16 Best Acne Serums to Unclog Your Pores for Glowing Skin

Written by Anoushka Sinha, Skincare Coach & Writer
Updated on Feb 07, 2024
Best Acne Serum to Unclog Your Pores for Glowing Skin
Best Acne Serum to Unclog Your Pores for Glowing Skin
The products curated for this article are independently chosen by the editorial team. If you make a purchase through the links mentioned below, we may receive a commission. Check out our product research & curation process

Dealing with acne can be frustrating and challenging. But with the right skincare products, you can effectively combat breakouts and achieve clearer, healthier-looking skin. Our team has carefully curated a list of the best acne serum known for their powerful ingredients and effective results. 

Discussing the importance of acne serums, our contributor Dr. Zeeshan Afzal, MD - Welzo, an online healthcare platform, says, “Acne serums are important because they often contain active ingredients that can help to treat and prevent acne, reduce inflammation, and regulate oil production. The targeted formulations in serums are often designed to address specific skin issues effectively without overly drying or irritating the skin.”

The selection takes into consideration varied skin concerns, from fighting acne-causing bacteria to reducing redness, minimizing pores, and improving overall skin texture. Based on our observation, these serums are infused with active ingredients like salicylic acid, niacinamide, retinol, and vitamin C, that are rich in acne-fighting and skin-renewing properties. Enlisted below are products that can help you get soft, smooth, and glowing skin.

16 Best Acne Serums

Get ready to embrace clearer, more radiant skin. Here are the 15 best acne skincare products:

Eclat Skincare has come up with an amazing combination of retinol serum and vitamin C serum to give you the ultimate skincare solution. Retinol is an effective anti-aging ingredient that helps reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and dark spots. It also improves skin texture and tone. Vitamin C serum is a potent antioxidant that protects your skin from environmental damage. It also helps to brighten your complexion. When used together, these two serums work in harmony to provide you with the best possible results. Retinol serum helps to stimulate collagen production, helping plump up your skin and reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Pros
  • Helps to clear acne scars
  • Improves skin texture and tone
  • Makes skin radiant
  • Promotes skin cell turnover
  • Helps improve fine lines and wrinkles appearance
  • Cold pressed
  • Packed in UV-safe FrostProtect bottles
  • Rejuvenating ingredients
  • Dermatologist-developed
Cons
  • May cause sensitivity in individuals with sensitive skin
  • Best Scar Healing

    InstaSkincare Niacinamide Serum for Face

    InstaSkincare Niacinamide Serum for Face
  • This Niacinamide Serum from InstaSkincare is effective in reducing acne and healing acne scars. The high concentration of niacinamide works wonders in regulating oil production, reducing inflammation, and promoting a clearer complexion. It helps to unclog pores, preventing the formation of new blemishes while working to fade existing ones. It also minimizes fine lines and wrinkles. It hydrates and nourishes the skin. Vitamin B3 present in the serum fights dark circles, skin pigmentation, and discoloration. This serum can be included in your regular skincare routine.

    Pros
    • Reduces acne
    • Heals acne scars
    • Regulates skin tone
    • Reduces skin oiliness
    • Reduces dark circles
    • Reduces fine lines
    • Reduces wrinkles
    • Promotes clearer skin
    • Coconut scent
    Cons
    • None
  • Best to Combat Acne

    NEOGEN Dermalogy Real Vita C Serum

    NEOGEN Dermalogy Real Vita C Serum
  • Get the goodness of vitamin C, lavender, and glycerin, all packed in one bottle crafted to help you solve all your skincare woes. Its skin-friendly formula helps prevent the occurrence of acne breakouts, treat the signs of pigmentation, smoothen wrinkles, and add life to dull skin. Being rich in niacinamide and retinol, this serum helps unclog pores, increase collagen production, exfoliate the skin, and add natural radiance to your skin. The brand boasts of being a beauty innovator that puts a lot of emphasis on innovation and technology to create top-notch skincare products.

