Selecting the right face serum for oily and acne-prone skin may be a hard nut to crack, particularly when there’re lots of facial serum brands that claim to be the best.
But, using the wrong face serum on your face may worsen your acne and pimples. Then how to choose face serum for acne-prone skin, which also deals with acne scars?
So before you make your mind to buy a face serum, first you need to know which kind of acne you have and which ingredients you should look for in your facial serum.
After studying more than 30 Face Serums for Oily and Acne-Prone skin; taking a detailed note of the ingredients list, and considering real users reviews; we have picked these face serums to deal with your acne, acne scars, and pimple marks.
Face serums for oily, acne-prone skin work very effectively because-
- They’re water-based.
- They’re light-weight, so get absorbed into the skin very quickly.
- They don’t clog skin pores.
- They hydrate even too much oily skin.
- They remove the dead skin cells and clear the pores.
- Active ingredients in anti-acne serums kill the acne-causing bacteria.
- They exfoliate the skin and reduce the appearance of large skin pores.
Serums For Oily Skin with Acne-Scars
1. Good Vibes Oil Control Face Serum
Good Vibes is an Indian Brand and known for its non-toxic & vegan cosmetic products.
Good Vibes oil control face serum contains tea tree oil that regulates sebum production and also hydrates the skin.
A study has shown that topical 5% tea tree oil is an effective treatment for acne problems.
Another main ingredient, Papaya in this face serum gently exfoliates the skin and removes the debris and dead skin cells making it ideal for blackheads & whiteheads acne.
Exfoliating properties of this serum reduce the appearance of large skin pores and slightly reduce hyperpigmentation making this serum an ideal face serum for acne scars.
Benefits of Good Vibes Oil Control Face Serum:
- Best for Oily-Sensitive skin type.
- Hydrates the skin.
- Removes dead skin cells.
- No harmful chemicals.
2. Lumiglo Anti-Acne & Anti-Scar Collagen Face Serum
Main Ingredients in Lumiglo Anti-Acne Face Serum:
Licorice root extract, Rosemary, Vitamin C, Chamomile, Tea tree, Japanese knotweed.
Lumiglo Face Serum is a product of Agile Wellness, which is an Indian Brand and promises us to provide the best natural, high-quality ayurvedic products.
This face serum for oily skin is the best serum for those who have sun-sensitive skin. Why?
Because this anti-acne face serum contains Japanese knotweed which is a powerful plant-based antioxidant that reduces acne, inflammation and protects from sun damages.
So why we choose this face serum for acne-prone skin?
Skin lightening ingredients like Licorice, Japanese knotweed, Chamomile, and Rosemary in this face serum lighten the skin tone and also provide protection against free radicles caused by sunlight.
Benefits of Lumiglo Anti-Acne Face Serum:
- Suitable for Oily-Sensitive skin.
- Powerful antioxidant face serum.
- Provides protection against sun damage.
- Lighten the acne scars & hyperpigmentation.
- Reduces the sign of aging and wrinkles.
Not for chronic severe acne.
3. Innisfree The Green Tea Serum
Innisfree is a popular Korean Skincare Brand that is known for its green tea products.
This face serum is rich in antioxidants and polyphenols that reduce excess sebum production making it ideal serum for oily skin.
But what makes this Green Tea face serum effective for oily skin types?
Innisfree Green Tea Serum comes with Dual-Moisture-Rising Technology™ that protects the moisture path with fresh green tea water to prevent moisture from escaping from the skin, while the seed oil creates a moisture barrier.
Geen Tea Seeds also have antioxidant properties that protect the skin against sun damage.
Benefits of Innisfree Green Tea Face Serum:
- Special for those who have Oily and Sun-Sensitive skin.
- Protects the skin from free radicals.
- Deep hydration.
Serums For Blackheads & Whiteheads Acne
4. MIXIFY® Unloc Anti Acne face serum
If you search about the most common cause of Blackhead & Whitehead; it will be trapped impurities, dead skin cells in your skin pores.
You can consider your skin pores a pipeline that has clogged with dirt and impurities, which in the end, give birth to the harmful bacteria.
So what do you need to do? You just need to clean these pipelines (skin pores).
Simple, with the help of chemical exfoliators like AHA & BHA.
These exfoliators remove the dead skin magically, clears the skin pores, and reduce the appearance of enlarged skin pores.
