[By Anabelle Williams]
Perhaps it’s the rising temperature or the time of the month, the occasional breakout is no doubt both annoying and bothersome even if it’s far and in between. Fortunately, whether you are heading to your nearest drugstore for a solution or knocking down the door of your aesthetics doctor’s office, there are plenty of acne busting skincare products to deal with these unsightly blemishes. What makes product A better than product B? Why do some work for others but not for you? Read on for our curated list of 5 active ingredients to look out for while browsing for anti-acne skincare products, and you should be well on your way to stamp out these pesky spots for radiant summertime skin in double quick time.
Remember your trustworthy Oxy 5 or an upgrade to Oxy 10 for some heavy duty acne busting action on troubled skin during our teenage days? Benzoyl Peroxide is one active ingredient that is right up there as a treasured acne fighter that has stood the test of time. It works by killing bacteria clogging up your pores as well as letting oxygen into them. Bear in mind that although not as common with teens due to the excessive sebum secretion associated with puberty, benzoyl peroxide (especially in higher strength) can cause redness, dryness and flaking of skin when used by adults.
Just like how you had switched out your Bata and Keds for Blahniks and Jimmy Choos, upgrade your skincare regime with SW1 SKIN RESCUE Clarifying & Balancing Cream, a potent yet gentle formulation containing skin clarifying Azelaic acid, a well-recognized skin lightening agent, in addition to acne-busting Benzoic acid. This serious overnight acne attacker with oil-absorbing, anti-inflammatory and pigment-preventing properties assumes multiple roles— fighting acne, lighteningpost inflammatory marks and reducing skin redness such as that associated with rosacea all at one go!
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AHAs & BHAs: Salicylic& Glycolic Acid
AHAs and BHAs are a group of naturally occurring fruit acids that has found its way into the dermatologist’s office for treating a whole host of skin issues from skin pigmentation to acne to skin wrinkling.
One common ingredient found in anti-acne products especially facial cleansers and exfoliating agents is Salicylic acid. Salicylic acid works by clearing oil, dead skin and bacterial overgrowth from your pores, thus unclogging them to combat comedones (whiteheads and blackheads) and pimples for a blemish free complexion.Formulated with anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory ingredients including salicylic acid, the SW1 CLEAR TONIC Mint-Infused Clarifying Facial Toneris the perfect summer companion to help you achieve blemish free skin to match the clear, cloudless skies. Treat your stressed-out skin to a deep dermal detox with this anti-bacterial, pore-purging liquid salve. A couple of spritz per day is all it takes to stop blemishes in their tracks by targeting breakouts at all stages, working in overdrive to stabilize oil balance, clear clogged pores, hasten cellular turnover and reduce inflammation. Harness the therapeutic effects of this ‘sebum fighter’ by using it in place of your usual toner or pre-serum add on. If your skin tend to get really oily as the days get warmer, you can even use it as a standalone product without the need to add on a moisturizer.
Derived from cane sugar, glycolic acid has the smallest molecules in this group of dermal refiners and is able to penetrate skin deeply and easily, making it highly effective against fine lines, acne, blackheads, dullness, oiliness. The SW1SLEEP MODE Skin Renewing & Smoothening Gelis an oil-free Aloe Vera gel with 15% Glycolic acid and is highly beneficial for normal and especially oily skin type, even blemished ones with active acne. In addition to its anti-aging effect of increasing the rate of natural dead skin exfoliation to promote moisturization by renewal of native skin collagen, it effectively controls oil and helps fight bacteria to give breakouts the red card to play.
In higher concentration such as Salicylic acid 20% and Glycolic 30%, it is commonly used together with a blend of other fruit acids and medical grade cosmeceuticals as Professional Chemical Peels by certified aesthetic physicians. Chemical peels are designed to improve and smoothen the overall texture of facial skin in a simple and fuss-free way. The naturally occurring “fruit acids” in these treatments will remove dead skin cells from the topmost layer of the skin known as the stratum corneum. This action will allow the healthier skin cells beneath to come through, leading to better complexions that radiate with a youthful glow. Besides oil and acne control, chemical peels target surface blemishes, uneven skin tone, fine lines and wrinkles as well.
