Skip To Content

    Just 27 Products That Are Ready To Get Into A Fight With Your Acne

    Your acne won't stand a chance once you've got these products in your arsenal.

    We hope you love the products we recommend! All of them were independently selected by our editors. Just so you know, BuzzFeed may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page if you decide to shop from them. Oh, and FYI — prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.

    1. A 2% BHA liquid exfoliant that is a skincare cult-favorite, and for good reason, too. This chemical exfoliator contains salicylic acid that works to whisk away dead skin cells from the surface, revealing a texture-free glow underneath.

    amazon.com

    Promising review: "I have every skin issue you can think of. Rosacea, acne (hormonal, cystic, whiteheads, blackheads), dehydration, excessive oiliness, redness, all of it. I’ve spent probably thousands on a multitude of different products, trying to find one that would at least make a dent. I’ve had many procedures, many trips to the dermatologist. Nothing I’ve ever used, nothing I’ve ever done, has made such a profound difference in the appearance of my skin. Having rosacea, my face often felt hot, bumpy, and burned. While my complexion is naturally fair and pink, this has seriously covered all my bases in a gentle and effective way. I’ve been trying to turn my skin around for YEARS!! This was the product that did it. If I could give it 100 stars, I would. It has seriously changed my life!" —hc

    Get it from Amazon for $29.50 (or Subscribe & Save for $28.03/month).

    2. A blemish balm containing salicylic acid to clear pores of excess sebum, niacinamide to reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentation, hyaluronic acid to hydrate the skin, and an amino acid complex to help rebuild healthy skin. So, in short, it's basically like your entire skincare regimen in one exfoliating balm cleanser.

    a person resting their head on a pile of cleansers
    Peace Out

    Promising review: "I am obsessed with this balm! I have had some pretty bad cystic acne flare-ups and since I started using this (about three weeks now) I have seen a significant change in my skin. It’s not as inflamed or red. It’s gotten smoother and I haven’t seen any new breakouts! This balm has been my saving grace! I love it and won’t go back to anything else!!" —Alma Q.

    Get it from Peace Out for $22.

    3. A 0.1% adapalene gel to clear up acne and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, and even smooth out the appearance of fine lines. I've used this gel in the past, and my skin was baby-smooth after getting over the inevitable first few weeks of dryness.

    a before and after shot of a person using differing gel for acne
    amazon.com

    Be aware: always make sure to wear sunscreen when using this product.

    Promising review: "This is the only product that has ever cleared up my acne and I have tried many, including prescriptions. It took about six to eight weeks to see a difference, and it got worse before better, but it works. It has made my skin look so much better. It also doesn't dry my skin out like every other product." —Ash2008

    Get it from Amazon for $12.88 (or Subscribe & Save for $12.24/month).

    4. An acne spot treatment, because although we can't zap our zits away, we can at least use amazing spot treatments like this one by Derma-E. Here is why this product works so effectively — it contains salicylic acid to exfoliate the blemish, tea tree oil to dry it out, and aloe vera to hydrate the skin and diminish redness in the site. Basically, it works hard so you don't have to.

    before and after one week of using the acne treatment
    amazon.com

    Promising review: "I have struggled with acne for what seems like my entire life. I have tried so many products I've lost count. Nothing has ever worked for me like this. I've been using it every day along with the other acne products that Derma E has and it has done WONDERS for my skin. I have FINALLY found what works for me!! And I love that it is all-natural! The top pic is before and the bottom is after only one week of using it." —Rachel

    Get it from Amazon for $14.98 (or Subscribe & Save for $14.23/month).

    5. A tub of Aztec Secret clay mask that's another industry favorite, and for great reasons. This mask works amazingly to soak up excess pore-clogging sebum, effectively reducing the appearance of acne. Pro tip: mix in ACV and honey into your mask to add in some anti-microbial effects to this at-home spa day.

    before and after photos of a person with acne
    amazon.com

    Promising review: "I’ve been meaning to try this for a while after reading so many great reviews about it. It definitely surprised me. I have really sensitive skin so I tried it with water first instead of vinegar and followed it with Dr. Thayer’s Witch Hazel Toner and the results are amazing. I’ve had acne-prone skin my whole life and I’ve never had a product work so well." —Lacey Ann

    Get it from Amazon for $14.95.

