back to top

21 Drugstore Acne Products That People Actually Swear By

The journey to clearer skin just got easier.

Posted on

1. Pick up a bottle of vitamin E-packed Acure Argan Oil to keep your face moisturized without irritating any existing breakouts.

Promising Review: “I have combination skin and problems with hormonal acne. I wanted to try a skin product that was affordable and didn’t contain a bunch of chemicals. Acure Argan Oil has since become a staple for my facial care. And I love it as a daily moisturizer.” —Justwhatineeded

Get it from Amazon for $10.19.


2. Restart your skin routine and finally give acne the boot with the Neutrogena Complete Acne Therapy System.

The set includes one bottle of salicylic acid acne treatment cleanser, one bottle of SPF 15 lotion, and one bottle of benzoyl peroxide lotion. Note that this system may work best with moderate acne.

Promising Review: “I started using this trio six years ago to treat my moderate acne. Within the first month, I noticed my pimples wouldn't last as long as usual. After three months, I was still breaking out. But I decided to stick to it since I’d previously had the best results with Neutrogena acne products. And after using it for one year, my acne is completely gone. I only have breakouts during my menstrual period. It’s a great product to cleanse and use daily!” —Glo

Get the set of three from Amazon for $19.94.

3. Gently hydrate your face both day and night with Simple Nourishing Cream, which is free of the harsh chemicals, dyes, and artificial perfumes that can easily irritate acne.

Promising Review: “It’s amazing something so affordable and unassuming can work so well. I use this especially when I'm in the desert, where my skin gets really dry. It works perfectly!” —BGrace

Get it from Amazon for $10.99.

4. Manage and soften your dry skin with Biotherm Biosource Softening Cleansing Milk, which provides added enrichment through thermal plankton extract.

Promising Review: “I was advised to try this cleansing milk for my dry skin, and I have noticed a great improvement. Plus, it is very gentle on my face.” —Anna Blundell

Get it from Amazon for $18.75 or StrawberryNet for $24.

5. Combat clogged pores and the inflammation caused by acne with a bottle of Differin Gel.

Promising Review: “This product really works! My skin has never looked this clear! I saw the difference within a day on my new breakouts. By the next day, they were already disappearing and they didn’t come back!” —Brandy

Get it from Amazon for $10.73.

Be sure to use a moisturizer along with your Differin Gel treatment to prevent drying out your skin.

6. Wipe away oil and dirt to reveal smoother, balanced skin with Pixie Glow Tonic.

Promising Review: “I adore Glow Tonic. I use it daily, and It really shrinks your pores and gives your skin a beautiful glow. It is a great product!” —Kim

Get it from PIxi for $29.


7. Banish dirt and grime with a few wipes of exfoliating Clearasil Rapid Action Pads, which include salicylic acid to clear pores and fight breakouts.

Promising Review: “I bought theses for my teenage son. He uses them every night and has seen great improvement with his skin. They are quick and easy to use, and work very well.” —Sarah VM

Get a 90-pack from Amazon for $4.49.

8. Prevent new breakouts while giving your current blemishes a dose of salicylic acid acne medicine with Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash Scrub.

Promising Review: “I have sensitive, fair, blemish-prone, combination skin. I was previously using Proactiv. But this wash is a much less expensive alternative. It also smells better than Proactiv! The Neutrogena wash has worked really well on my combination skin. I always feel refreshed after I use it. I usually scrub it on my face, rinse with warm water, and then use a warm, wet washcloth to get any remaining scrub off of my face. I also use the Neutrogena Rapid Clear Acne Defense Face Lotion to moisturize my face.” —Mhanley

Get it from Amazon for 4.96+.

9. Reduce the size of pimples and treat infections deep in your pores overnight with Bye Bye Blemish Drying Lotion.

Promising Review: “This is much cheaper than other drying lotion brands. Dries out an open acne wound. Just be sure not to shake it. Insert a cotton swab all the way to the pinkish-orange part, and apply it on top of the pimple. It should accelerate the healing process after one or two uses.” —Raychelle

Get it from Amazon for $10.50.

If you have dry skin, consider using a moisturizer on your face before applying the drying lotion.

10. Manage your oily skin with a refreshing wipe of Yes Tomatoes Daily Pore Scrub, which is formulated with natural ingredients that prevent breakouts and blemishes.

Promising Review: “I struggle with a lot of adult acne, including painful cysts, oily skin, and a ton of blackheads and pimples. This scrub, and many other Yes to Tomatoes products have been the only thing to control my breakouts. This face wash is perfect for sensitive skin. And the exfoliating property helps with my blackheads.” —OnlineShopper

Get it from Amazon for $6.64.

