• C-50 Blemish Night Treatment, £12.99, The Inkey List
    Break the cycle of blemishes with The Inkey List’s results-driven formula containing spot-fighting essential ingredient Salicylic Acid to inhibit oil production and stabilised Vitamin C to brighten and tackle any lingering dark spots.

  • Drying Lotion, £16, Mario Badescu
    The classic blemish treatment is formulated with a holy trinity of acne-fighting ingredients including salicylic acid, sulfur, and zinc oxide, which help draw out stubborn impurities and shrinks pesky spots while you sleep. The drying lotion is also perfect for cystic acne, thanks to the addition of calamine lotion, which soothes the skin and reduces redness while you sleep, and salicylic acid, which penetrates deep into the pores, exfoliates skin cells and reduces sebum production. It seems that Badescu’s magic in a bottle is working wonders, as shoppers on Amazon have been leaving five-star reviews and impressive pictures of their skin transformations for the bestseller.

  • KILLA, £27 (8 x patches, 8 x swabs ), Zitsticka
    Zitsticka’s KILLA patches target deep, under-the-skin pimples. Containing just five ingredients (including hyaluronic acid, salicylic acid, and niacinamide) the swipe and stick kit aims to dissolves blemishes at the source, rather than just treating the skin’s surface. Blind pimples, begone!

  • Super Spot Remover™ Blemish Treatment Gel, £16, Origins
    By combining the power of zit-zapping salicylic acid with skin-soothing red algae, Origins have concocted one powerful spot stopping solution. And it seems you guys love it too, as it was awarded with ‘Best Blemish Treatment’ in the GLAMOUR Beauty Power List 2018.

  • EridiKate Acne Treatment, £22, Kate Somerville
    The cult US brand has only recently landed in the UK and it’s already proving to be a hit. It contains 10% sulphur to dry out spots, alpha hydroxy acids that reduce the appearance of enlarged pores and zinc oxide to absorb excess oil. Perfect for those bumps you can feel but can’t yet see.

  • Overnight Clearing Gel, £46, Dermalogica
    It may be pricey, but spot sufferers swear by the stuff. It contains salicylic acid, hyaluronic acid and tea tree to help clear spots, calm redness and stop bumps from re-appearing – all while you sleep.

  • Clear Skin Clearing Treatment, £37, Paula’s Choice
    If your spots are leaving unsightly marks, this formula works hard not only to fight blemishes, but to fade any existing marks, too, all without drying skin out.

  • 10% Sulfur Paste, £19, Malin + Goetz
    This magic potion also contains the ingredient-of-the-moment, sulfur, along with salicylic acid to calm, dry and exfoliate skin.

  • The Cosrx Acne Pimple Master Patch, £4.40, Look Fantastic
    These handy little patches from Korea can be popped on at night and are designed to pull out puss from pimples. The weightless patches help target spots and breakout-causing bacteria, whilst minimising the appearance of blemishes, redness and inflammation to leave skin clear, fresh and soothed. People who have tried the purse-friendly stickers can’t stop raving about them.

  • Effaclar Duo + Anti-Blemish Moisturiser, £16, La Roche Posay
    No one understands skin like the experts at La Roche Posay, who have relied on their skin-loving thermal spring water to remedy problematic skin for years. This wonder product is able to moisturise, control oil production and correct dark spots all at once. Genius.

  • Offects TE-Pads Acne Pore Treatment Pads, £44.50, ZO Skin Health
    Heralded as the king of the chemical peel, Dr Zein Obagi’s at-home treatment regime is cosmecuetical skincare at its finest. These acne-fighting pads contain salicylic acid to hinder oil production and glycolic acid to enhance exfoliation, resulting in clearer, more radiant skin from first use.

  • Salicylic Acid 2%, £4.20, The Ordinary
    Believe it or not, the best thing about this product isn’t the price (although, it’s pretty great, right?). The hybrid of salicylic acid (a beta hydroxy acid proven to both prevent and treat blemishes) and witch hazel to reduce redness makes this serum a great product to add to your anti-acne arsenal.

  • Dynaspot, £19.75, Eve Lom
    Pop this cult classic on top of any spot and watch it disappear thanks to the combination of chamomile, tea tree oil and salicylic acid, allowing the formula to treat the blemish without drying out the skin around it.

  • Blemish + Age Defense, £85, Skinceuticals
    The fact that this oil-free serum targets the signs of ageing as well as pesky blemishes makes it an instant favourite. Containing a potent wrinkle-reducing blend of acids, it works to detox congested pores and boost cell turnover.

  • Acne On The Spot Superstar Serum, £115, Skin Design London
    Patented anti-microbial ingredients, precious botanical complexes and high-grade salicylic acid makes this serum a powerful solution to your acne woes.

  • Detoxifying Clay Mask, £45, DCL
    Showcasing activated volcanic ash and clay, this results-driven mask loosens stubborn blackheads and inhibits oil production, while tea tree oil and peppermint keeps skin calm.

  • 111Skin RADIANT SKIN BEAUTY DOSE capsules, £85
    We all know beauty starts from within, and 111Skin’s first delve into supplements is a strong place to start – with the capsules replicating those given to astronauts to stop them from rapid ageing in space. Win.

  • Acne treatments are a quick and easy way to banish blemishes without having to switch up your entire skincare routine.
  • Our top pick is the Mario Badescu Drying Lotion because it is an effective spot treatment that acts fast to draw impurities from the skin and shrinks pimples overnight.

Even those of us blessed with clear skin have to deal with a dreaded pimple from time to time. Thankfully there is a way to zap zits fast that doesn’t involve popping them! You can avoid making the blemish worse by reaching for an acne treatment that will target individual spots head-on.

While other acne treatments are applied to your entire face to fight breakouts, topical spot treatments are used to target individual pimples and quickly shrink them without scaring or disrupting the rest of your face.

Most options feature varying amounts of salicylic acid as their active ingredient, which works to clear clogged pores and banish the bacteria found inside the blemish. Some also feature ingredients that work to reduce redness and soothe skin, while others help prevent future breakouts.

With acne spot creams, gels, patches, and even concealers available, finding the right one for you can feel overwhelming. So we did the research to find the best-reviewed acne treatments you can buy.


Here are the best acne treatments:

  • Best acne treatment overall: Mario Badescu Drying Lotion
  • Best drugstore acne treatment: Clean & Clear Advantage Spot Treatment
  • Best acne treatment patch: Peter Thomas Roth Acne-Clear Invisible Dots
  • Best acne treatment that conceals: It Cosmetics Bye Bye Breakout Concealer
  • Best clean-beauty acne treatment: Origins Super Spot Remover Blemish Treatment Gel

Updated on 10/22/2019 by Remi Rosmarin: Updated links, formatting, and prices.

The best acne treatment overall

source Mario Badescu

The Mario Badescu Drying Lotion features two solutions in one bottle that work together to shrink the appearance of pimples overnight.

The Mario Badescu Drying Lotion is an acne spot treatment formulated with salicylic acid, sulfur and zinc oxide to draw out impurities as you sleep. Its fast-acting shrinking powers have made it a firm favorite with beauty editors, industry insiders, and celebrities like Kylie Jenner.

While salicylic acid and sulfur are common ingredients in spot treatments, the drying lotion also contains calamine lotion to provide a soothing effect on your skin. The treatment can be easily applied with a cotton swab and is recommended to be used at night due to the pink coloring.

