Types of Acne Management | Best Pimple Cream - Proactiv New Zealand

Best Products for Acne Management & Blemish Control Solutions

One of the most important factors in trying to find the best acne treatment is often as simple as finding a regime that works for you and that you can stick to. Most cases of mild to moderate acne can be improved with "off the shelf" products that don't require a prescription from your doctor. There’s a wide range of acne control solutions available, so there’s a great chance one of them will work for you.

If you start controlling acne early before it gets too severe, you’ll have a much better chance of avoiding emotional problems down the track. If your pimples get worse or last more than a couple of weeks, you should see a dermatologist to find the right treatment for your particular situation. Some of the most common products used to get clear skin are:

Benzoyl Peroxide: Clears and helps prevent pimples (contained in Proactiv+ Step 1 Skin Smoothing Exfoliator, Proactiv+ Step 2 Pore Targeting Solution with Smart Target™ Technology and Proactiv+ Clear Blemish Relief). 

Salicylic Acid: Unclogs your pores and encourages skin renewal (contained in Proactiv+ Step 3 Complexion Hydrator, Proactiv+ Mark Fading Pads and Proactiv+ Cleansing Body Bar).

Benzoyl Peroxide

What it is?

One of the most commonly used ingredients for the control of acne. Benzoyl Peroxide is an ingredient that can be very effective in managing breakouts.

Where to get it?

Benzoyl Peroxide is available in a wide range of gels, creams, lotions and cleansers (such as Proactiv) in concentrations of 2.5% and 5%. As with any product, read the label carefully and follow the instructions for proper use.

Common side effects

Dryness: The most common side effect, dryness, is usually mild. If the skin is visibly scaly, apply a light oil-free moisturiser. NOTE: If you experience dryness, irritation or dermatitis, you may want to give your skin some time to recover by trying a lower concentration or reduce the frequency of use.

Irritation: Mild irritation may be reduced by less frequent use. Keep from eyes, lips, mouth and sensitive areas of the neck. If excessive swelling, irritation, redness or peeling occurs, discontinue use. If these persist, consult a physician. Avoid excessive exposure to sunlight and other sources of ultra violet light.

Dermatitis: Contact dermatitis (red, dry, itchy skin) can be caused by irritation or allergy. If you experience contact dermatitis, discontinue use immediately and treat it with a mild topical steroid, such as hydrocortisone cream (available in most pharmacies), or consult a healthcare professional.

 Bleaching of clothing: Benzoyl Peroxide products may bleach or discolour towels and fabrics. Wash hands after use and allow skin to dry completely before coming into contact with clothing.

Spot Treatments - Salicylic Acid

What is it?

Salicylic Acid is a mild acid that works as a keratolytic agent which means it encourages the shedding of dead skin cells. For acne sufferers of most skin types, Salicylic Acid is an effective answer for mild blemishes, oily skin, and changes in skin texture.

Where to get it?

Many “off-the-shelf” pimple products contain Salicylic Acid, including lotions, creams and alcohol-based solutions. As with any product, make sure you read the label carefully and follow the instructions for proper use.

Common side effects

Dryness: Dryness is the most common side effect and is usually mild. If the skin is visibly scaly, apply a light oil-free moisturiser.

Irritation: Children are more likely to get skin irritation from Salicylic Acid. If you experience mild irritation, try using the product less frequently. If irritation is severe or persists even when you’re not using it as often, you should stop using the product and consult a healthcare professional.


The approved range of Salicylic Acid concentrations for acne systems is 0.5%–2%. Salicylic Acid can be very drying to the skin, even in low concentrations. If you experience dryness or irritation, take a look at the other skin products you're using. Some products can enhance the keratolytic properties of Salicylic Acid, leaving your skin dry. A few things to avoid if you are experiencing dryness or irritation when you’re using Salicylic Acid products:

Abrasive soaps or cleansers

Alcohol-containing preparations
Any other topical skin preparation or any preparation containing a peeling agent (Benzoyl Peroxide, Resorcinol, Sulfur, or Tretinoin [Vitamin A Acid])
Cosmetics or soaps that dry the skin
Medicated cosmetics