Top Oral Acne Prescription Medications

In extreme cases when acne doesn’t respond to holistic treatments, medical intervention may be necessary. Oral prescription medications should be used as a last resort and for as short a time as possible. These treatments can be very effective but also have harsh side effects, so the sooner treatment is completed the better. Medical treatments are a good way to get the ball rolling in the healing process when holistic approaches are not effective or when acne becomes cystic and poses the threat of scarring. Below are the main medical interventions in which Dermatologists treat acne. Our list of top oral acne medications require a prescription and strict instructions to be followed for safe, effective treatment:

Oral Antibiotics

antibioticsOral antibiotics are one of the first lines of defense dermatologists use against acne. They work in two ways. The first and most obvious way is that they decrease the amount of p. acnes. bacteria on the skin, therefore lessening breakouts. A second, lesser known way that oral antibiotics work is by reducing systemic inflammation. Some medical experts think that this second property is actually more powerful in treating acne than the first.

Many Dermatologists choose to prescribe antibiotics for only a few weeks to a month because it is easy to develop a resistance to them and they cause stomach issues. This seems counterproductive because it takes up to three months for most oral antibiotics to become effective against acne. Other Dermatologists are not so conservative and will have no problem keeping a patient on oral antibiotics for years, realizing that even if resistance does occur, the anti-inflammatory properties of antibiotics alone are strong enough to keep acne at bay.

Types of Oral Antibiotics For Acne

Not just any type of antibiotic can be prescribed to treat acne, specific classes of the drug must be used that target the p acnes bacteria. The most commonly prescribed antibiotics for acne are tetracycline, doxycycline, minocycline, clindamycin, and erythromycin. Medication is usually taken once or twice a day. Calcium and Zinc can affect the absorption of tetracycline and so must be avoided during the time it is consumed.

Side Effects

One side effect of all oral antibiotics is antibiotic resistance (as mentioned above). This has become a huge problem in our world in creating “superbugs” and so many dermatologists choose not to prescribe antibiotics for acne at all.

Another concern is that Tetracycline, Doxycycline and Minocycline all have the potential to stain teeth and skin in children and young adults. Also, all of these antibiotics can potentially cause upset stomach, nausea and headache. Minocycline in particular may cause vertigo, diarrhea or in extremely rare cases, autoimmune diseases. All the aforementioned antibiotics cause skin sensitivity to the sun, so precautions should be taken such as broad spectrum SPF, protective hats and other protective clothing to prevent burns and sun damage.

Oral Isotretinoin (Accutane)

accutaneAccutane, otherwise known as isotretinoin, has the most serious side effects of all the acne treatments and is considered to be the most aggressive. Because of this it should only be used as a last resort to prevent cystic acne from worsening and leaving scars. It is mainly used for severe acne that is resistant to other treatments and currently comes with many requirements before obtaining a prescription. For women, they must agree to use two forms of birth control before obtaining a prescription because the drug causes severe birth defects in unborn children.

Accutane is a natural derivative of vitamin A and is taken orally. It builds up quickly in tissue so Vitamin A supplements must be avoided during treatment to avoid overdose. Accutane severely decreases the activity of the oil glands so that sebum production is reduced, follicle size is reduced and acne lesions heal and stop forming. It can take several weeks to begin working and full course of treatment (4 to 5 months) must be completed to achieve successful results.

Accutane is metabolized by the liver, so it is important to be careful when using this medication as it can cause liver damage. Many Dermatologists are so wary of the side effects of this drug that they won’t even prescribe it. Other dermatologists have no problem with it because it has been used successfully by millions of people. It is a very effective treatment despite the side effects. Some report that their acne is cured after one or two rounds of Accutane and that they never have to worry about breaking out again.

Since Accutane causes sensitivity to the sun, it is extremely important to use a broad spectrum SPF of 30 or higher when using Accutane. Failure to do so may result in severe skin damage.

Side Effects

Dry, flaking skin, nose bleeds, irritable bowel syndrome, liver intoxication, dry scalp, hair loss, birth defects, depression, suicidal thoughts, joint and muscle pain, headache chapped lips, night vision problems that may become permanent, stomach ache, and potentially Chron’s Disease, etc


spironolactoneThis is an oral diuretic and heart medicine in pill form that also happens to treat hormonal acne in women. It works by lowering the amount of androgen hormones (otherwise known as DHT) on the skin. Since androgen hormones are a huge component in acne, this decrease is very effective at clearing hormonal skin problems in women. This is a powerful medication for women with adult acne and a first line of defense for hormonal acne. The only problem is that it takes a very long time to work. Results may not be seen for 3 months and full effects may not be achieved for 6 months.

