Best CeraVe Products for Acne: Our Top 5 Picks

An acne breakout can, quite literally, be a real pain! Irritated skin, sore blemishes, and unsightly blackheads are something that we all try to prevent.

However, environmental factors, the aging process, and even our genetic makeup can make curing acne a really difficult thing. 

It can also really affect our confidence and, for teenagers, in particular, a breakout of acne can wreak havoc on our day to day lives. It doesn’t have to be this way, though!

There are loads of skincare products designed specifically for treating acne and preventing further breakouts. And, of all of them, it’s CeraVe that reigns supreme!

The number one dermatologist-recommended skincare brand, CeraVe has a collection of acne-fighting products that will make blemishes and blackheads a thing of the past!

However, finding the best CeraVe skincare for your individual needs does take a little time and effort.

So, to make things a little easier, we’ve compiled a list of the best CeraVe products for acne below.

We’ve also put together a super useful buying guide that’s packed with information on what ingredients to look out for to help in the fight against acne, as well as how to figure out your skin type.

Best CeraVe Products for Acne: Our Top 5 Picks

In a hurry? Let’s get things started by taking a look at our top pick.

1. Best Overall: CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser

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Washing your face with CeraVe’s Hydrating Facial Cleaner at the end of each day is one of the best ways to remove the trapped dirt and oil that accumulates in your pores and prevent an acne breakout.

Designed for use on normal to dry skin, it’s both powerful and gentle, so won’t cause any irritation on existing acne either. 

This fantastic facial cleanser is formulated from three essential ceramides; 1, 3, and 6-II. These are naturally found in the skin and help to create a natural protective barrier against acne-causing bacteria and pollutants.

By using this cleanser, you’ll be feeding your skin with more of these natural ceramides and reinforcing this protective barrier. 

It also contains hyaluronic acid. This wonder-ingredient feeds the skin and helps it retain up to 1000x more moisture. By doing this, any existing acne can heal better and the chances of scarring are dramatically reduced. 

CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser is paraben-free and fragrance-free too, so there’s no risk of irritating delicate skin. It’s also non-comedogenic, and this means that no cleanser will be left in your pores once you’ve washed it away.

The pump-design makes it easy to dispense, and the non-foaming formula allows you to accurately see where you’ve applied the cleanser without any bubbles blocking your view!


  • A powerful, yet gentle acne cleanser that can be used on normal to dry skin
  • Contains essential ceramides that help restore and reinforce the skin’s natural protective barrier
  • Also contains hyaluronic acid to feed the skin and help it retains up to 1000x more moisture
  • Is fragrance-free, paraben-free, and non-comedogenic
  • Easy to dispense and non-foaming, allowing for more accurate placement


  • Although this is a gentle cleanser, it may still be too powerful to use on particularly sensitive skin

Related: CeraVe Renewing SA Cleanser review

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2. CeraVe Vitamin C Serum

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To beat acne, a full skincare regime is necessary and the CeraVe Vitamin C Serum is a fabulous addition to incorporate into your daily routine. Applied after your cleanser, it will help to feed your skin with all the acne-fighting ingredients it needs to remain looking clear and healthy.

Chief amongst these ingredients is Vitamin C, which is otherwise known as L-Ascorbic acid. This helps to even out skin tone, reduces inflammation around existing blemishes, fights against free-radicals, and acts as an antioxidant.

It contains ceramides 1,3, and 6-II too, adding more strength to your skin’s natural protective barrier. 

Hyaluronic acid can also be found within this serum’s list of ingredients. This is a great addition to any acne-preventing skincare product, as it will feed your skin with moisture, help it retain the moisture much more effectively, and prevent scarring that can come from dry blemishes. 

This serum has been specially formulated to provide a lightweight feel when applied to the skin. This means there’s no risk of your skin feeling sticky or any tacky residue being left behind.

It’s also fragrance-free, paraben-free, and non-comedogenic, so it’s gentle enough to be used on sensitive skin and won’t clog your pores. 


  • A lightweight serum that’s gentle enough to use on sensitive skin
  • Contains Vitamin C (L-Ascorbic acid) to help even out skin tone, fight against pollutants and reduce inflammation
  • Also contains hyaluronic acid that feeds the skin with moisture and helps retain it
  • Has a lightweight, non-sticky feeling that easily absorbs into the skin
  • Is paraben-free, fragrance-free, and non-comedogenic


  • Some people that purchased this serum noted an issue with the tube cracking over continued use, which led to some of the product leaking out

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3. CeraVe Acne Foaming Cream Cleanser

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The stand out ingredient in this CeraVe Acne Foaming Cream Cleanser is Benzoyl Peroxide. This helps to clear out pores, eliminates blackheads and pimples, and allows the skin to heal around existing acne.

So, if you’ve got particularly acne-prone skin, or you’re suffering from a really bad breakout, this could be the solution you’ve been looking for. 

It has a unique two-stage, cream-to-foam formula. This allows you to initially apply it evenly across your face without foam covering any untreated areas.

Once applied, gently massaging it into your skin will transform it into a foam and this will deep clean your pores, pulling out any dirt, excess oil, and makeup. 

