It's all in the ingredients

Whether it's the here-and-there pimple or a full face of painful blemishes, acne can be an embarrassing and frustrating. Add to that the frustration of deciding what products to buy to control your acne and the situation can be downright painful. Consider this your guide to finding the ingredients best-suited to your skin type.

Benzoyl peroxide works by reducing the bacteria on the skin's surface that causes acne. It also helps dry excess oil and break up dead skin cells. It's important to moisturize daily when using it as it can dry skin out, causing irritation and flakiness. You should also gradually increase in strength to avoid possible adverse reactions. Strength ranges from 2.5 to 10 percent or more for prescription products.

Benzoyl peroxide is best for people with oily skin and people who find that other acne medications don't work. Skip it if you've got excessively dry or sensitive skin.

Salicylic acid helps normalize cell turn over. A buildup of dead skin cells can often be the cause of acne-prone skin. If dead skin cells aren't regularly sloughed away, they can mingle with the natural oils of our skin, blocking pores and causing acne.

Salicylic acid is best for those with dry or easily irritated skin who need a gentler approach to acne control. Because the chemical compound is similar to that in aspirin, those with an aspirin allergy should avoid this ingredient.

Glycolic acid helps to refine skin's appearance by shedding dead skin cells to reveal healthier skin. Glycolic acid helps to prevent breakouts by sloughing off the dead skin cells before they mingle with dirt and oil to clog pores. It also helps improve the effectiveness of other skin products, making it an extremely effective form of acne control. Glycolic acid also helps retain moisture on the skin's surface, leaving a radiant complexion in its wake.

Glycolic acid is good for those seeking an adult acne treatment because it targets blemishes and wrinkles and fine lines. Avoid glycolic acid if you're pregnant, a teen or have easily irritated skin.

As is the case with all acne treatments, seeing results may take time. Give any new treatment at least one month before determining its effectiveness.

Make sure to give skin time to adjust to new products and monitor the skin carefully. If it feels tight or dry, or if flaking, redness or irritation is present, cut back or discontinue all together.

Another important step in effective acne treatment is to be consistent. Frequently changing skin products can be harmful or irritating to skin. Once you find a rhythm and routine that works for you, stick with it.