Best Acne-Fighting Ingredients

Glycolic Acid TonerGlycolic Acid

What It Is: An alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) and natural anti-aging compound derived from sugar cane

How It Works: AHA breaks the bonds between weakened skin cells, making it much easier to exfoliate them and encourage the production of new cells. Glycolic acid gently peels the top layer of the skin, helping dislodge buildup from clogged pores, and with regular use improves the skin’s overall appearance and clarity.

Best For Treating: Blackheads, whiteheads, large pores, and dark spots

Product Pick: Revive, Glycolic Acid Toner

 

 

 

Flawless, Skin Perfecting Cream

Salicylic Acid

What It Is: A beta-hydroxy acid (BHA) originally derived from willow tree bark, it’s now usually manmade and used in anti-acne products for faster, more potent results.

How It Works: BHA is similar to AHA, in that it too helps to slough away dead skin cells. Unlike glycolic acid, however, salicylic acid is lipid or oil soluble, which allows it to penetrate into the pores where the oil glands reside. Because of this, it can be a powerful ally in unclogging (or exfoliating) sebum-clogged pores.

Best For Treating: Whiteheads, blackheads, pimples, and large pores

Product Pick: Flawless, Skin Perfecting Cream

 

Flawless, Skin Perfecting Cream

Retinol

What It Is: Not as powerful as its pricey prescription-only alternative, this vitamin A derivative is now widely used in most products.

How It Works: Primarily used for anti-aging, retinol rejuvenates skin by stimulating the production of collagen, reducing fine lines, spots, and discoloration, and exfoliating away dead skin cells to improve and prevent blemishes.

Best For Treating: Acne scars and clogged pores; also helps fight signs of aging

Product Pick: Flawless, Skin Perfecting Cream

 

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Tea Tree Oil

What It Is: A popular additive in organic, vegan, and other natural beauty lines, tea tree oil, sometimes labeled melaleuca alternifolia leaf oil, is an essential oil extracted from the tea tree.

How It Works: Similar to the effects of benzoyl peroxide, tea tree oil appears to contain natural antiseptic properties that work to destroy the bacteria which lead to acne. Although several studies prove it can be an effective treatment with fewer side effects, be aware that tea tree oil works at a slower rate than its manmade counterparts.

Best for Treating: All types of mild to moderate acne; works well on sensitive skin

Product Pick: Balance, Sebum Control Essence