Quick Summary

Best overall & most comprehensive acne treatment : Exposed Skin Care

Best Natural acne treatments : Exposed Skin Care, Marla Rene Beauty & Co. ‘s Calendula Clear Serum & Aztec Secret – Indian Healing Clay

Best value for money acne treatment system/kit : Exposed Skin Care

Best Prescription Strength Products : ProactivMD Adapalene Gel Acne Kit and Exposed Skin Care and Curology

Best on spot treatments : La Roche posay Effaclar Acne System, Rosen Skincare Break-Out, Neutrogena on spot acne treatment Gel

Best hormonal acne product: Exposed Skin Care & Rodan and Fields Unblemish


Having acne can be frustrating for sufferers of any age. Contrary to popular belief, acne can stay with someone throughout their lifetime.

It can be confusing to choose the appropriate acne treatment. And choosing the wrong one can exacerbate existing acne and other underlying skin conditions.

Consulting with a dermatologist is the best option to achieve relief from acne. A dermatologist can guide you to appropriate over-the counter, prescription, and alternative acne treatments.

Acne is caused by hormone fluctuations, clogged pores, and inflammation. Acne can be treated from both inside and outside the body. Effective acne treatments, including natural acne treatments, can help reduce the incidence of acne and provide skin with the ingredients it needs to heal from present acne.

There are several natural acne treatment options that can be tried if other medications haven’t worked or if you are leery of the number of chemicals in prescription and over-the-counter treatments. Eating foods that have anti-inflammatory properties or applying topical creams and ointments can decrease your incidence of acne flare-ups.

Top 7 Best natural and otc acne treatments products

1. Exposed Skin Care

Review: Exposed Skin Care is fast becoming known as the new generation of Acne Treatment. By combining a formula of natural ingredients and science it effectively fights off acne. The basic kit uses a three step process to treat acne problems: (1) Exposed Purifying Facial Cleanser, (2) Exposed Refreshing Cleaner Toner, (3) Exposed Skin Serum.

The facial cleanser detoxifies the skin and gently cleans it using its Sage Extract, Salicylic Acid, and Pro Vitamin B-5.

The toner restores the skins PH balance by using the help of Salicylic Acid, Passion Flower, Green Tea Extract, Aloe Vera, and Sage Extract. It not only exfoliates the skin but also protects the skin from damage through its antioxidants.

The skin serum works to kill acne bacteria and helps to prevent new blemishes, it has Green Tea Extract, Azelaic Acid, and Micro encapsulated BP. Within two weeks most skin becomes acne and blemish free, scars are reduced, and skin tone becomes more even and natural looking.

The Exposed Skin Care ingredients from the science side include; Benzoyl Peroxide, BHA Complex, AHA Complex, Hyaluronic Acid, and Azelaic Acid.

The Exposed Skin Care ingredients from natures side include; Olive Leaf Extract, Tea Tree Oil, Licorice, and Green Team Jojoba.

These ingredients were formulated to treat your acne and help sooth the skin. This formula is entirely safe to use and is made with the finest ingredients.

The Exposed Skin Care Ultimate Kit also comes with Microderm Scrub, Clarifying Charcoal Face Mask, Probiotic Complex 60 capsules (to balance sebum production by balancing your gut flora) and Free Derm-X Cloth. Tiny microcrystals in the Microderm Scrub force away impurities so that your skin looks smoother. These crystals are made from Aluminum Oxide, the same element used for microdermabrasion.

Derm-X Cloth is a microdermabrasion cloth that, much like the Microderm Scrub described above, works to exfoliate dead skin cells.

And the Probiotic Complex heals from the damage caused by presence of inflammation or toxins inside the body that often reveals itself through blemishes and pimples on your face.

So, to clear your face, you must restore the healthy balance inside your body as well. Read full review on Exposed Skin Care.

2. Rodan and Fields Unblemish

Review: Unblemish is a product line that is developed by Rodan & Fields Dermatologists, which was founded by Dr. Katie Rodan and Dr. Kathy Fields. Unblemish is essentially a 4-step process designed to clean, exfoliate, and protect the skin as a way to fight acne – Acne Treatment Sulfur Wash, Clarifying Toner, Dual Intensive Acne Treatment and Oil Control Moisturizer.

Designed to combat the entire acne cycle, this sophisticated Regimen helps unclog pores, calms your complexion and keeps adult acne from making unwelcome appearances on your face.

The first step involves the Acne Treatment Sulfur Wash, which is somewhat unique in that it uses 3% sulfur as the main active ingredient. Herbal ingredients are also included in this wash.

The Clarifying Toner uses several herbals, such as fish collagen, rosemary extract, and witch hazel water, to tone the skin (the user should not rinse this toner off after application).

The final step in the process is to use the Acne Benzoyl Peroxide Treatment, which naturally has 2.5% benzoyl peroxide as the active ingredient (the maximum amount that can be used without a prescription).

