Our Top 10 Tried And Tested Acne-Fighting Products
When it comes to teen and adult acne, finding products that help calm and soothe breakouts rather than aggravate your skin can be hard – especially with SO many options available. Plus, unless you’re a huge skincare junkie, trying to understand what each product does and how it works can be a mission! As per, we’re here to help with our fave acne-busting products, so you can treat your skin with the best products possible.
1. Acne Conditioning Gel by Doris Day MD Skincare, $38
This acne solution helps target breakouts before they even surface on your skin! The potent solution is formulated with 5% micronized benzoyl peroxide to kill acne-causing bacteria, as well as pore-penetrating glycolic acid that de-clogs congested pores to keep breakouts from forming. It also helps regulate oil production by 70%, making it a no-brainer if you have oily or acne-prone skin. To use, simply apply a thin layer to your face after you’ve cleansed and toned and before you apply moisturizer.
2. Versed Nix It Complexion Solution, $13
Versed is fast becoming one of our go-to skincare brands for their affordable and effective skin solutions. This invisible, non-drying formula is enriched with calming ingredients like tea tree to soothe inflammation and redness, and salicylic acid to exfoliate pore-clogging dead skin cells while refining enlarged pores. The dry oil solution works well at almost any stage in your skincare routine. Simply apply it to your pimple whether it’s out in full force, freshly emerging, or in the healing stage, but always try to catch it as early as you can!
3. COSRX Acne Pimple Master Patch, $5 and Starface Hydro Stars, $15
Whenever we see a pimple emerging, we always reach for a pimple sticker to take down our pimple asap. We’ve been using the COSRX Acne Pimple Master Patches for years as the airtight dressing extracts and absorbs puss and sebum, helping to flatten pimples overnight. More recently, we’ve also become obsessed with the Starface Hydro Stars, $15, as the hydrocolloid pimple-protectors work in the same way as the COSRX patches but come in the shape of yellow stars to instantly brighten your mood!
How to use pimple stickers: Carefully place the sticker on clean skin so that it covers the entire pimple. Leave the sticker on overnight or throughout the day and remove before you begin your morning or nighttime routine. You’ll even be able to see what they extract when you peel it away – gross but also kinda satisfying! Find out more about how they work and how you can make your own here.
4. Neutrogena Blue & Red Light Acne Spot Treatment Light Therapy, $27
If you’re facing regular breakouts from wearing a mask and are trying to find something to soothe your maskne, this handy light device is here to save the day. The tool uses light therapy to soothe inflammation and stamp out acne bacteria in the skin. The blue light is antibacterial, while the red light helps reduce inflammation and increase collagen production, thereby reducing the appearance of acne scars. Read our full review here.
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5. COSRX Full Fit Propolis Synergy Toner, $22
When treating acne-prone skin, we have a tendency to go overboard and use too many harsh formulas. A hydrating toner that will help to balance, soothe and replenish the skin is a great way to strengthen your skin barrier and thereby keep your skin in the most healthy state to fight against bacteria – especially if you’re using serums or washes that target acne.
This ultra-hydrating toner is enriched with 72.6% black bee propolis extract, which has antibacterial properties to fight acne bacteria and prevent future breakouts. It’s also a rich source of skin-brightening antioxidants and will help restore uneven skin tone leaving you with plump, firm skin. To maximize these results, it’s also infused with honey extract that’ll help draw moisture into the skin for a radiant, healthy glow.
6. Differin® Oil Absorbing Moisturizer with SPF 30, $9
If you’re constantly battling with sunscreens that tend to break you out, you’ll love this 2-in-1 SPF moisturizer. The oil-free, lightweight cream features micro pearl technology to absorb surface oil, all the while protecting your skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays with SPF 30. The moisturizer is also non-greasy and non-comedogenic, so it won’t block your pores, just hydrate and protect your skin.
7. Mario Badescu Drying Lotion, $17
This product has been a firm favorite of ours for years as it literally dries out a pimple in less than 24 hours. Formulated with salicylic acid, zinc, and sulfur, it’ll work overtime to draw out impurities, fight acne-bacteria, and lower oil production. It’s also enriched with calamine to soothe inflammation and reduce redness. In short, it’ll take down your pimple STAT. Whatever you do, don’t shake the bottle. Simply, dip a Q-tip into the pink sediment at the bottom of the bottle and apply it to cleansed skin. (Read our full review here).
8. Differin Gel, Acne Spot Treatment for Face w/ Adapalene, $13
Whenever we quiz derms on the best acne treatments, this product always comes up – yes it’s that good! The non-comedogenic, fragrance-free gel contains retinoid adapalene, which is the first over-the-counter retinol in 30 years! Retinoids are a form of vitamin A, which helps regulate skin cell turnover thereby declogging your pores and targeting acne before it’s even begun. It also improves skin tone and texture, helping to improve the appearance of post-inflammatory pigmentation.
To use, apply a thin layer onto cleansed skin (even when your skin is breakout-free) for long term results. Just be sure to follow with a hydrating moisturizer and SPF, as retinoids can make your skin more sensitive to sun exposure.
9. Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Fighting Face Wash, $10
This drugstore face wash has been a staple for years thanks to its impactful, fuss-free formula. The oil-free gel wash boasts acne-fighting hero; salicylic acid that penetrates the skin to melt the glue that binds dead skin and blocks your pores. It’s also residue-free and non-comedogenic, making it perfect for anyone with oily or acne-prone skin. Simply apply a coin-sized amount into your hands, massage onto the face until it lathers (for around 60 seconds), then rinse with warm water.
10. The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%, $6
Mention the ingredients niacinamide and zinc to a skincare fanatic, and you’ll immediately have their attention – as per, The Ordinary knows what’s up! This clever formula combines 1% zinc to help regulate oil production and decongest your pores, and 10% niacinamide to brighten the skin and restore uneven tone and texture. With continual use, you’ll help balance oil production and keep breakouts at bay. Apply two to three drops every night after you’ve cleansed and toned and before you apply your serums and moisturizers.
Disclaimer: Every product we review has been independently selected and tested without bias by our editorial team. We never take payment to review products, however, some brands allow affiliate links, so we may earn a commission if you purchase a product by clicking on one of our links.
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