Buy a dermatologist’s favorite acne products

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Elizabeth Kream, MD, a certified dermatologist based in Chicago, has struggled with acne since college and couldn’t really get it under control until she entered medical school. Now she is able to use everything she has learned while managing her own acne to help others do the same.

“I think acne is a lot of fun to deal with… because I struggle with it myself,” says Dr. Kream, who is currently in his third year residency at the University of Illinois at Chicago. “When I was younger it was on my face, just the classic blackheads and whiteheads. And then in medical school, when I was in my twenties, there was definitely an acne component in women. adult, which we usually describe as somewhat deeper discs that are found on the lower face, chin and jaw. “

Dr Kream says there is some super exciting technology out there that will soon make treating acne even easier. But in the meantime, there are plenty of hot topics, prescription and over-the-counter, that are working wonders. Read on to find out more about the products she swears by.

Buy a dermatologist’s favorite acne products

Facial cleansers

Dr. Kream is a huge fan of rotating face washes. Sometimes she uses a gentle cleanser like Vanicream Unscented Gentle Facial Cleanser ($ 9) and other times she uses an exfoliating cleanser like Neutrogena Clear Pore Facial Cleanser / Mask ($ 7) or Cleansing Gel. Perfecting Dr Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Beta Pore ($ 14 to $ 38). When using a cleanser that has active ingredients, like the last two, she uses them in the morning to avoid mixing with the retinoid that she uses at night. In order to let these active ingredients really work their magic, she lets the product rest a little on her skin before washing it off.

“I just like to apply it to my skin when it’s dry and let it sit for a minute or two while I brush my teeth so that I can let it do its job,” she says. “I feel like if you just apply it to your skin right away when it’s wet and rinse it off afterwards, you really don’t get a ton of benefits from these active ingredients.”

Vanicream Fragrance Free Gentle Facial Cleanser, Dermatologist's Favorite Acne Products

Vanicream Fragrance Free Gentle Facial Cleanser – $ 9.00

“Sometimes I use a gentle cleanser,” says Dr. Kream. “You don’t want your skin to be perfectly clean and damaging the skin barrier, because then it will be very irritated. This Vanicream cleanser is super gentle while helping to remove makeup and excess oil.

Neutrogena Clear Pore Facial Cleanser / Mask – $ 7.00

Dr. Kream enjoys using this Neutrogena product which contains 3.5 percent benzoyl peroxide, which penetrates deep into the pores to remove dirt and debris that leads to acne. It can be used as a daily cleanser and can also be left on for up to five minutes as an intensive deep cleansing mask.


When it comes to treatments, Dr Kream likes to use Dr Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Beta Universal Daily Peel ($ 17.00- $ 150.00), a retinoid like SkinBetter AlphaRet Overnight Cream ($ 125) and SkinCeuticals Serum. CE Ferulic ($ 166).

Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Beta Universal Daily Peel, dermatologist's favorite acne products

Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Beta Universal Daily Peeling – $ 17.00 to $ 150.00

A few times a week, Dr. Kream likes to use these compresses to gently exfoliate his skin. “I love to take them with me when I travel because that’s when I might not be so good at removing perfect makeup at night,” she says. “I just use them to make sure I keep my pores unclogged.”

SkinBetter AlphaRet Night Cream

SkinBetter AlphaRet Night Cream – $ 125.00

At night, Dr. Kream uses a pea-sized amount of prescription tretinoin. Tretinoin is a retinoid so it helps promote cell turnover which is very helpful in keeping pores acne free. If you don’t have access to prescription products, she recommends this over-the-counter retinoid cream from SkinBetter. “It’s a really good retinoid that a lot of people love,” she says. “It’s still pretty potent, but it’s tolerated well enough.”

SkinCeuticals CE Ferulic

SkinCeuticals CE Ferulic – $ 166.00

“It’s not just for acne, but I love SkinCeuticals CE Ferulic Serum,” says Dr. Kream. “It’s awesome.” This serum contains vitamins C, E and ferulic to lighten the skin and help protect against oxidative stress while replenishing skin lipids. Earlier this year, SkinCeuticals launched Silymarin CF ($ 166), which is a version of this serum made specifically for acne-prone skin. Although she hasn’t tried it herself, she says many of her coworkers love her.


A common misconception that Dr. Kream hears from his acne-prone patients is that they shouldn’t hydrate. “I tell them that if they don’t hydrate their skin, they won’t be able to tolerate the retinoids, the active ingredients and their acne medications,” she says. Plus, hydration will help limit your body’s natural production of sebum (the oil that causes rashes) because when the skin is dehydrated, it tries to make up for the difference by producing excess oil on its own. ‘oil. “Of course you want to look for things on the labels that say ‘non-comedogenic,’ which means it’s not going to clog your pores,” says Dr. Kream. Her favorites are the SkinCeuticals Triple Lipid Restore $ 130 and the Neutrogena Hydro Boost ($ 18).

SkinCeuticals triple lipid restoration

SkinCeuticals Triple Lipid Restoration – $ 130.00

“In the winter, I really like the SkinCeuticals Triple Lipid Restore,” says Dr. Kream. “Sometimes if I’m feeling really dry I even put some before and after my retinoid to be sandwiched in between. [layers of moisture]. “This cream is pleasant and rich and contains pure ceramides, fatty acids similar to the skin and vitamin E to restore elasticity and hydration to the skin while helping to defend against environmental damage.

Neutrogena Hydro Boost, dermatologist's favorite acne products

Neutrogena Hydro Boost – $ 18.00

“In the summer I’m definitely fatter and don’t need that much moisture, so most of the time I’ll just use Neutrogena Hydro Boost,” says Dr. Kream. This water gel moisturizer is full of hyaluronic acid to keep your skin hydrated throughout the day.

Learn more about the management of adult acne:

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