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5 Best Acne Treatments For Black People

5 Best Acne Treatments For Black People

Most people are always troubled with acne and zits, but these acnes can be excruciatingly painful and frustrating for people of color. African Americans usually have comparatively overactive sebaceous glands and a high chance of active acne compared to other skin tones.

In addition, these acnes can cast stubborn post-acne dark spots and scars. Thus, the easiest and best way to prevent or take care of acne is investing in fully effective acne treatment.

You can tackle black skin acne expertly by introducing chemicals like salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide in the daily skincare routine. Therefore to help calm your acne, we have curated a buyer’s guide containing the most trusted and effective acne treatments for black skin.

This guide incorporates different types of treatment styles for people with varied interests, choices, and preferences. We highly recommend perusing our FAQs, where we answer some of the most asked questions related to acne and zits amongst the African American population.

Our Picks for the Best Acne Treatments For Black People:

  1. Mighty Patch Micropoint for Blemishes
  2. Differin Gel Acne Treatment
  3. Proactiv 3 Step Acne Treatment
  4. CeraVe Salicylic Acid Acne Treatment
  5. Neutrogena Rapid Clear Treatment Pads

1. Mighty Patch Micropoint for Blemishes

Mighty Patch
Mighty Patch Micropoint for Blemishes
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Mighty Patch Micropoint for Blemishes is the best acne treatment for black skin on the market. These tiny patch stickers work on the principle of point spot correction. The therapy concentrates all its power on the needed spot. This treatment patch is an excellent preventer and controller for people struggling with cystic acne.


  • The mighty patch works with four key ingredients that fight and tone down your acne within a few hours. The Salicylic acid unclogs the skin pores while the Totarol fights and stops the bacteria from spreading. The Beta Glucan slowly calms the inflamed and upset skin, and finally, the Hyaluronic acid hydrates the skin by returning sufficient moisture to the skin. 
  • These tiny semi-opaque dots work efficiently to clear out early-stage zits. These 173 micro points loaded patches also shrink all blind pimples within just 1 to 2 patches.
  • The product works on an 8-hour acne-fighting timeline wherein it delivers a super-focused and pure dose of salicylic acid to the pimple.
  • These dots are 3x more loaded with micro points than all the leading brands on the market. Its 18-millimeter size is perfect for covering and taking down any big pimple or blemish.
  • The product’s pyramid-shaped micro points covered with super fine tips make the product powerful. The dots are incredibly comfortable and pose a completely effortless application process.
  • The tips are 100% pain-free even when your skin is inflamed or sensitive to acne secretions. The edges are incredibly flat and blend well with the skin.
  • The mighty patch uses a fully premium-grade Hydrocolloid for a safer application.
  • This acne treatment is excellent for all skin types: oily, dry, or combination skin. Since the therapy covers spot-fixing, the rest of the face stays very clear and undisturbed.


  • The most significant shortcoming of this product is its cost. The product’s total price adds up to becoming quite steep compared to the number of patches inside each box.
  • A few customers had a hard time keeping the patches adhered to their faces. 

Extra Features

  • These micro point patches are entirely cruelty-free and allergy-tested. This acne product has not been tested on animals during any stages of developing and manufacturing.
  • The patches are non-drying and non-irritating, thus giving an extraordinarily comfortable feel while using the product throughout the day.

Buying Advice

This acne treatment works effectively on early-stage pimples. Consider applying these patches as soon as you notice any pimples popping up on your face. Cleansing the pimple spots before sticking the patches will offer better results.

2. Differin Gel Acne Treatment

Differin Gel Acne Treatment
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Differin is the best acne treatment for African American skin in a gel form. Its truly scientific formulations and efficacy have made this product our runner-up treatment solution on the list. This gel is highly effective for stress and hormonal acne that keeps propping now and then.


