7 Exfoliating Serums for Oily & Acne-Prone Skin

If you think serums are a better investment for treating and preventing acne than toners, great news! Here’s a list of eight serums with amazing ingredients to keep your active breakouts at bay!

Some By Mi Miracle Serum

$27 from Soko Glam


When it comes to hydration, reducing irritation, and delivering all the beneficial properties of chemical exfoliation, this serum hits all the boxes. As the companion to the famous toner, it contains a combination of tea tree leaf water, 4.5% centella asiatica, and a blend of AHAs and PHA.

Versed Just Breathe Clarifying Serum

$19.99 from Versed Skin


This exfoliating Versed serum addresses both acne-caused inflammation and pigmentation! It contains niacinamide and licorice root extract for brightening the skin, plus a combination of willow bark extract and salicylic acid to help decongest and unclog pores.

CeraVe Resurfacing Retinol Serum

$19.99 from Ulta


This serum may be a drugstore brand, but the ingredients make it a very promising product. Not only does this contain retinol to smooth uneven skin tone and calm acne, but it also has ceramides to nourish the skin barrier. The serum is also formulated with licorice root extract, niacinamide, and sodium hyaluronate — all of which are great ingredients for brightening up acne marks and leaving the skin hydrated.

Drunk Elephant T.L.C Framboos Glycolic Resurfacing Night Serum

$90-134 from Sephora


If you’re an advanced user of chemical exfoliants, this might be up your alley. This Drunk Elephant serum contains 12% AHA (glycolic, tartaric, lactic, citric) and BHA ingredients to encourage resurfacing, and raspberry fruit extract to soothe the skin. FYI, this serum can be very intense and should only be used for your nighttime routine. And follow up with sunscreen the next day!

Farmacy Honeymoon Glow

$58 from Sephora


The Farmacy Honeymoon Glow is also a heavy hitting serum that can leave skin looking bright overnight. It’s formulated with 14% AHA (lactic, glycolic, citric, fruit acids) and BHA (willow bark extract) for resurfacing the skin. There’s also PHA (gluconolactone) to help with evening out your skin tone. And don’t forget honey, royal jelly, and propolis extracts for hydration!

Naturium Vitamin C Super Serum Plus

$25 from Naturium


Super-charged with retinyl palmitate (a retinol derivative), salicylic acid, and glutathione, this vitamin C serum from Naturium contains all the goodies for brightening up discoloration and evening out skin tone.

Bliss Clarifying Toner + Serum

$18 from Bliss


This unusual toner/serum hybrid contains ingredients that help to clarify pores and regulate excess sebum production. There’s witch hazel water, salicylic acid, willow bark extract, zinc PCA, centella, and tea tree leaf oil — just to name a few. Best of all, this calming serum sinks into the skin without leaving a sticky residue. 

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