11. Shield your sensitive skin from UV rays while avoiding any harsh chemicals with fragrance-free Eucerin Daily Protection Face Lotion.

Promising Review: “I started using this moisturizer when I took acne medication that dried out my skin. The formula is lightweight and oil-free. I have used this product for several years now and would recommend it for anyone who has troublesome skin!” —Rebecca Rice

Get it from Amazon for $7.12.


12. Deep clean your face with Pond’s Cold Cream, which combines mineral oil and beeswax to lock in moisture.

Promising Review: “I have very dry skin. I tend to go to Macy's for my skin care products. But being on a budget, I decided to give this a try. And I’m excited to tell you that I actually like this cleanser BETTER than Clinique’s Dry Skin Cleanser. I wipe it on and off with a wet washcloth. My skin is softer with this stuff than with more expensive cleansers! I’ve had no breakouts and no flaky skin! For cleansers and cold creams, this stuff wins hands down!” —Jessica

Get it from Amazon for $5.03.

You can use this as both a daily cleanser and makeup remover.

13. Avoid stripping away natural oils while cleansing your face with non-foaming Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser.

Promising Review: “I can actually understand all of the products that make up this wash. I have many allergies, and this product does not contain any of them. It cleans my skin gently without drying it!” —Penny

Get it from Amazon for $6.99+.

14. Roll over your blemishes with an e.l.f. Zit Zapper, which combines aloe, salicylic acid, and tea tree oil to soothe breakouts and minimize the look of pores.

Promising Review: “Look no further for an amazing pimple treatment. I've been using this for three years now. I get hormonal and stress acne. But when I use this product, it can make a pimple go away in as quick as two to three days.” —Kindle Customer

Get it from Amazon for $2+.

15. Unblock your oil glands and disinfect your skin with a bottle of tea tree oil.

Promising Review: “This tea tree oil is high quality, and I love that it comes in a larger size with a bottle dropper. It works great as a spot treatment for acne-prone skin and to sanitize things you don't want to use harsh cleaners on.” —Magick Mutton

Get it from Amazon for $12.95.

You can also mix tea tree oil with other facial oils — like argan oil or rosehip oil — for added nourishment and moisture for your skin.

16. Wake up your pores and yourself with Clean & Clear Morning Burst Facial Cleanser — that combines vitamin C and ginseng to immediately energize your skin.

Promising Review: “I love the velvety texture of this cleanser on my skin! You only need a pea-sized amount of product for it to slightly lather up and clean your face. The smell of grapefruit and ginger is very addicting. And the small beads are so beneficial. I could feel it exfoliate and actually stimulate my pores. It is very hydrating for a product that is oil-free!” —Gina O.

Get it from Amazon for $9.14.


17. Quickly tend to unexpected pimples with Neutrogena On-the-Spot Treatment.

Promising Review: “This is both effective and gentle for my sensitive skin, which is prone to cystic acne. I can definitely tell a difference in the morning when using it overnight!” —Amazon Customer

Get it from Amazon for $6.54.

18. Toss toxins to the curb with Alba Botanica Good & Clean Acne Wash for a deep clean that won’t irritate sensitive skin.

Promising Review: “Not only did I use this on my face. But I’ve also used it to help the acne areas on the backs of my arms. It is a very gentle product and does not have a strong scent. I love how it clears the acne and soothes the red spots that come with it!” —KohlenBlakesMom

Get it from Target for $6.59.

19. Rid your face of impurities in just one minute with Bioré Self-Heating Charcoal Mask — which heats up upon contact with water.

Promising Review: “I love the warming feeling as I massage this on my face! It thoroughly cleans my face, leaving it feeling clean and smooth. And it only takes a minute to use, unlike most masks, which take 10 to 20 minutes.” —Heather Ford

Get a four-pack from Amazon for $6.49.

20. Dissolve dirt and purify your pores with a little assistance from Noxzema Anti-Blemish Pads.

Promising Review: “These are great for everyday, as well as on the go. I keep about four of them at any given time so I always have them for daily face cleansing. But I do not use them more than one per day to avoid drying out my face.” —Lovinlife

Get a two-pack of 90 pads from Amazon for $10.67.

21. And keep your pillow from adding to your skin woes with a Nufrabrx Pillowcase made from bamboo fibers infused with acne-fighting serum.

Promising Review: “I just got my pillowcase and the scent is amazing. It made my skin feel better and my face wasn't nearly as red and irritated when I woke up. If you suffer from acne, it's definitely worth a try.” —Amazon Customer

Get it from Amazon for $19.99.

Make sure to wash your pillow case and sheets at least once a week to avoid a buildup of dead skin cells, dirt, and bacteria — all of which can cause more breakouts.

The reviews for this post have been edited for length and clarity.