"Acne Skincare Routine for Beginners" by The Budget Dermatologist (aka Maren Locke, M.D.) covers a five-product routine for those in the early stages of mild acne or struggling to address it. Her acne treatment uses affordable over-the-counter (OTC) products and is based on scientific research and her experience.
The first product is Adapalene, the most effective OTC topic, a cleanser that removes oil and bacteria from the face.
All brands use the same formulation.
The second product is Benzoyl Peroxide, which kills the bacteria that cause acne and decreases inflammation. She recommends Paula's Choice because its formulation soothes skin.
The third product is a gentle cleanser to remove makeup and oils. Dr. Locke's choice is La Roche-Posay Purifying Foaming Facial Wash, which is fragrance-free and does not include hyaluronic acid.
The fourth product is a moisturizer, and she recommends La Roche-Posay Double Repair Face Moisturizer, even for those with oily skin.
Finally, the fifth product is sunscreen, used because the other medications make users prone to sunburn. Her choice is Australian Gold Botanical Sunscreen.
Dr. Locke describes how and when to use each product. Improvement may take 8 to 12 weeks, but consistent use is critical. If you are not where you want to be in 12 weeks, see your dermatologist, who may recommend other steps.