  • The Differin gel contains an OTC Rx-strength acne-wrestling retinoid. These retinoids play a vital role during acne treatment by reducing inflammation and regulating skin cell turnover. 
  • The gel also actively fights pimples and prevents them from propping up. The treatment helps clear breakouts while restoring the skin’s healthy texture and tone.
  • The main difference between Differin and other acne treatments is its two-prong action system. The gel fights by normalizing skin cell turnover while targeting two leading causes of acne- inflammation and clogged pores. 
  • The gel formulation is entirely aluminum-free and is suitable for use during your morning or evening regimen.
  • Its oil-free, water-based formula even reduces the risk of scarring and hyperpigmentation while treating acne. Additionally, the gel is utterly non-comedogenic alcohol and fragrance-free
  • The manufacturers are proud of their success rate. This gel provided up to 87% reduction in acne after continuous use for 12 weeks. The treatment also renews the skin from the inside, thus resulting in smoother and clearer skin over time.


  • This gel treatment can cause significant skin purging. While the adjustment period feels necessary, many customers cannot stand the itching, drying, flakiness, redness, and inflammation for 5-6 weeks.
  • This treatment is nowhere closer to a spot treatment and thus can be highly abrasive on the entire face. 

Extra Features

  • People suffering from acne can apply this gel once a day and be done with it. They do not have to follow any elaborate skincare routine.

Buying Advice

The acne reduction may start appearing after approximately two weeks from the first application. This gel treatment will not give instant results; therefore, people who are ready to go through the skin purging step should only consider using this product.

3. Proactiv 3 Step Acne Treatment

Proactiv 3 Step Acne Treatment
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Proactiv 3 step medication is the best African American acne treatment on the market. This comprehensive treatment includes three steps to get clean and acne-clear skin within a few days. While using the product, you are cleansing, toning, and repairing your acne-riddled skin all at once.


  • This acne kit is one of the first skincare products focused on acne reduction as its primary goal. This kit is specifically designed and curated for acne-prone skin.
  • Proactiv reduces your acne with three products: cleanser, toner, and powerful repairing treatment. The cleanser contains tiny beads that help exfoliate your skin in the gentlest way possible. The benzoyl peroxide penetrates the pores to attack the bacteria. The toner is an alcohol-free formulation that gently removes excess oil and helps balance the tone. The repairing treatment works like a cautionary cream that helps prevent future breakouts.
  • The Proactiv solution delivers a refined and pure dose of benzoyl peroxide deep into your pores to help stop the acne-causing bacteria. The treatment is equally effective in preventing any future breakouts.
  • You can easily include this acne treatment into your daily skincare routine for flawlessly clear skin. 
  • This Proactiv 3 step kit is excellent for skins of all ages. Adults, as well as teens, can use this comprehensive treatment without any skin damage.


  • Their formula is not ideal for dry skin. This treatment is exclusively beneficial for people with oily to combination skin.
  • The quantity of their packaging highly disappoints the user base. The starter size looks like a sampler and barely contains the product to last for thirty days.

Extra Features

This Proactiv 3 step acne treatment kit is available in thirty, sixty, or ninety days pack. You can also subscribe to their package for the monthly delivery of their treatment kit.

Buying Advice

This treatment thoroughly clears up your skin acne within a few months. However, the entire process can be highly drying to your skin; therefore, constant use of a light moisturizer is necessary when using this kit.

4. CeraVe Salicylic Acid Acne Treatment

CeraVe Salicylic Acid Acne Treatment
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CeraVe comes first on the list of effective African American skincare products for acne. This Salicylic acid-based treatment is perfect for black skin suffering from extensive cystic acne. Let’s dive down to find all the crucial benefits and drawbacks of this treatment to help you make an informed decision.


