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What You Really Need To Know About Acne And The Products To Treat It

It really doesn’t matter whether you have hit your 40s or are still in your early 20s – acne is a common problem amongst many women (and even men). Since we live in a humid environment, we are more likely to have oily t-zones or complexions, which can make us more prone to clogged pores and breakouts. What makes it all worse? Stress, which is (sadly) inevitable considering the busy lives we lead now.

To combat this recurring problem, many of us tend to try a ton of different acne-busting products in hopes to improve or at least stabilise our skin condition. But this doesn’t always work. Using the wrong type of serum or spot treatment on your pimple can actually lead to more damage. Why? Because you need to know the type of acne you’re having in order to purchase the right product to effectively treat it.

“Acne can be broadly classified into non-inflammatory and inflammatory,” shares Dr Lum Yang Xi of IDS Clinic. According to her, blackheads and whiteheads are actually classified as non-inflammatory acne – surprising, huh?

“These can be treated and prevented with good skincare. Lookout for products that contain ingredients such as tea tree oil, clover flower and lilac extracts that can help to refine pores,” she then adds that going for regular facials will also help clear up stubborn zits.

The latter, on the other hand, tend to be more serious and include “papules, pustules, nodules and cysts, which are terms used to describe the different stages of acne.” With such serious cases, skincare alone (Dr. Lum recommends using products with probiotics and vitamin C) may not be not enough. Some “may require combining treatments with oral medications or even some light/laser treatments.”

Here, we pick out the products that are infused with the recommended ingredients to help you kickstart your anti-acne journey.

#1: Elizabeth Arden Superstart Probiotic Cleanser Whip to Clay, $48
Probiotics This has a probiotic complex, as well as pink and green clays to unclog pores, and glycerin for moisture. It transforms into a mineral-rich clay to purify, prep and infuse skin with protective probiotics to support skin’s natural defenses. #2: IDS Probiotic Mask, $71
Probiotics Ideal for oily and blemish-prone skin, this is made with lactobacillus ferment and other minerals to stabilise skin and strengthen its barrier function. Oil-controlling ingredients help to eliminate excess sebum and dirt, preventing future breakouts, while cranberry fruit extract disinfects and reduces inflammation. #3: Alpha-H Vitamin C Serum, $112, Sephora
Vitamin C Saturated with a host of natural ingredients and vitamin C, this treats premature ageing, pigmentation, wrinkles and age spots while locking in moisture for constant hydration. It is also formulated with antioxidant-rich grape seed extract to nourish, restore luminosity and boost collagen production. #4: The Body Shop Tea Tree Oil, $19.90
Tea tree extracts/oil Dubbed as the brand’s cult classic product, this is made with a potent blend of tea tree essential oil, which is known for its powerful purifying properties. Apply it directly to the targeted areas of concern to reduce blemish and inflammations. #5: Porcelain Balance Sebum Control Essence, $41
Tea tree extracts/oil With a high percentage of sodium hyaluronate, horse chestnut and tea tree extract, this controls the production of excess sebum while keeping skin deeply hydrated. Another plus: it balances skin’s pH levels. This treatment essence also has effective anti-inflammation, rejuvenation and repairing properties to help reduce redness and itching for acne-prone skin. Main image: Like this? Check out why ceramides are a must-have in your skincare regime, the acne spot treatments that actually work and the hydrating toners that are essential in every skincare routine.