    Pros
    • Gentle formula
    • Anti-aging benefits
    • Fights acne
    • Treats hyperpigmentation
    Cons
    • Overpowering smell
  • TruSkin Naturals Tea Tree Serum

    TruSkin Naturals Tea Tree Serum
  • This super serum from TruSkin Naturals is packed with powerhouse ingredients to transform your complexion. Tea tree oil helps combat acne-causing bacteria and soothe irritated skin. The combination of vitamin C and niacinamide brightens the skin, fades dark spots, and promotes a more even skin tone. These ingredients also provide antioxidant protection, combating the damaging effects of free radicals and environmental stressors. Salicylic acid gently exfoliates the skin, comforts upset skin, unclogs pores, and prevents future breakouts. It helps to minimize the appearance of blemishes, leaving your skin smooth and clear.

    Pros
    • Plant-based ingredients
    • Formulated for acne-prone skin
    • Fights breakouts
    • Unclog pores
    • Promoted healthier-looking skin
    • Soften fine lines and wrinkles
    • Vegan
    • Cruelty-free
    • Sulfate-free
    • Paraben-free
    Cons
    • May not be suitable for sensitive skin
  • Best for Acne

    PurOrganica Retinol Serum

    PurOrganica Retinol Serum
  • This serum from PurOrganica addresses a wide range of concerns, including acne, acne scars, pigmentation, fine lines, wrinkles, and dark circles. Retinol is an extremely effective acne treatment. It unclogs pores to clear up blemishes, reduce blackheads, and minimize pores. With a potent concentration of 2.5% retinol, this serum provides maximum effectiveness in combating the signs of aging and promoting a more youthful complexion. It also aids in reducing hyperpigmentation and acne scars, revealing a more even skin tone. The vegan hyaluronic acid in this serum provides intense hydration, plumping up the skin and enhancing its natural radiance. 

    Pros
    • Effective for acne
    • Fading acne scars
    • Unclog pores
    • Stimulates collagen
    • Clears skin
    • Hydrates
    • Prevents aging
    Cons
    • Some may find it greasy
  • Best for Acne Scars

    Minimalist 3% Tranexamic Acid Serum

    Minimalist 3% Tranexamic Acid Serum
  • This anti acne serum from Minimalist is specifically designed to target and effectively reduce the appearance of skin discoloration, giving you a more even and radiant complexion. Formulated with a potent concentration of 3% tranexamic acid, this serum works wonders in minimizing pigmentation caused by factors such as sun damage and acne scars. Tranexamic acid is known for its brightening properties, helping to fade dark spots and hyperpigmentation, leaving your skin looking clearer and more youthful. The serum also contains 1% HPA, which is proven to prevent melanogenesis.

    Pros
    • Anti-acne
    • Fades dark spots
    • Reduces melasma
    • Removes dead cells
    • Gives blemish-free skin
    • Prevents UVB damage
    • Ideal for all skin types
    • Clinically tested
    • Fragrance-free
    • Paraben free
    Cons
    • None
  • Best Brightening

    Beauty of Joseon Serum Line Glow Serum

    Beauty of Joseon Serum Line Glow Serum
  • The glow serum from Beauty of Joseon can help you achieve glowing and radiant skin. Harnessing the natural benefits of propolis, known for its antioxidant and healing properties, this serum helps relieve and reduce skin troubles by balancing oil and moisture. It aids in soothing irritated skin, reducing redness, and promoting a more even skin tone. The brightening effects of niacinamide work wonders in fading dark spots, improving skin texture, and enhancing overall luminosity. It is a lightweight formula and quickly absorbs in the skin. It is suitable for varied skin types. Its non-greasy texture allows for effortless application, leaving your skin feeling hydrated and supple without any residue and delivering transformative results.

