The Best Skin Care Products for Acne

Posted by Ingrie Williams on

5.6 million – that’s how many Canadians are affected by acne, according to the Canadian Dermatology Association. While there’s some reassurance in knowing that nearly 20% of the population is also impacted by troublesome pimples or painful cysts, when a blemish shows up, the universal reaction is to want it gone ASAP. We don’t have a magic wand for that, but we can help empower you with essential knowledge, including the best skin care products for acne, to give you the upper hand on blemish-prone skin.

Read on to learn how to reduce sebum production, minimize inflammation, and clear your congested pores.

The Best Skin Care Products for Acne

Whether it’s a case of blackheads that persistently appear in your T-zone or bumpy breakouts that occur each month, acne has a cyclical nature. Rather than playing tag and tackling your most recent imperfection when it appears, the smartest strategy for clear skin starts by adopting a routine that has two goals: to reduce a current blemish and prevent future ones from developing. As a bonus you’ll reduce acne scarring, or post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH), too. The best skin care products for acne contain effective ingredients that can clear out pores on an on-going basis, breaking down the mixture of oil or sebum and dead skin cells that results in a blemish. And you may be surprised to learn that different ingredients are effective for different types of breakouts. This is why it’s beneficial to understand the type of acne you’re dealing with. 

What Causes Acne and How to Prevent it

Acne is a common inflammatory skin condition that occurs when a hair follicle or pore becomes plugged with a buildup of sebum and dead skin cells. Sebum, which is produced at various levels in all skin types by the sebaceous glands, is a sticky, oily substance that helps to moisturize and protect the skin barrier. If you have an oily skin type (i.e. your skin naturally produces excess sebum) your pores are more susceptible to clogging which leads to breakouts. Hormonal shifts, such as puberty or menstruation, can also send sebaceous glands into overdrive. Your skin’s microbiome, the invisible ecosystem of good and bad bacteria that exists on all living things, can play a role, too. A type of bacteria known as Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes) can thrive in clogged pores and cause breakouts to spread. As an umbrella term, acne is used to describe several types of blemishes, including whiteheads, blackheads, pimples, and cysts. Being able to identify the cause of your acne can help unlock the best way to prevent it, leading you to the right acne skin care products for your needs.

The Most Powerful Ingredients for Acne

From reducing sebum production, to minimizing the spread of pimples and keeping pores clear, these are the best ingredients for acne to have in your skin care routine.

Salicylic Acid

This beta hydroxy acid (BHA) found in Vivier Medicated Wash is known to be one of the most highly effective acne treatments. An oil-soluble ingredient that can reduce whiteheads and blackheads, it can break down sebum and dissolve the sticky bonds that trap dead skin cells in a pore. This chemical exfoliant can also help improve the surface of the skin, transforming a complexion from uneven and dull to smooth and radiant.

Benzoyl Peroxide

This ingredient is go-to among dermatologists and skin care experts as an effective antibacterial treatment for pimples. Penetrating beneath the barrier level, Benzoyl Peroxide not only extends deep within the pore or hair follicle where P. acnes dwells, but it can kill the bacteria on site which prevents further growth. A key ingredient in Vivier Acne Treatment Lotion, it’s also anti-inflammatory and trusted to not be overly harsh on the skin.

Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs)

AHAs are a group of chemical exfoliating ingredients, which includes the likes of glycolic and lactic acids. Often derived from various botanical sources, such as citrus fruits and sugar cane, AHAs help to prevent acne by loosening the bonds that hold dead skin cells together. Glycolic acid is a hero ingredient in the Vivier Illuminating Enzymatic Peel, a night treatment with a gentle peeling action that can help to unclog pores as well as minimize dark spots caused by breakouts.


Derived from Vitamin A, retinol is well known as an anti-aging essential that can plump fine lines and wrinkles. But it’s also highly recommended for acne treatment because it can help reduce sebum production which keeps pores clear. Ideal for cystic and hormonal acne, it has an exfoliating effect that also makes it one of the best ingredients for acne scars or PIH.

Kaolin Clay

If you want to minimize blackheads and oversize pores, then kaolin clay can help. Often found in acne mask treatments, such as Vivier Ultra Purifying Clay Mask, and typically blended with exfoliating ingredients like AHAs, the naturally occurring soft clay acts like a sponge that absorbs sebum as it dries and leaves skin smooth and refreshed.

Vitamin C

Did you know that Vitamin C is anti-inflammatory? It’s true! The powerhouse antioxidant found in our Radiance Serum may be well-known for boosting collagen production and protecting against free radical damage, but it can also reduce inflammation in the skin that helps alleviate acne.

Your Acne Routine

Now that you know what to aim for with acne treatment, as well as the best ingredients for acne, you’re ready to build your acne routine. Choosing the right cleanser and daily moisturizer is an easy way to start seeing results. If you have oily/combination skin that’s prone to pimples, blackheads and whiteheads, the Vivier Acne Treatment System is an effective two-step acne-clearing kit that has everything you need. It contains the oil-free Medicated Wash with 2% salicylic acid. This will remove bacteria, excess oil and thoroughly deep clean pores while leaving skin smooth and hydrated. The system also includes Acne Treatment Lotion, made with 5% Benzoyl Peroxide to control blemishes and boost radiance. And don’t forget to moisturize! Dehydration can cause sebaceous glands to become over productive, leading to clogged pores. A lightweight oil-free moisturizer with hyaluronic acid can keep acne-prone skin hydrated and soothed.

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