Thankfully, along with the exfoliators, Unloc Mixify anti-acne face serum also contains extracts of Licorice which lightens the acne scars caused by acne and hyperpigmentation. So it is an effective face serum for acne scars.
Benefits of Mixify Unloc Face Serum:
- Super Exfoliator.
- Also effective in treating blackheads & whiteheads.
- Reduces sebum production.
- Hydrates the skin.
- Lightens the dark spot & hyperpigmentation.
- 100% Vegan.
Check before using on sensitive skin.
5. ETSLEY Ultra Clarifying Skin Face serum
Main Ingredients in Etsley Ultra-Clarifying Face Serum:
Glycolic Acid (AHA 1%), Salicylic Acid (BHA 1%), Lactic Acid, Tea Tree Oil, Neem extract, Licorice Extract, Mulberry Extract, Aloe Vera Extract, Tulsi Extract, Hyaluronic Acid(2%).
This face serum from Etsley comes with 3 in 1 pack-
- It’s Exfoliating (Aha, Bha)
- Hydrating (HA) and also
- Anti-bacterial(Neem Ext).
It removes the dead skin cells and reduces the size of the skin’s pores making it one of the best face serums for oily and acne-prone skin.
Along with the exfoliators like AHA and BHA, this face serum also contains neem extract which has antibacterial properties that kill the acne-causing bacteria.
And also, the mild skin lightening properties of Licorice & Mulberry Extract will also provide your skin with an even skin tone.
Benefits of Etsley Ultra-Clarifying Face Serum:
- Best for Acne-prone skin with dark spots or hyperpigmentation.
- Reduces the appearance of large skin pores.
- Hydrates the skin.
- 100% Vegan.
- Can be used daily
Maybe not suitable for sensitive skin.
Face Serums For Acne (chronic)
7. WOW Skin Science Anti Acne Face Serum
This face serum is ideal for those who are suffering from chronic severe acne.
This anti-acne serum contains Neem which has anti-bacterial, anti-fungal properties; kills the acne-causing bacteria, and also helps in treating red, itchy skin caused by acne.
This face serum also repairs the damaged skin caused by acne and pimples and enhances skin health.
Wow Anti-Acne Face Serum is a ‘spot therapy’; you just need to apply this face serum only on affected areas.
Benefits of Wow Anti-Acne Face Serum:
- Best for Chronic Severe Acne-Prone Skin.
- Kills the acne-causing bacteria.
- Help to repair the skin.
- No harmful chemicals.
- 100% Vegan.
8. recast acnease facial serum
Main Ingredients in Recast Acnease Face Serum:
Botanical extracts, niacinamide, potassium lauryl wheat amino acid.
The main ingredient in this anti-acne serum is Niacinamide.
It can help build proteins in the skin, minimize skin pores, regulate sebum, and treat acne.
It also minimizes redness and blotchiness caused by acne.
Botanical extracts in this anti-acne face serum treat acne, dark spots and it even works for redness of the face.
Regular application of this anti-acne face serum reduces all types of acne and also improves the skin tone, reducing dark spots, and pigmentation.
Benefits of Recast Acnease Face Serum:
- Reduce excess sebum production.
- Keep your skin’s pores unclogged.
- Reduces redness caused by acne.
Feels a little bit sticky after applying.
May take time in showing visible results.
Take a patch test before applying it to sensitive skin.
Face Serum for Oily Skin: FAQs
Q:1 is face serum good for oily skin?
Yes, facial serums are really good for oily and acne-prone skin types, as they can solve all kinds of problems that are associated with oily skin.
So what are the problems with an oily skin type?
Excess oil, open & unclog skin pores, problems with applying any heavy cream or moisturizers, and stickiness, etc.
Face serums for oily, acne-prone skin have the ability to solve all these kinds of problems.
Anti-acne face serum exfoliates the skin and cleans the skin pores, and reduces the size of enlarged pores.
One of the major problems associated with oily skin is that heavy cream-based products don’t get easily absorbed into the skin.
Face serums for oily skin are lightweight and have watery concentration making them highly absorbant without leaving stickiness behind.
They can penetrate deep into the skin that can hydrate even too much oily skin.
Q:2 Why you should use face serum for oily, acne-prone skin instead of using creams?
