Acne washes : Starter products

Acne washes : Starter products

June 07, 2021

Related : Dr Ilyas discusses acne washes with NBC News 

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Acne cleansers are often one of the first true skin care products we start with in life. Navigating aisles and figuring out which one to start with can be daunting for parents and early teens or tweens. Also remember this is a time when kids are just learning how to care for their skin on a daily basis! 

Below are my top two recommendations for where to start your acne skin care journey:


Early acne, mild acne, sensitive skin
This cleanser contains salicylic acid as its active ingredient to reduce oil and buildup on acne prone skin. It’s a great “starter” acne product. Most middle school / junior high aged kids are just learning to wash their face daily and develop a routine. I find that having them start by using this product in the shower introduces them to cleansing their face, shoulders and back with added goals in mind. The goal is cleansing and preventing/ treating acne.
When acne is a bit more aggressive or widespread- face, chest and back - switching to a benzoyl peroxide cleanser is often the next step. The additional benefit for improving acne, especially back acne and inflamed acne, can come at the price of more dryness. Cleansers are great because they do not stay in contact with your skin for too long making them effective without being too irritating for the skin. My patients that play sports, sweat and feel like they get breakouts on their shoulders and back find this cleanser a nice option. Be mindful of the bleaching effect of benzoyl peroxide on towels and bath mats however! 

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