10 Best Products for Cystic Acne That Are Proven to Work

Best Products for Cystic Acne Reviewed

Cystic acne is the most dreadful form of acne. Severe, large and painful, they exist as nodules and rest deep inside your skin. Most of the cystic acne develops due to infections in pores and improper functioning of the hormones.

Although, there’s an abundance of anti-acne products, there are few when it comes to cystic acne specifically. I really understand your blues when you try to hide those nasty nodules beneath your foundation but it fails to cover, unfortunately.


AHA 10% Skin Perfecting Cleanser

#1 Rated Cleanser for Acne-Prone Skin

The AHA 10% Skin Perfecting Cleanser is our #1 pick because it removes impurities, dead cells, and excess oil and boosts collagen building. It also helps reduce fine lines and wrinkles.


You need to have the best products for cystic acne in order to free your skin from cystic acne completely. Covering or hiding only helps when you need to attend a large gathering or any special occasion.

Furthermore, when we talk about cystic acne, it is more about feeling horrible than looking horrible. Because yes, those cysts really hurt. So you need to cure them from root. To do so, you must consistently follow a proper skin care regimen.

And that’s what this post is all about. Let’s dive in!

How to Pick the Right Cystic Acne Product

This post covers top 10 products that are proven effective against cystic acne, this gives you enough choices to find one for your skin. This choice deeply depends on the causes of your cystic acne breakouts. Once you know the reason for your cystic acne you will eventually find out which product is most suitable for you.

These are the few cystic acne causes you must know:

  • Excessive pore blockage leading to infection and inflammation.
  • Hormonal fluctuations.
  • Excessive sebum production.

Now go through the comprehensive products’ reviews that are listed below. This list constitutes wide range of everyday skin care products that must be part of your skin care regimen. Face wash, cleansers, masks and serums, this post has got something for everyone but you need to carefully choose what suits you better.

10 Best Products for Cystic Acne Reviewed

caa2-table__imageMISUMI AHA 10% Skin Perfecting Cleanser
  • Contains 10% Glycolic Acid
  • Penetrates into pores and exfoliates the skin
  • Efficiently removes excess oil from skin and promotes less sebum production
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Claridad 12% Glycolic Acid Exfoliating Face Wash
  • Contains maximum concentration of Glycolic Acid needed to treat severe acne
  • Helps cut excessive oiliness that clogs your pores
  • Deeply exfoliates by penetrating in your pores
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TreeActiv Cystic Acne Spot Treatment
  • Fused with Bentonite clay that sucks out all the impurities
  • It eliminates acne bumps
  • Contains tea tree oil
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1. MISUMI AHA 10% Skin Perfecting Cleanser

Misumi Skin Perfecting Cleanser was developed to provide both acne-clearing and anti-aging properties so that you don’t have to switch between products. Using this cleanser you can get the acne treatment along with a healthy younger looking skin.

Suitable For: Combination to Oily Skin


  • Contains 10% Glycolic Acid which is medically proven to reduce acne as it inhibits the growth of p.acnes bacteria.
  • Penetrates into pores and exfoliates the skin by unclogging pores and shedding dead cells.
  • Efficiently removes excess oil from skin and promotes less sebum production.
  • Due to presence of Glycerin it helps in maintaining the skin’s hydration level and reduces fine lines and wrinkles.
  • Comprises of several anti-oxidant ingredients that nourish your skin while clearing your acne and also neutralize the acid effect.
  • Includes Chamomile that soothes your acne scars and inflammation caused around the cysts.
  • Can also be used as a makeup remover.
  • It is free from alcohol, parabens and synthetic fragrance.


  • It might dry out your skin due to 10% acidic effect so you need to figure out the right frequency.
  • Contains too many herbal and botanical extracts that might irritate sensitive skin.
  • It is a pricey product.

2. Claridad 12% Glycolic Acid Exfoliating Face Wash – Best Drugstore Face Wash for Cystic Acne

Claridad’s Exfoliating Face Wash is brewed with the power of Glycolic Acid that is used for treating acne. It thoroughly deep cleanses your skin, wiping away all the impurities and leaves your skin clear and refreshed.

Suitable For: Oily Skin.


  • Contains maximum concentration of Glycolic Acid needed to treat severe acne.
  • The acidic nature of this face wash helps cut excessive oiliness that clogs your pores.
  • Deeply exfoliates by penetrating in your pores and removes all the dirt, dead cells and sebum build up. This leads to stubborn blackhead removal.
  • Includes Panthenol that provides a soothing effect and calms inflammation.
  • Stimulates the cell turnover process that promotes anti-aging by reducing wrinkles and dryness.
  • Consists of Allantoin that promotes healing and works as an anti-irritant.
  • The presence of Yucca extract, an anti-oxidant balances uneven skin tone developed due to blemishes and acne scars.
  • It is free from alcohol and parabens.


