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Review: Best Acne Serums

Whether you’re a teen that’s going through puberty, an adult that deals with frequent breakouts, or a poor soul suffering from relapse, acne can be terrible to experience firsthand. While it's harmless for the most part, acne can be very traumatizing, especially for people who love keeping up with their appearances. Acne treatment these days is very much available, but the most effective ones are often the most expensive.

Luckily, there are more affordable options that work nearly as well. We’ve got seven of the most effective acne serum products available on Amazon for you today. If you want to get rid of that annoying acne breakout and prevent it from ever coming back for good, then here are some of the best acne serums in 2021 to get you started.

The Best Acne Serums Models of 2021 in Detail

Neutralyze Clearing Acne Serum

When you get an acne outbreak, the last thing you’re probably thinking about is the environment, but you’d be surprised by how little changes in your lifestyle can make a positive change worldwide. If you’re conscious of your carbon footprint, and you want to make a better place for future generations, you can do so while getting rid of some stubborn acne. The solution? By buying climate pledge-friendly products.

  • Indirectly reduces carbon emissions
  • 95% effective
  • Not always in stock

Climate pledge-friendly products are special products on Amazon that help towards the reduction of the overall carbon footprint. In this case, it has to be compact by design to qualify - in other words, the packaging of the product needs to be efficient, have minimal space usage, and be easy to ship. This particular acne serum qualifies as a climate pledge-friendly product, and while it may not be as sustainable as other products by itself, it allows more products to be shipped at a time, which can lower shipping costs and, therefore, carbon emissions.

Now, it’s understandable if all you care about at the moment is getting rid of your acne. And this serum does that incredibly well, too — being clinically proven to be 95% effective, it’ll work in most cases, and with such a high success rate, it’ll most likely work on you, too. But if you want to be a little friendlier to the environment while getting rid of acne, then this option is always available.

Mario Badescu Acne Serum

One of the unfortunate truths about skin-related products is that many of them involve testing on animals to check their effectiveness before trying them out on humans. This sometimes leads to the unfair treatment of animals, as they may end up suffering from side effects or end up with physical injury and scars.

  • Cruelty-free
  • Fast-acting
  • Small compared to other serums

In recent years, there has been a push for more cruelty-free products, and many brands now come with cruelty-free guarantees to prove that they aren’t testing on animals. This anti-acne serum is one of many acne serums that actually claim to be cruelty-free. The gel itself is fast-acting, and with frequent use before bed at night, you’ll eventually see results. The bottle is a little small compared to other products on this list, but it’s large enough to handle a single outbreak for one person, so you won’t need to buy more unless the acne is incredibly persistent.

IUNIK Tea tree Acne Serum

Acne serums can be effective, but many people are worried about the chemicals that come with the serum. For all they know, it could contain chemicals that may work on acne but result in scars or other side effects down the line. And while most of these worries are farfetched, it’s also nice to rely on more natural substances and formulas instead of synthetic products.

  • Natural ingredients
  • Soothing to use
  • Not as potent as some acne serums

With that being said, there are plenty of acne serums available that use natural products to get rid of those annoying acne breakouts. This particular serum is one of them, being made out of tea tree extracts. It also has Centella Asiatica leaf water and other natural ingredients, giving you a soothing feeling while also getting rid of your acne. If you don’t trust the chemicals in your serum, then this may be a great alternative for you.

Leven Rose Sea Buckthorn Acne Serum

Unfortunately, not everybody has the sort of budget that can stretch to meet the high prices that some acne treatments demand. They end up relying on shady products and false claims which end up with scarred skin and no change to their condition. Fortunately, there are some products out there that are not only effective but also come at a surprisingly affordable price— enter the Sea Buckthorn acne serum.

  • Anti-aging properties
  • All-natural
  • Not a lot of doses per bottle

This serum’s formula contains natural ingredients such as tea tree oil, so you know that what you’re applying to your skin is all-natural. It has no added chemicals whatsoever and it has anti-aging properties to help get your skin back to the way it was before the breakout, and then some. And all of these features come at a surprisingly affordable price for what it can do. Sure, it’s more expensive than the cheapest brands out there, but it’s definitely worth the cost.

