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Given that acne is the most common skin condition in the country, affecting as many as 50 million Americans at any given time, it's no wonder that there's such a market for effective treatments. Whether your skin troubles began in puberty or have struck for the first time in your 40s, you're probably searching for a solution that will get you looking and feeling better - as soon as possible.
There are many different approaches that acne products may take, and the right one for you often depends on the type of breakouts you're experiencing. Are you seeing occasional white- and blackheads, or large, painful blemishes that cover most of your face? Is your skin oily all the time, or does it fluctuate with hormonal changes and/or stress? Is acne affecting just your face or other areas of your body too, like your back and chest?
Monday, September 26th
Zenmed should be the first brand you consider when looking for acne solutions. Whether you've got sensitive, dry, oily, or combination skin - or you even have rosacea thrown in the mix - there's a treatment routine here for you. You can also get a complimentary product recommendation from Zenmed's in-house estheticians. All products are made in small batches, delivering the highest possible potency and freshness, and they're always backed by a 60-day, 100% satisfaction guarantee. This is still our #1 pick among acne products.
Whether your skincare goals are to even out your skin tone, reduce acne, or prevent fine lines, Curology has a custom formula for you. Simply take their skin quiz, upload a few well-lit photos, and your personalized, dermatologist-prescribed formula will be on its way to your door. And, if you've been wanting to try out tretinoin but aren't sure how to get a prescription, look no further than Curology. Best of all, your first 30 days using Curology are completely free. All of that makes Curology an acne product we're excited to recommend.
Paula's Choice puts love, care, and science into all of their skincare products - without adding many ingredients that can be an irritant (like essential oils and alcohol). We recommend scheduling a complimentary 20-minute consultation with one of their experts to get the right routine for your unique skin. People swear by Paula's Choice products, finally getting clear skin after many competitor products have failed. Excellent products, amazing customer service, and a 180-day return policy are just a few of the reasons you should give this brand a try.
Murad takes a four-pillar approach to total skin health: eat your water, awaken your body, be kind to your mind, and nourish your skin - with their high-performance skincare products, of course. Take advantage of a 25-minute video consultation to get a customized recommendation for an acne-fighting regimen, knowing that you've got a 60-day window to get a refund if needed. Although some customers have had issues getting support in recent months, Murad still has an "A+" from the BBB and thousands of five-star reviews. These acne products are expensive, but loyal Murad customers would tell you they're well worth the money.
Hero's Mighty Patch can reduce your pimples to just about nothing - overnight or discreetly as you go about your day. Over 100,000 people have given Mighty Patch a perfect five-star score, and there's lots of positive feedback for the other acne products in the Hero line. They come with a 30-day money-back guarantee, and the company offers several different ways to save money (like a free rewards program and subscribe-and-save buying options). This is a solid option for treating acne, particularly if you've got a breakout looming before picture day or big date.
Dermala treats acne by balancing your body's microbiomes - not just on your skin but also in your gut. You'll start by getting a customized #FOBO kit (short for Fear Of Breaking Out) based on your age, gender, and current skin problems, and your subsequent recommendations will shift based on the results you enter in the Dermala app. There's a lot of science behind this acne product, and preliminary customer feedback is really positive. It's on the spendy side, and Dermala doesn't spell out the details on their refund policy, but we still feel comfortable recommending it as an acne treatment to try.
Proactiv is one of the best-known names in over-the-counter acne products, with over 20 million users worldwide. This multi-step skincare routine can help break the acne cycle and heal your skin. We give Proactiv props for making improvements since our last review, giving customers more for their money. But, some people still report problems with canceling subscriptions or getting help with incorrect product shipments.
Tired of multi-step acne treatments that take an hour out of your day? Try Truly Clear. It's a foaming bar of soap that can be used to treat acne on your face - and on the rest of your body - in just five minutes, once or twice daily. The company also sells cleansing pads and acne patches to round out your acne-fighting options. This brand is a little newer on the market, but most people who use Truly Clear give it five stars, and all purchases are backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee. It's not the right fit if you need a more personalized acne regimen, but it's a good option if you want to try a one-step routine.
Exposed Skincare has been treating acne for 20+ years. Their products combine natural extracts like tea tree oil with well-known acne-fighters (benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid) to heal your skin, prevent future breakouts, and calm redness. Although this used to be one of our favorite brands for acne treatments, a less-than-friendly approach to customer service recently has dropped Exposed Skincare in our rankings. Watch out for purchase options that sign you up for automatic future shipments, and be aware that the 1-year refund policy only applies to your first kit here.
ClearPores is a Skinception product and it comes with a three-step acne treatment routine: cleanse, supplement, and protect. We like that it has a 67-day money-back guarantee, more than enough time to see how your skin responds. But, prices have gone way up on this acne product: you'll pay over $100 for a one-month supply. There's just not enough compelling customer feedback to convince us that ClearPores will be worth it. Circle back to ClearPores if you try our higher-ranked acne solutions without any improvements, but don't make this your first choice.
AcnEase is an all-natural, herbal supplement designed to treat the root causes of acne. This is one of the more expensive products in our review, especially if your condition is so severe that you need to take the highest recommended dose: 18 tablets a day for six weeks. Results vary, and that's a problem if you don't see changes and can't get AcnEase's parent company, Herborium Group, to honor their 60-day refund policy.
CleaRx is your standard three-step acne treatment: cleanse, moisturize, spot treat. There's nothing all-natural, unique, or particularly compelling about this acne regimen. You can only buy it as a two-month supply (or longer) that will be set to renew automatically. That's a risky proposition when the company is hard to reach - and seems to have gone "radio silent" after 2020. Spend your money on a more reliable provider of acne products.
Acnezine uses a topical cream and an oral supplement to treat acne. What's in those products? Great question -because this company doesn't tell you until you get the package in the mail. It gets worse: when you call the contact number listed on the Acnezine site, they tell you they don't have a product by that name. Mystery acne product with no customer support? No thanks. Try a more reputable treatment from our review.
Another factor when choosing an acne product is your experience with treatments in the past. Benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid are two of the most common ingredients in over-the-counter remedies: they're very effective for some, while others experience dry skin or rashes when using products that contain them. Also consider if you have any known sensitivities to natural ingredients like tea tree oil, aloe vera, or other botanicals. Check the ingredients list of any acne product you're considering to make sure it doesn't contain anything that's a known irritant for you.
A word of warning: know how they say that sometimes things get worse before they get better? No matter which acne treatment you follow, you may find that your acne actually increases at first. It's a process known as "skin purge" , and according to Medical News Today, it can happen as people use new products with ingredients that accelerate exfoliation and bring new skin to the surface. You might just have dry, flaky skin - or even more blemishes than before.
Fortunately, many effective acne products give you 60 days (or longer) to let the skin purge run its course and reveal your new, healthy skin underneath. You just need the patience to ride it out. Of course, if you're showing signs of an allergic reaction (rash, hives, stinging or burning sensation, itchy or watery eyes, and so on), discontinue use and check in with your doctor before trying a new treatment.
With so many different acne products on the market, you might be feeling confused about where to start. Not to worry. Here are some criteria you can use to narrow down the options and zero in on the ones that will likely be your best bet:
To help you get the clearest skin possible, TopConsumerReviews.com has evaluated and ranked today's most popular acne products. We're confident that this information will make it easy to find the right solution - and at the right price!
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