Use These Best Acne Treatments – Watch Your Pimples Go (and Stay) Away

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Editor's Choice#2nd Best Choice#3rd Best Choice
Editor's Choice
Use These Best Acne Treatments - Watch Your Pimples Go (and Stay) Away 1
Exposed Skin Care
Rating: 5 Stars
#2nd Best Choice
Use These Best Acne Treatments - Watch Your Pimples Go (and Stay) Away 2
Paula’s Choice Acne Kit
Rating: 4 Stars
#3rd Best Choice
Use These Best Acne Treatments - Watch Your Pimples Go (and Stay) Away 3
Rating: 4 Stars

Acne can make you lose confidence in your appearance, and you might find it challenging to rid your skin of redness and inflammation.

Not all products work for everyone. Some types of acne, like cystic acne, can be hard to clear. The treatment you choose should have the right ingredients to remove impurities and clean out clogged pores.

We reviewed the 5 best acne treatments of 2022 to help you find the best acne medication.


1. Exposed Skin Care (Editor’s Choice)

What is It?


Exposed Skin Care’s acne treatment kit clears and prevents acne from using an innovative approach with both natural and scientific ingredients that treat acne within 30 days.

When you use the products as directed, they open your pores, reduce redness, and kill acne-causing bacteria.

This routine also prevents bacteria from reentering your skin, improving your overall complexion.


Exposed Skincare uses a combination of ingredients to bring you the most effective acne control products and doesn’t use parabens or antibiotics.

Exposed Skin Care contains:

  • Green Tea: Contains antioxidants to heal and protect your skin
  • Passion Flower Extract: Soothes your skin and acts as an anti-inflammatory
  • Licorice Root Extract: Reduces inflammation, scarring, and redness
  • Tea Tree: Disinfects and kills harmful bacteria
  • Aloe Vera: Heals wounds and moisturizes for a healthy complexion
  • Sage Extract: Acts as an anti-inflammatory to reduce redness and irritation
  • Benzoyl Peroxide: Kills acne bacteria on your skin’s surface and deep within your pores
  • Salicylic Acid: Unclogs your pores by removing skin cells collected in your pores, then shrinks pores so bacteria can’t get back in
  • Glycolic Acid: Unclogs your pores and rebuilds collagen
  • Sulfur: Absorbs excess oil and toxins to prevent clogging pores
  • Azelaic Acid: Acts as an antioxidant and opens follicles to shed cells

How to Use It

For the most effective acne cyst prevention, use these steps to see clearer skin within the first month:

  1. Wash your face with warm water.
  2. Apply the facial cleanser for about 15 seconds, then rinse it away with warm water. You can also use the Derm-X cloth to remove it, but don’t use the cloth more than twice a week.
  3. When your skin has almost completely dried, apply the clearing toner.
  4. Once the clearing toner has dried, apply the acne treatment serum. Start with a small amount when you first start using this product. Dab it around your face and gently spread it, without rubbing and while avoiding your eyes, and wait about five minutes until the serum dries.
  5. Apply the moisture complex. Spread a small amount on your fingers and pat it all over your face. Let it dry for a few minutes.

Do this routine twice a day—once in the morning and once in the evening.

Where Can You Buy It?

Buy this product on the Exposed Skin Care website in three different packages:

  • Basic: The Basic package offers a 60-day supply and includes the facial cleanser, clearing tonic, treatment serum, pore-clearing serum, Derm-X cloth, and free Exposed membership.
  • Expanded: The Expanded package offers everything you get in the Basic set, plus their moisture complex for $10 more.
  • Ultimate: The Ultimate package gives you everything in the Expanded kit, plus the Microderm scrub, clarifying charcoal mask, and probiotic complex. This package costs almost twice as much as the Basic, but it’s an effective solution for stubborn acne.


2. Paula’s Choice Acne Kit

What Is It?

paulas choice fresh look

The CLEAR line from Paula’s Choice acne reduces and prevents acne by removing excess oil and unclogging and shrinking pores.

Paula’s Choice offers two levels of acne-clearing kits: Regular and Extra.

The Regular formula clears mild to moderate acne, while Extra works on more severe cases, including cystic acne.


Paula’s Choice uses some of the most effective ingredients to simultaneously clear and soothe your skin.

  • Benzoyl Peroxide: Kills bacteria on the surface of your skin and in your pores
  • Salicylic Acid: Unclogs your pores, removes dead skin, and prevents bacteria from reentering pores
  • Propylene Glycol: Hydrates and prevents dryness
  • Sodium Citrate: Adjusts your skin’s pH to avoid irritation
  • Bisabolol: Soothes your skin

This formula also contains texture enhancing ingredients and fewer natural components than some other acne treatments.