Consumers seem to love the Step 4- Oil Control Moisturizer- “I’ve spent my teen and adult years avoiding moisturizer because it makes me more oily, but this really does control it. Definitely recommend following the guidelines if you’re a first time user as your face needs to get used to it.”

Read full review of Rodan and Fields Unblemish.

3. ProactivMD Adapalene Gel Acne Kit – Moisturizer and Toner Combo with Deep Cleansing and Exfoliating Acne Face Wash

Review: ProactivMD Adapalene Gel Acne Kit uses low concentration adapalene 0.1% as the main active ingredient replacing the sulfur/benzoyl peroxide combination that is used in the standard Proactiv kit. The ProactivMD kit also comes with a non-medicated cleanser and a moisturizer containing with SPF 30, which is great for sun protection as the active ingredient, as adapalene gel increases the skin’s sensitivity to the sun. Overall the kit fights acne on two fronts: clearing the breakouts you already have and preventing new ones from forming.

The product is meant to disrupt the acne cycle by killing acne bacteria deep inside the pore so breakouts don’t even have a chance to reach your skin’s surface.

Deep Cleansing Face Wash

  • A non-medicated cleanser that helps clear dirt and debris from deep within the pores
  • Tiny exfoliating beads to help gently resurface the skin

Balancing Toner

  • Alcohol-free formula sweeps away impurities within the pores
  • Helps balance skin’s pH and maintains moisture
  • Tightens appearance of pores

Daily Oil Control Moisturizer

  • SPF 30, lightweight, oil and fragrance-free formula hydrates while it controls shine
  • Absorbs quickly and provides broad spectrum sunscreen protection

Adapalene Gel 0.1%

  • A prescription-strength retinoid that helps regulate cell turnover
  • Consistent use helps speed acne healing and prevent future breakouts

Overall the product is quite comprehensive and many user reviews are positive, yet since this product contains prescription-strength retinoid, it can cause side effects to some people.

One user complains -“I started getting red splotches on my right cheek and just thought it was a slight rash from switching facial products. Thinking it would get better, I used it that night and I was literally crying my face was burning so bad. My face started peeling, super dry. Tried multiple moisturizers, lotion, and aloe to ease the burning and dryness.”

4. La Roche posay Effaclar Acne System

Review: La Roche posay Effaclar Acne System is a comprehensive 3-step acne kit with a Medicated Gel Cleanser, a Clarifying Solution both with Salicylic Acid and skin care ingredients such as Lipo-Hydroxy Acid and Glycolic Acid. It also contains Effaclar Duo Acne Treatment with Micronized Benzoyl Peroxide and Lipo-Hydroxy Acid.

Consumers love this product for on spot acne treatment – “I’ve been using this product for about 6 months now. I only use a little pit (as a spot treatment) on my acne, which I apply 3 times a day and I never cover my entire face with this cream. I think it works, although I have experienced dry patches. It is fragrance free and doesn’t really irritate my skin”.

5. Murad Acne clarifying cleanser

Review: Murad’s Clarifying Cleanser is developed with two types of salicylic acid—a free form that starts treating immediately and an encapsulated variety that goes on with the treatment even after rinsing. Green tea extract facilitates soothe and calm irritation for healthier-looking skin. Murad calls it “the ultimate acne gel cleanser” — one that helps dissolve excess oil, purify pores, clear existing blemishes, and prevent future breakouts.

Much like most acne-fighting cleansers, Murad Clarifying Cleanser dries out the excess oil (sebum) in your pores. At $32 for 6.75 ounces, this clarifying facial cleanser is quite comparable to what you’d spend on various other brand-name cleansers, though higher priced than your go-to drugstore pick.

6. Neutrogena on spot acne treatment Gel

Review: Neutrogena on spot acne treatment is a relatively cheap oilfree, Noncomedogenic (won’t clog pores) acne spot treatment with 25% Benzoyl Peroxide. This is a spot treatment product and NOT a comprehensive solution for acne. As with similar on spot acne product, there are good and bad user reviews.

“Works well for small pimples. This doesn’t really do anything for cystic acne, but it does seem to help dry out basic zits. It can stain clothes, so make sure to be careful with that. If not rubbed in, it dries white and crusty.”

7. Marla Rene Beauty & Co. Calendula Clear Serum

This acne clarifying serum is 100% natural and plant-based to gently calm irritated and acne-prone skin. It has aloe vera to enhance skin’s elasticity and bring back its perfect pH balance, and alcohol-free witch hazel to control oil production and stop future acne outbreaks. The real star ingredient is calendula, which promotes the fast healing and regeneration of skin.


Good, lasting acne care needs time to balance the skin and resolve the underlying issues.

To get rid of acne comprehensively, you must get rid of the bacteria, unclog your pores, and re-balance your skin layer to the new, healthier normal. This can’t happen overnight!

Remember that everyone’s face & skin is different. As with all acne treatment programs, listen to your body and be prepared to test out what works best for you.

It’s a wise decision to start slowly and build up to using more of the products. Less is more with many of these acne fighting ingredients.