Medical-Grade Acne Treatments Doctors Swear By

Quite honestly, we thought acne would be ancient history as we reached our 30s, 40s and definitely our 50s. But sadly, this is not always the case, and it’s often down to one major factor: hormones. More specifically, one particular hormone called dihydrotestoesterone – let’s call it DHT for short, shall we?

DHT is a hormonal byproduct of testosterone which biologically exists in both sexes. When DHT levels fluctuate out of control, (think: time of the month, stress, menopause and the like) it can cause an imbalance in the body that over-stimulates the sebaceous glands. And we all know what that means, don’t we? Yes, excess sebum, clogged pores and those dreaded pimples and pustules we ‘love’ to call acne.

Tricks like avoiding oil-based hair or skincare products, ditching high GI starches from your diet and drinking plenty of water all go a long way in keeping adult acne under control. And if things get serious, we can’t stress enough the importance of visiting a qualified derm to a) pinpoint the cause of your acne and b) prescribe a series of medical-grade facials and/or a topical retinoid.

In the meantime, we are all over these medical-grade acne treatments to try at home and incorporate into your beauty program. Each one comes highly recommended by our partnering doctors, plastics and derms. And believe us, there comes no higher accolade.

1. PCA Skin Acne Gel

This soothing gel contains one of the best acne-fighting ingredients in the business – the mighty salicylic acid – along with oil-controlling botanicals and azelaic acid to help smooth the skin and decrease inflammation. We have two things to say about it. 1. It works. And 2. It doesn’t dry out your skin. Yes, the beauty gods have spoken.

2. ZO Medical Aknetrol Acne Treatment

Harnessing the power of 10 percent benzoyl peroxide (BPO), Aknetrol is quite the acne conqueror. Along with salicylic acid, BPO is one of the most effective antibacterial ingredients for treating acne, pimples, blackheads and the like. It’s an organic compound that breaks down into benzoic acid and oxygen upon contact with the skin, thereby flooding the pores with oxygen and killing the bacteria that causes acne and inflammation. Apply this up to three times daily for undeniably good results.

3. Clarity MD Skin Clarifying Acne Pads

If you’re looking for a gentle way to deal with problematic skin, these antioxidant-rich clarifying pads are bang on the money. Alcohol-free and paraben-free, each pad delivers the soothing effects of aloe vera, along with witch hazel and salicylic acid. Use a few times weekly (or more) after cleansing and before applying treatment products.

4. SkinCeuticals Blemish + Age Defense

Target both aging and acne with this skin-loving serum from SkinCeuticals. The first-to-market acid blend includes dioic, salicylic, glycolic, lipo hydroxy and citric acids to help exfoliate the skin, fade discolorations, decongest the pores and improve acne, blackheads and even fine lines. The perfect choice for mature skin that’s suffering from many angles.

5. SkinMedica Acne Treatment Lotion

With a 2.5 percent concentration of BPO, this lightweight lotion has been formulated with an ‘advanced microparticle delivery system,’ meaning it’s able to harness the power of active ingredients at a lower concentration with equally visible results. What does that mean for you? All the highs of BPS, without the potential lows of dryness and irritation.

Written by: Georgia Gould