  • Clearing out completely takes times depending on your skin type and severity of acne.
  • Contains high concentration of glycolic acid that can make your skin dry.
  • It has added fragrance that might lead to irritation of sensitive skin or even cause rash.
  • Using an SPF is recommended as using this face wash can cause UV sensitivity.

3. TreeActiv Cystic Acne Spot Treatment

This acne spot treatment cream packed with all the natural ingredients serves is a promising cystic acne regimen. It zaps away blemishes as they appear, is easy to use and shows visibly fast results.

Suitable For: Combination to oily skin.


  • Fused with Bentonite clay that sucks out all the impurities from your pores and unclogs them.
  • It eliminates acne bumps by providing oxygen to skin cells that contains excess hydrogen and maintains healthy skin environment.
  • Contains tea tree oil which is quite effective in treating acne due to its astringent and anti-bacterial qualities.
  • The presence of Aloe Vera boosts your skin renewal process, maintains proper hydration and calms irritation.
  • Pink Grapefruit Oil helps in collagen production that reduces swelling and inflammation which comes along cystic acne bumps.
  • Witch hazel and peppermint help reduce excess oil production and kill bacteria thriving in your pores.
  • Lemon Oil balances sebum production, removes dead cells and plays an important role in giving you a fair spot free skin.


  • Contains witch hazel and tea tree oil both of which can irritate sensitive skin causing redness and irritation.
  • It can cause dryness on combination skin due to its rich anti-oxidant formula.
  • This formula gets dry quickly so you need to apply it properly on the acne affected areas.
  • It is a pricey treatment cream.

4. Humane Benzyl Peroxide 10% Acne Treatment

Humane’s Acne Treatment is arguable one of the best treatments for cystic acne as it works both as a body and face wash. So, you don’t have to worry much about the cysts you have on your body, this will work for everywhere.

Suitable For: All types of skin except sensitive skin.


  • Uses 10% Benzyl Peroxide as its active ingredient, the number one ingredient in curing acne.
  • Works for all types of acne lesions including cysts and nodules by killing any bacteria present in your pores.
  • Benzyl Peroxide cuts excess oil on your skin and has a drying effect.
  • Has an added pH adjuster that maintains the right pH level for your skin that demotes bacteria invasion and excessive sebum production.
  • It is a light-ingredient formula i.e. it has fewer ingredients which makes it suitable for use not just on the facebut throughout.
  • Has a non-foaming lotion like consistency which absorbs readily and shows instant improvements.
  • It is free from alcohol, added fragrance and parabens.


  • It might cause dryness, peeling and redness due to high concentration of Benzoyl Peroxide.
  • In some cases, Benzyl Peroxide can cause hyperpigmentation.

5. Amara Organics Vitamin C Serum for Face

Fused with the essence of Vitamin C, Amara Organics Serum works wonders for your skin giving you a flawless and radiant face. Use daily after cleansing your skin to achieve great results.

Suitable For: All types of skin except sensitive.


  • Holds the strength of Vitamin C that works as an astringent and removes all the accumulated oil, dead cells and bacteria from your skin pores.
  • Aloe Vera extract helps in maintain the moisture level of your skin and its anti-bacterial properties disinfect your skin from the fluid filled in nods and cysts.
  • Witch hazel helps in drying out blemishes and pimples by shrinking your pores.
  • The presence of glycerin ensures skin hydration and prevents your skin from drying out.
  • Vitamin E oil neutralizes the free radicals that might otherwise damage the skin and lead to acne.
  • Hyaluronic Acid preserves the softness of skin and reduces signs of dryness and aging.
  • It is a rich anti-oxidant formula that stimulates skin collagen and repairs your skin eliminating all the acne scars.
  • It is alcohol-free and does not contain fragrance.


  • It can cause dryness if applied frequently as it contains witch hazel and vitamin C both of which dry out skin.
  • Contains witch hazel can cause allergic reactions on sensitive skins.
  • Contains Phenoxyethanol, a preservative that can be harmful for skin.
  • The claim of being a completely organic and natural product is false.

6. Differin Acne Treatment Gel – Over the Counter Cystic Acne Treatment

This FDA approved acne treatment gel uses Adapalene as an active ingredient to wipe out mild to moderate acne. Adapalene is a topical retinoid that is used as an over the counter treatment for acne.

Suitable For: Combination to Oily skin.


  • Comprises of 0.1% Adapalene as an active ingredient which is considered as over the counter treatment for acne.
  • Clears break outs from deep inside the pores and prevents future blemishes.
  • Deals and targets two problem areas: clogged pores and inflammation to treat your acne lesions.
  • It is a water-based formula and can be applied easily as it does not need any rinsing off.
  • It is an oil-free formula and does not contain alcohol.
  • Stores skin tone and texture healing all the inflammation.


  • It contains paraben and can cause adverse reaction to those who are sensitive to paraben and have suffered reactions in past.
  • Adapalene should only be used once a day. Using this product more will not provide any instant results instead it might irritate your skin.

