OLDPermeation chemist Javon Ford makes beauty products for a living, which means he knows a thing or two about the ingredients in the recipes that line your beauty shelf. And as for acne ingredients, there are some common dry skin culprits that he wants you to stay away from his face.

“I don’t want to dry anything,” says Ford. “Acne is often caused by congested oily skin, and many people think that the solution is to add astringents and drying agents to combat that, but what they don’t realize is their body’s response to their skin problems.” Oily skin is to make even than oil. Your skin needs water, and if you’re dry, your body will rebel and produce more oil to conserve the water you’ve been trying to get rid of. ” and alcohol-based toners — all of which dry out the skin and pose the risk of doing more harm than good for acne-prone skin.

Instead, Ford is a fan of aligning your schedule with a combination of three ingredients that will address acne-related concerns of all levels. Specifically, salicylic acid, which unclogs your pores; niacinamide, which fights inflammation; and vitamin C, prevent dark spots and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation that appear after acne. Keep scrolling to find out why all three of these really are effective Acne-fighting ingredients deserve a place in your routine.

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Acne treatment: salicylic acid

Kate Sommerville EradiKate Salicylic Acid Acne Treatment – $60.00

Salicylic acid took the top spot when both Ford and Pimple Popper’s favorite acne ingredient, and for good reason. The ingredient is a beta-hydroxy acid that crystallizes with a small size that allows it to penetrate deep into your pores, cleaning dirt from the inside out. It also has exfoliating properties, which help prevent the pore-clogging buildup of dead skin cells. “Salicylic acid is gentler than benzoyl peroxide,” says Ford. “It’s still acidic, you can treat it topically and don’t have to use it all over your face, and you can get it for an affordable price.”

For inflammation: niacinamide

For discoloration: vitamin C

1640177702 312 3 Most Effective Acne Ingredients from a Product Formulator

Ascorbic Acid Regular 8% + Alpha Arbutin 2% 75 units – $10.00

While vitamin C isn’t technically an acne ingredient by itself, it’s still a good idea to use an antioxidant every morning as part of your acne routine. “I recommend vitamin C to anyone with acne,” says Ford. “If you have acne, it can cause inflammation, leading to dark spots. But if you’re using vitamin C at the same time as other acne treatments, it can prevent those dark spots from forming.”

For more tips on dealing with adult acne, check out the video below.

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