15 Best Skincare Products For Treating Adult Acne

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More than 50 million people in the United States are currently dealing with acne, according to the American Academy of Dermatology Association. Though we normally consider acne to be a problem that teenagers and young people struggle with, adults can have breakouts too, even in their 40s. Adult acne also disproportionately affects women who face zits and pimples more often typically due to fluctuating hormone levels from birth control, periods, and pregnancy.


There are many ways to clear up breakouts or avoid them in the first place, which include eating a balanced diet, drinking plenty of water, washing your pillowcases often, and keeping your face clean. For many, however, these small changes are not enough to keep them from developing pimples or getting rid of them quickly. The solution for that is tried-and-true skincare products that go to work on acne flare-ups with their fast-acting formulas. Spot treatments, medicated face washes, overnight masks, face creams, and toners can be used alone or with other acne-fighting products. With consistent and proper use, your skin can be free from adult acne as well as brighter, tighter, and happier.

How we selected these adult acne treatments

Adult acne can feel impossible to treat when you've already spent years trying to find the product that will rid you of pesky zits for good. When it comes down to it, the easiest way to find the right product for you is to know your skin type, what ingredients you find irritating, and what products have worked wonders for others. This is why we scoured the internet for a wide range of adult acne treatments with the best reviews. From clean and vegan products for sensitive skin to hard-hitting chemical treatments that make your face feel brand new, we've found something for everybody.


In this collection, you'll find cult favorites, holy grails, and more that have gone viral due to their ability to combat adult acne and prevent future breakouts. With the help of some very detailed customer reviews, every one of these skincare products has been handpicked for the quickest and most noticeable results with the right technique.

The best overall adult acne product

If you feel like you've exhausted your options looking for products to treat your acne, Paula's Choice CLEAR Daily Skin Clearing Treatment could be a game changer. With 2.5% benzoyl peroxide, this product fights acne and prevents new breakouts from appearing. A Sephora customer reviewed the item saying, "I'm sooooo obsessed with this acne-clearing product ... This clears my pimples overnight and my skin looks so much clearer ...It's a staple."


The Paula's Choice CLEAR Daily Skin Clearing Treatment is available on Amazon starting at $20.90.

The best affordable adult acne product

The Acne Free Terminator 10 Acne Spot Treatment is a cult favorite among those of us who struggle with breakouts, but don't want to break the bank. With 10% Benzoyl Peroxide, this treatment hits acne hard. One Amazon reviewer noted how well the skincare product worked stating, "I've tried so many face products with very little, unnoticeable, or adverse results ... This worked wonders overnight, and within a week had cleared up a breakout that's been persistent for months."


Buy the Acne Free Terminator 10 Acne Spot Treatment at Target for just $5.49.

The best acne treatment for sensitive skin

Many acne-fighting face washes include harsh ingredients that can cause you to break out or make your acne worse. Those with sensitive skin know that you must be very careful with what you put on your face. The Purpose Gentle Cleansing Wash Is advertised as being as gentle as water, and according to several reviews on Amazon, it is frequently recommended by dermatologists for those with persistent acne.


Purchase the Purpose Gentle Cleansing Wash for $17.40 at Amazon.

The best acne treatment for oily skin

It goes without saying, every acne treatment won't work for everybody. Knowing your skin type is the best way to find products that will work best for you. Oily skin can benefit from the La Roche-Posay Effaclar Medicated Gel Acne Face Wash. It removes excess oil that clogs pores and causes acne. Youtuber Your FavGoTo reviewed this product saying, "After I used it, it had a very refreshing ... tingling sensation ... it felt elevated, lifted."


Buy the La Roche-Posay Effaclar Medicated Gel Acne Face Wash on Amazon for $15.99.

The best acne treatment for dry skin

We know that acne is caused by pores clogged with oils. So it's assumed people with dry skin have fewer breakouts. Yet, this is not necessarily true. Dry skin forces our bodies to produce more oil, so you can still end up with clogged pores and acne. Clinique's Acne Solutions Clinical Clearing Gel exfoliates, tightens, and balances the skin to eliminate and prevent breakouts. One reviewer on Clinique's website raves, "This stuff is amazing. It does NOT dry out skin and sinks in quickly!"


Clinique's Acne Solutions Clinical Clearing Gel is $20 at Clinique.

The best acne treatment with clean ingredients

The Body Shop Tea Tree Skin Clearing Facial Wash is a trusted, vegan, and clean acne-fighting face wash that uses Kenyan tea tree oil and other clean ingredients for a deep and refreshing wash. As explained by Skin Safe in their review, this tea tree face wash is free of the top 82% of allergens as well gluten, nickel, lanolin, parabens, topical antibiotics, soy, and Propylene Glycol.


