Your Guide To 14 Best Drugstore Acne Products Of 2020

by Charushila B
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Dust, pollution, hormones, and unhealthy lifestyle clog pores and lead to acne breakouts. While cystic acne should only be treated by a licensed dermatologist, mild to moderate acne can be treated with a few over-the-counter acne treatment products.

Acne treatment products are usually expensive. But thankfully, many drugstore acne treatment products are now available at affordable prices. This post lists 14 best drugstore acne treatments that cleanse the skin, control oil, remove dead cells, hydrate and heal the skin, and restore skin health. Check them out!

Products
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CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser
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CeraVe AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion AM SPF 30
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Neutrogena Clear Face Liquid Lotion Sunscreen SPF 55
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Differin Adapalene Gel 0.1% Acne Treatment, 15g, 30 Day Supply
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Neutrogena Rapid Clear Stubborn Acne Facial Cleanser
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Clean & Clear Advantage Acne Spot Treatment
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Burt's Bees Natural Acne Solutions Targeted Spot Treatment
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Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne and Redness Facial Cleanser
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Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Fighting Facial Cleanser
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La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo Dual Action Acne Treatment
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The 14 Best Drugstore Acne Treatments Of 2020

1. CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser

CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser

To treat acne, keeping your skin clear of dirt and oil is very important. The CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser is developed by dermatologists and helps remove dirt and oil without disrupting the skin barrier.

It contains hyaluronic acid that hydrates the skin and leaves it feeling supple. The three ceramides even out uneven skin tone. The niacinamide helps soothe acne inflammation. The gel texture of this foaming cleanser is non-comedogenic and has no skin irritants or fragrance. Most importantly, this anti-acne foaming cleanser does not make the skin feel dry and stretched after use. This is definitely one of the best drugstore acne products.

Pros

  • Deep cleanses skin
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Soothes the skin
  • Evens out skin tone
  • Leaves the skin hydrated and feeling soft
  • Hyaluronic acid moisturizes the skin
  • The foam gives a feel-good experience
  • Fragrance-free
  • Does not irritate the skin
  • Developed by dermatologists
  • Can be used to remove makeup
  • Ideal for normal to dry skin
  • Value for money

Cons

  • Not for oily skin

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2. CeraVe AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion

CeraVe AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion

Moisturizing your skin and keeping it hydrated is the second most important step for fighting acne and restoring your skin’s health. The CeraVe AM Moisturizing Lotion comes with SPF 30 and works perfect for the daytime.

The innovative invisibleZinc technology spreads micro-fine zinc oxide evenly and easily. The three types of niacinamide in the lotion restore and maintain the protective skin barrier. The hyaluronic acid hydrates the skin, and the MVE controlled release technology helps replenish ceramide, ensuring long-lasting moisturization.

It is a gentle and effective moisturizer for sensitive, acne-prone skin. This nourishing cream also helps protect from sunburn. CeraVe creates one of the best drugstore acne products, and this moisturizer with SPF is among the highly recommended ones.

Pros

  • Hydrates the skin all day
  • Ceramides restore and maintain even-textured skin
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Has SPF 30
  • Hyaluronic acid moisturizes the skin
  • Oil-free
  • Fragrance-free
  • Protects from sunburn
  • Spreads evenly and easily
  • Gentle and non-irritating
  • Value for money
  • Travel-friendly packaging 

Cons

  • May leave a white residue.
  • Not for very dry skin.
  • Not for sensitive skin.

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3. Neutrogena Clear Face Liquid Lotion Sunscreen

Neutrogena Clear Face Liquid Lotion Sunscreen

Neutrogena is one of the most trusted drugstore skin care brands. Its Clear Face Liquid Lotion Sunscreen with broad-spectrum SPF 55 can be used for the face and the body. It is one of the best sunscreens for acne-prone skin. It is stabilized with Helioplex technology and provides superior protection from UVA and UVB rays.

The lightweight texture gives the skin a weightless, matte finish. The product is non-comedogenic and dermatologist-recommended. It does not clog pores or cause the skin to breakout. It is free of skin irritants, like fragrance, and remains water-resistant for 80 minutes.