Our director, Ellen Hoffman, is a fan, calling the product “magic.” She also said that it “dries out whiteheads while you sleep so they’re virtually gone by the next morning.” The drying lotion has won numerous awards, including a 2017 Acne Award from Teen Vogue for Best Spot Treatment.

The lotion has an Amazon’s Choice recommendation because of its high ratings, with 2,855 buyers giving it a 4.3 out of 5-star rating. Plus, more than 9,800 reviewers on Influenster gave it a 4.5-star rating. One reviewer named Erica wrote, “This drying lotion is perfect for helping my pimples disappear overnight! I put it on the break out before bed and in the morning it is gone.”

While most reviewers raved about the product’s zit zapping powers, a few noted that they wished it wasn’t pink so they could use it during the day as well.

Pros: Shrinks blemishes overnight, works quickly, calms skin, draws out impurities

Cons: Can’t wear during the day if leaving the house

The best drugstore acne treatment

source Clean & Clear

Looking for an affordable spot treatment that reduces the size and redness of pimples quickly? Try the Clean & Clear Advantage Spot Treatment.

The Clean & Clear Advantage Spot Treatment is a clear gel that works quickly to shrink zits of every size. The product’s maximum strength 2% salicylic acid helps dissolve surface oil around the blemish and penetrates the pore to clean it from the inside out.

The gel also features witch hazel, which helps soothe skin and prevents it from drying out. The gel has been clinically proven to give 100% of testers clearer looking skin in just one day. Since the spot treatment is a clear gel, it can be used during the day or night.

Clean & Clear’s gel has won an Allure Best of Beauty Award twice and has a 4-star rating on Influenster with almost 8,500 reviews.

One shopper named Ashlee raved, “This is the best nonprescription acne medicine you will ever try. It decreases size within a day and it lessens redness overnight. This is the best you can get for the money. I would buy it again and again.”

Some buyers did note it they weren’t a fan of the strong chemical smell but said it fades quickly after application.

Pros: Affordable, acts fast, clinically proven to give users clearer skin, shrinks pimples, reduces redness

Cons: Strong smell

The best acne treatment patch

source Peter Thomas Roth

The Peter Thomas Roth Acne-Clear Invisible Dots are a mess-free spot treatment that quickly shrinks blemishes without irritating the surrounding skin.

Peter Thomas Roth Acne-Clear Invisible Dots are clear round patches formulated with salicylic acid and tea tree oil that work together to eliminate pimples fast. Just cover your zit with one of the sticky patches, and the dot will work overnight to shrink the pimple’s size while also helping to prevent future breakouts.

Each box comes with 72 patches total in a variety of small and large dots so you can switch up the patch size depending on how big the blemish is. The patches work on all skin types including normal, oily, dry, combination, and sensitive.

The product has over 10,000 likes on Sephora, with one reviewer saying, “I’ve tried so many on-the-spot acne treatments, that I was skeptical when someone recommended this product. However, I was wildly impressed with the results and felt it my duty to tell everyone I know about this product. The stickers are easy to use, comfortable, and hardly noticeable. I’m so pleased with this purchase, and so relieved to have these in zit-emergencies!”

Some buyers were put off by the high price point, but most said the product was worth the cost. If you want to spend a little less, you should try the Mighty Patch, which we also like.

In her review of the Mighty Patch, our writer Connie Chen wrote, “As someone who has struggled with acne-prone skin for years, I’m often skeptical of supposed quick-fix solutions, but the effectiveness of the Mighty Patch stickers have made me a convert.”

Pros: Effective spot treatment, shrinks blemishes quickly, mess-free

Cons: Expensive

The best acne treatment that’s also a concealer

source IT Cosmetics

If you are in the market for a spot treatment that zaps zits while concealing them, try the It Cosmetics Bye Bye Breakout Concealer.

Next time you wake up with a zit on your face, don’t fret!. You can now actually treat a blemish while covering it up at the same time, thanks to the It Cosmetics Bye Bye Breakout Concealer.

The handy product is a concealer and acne drying lotion in one. It features zinc oxide, clay, witch hazel, suffer, and tea tree oil, which work together to shrink the zit, while the color-infused skin treatment’s full-coverage pigment conceals the pimple.

In a clinical study, 100% of users said the product covered their blemishes, while 84% said it also reduced the blemish’s size. The clever treatment has a 4-star rating and more than 20,000 likes on Sephora.

One reviewer commented, “It flawlessly conceals my blemishes and works well with my other facial products. I noticed a bump I had covered with the concealer had shrunk in size. This stuff works! A definite must-have for any make-up bag!”

The spot treatment concealer is sold in seven different skin tones but some customers did recommend testing the product with a sample first to find the right color.

Pros: Comes in a variety of skin tones, dries out zits, offers full coverage

Cons: Need to test it to find the right skin tone

The best clean-beauty acne treatment

source Origins

For a clean-beauty spot treatment that shrinks zits and relieves redness and irritation, try Origins’ Super Spot Remover Blemish Treatment Gel.

If you prefer to buy clean beauy products, opt for Origins’ Super Spot Remover Blemish Treatment Gel. The acne treatment features salicylic acid to zap zits quickly and red algae, which helps soothe skin and reduce redness. It is also made with the fruit of the Saw Palmetto to help eliminate excess oils and prevent future breakouts.

The product has a Clean at Sephora seal which means it’s made without the ingredients shoppers told Sephora they’d like to avoid. It is sulfate, paraben, and formaldehyde-free and features less than 1% of synthetic fragrances.

With over 50,000 likes and 1,000 reviews, it is one of the most popular acne spot treatments at Sephora. The fast-acting skincare treatment also has a 4.32-star rating on Influenster with more than 1,500 reviews.

A shopper named Sarah is a huge fan of the product saying, “This little bottle is like liquid gold. I’ve had a pimple appear and I’ll put this on at night and my pimple is legit almost flat. This is by far the best spot treatment I’ve used in my life and I have tried quite a few. I also like that’s it’s more like a gel so if you want to use it during the day and have no makeup on you can go out with it and it just dries clear.”

A few reviewers did complain about the size of the bottle, but most said a little goes a long way.

Pros: Eco-friendly, shrinks pimples fast, reduces redness, clean seal at Sephora

Cons: Not a lot of product for the price

Check out our other skincare buying guides

source /Alena Ozerova

The best exfoliators you can buy for any skin type or budget

Whether you’re new to the exfoliation game or a seasoned skincare pro, Glossier’s Solution is the exfoliator you should be reaching for. Its powerful mix of acids dissolves dead skin cells and improves your complexion, giving your face a gorgeous glow.

You might also like the Simple Kind to Skin Smoothing Facial Scrub, the Dermalogical Daily Microfoliant, the Juara Radiance Enzyme Scrub, and the Ole Henriksen Transforming Walnut Scrub.

The best moisturizers you can buy

Everyone wants healthy, smooth, and soft skin. Dry skin not only looks dull and flaky, it also feels tight and itchy. The solution? A good moisturizer. Our favorite moisturizer for both face and body is the CeraVe Moisturizing Cream.

You might also like the Neutrogena Hydro Boost, the La Roche-Posay Effaclar Mat, the Pacifica Coconut Probiotic Water Rehab Cream, the Vaseline Intensive Care Advanced Repair Unscented Lotion, the Vanicream Moisturizing Skin Cream, the Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream, and the Aveeno Active Naturals Skin Relief Hand Cream.

