Best Skin-Care Products for Acne-Prone Skin
I honestly can’t remember not having pimples. Not to say that my skin hasn’t come a long way in the years since I walked the halls of my local middle school. I’ve gone from daily breakouts to the random zit, but either way, pimples have been a mainstay on my face my whole life. They come in different shapes, sizes, and textures depending on the day—usually under the skin—and the majority of the time, the pimples leave love notes—in the form of dark marks—behind on my face after they’re gone.
I have my go-to brands that have made vast improvements in my skin’s texture and number of surprise zits. But finding them hasn’t always been easy. There have been countless times where I thought a cleanser or exfoliator would clear up my stubborn acne for good, then find that a few days later I had a new zit coming in. Let’s just say that in the process of trial and error, there’s been a lot of error.
To help the rest of you hone in on creams, cleansers, and exfoliators that won’t break you out, we’ve rounded up 36 of the best products for acne-prone skin, according to dermatologists and women who’ve put them to the test IRL. Bonus: You can get many of these at the drugstore for under $20.
La Roche-Posay Effaclar Clay Mask for Oily Skin, $20
This mask is so effective, it won best mask in this year’s Healthy Beauty Awards. “I’ve tried a lot of clay masks to help with the huge pores around my nose, and one thing that I hate is that my face always feels super dry after using them—like I want to dunk my face in a gallon of moisturizer. This one didn’t leave my face that way,” explains one Healthy Beauty Awards 2018 tester. “It’s not a thick mud. It has a more creamy texture.”
Cetaphil Dermacontrol Foam Wash, $9
This foaming cleanser is recommended by Sejal Shah, M.D., and doesn’t have the regular salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide. Instead, it’s formulated with zinc to make it more tolerable for sensitive skin.
LovelySkin Luxe Mattifying Antioxidant Moisturizer, $60
According to Joel Schlessinger, M.D., this moisturizer is a lightweight lotion that works to eliminate excess oil and shine at the skin’s surface, while offering just the right amount of moisture.
The Body Shop Tea Tree Skin Clearing Daily Solution, $22
Beauty blogger Tammi Clarke counts this solution as one of her holy-grail items, telling SELF that the product not only helps prevent spots and acne, but also helps with skin texture and appearance.
Clinique City Block Purifying Charcoal Mask and Scrub, $28
Dermatologist Sejal Shah, M.D., often recommends Clinque’s City Block Purifying Charcoal Mask and Scrub to clients, which uses natural bamboo charcoal to clear away dirt and kaolin clay to polish skin for a deep-clean treatment.