10 Best Drugstore Face Washes For Acne That Keep Breakouts At Bay

Written by Rafath Shaik
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Acne is like that friend that comes uninvited to a party and brings along annoying friends like black heads, whiteheads, and oil. And the biggest of them all that comes uninvited is a huge blow to your confidence levels. To combat these pesky issues, there are a variety of skincare products on the market, but it can be a little intimidating to pick the right one. As cleansing is the first step of a beauty routine, incorporating a face wash suited for acne-prone skin can work wonders. A face wash is not a one-stop-solution to treating acne, as you need loads of patience, but we assure you that our list of the 10 best drugstore face washes for acne will set you on the path to clearer skin, without burning a hole in your wallet!

Drugstore skincare works just as well as its pricier counterparts, sometimes even better. The key, though, lies in picking the right one for your type of acne, as it can range from mild to severe. Our list comes with a guide to help you pick the right cleanser to treat your acne, or at least soothe it to a great extent. Go ahead and start scrolling, and we’re sure your confidence levels (and bank balance!) will be as good as new again.

Top 10 ProductsCheck Price
PanOxyl Acne Foaming WashCheck Price
Botanic Tree Glycolic Acid Exfoliating CleanserCheck Price
Bioré Witch Hazel Pore Clarifying Cooling CleanserCheck Price
Neutrogena Rapid Clear Stubborn Acne CleanserCheck Price
Dr Song 10% Benzoyl Peroxide Medical Acne WashCheck Price
Differin Daily Deep CleanserCheck Price
La Roche-Posay Effaclar Medicated Gel CleanserCheck Price
Murad Blemish Control Clarifying CleanserCheck Price
Clean And Clear Daily Pore CleanserCheck Price
Vichy Laboratories Normaderm Phytosolution Intensive Purifying GelCheck Price

Get Pimple-Free Skin With The 10 Best Drugstore Face Washes For Acne

1. PanOxyl Acne Foaming Wash

 

PanOxyl brings you the best drugstore face wash for acne-prone, oily skin as it contains 10% benzoyl peroxide. In this concentration, the chemical kills bacteria on the skin and unclogs pores. Not only does the acne foaming wash rid your skin of existing acne blemishes, it also works hard to avoid new ones. Even though benzoyl peroxide is an excellent antibacterial ingredient, it can sometimes be harsh. But fret not, as PanOxyl has formulated this drugstore face wash for acne to be gentle on your skin and it can be used on the chest, back, and face too!

Pros

  • Contains 10% benzoyl peroxide
  • Antibacterial benefits
  • Unclogs pores
  • Can be used on face, back, and chest
  • Gentle formula
  • Clears existing blemishes and prevents new ones

Cons

  • Might stain towels or clothes

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2. Botanic Tree Glycolic Acid Exfoliating Cleanser

 

Formulated with 10% glycolic acid, this is the best drugstore face wash for oily, acne-prone skin. If you’ve been struggling with painful cystic acne, blackheads, or dull, spotty skin, Botanic Tree’s got the best drugstore acne wash to combat all these issues. The exfoliating formula contains tiny micro beads that gently remove dead skin cells to pave the way for fresh, healthy skin. At the same time, glycolic acid removes dirt and makeup from your skin without drying it out. As this acid is an AHA, it also brightens the skin, reduces sun damage, and evens out skin texture while smoothing the skin surface. A blend of skin-friendly ingredients like bamboo, she a butter, and tea tree extract dive deep into the skin to cleanse, reducing hyper pigmentation and redness.

Pros

  • Cruelty-free
  • Free of SLS
  • Safe for sensitive skin
  • Made with all-natural ingredients
  • Evens out skin texture, and tone
  • Rids skin of acne and blackheads

Cons

  • Some people may find it to be a little drying

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3. Bioré Witch Hazel Pore Clarifying Cooling Cleanser

Life with acne can be hard, but there are some cleansers you can try to make it a disappearing act. This cleanser from Bioré is perhaps the best drugstore facial cleanser for acne, as it contains witch hazel to deep clean your pores and unclog them. Witch hazel is also a star astringent and breaks down dirt, so you can cleanse your face without any hassle. The formula also contains 2% salicylic acid which combats blackheads and breakouts. The cleanser fast forwards your skin to be blemish-free with consistent use.

