Did you know that acne is the most common skin condition in the United States, according to the American Academy of Dermatology? Acne affects over 50 million Americans yearly, including those in puberty and adolescence, and even young adults. In fact, acne can even occur in mid to later stages in life, such as one’s 30’s to 40’s. In fact, up to 15% of women in the U.S. are affected by acne. If you’re one of these people in this demographic, then you know the struggle of dealing with acne. And it is because of this struggle that many skincare brands have their own specialized line of products specifically designed to address acne. In fact, Global Market Insights reports that the acne medication market in the U.S. alone was valued at over $4.5 billion in 2017 and is expected to have a 6% compound annual growth rate between 2018 and 2024. But with the overwhelming number of acne products in the market today, how do you choose which ones are truly effective at eliminating acne? We have curated a list of the best acne products at Sephora right now. But before we do a quick dive here are some tips on choosing the best acne products for your skin.

  • Familiarize yourself with active ingredients in acne skincare products. Some ingredients that are commonly found in acne skincare products are salicylic acid, which according to the Mayo Clinic prevents the blockage of pores. Benzoyl peroxide is another common ingredient found in acne skincare products and it is a bacteria-killing ingredient that also helps remove excess oil. Alpha-hydroxy acids or AHAs are exfoliants that help remove dead skin cells and lessen inflammation in the skin. Lastly, sulfur is also an ingredient that helps unclog pores, and manage sebum or excess oil.
  • When starting off on an acne-clearing skincare product, use lower strength products first. Starting off with acne skincare products with lower strengths can help your skin adjust to the treatment gradually and avoid too much irritation.
  • Be patient and be open to try new things, especially if you aren’t successful with one product. Of course, it goes without saying that you must do your own research, but be extra observant and take note of the effects of different acne skincare products on your skin and go for those that work best with your type of skin.

 

Best Acne Products at Sephora Right Now: Top Rated and Highly Recommended Picks

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1. PEACE OUT Salicylic Acid Acne Treatment Serum

Say goodbye to acne for good with the Peace Out Salicylic Acid Treatment Serum, which is made of 2% Salicylic Acid to diminish the appearance of blemishes, niacinamide to brighten skin, especially areas of post-breakout hyperpigmentation, and Triluronic Acid, a powerful yet soothing hydrator that helps keep skin moisturized and calm. This treatment comes in a lightweight serum formula that also contains vitamin C and zinc to brighten post-breakout dark spots and centalla to support healthy skin resilience. This product is free of sulfates SLS and SLES, parabens, phthalates, and other synthetic ingredients. This product has an overall recommendation rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars and has a 97% recommendation rating at Sephora.

Promising review: “My acne has gotten so bad during quarantine from wearing a mask, but this serum has done nothing but help my skin get better! I’m seeing quick results without it drying my skin! I definitely recommend this product if you’re looking for an acne serum that doesn’t dry or irritate your skin!” Lexigirl99

 

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Megan uses our Salicylic Acid Cleanser to prevent future breakouts while keeping her skin hydrated🖤 @the.skinny.on.skin

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2. THE INKEY LIST Salicylic Acid Acne + Pore Cleanser

Cleanse your acne-prone skin effectively with this lightly-foaming cleanser from The Inkey List. It effectively yet gently removes makeup and dirt to help prevent blackheads, acne, and blemishes while unclogging pores. It comes in a liquid formula made of 2% salicylic acid that gently exfoliates and unclogs pores, a zinc compound that helps reduce excess sebum and has anti-inflammatory properties, and 0.5% Allantoin to help sooth irritation and support healthy skin tissue growth. This product does not contain sulfates (SLS and SLES), parabens, or phthalates and is cruelty-free. This product has an overall rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars, with a 94% recommendation rating at Sephora.

Promising review: “I was continuously breaking out. I have dry skin but never had acne issues until this year. But this product has made me stress free. No new acne since I started using it and a little goes a long way for sure. Within a week of use, I can see the difference. My skin is slowly going back to how it was when I was free of acne!” FarhanaR

 

3. MURAD Outsmart Acne Clarifying Treatment

Murad’s acne treatment is powered by five clinically proven acne-clearing acids that not only clear out existing acne, but prevent them from coming back. It features a medicated lightweight gel serum formula that is clinically proven to reduce overall acne in as little as 7 days. It contains salicylic acid, lysophosphatidic, hydroxydecanoic, sebacic, and glycolic acids combined in penta-acid technology to reduce acne-causing bacteria, oiliness, and blackheads while fighting dryness and irritation. This product is free of parabens, sulfates, and phthalates. Murad’s Acne Clarifying Treatment has an overall rating of 4.2 out of 5 stars, with an 83% recommendation rating at Sephora.