Pros

  • Broad-spectrum SPF 55
  • Can be used on the face and body
  • Stabilized with Helioplex technology
  • Provides superior sun protection from UVA and UVB rays
  • Dermatologist-recommended
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Water-light
  • Oil-free
  • Non-greasy
  • Does not clog pores
  • Water-resistant for 80 minutes
  • Fragrance-free
  • Gives a matte finish to the skin
  • Reasonably priced


Cons

  • Use with caution if your skin is prone to rashes.
  • May irritate sensitive skin.

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4. Differin Adapalene Gel 0.1% Acne Treatment

Differin Adapalene Gel 0.1% Acne Treatment

If you are looking for a drugstore acne treatment to reduce scarring, the Differin Adapalene Gel is your best bet. This FDA-approved gel acne treatment contains retinoid, which helps regulate skin cell turnover and reduces inflammation. The water-based formula of this acne treatment gel is perfect for oily skin. It is alcohol-free and does not dry your skin out. It is fragrance-free and non-comedogenic.

The Differin Gel is cool and extremely gentle on sensitive, acne-prone skin. Apply it all over your face regularly twice a day to reduce new acne and scarring. This anti-acne retinol gel product leaves the skin with a flawless finish and even texture. It also helps reduce hyperpigmentation.

Pros

  • Contains retinoid adapalene
  • Non-comedogenic
  • FDA-approved
  • Clears pimples, whiteheads, and blackheads
  • Gentle and cool
  • Evens out skin texture
  • Prevents scarring
  • Prevents new acne formation
  • Water-based
  • Reduces hyperpigmentation
  • Fragrance-free

Cons

  • Not for spot treatment.
  • Too much product may irritate sensitive skin.

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5. Neutrogena Rapid Clear Stubborn Acne Facial Cleanser

Neutrogena Rapid Clear Stubborn Acne Facial Cleanser

Want a more budget-friendly cleanser for acne-prone skin? Try the Neutrogena Rapid Clear Stubborn Acne Facial Cleanser. It contains 10% benzoyl peroxide, a compound similar to salicylic acid and adapalene that help in acne treatment.

For less than 10 dollars, this facial cleanser deep cleans your skin, fights acne, and prevents future breakouts. What’s worth your money is that this daily face wash gives you smooth, clear, fresh, and oil-free skin. No doubt it is a favorite gentle acne cleanser of so many people around the world! 

Pros

  • Non-comedogenic
  • Deep cleans
  • Does not clog pores
  • Contains 10% benzoyl peroxide
  • Prevents future breakouts
  • Skin feels fresh, smooth, clean, and oil-free
  • Controls shine
  • Foaming, gentle cleanser
  • Costs under 10 dollars

Cons

  • May cause irritation to benzoyl peroxide-sensitive skin.
  • May make the skin too dry.
  • Not for people with dry skin.

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6. Clean & Clear Advantage Acne Spot Treatment

Clean & Clear Advantage Acne Spot Treatment

When it comes to treating acne, spot treatments work wonders. Clean & Clear is known for its facewashes. It has now come up with an effective anti-blemish spot treatment. It is made with witch hazel, which helps soothe the skin. Its vital acne-fighting ingredient is 2% salicylic acid. It penetrates the pores and clears blemishes.

The best part is, this is a quick-acting anti-acne solution. It starts working the moment you apply it to your skin. It dissolves the oil on the skin and reduces the size, swelling, and redness of the breakouts. The narrow tip tube allows for easy application on breakouts. It is travel-friendly and is truly a quick solution to your breakout emergencies.

Pros

  • Quick-acting
  • Reduces the size and redness of blemishes
  • Witch hazel soothes the skin
  • Doesn’t over-dry the skin
  • Suitable for all skin types
  • Reasonably priced

Cons

  • You may experience peeling of the skin.
  • Contains fragrance, may irritate the skin.
  • Not for cystic acne.

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7. Burt’s Bees Natural Acne Solutions

Burt's Bees Natural Acne Solutions

Burt’s Bees offers natural acne spot blemish treatment for under 10 dollars! It is formulated with tea tree, yarrow, calendula, and parsley extracts. It is a clinically tested non-comedogenic spot treatment for acne. This works within 48 hours of application and visibly reduces the size and redness of acne. The natural ingredients help soothe the skin and make the skin smooth and clearer.

Pros

  • Salicylic acid helps reduce acne size
  • Works within 48 hours
  • Contains tea tree, yarrow, calendula, and parsley extracts
  • Natural fragrance
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Travel-friendly

Cons

  • Tea tree extract may irritate highly sensitive skin.
  • Expensive for the quantity.

