*We have scoured the world for the best acne treatments to save you time, energy and money. These are our Top 3*
I’ll admit it: there was a time during my teens where my acne held me back from being truly happy. When I younger I didn’t have the options that teenagers have available to them today. In fact, I kind of hate you guys for having so many ways of treating your acne.
Okay I don’t hate you but I am a little jealous!
Even though things are changing at a rapid pace, one thing is not and that is the things we should be looking for in a quality acne product.
Here’s what you should be looking for in an acne treatment:
The problem with products like Proactiv is they tend to rely too much on one ingredient. For example, benzoyl peroxide works to break down the dead skin cells that can cause acne. However, too much BP will dry out your skin causing it to shed, potentially leading to an even worse breakout than you began with. Therefore, the best products are those which contain a nice balance between ingredients that dry out and zap the pimple-causing bacteria, as well as those which provide it with the hydration it needs.
The more steps you add to your daily acne cleansing routine, the better your results will be. The best acne kits are those which have the most number of products and therefore the most number of steps.
- Response Time
Treating your acne does take time, so don’t expect to see results overnight. The best acne kits, should provide a super-fast response from the time you apply it to the time to start to notice its effects. A quality product will offer you relief within the first month. Poorer products tend to take a lot longer or even worse, do nothing at all.
- Long Term Results
Our skin has the ability to adapt to most types of treatment. It is pretty common to see great results in the first month of treatment, only to be slapped across the face with a nasty breakout the following month! The most effective acne kits provide you with long term results, preventing your skin from adapting too quickly to the ingredients you put into it.
This is the easiest way of determining the quality of a product. Those with a strong guarantee, are more likely to offer better results than those with a weaker, or non-existant, one.
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Those looking for a potent, yet gentle, form of acne treatment, may be interested in ZenMed’s kits. If there’s one thing they do right (although there are many things they do right), it would be their level of customization.
They offer 4 separate kits to choose from:
- Derma Cleanse System
- Acne Therapy For Oily Skin
- Acne Therapy For Combination Skin
- Acne Therapy For Dry Mature Skin
This kit has less emphasis on direct skin application and more on supplemental treatment.
It does come with an Acne Gel that you’re supposed to apply before you take your Derma Cleanse Capsule which contains a whole host of natural acne-fighting herbs.
Then you are supposed to supplement that treatment with daily applications of the Acne Gel Cleanser.
Acne Therapy For Oily Skin
The first of the therapies more targeted towards direct skin application. All of these kits come with the Acne Gel Cleanser and the Acne Gel from the Derma Cleanse kit.
You also get an oil free lotion, plus an Acne Mask and Spot Treatment Combination all of which needs to be applied twice a day for best results.
The primary ingredients they like to use are salicylic acid and glycolic acid. Like Murad, they don’t use Benzoyl Peroxide which I personally think is amazing as Benzoyl Peroxide can really ravage your skin of moisture.
Acne Therapy For Combination Skin
The only difference between this kit and the previous one, is they have substituted the Acne Gel for their AHA/BHA Complex.
Of course AHA is essentially glycolic acid and BHA is salicylic acid. Both of these ingredients help to unclog pores that would normally lead to breakouts.
Acne Therapy For Dry Mature Skin
For those with dry skin, there’s a kit with AHA/BHA Complex, Facial Cleansing Gel, Oil Free Lotion and a Renewing Lotion.
The major difference is of course the Renewing Lotion that contains a whole host of moisturizing agents including aloe vera gel and hyaluronic acid.
Who Is This For?
This acne treatment line is for anyone who wants to kill their acne, but not the health of their skin or the earth for that matter since Zenmed prides themselves on providing quality products with a conscience.
Their kits are more affordable than most, yet still provide seriously remarkable results and we know that because we tested it first-hand. So if you don’t wanna break the bank, you might wanna give one of their kits a try.
#2: Exposed Acne Treatment
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Exposed Skin Care came onto the market in 2002, but were pushed to the back of the line by the one and only Proactiv. What’s interesting is they designed their products to be better than their main competition, but always seemed to fall flat.
Not having as much money to spend on marketing, Exposed didn’t really have a chance to compete with Proactiv, which is why we have never heard too much about it.
So how does Exposed measure up to the likes of Zenmed?
Their Formula Is Balanced
Most kits rely solely on benzoyl peroxide, however your skin can adapt to that ingredient. This means that over time benzoyl peroxide will have less of an effect on your skin.
The only way to counter that is to rub in more benzoyl peroxide, but that can also dry out your skin and lead to far worse acne breakouts in the future.
While it also uses salicylic acid, I’m just not a huge fan of having to slather this drying ingredient all over my face just to get rid of my acne.
Natural ingredients are also used to help counteract the drying properties of the ingredients mentioned above, however it can still wreak havoc on all different skin types.
