This is a list of the best acne creams in India. Some of these medicated acne creams are available only through prescription. Knowing your options will help you decide which one may work better for you.
These pimple and acne creams come in varying strengths and work on different kinds of acne. For blackheads, you are better off using a salicylic acid pimple ointment or face wash. For whiteheads, exfoliating acne creams such as glycolic acid based ones work better. For cystic acne, retinoids works better.
Acne and Pimple Creams in India
Retinoid cream for acne
Retino-A is an excellent overall and spot treatment for cystic acne – those under the skin bumps that stay there for days together. A tiny amount of Retino-A on the spot suppresses a cyst, usually while it is still under the skin. That way you minimize chances of scarring from a popped pimple.
Using too much Retino-A on a single spot can burn the skin in that area and cause a dark mark. Use a cotton bud (Q-tip) to scoop out a minuscule amount of Retino-A and dab it on the pimple. Read how to use Retino-A safely.
Be aware that Retino-A is a prescription grade product in many countries even if your friendly neighbourhood medical store guy hands it over to you without a doctor’s prescription.
Another retinoid, called adapalene is also very effective in the treatment of acne if used over a few weeks. It is a prescription based product. Read more about adapalene gels here.
Avene Diacneal Treatment Care for Acne-Prone Skin is a great alternative to Retino-A. With Retinaldehyde (0.1%) and Glycolic Acid (6%) Diacneal can be used to heal existing acne and prevent new acne breakouts.
You can purchase it at a medical store or online shopping sites. You do not need a doctor’s prescription for it. If you can’t find Diacneal, ask for Avene Triacneal which is the newer formula.
The price of Avene Diacneal in India is Rs. 1300 for 30 ml. The price is justified by the effectiveness since you are getting two of the best ingredients : a retinoid and glycolic acid in a non-comedogenic, gentle base. Availability is a problem in India, but if you can track it down at a medical store, Avene Diacneal is a powerful anti acne treatment.
If you can’t get Avene Diacneal, a cheaper alternative is Yugard cream which helps dark spots, acne and acne scars.
Benzoyl peroxide acne creams
Benzoyl peroxide (BP), although proven to be effective on acne bacteria, has the reputation for causing skin irritation and drying out skin excessively. Because of this many people get discouraged after a short while of BP cream use.
The higher the percentage of benzoyl peroxide, the more the drying and skin irritation. Studies have shown that 2.5% benzoyl peroxide is just as effective as 5% and 10% concentrations. So you do not need to use a stronger version in order to get more benefit out of BP creams.
The most popular benzoyl peroxide gel in India seems to be Benzac-AC gel (Galderma). Benzac AC is proven to reduce bacteria by 94% within 48 hours of commencing treatment. Benzac AC is a water based benzoyl peroxide treatment for mild to moderate acne. Its special formula absorbs excess oil, kills bacteria and does not excessively dry skin.
Benzac AC gel is available in 2.5% and 5% concentrations at price Rs. 67 & Rs. 74 respectively. You can buy benzoyl peroxide creams from medical stores.
Other BP cream options:
- Persol (2.5% benzoyl peroxide and 5% benozyl peroxide) gel – price Rs. 27 & Rs. 37
- Persol Forte (10% benzoyl peroxide, 5% sulphur) – price Rs. 50
- Periac (2.5% benzoyl peroxide and 5% benozyl peroxide) gel – price Rs. 49 & Rs. 59
- Brevoxyl (4% benzoyl peroxide) cream – price Rs. 93
- Abenz (5% benzoyl peroxide) gel – price Rs. 59
- Actiben (2.5% benzoyl peroxide and 5% benozyl peroxide) gel – price Rs. 30 & Rs. 40
- Akneroxid (5% benzoyl peroxide) gel – Rs. 35
Benzoyl peroxide has side effects ranging from skin irritation to adverse effects on a developing foetus during pregnancy. Read the accompanying leaflet carefully before using.
Topical antibiotic acne creams
Topical antibiotics such as clindamycin and erythromycin inhibit growth of certain bacteria. In India, topical antibiotics for acne are available as Faceclin, Clindac A, Erytop and Eryacne among many others. It is often reported that topical antibiotics stop working after continued use and acne comes back. Still, topical antibiotics mark an effective first line of defense against acne. These are prescription only acne creams.
Glycolic acid cream for acne
Glycolic acid (Alpha Hydroxy Acid AHA) helps acne prone skin by exfoliating dead skin cells from the surface. That in turn helps in two ways – it removes dark pimple marks and prevents clogging of pores. So glycolic acid is good for preventing acne as well as removing acne scars.
Glyco 6 (6% glycolic acid), Glyco-A (12% glycolic acid) by MICRO Labs are face creams containing glycolic acid. Glyaha lotion (not Glyaha-HQ) by Shalaks Pharma is a lotion containing 10% glycolic acid. Other options are Decroma-6 by Ranbaxy and Golic both with 6% glycolic acid.
Glycolic acid even in low concentrations can cause irritation, reddening and skin damage if not used properly. Read how to use glycolic acid cream.
If you want to ease into glycolic acid products, a safe try could be AHAGLOW face wash which contains just 1% glycolic acid. This is usually good enough to achieve skin peeling and lighten acne marks over a couple of months. Another glycolic acid face wash in India is Keracnyl which contains about 4% glycolic acid. Read reviews of AHAGLOW and Keracnyl.
All the glycolic acid products mentioned here are available in Indian medical stores.
Salicylic acid pimple creams
There are far too many salicylic acid (Beta Hydroxy Acid BHA) based acne creams in the market. But that doesn’t justify their effectiveness. Clearasil Ultra Rapid Action Pimple Clearing Cream and Garnier Pure Active Pimple Relief Roll On are two popular acne creams with 2% salicylic acid.
Salicylic acid based pimple creams can bring cystic acne to a head, creating pus and eventually a pit hole in the skin from that. Too much salicylic acid can darken the skin around the pimple and these dark marks can stay on for months.
Salicylic acid works well for blackheads and teenage pimples, but when it comes to cystic acne it may not be enough on its own. Using it in combination with glycolic acid based products (AHA) works well.
An effective 1% salicylic acid gel is Sebonac gel which has received good reviews for acne prone skin. Read more about using Sebonac gel as part of an acne regimen here.
Herbal pimple creams
There are quite a few herbal and ayurvedic pimple creams in the Indian market. Our main grouse with such formulations is that even though such creams contain the right herbal actives to combat acne, they are suspended in a cream base that is invariably comedogenic. Still, some of them work pretty well for mild cases of acne. We have listed some of the best selling herbal pimple creams in India.
Disclaimer: This list is provided for your information only. Some of the acne creams in this list are prescription grade and we do not advise or endorse self-medication. This list is provided so you can discuss treatment options with your dermatologist. We cannot take responsibility for any side effects or harm that may come from your use of this information.