    6. An African black soap to renew your skin as easy as 1, 2, 3. I have been using this cleanser for years, and I can firmly say that it is the only cleanser that keeps my skin clear and glowing all at once.

    amazon.com

    Promising review: "I love this product. People say it helped with cystic acne. And I don’t have that but I was breaking out a lot, especially from the masks! But within a couple weeks of using this and moisturizing with oil, my skin has cleared up so much!" —Jess

    Get it from Amazon for $3.86 (or Subscribe & Save for $3.67/month).

    7. A rescue balm that I use on my post-adult-acne dark spots that seem like they'll never go away. This formula has panthenol that will hydrate the area while beta glucan works overtime to diminish the appearance of hyperpigmentation.

    amazon.com

    Promising review: "This product is amazing! I’ve been using it on my chin for two nights for scarring from hormonal breakouts. The scars are almost gone! I had a red spot from picking that is barely visible also. Love this stuff." —Saige Against The Machine

    Get it from Amazon for $12.99.

    8. A propolis cream to help soothe away any redness or inflammation you may be experiencing.

    amazon.com

    Promising review: "This my second time ordering. I love COSRX products, this leaves me with a glowing look when I use it. Next thing to try is the serum. I have oily skin and sometimes it does get dry and this gives me the moisture I need." —Shea Samuel

    Get it from Amazon for $18.70.

    9. A Pixi glow tonic that is a cult-favorite, and for good reason, too. This chemical exfoliator contains 5% glycolic acid that works to whisk away dead skin cells from the surface, revealing a texture-free glow underneath.

    amazon.com

    Promising review: "The holy grail!!! I had seen this product all over Pinterest and thought to give it a try. I will never use another toner. This has helped even out my skin, get rid of my redness, and leaves my skin glowing." —Brandy C.

    Get it from Amazon for $15.

    10. A niacinamide serum to have your skin looking as bright as ever. Niacinamide is your go-to ingredient for an even, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation-free texture.

    amazon.com

    Promising review: "LOVE THIS! I’ve been using this serum every morning and the vitamin C serum every night since it came in and my skin looks pore-less and hydrated. My skin tone is looking brighter and more even. I also have to give props on the packaging. I love the clean and polished look, and the product/ingredient facts are presented in an easy-to-read way." —Sarah

    Get it from Amazon for $15.99.

    11. A gentle exfoliating cleanser that will slough off dead skin cells that can become trapped in pores without doing damage to your skin's lipid barrier. Opt for using this exfoliator one to two times per week to avoid damaging your delicate skin with over-exfoliation.

    lolo1595 / Sephora

    Promising review: "Can't say enough good things about this product. I never believed cleansers really did much until I found this one. I had taken before and after pictures (taken two weeks apart) you can tell how much just this cleanser improved my acne, the brightness of my skin, size of my pores AND the texture of my skin. Truly helped with everything. Have recommended this product to soooo many people!! It's a must-have." —lolo1595

    Get it from Sephora for $38.

    12. A vitamin C and ferulic acid serum, because antioxidants are so important when trying to fight off free radicals. Vitamin C and ferulic acid work to protect your skin against environmental stressors, while at the same time brightening the complexion.

    the packaging and bottle of the serum
    Acure

    Promising review: "I've only been using this Acure serum for two days now and my skin is already so glassy and bright. I'm realizing more and more how important vitamin C is for your skin...I love the Acure brand." —Lizz Price

    Get it from Amazon for $17 (or Subscribe & Save for $16.15/month).

    13. An acne treatment serum that is full of salicylic acid to clear out pores, niacinamide to clear hyperpigmentation in the skin, and centella asiatica to reduce redness and inflammation in active breakouts. This serum is basically your one-stop-shop for clearer days ahead.

    a before and after photo of a person using the serum for six weeks
    Peace Out

    Promising review: "I’ve been using the acne treatment serum nightly and can really see an improvement in the quantity and severity of blemishes on my skin. Great product!" —Tracie D.

    Get it from Peace Out for $34.

    14. A Cetaphil purifying clay mask to reduce the appearance of acne and keep excess sebum at bay.

    Elena Garcia / BuzzFeed

    Elena Garcia, a Senior Writer on the BuzzFeed Shopping team, swears by this! Here's a bit of what she has to say: "I've never, not once in my entire adult life, not had acne. I don't know a life without at least one little pimple friend. Through my many years, I've tried to treat, adapt, cover...you name it, in hopes of dealing with what manifests on my skin. But in the last few years, I've noticed my acne become something much more stubborn and much harder to treat — that was, until I found this mask. The difference in my skin — my sensitive, acne-prone skin — since using this mask is astonishing. My bigger, more painful pimples dried up almost instantly and my pores shrunk down so much! I went from having what looked like a strawberry for a nose to just a regular, smooth nose!"