The best sunscreen you can buy

Daily use of a good mineral sunscreen like the All Good Sunscreen Butter or Supergoop’s Mineral Sunscreen Mist will fend off sunburns today, and help prevent the skin damage that leads to aged, wrinkled, blotchy skin later on in life. Thinksport’s SPF 50+ Sunscreen is a great affordable option while the La Roche-Posay Anthelios Ultra-Light Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50 is a nice choice for your face.

The best eye creams you can buy

Eye creams and serums are likely the product you know you should be using but have no idea how to actually shop for. If you’re unsure of where to start, reach for the Dr. Dennis Gross Ferulic + Retinol Eye Serum. Buyers and experts agree that this is the cream of the crop when it comes to treating under eye circles.

You’ll also love the Sunday Riley Auto Correct Brightening and Depuffing Eye Cream, the Aveeno Absolutely Ageless Eye Cream, the Uma Absolute Aging Eye Oil, and the Lancôme Vissionaire Yeux.

The best clay masks you can buy

Clay masks are an easy and cost-effective way to give your skin a boost without hitting the spa. Our top pick is the Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay Mask because it is a super affordable all-natural mask that deep cleans your pores.

You might also like the Glossier Mega Greens Galaxy Pack Mask, the Tarte Tight & Bright Clay MultiMask, the L’Oréal Paris Pure Clay Exfoliate & Refine Mask, or the Charlotte Tilbury Goddess Skin Clay Mask.

The best body oil you can buy

If smooth, supple skin is what you’re looking for, then the Fresh Sugar Ultra-Nourishing Body Oil is the bottle you want to reach for.

You might also like the Jao Goe Oil, the Herbivore Jasmine Glowing Hydrating Oil, the Kypris Body Elixir Inflorescence, and the Burt’s Bees Body Oil.

The best face cream for dry skin

If you’re one of those people whose face feels flaky whether it’s December or August, finding the right face cream can be difficult. But if full-on hydration and protection are what you’re after, Dr. Jart+ Ceramindin Cream is your best bet.

You should also consider the Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel, the CeraVe Moisturizing Cream, the Drunk Elephant Protini Polypeptide Cream, and the Youth To The People Age Prevention Superfood Cream.

Customer’s Pick: The 20 Best Reviewed Cleansers of 2018

Looking for the crème de la crème from our assortment? Our customers have got you covered! For this year’s edition of Customer Picks, we’re going through the best-reviewed basics of 2018. From MLBB lipsticks to health-boosting pantry staples, these are the products that any beauty and wellness junkie would be lost without. In the first installment of this thirteen-part series, we’re starting off with a sparkling sweep of your favorite cleansers. After all, a good cleansing routine—whether you’re using a cleansing oil, makeup removing sheets, or facial foam—provides the very foundation of a flawless, faultless face. And if you haven’t achieved that spic n’ span canvas just yet, let our customers give you their go-tos! See 20 of their prizewinning picks, below.
Beauty Bakery Witch Hazel + Tea Tree Gentle Facial Wash, P225 Juan, 19: “It lessened my pimples after a week of using this and it leaves my skin feeling fresh & supple. Plus, I super love its citruicy/fruity scent!”
Read all reviews here.
COSRX Salicylic Acid Daily Gentle Cleanser, P540 Joy, 20: “This is seriously the best facial wash. One time, I got 2-3 bumps on my face. Then I just washed my face twice a day with this one and the next morning, those bumps became flat! It works wonders! Plus 500ml can last up to 8 months! Really…. one of a kind product.”
Read all reviews here.
Myra Vitawhite Facial Wash (50ml), P75 Jaye, 20: “I have been using this for weeks now and it does the job well! My face feels smooth and fresh after. It brightened up my skin after more than a week of using it. For it’s price, it’s definitely worth it since once bottle lasts for quite a long time.”
Read all reviews here.
Human Nature Balancing Facial Wash (200ml), P200 Chenyl, 31: “In action, it’s an excellent second cleanser that washes off any residue from my first oil cleanse. It smells citrusy and refreshing, and it doesn’t make my skin feel tight and dry post-cleanse. I’ve just finished the small bottle of this, will definitely place an order for the larger bottle.”
Read all reviews here.
Be Organic Bath & Body Age-Defying Argan Oil Foaming Face Wash (60mL), P165 Ivanna, 26: “I bought this out of the blue due to the sale promo and the rave reviews. And it lived up to its claims, truly liquid gold for the skin. Most gentle facial cleanser doesnt get the job done due to its gentle properties, so this really took me by surprise. It gets the job done, removes all traces of makeup while being gentle at the same time.”
Read all reviews here.
Esfolio Pure Skin Green Tea Facial Cleansing Tissue, now on sale at P119 (limited time only) Monica, 30: “I have used this first on my lips and it immediately removed most of the traces of lipstick in one swipe. It is an effective eye makeup remover as well. I was surprised by the amount of liquid in every wipe as it is packed with more liquid than the other makeup wipes that I have tried considering the price point of this product.”
Read all reviews here.
Garnier Skin Naturals Micellar Cleansing Water Pink (400ml), now on sale at P212 (limited time only) Danice, 21: “This is the best micellar water that I have tried in my life. Does not leave your face feeling sticky after applying, removes make up in a swipe and does not smell chemical-y. I tried a lot of other micellar waters from other brands but i find myself coming back to this.”
Read all reviews here.
Skin Genie Yay-ger! Pore Refining Bar, P150 Nicole, 21: “This soap is 100% effective at minimizing pores. You can literally see the difference after every use! Be warned that it can sting, though, and that it dries your skin a little. Make sure to moisturize after! I cut my bar into six, and I use this soap maybe thrice a week, so I can see one bar lasting me for maybe more than three months.”
Read all reviews here.
Neogen Green Tea Real Fresh Foam Cleanser, P800 Vicky, 23: “This product got me and removed all my worries away because it has natural ingredients AND it’s GREEN TEA. And it’s true! I don’t usually get breakouts anymore (except if I have monthly period) and it is not drying, in fact, it’s hydrating to the skin. I like massaging this cleanser around my eyes also, I feel like it removes the tiredness. One pump does wonders already.”
Read all reviews here.
Esfolio Aloe Vera Soothing Cleansing Foam, now on sale at P245 (limited time only) Claire, 21: “I purchased this out of curiosity and I already bought their snail moisture gel, which I totally love, and the changes are AMAZING. Before, I have a really oily skin and I would usually have pimples before my mens and now, I don’t even need to monitor my face for excessive oil and I rarely have pimples.”
Read all reviews here.
Swan Compact Round Facial Konjac Sponge, P100 Mika, 22: “This is the only exfoliant that doesn’t aggravate my skin, and it helps in reducing the appearance of those stubborn closed comedones. Please don’t ever stop making these!!!!”
Read all reviews here.
3W Clinic Snail Foam Cleansing, now on sale at P100 (limited time only) Frances, 29: “it leaves my skin soft every after wash and even if I’m too tired to do my moisturizing regimen, just washing my face with this foam keeps my skin feeling soft when I wake up in the morning! No more chappy, dry skin!”
Read all reviews here.
Biore Uru Uru 2 in 1 Cleanser, P299 Berlin, 21: “Before, I used to wash my face twice, but now I only have to wash it once! Take note, I am using korean BB cream which is kind of difficult to remove, but this facial wash instantly removes it (even my waterproof eyeliner and mascara).”
Read all reviews here.
Celeteque DermoScience Hydration Facial Wash (100ml), P130 Ruby, 35: “I’ve been using this since i hit my 30’s and have found it really mild and moisturizing to my skin. It doesn’t leave a squeaky clean feeling but a soft silky feel. Unlike other facial scrubs that I’ve tried, this never dries out my skin.”
Read all reviews here.
Face Republic Gold Mineral Cleanser, P23 Athena, 26: “I ordered this one to try it out but wow, I’m impressed with the results. My skin feels supple and bright. It gave me this lowkey dewy look.”
Read all reviews here.
L’Oreal Paris Micellar Water Refreshing 3-in-1, now on sale at P180 (limited time only) Denise, 33: “Works really well. I’m a heavy make up kinda girl, and this removes everything! Also, it doesn’t leave my face too dry, nor is it oily.”
Read all reviews here.
3W Clinic Green Tea Foam Cleansing, now on sale at P100 (limited time only) Erika, 24: “I no longer wake up with super oily face, but at the same time, I don’t experience too much dryness. It hydrates my face just enough. Been using it for almost a month, and never experience breaking out.”
Read all reviews here.
Diva White Extreme Whitening and Exfoliating Soap, now on sale at P55 (limited time only) Ysan, 30: “i had a high hopes for this product and it didn’t me.. it’s very affordable and big in size.. effectively minimized my pores around my cheek area, dried out my pimples so fast and lightened my skin tone.”
Read all reviews here.
Dear Klairs Gentle Black Deep Cleansing Oil, P Jeamel, 23: “I’ve only been using this oil cleanser for less than a week, and the tiny bumps on my forehead are GONE … It didn’t irritate my skin in any way and whenever I use this, I feel like all the dirt that’s lodged in my pores are being pulled out. And very surprisingly, it is easy to rinse off and it leaves my skin feeling soft and smooth.”
Read all reviews here.
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10 skin care habits that can worsen acne

