When it comes to teen and adult acne, finding products that help combat and soothe breakouts, rather than aggravate your skin can be an intimidating prospect. The problem is, with so many new ingredients and products out there, it can be hard to know which will help. Plus, trying to decode scientific or dermatological spiel can make it seem almost impossible at times. As per, we’re here to help with our top 10 acne-busting products, so the next time a breakout hits, you can choose to treat your skin with the best products in the beauty biz.
1. Mario Badescu Drying Lotion
This cult product has been a firm favorite of ours for years. It’ll literally dry out your acne overnight, although here at HB HQ we put it on our pimple as soon as it surfaces; sometimes even in the office – true story! The formula contains two incredible acne-fighting ingredients; salicylic acid, which will penetrate deep into your pores and help to declog dead skin cells while reducing oil production, and calamine lotion that’ll soothe the skin, reducing redness and swelling (read our full review here).
How to use it: Do not shake the bottle! At the bottom of the bottle is a thick pink paste, that’s the good stuff! Put a cotton bud in until you reach the pink sediment at the bottom of the bottle, then dab it onto any whiteheads or red bumps. Use it after you’ve completed your entire skincare routine, and don’t worry about it transferring onto your bed sheets as it dries really quickly.
Shop it here, $17.
2. Sand and Sky Australian Pink Clay Porefining Mask
Ever since this mask popped up on our Instagram, we’ve been obsessed! The sellout mask contains Australian pink clay, which has antimicrobial and antibacterial properties, so it’ll purify and detoxify the skin. You can literally see the oil being extracted from your pores – kinda gross, but oddly satisfying! It also contains pomegranate extract: a rich antioxidant that helps fade acne marks and promote even skin tone.
How to use: Apply the mask onto cleansed skin and leave for 15 minutes. Wash it off with warm water, and follow with toner and a serum and moisturizer.
Shop it here.
3. The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution
This potent AHA and BHA solution will seriously exfoliate your skin, cleansing deep into your pores, dislodging any dead skin cell build up while improving the appearance of any visible blemishes. It also contains Vitamin b5 and antioxidant black carrot that will work together to correct uneven tone and promote healing.
How to use: We’d recommend using the peeling facial in the evening and limiting usage to once a week or even fortnightly – you shouldn’t exfoliate for a few days before or after this treatment. Apply it onto cleansed, dry skin, applying an even layer to your face and neck. Leave it on your skin for 10 minutes max, then rinse with lukewarm water. Make sure you hydrate afterward.
Shop it here, $12.
4. COSRX Acne Pimple Master Patch
These patches are the bomb.com and always save us whenever a pimple emerges before a big event. These airtight dressings extract and absorb any puss or sebum, and they work on any blemish too – blackheads, whiteheads, even cystic acne.
How to use: Carefully place a sticker on your pimple so that it covers the entire pimple. Leave on the pimple overnight and remove before you begin your morning skin regime. You’ll even be able to see what they extract when you peel it away. Find out more about how they work and how you can make your own here.
Shop it here, $11.
5. Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Beta Daily Face Peel
Although the prospect of a daily peel may sound scary to some, we promise the Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Daily Face Peel is amazing. The 2-step formula is easy to use at home, and you’ll notice a difference within just one use. The first step contains exfoliation acids, and step two regulates the alpha hydroxy acid activity and contain anti-aging active ingredients that’ll rebalance the skin and lower oil production.
How to use: Apply the first step to cleansed, dry skin using gentle circular motions until the pad feels dry. Wait for two minutes then follow with the second pad, again using small circular movements until the pad dries up. Do not rinse your skin after use. You can use this peel in the morning or evening (not both) however, if you do it in the morning make sure you use sunscreen to protect your skin, which you should do anyway!
Shop it here, $87.
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6. Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne-Fighting Face Wash
This drugstore staple has been in our bathroom since our first breakout hit. The gel formula cleanses deep into your pores and contains acne-busting hero, salicylic acid. It’s also oil-free, residue-free and its non-comedogenic so it won’t clog your pores.
How to use: Apply a coin-sized amount into your hands, massage onto the face until it lathers (for at least 60 seconds), and rinse with warm water.
Shop it here, $5.
7. Paula’s Choice Resist 10% Niacinamide Booster
If you have particularly oily skin you could consider introducing a serum into your routine to replace your moisturizer for daytime. This serum is particularly beneficial for oily skin as it features 10% niacinamide, which is a powerful ingredient that improves uneven skin tone, controls oil and refines the appearance of pores, leaving your skin looking hydrated and radiant.
How to use: Apply a blueberry-sized drop onto cleansed, toned skin. Use it alone or add it to your moisturizer or serum.
Shop it here, $42.
8. Dr. Jart+ Cicapair Tiger Grass Camo Drops, $46
This silky serum helps hydrate your skin and correct and soothe redness. The main ingredient Centella Asiatica is a natural anti-inflammatory, while it also has chlorophyll, an antioxidant energizer that’ll replenish skin and protect against environmental damage. Find out more about the powers of Centella Asiatica here.
How to use: Apply two to three drops onto cleansed and toned skin. The drops will change from green to match your skin tone, leaving your skin glowing prior to makeup application.
Shop it here, $46.
9. Sunday Riley U.F.O Oil
This medicated face oil has been specifically formulated with oily, acne-prone skin in mind. It contains 1.5% salicylic acid to clear acne and blackhead-causing dirt and dead skin that can congest your pores. Tea tree oil and black cumin seed oil help kill any bacteria lingering in the skin while brightening the skin and any acne discolorations.
How to use: In the evening, rub two drops of oil between the palms of your hands and massage onto cleansed and toned skin. Use this oil nightly.
Shop it here, $80.
10. Boots Tea Tree Witch Hazel Spot Wand
Witch Hazel is an amazing acne-busting ingredient. It’s a botanical extract that has both anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, so it’ll soothe your skin while simultaneously helping fight acne bacteria in the skin. We keep this spot wand in our purse to apply whenever we feel a pimple emerging, it has a day or night formula offering 24-hour action.
How to use: Apply it to any whiteheads or red bumps. Always use on cleansed, toned skin.
Shop it here, $6.
Let us know if you’ve tried any of these products in the comments below or if you have any amazing products we should try.