Top 10 Acne Creams

by Tara Thackeray ; Updated July 18, 2017

Research has improved over the past 25 years, leading to stronger and more effective acne-fighting treatments, notes the American Academy of Dermatology. Acne creams are less greasy, more fast acting, and absorb quickly into the skin to provide results. They kill bacteria and reduce oil production, leading to less acne.


The American Academy of Dermatology cites that the synthetic retinoid cream adapalene is one of the best products for fighting acne. It unclogs pores and has moderate anti-inflammatory abilities. However, it can take eight to12 weeks before you see results.


Acnexus combine multiple treatments into one product -- it clears up even the worst cases of acne. In one application, it exfoliates, moves deep within the skin and moisturizes.

Azelaic Acid

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, azelaic acid is well tolerated by many people, and, if necessary, it can be used for many years without side effects. Mostly used to treat mild to moderate acne, it clears acne by reducing bacteria, limiting the shedding of skin cells and reducing inflammation.

Benzoyl Peroxide

Both prescribed by doctors and available over the counter, benzoyl peroxide fights acne. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, benzoyl peroxide works by killing the bacteria that causes acne. Its greatness lies within the different strengths available. The prescription can be adjusted depending on the person.


Bruunhause combines natural products with H3O+ hydronium. This powerful product can dry out skin; however, Get Acne Treatments cites that it receives a perfect score of 100/100 on acne fighting.


Medical professionals rate ClearPores high on review sites. This cream fights acne using a vigorous ingredient list. It stops the problem where it begins, reduces redness and creates healthy skin.


Erythromycin cream is effective at treating many different types of acne. A commonly used topical antibiotic, erythromycin works by killing the acne lesions. It is an antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory cream, which should be applied once or twice a day.

Salicylic Acid

Available over the counter, salicylic acid is effective at treating acne lesions. It stops the abnormal skin shedding and unclogs your pores. Salicylic acid must be used continually for clear skin. Once you stop using the product, acne lesions are likely to return.


Sulfacetamide is a successful topical antibiotic cream that unclogs pores and clears acne. Most sulfacetamide products contain sulfur. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, a sulfacetamide-sulfur cream revealed an 83 percent improvement in acne after a 12-week period.


Tretinoin was one of the first natural retinoids developed and is extremely successful, with few side effects. Only a doctor can prescribe tretinoin. It fights acne by slowly unclogging the pores where acne begins. Once the pores are unclogged, the cream keeps them clear, leading to less acne.

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  • Adrián González de la Peña/Demand Media

About the Author

Based in Boulder City, Nev., Tara Thackeray began writing in 2008 for a national law review website. Her work has been published on the BARBRI website and she also contributes humorous articles on her blog. Thackeray holds a Bachelor of Arts in communication from Arizona State University.