Are you faithfully treating your acne but still seeing new breakouts? Your skin care routine could be to blame. Here you’ll find 10 skin care habits that can worsen acne and dermatologists’ tips to help you change those habits.

10 Habits to stop

  1. Try a new acne treatment every week or so.
    This approach can irritate your skin, which can cause breakouts.
    Washing your face throughout the day can irritate your skin and cause acne breakouts. What to do instead: Give an acne treatment time to work. You want to use a product for 6 to 8 weeks. It takes that long to see some improvement. If you don’t see any improvement by then, you can try another product. Complete clearing generally takes 3 to 4 months.

  2. Apply acne medication only to your blemishes.
    It makes sense to treat what you see, but this approach fails to prevent new breakouts.

    What to do instead: To prevent new blemishes, spread a thin layer of the acne medication evenly over your acne-prone skin. For example, if you tend to breakout on your forehead, nose, and chin, you would want to apply the acne treatment evenly on all of these areas of your face.

  3. Use makeup, skin care products, and hair care products that can cause acne.
    Some makeup, along with many skin and hair care products, contain oil or other ingredients that can cause acne breakouts. If you continue to use them, you may continue to see blemishes.

    What to do instead: Use only makeup, sunscreen, skin, and hair-care products that are labeled “non-comedogenic” or “won’t clog pores.” These products don’t cause breakouts in most people.

  4. Share makeup, makeup brushes, or makeup applicators.
    Even if you use only non-comedogenic products, sharing makeup can lead to blemishes. Acne isn’t contagious, but when you share makeup, makeup brushes, or applicators, the acne-causing bacteria, oil, and dead skin cells on other people’s skin can wind up in your makeup. When you use that makeup, you can transfer their bacteria, oil, and dead skin cells to your skin. These can clog your pores, leading to breakouts.
    What to do instead: Make sure you’re the only person who uses your makeup, makeup brushes, and makeup applicators.

  5. Sleep in your makeup.
    Even non-comedogenic makeup can cause acne if you sleep in it.
    What to do instead: Remove your makeup before you go to bed. No exceptions. If you’re too tired to wash your face, use a makeup remover towelette. Just make sure it’s a non-comedogenic towelette.

  6. Wash your face throughout the day.
    Washing your face several times a day can further irritate your skin, leading to more breakouts.

    What to do instead: Wash your face twice a day — when you wake up and before you go to bed. You’ll also want to wash your face when you finish an activity that makes you sweat.

  7. Dry out your skin.
    Skin with acne is oily, so it can be tempting to apply astringent and acne treatments until your face feels dry. Don’t. Dry skin is irritated skin. Anytime you irritate your skin, you risk getting more acne.

    What to do instead: Use acne treatments as directed. If your skin feels dry, apply a moisturizer made for acne-prone skin. You’ll want to apply the moisturizer twice a day, after washing your face.
    You also want to avoid using astringents, rubbing alcohol, and anything else that can dry out your skin.

  8. Scrub your skin clean.
    To get rid of acne, you may be tempted to scrub your skin clean. Don’t. Scrubbing can irritate your skin, causing acne to flare.

    What to do instead: Be gentle when washing your face and other skin with acne. You want to use a mild, non-comedogenic cleanser. Apply the cleanser lightly with your fingertips, using a circular motion. Gently rinse it off with warm water, using only your fingers. Then pat your skin dry with a clean towel.

  9. Rub sweat from your skin during a workout.
    Using a towel to roughly rub away sweat can irritate your skin, which can cause breakouts.

    What to do instead: When working out, use a clean towel to gently pat sweat from your skin.

  10. Pop or squeeze breakouts.
    When you pop or squeeze acne, you’re likely to push some of what’s inside (e.g., pus, dead skin cells, or bacteria) deeper into your skin. When this happens, you increase inflammation. This can lead to more-noticeable acne and sometimes scarring and pain.

    What to do instead: Resist the temptation to pop or squeeze acne. You want to treat your acne with acne medication. If you have deep or painful acne, seeing a dermatologist is necessary to help clear your acne.

When to see a dermatologist

Many people can control their acne by following these skin care tips and using acne treatment that they can buy without a prescription. If you continue to see acne after giving these tips a chance to work, a dermatologist can help. Some people need prescription-strength acne treatment.

With the right help, virtually everyone who has acne can see clearer skin.

Related AAD resources

  • Acne: Tips for managing

  • Is your workout causing your acne?

  • Pimple popping: Why only a dermatologist should do it

Getty Images

Baumann L. “Cosmetics and skin care in dermatology.” In: Wolff K, Goldsmith LA, et al. Fitzpatrick’s Dermatology in General Medicine (seventh edition). McGraw Hill Medical, New York, 2008:2360.

Fulton JE, Acne Rx: What acne really is and how to eliminate its devastating effects! Self-published; 2001.

Harper JC. “Acne: The basics.” Paper written by dermatologist Julie C. Harper, MD to help her patients get the best results from their acne treatment. May 2003.

Jordan L, Baldwin HE. “Stratum corneum abnormalities and disease-affected skin: Strategies for successful outcomes in inflammatory acne.” J Drugs Dermatol. 2016;15(10):1170-3.

Zaenglein, AL, Pathy AL, et al. “Guidelines of care for the management of acne vulgaris.” J Am Acad Dermatol. 2016;74:945-73.

With excess oil, pores are more apt to get clogged with dead skin cells; then, the bacteria that causes pimples, Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes), multiplies, causing an inflamed spot. Hello, pimple.

While a dermatologist will always tell you it’s best to visit a dermatologist—naturally—for mild to moderate acne, you may be able to clear your skin with over-the-counter products found at the drugstore first. (If you have deep, cystic acne, you should see a board-certified dermatologist as prescription oral medications may be in order.)