It also contains sodium laureth sulfate and laureth-4, which can dry out your skin and clog your pores.

How to Use It

While you may think you need a lot of time to commit to skincare, Paula’s Choice CLEAR line only takes three steps and about five minutes to complete. Follow these steps to see results:

  1. Wet your face and apply a small amount of the cleanser, rubbing in vigorous, gentle circles. Rinse it well before moving on to the next step.
  2. Exfoliant: Soak a cotton pad with the exfoliant and apply it all over your face. Do not rinse.
  3. Treatment: Apply the product to acne-prone areas and leave it to dry.

For the best results, use the cleanser morning and night. You can apply the exfoliant and treatment in both the morning and at night, or you can choose to use them once a day.

The frequency of your use depends on your acne. Cystic acne requires more thorough use, so you may need to go through the entire routine twice a day. Mild or moderate acne will show improvement with a once a day use.

Where Can You Buy It?

Find the CLEAR line and other acne control products on the Paula’s Choice website. The kits contain the following:

  • Regular Strength: This kit includes the CLEAR Pore Normalizing Cleanser, CLEAR Regular Strength Anti-Redness Exfoliating Solution, and CLEAR Regular Strength Daily Skin Clearing Treatment.
  • Extra Strength Kit: This kit comes with the CLEAR Pore Normalizing Cleanser, CLEAR Extra Strength Anti-Redness Exfoliating Solution, and CLEAR Extra Strength Daily Skin Clearing Treatment.

Read the full Paula’s Choice Acne Kit review here.

Both kits come with a 60-day money-back guarantee, so you don’t have to worry about wasting your money if you don’t see results.


3. Proactiv

What Is It?

proactive solution products

Proactiv prides itself on creating the first Combination Therapy system for acne.

Designed for acne-prone skin, it clears and prevents acne and reduces inflammation.

Its three-step system has gained fame as the best acne treatment for teens and effective acne treatment for men and women.

However, it doesn’t work on cystic or nodular acne.


Proactiv contains the following ingredients to make it one of the best acne products on the market since 2002:

  • Benzoyl Peroxide: Kills bacteria and clears pores
  • Salicylic Acid: Acts as an exfoliant, getting into your pores and breaking down dead skin cells
  • Glycolic Acid: Removes dead skin cells and keeps your pores clear
  • Sulfur: Reduces excess oil in your skin by absorbing the oil and keeping it out of your pores

If you’re looking for more natural acne control products, use caution with Proactiv. The formula contains parabens, which can harm your skin.

How to Use It

Proactiv only requires these three steps twice a day to clear your acne:

  1. Apply a small amount of the renewing cleanser to damp skin. Massage it in with your fingertips for 1-2 minutes. Rinse it with warm water and pat your skin dry.
  2. Apply the revitalizing toner to your cleansed skin with a cotton pad or ball. Let it dry.
  3. Apply a thin layer of the repairing treatment to the areas most affected by acne. Let it dry and do not rinse.

Be sure to read our full Proactiv review.

Where Can You Buy It?

Buy Proactiv on the company’s website or through other skincare retailers to take advantage of the cheapest three-step process on our list.

The kit includes Proactiv’s renewing cleanser, revitalizing toner, and repairing product.


4. Mario Badescu Drying Lotion

What Is It?

mario badescu drying lotion

Mario Badescu Drying Lotion is the best acne spot treatment.

It works differently than the other acne cleansers on our list because it focuses on drying acne, and it’s not meant for use on widespread areas.

It’s quick and effective and draws impurities out of your skin to eliminate blemishes overnight.


Mario Badescu Drying Lotion contains many of the same ingredients as daily cleansers, along with a few others that work to clear your skin faster, including:

  • Salicylic Acid: Works as an exfoliant, entering your pores and dissolving dead skin cells
  • Zinc Oxide: An antiseptic and skin protectant used to treat minor skin abrasions
  • Sulfur: Removes oil from your skin
  • Isopropyl alcohol: Dries out your pimples fast
  • Calamine: Reduces itching and irritation
  • Talc: Keeps your skin dry and prevents rashes
  • Glycerin: Pulls water to the outer layer of your skin
  • Titanium Dioxide: Blocks the absorption of UV rays

Visit our Mario Badescu review to learn more.

