Part 1: The Success of Acne Care is Based on a Core Program of 3 to 4 Components.

The success of acne care is based on a core program of 3 to 4 components.

The Core Program consists of three product groups:

Initially, we must properly assess skin type and grade of acne. You must also understand that acne and one’s appearance can affect a person’s life forever. This can and should address mental, social, and financial factors that each person has each and every day. Cleanse, Treat and Protect. This portion will cover Cleansers. There are four product types that work best for acne. These include Salicylic Acid, Benzoyl Peroxide, Antibacterial, and Antimicrobial.

Salicylic Acid

Salicylic Acid is a Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA) that dries the skin. It does not kill Propioni bacteria. Consider this for oily to very mild acne. This is an OTC Drug at 2% with a maximum strength of 3% since it is a wash-off product.

Benzoyl Peroxide

Benzoyl Peroxide is an OTC Drug from 2.5% to 10%. It can also be a prescription drug at the same strengths. This is old school and has been around for over 70 years. It is a drying agent and it can control up to 90% of the Propioni bacteria within 30 seconds but only for a few hours. The Propioni kill rate of 2.5% and 10% is the same. The major issue with this ingredient is that it is too drying and can cause irritation. In fact, the 10% is four times more irritating that the 2.5%.


Antibacterial can be more effective than both ingredients noted above. However, antibacterial controls bacteria to a degree depending upon the active ingredient and its concentration(s). It does not typically kill bacteria at low strengths. The most common ingredient would be ethyl alcohol at 70% concentration, which is very drying and daily use for 25-28 days can cause over stimulation of the oil glands.


Antimicrobial is the finest format because this will kill the bacteria. We utilize maximum strength Benzathonium Chloride (0.2%). The kill rate is 99.9% on instant contact and lasts for four to six hours. The FDA mandates that we state a 20 second delay for kill rate but that is an industry standard and ours at maximum strength has confirming kill rate documentation. It is non-irritating. It can be used 2-3 times daily. Watch for our upcoming blog later this week that will cover Treatments.