How to choose (and use) the best drugstore acne products

Scan for pimple-fighters: OTCs focus on a couple of tried-and-true ingredients. One is benzoyl peroxide (to kill the P. acnes bacteria that causes acne) and the other is salicylic acid (to help unclog pores). Your skin will likely react better to one over the other, so you may need to do a bit of experimentation.

Take the less is more approach: Layering on multiple products can create irritation and make your acne worse, says Dr. Meinhardt. Start with a cleanser (acne-fighting or a basic, gentle wash) in the morning and night. Apply an acne spot treatment at night to target especially stubborn spots.

But don’t forget to moisturize: Yes, acne treatments are important, but they tend to dry your skin out. Moisturizing is essential—and the same goes for an SPF during the day, which will protect your skin from harmful UV rays and help hyperpigmentation and acne scars fade faster.

Be patient: This is one of the most important steps when getting rid of your acne (aside from never, ever popping a pimple with your hands, which will only make the infection go deeper into your skin and cause scarring). “Treating acne over-the-counter can be a somewhat slow process. You can expect to notice improvements in four to six weeks,” says Dr. Sivendran. Keep in mind it’s possible that skin will look worse before it looks better, so give your current regimen one to two months before moving on to new products.

Now that you know what to look for, check out these dermatologist-approved drugstore acne products that will finally make your pimples disappear.

While you may have left your love for emo music behind in high school, acne isn’t always something you can say goodbye to so easily. Acne is becoming increasingly more common in adults, with up to 15 percent of women affected—and dry or oily skin can also have similar effects on your skin.

So what causes acne, exactly? “When skin pores get clogged, usually by dead skin cells, oil cannot discharge and accumulates in the pore and under the skin, creating a whitehead or blackhead,” explains Viseslav Tonkovic-Capin, MD, a Kansas City dermatologist and editor DermBoard.org. “This is a perfect environment for Propionibacterium acnes, which then flourishes and causes inflammation, creating pimples.”

Alison Tam, DO, a dermatologist in Las Vegas, says hormonal changes like perimenopause or menopause, or the use of hormones like testosterone, can cause adult acne. “Adult onset acne may also have no cause, which is extremely common, and progress from just a few pimples to full cystic acne over the course of months to years,” she says.

Which ingredients benefit acne-prone skin

Getting acne under control can be difficult, depending on the severity of your condition, but it’s not impossible. Derms swear by a few ingredients, the first being salicylic acid (which is also recommended for shampoos for dandruff and dry scalps). “Salicylic acid exfoliates the stratum corneum and penetrates into pores to remove sebum,” says Hadley King, MD, a dermatologist in New York City. “This helps to prevent pores from being clogged and can help remove clogs that have already formed.” Salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid, meaning it’s a chemical exfoliator. “It dissolves the bonds that hold dull, dead skin cells on the surface of the skin so the skin will gently shed, revealing smoother, brighter skin underneath,” says Hadley. She adds that salicylic acid is gentle enough for even sensitive skin types to use it.

The second ingredient dermatologists love for acne is benzoyl peroxide. “Benzoyl peroxide is helpful for treating acne not only because it kills bacteria that contribute to acne, but because it helps prevent and clear out clogged pores,” King says. “Micronized formulations are helpful because they cause less irritation to the skin, and they stabilize the molecule so the shelf life can be longer. Just keep in mind that benzoyl peroxide can bleach your clothes and towels, so it’s best to use cleansers with this ingredient in the shower.

An OTC retinoid can help manage acne as well, says King. Retinoids regulate skin cell turnover to keep pores free of oil and inflammation at bay. Adapalene is the first OTC retinoid, and it’s available in 0.1-percent and 0.3-percent strength.

Whatever products you choose, they should be labeled “non-comedogenic,” says King, because this means they won’t clog pores—look for that label in summer-perfect skin care, too. A skin care routine for acne should include gentle cleansing twice a day. “Harsh cleansers can strip too much oil and can have the opposite effect, over-stimulating your oil glands,” says Tam. “This may leave you feeling good right away but make you oilier over time.” Follow up cleansing with a non-comedogenic moisturizer and sunscreen (in the morning), suggests Tam.

When using an acne treatment like benzoyl peroxide or retinoid, you only need a small amount, about a pea size, for your entire face, says Nancy Samolitis, a dermatologist and co-founder and medical director of Facile Dermatology + Boutique. Because these treatments are powerful, you should limit application to once a day, Samolitis advises.

If over-the-counter products aren’t working for you, see a dermatologist or your general practitioner who can help you explore other treatment options, including prescription medications. For adult women, birth control pills with low-dose estrogen and progesterone are often helpful, says Melanie Palm, MD, a dermatologist in San Diego.

What are the best skin care products for acne-prone skin?

Ready to take the first step in getting your acne under control? Below, top dermatologists share their favorite skin care products for acne-prone skin. Here’s to clearer skin days ahead!

1. Neutrogena Oil-Free Salicylic Acid Acne Fighting Acne Wash

If you need a basic facial cleanser, you can’t beat this one. Samolitis is a fan of the 2% salicylic acid formula that unclogs pores, keeping them free of acne-causing buildup.

2. La Roche-Posay Effaclar Medicated Gel Acne Face Wash

“This cleanser contains salicylic acid to clean out pores and calm acne,” says Palm. It’s also formulated with lipo hydroxy acid to remove excess oil from the skin, leaving your complexion shine-free.

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3. AcneFree Oil-Free Acne Cleanser with Benzoyl Peroxide

“This is an excellent benzoyl peroxide product,” says King. With 2.5% micronized benzoyl peroxide it’s effective yet gentle. The cleanser also contains glycerin, a hydrating ingredient. “This is a great cleanser choice if you have a combination of some clogged pore type of acne with whiteheads and blackheads and some inflammatory acne with bigger pink or red pimples,” she says.

4. Clarisonic Mia Smart 3-in-1 Sonic Facial Beauty Device

This sonic cleansing brush will help you wash your face more effectively, says Palm. A timer tells you when to move on to the next area of your face. It’s also waterproof, so you can use it in the shower.

5. AcneFree Blackhead Removing Scrub with Salicylic Acid Acne Treatment

Charcoal and 2% salicylic acid pack a one-two punch against pimples, plus the gritty texture provides physical exfoliation to unclog pores. “This is an ideal cleanser choice if you have oily skin and clogged pores with whiteheads and blackheads, without many inflammatory pimples,” says King. It’s also a good alternative to benzoyl peroxide if that’s something your skin can’t tolerate well, she adds.

6. Neutrogena Clear Pore Facial Cleanser / Face Mask containing Kaolin & Bentonite Clay

Emmy M. Graber, MD, a dermatologist and president of the Dermatology Institute of Boston, explains that most benzoyl peroxide products contain 10% of the ingredient, but higher strengths have never been proven to be better for acne. “Higher strengths only irritate the skin more, so you should look for a lower strength,” says Graber, who is a fan of this product. It contains 3.5% benzoyl peroxide and can be used as a daily cleanser or weekly mask to kill bacteria and prevent future breakouts.

7. PCA Skin Smoothing Toner

Toning isn’t an essential skin care step, but it can help remove pore-clogging debris from your skin. Samolitis likes this toner because it’s alcohol-free, meaning it won’t strip skin of essential moisture. Lactic and citric acids remove dead skin cells, while aloe soothes.

8. Dickinson’s Original Witch Hazel Pore Perfecting Toner

A great drugstore pick, Graber likes this toner because it helps control oil production. The formula is fragrance-free, so even sensitive skin types can use it.

