Skincare Starter Pack: The Best Acne Products

Welcome to the Starter Pack series, a Who What Wear column that dives deep into the seasonal trends everyone’s talking about.

Acne-fighting products are not so much a “trend” but more so a deeply unpleasant reality, but we figured they warranted a starter pack anyway. If you’re breakout prone but aren’t exactly a skincare guru, wrapping your head around what products to have on hand when your skin is being mean to you can be an overwhelming task. That’s why we hit up two top dermatologists—Iris Rubin, MD, co-founder of Seen Hair Care; and Shari Sperling of North Jersey’s Sperling Dermatology—to help put together a no-frills guide to the acne products you actually need. 

The following five products are aimed at preventing and treating acne from the source. “Acne starts with your pores, which can get clogged with dead skin cells and sebum (oil),” explains Rubin. “A blackhead or whitehead is basically a clogged pore.” When oil and dead skin cells mix with bacteria, inflammation and pimples result. Certain ingredients can make this process worse, so it’s important to buy only products that are noncomedogenic, which means they won’t clog your pores. 

What should you buy specifically? To find out, keep scrolling for our dermatologist-approved acne starter pack.