Side Effects

Side effects are mild and include, frequent urination, menstrual irregularities, and stomach issues.

Oral Contraceptives

Oral contraceptives, oral contraceptivesotherwise known as birth-control pills, are often used to treat hormonal acne in women. After a few months of treatment, synthetic estrogens and progesterone in oral contraceptives regulate a woman’s hormones so that her cycle is regular and her androgen hormones decrease. Because of this, acne is improved. Usually at the start of treatment, acne worsens but begins to clear after a month or two. There are many side effects that come along with oral contraceptives, so think twice before using this method for acne treatment.

Side Effects

Some of the main side effects include: moodiness, skin discoloration, weight changes, increased risk of breast cancer in those who smoke or those who are over age 35, stomach aches, headaches, depression, and sun sensitivity.



Best Topical Acne Prescription Medications That Really Work

Topical acne prescription medications have some proven effectiveness but still may contain harmful side effects and should be avoided if possible.  Most topical prescriptions are typically less harmful than oral medications and helpful if you have are okay with not treating the root cause of acne.

Topical Retinoids


Retin-A (Renova, Tretinoin, Etc.)

Retin-A is a topical retinoid, which is a form of vitamin A used in the treatment of acne. It increases keratinization of the skin cells (or speeds up skin cell turnover) so that dead skin cells are less likely to get clogged in pores and form acne. It also shrinks follicles and regulates sebum production. Improvement is seen in about 3 to 4 weeks.


A third generation retinoid, Tazorac treats acne by reducing inflammation and keeping pores clear. It also reduces skin cell overgrowth in pores so that they do not become clogged by excess skin debris. Improvement is seen in about 3 to 4 weeks.


Another third generation retinoid known as adapalene, Differin is now available OTC. It prevents pores from clogging by reducing the amount of skin cells formed inside pores. It takes about two months to work but after this time period, is very effective.


EpiDuo is simply prescription differin that is formulated with benzoyl peroxide. The benzoyl peroxide works in conjunction with the differin to kill the acne bacteria by introducing it to oxygen. Side effects for this medication are more severe as benzoyl peroxide can be a bit harsh on the skin. Watch out for extreme redness or rash.

Side Effects of Retinol Topicals

Side effects of all retinoids are mostly similar and include: dryness, redness, skin irritation, flakiness and sun sensitivity.

Topical Antibiotics


Topical Antibiotics come with less side effects than oral antibiotics when used to treat acne. However, they work based on the same principle and are just as effective, if not more. They kill acne causing bacteria directly on the skin to reduce breakouts, inflammation and keep follicles clear. These topical antibiotics come in lotion, solution, or gel form in various strengths and are usually applied once or twice a day all over the face. Erythromycin, Clindamycin and Dapsone are the two most commonly prescribed topical antibiotics used to treat acne. Treatment begins to be effective after about 2 to 3 weeks.

Side Effects

Side effects include itchiness, dryness, flakiness, mild irritation and sensitivity to the sun. Antibiotic resistance is also a possibility with topical antibiotics, but much less so than with oral antibiotics.

Other Topicals


Azaleic Acid

Azelaic acid is a naturally occurring acid that comes from grains. It is effective against acne because of its antibacterial, exfoliative, and antioxidant properties. It unclogs pores and regulates skin cell renewal within the pore. The PH of azelaic acid is also helpful because it is nearly the same as skin’s.

Side Effects

Side effects are mild and may include skin irritation and sun sensitivity. Some patients experience a slight stinging sensation when first applying azelaic acid.

Sodium Sulfacetamide

Sodium sulfacetamide is a topical sulfur with antibacterial properties that is effective against acne because it kills acne causing bacteria and dries out lesions. This medicine is used to spot treat and not to prevent new lesions from forming, as some of the other medicines are.

Side Effects

Side effects are minimal and include dryness and skin irritation. Some people are allergic to sulfa drugs, so they must be used with caution.

The 5 Best and Most Powerful Acne Scar Treatments According to Acne Sufferers

Once acne has cleared it oftentimes leaves conspicuous scars that cause embarrassment and emotional distress. Scars happen because the inflammation of acne lesions damage the collagen and elastic structure of healthy skin. This is made worse by picking or popping lesions or failing to treat acne in a timely manner.

