Your skin is said to be a reflection of your health and lifestyle. Moreover, the skin is the largest organ in your body, thus it's no surprise, that it requires a lot of maintenance and care. Unfortunately, despite your best efforts, acne breakouts might happen. Acne is basically the occurrence of infected or inflamed sebaceous glands on your skin. The condition is usually characterized by zits, red pimples, blackheads and whiteheads on your face, chest and back.
While acne normally affects teenagers and people in their early twenties, persons of all ages and gender can suffer from the condition. Fortunately, there are various effective acne treatments available on the market. Some of the most effective treatments include; salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, and tea tree oil. These are all excellent acne treatments, and also the most affordable ones. Let's now take a closer look at each of these acne treatments.
Salicylic Acid is (also referred to as Beta Hydroxy Acid or BHA) is derived from the willow tree bark. It's keratolytic (that is, keratin-dissolving); which is a technical term to mean exfoliating ingredient. Salicylic acid easily penetrates into the skin pores and dissolves the dead skin cells build up, and also encourages the shedding of the skin's top layer which prevents skin pores from getting congested. It also helps in the break up of sebum.
Salicylic acid is an all natural anti-inflammatory and is much less likely to get the skin inflamed since it soothes while at the same time peeling off the dead skin cells. Treatment of acne using BHA also stimulates collagen growth, which in turn helps fill in the scars and gives the skin a more even texture. 5% to 2% concentrations of BHA is effective at treating mild - moderate acne without overly drying the skin.
Salicylic acid has been found to be among the most widely used acne treatments today. Just like tea tree oil, the salicylic acid works by basically sloughing off the dead skin cells and exposing the skin to fresh and clean oxygen. Salicylic acid is a very effective acne remedy due to its' ability to easily penetrate follicles. Applying a little mild solution of BHA to your skin gives many of the advantages of scrubbing, without any risks of rupturing the skin pores or breaking the tiny blood vessels. However, salicylic acid treatment has many more benefits which scrubbing does not. That being said, benzoyl peroxide and tea tree oil are basically used to treat pimples, while salicylic acid (BHA) is more effective when used to treat the other acne blemishes like blackheads and whiteheads, especially on those with oily skin or black, brown, dark toned and Asian skin.
Benzoyl peroxide is another commonly used topical acne treatment which kills bacteria fast and opens up skin pores. It's typically used to treat mild acne and is safe for both children and adults, and can also be used during pregnancy. Benzoyl peroxide is an antiseptic and it helps in killing bacteria on the skin surface and reduces yeasts on one's skin surface. It is oxidizing agent, (meaning it is a keratolytic and comedolytic); this means it helps in reducing comedones. Benzoyl peroxide has the ability to exfoliate the dead skin cells and has anti-inflammatory action, meaning it reduces the signs of inflammation.
Benzoyl peroxide is available as a lotion, cream, and gel, lotion and is best applied directly to the affected areas, and not on the entire face; this way you will get more effective and faster results. Well, depending on the acne severity, and the skin's sensitivity, it's best used in concentrations of between 2.5%, 5%, and 10%. It can be combined with some other topical treatments and also oral therapy, for more effective results.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is a natural alternative for treating acne. It has a unique soothing and disinfecting properties and, unlike some other acne treatments, it'll not strip the skin of its' natural oils or cause further damage. Tea tree oil contains compounds which are similar in nature to those in benzoyl peroxide. As aforementioned, benzoyl peroxide has the ability to exfoliate the dead skin cells and also reduces the signs of inflammation.
Tea tree oil effectively gets rid of the redness while killing the acne bacteria. Well, benzoyl peroxide normally kills acne bacteria slightly faster, (in about 48 hrs instead of the tea tree oil’s 72hrs.) However, tea tree oil actually gets rid of bacteria which benzoyl peroxide does not, like the staph bacteria. Certain staph bacteria can cause boils which look like nasty pimples with yellow circles of pus at the center. Other kinds of staph infections can cause skin disfiguring and at times deep tissue damage. The tea tree oil fights all kinds of staph infections. This is one of the main reasons tea tree oil is widely used in skin care products,
Here are some of the properties of tea tree oil
-It has anti-fungal and antiseptic properties which help in acne prevention.
-It's used as an effective antiseptic which removes the damaged skin cells.
-It helps in balancing the skin by controlling the oil production.
-It contains natural antibacterial and antimicrobial properties which make it a great natural alternative to the harsh synthetic chemicals.
-It deeply penetrates the skin to unblock sebaceous glands; this helps in disinfecting the skin pores, dries out the whiteheads, zits, pimples, and blackheads, and also helps in preventing further outbreaks.
-It contains terpinen-4-ol that's responsible for its' antimicrobial activity; when its' applied to the skin, it destroys all the skin-dwelling bacteria which cause acne.
To use tea tree oil, you simply need to dab a cotton swab in the tea tree oil,and then apply it directly to the affected area. Do this two times a day. You will see a change in sensation and color overnight. In a weeks time, most of the pimples will have cleared up. Remember, do not use tea tree oil to treat acne on boys who are under the age of 14yrs, because of possible negative interactions with the male sex hormones.