7. SkinCeuticals Blemish and Age Defense Serum

SkinCeuticals Serum is designed to provide relief from both adult acne and signs of ageing. So, this serum is perfect for anyone searching for a product that holds both acne-clearing and anti-ageing mechanisms.

Suitable For: All types of skin.


  • Uses Dioic Acid as an active ingredient which is uncommon yet very effective for acne as it fights excess oil and acne formation.
  • Salicylic Acid and Glycolic acid both unclog pores and stimulate the shedding of dead cells making your skin super clean.
  • It is essenced with citric acid which boosts skin collagen, works as an astringent to give you a cyst free skin.
  • Since Salicylic Acid and Glycolic Acid trigger cell turnover process, this serum diminishes all signs of ageing revealing a youthful skin.
  • It generally improves the appearance of uneven and spotty skin.
  • Free from added fragrance and parabens.


  • It contains denatured alcohol that might cause irritation, redness and burning sensation to sensitive skin or someone who has suffered allergic reaction in past.
  • Since it consists of high acid concentration, this might cause dryness.
  • Most expensive product on the list.

8. Mario Badescu Drying Lotion

Mario Badescu Drying Lotion holds the ability to fight your blemishes overnight. All you need to do is to dab some amount on your face on the acne-affected area and let it dry. Then wash it in the morning and view the results.

Suitable For: Oily skin.


  • Brewed with salicylic acid this lotion clears out all the dead cells and sebum build up from your pores, as a result shrinking them.
  • It contains sulfur that draws out oil from your pores and blemish areas making your skin feel light and blemish-free.
  • The presence of calamine neutralizes its drying effect as it has a soothing and cooling effect.
  • Comprises of Zinc Oxide that dries out oil production and calms the inflammation surrounding the acne spots.
  • It does not contain added fragrance and parabens.
  • This product has a very reasonable price.


  • Since this lotion has a drying effect, it uses alcohol as its ingredients which can be harmful to your acne-prone skin.
  • Contains talc and Titanium dioxide that irritate skin and can cause you more breakouts.

9. Neutrogena Stubborn Acne Rapid Clear Face Mask

This Neutrogena Face Mask is a daily Leave-on mask that is clinically proven to reduce acne and spots within four hours. Its light-weight formula makes it easy to use and absorbs into skin quickly revealing an improved skin.

Suitable For: Combination to Oily skin.


  • Provides 2.5% Benzoyl Peroxide treatment which acts as an anti-bacterial agent killing acne-causing bacteria present in your pores.
  • Due to Benzoyl Peroxide this mask also provides anti-inflammatory effect that heals all the redness caused because of cystic acne.
  • It gently detoxifies your pores and releases sebum buildup to eliminate chances of whiteheads and blackheads.
  • The presence of glycerin ensures that your skin hydration level is maintained and fills your pores vanishing wrinkles and age spots.
  • Becomes transparent and clear when dries on skin making it suitable for use underneath makeup or moisturizer.
  • Unlike traditional masks this mask is not a wash-off product so you can easily carry out any activity you are doing with this mask on.
  • It is free from alcohol, added fragrance and parabens.


  • Benzoyl Peroxide can cause irritation on sensitive skin or to those who are allergic to it.
  • Can cause dryness and peeling if you have dry skin.
  • It is a pricey product.

10. iS CLINICAL Pro-Heal Serum Advance+– Best Treatment for Cystic Acne

This product is one of the best choices for cystic acnewhen it comes to sensitive skin. Where market is starved from such a product, iS CLINICAL Pro-Heal Serum comes as a savior and works as a miracle for your sensitive skin.

Suitable For: All types of skin including sensitive


  • Fused with Vitamin C this serum boosts the skin renewal process shedding all the dead cells.
  • The astringent properties of Vitamin C clear out all your pore clogs preventing bacteria invasion and acne formation.
  • Reduces pores and shrinks them giving your skin age-defying properties.
  • Provides maximum anti-oxidant protection with the help of olive extract, Vitamin A and E that neutralize free radicals.
  • The compound Zinc Sulfate minimizes inflammation and calms redness.
  • The presence of Kojic Acid prevents further blemishes.
  • Effective in treating other skin conditions besides acne, such as rosacea, contact dermatitis and insect hives.
  • It is free from alcohol, fragrance and all other harmful ingredients for sensitive skin.


  • The only disadvantage of this serum is its hefty price which often keeps increasing.

Wrapping Up

As difficult as it seems to cure cystic acne, if you stay persistent once you know what works for you, you can definitely achieve significant improvements. You also need to consult your dermatologist if you suffer from cystic acne due to any hormonal disease or condition.

So, pick what suits your skin type and use the product with consistency. Good Luck!

Sheikh has been blogging regularly at CAA for over 5 years. He spends majority of his time studying health and technology or participating in discussions about these niches (online or offline).


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