We all had acne as teenagers and were told that eventually, we would grow out of it. Our hormones were going crazy and causing breakouts.
What happens when you finally become an adult and you realize that you haven’t grown out of it? If you’re a guy with acne at 30 or older then you can’t wait for it to pass anymore.
You need to take matters into your own hands with the best acne treatment for men.
Luckily, these days there are plenty of products that work as well as the professional products.
Prevention, of course, is the best medicine, but if you read our guide to getting rid of male acne, then you will learn how to prevent it from coming back once you’ve had an outbreak. For instance, using a deep cleansing mask for men from Amazon.com will keep your acne attacks at bay.
If you don’t have time to read our acne treatment product reviews then take a look at the guide below for a synopsis about the best acne treatment for men.
Otherwise, scroll down and find the best acne treatment product that will work for your skin type.
- Replenix Acne Solutions Gly/Sal 5-2 Pads
- Best For:
Guys with Oily Skin
- Active Ingredients:
Glycolic Acid 5%, Salicylic Acid
- Price: $$
- TreeActiv Cystic Acne Spot Treatment
- Best For:
Spot Treatment for Mild to Severe Pimples
- Active Ingredients:
Bentonite Clay, Witch Hazel
- Price: $$
- Humane Acne Wash Benzoyl Peroxide 10%
- Best For:
Heavy Duty for Guys with Severe Acne
- Active Ingredient:
Benzoyl Peroxide 10%
- Price: $$
- Every Man Jack Skin Clearing Face Wash
- Best For:
Preventing acne from returning
- Active Ingredients:
Salicylic Acid 2%, Activated Charcoal
- Price: $
- Murad Pure Skin Clarifying Dietary Supplement
- Best For:
Balancing Hormonal Acne from Within with Supplement Pills
- Active Ingredients:
Zinc, Vitamin A
- Price: $$$
What to Look for in an Acne Product for Men
There are two important points to consider before buying an acne treatment for men product.
The first is how severe your acne is. It is tempting to bring out the big guns at the first sign of a pimple, but it is best to use a product with the lowest strength to still get rid of the acne. Some of these products use some harsh chemicals that can do a number on your skin.
The best thing is to figure out if your acne is just a pimple here and there, in which case a spot treatment is best. If you have a persistent case, but the pimples are not that bad, then a mild product with low amounts of benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid will be enough. For severe acne cases, you will need something more potent. We will go through all the best acne treatment for men for each of these scenarios.
The next thing to consider is your skin type. If you have sensitive skin, then using a product that is too strong won’t make it worth getting rid of acne if you are dealing with a painful treatment. If you have oily skin, then you need something that isn’t going to make your skin even more oily than it already is, without drying your skin out.
Typical ingredients in acne removal products.
An antibacterial agent, Benzoyl Peroxide kills the bacteria that causes acne. It disinfects the skin all the way into the pores to root out the acne. It comes in various strengths from 2.5% to 10%. It can be very tough on skin so it is best to use this when you have moderate to severe acne and not a mild case.
The strength of benzoil peroxide that you need is highly dependant on what type of acne you have and how severe it is. Since it is so harsh, even at low doses, you should do a patch test before applying it all over the affected area. Put a little dab on a small area that is kind of hidden so you won’t have an embarrassing rash if it does react. This way you can see how your skin will handle the drug.
Keep in mind that the way this works is that it causes your skin to dry and peel. Even when your skin doesn’t react with irritation or a rash, it can be uncomfortable anyway. In a way you know it is working when it does this. I wouldn’t use this for a mild case of acne, but only moderate to severe.
I suggest following up with a good post care routine which I will go into further detail later in the article.
This is a beta-hydroxy acid (BHA) that helps clear out dead skin cells and unclog pores that trap bacteria and allow acne to form. Its strengths start at 0.5% and top out at 2%. This is generally good for mild to moderate cases of acne and the lower doses are gentle on skin.
What does salicylic acid do to the skin?
The way it works is it sloughs the top layer of skin. Essentially it dissolves the cells that bind the skin together. This sounds really harsh, but essentially it means it exfoliates as it strips away the outer layer of skin.
Another benefit is that it increases the circulation to the skin. This brings much needed oxygen and nutrients to the skin so it can essentially heal itself. And when you add in a moisturizer for after, it can be more easily absorbed and get to work faster.
