Acne, also known as acne vulgaris, is a common skin disease that most individuals will face in some form during their life, with varying degrees and categories within.
We’ve consulted the British Medical Journal’s (BMJ) Best Practice Acne guide to consolidate the best practices across acne treatment to date. We will continue to update VSC with more Best Practice guidelines in line with dermatological research.
BMJ’s prevention method option 1: “General good skin care techniques.” The BMJ, like many dermatology journals, does not provide a detailed guide of recommended products, instead noting to “only use ‘non-comedogenic’ products on skin; to not pick, squeeze or scratch acne lesions and avoid getting hair products on the skin.”
VSC’s take: We certainly agree that minimal or no touching of acne is best, thorough rinsing after washing or treating your hair (and keeping hair gel/spray/serums away from your skin when possible). As for “good skin care techniques”, opt for a gentle cleanser free of fragrance (including essential oils) and cleanse the face and (and body if affected) morning and night.
BMJ’s mild acne treatment approach: Try first a topical retinoid, followed by salicylic acid, topical antibiotics and benzoyl peroxide for both comedonal and non-comedonal acne.
VSC’s take: The above treatments are effective but should not always be your first port of call – a ‘skin rest’ period is advisable, where minimal products and makeup are used (combined with a review of all products and potential irritants across your routine/lifestyle).
BMJ’s moderate acne treatment approach: Topical retinoids, followed by an oral antibiotic and azelaic acid/benzoyl peroxide.
VSC’s take: Moderate acne should be treated topically with vegan skin care products including benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid in combination daily to treat and target existing blemishes.
BMJ’s severe acne treatment approach: A course of oral isotretinoin.
VSC’s take: Treating with isotretinoin should be, as BMJ has listed, a last resort, and one considered at length. This type of oral treatment takes a considerable toll on the body, and this should be weighed against the individual’s mental well-being and current state, noting that this type of oral drug will have been animal tested.
If you’ve treated your acne with any or the vegan or non-vegan options above, we would love to know your experience and your opinion on these best product guidelines, so please join the conversation and comment below!