    Pros
    • Skin glow
    • Skin brightening
    • Improves skin texture
    • Keeps skin moist
    • Reduce blemishes
    • Vegan
    • Cruelty-free
    • Fragrance-free
    Cons
    • May not be suitable for sensitive skin
  • Best for Oily Skin

    Mario Badescu Anti Acne Serum

     Mario Badescu Anti Acne Serum
  • This clarifying gel serum from Mario Badescu targets clogged pores, offering a powerful defense against acne breakouts. Infused with salicylic acid, a tried-and-true effective ingredient against acne, this serum works diligently to exfoliate and unclog pores. It effectively removes excess oil, dirt, and impurities, preventing them from congesting the skin and causing breakouts. Salicylic acid also helps to reduce inflammation and redness, promoting clear and even-looking skin. Enriched with glycerin, this provides lightweight hydration without adding excess oil to the skin. The gel-serum formula glides effortlessly onto the skin, absorbing quickly without leaving a greasy residue.

    Pros
    • Anti-acne
    • Lightweight
    • Helps prevent breakouts
    • Promotes even-looking skin
    • Exfoliating salicylic acid
    • Prevents pore congestion
    • Best for combination or oily skin
    Cons
    • Not for sensitive skin
  • Best Spot Relief

    Balance Me Congested Skin Serum

    Balance Me Congested Skin Serum
  • A natural, vegan, and cruelty-free serum from BALANCE ME helps to reduce redness, calm inflamed skin, and prevent breakouts. Being a highly effective spot treatment, it gives instant relief to acne-prone skin. Made with ingredients like moringa and eucalyptus, this serum works wonders in combating acne and soothing troubled skin. Moringa, known for its detoxifying properties, helps to purify the skin, unclog pores, and prevent future breakouts. Eucalyptus has anti-inflammatory properties which help in reducing redness and calm inflamed skin, promoting a more balanced complexion.

    Pros
    • Relief from breakouts
    • Calms inflammation
    • Anti-bacterial
    • Reduces redness
    • 100% natural formula
    • Non-greasy
    • Speeds away blemishes
    Cons
    • None
  • Best for Combination Skin

    Good Molecules Niacinamide Serum

    Good Molecules Niacinamide Serum
  • The Good Molecules serum is formulated with 10% niacinamide to target acne, pores, uneven tone, and texture while providing brightening and hydrating benefits. Niacinamide, which is also known as vitamin B3, works wonders for your skin. It helps regulate oil production, reducing the occurrence of acne and keeping your skin balanced. This face serum for acne helps minimize enlarged pores, resulting in a smoother and more refined complexion. Uneven skin tone and texture are improved, leaving your skin looking more even and youthful. The serum also provides a brightening effect, fades dark spots and promotes a radiant complexion.

    Pros
    • Works on acne
    • Minimizes enlarged pores
    • Tones skin
    • Brightening
    • Hydrating
    • Moisturizing
    • Nourishing
    • Smoothening
    • Soothing
    • Vegan
    • Cruelty-free
    Cons
    • Maybe a little sticky
  • Dark Spot Correcting

    AXIS-Y Dark Spot Correcting Glow Serum

    AXIS-Y Dark Spot Correcting Glow Serum
  • This mighty serum from AXIS-Y is designed to target a range of skin concerns, including diminishing acne scars, brightening the skin, treating dark spots, and reducing signs of aging, hyperpigmentation, and dark circles. Formulated with a powerful blend of ingredients like niacinamide and squalane, this serum delivers great results. It contains brightening agents that help correct dark spots and hyperpigmentation, revealing a more even and bright skin tone. The serum also works to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, promoting a youthful and revitalized complexion.