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Tea Tree & Rose Oil
You hear me right, certain oils are great acne busters and are great choices especially if you want something more natural than traditional chemical acne fighters. Tea tree oil is well known as an essential oil with strong antiseptic properties and treat breakouts by attacking bacteria that’s proliferating in the pores without loading the skin with synthetic chemicals.
A deeply clarifying formula that stamps out excess sebum, SW1 FLAWLESS Complexion Clearing Serum is your answer to effortlessly clear skin from 9 to 5 this summer. A shine-control, matte-finish, tea tree oil containing gel, FLAWLESS remains true to its moniker, detoxifying troubled, blemished skins and leads them to the light in no time. Sebum control nanospheres facilitate oil elimination and deep pore purging to keep skin refreshed and silky soft, while additional anti-acne ingredients niacinamide and neomycin barricade skin from further comedonal and pimple outbreaks, coaxing your complexion to a flawless finish.
A lesser known, well-kept secret amongst holistic and Ayurveda healers that has both anti-acne and hydrating properties is Rose oil, a beauty savior that hydrates the skin without clogging pores as it permeates the skin in a unique way that allows it to breathe easily. It is also an excellent antiseptic and acts as a healing tonic to soothe and calm down angry zits while locking in moisture, keeping skin well hydrated, supple and clear.
Acne–causing Propionibacterium acnes or P. acnes bacteria, causes the destruction of the lining of pores or hair follicles, allowing the follicular material to enter the dermis to cause an inflammatory response with resulting outbreak.Topicalantibiotics have an anti-inflammatory effect, decreasing the redness and swelling when pores become clogged with dirt, oil, and bacteria, as well as kill the bacteria directly. Commonly prescribed topical antimicrobials such as clindamycin, erythromycin and dapsone comes in a variety of forms, including liquid solutions, gels, and lotions. They are often prescribed to be used once or twice daily to the area experiencing acne, or other areas prone to breakouts.
SW1 CLEAR BLISS Clearing & Soothing Gel) is a genius ultra-light gelcontaining clindamycin, hyaluronic acid, niacinamide and aloe vera extracts that helps to visibly reduce shine while tackling clogged pores and bacteria at the same time. When used once or twice daily all-over or for spot treatment as instructed, its self-activating technology allows the anti-redness ingredients to soothe as it clarifies, providing all round defence while reducing sensitivity and redness for a clearer complexion.
Topical retinoids are Vitamin A derivatives that can be used effectively to combat both inflammatory (bumps, pus-filled bumps and cysts) and non-inflammatory (blackheads and whiteheads) forms of acne lesions. Some of the common retinoids include adapalene, tretinoin and tazarotene. You may know these medications under their brand names of Differin, Retin-A, and Tazorac. There are several different formulations of each of these potent prescriptive anti-acne agents and they should only be used under proper medical guidance.Though effective, topical retinoids often exhibit non tolerable side effects. Common ones include skin irritation that lead to peeling, redness and extreme dryness. Some women with darker skin tone complain that their skin is so irritated that it feels and looks “burned” by the retinoids. It is important to discontinue use and seek immediate medical attention for any topical product that irritates or burns the skin.
Get round these side effects with SW1 SUPER HELPER Mattifying & Detoxifying Serum, a gentler yet not less efficacious multi-tasking complexion hydrator that not only keeps skin clear and acne-free, but balances and softens with its unique marriage of retinol and alpha-hydroxy acids in a refreshing fruit enzyme base. Besides targeting pesky breakout, SUPER HELPER accelerates cellular renewal to keep complexion sparkling clean while stimulating collagen renewal to minimise wrinkles and lines for total skin clearance and rejuvenation.