10 Must-Have Products for Acne-Prone Skin

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If you are like me, you know the struggles of having acne. You have to watch what you put on your skin, what you eat, and even what is coming into contact with your skin (phone, pillow cases, your hands, etc.) Lately, I have been doing just that and I am seeing huge improvements! So here are some of the products that have been working for me.


BUT FIRST! There are a couple of things that are important to remember:

  • These are all products that have worked for me currently and in the past. However, as everyone’s skin and bodies are different, they might not work as well for you.
  • Acne and other skin related issues will not disappear overnight (even though some of these products make it seem like it does.)
  • Stress will only heighten your acne issues, so while hard, it’s important to not dwell on it.
  • This is your God-given skin and God makes no mistakes. You are beautiful with all of your imperfections included.


Makeup Products

  1. NYX Tea Tree Skin Elixir

This is a primer that I have been using for a while and every time I apply it, my makeup goes on so smoothly. It doesn’t feel heavy or greasy, even though you would think it would since it is infused with tea tree oil. Tea tree oil is very helpful for your complexion because it has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. This is my go-to primer when I have breakouts because it seems to improve my complexion within a week of use.

This product is $12 and you can buy it here.


  1. Nivea Men Sensitive Post Shave Balm

I’m sure you’ve heard of using this post-shave balm as a primer. It was all the rage for quite some time, and it is still want of my tried-and-trues. It does not contain alcohols that will dry your skin and it claims to improve your skin’s natural barrier. When I use this under my makeup, it feels like I don’t even have makeup on. It’s so light and rejuvenating.

It also has an amazing scent that smells like a man, of course, but who doesn’t love that? The scent doesn’t last all day, so if it is something that bothers you, you won’t even notice it after a few minutes. I wouldn’t say that this product actually IMPROVES my acne, but I would definitely say that it does not make it worse, or break me out which can be hard to find in cosmetics. And the best part… it’s soooo affordable.


This product is $5.59 and you can buy it here.

  1. Urban Decay All-Nighter Foundation

This foundation is AMAZING. I’m always on the lookout for a foundation that is full coverage and lasts all day, but doesn’t clog my pores and this foundation is it and so much more. It has stunning coverage without looking cakey. When I am going out or have a special occasion, this is what I grab because it makes my skin look flawless.

The ONLY drawback to this foundation is that you should definitely buy it in-store at your local Ulta or Sephora, because the color selection is a little weird to be honest (or it was to me, anyways). So it would be in your best interest to get matched before buying. This isn’t something that would keep me from purchasing over and over and over again.

This product is $40 and you can buy it here.


  1. Milani Make It Last Setting Spray

This setting spray does not improve or prevent break-outs, but it doesn’t claim to do that either. So, let me tell you why I included it. After I do a full face of makeup, I can spray a couple (or 10) sprays on my skin. When I am having a dry t-zone day, my makeup can look cakey or powdery. I mean, let’s be honest, that’s very hard to avoid when you have combination skin. However, if I do feel like it’s looking too dry, I can spray this and it just gives a finish that is so natural looking. It’s not matte, but it isn’t dewy either. I would say it’s more of a satin finish. It seems to make my blemishes and pimples stand out so much less. This is the setting spray to beat in my book!

This product is $9.99 and you can buy it here.




  1. Clean & Clear Advantage Acne Control Moisturizer

Okay, this is a product I was talking about earlier when I said that some products will improve your acne literally overnight. I am so obsessed with this moisturizer. Moisturizers are critical, EVEN if you think you don’t need them because your face is oily. I’m telling you that you DO. This one is oil free and doesn’t leave your face feeling greasy or with a film like feeling on your skin. This is part of my current night-time routine and when I wake up some mornings, I truly feel that my complexion has cleared. I’m not saying that you will wake up and you will have no pimples, but you will see a difference.


This product is $7.79 and you can buy it here.


  1. Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion for Face and Body

I am sometimes leary of putting products on my face that are called “lotions” and claim they are for your body, too. This is because they normally seem to be greasy since your body can stand a little more moisture than sensitive faces. However, this product is an exception. It does not feel heavy on my skin and this is my go-to daytime moisturizer, especially before doing my makeup so that I don’t look dry and patchy. With all of the products and acne medications that people like us try, our skin can get really dry and this is the cure for that.

