Have you used every drugstore or over the counter acne product and gotten little to no skin clearing results? If so, just know that you aren’t alone! In today’s blog post I’ll go over the most common reasons why drugstore acne products don’t work.
Before I dive into the 4 reasons why drugstore acne products don’t work, I want to first say that I understand that my opinion on this topic may come across as biased being that I am a licensed esthetician with my own brand of acne products, but the reasons I am about to present are legit!
Ok so now that that’s out of the way let’s get started with the reasons why these inexpensive drugstore acne products don’t work to clear up your acne.
Reason #1 Why Drugstore Acne Products Don’t Work: Pore Clogging Ingredients
Believe it or not, most of these products contain pore clogging ingredients despite the claims that they are making. A product may say that it’s non-comedogenic, oil-free or formulated for acne but none of those claims guarantee that the product is truly acne-safe because the FDA does not regulate these claims.
I put together a previous blog post that talks more in depth on pore clogging ingredients and how to check your current skincare products and makeup to make sure they don’t contain any pore cloggers.
Make sure not to miss it! Knowing if your products are breaking you out is so important!
Reason #2 Why Drugstore Acne Products Don’t Work: Outdated Salicylic Acid
Many of these drugstore products rely on outdated salicylic acid or glycolic acid, but the best alpha-hydroxy acid for acne is Mandelic Acid.
Mandelic Acid does it all for acne…
- It’s exfoliating so it prevents the pores from clogging
- It’s anti-bacterial so it kills off the bacteria responsible for inflamed or cystic acne
- It’s anti-inflammatory so it helps heal lesions quicker
- It has hyperpigmentation lightening properties so it can lighten up those annoying leftover dark marks from past breakouts
Mandelic Acid is multi-functional and is indispensable when it comes to clearing up the skin.
Reason #3 Why Drugstore Acne Products Don’t Work: Using Benzoyl Peroxide Wrong
I know that most of you have tried benzoyl peroxide and it didn’t quite do the trick on clearing up your skin, but believe it or not, benzoyl peroxide is a very important and indispensable component in your skincare routine, along with Mandelic Acid.
There are several ways in which you are using benzoyl peroxide incorrectly. I recently wrote a blog post on it so make sure to read to find out all the ways that you are using it wrong.
Reason #4 Why Drugstore Acne Products Don’t Work: Not Strengthening Up The Routine
You can’t increase the strength of your drugstore products. Acne has an ability to adapt to the products you use on your skin. At our office, to stay ahead of this ability we periodically increase the strength or frequency of our clients’ acne products until they clear up. Once they are clear and there is no more acne under the skin then they can maintain the clear skin at this level of their product routine.
Now I do understand that you can increase the level of drugstore benzoyl peroxide so you can go from a 2.5% to a 5% and then to a 10%, but you can’t do that with salicylic acid, which is the most commonly found drugstore acid. Salicylic acid can only be purchased at a 2% strength when it’s over the counter so your skincare routine is stuck there and for your products to be effective against the acne you need both your benzoyl peroxide and hydroxyl-acid product to be increased periodically or else the acne will adapt and you’ll be back at square one. Also as mentioned earlier, salicylic acid isn’t ideal for acne anyways.
RECAP: Why Drugstore Acne Products Don’t Work
- They can contain pore clogging ingredients
- They rely on outdated salicylic acid
- They don’t instruct you on how to properly use benzoyl peroxide
- They make it hard to stay ahead of acne’s ability to adapt to product use
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Watch Carmen’s Video Version Of This Post: Why Drugstore Acne Products Don’t Work