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This Beauty Writer’s Top Picks For Acne Prone Skin

This Beauty Writer’s Top Picks For Acne Prone Skin
Holly James
Writer and expert3 years ago
View Holly James's profile

When you suffer with acne prone skin, it can feel like a never-ending search for a solution before you finally find the right products that work for you. Though it can be tempting to layer on the harsh acids and ‘instant’ treatments, avoiding all moisturising products in a bid to dry out your blemishes, it’s much more effective in the long run to find a skincare routine that cares for your skin, helping it to heal over time.

Having had acne for over five years and only just finding the products (after a lot of searching!) that have finally settled my skin, I’m rounding up my favourite best blemish-busting products that won’t break the bank or burn your skin!

Which Ingredients Are Best For Acne-Prone Skin?

Salicylic Acid

A true skincare saviour for keeping the blemishes at bay, Salicylic Acid is a type of liquid exfoliant that penetrates deep into the pores to clear them of any dirt, oil and build up. Used regularly, it not only helps to prevent oil build up, but also has anti-inflammatory properties that help to keep spots calm and reduce redness.


Not only a super effective anti-ager, Retinol can also help to prevent breakouts. A form of Vitamin A, Retinol promotes healthy cell turnover, helping to both keep skin clear and reduce the appearance of acne scars.


Charcoal is ideal for blemish prone skin that may also be sensitive or dehydrated. The active ingredient absorbs excess oil and impurities that are responsible for blemishes forming. Naturally occurring, Charcoal doesn’t dry the skin out like some other blemish products, supporting its overall health.

Hyaluronic Acid

A great way to keep your skin moisturised without clogging your pores, Hyaluronic Acid holds up to 1000x its weight in water and comes in a variety of different forms and textures including lightweight serums and creams that won’t feel too heavy on oily skin. Able to penetrate deep into the layers of the skin, this wonder ingredient helps to support overall skin health, protecting the natural barrier.

When it comes to skincare, consistency is key, with some products taking up to three months to finally reveal their benefits; whilst it may be frustrating to wait it out, give your skin time to react.

My Top Picks For Acne-Prone Skin

CeraVe Smoothing Cleanser

My desert island skincare product, the CeraVe Smoothing Cleanser has worked miracles on my skin since I started using it about a year ago. Designed to smooth the skin’s texture, the cleanser contains a 0.5% concentration of Salicylic Acid that deeply cleanses, blended with Hyaluronic Acid that ensures that it doesn’t dry the skin out. Although results weren’t instant, I saw a real change in my skin after only a few weeks of using this product, with both fewer and much less aggressive blemishes as well as a noticeable reduction in oiliness.

La Roche-Posay Effaclar Clarifying Lotion

Made with an LHA, derived from Salicylic Acid, the La Roche-Posay Effaclar Clarifying Lotion is a must after cleansing for acne-prone skin. The lotion helps to pick up any stubborn dirt or oil left on the skin after cleansing and helps to reduce the size of pores, preventing dirt from getting in them throughout the day. It feels cool and energising on the skin and can be applied both morning and night before your moisturiser.

La Roche-Posay Effaclar MAT+

When you have oily and acne-prone skin some moisturisers can feel far too heavy and add to the problem. I absolutely love this lightweight Effaclar MAT+ moisturiser by La Roche-Posay for keeping away shine and locking in moisture. Made with Sebulyse and free from oil, the moisturiser keeps my skin hydrated throughout the day. It’s suitable for sensitive skin and a life saver when I have over done it with the more drying acne products!

GLAMGLOW Supermud Mask

The results from this mask definitely justify the name; the Supermud Mask is infused with activated Charcoal that visibly draws out impurities from the skin, not only helping with bigger acne pustules but also the smaller white and blackheads that come hand in hand with them. Either apply the mask all over the face for the full five to 20 minutes for an all over treatment or apply a small amount to your blemish and leave on for a little longer to help reduce inflammation.

Indeed Labs Retinol Reface Retinol Skin Resurfacer

Although I first started using this product for its anti-ageing purposes, this Retinol Reface Skin Resurfacerhas become a staple in my skincare routine. Designed to be applied in the evening only, the cream melts into the skin and helps smooth out the texture, also reducing oil production and preventing blemishes. Though some retinols can be drying on the skin, this one is gentle and doesn’t reduce moisture levels, making it perfect for acne-prone skin types.

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Holly James
Writer and expert
View Holly James's profile
Working with brands at LOOKFANTASTIC for over two years I have developed my knowledge of all things beauty from key skincare concerns to niche makeup tricks and haircare hacks. I have a major passion for finding effective solutions that are easily accessible to everyone so that we can all achieve our best, glowing complexion.