Home The News Prescription Acne Treatments: What Works Best and Why

Prescription Acne Treatments: What Works Best and Why

There’s not much out there that can compare to the frustration of having to deal with acne after leaving high school. As if the blackheads and whiteheads weren’t annoying enough, adult acne is often accompanied by deep, painful red pimples. These useless blemishes can be aggravating and difficult to get rid of.

Perhaps even more frustrating is finding an effective acne treatment. There are countless products out there, ranging from discount face washes and exfoliators to ridiculously expensive moisturizers and creams. Then you have prescription treatments, which are said to be the most effective solution of them all.

However, not every prescription treatment is made equal and some are known to work better than others. The reason for this largely comes down to their active ingredients. To help you choose a suitable treatment, let’s take a look at what works best and why.

The Most Popular Treatments

If you look at the acne treatment market today, particularly in the world of advanced prescriptions, there are namely three options – Proactiv, Curology, and Hers. Each option comes with a set routine and can be shipped right to your door. As for which is the best, it largely depends on your needs.

Take a look at this hers acne treatment review to see how it shapes up against the competition. All three of these options contain a specific set of ingredients geared towards treating adult acne. Detailed below are the ones you’ll come across most often.

Benzoyl Peroxide

Popular in both acne treatments and as a standalone product, benzoyl peroxide works to kill the bacteria that causes acne, while also removing the excess oil and dead skin cells that clog your pores. This ingredient’s strength is measured from 2.5 percent to 10 percent. Lower strengths tend to produce fewer side effects.


Retinoids are derivatives of Vitamin A. They help regulate skin cell turnover and work to clear existing blemishes, as well as reducing inflammation. The most common retinoids are Tretinoin and Adapalene.

Salicylic Acid

Derived from willow bark, this ingredient works to prevent your pores from becoming blocked, thus reducing the opportunity for bacteria to build up and cause breakouts. Salicylic acid is best suited for treating blackheads and whiteheads. Since it’s capable of breaking down skin cells, it also works as an exfoliant.


Sulfur works similarly to the above ingredients, removing dead skin cells and reducing excess oil production to prevent your pores from becoming blocked. A similarity between sulfur and benzoyl peroxide is that it tends to dry up your skin. Some products also tend to have an unpleasant odor.

Alpha Hydroxy Acids

Salicylic acid is a beta-hydroxy acid (BHA). Alpha hydroxy acids (AHA) namely include glycolic acid and lactic acid. Alpha hydroxy acids help remove dead skin cells and reduce inflammation, reduce the appearance of acne scars, and stimulate new skin cell growth.


Look out for these ingredients when choosing an acne treatment. By considering what your skin needs most and making a decision accordingly, you can safely identify the most effective solution.