9. PCA SKIN Clearskin Calming and Balancing Facial Moisturizer

Don’t think you can skip out on moisturizer if you have acne. It’s all about finding one that’s right for your skin type. This one, a favorite of Samolitis, is formulated with niacinamide to hold moisture in and prevent excess oil production. Cucumber soothes irritation.

10. Elta MD UV Clear Sunscreen with SPF 46

Sunscreen is a must, no matter your skin type, and this is a good pick for acne-prone skin. Palm raves about the non-comedogenic formula, which is free of heavy moisturizers that could clog pores. “Zinc oxide and niacinamide are anti-inflammatory and do not promote oil production,” she says.

11. Herbivore Lapis Balancing Facial Oil

It might seem counterintuitive to apply oil to your face if you have acne, but this one, which Samolitis likes, is formulated specifically to treat blemishes. Blue tansy is antibacterial and anti-inflammatory, so it minimizes redness associated with acne, while kukui nut oil balances sebum production.

12. Mario Badescu Drying Mask

“This face mask contains sulfur, the oldest known ingredient to help with skin inflammation,” says Graber. The combo of sulfur and zinc oxide in this mask draw out impurities and gets rid of excess oil, while calamine and cucumber extract cool skin and ensure you don’t feel irritated afterward.

13. Aveeno Clear Complexion Peel-Off Face Mask

Palm says this no-rinse mask is gentle yet effective, with ingredients including lactic acid and glycolic acid that target pimples and heal post-inflammatory pigmentation and redness.

14. Avene Tricaneal Night Smoothing Lotion

Formulated with 0.1% retinaldehyde (a non-prescription retinoid) and soothing thermal spring water, Samolitis likes this treatment lotion that targets acne without irritating.

15. Differin Adapalene Gel 0.1% Acne Treatment

Dermatologists like Samolitis and King like this OTC retinoid, which promotes skin cell turnover and curbs inflammation to deep clean pores and prevent new pimples from forming.


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Salicylic acid also has anti-inflammatory properties to help with inflamed cystic breakouts that can occur when blockages deep in the hair follicles rupture beneath the skin. Although it’s totally fine to use salicylic acid in a face wash, you may find that you have better results when using it as a toner, moisturizer, or leave-on spot treatment because these give it more time to do its work. And keep in mind, salicylic acid can dry out the skin if over-applied, so it may be wise to choose only one product with the ingredient to use every day.

2. Glycolic acid

Glycolic acid is an alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) that gently exfoliates the skin, helping to get rid of the dead skin cells that can clog pores. Just like salicylic acid, you can find glycolic in washes, peels, moisturizers, and serums at your local beauty store or drugstore.

3. Benzoyl peroxide

Benzoyl peroxide is an antibacterial ingredient, and it’s very effective at killing the P. acnes bacteria that causes breakouts. But benzoyl isn’t without its downsides. The leave-on creams and cleansing treatments can dry out sensitive skin and bleach clothing if you aren’t careful. Board-certified dermatologist Eric Meinhardt, M.D., previously told SELF that it’s best to stick to formulations that have no more than 2 percent of benzoyl peroxide listed on the active ingredients chart; stronger concentrations are harder on your skin without being any tougher on bacteria.

4. Retinol

You’ve probably heard of the benefits of retinoid creams for anti-aging, but vitamin A is also efficient at clearing up acne. “ cause skin cells to turn over at a faster rate, decrease oil production, and help skin exfoliate,” board-certified dermatologist Rita Linkner, M.D., tells SELF. Another benefit: Acne is inflammation, and retinoids are anti-inflammatory.

Shah often recommends over-the-counter retinols or prescription retinoids to her acne-prone patients. “I find that, compared to other treatments, they are beneficial for not just treating acne but also preventing new acne from forming as they help prevent that initial stage of the follicle getting clogged,” she says. “They can also help with some of the post-acne , such as hyperpigmentation.”

But keep in mind that retinoids can also be irritating and if you have sensitive skin (or eczema or rosacea), a prescription retinoid might be too strong an option. However, your dermatologist can recommend an over-the-counter retinol with a low concentration (0.1 to 0.25 percent), which might be better tolerated.

Retinol also isn’t a quick fix. It takes time to see results (possibly a few months), and it’s something you’ll have to keep using to maintain its benefits.

5. Sulfur

Warning: Sulfur smells like rotten eggs. But it is an effective ingredient at drying up pus-filled pimples and whiteheads (you’ve gotta take the good with the bad). It works by sucking up the oil. Sulfur is typically mixed with other active ingredients to get the most efficacy and fragrances to mask the strong scent. You can often find it in masks and spot treatments.

And here are the best acne treatments for more severe acne. 6. Dapsone gel

Another prescription option your dermatologist might prescribe for acne is dapsone gel, like the brand name version Aczone. Dapsone is both antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory, and it’s proven to help with blackheads, whiteheads, and deeper painful pimples. Oftentimes, dapsone is used alongside other acne treatments. And, like many of those other remedies, this can cause skin to dry out.

7. A cortisone shot

Cortisone is a quick fix for acne emergencies. We mean got a big board meeting tomorrow kind of quick. Go into the dermatologist’s office for a shot of this corticosteroid, and acne will disappear in 24 to 48 hours. The treatment works to curb inflammation, which makes it best for cystic breakouts and can be really good at combating hormonal flare-ups. If done incorrectly, a cortisone shot can leave a small depression in the skin that lasts about eight weeks. “It’s a rare side effect that happens if dosage of cortisone is too high,” Dr. Linkner explains. “You want to go to someone who knows what they’re doing.”

8. Birth control pills

If you notice that you’re breaking out right around your period every month, your acne might be linked to hormones. “A sensitivity to the hormones called androgens manifests in the form of cystic acne,” Dr. Linkner says. Androgens, namely testosterone, cause the skin to produce more sebum. More sebum equals more acne. Birth control, which has estrogen and progestin, helps keep hormones balanced and skin clear. Ortho Tri-Cyclen, Estrostep, and YAZ are all FDA-approved as acne treatments.

9. Spironalactone

Sometimes birth control alone isn’t enough to really make a difference in hormonal acne. That’s when your doctor might recommend adding in an androgen blocker such as spironalactone. Spiro (as it’s often called) minimizes the amount of androgen hormones in circulation by blocking the receptors that bind with testosterone. When these pills are taken at the same time as an oral contraceptive, many women see an improvement in breakouts, according to Dr. Linkner. The drug is sometimes prescribed to women with PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) to relieve androgen-related symptoms like excessive hair growth, hypertension, oily skin, and acne.

10. Isotretinoin

Isotretinoin is a particularly strong retinoid. It has a mixed reputation, but among dermatologists it’s the finisher for patients with severe acne. “If you have an acne patient that doesn’t respond to anything, can really be a game changer,” board-certified dermatologist Adam Friedman tells SELF. Commonly referred as Accutane even though that particular brand was discontinued, isotretinoin is an oral retinoid, and it has all the same benefits of a topical retinol but is even more effective.

27 best acne-fighting products that people swear by and you should put in your SOS list

Dealing with acne is certainly not fun! It can be frustrating because it’ll usually take a few trials and errors before you find the right skincare products for your skin condition.

If you’re still looking for products that can help improve your acne concerns, read on. Here are 27 acne-fighting products that we’ve heard rave reviews about and you can consider putting into your SOS list from now on.

