Acne Products for Back to School Beauty

July 20, 2020

Go back to school with the best acne products and the best complexion.

Acne is quite the unpleasant surprise. Sometimes your skin can be living its best life, looking clear and luminous even under the harshest of lights (cough, classrooms, cough)...until you suddenly get a massive breakout overnight. Not cool, especially as you’re getting ready to head back to school. While school will likely look a bit different this year, with English and Algebra taking place over Zoom instead of a traditional classroom, you still want to care for acne-prone skin and ensure that your complexion is beautiful and blemish free on your HD laptop camera.

Luckily, it’s easy to treat your skin with kindness with a range of beauty and skin care products for acne and blemishes, sometimes incredibly quickly. Seriously, there are overnight masks that can basically wipe out your breakout in just a few hours. From cult brands to indie favorites, discover the best skin care products to treat your acne before heading back to school.

AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser by murad, $39

AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser by Murad
Source: Murad

Fun fact: this is Demi Lovato’s favorite cleanser, and if you’ve ever seen her clear, flawless skin in one of her makeup-free selfies… you know this skin care product is the real deal. It contains three exfoliating agents - salicylic acid, lactic acid, and glycolic acid - to buff away dead skin and buildup under the surface, while working to regulate oil production and prevent breakouts. It’s one of the top products in our community for clear, acne-free skin, and with this acne product in your collection for the school year, your skin will always be ready for a close-up.

Acne Solutions Cleansing Bar for Face and Body by Clinique, $17

Acne Solutions Cleansing Bar for Face and Body by Clinique
Source: Clinique

“Under your skin” is only a nice term when it comes to acne products, and this cleansing bar by Clinique makes all the difference when it comes to beating blemishes and breakouts. It’s made with salicylic acid to gently remove dirt and oil while keeping the skin on your face and body free of acne, and only takes a few seconds in the shower to use. Pair it with your morning and nightly skin care routine to see your best, most blemish-free results.

EradiKate Acne Treatment by Kate Somerville, $26

EradiKate Acne Treatment by Kate Somerville
Source: Kate Somerville

When looking for the best ingredients in your acne products, BHA’s should be at the top of your list. These acids deeply penetrate the skin and dissolve the dead skin cells and oil that cause acne, leaving you with a clear complexion. You’ll find BHA’s, along with sulfur and zinc oxide, in the EradiKate Acne Treatment by Kate Somerville to dry out problem pimples and prevent future breakouts. But don’t worry about dryness in other areas of the face, as it’s still gentle on all skin types and will keep your skin moisturized and acne-free.

T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum by Drunk Elephant, $134

T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum by Drunk Elephant,
Source: Drunk Elephant

Is it pricey? Yes. Is it worth it? Totally. They say that miracles don’t happen overnight, but they kinda do with this skin care product by Drunk Elephant. You know, the brand that you can always count on to give you gorgeous skin that still looks like your own. The T.L.C. Framboos™ AHA blend exfoliates built-up dead skin cells below the surface, giving you a bright, even complexion without a pimple in sight. And then there’s other ingredients like salicylic acid, cactus extract, raspberry fruit extract and much more. It’s ideal to get your most clear and camera-ready complexion, even if you’ll be showing it off in Zoom class rather than school picture day.

Pure Plush Gentle Deep Cleansing Foam by bareMinerals, $22

Pure Plush Gentle Deep Cleansing Foam by bareMinerals
Source: bareMinerals

Is there any better feeling than a good facial scrub? If there is, we want to know about it. Also, you should definitely add the Pure Plush Gentle Deep Cleansing Foam by bareMinerals to your skin care routine. This acne product keeps it simple with natural ingredients, as it’s made with mineral-rich sea salts, rosemary, and elderflower to brighten and smooth while staying gentle on sensitive and acne-prone skin.

Adapalene Gel 0.1% Acne Treatment by Differin, $32

Source: Differin

A mix of skin care product and medicine that will zap zits in an instant and restore your skin’s impeccable texture and tone. The best acne product will go deep into your pores and prevent breakouts before they even start, and this one by Differin does just that. Even when you apply it at night, you’ll see a significant difference in acne by morning. Just in time to do your makeup for Zoom school!

Acne Fighting Foundation by e.l.f, $6

Acne Fighting Foundation by e.l.f
Source: e.l.f.

As always, e.l.f delivers drugstore flawlessness in a bottle. And that isn’t an exaggeration, because their Acne Fighting Foundation is a cult favorite with nearly perfect ratings on Mira. One guest explains how this high-coverage, matte foundation stayed put for hours on prom night, while countless others express how it helped them zap zits and achieve the flawless complexion they’ve always wanted. This $6 drugstore matte foundation is infused with salicylic acid, witch-hazel, camphor, tea tree, and soothing aloe to fight blemishes and reduce redness, ensuring that it doesn’t just cover your skin... but nourishes it to put your best face forward.