This foaming cream cleanser also contains hyaluronic acid and three essential ceramides (1, 3, and 6-II). This combination of ingredients helps your skin retain moisture and reinforces your skin’s natural protective barrier.

In turn, this prevents your pores from clogging with natural oils, dirt, and pollutants and keeps your skin acne-free. 

Paraben-free, fragrance-free, and non-comedogenic, this cleanser is even safe to use on sensitive skin without causing any irritation.

It also contains Vitamin B3 (Niacinamide) which helps to calm skin and reduce inflammation, resulting in soothed existing blemishes and reducing the chances of any more developing.


  • Contains Benzoyl Peroxide that clears away blackheads and pimples, as well as preventing further outbreaks
  • The incorporation of benzoyl peroxide also helps existing blemishes and irritated skin to heal better with a reduced chance of scarring
  • Also contains hyaluronic acid for better skin-moisture retention, and ceramides 1, 3,  and 6-II to reinforce the skin’s natural protective barrier
  • Vitamin B3 (Niacinamide) also features in the ingredients and helps soothe irritated skin
  • Is paraben-free, non-comedogenic, and fragrance-free, making it safe to use on sensitive skin


  • Can take a few weeks for results to appear on skin suffering from very bad acne, but it is worth persevering with if you want great results

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4. CeraVe Hydrating Hyaluronic Acid Serum

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One of the best ways to prevent acne from forming is to keep your skin well-hydrated. This is easily achievable with the use of CeraVe’s Hydrating Hyaluronic Acid Serum. Designed to feed your skin with moisture and lock it in, your skin will feel smooth and acne blemishes will soon be a thing of the past. 

It has also been formulated with patented MVE Controlled Release Technology. This means that your skin will be fed with moisture throughout the day, rather than giving it one big hit all at once. In turn, your skin will constantly be protected and the chances of dry patches developing are dramatically reduced. 

While hyaluronic acid plays the starring role in this serum, there are other acne-fighting ingredients that add to its power. This includes a combination of ceramides 1, 3, and 6-II, which help to restore and reinforce the skin’s natural barrier.

It also contains Vitamin B5 to help soothe the skin and provide pain relief for existing acne.

This serum can either be used either as a moisturizer on its own or layered underneath another moisturizer for added nourishment and protection. It’s also paraben-free, fragrance-free, and non-comedogenic, so it’s safe to use on sensitive skin without causing any irritation. 


  • Contains hyaluronic acid that feeds the skin and locks in up to 1000x more moisture
  • Utilizes patented MVE Controlled Release Technology that ensures a steady release of moisture throughout the day
  • Also contains ceramides 1, 3, and 6-II that reinforce the skin’s natural barrier, as well as Vitamin B5 which soothes irritated skin
  • Can be used as a stand-alone moisturizer or layered underneath another moisturizer for added protection
  • Suitable for sensitive skin and is non-comedogenic, paraben-free, and fragrance-free


  • Some people who used this serum noted that it can take a little while to fully absorb into the skin. However, it doesn’t leave any residue behind once it has. 

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5. CeraVe Hydrating Cream-to-Foam Cleanser

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CeraVe’s Hydrating Cream-to-Foam Cleanser is ideal for deep cleaning your pores and can even remove makeup.

This means you won’t have to worry about using a potentially skin-aggravating makeup remover before washing your face, keeping existing acne soothed, and preventing further breakouts. 

As its name suggests, this cleanser features a two-stage formula. When applied to the face, it has a cream consistency. This allows for precise application and allows you to get into every crease.

Once massaged, it begins to transform into a foamy cleanser that draws out any impurities so they can be washed away. 

Within the list of ingredients, you’ll find hyaluronic acid. This is one the most popular and effective acne-fighters and helps your skin retain up to 1000x more moisture, preventing it from drying out and leading to blemishes.

It also contains essential ceramides (1, 3, and 6-II), and these help to restore and maintain your skin’s natural protective barrier. 

Suitable for use on normal to dry skin, this cleanser doesn’t contain any parabens or artificial fragrances. It’s also non-comedogenic, and this means that none of the cleanser itself will be left in your pores once you’ve washed it away.

It’s even suitable for contact lens wearers, allowing you to keep them in while you wash your face without any fear of it irritating your eyes. 


  • A powerful, yet gentle cleanser that can even be used to remove makeup without causing any skin irritation
  • The two-stage formula allows you to apply the cleanser precisely before massaging it into a foam
  • Contains moisture-retentive hyaluronic acid and skin-barrier reinforcing ceramides 1, 3, and 6-II
  • Suitable for use on normal to dry skin
  • Can be used while wearing contact lenses without causing any eye irritation


  • Although no artificial fragrances have been added to this cleanser, some people noted that it does have a medical-like scent

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CeraVe Products for Acne: Buyer’s Guide

Fighting acne and preventing further breakouts is something that takes a little research.

You need to make sure you’ve got products that are suitable for your skin type, contain the right ingredients, and, most importantly, can easily be replenished when you’ve run out.

CeraVe covers all of the above and, as such, has become one of the world’s most popular skincare brands. It’s also the Number 1 recommended skincare brand by dermatologists, which goes further to prove it’s effectiveness in the battle against acne.

