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“Acne is extremely common and normal. The type of acne and severity can vary dramatically, but almost all teenagers will experience it at some point,” says Dr. Katie Beleznay, a dermatologist practising in Vancouver. “However, we know there can be significant psychological impacts from acne so treating it is important for multiple reasons.”

Beleznay advises addressing underlying acne as well as treating existing breakouts. For this, she recommends looking for a wash or leave-on product containing salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide at the drugstore, as both ingredients have demonstrated benefits in fighting acne. “You can also consider using a topical retinoid,” she says.

For day-to-day skin care, Beleznay recommends developing a basic and consistent routine, stressing that a little goes a long way. “Overwashing can actually make acne worse,” she says, advising to avoid overexfoliating skin and picking at pimples.

My recommendation: I had my fair share of zits growing up, an unwelcome condition that helped me stick to a daily skin-care routine. In addition to salicylic acid, Bioderma’s new Sébium Active Foaming Gel contains ingredients that help regulate sebum production while preserving the natural balance of the skin.


Bioderma Sébium Active Foaming Gel, $20 at drugstores (

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