Promising review: “I have been using this for just over 1 month now. I have seen a HUGE difference in my skin and my breakouts and inflammation have been completely tamed. I still have some redness and the odd breakout but the deep acne has gone away. This serum is so light and doesn’t make your skin oily at all.” Rachellewis

4. BIOSSANCE Squalane + Tea Tree Cleansing Gel

Cleanse acne-prone skin gently and effectively with Biossance’s Squalane + Tea Tree Cleansing Gel, a gel cleanser that’s enhanced with tea tree oil and plant-derived squalane that helps balance skin and reduce excess surface oil. Its gel formula contains tea tree oil to calm skin, squalene to lock in essential moisture, and magnesium for its purifying effects. This clean product is vegan, cruelty-free, and gluten-free, and does not contain sulfates (SLS and SLES), parabens, or phthalates. This product has an overall rating of 4.3 out of 5 stars, with an 80% recommendation rating at Sephora.

Promising review: “I have oily, somewhat sensitive, acne-prone skin. Highly recommend this if you have a similar skin type as it helps treat my breakouts and doesn’t strip my skin. My skin is less oily than it used to be now that I don’t over-strip it with cleansers. This doesn’t sting or anything like that – feels really soothing.” BridgitB

5. FIRST AID BEAUTY Skin Rescue Acne Clearing Pads with White Clay

Give your acne-prone skin some first aid care with First Aid Beauty’s Skin Rescue Acne Clearing Pads. This daily medicated acne treatment pad contains 2% maximum-strength salicylic acid that helps treat and prevent acne from coming back. It also contains kaolin clay that helps absorb impurities from the skin and purifies it, as well as evermat to help reduce sebum, minimize pores, and control shine. These alcohol-free pads also have tea tree oil and willow bark for gentle exfoliation and calming effects. This product is free of sulfates SLS and SLES, parabens, and phthalates. It has an overall rating of 4.2 out of 5 stars with an 80% recommendation rating at Sephora.

Promising review: “This is absolutely a must for acne prone skin. I have very sensitive, combination-dry skin. This helps with my acne without drying my skin or irritating it. I also like to use this because it helps me see if my cleansing didn’t get all of my makeup. This is an absolute staple in my skincare routine. I also love that it’s got the clean at Sephora mark. Highly recommend.” Barb123456

 

More Top Rated Acne Products at Sephora Your Need to Try Now

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1. PETER THOMAS ROTH Therapeutic Sulfur Acne Treatment Mask

Powered by maximum-strength sulfur, this therapeutic acne treatment mask from Peter Thomas Roth is formulated with 10% sulfur, kaolin and bentonite clays to absorb excess oil and purify pores, and aloe vera, which works to calm and hydrate the skin. Its gentle exfoliating formula works on normal, combination, and oily skin to address pores, blemishes, and oiliness, thereby preventing breakouts. Customers love this so much, it has an overall rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars at Sephora.

Promising review: “I was looking for something to help fight medical face mask induced acne/clogged pores, and this acne treatment has been in my favorites for a while now, so I finally decided to splurge and purchase it. I’m so glad I did! It’s surprisingly gentle and didn’t dry my skin out, but it definitely dried up my acne and helped clear up a few stubborn spots that weren’t going away using salicylic acid. I’m really happy with this product and definitely think it’s going to be a new staple in my skincare routine!” JRSausages

 

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“I have struggled with pretty bad cystic acne, with skin that is extremely dry, while also sometimes being oily. I have breakouts basically EVERY day. DAY ONE of using this product I noticed an immediate change in the way my skin felt and looked. I IMMEDIATELY stopped getting breakouts and didn’t have another breakout for OVER A WEEK. My cystic pimples haven’t come back since. I know you’re probably sitting there reading this, much like I did, thinking this is too good to be true. I certainly can’t speak for everyone, because everyone’s skin is different, but I will never be without this product ever again. I have never felt this confident about my skin. I feel like the ingredients in this are quality and it really helped balance whatever the heck my skin was missing before.” – Review by Erika on herbivore.com. 💙 Have you tried Lapis Facial Oil yet?