But what should you be looking for specifically when choosing your CeraVe products? Below, we’ve highlighted some key areas to pay attention to when shopping.

Giving each of these a little thought will help you build the perfect skincare regime for your needs, and save you a lot of time and effort.

Related: CeraVe vs. Cetaphil

Skin Type

Let’s begin by looking at the different skin types. Every person is different and, as such, so is their skin type.

Some people have oily skin, some have dry skin, but one thing we all have in common is that every skin type can be prone to acne breakouts. 

However, there isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ approach to skincare. Some products are too strong for sensitive skin, while others aren’t abrasive enough to clear away excess oil. So, before you decide what acne-fighting products are best for you, you’ll need to determine what skin type you have. 

To help you do this, take a look at our quick-reference guide below:

Skin TypeCharacteristics
Normal SkinEven skin toneNot too oilyNot too drySmall, hardly visible pores
Sensitive SkinRough textureScaly, flaky appearanceItchy or irritated patches of skinSkin feels tight
Oily SkinEnlarged, visible poresHas a shiny appearanceFrequently suffers from blemishes
Combination SkinOily patches of skin around the nose, forehead, and chinDry patches of skin around the mouth, eyes, and cheeksEnlarged, visible pores on the nose and foreheadProne to blemishes

Once you’ve worked out what skin type you have, you’ll be able to look for a skincare product that contains the correct ingredients.

For example, if you have sensitive skin, an acne cleanser that contains gentler ingredients would be the best option.


Let’s look at ingredients in a little more detail. Many different types of skincare products offer a range of ingredients, all of which play a part in preventing acne breakouts. However, CeraVe uses only a select few across its range of products. This for two reasons. 

The first reason is that these ingredients are the most effective at fighting acne and preventing future breakouts. The second reason is that they are gentler than a lot of other ingredients, meaning that they won’t cause any irritation to the skin while still being effective. 

Below, you’ll find a list of the ingredients that CeraVe uses in most of their acne-beating products, along with a description of what each of them does:

  • Benzoyl peroxide: This is one of the most effective weapons in the fight against acne. It works by penetrating deep into the pores and increasing the oxygen levels within. Acne-causing bacteria cannot live in an oxygen-rich environment, so they are immediately killed and washed-out when you rinse the cleanser away. Benzoyl peroxide also has anti-inflammatory properties, so it will soothe and reduce irritation on existing acne blemishes.
  • Hyaluronic acid: For skin to stay healthy and acne-free, it needs to be fed with moisture. And no other ingredient is better for this than hyaluronic acid. This gives the skin a much-needed drink and, what’s more, it even helps it retain up to 1000x more moisture. This results in a well-hydrated, acne-free complexion.
  • Ceramides: The skin’s natural barrier is constructed from ceramides 1, 3, and 6-II. However, over time and with environmental damage, this barrier breaks down and this can cause acne. So, to prevent this from happening, your skincare should have these ceramides included in the formulation. This will reinforce the skin’s natural barrier and help to maintain it. 
  • Vitamins B3 & B5: Acne can be extremely painful and, although fighting it will help to prevent future breakouts, you also need to give some relief to any existing blemishes. If not, painful and unsightly scarring can occur. This is where Vitamins B3 & B5 are good ingredients to look out for. These will soothe the irritated skin around any blemishes and help them heal with a reduced risk of scarring. 
  • Vitamin C: We all know that Vitamin C is great for our immune system, but did you know that it’s a fantastic skincare ingredient too? When applied to the face, it can help even out skin tone and provide anti-inflammatory relief. It’s also a fantastic antioxidant, so it’s ideal for keeping away pollutants and free radicals that can cause acne.

While other products might boast of different formulations, the truth is that your skin only requires a few basic ingredients to help keep acne away. And, the more you put on your skin, the more likely you are to irritate it. 

So, by using a product containing a mixture of the above ingredients, you’ll be able to keep your complexion acne-free while reducing the risk of causing any further damage. 

Skin Sensitivity

As well as using minimal ingredients, there are some other things to look out for to help prevent further skin sensitivity issues when you’re treating an acne breakout.

The first of these is whether it’s paraben-free. This means that there aren’t any harmful or abrasive chemicals in the ingredients that could cause harm to delicate skin.

If you fall into the sensitive skin category, it’s also a good idea to make sure your chosen skincare is fragrance-free. This means that it won’t have any artificial scents added to it that could potentially irritate your skin.

It’s also a good thing to choose for any skin type, as a very strong fragrance could stay with you all day.

Finally, regardless of your skin type, you should make sure that your chosen acne-fighting products are non-comedogenic. Put simply, this means that it won’t stick in your pores after you’ve washed your cleanser away.

By doing this, it reduces the risk of the product itself causing an acne breakout. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best skincare for acne?

To fight acne, you need skin care products that contain the correct ingredients for your skin type and that won’t cause any further irritation. Ingredients such as benzoyl peroxide, hyaluronic acid, and ceramides are ideal for this.

CeraVe is one of the best skincare products for treating acne. Check out our top picks of CeraVe acne-fighting products above.

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