black pinheads on the surface of the skin, you probably have comedonal (whitehead and blackhead) acne. These are caused by clogged pores and can be treated with a product that contains salicylic acid, such as this one recommended by Dr. Mona Gohara, a dermatologist at Dermatology Physicians of Connecticut. It helps to remove pore-clogging buildup and bacteria, as well as reduce redness and inflammation that can lead to more pimples. You can use it a couple times a week or as often as your skin can tolerate. best acne treatment

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