How to Use It

As a spot treatment, this drying lotion requires fewer steps and treatments than any other product on our list. Follow these steps to see results fast:

  1. Cleanse your face.
  2. Dip a cotton swab into the sediment at the bottom of the bottle.
  3. Dab the solution onto the blemishes, avoiding other areas of your skin, and leave it to dry.

Do not rub the solution into your skin, as it may cause irritation and widespread dryness.

Where Can You Buy It?

Buy Mario Badescu Drying Lotions on the company’s website and through other online retailers. It’s one of the cheapest blemish removers on our list, but it may not work for people with sensitive skin.


5. TruSkin Tea Tree Clear Skin Serum

What Is It?

truskin tea tree oil serum

TruSkin Tea Tree Clear Skin Serum works as a natural solution to unclog your pores.

It targets breakouts while supporting your overall skin health. Its gentle formula works to clear sensitive skin when other products irritate it.


TruSkin Tea Tree Clear Skin Serum is one of the most natural products available to control and prevent acne. Its formula contains:

  • Vitamin C: An antioxidant that protects you from free radicals
  • Hyaluronic Acid: Traps moisture to prevent dryness
  • Retinol: Improves your skin’s texture and reduces signs of aging
  • Tea Tree Essential Oil: Has anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties to prevent bacteria from getting into your pores
  • Salicylic Acid: Acts as an exfoliant, breaking down dead skin cells inside your pores

This vegan-friendly product contains other natural ingredients used to cleanse and moisturize your skin.

How to Use It

This product is one of the easiest to use, and you only need to follow two steps:

  1. Cleanse your skin.
  2. Apply 2-3 drops to your skin and massage it in twice a day before you moisturize.

Where Can You Buy It?

Buy this product from most popular online retailers. It takes the least amount of time to use than any other product on our list.


Be sure to also check out these related articles and reviews about Acne:

What Causes Acne?

Acne happens when your hair follicles become blocked with sebum, excess oil, dead skin cells, or dirt. When the pores get clogged, they create inflammation and irritation.

The severity and location of the blockage create different acne types, and you may develop acne cysts. Cyst acne is a more stubborn form of acne, and not all products work to clear it.

These factors can contribute to the appearance of acne:

  • Hormone changes: Increasing testosterone affects the sebaceous glands, producing more sebum that clogs pores.
  • Cosmetics: Makeup can clog your pores, so make sure you remove it at the end of each day.
  • Wearing tight garments: When you regularly wear items that put pressure on specific areas, like headbands, they can block your pores.
  • Medications: Steroid medications, lithium, and epilepsy drugs can affect your hormones and cause acne.
  • Genetics: Acne can run in families.

While you may have heard that certain foods cause acne, they don’t. However, a poor diet can contribute to overall poor skin health.

two pretty women baking

What Is the Most Effective Way to Treat Acne?

You can find acne treatments in all sizes and formulas, but the most effective ones contain most of the same ingredients.

While you should have a dedicated skincare routine with a cleanser and moisturizer, look for these ingredients in products to eliminate acne:

  • Benzoyl peroxide: Most acne treatments contain benzoyl peroxide for its ability to kill bacteria. It works on your skin’s surface as well as deep in pores. Popular acne products, like Paula’s Choice and Exposed Skin Care, contain benzoyl peroxide.
  • Salicylic acid: Salicylic acid enters your pores and works alongside benzoyl peroxide to dissolve dead skin cells.
  • Glycolic acid: Glycolic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid that works like salicylic acid in that it clears dead skin cells from your pores.
  • Lactic acid: Another alpha hydroxy acid, lactic acid tightens pores and decreases the appearance of acne scars.

Before you buy an acne product, ask your dermatologist for recommendations as some products can make acne worse for those with sensitive skin.


Finding the best acne treatment products can be challenging, but you’ll find plenty of options on the market.

Make sure you only use acne products compatible with your skin to avoid irritation. If you have an allergic reaction to any acne treatments, stop using them immediately.

Take care of your skin, and ask your dermatologist for advice on the best acne treatment for you.

Editors Choice
Use These Best Acne Treatments - Watch Your Pimples Go (and Stay) Away 4

Exposed Skincare

Our #1 Recommendation

  • The key focus is skin exfoliation and acne treatment
  • Combines science & nature in the ingredients 
  • Nurtures skin while it finds a new and healthy balance
  • Face care program consists of nine different products

Use These Best Acne Treatments - Watch Your Pimples Go (and Stay) Away 5

Avatar for Alina Jumabhoy
About Alina Jumabhoy

With almost 10 years of experience writing for the skincare industry, Alina brings her unique perspective into all of the in-depth reviews and articles she writes.