The Best Acne Treatment Ingredients: Our List.

best acne treatment

As estheticians who care deeply for our customers, our primary goal is to help our clients achieve flawless, smooth, and dreamy skin, right? 

It’s our profession, our main goal, our primary reason for being in the industry. So, when common roadblocks like acne pop up and keep us from getting our clients the beautiful, clear skin they want, we’re ready to roll up our sleeves and do the dirty work to help them achieve their goals. 

But, and here lies the most important question when it comes to solving any acne problem, how do you determine what to treat their skin with? With so many acne treatment systems out there, what exactly is the best acne treatment system and why? 

The biggest issue with blemishes and acne is that every client’s skin is different—there’s no one-size-fits-all solution for acne-ridden skin. But, with the right systems in your repertoire filled with a laundry list of skin-healthy ingredients that are dedicated to healing and soothing acne and blemishes, you can provide your clients with the glowing, healthy, clear complexion they’ve been dreaming of.

Let’s take a look at a few of the most useful acne treatment systems out there and really break down their ingredients to get a better idea of you can help solve your clients’ acne issues.

Salicylic Acid 

Often called the savor of breakouts, salicylic acid is literally the go-to ingredient for helping with pre-to-teenage pimples. This ingredient has anti-inflammatory properties that can work wonders for inflamed cystic breakouts and it works carefully by dissolving excess oil and slowly but surely exfoliating away dead skin cells. The only issue with salicylic acid? Because it’s a beta-hydroxy acid (BHA), it can dry out the skin when it’s overused, which in turn, can cause more breakouts. 

Lotion, creams, toners, and more that are formulated with salicylic acid will help fight acne, prevent future breakouts, and treat oily skin and blemishes. That’s the beautiful thing about salicylic acid— mindfully targets all kinds of acne symptoms like inflammation, irritation, redness and more!  

Glycolic Acid 

Glycolic Acid is another saving grace for those with acne or blemishes. Like salicylic acid, glycolic acid gently exfoliates the skin, gets rid of dead skin cells, unclogs pores, and is widely available in all sorts of products. It differs, however, because it’s classified as an alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA). It’s helpful to use at least one product containing glycolic acid in your client’s skincare routine if they’re fighting acne. 


We all know retinol is great for anti-aging purposes, but it’s also a fantastic ingredient for clearing up acne and promoting a glowing complexion. Retinoids help to cause skin cells to turn over at a faster rate, which can help your skin exfoliate and decrease in oil production. Even better, retinoids are an anti-inflammatory agent—and in case you didn’t know, acne is a form of inflammation. Be cautious using retinol with clients who have overly sensitive skin as it does have a reputation for irritation.


So, spoiler alert—sulfur doesn’t smell great, but it has fabulous benefits for your skin. If you can make do with the whole “rotten egg” smell for a few minutes every day or so, sulfur could be the ideal solution for gorgeous skin. Sulfur is an effective ingredient for drying up those puss-filled, painful pimples (and whiteheads, too!) because it actively sucks up all the oil in and around your acne. Sulfur is usually combined with other active ingredients to mask the strong scent, so make sure whatever product you’re planning to use doesn’t include any skin-irritants. 

Quick Tip: when using sulfur to suck up excess oil, you’re effectively drying out your face—don’t forget to provide your skin with the moisture it needs. Might we suggest some gentle-but-effective hyaluronic acid? Be sure to use sulfur treatments every few days (as opposed to every day) as it can really dry out your skin!

 Benzoyl Peroxide

This antibacterial ingredient is great at killing a very common type of bacteria that causes breakouts (P.acnes). Benzoyl peroxide works to treat and prevent acne by killing off that bacteria when it’s underneath the skin, which in turn, helps your pores to shed dead skin cells easier and prevent excess oil (sebum) from causing even more breakouts. Like most treatments, though, Benzoyl Peroxide does have some downsides—if you’re not careful with your dosage, you can dry out your skin (which, in turn, can cause even more breakouts).


This active ingredient is a wonderful treatment for acne because, at its core, it’s an inflammation fighter. As you probably know by now, acne is usually an inflammatory condition. Hydrocortisone is typically used as a skin treatment, though it doesn’t technically prevent breakouts because it won’t kill bacteria that causes acne. 

Are you ready to level up and take your clients’ skin to the next level? If you’re prepared to offer your clients solutions for acne-free skin and creamy, dreamy complexions, check out our complete line of Spa De Soleil products. As a one-stop skincare shop, we offer solutions for every problem for any skin type, ensuring that your clients can have what they’ve always wanted—the beautiful, smooth, supple skin of their dreams. 

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