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Acne Solutions, Creams & Cleansers to Get Rid of Acne

You’re avoiding mirrors, clutching foundation like a life force, and asking anyone for tips, all courtesy of your mild acne and unpleasant blemishes. As if dealing with a red spot isn’t hard enough, now you have to find the perfect face wash formula and moisturizing routine.

Acne can be cured by topical treatments, those applied to the skin, or orally, such as antibiotics, birth control pills, and isotretinoin (the latter of which we cover in our advanced acne product section).

Any beauty and skincare company offers hundreds of treatments, so how do you choose the right option for you? We’ve broken down some common ingredients to look for, as well as our favorite acne-fighting skincare products.

Blemish-busting Ingredients

  • Benzoyl peroxide (over the counter or prescription level) – this kills bacteria that causes acne, and helps remove excess oils and dead skin. Warning, use in moderation as overuse can lead to dry and flakey patches.
  • Salicylic acid – this acid slows the shedding of skin cells, which stops dead cells from clogging pores.
  • Alpha and Beta hydroxy acids – These hydroxy acids eliminate dead skin cells and help diminish skin inflammation and irritation. They can also help stimulate the growth of new skin cells.

Recommended Acne Cleansers

Battle blemishes with a cleansing routine full of acne-fighting ingredients. First up, the right cleanser. Cleansers range from those for oily skin to those for dry skin, from all natural to more clinical ingredients. Some of our favorites are:

  • Anti-Blemish Beta Wash by Erno Laszlo– This calming cleanser decreases oil production without dehydrating skin. Algae and chamomile extracts reduce redness and soothe skin.
  • Chinese Rose Foaming Cleanser by WEI - Best for post-acne victims, the vitamin C brightens up old scars, and Chinese rose softens skin.
  • Raspberry Clarifying Bar by Arcona– Perfect for someone looking for a green friendly product. Raspberry and Witch Hazel reduce redness and inflammation and while toning, leaving skin ready to face the world.
  • Glycolic Acid 3% Facial Wash by Peter Thomas Roth – If dead skin cells clogging pores is your issue, try this cleanser rich in glycolic acid (a member of the alpha hydroxyl acid family).

Recommended Acne Moisturizers

Even oily skin needs moisturizing to maintain proper pH levels, and the moisturizing routine is all about finding balance. Although you have to find what works right for you, some common rules: use oil-free moisturizers, moisturizers with benzoyl peroxide, and salicylic acid. Use a moisturizer with glycerin in it to keep skin balanced by pulling moisture from the air; use lotions or serums instead of creams; and use a moisturizer with SPF if you are going to be in the sun.

  • Raw Coconut Cream by RMS Beauty– This multi-use product contains anti-bacterial properties to help clear skin while hydrating.  Anti-oxidants protect skin from free radical damage and premature aging.
  • Blemishes No More Hydrator by Dr. Brandt – The ultra-light formula of this moisturizer helps balance skin without adding shine. It also prevents the growth of bacteria, stopping impurities from clogging pores.
  • Shine Control Face Lotion by LATHER – This mattifying moisturizer uses tea tree oil to soothe blemishes and hyaluronic acid to provide oil-free hydration.  

Recommended Blemish Creams

That small red bump made its debut. You’re aching to pop and pick, but don’t! Use a blemish cream or treatment on the problem area instead.

  • Clear Complexion Razor Bump & Acne Treatment – This oil-free solution works by exfoliating dead skin cells and dissolving pore-clogging oils with 2% Salicylic Acid and Lactic Acid. A mixture of green tea also helps protect the skin from damage; and chamomile, aloe and willowherb help reduce redness.
  • Acne Spot and Area Treatment by PETER THOMAS ROTH – For those blemishes that need a maximum strength fighter, this non-drying treatment quickly diminishes blemishes with a formula that’s 5% sulfur and 4% glycolic acid complex.
  • Anti-blemish Gel with Willow Bark by Skyn Iceland – Using natural willow bark, a highly effective anti-bacterial and analgesic, and anti-inflammatories, this gel is designed to make blemishes disappear without causing dry and flaky patches on the skin.

Find out more about acne prone skin here.