The negative to using it is that like benzoyl peroxide, it can really dry out your skin and leave it irritated. Try to use the lotion on only the affected areas of your skin and avoid spots without any acne to reduce the chance of irritation.
Opposite to salicylic acid is glycolic acid which is an alpha hydroxy acid. It also clears out pores and removes dead skin cells, but also helps in repairing the skin and regenerating skin cells for healthier skin.
If you have cystic acne, or the kind that forms painful cycts deep within the skin, then glycolic acid is the ingredient you want to be looking out for.
It sloughs the skin like the salicylic acid, but much more deeply. At the same time it does it more gently.
The possible effects are not to be taken lightly though even though many people do report that it is more mild than other anti acne ingredients. For instance, skin pigmentation in the areas where you use it can change leading to some discoloration. This is especially frequent if you spend a lot of time in the sun. make sure you use a sunscreen if your skin where you used it is exposed.
Tea Tree Oil
A natural antiseptic, tea tree oil can reduce the acne causing bacteria in mild cases. It is also a great tonic that helps reduce inflammation associated with acne. It is comparable in strength to 5% Benzoyl Peroxide but is an all natural ingredient. It can be harsh on people with sensitive skin, it should be noted.
Even though it can be a little uncomfortable due to its tingly aspect, one thing it doesn’t do is cause irritation from drying out your skin. In fact, tea tree oil is better than some of the acne drugs listed above since it will also moisturize your skin.
In addition, it stimulates the skin so the circulation increases. This leads to more blood flow to your outer layer of skin bringing much needed oxygen and nutrients.
You don’t have to do much in the way of post treatment with moisturizers since it takes care of it already.
Our Guide to the Best Acne Products for Men Reviewed
Best Acne Treatment for Oily Skin
Replenix Acne Solutions Gly/Sal 5-2 Pads
When you have oily skin and have a mild to moderate case of acne, then having a product that can clean pores and regulate the oil in your skin is definitely the way to go.
These pads are 5% glycolic acid and 2% salicylic acid which will clear the dead skin cells from the pores.
For good measure, there is also benzoyl peroxide to kill any bacteria that might be causing the acne.
In addition to those active ingredients, there is Witch Hazel which works as a skin toner to keep it antiseptic. Natural botanicals will hydrate the skin keeping it from drying out from the acids that work their magic.
If you have had acne for a while and show some scars from previous outbreaks, then this is definitely the product you need. It also contains caffeine and retinol which are great for reducing acne scars and plumping up the skin. Not only does it make the skin look blemish free, it also nourishes the skin and keeps it healthy.
These pads also work rather quickly. In less than a week, you should start seeing some positive results. You should use them in the morning and then again at night before bed to see the best results. Once the acne is cleared up, you can scale back and use them less often.
Best Acne Spot Treatment for Men
TreeActiv Cystic Acne Spot Treatment
Whether you have cystic acne or just a case of pimples here and there, then this is the ideal spot treatment. What makes it even better is it is an all natural acne product. It works great and is very strong, but it is still gentle on skin. Even men with sensitive skin will benefit from this pimple cream.
The main ingredient is bentonite clay which helps to draw the toxins out of the skin and allows the skin cells to get more oxygen.
Tea tree oil is the main player. You’ll remember that it is an all natural alternative to benzoyl peroxide and provides the same antibacterial properties.
Excess oil is eliminated and the sebum production is regulated by the rest of the ingredients.
You’ll likely notice how small the jar is when you get it. Don’t worry though as it is more than enough to fight your acne. A little goes a long way. Remember, this is a spot treatment. Dab a bit on the zit and let it sit for 30 minutes to an hour. Then wipe it off and you’re done. If your skin is not particularly sensitive, and you have a painful pimple, then apply it before bed and let it sit there overnight. You may need to put a small bandage on to keep it from rubbing off on your pillow.
How long before you see results?
It is tough to say without knowing how bad a case of acne you have, but generally within 48 hours your pimple should be gone.
If you have bacne, aka back acne, and have somebody to help apply this to the problem area, it works wonders at clearing that up, as well.
Best Product for Severe Acne
Humane Acne Wash Benzoyl Peroxide 10%
With a benzoyl peroxide strength as high as it gets at 10%, this is definitely not for sensitive skin but is ideal for those that need a heavy duty acne treatment for men.
If your acne is severe then using a strong product like Humane is the way to go.
It is very easy to use and the results are almost guaranteed. If you use it as directed, it is painless.
