Acne-Prone SkinAcne isn’t just a problem for teens. Those pesky zits and pimples can pop up at any age. Whether it’s your diet,environment or stress that’s to blame, you don’t have to suffer helplessly. To get the skinny on acne, we talked to board-certified dermatologist Cynthia Bailey, M.D., president and CEO of Advanced Skin Care and Dermatology Physicians, Inc. and Founder of DrBaileySkinCare.com. Here she shares her best tips on how to choose the right acne cleanser for you, as well as how to use it to get the best results. Look for Key Ingredients According to Dr. Bailey, the best facial cleansers for acne should have at least one of these key ingredients: salicylic acid, glycolic acid or benzoyl peroxide. Cleansers with these ingredients can penetrate your pores and eliminate pore-clogging impurities—like dead skin cells, makeup, excess oil and bacteria—that irritate skin and make acne worse. “Acne cleansers with these ingredients will gradually unclog pores, reduce the size of existing blackheads and slow or stop the formation of new ones,” she says. “Benzoyl peroxide is also the best ingredient for treating the acne-causing bacteria called p. acnes. In fact, study after study continues to show that benzoyl peroxide is more effective than prescription topical antibiotics at treating p. acnes.” Aside from a facial cleanser, Dr. Bailey also recommends using a skin toner or astringent to remove even more oil and deliver additional acne-fighting ingredients. And if your acne is really severe, seek advice from your dermatologist on additional topical products, medicines, moisturizers and sunscreen to apply on top of these cleansers. How to Wash Acne-Prone Skin According to Dr. Bailey, it’s not enough to have a facial cleanser designed for acne-prone skin. Half the battle is properly washing your face. Here’s what she recommends: “First, wet your face with warm water, then lather your cleanser over all of your facial skin. Depending on your skin type, you can use your fingers, an exfoliating cloth or a sonic skin-cleansing brush system. Rinse well with warm water to remove the lather entirely. Some of the important acne cleanser ingredients will stay behind, but the cleanser’s foaming agents as well as built-up oil, dead cells, products and bacteria will be rinsed off of your skin.” For best results, Dr. Bailey also recommends washing your face twice, morning and evening, to thoroughly cleanse and deliver acne-fighting ingredients to your skin.