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8. Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne And Redness Facial Cleanser

Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne And Redness Facial Cleanser

When you have acne on your face, you need a special and gentle facewash. Neutrogena has formulated one such facial cleanser for acne-prone skin – the Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne and Redness Facial Cleanser. It is the number 1 dermatologist-recommended Oil-Free Acne and Redness Facial Cleanser.

It has salicylic acid, aloe, and chamomile. Its MicroClear technology boosts the delivery of salicylic acid and helps reduce pores faster. Aloe and chamomile reduce inflammation and redness. This facial cleanser is gentle, removes oil, dirt, and impurities, and unclogs pores without over-drying the skin. After use, it leaves your skin feeling clean, smooth, and fresh.

The packaging is great. It comes with a pump for easy and controlled dispensing of the product; and it offers great value for money.

Pros

  • Faster delivery of salicylic acid through MicroClear technology
  • Chamomile and aloe reduce inflammation and redness
  • Removes oil, dirt, and impurities
  • Does not over-dry the skin
  • Developed specifically for acne-prone skin
  • Unclogs pores
  • Value for money
  • Comes in two types of packaging

Cons

  • May cause hyperpigmentation on sensitive skin.
  • May make skin feel tight.
  • Not for oily skin.

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9. Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Fighting Facial Cleanser

Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Fighting Facial Cleanser

Along with acne, if you have blackheads and whiteheads, the Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Fighting Facial Cleanser can be a ready solution to your skin problems. This acne-fighting face wash deep cleans the pores, unclogs them, and removes oil and dirt efficiently. Its MicroClear technology helps in the faster delivery of salicylic acid. Salicylic acid helps reduce the size of the breakouts and clears up whiteheads and blackheads. Use this non-comedogenic, oil-free formula to unclog pores and get clear, non-oily, fresh, and smooth skin.

Pros

  • Deep cleanses the skin
  • Salicylic acid reduces the size of acne
  • Good for getting rid of whiteheads and blackheads
  • Oil-free
  • Gets rid of oil, dirt, and impurities
  • Non-comedogenic
  • MicroClear technology for faster delivery of salicylic acid
  • Value for money
  • Pump dispenser

Cons

  • May cause drying and peeling of the skin.
  • Can irritate sensitive skin.

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10. La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo Dual Action Acne Treatment

La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo Dual Action Acne Treatment

La Roche-Posay is a reputed and trusted French drugstore brand. Their products are medical-grade and highly effective. The Effaclar Duo Dual Action Acne Treatment from LaRoche-Posay is one of the powerful acne treatments. It is dermatologist-tested, paraben-free, oil-free, fragrance-free, and suitable for sensitive skin.

It contains 5.5% benzoyl peroxide and micro-exfoliating LHA as active ingredients. These ingredients gently penetrate clogged pores and reduce acne by 60% in just 10 days. This acne treatment can also help one get rid of whiteheads and blackheads. The narrow nozzle tip allows easy dispensation of the product on affected areas. It absorbs fast and does not dry out the skin.

Pros

  • Non-comedogenic
  • Paraben-free
  • Oil-free
  • Fragrance-free
  • Dermatologist-tested
  • Reduces acne by 60% in just 10 days
  • Gets rid of blackheads and whiteheads
  • LHA ensures cell by cell exfoliation to clear dead skin cells and oil
  • Less amount goes a long way

Cons

  • An excess amount may cause skin irritation.
  • Super strong for sensitive skin.

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11. Acne Pimple Master Patch

Acne Pimple Master Patch

The Acne Pimple Master Patch is a medicated pad or patch that you can stick on a pimple with pus (or when it has burst open). Popping ripe breakouts or accidentally bursting them without covering exposes their underlying layers to pollutants and infections. Applying an acne patch helps protect the skin against dirt and acne bacteria.

The Acne Pimple Master Patch starts absorbing oil and sebum the moment it is applied to the skin. The hydrocolloid protects wounds from dust and viruses in the air. It prevents the wound from worsening and helps skin heal faster. Applying an easy-to-use, convenient, and soothing acne patch on a ripe pimple or zit reduces the urge to squeeze or pop it. Over time, you will notice fewer acne scars and pigmentation on the skin.