Before committing to using it, I would test it out first on a small patch of skin. Put a dab on a spot on your skin that won’t be visible after. Leave it on for a minute or two and wipe off. Wait about 24 hours to see if there is any redness or rash. If there isn’t then go ahead and make it part of your routine.
It only takes a few minutes to do this as it is not a complicated process. Wash the area to treat first and towel dry your skin. While the skin is still plump, rub some into the area making sure it all gets absorbed. Leave it for a minute or up to 3 if it doesn’t start a burning sensation.
After that wipe it off. At this point, you should use a good moisturizing cream on Amazon.com to keep the skin from drying out.
The manufacturer says that it can take up to six weeks os use to see results, but many people report seeing their skin clearing up after just a few days.
If it works quickly for you, then great, but don’t stop using it right away. Give it time to really get all of the bacteria that causes acne to be removed.
If you start to see yourself breaking out after using it, this can happen to some people. Keep going and give it the full six weeks or the entire bottle. It may just be a matter of your skin adjusting and cause the breakouts.
Best Back Acne Treatment Product
Dr Song Benzoyl Peroxide Wash
For a total body acne treatment for men, this product works wonders. It is quite potent at 10% benzoyl peroxide strength, but for many that is needed for the type of acne they have. It is a body wash and not just a cream, so it does a great job at cleaning and disinfecting the skin where you’re getting the most acne.
The best part is that there are not a ton of ingredients in this. They use just a few to get the job done which minimizes the risk that it will end up being too harsh for your skin.
Getting it onto your back might be a problem, so make sure you either have somebody to help you, (lucky you if you have a shower partner to scrub you down!) or try one of these exfoliating back scrubbers from Amazon.com. Just squeeze a bit on the scrubber and get it all over your back. Rinse it off well after use. You should try it out twice a day, once in the morning and once before bed to get the best acne treatment for men.
Results should happen within the first week, but, as usual, your skin may need time to adjust. If you experience an increase in breakouts, just give it time. The bottle lasts up to two months, so by the time it is finished you should have your adult acne beat.
Best Hormonal Acne Supplements
Murad Pure Skin Clarifying Dietary Supplement
When you have ultra sensitive skin or just can’t be bothered by using topical acne products, then you may consider getting a supplement for acne-prone skin.
If you have hormonal acne, acne treatment for men supplements might be able to help you.
This acne product in pill form will treat the skin from the inside out and hopefully put an end to your breakouts. I say hopefully because this is a hit or a miss. How to balance male hormones to prevent acne is a complicated thing. For some people, supplements just don’t work. There is only one way to find out, so if you are thinking of supplements over creams then this is a very good one that should produce some results.
With natural ingredients like zinc, burdock and vitamin A, this will encourage healthy skin which will reduce the chances of getting acne. If you already have acne when you start taking it, then it says that it can reduce the acne by over 50%.
Expect results to take a while. Up to six weeks in most cases. Since this is processing from within, it will take time for the effects to make it to the skin.
As with most vitamin regimens, there are some Murad acne pills has some side effects. The main thing that can be expected is having to go to the bathroom a lot. It has some diuretic effects which will have you taking more frequent bathroom breaks, more than likely.
Just ignore the smell, and down them twice a day for a while and see if the results are worth it and if you’re getting the best acne treatment for men.
Best Men’s Face Wash Salicylic Acid
Every Man Jack Skin Clearing Face Wash
As I always say, prevention is the best medicine, so if you only infrequently get acne or you have found an acne treatment for men that works, then the best thing is to make sure you don’t have future breakouts.
Using a face wash for men with salicylic acid is a great way to be taking care of your skin while preventing acne from coming back.
This wash can get rid of mild acne, but there are more effective products to remove acne altogether. Keep this as a preventative measure, and it will prove to be a very effective tool.
This is very great as a cleanser for oily skin since it has activated charcoal that absorbs the excess oil in your pores and prevents them from getting clogged. It’s also oil-free.
The salicylic acid will get rid of the dead skin cells that usually trap the acne-causing bacteria and reduce the chances of acne coming back.
This will keep your pores clear and your skin plump and healthy. Use it as your regular face cleanser and see some pretty healthy skin as a result.
How to keep the acne from coming back
Unfortunately for most guys with acne, getting rid of it is not a one time thing. It’s not like if you use one of the above products once your acne is gone for good. Once you get rid of it, you need to create the conditions to make sure it doesn’t come back. Some of those products can be really harsh and you don’t want to be using them long term.
