The 15 Best Acne Treatments That Work Effectively – 2023

Reduce inflammation, breakouts, and sensitivity and keep your skin gorgeous.

By Kirtana DivakarKirtana Divakar  • 
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Acne breakouts may occur due to any reason like hormonal imbalance, genetics, consuming junk food, genetics, or hygiene issues. Acne is painful and worse when left untreated. So, you need the best acne treatment as per your acne type and skin sensitivity. For example, the treatment that works wonders for acne cysts may not treat blackheads. So, choosing the right acne treatment is crucial if you want to achieve the desired results and flawless skin.

Acne treatments may come in the form of cleansers, serums, wash, and much more. Since the origins of the issues are different, resolving them requires different formulae. Considering all that, coupled with the fact that the market is flooded with anti-acne products, it may become difficult to narrow down your search to your most ideal pick. SO, in this article, we bring you a list of the 15 best anti-acne products. Check them out below!

Top PicksCheck Price
Best For Deep Cleansing:CeraVe Acne Foaming Cream CleanserPrice on Amazon
Best Medicated Formula:Dr Song 10% Benzoyl Peroxide Medical Acne WashPrice on Amazon
Best For Mild Exfoliation:Neutrogena Rapid Clear Acne Treatment PadsPrice on Amazon
Best For Blackheads:humane Maximum-Strength Acne WashPrice on Amazon
Best For All Skin Types:DRMTLGY 24 Hour Acne SerumPrice on Amazon
Best Fragrance-Free:Proactiv Renewing CleanserPrice on Amazon
Best In Budget:Biore Charcoal Acne Clearing CleanserPrice on Amazon
Best With Natural Ingredients:BREYLEE Acne Treatment SerumPrice on Amazon
Best Dermatologist-Tested:LA ROCHE-POSAY EFFACLAR Medicated Gel Cleanser GelPrice on Amazon
Best For Overnight Use:Emuaid Overnight Acne TreatmentPrice on Amazon

15 Best Acne Treatment Products For Blackheads, Whiteheads, And Cystic Acne

1. Best For Deep Cleansing:CeraVe Acne Foaming Cream Cleanser


Who doesn’t want to have healthy skin? Here is an Acne Foaming Cream Cleanser by CeraVe that ensures the same. This acne treatment product for oily skin is formulated with 4% benzoyl peroxide that deeply penetrates your pores and removes excess grime and oil, correcting and preventing breakouts. With hyaluronic acid and niacinamide, this gentle cleanser locks in moisture, soothes skin, and enhances the appearance.


  • Unscented
  • Paraben-free
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Treats blackheads, whiteheads, and cystic acne
  • Contains essential ceramides (1,3,6-II) to boost and protect skin health


  • Might be a little sticky
It is a common myth that oily skin does not need moisturizer. It is especially necessary to moisturize oily skin so that the skin does not produce excess oil and form breakouts.
Price at the time of publication: $13.27

2. Best Medicated Formula:Dr Song 10% Benzoyl Peroxide Medical Acne Wash

Dr Song Benzoyl Peroxide Wash 10% with Hyaluronic Acid Acne Treatment: Acne Face Wash & Back Image: Dr Song

This face and body wash makes its way to our list as one of the best acne treatment products for more reasons than one! As the name suggests, it features 10% micro-benzoyl peroxide that combats acne-causing agents, eliminates excess sebum secretion, and clears inflammation. Plus, this product is effective in curing severe acne cysts with consistent and committed usage.


  • Unisex
  • Long-lasting
  • Mild formulation
  • No harsh chemicals
  • Not tested on animals
  • Ideal for both teens and adults


  • Might be a little drying
Price at the time of publication: $24.92

3. Best For Mild Exfoliation:Neutrogena Rapid Clear Acne Treatment Pads

Neutrogena Rapid Clear Maximum Strength Acne Face Pads Image: Neutrogena

An oil-free, non-drying skin treatment product that boosts skin health, resulting in a radiant appearance — what’s not to love about this skincare product! It is formulated with an active ingredient named salicylic acid, which is a constituent of keratolytics – a group of skin medicating agents. This particular acid softens your skin’s top layer, making it easier to eliminate dead and worn-out cells. Besides, its MICROCLEAR technology helps distribute the salicylic acid evenly to every part of your skin to fight acne, breakouts, and control sebum production.