Luckily, there are many treatment options to return skin to its former glory. Below are some of the most common and effective.


microdermabrasianMicrodermabrasion is a mechanical treatment that manually resurfaces skin uses one of two techniques. Either aluminum crystals are blasted onto skin or a diamond coated end piece polish the outer layers of the dermis to smooth out skin imperfections. Suction is also used simultaneously to remove dead skin debris, oil and environmental dirt.

This process treats acne scars in a way that is more complicated than it seems. It would seem that buffing acne scarred skin would work from the outside in, but that isn’t the full story.

Actually, deep exfoliation like microdermabrasion sheds the outer layers of skin so that it can be replaced by new skin from the inside out. This process of exfoliation is called desquamation and triggers skin to produce glycosaminoglycans, otherwise known as GAGS, that are responsible for producing new collagen. So what happens is that old, scarred skin is buffed away so that the body can produce new collagen that is healthy and without scars. A plus is that there is no downtime, side effects are minimal and include temporary redness and in some cases mild redness. It is not unheard of to get a microdermabrasion treatment during a lunch hour and return straight to work. Chances are that no one will even notice you’ve had a procedure. The process is virtually painless though some people report a slight tugging, scraping and /or burning sensation. Numbing cream is provided in some circumstances but generally not needed.

To get the most effective results one would need at least six to eight treatments spaced two to three weeks apart (to give the skin time to heal). This can be costly and time consuming but the good news is that prices are dropping all the time due to new treatments being introduced into the skincare market.

Microdermabrasion is most effective for mild scars because it cannot go deep enough to treat severe scarring. There will not be miraculous results for scars that are deep or pitted or hypertrophic. In such cases, microdermabrasion would need to be combined with other treatment methods for best results.

In addition, broad spectrum sunscreen of 30 or more must be worn at all times during treatment when exposed to UV rays or scars may get worse. 


microneedlingMicroneedling is perhaps one of the most effective treatments for acne scarring currently available. It is performed with a handheld device equipped with detachable needle covered end-pieces that are replaced with each use.

During treatment, the needles vibrate in and out of skin to create micro-wounds and pinpoint bleeding. This causes the body to begin an immune response to repair the micro-wounds and promote collagen that produces renewed skin. It works better than microdermabrasion because it goes deeper and intense and causes an immune response. Yet it is still less invasive than laser or other treatments.

Results can be seen even after one treatment but the number of treatments needed depends on the severity of the scars. Typical treatments consist of one to six sessions spaced four weeks apart for optimal healing time. Even after your last treatment you will notice continuing improvement in skin texture in the weeks following.

Microneedling is a bit more painful than microdermabrasion, so some opt for the numbing cream. The face does bleed in pinpoints but it looks much worse than it is. Numbing cream is not necessary in most cases as patients report mild burning and stinging that is bearable. Besides, numbing cream tends to irritate skin by causing itching, swelling and redness so most people find that it isn’t worth it.

I’ve seen significant improvement in those who have had only one treatment of microneedling and drastic improvements for those who follow through with the entire regimen of six sessions.

IPL Intense Pulsed Light- Polychromatic Light Treatment

IPL Laser ResurfacingIntense Pulsed Light  (IPL), otherwise known as a photofacial, is not technically a laser treatment though it is commonly referred to as such in skincare industry. This is because it works in much the same way that laser treatments do. IPL machines shoot polychromatic (rather than chromatic as with other lasers) light into the deeper layers of the skin and bypass the upper layers, heating it up and targeting unwanted imperfections. The heat and light creates collagen production which reboots new skin production.

Treatment consists of one to six sessions depending on severity of scars. Slight discomfort that is similar to a mild zap of heat is usually felt. To combat this, frigid air is blown onto the skin as the heated IPL tip passes over each area. As an acne scar treatment, IPL is one of the weaker options except for post-inflammatory-hyperpigmentation scars (or scars that are not pitted or raised, but merely discolored.). Following through with the full six sessions will result in wonderful PIH scar improvements but severe scars will need other treatments in conjunction with IPL. The price point is very affordable for one treatment, ranging from $100$-$200, but following through with the full number of treatments can get pricey.

I’ve had many IPL treatments combined with microdermabrasion and have seen impressive results. No one would ever guess that I used to suffer with significant acne. Though my scars were never severe.

