The Best Anti-Aging Serums for Acne-Prone Skin

Just because you got zits doesn't mean you have to deal with wrinkles, too.
BY Sarah Lim
| Last updated Apr, 2023
best serum for acne-prone skin

If you have acne-prone skin, having the right skincare products will be even more vital for you than it is for someone who does not. But don’t fret! It might feel unfair, but thankfully, many products tackle both pimples and lines. And this article will help you know the best serum for acne-prone skin.

Since stressed skin can often lead to breakouts. Having soothing skincare products, including serums, can help you reap anti-aging benefits while still managing those annoying acne breakouts.

When it comes to serums for acne-prone skin, we’ve narrowed down some of the top ingredients. Those ingredients can help curb acne while smoothing wrinkles and give you a healthy glow to top it all off. If you’re seeking the best serum for acne-prone skin, you’ve come to the right place!

Why Go With a Serum?

Why Go With a Serum

After cleaning and toning, use a serum before moisturizing to deliver potent nutrients to the skin.

Serums tend to have a gel-like consistency, although some can have a more cream-like appearance, while others may have more of an oily substance. Serums will usually absorb faster than a moisturizer, which makes them excellent for layering in skincare.

Research supports the efficacy of serums. Serums have been demonstrated to improve wrinkles, fine lines, firmness, skin tone, pore appearance, and hyperpigmentation in photodamaged skin, showing a difference after just four weeks.

Serums can also improve dry skin and help make skin softer and have been shown to work better in combination with moisturizers instead of using moisturizers alone. 

In people with acne treatment, the best acne serums can deliver nutrients designed to help prevent future breakouts while providing anti-aging benefits, which can make them an essential step in your skincare routine.

Top Anti-Acne Ingredients

These anti-acne serum ingredients are among the most effective on the market. When choosing the best serum for acne-prone skin, evaluating the ingredients is more important than the price since ingredients usually help prevent breakouts, or worse, trigger them. 

• Aloe


Moisturizing and soothing, aloe has been shown to “significantly improve” acne in skincare formulations. 

• Lavender


Antibacterial and anti-inflammatory, lavender can provide extra soothing benefits in anti-aging serums for treating acne. 

• Niacinamide


Niacinamide can help stabilize the skin barrier. It has anti-inflammatory properties to improve acne and may also help lower sebum production, the skin’s natural oil. 

• Retinol


Retinoids have been “very effective” for acne treatment, especially in severe cases where other natural treatments haven’t helped. 

• Salicylic acid 

Acid Treatment for Acne

Salicylic acid is a form of beta-hydroxy acid (BHA). It has been shown to work better than benzoyl peroxide cleanser for treating acne

• Tea tree oil 


Effective for acne with mild side effects, you can use tea tree oil topically in skincare formulations to help improve acne. 

• Turmeric 


Turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties. You can use it topically in skincare products and as a supplement to help clear up acne

• Vitamin C

Vitamin C

Vitamin C, present in serums, can help lower inflammation in existing acne lesions, which may help encourage healing.

With a better understanding of the ingredients behind the serums for acne-prone skin, it’s time to look at some specific product recommendations that acne sufferers have found helpful for anti-aging power!

Serums For Acne-Prone Skin

Whether you’re looking for the best vitamin C serum for acne-prone skin or want a serum that contains an abundance of beneficial ingredients, here are some of the best acne serums for acne-prone skin for you to consider:

Juice Beauty Blemish Clearing Serum

This serum fights acne with salicylic acid, vitamin C, aloe, and lavender while also providing anti-aging benefits. Green and white tea extracts and CoQ10, an enzyme that is also an antioxidant, have anti-aging benefits. You can use the serum on the entire face or as an acne spot treatment both morning and night.

Eminence Organics Clear Skin Willow Bark Booster-Serum

This potent serum contains salicylic acid from willow bark, tea tree oil, and walnut leaf, and you can use it for your whole face or as a spot treatment for acne. Designed to soften and detoxify skin while minimizing clogged pores and healing acne lesions, this serum contains antioxidants from anise and CoQ10 for anti-aging benefits.

Versed Just Breathe Clarifying Serum

With niacinamide, willow bark, hyaluronic acid, and salicylic acid, this serum is designed to be pressed into the skin and left for about two minutes before your next step to soothe irritated blemishes. You can use both morning and night and apply while the skin is still slightly damp for best results.  

Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Framboos™ Glycolic Night Serum

The Drunk Elephant serum is a chemical exfoliant containing salicylic and glycolic acid for blemish-prone and oily skin types. With white tea leaf extract, hyaluronic acid, marula oil, and raspberry fruit extract, this serum can help remove excess oil and brighten skin while providing anti-aging antioxidants and humectants. Apply after cleansing every other night before working up to nightly use. 

Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare B3 Adaptive SuperFoods™ Stress Rescue Super Serum

This serum for stressed skin contains niacinamide. It has anti-inflammatory properties, and the humectants squalene and glycerin add moisture and help soften aged skin. This serum also features turmeric root oil, avocado extract, and hyaluronic acid, along with adaptogens such as ashwagandha, maca, and mushroom extracts.

Biossance Squalane + Vitamin C Dark Spot Serum

For those who currently struggle with acne formation or have had bad breakouts in the past that have left literal (and psychological) marks, a vitamin C serum can help. This serum from Biossance is specifically formulated to help fade those pesky dark spots. After cleansing with 10% vitamin C, squalene, shitake mushroom, hyaluronic acid, and licorice root extract, you may use this serum morning and night.

Looking For the Best Serums for Acne-Prone Skin?

Whether you’re looking for the best vitamin C serum for acne-prone skin or a targeted anti-aging serum, both can help clear up breakouts. Download our free checklist of the skincare ingredients you should avoid, especially when dealing with acne!

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