The Best Skincare Products For Acne-Prone Skin

Key Points

  • Following the best tips for acne-prone skin prevents breakouts.

  • When looking for skincare products for acne-prone skin, avoid formulas with harsh ingredients.

  • The best skincare products for acne-prone skin include pimple patches, gentle moisturizers, and cleansers.

Whether it’s the night before a big interview, a first date, or even your wedding, acne has a knack for striking at just the wrong time. If you experience breakouts or deal with acne, you know how challenging it is to find a skincare routine that fights off these pesky blemishes. Fortunately, there are skincare products for acne-prone skin that work wonders on even the most stubborn breakouts.

Understanding what ingredients to avoid and which to indulge in is one of the first steps in treating acne, redness, and other irritation. Skincare products for acne-prone skin reduce the appearance of blemishes and inflammation.

Tips For Acne-Prone Skin

Acne is a common skin condition that affects many people. It’s caused by a variety of factors, including hormonal changes, genetics, and diet. Managing acne-prone skin is challenging, but with the right skincare routine, it’s possible to minimize the number of outbreaks.

Get to know the best tips and tricks designed to fight against acne and diminish the appearance of blemishes, redness, and other sensitivities.

Keep Your Skin Clean

Wash your face twice a day with a mild, oil-free cleanser to remove excess oil and dirt. Avoid using hot water as it dries out the skin.


Gently exfoliate once or twice a week to remove dead skin cells that clog pores. Use an exfoliator that works softly on your skin as harsh exfoliants lead to redness and rashes.

Use Non-Comedogenic Products

Non-comedogenic skincare products are specifically formulated to not block follicles which is a common cause of acne. They’re typically oil-free and have a lightweight texture that feels rejuvenating on acne-prone skin.

Avoid Touching Your Face

Keep your hands away from your face to avoid transferring bacteria and oil to your skin.

Watch Your Diet

Some studies suggest that certain foods, such as dairy and sugar, may be linked to acne. Eating foods enriched with antioxidants like fruits and vegetables keeps you in tip-top shape.

Use Sunscreen

Acne-prone skin falls under the category of sensitive skin which means it needs extra protection and nourishment. Sun exposure makes acne worse, so use sunscreen with at least SPF 30 every day.

Don’t Pop Pimples

Popping pimples does more harm than good. Forcing your pimples to pop leads to scarring and the formation of more breakouts.

Consult a Dermatologist

If your acne persists despite your best efforts, see a dermatologist for personalized treatment.

Ingredients To Steer Clear Of

Certain ingredients clog pores which then develops acne. When the pores are blocked, oil and bacteria get trapped inside, leading to inflammation and pimples and blackheads.

Some ingredients lead to redness, scarring, and dark spots. Use products that contain ingredients that lighten and prevent scarring.

Harsh ingredients also irritate the skin. Particular elements dry it out and create more oil, leading to more breakouts. By avoiding these ingredients and opting for products that are formulated for sensitive skin, you reduce inflammation and improve the overall health of your skin.

Here’s a handy list of products and ingredients to steer clear of:

Mineral Oil

Mineral oil is a common ingredient in skincare products, but it obstructs pores and contributes to acne formation.


Lanolin is a waxy substance derived from sheep’s wool. Although it’s known as a moisturizing tool, it has a reputation for blocking follicles.

Isopropyl Myristate

Isopropyl myristate is commonly found in moisturizers for dry skin, but the popular ingredient is comedogenic and clogs pores.

Sesame Oil

Sesame oil is used in many skincare products. It has high levels of linoleic acid, which is an omega-6 fatty acid. People with acne-prone skin tend to have lower levels of linoleic acid in their skin, which makes them more susceptible to clogging.

Coconut Oil

Although coconut oil is a natural ingredient, it has a high comedogenic rating. Coconut oil is a heavy substance that’s difficult for some skin to absorb. This leads to a buildup of oil and breakouts.

In an interview with Vogue, Dr. Veenu Jindal, consultant dermatologist at Max Multi Speciality Centre in New Delhi, said: “Although coconut oil is a rich source of hydrating triglycerides like oleic, linoleic acid and lauric acid when applied on acne-prone skin, it can block the pores, trapping dirt, sebum and dead cells inside.”

Though coconut oil’s tropical scent is alluring, pump the breaks if you have acne-prone skin.

Propylene Glycol

Propylene glycol causes acne because it’s a humectant, meaning it attracts and holds onto water. It hydrates the skin, but when used in excess, it leads to a buildup of moisture, causing pimples and other blemishes.

Propylene glycol is also a penetration enhancer, which causes other ingredients in a product to penetrate deeper into the skin. This is beneficial in some cases, but it also leads to irritation and inflammation.

Stearic Acid

Stearic acid is a fatty acid commonly used as an emulsifier in soaps and lotions. It’s not a good choice for acne-prone skin because it exacerbates existing breakouts.

Polyethylene Glycols

Polyethylene glycols are used as thickening agents in skincare products, but they’re also known to produce flare-ups in acne-prone skin.