Fractional C02 Laser Resurfacing

laser resurfacingThis is perhaps the most drastic and invasive treatment for acne scars available, but it is the most effective. C02 is an ablative laser, meaning that it actually removes skin tissue. In this way it can destroy benign lesions of the skin such as acne scars. The face is wounded but healthier, unscarred skin grows to replace the skin that has been ablated. C02 also goes beneath the surface and works on the collagen-elastin matrix below.

C02 lasers are now fractionalized, which means the beam of light is broken into thousands of tiny fragments and is therefore less damaging than one single, strong beam. This makes the healing process quicker. Only one or two treatments is needed and aftercare is just as important as the treatment. SPF must be worn at all times during exposure to sun and in fact it is best to avoid sun altogether for at least a week. One must not wash their face for at least one or two days following treatment or wear makeup for a week. Gentle face wash and a moisturizer should be used following two days after treatment. The skin should be babied. Ice packs, avoidance of heat, and post laser treatment creams (available from providers) should be used. This procedure is costly, ranging from two to three thousand for just one session, but if you’re looking for an ultimate fix, this is it. Skin will scab, swell and turn red. The scabs will flake and eventually fall off within 7-14 days. If you plan on going to an important event during the weeks following this procedure, it is not a good idea. One of my old bosses had this procedure done and went to a family dinner. She said she felt like a monster as part of her face kept falling off into her soup.

Chemical Peels

Cchemical peelhemical peels are facial treatments that use natural acids to penetrate the deep layers of the skin to stimulate skin repair. At the same time, they work on the surface by peeling away the superficial layers of skin so that new skin can replace old. The most common peels performed to treat acne scars are glycolic acid (derived from sugarcane), TCA (trichloroacetic acid), lactic acid (derived from sour milk), and Jessner peels (a combination of lactic, salicylic, and resorcinol acids in an ethyl base.) These acids contain a relatively small molecule size, which means they can penetrate the skin easily. They are also much more acidic than the skin, which aids in the peeling process.

A chemical peel can be thought of as a controlled wound. The intentional wound caused by the peel amps up the body’s immune system to heal the area to a state that was better than before.

The skin is cleansed and then prepped with a solution to degrease the surface so that the peel will penetrate optimally. The peel mixture is then lightly brushed onto the skin and left for only a few minutes so that it will not cause damage. In some cases, the peel is applied more than once or massaged in, but that depends on the sensitivity level of the one being treated. There will be discomfort, burning and stinging, but it should not feel terrible. If the peel begins to feel too hot, it should be removed right away with cold towels that have been soaking in ice-water. The cold water neutralizes the acid and starts the healing process. The skin is then treated with a PH balancer to bring it back to it’s normal PH and slathered in SPF. As is always the case, SPF is vital in the next few weeks following treatment.

Chemical peels, especially TCA’s are very effective for acne scarring. Several treatments will be needed, however and that can be costly. Usually if purchased in a package, discounts are available. Downtime is much less drastic than a C02 laser treatment. Significant peeling may or may not occur, it all depends on your skin. Some people experience severe peeling while other people experience mild dryness and/or redness. Tightness and a dry feeling is also common with treatment.

Medical grade peels like Obagi Blue work best, but must be performed in a Doctor’s office.

Redmond Clay Mask Treatment

Bentonite Clay masks work wonders for healing acne. This type of clay is formulated for skin application and works by drawing impurities, toxins and excess oil out of pores.  Redmond Clay Prehydrated Mud Masks is the perfect option when considering bentonite clay masks. Redmond is a holistic brand who believes that “Nature has it right.”

This brand was established over 40 years ago and since that time has successfully treated skin conditions of all kinds. The Redmond Clay Prehydrated Mud mask comes in a convenient tube that allows one to measure the precise amount needed, avoiding the mess of scooping from a jar.  

The veracity of these statements are seen in the success stories of those who use the product. Reviews are largely positive with users saying that they achieved clearer and cleaner skin, a brighter complexion and a reduction in blemishes. Users felt that the mask was soothing and calming as opposed to treatments containing harsh, irritating chemicals.

To view consumer reviews on Redmond Clay, click here.

Lemon Oil Acne Treatment

Lemon Oil is packed with vitamin C, one of the most beneficial vitamins for skin. (Lemons actually contains twice the amount of vitamin C as oranges.) The oil is made not from the fruit itself but by pressing the peels and extracting it from there. It has antiseptic, antifungal, exfoliative, detoxifying and astringent qualities.


