Many over-the-counter products are available to treat mild acne. A good start is a product containing benzoyl peroxide since it is an effective anti-inflammatory agent and it is easily tolerated. Start with a lower strength since it may be effective and will have fewer side effects, such as dryness and irritation. Another ingredient to look for is salicylic acid, which slows the shedding of cells inside the pore and prevents the clogging of the pore. Salicylic acid can cause mild stinging and irritation. Glycolic and lactic acid are two types of alpha hydroxy acids often used in OTC acne products. They treat acne by helping to remove dead skin cells and reduce inflammation. They also stimulate the growth of new, smoother skin. Sulfur, which may be combined with other OTC ingredients, helps to remove excess oil and dead skin cells, although some sulfur products have an unpleasant odor.