DERMA E Blemish Control Acne Serum

There are plenty of acne serums out there, but few can actually claim that they’ve been recommended by professional dermatologists. Dermatologists are the authority when it comes to skin conditions, so when a product’s recommended by a dermatologist, you know it’s legit. That’s why the DERMA E acne serum is exceptional — it’s got the backing of someone with experience and knowledge of the condition.

  • Recommended by professionals
  • Exfoliates dead skin
  • A little pricey

Of course, it’s not just the claims that make it worth the buy. The serum is made up of natural ingredients, such as tea tree oil, willow bark, and other ingredients for a natural formula that’s good on the skin. The formula also contains salicylic acid, which is potent in exfoliating dead skin, giving you a better skin condition than you had before acne. There’s a reason why it’s dermatologist-recommended.

DRMTLGY Alcohol free Acne Serum

Many people are born with allergies, and these allergies can make using everyday products a pain. Others may not necessarily have allergies, but would rather abstain from products that contain certain ingredients regardless. As such, there are plenty of products these days that come with tags such as “gluten-free” and “GMO-free”. This serum here is arguably the most compatible with pretty much anybody, as it is gluten-free, alcohol-free, formaldehyde-free, paraben-free, hormone-free, and cruelty-free. It’s as safe as it gets. If you aren’t sure what type of acne serum to give a friend, you can give this and they’ll be more than happy to receive it.

  • Anybody can use it
  • Highly effective potency
  • Large amount could go to waste

Of course, being X-free isn’t what you’re mainly looking for in an acne serum. The serum itself is quite potent, boasting up to 85% oil reduction in pores. Oil is known to worsen acne conditions and cause it all together. So, even if you don’t have acne, it can be worth applying every now and then to prevent it from happening in the future. The formula is also fast-acting, getting rid of any possible bacteria that could cause an acne outbreak. This also kills acne at its core, so you can expect the outbreak to get milder and disappear over time with repeated use of this product.

BREYLEE Tea Tree Oil Clear Acne Serum

While acne serums claim to be effective, not a lot of them really go into detail about how they really work. This can lead to suspicions among would-be buyers. This serum clearly explains how it works - by using small molecules that penetrate deep into the skin, it’s able to target the root of acne better than other formulas. This effectiveness isn’t synthetic, either — the serum is made out of a mix of tea tree oil and Camellia Sinensis, making it very potent and natural, too. The serum also reduces any redness that may pop up because of acne, giving you short-term benefits for using the serum as well.

  • Deep-penetrating formula
  • Natural ingredients
  • 40ml more expensive than the 17ml version

Buyer's Guide

Acne Serum Buyer's Guide

Acne serums can be tricky to pick out, so here are some tips to make the process much easier for you.

What is Acne Serum?

Acne serum is a type of solution applied to the skin with the purpose of minimizing or eliminating the effects of acne. The methods by which the serum accomplishes this varies from product to product, but in general, it gets rid of the bacteria that causes acne and assists the skin in preventing any acne from popping up ever again while also removing existing acne.

Things to Consider Before Buying Acne Serum

Here’s what you need to remember before you get some acne serum for your skin.


These days, you can never be too sure about the chemicals you place on your skin. While most acne serums are safe to use regardless of what’s used in the formula, you may want to opt for products with natural ingredients. Not only are these natural alternatives safer for the skin, but they’re also just as effective, if not more effective than other ingredients, making it a no-brainer choice for most.


Depending on the size of the outbreak, and the number of people using the serum, you may either want a small bottle no bigger than your thumb, or a large one that’s as tall as a soda can. Either way, be sure to plan in advance, and if you’re buying a large bottle, expect to have some leftover unless you think the breakout may come back in the future (which is definitely possible).

Acne Serum Price Range

Most acne serums hover below the $100 mark, and you’ll be able to afford most, if not all acne serums for at most that much per bottle. In fact, some of the products on this list are as cheap as $20 per bottle, making them especially affordable.

How We Choose Our Acne Serum

We choose acne serum based on the ingredients used, brand history, and customer reviews.

Acne Serum FAQ

Q: Is acne serum effective?

A: Acne serum does work, and it does so by killing bacteria present in your skin that can cause acne. It also prevents any additional acne from popping up on your skin, so you are less likely to experience it again in the future.

Q: Is acne serum safe?

A: Acne serum formulas are safe to use, but you can always opt for formulas that use natural ingredients such as tea tree leaf extract if you aren’t sure about the formula’s safety.

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