Because of these properties, it contributes to

  • killing bacteria
  • detoxifies
  • calms inflamed acne and
  • smooths skin.

The vitamin C in lemon oil also aids the skin in collagen production, which treats acne scars and helps prevent new ones from forming. The antiseptic and exfoliative qualities help clogged pores release infection.

Most people use lemon oil as an acne treatment by adding a few drops to their cleanser or moisturizer. This creates an ideal PH balance.

Lemon oil can also be used by mixing a few drops with the doTERRA HD Clear facial cleanser or by creating a makeshift cleanser by diluting a few drops in coconut oil. If using lemon oil without diluting into another substance, only a drop or two should be applied to affected areas as, like other exfoliating treatments, excess use will cause irritation. Again broad-spectrum SPF should be worn.

To view consumer reviews for Doterra Products Click Here

Broad Spectrum SPF for Acne Prevention

The importance of using a broad spectrum SPF of 30 or more in a daily skincare routine cannot be stressed enough if clear, healthy skin is desired.

UV rays from the sun damage skin’s natural barrier and protective cells, weakening its defenses against pathogens and environmental assaults that cause or worsen acne.

UV assaulted skin creates an ideal breeding ground for acne bacteria and slows the body’s natural healing resources that clear infected lesions.

Sun damage also strips the skin of its protective oils, triggering oils glands to react with an overproduction of oil that can potentially cause or worsen acne.

UV rays can also cause post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, a condition in which the redness and inflammation of acne can continue for an extended period of time or may become a permanent scar.

To view consumer reviews for the use of Broad Spectrum SPF in the treatment and prevention of Acne Click Here

Topical Salicylic Acid Acne Treatment

There is some confusion about salicylic acid as a treatment for acne. Some question if it is a harsh chemical that should be avoided while others doubt its efficacy. To help clear things up (no pun intended), salicylic acid is not considered a medication and is very effective in treating acne if used correctly. Known in the skincare world as a beta-hydroxy acid, Salicylic acid is actually derived from a plant source, the willow bark, and has been used for healing purposes since the time of Hippocrates. Salicylic acid is also related to aspirin and contains the same anti-inflammatory properties. This is one of the reasons it works so well for acne. It works much the same way that sulfur works in that it exfoliates skin to unclog pores and calms down inflammation. If irritation occurs with use, it most likely means that the concentration percentage of salicylic acid is too high, or it is combined with other ingredients that are too harsh for skin, or, finally, sunscreen is not worn in conjunction with treatment.

A good percentage of salicylic acid in products is 1-2%. Any higher than this may cause irritation. SA also should not be combined with benzoyl peroxide, fragrance, sulfates, or dyes or it will cause sensitivity.  Those who use products with appropriate formulas of SA say that it is so powerful their blemishes seem to disappear overnight at times. Also, a little food for thought: don’t be wary of the term “acid” when it comes to skincare. Our skin is slightly acidic on the PH scale!

Salicylic Acid is my favorite acne treatment because it works so quickly. I have found that it’s particularly helpful at reducing size, redness, and severity of acne lesions. Sometimes an acne lesion will pop up out of nowhere and salicylic is my arsenal. First I I wash my face with a gentle 2% or less Salicylic cleanser and second and most importantly, spot treat with a 2% sal gel overnight or immediately for a few hours and the breakout is reduced significantly. Sal is even good at healing cystic lesions below the skin before they become inflamed and reach the surface.

One of our favorite products containing SA is Neutrogena’s MicroClear® Cleanser.  This MicroClear® technology uses powerful technology to exfoliate skin without using plastic microbeads to do the job.  From our observation, the MicroClear® technology includes natural microbeads to get rid of oily skin.  Through washing my face with this once per day (at night) and using a gentle cleanser in the morning my skin has been able to get rid of its naturally oily base and maintain moisture with applied lotions in the morning.  SA has proven to be a must-have for oily acne-prone skin.

To view consumer reviews on Topical Salicylic Acid products, click here.

Hydrocortisone Injections for Acne

This treatment is the most instantly gratifying. At a dermatologist’s office, a nurse or physician injects hydrocortisone directly into individual acne lesions. Since hydrocortisone is a steroid, the swollen tissue around the plugged follicle immediately begin to shrink and the clogged pore begins to clear. As if by magic, the lesion instantly flattens out within minutes and in a few hours has almost disappeared.  Injections work best on more swollen, cystic lesions and are not effective for superficial breakouts that are very small or already flat.