  • Non-comedogenic
  • Results in clear skin
  • Prevents pore-clogging
  • Quick results (within 8 hours)
  • Eradicates swelling and redness
  • Includes 60 soft and hydrating pads


  • Might create a slightly itchy feeling at the beginning
Did You Know?
Popping the pimples causes the bacteria to go deeper into the skin and leads to even more breakouts and scarring.
Price at the time of publication: $8.47

4. Best For Blackheads:humane Maximum-Strength Acne Wash


Worried about acne cysts? Well, you won’t have to anymore, with this acne treatment for oily skin. The 10% benzoyl peroxide in the formula facilitates in treating inflammation, unclogging pores, and killing acne-causing microbes. What we love the most is that it can be used for both face and body as a cystic acne-clearing cleanser for both teens and adults. It also contributes to eliminating blackheads, whiteheads, and redness for achieving clear skin.


  • Cruelty-free
  • Vegan formula
  • Maximum strength
  • Dermatologist-tested
  • Free of harmful chemicals


  • Rinsing off the product might be slightly difficult
Price at the time of publication: $24.95

5. Best For All Skin Types:DRMTLGY 24 Hour Acne Serum

DRMTLGY Acne Spot Treatment Image: Drmtlgy

Are you fond of skin serums? Then, you may want to check out this unisex 24 Hour Acne Serum by DRMTLGY ideal for all skin types. This top-rated acne treatment is formulated with 5% glycolic acid, a common type of Alpha Hydroxy Acid, that acts as an excellent exfoliator to maximize cellular turnover and clear debris. The best part about this face and body serum is that it negates blackheads, whiteheads, clogged pores, pimples, redness, scar marks, and breakouts within 24 hours! Before buying, have a look at this video for more details.


  • Prevents over-drying
  • Effective spot treatment
  • Free of sulfates and parabens
  • Reduces secretion of oil up to 85%
  • Contains 5% USP benzoyl peroxide to fight acne


  • Might not be effective in treating acne cysts
Quick Tip
Keep your hair away from your face to prevent dirt and oil from your hair from irritating your skin and causing breakouts.
Price at the time of publication: $22.99

6. Best Fragrance-Free:Proactiv Renewing Cleanser

Don’t miss out on this pimple treatment product by Proactiv, which has a bunch of skin benefits! Its smooth exfoliating beads effectively clears away dead skin cells, dirt, and grime from the face. Formulated with micronized benzoyl peroxide, this formulation deeply penetrates the pores, preventing clogging and lending you even and radiant skin.


  • Unscented
  • Suitable for all skin types
  • Fights acne-causing bacteria
  • Safe to use for adults and teens
  • HashHyaluronic acid to keep skin well-hydrated


  • Slightly expensive

7. Best In Budget:Biore Charcoal Acne Clearing Cleanser

Biore Charcoal Acne Cleanser Image: Biore

Looking for the best acne treatment for adults? Then, this acne clearing face wash by Biore may be the right choice. Its natural charcoal extract eradicates excess oil, cleanses pores, and locks in moisture in your skin. What we love the most is its Skin Purifying Technology, which treats and prevents future blemishes, blackheads, and breakouts.  Plus, this holy grail product gives you the desired results in just two days! Watch this video to know more about the product.


  • Oil-free
  • Affordable
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Dermatologically-tested
  • Lends clear and healthy skin
  • Contains 1% salicylic acid to combat acne and soothe skin


  • Might not be suitable for sensitive skin
Price at the time of publication: $7.99

8. Best With Natural Ingredients:BREYLEE Acne Treatment Serum

Acne Treatment Serum Image: Breylee

This popular acne treatment serum by BREYLEE would never fail to amuse you! With tea tree oil and camellia sinensis leaf extract, it gets rid of acne and breakouts effectively. It comes with deep penetrating molecules to prevent skin damage and soothe your pores. The best part is its mild and non-greasy formulation, which doesn’t irritate or cause rashes on your skin.


  • Shrinks pores
  • Keeps skin hydrated
  • Complete skin repair
  • Made from natural ingredients
  • Enhances the metabolism of skin cells


  • Might not provide immediate results
Price at the time of publication: $12.99

9. Best Dermatologist-Tested :LA ROCHE-POSAY EFFACLAR Medicated Gel Cleanser

This medicated gel cleanser is formulated with 2% salicylic acid that targets excess oil and acne breakouts. It exfoliates the skin and improves the appearance of pores while clearing acne breakouts. It is a dermatologist-tested formula that reduces surface oil by 47%. The foaming texture doesn’t irritate the skin and is allergy-tested and fragrance-free.


