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6 Best Acne products that you should try I Dermatologist Pick

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6 Best Acne products that you should try I Dermatologist Pick

“Doctor, what are the best dermatologist-recommended acne products?”

Acne can present in 3  ways: comedones (black and whiteheads), red or pus-filled pimples, and cystic lesions. Therefore, Dermatologist recommends different anti-acne product for various type of acne.

Scroll below to find the best anti-acne product based on your acne type.

Comedones (Blackheads/whiteheads)

Comedones occur because of uncontrolled oil secretions, thick occlusive creams, or multiple layering of products. As a result, the openings of your oil glands get blocked by cellular debris, leading to black and whiteheads, dermatologically termed comedones.

Best products for Black/whiteheads

Salicylic acid

The solution to comedones lies in exfoliating your skin with the help of Salicylic acid. It seeps into the blocked pores, loosens the debris, and reduces black and whiteheads in 2-6 weeks.

Salicylic acid serum can be used for oily skin, open pores, and black/whiteheads once or twice a day based on the skin’s oiliness.  Ensure you skip this serum if your skin feels dry. Aim for a normal to the slightly dry feel of skin.

The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Solution is one such product that can come to your rescue. It has salicylic acid 2% along with witch hazel extracts. The latter has anti-microbial action on acne. Do not combine salicylic acid with Adapalene or retinoids because both have similar actions, and the combination is too drying.

For more brand recommendations, read Best Salicylic acid serum- Dermatologist Recommended. 


Once you cross 25, switch to retinol-based anti-aging serum. Retinol delays aging, controls oil secretion, reduces open pores,  and gently exfoliates your skin.

For brand recommendation, read Best retinol or retinaldehyde cream.

Adapalene or tretinoin

In stubborn cases of comedones, you should visit dermatologists for prescription adapalene or tretinoin gel.  Both these are available under prescription in India.

Fortunately, Adapalene gel is available without a prescription in the United States. Click below for the link:

Red or Pus filled Pimples

Red and pus-filled pimples occur due to over-growth bacteria called Propionibacterium acnes in the clogged pores. In such cases, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory agents like neem, tea tree oil, licorice, and niacinamide might help.

Best product for red pimples(India)

Mamaearth Tea Tree Spot Gel

This cream can be applied on red pimples at night until they dry. It reduces pimples with tea tree oil’s anti-bacterial action and salicylic acid’s oil-controlling action. It also prevents the development of dark spots after healing with the help of skin lightening and the anti-inflammatory action of licorice.

Spot Patches

Spot patch is a Korean product that has a hydrocolloid dressing. This patch camouflages your pimples and sucks oils from pimples. In addition, Centella Asiatica helps in healing by promoting collagen repair.

Homemade anti-acne spot treatment

You can make your own fresh anti-acne spot remedies for red pimples at home.  It reduces big red pimples overnight in non-sensitive skin.

Dr. Sheth’s Neem & Bha Spot Clarifying Serum

It can be used full-face at night to reduce comedones and red pimples. It is a good option for non-sensitive oily skin types. It can reduce clogging pores with the help of salicylic acid and prevent bacteria from growing with the help of neem and tea tree oil.

Best product for red pimples(United States)

Spot Patch

Spot patch is a Korean product that has a hydrocolloid dressing. This patch camouflages your pimples and sucks oils from pimples. In addition, Centella Asiatica helps in healing by promoting collagen repair.

TreeActiv Invisible Acne Spot Treatment

This can be applied on pimples at night in non-sensitive skin. It has 2% Salicylic Acid,Aloe Vera, Peppermint Water & Oil, Tea Tree Oil, Clove Flower Oil, Eucalyptus Oil, Lemon Oil, Grapefruit Seed Oil, Orange Oil, Tamanu Oil and Lemongrass Oil to reduce the pimple.

Touch Benzoyl Peroxide 2.5% Acne Cream

This can be applied on the red or pus-filled pimples at night in non-sensitive skin types.

Cystic or Nodular acne

When the battle between your defense mechanism and bacteria continues unchecked, small red pimples might grow into big nodules or cysts. In this case, it is highly recommended to begin treatment under a dermatologist immediately to avoid the formation of scars after healing.

Post Acne dark spots

Azelaic acid help in reducing the tendency of acne and improves post-acne dark spots as well. It is much more effective than niacinamide in improving pigmentation.

Sesderma Azelac Ru Liposomal serum

It is worth trying for sensitive acne-prone skin, especially if you have dark spots left after healing pimples.

Chemist at Play Acne Control Face Serum 

It has 10 % Azelaic acid and 10% Niacinamide that can reduce inflammation, remove pigmentation and impart an even skin tone.

Consult a dermatologist if:

  • All the above cases of acne not showing improvement within one month
  • You have many black/whiteheads with many red or pus-filled pimples.
  • You have dry or sensitive skin with many pimples


Get free dermatologist-recommended regime by choosing your skin or concerns.





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