Pros

  • Contains 2% salicylic acid to reduce pimples and blackheads
  • Witch hazel unclog pores and breaks down dirt
  • Clears up skin
  • Has a cooling effect
  • Controls oil production
  • Hypoallergenic

Cons

  • Contains alcohol

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4. Neutrogena Rapid Clear Stubborn Acne Cleanser

A 10% benzoyl peroxide formula in Neutrogena’s best cheap face wash for acne helps combat acne and also keep future breakouts at bay. With consistent use, you’ll definitely notice a reduction in the size of your pimples and the redness they bring about. The gentle formula in Neutrogena’s best drugstore cleanser for acne can be used both day and night, and won’t have a drying effect. Acne, be gone!

Pros

  • Contains 10% benzoyl peroxide
  • Fights acne and prevents future breakouts
  • Gentle formulation
  • Won’t dry out skin
  • Dermatologist-recommended

Cons

  • May not be the ideal fit for all skin types

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5. Dr Song 10% Benzoyl Peroxide Medical Acne Wash

 

Free your skin of stubborn acne with Dr Song’s best drugstore acne face wash as it contains a high concentration of benzoyl peroxide. If you struggle with acne anywhere on your body, you can conveniently use this cleanser, as it is a gentle, non-irritating formula that penetrates deep into the skin. Use it for spot treatment or on your teenager’s cystic acne and you won’t be disappointed with its results. Dr Song has the best over-the-counter acne cleanser as it controls oil, reduces pimples, and clears pores.

Pros

  • Cruelty-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Can be used on face and body
  • Non-irritating formula
  • Can be used as a spot treatment for acne
  • Contains 10% benzoyl peroxide

Cons

  • Some may find the scent off-putting

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6. Differin Daily Deep Cleanser

If 10% benzoyl peroxide intimidates you due to its drying nature, try Differin’s best drugstore cleanser for sensitive acne-prone skin as it contains only 5%. The micronized formula goes deep into your skin and effectively absorbs oil and also unclogs pores. Now you can wash your face without that dreaded stripping feeling. The lower concentration of benzoyl peroxide in Differin’s drugstore face wash for acne prone skin ensures a powerful treatment of acne with reduced drying and irritation.

Pros

  • Non-drying
  • Doesn’t irritate skin
  • Lesser concentration of benzoyl peroxide
  • Suitable for sensitive skin
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Reduces oil

Cons

  • Might cause a burning sensation

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7. La Roche-Posay Effaclar Medicated Gel Cleanser

 

 The best drugstore face wash for sensitive, acne-prone skin, La Roche-Posay brings to you a formula with 2% salicylic acid. If excess oil between washes is your eternal enemy, this cleanser will take care of it for you. This cleanser goes to war with acne, blackheads, and whiteheads to give you an even skin surface to boost your confidence. You’ll also find micro-exfoliating lipo-hydroxy acid that renews skin for a fresh, healthy complexion. As acne-prone skin feels a little stuffy, the Effaclar Medicated Gel Cleanser also contains menthol to give your skin a cooling sensation.

Pros

  • Clears acne, blackheads, and whiteheads
  • Allergy-tested
  • Dermatologist-tested
  • Paraben-free
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Fragrance-free

Cons

  • Might leave skin feeling a little tight

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8. Murad Blemish Control Clarifying Cleanser

 

With Murad’s best drugstore acne cleanser, your skin is going to gain freedom from excess oil and acne. A concentration of salicylic acid that is just below 2% provides acne-free effects to skin well after you’re done cleansing. Not only does this powerful ingredient dissolve extra oil, it purges pores and ensures that you remain breakout-free for days to come. It is also enriched with green tea extract that helps soothe skin, preventing inflammation and redness, making it the best drugstore face wash for acne and dry skin.

Pros

  • Controls excess oil
  • Cruelty-free
  • Gentle formula
  • Free of parabens, sulfates, gluten, mineral oils, petroleum
  • Heals and soothes skin
  • Prevents future breakouts

Cons

  • Might be too mild for some

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9. Clean And Clear Daily Pore Cleanser

A brand that a lot of us grew up loving, Clean And Clear brings the best drugstore cleanser for acne-prone skin. With the help of tiny little micro-scrubbers, the daily pore cleanser has a gentle exfoliating effect and renews skin, leaving it soft and smooth. Clearing your skin of dirt, oil, and sweat, this acne-attacking face wash penetrates deeply into the skin to unclog pores. Work up a rich lather in the mornings and evenings with Clean And Clear’s best drugstore face wash for acne scars and write your acne a farewell letter!