This product is $16 and you can buy it here.




  1. Differin Gel

We’ve all see that commercial lately that comes on TV ALL the time. “What’s different about Differin?” If you have been to the dermatologist time after time like I have and been prescribed multiple topical medications, then I wouldn’t say anything is different about Differin. However, it does work. It won’t work overnight but if you just keep at it, you will definitely see a Differince… See what I did there?

It’s the first over-the-counter prescription strength retinoid acne medication and it really is great. One con to this product, though, is that it does dry me out and every now and then, I do have to skip a day so that I can get some moisture back in my skin.

This product is $12-13 and you can buy it here.


  1. Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair

This serum is my holy grail. This is another product that you can tell a difference overnight. It feels luxurious on the skin and it’s got a medicine dropper lid, so it’s totally fun to use, too. It is for all skin types which is great, and claims to improve signs of aging, lines and wrinkles, dehydration, and dullness. I would honestly say that it does all of these things. From my blemishes have come a lot of scarring and red spots, and this is really helping with that as well as making my skin feel tight and glowy.


I use this at night after my Clean & Clear moisturizer and Differin gel. I wouldn’t recommend it for daytime use because it doesn’t really settle into the pores so it kind of sits on top of the face. Then again, it is called Advanced NIGHT Repair. It is one of the lesser affordable products on my list, but it is worth every penny in my opinion.

This product is $65 for the smaller size and you can buy it here.

  1. GlamGlow Supermud Clearing Facial Treatment

This is another not-so-affordable product but it’s still worth it because it lasts a while as you will only need to use it 1-2 times per week. This is a mask that you apply over your entire face and as it dries, you can see the oil coming out of your pores. Kind of gross, but also kind of awesome. It’s refreshing and relaxing and straight up cool-looking. This mask followed by a moisturizer will make your face feel like a million bucks.

This product is $69 for a jar and you can buy it here.



  1. TANDA Clear Plus Professional Acne Clearing Solution Device

Wow, that’s a long name. But I think it deserves it. This device is amazing and so easy to use. It is a handheld device that, when in contact with the skin, lights up, vibrates and heats up just a little. Nothing too crazy. It says to use it twice a day, but…I’m gonna say it… Ain’t nobody got time fo that. I see results when I use it just once a day before my night time skincare products.

I have had other products similar to this one, like the Michael Todd one that was sold by Ulta that I can’t find anymore. Most likely because it didn’t work, just saying. From my experience, you can do about 5 three minute treatments before having to recharge, which doesn’t seem like much but this doesn’t keep me from using.

This product is $139.99 and you can buy it here.

Shoot me a comment below and tell me some of the products that have worked for you!

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19 thoughts on “10 Must-Have Products for Acne-Prone Skin

  1. Watching topical products goes a long way, but what helped my skin the most was cutting dairy and sugar. My face freaks out when I have them now!

    1. I definitely believe the sugar, but now I will be trying cutting dairy as well! Thanks!

  2. LOVED clean and clear for YEARS! But pleasantly surprised to see NYX on the list, I’ve recently got into their products so I will definitely try out the tea tree primer! Thanks for this amazing list, definitely a must have in these upcoming sweaty months of summer.

    1. I am loving NYX lately. I also found out they are cruelty-free! Love how they are such great quality, yet really affordable. Thanks for reading!

  3. I have been very fortunate to have clear skin and rarely suffer from acne but I do have my days. I have only tried clean and clear from your list

    1. Gosh, I know me too! I’m 23 and I really thought I would have grown out of it by now. Thanks for reading!

  4. Great post with lots of good info! Would you recommend the clean & clear moisturizer for a teenage boy? i.e. does it have a neutral scent? thanks!

    1. Yes definitely! It does have a scent that I’m not sure how to describe, but it’s not feminine or anything like that by any means!

  5. These are all great products, while my skin tends to be oily and acne prone I have realized that what I eat really does affect my skin. ALSO I just recently discovered baking soda and coconut oil BEST thing ever.

    1. baking soda and coconut oil together?? But same here, I recently read an article about the gluten free diet helping with acne because a lot of people don’t realize they have a gluten allergy!

  6. What a great list of products! I’m allergic to dust and I’ve acnes most of the times when I’m outdoors. I use Benzoyl peroxide gel for my acnes and its a great relief!

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