Heavy creams are not suitable for oily skin. They’re comedogenic (clog the skin pores), making the skin vulnerable to acne & pimples.
On the other hand face, serums get easily absorbed into the oily skin and show the results very quickly.
Anti-acne face serums come with a light texture, makes them suitable for oily skin.
Q:3 how to choose best face serum for oily, acne-prone skin?
Okay, Face serums are good for your skin and you want to use face serum to moisturize your oily skin. But how to pick the best face serum that suits your oily skin?
There are lots of face serums available. The solution is in the ingredients list of the face serum.
Look for these ingredients in the face serum to treat oily and acne-prone skin-
- Gel-based and light texture.
- Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) like Glycolic, Citric, and Lactic acid.
- Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHAs) like Salicylic Acid.
- Botanical extracts like tea tree, thyme, cucumber, and green tea.
1. Face serum for oily skin with alpha hydroxy acid:
AHAs are water-soluble, plant and animal-derived acids, widely used in skincare products.
Acne pimples occur when your pores are clogged with a combination of dead skin cells, oil (sebum), and bacteria.
Exfoliating with AHAs can help loosen and remove the clog. They also help:
- Exfoliate the skin
- Increase product absorption
- Prevent acne breakouts
- Reduce the size of enlarged pores
- Reduce acne marks
- Promote collagen and blood flow
- Brighten your complexion
2. face serum for oily skin with Beta-hydroxy-acids:
BHAs are oil-soluble acids.
They can get deeper into the pores and remove dead skin cells and dry out excess sebum from the skin.
They unclog the skin pores and also treat sun damage.
3. face serum for oily skin with Green Tea extract:
Green tea has anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial properties that may make it an effective treatment for acne and oily skin.
The antioxidant (EGCG), anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial properties in green tea may make it an effective treatment for acne and oily skin.
According to a study, green tea is able to nourish and hydrate the skin.
Q:4 What causes acne and how to deal with it using an anti-acne serum?
Your skin continuously produces oil (sebum) and new skin cells for healthy and hydrated skin.
When your skin produces excess oil or dead skin cells don’t get removed from the skin, they clog the skin pores (small openings in the skin).
These clogged dead skin cells and excess oil cause the growth of bacteria known as Propionibacterium acne or P. acne.
Then White Blood Cells of your body attack P. acne, which leads to skin inflammation & acne.
There’re some other factors that can lead to acne, like genetics, diet, stress, hormonal changes, and infection. (Healthline)
Q:5 why AHAs & BHAs containing serums are the best for blackheads and whiteheads acne?
We have suggested you, to use a face serum that contains Alpha Hydroxy Acids or Beta Hydroxy Acids, if you have blackheads and whiteheads on your face.
But why AHAs & BHAs (Salicylic Acid) are the best remedies for blackheads and whiteheads?
AHAs & BHAs solve the major problem that causes acne: that’s clogged skin pores.
These acids have a property that loses the bond that binds your skin cells together.
By losing the intracellular bond, these acids make a path for trapped oil and dead skin cells to come outside and reducing the chances of further formation of acne due to clogged skin pores.
AHAs & BHAs containing serums clean the skin pores, remove dirt, oil and also help in fading away acne spots and hyperpigmentation.
Q:6 how many times should I apply AHA & BHA serum on my oily skin?
AHAs & BHAs are chemical exfoliators. Excess or frequent application of these acids may cause irritation and dryness on your skin.
So how many times you should exfoliate your skin using AHAs & BHAs serums?
It highly depends on your skin type and the percentage of concentration of these acids in the face serum.
There’re mainly two types of AHAs-
- Glycolic Acid
- Lactic Acid
Glycolic Acid: It has the least molecules in size in all AHAs, so it travels deeper into the skin and also an irritating acid.
It hydrates the skin, and a higher percentage (more than 10%) also fades away dark spots.
Uses: You can use Glycolic Acid containing serum every other night if you have sensitive skin type 1-3 application is enough.
Lactic Acid: It is the least irritating acid in all AHAs, hence suitable for sensitive skin types.
Uses: If you have a normal or oily skin type; you can use Lactic acid serum every day.
BHA(Salicylic Acid): Salicylic Acid is the only acid in BHAs which is extremely useful for those who have acne-prone skin.
