All products recommended on have been chosen by our editorial and research team. We may receive a commission on qualifying purchases made through our affiliate links.

Check out the results fast – here are our review winners

What are the best skincare products for acne?

I have spent a few hours on the internet to discover the best skin care products for acne. Having acne and constant breakouts can feel like a nightmare, but having the right skincare products out there that can help significantly treat and calm your skin, so you are feeling yourself again.

Trust me with this. I’ve gone through the most popular skincare products for acne prone skin. Once you find the products you need, you’ll be in the right spot to create the right skincare routine for acne to bring you one step closer to that clear, glowing skin.

Now, listen to this.

What is the best acne treatment? I’ve checked every product on this list to make sure it contains active ingredients that target your acne and has oil absorbing properties so it hydrates your skin without clogging your pores. For stronger cases, I recommend laser treatment for acne.

I love all of these products on this list, but number 5 on this list is one of my favorites, for a night serum that actively targets acne while you sleep.

Here’s a tip- If you use strong acne treatments or prescription creams, then always follow up with an oil free moisturizer to restore hydration. Don’t skip out on this step!

You won’t want to miss these top picks!

We’ve spent the time so you don’t have to:

Reviews considered


hours spent finding

shopping bag

Products compared


A Review of the best skincare products for acne


Acne Treatment Differin Gel

Best retinoid treatment

If you have painful, irritated skin, then you’ll love this effective acne treatment.

Differin gel is a retinoid treatment ideal if you need to target more serious, cystic acne. I’m talking about hormonal acne as well as painful breakouts that are difficult to treat. It contains soothing antioxidants and natural ingredients for acne skin types that want a matte finish and smaller pores.

This FDA-approved gel was only available by prescription in the past, but now this effective retinoid continues to be popular. This topical retinoid is best used once a day, preferably at night. It is very effective against breakouts, acne, and bumps, helping to clear them before they even start. The gel works from deep in the pores to prevent as well as treat acne.

Let me tell you about this.

Differin gel is best used as an acne treatment, after cleansing and then remember to follow up with a moisturizer. As it is a retinoid, it is strong and needs to be used carefully, building up use slowly. With powerful ingredients like 0.1% adapalene, it is suitable for sensitive skin as well. Not only proven to be effective against acne, but also promotes collagen production to repair your skin.

What more can I say? Differin gel is a daily acne treatment containing retinoid to treat all kinds of acne. From soothing and promoting healing to preventing breakouts, it’s perfect for inflamed, acne skin. It’s a winner!

Click on the blue button below to take a look for yourself!

  • 0.1% Adapalene
  • Powerful retinoid treatment
  • Convenient pump container
  • Treats and prevents breakouts
  • Can cause purging

Latest deal: Acne Treatment Differin Gel


CeraVe SA Cleanser

Best acne cleanser

This is my all-time favorite facial cleanser for acne prone skin.

The Cerave Salycilic Facial Cleanser is a gentle way of cleansing the oil and bacteria from your skin whilst at the same time treating breakouts. If you have acne prone skin that gets itchy and sore from using stripping cleansers, then this one is worth having a look at.

This cleanser comes with hyaluronic acid, ceramides, and salicylic acid to help target acne and breakouts skin without stripping moisture. It provides intense hydration and maintains the skin’s moisture levels for 24 hours. This in turn contributes to the barrier function of the skin, so you get a healthy glow.

But that’s not all.

The best part about Cerave is that it has essential ceramides that are found in the skin and in the lipid barrier. That means you know you can trust what’s in the product, knowing it has exactly what your skin needs to maintain and restore the barrier. This is particularly useful since most dry skin is caused by a lack of ceramides in the skin.

Whether you have sensitive, or oily, acne-prone skin, the Cerave cleanser has a lotion like consistency can help to deep cleanse and treat acne, helping to smooth rough bumps without stripping the skin. It contains everything your skin needs to be healthy and is fragrance-free and paraben-free.

Check out the 5-star reviews!

  • Contains Salycilic acid
  • Gently cleanses
  • Smooths textured skin.
  • Fragrance free
  • Can be stripping

Latest deal: CeraVe SA Cleanser


Paula's Choice CLEAR Back and Body Acne Spray

best product for back acne

This is one of the best products for back acne.

Paula’s Choice is long known for its transparent formulas with no hidden harmful ingredients, and this one is no exception. Their CLEAR range is directly formulated for acne prone skin, and this acne body spray is no exception. It’s ideal to spray on areas that are prone to get acne such as your back or chest area.