  • This gel treatment is formulated using Salicylic and beta-hydroxy acid to clear out the existing acne and prevent new breakouts. The other alpha-hydroxy acids further soften and smoothen the acne-riddled skin.
  • The gel is extremely useful in minimizing the appearance of the pores. You will notice tight skin without any vast pores.
  • The formulation also includes niacinamide that soothes the skin, while Hyaluronic Acid maintains the skin’s natural moisture.
  • CeraVe products are famous for their unique formulas containing Ceramides. These ceramides work continuously to help restore, maintain and preserve the skin’s natural barrier.
  • This CeraVe acne treatment skin is entirely fragrance-free to avoid any irritation or inflammation. 
  • The gel doesn’t contain denatured alcohol, which causes excessive dryness to the skin. This acne gel will indeed keep your skin happy and glowing without any extreme dryness damage.
  • The treatment is not very creamy and possesses a very lightweight and gel texture for quick absorption into the skin. Your skin will not feel sticky and oily throughout the day.


  • This acne treatment gel increases the skin’s sensitivity which can cause sunburn. Many users have complained about unwanted sunburns after starting the treatment.

Extra Features

The main extra feature of this product is its fragrance-free formula. This dermatologically tested product also works well for people who have dry or sensitive skin.

Buying Advice

We highly recommend using this product as a spot treatment gel. Avoid using this treatment as a moisturizer as overuse can cause extreme dryness.

5. Neutrogena Rapid Clear Treatment Pads

Neutrogena Rapid Clear Treatment Pads
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Neutrogena Rapid Clear Treatment is a convenient and ingenious product for treating acne. The pads help clear the skin without wasting your precious time on elaborate multi-step treatment.


  • These acne treatment face pads contain Salicylic acid that fights acne and helps stop breakouts even before they become visible.
  • It is a fact that Neutrogena offers the best acne products for black skin in the industry. The products are designed to treat African American skin texture and type.
  • These cleansing pads are specifically formulated for acne-prone skin. The formula is entirely oil-free, which highly reduces your chances of pore-clogging.
  • The treatment is formulated with MicroClear Technology that cuts through the oil residue and boosts the acne medicine delivery directly to the breakout source.
  • These acne treatment pads are clinically proven to reduce swelling, pimples, and overall redness in mere 8 hours. 
  • These textured pads clean deep to give you comparatively clear skin without irritation, inflammation, or over-drying.
  • Neutrogena Rapid Clear Treatment Pads are very convenient, travel-friendly, and easy to apply.


These pads can make your skin feel sticky after application. Users tend to wash their faces when the stickiness overwhelms them.

Extra Features

These acne treatment pads can be easily used as dirt or makeup remover. You can get rid of your makeup while treating your acne-prone skin simultaneously.

Buying Advice

The cleansing pads can thoroughly clean your face while fighting acne symptoms. However, be careful while rubbing it near your eyes. The treatment can be a bit drying, which can further irritate your skin near the eyes.

Acne Treatment For Black Men FAQ

Best acne treatments for black people photo showing a guy with acne spots


What causes acne on black skin?

While acne can take over light and dark skins alike, people of color have to take additional measures to prevent it. Acne develops when certain glands in the skin produce excessive compounds and create a layer of oil on your face. As a result, your face becomes riddled with pimples, pustules, blackheads, and whiteheads. 

Severe acne can cause keloids scarring or hyperpigmentation, both of which are more commonly seen among people of color. The treatments that follow an acne outburst are not all beneficial to people with darker skin tones.

Therefore, doctors have advised people with black skin and brown skin to analyze their treatments carefully. Acne is most common among pubescent children. However, adults can get acne if they pursue habits like smoking.

Moreover, if there is a history of adult acne in the family, it would be wise to seek professional medical help. Most acne is cleared up using over-the-counter cosmetics or home remedies. However, if it persists after rigorous treatment, you should visit a dermatologist at once. 

Some solutions to acne include therapies like microdermabrasion and laser therapy. These are slightly risky procedures that can leave light or dark marks on your skin. So, go to an expert dermatologist who has experience dealing with people of color. While acne affects all, black people seem to face a couple of different symptoms. 

Is acne common in black people?

Of all the races in the world, Blacks/African Americans are most likely to have acne. A study published by the US National Library of Medicine studied acne among adults of various races and ethnicities. It helped shed light on the fact that acne can affect adults too, and not just children going through puberty. 