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2. HERBIVORE Lapis Blue Tansy Face Oil For Oily & Acne-Prone Skin

This list of the best acne products at Sephora won’t be complete without Herbivore’s Lapis Blue Tansy Face Oil. This hydrating face oil balances skin while addressing acne and blemishes, redness, and pores. It features a luxurious formula made with 100% natural and pure plant oils, including Blue Tansy that reduces redness and clarifies the complexion, plant-based Squalene to retain skin’s moisture, Kukui Nut Oil that balances sebum and oil production, and Jojoba Oil to moisturize skin. This quick-absorbing oil also delivers moisture, vitamins, fatty acids, and antioxidants straight into the skin to lock in moisture and nourishment to prevent dryness, which is perfect for summer. This product does not contain sulfates (SLS and SLES), parabens, or phthalates. It has an overall rating of 4.3 out of 5 stars at Sephora.

Promising review: “If you have acne-prone skin that can also be on the drier/more sensitive side, I would seriously recommend this product. I use it almost every single night to help calm breakouts and any inflammation. A few drops goes along way, and despite the cost, it usually lasts me 6 months or more.” Lizsd18

3. PETER THOMAS ROTH AHA/BHA Acne Clearing Gel

The key to effective and safe acne treatments is zero fragrance, which can irritate skin. Good thing there’s Peter Thomas Roth AHA/BHA Acne Clearing Gel, an oil- and fragrance-free pore clearing gel that harnesses the powers of 2% Salicylic Acid and 10% Glycolic Acid Complex (AHA) to exfoliate skin and prevent future breakouts. It also contains aloe vera to hydrate and calm skin. Its AHA, licorice, and arnica aso work to reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, blemish marks, and residual discolorations, which is great for those who want an anti-aging aspect in their acne-prone skincare routine. This product has an overall rating of 4.3 out of 5 stars at Sephora.

Promising review: “This stuff is amazing! I’ve been using it for a month and a half now and it really helps. I tend to have hormonal breakouts and breakout with one or two the week before my monthly best friend comes, and this month no breakouts! I’m so glad I found it. This bottle is huge and will last me awhile which is a bonus too! Oh! I’m just applying it to the areas I tend to breakout. It doesn’t dry out my skin either.” Awanderlust

4. KATE SOMERVILLE EradiKate™ Acne Treatment 

Combining the acne-fighting powers of 10% sulfur, BHAs, and zinc oxide, this blemish-fighting acne spot treatment from Kate Somerville effectively minimizes pimples, eliminates zits, and helps prevent more breakouts. This Kate Somerville best seller contains the highest level of sulfur allowed to effectively reduce acne and fight blemishes. Its BHAs reduce pore size as natural mineral zinc oxide addresses excess sebum production. This product does not contain sulfates SLS and SLES, parabens, or phthalates. It has an overall rating of 4.2 out of 5 stars at Sephora.

Promising review: “An excellent spot treatment. Dries out large problem zits and takes down redness substantially. This is a go-to for me for angry whiteheads that pop up on back or bum as well.” Kimberlyrosed

5. PEACE OUT Acne Healing Dots

Acne fighting and healing has never been this easy. Peace Out’s Acne Healing Dots are powerful protective blemish treatment dots that is powered by hydrocolloid polymer technology that soothes, treates, and prevents acne picking. It contains salicylic acid that clears acne-causing bacteria, vitamin A, an anti-oxidant that supports healthy skin growth, and aloe vera to sooth skin and reduce the appearance of pores. These treatment spots do not contain sulfates SLS and SLES, parabens, or phthalates. It has an overall customer rating of 4.2 out of 5 stars at Sephora.

Promising review: “I’ve been getting maskne from work (face mask acne) and use this under my mask to prevent rubbing and infections. Used it one day and the swelling went down on my zits. Will definitely buy more. I have oily skin and it stayed on pretty well! It helps with picking too! I have sensitive skin and it did not irritate me.” BeatriceBeans89

 

If you enjoyed this story on the best acne products at Sephora, make sure to check out more of our beauty and skincare stories in the links from our archive below.

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How Stress Can Affect the Skin + Best Skincare Products for Stress-Related Problems

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Teelie Turner

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