Pros

  • Gently exfoliates skin
  • Makes skin soft and smooth
  • Unclogs pores
  • Oil-free formula
  • Ideal for daily use
  • Doesn’t cause a burning sensation

Cons

  • Might dry skin out a little

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10. Vichy Laboratories Normaderm Phytosolution Intensive Purifying Gel

 

The best drugstore face wash for acne and oily skin, Vichy contains salicylic acid, zinc, and copper. Zinc has anti-inflammatory properties, which help reduce scarring left behind by acne and copper offers anti-aging benefits to improve skin texture. With salicylic acid, you can welcome oil and dirt-free skin, which is also free of the pimples. Enriched with Vichy’s 15 Mineral-Rich Volcanic Water, this is the best drugstore face wash for hormonal acne as it contains 15 naturally occurring minerals that strengthen skin barrier, and fight against stressors. And, no fears about drying skin, as the formula is gentle, and can also be used on sensitive skin.

Pros

  • Anti-inflammatory and anti-aging benefits
  • Gentle formula
  • Allergy-tested
  • Safe for sensitive skin
  • Doesn’t contain sulfates, parabens, alcohol, or oil
  • Fades blemishes

Cons

  • Might not be suitable for people intolerant to fragrance

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After reading about the best drugstore face washes for acne, let’s break down how you can choose the right one for yourself.

Tips To Find The Best Face Wash For Acne

  • Active ingredients

An active ingredient is what will fight your acne head-on and there are various products that cater to different types of acne and other skin conditions. One of the most common ones is salicylic acid, which helps exfoliate your skin and rid it of blackheads and whiteheads. If you have mild or hormonal acne or the occasional breakout, this is the ideal ingredient for you. Benzoyl peroxide is another ingredient which often makes an appearance in skincare for acne-prone skin. It penetrates deep into the skin to remove bacteria, unclog pores, and also prevents future acne. If you struggle with severe or cystic acne, you can use up to 10% of this chemical or tone it down to around 5% for less severe cases. Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) such as glycolic acid are gentle on the skin yet just as effective as the other ingredients mentioned earlier in reducing breakouts and controlling oil production. Additionally, AHAs also boost collagen production to make skin plump and reduce hyper pigmentation for even-toned skin.

  • Supporting ingredients

As the active ingredients in cleansers for acne-prone skin can be a little harsh and drying, keep an eye out for some calming and soothing elements like green tea, aloe vera, honey, tea tree, and chamomile. If you have oily skin, you can opt for a cleanser with kaolin or niacin amide, and people with dry skin will benefit with hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid and glycerin. While AHAs and beta-hydroxy acids (BHAs) suit combination skin, activated charcoal or clay can be a good supplementary ingredient for those who have sensitive acne-prone skin. If you have sensitive skin, make sure to avoid products with fragrance as this can trigger inflammation.

  • Form

Cleansers are available in the form of a gel, exfoliant, or foam. Gel cleansers are suited to oily skin and when infused with ingredients like salicylic acid or tea tree, help control excess oil and sebum production. Exfoliants have a thick cream-like consistency and contain tiny beads that help remove dead skin and unclog pores when scrubbed on the face. This ensures that new, refreshed skin shines through and gives you a healthy glow, but this type of face wash might be too drying on already dry skin. Foaming cleansers are almost weightless and lather up in contact with water. They suit those with combination skin the best as they also provide gentle exfoliation without drying skin out.

Benefits Of A Face Wash For Acne-Prone Skin

 A face wash targeted towards people with acne-prone skin can:

  • Unclog pores and shrink them in size
  • Control excess oil production and reduce the grease on your face
  • Control the appearance of pimples and prevent new ones from forming
  • Exfoliate skin to remove dead cells and make way for fresh, healthy skin
  • Reduce blackheads and whiteheads
  • Calm skin down in instances of hormonal, cystic, and adult acne
  • Reduce inflammation and redness

We’re sure you’ve tried multiple cleansers for acne and maybe nothing worked. Or some might have and the zits start popping back up, giving you a harder time than before. Along with acne-friendly skincare like moisturizers and serums, a face wash is a great way to balance your skin’s pH levels and start targeting acne. While a face wash for acne helps lessen breakouts, it also controls oil, blackheads, and whiteheads, giving you fresher and healthier skin. So, what’ve you got to lose? Pick one from our list of the 10 best drugstore face washes for acne and get scrubbing!

Frequently Asked Questions

Does a face wash for acne-prone skin show results?

When used consistently, a face wash for acne-prone skin will help reduce instances of breakouts and prevent future ones from appearing. It penetrates deep into the skin to get rid of the acne-causing bacteria and controls oil production and unclogs pores.

Does an acne face wash cause acne?

No, as face washes formulated for acne-prone skin work to reduce the microbes that give rise to acne.

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