Over-the-Counter Acne Treatments

These are excellent OTC acne treatments that can be used alone or as a planned component of the acne regimen I prescribed/recommended. NOTE: if you are following a prescribed acne regimen, do not add extra OTC products without consulting me first.

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CeraVe Acne Foaming Cream Cleanser

This is a gentle formulation and great for acne on the face and back. It contains 4% benzoyl peroxide and works best if left on for a few minutes before rinsing. It can be used for folliculitis or hidradenitis suppurativa.

Panoxyl Acne Foaming Wash

This product is a very effective treatment for acne, folliculitis, and hidradenitis suppurativa. It contains 10% benzoyl peroxide which is the highest percentage available. It works best when left on a few minutes before rinsing.

Differin Gel

Differin Gel contains 0.1% adapalene which is the only retinoid ingredient available over the counter. It should be introduced slowly and only a pea sized amount applied to the face a night, rubbed in a thin layer.

La Roche-Posay Effaclar Gel

This product also contains 0.1% adapalene. It is more expensive and harder to find, but some people find it easier to tolerate than Differin.

CeraVe Renewing SA Cleanser

This cleanser contains salicylic acid which as an acne fighting ingredient. It gently exfoliates the skin and is tolerated better but overall it is not as effective at fighting acne as products containing benzoyl peroxide or adapalene.