Treatments can be costly if insurance doesn’t cover them, but not nearly as costly as some other treatments, so if you’re nearing an event and need to clear your skin in a jiffy, cortisone injections are a good option. The average price without insurance is $40 for up to 5 injections.

Side Effects

This method is extraordinarily effective but must be done by a skilled nurse or dermatologist. If injected too deeply or not precisely, the risk of scarring occurs. Sometimes a small indentation results after treatment even when injected correctly, though this is not a scar and will go away eventually. Patient will feel a slight sting as the needle pokes through skin and pinprick bleeding and initial redness may occur.

Hydrogen Peroxide Acne Treatment

Hydrogen Peroxide is a powerful acne treatment that can be harmful if not used with caution. It must be used in the lowest possible concentrations, from 1% to no more than 3% or it may compromise the skin’s natural barrier that protects against infection.  One of the ways in which Hydrogen peroxide works as a disinfectant is by releasing oxygen into the skin when applied. Since the bacteria that causes acne is anaerobic and cannot live in an environment containing oxygen, it dies due to unsuitable living conditions. Caution needs to be exercised because if used in too high concentration or too often, hydrogen peroxide also has the potential to destroy the beneficial bacteria on the skin’s barrier that is needed to protect against infection and irritants. Compromising the barrier can also worsen acne significantly.

Not only does it work in killing bacteria, hydrogen peroxide is also an exfoliant, ridding the skin of excess sebum and skin cells that clog pores. It is a weak acid which is good news for skin, since, as mentioned above, is also slightly acidic.

Instructions for use are simple and quick. There are a variety of ways to go about using hydrogen peroxide for treating acne but the most common way includes:

  • Wash with a gentle cleanser
  • Dab 1-3% hydrogen peroxide on affected areas
  • Wait for 5 minutes and then rinse
  • Apply a rich moisturizer

It is not recommended to use this treatment daily, one to three times per week is sufficient to prevent excess drying or irritation.

Some people use hydrogen peroxide in a cream form that is specifically created for acne.  Others mix it with baking soda and a moisturizer and use it as a facial masque. The idea of the latter seems safer because the other two ingredients may act as buffering agents against the harshness of the peroxide.

However used, it is imperative to use a broad-spectrum SPF at all times when utilizing hydrogen peroxide because it sensitizes skin, making it more vulnerable to UV Rays that cause aging and skin cancer.

To view consumer reviews for Hydrogen Peroxide Treatments of Acne click here.

Topical Sulfur Acne Treatment

The natural element sulfur may smell like rotten eggs, but it very useful in the treatment of many skin conditions, including acne. This is partly due to its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory qualities and its ability to draw oil and toxins from the outside of pores. Sulfur is a gentle keratolytic agent, meaning that it exfoliates skin without irritation or excessive peeling. Sulfur is found naturally in our bodies and is actually an important part of the collagen production within skin. Perhaps this is one of the reasons why it is such an effective treatment for skin disorders. Sulfur containing masks, washes and lotions are abundantly available to anyone seeking a natural treatment for acne.  Also, if you’re lucky enough to visit a hot-spring, keep in mind that taking a dip is actually good for your skin!

I use sulfur on a regular basis to treat my acne lesions. It is one of my go-to’s for spot treatment and I’ve found that it drastically reduces pimples overnight. The night before a family picture I applied some on a lesion and when I woke up nearly all of the redness was gone.

To view consumer reviews on Topical Sulfur products, click here.

Colostrum Acne Treatment

Colostrum is a milk-like substance produced from the mammary glands of mammals just before an offspring is birthed. It is much more nutritionally dense than regular breast milk, full of antibodies and jump starts the baby’s immune system.

We typically use bovine colostrum in treating acne scars as it is thought to be most bioavailable and powerful. It contains vital growth factors like EGF that stimulate skin growth, as well as help regenerate and repair scarred skin. Antioxidants and nutrients nourish and protect skin while EGF goes to work healing scars.

Many cream forms of colostrum are available to treat acne scars. For best results, massage cream into skin every night.

To view consumer reviews for Colostrum Treatments of Acne Click Here

Doterra HD Clear Acne 3 Step Treatment

The essential oil distributing company, doTERRA, has developed an effective three step skin care regimen using plant extracts and essential oils to treat acne. This regimen, called HD Clear, consists of a foaming facial wash made of a proprietary blend of essential oils and vitamins including vitamin C, Eucalyptus, Orange Peel Extract, Tea Tree Oil, algae extract and amino acids.  The wash is followed by a calming oil blend and a nourishing moisturizing lotion.

