Botanical over-the-counter regimen reduces acne lesions




An over-the-counter botanical acne regimen outperformed a conventional acne regimen, with improved skin appearance and fewer lesions after 12 weeks of treatment, in a double-blind randomized controlled trial.

Eighty individuals aged 12 years and older with mild to moderate acne were randomized either to a three-step botanical-based acne treatment regimen (Receutics) consisting of a skin cleanser, breakout treatment, and tone and complexion corrector twice daily, or the currently marketed acne treatment kit, Proactiv (Guthy-Renker).

Dr. Zoe Diana Draelos

Dr. Zoe Diana Draelos

The botanical-based acne treatment contains a range of botanical ingredients, including algae and lentil seed extracts; cranberry seed, grape seed, and pumpkin seed oils; and allantoin; with 3.4% benzoyl peroxide as the active ingredient. The active ingredient in the cleanser is 2% salicylic acid, and niacinamide is the active ingredient in the tone and complexion corrector; both also contain botanical ingredients.

In the study, published in December, the investigator, Dr. Zoe Diana Draelos, reported that the botanical regimen achieved a significantly greater reduction in lesion count, in terms of closed comedones and inflammatory lesions, by week four, compared with the control treatment (J Drugs Dermatol. 2015 Dec; 14 [12]:1418-21).

This effect persisted at 12 weeks, with fewer closed comedones (P = .006). The botanical regimen also achieved greater reductions in pus, erythema, lesion height, and inflammation at weeks 2 and 4; although this difference disappeared by week 12. By week four and onwards, the botanical regimen also outperformed the conventional treatment on all blinded, investigator-assessed cosmetic appearance parameters, including skin tone, blemishes, erythema, and overall appearance.

While both treatments were effective at improving acne, Dr. Draelos, of Dermatology Consulting Services, High Point, N.C., said the botanical three-step regimen had the advantage of cosmetic ingredients such as emollients, anti-inflammatory/antioxidants, and “sensitive skin modulators.”

“This study demonstrates the value of combining monographed acne ingredients with advanced cosmeceutical technology,” she wrote.

The author received a grant from manufacturer Receutics to conduct the study.

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