What's in your anti-acne cream?

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These days it seems every leading skincare brand is claiming to have found the miracle treatment for clearing acne so it's no wonder why most find it hard to keep up. Below is a list of some of the common ingredients found in skincare targeted at acne/oily prone skin.

Azelaic Acid

Is created by oxygenating a fatty acid (oleic acid) derivative from milk however it can also be found naturally in many grain products. It is widely found in Acne treatment creams as well as used in salons as an intensive chemical peel to treat acne due to its anti-bacterial and anti-microbial properties. In addition it is an effective tyrosinase inhibitor that helps to lighten hyperpigmentation including hyperpigmentation due to acne scarring. When combined with an Alpha Hydroxy Acids such as glycolic acid it is a very effective exfoliate helping to unclog pores which lead to acne breakouts.


Is found in many acne/oily skin care creams for its ability to stop the growth of certain types of bacteria. It is also helps to protect and strengthen the skin with an ability to calm and heal the skin by stimulating tissue growth which is essential for damaged and inflamed skin usually associated with acne. Allantois is found in wheat germ, sycamore leaves, the bark of chestnut trees, comfrey root, in the urine of all mammals and the earthworm.

Aluminium Starch Octenylsuccinate

Is a pink powder that is typically used for its antiseptic properties. It can be found in lotions, creams, astringents, and deodorants though can be an irritant or cause allergic reactions so should be used with caution on acne prone skin which is already irritated.

Azulene Extract

Is a very effective antioxidant helping to fight free radicals that attack healthy skin cells. It is a great anti-inflammatory and antiseptic.

Balm Mint Extract

Is a soothing tree extract, used in acne/breakout prone skin care products for its antibacterial and healing benefits. However many users have noted that it can cause slight skin irritation


Is white clay used in skincare to help absorb excess oil and reduce shine.

Benzoyl Peroxide

Is an antibacterial found I many anti-acne treatment creams, physically forcing clogs and infections from the pores. However benzoyl peroxide has many side effects including skin dryness, flaking and skin bleaching.


One of the principal active compounds found in chamomile. It is largely responsible for chamomile's anti-inflammatory and anti-spasmodic effects. Topically, alpha bisabolol has been found to be equally as effective as hydrocortisone in treating skin inflammation.


The roots, seeds, and leaves of this plant contain an essential oil used in beauty products for its soothing effects on the skin. It is also an astringent, antibacterial and anti-fungal agent making it an effective ingredient in the treatment of acne.

Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract

Is part of the chamomile family with strong anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties helping to reduce the irritation, inflammation and redness associated with acne.

Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Peel Oil

Most commonly derived from the peels of ripe grapefruit. It is a great antiseptic, astringent and detoxifying agent. It is very effective in the treatment of acne.

Cucumis Sativa (Cucumber) Fruit Extract

A popular ingredient in anti-acne skin care, it is an effective anti-inflammatory, which helps to reduce skin oiliness and helps to minimize the appearance of enlarged pores.

Glycolic Acid

Derived from sugarcane juice and fruit, this exfoliant is used in anti-acne and anti-wrinkle products as a skin peel and helps to balance pH in skin creams and cosmetics

Isopropyl Alcohol

Used for its antibacterial properties though many oily skin suffers have reported their skin worsening after use due to oil glands producing more oil to compensate for that which is being stripped away.

Salicylic Acid

Extracted from the bark of the willow tree salicylic acid is found in a wide variety of skin care products for its very effective anti-acne and anti-aging properties. Also used in many salons as an intense chemical peel which helps to unclog pores.

Tea Tree Oil

Has since been a long standing ingredient in many skin care products particular those prone to breakouts. It is also used as an antiseptic spot treatment helping to eliminate breakouts. It is also used as a natural preservative in many beauty products.

Vitamin H

Though not scientifically proven. Vitamin H also known as biotin is claimed to have healing properties useful in fighting and preventing acne.

Zingiber Officinale (Ginger) Root Oil

Very popular in oily and acne prone skin care products for its antibacterial, anticeptic, antimicrobial, astringent and anti-fungal properties. In addition it also helps to control oil production helping to balance oily skin.