This body spray fights acne using natural ingredients. It helps to stop acne from every angle including bacne or other hard to reach blemish-prone areas. Made with barberry extract to soothe sensitivity and provide strong antioxidant benefits. Not only that, but it also has licorice extract to soothe redness or irritation resulting from acne. Whether you have patches of acne prone skin or acne on your back, this acne spray has all you need.

But that’s not all.

The best part about Paula’s choice is that their CLEAR range contains a cleanser, treatment moisturizer with benzoyl peroxide, and SPF so you can build a skincare routine for your specific skin. The Clear moisturizer is oil free so is ideal to use twice a day, incorporated into your own skin routine.

Whether you have sensitive, or oily acne skin Paula’s Choice Clear acne spray is a lightweight formula that targets body acne, clogged pores, bumpy texture, and an uneven tone. It helps your skin be healthy by preventing breakouts in hard to reach areas.

Overall, I’d say this is the best bacne spray for oily blemish-prone skin.

  • Contains natural extracts
  • Targets acne in hard to reach areas
  • Free from fragrance
  • Cruelty free
  • Has a strong smell

Latest deal: Paula’s Choice CLEAR Back and Body Acne Spray


COSRX Acne Pimple Patch

best patch for acne

If you’re looking for a quick fix solution for pimples, then this one is for you.

Made from non toxic substances, the COSRX acne patches are designed to treat, heal and get rid of pimples overnight. Not only is it an effective acne treatment, but also means that you can cover up unsightly spots more and use the patches under makeup for smooth finish.

One of the unique things that I love about the Cosrx patches is that they come in three different sizes, so you can treat any kind of acne. Dealing with acne is tough, and you need a product you can rely on. This pimple patch is an easy way to treat pimples whether it’s overnight, or under makeup. It’s the easy way to promote healthy, clear skin.

Now, wait until you hear this.

Having pimples can be difficult, especially since picking it can leave it open and vulnerable to infection and bacteria. This pimple patch is a perfect option to protect pimples and breakouts from makeup, the environment or even from picking them. This is going to treat and help heal the pimple much quicker, in a way that is healthy and won’t leave any marks. What more could you want?

With these ingredients, you can expect a pain free experience for radiant, clear skin. It also helps if you struggle to treat acne, as this hydrocolloid treatment is safe and effective for all types of skin and acne.

It’s also the best moisturizer for blackheads!

  • Different sizes
  • 100% Hydrocolloid
  • For all skin types and ages
  • Protective cover
  • Not convenient for large areas of acne

Latest deal: COSRX Acne Pimple Patch


Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum

best serum for acne

If you want to know the best serum for oily acne prone skin, look no further.

The Drunk Elephant TLC Framboos glycolic night serum is designed for all skin types dealing with acne. Best used at night, it is aha/bha acid serum that helps to refine and resurface the skin, for smooth skin when you wake up in the morning. With natural ingredients and a formula free from common irritants, it’s more likely to be kinder and less irritating.

Drunk Elephant is great for sensitive skin too. It contains no parabens or fragrance, and no harsh sulfate either. There are no harmful chemicals such as petrolatum or formaldehyde. Plus, their range suits every type of problem, including moisturizers with broad-spectrum spf, so you can treat your acne and your skin type too!

But that’s not all.

Drunk Elephant night serum contains natural extracts such as raspberry and horse chestnut extract to resurface dull skin for better clarity and a fresh complexion. The 12% acid blend helps to gently exfoliate congested skin by lifting away dead skin cells to renew your skin. Unlike other acid serums, this one has been properly formulated to be used in a safe way without causing skin sensitivity.

Drunk Elephant is the ideal option if you want chemical exfoliation without any of the common irritants such as fragrance or parabens and a cruelty-free product, that contains natural ingredients without the harsh chemicals so many other creams on the market add-in.

Trust me, you’ll love this.

  • 12% AHA blend
  • Raspberry and horse chestnut extract
  • No common irritants
  • Lifts dead skin cells away
  • Slightly pricey

Latest deal: Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum


La Roche-Posay Effaclar Mat Oil-Free Mattifying Moisturizer

best serum for acne

Looking for the best moisturizer under makeup for oily skin? Look no further.

La Roche Posay is ideal if you want oil-free, everyday hydration. I’m talking about moisture with a light, non-greasy feel that you can wear under your makeup. It comes in the Effaclar Mat range specially formulated for oily skin types that need a matte finish and smaller pores.