Acne patches

1. Labottach Sleepy Moon Acne Thyol Care Series

Getting rid of those pesky pimples fast is made easy with the Labottach AC Thyol Patch. The Sleepy Moon Acne Thyol Care range comes in four varieties that are targeted for different areas of the face, such as for your forehead, cheeks, and chin. Each patch is enhanced with a Hydrogel technology that transports constant moisture and active ingredients to the applied area, softening lesions all while having an anti-microbial and anti-bacterial effect on skin.

If you’re worried that it may be a little too drying on your skin or that it might sensitise it, fret not. This patch is made of a pharma level, high quality elastic non-woven fabric that has been dermatologically-tested. Suitable for all skin types, it is recommended that you stick one on right before you go to bed. Peel it off in the morning, and get ready to see visible results!

The Labottach Sleepy Moon T-Zone and Cheek Acne Thyol Care Patch retails for SGD16.20 per box (4 sheets and pairs respectively). The Labottach Sleepy Moon V-Chin AC Patch retails for SGD17.82 per box (4 sheets), while the Labottach Sleepy Moon Intensive Care Patch retails for SGD17.01 per box (48 pieces).

More brand information and product introduction is available on Labottach official site, with there being special discount events being held randomly on , Lazada, Qoo10 and Ezbuy. Make sure to follow them on Instagram and Facebook for more up to date news!


2. Suisai Beauty Clear Powder

This powder cleanser from Japan has a cult following because of how it leaves skin clearer and smoother. The product contains enzymes that break down sebum and proteins that clog pores so that acne can be prevented. The product comes in a box of capsules, each of them packaged to contain the right amount of powder to use in each wash. Simply add water and lather up a dense foam. You can use this cleanser once a week or 2-3 times a week if you find that your pores are often clogged.

The Suisai Beauty Clear Powder has received a lot of rave reviews, and you can read what Daily Vanity readers think about it.

3. Klairs Gentle Black Deep Cleansing Oil

This cleansing oil is great for acne-prone skin and its mild formula ensures that your skin won’t be irritated easily. The hypo-allergenic formula is packed with vegetable oils such as Black Bean oil, Black Sesame Oil, and Blackcurrant Seed Oil. This product cleanses, controls sebum production, and moisturises your skin like no other.

DV Tip: This product is best used as a first cleanse, followed by a second cleanser of your choice.

Klairs Gentle Black Deep Cleansing Oil retails for an estimated price of SGD28.90 and is available online at Lazada and Qoo10 (shipping fees apply) .

4. Neogen Real CICA Micellar Cleansing Oil


This cleanser incorporates micellar technology so that oil droplets that are suspended in water can help remove impurities, dirt, and sebum more effectively. It is formulated with the star ingredient, Cica, otherwise known as Centella Asiatica. You may find this ingredient familiar because it has made quite an impression within the skincare community with its antimicrobial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-ageing properties.

Neogen Real CICA Micellar Cleansing Oil retails for an estimated price of SGD 22 and is available online at Qoo10 (shipping fees apply).

5. TROIAREUKE Acsen Oil Cut Cleansing

Targeted at those who have acne-prone and sensitive skin, this cleanser has a gel-like consistency and releases micro-sized molecules to deeply cleanse pores of sebum and impurities. The unique formula allows skin to be cleansed thoroughly, without irritating it. Formulated with Papaya Extract, Soapwort, and Aloe Vera, this product also exfoliates skin and soothes inflammation.

ACSEN Oil Cut Cleansing retails for an estimated price of SGD 112 and is available on Lazada (shipping fees apply).

6. Glow Recipe Blueberry Bounce Gentle Cleanser

Another gel cleanser to look out for is the Glow Recipe Blueberry Bounce Gentle Cleanser. Not only does it please the eyes with its visible Blueberry Extract, it also smells heavenly! The Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA) present in this cleanser helps to remove dead skin cell while, the Blueberry Extract helps to strengthen, clarify, and fortify the skin. After washing your face, your skin will feel more hydrated and healthier.

Glow Recipe Blueberry Bounce Gentle Cleanser retails for £30.00 (about SGD 54) and is available on Cultbeauty (Shipping fee applies).


7. COSRX One Step Original Clear Pimple Pad

Exfoliation is an important step in preventing and fighting acne. This is because clogged pores are the first step to the occurrence of a pimple.

If you’re looking for an easy way to exfoliate, consider this product that is made up of cotton pads pre-soaked in Betaine Salicylate and Willow Bark Water. These ingredients chemically exfoliate skin without drying it out. You will be surprised to see that there are “dirt” left on the cotton pad even after a thorough cleanse!

COSRX One Step Original Clear Pimple Pad retails for SGD 22.90 and is available at Watsons.

8. NEOGEN Bio-Peel+ Gauze Peeling Green Tea

Here’s another exfoliating pad to consider. The Neogen Bio-Peel+ Gauze Peeling features pre-soaked Green Tea, a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory ingredient that prevents premature ageing and soothe irritated skin. The pads have a unique three-layer technology that allows gentle but effective exfoliation of dead skin cells, while leaving the skin, smooth and clean. Many have noticed a brighter complexion and less pigmentation after regular use!

DV Tip: Exfoliate your skin using the gauze side. Rotate the pad and use the soft side to pick up remaining debris. Finish off by rinsing your face with lukewarm water.

Neogen Bio-Peel+ Gauze Peeling retails for an estimated price of SGD39.90 is available on Lazada (there’s a discount right now!)

9. Pixi Glow Tonic

Another holy grail to add on your list is the Pixi Glow Tonic. Glycolic Acid is present in this exfoliating toner to deeply clean pores by gently exfoliating dead skin cells without compromising skin’s hydration. This toner is alcohol-free and is ideal for people with sensitive skin!

Pixi Glow Tonic retails at SGD9 for 15ml, SGD22 for 100ml, and SGD44 for 250ml respectively. It is available at Sephora stores.


10. GlamGlow SUPERMUD Clearing Treatment

If your skin is feeling congested, give your skin a detox by applying a mud mask. GlamGlow is renowned amongst hollywood celebrities and the public for its mud mask, specifically, the GlamGlow Supermud Clearing Treatment.

This mask is made with a unique blend that helps balance skin’s natural oils and specially chosen acids hat help exfoliate dead skin cells. It is also formulated with an absorbent carbon, Activated-X Charcoal, that draws out dirt and impurities, making the skin smooth and healthy-looking! Don’t be surprised when you see little black spots as the mud mask dries down. Those are actually the dirt and impurities being pulled out!

DV Tip: Apply toner before and after the mud mask to balance skin pH’s level and to maximise the absorption of key ingredients of following skincare products.

GlamGlow Supermud Clearing Treatment retails at SGD35 for 15g, SGD86 for 50g and SGD114 for 100g. It is available at Sephora stores.

11. Innisfree Jeju Volcanic Pore Clay Mask

Another contender for a great mud mask is the Innisfree Jeju Volcanic Pore Clay Mask. This clay mask is formulated with solidified lava found in Jeju Island, allowing absorption of impurities and sebum sitting deep in the pores. In addition, it gently exfoliates dead skin cells, leaving your skin looking cleaner and brighter!

Innisfree Jeju Volcanic Pore Clay Mask retails for SGD 20 and is available at Innisfree stores.

12. Kate Somerville EradiKate Mask

The Kate Somerville® EradiKate Mask is a detox mask that gently exfoliates dead skin cells and keeps future breakouts at bay, thanks to its star ingredient, Colloidal Sulfur. The mask’s gel-to-cream consistency turns into foam as it draws out dirt, impurities, and excess sebum from deep within the pores. Ingredients like Honey and Rice Bran Extract also helps to soothe irritated skin.

