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Forget About Breakouts and Scars With Our Fave Acne Serums

Everyone gets pimples. Acne affects 50 million Americans annually, so it's nothing to be embarrassed about. But that doesn’t mean blemished, painful skin isn’t frustrating. And if you have frequent acne breakouts, clear skin may feel like a far-off goal. Luckily, acne serums exist to combat all kinds of skincare issues, including scarring and cystic acne. Here are the top 11 acne serums available on Flip.

October 6, 2022
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Close-up of Woman Holding a Cosmetic Acne Serum
Table of Contents

1. Cocokind Probiotic Acne Serum

Cocokind’s probiotic serum treats acne, blackheads, and clogged pores effectively yet gently. This serum is powered by 1.5% salicylic acid, a beta hydroxy acid (BHA) that removes dead skin cells and excess oil to clear congestion. It's paired with microbiome-friendly postbiotics and beta-glucan to hydrate, reduce the appearance of inflammation, and ensure a smooth, glowing complexion without irritation or dryness.

2. Volition Skin Rhythm Balancing & Clearing Serum

Hormonal changes often cause excess sebum production, stubborn blemishes, and unusual dry patches. This serum is perfect for clearing post-hormonal-breakout blemishes and improving the appearance of discoloration, dark spots, and acne scars. It uses niacinamide and salicylic acid to leave you with clear, balanced skin.

3. Innisfree Clarifying Spot Serum With Bija Seed Oil

This daily-use, non-stripping spot serum banishes blemishes quickly and purifies and smoothes problem skin without making it dry. It’s made with salicylic acid and glycerin to gently remove dead skin cells and excess sebum.

4. Kate Somerville D-Scar Scar Diminishing Serum

Flatten and fade the appearance of acne and other scars with this innovative scar-diminishing treatment. The unique roller-ball technology combined with a peptide-rich serum encourages skin regeneration, making this the best serum for acne scars. 

5. e.l.f. Skin Breakthrough Blemish Control Basics Kit

This travel-friendly acne skincare routine offers clear skin no matter your location. It features three essentials from e.l.f.’s Blemish Breakthrough collection: a cleanser, a resurfacing serum, and a blemish-calming water-based cream. Active ingredients include salicylic acid, glycerin, and niacinamide to combat acne-prone skin.

6. Earth Harbor Nebula Adaptogen Clarity Ampoule

Nebula Adaptogen Clarity Ampoule is a featherlight fast-absorbing formula designed to help distressed acne-prone skin and combat excess oil production. This serum uses sea lavender to nourish and soften skin while preventing moisture loss. Plus, it includes ginseng extract, which has been shown to lower oil-spiking cortisol levels caused by stress, making this the perfect acne serum for oily skin.

7. SOME BY MI AHA, BHA, PHA 30 Days Acne Clear Foam

Introducing the perfect cleanser for blemish-prone skin — this cleanser is made with AHA and BHA to reduce breakouts and leave skin cleaner and clearer. Plus, it’s free from irritating ingredients, making it gentle enough for every skin type.

8. Dr. Jart+ Teatreement Soothing Spot Treatment

Dr. Jart+’s spot treatment is a fast-acting and intense solution for troubled areas. This serum is enriched with tea tree leaf extract, making it ultra-moisturizing while it tightens pores. It also includes pink calamine powder that helps control excessive sebum secretion and soothes inflammation. 

9. Juice Beauty BLEMISH CLEARING Serum

Juice Beauty's acne serum is ideal for oily, combination, and blemish-prone skin. This formula reduces breakouts and clears clogged pores, with BHA naturally exfoliating your skin. Meanwhile, antioxidants fight free radical damage to provide younger-looking skin.

10. Pixi Vitamin-C Serum

Looking for the best vitamin C serum for acne-prone skin? Pixi Beauty Vitamin-C Serum is packed with antioxidants to boost immediate and long-term radiance. This acne serum aids in the promotion of healthy collagen production and boosts skin’s natural luminosity. Plus, the formula is enhanced with ferulic acid to lessen the effects of sun and environmental damage. 

11. Derma E Vitamin C Serum

This highly concentrated brightening serum smoothes scars, blemishes, and discoloration and encourages age-defying collagen production, making it the best vitamin C serum for acne scars. It also includes hyaluronic acid and vitamin E to hydrate and nourish your skin.


How do you find a good acne serum?

To find the best serum for acne, first assess your skincare needs. Oily, combination, and dry skin will all enjoy different types of serums. There are also several acne types that may require different treatment, including milia, comedones (whiteheads and blackheads), and inflammatory acne (papules, pustules, and cysts). 

To combat comedones, look for products with salicylic acid, as this exfoliates and unclogs pores. For inflammatory blemishes, choose a serum that fights bacteria and reduces inflammation. Milia often clears up on its own, but both of the serum types described above may help reduce its appearance. 

Do serums help acne scars?

Most acne serums are dedicated to combating acne scars. They use ingredients like vitamin C and salicylic acid that help clear fine lines, brighten dark spots, and combat redness and inflammation. 

If your marks haven’t faded after using a serum for acne scars, talk with your dermatologist about treatment alternatives. 

How do you use an acne serum?

Typically, skincare product application is ordered from thinnest to thickest. This means a face serum for acne is applied after cleanser and before moisturizer. Apply your acne serum right after washing your face — just a few drops on a clean, dry base. Massage the serum into your skin thoroughly before moving on to the next step of your skincare routine. How often you use your acne serum is up to you, but remember: Always introduce new skincare products slowly, amping up use once you know they don’t irritate your skin. 

It may seem daunting to incorporate a new step into your routine if you’re just starting your skincare journey. Gain next-step confidence by watching reviews from Flip creators on the products you’re considering. That way, you’ll feel great about your purchase and ready to elevate your skincare repertoire.

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