    Pros
    • Works on acne scars
    • Dark spot treatment
    • Brightening
    • Anti-aging
    • Works on dark circles
    • Improves uneven skin tone
    • Moisturizes skin
    Cons
    • Only for acne-prone skin
  • Breylee Tea Tree Acne Treatment Serum

    Breylee Tea Tree Acne Treatment Serum
  • The Breylee acne treatment serum is your ultimate solution for acne. Infused with the power of tea tree oil, this serum effectively reduces inflammation, controls excess oil production, and unclogs pores, combating the root causes of acne. Continuous use of serum for 3–4 weeks can effectively treat acne and pimples. As it can penetrate deeply into the skin, it can repair the rough skin caused by acne. It works to eliminate existing pimples, prevent future breakouts, and promote the repair and rejuvenation of your skin. Its non-greasy texture allows for effortless application and ensures that your skin feels refreshed and rejuvenated.

    Pros
    • Acne killer
    • Clearing
    • Skin repair
    • Skin-friendly
    • Non-greasy
    • Repairs rough skin
    • Enhance cell metabolism
    • Reduces skin redness
    • Maintains skin elasticity
    Cons
    • None
  • Natrulo All Natural Turmeric Serum

    Natrulo All Natural Turmeric Serum
  • This handcrafted serum from Natrulo harnesses the power of turmeric to cleanse the skin, fight acne, even out skin tone, and heal scars. Formulated with pure and raw turmeric, this serum offers exceptional skin-brightening benefits. Turmeric is known for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which help reduce redness and calm irritated skin. It also works diligently to fight acne-causing bacteria, preventing breakouts and promoting clearer skin. The serum aids in the scars healing, reducing their appearance, help shrinking pore size, and promoting a more even skin tone.

    Pros
    • Heal appearance of acne scars
    • Brightening
    • Firming
    • Helps skin healing
    • Shrinks pores
    • Even skin tone
    • Skin detoxing
    • Glowing skin
    Cons
    • None
  • Versed Just Breathe Clarifying Facial Serum

    Versed Just Breathe Clarifying Facial Serum
  • This powerful serum from Versed is formulated with a blend of antioxidants, niacinamide, and zinc to help reduce blemishes, decongest pores, and soothe redness. It works to combat the environmental stressors that can lead to breakouts and skin irritation. Niacinamide, a form of Vitamin B3, along with willow bark extract, work to keep acne and oil at bay. Zinc, known for its anti-inflammatory properties, soothes redness and promotes a healthier complexion. It's unscented, silicone-free, sulfate-free, and paraben-free.

    Pros
    • Treats and prevents breakouts
    • Controls oil
    • Unclog pores
    • Reduces inflammation
    • Reduces redness
    • Unscented
    • Vegan
    Cons
    • May leave residue
  • BREYLEE 2.0 Tea Tree Oil Acne Serum

     BREYLEE 2.0 Tea Tree Oil Acne Serum
  • BREYLEE 2.0 oil acne serum is made with a blend of natural ingredients, including tea tree oil, niacinamide, and Centella Asiatica. Tea tree oil is a natural antiseptic that helps kill acne-causing bacteria. Niacinamide helps to reduce inflammation and redness, while Centella asiatica helps to promote healing and reduce scarring. Now, with more natural plant extracts like ginger, Hamamelis Virginiana, etc., this effectively treats acne and pimples. It also relieves and repairs damaged skin. The serum reduces skin blemishes and congestion. It's non-greasy and suitable for varied skin types.

    Pros
    • Treats acne and pimples
    • Reduces redness
    • Fades scars
    • Lightweight and oil-free
    • Nourishes and hydrates
    • Reduces inflammation
    • Promotes cleaner skin tone
    Cons
    • May be too drying for some
  • Neutrogena Stubborn Texture Resurfacing Serum

     Neutrogena Stubborn Texture Resurfacing Serum
  • Neutrogena's lightweight and non-comedogenic serum is created for acne-prone and oily skin. It helps to improve uneven skin tone and refine texture. This serum contains % niacinamide and neo-glucosamine, both of which are known to be effective in improving skin appearance. It helps to regulate sebum production, minimize the appearance of pores, and reduce redness. This serum is lightweight and can be added to your daily skincare routine. The serum is also fragrance-free and suitable for all skin types, including acne-prone skin.