They Have Depth In Their Kits
Similar to Zenmed, there is a variety of kits to choose from which I really like:
- 5 Piece Kit: Contains a facial cleanser, clearing tonic, acne treatment serum, clear pore serum and a derm-x cloth (used to exfoliate away dead skin cells)
- 6-Piece Kit: Contains a facial cleanser, clearing tonic, acne treatment serum, clear pore serum, a derm-x cloth, plus their acne moisturizer.
- 9-Piece Kit: Contains a facial cleanser, clearing tonic, acne treatment serum, clear pore serum, a derm-x cloth, moisturizer, plus a microderm scrub, clarifying mask and a probiotic complex.
The important thing to mention is the number of steps each kits requires you to do every day. Now maybe I’m just lazy but nine steps? Really? That just sounds super time consuming to me.
A Mediocre Response Time
Most people we have spoken to who have used one of Exposed Skin Care’s kits has managed to see results after waiting at least two weeks since first starting to use the product.
While it’s understandable that some treatments just take longer, waiting more than 2 weeks to see any sort of results seems a bit excessive to me.
They Guarantee Long Term Results
They actually have two guarantees:
- 30 Day Guarantee
If you aren’t happy with the results, you can get a refund within 30 days of purchase.
- 1 Year Guarantee
If a year has passed and you can prove your acne has not improved after using an Exposed kit, they will refund your purchase. That’s pretty incredible.
I really like that Exposed has chosen to do this and provide their customers with a reassuring guarantee. I just wonder how many people have taken them up on that?
Tip. If you want to be sure you get your money back, take a picture of yourself holding up that day’s newspaper before you start treatment. That way you can prove to them after a year that your skin has not improved.
Who Is This For?
Whether you have moderate to severe acne, Exposed seems to have an option for you. However, if you have dry or sensitive skin be extra careful of their ingredients list and the sheer amount of potentially drying ingredients before buying.
#3: Murad Acne Complex
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If you’re looking for a more simplified version of Exposed Skin Care’s acne kits, then Murad’s Acne Complex may be the right choice for you. This is a brand that’s well known mostly for their line of anti aging products, however they certainly have entered the acne market with a bang via their Acne Complex system.
What’s great about this product is they offer a cheaper introductory kit ($29.95) for the first 30 days and they haven’t ‘skimped out’ either. You still get the same products in this kit as you would with the regular version ($88).
I guess it’s their way of getting people in the door. The question is, does their kit deliver quality results?
Their 5-Piece Kit
Although they don’t offer as many options as Zenmed or Exposed in terms of depth, their 5-piece kit is certainly made up of somewhat high-quality products:
- Exfoliating Acne Gel
- Clarifying Cleanser
- Clarifying Mask
- Skin Perfecting Lotion
- Acne Spot Treatment
Exfoliating Acne Gel (normally $54)
I like the concept of using a gel to help unclog pores, as it has a better chance of penetrating deeper into the skin. I’m a little unsure as to why they only went with 1% salicylic acid. I think if they introduced benzoyl peroxide into the mix, I’m sure the results it could offer would be much greater. Still a great idea which is the reason why it’s one of their most popular products.
Clarifying Cleanser (normally $26)
This cleanser uses 1.5% salicylic acid to help break down dead unwanted skin cells, but the real results it offer are its ability to effectively eliminate acne causing bacteria.
Clarifying Mask (normally $37)
This mask uses Sulfur to draw out any excess oil after the initial treatment is done. Not many acne kits include a mask, so it’s one of the draws to buying Murad over anything else. It’s also the reason why they charge a little more than most.
Skin Perfecting Lotion (normally $35)
Nice name, but I would say it exactly makes your skin ‘perfect’. It is however an oil free alternative to most moisturizers. I wouldn’t say this is the most natural of lotions, however it certainly won’t have a negative effect on your acne.
Acne Spot Treatment (normally $18)
Finally these guys are starting to get it! For such a long time, no acne kit included a spot treatment, which is crazy because breakouts can occur as random times and the best way to beat them is to apply spot treatment.
Who Is This For?
Anyone who doesn’t want to apply benzoyl peroxide to their skin. If you know you react poorly to this ingredient, then you can rest assure you won’t have those issues with Murad.
Probably the best things about Murad’s Introductory Kit, is the price at $29.95 for the first 30 days. After that you will have to start paying $88, but at least you can give it a try and see what kind of results it can give you.
They say that some people have seen improvements within 3 days, but I find that hard to believe. I think you’re more likely to see the effects of treatment more closer to the one month mark.
Still, this is a very good product and I’m sure you will see an improvement in the severity an frequency on your breakouts.
From here, you might want to consider glancing over our full Zenmed review or check out our girl Caitlyn’s review on the Zenmed kit for combination skin.
We go into way greater detail so if I’ve left any questions unanswered here, I’m sure this review will give you the information I missed.