First there was Olay Total Effects, then there was Regenerist and ProX, now there’s Olay Professional ProX Clear Acne Protocol ($31.98, Amazon.com). Designed to target patients with acne, the line provides all of the benefits of the original Olay Professional ProX, but with 1.8% salicyclic acid to combat acne and keep future breakouts at bay.
Salicyclic acid, a beta hydroxy acid, combats acne in three ways: One, it is mildly irritating to the skin, drying out lesions; two, it acts a mild anti-inflammatory agent; and three, it softens the keratin within the skin, accelerating cell turnover. Numerous studies have shown that 0.05-2% salicyclic acid is effective in treating both inflammatory and non-inflammatory acne lesions, including a 1992 study in Clinical Therapeutics. Salicyclic acid is safe for the skin as well, as 30% salicyclic peels were administered for 12 weeks to patients without scarring or significant side effects in a study published in Dermatologic Surgery. After a few weeks of use, even those without acne are likely to notice that their pores may be cleaner, and therefore appear smaller.
Comparative studies have shown 2% salicyclic acid (a keratinolytic) is superior to 10% benzoyl peroxide (an antibacterial agent) in treating acne, according to Clinical Therapeutics. However, some skin care lines, like ProActiv Solution, target acne both ways, unlike Olay Professional ProX Clear Acne Protocol.
As with any over-the-counter acne regimen, Olay Professional ProX Clear Acne Protocol needs to be used regularly in order to maintain results.
Niacinamide: The Real Powerhouse at Work
I can just imagine the scientist who discovered niacinamide’s effects when s/he applied it topically to skin for the first time; it must’ve been a real “Eureka!” type of moment. Niacinamide has been shown to do everything from stimulating collagen production and increasing elasticity to reducing fine lines and wrinkles, hyperpigmented spots, red blotchiness, and yellowing, according to a review in Dermatologic Surgery. So you know I am thrilled with the entire Olay Professional ProX line, which contains niacinamide in concentrations I approximate around 4%, and certainly amongst the highest in the over-the-counter market.
Niacinamide has also been shown to treat acne when it is used alone. In a 1995 study by Takozaki et. al., it was reported that a 4% topical niacinamide treatment applied twice daily may reduce inflammation with similar efficacy to 1% clindamycin, a type of antibiotic. Not as effective as salicyclic acid or benzoyl peroxide, mind you, but still a solid 1-1.5 punch in the fight against acne.
Best for Normal/Oily to Oily Skin
Salicyclic acid may be somewhat drying to those with sensitive or dry skin, and therefore I would say Olay Professional ProX Clear Acne Protocol is best for those with oily skin.
There are two groups of people with acne out there: Those who are looking to cure their severe acne, and those who are looking to cure their mild-to-moderate acne while addressing other concerns, like rough skin texture, hyperpigmentation, and dryness. This line is not for the first group, as it is not the most potent acne medication available. However, if you have mild-to-moderate acne and have other signs of aging you would like to address as well, then it is amongst the best over-the-counter lines I have seen. It has been proven effective for mild to moderate acne with continued twice-daily use. It is also less drying than many other anti-acne skin care lines and likely to make skin appear younger and smoother with continued use over time, due to its high concentration of niacinamide. Therefore I would recommend this line to anyone with mild-to-moderate acne. Of course, as always, check with your dermatologist first, as s/he may be able to give you more targeted advice and treatments.
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Olay Professional ProX Clear Acne Protocol Ingredients
Pore Clarifying Cleanser: Active Ingredients: Salicylic Acid 1.8%.
Inactive Ingredients: Water, Cetyl Betaine, PPG-15 Stearyl Ether, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Glycerin, Stearyl Alcohol, Distearyldimonium Chloride, Cetyl Alcohol, Steareth-21, Behenyl Alcohol, PPG-30, Steareth-2, Disodium EDTA.
Skin Clearing Treatment: Active Ingredient: Salicylic Acid 1.5%.
Inactive Ingredients: Water, Glycerin, PPG-15 Stearyl Ether, Polymethysilsesquioxane, Dimethicone, Isohexadecane, Titaniumdioxide, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Decylene Glycol, Stearyl Alcohol, Cetyl Alcohol, Behenyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Glucoside, Gimethiconol, Bisabolol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Steareth-21, Polysorbate 60, Disodium EDTA, Zingiber
Complexion Renewing Lotion: Water, Cyclopentasilxoane, Glycerin, Niacinamide, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Pentylene Glycol, Dimethicone, Panthenol, Hydroxyethylacrylate/Sodiumacryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Decylene Glycol, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Isohexadecane, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Undecylenoylphenylalanine, Triethanolamine, Bisabolol, Dimethiconal, Tocopherylacetate, Laureth-4, Polysorbate 60, Disodium EDTA, Caprylyl Glycol, Ethylhexyl Glycerin, Hexylene Glycol, Zingiber Officinale (Ginger) Root Extract, Phenoxyethanol, Benzyl Alcohol, Sodium Benzoate, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate.
Founder and CEO Nicki Zevola started FutureDerm as a medical (M.D.) student studying to be a dermatologist. She is an award-winning scientific researcher and writer. She currently is concentrating on FutureDerm and developing FutureDerm's one-of-a-kind products. She can be found on Google+ and Twitter.View all Nicki Zevola posts.
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