The study concluded that adult women are more likely to get acne than men. In the USA, approximately 15% of women have acne, whereas only 3% of men go through the same disorder. Acne was also found to be the most common dermatological diagnosis among non-caucasian adults.

Nearly 37% of Black women in the survey had a bout of acne, compared to 32% Hispanic women and 23% Continental Indian women.

Keloid scars and hyperpigmentation are common effects of acne among black people. Hyperpigmentation occurs after the healing process of the acne, when the skin starts to produce melanin in excess quantity, creating patches and marks on the skin itself.

More than two-thirds of black women with acne have complained about facing hyperpigmentation or keloidal scars. Basically, acne is a common phenomenon among people of color, especially blacks. 

How can African Americans lighten acne scars?

Black guy with acne because he didn't use the best acne treatments for black people


Treating acne is a fairly simple affair. Most acne conditions can be reversed with treatment of medicinal cosmetics or even with some home remedies sometimes. It is essential to keep the skin from being too dry. Subsequently, your skin cannot be too oily.

Both these conditions create breeding grounds for acne, whiteheads, and blackheads. A seminal vessel of acne is a condition called hyperpigmentation, which happens after the acne has reduced. The skin grows colored patches in random places.

There are many treatments to counter hyperpigmentation. Sometimes, acne can lead to keloids on the skin. These are minuscule pockets that rise up on your face because of an improper reaction to the skin. The scars of keloids are difficult to remove without a surgical procedure. 

Your dermatologist is the best person to advise you about these treatments and diagnoses. The American Association of Dermatology (AAD) has prescribed retinoid and benzoyl peroxide products for skin of color. While these compounds are bleaching agents, they cannot bleach and dry the skin and are safe for use.

People of color need to take extra care of their skin and use creams and lotions that are extra gentle for the face. That means the retinoid has to have the minimal concentration to avoid any side effects. 

There are numerous over-the-counter creams and lotions available to reduce acne. However, these products generally take a long time to act on the skin. The results are not immediate, and during the treatment, it is paramount for people not to pop their pimples. 

In case of severe scarring from acne, doctors may prescribe a compound called hydroquinone. Medical-grade hydroquinone can be used as a gentle topical treatment. However, one must pay close attention to the doctor’s suggestion of how long hydroquinone should stay on your skin. 

What are some natural remedies for black man acne?

Black man applying the best african american acne treatment to his face

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The primary concern of black men looking to treat their acne problems is to start treatment as soon as possible. Acne worsening can lead to hyperpigmentation of keloidal scars, which are difficult to treat. It is critical to begin treating acne as quickly as possible. 

Beyond that, people should also ensure that they are using cosmetics especially manufactured for skin of color. Such products are gentle on the skin and prevent extreme dryness of the facial skin. Moreover, they tend to keep the skin from creating excess oil on the face.

A combination of retinoid and benzoyl peroxide, albeit in low concentration, can take out the acne-causing bacteria off of your skin. Both these compounds are bleaches, and people are often worried that they will leave light spots on the skin. However, that is a myth. They do not bleach the skin. 

People of color with acne are advised not to pip and burst pimples. Popping pimples and zits will only increase the chance of a scar. Moreover, the buildup inside the pimple can spread to other pores on the face if you pop it. 

Unclogging facial pores is an essential step to tackling acne. Salicylic acid is a homely remedy that can clean up your pores and make the skin look fresh. Similarly, retinol can do the same function while decreasing the dark spots of acne altogether. 

If acne keeps returning, you need to assess your lifestyle. If it only appears around your forehead and temples, there is a chance that your hair oil is to blame for your oily skin. Similarly, if you have makeup on for long periods, there is a chance that your skin will turn oily and break out acne. 

What’s the Best Acne Treatment for Black People?

We hope our buying guide for the best acne treatment for black people helped you find a few products that can work in reducing your acne condition. You can choose any delivery method like gels, pads, stickers, or old-school complete treatment according to your preference.

Lastly, we highly recommend continuing the use of these products even after your skin clears out. The longer you use these treatments, the healthier your skin becomes.