Kate Somerville EradiKate Mask retails for SGD 82 and is available at Sephora stores.

13. LUSH Mask of Magnaminty

LUSH’s Mask Of Magnaminty comes in two versions: Original, which dries more thoroughly when applied, and Self-Preserving, which has a higher honey content making it thicker in consistency. Both contain star ingredients like Kaolin Clay, Peppermint Oil, Ground Aduki Beans, and Honey, which work together to draw out dirt and impurities from deep within, gently exfoliate, and provide moisture & anti-bacterial properties to prevent inflammation.

LUSH Mask Of Magnaminty retails at SGD52 for 315g and SGD30 for 125g. It is available at LUSH stores.


14. Etude House Soonjung pH 5.5 Relief Toner


97% of the Soon Jung pH 5.5 Relief Toner is made from naturally-derived ingredients, and from its name, you’d have guessed that it helps skin to maintain its ideal pH level. The toner is formulated with Vitamin B5 to provide deep hydration, and Centella Asiatica to heal damaged skin barrier. To add on, it is free from ten potential skin irritants, making it perfect for any skin type!

Etude House Soonjung pH 5.5 Relief Toner retails for an estimated price of SGD 26 and is available at Etude House stores.

15. COSRX AHA/BHA Clarifying Treatment Toner

This product contains AHA and BHA. The former works on skin’s surface while hydrating it, while the latter works deep within pores and calms skin. It helps acne-prone skin by gently exfoliating dead skin cells and preventing early development of whiteheads and blackheads, which leads to breakouts when they inflame.

COSRX AHA/BHA Clarifying Treatment Toner retails for SGD21.90 and is available at Watsons.

16. KraveBeauty Kale-Lalu-yAHA

Skincare enthusiasts would probably be familiar with YouTuber Liah Yoo, who often shares about acne-fighting solutions on her channel. The skincare guru also has her own skincare brand KraveBeauty, and her Kale-Lalu-yAHA is a skin-resurfacing exfoliator loved by many. Formulated with 5.25% Glycolic Acid, Dark Leafy Greens, Aloe Vera, Hyaluronic Acid, Vitamin B5, and Allantoin, the product promises to exfoliate, hydrate, and soothe the skin while making sure there’s no irritation.

KraveBeauty Kale-Lalu-yAHA retails for SGD45.90 on Qoo10 (shipping fees apply).

Serum and Essence to improve acne

17. COSRX Triple C Lightning Liquid Serum

If you’re looking for a product that doesn’t just have anti-inflammatory properties but also brighten skin tone so that acne scars can appear lighter, then the COSRX’s Triple C Lightning Liquid is the serum to go for. It contains 20.5% of Pure Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid) for skin brightening and is also formulated with 72% of Black Chokeberry, a great anti-inflammatory ingredient.

COSRX’s Triple C Lightning Liquid retails for USD 27 (~SGD 37) and is available on SokoGlam (shipping fees apply)

18. The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%

This hydrating serum does a few things for acne-prone skin. It balances sebum activity so that skin remains matte, and at the same time soothe inflammation and can even reduce the occurrence of scarring.

The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% retails for USD5.90 (~SGD8.10) and is available on Beautylish (shipping fees apply).

19. COSRX Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence


This essence helps with cell regeneration so that acne-prone skin can receive the right nutrients to improve condition over time. Don’t be surprised that snail mucus is used in the formula; this ingredient is well-loved in Korean beauty products because it helps smoothen the appearance of complexion.

COSRX Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence retails for SGD 28.90 and is available at Watsons.

Moisturiser for acne-prone skin

20. La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Baume B5

This multi-purpose balm is formulated with amazing acne-fighting ingredients that soothe and hydrate irritated skin while healing damaged skin barrier. Its alcohol- and fragrance-free formula also makes it a great product to be used on sensitive skin.

La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Baume B5 retails for SGD 21.90 and is available at Watsons.

21. iUNIK Beta Glucan Daily Moisture Cream

This light moisturiser is packed with anti-ageing and anti-inflammatory properties. Ideal for acne-prone skin, it ensures that skin feels soothed and hydrated, while boosting skin’s natural barrier function.

iUNIK Beta Glucan Daily Moisture Cream is available on Qoo10 (shipping fees apply).

Acne Treatment Products

22. Dr. Oracle A-thera Tea Tree Peeling Sticks


Shaped like a huge cotton bud, it allows for a precise application onto the affected area. The Dr. Oracle A-Thera Tea Tree Peeling Sticks are pre-soaked in 6% AHA and BHA solution to gently exfoliate, without irritating the skin. It is TSA-approved so it’s extremely suitable to bring along when you’re travelling!

Dr. Oracle A-Thera Tea Tree Peeling Sticks retails for USD24 (~SGD 33) and is available on SokoGlam (shipping fees apply).

23. Mario Badescu Drying Lotion

Ever had a pimple emerging a day before an important event? Don’t worry, Mario Badescu’s Drying Lotion to the rescue. Formulated with Salycilic Acid, Sulfur, and Zinc Oxide, the Drying Lotion will draw out impurities and soothe the pimple at the same time. You may dip a cotton bud into the solution and apply it to the pimple and leave it overnight.

DV Tip: Do not shake the bottle. If you did, just let the pink powder settle onto the bottom of the solution.

Mario Badescu Drying Lotion retails for SGD 36 and is available at Sephora stores.

24. COSRX Centella Blemish Cream


This blemish cream is formulated with ingredients like Centella Asiatica and Tea Tree Oil to help skin that’s plagued by acne. It has anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties so that acne can be soothed quickly and appearance scar is minimised. To use it, apply the cream on problem areas.

COSRX Centella Blemish Cream retails for SGD 30.90 and is available at Watsons.

25. Klairs Midnight Blue Calming Cream


The main ingredients in the Klairs Midnight Blue Calming Cream, Gualazulene and Centella Asiatica, don’t just calm inflammation but also prevent acne scarring. Apply this at night onto targeted areas to help your skin regenerate and heal problem areas.

Klairs Midnight Blue Calming Cream retails for an estimated price of SGD 45 and is available on Althea (there’s a discount right now!)

26. Sunday Riley Good Genes

Sunday Riley’s Good Genes All-in-one Lactic Acid Treatment is a multi-purpose treatment formulated with star ingredients like, Lactic Acid, Liquorice, Lemongrass, and Sunday’s patented N-5 Ageless complex. The potent blend of ingredients combine together to combat early signs of ageing, brighten skin tone, and protect from environmental aggressors. No wonder it’s a cult favorite! Use this to get rid of comedones that inflame into pimples.

Sunday Riley Good Genes retails for SGD148 at Sephora or USD108.73 at Net-a-porter (shipping fees apply).

27. La Roche-Posay Serozinc

Instead of blotting, which can irritate skin, use this facial mist instead, Designed to target key signs of oily and acne-prone skin, it mattifies skin instantly. The star ingredients of this formula is the Natural Thermal Spring Water and Zinc Sulfate. The former soothes skin and keeps it hydrated, while the latter regulates sebum production and soothe any inflammation. You can also use this to freshen up your makeup!

La Roche-Posay Serozinc retails for SGD 24.90 for 150ml and SGD 12.90 for 50ml. It is available at Watsons and RedMart.

The best acne product

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