Silicones are typically used in skincare and makeup products as moisturizing and smoothing agents. They form a barrier on the skin that traps oils, dirt, and bacteria.


High amounts of alcohol in skincare products dry out acne-prone skin, making it produce more oil, leading to more breakouts.

The Best Products for Acne-Prone Skin

Now that you know which ingredients to avoid, you have a better idea of what to look for in skincare products. Finding the right products is essential to maintaining clear skin.

Here’s a list of some of the most effective products for acne-prone skin:

Mario Badescu Drying Mask for All Skin Types

Drying Mask for All Skin Types
$17.55 ($8.78 / Ounce)

by Mario Badescu 

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11/29/2023 01:04 am GMT

The Mario Badescu Drying Mask For All Skin Types combats oil buildup and clogging. The lotion also heals acne eruptions. It contains soothing calamine that works wonders on all skin types, including acne-prone skin.

Murad Clarifying Oil-Free Water Gel

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The Murad Clarifying Oil-Free Water Gel is a tried-and-true product when it comes to acne-prone skin. The formula hydrates the skin using hyaluronic acid and soothes irritation with ginger root extract. It is also formulated with red pine extract which prevents the spread of acne.

EltaMD UV Clear SPF 46 Face Sunscreen

The dermatologist recommended sunscreen provides sun protection without irritating sensitive, acne-prone skin. The Elta MD UV Clear 46 Face Sunscreen has a lightweight, oil-free formula that feels silky and smooth on the skin. Not only does this sunscreen soothe sensitive skin, but it also aids in the overall health of the skin barrier.

Tula Breakout Star Acne Moisturizer

Breakout Star Acne Moisturizer
$52.00 ($30.59 / Fl Oz)

by Tula 

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11/29/2023 12:58 am GMT

Tula Breakout Star Acne Moisturizer is filled with salicylic acid, one of the best ingredients for fighting off breakouts. Salicylic acid is potent and aids in exfoliation.

Kiehl’s Blue Herbal Blemish Cleanser Treatment

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Kiehl’s Blue Herbal Blemish Cleanser Treatment is a face wash that deep cleans acne-prone skin. The cleanser works great to blur blemishes and reduce excess oil production. It cleans the skin softly and soothes any discomfort.

Skin Choice Breakout Patch

Always avoid popping your pimples, but when you just can’t help yourself, Skin Choice Breakout Patch has you covered. The product heals blemishes while also preventing scarring. The thin and clear patch is safe for use on open cuts and gently absorbs fluids from whiteheads without drying out the skin.

Perricone MD Blemish Relief Retinol Treatment & Moisturizer

MD Blemish Relief Retinol Treatment & Moisturizer
$38.25 ($19.12 / Fl Oz)

by Perricone 

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11/29/2023 12:55 am GMT

This nourishing overnight serum and moisturizer controls excess oil production and combats breakouts. Perricone MD Blemish Relief Retinol Treatment & Moisturizer has a lightweight and creamy texture. The product contains many different elements that give amazing results for acne-prone skin including niacinamide and citrulline.

Osea Blemish Balm

Blemish Balm
$53.99 ($27.00 / Ounce)

by Osea 

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11/29/2023 12:52 am GMT

Osea Blemish Balm tackles acne while also hydrating. The plant-based moisturizer doesn’t strip natural oils and reduces the appearance of pimples, redness, and other blemishes. It’s designed with grape seed oil, tea tree oil, juniper leaf oil, and white thyme oil which all have antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties.

The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Masque

Salicylic Acid 2% Masque
$16.00 ($9.41 / Fl Oz)

by The Ordinary 

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11/29/2023 12:52 am GMT

This blemish-fighting toner performs delicately yet effectively on acne-prone skin. The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Masque is infused with glycerin and squalene to lock in moisture without leaving your face greasy. The toner is a popular choice among skincare enthusiasts across social media platforms as many see positive results using this product on their sensitive and acne-prone skin.

Lancome Advanced Genifique Radiance Boosting Face Serum With Bifidus Prebiotic

Advanced Genifique Radiance Boosting Face Serum
$51.00 ($75.00 / Fl Oz)

by Lancome 

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11/29/2023 12:39 am GMT

This Lancome product contains acne-fighting actives that diminish breakouts and other irritations. While most serums have a way of drying out the skin, this one gives off a soft dewy look that makes the skin feel quenched and hydrated for even the most sensitive and acne-prone faces.

Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Fighting Facial Cleanser with Salicylic Acid Acne Treatment medicine

Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash
$19.47 ($0.71 / Fl Oz)
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11/29/2023 11:15 pm GMT

This classic oil-free acne cleanser is still the top dermatologist-recommended treatment for breakouts. The Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne-Fighting Facial Cleanser is designed to heal existing pimples and prevent new ones from forming.

Don’t Let Acne Bring You Down

Acne is a frustrating and difficult condition to manage. However, following a consistent skincare routine that includes gentle cleansing, exfoliation, and the use of products specifically formulated for acne improves the appearance and health of the skin.

Don’t let breakouts win the acne battle. Abide by acne-fighting tips and products to achieve a complexion you can’t get enough of.

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