What is Acne?

While some people believe only teens get acne, the truth is that acne can affect people of all ages. According to NorthShore University, around 25% of adult men and 50 percent of adult women experience acne in one form or another.

Acne is a skin condition that occurs when your hair follicles become clogged with oil and dead skin cells. This can lead to blackheads, whiteheads, pimples, and cysts.

There are many factors that can contribute to acne, including genetics, hormones, diet, stress, and certain medications.

What is Acne?


If you’re wondering how to clear acne, there are a few things you can do.

First, start by cleansing your face twice a day with a gentle cleanser. Be sure to avoid harsh scrubbing, which can irritate your skin and make acne worse.

Cleansing your skin will help to remove dirt, oil, and makeup that can clog your pores and lead to breakouts.


In addition to cleansing, you should also exfoliate your skin once or twice a week. Exfoliating helps to remove dead skin cells that can build up on the surface of your skin and cause breakouts.

Furthermore, exfoliating can also help to unclog your pores and prevent future breakouts.

There are two main types of exfoliants: manual and chemical. Manual exfoliants, such as scrubs, use physical friction to slough away dead skin cells. Chemical exfoliants, on the other hand, use acids or enzymes to dissolve dead skin cells.

I prefer chemical exfoliants because they’re more gentle on the skin and less likely to cause irritation. However, everyone’s skin is different, so you may need to experiment with both types of exfoliants to see what works best for you.


It’s important to moisturize your skin, even if you have acne-prone skin. Moisturizing helps to keep your skin hydrated and can actually help to reduce breakouts.

Look for a light, non-comedogenic (non-pore-clogging) moisturizer that won’t clog your pores or irritate your skin.

Treating Breakouts

Once you have a breakout, it’s important to treat it promptly to prevent it from getting worse.

There are many over-the-counter acne treatments that can be effective, but some people prefer to use natural or alternative treatments.

Some popular natural acne treatments include tea tree oil, apple cider vinegar, and aloe vera. However, I’ve checked out many cruelty-free acne products available today and after looking over the reviews, I’ve created this comprehensive list below of the best vegan and cruelty-free acne treatments on the market.

Best Cruelty-Free Acne Products

best vegan acne treatment

Superfood Cleanser Kale + Green Tea Spinach Vitamins

This face wash by Superfood Cleaner has a deep-cleansing foamy texture that won’t strip your skin of its natural oils. It’s also great for dissolving makeup and excess oil, making it excellent for oily and combination skin types.

Superfood Cleaner is crafted with an infusion of antioxidant and vitamin-rich ingredients including spinach, kale, and anti-inflammatory green tea, which when combined, leave skin feeling and looking RADIANT and super clean!

Herbal scent? You got it! Plus this glass bottle is environmentally friendly AND you can purchase refills for it. This product is a win-win for anyone who is serious about having acne-free skin while remaining conscious of animals and the environment!

best vegan acne treatment
the ordinary balance set vegan cruelty free acne treatment

The Ordinary

Not only does niacinamide, also known as vitamin B3, regulate your oil and sebum production, but it also decreases pore appearance. Niacinamide will leave your skin looking flawless by calming redness and irritation while also diminishing acne scars and improving uneven skin tone.

The Ordinary’s niacinamide comes with 1% zinc, which offers impressive anti-inflammatory properties. It leaves no sticky residue behind, as lower quality niacinamide serums frequently do. This is an extremely low-cost serum too, making it one of the most affordable options on the market today!

Mario Badescu Drying Lotion vegan cruelty free acne treatment

Mario Badescu Drying Lotion

Before bed, dab on this award-winning drying lotion from Mario Badescu to get rid of pimples quickly. Salicylic acid and sulfur are the two active components in this rapid-acting spot treatment. It functions like an overnight mask that dries up active pimples before morning. This is perfect for anyone who wants to wake up with pimples shrinking, well on their way to a clear face.