I love that this moisturizer has been dermatologically tested to keep shine at bay, including mattifying the skin and refining pores. It contains Sebulyse Technology, so you can say goodbye to excess oil, without drying out your skin.

But wait let me tell you about this.

A great feature of this is that it doesn’t contain oil, and is non-comedogenic providing lightweight moisture that leaves your skin matte. It’s perfect if you have blemish-prone skin and clogged pores. This moisturizer will help to tighten your pores after cleansing, to prevent breakouts.

What more can I say? La Roche Posay is known to be a leading skincare brand that provides all the right ingredients in their products so you can keep your skin hydrated. It is a hydrating gel cream or gel moisturizer that promises to deliver a good even base for makeup in a matte finish. it’s a winner!

Click on the blue button below to take a look for yourself!

  • Oil-free and non-comedogenic
  • Sebulyse Technology for excess oil
  • Great base for makeup
  • Mattifies skin and refines pores
  • Slightly pricier

Latest deal: La Roche-Posay Effaclar Mat Oil-Free Mattifying Moisturizer


PanOxyl Acne Foaming Wash

best face wash for acne

If you have acne prone skin, then a dermatologically tested cleanser is a good place to start.

The PanOxyl acne foaming wash is formulated with benzoyl peroxide to actively treat acne and breakouts. Daily Foaming Wash is ideal if you want to maintain the moisture whilst getting rid of bacteria from the day. It’s perfect for those who want to cleanse their face whilst treating acne. No wonder it’s the number 1 recommended face wash by dermatologists for acne prone skin.

I love that the PanOxyk helps to clear existing acne as well as preventing more breakouts. It deep cleans without stripping the skin of moisture, and at the same time treats acne. Made with 12% benzoyl peroxide in an all in one solution, meaning you can use this for your body and your face. You can use it for your body too, it gentle washes away dirt without overly stripping those dry parts such as elbows and knees that can sometimes become cracked and painful.

But wait.

An extremely important feature of the PanOxyl is that aside from being a medicated maximum strength 10% benzoyl peroxide, it also helps combat dryness. The face wash has moisturizing ingredients and is fragrance-free and paraben-free, so your skin will love it. No wonder it is recommended by dermatologists!

What more can I say? PanOxyl is a strong hydrating gentle cleanser that promises to deliver 24-hour moisture from dry, sensitive skin and treat acne skin gently. I’d say it does the job pretty well. Enriched with sweet almond oil and vitamin E, and value for money, it’s a winner!

Click on the blue button below to take a look for yourself!

  • 10% Benzoyl Peroxide
  • Treats acne
  • Combats dryness
  • Free from fragrance and parabens
  • Does not foam

Latest deal: PanOxyl Acne Foaming Wash


Proactiv Skin Purifying Acne Face Mask

best facial mask for acne

This is one of the best facial masks for acne prone skin.

Proactiv Skin facial mask is a potent deep cleansing mask with sulfur, specifically designed to clear blemishes and prevent breakouts. This skin purifying mask contains natural extracts to say goodbye to acne. With skin fighting ingredients and no harmful chemicals, it’s an easy way to nourish your skin and get that glowing, clear skin look. Their whole range is adapted for acne prone skin so you can create your own skincare routine tailored to your skin type.

This sulfur clay mask has everything you could want in it, and is safe for all skin types to use. Proactiv has three proven systems designed by dermatologists to help you establish a skincare routine that you can use daily for your journey to clear skin. Proactive is clear in that there are no quick fixes to get clear skin. It takes time and perseverance, as well as the right products like this one.

Here’s the best bit.

Proactiv sulfur clay contains natural ingredients such as sulfur, used to prevent breakouts and Koolin Clay to absorb excess oil or sebum. The mask also has vitamin e and f to protect and retain moisture in your skin barrier, as well as tea tree which is a natural antiseptic and cleansing agent. Lemongrass extract helps to condition the skin for a healthy glow.

Whether you want to treat acne or prevent breakouts, Proactiv sulfur mask is a good way to incorporate healthy ingredients to soothe the skin. Combine this sulfur mask with other products in the range for a complete skincare routine to help clear acne prone skin to get a healthy complexion. It helps your skin be healthy by restoring the skin’s barrier and locking in moisture.

This one is worth adding to your basket.

