Acne affects about 50 million people every year, according to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), with treatment costing more than $3 billion annually. And it’s definitely not only a teen thing. The AAD also notes that acne cases have been increasing in women in their 30s and older. While it’s easy to brush off as a vanity issue, the AAD calls the potential negative psychological effects “profound,” which anyone who has experienced acne can likely attest to.

People spend a lot of time trying to figure out how to self-treat their acne, wading through myths versus hard science versus promising treatments. You can see this happening every day in forums like and multiple subreddits. It can be overwhelming in all the noise to figure out what really works.

Here are the important bits about the modern approach to acne: