Anti-Inflammatory Skincare Ingredients & You: What You Need to Know

Anti-Inflammatory Skincare Ingredients & You: What You Need to Know


It’s one of everyone’s least favorite issues to deal with, but it continues to be a common problem that everyone has at least some experience with. 

If you struggle with acne, you’re not alone. Acne is very common; in fact, it’s the most common skin condition in the United States, affecting up to 50 million Americans every year. And contrary to popular belief, acne happens to any age group—it’s not just a teenage phase that some people go through. 

But just because it’s a normal experience that everyone deals with doesn’t mean you can’t try to treat it if you so desire. 

Here’s the thing, though. The acne treatment market is huge—and not every product out there is created equally. If you want to invest in reliable products that can help you fight acne and give you the most bang for your buck, we recommend looking for products that include very specific ingredients. 

That list of ingredients? We’ve included it below. Read on to learn more about these acne-fighting superstars and better understand why they’re included in powerful acne-fighting products.;

Acne-Fighting Ingredients You Need to Know About

Ultimately, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution for battling acne—everyone is different, and so is their skin. Still, there are some solutions that are must-try for those dealing with all ranges of acne, from mild to severe. 

As a small disclaimer, if you’re a consumer struggling with acne, we highly recommend consulting with your esthetician, cosmetologist, or dermatologist when considering trying new acne-fighting products containing ingredients you might have never used before.

The Top Acne-Fighting Ingredients for Acne-Prone Skin

Salicylic Acid (Beta-hydroxy acid (BHA))

This ingredient is a big contender for first place in the “best acne-fighting ingredient” contest. SA falls into the category of beta-hydroxy acid (BHA), an ingredient that cleanses skin, exfoliates well, and specializes in keeping pores clean and clear of dead skin cells and other acne-causing materials. BHAs like SA are oil-soluble, while AHAs (we’ll get there, don’t worry) are water-soluble—this means that BHAs work deeper to penetrate and unclog pores.

What We Love About Salicylic Acid

  • It can clear skin but also resolve age spots, melasma, and scars caused by acne 
  • Clears out dead skin cells on a deeper level than just the surface, detoxifying your skin
  • It’s available in all kinds of products, like gels, ointments, serums, soaps, moisturizers, solutions, etc.   

Possible Negatives of Salicylic Acid

  • Dryness, redness, flaking skin, and peeling are all potential side effects 
  • Skin tingling is possible 
  • It’s considered an active ingredient, and it is possible to overuse these ingredients and damage your skin barrier

Retinol / Retinoids

We love to dish about the holy grail of retinol/retinoids—especially when it comes to fighting acne. Retinol is a type of retinoid, which is an ingredient derived from vitamin A. Retinol can be over the counter or require a prescription, depending on the strength. Simply put, retinol is a pro at cell turnover, so it can literally change the way and at what rate your skin cells “turn over.” Why is this good news for you and bad news for acne? It can prevent the formation of new pimples and treat the old ones by getting under your skin and working on a much deeper level. 

Want to know even more about retinol? We have an entire blog dedicated to the must-know deets.

What We Love About Retinol/ Retinoids

  • It’s an all-in-one sort of treatment that fights acne, prevents signs of aging, reduces skin discoloration, smooths out texture, and unclogs your pores all at once
  • Contributes to a youthful glow
  • Reduces excess oil production 
  • Stimulates collagen and elastin production

Possible Negatives of Retinol/ Retinoids

  • Increased sun sensitivity 
  • The process gets worse before it gets better and can result in stinging irritation, discomfort, itching, peeling, and more—something unpleasantly coined the “retinol uglies”.
  • It takes a while to see the results—sometimes three to six months for any progress 
  • Stimulates collagen and elastin production

Benzoyl Peroxide

This ingredient is a well-known superhero in the acne-fighting ingredient world. Benzoyl peroxide is best known for its ability to treat and prevent acne by killing bacteria that are underneath the skin, attacking it where it matters.

What We Love About Benzoyl Peroxide

  • You can find this ingredient in just about any type of skincare—lotions, serums, cleansers, moisturizers, etc. 
  • there are varying degrees of strength you can work with, so it’s not an all-or-nothing type of product 
  • it works relatively fast—you’ll see improvements (even mild ones) after about 2-3 weeks of consistent use (continued, consistent use will provide the real benefits)
  • it’s anti-inflammatory and antibacterial

Possible Negativesof Benzoyl Peroxide

  • It makes the skin more sun-sensitive 
  • It can bleach fabrics (watch out for your clothes, bedding, etc.) 
  • It can be irritating to skin—in severe cases, it can cause rashes 
  • It is not the best choice for those with already-sensitive skin or pre-existing conditions like eczema

Glycolic Acid (Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs))

These naturally-occurring acids work wonders for some skin types in the fight against acne. AHAs tend to work as acne-fighting ingredients because they clear and exfoliate your pores when you use them, loosening and removing clogged sebum, bacteria, and skin cells. They can also prevent future clogs from forming in the first place. Unlike BHAs, AHAs are water-soluble, so they work on the surface layer of your skin to remove those clogged, dead skin cells.

What We Love About AHAs

  • It can treat existing acne and prevent new acne from forming
  • Helps stimulate collagen 
  • Restores moisture and fades hyperpigmentation

Possible Negatives of AHAs

  • Skin purges are a possibility 
  • Tingling, irritation, and redness
  • Flaking or peeling of skin
  • Hyperpigmentation

Perfect-For-Your Products From a Company That Cares: Spa De Soleil

  • Whether you’re an esthetician looking for the perfect line of products to stock your spa with, a consumer on the hunt for the life-changing ingredients in your skincare routine, or an entrepreneur who’s ready to craft your own custom formulations, Spa De Soleil is here to be a resource.

    With decades of experience under our belt, we’re here for you with the information, insight, and knowledge that’s needed to succeed in skincare—no matter what angle you’re approaching from.

    Need assistance? We’ve got your back. Reach out to our team with questions, keep up with our regularly updated blog for helpful resources, and browse some of our services—we’re here to help you with whatever you might need!

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