Plant extracts nourish and purify skin, giving it what it needs to stay healthy, while essential oils calm inflammation and maintain skin’s natural barrier. By controlling inflammation, one of the root causes of acne, HD Clear sends acneic skin on the road to recovery. In addition, HD Clear opts for natural and safe preservatives like sodium levulinate and citric acid instead of the more commonly used and parabens, which are highly carcinogenic.

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Become a Doterra Wellness Advocate today and start saving with wholesale pricing on essentials oils including its HD clear skin kit.

Laura’s Story

Laura M., a massage therapist in her mid-thirties has struggled with acne since her twenties. She did not break out in her teens but noticed that her skin problems began after high-school. She has struggled with acne ever since that time and says that she has “tried everything get her skin under control” with no luck.

Since her skin problems are most likely due to hormonal acne they are definitely harder to treat. Laura didn’t have any luck with the Proactive, Murad, and Philosophy skincare products, nor with prescription antibiotics, or topical prescription creams. She said that all of these treatments made her skin red, peeling, or worse. She says that at the time she was embarrassed to go outside. Fast forward a year later after she has been using the DoTerra three step system and her skin is almost completely clear. She says that her skin stays mostly clear except occasional breakouts on her chin.

She says that the three step system worked quickly without irritating her skin the way other treatments did. She found that she cannot use the oil blend everyday or her skin becomes reacts with redness, so she only uses it two to three times a week, but uses the other two steps daily. She recommends the product to anyone struggling with acne.

Step 1 The Foaming Cleanser

doterra hd clear cleanser

A few pumps of this fresh lemon-scented cleanser contains antioxidants, essential oils, humectants and skin conditioners that synergistically

work together to clean, detoxify, soothe, exfoliate skin and balance moisture levels.  Below is a full list of ingredients for the HD Clear Topical Cleanser.

Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Disodium Cocoyl Glutamate, Glycerin, Coco-Glucoside, Decyl Glucoside, Glucose, Sodium Olivoyl/Cocoyl Amino Acids Fructoside, Sodium Cocoyl Threoninate, Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate, Nigella sativa (Black Cumin) Seed Oil, Cinnamomum camphora linalooliferum (Ho Wood) Wood Oil, Melaleuca alternifolia (Melaleuca) Leaf Oil, Eucalyptus globulus (Eucalyptus) Leaf Oil, Litsea cubeba (Litsea) Fruit Oil, Pelargonium graveolens (Geranium) Oil, Glyceryl Oleate, Citrus aurantium amara Fruit Extract, Citrus reticulata Fruit Extract, Citrus sinensis (Wild Orange) Peel Extract, Sodium Anisate, Salix alba(Willow) Bark Extract, Sodium Phytate, Propanediol, Lactic Acid, Sodium PCA, Glycyrrhiza inflata (Licorice) Extract, Ascorbic Acid, Tocopherol, Algae Extract, Artemisia vulgaris Extract, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Taraktogenos kurzii Seed Oil, Citric Acid, Capryloyl Glycine, Leptospermum scoparium Branch/Leaf Oil, Palm Glycerides, Potassium Lauroyl Wheat Amino Acids, Rapeseed Acid, Candida bombicola/Glucose/ Methyl Rapeseedate Ferment, Zinc PCA, Benzyl Alcohol, Sodium Levulinate, Polyglyceryl-4 Caprate, Magnolia grandiflora Bark Extract

Step 2- HD Essential Oil Blend Topical Blend

hd clear skin oil

This doTERRA Topical essential oil blend can be used as a spot treatment or applied to targeted areas after cleansing to breakup acne-causing sebum and balance moisture levels. This oil blend may be the most effective against cystic acne in the doTERRA family. It is not necessary to use every day.

This is a proprietary blend of the following six lipid soluble essential oils:

  • Black Cumin Seed Oil- an anti-inflammatory that contains the acne fighting element zinc
  • Oil of Ho Wood- an antimicrobial with properties similar to camphor
  • Eucalyptus Leaf- a common ingredient in some mouthwashes and cough medicines that also destroys bacteria
  • Litsea Berry- made from the fruit of an evergreen shrub, helps to balance oil levels
  • Melaleuca Leaf (tea tree oil)- one of the most effective natural topicals against acne.*
  • Geranium Plant Oil- made from the geranium flower, was once used by ancient Egyptians as a beauty treatment, it controls oil levels and kills germs.