  • Oil-free
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Allergy-tested
  • Fragrance-free
  • Suitable for oily, acne-prone skin
  • Suitable for sensitive skin


  • Might be very drying
Price at the time of publication: $14.99

10. Best For Overnight Use:Emuaid Overnight Acne Treatment

EMUAID Overnight Acne Treatment Image: Emuaid

Are you worried about severe acne? Well, you do not have to anymore with this salicylic acid-infused acne treatment product by Emuaid! This active skin correcting ingredient not only eradicates blemishes and breakouts overnight but also promotes healthy and immediate healing. Besides, it is an effective treatment for extreme skin conditions like cystic acne and rosacea.


  • Exfoliates pores
  • Non-irritating formula
  • Works on all skin types
  • Dermatologically-tested
  • Eliminates redness, swelling, and skin rashes


  • Slightly expensive
Price at the time of publication: $29.0

11. Best Gentle Formula:AcneFree Blackhead Removing Scrub

AcneFree Blackhead Removing Scrub With Charcoal Image: Acne Free

Here is the best acne and blackhead treatment scrub by AcneFree that will nourish your skin! It contains maximum strength salicylic acid that exfoliates and clears blackheads by eliminating dead skin cells and debris from the pores. As it is also formulated with jojoba oil and charcoal extracts, it also acts as a deep hydrating agent to repair and lock in moisture in dry and acne-prone skin.


  • Tightens pores
  • Fragrance-free
  • Gentle scrubber
  • Convenient to use
  • Removes excess oil


  • The consistency might be slightly thin.
Price at the time of publication: $7.99

12. Best Non-Drying:Vichy Normaderm Anti-Blemish Care

Want to have clean and acne-free skin? You may want to check out this pore treatment product by Vichy. Formulated with salicylic and glycolic acid, it corrects acne and lends you soft, hydrated, and radiant skin. The best part about this moisturizing formula is that it is completely natural and safe to use as it is free of parabens, sulfates, GMOs, and other toxic chemicals.


  • Oil-free
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Soothes irritated skin
  • Non-greasy consistency
  • Works as an excellent makeup primer/base


  • May not treat cystic acne
Price at the time of publication: $25.0

13. Best For Whiteheads:Differin Adapalene Gel 0.1% Acne Treatment

Differin Adapalene Gel 0.1% Acne Treatment Image: Differin

It’s a known fact that retinoid is good for the skin. With this acne treatment product formulated with Rx-retinoid, get ready to repair and protect your skin from acne! It will regulate the right skin cell turnover, cure inflammation, and prevent clogged pores. Also, this acne treating gel combats blackheads, whiteheads, pimples, and other blemishes with continuous usage.


  • Restores shine
  • FDA-approved
  • Dermatologist-tested
  • Reduces acne up to 87%
  • Lends an even complexion
  • Effective healing and protection


  • Might not be effective on sensitive skin
Price at the time of publication: $43.83

14. Best For Calming Inflammation:TULA Probiotic Skincare Acne Clearing+ Tone Correcting Gel

Considered to be one of the best facial treatments for acne, this is what you need to treat, nourish, and protect your dry and acne-prone skin! The blend of 2% salicylic acid and azelaic acid in the formula brightens your skin by fading spots, marks, blemishes, and breakouts. As an added benefit, it also treats flakiness and dryness with extracts of willowherb, probiotics, and hyaluronic acid.


  • Unisex
  • FDA-approved
  • Oil-free formula
  • Clinically proven
  • Moisturizes and soothes skin


  • Slightly expensive
  • Might be a little watery
Price at the time of publication: $36.0

15. Best For Even Skin Tone:Herbivore Natura Lapis Facial Oil

Herbivore Botanicals Lapis Facial Oil For Oily and Acne-Prone Skin. Soothes Dry Skin, Reduces Redness and Balances Complexion (1.7 fl oz) 1.69 Fl Oz (Pack of 1) Image: Herbivore Botanicals

Say goodbye to painful acne and hello to this natural acne-treating facial oil by Herbivore. Formulated with jojoba oil and jasmine flower extract, it corrects and heals blemishes, eliminates oiliness, and breakouts effectively. It contains a deep blue component named Azulene, which is an anti-inflammatory agent that eradicates redness, puffiness, and blisters.


  • Vegan
  • Cruelty-free
  • No toxic chemicals
  • Ideal for all skin types
  • Results in even skin tone


  • Expensive
Price at the time of publication: $14.0

When it comes to choosing the best acne treatment product, there are a few important points to consider.

How To Find The Right Acne Treatment For You

Being aware of the type of acne is the first step! When you have figured that out, deciding the acne treatments that work becomes easy.

