8 Best Serums for Acne, According to Derms

Wherever you find yourself browsing a skin care aisle, you’ll almost definitely find a collection of little bottles promising to Terminator-style destroy whatever ails you. They talk a big game and usually cost a quarter of a month’s rent, since most serums rely on a potent range of active ingredients to moisturize where you’re dry, brighten where you’re dull, or exfoliate where acne has left its mark. But all the marketing in the world doesn’t make it less frustrating when you use a serum diligently only to see no change. It’s betrayal, plain and simple. To avoid the pain, we asked trusted dermatologists for their opinion on one of the toughest skin care categories to shop for: the best serums for acne.

Their advice? The best serums for acne should combine a mix of moisturizing ingredients (look for the key term “hyaluronic acid” on the bottle), redness-calming antioxidants (like niacinamide), and acne-fighting powerhouses (like retinol or salicylic acid). Cheers to the eight below, and say hello to clearer days.

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