Many over-the-counter (OTC) acne products are available to treat mild to moderate acne or periodic breakouts. They include cleansing lotions, gels, foams and towelettes, leave-on products, and treatments or kits. How do you know which one is best for you? Before you decide, learn how OTC acne products work and what ingredients to look for. Then develop a gentle skin care regimen to treat and prevent acne. The Food and Drug Administration warns that some popular OTC acne products can cause a serious reaction, including throat tightness and swelling of the face, lips or tongue. This type of reaction is quite rare, so don’t confuse it with the redness, irritation or itchiness that may occur where you’ve applied such products. Acne products work in different ways, depending on their active ingredients. Some OTC acne products work by killing the bacteria that cause acne inflammation. Others remove excess oil from the skin or speed up the growth of new skin cells and the removal of dead skin cells. Some acne products do a combination of these things.

Key Points:

  • 1Even though the creme seems to work, there appear to be some side effects that do seem to be pretty serious to some people.
  • 2Even though it did take the FDA a long time to approve of this creme, that does not mean its dangerous
  • 3There are certain people and certain things like pregnancy that should keep people away from using this creme


while retinol can take up three to six months to produce noticeable effects, retinoid has been shown to work much faster—and effectively—in many individuals

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