How Do I Choose the Best Acne Face Cream?

Tiffany Manley
Tiffany Manley
A boy with acne.
A boy with acne.

Acne face cream is a solution formulated to treat and prevent acne, specifically on the face and neck. In order to choose the best one, consider your skin type, the ingredients in the product, and whether it can be purchased without a prescription. Cost will likely be a factor as well, since some skin care products can be very expensive. Look for a product that is safe enough to use every day.

Face cream for acne.
Face cream for acne.

Many experts recommend that individuals with combination or oily skin not use heavier acne face cream because it can often clog pores and make acne worse. If your skin is dry, however, it is probably the best option for you. The ingredients in the product help cleanse the face of impurities while also keeping it moisturized.

When looking for the right acne face cream, examine the ingredients to ensure they are appropriate for your skin. Ingredients such as salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide help remove dirt and bacteria. Sulfur helps relieve itching and tea tree oil has antiseptic properties. A variety of other ingredients are used in this type of product, so conducting research to determine which ones you prefer is probably a good idea. In addition, you might be interested in using a product that contains organic materials.

A close up of acne.
A close up of acne.

Some acne face cream requires a prescription to purchase, though this has associated expenses to consider as well. Prescription acne face cream is often formulated with stronger ingredients than those sold over the counter. This can be an option, however, when traditional creams and lotions fail to clear up the acne.

Since acne face cream is generally produced by a variety of companies, costs vary somewhat. Before spending a great deal of money for one, carefully look over the ingredients to be sure you are getting the most for your money. Different brands may vary in price, but have very similar ingredients.

Acne face cream is used to treat and prevent acne found on the face and neck.
Acne face cream is used to treat and prevent acne found on the face and neck.

Some products should only be used every other day or less. While this usually means they are powerful and effective, it might also mean that they are harder on your skin. Choosing an acne face cream that is safe to use every day will help you treat your acne while also protecting your skin. If you do use a stronger product it is still possible to keep your skin safe by using additional moisturizer or using creams that have ingredients such as aloe vera. This ingredient helps soothe skin and relax some of the tightness that might be caused by the product.

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Discussion Comments


When my kids were growing up, we always made sure we had tubes of Clearasil around the house. This did a pretty good job of clearing up occasional breakouts.

One of my kids had more of a problem with acne than the others did, and this wasn't helping her much.

I had seen a lot of advertisements for Proactiv acne treatment in magazines and on TV so decided to give it a try.

The whole set can be a little bit expensive, and I wondered if it would really work or not. My daughter was faithful about using it on a regular basis. After a week or so, there was a nice improvement in her skin and her acne was much less visible.

She continued using the products for another few weeks and by this time noticed an even bigger difference. I am glad this worked for her as she felt so much better about herself when she had clear skin.


If you have teenagers struggling with acne this can be a hard situation for them. It is hard to feel confident about yourself when you have a lot of acne on your face.

I had very oily skin as a teenager and struggled with bad acne breakouts. I tried several over the counter creams and treatments, but never found anything that worked.

My mom finally took me to a dermatologist and I was given some prescription cream and antibiotics. This combination cleared up my acne beautifully.

The antibiotics must have done more good than the acne cream because as soon as I quit taking the antibiotics the acne came back.

I think there are several good acne treatments that will help clear up a few pimples, but if your whole face is covered with acne, seeing a doctor will probably give you the best results.


@lonelygod - I have tried benzoyl peroxide before and find that it works really well, but is really bad if you get it too close to fabrics. It bleaches them really quickly. Not to mention the fact that it can really dry your skin out in high doses.

A less harmful cream for acne is one that is made out of tea tree oil. Tea tree oil is fantastic and completely natural. It doesn't have the same drying properties as benzoyl peroxide and you won't bleach your clothes with it.

I think the only real downside of tea tree oil acne cream is that it can get a bit expensive. As it is a natural cream, it takes a bit more effort to produce.


If you need a really good acne face cream I would suggest going to a dermatologist and getting some samples from there. My dermatologist has free samples from a lot of different companies, and I really like being able to try things out before I buy them.

If you can, find a acne face cream that has benzoyl peroxide, as it does wonders for those with more visible acne. It comes in different strengths and can dry up large spots in a matter of hours. The only problem with benzoyl peroxide though is it can be a bit harsh on your skin and it makes you really sensitive to sunlight.


@Crispety -It really depends how bad the acne is. I had a friend that had really bad adult acne and she had to see a dermatologist because nothing would clear up her skin. She was put on Accutane and had to use Retin-A for a topical cream.

She said that the Retin A was really strong and often her skin would burn and turn a little pink. She also was told to stay out of the sun as well. After about six months her skin cleared completely.

It was amazing. It is a harsh treatment but if you have really bad acne It can be a life saver.


@Behaviourism- I have combination skin and I use a night cream that has salicylic acid and exfoliates my skin as well as moisturizes it. It can really be used by any skin type because for people with dry skin it will remove the dead skin layers that tend to make the skin look dull and with people that have combination skin or even oily skin it does control the excess oil that tends to clog pores.

It really clears up breakouts and minimizes the size of your pores and makes you look and feel better. When I first started using the cream, I got compliments after a few weeks because the little breakout that I had immediately cleared up.


@mitchell14- I have dry skin too, but I still like things with salicylic acid. So I have a scrub I use only a couple of times a week. It also have anti-aging ingredients in it, so it's really soothing. So far it hasn't given me any problems.


@behaviourism- I've used those sorts of products too, especially when I was a teenager. I eventually stopped though, because my skin is too sensitive and dry. I still get an occasional pimple, but I just had to use something gentler; salicylic acid can be really bad for you if your skin is drier than average.


I have had success with a variety of products that have salicylic acid. It really cleans up your skin. A few years ago I even got some samples of the prescription-strength creams a lot of dermatologists use. A drop of those, which are almost entirely salicylic acid and no additives, cleared up pimples almost immediately. I wouldn't use it for just anything, though. Too much of it can be too abrasive on the skin.

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