Here are some tips to stay acne free.
Change your diet
Rather than focus on certain foods to eat, I think it’s better to avoid ones.
For instance, some foods cause your blood sugar to rise which leads to an increase in insulin. When your body starts producing more insulin, it makes your sebaceous glands produce more oil. This ends up clogging your pores which then gets infected.
Any junk food you eat definitely has the biggest effect on your insulin. Think about when you eat too much MacDonalds. Usually you end up with a breakout soon after a junk food binge. This is obvious stuff to avoid if you want to keep acne at bay.
If you already have a junk food ban in your life and still want to use your diet to keep acne from returning then reduce the amount of carbs you eat. Pasta, white rice and bread should be scaled back as they increase your insulin very quickly.
Post cleansing routine
After you’ve used some of these products to get rid of acne, you need to treat your skin right with the right products. You should be moisturizing your skin to keep the skin plump and irritation free.
Make sure you use the right kinds though.
Some moisturizers are great for regular skin, but if you are prone to acne, they might be heavy on your skin and lead to more acne.
A lightweight face wash is a good way to go. Especially one that contains Witch Hazel as it will disinfect and moisturize at the same time.
Some lightweight skin creams are avaialable to moisturize without going on heavy. Look for ones that have jojoba oil, argan oil and castor oil to repair your skin without making it greasy.
For bearded guys
Guys with beards are more likely to have their acne keep coming back as having facial hair is not great for your skin.
You have to have a good beard grooming routine to make sure you are taking care of your skin underneath your glorious beard.
Make sure you wash it regularly, apply the right beard balm or beard oil to keep your skin moisturized and healthy. I recommend beard oils with castor oil as it is one of the best ways to clarify your skin under your beard.
And brush it well to exfoliate the skin and stimulate the circulation.
Tips for Shaving with Acne
How to shave when you have acne is one of the most common questions I get in the shop.
Painful acne can be torture when you are going over it with a razor blade, and the act of shaving can also help to spread your acne-causing bacteria over your face.
Taking the right precautions means you can have a comfortable shave even when you have a breakout.
The first thing is to make sure your skin is clean and hydrated. Plump skin will keep the pimples from breaking open and help the razor glide without getting caught on a bump.
I usually recommend doing a wet shave and using a good shaving soap with a brush to prep the face. In this case, I go against my usual advice and say you should try a shaving gel from a can on Amazon.com. The most important thing when shaving with acne is to let the razor really glide. The lubrication in gels will helps this.
You shouldn’t use a multi-blade razor. Try to use a safety razor with as flexible a blade as you can find. If you don’t want to use a safety razor, then go with a twin blade disposable or cartridge on Amazon.com.
You shouldn’t expect the closest shave when you have acne. You should only go over the beard once, with the grain. Avoid going against the grain as this may actually break open the pimples. This will hurt and bleed. The other thing is that you may get an ingrown hair that can easily get infected by the acne bacteria.
Lastly, try an aftershave that will disinfect and tone the skin, that also has some acne fighting ingredients.
TreeActiv Acne Eliminating Face Spray from Amazon.com works great at cleaning up the pores and skin and reducing the acne, definitely a must try to get the best acne treatment for men.
It is gentle and uses only all natural ingredients. The additional salicylic acid is mild and will keep those pores cleaned and the bacteria from growing in them.
Other Tips to Reduce Male Adult Acne
As guys, we have to take good care of ourselves as we get older. If you find yourself getting adult acne at age 30 or over, then it might be an indication that things are off and that you need an acne treatment for men.
Make sure that you aren’t drinking too much alcohol. It isn’t to say that this causes acne, but what it does is cause an imbalance in you. Drinking too much can cause health problems that manifest themselves in pimples.
You should be drinking plenty of water, also. Staying hydrated is the easiest way to keep your skin cells plump and healthy which should reduce the chances of getting acne.
Keep a healthy diet. Eat food rich in antioxidants to help your cells shed toxins. A healthy diet is so important especially when you hit your thirties. We aren’t kids that can get away with eating Dorito’s and drinking soda all day anymore.
Lastly, get rest. When you are rested, you are less likely to feel stressed out. And stress can throw your hormones all out of whack which will contribute to your acne issues.
Take care of yourself, and your skin will thank you for it!
Did you beat excessive acne and have some own tips you want to share? Let us know in the comment section below!