    Get it from Amazon for $11.99.

    To learn more, check out her full Cetaphil mask review.

    15. A squalane and tea tree balancing oil, because although you may be experiencing acne, you still need to moisturize! Dry skin can lead to more breakouts, so make sure to slather a few drops of this squalane-rich oil onto your skin that will diminish breakouts with tea tree oil added in.

    a person before and after using the oil
    YulissaCarrasco / Sephora

    Promising review: "As someone with oily skin, I used to never put oils on my face in fear of clogging up my skin but I randomly got two stubborn hard pimples under my skin that hurt and wouldn’t go away no matter what mask/treatment I used. I got this as a free sample and heard that it helps treat stubborn pimples so I gave it a shot and to my surprise, I woke up and the pimples didn’t hurt and even got smaller!!! I was shocked and tried the oil again for a second night and the pimples got even smaller and weren’t inflamed anymore!" —heartsnkim

    Get it from Sephora for $49.

    16. A pumpkin enzyme resurfacing mask to try if your skin is just a smidge too sensitive for AHAs and BHAs. Pumpkin enzymes gently eat away at dead skin cells while brightening the skin. Oh, and this mask smells like pumpkins, #win.

    amazon.com

    Promising review: "I felt a mild tingling sensation a few minutes after it was applied, which told me the fruit enzymes were doing their job. Rinses off easily and left my skin nicely exfoliated. Will continue to use!" —Sarah

    Get it from Amazon for $15.99.

    17. A marine mineral essence, because essence is a K-Beauty secret to glowing, glass-like skin. Incorporate this essence into your routine after your toner and before your serums to deliver a surge of water to your skin.

    a before and after photoset of a persons face along with the product
    amazon.com

    Promising review: "My skin texture has improved a lot, and my acne scars have let up majorly! I’ve used this along with this brand’s daily serum as I’ve been doing a 10-step skincare routine." —Deziree

    Get it from Amazon for $18.49 (or Subscribe & Save for $17.57/month).

    18. A spotless skin kit that has pimple patches for individual breakouts, large pimple patches for breakout zones on your face, and even a recovery cream to help speed up the reduction of hyperpigmentation.

    Three models with different skin tones wearing the acne patch
    Rael

    Promising review: "As a traveling nurse during a global pandemic my skin has been through the wringer. These patches and the spot correcting cream have been total game-changers. Now when I suffer from mask-ne (pimples, blemishes, acne in the mask area) I just pop a patch on overnight and watch the results. What used to take days if not weeks to resolve can be managed and resolved in a few days with daily patch wear." —Audra

    Get it from Rael for $50 (originally $56).

    19. An egg white pore mask that will remove blackheads from the nose like nothing else. Consider this mask if you find yourself pining over the satisfying goodness that is the end of a Dr. Pimple Popper video.

    amazon.com, amazon.com

    Promising review: "I've used it on stubborn blackheads that wouldn't squeeze out and using this mask, it got rid of them. I was dubious, but this has become a staple in my skincare arsenal." —Jen B.

    Get it from Amazon for $13.49.

    20. A set of muslin washcloths, because there is no better physical exfoliation than that of a muslin washcloth. These cloths gently slough dead skin cells from the skin, while doing as little damage as possible to your skin's barrier. I use a muslin washcloth every night, and I *promise* I attribute my glow to this simple little piece of cloth.

    five muslin cloths in a stack
    Amazon

    This set contains five muslin cloths.

    Promising review: "I use these to wash my face every day and love them. They are soft enough yet they have a little texture so they help exfoliate." —KKhow

    Get it from Amazon for $9.99 (available in three color packs).

    21. A set of acne-healing dots that work while you snooze away by extracting gunk from pimple sitting under the skin.

    a before, during and after photo of a person putting the dots on their breakout
    Peace Out

    Promising review: "I usually get a few pimples here and there and I just put on these stickers on before I go to bed and it is almost gone when I wake up!!" —Moonbeam

    Get a pack of 20 from Peace Out for $19.

