Top 5 high street skincare brands for acne [reviewed 2024]

Vanessa Gibbs


When it comes to skincare, the brands which develop, formulate and package the products are just as important as the products themselves – especially if you suffer with acne-prone skin that requires a higher level of efficacy. 

Trying to find skincare that fits your needs can be a challenge, especially when there’s so much out there to choose from. Here at Face Dr we specialise in medical grade products, but we know that not everyone wants or needs pharma grade skincare. Looking for products that will deliver proven results? Book a consultation with us today.


However, if you’re looking to get your skin fix on the high street, we’ve got you covered.

In order to help you make the best buying decisions for your blemishes, we’ve done the research for you and rounded up five of the best skincare brands on the 2024 high street. Our Skin Experts live and breathe skincare, know exactly what works for acne and respect the high standards products need to meet in order to be effective. With that in mind, we’ve come up with five important criteria that brands should meet: 

  • A high standard of research and development when formulating products
  • Mission statements which put the customer first
  • Environmentally conscious production
  • Dermatologically recognised
  • Proven efficacy when treating symptoms of acne

Each of the below brands meet these criteria. They’re also all readily available on the high street, so there are no barriers to your buying. 

woman with clear skin looking at camera



Created by Jane Wurwand, the skincare genius who founded the globally acclaimed International Dermal Institute (IDI), Dermalogica is a major player in the skincare market. With IDI still serving as their primary research arm, you can be sure this company’s products are developed to the highest of standards.

With their focus firmly on ‘skin health’ rather than ‘beauty’ their product ranges are effectively formulated to treat troublesome breakouts and promote good skin. With plain packaging that is environmentally sustainable, you can be sure that the majority of their budget is being poured into producing the best products possible. 

Used by skincare professionals around the world, this cruelty free brand makes skincare that’s free from fragrance, lanolin, mineral oil and any other irritants that could make your acne worse. From excess oil production to blemish control, Dermalogica’s gentle cleansers and skin-savvy formulas provide some of the market’s most effective treatments for acne.

Dermalogica Sebum Clearing Masque, £45

Kas: ‘I tried everything under the sun and everything just irritated my super sensitive skin. Instead of investing in makeup to cover my skin I took a leap to treat my skin so I wouldn't have to wear makeup and I'm so glad I did!’

La Roche-Posay

This high street wonder comes widely recommended by dermatologists and boasts proven efficacy under rigorous testing when treating symptoms of acne and acne rosacea. Their products are 100% allergy tested and gentle on sensitive, reactive skin. 

Enriched by thermal spring water which provides a powerful, healing antioxidant called selenium, these formulas are great at fighting free radicals. With a range of products that hydrate and nourish without stripping the skin, any acne sufferer can be sure this brand’s formulations won’t add to their skin stress.

La Roche-Posay Effaclar K (+) Moisturiser for Oily Skin, £17

Melanie: ‘This product does wonders and has been recommended to me by my dermatologist for years, suffering from acne. Love this product as well as the effaclar duo! A staple.’

The Ordinary

Whoever said good skincare had to be expensive clearly hadn’t encountered The Ordinary. Their no-frills formulas are free from parabens, sulfates and mineral oils – none of which have a place in any healthy skincare regime

With a mission to provide functional beauty at honourable prices, this brand is all about integrity. All too often skincare brands lay claim to ‘ground-breaking formulas’ and post grandiose campaign messaging. The Ordinary plays no such game. They maintain that theirs are commonplace formulas made from active ingredients that simply do the jobs they’re supposed to. 

With some of the lowest price points, this brand is a great starting point for anyone in need of acne treatment on a budget. They also do not test on animals – so you can sleep easy knowing the bunnies are safe. 

The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Solution, £4.20

Lzara: ‘The best salicylic acid that I have used. I would apply the acid to my most stubborn acne areas and the next day my spots would be dry and peeling off. I recommend using this product only 2 times a week if you have sensitive skin!’


REN is all about squeaky clean skincare. Using quality ingredients from sustainable sources which are packaged with the environment in mind and always cruelty-free is this brand’s mission. They understand that stripped-back skincare and gentle cleansing is more effective than irritating peels and extra-strength formulas. 

With an expert understanding of how skin behaves, REN’s ranges for oily skin which target everything from troublesome t-zones to plugged up pores are visibly effective. They’re also committed to the expansion of their (already strong) vegan collections so anyone on the hunt for plant-based skincare need look no further. 

REN Ready Set Glow Daily AHA Tonic, £27

Tolu: ‘The best toner I've ever used. Non-irritating and fasting acting, it gives me a glowing and more even toned skin within a few days.’


Developed by dermatologists and made with sensitive skin in mind, CeraVe’s fragrance-free, non-comedogenic formulas are perfect for acne-prone skin. 

Their range of products, all cruelty-free, which target acne symptoms such as inflammation and pimples promise to cleanse skin without being over-drying or exacerbating irritation. It’s a common misconception that all acne-prone skin is oily. If you find you suffer with acne and your skin is dry or sore, this brand is one of the best on the market for moisture. 

CeraVe AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion with SPF 25, £13

Anon: ‘My existing spots vanished within a day. the spots which were beginning to show - became smaller and flat very quickly. It helped my dry skin, improved my skin tone and texture and was a joy to use. It protects my skin from sun damage, is fragrance free and smells absolutely fine!’

Get expert recommendations 

Face Dr expert giving online skincare consultation for acne

So there you have it - five high street brands that deliver effective skincare products for acne which are backed by world-class research and come dermatologically approved. We hope this article has helped drown out some of the industry noise and streamlined your search for acne-beating skincare.

That being said, we know that sometimes the high street just doesn’t cut it - especially when it comes to chronic skin conditions such as acne. If you think you might be ready to take it up a notch, stick with us.

Face Dr is run by Dr Julia Langford who brings more than 15 years experience to the company and, along with her team of dermatologists and experts, she believes in nothing more than results-driven skincare. You’ll find a range of cost-effective, medical grade skincare products from ZO Skin Health and AllSkin Med right here on our site. We’ve chosen to partner with these brands because they deliver visible results and use the highest quality ingredients your skin needs to thrive. 

If you’d like to read more about either of these brands, click here. For a more in-depth skin analysis why not book a free consultation with one of our skincare professionals. 

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