The Harsh (Chemical) Truth Of Acne Treatments

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By Elizabeth Franklin FEB 2, 2022
  • Read below for some insight into the harsh, damaging effects of some acne treatments and what you can do to save your skin.
  • SpoiledChild’s SpoiledBrain™ quiz matches you to your perfect skin sequence in just 90 seconds.

Acne doesn’t stop after puberty, unfortunately. For those of us learning to incorporate anti-aging skincare into our routines, sensitive & blemish-prone skin can become even more irritated thanks to the cocktails of retinols, AHAs and spot treatments we apply to our faces each night. (You can take this short quiz to find the right non-irritating cocktail sequence for you.)

Why does this happen? Isn’t skincare for acne supposed to help clear your skin, not damage it even further? We’re here to give you some insight into the harsh, damaging effects of some acne treatments and what you can do to save your skin.

Many acne treatments contain alcohol, which can strip your skin of essential moisture.

Tons of spot treatments, toners and other acne-addressing products include SD Alcohol 40 or Denatured Alcohol. These types of alcohols will strip the skin’s moisture barrier and leave your skin feeling dry.

Acne is most often associated with having oily skin, and so ingredients that eliminate moisture from your skin may seem like a good thing - but dry skin can break out just as well.

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When a product dries out your skin, it causes damage to your moisture barrier, the outer protective layer of the skin responsible for retaining hydration and shedding dead skin cells. A damaged moisture barrier is riddled with invisible cracks in the skin that allow moisture to evaporate out and irritants to get in more easily. Your skin then feels tight, dry and flaky, and extra susceptible to irritation.

Feeling like a product ‘burns so good’? Yeah… not so good.

“No pain no gain” is not the philosophy we stand by when it comes to skincare. The tingling, burning, or otherwise painful sensations that make you think ‘I can feel it working!’ usually just means that the product isn’t doing you any good. Using harsh exfoliants, super strong ingredients, or fragranced products will typically only further damage the skin, not help it. Take our word for it - skip the sting and find skincare that has your best interests in mind - this quiz can help.

Do you suffer from dry, irritated skin as a result of the above?

Stop what you’re doing and do this instead.

Repair your moisture barrier

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Hyaluronic acid holds 1,000 times its weight in water, making it a heavy-hitting hero ingredient when it comes to hydration. Other helpful elements include lactic acid, niacinamide and ceramides, which also work to repair your barrier and elevate the skin’s moisture levels.

Pulling moisture back into your skin is essential to restoring your skin’s moisture barrier and keeping harmful irritants or allergens from seeping into the inner layers of your dermis.

Find the ‘good’ alcohol

Not all alcohols are created equally. Some alcohols can actually be good for your skin. For instance, SpoiledChild’s S34 Clarifying Prebiotic Treatment for Acne-Prone Skin is formulated with behenyl alcohol which is a fatty alcohol that helps to effectively condition and soften the skin.

Want to see if this product is right for you? Take this quiz to find out.

Ask SpoiledBrain

TAKE your prebiotics

Some bacterias are actually ‘good’, and necessary for healthy skin.

Probiotics - the healthy, beneficial bacteria - are super important, but what really lets the healthy bacteria in your skin thrive are prebiotics.

Prebiotics maintain the pH level of your skin to allow healthy bacteria to thrive, protecting the skin from external pathogens or irritants. The ingredient combats acne-related inflammation and is proven to reduce skin sensitivity and promote a youthful glowy appearance to the skin. The S34 Clarifying Prebiotic Treatment for Acne-Prone Skin is packed with prebiotics to calm breakouts when they start and prevent them before they happen.

We can’t do much to eliminate the other painful constants of adulthood (like taxes), but acne doesn’t have to be forever. Check out SpoiledChild’s new line of skin products to take control of your skin and never compromise.

Not sure where to start? Take this IA-powered quiz to find the perfect acne solution for you.

Ask SpoiledBrain