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Best and Worst Active Ingredients To Fight Acne | Skin Actives

Best and Worst Active Ingredients To Fight Acne | Skin Actives

Posted by Dr. Hannah Sivak and Brendan Leonard on Aug 28th 2020

It’s time to beat back acne!

Acne is a very common concern, one that almost everyone has to struggle with at some point in their lives. Acne can be a major concern especially with everyone wearing masks. Acne caused by our masks even has its own name, maskne. 

Today, we’re looking at the best ingredients for fighting acne as well as the ingredients that will promise you the moon, but maybe do more harm than good.

The Skin Actives Way To Beat Acne

You are going to have your skin for the rest of your life, so you have to take care of it. Remember, the purpose your skin serves is to be the barrier that protects you from the environment. Because you have to think long term, you have to be careful when you buy an anti-acne product. 

Acne is both uncomfortable and unsightly. It’s a concern that is very difficult to just “get used to” and move on with your life. You see it in reflective surfaces everywhere you go and it takes a toll on your self-idea, no matter what that is. Acne is mortifying when you are reaching adolescence and remains mortifying as you enter middle age.

Therefore the companies that make acne treatments know you are in a big hurry to be rid of these unsightly blemishes. They know that you are in a position to make a faustian bargain. They will try and sell you the quick and easy path. They won’t tell you about the damage you’ll be doing to your future self; that is a consequence they are happy to let you absorb. So you have to look out for your future self. You have to be your own best advocate!

So, what should be your objective? Fundamentally, it should be to control acne without damaging your skin or aging it prematurely. And yet, many ingredients used by the industry are the “fast and furious” kind that will alleviate acne temporarily but will worsen acne and age your skin prematurely.

Here is a list of some good, bad and ugly ingredients used in the acne control industry:

Ingredients to Avoid In Your Acne Products

Benzoyl peroxide - This one is very popular and easy to get your hands on. Many extremely popular and trusted brands use it. Benzoyl peroxide kills bacteria fast but it also kills your own skin cells, increasing DNA mutation and oxidation of skin lipids. The word oxidation should be alarming enough, but additionally, Benzoyl peroxide can cause redness, irritation and dry patches. These are all the things we’re working so hard to avoid!

Ethanol - This is just another way to put alcohol in skin care. Have you looked at the ingredients on Oxy pads? They still make those by the way. 46% alcohol! That’s where that first cool, then burning sensation comes from when you apply that to your face. Ethanol cleans your skin with solvents that remove bacteria while drying your skin and removing lipids vital for the preservation of the skin barrier. Denatured ethanol is cheaper to the manufacturer but contains a variety of chemicals that can be allergenic.

Tea Tree Oil - You might get this one earnestly recommended to you by your friend that shops at Whole Foods. Tea tree oil will kill bacteria, for sure, but it is also allergenic and may lead to hyperpigmentation. Just because it’s natural, doesn't necessarily mean it’s good for you!

What Ingredients Are Best For Controling Acne?

The ingredients we choose to formulate with at Skin Actives Scientific are based on research into the biochemistry, physiology, and bacteriology of acne. Our number one objective is to control acne without damaging your skin. That’s the essence of health! You shouldn’t have to make a trade. If you look at our acne-control products you’ll find several actives working nicely in concert together, used at concentrations that are effective, but not irritating.

Nobiletin - Acne is a bacteria and so it needs to feed on something. Nobilitin inhibits synthesis of triglycerides, the type of fats that the acne bacteria feed upon. Nobilitin also has antibacterial and fungistatic activity.

Epigallocatechin Gallate from Green Tea (EGCG) - EGCG decreases sebum secretion and suppresses the growth of acne bacteria that feed on it. It also inhibits 5-alpha-reductase activity and helps keep pores open, preventing the formation of comedones. If you read our blog on acne, then you know already that this addresses the primary mechanisms that lead to acne blemishes. EGCG is a great active that also contains antioxidant activity, as well as disrupting bacterial biofilms which allows bactericides to reach and kill bacterial cells.

Granulysin - This is a special active developed by Skin Actives to target blemish-prone skin. It is a member of lysosomal proteins and it will help keep at bay the bacteria, Propionibacterium acnes, by creating holes in the tar­get cell membrane.

And there are even more:

Fucoidan, wild yam, and niacinamide have anti-inflammatory properties.

Wild Yam Diosgenin may also help stabilize hormonal microenvironment.

Niacinamide also helps decrease skin sensitivity.

Salicylic acid, salicin, and retinyl acetate normalize keratinization.

Retinyl acetate (vitamin A) also accelerates skin renewal to help keep pores clear.

Willow bark extract (salicin) is also anti-inflammatory.

Nobiletin, coleus, and granulysin diminish acne bacteria.

Zinc, nobiletin, and EGCG help decrease sebum secretion.

Saw palmetto, zinc, and EGCG act as inhibitors of 5-alpha-reductase activity.

Our Flawless line of products uses the best combination of active ingredients to help keep your skin healthy while controling acne.  Get started with the Flawless Kit and add the Zit Ender for spot treatments and the Pore Refreshing Mask for a once a week pore busting treatment. For stubborn acne prone skin, pick up some Granulysin and add it to your Hyaluronic Acid Serum for an extra boost.  Shop our collection of Flawless, oil control, acne products today. We have a full range for your total skin care regimen.