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Reduces the urge to pop a pimple
  • Protects the skin from bacteria and dust
  • Hydrocolloid protects wounds from dust and viruses in the air
  • Easy to use
  • Absorbs oil and sebum
  • Acne treatment under 5 dollars

Cons

  • Some patches may not stick well.
  • May take time to work.
  • May not work for severe breakouts.

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12. Panoxyl Acne Foaming Wash

Panoxyl Acne Foaming Wash

The Panoxyl Acne Foaming Wash is formulated with 10% benzoyl peroxide. It penetrates the pores and clears the skin of dirt, oil, and impurities. It also helps kill the acne-causing bacteria. This foaming face wash is a dermatologist-recommended face cleanser. It clears all acne blemishes and prevents the formation of new acne. 

Pros

  • Unclogs pores
  • Contains 10% benzoyl peroxide
  • Foaming face wash
  • Prevents new acne breakouts
  • Quickly penetrates pores
  • Kills acne-causing bacteria
  • Works on face, chest, and back 

Cons

  • May have an off-putting smell.
  • The old formula may have changed.
  • Harsh for dry and sensitive skin.
  • Can not be used by people sensitive to benzoyl peroxide.

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13. Neutrogena Rapid Clear Acne Eliminating Spot Treatment Gel

Neutrogena Rapid Clear Acne Eliminating Spot Treatment Gel

The Neutrogena Rapid Clear Acne Eliminating Spot Treatment Gel is a powerful acne treatment. It works in just 8 hours! It is formulated with salicylic acid and witch hazel that help reduce breakouts, prevent new acne, and soothe the skin. Apply a thin layer to the affected spot to see a significant improvement overnight. Swelling and redness will also reduce. 

Pros

  • Contains 2% salicylic acid
  • MicroClear technology for faster delivery of salicylic acid
  • Witch hazel soothes the skin
  • Reduces redness and swelling
  • Clears clogged pores
  • Prevents new acne breakouts

Cons

  • Expensive for the quantity.

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14. Neutrogena On-the-Spot Acne Treatment

Neutrogena On-the-Spot Acne Treatment

The Neutrogena On-the-Spot Acne Treatment is one of the best acne spot treatments. It is a clinically-proven spot treatment acne medication. It contains 2.5% benzoyl peroxide, which helps clear the skin in just one day! It is a lightweight formula and absorbs quickly into the skin. It penetrates the pores and kills acne-causing bacteria and prevents new acne formation. This drugstore acne treatment offers long-lasting protection to the skin and helps it look healthy and glowing. 

Pros

  • 5% benzoyl peroxide
  • Less irritating
  • Penetrates pores and kills acne-causing bacteria
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Oil-free
  • Lightweight formula
  • Long-lasting protection
  • Does not dry skin out

Cons

  • Not for people sensitive to benzoyl peroxide.
  • Not for oily skin.
  • Expensive for the quantity
  • Does not work on ripe acne or pimples

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These are the 14 best drugstore acne treatments of 2020. Before you buy any, here’s what to look for in a good drugstore acne treatment product.

How To Choose The Right Drugstore Acne Treatment 

  • Check if the acne treatment product has salicylic acid. It helps reduce acne breakouts.
  • Check if the acne treatment product has retinoids. Retinoids help unclog the pores and normalize skin cell turnover and prevent dead cells from clogging pores. Retinoids also reduce inflammation.
  • Check if the acne treatment has benzoyl peroxide. This acne-fighting ingredient kills acne-causing bacteria. However, if you have very sensitive skin, avoid an acne treatment that has more than 2% benzoyl peroxide.
  • Check if the acne treatment cleanser or moisturizer has soothing ingredients, like aloe.
  • Avoid acne treatments that contain fragrance.
  • If you are new to acne treatments, begin with a gentle cleanser and spot treatment gel.
  • Check if your acne treatment moisturizer contains SPF.
  • Avoid acne treatment products that have alcohol. It will dry your skin out and may cause peeling.

Conclusion

Dealing with facial acne is a game of patience. High-end or prescription products can be costly. Hence, the best alternative to treat mild acne is to use the right acne treatment cleanser, acne spot treatment, and moisturizer from your local drugstore. For sure, you will get a clear, smooth, and glowing skin. You must consult a licensed dermatologist if you have cystic acne or hormonal acne or if your acne problem persists.

Try these super-affordable drugstore acne treatments and see your skin getting clearer and healthier!

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