Do you feel like you have tried every product under the sun to try and improve your acne? Have you spent a small fortune trying to banish those blemishes? Well, there may be another alternative that won’t break the bank. In fact, you probably have this potential spot-zapping superhero laying around the house somewhere. I mean, everyone has a tub of Sudocrem lying around don’t they?
Now, have you thought about using Sudocrem for spots?
Yes, that’s right, Sudocrem for spots!
But how does Sudocrem help spots? How should you use Sudocrem for spots? And are there any downsides to using Sudocrem for spots?
How Does Sudocrem Help Spots?
First, let’s have a quick recap on what causes spots and acne.
Acne is an inflammatory skin disorder characterised by multiple overlapping factors:
- An overproduction of oil by the oil glands.
- A build up of dead skin that traps the oil within the hair follicle.
- P-acnes bacteria that feed off of oil and rapidly multiply when there is an excess of oil.
- An inflammatory response that is triggered by the rapid multiplication of p-acnes bacteria.
Effective treatments for acne target one or more of these causes.
So, is there anything in the ingredients that suggests it may be beneficial to use Sudocrem for spots?
Active Sudocrem Ingredients:
Zinc Oxide, EP 15.25%
Benzyl Alchohol, BP 0.39%
Benzyl Benzoate, BP 1.01%
Benzyl Cinnamate 0.15%
Hypoallergenic Lanolin 4%
Other Sudocrem Ingredients: Purified Water, Sodium Benzoate, Parafin Wax, Microcrystalline Wax, Heavy Liquid Parrafin, Synthetic Beeswax, Sorbitan Sesquioleate, Propylene Glycol, Antracine 54, Linalyl Acetate, Lavender.
What Do Sudocrem Ingredients Do?
The Sudocrem ingredients of interest are the active ingredients zinc oxide, benzyl alcohol, benzyl benzoate, and benzyl cinnamate. First up, lets have a look at the latter two of these ingredients; benzyl benzoate and benzyl cinnamate.
Sudocrem Ingredients: Benzyl Benzoate & Benzyl Cinnamate.
Benzyl Benzoate and Benzyl Cinnamate are ingredients in Balsam of Peru, a herb that is sometimes applied to skin to aid wound healing and reduce infection risk.
It is thought that Balsam of Peru, and thus benzyl benzoate and benzyl cinnamate, may help prevent the growth of bacteria and promote skin cell growth. However, there is not sufficient scientific evidence to back up these claims.
One of the Sudocrem ingredients that does have evidence supporting its antibacterial effects is benzyl alcohol.
Sudocrem Ingredients: Benzyl Alcohol
The antibacterial properties of benzyl alcohol were first identified as early as 1915. Further research followed and found that a 0.2% benzyl alcohol aqueous solution prevented further growth of Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli (two nasty little bacterias). Furthermore, a 3% solution destroyed the bacteria in only 10 minutes .
Benzyl alcohol has also demonstrated effectiveness as an acne treatment by preventing the production of free fatty acids and reducing sebum levels. In fact, benzyl alcohol can reduce sebum levels by anywhere from 23% to 74%
While this seems ideal for acne prone skin as it, in a sense, ‘dries it out’, your skin needs these fatty acids in order to maintain a healthy skin barrier function.
Basically, benzyl alcohol can dramatically, and almost instantly, reduce oil production. However, it also reduces essential fatty acids and, in turn, can damage skin barrier function.
This is worth considering before deciding whether to use Sudocrem for spots.
Sudocrem Ingredients: Zinc Oxide
Zinc was first identified as a potential acne treatment for acne in 1977 when an improvement in acne was observed after administration of oral zinc to zinc-deficient patients. An association between acne and zinc-deficiency was later identified, although it is not fully understood how zinc improves acne .
Among the proposed mechanisms of action are the anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial effects of zinc. A number of studies have demonstrated that taking zinc orally can improve acne and reduce sebum production.
In one study, topically applied zinc was compared to a zinc and erythromycin combination. Both topical formulations showed significant antimicrobial effects, although there was no significant difference between each solution.
This suggests that zinc alone is an adequate antimicrobial treatment for acne patients. Other studies have found that combining zinc with topical antibiotics enhances the antibiotics anti-acne effects.
Overall, zinc appears to be a safe, inexpensive, and effective treatment for acne. As the main active ingredient in Sudocrem is zinc oxide, this suggests that there would be some benefit of using Sudocrem for spots.
So yes, you can use Sudocrem for spots!
What Does This Information Tell Us Then? Does Sudocrem Help Spots?
The evidence suggests that there may be some benefits to the use of Sudocrem for spots. The main active ingredients have antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties and can reduce sebum production. This means that using Sudocrem for spots targets three of the four main causes of acne.
However, while Sudocrems drying effects make it ideal for spots, this comes at the expense of your skins barrier function. A damaged skin barrier means less skin hydration and can lead to the redness (post inflammatory erythema) hanging around long after the acne breakout has cleared up.
How To Use Sudocrem For Spots
To reduce the damage to skin barrier function when using Sudocrem for spots, avoid applying it where it isn’t necessary, or using Sudocrem as an all-over face mask.
Because of this, its also best not to use Sudocrem for spots too often. However, if you’re in the midst of a breakout and your favourite zit zapper has just run out, go ahead and use that Sudocrem for spots!
- Carter, D., Charlton, P., Fenton, A., Housley, J. & Lessel, B. (1958). ‘The preparation and the antibacterial and antifungal properties of some substituted benzyl alcohols’, Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, 10(S1), 149-159. Available at: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/j.2042-7158.1958.tb10394.x
- Thiboutot, D. & Del Rosso, J. (2013). ‘Acne Vulgaris and the Epidermal Barrier’, J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 6(2), 18-24. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3579484/
- Downing, D., Stewart, M., Wertz, P. & Strauss, J. (1986). ‘Essential fatty acids and acne’, J Am Acad Dermatol., 14(2), 221-225. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2936775
- Cervantes, J., Eber, A., Perper, M. et a;. (2017). ‘The role of zinc in the treatment of acne: A review of the literature’, Dermatologic Therapy, 31(1), Available at: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/dth.12576