With so many skin care brands vying for your attention, trying to figure out which products will actually treat your breakouts can get super overwhelming — but don’t spend hours comparing reviews online just yet. To help streamline your search, Bustle pinged a few dermatologists for their picks of the best Cetaphil products for acne. No knock to the newcomers on the shelves, but Cetaphil — a drugstore beauty MVP and TikTok darling skin care brand — has been beloved by derms and consumers alike for more than seven decades, and its products are specially formulated for finicky, sensitive skin.
When treating mild to moderate acne, each of the derms Bustle spoke with point to three star ingredients: benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, and retinoids. With that in mind, their top-recommended Cetaphil products for treating and preventing acne mainly contain at least one of those within the formula. You’ll find a benzoyl peroxide cleanser, a salicylic acid serum, and a dark spot corrector that features bakuchiol, a plant-based alternative to retinol. These derm-approved products also include a host of supportive ingredients to balance the breakout-busting ones, like ones that keep your skin barrier nourished and your complexion protected from sun damage as you treat zits.
Some advice, courtesy of the experts: Stay consistent, be patient, and if the OTC concoctions just aren’t doing the trick, check in with your dermatologist who may want to up the ante with a prescription-strength treatment plan. But, with any luck, the Cetaphil products ahead could be your ticket to clearer, blemish-free skin without the in-office appointment.
We at Bustle only include products that have been independently selected by our editors. We may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.
Chaudhuri, R. (2011). Bakuchiol in the management of acne-affected Skin. Cosmet Toilet. Vol. 126 No. 7/July 2011.
Martin, T. & Goodman, M.B. (2021). Benzoyl Peroxide. StatPearls. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK537220/
Dr. Chris Tomassian, M.D., Los Angeles-based dermatologist
Dr. Ryan Turner, M.D., New York City-based board-certified dermatologist
Dr. Heather Woolery-Lloyd, M.D., board-certified dermatologist