Acne can cause embarrassment and discomfort. Lydia Preston and Dr. Tina Alster, authors of "Breaking Out: A Woman's Guide to Coping with Acne at Any Age," write that acne can be effectively treated using over-the-counter products that cleanse, treat and prevent breakouts. You may need to try several different of the top-selling brands to find the one that works best for you.
According to Preston and Alster, Proactiv is the best-selling acne brand on the market. Proactive is a three-step system that cleanses your skin, treats breakouts and prevents future blemishes. Consumer Search reports that the system contains 2.5 percent benzoyl peroxide, which treats acne without irritating the skin. Benzoyl peroxide reduces and kills the bacteria that invade pores and cause acne. The Procativ brand also offers advanced acne treatments that contain 5 percent benzoyl peroxide and are intended to be used by consumers with moderate to severe acne. Proactiv costs about $20 for a starter set and can be purchased online.
Neutrogena offers products that contain salicylic acid, which works to exfoliate the surface of the skin and reduce acne-causing bacteria in pores, say Preston and Alster. The Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Stress Control 3-in-1 Hydrating Acne Treatment earns high marks as an over-the-counter acne product, reports Consumer Search. Preston and Alster write that the best acne brands contain at least 2 percent salicylic acid, and many Neutrogena products contain at least that much. The Neutrogena brand offers cleansers that treat mild acne and blackheads at retail store prices, earning it additional points as one of the best acne brands on the market. The Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Stress Control 3-in-1 Hydrating Acne Treatment costs about $7 for a 2-oz. bottle and can be purchased in stores and online.
Clean and Clear
Clean and Clear offers a wide variety of acne products for those suffering from mild to severe acne. Preston and Alster write that the Clean and Clear brand offers several cleansers that contain 2 percent salicylic acid for mild cases as well as some that contain up to 10 percent benzoyl peroxide for severe cases. According to Consumer Search, Clean and Clear Persa-Gel 10 is one of the best acne treatments from the Clean and Clear brand because it effectively treats stubborn cases of acne. The Clean and Clear brand can be purchased over the counter and offers cleaners, blemish treatments and moisturizers that work together to treat acne. The brand also scores points as one of the best based on its retail store prices and availability. Clean and Clear Persa-Gel 10 costs about $6 for a 1-oz. supply. The products can also be purchased online.
- "Breaking Out: A Woman's" Guide to Coping with Acne at Any Age"; Lydia Preston and Dr. Tina Alster; 2004
- Consumer Search: Proactiv Solution 3-Step System
- Consumer Search: Oil-Free Acne Stress Control 3-in-1 Hydrating Acne Treatment
- Consumer Search: Clean and Clear Persa-Gel 10
- Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images