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We know that dealing with acne on a daily basis is harder than it looks — trust us, we’ve been there! Many folks have tried tons of different products and treatments and have even visited several dermatologists, and nothing seems to work.
Based on personal experience, I started seeing results when I simplified my skin-care routine and only used products that were hydrating, soothing and formulated to gently and specifically treat acne.
With this in mind, we’ve rounded up our eight favorite products that fit this description. From the cult-favorite CeraVe Salicylic Acid Cleanser and the fast-acting Mighty Patch Original Hydrocolloid Acne Pimple Patches to the Differin Gel Retinoid Treatment and, of course, EltaMD’s UV Clear SPF 46 Face Sunscreen for Acne-Prone Skin, we’ve got you covered on all bases.
Keep scrolling to check out each product in more detail.
1. CeraVe Salicylic Acid Cleanser with Hyaluronic Acid, Niacinamide & Ceramides, $11.47 (Orig. $12.49)
When searching for a facial cleanser for acne-prone skin, consider grabbing one with salicylic acid. This is a dermatologist-recommended beta-hydroxy acid (BHA) that actively fights breakouts long after you wash it off.
This No. 1 best seller from CeraVe is gentle, non-irritating and, best of all, non-drying, so your face won’t feel tight after you rinse. Use this twice a day (once in the morning and again at night), and make sure you massage it in for two minutes before washing it off to get the best results.
Pimple patches are singlehandedly the greatest invention ever for those raised pimples that are about to pop. They’re basically blister bandages in single-serve packaging that protect lesions that leak as they heal.
Best of all, they’re the best way to handle and treat pimples overnight. Specifically for the Mighty Patch Original Hydrocolloid Acne Pimple Patches, pop one directly onto your pimple before you go to sleep. Overnight, the patch will turn white, and when you wake up, simply peel it off, and your pimple will either be completely gone or significantly reduced.
Peace Out is another pimple patch brand that infuses salicylic acid, retinol and aloe vera into its patches to treat your pimple, extracting the pus from the whitehead.
These are also said to accelerate the healing process and stop new pimples from forming over time. Keep in mind, though, that whatever you do, never pick at or pop a pimple!
Differin Gel is one of the most popular and widely used acne treatments in the world. Folks love this stuff because it clears breakouts deep in the pores where they’re formed and prevents new acne from forming. Over time, it’s said to restore the skin’s natural texture and tone.
This product differs from other acne treatments in how it works. It normalizes skin cell turnover and targets two of the primary causes of acne: clogged pores and inflammation.
Differin Gel is one of dermatologists’ most widely recommended acne treatments, and in a clinical study, it provided up to an 87% reduction in acne breakouts after 12 weeks.
Most people with acne-prone skin are afraid to exfoliate because they believe doing so will only worsen the state of their skin. Proving that exfoliation is for everyone, Paula’s Choice created this Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Salicylic Acid Exfoliant that’s gentle and nonabrasive.
It does everything that benefits acne-prone skin, from unclogging and diminishing enlarged pores to brightening and evening out uneven skin tone and hyperpigmentation. Shoppers also say that this cult-favorite product dramatically improves skin texture over time.
One of the worst parts of recovering from an acne or pimple breakout is the discoloration or hyperpigmentation it inevitably leaves behind. Topicals created this best-selling product to specifically reduce stubborn discoloration, post-blemish marks, scars and spots — and it actually works!
Every time I get a breakout, I put a small amount of this serum on the healed spot, and within two weeks, it fades drastically. Also, it’s gentle enough to use daily.
Keep in mind that you should avoid using this product in the same routine with AHAs or BHAs like salicylic acid or retinol.
Moisture and hydration are two keys to treating acne-prone skin, and this soothing, fragrance-free moisturizer gives you weightless hydration without clogging your pores and creating more pimples.
The gel texture makes this easily buildable without feeling greasy, and the built-in hyaluronic acid gives your skin that moisture boost it needs when treating and healing blemishes.
Lastly, no skin-care routine is complete without sunscreen. This dermatologist-recommended SPF is made for those specifically with acne-prone and sensitive skin, so it won’t make you break out even more, no matter how much you use.
It’s also oil-free, unscented, lightweight and sheer, which is a rarity for mineral sunscreen since most others leave a white cast and require tons of rubbing for them to blend in. The completely transparent sunscreen also calms and protects acne-prone skin and is a No. 1 best seller on Amazon.
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