Oil-Free Acne Wash Redness Soothing Facial Cleanser by Neutrogena, $7

Oil-Free Acne Wash Redness Soothing Facial Cleanser by Neutrogena
Source: Neutrogena

Aloe and Chamomile. Come on, even those names sound soothing… because they are. Neutrogena is the #1 drugstore brand for affordable and high quality skin care products, including this facial cleanser that feels incredible on acne-prone skin. As you deep clean your pores and remove oil and dirt from the surface, this gentle acne product works to calm redness and irritation. Neutrogena uses MicroClear® technology, which utilizes “salicylic acid with serum in a synergistic microgel complex” to dissolve oil within the skin and help you become beautifully acne-free.

Repairing Treatment by Proactiv, $42

Repairing Treatment by Proactiv
Source: Proactiv

The OG acne product that you may or may not have seen in commercials after school growing up - shout out to the 90’s kids. But there’s a reason that Proactiv has been around for over two decades, and even supermodels like Kendall Jenner can’t stop using it… it’s super, super effective. The key ingredients are Benzoyl Peroxiden, a prescription-grade BPO with micronized particles to clear pimples and prevent new ones from forming, and Allantoin, which keeps your skin moisturized and ensures that it doesn’t dry out even while your zits are being zapped. Stick to the classics and add this cult favorite to your skin care routine for your most clear complexion.

Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% by The Ordinary, $6

Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% by The Ordinary
Source: The Ordinary

“Really just an all around amazing product you should incorporate into your skincare routine. It has drastically reduced the appearance of my pores and under eye circles! It’s a great gentle acne treatment.” One of many, many community reviews that feel the love for this amazing acne product, which contains a mix of VItamin B3 and minerals to unclog your pores while banishing oil and shine. Serums are already one of the best skin care products for oily or acne prone skin, as it's lightweight and allows for a few drops to be added right into your moisturizer, but this one by The Ordinary definitely belongs in your skin care routine this school year.

Drying Lotion by Mario Badescu, $17

Drying Lotion by Mario Badescu
Source: Mario Badescu

The unofficial brand of VSCO girls everywhere doesn’t only make facial spray, though we’re obsessed with that too, it also has his drying lotion to relieve redness and serve as a gentle acne treatment. Many acne products are rough on the skin due to harsher ingredients, but this one strikes a gentle balance. While Drying Lotion features salicylic acid and sulfur to help you say goodbye to pesky zits, it also contains calamine to soothe your skin in the process and ensure that the “Drying” in the name is only used in the good way.

Tea Tree Skin Clearing Clay Mask by The Body Shop, $17

Tea Tree Skin Clearing Clay Mask by The Body Shop
Source: The Body Shop

Oh Tea Tree Oil, how we love you. Especially in a clay mask designed to help acne-prone skin. Everything about this skin care product is naturally beautiful, from the way it soothes and calms your skin to the Community Trade Tea Tree Oil from the foothills of Mount Kenya that it’s made from. Apply it a few times a week while watching Netflix and doing your algebra homework to watch your skin effortlessly transform.

Acne Solutions Clinical Clearing Gel by Clinique, $27

Acne Solutions Clinical Clearing Gel by Clinique
Source: Clinique

Think about it… has Clinique ever done you wrong? Didn’t think so. Make acne disappear with this lightweight, hydrating gel that absorbs effortlessly into your skin to get rid of pimples, redness, and irritation. With ingredients like Salicylic Acid and Acetyl Glucosamine to remove dead skin cells and clear pores, along with Witch Hazel to clear shine, it’s the ideal acne product for your everyday Zoom school skin care routine. The second it touches your skin, you’ll feel the burn… in the best way!

Post-Acne Spot Lightening Gel by Murad, $68

Post-Acne Spot Lightening Gel by Murad
Source: Murad

Here’s the thing about acne… it isn’t just pimples and redness. You also deal with not-so-fun aspects like excessive oil or skin discoloration that lingers after a huge breakout, and this skin care product by Murad is here to help. Natural ingredients like Willow bark and tea tree leaf extract reduce irritation while removing those pesky blemishes that seem to appear overnight, while  hydroquinone is a skin lightening substance to give your complexion a major boost.

Acne Clearing + Tone Correcting Gel by Tula, $36

Acne Clearing + Tone Correcting Gel by Tula
Source: TULA

If you haven’t already picked up on it, salicylic acid is a key ingredient when it comes to beating acne… and this gel like Tula has a lot of it. And also Azelaic Acid & Niacinamide, which helps to brighten up any skin discoloration left by previous blemishes, a problem many don’t even realize exists. Even out, hydrate, and clear up your skin with Tula by your side.

Shop more of the best acne products to zap zits on Mira.

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