Best 3-Step Acne Treatment Kits and Systems

Acne is a common skin condition that can affect anyone at any age. It's not just teens who suffer from acne; adults can, too. If you're looking for the best daily acne treatment system to help clear your skin, we've compiled a list of our favorites below.

Our Overall Favorite: TreeActiv 3-Step Acne Treatment Kit

Other Products to Consider:

  • Paula's Choice Clear Extra Strength Kit
  • Perricone Acne Relief Prebiotic Acne Therapy 90-Day Regimen
  • Dermalogica Clear and Brighten Kit

TreeActiv 3-Step Acne Treatment Kit

Overall Favorite

The TreeActive 3-Step Acne Treatment Kit is a 3-step system formulated to combat severe and stubborn acne while also preventing future breakouts. It uses natural, plant-based ingredients, so it's safe for all skin types and nourishes and hydrates the skin.

  • Charcoal Acne Exfoliating Face Wash: This acne face wash uses sulfur and charcoal to loosen and remove dead skin cells from your pores. This helps to reduce the appearance of blemishes and enhances your overall skin texture.
  • Acne Treatment Face Cream Moisturizer: This moisturizer uses salicylic acid, aloe leaf, and tea tree oil to hydrate the skin while also preventing breakouts and calming the skin.
  • Cystic Acne Spot Treatment: This spot treatment is a Bentonite Clay-based formula that also uses Tea Tree Oil to reduce the size and redness of blemishes overnight for acne-free skin.
  • Acne Patches: This acne kit also comes with translucent, breathable hydrocolloid patches to make sure your skin stays clean and clear of severe acne, blackheads, whiteheads, scars, hyperpigmentation, and dark spots.

"I've tried a lot of acne products, and this one works the best. I love the scent and the natural ingredients. The clay cystic acne treatment really stops cystic acne in its tracks. If I feel a spot coming on, I put the clay on all night, and it's gone in a few days! Much better than the weeks/months I'd usually have the cystic acne."


  • All-natural ingredients and vegan friendly
  • It comes with acne patches for a quick and easy acne spot treatment
  • Good price point

Best Feature

  • All of the included products use natural, plant-based ingredients, so they're safe for all skin types.


  • Price: $49.95 for the 3 Piece Kit

Paula's Choice Extra Strength Kit


The Paula's Choice Extra Strength Kit works together to remove excess oil, unclog and shrink your pores, and help you take control of your acne breakouts. This three-piece kit is formulated to help clear acne breakouts without causing dryness, flaking, redness, or discomfort.

  • CLEAR Pore Normalizing Cleanser: A gentle gel cleanser that contains Salicylic Acid to remove excess oil, clean pores, and remove makeup without drying skin or causing redness.
  • CLEAR Extra Strength Anti-Redness Exfoliating Solution: This leave-on exfoliant contains Salicylic Acid, and Green Tea Leaf Extract to clear out acne and blackheads while also calming redness and providing light hydration for healthy, flake-free skin.
  • CLEAR Extra Strength Daily Skin Clearing Treatment: This treatment can be used twice daily after cleansing & exfoliating. It contains Benzoyl Peroxide to treat acne, prevent future breakouts, and reduce red marks.

"I have hormonal acne, but for health reasons, I cannot take pills for it any longer. I tried Apostrophe, Curology, and so many more online doctors, and nothing worked for me except for Paula's Choice! It took about two months for the best results, but it's SO worth it!"


  • Contain no harsh ingredients
  • Works for those with cystic acne

Things to Consider

  • Does not contain any moisturizing ingredients and can be drying for some

Best Feature

  • The formula is fast-acting and can treat cystic acne.


  • Price: $56.80 for the 3 Piece Kit

Perricone Acne Relief Prebiotic Acne Therapy 90-Day Regimen

The Perricone 90-Day Regimen takes a prebiotic approach to its formula to create a healthy microbiome and balanced skin. It contains naturally occurring prebiotics to selectively target all three causes of acne. The 3 step system works together with your skin's microbiome to remove excess oil while also hydrating the skin, so it doesn't dry out.

  • Day & Night Acne Relief Gentle & Soothing Cleanser: This cleanser is used day and night to cleanse and soothe the skin. It uses Salicylic Acid to exfoliate and remove dead skin, which can clog pores and cause breakouts.
  • Day Acne Relief Calming Treatment & Hydrator: In the mornings, you follow the cleanser with this calming and hydrating treatment. It also contains Salicylic Acid, as well as Squalane and Lactic Acid, to attack acne-causing bacteria as well as hydrate the skin.
  • Night Acne Relief Retinol Treatment & Moisturizer: At night, you follow the cleanser with this retinol treatment and moisturizer. Along with Salicylic Acid, it contains Retinol, Niacinamide, and Citrulline. These ingredients work together while you sleep to exfoliate, reduce redness, and improve the skin's moisture barrier.

"I have combination tan skin, oily, blackheads & enlarged pores on my nose area, and then dry everywhere else. Mask-ne was real, and I believe stress has caused a lot of acne lately. I tried the full regimen, and now I can't live without it. Really worth the investment. My pores are refined, and my skin is glowy. I feel like I'm getting closer to my skin pre-pandemic."


  • The formula targets and treats all three causes of acne
  • Doesn't dry out the skin

Things to Consider

  • All three products contain Salicylic acid, which can irritate some skin types
  • Higher price point

Best Feature

  • The prebiotic formula targets and treats all three causes of acne.


  • Price: $89 for the 3 Piece Kit


The IMAGE SKINCARE CLEAR SKIN SOLUTIONS Blemish Defense Trio is designed for oily skin and features exfoliating essentials to promote clear, healthy-looking skin. It includes an exfoliator, toner, and spot treatment.

