The 7 Best Salicylic Acid Serums for Flawless Skin (2024 ✅)

written by: Tom Qiao
last update: January 5, 2023

Facial serums have recently become popular for their moisturizing elements, but did you know that they can help clear acne too?

Salicylic acid serums work by unclogging pores, clearing breakouts, and controlling sebum production (source: Medical News)

But with the market saturated with serums, where do you even begin figuring out which one to buy?

You can start with this article!


What Is The Best Salicylic Acid Serum?

Here are my top recommendations:

  1. Editor’s Choice: COSMEDIX Clarity Skin-Clarifying Serum
  2. Salon Quality: PCA Skin Acne Gel Advanced Treatment
  3. 100% Natural: Caudalie Vinopure Skin Perfecting Serum
  4. Korean Cult Classic: SOME BY MI AHA BHA PHA 30 Days Miracle Serum
  5. Complete Acne Kit: Exposed Skin Care Clear Pore Serum
  6. Best Acne Spot Treatment: Murad Rapid Relief Acne Spot Treatment
  7. Best for Adult Acne & Anti-Aging: Dermalogica AGE Bright Clearing Serum

It’s not the cheapest serum, but it’s from a premium brand, it has a great ingredient list, and it’s still more affordable than the other premium beauty brands on this list.

For that, we consider it of good value.

Our Verdict: With a block-buster ingredient mix including Salicylic Acid, Retinol, Niacinamide, and Willow Herb, COSMEDIX Clarity Skin-Clarifying Serum seems to do no wrong as it does it all.

However, you may want to know that alcohol is second on its ingredient list and that some users have complained about irritation. Because of this, I would advise those with sensitive skin to use it as a spot treatment before having it function as a serum.

Our Verdict: If you’re looking for a Salicylic Acid serum that is potent enough to function as a spot treatment, look no further than PCA Skin Acne Gel Advanced Treatment, as it also contains Mandelic Acid, Hexylresorcinol, and Ethyl Linoleate.

In that case, you may want to consider Juice Beauty Blemish Clearing Serum, another organic Salicylic Acid serum that is cheaper than Caudalie.

While it does have Lavender Oil in its ingredient list, one essential oil is less irritating than six. It also contains 0.75% Salicylic Acid from willow bark, Vitamin C and AHAs from lemon juice and apple juice, CoQ10, Aloe, and Green Tea.

Our Verdict: Go organic with Caudalie Vinopure Skin Perfecting Serum, with natural salicylic acid, grapeseed polyphenols, and essential oils. If that doesn’t work out for you, you may also consider Juice Beauty Blemish Clearing Serum.

This product is formulated for gentle exfoliation, so it’s something to try if you have sensitive skin and are just starting out with chemical exfoliants.

Our Verdict: SOME BY MI AHA BHA PHA 30 Days Miracle Serum gently exfoliates and calms skin with its formulation of Centella, Tea Tree, BHA, AHA, PHA, and Niacinamide.

Our Verdict: Tested and proven, Exposed Skin Care Clear Pore Serum gives way to clearer skin as it exfoliates, moisturizes, soothes, and brightens.

Some may say that it’s too expensive since it’s comparable to a drugstore acne spot treatment, but then again, it works significantly faster, has premium ingredients, and has won an Allure Best of Beauty Award in 2018. It’s also great for all skin types!

Still, if you’re looking for a budget alternative, consider Clean & Clear Advantage Acne Spot Treatment.

Our Verdict: Arguably one of the most essential Salicylic Acid products that you could have in your arsenal, Murad Rapid Relief Acne Spot Treatment zaps away your blemishes with Salicylic Acid, Pine and Thyme, and Horse Chestnut and Oat Extracts.

In fact, according to the glowing reviews, even women in their 50s-60s who are going through hormonal changes have found this serum to be effective in achieving smoother skin while preventing future breakouts.

Our Verdict: Great for acne-prone skin of all ages, Dermalogica AGE Bright Clearing Serum uses Salicylic Acid, Resurrection Plant Phytoactives, Niacinamide, and White Shiitake Mushroom to reduce age spots and prevent breakouts.

Article written by Tom Qiao
Tom is the founder and editor of where he applies his decades of personal experience with skincare problems like acne and acne scarring to provide readers with practical advice and product recommendations.

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