    Pros
    • Designed for acne-prone skin
    • Targets stubborn textures
    • Refines and smoothen skin
    • Improves uneven skin tone
    • Fragrance-free
    • Suitable for all skin types, including acne-prone skin
    • Cruelty-free
    • Vegan
    Cons
    • None

    How to choose the best acne serum?

     When choosing the best acne serum, consider some of the following key factors:

    Ingredients

    The serum you select should have ingredients known to be effective in managing acne scars, such as vitamin C, retinol, kojic acid, niacinamide, or alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs). These ingredients can help promote skin renewal and reduce the appearance of scars. Our contributor Dr. Afzal shares the ingredients that must be avoided in acne serums, saying, “People dealing with acne might consider avoiding ingredients like coconut oil, isopropyl myristate, sodium lauryl sulfate, and synthetic fragrances, as these have the potential to clog pores or irritate the skin.”

    Concentration

    Check the concentration of key ingredients. Higher concentrations may provide more noticeable results, but they may also increase the risk of skin irritation. Start with lower concentrations and gradually increase them if needed.

    Formulation

    Choose a serum with a lightweight and easily absorbable formula. This allows the active ingredients to penetrate the skin effectively and target the scars directly.

     Skin Sensitivity

    Consider your skin type and sensitivity. If you have sensitive skin, opt for serums that are labeled as gentle or suitable for sensitive skin. Patch testing is also recommended to check for any adverse reactions.

     Brand Reputation

    Select a serum from a reputable brand known for producing quality skincare products. Established brands often invest in research and development to ensure the effectiveness and safety of their products.

     Conclusion

     Acne, a common skin condition, can impact individuals of all age groups.  Acne serums can be a great option if you are looking for a quick and effective solution. The best acne serum contain ingredients that have been clinically proven to be effective in treating acne. It is also important to consider your skin type and the severity of your acne while selecting the product. If you have sensitive skin, a fragrance-free, and non-comedogenic serum would be suitable for you. 

    For severe acne issues, a face serum with a higher concentration of active ingredients would be better. Acne serums can be used alone or in conjunction with other acne treatments. They are a safe and effective way to clear up acne and improve your skin's overall appearance. It's extremely important to understand what's causing acne and what kind of acne you have. You must get to the root of the problem. Don't ever let acne hold you back from feeling confident and comfortable in your own skin.

    Contributor: Dr. Zeeshan Afzal, MD, Welzo Medical Officer

    FAQ's

    Can I use anti-acne serum every day?
    Yes, in most cases, you can use an anti-acne serum every day. However, it's important to follow the instructions provided by the specific product and consider your individual skin type and sensitivity.
    Are acne serum safe?
    Acne serums can be generally safe to use when used as directed. It's important to choose a reputable brand and follow instructions. Individuals with specific skin conditions should consult with a dermatologist before using any product.

    Why Trust Pinkvilla

    Being a skincare expert and beauty writer who has acne-prone skin herself, Anoushka has always been on the lookout for that holy grail product that could solve all her acne woes. And after acne patches, she would give the most credit to potent serums that help her smoothen her skin naturally. Most of these serums consist of active ingredients Anoushka swears by — retinol, salicylic acid, mandelic acid, vitamin C, niacinamide, tea tree oil, etc. When evaluating these products, she took into consideration her personal experiences as well as customer reviews to give a complete picture to her readers.

    Our product experts study the specifications of every product we suggest and try them out to bring what’s proven to be worthy of your money, time, and energy. We also have subject matter experts from various fields like Fashion, Skincare, Haircare, Home Decor, and Health & Fitness onboard to make sure our suggestions are credible and trustworthy. You can trust select to be your faithful shopping guide for all the right reasons!

    Author BIO
    reviewer
    Anoushka Sinha
    Skincare Coach & Writer

    Anoushka is certified in Professional Skincare and is a Mass Media (Journalism) graduate from Mumbai University. As a More