  • CLEAR CELL Clarifying Salicylic Gel Cleanser: This BHA-based acne cleanser works to lightly exfoliate and remove makeup, impurities, and excess oil from the skin. It also features a peptide complex that includes botanicals and honey extract.
  • CLEAR CELL Restoring Serum: This formula balances, hydrates, and fights the appearance of excess shine in oily skin. It has tamarind extract, which works to enhance the appearance of skin by smoothing and boosting elasticity.
  • CLEAR CELL Clarifying Repair Crème: This repairing creme combines salicylic acid, ceramides, bakuchiol, and squalane to reduce the appearance of blemishes, fine lines, and wrinkles, and infuse the skin with essential hydration.

"I purchased this set and started using it on a Monday. Probably by Wednesday/Thursday, my skin and pimples around my chin were clear! It works!!!"


  • Formulated without parabens, phthalates, mineral oils, artificial fragrances, synthetic dyes, or animal testing
  • The acne-clearing products are gentle enough for sensitive skin

Things to Consider

  • Small product sizes
  • No reviews

Best Feature

It comes with a transparent bag that is sized to fit all your essentials.


  • Price: $50 for the 3 Piece Kit

Dermalogica Clear and Brighten Kit

The Dermalogica Clear and Brighten Kit is a 3-step acne routine that works together to clear breakouts, smooth skin, and brighten skin tone. It is gentle enough to use daily, day and night, to help you keep your acne under control and maintain healthy skin.

  • Daily Microfoliant: This gentle and brightening exfoliant is gentle enough for daily use. It works by brightening and smoothing the skin using ingredients like Salicylic Acid, Tea Tree Oil, and Licorice Root Extract.
  • AGE Bright Clearing Serum: This brightening and clearing serum works with the skin's natural microbiome to make sure it is hydrated and smooth. It contains ingredients like Niacinamide, White Shiitake Mushrooms, and Salicylic Acid to promote brighter and clearer skin.
  • AGE Bright Spot Fader: This two-in-one spot treatment uses Salicylic Acid, Niacinamide, and Hexylresorcinol to clear breakouts and fade post-breakout marks. It also helps to reduce signs of aging and prevent over-drying the skin.

"This kit is one of my favorites because the active clearing serum and spot fader are the real stars of the show. These products do exactly what they claim, and they work fast!"


  • Good price point
  • Does not contain parabens, phthalates, mineral oils, or fragrances

Things to Consider

  • The daily exfoliant may not be suitable for all skin types.

Best Feature

  • It not only focuses on clearing and brightening the skin, but also the look of fine lines and wrinkles.


  • Price: $48 for the 3 Piece Kit

How to Pick the Best 3-Step Acne Treatment

When looking for a 3-Step Acne Treatment, you really want to consider two main things: key ingredients and skin type. Every skin type will need different things from their skincare, so here are some things to consider when choosing a treatment for acne:

Key Ingredients

  • Salicylic Acid: This active ingredient is great at reducing oil production and reducing the appearance of pores. It can be found in many treatments, including cleansers, toners, serums, and masks.
  • Glycolic Acid: Glycolic acid is a powerful acne-fighting ingredient. It is an AHA that helps exfoliate the skin and removes dead skin cells that can lead to breakouts.
  • Tea Tree Oil: Tea tree oil is known as an antibacterial agent, which means it kills bacteria that cause acne. It also reduces inflammation and redness.
  • Sulfur: Sulfur is another ingredient that helps to reduce inflammation and fight acne. It is often used in combination with salicylic acid.
  • Niacinamide: Niacinamide is a vitamin B3 derivative that helps to even out skin tone and reduce hyperpigmentation. It is also known to have antibacterial properties.
  • Vitamin C: Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that fights free radicals and protects against UV damage. It is also known for its ability to lighten dark spots and discolorations.
  • Retinol: Retinol is a form of vitamin A that helps to improve the overall health of your skin. It is also known as an effective wrinkle fighter.
  • Squalane: Squalene is a fatty substance that has been shown to help reduce the appearance of scars and stretch marks.
  • Witch Hazel: Witch Hazel has anti-inflammatory and astringent properties that can help minimize acne breakouts.
  • Lactic Acid: Lactic acid is a mild exfoliator that gently removes dead cells from the surface of the skin. It is also beneficial for those who suffer from sensitive skin.

Skin Type

  • Sensitive Skin: If you have sensitive skin, avoid any harsh chemicals in your routine. Instead, opt for more gentle options such as niacinamide and lactic acid.
  • Combination Skin: Combination skin needs a little bit of everything. You should use products that target specific issues, such as acne blemishes, while still keeping your skin healthy.
  • Dry Skin: Dry skin tends to get flaky and irritated easily. Products that contain moisturizers and emollients are best for dry and irritated skin.
  • Oily/ Acne-Prone Skin: Oily skin tends to produce excess sebum, which leads to clogged pores and breakouts. Look for products that contain cleansing agents and other ingredients that help to remove excess oil.

The Bottom Line

Our Top Pick: TreeActiv 3-Step Acne Treatment Kit

The TreeActiv 3-Step Regimen is our top pick for its clean ingredients, effective products, and great price point. The acne patches are a great added bonus for treating one-off breakouts and to help get rid of them quickly. The products all use natural, plant-based ingredients, so its safe for all skin types and nourishes and hydrates the skin.

Other products worth considering:

  • Paula's Choice Clear Extra Strength Kit
  • Perricone Acne Relief Prebiotic Acne Therapy 90-Day Regimen
  • Dermalogica Clear and Brighten Kit