    22. A SkinMedica SPF 35 sunscreen, because your acne's biggest opponent is actually the sun! Sun damage can exacerbate breakouts, meaning that even if you use all the serums and lotions available for clearing your skin, without proper sun protection, your acne spots will stick around for a while. Consider this mineral formula that will work great for your sensitive skin.

    the sunscreen in its silver bottle
    instagram.com

    Promising review: "I have tried so many mineral sunscreens but this one is by far my favorite. It doesn't clogg my pores, it doesn't leave my face shiny (greasy) even after reapplying several times a day." —Esteph

    Get it from Amazon for $38.

    23. A chemical exfoliator pad with bark water and BHAs that will gently slough off dead skin cells, minimize pore size, and prevent new breakouts from forming.

    Amazon, amazon.com

    Promising review: "These pads are a life-saver! I've had really bad acne since I was 13 to the point where sometimes I would look at myself in the mirror and cry. I was skeptical about these at first, but I'm SO glad I gave them a chance. My skin hasn't looked this good in forever. When you first apply the pads somehow it makes your skin look pore less, it really does blur your pores!" —Amazon Reviewer

    Get it from Amazon for $14.70 (or Subscribe & Save for $13.23/month).

    24. A salicylic acid pore cleanser, because blackheads are the bane of any acne-sufferer's existence. This cleanser will give your pores a deep cleaning without ever making the skin feel too tight or dry.

    a person before and after 60 days of using the acne fighting cleanser
    Sephora

    Promising review: "I love being able to see products work in front of your eyes and this is one of them!! Use this two to three times a week because it can be a little drying but anytime I have breakouts (from masks now, eye roll) they dry them right out. Would definitely recommend!!" —rachrog

    Get it from Sephora for $9.99.

    25. A multi-purpose cream that works to minimize inflammation and redness in the skin. This formula contains panthenol, or provitamin B5, which is essential for balancing inflammation in acne-prone skin, and protecting it from future dehydration that can lead to breakouts.

    a reviewer with red skin at 8:41 pm and with clear, calm skin at 10:47pm
    amazon.com

    Promising review: "As a constant face picker :x I have so many scars and they all start out as unsightly and dry scab-like creatures on my face. Especially after using prescription acne meds that dry your face out, you need all the moisture you can get. I just dab this over the scabs for a couple of nights before bed (after my regular nighttime routine, including moisturizer), and when I wake up, the skin underneath is healing beautifully. The scab becomes softer and brushes right off my face when I do my morning face wash routine." —Linda Thomas

    Get it from Amazon for $14.99.

    26. A silicone cleansing brush, becuase although traditional cleansing brushes can make the face feel squeaky clean, that "tight" clean feeling actually means that your lipid barrier is damaged. Protect your skin's moisture levels, and opt for this battery-powered silicone face brush that will clean your pores deeply while still being gentle on your skin.

    a person holding their purple silicone face cleansing brush
    amazon.com

    Promising review:  "This was the missing link in my acne care, wish I would have been using it for the last 20 years. It works so well to slough off the dead skin cells that clog my pores and cause acne. My skin is soft and clear now that I am using this alongside my acne kit and retinol. It also has great battery life. I’ve been using it each night for weeks now and it hasn’t lost any power, I haven’t had to charge it yet." —Amazon Customer

    Get it from Amazon for $24.99.

    27. And a pore extractor tool, because, sometimes, you just don't have the time to head to your esthetician's office for extractions. Use this tool to get rid of comedones (those pesky little blackheads and whiteheads) that are scattered along your T-zone.

    a person holding the pore extractor tool
    Amazon

    Promising review: "This gadget is amazing. It definitely freshens and brightens my skin. At first, it was hard to tell if the low vibration was doing anything for my pores, but once I leaned to hold it at more of an angle, I could really tell a difference. It was bringing up all the little blockages in my pores that I would normally just pass over with cleanser. I’ve noticed a nice difference in the amount of blemishes that I have and love the way it preps my skin for moisturizer!" —Amazon Customer

    Get it from Amazon for $84.

    Looking for the perfect gift for any occasion? Check out all of BuzzFeed’s gift guides!

    illustrated banner
    BuzzFeed

    The reviews for this post have been edited for length and clarity.

    Need A Shopping Buddy?

    Get great products - from pros in the fine art of buying stuff online - delivered to your inbox!
    Newsletter signup form