Suffering from acne can be a stressful task, it often appears as if no matter how much care you take and how well you look after your skin, there is a never-ending cycle of breakouts. Acne is the most common and well-known skin condition amongst teenagers and young adults, with an estimated 80% of the population experiencing symptoms at least once in their life, varying in severity.

Due to the high number of acne sufferers worldwide, luckily, there are now various new, innovative treatment options that are guaranteed to help reduce breakouts. Here we discuss the best proven acne treatments.

The Best Proven Acne Treatments

The method that proves most effective to treat acne very much depends on the individual as each sufferer often experiences slightly different signs on different scales. Whiteheads, blackheads and less commonly, cysts, are all side effects of acne. Blackheads are caused by a build-up of oil and bacteria in the pores; whiteheads are due to an infection in the follicles and cysts appear when the build-up is too deep inside the follicle.

The majority of acne treatments target all three signs, along with reducing the appearance and forming of scarring. If you’re struggling to pinpoint a successful treatment or product that will help manage your acne, then keep reading!


Microneedling is a relatively painless procedure using a small, hand-held roller device filled with minuscule needles that are used to prick the skin. The treatment is popular in the celebrity world due to its proven anti-ageing factors, often used to stimulate the reproduction of collagen to smooth out the skin. The microneedles ability to encourage collagen makes it perfect for decreasing the appearance of scarring due to severe acne.

Clients often opt for microneedling after they have completed a course of treatments to reduce breakouts and limit the reappearance of whiteheads, blackheads and cysts. Once spots have started to clear, they are often left with stubborn scarring. The tiny needles only very slightly puncture the top layer of skin without creating any damage to the deeper layers.

Most clients notice around a 20% reduction in scarring and breakouts after just one session; however, monthly appointments are recommended to maintain full results. A numbing cream is applied prior to the treatment to keep discomfort at a minimum.

dermaroller used for microneedling

Retinol Based Products

Retinol is a type of vitamin A, which similarly to microneedling, is most famously known for its anti-ageing properties and ability to remove wrinkles. However, in recent years, research has uncovered that applying retinol based products to your skin can dramatically improve breakouts.

Applying retinol to the surface of your skin speeds up cell turnover, which reduces the risk of a build-up within your pores. Acne is caused by a combination of oil, dead skin cells and hair which form together and essentially, plug the pore. Blocked pores collect bacteria, which over time, become infected and cause acne. A quicker cell turnover means that skin cells are passing through their lifecycle at a faster rate and dissolving themselves rather than staying put and clogging up your pores. In simple terms, retinol works the same as an exfoliator, but without having to scrub the sensitive skin, which can often become painful.

Retinol is also used to create an evener skin tone, which makes it an even more worthwhile investment for those who suffer from red, blotchy and inflamed skin caused through breakouts.

Some of the most popular retinol skincare brands include Face Theory, Dermalogica and LixirSkin. For more ideas on the best retinol products to purchase, take a look at this Refinery29 article!

skincare serum

Laser Carbon Mask

We are all more than familiar with the craze of charcoal face masks that circled the internet last year, many of which resulting in painful looking videos of people attempting to peel the product from their skin with great difficulty. While this is enough to put anyone off using charcoal for life, the internet is truthful in claiming that charcoal is fantastic for clearing blemish-prone skin, however, was unfortunately used in the wrong format.

The Laser Carbon Mask utilises charcoal correctly using activated charcoal which is applied to the skin and then removed using a specialised laser. Activated charcoal deeply cleanses the skin, drawing out all built up dirt, dead skin cells and excess oil helping to purify the skin and stop infections from forming in the pores.

laser carbon mask

Azelaic Acid

Many people are instantly wary of a product when the word ‘acid’ is included, which is understandable. However, azelaic acid is one of the safest forms of acid you could possibly get your hands on as it is found in whole grains, making it a natural acid.

Azelaic acid, unfortunately, is relatively tricky to get hold of, as many worldwide skincare brands are yet to discover its incredible benefits. NIOD, Medik8 and The Ordinary are some of the only brands that stock purified Azelaic Acid for your skin.

Not only is Azelaic Acid a proven antioxidant, but it is also used to resurface the skin through gentle exfoliation. The acid can be applied to the whole face alone or mixed together with your favourite moisturiser or serum, however, will only target problem areas. It has a form of radar for breakouts and blemishes, banishing all signs of bacteria before it has a chance to impact your skin.

Light Therapy

Light therapy is the perfect solution if your acne causes your skin to become very sensitive and tender to the touch, it is kind to the skin and involves no exfoliation or harsh ingredients, simply natural light.

During light therapy, two types of light are used and emitted through a mask that covers the skin. The lights vary from red to blue, either or a combination of both can be used to treat acne. The blue light kills off all bacteria pestering skin, and the red light is used to repair the skin, reducing swelling, redness and any inflammation around breakouts.

In the past, the only way to experiment with Light Therapy would be through an appointment with an expert dermatologist. However, luckily, with the innovation of skincare and treatments, you can now pick up a Neutrogena Light Therapy Mask for home-use.

red light therapy mask

Achieve Clear, Acne-Free Skin!

When suffering from acne, remember you are not alone, there are millions of others worldwide with similar issues, which is why there are now a whole host of fantastic treatments and products available. Before trying out a new product, always discuss your plans with your dermatologist or GP to ensure that you will not be doing any harm to your skin.

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