*There is a plethora of scientific studies backing the efficacy of Melaleuca oil (otherwise known as tea tree oil) in the improvement of acne due to its anti-inflammatory and antiseptic quality. Subsequently it has long been touted as a natural acne healing ingredient. In fact, Tea tree oil is so effective it is used in natural skin products all over the world. It reduces redness, calms blemishes, and kills acne causing bacteria.

Step 3- HD Clear Facial Lotion

hd clear lotion

This non-greasy formula is made with botanical extracts, essential oils, and antioxidants. In addition, it contains niacinamide and alpha-hydroxy acids (AHA’s), which are a first lines of defense against acne. One such alpha hydroxy acid in the lotion is lactic acid. This is the most moisturizing of the AHA’s and works to exfoliate skin from the inside out as it’s small molecular size penetrates deeply.

Another fun fact about lactic acid is that it is a derivative of sour milk. (Perhaps the ancient Egyptian ruler Cleopatra was onto something by taking fermented milk baths to preserve her skin.) Simply apply lotion morning and night after using the foam cleanser and treating with topical oil blend for optimal hydration.

Many people claim success with the HD Clear system, reporting more hydrated, clearer, brighter skin with less acne lesions after just a few weeks of use. Some with particularly sensitive skin have reported mild irritation with daily use and subsequently have better success by lessening their use to three to four times per week.

Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Isoamyl Laurate, Niacinamide, Glycerin, Polyglyceryl-6 Distearate, Propanediol, Behenyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Alcohol, Inulin, Microcrystalline Cellulose, Salix alba (Willow) Bark Extract, Nigella sativa (Black Cumin) Seed Oil, Cinnamomum camphora linalool ferum (Ho Wood) Wood Oil, Melaleuca alternifolia (Melaleuca) Leaf Oil, Eucalyptus globulus (Eucalyptus) Leaf Oil, Litsea cubeba (Litsea) Fruit Oil, Pelargonium graveolens(Geranium) Oil, Jojoba Esters, Taraktogenos kurzii Seed Oil, Alpha-Glucan Oligosaccharide, Citrus aurantium amara Fruit Extract, Citrus reticulata Fruit Extract, Citrus sinensis Peel Extract, Cetyl Alcohol, Polyglyceryl-3 Beeswax, Ascorbic Acid, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Sodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Cellulose Gum, Cyamopsis tetragonoloba (Guar) Gum, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Phytate , Capryloyl Glycine, Leptospermum scoparium Branch/Leaf Oil, Palm Glycerides, Citric Acid, Yeast Extract, Potassium Lauroyl Wheat Amino Acids, Avena sativa (Oat) Kernel Extract, Soy Amino Acids, Lactic Acid, Tocopherol, Benzyl Alcohol, Magnolia grandiflora Bark Extract

To view consumer reviews on doTERRA products, click here.

Using Apple Cider Vinegar with Acne

The acidity of apple cider vinegar is great for balancing the PH of skin and preserving its protective barrier, otherwise known as the acid mantle that keeps skin healthy. Apple cider vinegar is best used as a toner after cleansing.

  • Dilute one eighth of a cup of ACV in one cup of distilled water and chill.
  • Saturate a cotton round with solution and pat into dry skin after cleansing.
  • Follow up with moisturizer and SPF.
  • Refrigerate remaining solution for later use.

The solution will exfoliate, remove excess oil, tone skin, and treat and improve acne.

To view consumer reviews for Apple Cider Vinegar Treatments of Acne Click Here

Salt Scrubs Acne Treatment

A mixture of sea salt and coconut oil can be used to fight bacteria and fungi by drawing out impurities. The grainy texture exfoliates dead skin cells and speeds cell turnover so that new, healthier skin cells appear sooner. Here is the treatment protocol:

  • Apply the mixture after cleansing and gently massage (don’t actually scrub) in a circular motion for no more than thirty seconds.
  • Rinse thoroughly with warm water and continue with normal skincare routine.
  • Use no more than twice a week as the PH of salt is higher than skin and overuse can be drying and irritating.

Do not use with other exfoliating treatments or alpha/beta hydroxy acids and wear broad spectrum SPF of at least 30 or more during treatment. It is also imperative to properly moisturize skin during use of salt scrubs as they may cause drying and/or flaking.

To view consumer reviews for Salt Scrub Treatments of Acne Click Here

Acne Natural Healing