1. Acne cysts

It is considered the most severe acne condition where the hair follicles combine with the dead skin cells, oil, and dirt, forming big pus-filled pimples. It may also cause inflammation and redness. In such cases, look for cystic acne treatment products formulated with hydrocortisone cream and benzoyl peroxide to treat and soothe your pores with their deep-penetrating mechanism.

2. Whiteheads

This is a condition where white zits develop in your skin. They mostly appear in the T-zone, and this happens when dead skin cells and oil gets accumulated in the pores. In such cases, opt for products with salicylic acid (BHA). With regular usage, this component makes skin smoother by eliminating dead skin cells.

3. Blackheads

These are waxy black zits caused due to oxidation of bacteria, worn-out skin cells, and oil in pores. Exfoliation with products containing salicylic acid and hyaluronic acid can be the best treatment for this kind of acne.

4. Papules or inflammatory pimples

This is an acne condition where tiny, red blemishes appear on the skin with slight inflammation. This is caused mainly due to bacteria, and products with benzoyl peroxide can be the best for this. It fights against such acne-causing bacteria, and repairs and protects damaged skin.

5. Pustules

These are again pus-filled pimples with a yellow/white liquid. It is caused due to bacteria, and can be treated with benzoyl peroxide, zinc, and sulfur-based products.

After analyzing the acne type, the following factors also need to be looked upon:

1. Toxic chemicals

While making a choice, opt for a product that is crafted without any harsh chemicals like parabens, sulfates, silicones, and GMOs. This is extremely important as these chemicals may worsen your acne and cause adverse skin conditions.

2. Oil-free and non-comedogenic

Mostly, acne-prone skin tends to be oily. Hence, to control excess secretion of sebum, go for a product that is oil-free and non-comedogenic. This formula will not only regulate oil production but will also prevent pores from clogging and blocking to avoid pimples/acne.

3. Other skin types

Sometimes, acne can also appear on dry, sensitive, normal/combination skin. Acne treatment for sensitive skin should be a mild formula with natural ingredients like essential oils and fruit extracts. When it comes to dry skin, opt for a hydrating formula with salicylic acid, ceramides, shea butter, aloe vera, etc. For normal and combination skin, niacinamide, hyaluronic acid, and other natural components like green tea and caffeine works well.

How To Use Acne Treatment Products In The Right Way

  1. Use the product on affected areas once or twice daily. Never over-do by washing or scrubbing your skin as it may aggravate the acne.
  2. Use only an adequate amount of product for treatment. Apply evenly on the affected areas and pat dry it to achieve the desired results.
  3. If it is a gel or cream-based acne treatment product, make sure that you use a gentle cleanser and toner on your skin before application.
  4. Follow it up with an effective sunscreen before you step out.

Acne breakouts can happen for many reasons, and to treat them and prevent such breakouts from occurring, you need the best acne treatment products. Not treating acne might be worse, and that is why you need the best treatment as per your skin type and sensitivity. Acne treatments are available in different forms, from cleansers, serums, and acne patches, and you can choose one based on your preference. These products are free from synthetic chemicals, fragrances, and can effectively eradicate all acne-related concerns. Always choose products free of toxic chemicals that have an oil-free, non-comedogenic formula, and consider the cause of your acne before choosing the best acne treatment products.

Why Trust Stylecraze

Kirtana Divakar, the author of this article, is a skin care enthusiast who loves exploring various skin care products and reviewing the best of the lot. She has done extensive research and read numerous online reviews and user feedback to compile a list of the best acne treatment products for our readers. The suggested list comes with options in varied formulations to treat different types of acne and suit different skin types and skin sensitivities.

Frequently Asked Questions

What acne treatments are safe during pregnancy?

Mostly, acne treatment products aren’t recommended for pregnant women to prevent congenital disabilities.

Should you use an acne treatment product before applying serum?

Yes, you need to apply the acne treatment before serum. Also, remember to leave it to dry and then continue with your next skincare step.

Is acne treatment supposed to burn?

At the initial stage, using benzoyl peroxide can create a slight burning and itchy feeling on your skin. It is just a mild side effect and not a cause of worry.

How can I get clear skin overnight?

Following a night skincare routine comprising cleansing, toning, mild exfoliation, moisturizing, and mini facial treatment for acne helps. Also, make sure that you do not pick at the acne because that will only inflame it further. A night of good and relaxing sleep will also soothe the skin, eliminating acne-causing bacteria.

What products help get rid of acne fast?

Products formulated with retinol, salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, antioxidants, and natural ingredients like tea tree, rosehip, jojoba oils, etc., can heal acne and zits sooner as they possess anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that eliminate microbes and dead skin cells.

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