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Just when you thought acne couldn’t get any more troublesome, along came cystic acne. Considered to be on the more severe end of acne, cystic acne forms deeper beneath the skin and often covers a large surface area, which means you’ll always know when they decide to pop up. It also doesn’t help that they’re often tender to the touch. 

And the bad news? Because of how deep they are, the active components of regular face wash probably wouldn’t be able to reach and deal with this type of acne.

Can products cause cystic acne?

Cystic acne develops deeper beneath the skin surface, however its main cause is the same as other forms of acne: the clogging of pores from the accumulation of bacteria, oil and dead skin cells.

For that reason, it may be best to avoid products with overly thick or creamy formulas. They could potentially clog pores, and hence trap acne-causing bacteria and debris, leading to the formation of cystic acne. 

Overly abrasive exfoliants can also cause micro-damage to the skin by lowering its defence against pollutants and other environmental triggers to acne.  The good news: Here is a list of cleansers that can probably help if you have cystic acne.

1. Dr. Jart+ Dermaclear Micro pH Foam Facial Cleanser

Best cystic acne cleanser for dry and sensitive skin

Price from RM85.00

shopping_cart Sephora Malaysia RM85.00

Flaky, dry skin is one of the factors that can lead to the development of cystic acne. This foam cleanser by Dr Jart is one of the best cleansers for those with more sensitive skin types. It uses naturally derived surfactants to gently cleanse away dirt and grime and has a light texture that feels great on your skin. Besides, it has been dermatologically tested and can help your skin reach its optimal pH level.

2. Kate Somerville EradiKate Daily Foaming Cleanser 120ml

Best cystic acne cleanser with sulfur - for oily skin

Price from RM169.00

shopping_cart Sephora Malaysia RM169.00

This foaming cleanser by Kate Somerville is a product that really packs a punch. Consisting of 3% sulfur, it helps exfoliate dead skin cells, clears clogged pores and acne spots. With that said, it ensures that you get clear skin without drying it out, thanks to the addition of a soothing botanical complex, which helps calm irritated skin while also keeping your skin’s sebum levels in check.

3. Boscia Purifying Cleansing Gel

Best cystic acne cleanser with salicylic acid - safe for during pregnancy

Price from RM50.00

shopping_cart Sephora Malaysia RM50.00

This product has been dermatologically tested and is safe for even the most sensitive of skin conditions. Boscia’s Purifying Cleansing Gel is the subject of much praise due to its ability to effectively rid the skin of dirt, excess oil and other impurities while cleansing congested pores.

It uses green tea to appease inflammation while providing natural antibacterial effects that will keep breakouts at bay. Additionally, this product is also free of alcohol, sulfates, gluten and other potential irritants.

4. Peter Thomas Roth Acne Clearing Wash

Best cystic acne cleanser with glycolic acid - for combination skin

Price from RM69.00

shopping_cart Sephora Malaysia RM69.00

Peter Thomas Roth’s Acne Clearing Wash is a gentle cleanser that targets acne while providing the skin with nourishing, skin-loving ingredients. With Vitamin A as one of its active ingredients, it can tackle acne and dark spots. At the same time, arnica also helps minimize spots and redness from irritation. Oil-free, paraben-free and fragrance-free, this product focuses on giving your skin the best of the best.

5. 3CE White Milk Pack To Foam

Best cystic acne cleanser with tea tree oil - for tweens

Price from RM27.00

shopping_cart Sephora Malaysia RM27.00

Ah, the joys of being a ‘tween’-ager. It’s one of the most chaotic times in life, but it doesn’t have to be a complete mess. This cleanser uses components of milk and clay to create a powerful, yet gentle formula that works deep within the pores. The combo can cleanse your skin of impurities and excess oil. Combined with antiseptic tea tree extract as well as moisturizing oatmeal and honey, you know your skin can be in good hands.

6. FIRST AID BEAUTY Skin Rescue Anti-Breakout Charcoal Cleanser

Best cystic acne cleanser for hormonal acne - for adults

Price from RM37.00

shopping_cart Sephora Malaysia RM37.00

As much as it sucks, hormones do play a major role in our skin condition. This medicated cleanser from First Aid Beauty uses powerful ingredients to help prevent and deal with acne. It consists of 2% salicylic acid, active charcoal, as well as Bentonite and Kaolin clays.

They work together to absorb and draw out impurities to cleanse out congested pores. Besides, it also uses Yogurt Extract which delivers probiotics that boost the skin’s defence against acne-causing bacteria.

7. Neutrogena - Rapid Clear Stubborn Acne Cleanser, Maximum Strength (147 ml)

Best cystic acne drugstore cleanser - made with benzoyl peroxide

Price from RM68.00

shopping_cart Shopee Malaysia RM68.00

This cleanser from Neutrogena contains benzoyl peroxide, the number one ingredient for fighting acne. With the help of benzoyl peroxide, this product is able to fight against bacteria and inflammation associated with cystic acne. Many have attested to its ability to rid even the most stubborn of blemishes, thanks to its maximum strength.

Disclaimer: The pricing shown is just a good indication of how much these products are worth. The prices could change based on the e-commerce promotions that are going on. If some of the products are not available, do email us at [email protected] Thanks!

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