Find The Body Shop Tea Tree Skin Clearing Facial Wash at The Body Shop starting at $6.

The best acne treatment for skincare newbies

The world of skincare is a large and mysterious place with lots of misinformation and confusing rules. If you've been personally victimized by trendy, heavily fragranced face washes promising to rid your face of pimples, test out Neutrogena's Oil-Free Salicylic Acid Acne Wash instead. This product is a tried-and-true, beginner-friendly, acne-fighting face wash with 2% Salicylic Acid as its active ingredient.


Buy Neutrogena's Oil-Free Salicylic Acid Acne Wash online or at your local target for $7.79.

The best product for hormonal acne

Yet another Neutrogena favorite is the Neutrogena On-The-Spot Acne Spot Treatment. Formulated with 2.5% benzoyl peroxide, it helps to treat and prevent acne at the same time. One reviewer on Amazon explains, "I've been swearing by this zit cream since my awkward teenage years. If I get a spot and put this on it in the morning I will see results within 6hr ... It will dry out your face so use it in conjunction with a facial moisturizer."


Purchase the Neutrogena On-The-Spot Acne Spot Treatment for $6.99 at Target.

The best product for blind acne

Glytone Acne 3P Treatment Gel uses 5% Benzoyl Peroxide to eliminate pimple-causing bacteria. It unclogs pores, minimizes irritation, and even helps rid your skin of blind acne. According to Cleveland Clinic, blind pimples are zits that form beneath your skin. They produce no visible whiteheads or blackheads. Because they develop under the surface, they are normally painful to the touch.


The Glytone Acne 3P Treatment Gel is available for $24 at Glytone.

The best product for large and recurring pimples

Many people who have experienced acne for a while often have problem areas where pimples form over and over again. This might be on the cheeks, forehead, nose, or chin. Typically, this happens when a pimple is popped and bacteria is introduced under broken skin. If you are prone to popping zits, try Hero Cosmetics Invisible Mighty Patches. The Hydrocolloid acne pimple patches are a favorite of many. An Ulta Beauty reviewer describes them as "... better than ANY other patches I've tried."


Get Hero Cosmetics Invisible Mighty Patches for $17.99 at Ulta Beauty.

The best product for stubborn acne

We've all had zits that seem to last for weeks or even months and prevail against our best efforts. The First Aid Beauty Pharma BHA Acne Spot Treatment Gel was made for these pimples. With vegan, clean, and cruelty-free ingredients, this popular product fights stubborn breakouts and improves problem skin in less than 24 hours. One Sephora customer reviewed the product and shared, "It is a great spot treatment solution and helps my acne redness go down!"


Buy First Aid Beauty's FAB Pharma BHA Acne Spot Treatment Gel from Sephora for $26.

The best acne treatment for blackheads

Tea tree oil works wonders on blackheads due to its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, according to Healthline. By calming redness, swelling, and inflammation, it soothes angry and clogged hair follicles on your face that create blackheads. The Body Shop Tea Tree Skin Clearing Toner should be used as the first step in your skincare routine to remove the skin's impurities, leaving you with refreshed and mattified skin.


The Body Shop Tea Tree Skin Clearing Toner can be found at Ulta Beauty starting at $14.

The best acne treatment for reducing inflammation

Inflammation of the skin can be painful and unsightly. It can be caused by dehydration, tiredness, problematic skin care products, or simply eating the wrong food. The Mario Badescu Drying Mask does its best to combat inflammation caused by these things by using a combination of sulfur, kaolin, zinc oxide, calamine, and cooling cucumber extract. Each of these ingredients works together to purify, eliminate excess oil, and soothe inflamed skin.


Purchase the Mario Badescu Drying Mask for $18 at Mario Badescu.

The best product for treating hyperpigmentation caused by acne

Skincare brand The Ordinary has been stealing the spotlight on social media apps like TikTok for some time now. They're known for their affordable products that target specific issues with few ingredients. The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Suspension Brightening Cream is formulated with 10% azelaic acid known to help with dullness, uneven skin tone, and textural irregularities. Reviews of the product on Ulta Beauty's website also indicate that the serum helps with aggressive and hormonal acne.


Buy the Azelaic Acid 10% Suspension Brightening Cream for $10 at Ulta Beauty.

The best product for acne-prone makeup lovers

The DHC Deep Cleansing Oil is DHC's best-selling product, and we can see why. It melts away makeup including waterproof mascara, eyeliner, and sunscreen. Even better, it leaves no residue on your face like most makeup removers. A DHC reviewer expresses her love for the cleanser stating, "My skin got clearer, healthier, pores smaller and so soft! and my skin is not as greasy as it used to be ... It will take off all the make-up, dirt, oil, anything – including sharpie."


Buy the DHC Deep Cleansing Oil at DHC for $29.