Salicylic acid travels deeper than AHAs and removes dirt, oil, dead skin cells, and unclog the skin pores.
Uses: Salicylic acid serum can be used once a day if you have oily skin.
Q:7 is tea tree oil serum good for oily skin?
Studies have shown that tea tree oil has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties hence reduces the growth of acne-causing bacteria.
A study in 2017 shows that the application of tea tree oil 2 times a day for 3 months, significantly improves mild to moderate acne without any side effects.
Tea tree oil also non-irritating, hence also suitable for sensitive skin type.
Another study shows that regular application of tea tree oil also reduces oiliness and reduces the large appearance of skin pores.
Q:8 is green tea serum good for oily and acne-prone skin?
Green tea is a good source of a polyphenol called EGCG (epigallocatechin Gallate).
Polyphenols are plant compound that offers many health benefits.
EGCG polyphenol in green tea has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial properties.
Many studies have shown that EGCG treats acne and reduces sebum secretion.
Q:9 Can salicylic acid serums cause breakouts initially?
Yes, Salicylic Acid Facial Serums can cause more breakouts especially when you have acne-prone skin after a couple of days of application is which called ‘purging’.
But you don’t need to worry about that.
If it’s happening with you, it’s mean that Salicylic Acid is on its duty.
Let understand this way.
There’s a room filled with dirt and you want to clean this room.
To clean the room, you have to open the door, so that you can throw out the dirt.
Salicylic Acid is the door opener for your skin, so that trapped dead skin cells, sebum, and impurities can come out.
It exfoliates the skin (remove the door of dead skin cells) and cleans the skin pores.
At the initial stage, you may feel, more breakouts but salicylic acid removes the trapped skin oils before they convert into acne.
Q:10 What are the side effects of using a salicylic acid face serum?
There are no debatable side effects of Salicylic Acid Face Serums if used in moderate quantity and time.
The ideal percentage of Salicylic Acid in Face Serum can vary from 0.5% to 2%. (CIR)
Salicylic Acid serums are highly effective for oily, acne-prone skin types.
If your skin isn’t habitual with the acids, you can limit the Salicylic Acid face serum up to 2-3 applications in a week.
People with Sensitive or Dry Skin types may feel a little bit of dryness after using Salicylic Acid Face Serum that can be dealt with a moisturizer.
And also people with a specific skin condition, adults below 18 years, pregnant and breastfeeding women should consult with their dermatologist before using Salicylic Acid Face Serum.
Q:11 how to use face serum for oily skin?
Follow these steps to use a face serum for oily skin:
- Wash your face with Salicylic acid face wash.
- Use toner.
- Apply 3 to 4 drops of face serum on each area of your face.
- Spread the serum on the whole face by tapping your fingers.
- Use moisturizer after the serum gets absorbed into the skin.
Q:12 Can you suggest me a good organic serum for my oily skin to brighten my dull skin?
If you’re searching for the best organic serum for oily skin, then Oriental Botanics Australian Tea Tree Face Face Serum For Acne Prone & Oily Skin is a good option on the market. You can check Oriental Botanics face serum price on Amazon.
Q:13 Which is the best face serum to get rid of acne marks for oily skin?
If you want to get rid of acne scars using a face serum, then you should go for ETSLEY Ultra-Clarifying Skin Face Serum. You can check ETSLEY face serum price on Amazon.
Q:14 For oily skin, would a serum or a moisturizer be best?
For healthy skin, moisture is essential. When it comes to oily skin, it becomes a little bit hard to moisturize your oily skin with oily-based, heavy moisturizers.
In this situation, face serums for oily skin play an important role in treating acne as well as hydrating the skin.
Because of the watery consistency of face serums, they get easily absorbed into the skin, prevent acne, and also hydrate the skin for a longer period of time.
Hence, we can say that face serums are the most useful skincare product for oily and acne-prone skin.
Q:15 Is serum good for acne skin?
Yes. Serums are one of the best skincare products for acne-prone skin. They penetrate into the deeper layer of the skin, clean the skin pores preventing acne and pimples.
Sunil Kumar is a passionate blogger in Beauty & Cosmetic Industry. After graduation from the technical field, he started sharing his knowledge (cosmetic products related) on social media and started a blog.
The aim of Sunil Kumar is to provide transparent views of cosmetic products to their users.