25 Best Over-the-Counter Acne Fighters for Aging or Sensitive Skin

Let’s face it … no one likes to have breakouts. As you get older, they become more difficult to treat because many acne-fighting products can be overly drying and irritating. Now that I am older, my approach to warding off blemishes has changed. I rely more on spot treatments to target pimples and use gentle exfoliants for prevention. I personally find a varied approach works best. Glycolic acid face washes work well for blackheads, natural anti-inflammatory solutions are my go-to for most pimples, and benzoyl peroxide or overnight drying solutions work best for larger blemishes and whiteheads. (Hey, there are times when the average woman would trade a little peeling to be rid of an unsightly, painful pimple. Am I wrong?) Scroll through the slideshow for 25 of the best acne fighters available over-the-counter.

  • Clearasil Daily Clear Acne Treatment Cream 1 of 25

    Perhaps I'm old school, but even Mayo Clinic agrees that you should start with a benzoyl peroxide product because it's usually well tolerated and it works! It can be pretty drying so I only use this on larger blemishes that need to be taken care of quickly.
    Get it at Walgreens $5.99


  • Mario Badescu Drying Lotion 2 of 25

    This popular pink spot treatment is formulated with salicylic acid, calamine lotion, and sulfur for overnight results.
    Available at Mario Badescu $17

  • Osmia Spot Treatment 3 of 25

    This pimple fighter contains organic anti-bacterial agents. It's become one of my new favorites because it smells great, doesn't dry out my skin, and it really works.
    Found at Osmia $20

  • Origins Super Spot Remover 4 of 25

    This great blemish banisher contains salicylic acid treat, caffeine and red algae to reduce redness, and exfoliators to keep skin clear.
    Pick it up at Origins $15

  • Clean and Clear Advantage Popped Pimple Relief Drying Paste 5 of 25

    Despite repeated warnings to resist, you popped a pimple. We've all done it. Luckily, this drying paste is designed to quickly treat and repair spots… even when they've been picked.
    Found at Drugstore $7.49

  • M2 High Potency Skin Refinish 6 of 25

    This multi-purpose treatment keeps acne at bay with 20% mandelic and malic acid. It is the highest rated acne fighter on Total Beauty's list and also works to even skin tone and smooth fine lines and wrinkles without irritation.
    Available at DermStore $49.98

  • Yes to Tomatoes Roller Ball Spot Stick 7 of 25

    Acne busting salicylic acid and tea tree oil treat breakouts while ginger root and bisabalol reduce redness and lycopene regulates oil production.
    Pick it up at Drugstore 9.99

  • Indie Lee Blemish Lotion 8 of 25

    Reviewers call this mixture of salicylic acid, sulfer, zinc, alcohol, camphor, and magnesium "a miracle" for overnight spot healing.
    Found at Indie Lee $26

  • e.l.f. Zit Zapper 9 of 25

    This bargain buy packs a powerful combination of pimple fighting ingredients like salicylic acid, tea tree oil, witch hazel, and camphor.
    Get it at e.l.f. $1

  • Boscia Clear Complexion Willow Bark Spot Treatment 10 of 25

    Botanical Willow Bark calms inflammation and reduces redness without irritating even the most sensitive skin.
    Found at Sephora $15

  • NeoStrata Resurface Foaming Glycolic Wash 11 of 25

    Using a glycolic face wash is terrific for keeping acne at bay, clearing blackheads, refining pores, AND fighting fine lines and wrinkles by gently exfoliating skin. This face wash has a 20% concentration, which is more than adequate for optimal results.
    Pick it up at Dermstore $35

  • Murad Anti-Aging Acne Regimen 12 of 25

    This skincare set fights acne and the signs of aging. It includes a cleanser, moisturizing day lotion with SPF 20, and acne & wrinkle fighting serum.
    Found at Murad $120

  • Bye Bye Blemish Drying Lotion 13 of 25

    Dab this salicylic acid, sulfur, alcohol, zinc, camphor and magnesium concoction on pimples at bedtime for overnight healing.
    Available at Walgreens $11.99

  • Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti-Wrinkle Anti-Blemish Cream 14 of 25

    Great for aging skin, this cream combines retinol with salicylic acid to fight both wrinkles and blemishes.
    Pick it up at Neutrogena $13.99

  • Intelligent Beauty Labs Clear Age Defying Blemish Treatment 15 of 25

    This acne fighter formulated with salicylic acid and azelaic acid is designed for adult skin. I find azelaic acid particularly helpful for the hormone-related breakouts I get around my mouth.
    Found at Dermstore $40

  • Burt’s Bees Natural Acne Solutions 16 of 25

    This 100% natural spot treatment contains salicylic acid, tea tree oil, calendula, yarrow, and parsley extract.
    Available at Drugstore $9.99

  • Cetaphil DermaControl Oil Control Foam Wash 17 of 25

    Even aging and sensitive skin can be oily. This great face wash targets oil and acne breakouts without drying skin.
    Get it at Target $9.99

  • Peter Thomas Roth Max Complexion Correction Pads 18 of 25

    Glycolic acid, salicylic acid, and green tea extract clear blemishes and treat fine lines and wrinkles with these convenient cleansing pads.
    Found at Sephora $36

  • Neutrogena On-the-Spot Acne Treatment 19 of 25

    A lower dose of powerful benzoyl peroxide (2.5%) along with soothing glycerin make this effective spot treatment more gentle for sensitive skin.
    Get it at Target $5.99

  • Glo Therapeutics Back Acne Treatment 20 of 25

    Unfortunately, our faces aren't the only areas that can break out. This clever salicylic acid-based body treatment is easy to apply to your back with it's spray applicator.
    Available at Glo $32

  • Boots No7 Beautiful Skin Rapid Spot Rescue 21 of 25

    Licorice root helps soothe skin in this salicylic acid treatment.
    Pick it up at Boots $11.99

  • Arbonne Clear Advantage Spot Treatment 22 of 25

    The time-release formula continues to fight pimples long after applying this cream made with salicylic acid and fruit extract.
    Found at Arbonne $22

  • Glycolix Gentle Facial Cleanser 5% 23 of 25

    A 5% glycolic acid face wash for gentle exfoliation to ward off acne and signs of aging.
    Get it Lovely Skin $21

  • Malin + Goetz Acne Treatment Nighttime 24 of 25

    10% sulfur along with salicylic acid, camphor, and zinc blast zits overnight to speed healing.
    Available at Malin + Goetz $22

  • Dr. Hauschka Pure Care Cover Stick 25 of 25

    These blemish-fighting sticks are great for daytime use. They contain mineral pigments to conceal pimples while tea tree and manuka oils heal without drying.
    Found at Dr. Hauschka $21.95

Article Posted 4 years Ago

Videos You May Like