  • Natural extracts
  • Good for all skin types
  • Cleansing
  • Treats and prevents breakouts
  • Can dry skin out

Latest deal: Proactiv Skin Purifying Acne Face Mask

Best Skincare for Acne Prone Skin- A Buyer’s Guide

Finding a good acne treatment is not easy, especially if you deal with inflammatory acne, acne scars and uneven skin tone. Treating acne requires acne fighting ingredients such as salicylic acid which is anti-inflammatory and helps to unclog pores. A board certified dermatologist can recommend alpha hydroxy acids to help skin cell turnover to get rid of dead skin cells. You can use glycolic acid to exfoliate dead skin cells, and tackle existing blemishes or future breakouts.

Severe acne or severe inflammatory acne may need something stronger than azelaic acid, such as birth control pills especially if it is adult acne. Moderate inflammatory acne can be due to too much oil production or overworked oil glands. Using an acne drying treatment removes excess oil, acne scarring, unclogging pores and prevent future breakouts.

What was the best can treatment for you?

What ingredients to look for in acne products

Finding a spot treatment to prevent acne breakouts can be a challenge, but it’s not impossible. There is a lot of cosmetic and clinical research that shows which ingredients you need in acne products. These are found in the best acne treatments and will help you achieve your clear skin goals. Check out my favorite ingredients:

Salicylic acid

Salicylic acid helps to unclog pores by exfoliating the skin gently. It’s safe enough for sensitive skin types to use and helps cell turnover. You don’t need a gel prescription for it, this ingredient is found in many spot treatments and even cleansers to help stubborn pimples.

Salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid, making it a chemical exfoliator and is naturally acne fighting.

Benzoyl Peroxide

Benzoyl peroxide is ideal for treating inflammatory acne as it kills bacteria and clears out clogged pores. It’s the best acne treatment for adult or hormonal breakouts. Have a look at micronized formulas that cause less irritation and last longer. Just be warned as benzoyl peroxide can bleach your clothes or towels, so make sure you are careful.


This is a spot treatment prescription, part of the topical retinoids that doctors prescribe in more severe acne cases. These acne medications regulate oil production and can be used for normal skin types or combination skin. If other treatments have made your acne worse, then using an OTC retinoid either in a 0.1% or 0.3% strength.

Tips for treating acne

When dealing with acne, there are so many products and treatments available that it can be confusing to know what to do. Here are a few tips to help you out.

Go for non comedogenic products

When you’re shopping for acne products, make sure you buy non comedogenic products. This means that they won’t clog pores, which can prevent breakouts.

Don’t over-cleanse

Dermatologists recommend using a gentle cleanser not more than twice a day. Using a cleanser too often can dry out the skin and strip it of moisture. Stripping the skin can remove too much oil, which can leave your skin feeling dry and itchy, and even stimulate the oil glands to produce even more oil.

Only use a small amount of acne treatment

Using a small, pea sized amount of acne treatment is important, especially if it is benzoyl peroxide or a retinoid. A thin layer of treatment is more than effective against acne. Applying these treatments to the whole face, or too often in the day can irritate the skin and severely dry it out. These treatments contain powerful ingredients and should only be used specifically to the blemish area once a day.

See a dermatologist

There are some pretty good drugstore products out there that are available over the counter, such as the ordinary azelaic acid suspension, one of my favorites or treating acne. Unfortunately, for more severe cases of acne it might be best to see a dermatologist who can help you find the cause and offer prescription medications such as birth control pills.

Use Sunscreen

Aside from dealing with acne and skin inflammation, if you want to prevent acne scars, you need to wear sunscreen daily. This is especially important if you’re using a strong spot treatment in your skin care routine.

Final Thoughts

There are so many acne treatments around, that it can be tough to know which one is best for you. Acne fighting ingredients such as salicylic acid are anti inflammatory and fight acne.

You don’t need to be a board certified dermatologist to have a good skincare routine. There are many products such as glycolic acid or lactic acid to exfoliate and get rid of dead skin cells. Vitamin c is another good option for everyone in their skin care routine. Using azelaic acid and salicylic acid can make a big difference to treating acne, and other anti inflammatory products.

What is your favorite product for acne?

jess rowley

Jess Rowley

Cheif Editor & Nail Technician Expert


Jess Rowley, a veteran nail tech, has been studying beauty over the last 11 years and has completed the nail technology program in California. Watching the latest trends in beauty, Jess searches for the highest quality products that make your nails feel loved.