Acne is a common skin condition which can cause a lot of psychological impact on patients. In this first blog post Dr Sophie Ladbrooke shares her personal recommendations for over the counter products that can be helpful for mild acne.


1. La Roche-Posay Effaclar range - the cleanser, moisturiser and toner set

  • Recommended by multiple consultant dermatologists who were teaching on my dermatology diploma course
  • Contains salicylic acid which helps to unblock pores - this generally works better than a physical exfoliating scrub
  • Contains niacinamide which helps to reduce sebum production and has anti-inflammatory properties
  • If you are already on a prescribed treatment for acne (particularly a retinol prescription) then the Effaclar range may be a bit too strong. If this is the case then the Cetaphil moisturiser is very gentle. You can use this both as a cleanser and a moisturiser so there is no need to buy the separate Cetaphil cleanser and moisturiser products


2. Paula’s choice 2% BHA liquid exfoliant (You could use this instead of the La Roche-Posay toner) 

  • A personal recommendation that I have found helpful
  • Contains salicylic acid which helps to unblock the top layer of skin


3. Benzoyl peroxide - works as a bacteriostatic to stop bacteria developing (different to an antibiotic which requires a prescription)

  • One of the key ingredients in ‘Duac’ -  a commonly prescribed gel containing an antibiotic and benzoyl peroxide
  • Can cause dryness - if this occurs start using alternate days initially
  • Be cautious that it can bleach dark towels/sheets!


The above guide is useful for mild acne. Moderate and severe acne will need prescription products which Sophie discuses in her blog post Advise on helpful treatments; part two


Appointments with Dr Ladbrooke are available:

  • Friday: 2pm - 6pm



*Please note that Dr Sophie Ladbrooke has no affiliation with any of the companies listed above, these are her personal recommendations only.

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