Mario Badescu Drying Lotion vegan cruelty free acne treatment

Pixi Glow Mud Mask

Using a kaolin and sea salt face mask can help you get rid of pimples fast. It draws out oil and dirt hiding in your blemishes and pores. This results in rapid pimple shrinkage. This mask also prevents the skin from breaking out even more. Balanced with aloe vera and ginseng to preserve the skin, you’ll find this mud mask contributes to healthy and radiant complexions.

COSRX Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser acne treatment cruelty free

COSRX Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser

Tea tree oil, a well-known anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory agent, is used in this mild cruelty-free foaming gel cleanser. This K-beauty face wash cleanses without irritating the skin, and it won’t leave your skin dry or stripped because it’s alcohol-free. This face wash has a strong tea tree odor that may be unpleasant for scent-sensitive people. However, if you love tea tree oil, you’ll adore this cleanser!

COSRX Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser acne treatment cruelty free

Paula's Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant

This vegan-favorite skin-clearing lotion is high in salicylic acid (BHA), which goes deep into the pores and expels all extra oil, grime, and sebum. It minimizes spots, whiteheads, blackheads, and greasiness on oily skin types. A cotton pad or your fingers may be used to apply the liquid; it absorbs quickly.

Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay cruelty-free acne mask

Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay

Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay is the deep pore cleansing facial, body, and hair mask you need. This cruelty-free vegan mask is made from 100% natural calcium bentonite clay that’s perfect for insect bites, clay baths, body wraps, facials, and more.

Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay cruelty-free acne mask
Dermalogica Clearing Skin Wash acne cruelty free face wash

Dermalogica Clearing Skin Wash

Dermalogica’s Clearing Skin Wash is a foaming cleanser that clears skin and reduces visible skin aging. Salicylic Acid, a Beta Hydroxy Acid, encourages natural exfoliation to clear blocked follicles and bring dull, aging skin back to life with our revitalizing cream. It also clears away excess oil without stripping the skin of its natural oils, which helps prevent future breakouts while calming irritation.

COSRX Pimple Master Patch cruelty free acne patches

COSRX Pimple Master Patch

The COSRX Pimple Master Patch is a revolutionary way to treat acne! The hydrocolloid dressing absorbs sebum and draws out impurities while protecting the skin and encouraging faster healing. This patch is perfect for those who want to avoid popping pimples and would prefer to get rid of them without the pain!

COSRX Pimple Master Patch cruelty free acne patches
Paula's Choice Weightless Body Treatment 2% BHA

Paula's Choice Weightless Body Treatment 2% BHA

Looking for a way to soften and smooth your skin without any irritation? Paula’s Choice has the perfect solution with their Weightless Body Treatment 2% BHA. This gentle exfoliator is formulated with nourishing plant extracts and 2% Salicylic Acid to clear away dead skin cells and reveal softer, smoother skin. It also helps to reduce the appearance of aging and leaves your skin looking radiant.

Dr. Dennis Gross Acne Eliminating Gel vegan acne treatment

Dr. Dennis Gross Acne Eliminating Gel

Interested in getting rid of acne without any irritation? Look no further than the Dr. Dennis Gross Acne Eliminating Gel! This fast-acting formula is powered by salicylic acid, AHAs, niacinamide, and monk’s pepper to fight blemishes and reduce redness. It also unclogs pores and prevents future breakouts. Aloe vera and green tea soothe skin for a clear, balanced complexion.

Dr. Dennis Gross Acne Eliminating Gel vegan acne treatment
Murad InvisiScar Resurfacing Treatment cruelty free acne treatment

Murad InvisiScar Resurfacing Treatment

If you’re looking for a resurfacing treatment that can help minimize the look of your acne scars, Murad InvisiScar Resurfacing Treatment may be the perfect option for you. This treatment is formulated with BHA exfoliants to help slough away dead skin cells and vitamin C to encourage a healthier-looking complexion. In addition, centella asiatica helps to improve the appearance of scars over time.

Cruelty-Free Acne-Fighting Products with Salicylic Acid

Cruelty-Free Masks/Peels

Cruelty-Free Spot Treatments

Cruelty-Free Serums/Oils

Feel free to reach out if you know of any other cruelty-free acne skincare products we should include in this post!