The best serums for tackling pimples and acne
In the words of JoJo – “leave, get out.”
By Briar Clark
BEAUTYcrew Beauty Editor / February 22 2024
Getting pimples and dealing with acne can sometimes feel like the worst thing in the world. Breakouts somehow always manage to rear their ugly heads at the most inopportune moments, rendering our flawless finish foundations and exxy skin care practically useless.
Honestly, we’ve had enough. This is a public service announcement to any zits that plan on taking up residence on our beautiful faces – watch your back buddy, we’re coming for you.
Our weapon of choice? A spot-clearing serum that’ll send those suckers packing. No matter your skin type, there’s an acne-fighting serum out there for you, all you have to do is find it so you can rage against the proverbial machine with some pro-level help.
Get your notepad at the ready, here are eight serums that’ll take down any pimples or acne they encounter.
La Roche-Posay Effaclar Ultra Concentrated Serum
Specifically formulated with adult acne in mind, this ultra-concentrated serum blends together AHAs, BHAs and LHAs to minimise the appearance of breakouts and blemishes by micro-exfoliating the skin and promoting cellular turnover.
$63.95 at Adore Beauty
BOOST LAB Vitamin B3 Blemish Rescue Serum
If you're after a serum to heal and calm the redness caused by spots, this fast-absorbing, affordable pick is an A+ choice. It contains niacinamide as well as zinc-PCA, the latter of which helps to control excess sebum-oil production without sacrificing hydration. As a bonus, it'll also tackle enlarged pores and fine lines. Sold.
$29.95 at Adore Beauty
Bescher Sea Cucumber Collagen Blemish Defence Serum
New to chemical exfoliants or just trying to smooth out unwanted texture and stubborn blemishes? This mild mix of sea cucumber collagen and papaya extract creates the perfect pick-me-up, moving on dead skin cells and revealing a better, brighter you with continued use.
$99 at Bescher
CAUDALIE Vinopure Blemish Control Infusion Serum
Highly concentrated salicylic acid is the acne-fighting hero ingredient in this deep-pore penetrating formula. Packed full of hydrating and glow-boosting rosewater as well as antioxidant grape seed polyphenols (that protect against free radical damage and prevent the formation of blackheads), this little guy is safe enough for sensitive skin but still caters to the oiliest of skin types or your monthly round of hormonal breakouts.
$72 at Sephora
The Ordinary Supersize Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%
Dermalogica Active Clearing Retinol Clearing Oil
Tackle breakouts and premature ageing in one fell swoop with this innovative retinol and salicylic serum oil. Breakouts, blemishes, fine lines and wrinkles are no match for this potent nighttime formula. Simply add a few drops to your evening routine and snooze away your skin woes.
$98.80 (usually $139) at Adore Beauty
SOME BY MI AHA BHA PHA 30 Days Miracle Serum
Formulated with 14.5 per cent skin-soothing centella asiatica extract as well as a cocktail of AHA, BHA and PHA, this unassuming little green bottle is small but mighty, balancing oil and sebum production, evening skin tone and texture, reducing the appearance of breakouts and blemishes, and sloughing away dead skin cells.
$43 at Adore Beauty
Avène Cleanance WOMEN Corrective Serum
Improve the appearance of your pores, blemishes, breakouts and texture with this sensitive-skin friendly pick that mattifies skin and balances sebum production. It’s exactly what this glycolic and lactic acid enriched formula was made for.
$49.99 at Adore Beauty
Briar is the Beauty Editor at BEAUTYcrew. Her 'down for anything' attitude has resulted in more than a handful of hair transformations, and she doesn't mind being used as a guinea pig for the industry's most unusual products and treatments. Her work has also appeared on Refinery29, Girlfriend and beautyheaven.